§ Mr. Fallon
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement on area electricity boards' appliance repair activities.
§ Mr. Goodlad
As I told the House on 25 July, at column 700, in the light of comments by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in its report on the South Wales electricity board, I have been discussing with the Electricity Council whether it might be appropriate for area boards to adopt any new accounting arrangements for the repair business. The council has now decided that from 1985–86 boards will publish in their annual accounts four key indicators of performance in this activity: figures for turnover, operating profit or loss, average net current cost capital employed and the percentage return on that capital. The council has also indicated that boards will aim to run this business on a profitable basis.
This measure usefully complements the arrangements for appliance retailing and electrical contracting which were announced by my right hon. Friend last year on 26 July 1984, at column 757. The Government welcome the 567W contribution that this new step will make towards improving boards' accountability and demonstrating that they are trading fairly in the ancillary activities which they pursue.