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New Towns

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 17 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has completed his examination of new town finances; and if he will make a statement.

As I informed the House on 26 January, during the Second Reading of the New Towns Bill, the Government have been taking a fundamental look at the present method of financing the new towns in England and Wales, on account of the substantial and growing revenue deficits of several towns.Legislation will be needed in due course to deal with a variety of issues posed by the winding-up of the new town corporations and the New Towns Commission. These measures, including the financial aspects, will take some time to work out in detail.As an interim step, therefore, it is our intention to stabilise the revenue deficit position by temporarily suspending appropriate amounts of new town debt. Measures to give effect to this proposal will be brought forward in the present Session. In the meantime, the present method of financing from the National Loans Fund will continue.