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Programmes Approved

Volume 720: debated on Tuesday 16 November 1965

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32.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many of the figures described as Programmes Approved have the approval neither of their councils nor of his Department; and how many of them include schemes whose phasing will stretch beyond 1968.

I assume the Question refers to Greater London. Each local authority's programme was officially submitted by the council. The submitted programmes were modified in the light of the Department's assessment of their feasibility. The revised programmes were then approved by me on behalf of my right hon. Friend, announced by me on 20th September, and confirmed officially in writing to each local authority.

The answer to the first part of the Question is therefore "None". The answer to the second part is that since programme approval is in terms of tenders to be let, all the programmes contain schemes whose construction period will run on beyond 1968.

Is not it true that some discussions are going on still between the London boroughs and the Ministry on this subject? If that is so, how can the Parliamentary Secretary describe this scheme as approved, particularly when tenders have not been let in any event?

The programmes have been approved in conjunction with the local authorities. They are minimum programmes and when they apply for loan sanctions they will be given those sanctions. What more can we do than give approval to programmes of this kind?