HC Deb 12 April 1965 vol 710 cc944-7
28. Mr. Urwin

asked the Minister of Labour if he will establish a Government training centre within the constituency of Houghton-le-Spring.

Mr. Marsh

As Houghton-le-Spring is within daily travelling distance of both the Felling and the Tursdale Government Training Centres, my right hon. Friend does not propose to establish a Government training centre in the constituency. During the last 6 months 20 persons from the constituency have attended courses at the Felling and Tursdale Government Training Centres.

Mr. Urwin

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he bear in mind that there is continuing heavy unemployment in my constituency and the surrounding areas and that facilities for 20 people from my constituency are by no means adequate in comparison with the number who need training? Is he aware that this problem affects the whole northern region? Does he appreciate that I am fully aware that the facilities left behind by his predecessor were also inadequate?

Mr. Marsh

I think that my hon. Friend has misunderstood the point of my reply. I did not say that there were facilities for only 20 people in his constituency but that only 20 persons from his constituency were taking advantage of the facilities that exist. If there were necessity for further expansion we would consider it.

29. Mr. Urwin

asked the Minister of Labour how many men, women, boys and girls were registered as unemployed within the constituency of Houghton-le-Spring at the time of the latest count; what is the gross percentage figure; and what is the comparison with the returns of 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964.

Employment Exchanges and Associated Youth Employment Offices where appropriate
Date Houghton-le-Spring Seaham†
Men Boys Women Girls Total Group per cent. rate* Men Boys Women Girls Total Per cent. rate
March, 1965 572 41 118 23 754 4.0 286 13 164 9 472 2.9
March, 1964 600 71 163 41 875 4.4 325 23 202 18 568 3.6
March, 1963 685 109 168 60 1,022 5.8 512 230 742 4.5
March, 1962 525 51 133 14 723 3.5 354 213 567 3.6
March,1961 486 23 120 8 637 2.9 402 230 632 4.0
Mr. Marsh

I regret that figures are not available for the Houghton-le-Spring constituency. I will with permission circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT tables of figures for the employment exchanges within the areas of which the hon. Member's constituency falls.

Mr. Urwin

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that the unemployment rate in the Houghton-le-Spring area is 4 per cent.? Does not this percentage underline my earlier request for increased training facilities?

Mr. Marsh

I am afraid that it is not possible to give a valid percentage rate because our statistical calculations apply to a very much larger area than my hon. Friend's constituency. However, the Government training centres cannot merely serve areas of unemployment as such. The intention is that they should serve much wider areas and these facilities exist where my hon. Friend's constituents require them.

Mr. Godber

Will the Joint Parliamentary Secretary advise his hon. Friend the Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. Urwin) to vote against the Budget tonight, because it does nothing whatever to help areas like his?

Mr. Speaker

Order. The Minister is under no such obligation.

Following is the information:

Date Pallion Southwick-on-Wear
Men Boys Women Girls Total Men Boys Women Girls Total Group per cent. rate‡
March, 1965 793 242 1,035 522 92 614 4.0
March, 1964 1,267 336 1,603 816 143 959 5.8
March, 1963 2,207 450 2,657 1,297 185 1,482 8.8
March, 1962 1,044 289 1,333 657 145 802 4.6
March, 1961 878 432 1,310 501 170 671 4.4
* The percentage rate relates to the travel-to-work area which comprises the areas of the Chester-le-Street, Birtley and Houghton-le-Spring Employment Exchanges.
† Figures for March, 1964, and March, 1965, are not strictly comparable with those for 1963, 1962 and 1961 since figures for boys and girls are not available for 1963 and earlier years.
‡ The percentage rate relates to the travel-to-work area which comprises the areas of the Sunderland, Pallion, Southwick and Washington Employment Exchanges.