HC Deb 07 July 1986 vol 101 c20
60. Mr. Dickens

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many non-departmental public bodies have been (a) abolished or (b) reformed since May 1979.

Mr. Luce

Between 1979 and 1985 a total of 756 non-departmental public bodies were abolished, rationalised or substantially reduced. During that period 242 new bodies were set up, resulting in a net reduction of 514.

Mr. Dickens

Can my right hon. Friend confirm that the Government's quango hunt has not run out of steam?

Mr. Luce

I can confirm that. In the past year, in which there has been a review of the number of quangos, there has been a continuing net reduction.

Mr. Tony Banks

Does the Minister believe that when non-departmental bodies are set up by the Government, particularly when they replace democratically elected bodies — I am thinking specifically of the residuary bodies that were set up to replace the democratically elected Greater London council and the metropolitan county councils — Ministers should have the guts to answer questions about the activities of those non-departmental bodies?

Mr. Luce

I think that we are referring here to transitional bodies. The criterion whether a new quango should be set up is whether it can be proved to be the most cost-effective means of fulfilling Government policy.

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