§ 4.4 p.m.
§ Debate continued on Amendment No. 2.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE (LORD BELSTEAD)
My Lords, as the Statement has intervened in the consideration of Amendment No. 2, perhaps your Lordships will forgive me if I repeat the purpose and effect of Lord Garnsworthy's Amendment which he has explained. As I understand it, the noble Lord's intention is to clarify the principal disqualification provision where it disqualifies a person who is holding an office or employment appointment which is made or confirmed by the local authority or a joint 2027 board or a joint committee on which the authority are represented. The effect of the Amendment is that it would declare that a joint committee means a committee appointed under Clause 101(1)(b) and a joint board would mean a board all the members of which are local authority representatives.
So far as joint committees are concerned, I think that we ought to realise that Clause 100(9) contains a long list of excepted enactments relating to education, police, social services and others. In these fields, any joint committee formed has to be formed under the excepted enactment; in other words, under Clause 109 as printed and not under Clause 101(1)(b) to which the Amendment refers. What would happen is that the Opposition Amendment would fail to include officers appointed by any joint committees of education, social services, police and so on. From what the noble Lord, Lord Garnsworthy, has said, I know that this was not his intention, in that he would be making the disqualification more restrictive and, as I made clear on a previous stage, it would not be the intention of the Government. So far as the joint boards are concerned, here again the Amendment would be restrictive in that it refers to all the members. I think that it is desirable in this context to cater for the possibility of an appointment being made or confirmed by a body which does not consist entirely of local authority representatives and could perhaps include Ministerial appointments or co-opted appointments. It may be that the noble Lord does not agree with me: but if he does, it is again making Clause 80 more restrictive.
My Lords, I tried to give a definition of joint committee and joint board at column 1733 of the OFFICIAL REPORT for October 17. The noble Lord, Lord Garnsworthy (at column 1740), was good enough to say that the explanation was of some help; and he has kindly repeated that to-day. What I hope emerged from that debate was that the apprehensions previously expressed about this matter of joint committees and joint boards are groundless. I appreciate what the noble Lord has said: that what he wants to see is a definition of these two bodies printed in the Bill. For the Record, there7 fore, may I repeat in abbreviated form 2028 what I said at column 1733. It was that a joint board is a board constituted under Section 6 of the Public Health Act 1936 or similar provision for the performance of functions which would otherwise fall on the constituent authority. Joint committees are committees of local authorities for the performance of local authority functions.
My Lords, this is a local government Bill, and I can assure the House that that is the way that joint boards and joint committees are understood in the local authority world. I appreciate the concern of noble Lords opposite about this disqualification clause; but unless it is the intention of the noble Lord to make the clause more restrictive then, with respect, I do not think that this Amendment will do. I hope on the other hand that perhaps my explanation will have been of some further help.
§ LORD GARNSWORTHY
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Belstead. I am sure that he appreciates that the last thing I want to do is to make the clause more restrictive. I think it would have been helpful if we had had some definition included within the clause. The House will appreciate that there has not been much time for those of us who are laymen in this field to draft Amendments or to secure help in drafting them. I still think that the point I have been striving to make is a valid one and that it deserves more attention. The pity of it is that no Amendment has been carried on this clause so that the other place will not be able to come back to it. That I very much regret. On the other hand, I would in no way wish to be responsible for adding to the number of those already disqualified since I think far too many are unnecessarily disqualified under the Bill at the present time.
I am grateful to the noble Lord for his patience. He, too, has had a gruelling week. Nevertheless, what he has said this afternoon may be helpful to those whose business it is to take care of this matter when the Bill becomes an Act. I appreciate the trouble that he has taken and in the circumstances I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ LORD BELSTEAD
My Lords, before the Amendment is withdrawn, may I apologise to the House. The noble Lord 2029 is quite right: when I said "more restrictive", which I said about three or four times, I should, of course, have said, "less restrictive".
§ LORD GARNSWORTHY
My Lords, I am in a quandary. I have been taken unawares and I should have liked an opportunity of appreciating exactly what is meant. But I accept that the noble Lord, Lord Belstead, wishes to be helpful and I think that I had better let the matter rest.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Schedule 1 [Counties and metropolitan districts in England.]:
LORD ROYLE moved Amendment No. 3:
Page 219, line 34, column 2, after ("Bramhall") insert ("and").
