HC Deb 30 October 1956 vol 558 cc1222-3
3. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what further consultations he has had since 30th July with representatives of local authority associations on the subject of restrictions on capital expenditure ; and what action he is taking in response to their representations.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

At a meeting with representatives of the local authority associations in July, I explained the necessity for the continuance of these restrictions for the present. Since then I have received no further approaches from them on this subject.

Mr. Swingler

Is the Minister aware that members of local authorities all over the country feel that works which are urgent and necessary in the national interest are being frustrated by this financial policy ; that, irrespective of party control of local councils, a majority in important local authority associations is opposed to his policy? Will he, therefore, initiate discussions with representatives of those councils who feel that a more discriminating concern about their interests is necessary?

Mr. Sandys

Local authorities are responsible for nearly one-quarter of the capital expenditure of the country. Most authorities recognise that they must make their contribution to winning the battle against inflation.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the right hon. Gentleman not yet able to put a time limit on these restrictions, which were said to be temporary and of which many are petty and irritating to local authorities?

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