HC Deb 24 February 1984 vol 54 cc672-3W
Mr. Chope

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has concluded his detailed consideration of the first report of the study by Coopers and Lybrands Associates Ltd. on the financial implications of abolishing the metropolitan county councils; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Yes. My more detailed consideration confirms my initial impression. In general, the report is misleading in claiming that issues relating to expenditure policies are central to the Government's case on abolition: we are proposing abolition because the GLC and MCCs have too few real functions to justify a separate directly-elected upper tier of local government in these areas. Specifically, the report confirms our view that the growth in the volume of MCCs' current expenditure has been much faster than that of other authorities. Following are brief comments on the five key points in the report.

Sir George Young

A local authority's direct labour organisation may, subject to the provisions of part III of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, undertake any work which the local authority itself has power to undertake. In drafting the legislation to give effect to the scheme of assistance announced on 10 November 1983 at column 422, we are considering the local authority's powers to undertake works on defective houses.