Co-operative Development Agency

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1979.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr John Tilley Mr John Tilley , Lambeth Central 12:00 am, 12th November 1979

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement on his policy towards the Cooperative Development Agency.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , Basingstoke

Like all other nongovernmental public bodies, the Cooperative Development Agency is currently under review.

Photo of Mr John Tilley Mr John Tilley , Lambeth Central

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that small-scale worker co-operatives have an important part to play in reviving the economies of inner cities, both in providing new small firms and in providing desperately needed jobs in those areas? Bearing in mind the initial success of the CDA during the first few months of its life, will he consider making funds available to it so that it may supply to new worker co-operatives risk capital as well as advice?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , Basingstoke

We welcome the prospect of a flourishing producer co-operative sector. Making additional funds available is a different matter, and demands a question of which I require notice.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman , Huddersfield East

Does the hon. Gentlemen agree that the CDA has done a good job and has great potential in a climate of increasing unemployment? In two wards of the constituency of the right hon. Member for Leeds, North-East (Sir K. Joseph), the Secretary of State for Industry, there are unemployment levels of 11 per cent. and 12 per cent. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman would be interested in supporting the CDA.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , Basingstoke

Producer co-operatives are a form of free enterprise, and as such we are anxious to encourage them.

Photo of Mr Leslie Huckfield Mr Leslie Huckfield , Nuneaton

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that an increasing number of local authorities feel that the co-operative form of enterprise has a great deal to recommend it and that it can make a successful contribution to solving unemployment problems, especially in the inner cities? Will he bear in mind that the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Tilley) reflect a genuine feeling, and one that is growing? Will he be more encouraging than hitherto?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , Basingstoke

I think that I have already been considerably encouraging. I must ask the hon. Gentleman to accept that.