HC Deb 08 May 1969 vol 783 cc649-50
30. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether Sheffield will be included as part of the intermediate area of the Yorkshire coalfield recommended for special assistance by the Hunt Committee.

Mr. Urwin

My right hon. Friend is consulting the economic planning councils about the precise boundaries of the areas to receive special assistance, and he will make a further statement after the Whitsun Recess.

Mr. Hooley

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the Sheffield-Rotherham conurbation would provide a natural focus for extra industrial development and activity to provide labour and jobs for the South Yorkshire coalfield?

Mr. Urwin

We are extremely aware of the problems of the area referred to by my hon. Friend and full attention is being given to the point which he raises.

Mr. Ashton

Will my hon. Friend take note that the Yorkshire coalfield does not finish on the boundaries of Yorkshire but extends well into Nottinghamshire and that there are three pits in Worksop which are part of the Yorkshire coalfield?

Mr. Urwin

There is a difficult geographical problem here, and the planning councils' views will be very valuable to us in arriving at a final decision.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is not it quite clear from the questions asked this afternoon that the criteria upon which the grey areas have been granted assistance are unsatisfactory? Will the Minister recommend to his right hon. Friend that he should review the whole of this exercise as it is so unsatisfactory?

Mr. Urwin

My answer to the last part of the question is absolutely negative. We have no intention of doing that. As to the decisions, I am certain that those areas which are being designated as grey areas will not adopt the attitude which the hon. Gentleman has adopted.

Forward to