HC Deb 27 January 1953 vol 510 cc827-8
27. Mr. Walker-Smith

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many county councils had prepared the draft maps of their area required by Section 27 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949, by 16th December, 1952; to how many an extended period for the said preparation has been granted; and what is the maximum extension granted.

28. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether the county council survey of public footpaths has now been completed; and to what extent county councils have taken steps to ensure the effective sign-posting of footpaths as many did in pre-war years.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Twelve county councils completed draft maps for the whole of their areas by 16th December, 1952. Forty-nine county councils were given extensions of time, but 12 of these had prepared maps for parts of their areas. The maximum extension was 18 months. I have no information regarding sign-posting of footpaths.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Can my right hon. Friend say whether, on the evidence available to him, he has formed the impression that the delay is due to the dilatoriness of county councils or to the over-optimism of the period fixed in the legislation?

Mr. Macmillan

I feel sure that the delay is due to the fact that it is a difficult job.