§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will notify Scottish local authorities of the relevant date under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 when they should statutorily consult the new unitary authorities before taking decisions with revenue implications for the new councils. 
§ Mr. Kynoch
Section 55 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 requires existing local authorities to gain the agreement of their successors from a date to be specified by my right hon. Friend before committing themselves to major financial transactions. Existing and new authorities are currently being consulted on the proposal that the specified date should be 1 August 1995. A copy of the consultation letter has been placed in the Library.
§ Mr. Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the framework which will be adopted for transferring staff on 1 April 1996 from existing regional and district councils to their successor bodies. 
§ Mr. Kynoch
Following discussions with the Local Government Staff Commission (Scotland) and consultations with Scottish local authorities, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and staff representative bodies, I have today laid before Parliament the Local Authorities (Staff Transfer) (Scotland) Order 1995 which requires outgoing local authorities and their successor bodies to draw up and agree detailed schemes for the transfer of staff to the new bodies on 1 April 1996.
This is an important step in the reorganisation process. The order is designed to ensure a fair and ordered transfer of staff to the new councils, the water and sewerage authorities and the Scottish children's reporter administration. Successful transition to the new authorities is dependent on the efforts of both councillors and staff.