§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the adequacy of Shropshire Health Authority's allocation for 1999–2000, with reference to population growth. 
§ Mr. Denham
The 1999–2000 allocation for Shropshire Health Authority is £247.65 million. This represents a cash increase of £15.15 million or 6.51 per cent. This is above the national average increase of 6.50 per cent. for health authorities without health action zones.
In addition, the 2000–01 allocation for Shropshire Health Authority is £265.68 million. This represents a cash increase of £17.13 million or 6.89 per cent. This is above the national average increase of 6.69 per cent. for health authorities without health action zones.
For 1999–2000 Shropshire Health Authority's resident population increased by 0.80 per cent. compared to the national average of 0.48 per cent.
The objective of resource allocation is to distribute funds fairly based on the relative healthcare needs of populations. In doing so, account is taken of the latest available data, including changes to populations.