§ Mr. Corbyn
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will estimate the additional costs to charitable institutions, such as children's homes, youth clubs and tenants' organisations if, as a result of the proposed abolition of the Greater London council, they lose the discount prices for clothing, furniture, and so on, which they currently enjoy through the Greater London council supplies department;
(2) if he will estimate the change in the cost of exercise books purchased by the Greater London council supplies department on behalf of the Inner London education authority and the London boroughs that will be incurred in the event of the abolition of the Greater London council;
(3) if he will estimate the effect of the proposed abolition of the Greater London council on the costs of 422W goods and services currently purchased by London boroughs from the Greater London council supplies department.
§ Sir George Young
I do not believe that meaningful estimates of this kind could be made; nor do I accept that there need be additional costs. As my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government made clear in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Mr. Hayes) at columns378–9, the GLC's central purchasing arrangements can be maintained if the successor bodies so wish it. In any case other local authority purchasing consortia offering comparable services already exist; and the services of the Crown Suppliers are also available.