§ 2.52 p.m.
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of the Greater London boroughs have not appointed a borough architect with suitable qualifications to serve as planning officer; whether the Government will urge them to make such appointments; and what powers they have in the last resort to insist that they do so.]
§ LORD BOWLES
My Lords, under the London Government Act, 1963, each London borough council is required to appoint a borough architect as soon as is reasonably practicable, and in any event not later than April 1, 1968. Five councils have not yet made such an appointment. No obligation is imposed upon the Councils to appoint an architect with planning qualifications, and the Government have no power to require them to do so. In a departmental circular No. 23/64 the Councils were, however, reminded of their planning responsibilities and told that it was important that they should have a chief officer responsible for their planning who was qualified to deal with them.
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his Answer, and, if I may say so, the circular to which he has referred is highly satisfactory. Would he not agree that it is just when these new bodies are coming into operation in new spheres that they will require the best advice and guidance that it is possible to give them?