asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what proposals he has to give financial assistance to local authorities similar to those in West Durham where there has been a decline in rateable value because of the run down in the mining industry.
Where, as is the case in West Durham, the local authorities get rate-deficiency grant, it automatically compensates for a loss of rateable value.
Is my hon. Friend aware that in this area additional burdens are now being placed upon local authorities because of the tremendous scars left by the mining industry, which has declined so rapidly? Will he continue to look at this question so that local authorities, which are already doing all that they can to rehabilitate the area, may have extra help?
As my hon. Friend knows, I visited the area during the Recess and was very much seized of its problems. We will certainly keep them in mind.