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Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 1st February 1995.

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Photo of Anthony Steen Anthony Steen , South Hams 4:40 pm, 1st February 1995

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his excellent speech so far. Does he share my disgust and fury at the antics of Liberal-controlled Devon county council? It is spreading terror among 300 teaching staff by telling them that they are all to be sacked because of the Government's rate settlement and it is making old people fear that they will be put out on the street in the cold. In fact—I should like the Secretary of State to confirm this—the amount that Devon will receive next year is more than this year and the education grant is twice as high as the national average. Will he tell Devon county council that it should get rid of some of its 30,000 staff. It has more staff than the entire bureaucracy of Brussels. Will he ensure that it does something—