HC Deb 20 March 1962 vol 656 cc187-8
10. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Works if, in the interests of economy and personal management, he will establish closer liaison with local authorities insofar as the maintenance of ancient monuments is concerned.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. Richard Thompson)

My right hon. Friend is always ready to advise local authorities on the treatment of ancient monuments in their charge and to seek their cooperation where appropriate in connection with ancient monuments in his own care. He is also anxious to encourage local authorities to exercise their own powers under the Ancient Monuments Acts.

Mr. Dempsey

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in some parts of Scotland equipment and staff are moved miles in order to maintain these monuments while local authorities are maintaining similar monuments in the same areas? Would not what I have suggested lead to much more co-operation than exists, and greater economy, and, perhaps, to the democratisation of the Ministry of Works?

Mr. Thompson

No, Sir. The present degree of co-operation is extremely good. Of course, if the hon. Gentleman gives me an example of what he has in mind, I will be glad to look into it. But there are many cases in which the local authority concerned already bears part of the work necessary in maintaining a monument or its surroundings. I am sure that that is as it should be.