HC Deb 25 November 1980 vol 994 cc303-4
1. Mr. Trippier

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what cuts in manpower have taken place in his Department since May 1979.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

My Department's authorised manpower level in May 1979 was 2,706 staff This has been reduced for this year to 2,580.

Mr. Trippier

Does my right hon. and learned Friend think that that is good enough? How does it compare with reductions in other Ministries? Has he any plans for further reductions?

Mr. Carlisle

The savings are broadly in line with those of the Civil Service as a whole. They are consistent with our aim to increase efficiency and to cut certain less essential duties. Further reductions will be made as part of the Government's announced intention to reduce the size of the Civil Service to 630,000 by 1984.

Mr. Greville Janner

Is the Secretary of State aware that the education service in the county of Leicester is busily being ravaged and destroyed, and that when we complain blame immediately is put on the Department and those who remain on duty in the Department? Is that blame justified? If not, what will the right hon. and learned Gentleman do to stop that destruction of a precious system in the county and city of Leicester?

Mr. Carlisle

I always admire the hon. and learned Gentleman's ability to get in a question about Leicestershire during any question of a different nature on the Order Paper. The education system in Leicestershire is not being ravaged. It is not the fault of the Department of Education and Science. The question has little to do with the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Trippier).

Mr. van Straubenzee

Do the reductions to which my right hon. and learned Friend referred lead him to suppose that he must delay, in whole or in part, the operation of the Education Act 1980?

Mr. Carlisle

Certainly not, Sir. Frankly, I do not understand the suggestions that have been made that we shall not proceed with the plan for parent-governors and that the plan is being shelved indefinitely. Both those statements are untrue. The position with regard to parent-governors remains exactly as it was during the passage of the Act. The implementation of the other parts of the Act are as announced to the House.