§ 77. Mr. Norwood
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a 347W statement about the setting up of regional councils and boards for East Anglia.
§ 78. Mr. Carol Johnson
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether he will now announce the setting up of machinery for regional economic planning in the South-East; and whether he will make a statement about his review of the previous Government's South-East Study.
§ 79. Mr. Boston
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will now make a statement about his review of the South-East Study; and whether he will anounce the setting up of machinery for economic planning in the region.
§ Mr. George Brown
When I announced to the House, on 10th December, 1964, my intention to set up regional economic planning machinery, I said that decisions about the machinery for the South East would have to await the review of policy for the South East. The first part of this review has been completed.
I have decided that there should be two Councils: one for East Anglia comprising the counties of Norfolk, East and West Suffolk, Cambridge and Isle of Ely and Huntingdon and Peterborough: one for the whole of the rest of the South East.
Our present information suggests that population in the South East can be expected to grow between 1964 and 1981 by about 2.9 million of which 2.2 million would be the natural increase of the resident population. The drift from the rest of England and Wales will be negligible. In any case the Government are determined to prevent this re-arising. There will be some net immigration into the South East from overseas but our recently announced measures will steadily reduce the annual rate.
London overspill is now believed to be larger than previously estimated and is put at one million between 1964 and 1981. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government has already announced plans to meet part of this need. We are now reviewing the broad strategy of planning of the South East to complete this work on overspill and to produce the best distribution 348W of population and resources within the region.