asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will cause an inquiry to be held under Section 279 of the Highways Act, 1959, and for the purposes of his functions under that Act, into the reasons why no highway has yet been constructed or effectively made up along the line of Howards Road, Thingwall, Birkenhead.
No, Sir. The hon. and learned Member has sent my right hon. Friend copies of correspondence from which it appears that there is a dispute about the liability for making up this road. My right hon. Friend is investigating the facts of the matter and will get in touch with him when these investigations are complete.
I am grateful to the Joint Parliamentary Secretary for that reply, but may I ask whether he is aware that the dispute has been going on for many months now and that new and old residents in the road are very anxious to know when something will finally be decided about it? Will he hold his hon. Friend's formidable powers in reserve and be ready to hold an inquiry if it should be necessary to resolve this deadlock?
I do not think that an inquiry would help necessarily, but I quite agree with the hon. and learned Member for Bebington (Mr. Howe) that these problems are very difficult ones to solve in a way which satisfies everyone.