HC Deb 23 January 1962 vol 652 cc18-9
30. Mr. Russell

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what estimate he has made of the saving in staffs of Metropolitan, borough and district councils in the Greater London area which might result from the amalgamation of councils as proposed in the White Paper.

Mr. Rippon

The new London boroughs will be responsible for important services now provided by the county councils and this, as well as the amalgamations, will affect the staffing requirements. These cannot be reliably forecast at this stage.

Mr. Russell

Can my hon. Friend say when a reliable forecast can be made? Otherwise, how are we to judge between the White Paper proposals and the proposals of the Royal Commission?

Mr. Rippon

The Royal Commission dealt with this question of economy in staff and other matters, and pointed out that the best guarantee of economy is the provision of efficient and effective local government areas. That is our purpose.

Mr. C. Johnson

Is the Minister aware that there is considerable anxiety amongst many local government officers likely to be affected by the plan for the reorganisation of London local government, and will he consult with his right hon. Friend on the desirability of giving firm assurances in the cases of any officers displaced who cannot find comparable appointments outside the London area, that adequate compensation will be paid to them?

Mr. Rippon

We well appreciate that point and my right hon. Friend has it very much in mind, but I ought to make it clear, as my right hon. Friend did to my hon. Friend the Member far Ealing, North (Mr. Barter) before Christmas, that any legislation would, of course, provide for proper compensation on loss of employment or reduction in pay.