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asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied that local authorities are the best instrument for the discharge of planning responsibilities; and whether he will give consideration to the establishment of regional authorities divorced from local and electoral pressures.
Local authorities are certainly the best instrument for the local planning and control of land use in their areas. As for regional planning, this will be developed through the proposed regional planning boards and regional councils.
I said that local authorities are the best instruments for local planning and for control of land use in their areas. We all recognise that many of the major decisions of the past 10 or 15 years have involved more than one local authority area, and in some cases 10, 15 and even 20 in a major case. This is one of the matters we are studying, and my right hon. Friend the First Secretary of State hopes to make a statement on our proposals for planning next week.
Would the Prime Minister say what view he takes of the London Regional Planning Conference which consists of about 20 county autho- rities which have come together voluntarily in order to plan on a regional basis in the south-east region? Does he approve of that, and does he wish to see it continue?