asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish the Government's views on the reviews of the financial guidelines for management agreements under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; and if he will make a statement.
A study of the operation of the financial guidelines was carried out by consultants in 1985. We have carefully studied their report and concluded that the basis of the present system is sound and that the guidelines do not require major amendment. However, we do propose to accept a number of the consultants' recommendations for improvements to the guidelines to assist conservation authorities in securing value for money. A consultation paper is being issued today explaining our proposals in detail and seeking the views of interested parties. A copy will be placed in the Library of the House.