HC Deb 30 June 1986 vol 100 c689
8. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will take steps to give the Arfon and Dwyfor districts full development area status.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

The assisted areas map was drawn up in 1984 following a most comprehensive and objective review. The investment decisions of industry demand a substantial measure of stability in the map and I have no plans at present to make changes.

Mr. Wigley

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that last month's unemployment figures showed that unemployment was more than 21 per cent. in Pwllheli and more than 19 per cent. in Caernarfon in areas not designated as development areas, whereas the average unemployment figure in development areas was 19.6 per cent. in Wales, 18.9 per cent. in Scotland and 20.1 per cent. in Great Britain? In view of the higher unemployment in Arfon and Dwyfor compared with other development areas, will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider and give development areas status to those two areas?

Mr. Edwards

Similar changes have taken place in a number of areas in England, Wales and Scotland. If changes were to be made on that basis there would have to be a substantial redrawing of the map, which would not necessarily be to the advantage of Wales. I should emphasise the considerable scope that is available in an intermediate area for providing assistance. The hon. Gentleman should not underestimate that.