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Volume 940: debated on Thursday 1 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the London borough of Newham will receive any additional help to cope with inner city deprivation; and what extent this will be further increased in the light of the figures given by the Office of Population Census and Surveys showing that there has been a 40 per cent. increase in births to immigrant parents in the borough last year.

The Docklands designated area, part of which falls within the London borough of Newham, is the subject of inner city partnership arrangements and we have already made or announced resource allocations under the construction package and urban programme of £65 million. Other parts of the London borough of Newham will also benefit from the increase in the urban programme.In addition, the Government have announced for inner city areas, not only those selected for partnership, their intention to ensure so far as practicable that their policies and programmes are given an inner area dimension and priority. The number of immigrants in an area is just one of a number of factors that are taken into account when making allocations under the urban programme and other major programmes. Special assistance is available under Section 11 of the Local Government Act to help local authorities with substantial numbers of Commonwealth immigrants in their areas to meet the cost of employing extra staff. Moreover, I understand that the figures given in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys Monitor (FM1) show that the percentage increase in immigrant births in the London borough of Newham between 1975 and 1976 was 8 per cent. The needs element of the rate support grant also takes account of expenditure needs arising from multiple deprivation wherever it occurs.