§ Ann Winterton
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on progress with stakeholders on potential arrangements for local government re-organisation. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
As stated in the House on 10 March 2004,Official Report, column 1524W, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has established a working group to look at the practical implications of reorganisation, the first meeting of which took place on 9 March. Two sub-group meetings have also been held to discuss issues relating to continuity of functions and transfer of assets and liabilities. Meetings of sub-groups to discuss finance and staffing issues are to be held in early May.