HC Deb 02 July 1957 vol 572 cc881-2
41. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what decision he has reached regarding general public access to wild moorland in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Mr. H. Brooke

I have decided that a prima facie case exists for action to be taken to secure public access to certain stretches of open country in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and I have asked the county council to re-open negotiations with the landowners concerned. In Lancashire, I have decided not to confirm two access orders made by the county council, partly on grounds of danger to public water supplies.

Mr. Blenkinsop

I appreciate that at last some decisions have been reached in this matter and some partial concessions have been made, but would the Minister not agree that questions of danger to water supplies were fully met by the official committee of the Central Water Advisory Board some time ago, and will he say why he cannot accept that advice? Secondly, on the question of the Yorkshire area, where he is inviting the county council to re-open negotiations, could he not issue an order immediately, in view of the very long delay—a matter of two years—which has taken place?

Mr. Brooke

These are difficult and complicated matters, as the hon. Gentleman knows. I have gone into them as carefully as I can, and I am satisfied that my present judgment is right and that I have taken the action which is reasonable.