§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make extra grants available to water authorities to enable them to bring forward programmes of sewerage installation schemes; and whether he will provide assistance to local authorities which incur loan charges due to their agency work for water authorities.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
We have no plans to change the present arrangements under which Exchequer grants are available towards the cost of first time rural sewerage, but otherwise water authorities finance their capital programmes for sewerage, like the rest of their capital programmes, from internal resources or borrowing. However, grants are available from the European regional development fund for projects in assisted areas, such as Merseyside, and water authorities are encouraged to make full use of this facility.
Expenditure by local authorities as agents for water authorities is reimbursed in full and no quesion of loan charges need arise.