§ Sir M. Lindsay
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development if he will make a statement about the proposed regional studies of North-West England and the West Midlands.
§ Mr. Heath
The North West Study will cover the standard region (Lancashire, Cheshire, and the High Peak District of Derbyshire); and also Cumberland and Westmorland. The West Midlands Study will cover Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.
Each study will include an examination of the principal economic and related social characteristics and trends in the areas in question and will pay particular attention to population change, employment, land use and communications.172W
These studies will be carried out, under the direction of the interdepartmental steering group on regional development, by officials of the Departments concerned at headquarters and in the regions—in particular, the Board of Trade and the Ministries of Housing and Local Government, Labour and Transport.
There will be close consultation with regional interests, including in particular the planning authorities and other local authorities concerned, the Regional Boards for Industry and the principal development associations. Arrangements will also be made to obtain the views of the universities, industrialists and others concerned with regional development in these areas.