HC Deb 23 July 1973 vol 860 cc1132-3
3. Mr. Kinnock

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now make a statement about proposals to establish a new town at Llantrisant.

15. Mr. Rowlands

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make a statement on the proposed Llantrisant town before the House rises for the recess.

Mr. Peter Thomas

Because of the importance of the issues involved and the need to give the most careful consideration to the very long report on the public inquiry, I shall not be in a position to announce my decision on the proposal before the House rises for the recess.

Mr. Kinnock

Would the Secretary of State accept that his answer will be disappointing to the people of Wales? He has had long enough to chew over his inspector's report and his delay has become interpreted as deliberate prevarication. Would he take on board yet again the emphatic feeling of people in the South Wales valleys and hon. Members that the whole project should be cancelled and all the monetary savings redirected to the extended and continued renovation of social and industrial amenities in the valleys?

Mr. Thomas

The report was received in the Welsh Office on 7th June. It is a lengthy document running to well over 300 pages and it is undergoing careful study. The hon. Gentleman will agree that it would be irresponsible and unfair to the many people involved to arrive at a conclusion without the most deliberate consideration of all the factors.

Mr. Rowlands

Is the Secretary of State trying to make an announcement about such a controversial decision in the quiet of the Summer Recess? If he wants to be fair to all concerned, let him be fair to the overwhelming majority of local authorities in South Wales which are bitterly opposed to the new town proposal. Would it not be better to spend time considering the constructive proposal to establish a Heads of the Valleys Development Corporation, a proposal prepared by the Heads of the Valleys Standing Conference in consultation with the Welsh Office?

Mr. Thomas

A great deal of evidence has been received by the inquiry and particularly by the local authorities that the hon. Member mentions. I am sure he would agree that it is important that the closest consideration should be given to all these matters.

Mr. Probert

In reaching his conclusion, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman pay particular attention to debates and Questions put to him and others on the subject over the past year or so?

Mr. Thomas

I shall pay particular attention to all these matters.