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Environment minister Robert Jones is reviewing the timetable for the planned introduction of compulsory competitive...
Environment minister Robert Jones is reviewing the timetable for the planned introduction of compulsory competitive tendering for security work.

Mr Jones made his pledge during a debate in the House of Commons last week, during which he set down the orders for the first white-collar services to be exposed to CCT, as well as those for security services and vehicle fleet management.

The white-collar services for which the orders were laid were legal, construction and property.

In saying he would review the security work timetable, Mr Jones was responding to a complaint by Labour's new local government spokesman Tony Lloyd that it was too tight.

Under the current proposals, metropolitan authorities must put security services and vehicle fleet management out to tender by October 1995.

But even the government has agreed that local authorities should be allowed at least one year between the regulations being issued and the services being tendered out. It is now November, and the regulations have yet to be issued.

'I give an undertaking to look at those matters against the background of the timetable, and I will contact the honourable member for Stretford when I have formed a definitive view,' Mr Jones said in answer to the point put to him by Mr Lloyd.

The Association of Metropolitan Authorities would like to see the deadline for security services and vehicle management put back to April 1996, giving affected authorities an extra six months' to prepare.

An AMA spokesperson said the problem was made worse by continuing confusion over whether there will be any exemptions and what they might be.

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