§ Dr. Starkey
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made on devolving the setting of Building Regulations control charges to individual local authorities in England and Wales. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
A consultation paper on draft regulations to devolve the setting of Building Regulations control charges to individual local authorities in England and Wales with building control functions, was published in June this year. Having considered the responses I announced my decision on 31 July to proceed to lay regulations with a coming into force date of 1 April next year. I have today laid those regulations before Parliament. They are entitled "The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 1998".441W
An essential part of operating this new system of charging will be the making of a Scheme by each local authority responsible for building control in order to fix those charges and administer the charging process. The Department is therefore publishing a Circular whose primary purpose is to give guidance to local authorities on how to produce a Scheme. This will be available shortly.