HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc187-8
21. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs when he anticipates concluding his consideration of the reports from local authorities on the proposed reform of local government in the London area; and, in view of the effect on the policies of local authorities caused by uncertainty about future developments, if he will give an assurance that no major alteration will take place in the present pattern of local government in the London and neighbouring area for a specified period of time.

Mr. Brooke

I will make a statement as soon as I can about the views expressed to me by the local authorities, but I do not think it is practicable to give such an assurance as is suggested.

Mr. Sorensen

Does not the Minister appreciate that many local authorities are in a quandary? They do not know how to plan for the future because of the uncertainty. Would it not be highly desirable if, for x number of years at least, they could make their plans on the present basis and so avoid the uncertainty?

Mr. Brooke

I do not think I could announce a standstill for a number of years. This uncertainty is not created by the Royal Commission. In fact in its Report the Royal Commission drew attention to the uncertainty about the future, and I am anxious to bring that uncertainty to an end as early as possible.

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