§ Mr. Parry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a statement on the recent visit of the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities to Merseyside;
(2) if he will make a statement on the recent meeting of the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities with the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside concerning extra funding for Liverpool city council.
§ Mr. Portillo
[holding answer 2 May 1991]: I met the honourable Members for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) and for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) on 17 April to discuss additional financial assistance for Liverpool city council. I reminded them of a range of Government programmes which are benefiting Liverpool, such as the urban programme, estate action, the city action team, the Merseyside development corporation and the Granby/ Toxteth task force. I explained that we were not prepared to help the council resolve problems arising from its spending programmes of the mid-80s which were in opposition to Government policies. We are however keen to encourage the council to participate fully in our initiatives for inner-city regeneration and to benefit from the additional resources that come with them.
I took the opportunity to emphasise these points when I visited Liverpool on 26 April and had discussions with the city council. I impressed on the council the need for a constructive approach to working in partnership with the Government, the private sector and other agencies. I also visited Cable Communications Ltd. in Brunswick business park, where I saw the company's operations to deliver cable television to the region.