HC Deb 12 February 1986 vol 91 c464W
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now announce the final allocations of grant to assist voluntary bodies affected by the abolition of the metropolitan counties and the Greater London council; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

I am pleased to be able to announce our allocations of transitional grant to London boroughs and metropolitan districts. These allocations are only one aspect of the support to voluntary bodies after abolition. Transitional grant is the extra support to £20 million worth of voluntary projects which the Government are giving over and above the RSG support to abolition areas. The allocations will be followed as soon as possible by letters to individual authorities indicating which projects have been accepted as eligible for transitional grant. This will enable authorities to go ahead and confirm their very substantial spending plans — amounting to some £40 million for grants to voluntary bodies affected by abolition.

In making allocations we have taken account wherever possible of spending to replace grants paid direct to voluntary bodies by abolition authorities, even though some of these additional spending burdens are not directly supported by transitional grant.

This spending is in addition to the plans for funding county-wide groups which are now under way in most areas. In London, a budget of £27 million has already been drawn up by the boroughs for collective funding of voluntary groups. This is a very encouraging demonstration of the willingness of authorities to work together in support of the voluntary sector.

I am placing a list of allocations in the Library.

Mr. Wareing

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from voluntary organisations located in Merseyside concerning their future funding; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

[pursuant to his reply, 11 February 1986]: I have received a number of representations from Merseyside voluntary organisations, particularly expressing the view that transitional grant should be made available to help local authorities on Merseyside support voluntary bodies operating countrywide. My Noble Friend the Minister of State met a representative group in Liverpool on Friday.

I refer also to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) on 7 February 1986, at columns 282–83.