§ Mr. Byers
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the costs of running the Local Government Commission; what was the amount spent each year by the commission on research and consultancy; and if he will list the areas covered and the companies engaged for each year since 1990. 
§ Sir Paul Beresford
The Local Government Commission was established on 1 July 1992. Its expenditure to date is as follows:
£ million Year Total expenditure Expenditure on research and consultancy 1992–93 2.056 0.532 1993–94 5.146 1.281 1994–95 7.817 1.004
The present budget for 1995–96 is £2,508 million; budget allocations, including those of consultancies are still being considered. The commission has engaged MORI, Ernst and Young, NOP Research Group Ltd., the Audit Commission, Succession Planning Associates, the London Research Centre and, for the current year only, Coopers and Lybrand on consultancies covering opinion research, staffing issues and financial appraisal together with other related matters.