HC Deb 06 February 1968 vol 758 cc224-5
38. Mr. Woof

asked the Minister of Power how many miners' jobs he estimates would be saved in County Durham if the proposed new power station at Seaton Carew were coal-fired instead of nuclear-powered; how much would be saved on the capital costs; and in reaching his decision, what account he will take of the cost to public funds of paying unemployment benefit and redundancy compensation payments to 7,000 miners.

Mr. Marsh

As I said to my hon. Friend the Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. Leadbitter) on 17th January—[Vol. 756, Col. 620]—the Government are examining the many factors affecting a decision on the method of firing the power station and we will make a full statement on the main points relevant to the decision later.

40. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Power what discussions he has held with the Northern Regional Economic Planning Council about the proposed power station at Seaton Carew.

Mr. Marsh

None so far.

Mr. Willey

Will my right hon. Friend rectify this as soon as he can? Is he aware that the Chairman and Council have complained repeatedly that Ministers do not sufficiently consult with them? Will he reassure the North-East on this score, in view of our feeling that there should be better consultation between the Minister and the Council?

Mr. Marsh

Yes, Sir, and my right hon. Friend will no doubt agree that of first importance is the question of getting clear what we should consult. As soon as we have taken a decision on that, I see no reason why we should not then go ahead with the consultation. Obviously the Regional Council has a right to be consulted.

Mr. Ridley

Will the Minister make public the price at which the N.C.B. has offered coal for Seaton Carew and other power stations of this sort?

Mr. Marsh

I have learnt from bitter experience that the nationalised industries may suffer from many things, but certainly not from an inability to put their case across in public.

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