§ 28. Mr. Hawkins
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about his plans for the application of compulsory competitive tendering to housing management.
§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
We have put in place the legislative framework extending compulsory competitive tendering to housing management. The first contracts are due to be in operation from April 1996. I am pleased to say that local authorities are making good progress with their preparations.
§ Mr. Hawkins
Does my hon. Friend agree that compulsory competitive tendering has been one of the most successful Government policies, in that it has at long last brought some common sense even to some Labour authorities? Is it not greatly to be welcomed that compulsory competitive tendering can be brought into a further sector of local authority financial operations so that we may have an improvement in the standard of housing management right across the country, even in Labour and Liberal Democrat authorities, as they will be forced to use business common sense?
§ Mr. Jones
Yes, I agree with my hon. Friend. I would particularly point out to him that, for the first time in years, Labour and Liberal councils are being forced to talk to their tenants about what they want in terms of standards and methods of organisation. That is one of the great successes of compulsory competitive tendering.