HC Deb 16 July 1970 vol 803 cc1712-3
26. Mr. Moate

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what are the comparative figures for the number of persons employed in the brick industry in the employment areas covered by the Faversham constituency in October, 1964 and June, 1970.

Mr. Dudley Smith

Employment estimates for local areas are made only for each mid-year and the latest are for mid-1969. The estimated numbers of those in employment in the Faversham, Sittingbourne and Sheerness employment exchange areas in bricks, fireclay and refractory goods at mid-1964 and mid-1969 were about 500 and about 200, respectively.

Mr. Moate

Does the Minister recognise that this loss of jobs in the brick trade is a serious cause of the high rate of unemployment in North-East Kent? Will he take urgent steps to remedy the damage done to the brick trade and the building trade as a result of six years of disastrous Socialist Government?

Mr. Smith

It is fair to say that the figures have been inflated by the closure of four brickfields in this area, but I understand that there are no serious resettlement problems.