Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government Boundary Commission

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1949.

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Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East 12:00 am, 7th July 1949

asked the Minister of Health when he proposes to introduce the legislation recently announced to repeal the Local Government Boundary Commission Act.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

Would the Minister assure us that the Boundary Commission will not be disbanded until the House has had an opportunity of considering the matter?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The Boundary Commission cannot be disbanded until the House of Commons has given me the statutory right to disband it. It is, of course, at the moment in suspense

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

What is to happen to some of the recommendations of the Boundary Commission? Is the Minister still prepared to give favourable consideration to them?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The very valuable report of the Boundary Commission will, of course, be put before the Government in their review of the reform of local government.

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Heywood and Radcliffe

Will my right hon. Friend impress upon his right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council the desirability of our having a general Debate on this subject before the House rises for the Recess?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I am sure that my right hon. Friend heard that supplementary question.

Photo of Mrs Lucy Middleton Mrs Lucy Middleton , Plymouth, Sutton

Will the Minister tell the House what he proposes to do about the urgent priority recommendations of the Boundary Commission which in several cases have been curtailed considerably.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

When I made the original statement on this matter, I said that the statutory position would revert to what it was before the Act setting up the Commission was passed by the House. I also explained that in my view the procedure for obtaining relief by local authorities would be more expeditious under Private Bill legislation than under the Boundary Commission.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Granville Sharp Lieut-Colonel Granville Sharp , Spen Valley

asked the Minister of Health what has been the approximate cost to date of the Local Government Boundary Commission set up in 1945; what value has been derived from this expenditure and that of the local authorities which have given evidence to the Commission; whether recommendations made to date will be made public; and, when amalgamation recommendations are approved by the local authorities concerned, what steps he proposes to take to enable the cost and delay of Private Bill procedure to be avoided.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The approximate cost of the Local Government Boundary Commission up to 30th June last was £140,000. The value of this expenditure is reflected in the annual reports of the Commissioners and in the information which they and the local authorities have gathered. As regards the third part of the Question, the recommendations made by the Commission have been published in their reports and in their statements of proposals, and, as regards the fourth part, Private Bill procedure is governed by the Standing Orders of the Houses of Parliament, but certain alterations of area may under the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1933, which it is proposed to restore, be made by Ministerial order, subject in some cases to confirmation by Parliament.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Granville Sharp Lieut-Colonel Granville Sharp , Spen Valley

Does the reply mean that the recommendations which they have already decided upon, and which have not yet been published, will be published?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I understand that they have made their final report.