HC Deb 08 March 1996 vol 273 c383W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the impact of the loss of development area status on those constituencies which have lost such status; and if he will make a statement. [18927]

Mr. Gwilym Jones

Regional selective assistance is evaluated regularly. As my right hon. Friend the Minister for Industry and Energy told the Trade and Industry Committee on 18 October 1995, another evaluation is to start this year.

In the meantime, the Welsh Office has been monitoring the volume of RSA applications. The introduction of the new map in August 1993 caused a rush of applications immediately prior to the expiry of the old map. This makes it difficult to identify trends at present. The Welsh Office will continue to monitor applications as this distortion becomes less important.

In the travel-to-work areas all or part of which lost development area status in 1993, average unemployment in the 12 months to January 1996 was 20.4 per cent. below that in the 12 months to July 1993 compared with a fall of 18.3 per cent. in Wales as a whole.