Mr Stewart said:'The White Paper made it clear that the Government would take account of reorganisation when considering the timetable for extending CCT, and whether there should be a transitional period for existing contracts.
'Today's announcement shows that despite COSLA's unhelpful attitude towards reform we are making rapid progress, and that the Government is prepared to listen to sensible representations from authorities.
'Our commitment to competition is firm, and we remain prepared to take enforcement action where authorities act anti-competitively.'
For refuse collection, building cleaning, street cleaning, schools and welfare catering, other catering, ground maintenance, repair and maintenance of vehicles and the management of sports and leisure facilities, local authorities will not be required to go out to competition from the setting up of the shadow authorities (April 1995). Thereafter, the competition requirement will be phased back between July 1997 and January 1998.
Phasing arrangements will be similar to those adopted in 1989 with each authority being given a different running order of services during the phasing in period.
For building maintenance, new construction and highways work, Ministers are still considering the detailed arrangements to apply but do not consider that any exemptions should last beyond April 1997. This exemption will not apply for construction contracts worth over £0.5 million.
The details of these phasing arrangements and further modifications thought necessary to align the professional and corporate services CCT timetable with that for housing management CCT will be the subject of further discussions with local authority interests.
Individual cases falling outwith the announced exemptions may be considered but only in exceptional circumstances. The Scottish Office Environment Department will issue detailed guidance to local authorities on these issues in due course.