§ 27. Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he has given to 494 the creation of new villages as opposed to new towns.
§ Mr. Oakes
The consultation document on new towns, of which I informed the House on 15th January in reply to the hon. Member for Bromsgrove and Red-ditch (Mr. Miller), invites comments on the idea of clusters of new villages within travel-to-work distances of each other. I hope that the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. McNair-Wilson) will be among those who comment.
§ Mr. McNair-Wilson
I welcome the Minister's comments, but may I make the point that new towns have failed in human and social terms because their size makes the creation of a sense of community almost impossible to achieve, and that for that reason the creation of new settlements the size of villages should be tried?
Before my hon. Friend gets on with looking at this interesting idea about new villages, will he bear in mind that white collar and manual staff employed by the Commission for New Towns are apprehensive about their jobs and about the future until his Depart-men sets a firm and early date for the transfer of assets to the elected local authorities?