§ 1. Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about local government reorganisation in East Sussex.
§ The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Urban Regeneration (Mr. David Curry)
We received some 800 written representations, and Ministers also received four deputations.
§ Mr. Waterson
I thank my hon. Friend for that answer and for giving a sympathetic hearing to the delegation from my constituency, which I led. Although I am aware that he is still considering those complicated matters, will he give every weight to the strong support expressed by members of the delegation, who represented all shades of opinion in the town, for a unitary authority, so that the town can revert to running its own affairs as it did before 1974?
§ Mr. Curry
My hon. Friend brought an effective delegation to meet me. It was led by business people, with the council taking a relative back seat, which was sensible. I will examine the intrinsic merits of my hon. Friend's objective together with the position of the residual county, in the context of the powers available to us.
§ Sir Timothy Sainsbury
My hon. Friend will be aware of the results of the household survey by Hove borough council, which had a remarkable 33 per cent. response rate. It revealed that 77 per cent. of respondents opposed the joining of Hove with Brighton. I have received almost 600 individually written letters, all but six of which also opposed union with Brighton. Will my hon. Friend take into account evidence of public opinion on that important issue?