Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Bill
Lord Waddington (Conservative)
My Lords, before my noble friend sits down, I fear that I have put my case very badly. I am not quarrelling with the case that she put forward. I do not want to see any local government changes at all. I certainly do not want to see the disappearance of counties. But, assuming that the Government will not resile from their determination to use their voting power to ensure that the price of having a referendum is to have unitary local government, does not my noble friend agree with me that, if we are eventually left in that position, it is better that local people should have the opportunity to choose what form of unitary government they should have than be denied it? I will certainly not vote for this amendment if it will foreclose the opportunity for us to insist once more that there should be no change in the local government structure at all.