§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations have been made to him by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, following the decision to confirm the reorganisation of the Liverpool area health authority; and whether he will reconsider this decision bearing in mind the unanimous opposition of all the bodies consulted about these proposals.
§ Dr. Vaughan
My right hon. Friend has received a letter and a telegram from the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, expressing opposition to the decision and asking that it be re-considered. The hon. Member is not accurate in saying that opposition to the proposals was unanimous from all the bodies consulted, though there was substantial opposition from organisations in Liverpool itself. However, the decision was not made on the basis of the numbers supporting one option or another but in the light of the arguments deployed. I and my ministerial colleagues took the view that the balance of argument as to what would provide the best health service for the people of Liverpool lay in favour of reorganisation, and that remains our view.
§ Mr. Parry
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will meet a deputation of hon. Members from Liverpool to discuss the proposed reorganisation of the Liverpool area health authority;
(2) if he will publish in the Official Report the names of organisations which have objected to the proposed reorganisation of the Liverpool area health authority;
(3) when he expects to lay the orders for the proposed reorganisation of the Liverpool area health authority;
(4) if he will pay an official visit to Liverpool to meet the area health authority.
§ Dr. Vaughan
I met a number of hon. Members from Liverpool to discuss this matter before the decision was made and I and my right hon. Friend have considered carefully their views in reaching a decision. I would, however, be willing to meet a deputation of hon. Members if they have any new and substantial points they wish to discuss with me. As the hon. Member is aware, I met representatives of Liverpool area health authority and heard their views on the reorganisation of the health service in Liverpool during my visit to the city on 19 March 1981. The area health authority has not asked for a further meeting, and I have no plans to visit the city at present.28W
I have received objections to the decision announced on 9 June from the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and from my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr.Steen). The necessary orders to implement the decision will be laid as soon as possible after consultations with staff side representatives and local and health authorities have been completed.