Local Authorities (Staffing)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd December 1974.

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Photo of Mr Caerwyn Roderick Mr Caerwyn Roderick , Brecon and Radnor 12:00 am, 2nd December 1974

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is satisfied that the staffing requirements of local authorities in Wales are being met following reorganisation.

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Welsh Office)

Local authorities do not have to inform my right hon. and learned Friend about how far they are meeting their staffing requirements. That is their responsibility. We are aware, however, that some authorities have experienced difficulties.

Photo of Mr Caerwyn Roderick Mr Caerwyn Roderick , Brecon and Radnor

Does my hon. Friend recall that when the Government of the day created Powys we protested vigorously that this unit could never be viable because of its poverty and sparseness of population? Will he keep an open mind on the future structure of local government, and in this instance will he see the representatives of Powys to discuss their difficulties with them?

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Welsh Office)

I think we all appreciate the considerable difficulties of Powys County Council. My right hon. and learned Friend is ready and willing to meet the county council as soon as possible to discuss its pressing problems.

Photo of Mr Wyn Roberts Mr Wyn Roberts , Conway

At the statutory meeting between the Secretary of State for the Environment and the local authorities last week it was agreed to establish a system to supervise the increase in staffs over the coming year. Has the hon. Gentleman anything more to say about that?

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Welsh Office)

The matter is under discussion with the local authority associations. We hope that we can get a reasonable arrangement by which we can monitor future staffing requirements. All hon. Members—and the public, too—are sceptical and worried about the large increase in staff at a time of financial stringency.