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Health And Safety

Volume 901: debated on Sunday 2 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to take a decision on the location of the headquarters of the Health and Safety at Work Commission.

The Health and Safety Commission has informed me that a thorough study is now being undertaken on the question of its ultimate location. The Chairman of the Commission expects to be able to let my right hon. Friend have his recommendation in the early part of the new year.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Safety in Mines Research Establishment, which now comes under the Health and Safety Commission, and its executive, is already located in Sheffield? Does he agree that if the Health and Safety Commission and its executive are dispersed from London it will make sense for the Commission's extensive laboratories, at present situated at Cricklewood to be located near the Safety in Mines Research Establishment at Sheffield?

No doubt this will be one of the factors which the Commission will bear in mind in making its recommendations.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Hardman Report on the relocation of Government Departments did not lead to Yorkshire and Humberside getting one extra job? Will he bear in mind that a favourable decision on the location of this body in or near my constituency, where the unemployment rate is 14 per cent., would be warmly welcomed?

I am sharply aware of the unemployment problems in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Mr. Woodall). I am sure that he will not let the claims for South Yorkshire go by default, but I hope that he will bear in mind our recent announcement that the Manpower Services Commission will be located in Sheffield.