Local Authority Work Projects

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1972.

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Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire 12:00 am, 2nd February 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the estimated cost of the additional projects submitted by Scottish local authorities in July, 1971, at the Government's request, as a measure to curb unemployment, and the estimated cost of the projects.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

Between July and December proposals for about £100 million of additional works were submitted by local and other public authorities. Of these, £60 million were approved under the special programme, some £9 million could be accommodated within normal provision and £27 million could not be approved because the stipulated criteria were not satisfied.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire

That reply is a little disappointing. Is the Secretary of State aware that at any rate there was the belief by many local authorities that, having been asked to produce programmes of emergency measures, there would be a swift response from the Government? Is it the case in Edinburgh that by the end of the year only 50 per cent. of the projects had been approved?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

"Emergency" is the key word. About half of what was proposed by Edinburgh could not be accepted, much of it because it could not be started and largely carried out by March, 1973. But a great deal of it can be incorporated in the normal programme.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Can the Secretary of State give us in HANSARD a list of all the projects and the areas in which they would have been carried out, and an estimate of the number of jobs that the work would provide?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

I will certainly supply such information as is now available. I have in the past kept the House informed in HANSARD of how this is going, and I undertake to do this again, as far as we can, up to the present situation. As I said, it is exceedingly difficult to estimate how many jobs are kept or how many more jobs are brought into being as a result of this kind of programme.