HC Deb 14 February 1973 vol 850 cc1281-2
31. Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to amend the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970 in order to enable local authorities to include pre-school play groups in the list of public bodies specified in the Act.

Mr. Graham Page

Legislation is not necessary. My right hon. and learned Friend has power under the Act to designate by order public bodies to which local authorities may supply goods and services. He hopes to make a further order shortly, to extend the list of designated bodies. Pre-school play groups are certainly under consideration.

Miss Lestor

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the recent correspondence which the Department has had with Berkshire County Council, informing it that it can no longer supply goods and services to play groups because it is excluded under the Act, is causing a great deal of concern and distress within the play group movement? Will he expedite any decisions to change this, thus making these services available to play groups?

Mr. Page

It was the Berkshire case which raised the matter with which we are dealing. I hope that the order will be laid before the House shortly after the Easter Recess.