§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what consultations he had with those delivering services and those involved in taking the decision to award the contract before ordering Lincolnshire county council to re-tender its highways maintenance contract; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the recommendations by Touche Ross in respect of the tendering of the highways maintenance contract by Lincolnshire county council. 
§ Sir Paul Beresford
Following a complaint from the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, officials of the Department undertook an investigation of the way in which Lincolnshire county council decided to carry out highways maintenance work. In considering the authority's response to a notice served on it, my right hon. Friend took account of the authority's possible externalisation of the work, but decided to give a direction as it appeared to him that the authority had acted anti-competitively. Since then, officials have met officers of the authority, and discussed externalisation plans, including the Touche Ross report. The authority has been
Average house price Mix adjusted house price index Average price £ Annual percentage change Percentage change on 1990 Annual percentage change Percentage change on 1990 1990 54,700 10 n/a 2 n/a 1991 58,500 7 7 0 0 1992 57,900 -1 6 -3 -3 1993 58,300 1 7 -1 -4 1994 59,100 1 8 1 -4 1995 60,500 2 11 -1 -4
Department of the Environment, Survey of Mortgage Lenders (5 per cent. sample of mortgage completions).
The figures in the first three columns of the table show changes in the prices of a sample of properties sold in each year without adjustment for changes in the mix of properties sold. The Department's mix adjusted house price index included in the fourth and fifth columns overcomes this limitation.
Reliable figures of average house prices for Coventry are unavailable.