§ 9 and 10. Sir William Jenkins
asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether, in view of the large increase in the unemployed during the last few months in the Neath area and the Pontardawe area, due to the stoppage of the steel and tin and sheet mills, he will grant facilities to the local authorities to carry out essential works for public health purposes and improved public amenities, and make a substantial grant so that works of public importance may be carried out during the period of depression;
(2) whether, in view of the closing down of tin and sheet mills in the Neath Rural District Council area at Aberdulais and Clyne, he will recommend a grant from the distressed areas fund for the Clyne parish council to carry out an urgent approved sewerage scheme to find immediate employment for the unemployed during the summer months?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I presume that the hon. Member is referring to grants from the Special Areas Fund. The Commissioner for the Special Areas is not prepared to sponser works designed solely for the relief of unemployment. He is, however, prepared to give grants towards the cost of works, carried out by local authorities, which can be shown to be urgently necessary on grounds of public health. Under these arrangements he offered to the Neath Rural District Council on 18th November, 1936, a substantial grant towards the cost of a sewerage scheme to be carried out in the Clyne Parish. This offer has not yet been accepted by the local authority. There is no power to offer similar grants outside the Special Areas.
§ Sir W. Jenkins
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the rates in the Clyne parish are now 21s. 2d., and that if this scheme goes through it will mean that they will have to pay another 3s.?
§ Sir W. Jenkins
Does the right hon. Gentleman know that the Minister of Health has laid down a condition that the whole rural district area has to bear the responsibility of the cost? Is he aware that some parishes are paying rates of 23s. 4d. and 27s. 8d. in the £, and that they have a special rate of 9s.; and that if the Minister's condition is enforced these highly rated parishes will have to share a portion of this additional burden?