On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, relating to the question of Government announcements to the House and the general public affecting particular local authorities during the period of the local elections. I had understood that in the Department of the Environment it was the custom on planning applications and appeals and on education matters and social service matters that decisions were not announced until after polling day. I had assumed that this was the reason for the long delay in the decision on the Tameside secondary reorganisation. The Secretary of State for Education and Science has announced the decision of the Birmingham education authority, which has a Conservative majority of one. Will you rule on the matter of the statements made by the Government in this period?
The hon. Gentleman knows that I have no authority over the timing of statements by Ministers.