§ Mr. Burns
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the estimates of the financial costs of the changes made to ACT in July 1997 budget made by(a) Chelmsford Borough Council and (b) Essex County Council; 
(2) what representations his Department has received in respect of making full compensation available to (a) Chelmsford Borough Council and (b) Essex County council for the impact that the changes to ACT will have on their budgets. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
Representations have been received from the Local Government Association and several local authorities, including Essex County Council and Chelmsford Borough Council. The Local Government Association, with the support of my Department and the United Kingdom Steering Committee on Local Authority Pensions, is establishing by means of a national survey the impact of the Budget changes on local authority employers' pension costs. This information will be used to inform the actuarial valuations of each fund and how future employers' pension costs in Essex and elsewhere are affected. These factors, and any others which will 481W emerge from the 1998 actuarial valuations, will be taken into account when the level of local authority provision is determined for 1999–2000 and for subsequent years.