§ Mr. Kenneth Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to stop the community land scheme and to remove the restrictions on disposals of land by local authorities.
§ Mr. King
I have today sent a guidance note to all local authorities in England telling them that the Government intend to repeal the main provisions of the Community Land Act at the earliest convenient opportunity and that, from now on, borrowing consent will not normally be given for new expenditure on land acquisitions and improvement works under the land scheme. Consent will be given only where there is already a clear contractual or moral obligation to incur expenditure or, exceptionally, where the expenditure is necessary to secure early disposal of land already acquired.
At the same time, I have issued a general consent to the authorities to dispose of any interest in land they own, thus removing the previous Government's restrictions on freeholds or long leases.
I understand that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is taking
Average annual Payment in England and Wales Before rebates After rebates* £ £ Rents for local authority domestic properties … … … 333 300† Local authority rates for all domestic properties … … 152 142 Water and sewerage charges levied on domestic properties by water authorities … … … … … … 42 * Only tentative estimates of the level of rebates are available at this stage of the year. † Net of local authority rebates only.