'It is hard to believe CCT could be made even more complicated. Taken as a whole, the changes will have a major impact on the services concerned. More people are now dragged into this tortuous process. Many small councils will be drawn in for whom compulsory competition cannot be cost-effective.'
Institute of Revenues, Ratings and Valuation president Gil Young:
'The government has acknowledged that its original proposals made public in May were unrealistic. We remain seriously concerned both about the principle and the detail of the government's amended proposals.'
'They have tightened it up quite a bit. The formula is now very different. It takes out some of the anomalies. It is very difficult for local authorities to say the DoE hasn't listened to us. The proposals are much more pragmatic.'
Shadow local government minister Hilary Armstrong:
'Sir Paul's draft regulations are one of the most centralising and prescriptive documents yet issued by a local government minister.'
John Bennett, consultant with solicitors Eversheds:
'The big thing is the 18-month delay for finance and housing management. Both services are unlikely to actually go out unless the Conservatives win the election. The prospect of another Tory government is the risk for local authorities. I very much fear that a number of authorities will just sit on their hands.'
John Serle, Society of Information Technology Management: 'It's clearer, cleaner and tougher. It's a reasonably fair and balanced package which is going to get people focused on the system. It stops people moving the pieces about on the board. But for the civil servants it's a good career- wrecking opportunity if they've cocked it up again.'
AMA secretary Rodney Brooke:
'We are still thinking about a legal challenge. I think the local authority associations' willingness to take judicial review proceedings has made the government think again about the reasonableness of its original proposals.'
Cliff Davis-Coleman, secretary of the Public Contractors Association:
'Our reaction is nice try, pity you didn't do this two years ago. It's tidying up, end-of-term stuff. With the election coming, it's too little, too late.'
Michael Hughes, Local Government Management Board adviser on competition:
'Local authorities are being forced to devote a disproportionate amount of resources on the mechanisms of CCT. Many authorities will be exposing small packages of work which are inefficient. The [new] calculation does not attach due weight to the amount of work already put into the private sector.'
John Roberts, director of the Association of Direct Labour Organisations:
'This shows the government's main concern is to unconditionally hand over services to the private sector.'