Urban District Councillors (Expenses).

Oral Answers to Questions — Town Planning. – in the House of Commons on 12th November 1936.

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Photo of Mr William Whiteley Mr William Whiteley , Blaydon

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the requests from various urban district councils to provide expenses to members when called upon to attend meetings outside the area of the local authority represented by them; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

If, as I understand, the hon. Member has in mind meetings of assessment committees and guardians committees, the existing law does not admit of the payment of the expenses of members of these committees. Any proposal for amending legislation would need a consideration of much wider issues and I am not in a position at present to give any undertaking to introduce legislation on the subject.

Photo of Mr William Whiteley Mr William Whiteley , Blaydon

The point is that these meetings are held outside the area and the members feel that it is a very great hardship. That is the point that we are asking the Minister to take into consideration.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I am, of course, aware of that feeling, but the hon. Member will realise that it raises larger issues which would have to be dealt with at the same time.

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the National Association of Urban and Rural District Councils are in favour of this long-delayed reform? Does he not think that time and efforts of the representatives of urban and rural district councils are of equal importance with those of county councillors?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

Yes, I recognise that the services of the smaller authorities in many respects are just as important as that of others, but the lion. Gentleman will realise that the matter that he raises would require legislation.