§ 2. Mr. Roy Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now introduce legislation to provide for the appointment of Parliamentary Commissioners to investigate complaints of maladministration in the sphere of local government in Wales.
§ The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. George Thomas)
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Local Government and Regional Planning told my hon. Friend on 7th April, details of a scheme are to be worked out with the local authority associations, and consultations for this purpose will start shortly.
2 These will cover Wales as well as England.—[Vol. 799, c. 235.]
§ Mr. Hughes
Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that under the Conservative-controlled Newport Corporation one rent increase has followed another without any consultation with the tenants' organisations, as recommended by the Report of the National Board for Prices and Incomes, and that a decision was taken to alter the system of comprehensive education fundamentally without any consultation with the teachers' organisations?
Does my right hon. Friend agree that, besides the normal electoral redress available, a form of ombudsman is also needed in local government to prevent this abuse of power?
§ Mr. Thomas
I have no doubt that we need an ombudsman in Wales as well as in England. I deplore any local authority not entering into consultation with people concerning rent increases, if that has happened on this occasion.