§ 11. Mr. Milne
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the number of applications to the Board of Trade Advisory Committee since Blyth and Seaton Delaval were scheduled as development districts; how many have been granted; how many have been refused; and how many are still awaiting decisions.
§ Mr. Erroll
Four applications have been received. Assistance has been recommended in one, one has been rejected and two are under consideration.
§ Mr. Milne
We welcome those figures to some extent. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that B.O.T.A.C. applications are a barometer of job availability in a given area? Will he look more closely at the position? Is he aware that we have been scheduled as a development district for close on two years and, while there are welcome signs of improvement regarding new jobs, these fail to keep pace with the decline in industry and that the unemployment figure is actually greater than at this time last year? Will the right hon. Gentleman look closely at this matter with a view to providing assistance?
§ Mr. Erroll
Yes. I am looking very closely at all employment questions in the North-East and other development districts. However, I must allow firms to choose between one development district and another and help them to make the right selection in view of their particular labour requirements. Subject to those conditions I encourage industrialists to look at these localities in addition to some of the bigger cities.