§ Mr. Sweeney
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what decision has been reached as a result of the consultation on the "prescribed period" for Wales in part III of the Local Government (Compensation for Redundancy) Regulations 1994. 
§ Mr. Hague
I have carefully considered the responses which I received. All of them argued that the period should end after 31 March 1997, but there were different views about what the end date should be. I have had particular regard to the views of the new councils that will have to operate the regulations.
Having consulted my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, we have decided that the period should end on 30 September 1997 and my right hon. Friend will amend the regulations accordingly.
Simultaneously, I have considered the responses to a separate consultation exercise on the Local Government Reorganisation (Compensation for Loss of Remuneration) Regulations which will be made in due course by my right hon. Friend. Here, too, our decision is that the prescribed period in Wales should end on 30 September 1997.
The changes I have announced will give Welsh councils more time to implement redundancies which result from local government reorganisation and to harmonise terms and conditions. I would not expect this additional time to mean that there would be an increase in the number of redundancies attributable to the reorganisation or that more staff would suffer a reduction in salary because of the reorganisation. Accordingly, the additional funding which I provide during 1996–97 and 1997–98 will not go beyond the bids which the new councils have recently submitted to me.
I shall announce my decisions on funding for transitional costs in 1996–97 and subsequent years after the Chancellor's Budget statement.