HC Deb 06 December 1966 vol 737 c1123
5. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why he has refused the Grainthorpe Parish Council's request to sell £700 savings bonds and use the money towards the cost of the playing fields in the village; if he will reconsider his decision; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. James MacColl)

Local authorities have been asked to reduce or postpone spending on projects which are not essential. My right hon. Friend would reconsider the decision if there were good reasons for acquiring playing fields now.

Sir C. Osborne

Is not this a small concession to ask from a Government who have increased the Civil Service by 200,000 at a cost of £200 million a year extra? Why do not the Government keep things in proportion and allow small authorities to do this necessary work?

Mr. MacColl

Economy consists of watching the pennies as well as the £s. If in this particular case the parish council has a good case for doing this work now and not waiting, my right hon. Friend is very sympathetic to small authorities, but it is important to remind all local authorities that expenditure must be kept down.