I should like to make a statement about the Contingencies Fund.
Durham housing stock transfer
Durham county council proposes to transfer its housing stock of some 18,500 council and 180 leasehold dwellings to a new social landlord, known as the County Durham Housing Group. The transfer has the support of the council and council tenants, who have given a positive ballot result.
To facilitate this transfer, which is still subject to the necessary approvals and consents and which will require funding support of up to £214,000,000, the Department is seeking to increase its capital AME budget for 2015-16 by £120,000,000.
Parliamentary approval for the 2015-16 funding increase is being sought in the main supply estimates for the Department for Communities and Local Government. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure will be met principally from a repayable cash advance of £205,000,000 from the Contingencies Fund.
Ebbsfleet urban development corporation
At Budget 2014, the Chancellor set out plans for a new urban development corporation to deliver a garden city settlement of up to 15,000 homes at Ebbsfleet in Kent. This is being taken forward in consultation with local MPs, councils and residents.
Urban development corporations are established by means of a statutory instrument under section 135 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980. Our aim is to lay such a statutory instrument later this month with a view to establishing the Ebbsfleet urban development corporation in April 2015.
Parliamentary approval for additional resources for this new body will be sought in the main supply estimates for the Department for Communities and Local Government. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £633,000 will be met by a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund.