HC Deb 13 June 1995 vol 261 cc491-2W
Mr. Sweeney

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements for compulsory competitive tendering will apply to county and county borough councils; and if he will make a statement. [28620]

Mr. Redwood

I have been giving very careful consideration to the timetable for reintroducing and extending compulsory competitive tendering after local government reorganisation. The Under-Secretary of State—my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Jones)—and I have received a number of representations from local authorities and others, in particular about the timetable for reintroducing CCT which was announced in December 1993.

I have concluded that the new councils should be given some more time. Generally, the revised timetable will be as follows: Reintroduction of CCT under the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980: 1 April 1997 Reintroduction of CCT under the Local Government Act 1988: 1 October 1997

CCT will apply to new joint committees which are established by the new councils from 1 October 1997. Where work covered by the 1988 Act will not be greatly affected by the reorganisation, I propose that it should be subject to CCT from 1 April 1997. This will apply to: Joint committees continued in existence by section 59 of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. The defined activity of catering for purposes of schools and welfare in the case of Powys county council.

The defined activity of collection of refuse in the case of the following councils:

  • Anglesey county council
  • Blaenau Gwent county borough council
  • Bridgend county borough council
  • Cardiff county council
  • Cardiganshire county council
  • Merthyr Tydfil county borough council
  • Monmouthshire county council
  • Newport county borough council
  • Torfaen county borough council
  • The Vale of Glamorgan county borough council
  • Wrexham county borough council

I have also been considering the responses to recent consultation exercises on the extension of CCT to personnel, finance and information technology services. I have concluded that I should make no further change to the implementation date for finance of 1 October 1998 and for IT of 1 October 1999. I have decided however that it would be appropriate to take account of the pressures which personnel departments will face as a result of local government reorganisation and the introduction and extension of CCT, and that CCT should apply to personnel services from 1 October 1999.

Finally, I have decided not to make any major changes to the specified minimum and maximum lengths of contract periods which apply in Wales under the 1988 Act. For county and county borough councils the contract periods will be:

Other cleaning 3–7
Refuse collection 5–7
Sports and leisure management 4–6
All other defined activities 3–5

In the case of building cleaning and ground maintenance, the contract period will be three to four years where the contract includes a significant element of work at a school.