The DoE had proposed that councils should expose 35% of their construction and property-related services to competition by October 1995 and another 30% by April 1996.
Environment minister Tony Baldry announced this week that metropolitan councils and London boroughs will now have to expose 65% to competition by April 1996. Shire councils do not have to put new services out to competition until after reorganisation.
Association of Metropolitan Authorities assistant secretary Lesley Courcouf welcomed the delay but regretted that the 65% had not been lowered.
In another concession welcomed by local authority associations the DoE has agreed that regulatory or enforcement functions, such as a surveyor's visit to a site to check building control regulations, are excluded from competition.