HC Deb 08 November 1971 vol 825 cc614-5
2. Mr. Abse

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has now concluded his review of unemployment in the Cwmbran area; and whether he will now include Cwmbran New Town within the Welsh development area.

Mr. Peter Thomas:

The employment situation in Cwmbran is kept under constant attention. Since the recent announcement of the G.K.N. closures, there have been one or two more favourable developments and I have announced some additional infrastructure schemes. No decision has yet been taken about the development area status of the town. I shall be visiting Cwmbran and meeting the Development Corporation on 26th November.

Mr. Abse:

Does the Secretary of State recognise that that is a very disappointing reply? Has he no sense of urgency, and is he so tardy that he does not appreciate that 1,000 men out of those at G.K.N. will be facing the new year without any jobs at all? Can he now give us a date when there will be a definite decision one way or another whether Cwmbran will be a development area?

Mr. Thomas:

I cannot give that decision now, as the hon. Gentleman well knows. There is no question here of being tardy. I fully realise the seriousness of the situation. My colleagues and I are watching the situation very closely, but Cwmbran is not the only place in difficulties—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—and we must look at its claims against those of other areas.