chapter  19
13 Pages

Prospect

At some time, an attempt will have to be made to bring the complexity of administration and maze of boundaries into line with reality. Today, rural areas, particularly those near towns, are demanding urban standards of provision in the full range of social services and activities, and the mechanisation of boundary revision through a Boundary Commission has been set up. The time appears to be appropriate for a radical decentralisation of county council functions to new district councils, with areas much larger than those of most present-day rural district councils, instead of the petty adjustments with which we were familiar in pre-War years. If such a revolution were to take place, some services, for example engineering services like highway maintenance, some parts of other services, for example general educational policy, and certain executive functions, such as the provision of school buildings, could profitably be retained at county council level. But the day-to-day running of many county council functions could be controlled as well if not better from district offices directed by district committees with real executive and not merely advisory powers. Admittedly, many rural district councils lack suitable people on their councils and on their staffs to control the new responsibilities made necessary by any radical redistribution. But larger district

Prospect

council areas with wider powers would attract better councillors, and would be able financially to support more, and better, officers.