HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc213-4
30. Mr. Dobson

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many industrial development certificates have been issued for the South-Western Region in the last four years; how many have been refused; how many have not been taken up; and how many inquiries are currently under consideration.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

Industrial development certificates for 892 projects were issued in the four years to the end of 1967. Of these it is now known that 90 projects are unlikely to go ahead. It is not the Board of Trade's practice to give figures for I.D.C. refusals for those regions which include areas where applications have to be examined critically. No I.D.C. has however been refused in the south-western development areas. Twenty-two applications are under consideration.

Mr. Dobson

Does my hon. Friend agree that those are reasonably good figures? May I ask for a special effort to be made to encourage more firms to go to the South-West, particularly to the development areas? Does my hon. Friend agree that this could be done by re-combing the list which she has to see whether, with the new grants that are available, firms can be persuaded to go there?

Mrs. Dunwoody

We are very worried about the problems which the South-West is facing, and has faced for a considerable number of years. We shall do everything that we can to bring more employment into the development areas.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

As Ministers have said today that no I.D.C.s have been refused in the South-West or in the Yorkshire and Humberside regions, is not there now a case for abolishing the need to go through the whole rigmarole of applying for I.D.C.s in areas where none will be refused?

Mrs. Dunwoody

That is not so. I.D.C. applications in the South-West development areas have not been refused, but we still look critically at some parts of the South-West around Bristol, where we believe we should not allow too much development to go ahead having regard to the special difficulties still faced by development areas.