Ravenscraig

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:36 pm on 23rd January 1992.

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Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway and Upper Nithsdale 7:36 pm, 23rd January 1992

Such is the success of East Kilbride that it has reached a level of maturity where it no longer needs the special commitment of resources—which might be better used in other parts in Lanarkshire—to maintain and continue its development. East Kilbridge development corporation has handled its opportunities extremely well and has succeeded in attracting about one in five of all inward investment cases coming to Scotland. That, too, is for the benefit of Lanarkshire.

Lanarkshire has important advantages—it is well-located, with good communications, and the Government are doing all in their power to ensure that those are improved. I know that hon. Members on both sides of the House welcomed the decision by British Rail to locate its Mossend channel tunnel freight terminal in Lanarkshire. Considerable benefits will flow from that. The Government have also substantially expanded the roads programme to take special account of the needs of Lanarkshire with regard to the M8 and A8 and—most important of all—the improvement of the A74, which is being developed into a motorway.

The Government have a sustained, well considered and broad-ranging commitment to Lanarkshire. We are implementing policies that have proved effective and successful in Brigg and Scunthorpe, Corby and in other parts of the United Kingdom. Lanarkshire has got advantages and we are doing our best to help the people there to capitalise upon them.

Our amendment to the motion describes the extensive and effective nature of the measures already being undertaken by the Government as part of its continuing commitment to improve the economy and infrastructure in Lanarkshire". I urge the House to reject the motion and to conceal it from the eyes of the Leader of the Opposition, who signed it. Instead, the House should endorse the words of the right hon. Gentleman which appeared in the Financial Times today, and support the Government's amendment.