§ Mr. O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if contributions to mining areas from the European Community RECHAR plan will be to cover further proposed job losses in mining areas; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he has information on the distribution of funds by the European Community under the RECHAR scheme; whether areas other than those who qualify for regional aid will receive assistance; and if he will make a statement;
(3) if the European Community RECHAR plan will help to improve environmental problems in the derelict mining areas; and if he will make a statement;
(4) what assistance the European Community RECHAR fund will provide to help attract new investment into the area of Molefield district council; and if he will make a statement;
(5) what information he has about the special European Community plan called RECHAR which is designed to help rundown coal mining areas; how it will apply to the Normanton constituency; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
[holding answer 14 December 1989]: The European Commission announced on 2 August 1989 its decision in favour of RECHAR, an initiative for Community structural fund grants for areas affected by job losses in coalmining. The Government have welcomed this decision.
The Commission has subsequently decided on an indicative financial allocation for RECHAR of 300 million 875W ecu for the five years 1990 to 1994. Details of which areas will be eligible for RECHAR, the measures eligible for grant and the criteria for financial allocations, have not yet been settled. A further Commission decision is expected soon.
The hon. Member's interests will be borne in mind in my Department's discussions with the Commission about its forthcoming decision.