To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what use he intends to make of his sanction powers under part III of the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980 in relation to Milton Keynes borough council.
On 15 October 1991, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State served a notice under section 19A of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 on Milton Keynes borough council, setting out his view that in 1989–90 the authority has failed to achieve the required rate of return in carrying out the work described in section 10(2)(d) of the Act—maintenance work, other than such works of maintenance in connection with highways or the maintenance of a sewer.He has now considered the response which the authority has made to the section 19A notice, and which has acknowledged the failure to achieve the rate of return in 1989–90 and also for 1990–91. The authority has also indicated that performance in the current financial year may culminate in losses between £100,000 and £150,000.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has concluded that the record of financial failure by the authority's direct service organisation is such as to justify further use of his sanction powers. He has therefore today made a direction under section 19B of the 1980 Act, prohibiting the authority from carrying out the work described in section 10(2)(d) of the Act after 1 October 1992, with the exception of emergency work.