Is my hon. Friend aware that unemployment in my constituency, although lower than in most constituencies, has risen substantially under Labour and Conservative Governments over the past 13 years? How does he explain that in an area where wages and salaries are low, productivity is high and labour relations are excellent?
I know of my hon. Friend's genuine and deep concern about the problems of unemployment generally in his constituency. The position is improving, even in his constituency. The number of unfilled vacancies is increasing and unemployment is slowly falling. Two job clubs will open soon—at Leek in March and at Cheadle later in the summer. I hope my hon. Friend agrees that there is an increasing skill shortage in his textile industry, just as there is in Lancashire. There is also a shortage of industrial land in his constituency on which firms can expand. I believe that the local authority is addressing its mind to that problem.