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Enterprise Zones

Volume 554: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2012

10. What discussions he has had with (a) his ministerial colleagues and (b) Welsh Government Ministers on the development of enterprise zones in Wales and the Welsh borders. (129642)

I am determined that we should maximize the opportunities that enterprise zones can offer in attracting private sector investment and growth into Wales. I am working with ministerial colleagues and the Welsh First Minister to secure this.

My right hon. Friend will be aware of the proximity of the Deeside enterprise zone with those in Wirral Waters and Daresbury. Does he think there is a case for those three enterprise zones to work together to maximise the potential for economic growth in the economic sub-region?

Yes. As my hon. Friend has said, the Deeside enterprise zone is close geographically to that in Wirral Waters, and I believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for synergy between the two zones. In fact, I have already had discussions with the chairman of the Deeside enterprise zone to see what can be done to advance that.

What processes does the Secretary of State have in place to try to resolve some of the issues that Welsh border constituencies have with access to the NHS, road maintenance and other services? They are finding it very difficult to resolve such issues through their local MPs, because the Welsh Assembly and Government will not give time to consider them.

My hon. Friend raises an important issue. I believe that, in his part of the world, the Mersey Dee Alliance is an appropriate focus and I was very heartened by the proposals in Mrs Elizabeth Haywood’s report to the Welsh Government to create a cross-border city region focused on the Mersey Dee Alliance area.