HC Deb 05 February 1986 vol 91 cc155-6W
Mr. Maples

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his intentions for the transfer at abolition of property owned by the GLC and MCCs.

Mr. Tracey

[pursuant to his reply, 5 December 1985, c. 292–93]: My right hon. Friend has today laid before Parliament the general order transferring property owned by the GLC and metropolitan county councils.

I announced in my reply to my hon. Friend on 5 December that we intended to make a general order applicable in all seven areas concerned and based on the principles set out in my Department's second and third property memoranda. The views of the local authority associations and successor authorities were subsequently sought on a draft of such an order. The order laid by my right hon. Friend today reflects the comments we received on that draft while adhering to the general principles that I had outlined. Property needed for the continuing provision of inherited services will pass immediately at abolition to the appropriate successor authority. Other property, including that for which the appropriate successor has not been identified, will pass initially to the residuary bodies.

The general order does not make a provision for some property of the GLC and MCCs. Such property will be dealt with by means of supplementary orders. In sending copies of the order to successor authorities and local authority associations we have also sent details of all the supplementary orders we intend to make, together with an explanatory note of the order. I have placed copies of these in the Library.

As I made clear in my reply of 5 December, the making of the general order does not rule out the bringing forward of further orders to meet more closely the wishes of successor authorities in some areas that virtually all property should pass directly to them at abolition. Proposals for such orders will now have to be put forward very quickly, however, if they are to be made before abolition. I repeat the assurance I gave on 5 December that if orders cannot be made before abolition, my right hon. Friend will give early consideration to proposals by the appropriate residuary body under section 67 of the Act so that orders can, where appropriate, be made under that section of the early transfer of property to functional successor authorities.

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