HC Deb 18 March 1974 vol 870 cc645-6
8. Mr. Roderick

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy towards growth towns in mid-Wales.

Mr. John Morris

The Government intend to press ahead vigorously with the development of the growth towns.

Mr. Roderick

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that this policy has suffered three wasted years? Will he meet the Mid-Wales Development Association to discuss the most speedy action that can be taken to implement the policy?

Mr. Morris

My hon. Friend knows that this policy was initiated in 1969. Some progress has been made. There have been wasted years for Wales in many respects. I shall certainly be willing to receive any suggestions which my hon. Friend has in mind.

Mr. Peter Thomas

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman point out to his hon. Friend that there has been a great change in mid-Wales recently, because we now have net inward migration after decades of outward migration? Has his attention also been called to an announcement I made last summer about an intensification of growth town policy in mid-Wales? Does he intend to carry out that policy?

Mr. Morris

As one who comes from mid-Wales, I very much welcome the change that has taken place in migration in recent years. Obviously this is only a beginning, and a great deal has to be done to maintain and improve the momentum begun in 1969. We must press on hard to ensure that there is much greater growth in mid-Wales.

Mr. Hooson

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman considering extending the remit of the New Town Development Corporation to the proposed growth towns in mid-Wales as a means of achieving growth there?

Mr. Morris

The hon. and learned Gentleman will have studied the Labour Party manifesto dealing with the kind of authority needed to cover all the requirements of mid-Wales. I am not at present able to assist him as to the form that will take. We are beginning to ensure that there is a suitable body in mid-Wales to develop the interests of the area.