HC Deb 22 April 1971 vol 815 cc1355-6
29. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now make a statement on the Government's plans for an extended programme by its Community Development teams.

Mr. Sharples

The number of local authorities taking part in the Government-sponsored Community Development Project has now increased to seven—including one in Scotland and one in Wales. Three more local authorities have been invited to participate. It is hoped later this year to invite two further authorities, making twelve in all.

Mr. Judd

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply, but would he not agree that, as that scheme was in the nature of an experiment, it would help to have a full report assessing the success of the scheme to date, at the same time as the Government make more detailed proposals about those towns in which they intend to introduce new schemes?

Mr. Sharples

The hon. Gentleman is right: this was an experimental scheme. I will consider his point.

Mr. Freeson

Without intending to be flippant, may I ask the hon. Gentleman to consider, in consultation with the Secretary of State for the Environment, a possible transfer of the general oversight of this programme to that Department, so that it can be more closely linked with general planning procedures and housing procedures in general improvement areas? Would he also consider more closely linking it to the urban aid programme, which is also to be similarly transferred?

Mr. Sharples

The hon. Gentleman's question raises much wider issues, which are, of course, for my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

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