§ Sir Wyn Roberts
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he plans to consult on his proposals to exempt rural communities from the purchase grant scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
We have today issued a consultation paper asking for comments from local authorities, housing associations and other interested parties on our proposals for exempting rural communities from the new purchase grant scheme.
As is made clear in the recent White Paper, "A Working Countryside for Wales", we recognise the particular difficulty in building or finding replacement properties for rent in rural areas, and the planned statutory scheme for future publicly funded developments will not therefore apply to rural communities across Wales which have a population density of less than 150 persons per sq km. This will help ensure the availability of affordable housing for rent in rural Wales where this issue is of special concern.
The Housing Bill currently before Parliament would give my right hon. Friend the power to designate by order rural areas where the new right would not arise.
1 2 3 4 Average A/AS level point score for 16 to 18-year-old candidates entered for 2 or more A levels or AS equivalent in 19951 Percentage of 15-year-olds achieving 5 or more GGSEs grades A to C in 1995 Average primary school class size at January 1995 Average secondary school class size at January 19952 Maintained Schools in: Percentage Rank Rank Rank Dyfed 16 47 2 22.6 7 19.5 6 Powys 16 50 1 22.4 8 17.0 8 South Glamorgan 16 41 5 27.1 2 22.0 1 West Glamorgan 16 38 6 25.9 5 20.5 3 Clwyd 15 42 3 26.6 4 21.0 2 Gwent 15 37 7 27.8 1 20.5 3 Gwynedd 15 42 3 22.8 6 19.0 7 Mid Glamorgan 13 33 8 27.1 2 19.6 5
Figures are ranked from highest to lowest.
1 The A/AS level score is calculated for each pupil who was entered for A/AS level examinations on the basis of scores as follows:
A level: A = 10 points, B = 8, C = 6, D = 4, E = 2.
AS levels: A = 5 points, B = 4, C = 3, D = 2, E = 1.
2 Data are for a specific period in the school timetable on the census enumeration date.242W
In the case of the voluntary scheme, the statutory list of exempted areas will be available for associations to use.
The consultation paper sets out the way we propose to implement this designation and invites comments on the methodology and on the list of areas we plan to exempt. Copies have been deposited in the Library of the House.