Dunbartonshire Enterprise

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 2:17 pm on 25th January 1995.

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Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke , Monklands West 2:17 pm, 25th January 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet Dunbartonshire Enterprise to discuss the future of the industrial site at Gartcosh.

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

My right hon. Friend and I are fully aware of the position at Gartcosh but we have no plans at present to meet Dunbartonshire Enterprise to discuss that.

Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke , Monklands West

Does the Minister recall that that site has lain empty since 1986? Will he tell us how much has been paid, or will be paid, to Dunbartonshire Enterprise by North British Newsprint? Will he tell us whether the Government will give positive support to that project? If it does not succeed—and we need to know very soon—will the Government use their influence, including their influence with Locate in Scotland, to ensure that jobs, investment and training are made available to a job-starved community?

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

The hon. Gentleman has a long-standing and respected interest in that site. I share his regret that North British Newsprint has yet to find a partner to invest in newsprint production facilities. We are still hopeful that that can be achieved in the near future.

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that the present position cannot be permitted to continue indefinitely. Scottish Enterprise will soon need to consider the future of the whole site. Discussions are taking place with potential inward investors who have expressed an interest in parts of the Gartcosh site. If the hon. Gentleman wants a meeting to discuss the present position in more detail, I would be happy to agree to that.

Photo of Mr Tony Worthington Mr Tony Worthington , Clydebank and Milngavie

When the Minister meets Dunbartonshire Enterprise, will he discuss its future shape and size? Will he please reject the opinion of those who propose that Clydebank and Milngavie be put in with Glasgow or, even more absurdly, that Dunbartonshire be linked with Renfrew? Will he reject such absurd proposals and retain the current boundaries?

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

The hon. Gentleman and a number of his colleagues met me this week to express their very clear views on those matters. We are formally in a consultation period; Scottish Enterprise is consulting on those matters. However, perhaps I may reassure the House by saying that I take very seriously the well-considered views that were expressed to me by hon. Members.