HC Deb 09 April 1973 vol 854 cc914-5
9. Mr. Rowlands

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make a statement on the Severnside studies.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will be making a statement on both the Sevemside and Humber-side studies later this week.

Mr. Rowlands

In that case will the Minister of State confirm substantial Press reports that the Sevemside concept has been abandoned because of the differences in population forecasts? If such differences are the reason for these policy changes, will he bear in mind that plans for Llantrisant new town were also based upon the same assumptions?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I am not responsible for newspaper reports. I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman, like, everyone else, must await the Secretary of State's statement later this week.

Mr. Abse

While the Minister may expect us to wait, does he appreciate that those who are living in northern Monmouthshire and are vitally concerned as a result of the steel run-down are not prepared to wait too long to hear what the Minister has to say about strategic planning and future capital investment in Wales? If he and the Welsh Office continue to dither over the new town and put hundreds of millions of pounds there or contemplate putting them on the other side of the Bristol Channel, what hope is there for dealing with the infrastructure needs of northern Monmouthshire which so desperately require attention?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I understand the hon. Gentleman's concern. He will not have long to wait. The statement will be made later this week.