asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what are the functions, composition, staff and cost to public funds of the Ulster Countryside Committee; and to what extent district councils act on its behalf;(2) what are the functions, composition, staff and cost to public funds of the Nature Reserves Committee; and to what extent district councils act on its behalf.
The Ulster Countryside Committee and the Nature Reserves Committee each consist of not more than 12 members appointed by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland under sections 4(1) and 5 of the Amenity Lands Act (Northern Ireland) 1965. The countryside committee advises the Department on questions affecting the natural beauty or amentities of any area or place in Northern Ireland, while the Nature Reserves Committee advises on matters relating to the establishment and management of nature reserves or areas of scientific interest. Both are advisory committees with no funds or staff of their own and their members do not receive any remuneration. Secretarial services are provided by the Department and the cost of these, together with members' expenses, in the last financial year amounted to approximately £9,000 in the case of the countryside committee and £8,000 in the case of the Nature Reserves Committee. District councils do not act on behalf of these committees.