§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the latest estimate of staff employed by the new water authorities; and how this figure compares with the numbers employed prior to reorganisation.
§ Mr. Denis Howell
The National Water Council tells me that the latest firm figure available for staff employed by the water authorities, including the Welsh National Water Development Authority, is 58,385 at 31st March 1975. The Ogden Report, published in July 1973, estimated that, before reorganisation, 75,000 people were employed in the water industry. The figures are not, however, strictly comparable. In particular, certain functions of the water authorities are carried out on an agency basis by district councils and water companies.