HC Deb 03 February 1971 vol 810 c1643
4. Mr. Alexander Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will speed up his decision about the Blantyre Development Plan, or hold a public inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Younger

My right hon. Friend will arrange a public inquiry as soon as the inquiry into the Bellshill Town Map is completed.

Mr. Wilson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the widespread anxiety in this area because of this indecision? Is he further aware that, should this project be started, it would do something at least to alleviate the mounting unemployment figures in my constituency?

Mr. Younger

I have not had any formal representations of difficulties as a result of the time taken to have this inquiry, but I am aware that there is a desire to have the inquiry as soon as possible. As the hon. Gentleman will know, there has been a series of such inquiries in Lanarkshire and it is not easy for the county council to cope with more than one inquiry at a time. This is why we must wait for the Bellshill inquiry to be completed before we can have the one for Blantyre.

Mr. James Hamilton

As the hon. Gentleman has mentioned Bellshill, in my constituency, may I ask when this inquiry will be finished, as this matter is causing a great deal of concern to my people?

Mr. Younger

We hope to arrange for the Bellshill Inquiry to take place in April.