§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the water authorities according to (a) manpower as a proportion of revenue costs excluding interest, percentage and actual costs, (b) average rate charged per domestic ratepayer and (c) administrative staff per account where direct billing occurs; and if he will publish this information at regular intervals in future.
§ Mr. Fox
The information requested is as follows:
(a) Table 1.] List of water authorities with manpower expressed as a proportion of total revenue expenditure less financing costs:
Water Authority per cent. Northumbrian 35.7 North-West 43.0 Welsh 43.3 Yorkshire 43.4 Severn Trent 43.8 Thames 44.8 Wessex 44.9 Anglian 45.2 Southern 48.6 South-West 54.9
(b) Table 2. Water authorities listed in accordance with average combined domestic water services bill for 1980–81.
Combined Bill Water Authority £ Northumbrian 41.95 North-West 46.80 Thames 47.82 Severn Trent 48.99 Yorkshire 49.04 Southern 56.60 Welsh 60.38 Anglian 63.01 Wessex 65.44 South-West 66.72
(c) This information is not available.
The information for table 1 is derived from the National Water Council's annual report for 1978–79. That report contains other useful information involving performance ratios for each water authority. The information for table 2 63W is derived from information supplied to the Department by each water authority.
In view of the information already published by the National Water Council and regional water authorities in their respective annual reports I do not propose to repeat it.
§ Mr. Hordern
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now refer the water authorities to the Monopolies Commission.
§ Mr. Fox
The referral of bodies to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission under the Competition Act 1980 is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade. He is currently considering future references and will be making an announcement in due course.