Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:15 am on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport 11:15 am, 1st April 2008

I was hoping that you would allow me a bit of latitude on that point, Mr. Martlew.

In the north-west—this is to do with Daresbury—physics funding has been cut and blue-chip research, which is commercially useful to the north-west for jobs and economic welfare, has been pulled. The Northwest Regional Development Agency and the universities in the area are being depressed. They are not toasting the Minister and saying, "Isn't he doing a good job on this!" They are in fact expressing regrets to hon. Members, which is why so many have turned up to the debate. Regional differences are being accentuated by a lack of investment in key scientific facilities in the north-west, the prime cause of which is the £80 million shortfall in funding. That is not a huge sum in Government terms. I accept the points that have been made about the autocratic and, at times, eccentric decision making of the STFC, but what matters to me is that it is a betrayal of my region and its future.