§ 43. Mr. Brandon-Bravo
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what further progress has been made in the 16 inner-city task forces.
§ 51. Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the progress of the inner-city task forces.
§ Mr. Forth
The inner-city task forces have continued to make good progress in meeting their objectives of securing more jobs and training for local people and encouraging local enterprise. Since the task forces began their work in 1986 they have committed about £33 million in support of nearly 1,100 projects. These generate, or safeguard, nearly 4,000 jobs, facilitate over 23,500 training places and provide support for over 2,600 businesses. Over 450 private sector companies have supported task force projects.
We have always made it clear that task forces would not be permanently located in any one inner-city area. One of their aims is to promote the long-term capability of local organisations so that eventually these bodies can take over from them, thus releasing resources for task forces to be set up in other inner city areas.
I announced on 9 March, as part of the Government's action for cities anniversary announcements, that the task forces would be withdrawing from Leicester, Wolverhampton and Preston; and that new task forces would be opening in Bradford, Granby/Toxteth in Liverpool and Deptford in Lewisham.
§ 49. Mr. Patnick
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has as to the number of firms which have now been assisted as a result of the activities of the inner-city task forces.175W
§ Mr. Forth
Task forces provide a variety of assistance to existing local firms and start-up businesses; for example, by providing loans through task force development funds and by supporting local enterprise agencies and other organisations offering business advice. Through these and other ways, task forces are estimated to have assisted over 2,600 businesses.