HC Deb 29 October 1957 vol 575 cc18-9
37. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he contemplates a change in the present constitution of the development corporations of the new towns in Scotland; and if he will give an assurance that the spirit of the New Towns Act, 1946, will be observed and that democratically elected municipal councils will be allowed in the near future.

Mr. J. N. Browne

My right hon. Friend does not contemplate any early change in the present system of creating and managing new town assets in Scotland. The local government of the new town areas will, of course, remain in the hands of democratically elected local authorities.

Dr. Mabon

Is it not the case that there has been a proposal concerning the creation of a special agency under the Treasury which could well delay the emergence of municipal status in the new towns? Is it the case that one of the criteria for a local authority in a new town is population? If so, what size of population must be achieved in a new town before local authority status is considered?

Mr. Browne

The creation of a small burgh is, under statute, a matter for the sheriff on application made to him, but my right hon. Friend said in July that …it would be premature at the present time to set about evolving an alternative system of management adapted to Scottish conditions." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th July, 1957; Vol. 574, c. 1083].