HC Deb 18 July 1983 vol 46 c8
8. Mr. Raffan

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the current unemployment rate for the Shotton travel-to-work area.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

The rate was 17.2 per cent. on 9 June 1983.

Mr. Raffan

Does my right hon. Friend agree that that rate disguises actual unemployment in the borough of Delyn, which reflects problems distinctive to Delyn? Does he further agree that producing an unemployment rate on a travel-to-work basis, invariably crossing borough boundaries, is in this and many other instances bureaucratic nonsense, which can hinder an effective approach to reducing unemployment at local level?

Mr. Edwards

I am afraid that I shall have to give my hon. Friend exactly the same answer as I have given to the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mr. Jones) on a number of occasions. The travel-to-work area is the best designation that we yet have been able to arrive at, although designation is not my responsibility. People often travel considerably further than the immediate towns and places in which they live. I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that many of the important projects that have recently come and are coming to Deeside will benefit his constituents as well as those who live closer to those projects.

Mr. Barry Jones

Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that the power station at Connah's Quay is to close shortly? Are not 230 jobs at risk? Where will the new jobs come from?

Mr. Edwards

I have no precise information along those lines. As the hon. Gentleman knows, that is the responsibility of the board. All I can say about new jobs is that we are undertaking a massive amount of development work in the area and being extremely successful in attracting some important new projects to Deeside.