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Improvement Areas

Volume 889: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will consider restoring to second-tier authorities outright responsibility for council improvement areas and allocate grant aid according through the key sector housing revenue account;(2) what recommendations he is making to county councils to ensure that they contribute adequately to environmental works in council improvement areas.

I have at present no plans to amend the existing statutory duties of local authorities in relation to general improvement areas. District and county authorities were advised in circular 14/75 of the necessity for early liaison and consultation in the formulative stages of general improvement areas. I am reviewing the need for further advice, particularly with regard to the provision and financing of roadworks.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of increasing costs, he will now increase the maximum grant of £200 per house in council improvement areas by 50 per cent.

No. Under the new provisions of the Housing Act 1974, however, my right hon. Friend has power to increase the £200 per dwelling limit in individual general improvement areas where a higher Exchequer contribution for environmental improvements is essential to deal with exceptional problems.