HC Deb 07 May 1968 vol 764 cc183-4
1. Mr. Clegg

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many civil servants in his Department are concerned with approving applications or schemes submitted by local authorities; and what plans he has for reducing them.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Anthony Greenwood)

Most members of the Department are concerned in one way or another in handling proposals by local authorities. But, since for many officers this work is only part of the whole job they have to do, it is not practicable to give meaningful figures in reply to the first part of the Question.

The Town and Country Planning Bill now before Parliament is designed to reduce one kind of statutory control, and I shall have the matter in mind when the time comes to consider the report of the Royal Commission on Local Government.

Mr. Clegg

I thank the Minister for his reply. Is there not a great chance here, if the policy of the Town and Country Planning Bill is pursued, of cutting Government expenditure?

Mr. Greenwood

I should like to reduce expenditure and the unnecessary use of manpower in every way. The Department is discharging functions laid upon it by Parliament, and the extent of our discretion in that respect is limited.

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