§ Ms Atherton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding was made available by her Department in(a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04 (i) directly and (ii) via local budgets for work to improve public rights of way. 
§ Alun Michael
The allocation for rights of way improvement is subsumed in the unhypothecated Environment Protection and Cultural Services block, a methodology that was agreed between the Government and the Local Government Association as is supported by all four political groups in the Association rather than through direct grants or ring-fenced support to local government. So we cannot say exactly how much funding has gone to local authorities to improve the rights of way network. I confirmed with the leaders of all four groups on the LGA their agreement that this was the right approach for this funding.