Ravenscraig

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

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Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Motherwell South 7:36 pm, 23rd January 1992

Just prior to the debate, I was at a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition at which I went over the grounds of our case. He gives us his absolute, full and unqualified support. We must explore all possible avenues for steel. Everyone in Motherwell accepts that our future lies in new jobs, new industries and a new image of Lanarkshire.

The Government's antics have been pathetic. I shall not go into the details of the enterprise zone because, from what the Secretary of State said, it is clear that he has not been informed about the way in which matters have been developed and formulated.

The Secretary of State did not even mention the new link that is needed between the M74 and the M8, running through the Ravenscraig site, a matter which the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State was asked by the Prime Minister to investigate when we met the right hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman failed to do that to the extent of writing to me afterwards, saying that it was a matter for Strathclyde regional council.

We need the image-changing impact of a new Motherwell Parkway mainline station on that new motorway link and on the electrified Glasgow-Edinburgh mainline, with its InterCity services. We need that opening up of the steel sites as a new central Scotland business site linked to the overcrowded centres of Edinburgh and Glasgow. We need a new role for Motherwell and Bell colleges in providing vital new skills. We need the core developments that will launch new growth, with the encouragement and involvement of the private sector, which the Government have been totally inept in seeking.

We get none of that. We get, instead—this is typical—a cut in the housing capital allocation for Motherwell district council from the £25 million in the five-year capital programme to an appalling £15 million. What is the Secretary of State up to? Is he counting on the depopulation of Motherwell?