§ 2.49 p.m.
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government which Welsh County Councils have not yet published definitive maps of rights of way, in accordance with Part IV of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and whether they are prepared to exercise their powers of expediting the survey under Section 37 of that Act in respect of those countries.]
§ THE MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO (LORD CHAMPION)
My Lords, the County Councils of Brecon, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Caernarvon, Denbigh, Glamorgan, Monmouth and Montgomery, have not yet published definitive maps of rights of way. The Government hope that more rapid progress will be possible. The answer to the second part of the Question is that the use of powers of direction would deprive objectors of the opportunity of stating their case and would not result in the production of definitive maps.
My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for his reply, I would ask whether he does not think that it is an extraordinary thing, and really almost flouting an Act of Parliament, that 15 years after the passing of this Act seven out of the twelve counties in Wales are so far behind with the duty imposed upon them by the Act. 1246 If the noble Lord agrees with that, does he not feel that it is time the Government did something to enforce the law?
§ LORD CHAMPION
Yes, my Lords. As I say, we do not think that the powers of direction would be rightly used in this connection. I must say that I regret very much the fact that Wales seems to be lagging behind in this regard, because Wales tends usually to lead in matters of this kind.
My Lords, do Her Majesty's Government's hopes for the expedition of this matter also extend to the English counties?
§ LORD CHAMPION
There are, of course, a number of English counties which have not yet done a complete definitive map, but I regret to say that in some ways they are rather better than Wales in this regard.