HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc1481-2
1. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what proportion of the proposed new town Peter Lee is planned to be built on land under which a substantial seam of coal has already been taken; how much workable coal is estimated to be under the remainder; and whether there are any indications of subsidence.

The Minister of Town and Country Planning (Mr. Silkin)

From the outset the need for co-ordinating the programme of coal extraction under the site with surface development has been recognised both by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Fuel and Power, and myself. An expert investigation of the resulting problems including subsidence has been made and the plan of the new town will have to take account of the results of this investigation. In the meantime I am unable to give a reply to the hon. Member's first two questions.

Mr. Vane

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman be more specific than that? Is he not aware that his timid answer will not allay the fears of the local population that many of the subsidence faults of the past will be repeated?

Mr. Silkin

If the hon. Gentleman would tell me on what point he would like me to be more specific I should be glad to be so. I am not aware of any anxiety on the part of the local population.

Mr. Vane

Did not the right hon. Gentleman see that in my Question I asked what proportion of the proposed new town is planned to be built on land from under which a substantial seam of coal has taken?

Mr. Silkin

I thought it was to be inferred from my answer, which I hope the hon. Gentleman will read, that it is not yet possible to say.

Mr. Vane

No survey yet?

2. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what are the total expenses over the past year in connection with the proposed new town Peter Lee; and how much is represented by salaries.

Mr. Silkin

The expenditure of the Corporation is subject to general budgetary control and it is not my policy to seek to control their day-to-day activities. The Corporation was set up on 22nd March, 1948, and the information sought by the hon. Member will be available in the annual accounts for the year 1948–49 which, under the provisions of the New Towns Act, must be prepared by the Corporation and laid before each House of Parliament. The total amount issued to date to the Corporation to defray expenditure on capital and revenue account is £54,000. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT the salaries of the higher posts which require my prior approval.

Mr. E. P. Smith

Can the right hon. Gentleman, as a matter of interest, explain to the House why the new town has the engaging name of Peter Lee?

Mr. Silkin

In memory of a very great and celebrated person named Peter Lee who functioned in that area.

Hon. Members

What did he do?

Following is the information:

The staff appointments at Peter Lee approved by the Minister are as follow:

Salary Range
General Manager £2,000–£2,250
Architect Planner £2,000
Chief Engineer £1,500–£2,000
Chief Estates Officer £1,500–£2,000
Chief Finance Officer £1,250–£1,500
Legal Officer £1,250–£1,500