HC Deb 04 March 1993 vol 220 cc263-4W
Mr. Barry Field

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take against those local authorities whose direct labour organisations made significant financial losses in 1990–91.

Mr. Robin Squire

Statutory notices under the Local Government. Planning and Land Act 1980 and the Local Government Act 1988 were served on 36 local authorities between July and September last year in respect of financial failure in 1990–91. My right hon. and learned Friend announced on 2 December 1992,Official Report, column 209, his decision in respect of 10 authorities. He has now considered the responses of a further 16 authorities on which notices were served on 11 August 1992 and 2 September 1992. He has today given a direction under section 14 of the 1988 Act to Gloucestershire county council in respect of ground maintenance work.

My right hon. and learned Friend has decided to take no further action in respect of financial failure in 1990–91 by the London borough of Barnet—building cleaning; Blyth Valley borough council—new construction in excess of £50,000; Brighton borough council—highways and sewerage; Buckinghamshire county council—other cleaning; Castle Morpeth borough council—building maintenance; Dartford borough council—ground maintenance; Fareham borough council—ground maintenance; Harrogate borough council—ground maintenance; Holderness borough council—ground maintenance; North Norfolk district council—building maintenance; Reigate and Banstead borough council—building maintenance; Rotherham metropolitan borough council—ground maintenance; Surrey Heath borough council highways and sewerage; West Lancashire district council — building maintenance; and Wycombe district council — highways and sewerage.

In all these cases the authority:—

  1. (a) appears to have successfully responded to the financial losses incurred in 1990–91, and has either achieved a surplus in 1991–92, or expects to achieve the appropriate financial objective in 1992–93, or,
  2. (b) has re-tendered or intends to re-tender very shortly the works in question, or,
  3. (c) has disposed, or intends to dispose, of its direct labour organisation, or,
  4. (d) is now operating below the "de minimis" level and, as such, is outside the scope of CCT legislation.

My right hon. and learned Friend is still considering responses from the remaining authorities on which notices were served in September 1992.

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