HC Deb 13 November 1962 vol 667 cc168-9
4. Mr. More

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what proposals he has received from the Association of Municipal Corporations providing for a new solution for the merger of boroughs and district councils.

Sir K. Joseph

The Association of Municipal Corporations has sent me a memorandum on the reorganisation of local government units within counties—that is as part of the forthcoming county reviews—in which it proposes the formation of joint "borough and district councils" by amalgamation. This is to be discussed with the Association in the near future.

Mr. More

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the preliminary implementation of tae provisions of the Local Government Act, 1958, has given rise to much criticism and hostility among our ancient boroughs? Will he consider, as a matter of urgency, discussions with this association and with representatives of other local authorities to see whether a basis agreeable to all local authorities can be found for amending legislation?

Sir K. Joseph

Discussions are imminent, and I should certainly welcome any practicable and generally acceptable way of oiling the wheels of change.

Sir P. Agnew

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance in considering this matter that, whilst agreeing to the non-county boroughs preserving the traditional trappings to which they are accustomed, he will in all reasonable cases preserve to them also the realities of local government administration?

Sir K. Joseph

It is difficult for me to give a general answer going beyond the circular which outlines the policies which I hope that counties will bear in mind, but, of course, counties are obliged to consult local authorities concerned about any proposals they may wish to make.