§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will withdraw, or defer for a period, recent requests to local authorities for information, particularly for planning statistics; and if he will review all requests to local authorities for information supplied on a regular basis.
§ Mr. Crosland
Timely and appropriate information is needed from local authorities on many matters of public concern and therefore it would be impractical to withdraw or defer all recent requests to local authorities for information. I fully accept that requests should be kept to a minimum and have instructed my Department accordingly but I do not consider that new instructions or special investigations are required to do this.
So far as planning statistics are concerned, very few of these data are available centrally. Following consultations with local authorities two new returns have been issued in this field recently. They are expected to cause no undue difficulties for most authorities and discussions are in progress with others to see whether arrangements can be made to meet their particular problems.