asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the Circular D. 131 from his Department, dated 16th December, 1919, in which the Department states that extra remuneration for work performed by clerks to local authorities in connection with arrangements for the erection of houses under assisted housing schemes may be sanctioned; whether he is aware that after receipt of that Circular the Maldon Borough Council instructed their town clerk to perform extra work in connection with their housing schemes, and that sanction for payment of remuneration agreed by the Council has been refused by his Department although it is only 75 per cent. of the maximum authorised in the Circular, such refusal being based upon the plea that the sanction was intended to apply specially to the case of clerks of rural district councils who are part-time officers and who have to deal with schemes comprising a number of sites in different parishes; whether he is aware that the town clerk of Maldon is a part-time officer, and that the Circular above referred to was not limited to rural district councils, and that the town clerk in his own time had to deal with schemes over a large area of different parishes, as the Borough of Maldon included more than one parish; and whether, in these circumstances, he will reconsider his decision as to the proper remuneration of the town clerk in accordance with the desire of the Maldon Corporation?
I am aware of the Circular to which the hon. Member refers. It is made clear in the Circular that the provision for making allowances to clerks to local authorities is only applicable in special circumstances and that, ordinarily speaking, the loss on the assisted scheme account should not be increased by a payment to the clerk for work done in the execution of a statutory duty of the local authority. The housing scheme in the district in question consists of two sites, on one of which no houses have been built, and I do not consider the circumstances so exceptional as to justify the payment of special remneration at the cost of the assisted housing scheme.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the refusal to sanction this scheme is based on the supposition that there is only one parish in the Borough of Maldon; is he aware that there is more than one parish; and will he therefore reconsider his decision?