§ Mr. Weetch
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress is being made with the building societies' support scheme for local authorities; and when the "Code of Good Practice" on the scheme will be issued.
§ Mr. Freeson
Progress so far in 1978–79 is very encouraging, and I hope that it will be maintained throughout the year. In the first two months, 5,200 advances were approved, totalling £41.4 million. This compares with 2,200 advances worth £15.5 million for the same period last year. This increased lending reflects the growing co-operation between building societies and local authorities throughout the country. The local authority associations, the Building Societies Association and my Department have now prepared notes of guidance on the day-to-day operation of the scheme, based on experience where the scheme is going well. These notes are now being made available to all society branches and local authorities participating in the scheme and should provide additional helpful guidance.