asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the number of redundancies in Merthyr Tydfil since May 1979.
Between May 1979 and March 1982, 3,856 redundancies were notified to the Department of Employment as due to occur in the Merthyr Tydfil area.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is almost the total number of jobs that we could expect even if Nissan came to South Wales, and that is in one community alone? When can we expect some growth and an increase in the number of jobs in Merthyr Tydfil and other Heads of the Valleys communities, or will we be bypassed, in view of the fact that one Minister has referred to traditional industrial communities? When can we expect to see some real growth and real jobs back in the Heads of the Valleys communities?
I share the hon. Gentleman's concern about unemployment in Merthyr Tydfil, which is clearly extremely serious. It is also true that a number of projects now coming to Wales are deciding to locate in the Heads of the Valleys area. I welcome that. Furthermore, the improved road links that have been completed during the Government's term of office will help, and the hon. Gentleman will know that at present we are pressing ahead with the important road link up the valley to Merthyr.