Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Local Authorities have key role to play in preparing for the Euro [July 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 9 July 1998.

Helen Liddell speaks to Local Government Association Conference.

Local authorities have a key role to play in preparing their local business communities and must also prepare themselves for the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999, Economic Secretary Helen Liddell said today.

Speaking at the Local Government Association Conference in Bournemouth the Minister said that as part of the public sector, local authorities were vital in ensuring the UK is ready for the introduction of the euro. She said:

“It is vital for local authorities to encourage local business communities to think strategically about theeuro, to prepare for its launch, and fit that into the changing economic environment.”

But she also emphasised that they themselves must be ready, particularly in the area of procurement policy. The Minister said:

“Public procurement policy will be a key area for consideration. Suppliers may expect to invoice in the euro. If you insist on paying in sterling there may be a premium to pay.

“Many of you will also be involved in public private partnerships, and other consortia. There may be pressure to deal in euros in some of these. It is vital to assess the implications.”

Mrs Liddell called on local authorities to pay their full part in the twelve regional forums that have been set up to identify key regional issues arising from the introduction of the euro. She said:

“We are setting up regional groups across the country to bring together key strategic partners with an interest in gearing UK business up to the challenge of the euro. I urge you to play a full and active part in ensuring they are a success.”

The Minister also pointed to the creation of a working group which brings together key local government representatives, chaired by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. The aim of the group is to ensure that ongoing preparations and information about the euro is effectively communicated to local government.

On a national level, the Government was playing its part in preparations, including:

the creation of a Business Advisory Group to look at private sector preparations and a Euro-Coordinators Group to examine preparations in the public sector;

the Treasury Euro Preparations Unit which has already produced publications, set up a telephone help-line and a website; and

preparations for an advertisement campaign on television and in newspapers and journals to raise awareness and help make sure the UK is ready for the euro.