§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many jobs have been created by the Handsworth task force since it was set up; and how much of the allocated budget has been (a) spent and (b) committed.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Since the Government's Handsworth Task Force was set up in 1986 it has committed some £2.4 million from its own top-up funds to projects and, of this, £1.2 million has so far been spent. However their task force supported projects are also expected to lever over £4 million from private sector and other public sector sources bringing the total expenditure upon them to around £6.5 million. The task force also assists in the targeting of main Government programmes into Handsworth and since the task force was set up total Government expenditure in the area has been around £25 million.
It is not, however, possible to measure total net jobs created in the task force area with any accuracy. Any estimate would not only have to take into account new jobs specifically associated with task force projects, but also jobs in firms helped by task force development funds, jobs created in agencies funded by the inner cities initiative and jobs gained by residents as a result of training courses facilitated by the initiative. We have not, therefore attempted such an overall estimate.