The hon. Gentleman misunderstands the nature of the proposals south of the border. The commission would be an advisory body, and its recommendations would not be binding on the Government. The hon. Gentleman referred to advisory bodies and the advice that we may need as we proceed to the more detailed proposals. We shall consider that nearer the time, and I shall be open to suggestions.
On accountability, I believe that single-tier, all-purpose local authorities create stronger, more direct accountability than the present diffuse system of two-tier authorities that are remote and duplicate and confuse the source of services.