§ Miss Kirkbride
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the consultancy firms and the directors of consultancy firms who are employed to work on best value pilots for local councils; and if he will make available details of these contracts. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
Following a competitive tender, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has awarded a research contract worth £⅓ million to the Local Government Centre at Warwick University's Business School to conduct an evaluation of all the Best Value pilot schemes. The study, which will be directed by Dr. Steve Martin, with Professor John Benington in support, started in October of this year and will finish in Autumn 2000. Principal researchers on the study include Dr. Mike Geddes and Dr. Jean Hartley (of the Local480W Government Centre), Dr. Ian Sanderson (of the policy Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University) and Tony Bovaird (Aston Business School).
The details of any contracts entered into by individual local authorities are matters for those authorities.