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Local Authorities (Publications)

Volume 973: debated on Thursday 8 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider introducing measures to prevent local authorities from producing politically-biased propaganda sheets recommending direct action and demonstration against central Government policy, where this is financed by ratepayers' and taxpayers' money.

While I strongly deplore such action by local authorities, the Government have no plans to introduce measures on this specific matter. It is open to any local elector to object at audit to any item of expenditure which he considers to be unlawful, when it would be for the council to justify that the expenditure had been properly incurred. Alternatively, in such a case, an authority's actions may be challenged in the courts.