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Local Government

Volume 893: debated on Friday 13 June 1975

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With your permission, Mr. Speaker and that of the House, I wish to present a petition which has more than 5,000 signatures, collected very quickly, and which has been organised by the Keighley Branch of the National Housewives Association and the Ratepayers Federation.

The people who have signed it are concerned at the disastrous consequences of local government reorganisation and the huge increase in the size of units with the consequent difficulties of ensuring proper scrutiny of expenditure. They have the impression that in local government there are too many highly-paid chiefs and not enough Indians.

The petitioners are particularly concerned at the growth of such things as public relations departments, which they see as expensive and unnecessary when there are many more urgent priorities such as education and the social services starved of facilities. It is very much hoped that the Government will take notice of this petition so that local government can undergo an examination with a view to instituting a policy of decentralisation in the years ahead.

Wherefore your petitioners pray that
A broadly-based team of investigators be established to look into the waste of ratepayers' money in local government which has resulted in a further massive increase in this years' rate in the Bradford Metropolitan area and elsewhere."
and call for
"drastic reductions in the number of administrative offices and staff in local government departments."
The petition concludes
"And your Petitioners, as in duty will ever pray."

To lie upon the Table.