§ Mr. Berry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the future of Woodspring district council under the draft Avon (Structural Change) Order; if it will have the functions currently exercised by(a) county or (b) district councils; how it will be treated for ceremonial purposes; and what assessment he has made as to the effect of the proposed changes on public understanding of local government arrangements.
§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
Under the Avon (Structural Change) Order, Woodspring district council will be a continuing district council on its existing boundaries, but will be renamed North West Somerset district council and will have both county and district functions. The order makes no provision for ceremonial functions in north-west Somerset but the Government's intention is that the area of north-west Somerset will be deemed to be part of Somerset for ceremonial purposes. I believe the creation of a unitary local authority will improve the accountability of local government in the area.