§ 33. Mr. Arthur Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he has issued to local authorities with regard to the level of departmental establishments involving employment in local government services.
§ Mr. John Silkin
I would refer the hon. Member to the advice given to local authorities in my Department's Circular 129/75, copies of which are available in the Library.
§ Mr. Neubert
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of persons in local government engaged in neighbourhood development; what is the cost of these activities and the average salary scale of those involved in them; and whether he will advise local authorities not to undertake further recruitment to such posts in view of the present economic stringency.
§ Mr. Durant
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the latest estimate of the total cost of salaries and wages paid to local government employees in England and Wales; and what is the percentage increase over the cost at 1st April 1974.
§ Mr. Oakes
This information is not available in the form requested. But the estimated total cost of salaries and wages paid by local authorities and police forces in England and Wales in the financial years 1974–75 and 1975–76 is £5,747 million and £7,428 million respectively,636W an increase of £1,681 million—29.3 per cent.
§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the September figures compiled by the Joint Staff Watch Survey of Local Authorities showing numbers employed by local authorities in each of England and Wales.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what assistance he is providing to local authorities to enable them to reduce overmanning, unnecessary appointments of senior officers and other impediments to efficient administration.
§ Mr. John Silkin
Local authorities are wholly independent in their management of their staffs, and decisions as to whatever staff reductions may appear necessary are entirely for them.