§ Mr. Hardy
While I thank the right hon. Lady for that comment, and for the correspondence I have recently received, does she agree that an authority with a population of 250,000 may be unable to provide certain education services at an effective level, notably, perhaps, advisory services and further education? If so, will she take steps to encourage and induce metropolitan district authorities to co-operate to establish those services on a metropolitan county basis?
§ Mrs. Thatcher
I do not agree that there is any minimum size. The Maud Committee said that there was no straightforward correlation of efficiency with size. There are some small education authorities below the size of 250,000 which are very good, although I know some of the arguments which have been advanced in the hon. Gentleman's area.
§ Mr. Edward Short
Will the right hon. Lady tell us her view about the tier which should have responsibility for education in the metropolitan counties?