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Cornwall (Gunnislake)

Volume 728: debated on Thursday 12 May 1966

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will reconsider his decision to exclude Gunnis- lake, Calstock, Callington, Saltash and Torpoint from the development area of Cornwall; and whether he will make a statement.

The economic circumstances of this part of Cornwall do not justify including it in the proposed development area.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Gunnislake, in particular, has a higher unemployment rate than any part of Cornwall? The geographical location of Plymouth is such as to make it nonsense to include Gunnislake in the Plymouth employment area. Has he not had considerable representations from the county council and other sources? In view of this, will he reconsider this absurd decision?

The situation with regard to Gunnislake is as the hon. Gentleman says, but although the rate is 10 per cent. only 60 people there are unemployed. We have these small pockets of unemployment with which to deal. They represent a special case. We think that these problems can be dealt with other than by scheduling small pockets as development areas. I think that we can deal satisfactorily with these problems, but I would be glad to discuss with the hon. Gentleman the whole of this problem in the South-West, and particularly in relation to the areas which he has mentioned.

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that flexible boundaries within development areas are needed so that areas which are in trouble can be included, and areas which have improved can be excluded?

Yes, Sir, I agree, and I have discussed this matter with the hon. Gentleman. I think that he appreciates the difficulties of scheduling such small areas.