HC Deb 02 February 1971 vol 810 cc1440-1
6. Mr. Leonard

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what advice he has given local authorities concerning the qualifications of candidates for posts of director of social services and the procedure that should be adopted in making appointments to such posts.

Sir K. Joseph

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the Circular sent to local authorities on 10th August, paragraphs 12 to 14 of which deals with his point.

Mr. Leonard

I trust that the right hon. Gentleman is clear that candidates who have administrative experience in local government should not be excluded from consideration for these posts.

Sir K. Joseph

The Circular was very carefully drawn. I would prefer the hon. Gentleman to study the paragraphs to which I have referred, and send me his questions afterwards.

Mr. Molloy

If evidence is provided to show that some local authorities are deliberately trying to thwart the will of Parliament and not keeping to the spirit of the Act, will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to investigate the boroughs concerned?

Sir K. Joseph

"Investigation" is a very strong word. I am, naturally, interested in the appointments. If the hon. Gentleman cares to send me particulars, I shall be interested to study them.

Mr. Charles R. Morris

Has the Minister observed just how many local authorities have translated their existing chief welfare officer to director of social services? Does not this, in effect, produce a situation where the local authority is giving very much the same services at a much inflated salary? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into this matter?

Sir K. Joseph

I have not got the figures in mind. If the hon. Gentleman cares to put down a Question, I will look at it.

Mr. Ashton

On a point of order Mr. Speaker. In order not to waste the time of the House, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise a point of order on Question No. 6 at 3.30 p.m.