§ Mr. Mikardo
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, in the light of the fall in employment in the London borough of Tower Hamlets caused by firms moving to other areas with a consequent loss of jobs opportunity and a loss of rate revenue, what powers can be exercised to encourage industry in the borough to remain in Tower Hamlets and also to induce industry from outside the area to come into the borough; and what resources the Government can contribute towards making conditions attractive for job opportunity.
§ Mr. Heffer
I realise there are problems in the inner areas of London and other big cities, including the decline in manufacturing employment. A number of studies are in hand. When the reports are received we shall consider what action is needed to improve the situation. I have already said that applications for IDCs in inner city areas where existing occupants wish to modernise and improve their premises or to improve efficiency will be considered sympathetically, if the projects involve no more than modest increases in labour and no significant change in the range of products. It remains, however, Government policy to give priority in the steering of new industry to the assisted areas.