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Local Authorities (Capital Expenditure)

Volume 82: debated on Wednesday 10 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Enironment what representations he has received from local authorities about difficulties experienced in meeting capital expenditure targets; and if he will make a statement.

I have received quite a number of representations about the level of local authority capital allocations for 1985–86 and the reductions in the prescribed proportion of capital receipts which authorities may add to those allocations. I regret the effect on local authorities' programmes, but the measures were the very least necessary if we were to have any reasonable prospect of achieving our public expenditure plans for the year. As I announced on 26 June, at column 392, in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Watson), returns submitted by authorities show that there may still be an overspend in the main cash limit, but, in view of the uncertainty and the risk of disruption to authorities' programmes, I nevertheless propose no further action at present.