HC Deb 29 March 1960 vol 620 cc1109-10
2. Mr. C. Johnson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many county councils in England and Wales have published definitive maps of their footpaths and bridleways as required by Part IV of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Sir Keith Joseph)

Eighteen for the whole of the county and seven for part of the county.

Mr. Johnson

Does not that reply show a very unsatisfactory state of affairs? Will not the Parliamentary Secretary express his concern at the undue delay on the part of those county councils which have not yet completed these definitive maps? Will he invite his right hon. Friend to exercise his powers under Section 37 of the Act to expedite the preparation of these maps?

Sir K. Joseph

My right hon. Friend naturally wants to see an end of this task, but it is an immense one. All counties but two have published draft maps. Twelve counties have published provisional maps. This shows that the counties are getting on with the process. Shortcuts would only throw a great deal more work on the courts or produce a lot of amendments before we reached the definitive maps. Therefore, we are just letting the process carry on.