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Sutherland (County Clerk)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the discontent in the North-East of Scotland over the unusual method of appointment to the office of county clerk adopted by the Sutherland County Council; and will he take steps to ensure that future appointments are made on merits after open competition.

The appointment of a county clerk is under statute a matter for the county council, and my right hon. Friend has no jurisdiction in regard to it. I understand, however, that the appointment referred to was made by the county council in the normal way at a meeting held after the vacancy had been publicly advertised and applications invited for the post.

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the advertisement to which he referred there was no mention whatever of any previous qualification for so important and specialised an appointment, and that the person appointed was entirely devoid of any previous experience? Can he suggest no remedy to this sort of thing?

I am afraid that is a matter for the local authority and, of course, the matter is in the hands of the local electors.