HC Deb 02 November 1970 vol 805 cc645-6
12. Mr. Roderick

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has further considered the recommendation of the Welsh Council about the desirability of setting up a Wales Water Board.

Mr. Peter Thomas

The Welsh Council recommended that consideration should be given to its proposal—a Water Development Authority for Wales—in the larger context of the report of the Central Advisory Water Committee. The council's report has been put in evidence to that committee, which has not yet reported.

Mr. Roderick

The Secretary of State must be aware of the intense feelings of the people of the Senni Valley in my constituency over the proposal of the Usk River Board to build a reservoir in that area. The feeling is intense throughout the area because water is available across the way in another board's area. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman ask the Usk River Authority to join in negotiations with the other board so that it may tap that source?

Mr. Peter Thomas

That is a different question, but I am fully aware of the feeling that exists in the Senni Valley.

Sir G. de Freitas

If such an authority is set up, will the Secretary of State see that it works closely with other similar bodies in Britain? After all, Britain is a very small country, and water is a national problem or a national asset whichever way one looks at it.

Mr. Peter Thomas

Yes, that is the intention of the Welsh Council. The proposal of the Welsh Council is that it should work in close association with all the other water undertakings.

Sir A. Meyer

Will the Secretary of State pay due regard to the general feeling in Wales that water undertakings are either too small or are run too much for the benefit of English consumers, and will he bear in mind the great advantages which could flow if the problem were considered as a whole rather than piecemeal?

Mr. Peter Thomas

I will certainly bear that in mind.