§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from local authorities about his proposal to make council direct labour maintenance departments compete with private building contractors for the repair and maintenance of council housing; and if he has any estimates of the additional number of office and accounting staff required to implement the proposal.
§ Mr. Stanley
All the local authority associations have given general support to the Government's proposals to regulate the direct labour organisations of local authorities. The Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the Association of District Councils have both suggested that the application of competition requirements in day to day housing maintenance needs special consideration, and this view has been supported by a number of individual local authorities. We shall be examining, with the help of the associations, the detailed arrangements which will have to be made and I cannot at present estimate the effect, if any, on local authority staff numbers.