10. Mr. Gareth Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the reform of local government in Wales. 
§ Mr. Hanson
The Government are committed to the agenda for modernisation of local government in Wales set out in the 1998 White Paper "Local Voices". The Local Government Bill will help to secure a bigger say for local people by providing for new executive structures which will improve efficiency and accountability. It will also set up a new ethical framework, specifically tailored to Welsh needs, and empower councils to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of their communities.