Under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1968 unitary planning authorities were to be responsible for strategic policy, tactical planning and much of the implementation of plans. It is surprising that despite all the frustrations and fragmentation of urban planning the nineteen seventies can still be seen as a decade in which there were important developments in strategic planning. It is particularly surprising that two of these plans were of relevance to the Liverpool conurbation. The Strategic Plan for the North West was one of the last in a series of regional plans commissioned by the Government for different parts of the country. The preparation of the Merseyside Structure Plan was intertwined with the emergence of the Labour government's own policy for the inner cities. To fill the policy gap, a team of planners prepared a brief statement of strategic policy that became known as the 'Stage One Report'.