HC Deb 16 May 1990 vol 172 c877
8. Mr. Gill

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will consider extending regional selective assistance to south Shropshire.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

Regional selective assistance is available to those parts of south Shropshire that have been designated as intermediate areas under the Industrial Development Act 1982. I have no plans to extend assisted area status to other parts of south Shropshire.

Mr. Gill

My hon. and learned Friend will be aware of the £14 million of taxpayers' money which is being made available to the Unitgate company for a poultry processing plant at Scunthorpe. He will further be aware of that company's declared intention to make 500 employees redundant at its plant at Craven Arms in my constituency. In refusing to make grants universally available or to scrap the system altogether, is my hon. and learned Friend aware of the serious competitive distortions that are caused within industries, leading inevitably to the transfer of jobs from one area to another? In the light of the example that I have given, will the Government review their policy?

Mr. Hogg

My hon. Friend referred to jobs in his constituency. I am sure that he is as pleased as I am to note that during the past 12 months unemployment in his constituency has fallen by 23.7 per cent. I am aware of my hon. Friend's concern about the particular application to which he has drawn attention. Indeed, he has seen my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to discuss it. There is, however, a misunderstanding. The scheme to which my hon. Friend referred at Scunthorpe involves a chicken plant, for which RSA was provided. The facility in his constituency is a turkey concern. They have feathers in common, but nothing else. I am satisfied that RSA is being applied sensibly and usefully.

Back to