§ Mr. Baker
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list the statutory powers, and other means available to him, to control or influence the number of people employed by, and the wage and salary bill of, local authorities or other public sector bodies not part of central Government.
§ Mr. Shore
Local authorities are responsible for determining the number of employees needed to meet their statutory duties and other responsibilities, and for determining their employees' conditions of service, and I exercise no statutory control in these matters. For the education service the Remuneration of Teachers Act 1965 provides for the Secretary of State to be represented on the Burnham Committees which consider the pay of teachers.
Local authorities are expected to observe the pay limit set out in the White Paper "The Attack on Inflation—The Second Year", and powers are available under Section 4 of the Remuneration, Charges and Grants Act 1975 to reduce or withhold sums payable to a local authority by way of rate support grant or supplementary grant for transport purposes if a local authority acts in breach of the pay policy.
More generally, local authorities are constrained by the Government's overall expenditure plans for local government set out each year in the RSG settlement and the Government's White Paper on public expenditure. In this connection a quarterly survey of manpower is conducted jointly by Government Departments and local authority Associations
I will write to the hon. Member about the position of other public sector bodies not part of the central Government.