§ Mr. Richard Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many repairs are outstanding on local authority properties in Great Britain; and what is his assessment of the capability of direct works departments to deal with this backlog.
§ Mr. Stanley
Information about numbers of repairs to local authority properties is not available in my Department. Nor is it possible to assess the capability of local authorities to carry out such work by direct labour. It is for each local authority to decide whether it needs a direct works department, and for what sort of work. Forthcoming legislation on 665W direct labour organisations will, however, have the double objective of improving their efficiency and ensuring that they are fully tested in fair and frequent competition with the private sector.