§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the timetable for the Local Government Commission's reviews of areas in the second tranche of its work programme.
§ Mr. Redwood
I am pleased to announce, following consultation with the Local Government Commission, the timetable for the second tranche of the review of areas.
We intend the commission begins its review of Leicestershire on 10 May. The review of Nottinghamshire will begin a few weeks later.
The commission's review of the other second tranche areas of Cumbria and Lancashire, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Devon, and Cambridgeshire will begin soon after the other reviews of areas in the first tranche have been completed.
We anticipate that the commission will require less time to formulate draft and final proposals for the second 243W tranche review areas than it needed for some of the more complex first tranche reviews. However, we are still adamant that local people should have ample opportunity to express their views to the commission and have plenty of time to respond to draft recommendations and the period allowed at the consultation stages remain as set out in the original procedure guidance to the commission.
In drawing up the timetable, we have allowed for local government elections and the need for extra consultation time over the summer holiday period.
The announcement of the detailed timetable will now enable all authorities in the second tranche to plan ahead in order to ensure that the Commission's review of their area will be executed as smoothly as possible.
I have placed a copy of the second tranche timetable in the Library.