HC Deb 14 March 1977 vol 928 cc12-3W
Mr. Arnold

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has for altering the formulae he adopts for calculating the rate support grant as between urban and rural areas.

Mr. Freeson

Discussions with the local authority associations on the basis of the distribution of rate support grant in 1978–79 have begun. Final decisions will not be taken until later in the year.

Mr. Arnold

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the annual percentage increase in rate support grant for the metropolitan borough of Stockport in each of the last five years; and if he remains satisfied with the needs element in the grant for this authority.

Mr. Guy Barnett

Because of local government reorganisation it is not possible to provide comparable figures of rate support grant entitlement for years before 1974–75.

The following table gives the percentage change in needs and resources grant for the years available:

Percentage change over previous year
Needs grant at main order stage Resources grant at first increase order stage
1975–76 +45.35 +53.65
1976–77 +24.48 +17.12
1977–78 -3.46 *Not yet available
* Resources element grant depends on the expenditure and rate poundage decisions taken by rating authorities; the entitlements for 1977–78 have yet to be calculated.

I am satisfied with the rate support grant needs element entitlements embodied in the Rate Support Grant Order 1976 and approved by the House.