§ Charlotte Atkins
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what response he has received to the consultation paper on valuation tribunal membership issues. 
§ Ms Armstrong
We have received 66 responses, the majority of which support our proposals. A list of responses that may be made public has been placed in the Library of the House. Copies of individual responses may be obtained through my Department's library.
Regulations will be introduced early in the New Year to give effect to the following measures:to provide for joint valuation tribunal and local authority appointment of valuation tribunal members, to replace the existing arrangements for appointment by local authorities alone (to apply to appointments from 1 April 2000);to provide for the appointment of valuation tribunal members by the Secretary of State where no appointment is made within 28 days of a vacancy occurring, replacing existing arrangements that apply three months from a vacancy occurring; andto provide for the transfer of appeals to other valuation tribunals where it appears there may be a conflict of interest.
Individual valuation tribunals will be consulted further about the timing of planned reductions in their number of members.