§ Mr. Whittingdale
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who is to be the new chairman of the Commission for the New Towns.
§ Mr. Gummer
I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Dr. John Bradfield CBE as the new chairman of the Commission for the New Towns, with effect from 1 February 1995. In the meantime, Sir Neil Shields will remain as chairman until 31 January 1995.
I am delighted that Dr. Bradfield has accepted this appointment, and I am looking forward to working with him as CNT chairman. I am sure he will bring a great deal of energy and expertise to the job of completing the new towns programme.
At the same time I would like to pay warm tribute to Sir Neil Shields who has brought outstanding skills of leadership and diplomacy to his 13 years as chairman of the commission. Those years have seen enormous changes as the new town development corporations have been wound up and the sale of assets has gained momentum. Sir Neil has transformed the commission and coped with all these changes magnificently, while notching up a significant number of achievements for the new towns movement and building a strong base for the future.
I would also like to pay tribute to Lord Finsberg. His role in the Council of Europe and the West European Union has restricted what he can do for CNT but his commitment to its work has been most important, and I am very pleased that he is prepared to continue as deputy chairman of the commission, thus providing the continuity which is so important at this time of significant change.