§ Mr. Ron Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will meet hon. Members representing Lothian constituencies to discuss Lothian regional council's financial problems.
§ Mr. Lang
[holding answer 17 May 1991]: I met representatives of Lothian regional council on Friday 17 May to hear their representations against my proposed reduction of £50 in their personal community charge.
I remain satisfied that Lothian's planned expenditure for 1991–92 is "excessive and unreasonable". However, since the financial year is well under way, I have indicated my willingness not to pursue capping action if the council agrees to reduce its charge by £37, the equivalent of a £18.5 million cut in expenditure.
In view of this meeting, during which council representatives raised a number of financial problems, I see no need for a further meeting with hon. Members.