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Departmental Functions (Transfer)

Volume 25: debated on Friday 18 June 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report details of the tasks which have been transferred by his Department to (a) local authorities (b) other statutory or publicly funded bodies and (c) private industry since May 1979; what reduction in jobs this represents; and what has been the increase in staff in each of these bodies in each case.

There have been the following transfers of tasks and reductions in jobs—staff:

  • (a) to local authorities: none;
  • (b) to other publicly funded bodies: establishment of the new Countryside Commission under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981—about 100 staff transferred;
  • (c) to private industry: hydraulics research work; and some parts of PSA Supplies activities, audit work, ancient monuments maintenance and other service functions—about 1,000 staff reduction. In addition the numbers of staff engaged in the Property Services Agency on major design work and building maintenance has decreased by some 5,600; much of this represents work being done by private firms.
  • The establishment of the Countryside Commission has not entailed any net increases in staff. Any increases in the staffing of private sector organisations are matters exclusively for the organisations concerned.