HC Deb 09 August 1972 vol 842 cc1715-6
17. Sir G. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the East Midlands Economic Planning Council has informed him of its view that the expansion of Northampton, Wellingborough, Peterborough and Milton Keynes should be restrained to make sure that Corby has a chance to reach its population target and to become a properly balanced community; and whether he will make a statement on his recent official visit to the East Midlands Economic Planning Board.

Mr. Speed

The East Midlands Economic Planning Council has informed me of its views on the development of Corby compared with the other new and expanding towns in the area. My right hon. Friend met the council on 27th July in Leicester and discussed a variety of topics with it, including the question of industrial diversification and development at Corby.

Sir G. de Freitas

What will the Minister do to see that valuable public investment in Corby is not wasted? A great deal of public money has been spent on encouraging expansion in towns which do not have the facilities that are readily available in Corby.

Mr. Speed

I do not think that public investment is being wasted. My informa- tion is that on both the housing and the industrial fronts things in Corby are looking extremely bright. Unemployment there is below the national average and I am convinced that the considerable public investment put into this town will be extremely effective for all the developments taking place there, particularly the new industrial developments.