HC Deb 23 February 1978 vol 944 cc804-5W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what element is contained in the rate support grant formula to assist rural local authorities to meet the requirement placed on them by the Post Office to subsidise rural telephone kiosks that run at a loss.

Mr. Guy Barnett

I have been asked to reply.

Local authorities may choose to subsidise telephone kiosks in cases where the kiosk would not otherwise be provided because it failed to meet the commercial criteria laid down by the Post Office. Such expenditure by the local authority qualifies as relevant expenditure for rate support grant purposes. Rate support grant is given in aid of the revenues of an authority generally and is not related to specific services; but the sparsity factors used in the distribution of the needs element of rate support grant are of particular assistance to rural areas.