§ Mr. French
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all research and advice commissioned by his Department from external organisations or consultants, in connection with part II of the Local Government Bill indicating(a) the terms of reference, (b) the cost, (c) when the work was completed and (d) if the work will be published.
§ Mr. Portillo
We have commissioned CSL Ltd. to advise on the costs and benefits the Local Government Commission might take into account in assessing cases for structural change, and the means by which such costs and benefits could be measured. We hope to make CSL's report available soon.
We have also commissioned social researcher Mr. Alan Hedges to look at means of developing and refining criteria which might be applied to the assessment of community identity and loyalties, and which might be amenable to testing by means of surveys of public habits and attitudes in a given local area; and the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies in Newcastle university to consider the application of geographical information systems in the definition of community boundaries with a view to developing a suitable methodology which the Commission might use. We will decide how to disseminate the results of those studies when we have the final reports.
It is not our policy to reveal the value of individual contracts.