asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what plans he now has for dealing with derelict land and, in particular, colliery spoil heaps.
I am anxious to see much quicker progress on this and I hope to be able to make grant available to local authorities for this purpose in the context of the present review of local government finance.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Will he bear in mind that the existence of the spoil heaps in the coalfields is due to the exploitation of one of our greatest national assets and that it is strongly felt by the local authorities concerned that the removal or landscaping of the spoil heaps ought now to be accepted as a national charge?
Yes, I am aware of that. In our survey we discovered that no less than 51,000 acres are suitable for treatment and I hope that I shall be able to give a specific grant, but I am afraid that my hon. Friend must wait for the announcement of that until we come to the second Rating Bill.