1. Mr. Edward M. Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is satisfied with the progress made in implementing smoke control orders in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
§ 9. Miss Harvie Anderson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on his policy for extension of clean air zones.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Dr. J. Dickson Mabon)
I am concerned that only 21 local authorities out of the 80 or so in areas where pollution is heaviest have so far made smoke control area orders. In a recent letter which my right hon. Friend sent to those authorities which have made little or no progress he warned them that unless they submit and carry out planned programmes it may be necessary to consider legislation making smoke control a statutory duty.
Would the Under-Secretary of State agree that one of the reasons for lack of progress is that in some cases because of smoke control orders unbelievable confusion has arisen which is a cause of individual hardship? Would he be prepared at this stage to do a survey in one such area where there is a smoke control order to see how this problem can be avoided elsewhere?
I quite appreciate the hon. Member's concern because he and I have had a considerable correspondence involving his own area, and I can quite understand the difficulties, some of which, however, are not entirely due to the instructions. I am perfectly willing to look into this matter to see if, in consequence of what the hon. Member has said, we can do something like this.