HC Deb 20 December 1906 vol 167 c1722

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if it is the practice of the Board to decline to sanction in a loan for a permanent improvement any sum paid as wages to corporation workmen engaged on the work, while no such deduction for wages is made if the work be done by private contractors; if he is aware that at a recent inquiry at Wrexham the inspector of the Board was unable to give any reason for such a practice, and that the borough accountant said he had never been able to understand on what principle the rule was based; and whether, in view of the discouragement to direct employment by this rule, he will withdraw it.


The view taken by the Local Government Board is that the wages of workmen permanently employed by a local authority should not be paid out of borrowed money, and consequently it is their practice to exclude from the amount to be borrowed for works to be executed by the authority any sums which would be paid in respect of such wages. I have no information as to what the inspector said on this subject at the inquiry at Wrexham, but I understand that in that case the sum proposed to be borrowed did not include any sum to be paid to the regular staff of the town council. There docs not appear to me to be any sufficient reason for altering the rule in this matter. My hon. friend will observe that the rule only applies where the workmen are permanently employed by the local authority, and does not prevent the authority from carrying out works themselves by means of men engaged for the purpose.