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Defined Authorities

Volume 129: debated on Wednesday 9 March 1988

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Lords amendment: No. 1, in page 2, leave out line 13.

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

With this it will be convenient to discuss also Lords amendments Nos. 6, 31 and 33.

The Development Board for Rural Wales is established to operate as a development agency with economic and social functions in rural Wales. The DBRW is akin to the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the Development Commission in England, which are both precluded from the Bill's provisions.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales ensures that the board exposes its activities to competition and uses private contractors wherever it is possible and reasonable.

The opportunity has also been taken in amendments Nos. 31 and 33 to remove the board from the competitive tendering provisions of part III of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 governing building and maintenance by direct labour organisations. The part III provisions have little practical impact on the board as they apply to bodies with direct labour organisations of about 30 employees. The board has only 12 employees in its organisation.

Will the Minister confirm that the board is seeking these amendments?

That being so, can the Minister provide any enlightenment as to why the provision was included in the Bill in the first place?

Question put and agreed to.