§ Sir Michael Shaw
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has received any response from the Yorkshire water authority following the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report last December; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gow
I am grateful to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission for its thorough investigations and report.
The report has been considered by the Yorkshire water authority and I am placing a copy of its initial response in the library of the House. The report commented on the substantial improvement in the efficiency of the authority in recent years particularly since the authority was reconstituted in October 1983. I congratulate Mr. Gordon Jones, who was then appointed chairman, for the achievement.
Effective action is being taken on the five matters to which the report recommended that priority should be given (paragraph 2.67) work to establish and record the state of underground assets, to develop and use unit cost measures; to review calculations comparingthe costs and benefits of leakage control; to develop a structured approach to assessment of manpower requirements; and to develop a more rational approach to deciding investment priorities. When the authority reports again early next year I shall be looking for evidence, quantified wherever possible, of actual or projected achievement on these and other recommendations.
I have drawn the report to the attention of the other regional water authorities.