asked the Secretary of State for Transport how soon after abolition of the metropolitan county councils district councils will be able to secede from the proposed new public transport joint boards.
Where a district council can put forward a convincing case to secede from one of the new joint authorities, in principle the change ought to take place as soon as possible. I therefore hope very much that any district council which intends to make a case for early secession will do so quickly—subject to the passage of the Local Government Bill. If I receive a well substantiated case in the next few months, it will be my aim to complete consultations with other authorities as required by the relevant provisions of the Local Government Bill, so that a decision on secession can be taken before the expenditure level for the authority for 1987–88 is decided in July 1986. That would then allow time for such transfers as are needed to be arranged in good time for secession to take place on 1 April 1987.