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South Glamorgan

Volume 887: debated on Monday 3 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to increase employment prospects in the county of South Glamorgan.

The Government have granted development area status to the county. This will provide great additional financial attractions for manufacturing industry through the increased incentives under the Industry Act 1972 and the regional employment premium, which we have doubled.

I have on a number of occasions warmly welcomed the inclusion of South Glamorgan in the development area. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman now consider reconstituting the task force to deal with the provision of employment for redundant workers well in advance of any closure of East Moors?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his first remark. I assure him that all necessary steps will be taken and that information will be substantially available in good time to meet whatever demands are made for new employment in his county.

I would not want to press the claims of one county rather than another, but will my right hon. and learned Friend bear in mind that there are also to be considered the needs of the Mid-Glamorgan area? There is a need for diversity in the valleys. Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that when thinking of moving Government Departments from London to Wales there is a tendency to think only in terms of those Departments going to Cardiff? Perhaps we should be a bit more far-reaching in our outlook and think in terms of Government Departments going to other areas. If we developed the Heads of the Valley area, it could develop the whole community.

I think that my hon. Friend has pinpointed the difficulty in which one is always placed. If he examines the programme of advance factories that we have announced in his county and—for those who travel to work there—in the immediate vicinity of his county, he will realise that the area received a substantial share in the past year.