HC Deb 07 March 1963 vol 673 cc624-5
14. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs when the Boundary Commission will open its inquiries into the south-eastern area; whether its terms of reference include power to recommend county borough status for the non-county borough of Hove; and whether the fact that the borough now has to bear some 30 per cent, of the rate burden of the county is a material factor for the Commission to take into account.

Sir K. Joseph

It is too soon to say when the Commission will start this review, but it is unlikely to be before 1964. It will have power to propose county borough status for Hove. The Commission may take account of any matters which seem to it to be relevant to the effectiveness and convenience of the local government organisation.

Mr. Marlowe

Can my right hon. Friend tell me how the Commission can give effect to a situation in which in the administrative county there is a population of approximately 375,000, whereas in the borough there is a population of 71,000, which means in effect that a population of less than one-fifth of the county is paying nearly one-third of the rates? Is it possible for this position to he rectified?

Sir K. Joseph

This is one of the considerations which the Commission will no doubt bear in mind when it studies the situation.