To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about county archive services; and if he will make a statement.
We have received a number of letters about local government restructuring and county archive services. The Local Government Commission to be established under the Local Government Act 1992 will review the structure of local government in the shire counties in England. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State intends to direct the commission to have regard to guidance which he will issue about the policy considerations which should underlie its reviews. This guidance will draw the commission's attention to the importance of satisfactory arrangements for existing archive services. Decisions about local government structure and arrangements for services will be for Parliament.