§ The Minister for Industry (Mr. Douglas Hogg)
I have not met Mr. Norman in his capacity as chairman of the Teesside development corporation, but I am well aware of TDC's achievements. I was pleased to see that unemployment in my hon. Friend's constituency has fallen 871 by 22.4 per cent. over the past 12 months. I am advised that the TDC has £1 million worth of factory space under construction.
§ Mr. Holt
I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for that reply and I hope that it will not be too long before he meets Mr. Norman. When he does, will he please convey to him the thanks of the people of Teesside for the work done by the TDC in regenerating and revitalising our area? If there is any drawback at all, it is that we still have to contend with Cleveland county council. Perhaps we can abolish that and extend the TDC to the whole area.
§ Mr. Hogg
I shall indeed bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said, and discuss with Mr. Norman the important fact that during the past two years, by the selective use of regional assistance, about 2,500 new jobs have been attracted into the Cleveland area. That is an important development for the whole region.