asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many European Economic Community grants, in respect of work which is the normal responsibility of his Department, have been paid direct to the beneficiary in each of the last three years; and if he will announce their total value and express that as a percentage of EEC grant paid to or via his Department.
All grants for infrastructures in England from the Euro- pean regional development fund are paid to the implementing authority via my Department. In the case of infrastructure not within my Department's field, payment is via both my Department and the other Department concerned. Of the successful applications for such grants, those in my Department's field numbered 156 in 1977, 144 in 1978 and 96 in 1979. These qualified for £51·8 million grant payable as expenditure is incurred. Those not within my Department's field qualified for £37·7 million in the same period. The Community has also made grants via my Department for flood relief works. In 1977–78, £312,835 went to local authorities in England and in 1979–80, payments of £83,961 are going to local authorities in England for onward transmission to householders whose properties have suffered flood damage. Of all these grants, totalling £89·5 million the proportion due to beneficiaries in my Department's field is approximately 58 per cent.