§ Mr. Ancram
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to be able to respond to Lothian regional council's request for payment of the sum of £4 million due to the council from Livingston development corporation for the provision of services in the new town.
§ Mr. Younger
I have informed the regional council that I have now authorised Livingston development corporation to make capital payments of £4 million to Lothian regional council and £1,473 to West Lothian district council in final settlement of the arrangements made with their predecessor authorities for the provision of services in the early days of the new town before an appreciable return from rates could be expected. I have also authorised the corporation to write off as not recoverable both these sums and advances of £4.6 million which were made by made by the development corporation to water and other public authorities before May 1975.
The sum now to be advanced by the development corporation can be used by the regional council only to repay debt or to finance projects within its existing capital allocation with consequent savings in loan charges. Apart from its effects on the region's borrowing requirement and interest payments, it is not relevant to its planned level of current expenditure.
I am confident that settlement of this question will assist continued close working co-operation between the development corporation and the regional council in the important task of promoting further development and completion of the new town.