asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consideration he is giving to reducing the number of rating offices; whether, in doing so, he will take into account the convenience of the public; and if he will make a statement.
I have received the report on the review of the Northern Ireland rate collection system which my officials have conducted for me in consultation with Sir Derek Rayner. This recommended a revised system which included a reduction in the number of rating offices. The staff associations are being fully consulted and a computer feasibility study is about to start which will consider further the most efficient and economic system. In considering the conclusions of this study, I shall be taking full account of the convenience of the public.