Skip to main content

Yorkshire And Humberside

Volume 927: debated on Monday 7 March 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Industry what increase in annual grant he has given to the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association; and how this compares with other regional associations such as the North-East and the North-West.

As I announced on 18th February, I have doubled the grant aid to the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association and the North-West Industrial Development Association. The grant to the North of England Development Association has been slightly more than doubled. The new grants for each of the next three years are £30,000 to Yorkshire and Humberside, £135,000 to the North-West and £250,000 to the North of England.

I thank my hon. Friend for the extra £15,000, which is what a doubling means. Is he aware that that is in no way satisfactory to the officers of the association or to myself and my col- leagues who represent constituencies in Yorkshire and Humberside? Without appearing to be too churlish, I must say that it appears to us that those who shout loudest north of the Tweed seem to jump the queue for supplementary Government cash.

I am sure that my hon. Friend does not want to be churlish. Very full and proper consideration was given to the assessment of these grants. I should point out that the North and North-West areas contain special development areas whereas Yorkshire and Humberside does not. This is an indication that their problems are worse than those of Yorkshire and Humberside, and, as a consequence, the grants are assessed on this basis. I know that the Chairman of the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association has written to us expressing concern. We shall reply to him in the fullest possible terms. We much appreciate the excellent work that is being done by the association in attracting industry and jobs to the area.

Without wanting to enter into a competition to see who might be more churlish with my hon. Friend, may I ask whether he will address himself to the particular purposes of the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association and, in the light of that, reconsider what he said this afternoon before he sends a final reply to that association? The purposes of the association are fully supported by business, trade in and many social organisations Yorkshire covering a wide area, and by all the Members from Yorkshire and—

Order. It is reasonable to ask the hon. Member to put his question. Fair play. The Minister has given information—

Will my hon. Friend reconsider the reply that he gave this afternoon on behalf of the Government?

I very much appreciate the promotional work that the association undertakes, and I have mentioned that.

My reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson), who, I thought, was rather less churlish than was my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson), is that this represents a 100 per cent. increase in public expenditure for the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association, and not many public or assisted bodies can say that they have received that kind of help.