HC Deb 23 December 1964 vol 704 cc307-8W
86 and 87. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will introduce legislation to enable the Press and the public to attend meetings of new town development corporations, on the same basis as similar facilities are allowed in the case of local authorities;

(2) if he will introduce legislation to enable members of the public to have access to the minutes of meetings of new town development corporations.

Mr. Ross

I do not think this would be appropriate. Local authorities, as locally elected bodies whose expenditure is met partly from local rates, are required by statute to make minutes of their proceedings available for inspection by local government electors, and have also a statutory responsibility to admit the Press and public to meetings. Development Corporations, whose members are appointed by me and whose funds are provided by the Exchequer, have quite different functions. They are essentially commercial organisations and not organs of local administration. If they are to operate efficiently their deliberations must proceed on a confidential basis as with other public corporations.

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