§ 7.10 p.m.
§ Earl Ferrers rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 12th June be approved [23rd Report from the Joint Committee].
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move. This order gives effect to recommendations from the Local Government Commission's review of Hereford and Worcester. It sets up a unitary authority for Herefordshire on its traditional, pre-1974 borders. Worcestershire will keep two-tier local government;804
§ there will be a new Worcestershire County Council. There will also be a new Malvern Hills District Council made up of those parts of the existing Malvern Hills and Leominster which are in Worcestershire.
§ I discussed earlier the reasons why we believe that unitary local government can often be better local government. The issues in Hereford and Worcester were looked at in detail by the Local Government Commission and the recommendations which this order implements were fully explained by the commission in its report.
§ In this order, the main elements are the same as in the Berkshire order. It provides for reorganisation on 1st April 1998. There will be all-out elections for a new council for all three new authorities—that is, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Malvern Hills—in May 1997. In each case the order provides for the redrawing of the electoral boundaries.
§ Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 12th June be approved [23rd Report from the Joint Committee].—(Earl Ferrers.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.