§ Mr. Favell
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to limit the number of committees and sub-committees of the fire and civil defence authorities serving the former metropolitan counties and the amount expended on servicing such committees and sub-committees.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Such legislative controls have existed since 1 April 1986, and will continue to operate until 31 March 1989, by virtue of the Fire and Civil Defence Authorities (Establishment, Support Services and Management Schemes) Regulations 1985, made under section 85 of the Local Government Act 1985. These regulations require the fire and civil defence authorities for the first three years of their existence to submit for the Secretary of State's approval, inter alia, a management scheme including details of the authority's organisation. The Secretary of State may approve a scheme either as submitted or, after consultation with the authority in question, subject to such modifications or alterations as he may require. The exercise by the Secretary of State of the precept limitation controls, to which the fire and civil defence authorities are automatically subject in their first three years by virtue of section 68 of the Local Government Act 1985, reflects an assessment, taking into account the advice of Her Majesty's inspectorate of fire services, of what constitutes effective, efficient and economic practice over the whole of fire and civil defence authorities' expenditure.