§ 62. Mr. Robert B. Jones
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what discussions he has held concerning environmental and local government matters and inner-city policy; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Environmental and local government matters are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment but are frequently raised in discussions I have with local business 271W men and others involved in inner-city regeneration and the action for cities campaign. In these discussions we agree about the importance of improving the environment of inner cities in order to attract investment and encourage development. The Government support this through, for example, the urban programme, derelict land grant and the new city grant, which are aimed at attracting private investment. Business men also raise with me the need for local authorities to help create the right climate for enterprise by removing unnecessary obstacles to growth and reducing the rate burden on business. The Government are supporting this objective through, for example, the proposal for a national non-domestic rate which will directly benefit many inner-city businesses.