HC Deb 17 March 1971 vol 813 cc1401-2
17. Mr. William Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial and other resources he has allocated to the Clyde Valley Planning Advisory Committee in support of the preparation of the study for economic and social reconstruction of the west of Scotland; and what arrangements are being made for the publication of interim reports.

16. Mr. John Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many meetings the reconstituted Clyde Valley Planning Advisory Committee has held and what reports it has submitted to him.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

The Advisory Committee is still in existence but I presume the Questions refer to the West Central Scotland Plan Steering Committee which I established last year. It has a budget of up to £100,000 per annum, con- tributed half by central and half by local government. The committee arranges its own business, including the preparation of any interim reports. It has met three times, but has not yet submitted any report.

Mr. Hannan

In view of the great importance of the area in an industrial context—and this is related to earlier questions—will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider this? Is he satisfied that £100,000 is sufficient for the project? He said that the committee had met only three times. When can we expect the reports, and does he agree that they should be published so that we may discuss them?

Mr. Campbell

I do not think that the question of money is at issue here. The committee must be left to arrange its own business and the timing of its reports.

Mr. Rankin

If money is not at issue, is the right hon. Gentleman also saying that it will not be an issue in the near future? Does he think that £100,000 means anything in a development of this nature?

Mr. Campbell

It is not a development. It is the establishment of a steering committee to work out a plan for what I agree is a very important area. For about two years before we came to office there had been a very slow revivifying of the Clyde Valley Planning Advisory Committee. When we came to office we decided that it was necessary to set up the Steering Committee to work on the physical planning proposals for the area.