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Job Losses, Northumberland

Volume 201: debated on Tuesday 14 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what evidence he has of recent job losses in east and north-cast Northumberland.

In the three months to June 1991, the civilian work force in employment in the Northern region fell by 15,000. I am afraid that my Department does not have up-to-date figures for smaller areas within those standard regions.

Surely the Minister is aware of the 300 jobs that were lost at the Alcan aluminium smelter and the 200 jobs which have gone from Ellington colliery. In those circumstances, does he recognise how vital it is to get European funds, genuinely additional to money being spent over here, so as to bring additional opportunities to areas that have been so hard hit? Will the Minister and his colleagues join in the fighting which seems to be going on in the Government and get the matter sorted out so that European funds can go to those areas?

I had a very useful and interesting meeting with the hon. Gentleman and some of his constituents to talk about unemployment in his constituency, so I know of it at first hand from him. I certainly take note of what the hon. Gentleman has had to say. He understands the problems of additionality. His remarks have certainly been heard and I will draw my colleagues' attention to them.