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Assisted Areas

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what parts of each of the local government wards currently in effect in the city of Birmingham have not been designated as having development area status under the Assisted Area Order 1993.

The designation of wards within travel-to-work areas as development areas or intermediate areas is based on wards as they existed for the decennial census of population in April 1981. This is necessary because these travel-to-work areas themselves are based on 1981 wards, and using wards defined at any other time, when their boundaries may not necessarily match those used to define the boundaries of travel-to-work areas, means that some of the areas intended for designation could inadvertently be counted twice, or missed out.Birmingham is a case in point and by using the city's 1981 wards in the Assisted Areas Order 1993, development area status applies for the whole of the city of Birmingham. However, on examination, I think the Assisted Areas Order 1993, is not sufficiently clear on this point and I have therefore made and laid an amending order to clarify the position. I shall write to the hon. Member further about the position in Birmingham, and to other hon. Members representing areas where designations for parts of travel-to-work areas have been based on wards.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he has had with his Irish counterpart on the subject of Merseyside's application for objective 1 status within the European Community; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's proposal of objective 1 status for Merseyside was approved by the Council in Brussels on 20 July. I did not discuss it bilaterally with the Government of the Republic of Ireland, but I hope that the European structural funds will in future contribute appropriately to the development of links between what will now be two neighbouring objective 1 regions.

More up-to-date information was provided in the 1991 Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the proposed merger between Tate and Lyle plc and British Sugar plc. This showed the following position: