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Waterways

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much grant-in-aid his Department allocated to British Waterways in each year since 1997 expressed in (a) actual and (b) real terms; and what future payments are planned, expressed in the same terms. (94934)

The following table shows the grant-in-aid paid by Defra to British Waterways between the financial years of 1996-97 and 2006-07.

£ million

Financial year

Actual cash grant

Grant in real terms at today’s prices

1996-97

51.0

64.9

1997-98

51.9

64.2

1998-99

53.6

64.6

1999-2000

59.0

69.7

2000-01

64.9

75.7

2001-02

61.4

69.9

2002-03

71.6

79.1

2003-04

76.6

82.2

2004-05

59.1

61.7

2005-06

62.6

64.1

2006-07

55.5

55.5

The Department is reviewing future budgets with its agencies and non-departmental public bodies as part of a Department-wide review of spending plans to ensure full alignment with strategic priorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on inland waterways of the reduction in the budget of the Environment Agency. (94935)

The EA’s board has decided to maintain the level of spending on its navigation capital works towards addressing the existing backlog of maintenance on its built assets. However, the EA has made a reduction of £0.5 million in its navigation operating budget for 2006-07. In making this reduction the EA has sought to minimise the impact on front line service delivery.