HC Deb 04 July 1995 vol 263 cc140-1W
Mr. McMaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what restrictions will be placed upon elected members and officers of unitary local authorities travelling abroad on economic development missions to encourage inward investment; how these will differ from the restrictions imposed on the current regional and district authorities; and if he will make a statement. [31397]

Mr. Kynoch

Section 171A (5) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, which was inserted into that Act by the provisions of section 171 of the Local Governmental etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, requires councils to submit to the Secretary of State for approval their proposals for engaging in economic development activities overseas. Subsection 171A (6) allows the Secretary of State to make his approval subject to conditions. These provisions effectively replicate the terms of section 154A of the 1973 Act which related to local authorities' industrial promotion powers and which has bene repealed by the 1994 Act. Under the new local government structure, the Secretary of State will, as now, consider all proposals for overseas economic development activity that are submitted to him for approval on their own merits and decide upon them accordingly.