HC Deb 08 November 1971 vol 825 cc636-7
38. Mr. George Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will now publish a report on the written or verbal representations he has received from Wales concerning the reform of local government in the Principality.

Mr. Peter Thomas:

I have already sent to all right hon. and hon. Members representing Welsh constituencies, and to all county, borough and district councils in Wales, a summary of the representations made to me by local authorities on the new counties and districts following the publication of my Consultative Document. Copies of this summary are available in the Library.

Mr. George Thomas:

Yes, but that is not enough. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman be honest enough to tell the House what representations he received from the Tory Central Office in Wales? As he has adopted its proposal so completely. may we see in writing the advice tendered to him by the Tory Central Office?

Mr. Thomas:

I assure the right hon. Gentleman that I received no representations from the Conservative Central Office. I think that the material which 1 have circulated to right hon. and hon. Members is a good indication of the main views of the local authorities concerned. My decision was taken on the basis of the represenations of local authorities.

41. Mr. Alec Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is satisfied that each of the three proposed county councils to be established in Glamorganshire will have sufficient financial resources to meet its needs; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Thomas:

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Jones:

Would not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the various White Papers on local government reorganisation in Wales, introduced by Governments of both parties, emphasise the need to ensure that these new authorities have adequate resources? How can the Minister reconcile that view with his proposals to create a county council in East Glamorgan with a rate-able value of £46.5 per head of population, and a Mid-Glamorgan County Council with a rateable value of a mere £25 per head of population?

Mr. Thomas:

I accept that the proposed Mid-Glamorgan county will have a low rateable value per head, but that is not the critical factor. It will have a larger population than any of the other proposed Welsh counties, which will mean that it will attract substantial Exchequer grants, whatever the future arrangements for local government finance.