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 3. It is in the name of my noble friend Lord Peddie, who apologises for the fact that he has had to leave the House. I can assure your Lordships that this is purely a drafting Amendment consequent on the decision of the House on Monday last to move Wilmslow from Greater Manchester into Cheshire.
§ LORD SANDFORD
My Lords, I confirm that this Amendment to the previous Amendment is acceptable to the Government.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
LORD SANDYS moved Amendment No. 4:
Page 224 column 2, leave out lines 28 and 29 (as amended on Report by Amendments 6A and 7) and insert—
("the rural district of Warmley;
the rural district of Sodbury, except the parish of Alderley")
The noble Lord said: My Lords, I apologise on behalf of my noble friend Lord Kinnoull for the fact that he is unavoidably absent this afternoon, and I beg to move this Amendment. It is purely a drafting Amendment and I can assure your Lordships that these words, as printed, follow as a direct consequence of our discussions on Monday. The Bill as amended on Report read, page 224, column 2, lines 28 and 29:
The rural district of Sodbury except the parishes of Alderley and Warmley.
§ This was an error. The whole of the rural district of Warmley was then going to be excluded from Avon and placed inside Gloucestershire, which was not the intention of the Amendment. So the Amendment on the Marshalled List, as it reads now, is correct. We have to thank my noble friend Lord Bathurst who spotted this drafting error in column 133 of the OFFICIAL REPORT of Monday, October 16. I beg to move the Amendment.
§ LORD ABERDARE
My Lords, my noble friend Lord Sandys has explained the reason for the Amendment and I am happy to accept it.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ 4.14 p.m.
§ LORD ABERDARE
My Lords, with your permission I should like to move en bloc Amendments Nos. 5 to 13:Page 226, line 28, leave out ("the parish of Hum and") and insert ("the parishes of Hurn and St. Leonards and St. Ives").Line 29, leave out ("south-west") and insert ("west").Line 31, at end insert ("and so much of the parish of Sopley as lies west of the boundary referred to in paragraph 9A of Part III of this Schedule").Page 230, line 42, leave out paragraph 8.Page 231, line 1, leave out from ("line") to end of line 2 and insert ("from the neighbourhood of Barrett's Copse to the River Mude in the neighbourhood of Waterhouse Farm and thence along that river downstream to the parish boundary.9A. The boundary dividing the parish of Sopley referred to in Part II of this Schedule shall be such as the Secretary of State may by order determine on or near the general line of the River Avon.").Line 34, at end insert— (" (kk) the part of the existing parish of Christchurch East in Hampshire").Page 232, line 2, at end insert— ("(tt) the part of the existing parish of Sopley in Hampshire").Leave out lines 14 and 15. Line 25, at end insert— (" (8A) The part of the existing parish of Sopley in Dorset shall be added to the parish of Hurn.").On Tuesday last I explained the reasons why the Government had withdrawn a number of Amendments relating to the Hampshire/Dorset boundary and the Government came in for a good deal of praise on this account. However, not everybody was yet satisfied, and the noble 2031 Lord the Leader of the Opposition suggested that if we took further consultations with some noble Lords who were interested in this matter we might be able to arrive at some new agreed Amendments. This in fact is what has happened. There have been consultations and I understand that all the different interests involved in this boundary have now agreed on the Amendments which are before your Lordships this afternoon.
In brief, the effect of them is to transfer the parish of St. Leonards and St. Ives to Dorset; to divide the parish of Sopley, after an. Order made by the Secretary of State, on or near the general line of the River Avon, and to divide the parish of Christchurch East so that the eastern end is in Hampshire while the western half is in the new Dorset. This increases the buffer zone we have been trying to establish in Hampshire around the western fringe of the New Forest. These are the implications of the Amendments, but I might just say a word about the position of Christchurch. One of the considerations which we have had in mind throughout the history of this difficult boundary has been the natural wish of Christchurch not to be absorbed with their larger and more powerful neighbours. In the discussion with noble Lords yesterday about the new boundary it was clear that that concern was shared generally. But the Boundary Commission has been set up as an authoritative and, above all, an independent advisory body and they will shortly be advising us on the district pattern for England. I understood that they were about to consider the implications for their district proposals of your Lordships' decision on Report, and in the circumstances I felt it right to acquaint them with the views expressed by noble Lords on this matter. This I did, and I think we must now await their considered recommendations.
