§ Mr. Will Owen
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she is aware that approximately 7.4 per cent. of the male and 2.3 per cent. of the female labour force is unemployed in south-east Northumberland; and whether she will make a statement on Government policy to deal with this problem.164W
§ Mr. Fernyhough
I am aware that unemployment is above both the regional and national levels and that employment for men is a persistent problem in this part of Northumberland. Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth and Seaton Delaval are now in Special Development Areas, with additional incentives for industrial expansion. They should all benefit from the recent decision to build an aluminium smelter and coal-fired power station at Lynemouth in both of which my hon. Friend and other Members from the North-East have taken such a deep interest. Furthermore, Government regional policies will continue to give high priority to encourage economic growth in such places.