While I do not wish to press the right hon. Gentleman unduly, does he realise that until we have some idea of what the financial proposals are, and their implications, it is very difficult to come to sensible conclusions about these recommendations?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while he may say that consultation is important, a lot of people in local government are extremely disappointed that the consultation has not taken place before the White Paper has been produced?
If the hon. Gentleman really wants to make progress in this he should appreciate that if we embark upon what would be virtually another Royal Commission it would be many years before we achieved the reorganisation which everyone agrees is urgently necessary.