§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he gives to local authorities about the criteria upon which they should make grants and loans to industry; and whether he is satisfied that these criteria are as stringent as those upon which the Government makes grants and loans to industry under the Industry Act 1972.
§ Mr. Shore
Certain local authorities may make loans and grants to industry under the Inner Urban Areas Act 1978. The powers in the Act are administered by local authorities. My Department has issued advice in a circular on the administration of the Act. The local authorities which have been designated under the Act have also been sent notes on the broad criteria used by the Department of Industry in considering applications for selective financial assistance under the Industry Act 1972 for their general guidance. The Local Authorities (Land) Act 1963 also provides for building loans to industry. But these loans are secured by a mortgage on the land and are further restricted by limitations contained in the Act itself. Local authority expenditure is also subject to scrutiny by the district auditor.