HC Deb 20 February 1978 vol 944 cc463-4W
Mr. Baker

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the numbers that will be employed in local government in December 1978.

Mr. Guy Barnett

There were 2.58 million local government employees—full-and part-;time—in England and Wales at the last count in September 1977.

Numbers have declined over the past 12 months, as a result of restraints on local authority expenditure, and the consequences of past restraints may continue to be felt in 1978–79. However, I expect manpower levels to stabilize in 1978–79.

Mr. Michael Morris

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish tables showing the total number of staff employed by local authorities in England and Wales in each quarter since January 1970.

Mr. Guy Barnett

Information about the numbers of employees in local government in England and Wales is available only on an annual basis up to June 1974. This information has been published in theDepartment of Employment Gazette. From March 1975 quarterly figures have been collected by the central and local government Joint Manpower Watch and these are published regularly in the Department of Employment Gazette and the Monthly Digest of Statistics, copies of which are available in the Library.

The table below gives the numbers of full and part-time employees in local authorities in England and Wales, including police, for the period since 1969. The numbers of police civilians, traffic wardens, police cadets, agency, magistrates' courts and probation staffs are now collected by the Joint Manpower Watch but were not covered in the surveys prior to March 1975. They are therefore excluded from the table in order to provide a broadly comparable set of figures.

June 1969 2,124
June 1970 2,162
June 1971 2,234
June 1972 2,340
June 1973 2,454
June 1974 2,443
March 1975 2,549
June 1975 2,556
September 1975 2,549
December 1975 2,576
March 1976 2,582
June 1976 2,574
September 1976 2,533
December 1976 2,579
March 1977 2,575
June 1977 2,556
September 1977* 2,512
* Latest figures available

The quarterly figures—March 1975 onwards—reflect seasonal variations Longer term trends are better measured by year-on-year comparisons.