My Lords, I should like to say a word of thanks to all those noble Lords who have been so helpful and co-operative at all stages in this difficult matter. The "Hampshire Lobby" have been particularly active—a Monck and a Montagu, a Duke and a King and a gentleman who was described in Hansard as" the Chief Verger of the New Forest."Was it perhaps significant that no right reverend Prelate came in on behalf of this" unholy 2032 alliance"? I should like also to say a word of thanks to those who have been representing the viewpoint of the Dorset County Council. I think that the County Council have shown themselves most statesmanlike and helpful in the whole matter; and it gives me special pleasure to be able to thank my noble cousin and friend, Lord Digby, for the part he has played in putting the Dorset viewpoint in this House. I should also like to say a word of thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, who has been very helpful all through on this difficult matter. He has unrivalled experience of local government and I am most grateful to him.
Finally, may I thank the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition who has taken such a very active part. I am not sure that he always understood exactly the import of some of the Amendments we were discussing, but in any difficulty he was always ready to fling in a Manuscript Amendment which at least made sure that we discussed the Amendment that he wanted us to discuss. But I am grateful to the noble Lord; he has played a leading part in bringing everybody together on what I hope are now agreed Amendments.
§ LORD SHACKLETON
My Lords, I only wish that I were the "Deputy Verger" to reply on this matter. The noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has been so grateful to everyone that I do not think I should add any more gratitude. I must admit that I owe a word of thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, because he was the first person to get across not only to me but, I think, also to most noble Lords in the House, what we were talking about. That is no reflection on the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, I may say, but the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, did clarify our minds. I should say that those of us who were concerned on behalf of the position of Lymington and the New Forest were certainly not unmindful of the needs of Dorset. Since I now happen to live just over the boundary of Dorset, having lived for many years in the New Forest, I am only sorry that the advice which we gave at an early stage about how to solve this problem was not taken at once. That is the arrangement which has now been adopted, on the lines of the Amendment moved by the noble Earl, Lord Selkirk.
2033 Perhaps I should say that we are well aware that the Government have had a difficult job, and since, if we had debated this subject, I was going to attack the Minister's handling of it, I would only say now that I shall not do so; but I did have a sentence to say that, despite all that, he is a nice man. He has been doing a most difficult job. I actually walked the boundaries with the Clerk of Dorset County Council, so I was not entirely under the influence of Hampshire. I think they have moved sensibly. I welcome the fact that the noble Lord is drawing the attention of the Boundary Commission to the views of your Lordships. That is perhaps the most important point that has come out of the statement. I believe it is essential to the balance of Dorset that Christchurch, with the population they will now have—although a little on the low side, still around 40,000—and which is likely to grow rapidly, should be an independent district. I know that the noble Earl, Lord Malmesbury, has drawn attention to the high rateable value there. But I do not think we want to delay this discussion any more. I just hope that this arrangement now remains undisturbed. We are much obliged to the noble Lord.
§ LORD DIGBY
My Lords, I should like to welcome the statement made by my noble kinsman Lord Aberdare, and particularly the fact that he is to draw our views to the attention of the boundary Commission. In doing so, I should like to pay tribute to the Borough of Christchurch for their constructive attitude throughout all these problems. Starting with the Report of the Royal Commission, and at various stages of this Bill, the boundary between Dorset and Hampshire has been moved no fewer than five times. At each stage Christchurch has made constructive observations and has consistently held to one basic proposition; namely, that the boundary should be such as to enable the Boundary Commission to recommend a county district separate from Bournemouth. This view has been supported by the Dorset County Council as they feel that the success of the new system will depend on the balance of districts. I have no doubt that the boundary as in the Bill first tabled by the Government was the correct one. But much water has flowed down the Avon since then, and in the circum- 2034 stances I commend to your Lordships those Amendments, which will place in Dorset the areas West of the Avon, which undoubtedly look to Dorset, and restore to Hampshire the buffer of Christchurch East round the New Forest. I would say no more at this hour other than that I believe that these Amendments are generally acceptable to your Lordships, and I hope that they can now be accepted so that we can all get on with making the Bill work.
