HC Deb 12 March 1980 vol 980 c590W
Miss Boothroyd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects to meet his counterpart in the European Economic Community Council of Ministers to decide the allocation of the non-quota sector of the regional fund; and what financial assistance he will make available from this sector for new and economically sound industrial activity in Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.

Mr. David Mitchell

[pursuant to his reply, 7 March, c. 377]: Discussion of the European Commission's proposals for the use of the non-quota section of the European regional development fund normally take place at the Foreign Affairs Council, which is the concern of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who normally attends. The Presidency has not yet decided when the proposals will next be considered by the Foreign Affairs Council.

The only Commission proposals which affect Great Britain are those for aid to certain areas affected by the decline in the steelmaking and shipbuilding industries, but the areas covered by the Commission's proposals do not include Tipton, Wednesbury or West Bromwich.

The only activities which could be aided under the Commission's proposals are the reclamation and development of rundown industrial sites, housing for key workers in new industries and the encouragement of small and medium companies through the provision of consultancy, information and other services.