HC Deb 22 January 1930 vol 234 cc198-9
23. Mr. HURD

asked the Minister of Transport to how many rural district councils are powers of road delegation being granted and refused, respectively, under the Local Government Act, 1929, and the reasons for any such refusals?


The number of rural district councils who applied to county councils under Section 35 of the Local Government Act, 1929, for delegation of the county council's functions in respect of unclassified roads, was 518, out of a total for England and Wales of 643. Of these applications, 174 were granted by the county councils, and 344 refused. Of the rural district councils whose applications were refused, 229 appealed to me. I have allowed 79 of these appeals and disallowed 100, and 26 are outstanding for various reasons. Twenty-four appeals were withdrawn or not proceeded with. The grounds on which delegation in respect of unclassified roads may be refused are set out in the Act, and are that the county council are satisfied that, having regard to the best means of promoting economy and efficiency in highway administration throughout the county and to the particular circumstances of the district in respect of which the application is made, the application ought not to be granted.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether there is any general standard to be applied in the case of these refusals, with regard, especially, to the efficiency of a rural district council in its road work?


I conceive that the Statute requires that each county and each rural district shall be taken on its merits, and that I have done, in accordance with the directions of the Statute.