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, there seems to be so much joy on the part of Hampshire and Dorset that I hesitate to raise a pernickety point. It concerns merely the phraseology of Amendment No. 9, where we say that the boundary shall befrom the neighbourhood of Barrett's Copse to the River Mude in the neighbourhood of Waterhouse Farm…".When we are prescribing boundaries, surely we ought to be as precise as possible. If the deeds of my house were to say that my property "extended from in the neighbourhood of the garage on the one side to in the neighbourhood of the greenhouse on the other side", then I should ask my solicitor to exercise a little more precision in delineating the boundaries. I am wondering whether the vagueness of the word "neighbourhood" may lead to trouble in the future. That is all. I am very glad that Dorset and Hampshire have settled their problems.
§ LORD ABERDARE
I am grateful to noble Lords. If I may briefly reply to the noble Lord, Lord Leatherland, the fact of the matter is that this boundary will be defined by Order of the Secretary of State, and we are only giving an approximate description of where it will run.
§ On Question, Amendments agreed to.
§ Schedule 12 [Meetings and proceedings of local authorities]:
LORD ABERDARE moved Amendment No. 14:
Page 279, line 29, after ("other") insert ("suitable").
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 14. It was the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, who drew our attention to the fact that the "suitable room" which was defined for parish 2035 meetings was only "a room" when it came to community meetings in Wales. This was an error, and this Amendment will mean that it will be a "suitable room" in both cases.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Schedule 16 [Functions under, and amendment and modification of, enactments relating to town and country planning]:
§ LORD MOLSON
My Lords, Amendment No. 15 is a purely drafting Amendment which s intended to make the Amendment which the House accepted yesterday, No. 138, fit grammatically into the existing provisions. I beg to move.
§ Amendment moved—
§ Page 308, line 12, leave out ("and").—[Lord Molson.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
LORD MOLSON moved Amendment No. 16:
As an Amendment to Amendment No. 138 made on Report.
Line 2, after ("shall") insert ("before making any such determination").
§ The noble Lord said: This Amendment makes it clear that the consultations to which Amendment No. 138 on yesterday's Marshalled List refers shall take place before any determination is made to designate a conservation area. It is little more than a drafting Amendment, but it clearly gives expression to what I think was in the minds of us all yesterday: that naturally the consultations should take place before any decision is arrived at. I beg to move.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ 4.27 p.m.
§ LORD ABERDARE
My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass. In moving the Motion I should like to pay tribute to all noble Lords, on both sides of the House and on the Cross-Benches, who have contributed to the many debates that we have had during the long proceedings in Committee and on Report. Many of your Lordships have spoken from long experience of local government, and for that reason the consideration of the Bill 2036 has been notably constructive and well informed. We had the advantage of starting with two propositions on which there has been no fundamental difference of opinion: first, that the time is right for reorganisation and that it is right to press on without further delay; and. secondly, that the new structure proposed by the Government is generally supported in Parliament, in local government circles and throughout the country.
Within the framework proposed by the Bill your Lordships have made many significant changes and improvements. We have created a new county in the Isle of Wight. We have introduced important provisions relating to borough status and civic dignities which will help to retain the links between the old system and the new. We have modified the provisions relating to the admission of the public to meetings in the direction of more open government. We have made a number of important changes relating to the exercise of functions—and I have in mind the transitional machinery for agency arrangements and the exercise of functions in connection with refuse disposal and conservation. We have fixed a new and higher financial limit to the general power which enables local authorities to spend money for the benefit of their area and its inhabitants. We have completed a massive exercise in Statute Law revision by including provisions about the borrowing powers of local authorities, and thus consolidating the remaining vestiges of the Local Government Act 1933. In all, we have made some 650 Amendments to the Bill, and I think we can say with due modesty that we return an improved Bill to the other place.
