The government has said that it will be scrapping or taking direct control over 192 quasi-autonomous non-government organisations or Quangos in its bid to reduce the size of the deficit and the state.

The move is being spearheaded by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who said many of those bodies not being abolished would be "substantially" reformed in a move to bring not only cost reductions, but transparency and accountability.

Mr Maude said that 118 quangos will be merged with other bodies, while 171 will face reform.

Bodies being abolished completely include the Hearing Aid Council, the Union Modernisation Fund Supervisory Board, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Advisory Board.

At the same time group's like the Women's National Commission will be abolished but have their core functions transferred to the relevant government department.

One of the groups being "substantially reformed" is the Homes and Communities Agency, which will be sized down and also see some of its functions given over to the Mayor of London. The group will also be given new responsibility for social housing.

Meanwhile the Gambling Commission will be merged with the National Lottery Commission but more importantly for the City the Competition Commission will be merged with the Office of Fair Trading.

Many quangos have escaped both the axe and reform however, among them the BBC, the BBC World Service, the Charity Commission, ACAS and many of Britain's top museums.