Oral Answers to Questions — Chief Fire Officer, Flint (House)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Birch Mr Nigel Birch , Flintshire 12:00 am, 3rd November 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why his Department has refused to authorise any grant to the Flintshire County Council in respect of the purchase of a house for the council's chief fire officer.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

It is the policy of the Government when property is to be acquired for the public service not to authorise the payment of prices in excess of those calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947. The price paid by the Flintshire County Council was in excess of this figure.

Photo of Mr Nigel Birch Mr Nigel Birch , Flintshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this chief fire officer came from South Wales, that the right hon. Gentleman's Department was consulted by the county council about what they were to do for his accommodation, and that the county council got no answer for three months? During that time they had to get on with the work and to get the officer a house. Can the right hon. Gentleman now see that some grant is paid, possibly not the full amount for the house but the full amount payable under the Town and Country Planning Act?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. Negotiations have been going on between the Government and the County Councils Association, who have been informed that where prices in excess are paid, no grant will be made.

Photo of Mr Nigel Birch Mr Nigel Birch , Flintshire

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the time factor concerned? An enormous amount of administration had to be put into operation when the National Fire Service was turned into the county council fire service. What is one to do while the negotiations are going on?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

One must pay attention to the needs of economy, particularly in the purchase of real estate.