HC Deb 08 February 1995 vol 254 c332
7. Mr. Gapes

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to provide assistance to the London borough of Redbridge and include it in initiatives to help the regeneration of east London.

Mr. Charles Wardle

Partnerships in the London borough of Redbridge will be eligible to compete again this year for support for new projects in the second round of the single regeneration budget.

Mr. Gapes

Does the Minister know where the London borough of Redbridge is? From his answer, it appears that he has no idea. Is he aware that all the surrounding boroughs in east London are included either in the initiatives by the President of the Board of Trade for the east Thames corridor or in the Lea valley programmes? My borough of Redbridge has received not a penny from single regeneration budget projects. Is it not about time the Minister recognised that in my constituency one in seven males are unemployed and 11.2 per cent. of the population are unemployed compared with the national average of 8.5 per cent.? Why do we not get support in Redbridge when we need it?

Mr. Wardle

The answer to the hon. Gentleman's first question is yes, I do know where it is, but I wonder whether he does, and also whether he realises that the London borough of Redbridge submitted five outline bids for the first round of the single regeneration budget but chose not to put any of them in as final bids.

Mr. Evennett

Does my hon. Friend agree that the Thames gateway provides tremendous opportunities for Redbridge and other boroughs north of the Thames and for boroughs such as mine in Bexley, south of the Thames? Does he agree that co-operation and enthusiasm from the Opposition as well as from business men and Government is needed to get the project off the ground?

Mr. Wardle

My hon. Friend is right. I am sure that he agrees that it is a pity that the hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Gapes) did not sing the praises of the London East training and enterprise council and its schemes, which provide help to Redbridge through a local office which also covers Waltham Forest. The hon. Gentleman should also, perhaps, have talked about the merits of the London business link network, which is developing as it should.