§ 1. Mr. Skeffington
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many country councils in England and Wales have not yet published definitive maps; and what action he is now taking to accelerate progress.:
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)
Thirty-five county councils in England and Wales have not yet published maps defining the rights of way over the whole of their areas, but nine of these have published definitive maps for parts. My right hon. Friend wants to see these maps completed as soon as possible, but the process is inevitably a long one.
§ Mr. Skeffington
Is there anything the Joint Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister can do to speed up the authorities which have not already published definitive maps? It is now 13 years since legislation was passed and this period of uncertainty gives rise to all sorts of problems and bad relationships which these definitive maps would help to ease.
§ Mr. Rippon
As the hon. Gentleman knows, my right hon. Friend has powers to give directions, but that would probably slow the progress up because of the amount of legal proceedings that would be generated. We are trying to hurry this work up and are doing all we can.
§ Mr. Lipton
Further to that reply, will the hon. Gentleman consider circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of county councils which have published definitive maps so that we can chase up those which have not done their stuff?
§ Mr. Rippon
I will arrange for a list to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT setting out the position.