§ 7. Mr. Talbot
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what instructions he has issued to county councils and, in particular, to the Salop County Council as to the manner in which they should conduct the review of their county districts; what recommendations or directions he has given in that respect; and whether he will publish such directions for general guidance in a White Paper.
§ Mr. Rippon
My right hon. Friend has given no instructions to Shropshire or to any other county council, but he intends in due course to give some general guidance on this subject in a circular to local authorities.
§ Mr. Talbot
I thank the Minister for that reply. Is he aware that there is fear in local government circles that amalgamations are to be promoted on a much larger scale than has hitherto been contemplated—in fact, to such an extent that the local element in local government will largely be lost? Will he give an undertaking that his policy will not provide for such a course?
§ Mr. Rippon
These reviews are, of course, in their early stages in any county. No county council will be allowed to act arbitrarily in the matter. There are plenty of opportunities for representations. Almost certainly there will have to be amalgamations of some small local government units.