HC Deb 02 July 1981 vol 7 cc465-6W
Mr. Parry

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his recent visit to Merseyside.

Mr. Heseltine

I visited Liverpool on 26 June at the invitation of the leader of Liverpool city council and saw many examples of good environmental improvement schemes undertaken by the city council aided by resources and grant provided through the partnership arrangements. The city's work in its environmental improvement areas has been recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute in granting the city jointly with Derby its Jubilee Award.

I visited a successful firm in one of the city's industrial improvement areas which had been aided by the city using powers under the Inner Urban Areas Act.

Much of course remains to be done to bring sites into more effective use and information made available through the published Liverpool land register will assist in this work.

At Riverside at the southern end of the Merseyside Development Corporation's area I was pleased to see one of the corporations's first projects under way, extending the riverside walkway. I later discussed with the board of the corporation its work programme and the challenges it faced in the task of regenerating its area.

I visited the county council's maritime museum at the north end of the South Docks area and was encouraged by the work done to improve the area and making it attractive to visitors.

The problems of Merseyside remain particularly difficult; investment by the private sector is badly needed, aided by the initiatives that have been taken, by the additional public expenditure resources made available, and by concerted effort locally.