§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will ensure that the non-metropolitan counties and, in particular, the counties of Wales, will not have the relative value of their rate support grant further eroded in 1978–79 in favour of London and the metropolitan counties of England;
(2) if he will ensure that the needs element in the rate support grant for the counties of Wales for 1978–79 will be increased in absolute and relative terms compared with the 1977–78 distribution.
§ Mr. Guy Barnett
I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Radice) on Friday 18th November 1977.—[Vol. 939, c. 389–91.] The rate support grant distribution arrangements are based on a formula of general application; in applying the formula we have taken account of the 635W changing needs of all authorities in England and Wales while protecting authorities from large losses in grant.