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Information Officers

Volume 979: debated on Thursday 28 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in the Official Report the number, and the average cost, of information officers employed by his Department at the beginning of each of the last four years.

The following table sets out the required information:year for which these two local authorities will not be compensated through the rate support grant system; if he will seek to make special payments on the same basis as payments made to local authorities in Wales in previous steel closures; what representations he has received; if he will receive a deputation from the area on this matter; and if he will make a statement.

Significant losses in rateable value will be incurred by these two authorities but no precise estimate can yet be made. Negotiations on this matter are in train between the corporation and the valuation office and I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 22 November last.—[Vol. 974, c. 305–306.] As to special payments, additional resources are, in my view, best used to create new factories and improved infrastructure.I have received representations from the hon. Member and the two local authorities referred to and I have already received a deputation on 5 December last from these authorities, together with the borough councils of Delyn and Wrexham Maelor. I am always ready to discuss these problems with those affected.