HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc1493-4
Q4. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Heaton Chapel.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to visit Heaton Chapel.

Mr. Bennett

Is the Prime Minister aware of the bitterness of many of my residents in Heaton Chapel towards the North-West water authority? Is he, in particular, aware that the authority has very bad industrial relations, that it pays very low wages to many of its employees, and that it has consistently put up charges? Will my right hon. Friend consider extending the system of rate rebate to water service charges very quickly to relieve some of the hardships? Finally, will he agree that the North-West water authority requires reorganising?

The Prime Minister

With the present pressures coming on public expenditure —which will be even higher if some of the present wage claims go through —I certainly could not undertake that we would increase public expenditure in order to introduce rebates on water service charges over and above the present arrangements. I think that it would be better if we tried to give that sort of help primarily through the social security system.

Mr. Evelyn King rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. I take it that the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Mr. King) will link his supplementary question to Heaton Chapel.

Mr. King


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