HC Deb 22 July 1964 vol 699 cc456-8
6. Mr. Clark Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he has taken to guide local authorities in Scotland in applying the recommendations of the Buchanan Report.

Mr. G. Campbell

On 21st January a circular was sent from the Scottish Development Department to local planning authorities in Scotland inviting their attention to relevant aspects of the Buchanan Report, indicating the Government's preliminary views on the major issues, and outlining the immediate action called for. Further guidance is being prepared by the joint urban planning group which will, in its future work, draw on lessons to be learnt from studies such as those arranged for Glasgow and Perth.

Mr. Hutchison

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the planning procedures of local authorities may not have to be streamlined a little if the work is to be done in time? On the Buchanan Report, will my right hon. Friend say that special attention will be given to the suburban railways, particularly in Edinburgh?

Mr. Campbell

A change in the procedures would require legislation, but a planning advisory group has been set up on a Great Britain basis to consider, with experienced local authority officials, whether there are ways in which planning procedures can be modified.

As my right hon. Friend stated when this was considered in Committee last week, the question of the suburban railways is being taken into account in the survey in Glasgow and will be taken into account in future surveys and also in Government decisions.

Mr. Ross

How realistic can be any guidance given by the Government unless they accept, first of all, the fundamental plank laid down by the steering Committee, the Crowther Committee, which was that the Government should have a policy for the national relocation of population and of industry.

Mr. Campbell

The fact that the Government have instituted regional studies over the country and regional studies over the whole of Scotland shows that they are thinking along the same lines as the Crowther Committee.

Mr. Grimond

What is the view of the Scottish Office of the Crowther Committee's Report? This is not what the Crowther Committee recommended. It recommended many things, but not this. Have the Government rejected the recommendations of the Crowther Committee? Would the hon. Gentleman indicate which pieces of Buchanan he has particularly recommended to local authorities?

Mr. Campbell

In the time available for reply, I could not answer the whole of that supplementary question. I am not sure whether the right hon. Gentleman was in the Scottish Grand Committee when I gave a full answer on this matter last week when the question was being discussed. The Government have indicated by circular to the local authorities the important points in the Buchanan Committee's Report and in the introductory Crowther Committee's Report. There is nothing to stop local authorities going ahead with the most important immediate problems of traffic management and parking policies, for example.