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Northern Lighthouse Board and Trinity House (Triennial Review)

Volume 572: debated on Thursday 12 December 2013

We will shortly commence a triennial review of Trinity House in its capacity as a General Lighthouse Authority, and the Northern Lighthouse Board. Trinity House provides Aids to Navigation (AtoN) in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar; and the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, operating as the Northern Lighthouse Board provide AtoN in Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Reducing the number and cost of public bodies is a coalition priority. The triennial review process has been established to continue the Government’s work in ensuring accountability in public life by examining all non-departmental public bodies NDPBs at least once every three years.

The review will be conducted as set out in Cabinet Office guidance (“Guidance on Reviews of Non-Departmental Public Bodies, June 2011”). This review has two aims:

To provide a robust challenge of the continuing need for both organisations. The first stage of the review will examine both their key functions and the form in which those functions are delivered, which will include an assessment of a range of delivery options.

If it is agreed that these two lighthouse authorities should remain as Executive NDPBs (as defined by Cabinet Office), then stage 2 will review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure that both bodies are complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance for NDPBs, having regard to their legal and constitutional positions.

Further details of the review, including detailed terms of reference, will be published on the website shortly.

If you would like further information, or to contribute to the review, please contact Helen McGill by email (

I remain committed to the continuing review of public bodies and my Department continues to work with the Cabinet Office to develop forward plans of reviews.

The report of the review, which is expected to be completed in spring 2014, will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.