HC Deb 25 July 1966 vol 732 cc1199-200
30. Mr. John Smith

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what steps he will take to ensure the preservation of the iron bridge in Coalbrookdale.

Mr. Boyden

My right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport have contributed towards the cost of a detailed survey commissioned by the Salop County Council. The report of the consulting engineer has now been received and we look forward to hearing from the Council after its next meeting.

Mr. Smith

Could the Minister give this project a fair wind, because not only is this probably the most important industrial monument in existence but it is also in danger of breaking up? Is he aware, moreover, that it lies within the boundary of the proposed new town of Dawley, which at present does not even have a place on the map of England, but which, with the growing international fame of this bridge, could have a place on the map of the world?

Mr. Boyden

My right hon. Friend is very well aware of the importance of this monument, but the matter is a very technical one and I suggest that we had better wait until we have studied the report, when we will look at the issue very carefully and almost certainly give it a fair wind.

Mr. More

Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise, my hon. Friend having tabled this Question, that the preservation of this unique industrial monument should be a matter of national rather than local concern? If its preservation is beyond the resources of the local authority, would the hon. Gentleman undertake that technical and financial assistance will be provided by the Ministry?

Mr. Boyden

The tripartite approach by my right hon. Friend, by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and by the local authority is the best way of ensuring this.

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