§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make it his policy that compensation levels for firms in the Cardiff bay area which are required to move in order that development may proceed are set at levels which make their relocation viable and ensure that existing jobs are not lost to the area;
(2) if he will make it his policy that grants systems operated by his Department will be used to the best advantage in order to enable existing firms in the Cardiff bay area to (a) stay in business and (b) to create new job opportunities for the future;
(3) whether he will make it his policy that existing firms and jobs in the Cardiff bay area shall either (a) be retained within the area or (b) be assisted to relocate in or near the area.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
Compensation to firms required to move within or outside the area of Cardiff Bay development corporation will be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Land Compensation Act 1961, the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 and the Land Compensation Act 1973. This legislation provides for payment to be made in respect of disturbance costs as well as for land and property acquired. If a company considers that an offer made is inadequate it may seek to have the level of compensation determined by the Lands Tribunal, an independent body established by Parliament.
Within this statutory framework it is the policy of Cardiff Bay development corporation to do whatever it can to protect the interests and the existing employment of firms within its area. The corporation has my fullest support in that. I am also anxious to ensure that, wherever appropriate, firms affected by the redevelopment of Cardiff bay should seize every opportunity to expand. To that end my Department is working closely with the 38W corporation to ensure that every advantage is taken of regional selective assistance and other available measures of support to safeguard and create jobs.
As part of its policy the corporation is taking a range of specific initiatives:
- —the engagement of Cardiff and Vale Enterprise to assist companies with business planning and the preparation of grant applications;
- —making land available to ensure that firms remain within or close to the designated area;
- —operating a scheme of business assistance to provide financial support to existing firms.
I understand that active discussions are currently taking place with the firms which may be affected by relocation.