25. Mr. William O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last met representatives of local government in Northern Ireland to discuss extending powers to local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Ancram
I and my ministerial colleagues have frequent discussions with district councillors on a range of subjects. These have included the powers of local authorities. The Government continue to keep the arrangements for local government under review. At present, we see no case for extending powers to local authorities. To act now would be to pre-empt the outcome 333W of the multi-party negotiations, strand one of which will consider the issue of local administration in Northern Ireland.