§ Sir Paul Beresford
On 25 July this year, 18 statutory notices were served on 18 local authorities concerning the failure of their direct labour and service organisations to meet the required financial objectives in 1993–94. A further five notices were served on the London borough of Islington for failure to submit unqualified accounts.
My right hon. Friend has now considered the responses to those notices and has today given six directions to Corby borough council on vehicle maintenance, to Devon county council on grounds maintenance, to the London borough of Islington on building maintenance, grounds maintenance, and highways and sewers work, and to Ryedale district council on sports and leisure management.
The directions take three forms:preventing the authority from carrying out the work if it fails to meet the financial objective in 1995–96:—Corby, vehicle maintenance.requiring the authority to retender the work if they fail to meet the financial objective in 1995–96, and to seek the Secretary of State's prior consent where the work has to be retendered and where the authority subsequently wishes to award the work in-house:—Devon, grounds maintenance, and Ryedale, sports and leisure management.preventing the authority from carrying out the work if they fail to submit unqualified accounts for work carried out in 1995–96:—the London borough of Islington, building maintenance, grounds maintenance and highways and sewers.The Secretary of State has also decided to take no further statutory action in respect of financial failure in 1993–94 by:Bedford, refuse collection; Colchester, sport and leisure management; Coventry, grounds maintenance; Dacorum, vehicle maintenance; Gedling, grounds maintenance; High 523W Peak, grounds maintenance; Hove, sports and leisure management; the London borough of Islington, refuse collection and sports and leisure management; Mansfield, refuse collection; New Forest, building cleaning; North Cornwall, building maintenance; Sedgefield, refuse collection; South Herefordshire, building maintenance; Stoke-on-Trent, other catering; Torbay, grounds maintenance; and Wakefield, schools and welfare catering.
A decision on Lincolnshire county council's failure to meet the financial objective for highways and sewers work has been deferred and will be announced at a later date.
To date, 120 statutory notices have been served by the Department on local authorities for losses incurred by their DLOs/DSOs in 1993–94. A further five statutory notices have been served on the London borough of Islington following its failure to submit unqualified accounts. Today's decisions follow those announced on 6 June, 11 July and 22 August 1995.