Local Services (Reorganisation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr James Molyneaux Mr James Molyneaux , South Antrim 12:00 am, 14th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will reconsider the decision to abolish the new towns commissions

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why he intends to transfer the functions of the development commissions in Northern Ireland to the Ministry of Development.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

After careful consideration the Government decided to implement the decision taken by the former Northern Ireland Government regarding the reorganisation of local services. Functions at present exercised by the development commissions will be transferred to the housing executive, to area boards, to the district councils and to appropriate Ministries, including the Ministry of Development.

Photo of Mr James Molyneaux Mr James Molyneaux , South Antrim

Does my hon. Friend agree that the commissions have built up highly efficient teams to implement development schemes in their respective areas? Does he not feel that much of the drive and impetus will be lost if such teams are broken up and their duties allocated to the various departments that he I listed?

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

I am not so pessimistic about the situation. The commissions have carried out a first-class job. I understand that the great majority of the staff will be absorbed, and those who are not will be compensated. I do not think that there will be any loss of drive or impetus.