asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many responses have been received by his Department to the consultation paper, "Competition in the Provision of Local Authority Services", published in February 1985.
My Department had received more than 450 responses by 30 October 1985, and a list of the main respondents was placed in the Library on that date. One or two further comments have been received since then.
Will the Minister confirm that the majority of responses from councils of all political colours have opposed the compulsory extension of tendering? Is not the real answer to allow local councils to spend the money that they need to have the size of work force that they want to carry out their duties officially?
No, Sir. The responses were varied and wide and it would be quite difficult to determine whether they came down on one side or the other. There are clear signs that competitive tendering has helped to provide efficient and effective services and that it does not disturb the good running of local authorities.