§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with(a) each of Scotland's local authorities and when these consultations took place and (b) COSLA and with whom the discussions took place on the return of water to local authority control. 
§ Mr. Macdonald
The Secretary of State issued a consultation paper on the structure of the Scottish water industry in July 1997. Replies were received from CoSLA, and from 10 local authorities. There were detailed discussions at official level between The Scottish Office and CoSLA. The Secretary of State made a statement to the House on 16 December 1997.
From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.