§ Mr. John Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about his policy towards the use of urban aid for law centres; and whether he consults the Lord Chancellor about the support given by his Department for legal advice on law centres.
§ Sir George Young
Ministerial guidelines for the urban programme accord first priority to projects designed to strengthen local economies, and in particular to capital schemes. The urban programme is, however, wide-ranging and does provide revenue funding for projects tackling social problems, including law centres. Urban programme revenue funding is always for a limited period in the expectation that if a project is successful it will subsequently find support from local authority main programmes or elsewhere. Each application from a law centre is considered on its merits against other bids for the use of limited resources. The Lord Chancellor's Department is consulted when new bids for urban programme support for law centres are put forward by sponsoring local authorities.