§ Mr. Heseltine
I have received a number of representations about this proposal. These include letters from several hon. Members, the leader of the Merseyside county council and the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors. My replies have indicated that my officials and those of other interested Departments were examining the report by the Merseyside enterprise forum and considering the county council's request for financial assistance with proposed further studies. In addition I have had helpful discussions with the council, members of the forum's panel which produced the report, the North-West water authority and representatives of the civil engineering industry. I intend to continue discussion of the proposal with the county council at a meeting I shall shortly be having with them.