HC Deb 02 April 1985 vol 76 cc1054-5
10. Mr. John Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are currently unemployed in Lambeth or on youth training or similar schemes.

Mr. Peter Morrison

On 14 February there were 25,458 unemployed claimants in the borough of Lambeth. Nine hundred and eighty young people are currently receiving training under the youth training scheme and some 1,300 more people are benefiting from other employment measures.

Mr. Fraser

Does the Minister realise what a strain unemployment at that level throws on a community? Can he tell us when the Government's and the Prime Minister's economic and social policies will have reached such a high degree of success that they will be able to restore unemployment to the figure of 14,000 at which it stood at the time of the Brixton riots and the Scarman inquiry?

Mr. Morrison

I think the hon. Gentleman would be better advised to address that question to the Lambeth borough council, which deliberately does not wish to participate in the community programme that has been provided for all the long-term unemployed in Lambeth.

Mr. Rowe

As somebody who until comparatively recently lived in Lambeth, may I point out to my hon. Friend that had it not been for the constant and rapid rate increases in Lambeth a great many of the enterprises which could be providing jobs would still be there?

Mr. Morrison

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. During the course of the last two years the rates have more than doubled in Lambeth. That is bound to have an effect on businesses coming into that borough and therefore is bound to have a bad effect on job opportunities for those who live in the borough.