HC Deb 05 November 1975 vol 899 cc202-3W
28. Mr. Durant

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance he has given to local authorities over the use of direct labour departments.

Mr. Freeson

Advice is contained in Circular 52/74 to local authorities about building houses for sale and in Circular 49/75 about highway works. Circular 57/69 issued by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government relates to direct labour organisations generally and is still extant.

40. Mr. Joseph Dean

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider making a financial easement, in the awarding of building contracts to direct labour departments, particularly in such cases where departments have taken on an increased number of apprentices, to alleviate unemployment amongst school-leavers.

Mr. Freeson

No; but grants are available to local authorities for off-the-job training for construction apprentices taken on in addition to the normal intake.

Mr. Whitehead

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will bring in legislation to allow local authorities' building departments to tender for construction work in other local authority areas;

(2) if he will make the Local Authority (Temporary Use of Labour) Order 1975 the basis of permanent legislation.

Mr. Freeson

Legislation on the powers of direct labour departments to carry out work for other local authorities will be introduced as soon as practicable. The legislation will embrace the scope of the Local Authorities (Temporary Use of Labour) Order 1975.

A departmental working party, on which the local authority associations will be represented, is being set up to review the organisation and operation of local authority direct labour departments, and their accounting and tendering procedures, in order to provide a sound basis for their development in the future.