HC Deb 03 November 1966 vol 735 c632
7. Mr. Probert

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he will publish the White Paper on the Reorganisation of Local Government in Wales.

13. Mr. Finch

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to publish the report on the reorganisation of local Government in Wales.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

The White Paper will be published as soon as possible in the New Year.

Mr. Probert

Would my right hon. Friend consider taking action only on existing minor boundary anomalies and deferring action on major proposals until after the Royal Commission has reported its findings on England local government?

Mr. Hughes

As I have explained before, I take the same view on this question as did my predecessors. There was a separate local government commission for Wales and the then Minister of Housing and Local Government decided that he would not accept the Commission's report. He said that he would issue in a White Paper his own proposals for Wales. In view of the work done since and the urgency of the situation, it would be wrong to defer my proposals until the Royal Commission has reported.

Mr. Finch

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, but what is the reason for the delay in publishing this report on local government reorganisation? In any event, will he implement the report without waiting for the Scottish and English reviews?

Mr. Hughes

As my hon. Friend knows, the process of drafting and consultation on proposals as important as these must of necessity, take a long time, and until my White Paper is published and reactions to it are known, it is not possible to give a first statement about implementation of the proposals. However, it is my objective to introduce measures to improve the effectiveness of Welsh local government as soon as it proves practicable.