§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the reductions in repairs to minor roads that have been made by the Devon County Council as a result of the restrictions on estimated expenditure introduced by the Government for 1969–70, he will reconsider the levels of permitted expenditure having regard to the adverse conditions arising from extreme cold and flooding.
§ Mr. Marsh
The level of expenditure for highways in 1969–70 envisaged in the 145W Rate Support Grant Order, 1968, reflects the reductions requested in January, 1968, and the Government's view that, given the country's economic situation and the limited amount of resources that can be spared for roads as a whole, there was no serious risk in continuing to impose severe restriction on maintenance expenditure on minor roads. Local authorities are, of course, free to determine their expenditure in the light of the Government's views and of their individual requirements.
My right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government has promised a special grant towards the expenditure on the repair of roads in Devon damaged by the severe floods in 1968.