asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the statutory authority by which the Local Boundary Commission for England proposes, in conjunction with the Local Government Boundary Commission in Wales, to review the border between England and Wales; and whether such a review has his approval;(2) why the proposed review of the border between England and Wales is, in fact, restricted to that part of the national boundary which lies between the county of Clwyd in Wales and the counties of Merseyside and Chester in England;(3) whether he will take steps to ensure that any review of the border between England and Wales will cover the whole of the national boundary with the objective of removing geographical anomalies along its entire length.
The statutory authority is section 62 of the Local Government Act 1972, which provides that the Local Government Boundary Commissions for England and Wales, acting jointly, may review the boundary between a county in England and a county in Wales. With the consent of the councils of both counties the commissions may make proposals to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and myself for boundary alterations and consequential changes to the electoral arrangements considered desirable in the interests of effective and convenient local government. My right hon. Friend and myself may jointly make an order giving effect to the proposals, with or without modifications. Any such order is subject to confirmation by affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament. The undertaking of a review under these provisions does not require the approval of my right hon. Friend or myself. Nor do we have any power to direct the commissions to review any particular part of the boundary.The commissions are undertaking the present review in response to a joint request from the three county councils concerned because of long-standing uncertainty as to the boundaries between the counties in the River Dee and the Dee estuary.