§ Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why the Strategic Plan for the North-West, dealing with housing, roads, education and social services, circulated by the Department to local authorities in August, has now been sent to North-West Members of Parliament with a letter stating it is confidential; and why it has not been released to the Press.
§ Mr. Graham Page
The document referred to is the provisional version of the Report of the North-West Joint Planning Team on a Strategic Plan for the North-West. The team's work was commissioned by local planning authorities, the North-West Economic Planning Council and the Government. To enable the commissioning authorities to see how the report is shaping without waiting for general publication the team has circulated a provisional version in confidence to them. I have this week sent copies, similarly in confidence, to Members of Parliament for the North-Western constituencies so that they should know what was before the local planning authorities in their areas.
The final version of the report is scheduled for publication later in March 1974 when the Government will, before formulating their own views, welcome the views of local authorities, the economic planning councils and the public. It would be inappropriate to give wider circulation to the provisional edition which is subject to amendment and available only in limited numbers.