The passing of this Bill is, however, only the first step. A vast amount of work still needs to be done to complete the preparations before the new authorities can be elected next year and can assume their full duties in April, 1974. This work is already placing a great strain on members and officers of existing authorities, and this is bound to continue until the new system is in full operation.
I should like to pay renewed tribute to the enormous amount of co-operation and help which the Government have received from the local authority associations, as well as from local authorities 2037 and individual members and officers, often from authorities or individuals who themselves have little to gain by the changes now proposed. I am sure we shall be able to continue to count on their co-operation and constructive work in the future.
In order to assist the new authorities in establishing their new organisations, the Government and the local authority associations, as your Lordships know, initiated a management structures study. This report, containing invaluable advice and practical guidance, was published in August. It will be fully studied between now and the time when the new authorities are elected next spring and summer.
I hope your Lordships will recognise that we have demonstrated the importance we attach to the safeguarding of staff interests during the transitional period by bringing the Staff Commissions for England and Wales into formal existence many months ago, soon after the Bill was introduced into Parliament. These bodies are already hard at work in their consultations and in the formulation of the advice they will give. We are very conscious of the need to treat the staff right, and I am glad that the noble Lord, Lord Garnsworthy, and I differed, I think, on only one point of principle in the course of the discussions we had on these important points during the passage of the Bill.
My Lords, I believe that in this Bill we are laying the foundations for a stronger system of local government. Through the local authorities to be established on reorganisation, the services to be provided by local government will be able to expand into new fields in the future, just as local services have expanded in the past; and stronger authorities with wider powers must mean stronger units of democratic government. This is the ultimate objective of our work on this Bill.
I should like once again to offer to the noble Lord, Lord Champion, my personal thanks for the kindness and co-operation he and his Front Bench colleagues have shown to us during the course of the Bill. I should also like to say how grateful we have been throughout the Bill to have the advice of the noble Lord, Lord Redcliffe-Maud, whose knowledge of this matter since his chairmanship of the 2038 Royal Commission has been so deep and so valuable to us. Finally, I should like just to say a word of thanks again to the staff of this House on whom we have laid many burdens in the course of some late night Sittings while the Bill was passing through all its stages.
§ Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Aberdare.)
§ 4.34 p.m.
§ LORD CHAMPION
My Lords, I am grateful for what the noble Lord has said about the Opposition Front Bench and various other Members of this House. It is not merely as a matter of reciprocating those kind thoughts that I feel I must myself pay a tribute to the Ministerial team headed by the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, for the way in which they have conducted the proceedings. I have experienced nothing but co-operation from them in what has been a very considerable and trying task for all concerned. Our consideration of the Bill was made very much easier by the explanatory material made available to us by the Government and, as I said at the end of the Committee stage, I hope it sets a precedent for Bills of any magnitude. It certainly has been extremely helpful to be able to pick up this material, which normally is available only to Ministers of the Crown. But for myself, my Lords, I hope not to have the duty of "looking after", as it is called, so complicated and difficult a measure for a very long time to come.
We have now reached the stage of considering the Motion, "That the Bill do now pass", after two days on Second Reading, eight days in Committee, three days on Report and the Third Reading to-day—and I should not like to tell the House how many other days I spent in between in trying to understand the Bill. The noble Lord said that in those 14 days we have made 650 Amendments, which are now being sent to the other place. The 650 Amendments made take no account of the totality of Amendments which in fact we considered. Unfortunately, some of them, which were really first-class Amendments, were rejected by the Government—but I must not say too much about that at this stage. We managed to do this in the time, and the fact that we did so is due to Ministers and to the House in general. It is also 2039 due very largely to the very great restraint that I have imposed on my own verbosity and to my restraining influence on my Front Bench colleagues—
§ LORD CHAMPION
—whose powers of exposition are so much greater than mine. The House will notice that I differentiate between using the word "verbosity" for myself and the term"expository powers" in the case of my colleagues. I may—who knows?—just possibly find myself working with them again on another major Bill. I hope, my Lords, it will not be thought amiss if I pay tribute, which I do most sincerely, to my noble colleagues, Lady Serota and Lady White, and Lord Garnsworthy, for their efforts and for their kindly co-operation with me throughout the whole of the period. Upon them I have put much of the work necessitated by a searching examination of a major Bill, and I am grateful to them.
