§ Mr. Milne
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what applications were made in the Blyth constituency since October 1964 for grants and loans under the various Government schemes to attract industry to development districts; how many were granted; how many were refused; and what is the number now outstanding;
(2) what grants and loans were paid to firms in the Blyth constituency under the various Government schemes to attract industry to development districts during the period from October 1964 to the latest available date.
§ Mr. Jay
Between 1st October 1964 and 31st October, 1966, 27 applications were made to the Board of Trade for assistance under the Local Employment Acts by firms in the Blyth, Seaton Delaval and Bedlington Employment Exchange Areas. Offers were made in 18 cases, two applications were withdrawn, one was refused and six are outstanding. The total assistance offered in this period was £1,473,000, of which £529,000 relates to136W factories, £824,000 to building and plant and machinery grants and £120,000 to loans.
Questions relating to expenditure by other Government Departments and by local authorities for attracting industry to development areas should be directed to the appropriate Ministers.
§ Mr. Milne
asked the President of the Board of Trade what complaints he has received regarding delay in dealing with applications for Government aid to development districts in the Blyth constituency and throughout the Northern Region; what is the length of time taken to make decisions regarding applications; and what are the main reasons for delay.
§ Mr. Jay
Since the beginning of this year, I and my colleagues have received seven complaints from the Northern Region concerning delays in settling applications for assistance under the Local Employment Acts, two of which concerned firms in the Blyth constituency. The time taken to reach decisions on applications varies widely with their nature; but on the cases referred to such delay as there was was largely due to the time taken by applicants to provide necessary information.