Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th July 1964.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what has been the outcome of the preliminary discussions he has had with the Berkshire County Council and other local authorities on the proposal made in the South-East Study for creating a new city in the Newbury neighbourhood; and what arrangements he has in mind for ensuring that local knowledge and opinion are fully considered in a more detailed survey before any decisions are reached.
I have not yet received the observations of the Berkshire County Council and Newbury Borough Council following the preliminary discussions to which my hon. Friend refers. I understand, however, that the County Council may propose a joint study of the development possibilities in a somewhat wider area. I would certainly give any such suggestion careful consideration.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that Berkshire County Council last Saturday passed a resolution saying that while it did not accept, on present evidence, the need for a new city in the Newbury area, it was willing to enter into consultations for a closer survey to take place with my right hon. Friend's Department and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to see whether additions to the existing towns in the area might better meet the needs of the situation and overcome the local anxieties about what a new city would mean to us?
Will he accept from the whole House our congratulations upon adding yet one more member to the population of the South-East this morning?
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his personal remark.
Without committing myself until I have seen the terms of the proposal being made, I can assure him that the project he has in mind will be most sympathetically considered.