§ Mr. Anthony Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what credit approvals he proposes to issue in 1996–97 for the transitional costs of local government reorganisation.
§ Mr. Hague
I have allocated £39,954,000 of supplementary credit approvals for the transitional costs of reorganisation in 1996–97. These are additional resources, so that the costs do not have to be met by council tax payers or from councils' own resources.
Some £23,358,000 is earmarked for mandatory and discretionary compensation costs. SCAs will be issued to councils after they have incurred expenditure, on the basis of claims certified by chief finance officers. National park authorities will be eligible for support under these arrangements.
Some £11,764,250 of SCAs will be issued for information technology changes. I will announce the allocation for each county and county borough council shortly.
Finally, £4,831,750 is being added to the strategic development scheme in 1996–97 to support councils in acquiring, refurbishing or building office accommodation. I plan to announce my final decisions early in January. Any further funding for such projects in 1996–97, and all funding in later years, will be provided from within the strategic development scheme or, directly or indirectly, from receipts generated by the residuary body for Wales.