My Lords, the House, freed from too much Party restraint, exerted its will; and that this should happen occasionally is good for the health of the House itself and not too catastrophic for the Government of the day. Altogether, I think we have brought nothing but credit on this House as an essential part of the Parliamentary institution. The job we have done in fact is precisely that.
Our gratitude to the staff, expressed again by the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, will I am sure be suitably expressed in a function to be held this evening, for the inspiration for which we have to thank the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, very sincerely.
Just a word about the Bill which, though not perhaps as drastic a reforming measure as some would have wished, will bring about the reorganisation of local government which I trust will result in a system of local government that will continue to serve the country well for many years to come. I wish well to all those facing the immediate tasks of the transitional stage, and subsequently in their operation of this measure. Knowing so many of them, meeting them in various places, I do riot doubt their capacity to surmount all the difficulties and bring credit upon themselves and upon the 2040 country generally. My Lords, I am happy to see this Bill passed.
§ 4.38 p.m.
§ LORD REDCLIFFE-MAUD
My Lords, as a humble new boy and Cross-Bencher, I should like to add my tribute to what has been so ably said by the noble Lord, Lord Champion, on behalf of the Opposition. I should like first to pay my tribute to the Government team—lucid always, indefatigable and courteous. I would also pay my tribute to the staff of the Department of the Environment and of the other Departments concerned. Those of us who have served in Whitehall can guess how much work they have necessarily put in to enable Ministers to perform their tasks for us all.
May I also pay my tribute to those who now form Her Majesty's Opposition for what they did for local government reform when they formed the Government of the country. Their courage in February 1970 in publishing the White Paper and committing themselves to very drastic reforms and to a programme of rapid legislation thereon, I think helped to maintain the momentum which had been generated during the previous half-dozen years. Without that, I doubt very much whether we would now, even under the present Government, be in a position to be sending a Bill of this magnitude to the other place.
The Government have always been modest in referring—not perhaps consistently, but very often—to this Bill as a reorganisation of local government. At some moments they have used the word "reform"—for instance, in their own White Paper in February, 1971. I am prepared to prophesy that the students and historians of the future will most emphatically refer to this Bill as local government reform. I believe quite seriously that you must go back to the great Statute of Queen Elizabeth I in 1601 to find any measure as comprehensive and as important—that was the first Poor Law Act. You can perhaps think of the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act as being worth mentioning, and of course the 1888 Act which created the county councils and county boroughs. But I believe that the 1972 Act (if such it becomes) will rank as the first major systematic and comprehensive measure 2041 which Parliament has placed on the Statute Book in the field of local democracy in this country.
I most warmly congratulate the Government on having reached the stage that they have reached to-day. It is only a framework, and we all know that. It removes many obstacles to good local government and opens the door to progress. The House has been very patient in what must have seemed my too frequent interventions, and what has sometimes been described as pontification on my part. I will curtail what I might be tempted to say about the ways in which I see this framework as opening the way to great improvements, both in democratic government in this country and in the making of our social services and our whole method of behaving more humane as well as more efficient. If there is one point to pick out it is that at last we shall be rid of this patchwork which has divided us into counties and county boroughs and has been the seedbed of so much inevitable hostility between two great parts of our local government system.
The opportunity remains to be taken but, please God! it will be taken, and the new counties will really be new counties and will be the instruments whereby the community of interdependent neighbours in town and country may of course serve their own interests, but also serve each other's interests, and in this way make progress over the years to come in the control and enrichment of our environment, in coming to terms with the motor car, the lorry, the public transport system, and in our educational and social services. Please God! too, there will be that collaboration, because without it we shall not have the improved social services that we all want between those new counties and the new districts.
These new authorities, because they are new, must start determined to do better than those out of which they have sprung. But the future value of local government to the country depends on the humanity and efficiency of the people who will work in it—both the councillors and their staff. Most of all the mutual awareness and understanding between the local governor 2042 and the citizen must be developed and maintained in years to come, with the great help that the new structure will give—a structure such as we have not had in the history of local government before.
§ On Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.