HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc320-1W
Mr. Spence

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is his policy with regard to central Government grant in respect of local authorities holding land after the purpose for which such land was acquired has ceased to exist; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if it is his policy to permit local authorities in England to dispose of surplus land and apply the proceeds to the benefit of the ratepayers without reduction in central Government grant; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Oakes

The mere holding of land by a local authority has no effect on central Government grant.

When a local authority receiving, directly or indirectly, a resources element of rate support grant applies the proceeds of the sale of land to the benefit of the ratepayers the resulting reduction in rate levy will automatically result in a smaller resources element entitlement. Additionally, if the land in question had been acquired for a purpose attracting a specific grant then, on disposal or use for another purpose, the local authority would be required to repay to the Exchequer an appropriate share of the proceeds.