HC Deb 05 December 1972 vol 847 c376W
Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state the powers under which he may or may not consent to the sale of local authority water undertakings to private water companies; and if he has expressed his intentions toward any future application.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

Section 9 of the Water Act 1945 enables my right hon. and learned Friend to make orders providing for the transfer of local authority water undertakings to statutory water companies. Earlier this year I indicated thatprima facie he would be prepared to entertain such applications prior to the reorganisation of water services, provided they were technically sound and that they could be agreed upon between parties in sufficient time to be looked at in relation to the proposed legislation. On 14th November the Association of Water Companies was told that no further applications would be entertained unless certain formalities had been complied with before the date of the letter.