§ Mr. Bright
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he has taken as a result of the 557W recommendations made by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in its report on the sewerage functions of the Anglian and North-West water authorities.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The main recommendations were about the arrangements for local authorities to carry out sewerage on behalf of water authorities. The Water Act 1983 changes the legislative basis for these arrangements so as to improve control by water authorities in the interests of efficiency. The Act also provides for the more effective consumer consultation which the commission sought.
The commission also made a number of other recommendations, mainly about investment appraisal and managerial control. The two water authorities will set out in their annual reports, which will be laid before Parliament, the action they are taking in response. The other regional water authorities have also reported their reactions to the Department. For its part, the Department has carried out a study of investment appraisal methods in the water industry and has commissioned a study of management control systems, with particular reference to manpower and the applicability of the Department's MINIS system. The results are under discussion with the authorities.