HC Deb 27 January 1986 vol 90 cc415-6W
Mr. Stern

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what resources he is proposing to make available under the urban programme in 1986–87 for partnership and programme authorities.

Mr. John Patten

I am today announcing initial resource allocations to individual partnership and programme authorities totalling £220 million for 1986–87. I am also providing £5 million through the urban programme to support community refurbishment schemes set up in co-operation with the urban housing renewal unit (UHRU). Therefore about £225 million should be available to partnership and programme authorities compared to £224 million initially allocated for 1985–86. Local authorities will receive additional allocations where they support urban regeneration projects through the urban development grant scheme. Additional resources sometimes become available for redistribution within the urban block in the course of the year so initial allocations frequently differ from outturn.

Separately, the £50 million available through the urban housing renewal unit is not yet allocated so individual authorities will be able to supplement their resources by bidding for this.

1986–87 will be the first year of operation of the urban programme management initiative (UPM). The UPM has been discussed in detail with local authority associations, whose ideas resulted in valuable improvements to the system. I welcome their acceptance of the UPM in the revised form. Under the UPM, individual projects will have clear objectives related to the strategy set by the authority in its inner area programme (IAP). Expected outputs of projects will be quantified wherever possible, and overall outputs expected from the IAP will also be expressed in a form that can be aggregated at national level.

The allocations made today are provisional; formal allocations are made after IAPs have been approved. We accept that certain aspects of the UPM cannot operate in full in the first year. However, authorities cannot expect to have their allocations confirmed in full unless the main requirements of the UPM are met and Ministerial Guidelines for the urban programme are followed.

The allocations to the programme authorities are the same in cash terms as those made last year, as is that for the Birmingham partnership, which has an exceptionally large scale of problems and a good record in the effective use of resources. The allocations to individual authorities are:

Authority Allocation (£ million)
Birmingham 24.5
Hackney 11.6
Islington 10.0
Lambeth 13.1
Liverpool 22.8
Manchester/Salford 23.8
Newcastle/Gateshead 17.2
Blackburn 3.60
Bolton 3.59
Bradford 4.58
Brent 4.50
Coventry 4.30
Hammersmith and Fulham 5.63
Hull 4.47
Knowsley 3.70
Leeds 4.13
Leicester 5.43
Middlesbrough 4.62
Nottingham 4.85
Oldham 3.66
Rochdale 3.60
Sandwell 4.50
Sheffield 4.01
Sunderland 3.17
Tower Hamlets 4.50
North Tyneside 3.12
South Tyneside 3.93
Wandsworth 4.50
Wirral 3.67
Wolverhampton 4.84

Mr. Tony Banks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will broaden the criteria for urban programme expenditure to enable direct investment by local authorities in local commercial and community enterprises; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

[pursuant to his reply, 24 January 1986, c. 341]The categories of financial assistance by local authorities to commercial undertakings, including community businesses, which are eligible for Exchequer support under the urban programme are set out in annex A to the Department's letter of 26 March 1984 to designated district authorities in England. There are no plans to amend these categories.