HC Deb 13 May 1969 vol 783 cc1197-8
7. Mr. Birch

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from the Council for Wales and Monmouthshire and other interested bodies, regarding both the Government's decision not to accept the Hunt Committee's recommendations concerning Merseyside and its failure to relieve North East Wales and the North Wales coastal strip from the difficulties resulting from that area's exclusion from the development area or any other grey area proposals.

Mr. George Thomas

I have received representations from Flintshire County Council. The Welsh Council will be meeting shortly to consider the Report and various matters arising from the statement made on 24th April by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.

Mr. Birch

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the north-east corner of Wales is particularly badly affected by this, because it is sandwiched between the Welsh development area and the Merseyside area, and Wirral is bursting at the seams? Unemployment in the Rhyl and Colwyn Bay areas is much higher than in large parts of the Merseyside area. Cannot something be done about this? Was not the Hunt Committee right?

Mr. Thomas

The unemployment rate in the Merseyside development area was 3.9 per cent. in March. It is much too early to consider de-scheduling this area. I am keeping under close review the question of the areas to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred.