HC Deb 03 July 1978 vol 953 cc14-5
10. Mr. D. E. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales which local authority areas in Wales he has selected for partnership or other special programmes of action following the publication of Command Paper No. 6845, "Policy for the Inner Cities".

Mr. Alec Jones

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. and learned Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Anderson) on 19th May when he explained that he intends to designate five areas under the Inner Urban Areas Bill, should it be enacted. The five areas are Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff, Newport, Rhondda and Swansea.

Mr. Thomas

I accept that information, but would not the Minister agree that the Welsh Office is not displaying the kind of coherent, concerted approach towards inner urban problems that is being displayed by the Department of the Environment in England?

Mr. Alec Jones

No. What my right hon. and learned Friend has done in this case is to say that we accept that there are many communities in Wales which need special help under this sort of programme, but our aim in designating these five areas was to try to ensure that we could help those with the worst problems, both in scale and in intensity.

Mr. Grist

In view of the fact that the original Act brings in only £80 million over four years, can the Minister say how much money will actually be made available to the Cardiff area?

Mr. Alec Jones

It is not possible to make that sort of statement at present, because we have already decided that we shall hold consultations with the local authority associations to see how the extra money which will be available next year for the urban aid programme can best be used to deal with the problems not only in Cardiff and the other four areas but in the whole of Wales.