Legislative Programme

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16. Albert Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales about the progress of the objective 1 programme, with special reference to north-west Wales. [2243]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the First Secretary regularly and we discuss a range of issues.

I was particularly pleased to see that the Assembly has now approved more than £200 million worth of European grants and £200 million of match funding over the past 2 months, giving the go-ahead to 289 projects.

Projects recently approved in my hon. Friend's own constituency include £70,496 ESF for the Ynys Mon Disability Project, £207,773 ERDF for Menter Mon and a further £383,750 EAGGF for Menter Mon.

CCTV Schemes

12. Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales concerning the extension of closed circuit television schemes in Wales. [2239]

Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend meets regularly with both the Home Secretary and the Assembly First Secretary to discuss a range of issues including the installation of Closed Circuit Television.

Friction Dynamics

13. Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary regarding the dispute at Friction Dynamics at Caernarfon. [2240]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the First Secretary regularly and we discuss a range of issues.

Coalfields Taskforce

14. Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if, at his next meeting with the First Secretary, he will discuss the establishment of a coalfields taskforce for Wales. [2241]

Mr. Touhig: I would certainly be prepared to discuss this issue with the First Secretary.

My hon. Friend will of course be familiar with the work already being undertaken by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Wales in addition to the efforts of the National Assembly for Wales and central UK Government departments.

Police Recruitment

15. Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department about funding and police recruitment in Wales. [2242]

Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend meets regularly with the Home Secretary to discuss a range of issues including funding for police forces in Wales and police recruitment.

When my right hon. Friend met the four Chief Constables in Wales they were generally positive about the settlement for 2001-02.

Tourism

17. Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has held with the First Secretary in the National Assembly and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport about developing the tourism industry in Wales. [2244]

Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales holds weekly meetings with the First Secretary to discuss a wide range of issues, and maintains regular contact with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport regarding tourism issues, particularly in view of the impact of Foot and Mouth Disease on the tourism industry.

In addition, I attend meetings of the Government's Rural Task Force, along with my hon. Friend the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting and the National Assembly Deputy First Minister and Minister for Economic Development, where issues such as tourism are discussed.

Small Businesses

l8. Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and with the First Secretary of the National Assembly about the training needs of small businesses in north Wales and how those needs can be addressed. [2245]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I regularly meet with my Ministerial colleagues including the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and on separate occasions I meet the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales and discuss a wide range of issues.

Wales already has range of training programmes and an enviable, highly trained workforce. Training is also available to those made jobless as a result of Corus decisions, helping those jobless get re-skilled and back into full employment.

Job Losses (Gwent)

19. Alan Howarth (Newport, East): What his latest assessment is of the number of job losses in Gwent caused by reductions in activity announced by Corus in 2001. [2246]

Mr. Paul Murphy: When Corus announced its job cuts on I February 2001, it estimated that 3,000 steel workers at its plants in Wales would be made redundant. From these figures 1,540 of those were to be made redundant at Llanwern, which finally closed on 28 June, and 780 at Ebbw Vale phased over a period until its final closure in summer 2002. My thoughts are with those steel workers who have recently lost their jobs and are with those who are to lose their jobs in the future.

There is no specific estimate yet produced of the number of indirect jobs lost as a result of Corus's decisions.

The Government, in partnership with the National Assembly for Wales, has already taken swift action to help support those made jobless by investing in training and skills; with a revised ISERBS scheme worth £2,500 for each worker made redundant; and by funding regeneration measures.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Griffiths, Mr. Win (Chairman)
Ainger, Mr.
Brennan, Kevin
Bryant, Mr.
Caton, Mr.
Clwyd, Ann
David, Mr.
Evans, Mr.
Flynn, Paul
Francis, Dr.
Hanson, Mr.
Havard, Mr.
Howarth, Alan
Jones, Mr. Jon Owen
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Lawrence, Mrs. Jackie
Llwyd, Mr.
Lucas, Ian
Morgan, Julie
Murphy, Mr. Paul
Ipik, Lembit
Owen, Albert
Ruane, Chris
Smith, Mr. John
Tami, Mark
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thomas, Mr. Simon
Touhig, Mr.
Walter, Mr.
Williams, Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mr. Roger

 
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Prepared 3 July 2001