To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has yet considered the replies from South Tyneside metropolitan borough council and Stockton-on-Tees borough council to the notices served on the authorities on 1 Febraruy and 8 March, respectively, under section 13 of the Local Government Act 1988; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has given careful consideration to the responses made by the two authorities to the notices served on them for anti-competitive behaviour on 1 February and 8 March. He has today given directions to South Tyneside and Stockton-on-Tees under section 14 of the 1988 Act requiring them to retender their ground maintenance work and other cleaning work respectively. If the councils wish their direct service organisations to carry out this work after 1 August 1994 they need to satisfy my right hon. Friend, no later than 30 April 1994, that they have fulfilled the competition requirement as laid down in the legislation.