HC Deb 01 May 1972 vol 836 cc3-4
2. Sir A. Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his latest estimate of the date on which a decision may be expected on the proposal for a Dee Barrage.

Mr. Peter Thomas

An announcement will be made as soon as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I have completed our study of this proposal.

Sir A. Meyer

Will my right hon. and learned Friend take this and every other opportunity that occurs to deny reports that are circulating that this scheme, which will bring immense benefits both to North Wales and to the North-West generally, is beginning to lose favour in Government circles?

Mr. Thomas

This is a complex scheme, and it could be regarded as being of immense value to both North Wales and the Wirral, but it requires to be looked at extremely carefully because of the complexity of all the matters attached to it.

Mr. Barry Jones

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman not prepared to say that the Government are going to rat on this project and give priority to the Morecambe Bay scheme?

Mr. Thomas

No, Sir. There is no question of the Dee proposals being sacrificed in the interests of the Morecambe Bay scheme. Both will be judged strictly on their merits. In any case, the barrage over Morecambe Bay would not improve links between the Wirral and North Wales, which is one of the purposes of the proposed Dee scheme.

7. Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will sanction the Central Flintshire Water Board's application for a Dee extraction scheme.

Mr. Peter Thomas

The report from the independent consultant commissioned to look into the scheme was received only two weeks ago. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I now have it under urgent consideration.

Mr. Jones

Is the Secretary of State aware that the refusal of the Government to give the go-ahead to this scheme has led to a doubling of the water rate in East Flint this year, to the great disress of elderly people on fixed incomes and young married people struggling with mortgages? Will he please shake himself out, and take urgent steps to relieve this problem in East Flint?

Mr. Thomas

I am aware of the cencern felt by everyone interested in the scheme. A decision will be reached very soon.

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