§ Dr. Woodcock
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will direct British Coal to put the distribution of concessionary fuel out to open tender.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
The Government expects the British Coal Corporation to organise, whether through its subsidiary, National Fuel Distributors Ltd, or through other channels, the distribution of concessionary fuel in as cost-effective manner as possible. Where the distribution is handled by British Coal and its subsidiaries, it is for them to decide what degree of competitive tendering is appropriate to achieve this, in the light of competition legislation.