§ Mr. Pawsey
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to reduce the number of community health councils by a process of amalgamation. 
§ Mr. Malone
There are no plans to reduce the number of community health councils.
Existing regulations state that it is the responsibility of regional health authorities to determine the number of established community health councils. In this respect, the region's priority is to ensure that CHCs are able to reflect the views of the communities they serve. In considering any changes to CHC boundaries, the first consideration must be to ensure that the CHC best serves local interests.