§ Mr. Kirkwood
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any plans to assist local authorities to finance water and drainage schemes in small villages which cannot sustain large enough housing developments to make the investment in water and drainage infrastructure economically viable.
§ Mr. Ancram
Regional and islands councils have a duly to provide water and drainage services where this can be 91W done at reasonable cost. Where provision of water supplies in a rural area would impose a significant financial burden on the council, grant assistance is available towards capital expenditure under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Acts. The grant is payable on approved expenditure, subject to a ceiling cost per property served, at a rate between 30 and 75 per cent. depending on the needs and resources of the council.
Grant assistance for rural sewerage schemes was terminated as from 31 March 1986, after consultation with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, but loan charges incurred in respect of capital expenditure on drainage works continue to count as relevant expenditure for the purpose of distributing rate support grant.