§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has reviewed the administrative boundaries for the regional councils for sport and recreation in the south and south-east; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
In considering the future operation of the regional councils for sport and recreation, I have identified with the Sports Council advantages in bringing regional council's boundaries into line with those for my Department's regions. This change would provide for a regional council covering the London area and the addition of East and West Sussex, Kent and Surrey to the southern region to form a South East Council. The county of Bucks, now with the Southern Regional Council, would be added to eastern region. The Sports Council would similarly amend its regions.
These changes would assist communications between my Department and the regional councils and Sports 559W Council at regional level. They would correct an imbalance between the three exiting councils, in population and interests served.
I am now consulting the local authority associations and other interested bodies about these proposed changes. I hope to make a final decision in October.