Local authorities already have full powers to acquire land for recreation purposes, either by agreement or compulsorily. However, I am aware that some local authorities are discouraged from buying land for open space by the price that they will have to pay for it, but for any solution of this I must ask my hon. Friend to await the introduction of legislation for the Land Commission.
While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I sincerely trust that he will keep in his right hon. Friend's mind the necessity to enable land to be procured at much cheaper prices than have hitherto obtained in this respect?
Will the hon. Member give an undertaking that his words do not imply that we shall go back to a two-tier system of prices by which the price is determined by who buys and not by the inherent value of the land?
Is my hon. Friend aware of large tracts of land, particularly in industrial areas, which are disfigured by spoil heaps? Is he aware that if some initiative were taken by the Government in having talks with the National Coal Board and local authorities it might well be that some of this land could be reclaimed at a reasonable price for recreational purposes?