§ 7. Mr. Haselhurst
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the financial arrangements pertaining to public inquiries for which his Department is responsible; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The arrangements are that accommodation for a public inquiry is normally provided by the local authority, which, in some types of case, may also be expected to meet the Department's costs. Parties to an inquiry are normally expected to meet their own costs, but one party may be ordered to pay another party's costs where these have been incurred because of unreasonable conduct. I regard these arrangements as satisfactory.
§ Mr. Haselhurst
Is my hon. Friend telling the House that it is either satisfactory or equitable that the daily transcripts of the current airports inquiry, should be charged to interested parties at £7.50 a day, whereas for an inquiry of equal national importance, that at Sizewell, such transcripts are provided free?
§ Mr. Shaw
I remind my hon. Friend that the Stansted inquiry is being conducted under the auspices of my right hon. Friend and the Department and that we are abiding by our traditional rules regarding the availablity of services 853 to those who are involved in the inquiry. All witnesses can examine the transcript free of charge. The Sizewell inquiry is being conducted under the auspices of the Electricity Act 1957, and it has long been a practice of the Secretary of State for Energy, through the CEGB, to direct that costs of this kind are met.