HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc702-3
17. Mr. C. Johnson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will issue a circular advising county councils to make definitive maps, prepared under Part IV of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949, available in public libraries as well as in council offices.

Mr. Corfield

My right hon. Friend is prepared to write to the local authority associations encouraging this for the maps using the new notation, which can be reproduced mechanically. All these rights of way are being incorporated in Ordnance Survey maps.

Mr. C. Johnson

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that it would be a great convenience, to an increasing number of people who wish to consult them, if these definitive maps were made available in public libraries as well as in council offices which, being open only for normal office hours, are not available to people working during the day?

Mr. Corfield

I appreciate that point and, basically, agree with it. The difficulty is that in the older maps the notation had to be shown in colour, which is not easy to reproduce mechanically and is expensive to reproduce by hand. This is why we have altered the notation so that the maps can be reproduced mechanically.

Mr. Harold Davies

Will the Parliamentary Secretary also bear in mind that all over Britain people are now finding that rights of way and public footpaths are being taken up? Will he notify local authorities that it is their duty to keep rights of way, and see that they are noted on maps?

Mr. Corfield

The county councils have a statutory duty in this matter and most of them are carrying it out conscientiously and rapidly, but it is a fairly long process because of the various public inquiries that can arise.