§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what account is taken of the needs of women, ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities in the distribution of rate support grant, housing investment programme authorisation and urban programme and community refurbishment scheme funds.
§ Mr. John Patten
The distribution of these resources depends on a wide range of factors. Allocations are made in the light of consultations with the local authority associations, or in response to bids submitted by individual local authorities, or both.
In many cases it would be very difficult to specify that part of the resources which was being allocated solely for the benefit of the particular groups of people to which the hon. Member refers. However, substantial resources are directed through the urban programme to help local authorities meet the special needs of inner city residents. In 1986–87, for example, some £9 million will he directed to victim support schemes, over £35 million will support nearly 1,300 projects specifically for the benefit of ethnic minority communities. In addition, many of the 1,400 or so community and welfare projects supported through the urban programees will be of direct benefit to the elderly, disabled and other disadvantaged groups.