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New Towns (Co-Operation With Delevelopment Corporations)

Volume 720: debated on Tuesday 16 November 1965

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what steps he is taking to encourage co-operation between local authorities in new towns and the development corporations.

Since I became Minister I have constantly urged the need for the fullest possible cooperation. I took the opportunity in a speech at Redditch in August to emphasise the great importance I attach to this and to point the way to collaboration and partnership in the future.

While congratulating my right hon. Friend on his great efforts to encourage co-operation between new town corporations and local authorities, which is much appreciated in the new towns, may I ask him to be willing to consider representations about the ultimately more democratic form of administration than that which is possible under the New Towns Commission?

Yes, as I think I said at Redditch, we are aware that the present Commission is, from our point of view, a temporary form of government of which we do not approve and which we want to replace by a more democratic form, in which the local authorities would play a far more direct and important role.

Where there is a joint housing list already in operation, how does the Minister intend to deal with the problem of differing rises in rents, for various reasons, in the future?

That is really another question, but let me say that I believe that even under the Commission a great deal can be achieved by getting the corporation or commission houses and the local authority houses under joint management. This is something of which I strongly approve.