§ Mr. Robert McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will specify those powers and functions the Government have proposed to devolve to local councils in Scotland which his Department has assessed could be appropriately devolved in Northern Ireland; and what plans he has to act on these. 
§ Mr. Ancram
Our aim is to strengthen local democracy by establishing institutions which enable all Northern Ireland political representatives to have proper local responsibility and accountability. Agreement is the key and any question of increasing or adjusting the responsibilities of district councils in a way which is acceptable right across the community in Northern Ireland is one for discussion within the context of the political talks process.