I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been directed to the proposed scheme of the London County Council for the erection of workmen's cottages on a site in Tottenham for the purpose of housing about 35,000 persons, at a cost of £1,500,000; and whether, as this will necessitate an outlay for the erection of new board schools, and also an expenditure for sewerage and other necessary works, any and what relief can be afforded out of public funds to the ratepayers of the district; and what steps should be taken for this purpose.
I am aware of the proposed scheme. Assistance of the kind referred to in the second paragraph of the question could not be given, but I may point out that the erection of dwelling houses on vacant land largely increases the rateable value of a district, and from investigations which I have caused to be made elsewhere, I do not think it should be assumed that the result of the scheme would necessarily be to increase the burdens on the ratepayers.
Will the local authorities be given an extension of borrowing powers?
I am not quite sure I follow the hon. Member. Does he mean an extension of the time for repayment of the loan they may have to contract in order to carry out the works? Of course any such application will be considered, but I do not think there are any special grounds in this case for differentiating it from similar cases.