§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether he proposes to make any additional funds available to local authorities to enable them to tackle the problems of coastal erosion; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what resources have been made available to local authorities in the present financial year and 1989–90 to tackle the problem of coastal erosion.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
[holding answer 15 May 1990]: Coast protection is one item covered by the capital expenditure allocations made each year by my right hon. and learned Friend for local authorities' water and sewerage programmes. Within their permitted capital expenditure, authorities are free to set their own priorities for expenditure on such works. Allocations for authorities' water and sewerage programmes in 1989–90 totalled £126 million and in 1990–91, £137.5 million. Provisional allocations for 1991–92 total £159.6 million and for 1992–93, £182 million. Nevertheless expenditure on coast protection remains relatively small and in 1988–89 was less than £1 million.
Grants are available to regional and islands councils, under the Coast Protection Act 1949, for coast protection schemes providing that certain criteria are met. The percentage grant available varies from 20 per cent. to 80 per cent. depending on authority. No changes are proposed.