asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what action he is taking to ensure that regional planning councils are adequately apprised of the needs of the people of their region.
Members of councils are widely representative of different types of experience within their regions. In addition, councils obtain information from the economic planning boards, and from their many contacts with local authorities, industry, trade unions, social service councils and other bodies.
While thanking my hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask whether he will not agree that the effectiveness of the operations of the planning councils and the public interest in their work would both be improved if it was possible for part of their membership, at any rate, to be directly elected?
That does not arise from the Question. The important thing is that these councils are working extremely well and are getting on with the job for which they were appointed. They will be judged by results.