HC Deb 25 July 1977 vol 936 cc7-8W
Mr. George

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will consider funding Walsall District Council in its intention to maintain a shoppers shop, in view of the decision taken by the West Midland County Council in this matter.

Mr. Hattersley

I was pleased to hear of Walsall District Council's initiative and would have been willing to consider any reasonable application from the Council for funding under the consumer advice grant scheme for this financial year. Any responsible body or person may apply for a grant to maintain consumer advice centres. The terms of the Local Government Act 1972, however, require that a district council should have approval from the county council of the area to provide consumer advice. I am aware of other county councils giving such approval, but I understand that in this instance West Midlands County Council has rejected Walsall District Council's application. I very much deplore this decision, which effectively seeks to deprive Walsall residents of a valuable consumer advice service.

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