§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what responses he has had to date to the proposals to set up the National Rivers Authority; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moynihan
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 17 December 1987, at columns619–21, to my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry). Copies of responses to the consultation paper on the National Rivers Authority, which respondents agreed could be published, were placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Further details of our policy were given in a memorandum issued at the time of the statement. The Public Utility Transfers and Water Charges Bill, which is currently before Parliament, will confer on the water authorities an express power to prepare for privatisation, including preparations for the setting up of the National Rivers Authority. Once the Bill has received Royal Assent, guidelines will be issued to the authorities about the preparation of schemes of organisation.