HC Deb 18 November 1969 vol 791 cc1094-5
15. Mr. Carol Johnson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what progress is being made in establishing country parks and other places for recreation by local authorities under the Countryside Act.

Mr. Greenwood

I have accepted recommendations by the Countryside Commission for the payment of 75 per cent. grant in respect of 7 country parks and 5 picnic sites. Recommendations relating to a further 11 country parks and 12 picnic sites are being considered. The Commission has another 20 schemes, 10 for country parks, 10 for picnic sites, under examination.

Mr. Johnson

I thank my right hon. Friend for that full and encouraging reply. To what extent are he and the Countryside Commission concerning themselves with the broad strategy of country parks, particularly in connection with seeing that they are sited where they can relieve the pressure on National Parks?

Mr. Greenwood

The, initiative in this matter depends largely on the local authorities, but I know that this is a matter which the Countryside Commission has under consideration. Certainly in watching progress I shall have consultations with the Commission whenever necessary.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many new reservoirs are being built, including one in my constituency? Will these grants be made

available to the river boards or county councils concerned with reservoirs so that they may use the land surrounding the reservoirs for country parks?

Mr. Greenwood

Every reservoir has to be considered on its merits, but certainly as general policy I am strongly in favour of reservoirs being used for recreational purposes and I deprecate the hesitation of some water authorities to follow this policy.