HC Deb 13 December 1962 vol 669 cc560-1
10. Mr. Jeger

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what progress has been made in the conversion of slag heaps into public parks; and whether, in view of the need to provide useful employment in the areas where these are, he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. F. V. Corfield)

The information available shows that in England and Wales 288 acres of spoil heaps have been reclaimed by local authorities for open space since the war. This may include public parks.

My right hon. Friend and I would warmly welcome more applications for grant under the Local Employment Act, 1960, for schemes in development districts designed to bring derelict land into use or to improve local amenities.

Mr. Jeger

Will the hon. Gentleman make that known to the local authorities, particularly in mining areas where there are these spoil heaps or slag heaps which are an eyesore? Where there is mounting unemployment, work of this nature could take care of unskilled or semi-skilled workers.

Mr. Corfield

The answer to the first part of that supplementary question is "Yes". The hon. Gentleman may be interested to know that proposals in development plan reviews covering the period to 1981 include reclamation of a further 435 acres of spoil heaps, of which 52 are earmarked for open spaces, but I remind the hon. Gentleman that the actual work of clearing these heaps is not a big employer of labour.