§ Mr. Weetch
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) pursuant to the answer of 20 December, Official Report, column 420, what criteria have to be fulfilled before he is satisfied that a local dental committee is representative of the dentists within that area; and how many local dental committees have failed to be so recognised by him in each of the last 10 years;
(2) if he will make regulations to provide that all local dental committees hold elections every four years and that they use postal ballots through an independent agency such as the family practitioner committee; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
A local dental committee is considered to be representative of the general dental practitioners in the locality of the family practitioner committee where its members are elected and the electorate comprises all518W dentists on the dental list of the committee concerned. No local dental committee has failed to be recognised in the last ten years.
The questions of frequency of elections and whether voting should take place at a general meeting or by post are for local decision. The returning officer however is invariably the administrator of the family practitioner committee. I have no plans to alter the present arrangements.