Action for Cities Campaign

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th March 1988.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Department of Trade and Industry) 12:00 am, 9th March 1988

I agree with my hon. Friend that the Opposition whinge about absolutely every measure that anyone proposes and they take the general view that it is all a waste of time.

Our major aim over the summer is to try to attract private companies to take part in inner-city activity. I agree that we have to get the message across to those companies that it is in their commercial interest to do so. It is sensible, commercial practice for a large company that wants, at the same time, to be a responsible corporate citizen, to take part in such activity. That is the American experience, and we and the CBI agree. That is the message that we shall be giving.

I am sorry if we did not acknowledge the valuable work of many chambers of commerce. I have worked extremely closely with chambers of commerce and their members in many parts of the country, and they have been actively involved in our work.

I must remind the hon. Gentleman that the announcement of an urban development corporation for the Don Valley is one of the best bits of news that Sheffield has had in recent years. It will bring that derelict land back into use because the decision-making processes of UDCs have proved, in practice, to be extremely quick and effective. There is, of course, a substantial commitment of Government money behind the UDCs.