§ Mr. Sproat
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what latest estimate his Department has made, in the light of his advice to local authorities to cut their expenditure, of the percentage, and numerical, increase or decrease in all employees of regional councils and district councils, respectively and individually, from the end of their first year of existence to the latest available year.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Under the terms of the previous Administration's agreement with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, manpower statistics for individual authorities are not made available to me 767W by the joint manpower watch secretariat. I have, however, opened discussions with the convention about the desirability of
Regions and Islands Districts Total (full-time equivalent—fte) March 1976 … … 199,656 57,094 256,750 June 1979 … … 198,308 58,396 256,704 Percentage change 1976–79 … … —0.68 +2.28 —0.02
The figures for the quarter ending in September 1979 are to be published very soon and, although a detailed analysis is not yet available, I understand that they show an increase over the March 1976 figures. I expressed my concern to the manpower committee of the convention when I met it on 3 December that there had been a sustained upward trend since December 1977 when the total was 245,290 (fte). It indicated that it expected that the next quarter's figures would, in the light of the Government's policies, begin to show a falling trend.