HC Deb 12 December 1990 vol 182 cc942-3
5. Mr. Grocott

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to meet the chairman of Telford development corporation to discuss assistance that the corporation is giving towards the planned Telford city technology college.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Tim Yeo)

I have no such plans.

Mr. Grocott

Will the Minister make it his business to find out the precise details of the red-carpet treatment that Telford development coporation, which he appoints, is giving to this totally unwanted and unnecessary city technology college? Will he find out the precise cost of all the preparatory work done by the corporation, the cost of all the access and infrastructure, the knockdown price at which the corporation has sold the land to the college and the price that the land would have fetched on the open market? When he has found out all those details—if he does not already know them—will he make them available to the House and then send them to the corporation's auditors for their inspection?

Mr. Yeo

The hon. Gentleman has already tried to block the establishment of Telford city technology college by objecting to the relevant planning applications. I am interested to note that he now wishes to advertise still further his hostility to our policy of giving his constituents more educational opportunities and choice.

The role of Telford development corporation has been confined to encouraging this excellent project. There has been no "red-carpet" treatment; a site has been provided at a price that was negotiated having regard to the ground conditions of the land concerned and the educational usage—a price of £420,000.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. This question is about Telford.

Mr. Devlin

Does my hon. Friend agree that the role of a development corporation is to redevelop rundown inner-city centres and to create new opportunities and lifestyles in them? Is not that role fully compatible with that of CTCs, and should not Telford development corporation do all that it can to assit the city technology college, as our development corporation in Teesside is doing?

Mr. Yeo

My hon. Friend is right. The development corporation should have regard to the interests of everyone living in the area and I am entirely satisfied that that is what Telford development corporation has done in this case.

Mr. O'Brien

In view of the Minister's absymal reply to my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Grocott) and the fact that he is not prepared to meet the chairman of Telford development corporation, will he prevail on the Secretary of State to introduce some democracy into the corporation? Let us see some of the money that the Secretary of State is pushing on to the poll tax being spent on development corporations.

Mr. Yeo

We are entirely satisfied that Telford development corporation has done an excellent job and I have already had an opportunity of meeting the chairman.

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