HC Deb 06 February 1964 vol 688 cc1317-8
14. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, what steps he is taking to promote industrial development in the area of Kilsyth, Croy and Tweclar, in view of the decline in coal mining.

20. Mr. W. Baxter

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development what action he proposes to take to bring industry to the Kilsyth and Lennoxtown parts of West Stirlingshire.

Mr. Heath

These areas lie in the Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch development districts. All the benefits of the Local Employment Acts, and free depreciation, are available to new developments there.

Mr. Bence

I had a reply very similar to that 12 years ago, in 1952—and nothing has happened. Is the Minister aware that the miners are going and the villages are becoming depopulated? Let us have some action before this Government go out of office.

Mr. Heath

The hon. Gentleman's memory must be at fault. These benefits were not in existence 10 years ago.

Mr. Bence

I said a similar Answer.

Mr. Heath

It could not have been a similar answer, because this became a development district in July, 1962, and, at any rate since then has had the advantage of these inducements. We do everything possible to persuade industry to go there.

Mr. Baxter

Is the Minister aware that his Answer will give not satisfaction to the people concerned? Is he aware that even over the last five years in the western part of my constituency 13 businesses have gone out of operation and no industry has come to the area? Will the Minister take up this matter seriously and see whether he can encourage some industry to come to these smaller towns of West Stirlingshire? Is he aware that these are becoming dormitory areas and depopulated areas, which is lliading to discontent and despair?

Mr. Heath

I will see whether further applicants can be encouraged to go to the area.

Mr. Jay

Does the Minister realise that this was a development area 10 years ago, that it was descheduled by the Government and then rescheduled?