Brandon and Byshottles

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th May 1963.

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Photo of Mr John Ainsley Mr John Ainsley , North West Durham 12:00 am, 16th May 1963

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will add the Brandon and Byshottles Urban District Council to the list of development areas, in view of the continued contraction of the mining industry.

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

My right hon. Friend would not be justified in adding the Durham Employment Exchange Area (of which Brandon and Byshottles form part) to the list of development districts, since the rate of unemployment there is well below that prevailing in development districts. But he is aware of the importance of coal mining in these places and will continue to watch the position.

Photo of Mr John Ainsley Mr John Ainsley , North West Durham

The hon. Gentleman will be aware of visiting the neighbouring urban district on the occasion of the inauguration of an advance factory there. This urban district is contiguous, almost identical in size and population and is dependent on what were mining industries. Its only sin is that it does not come into the same employment exchange area. If it is unrealistic to deal only with parts of the Tyneside area, can the Parliamentary Secretary tell me why it is realistic to deal differently with two urban districts which are affected by the same problems? One has been scheduled as a development district since the Local Employment Act came into force, but the other has not been so dealt with.

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

As regards the hon. Gentleman's point about the employment exchange area, over the last year the unemployment figure has been very much lower there than in any of the surrounding development districts. There are at present more jobs in prospect in Durham Employment Exchange area than the total number registered as unemployed. I would be very happy to let the hon. Gentleman have the figures.

Photo of Mr John Ainsley Mr John Ainsley , North West Durham

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.