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Local Government

Volume 887: debated on Monday 3 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he considers that it is a probable or desirable consequence of the creation of the Welsh Assembly that there should be a restructuring of Welsh local government on the basis of a unitary system.

The Government's proposals for devolution do not involve the reorganisation of local government.

Is not the startling increase in rates foreseen for this year due in part at least to the duplication arising from the present structure? If we are to avoid over-government in Wales, does not my hon. Friend agree that there is a need for a re-examination now—before loyalties get too fixed—of the structure of Welsh local government?

The creation of a Welsh elected assembly is not in any sense meant to be an additional local government tier. Its aim is to bring central Government nearer to the people. At present local government has enough difficulties, without any more thoughts of reorganisation.