HC Deb 02 August 1962 vol 664 cc136-8W
80. Mr. Reynolds

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what consultations he has had with the local government bodies concerned, and what decisions he has arrived at, regarding the ratio between aldermen and councillors which he intends to propose in the new London boroughs, and the number of councillors to be allocated to the proposed Greater London Authority.

Sir K. Joseph

Discussions have taken place with the local authority associations on a number of matters connected with the constitution of the new authorities. I shall embody my conclusions in the legislation now being prepared.

Mr. D. Smith

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will now announce the borough groupings for the proposed re-organisation of local government in the Greater London area.

Sir K. Joseph

I have now received the report of the four town clerks who were invited by my predecessor to consult with the local authorities and to make recommendations for the future pattern of the London boroughs.

The report will be published as soon as possible. Meanwhile a list of the groupings recommended by the clerks, illustrated by a map, has been sent to the local authorities concerned; and copies are available in the Vote Office.

The Government accept the recommendations contained in the report, and provision for new boroughs grouped as there proposed will be included in the legislation on London government.

I would like to express my gratitude to the four town clerks who have ably discharged a difficult and most important task.

Mr. Barter

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what progress he has made in his study of possible arrangements for the future of staff affected by the proposals for local government re-organisation in Greater London, to allay the present anxiety of the staffs concerned.

Sir K. Joseph

I know that some local authority staffs in London feel worried about what the future holds for them. I would like them to be assured that there is no real ground for anxiety. The new authorities will need all the skill and experience which is available. The continued development of local government services in London will provide ample opportunities for making good careers.

At the same time we must have the best possible arrangements for safeguarding the interests of the existing staffs during the transition and for securing continuity of employment wherever possible. My Department is engaged in consultation with representatives of the local authorities and of their staffs about this. One possibility which is being explored is the setting up of an independent body to watch over the interests of staff during the period when transfers and appointments to the new authorities are taking place.