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Cash And Running Costs Limits

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to change his Department's cash limits and running cost limits for 1997–98. [14401]

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimates, my Department's cash limits will change as follows:

(i) the cash limit for class V, vote 1—Highways Agency—will be increased by £10,229,000 from £1,562,329,000 to £1,572,558,000. The increase in the cash limit reflects the take-up of £11,979,000 capital end year flexibility amount as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997, Official Report, columns 245–50, offset by an inter-vote transfer from this vote to class V, vote 2 of £1,750,000 for the ongoing motorway tolling project.
(ii) the cash limit for class V, vote 2—Department of Transport: administration and transport services—will be increased by £3,625,000 from £158,075,000 to £161,700,000. The increase results from the take-up of £2,000,000 capital end year flexibility amount as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997, Official Report columns 245–50 and inter-vote transfers from class V, vote 1 of £1,750,000 and from class V, vote 5 of £85,000 for mobility unit expenditure to be re-classified as running costs, offset by inter-vote transfers from this vote to class V, vote 5 of £60,000 for priority routes in London and to class XIII, vote 2 of £150,000 for the Edinburgh City Car Club research project. Running cost provision for this vote increases by £85,000 from £86,436,000 to £86,521,000.
(iii) the cash limit for class V, vote 5—Roads and local transport—will be increased by £1,675,000 from £313,863,000 to £315,538,000. The increase reflects the take up of £2,100,000 structural funds end year flexibility amount as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997, Official Report columns 245–50 and an inter-vote transfer from class V, vote 2 of £60,000, offset by an inter-vote transfer from this vote to class V, vote 2 of £85,000 and a reduction in the provision for licence fee refunds to goods vehicle and public service vehicle operators and drivers of £400,000.
(iv) the cash limit for class V, vote 7—Passenger rail services—will be reduced by £51,000,000 from £1,516,385,000 to £1,465,385,000. The reduction reflects a £50,000,000 inter-vote transfer from this vote to class V, vote 3 for Metropolitan Railway Passenger Services Grant, and a £1,000,000 reduction in respect of reduced expenditure on consultants.
(v) the DoT/LACAP (Local Authority Capital) non-voted cash limit will be increased by £7,150,000 from £349,193,000 to £356,343,000, to fund works associated with the rebuilding of Manchester city centre comprising of improvements to the Inner Relief Road, the development of a bus strategy and traffic management scheme and improved routes for pedestrians. The increase of £7,150,000 will be met by a call on the Reserve.
As a consequence of the changes in (ii) above the gross running costs limit operating on class V, votes 1, 2, 4 and 6 will be increased by £85,000 from £373,274,000 to £373,359,000.
(vi) the cash limit for class VI, vote 1—housing and construction, England—covering sections A, D to G, I, J and L of that vote, will be decreased by £3,325.000 from £599,708,000 to £596,383,000. An increase in the cash limit of £220,000 is offset by a decrease of £3,545,000. The increase is to meet residual additional administration costs the Housing Corporation is expected to incur in respect of the loan portfolio sale, funded from sale receipts. The decrease results principally from a reduction of £2,935,000 in homelessness grants current expenditure provision to fund an increase in rough sleepers initiative capital allocations through the Housing Corporation, which falls outside the cash limit. Of the remaining reductions, Estates Renewal Challenge Fund provision will be reduced by £500,000 to support registered social landlords' housing costs arising from the need to house people displaced from Montserrat as a result of volcanic activity on the island, and a reduction of £110,000 results from a reclassification of extra receipts recovered from homelessness grants, so that voted provision takes account of those receipts and is adjusted accordingly. The DETR/HC (Housing Corporation) cash limit will consequently be increased by £3,435.000 from £673,050,000 to £676,485,000.
(vii) a new DETR/CRI (Capital Receipts Initiative) cash limit will be introduced, subject to the passage of legislation, to cover the Government's initiative to release additional resources to support local authority spending on housing and housing associated regeneration. The limit on expenditure is set initially at £174,270,000.
(viii) the cash limit for class VI, vote 2—regeneration and countryside and wildlife, England—will be increased by £36,116,000 from £1,480,168,000 to £1,516,284,000. An increase is required of £14,000,000 for the Urban Regeneration Agency (English Partnerships) to continue with works at Greenwich for the Millennium Exhibition and £7,230,000 for support for the regeneration of Manchester city centre; £8,000,000 for payments to be made for ERDF projects in advance of grant; £2,491,000 for the Teesside Development Corporation to meet a deficit as a result of judicial review; and £4,395,000 on three capital projects which had slipped from previous years. The increase will be met by a call on the Reserve of £17,991,000, the use of £10,125,000 end year flexibility amount as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 July 1997, Official Report columns 245–50, offset in part by the surrender of £4,000,000 of receipts to the Exchequer and a transfer of £8,000,000 from the DOE/ERDF non-voted cash limit.
(ix) the DETR/ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) non-voted cash limit will be reduced by £8,000,000 from £146,332,000 to £138,332,000. This reflects gross payments to be made for ERDF projects in advance of European Community receipts. As a consequence of (viii) above, there will be increases to external financing limits for the Urban Development Corporations of £1,427,000 from £199,784,000 to £201,211,00; for the Urban Regeneration Agency (English Partnerships) of £46,000,000 from £204,779,000 to £250,779,000 and for the Housing Action Trusts of £512,000 from £88,688,000 to £89,200.00.
(x) the cash limit for class VI, vote 4—local government and planning, England—covering sections A to F of that vote, will be reduced by £321,000 from £30,987,957,000 to £30,987,636,000. This reflects savings on payments to meet the expenses of valuation tribunals in Section A (Valuation services), on grant in aid to the Local Government Residuary Body in Section B (Reorganisation of local government) and on the European Union Spatial Planning Initiative in Section D (Planning and minerals research). The saving will be used within vote 4, to cover residual payments of council tax transitional reduction grant in Section H (Council tax transitional reduction grant) and of special grant to authorities affected by the terrorist bombings of Docklands and Manchester and emergency financial assistance under the Bellwin scheme in section 1 (Other grants), which are outside the cash limit on the vote.
The overall increases will be offset by transfers or charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.