HC Deb 03 July 1991 vol 194 cc310-1
12. Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what schemes his Department has sponsored in the Truro and St. Austell area to aid local business.

Mr. Leigh

Business in the Truro and St. Austell area can benefit from a wide range of Department of Trade and Industry schemes.

Mr. Taylor

The Minister will know that I have frequently pressed for the reintroduction of assisted area status for Truro and St. Austell. Many jobs are being lost at both ends of the constituency because of the economic mess that the Government have got themselves into. They have repeatedly said that they will review the boundaries only after a general election. Given that economic mess, and as the Government have postponed the election, may we at least proceed with the review to offer some hope to local businesses?

Mr. Leigh

Most objective observers recognise that it would be unwise to tamper with the assisted area map before the general election. Some areas could be included on the map and some could be removed from it, and perhaps the St. Austell area should be included. However, it would be unwise to make boundary changes before the general election.

I recently visited the Indian Queens estate, which is close to St. Austell and is in an assisted area. Businesses on the estate are eligible for regional selective assistance and regional enterprise grants, and a raft of other Department of Trade and Industry schemes are available to the hon. Member's constituents. As the hon. Gentleman knows well from our correspondence on the point, I am discussing with the Department of the Environment derelict land grant which would be of considerable benefit to his constituency. I assure him that I am doing everything in my power to help his constituents.

Mr. Knapman

Does my hon. Friend agree that that typical supplementary question shows why Truro urgently needs a Conservative Member of Parliament? Is not it time that the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) realised that free trade and level playing fields are the way to bring prosperity to Truro, St. Austell and everywhere else?

Mr. Leigh

My hon. Friend is quite right. Cornwall has led the world in free enterprise. The hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) is out of tune with his constituents, and I have no doubt that his Conservative opponent, Nick St. Aubyn, who is an excellent man, will be elected at the next election.

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