HC Deb 15 March 1883 vol 277 cc563-4

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, having regard to economy and efficiency in Local Administration, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to enforce by legislation the simplification of areas and adjustment of boundaries of local authorities?


asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he will inform the House what steps the Government are prepared to take in order to give speedy effect to the prayer of the memorial signed by sixty-eight Members of the House, in which they respectfully urged upon his attention The pressing necessity of dealing in some effectual manner with the confusion and expense caused by the divided, overlapping, and conflicting areas of local and county administration; and that this should be done by calling on the local and county authorities to frame draft schemes within a certain period with the above object, subject to revision and confirmation by the Local Government Board, with power to the Local Government Board to frame schemes itself in those cases where no draft scheme shall have been presented to it?


in reply, said: The prayer of the Memorial referred to in the Question of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Grey) has been fully considered by my right hon. Friend and by the Government. The simplification of areas, and the adjustment of the boundaries of the districts of local authorities, will necessarily be considered in connection with any scheme of local government; and in any measure on that subject it will be important to secure the practical assistance which can be rendered by county authorities in preparing schemes for dealing with the divided, overlapping, and conflicting areas of local and county administration. In the event of its being found impracticable to introduce a Local Government Bill this Session, the Government will consider whether a Bill should be brought in conferring upon county authorities such powers as those suggested. With regard to the unit of administration—the parish—considerable progress has been made by the Local Government Board, under the Poor Law Acts of 1876 and 1879, in annexing to adjoining parishes detached parts of parishes; and the Poor Law Act of last year will have the effect of incorporating, from and after the 25th of the present month, every detached part of a parish which is wholly surrounded by another parish, with the parish by which the part is surrounded. These preliminary steps to a simplification of areas will tend to facilitate the preparation of schemes by the county authorities.