asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish statutory provisions relating to changes in superannuation, compensation and redundancy payments so that trade union negotiations relating to such matters may proceed with the West Midlands county council.
The programme of sets of amendments required to the local government superannuation scheme consists of 14 separate items in various stages of preparation. Some individually involve administrative and legal work comparable to that entailed in a medium-sized parliamentary Bill. The size and com- plexity of the scheme are such that producing amendments to it calls for experience and skills which are very difficult to find. I am examining possible means of accelerating progress on the most urgent items.I might, however, mention that the probable effects of programmed amendments which have been developed beyond being generalised requests for changes are normally known to local government, and may in suitable cases be anticipated. No cases in which delay in producing amendments is impeding negotiations have been brought to my attention.