AS MPs debated the bill to abolish the Greater London Council, I.ondon's Church leaders from all denominations met on Wednesday night to express their deep concern at the proposed scrapping of the authority.
All the Churches' experience "suggests the proposed radical changes will greatly intensify the problems of the Capital and the difficulties of the people who are in most need of help: the homeless, the unemployed and minority groups", said the churchmen before the meeting convened in the City Temple in central London. • Bishop Victor Guazzelli of East London expressed the anxieties of the Catholic Church on abolition and was joined by Bishop Howard Tripp, auxiliary in Southwark and the Anglican bishops of Southwark and Stepney. 'Fhe leaders are all members of the London Churches Group, which organised the meeting and is urging the maintenance of an "elected metropolitan authority".
This latest meeting followed a number of letters to both Mrs Thatcher and Environment Secretary, Patrick Jenkin in which Churchmen have expressed reservations about plans set out in the government White Paper, Streamlining the Cities.
The LCG plans to lobby members of the Lords should the bill pass successfully through the Commons. The Lords may well cause the Government problems over the bill if amendments planned by Tory rebels in the Commons are defeated by only small majorities.