Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Fifth Report


  I write in connection with the current review of the legislation which established the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.

  My concerns fall under two principle headings which others will no doubt address more fully then I, but which I feel it will be incumbent upon the Review Committee to examine most carefully and recommend appropriate action.

    1.  The widely held perception that those who operate the Landfill Tax Credit System are not showing the degree of transparency and public accountability in their stewardship as is increasingly expected of all public bodies and organisations. That full details of grants made are not available, even to those with particular interest in Section E grants, is little short of disgraceful and would not be tolerated in any charitable or voluntary organisation.

    2.  An apparent arbitrariness in the allocation of grants which hitherto appears to have precluded any grant aid to church buildings North of the Tyne and only minimal assistance within the whole North East Region. This seems extraordinary when it is this region which contributes significantly to the income available for distribution.

  I have not laboured these points as there are others better informed and more competent so to do than I, but any review which does not take these two points seriously into account will have little credibility in the eyes of those with responsibility for the built heritage.

Peter Elliott
Archdeacon of Northumberland
Member of POWAC, English Heritage

December 2000

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