HC Deb 20 February 1985 vol 73 cc482-4W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing, for each of the regional water authorities in England, the target return on capital required for 19–, the corresponding return for 19–, the relevant figures for capital employed for each authority for such a calculation, and the cash value of the change in revenue surplus required between the two years to meet the change in target return on capital.

Mr. Macfarlane

The information requested is as follows:

Water Authority *Financial Target Net Assets Change in Surplus
1984–85 1985–86 1984–85 1985–86
Per cent. Per cent. £ million £ million £ million
Anglian 1.36 1.62 3,170 3,376 11.6
Thames †0.50 1.37 4,411 4,671 •32.7
Southern 0.91 1.41 1,923 2,047 11.4
Wessex †0.61 1.40 1,044 1,110 •6.0
South West 1.26 1.54 961 1,018 3.6
* As per Water authorities (Return on Assets) Orders 1984 and 1985.
† Temporary reductions from 0.71 (Thames) and 0.91 (Wessex) were agreed to deal with negative balances following 1983–84 accounting adjustments and other factors.
‡ The Return on Assets Orders require the return to be expressed as a percentage of the mean of the beginning and end-year net assets. The figures given in this table incorporate estimates of the movements of the relevant repricing indices and of additions to assets less depreciation. Precise figures will only be available when the accounts for these years are published in July 1985 and July 1986 respectively.
║ It should be noted that these figures include the effect of inflation and new investment less depreciation on the value of net assets as well as the effect of the change in target rate of return. Also the effect of the target rates of return will be modified to the extent that authorities add to or draw down balances during each year.
¶ In both years, Northumbrian WA needs to over-achieve the target rate of return to break even.
• Change relative to 1984–85 targets given in note 2 above.

Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing, for each water authority in England, the cost effect for each of the years 1985–86, 1986–87 and 1987–88 of (a) the change in external financing limit compared to 1984–85, (b) the change in approved capital expenditure compared to 1984–85, (c) the extra income compared to 1984–85 corresponding to the change in target return on capital and (d) cash to be generated from cost savings or other sources, compared to 1984–85.

Mr. Macfarlane

The information requested, in so far as it is available, is as follows:

(a) External Finance Limits (including provision for MAFF grants)
Water authority 1984–85 1985–86
£ millions £ millions
North West 87.0 79.5
Northumbrian 26.0 23.0
Severn-Trent 40.0 22.0
Yorkshire 34.0 31.0
Anglian 60.0 46.0
Thames (34.0) (60.0)
Southern 23.0 11.0
Wessex 16.0 21.0
South West 11.0 9.5
263.0 183.0

Note: Later years' figures for individual authorities are provisional and subject to uncertainties arising from possible fluctuations in trading conditions and from the fact that external finance is the residual between large off-setting flows of revenues and costs. Publication of such figures could therefore be misleading.

(b) Planned Investment (excluding land drainage)
Water authority 1984–85 1985–86
£ millions £ millions
North West 140.0 156.0
Northumbrian 35.0 38.0
Severn-Trent 111.0 119.0
Yorkshire 82.0 95.0
Anglian 94.0 97.0
Thames 100.0 109.0
Southern 56.0 61.0
Wessex 35.0 49.0
South West 33.0 38.0
686.0 762.0

Note: The above figures show the investment which was planned at the time the EFLs were set. For later years the total investment provisionally planned for the nine authorities is £824 million for 1986–87 and £868 million for 1987–88.

(c) Income due to change in target return on capital

The hon. Member is referred to the answer given to his previous question.

(d) Cost Savings: Targets for reductions in real operating costs (called "Performance Aims") have been agreed with each authority as follows:

Water authority Reduction in real operating costs compared with 1982–83 to be achieved by 1986–87 £ million, (1982–83 prices)
North West -1.1
Northumbrian -1.6
Severn-Trent -7.2
Yorkshire -5.8
Anglian -2.4
Thames *-18.9
Southern -3.9
Wessex -2.3
South West -1.2
*To 1985–86.