HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 c871
3. Mr. Ellis

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will seek powers to control the salary structure of rural district councils, and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Peter Thomas)

No, Sir. I believe that local government should continue to make its own arrangements to ensure that individual authorities adopt an appropriate salary structure.

Mr. Ellis

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell the House how many local authorities in Wales pay their officials salaries above the recommended maximum scales and, if there is a significant number, how meaningful does he believe the scales to be? Secondly, does he consider that the functions of officers in development areas where much industrial development has taken place merit differential awards?

Mr. Thomas

I could not without notice give the hon. Gentleman the figure for which he asked in the first part of his question. As he knows, under the 1933 Act local authorities are empowered to pay reasonable remuneration to officers. In 1948 a Local Authorities (Conditions of Service) Advisory Board was set up to co-ordinate matters. The question of the legality of salary increases is always one for the district auditor.

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