County Boroughs (Status)

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1965.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Fell Mr Anthony Fell , Yarmouth 12:00 am, 29th June 1965

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government on how many occasions there has been a reduction in status of county boroughs with a population in excess of 52,000 to non-county boroughs.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

None, Sir. Until 1958, such a change could take place only at the request of a county borough council. Since then, the Local Government Commission for England has had powers to make proposals of this kind and has done so in five famous instances. So far, none of them has been brought into effect.

Photo of Mr Anthony Fell Mr Anthony Fell , Yarmouth

Will the Minister at least promise to think most carefully and deeply before allowing this great Nelsonian town to become the first example?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

We are a long way from that. The inquiry has not yet taken place, but I gather that it should be before next spring. However, I will give the hon. Gentleman one consolation, which is that, as far as I understand it, no county borough in the history of the country has been down-graded except at its specific request.