Mr. William O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the suggested opting-in procedure under the local government review.
§ Mr. Baldry
In considering the best way forward for the Local Government Commission's reviews, we looked carefully at all the options that were before us, including procedures for opting-in. We concluded, however, that all shire areas should have the opportunity to secure the benefits which we believe unitary authorities can offer.
My right hon. Friend therefore announced on 30 September that all the shire counties in England would be reviewed by the commission by about the end of 1994.