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Freshwater Biological Association

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 30 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to how many staff have been made redundant both voluntarily and compulsorily by the Freshwater Biological Association in the last two years; what redundancies are proposed for the current financial year; and what percentage of the total staff each figure represents.

No compulsory redundancies have occurred at the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) in the years 1986–87 and 1985–86. Two individuals took voluntary premature retirement in 1986–87 and five in 1985–86. The voluntary retirements represent 2·9 per cent. and 4·5 per cent. of the respective staff in post figures (104·5 1986–87 and 112 1985–86).I understand that the FBA council has proposed that there should be losses of between 25 and 30 staff in the financial year 1987–88. This represents between 25·3 per cent. and 30·5 per cent. of the current staff in post figure of 98·5.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what criteria are used by the Natural Environmental Research Council in deciding to reduce the grant-in-aid awarded to a particular research body; what weight the Natural Environment Research Council attaches to the ability of such bodies to attract commissioned research funding from the private and public sectors; and if he will make a statement.

The NERC policy for the allocation of funds between the various bodies which it supports is set out in the NERC corporate plan, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. Current policy includes increasing the council's support of universities. The funding of all the council's instutute and grant-aided associations is being reduced as a consequence.NERC establishments are permitted to retain the whole of any commission research income earned and are encouraged to increase this source of funds.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to implement the commitment to environmental research, with particular reference to freshwater biology, expressed in its response to the World Conservation Strategy report, contained in the document "Conservation and Development—The British Approach"; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what priority Her Majesty's Government

Grant-in-aid (£,000)1,6341,7241,5951,6221,955
CRI (£,000)489428460617848
Total Income (£,000)2,1232,1522,0552,2392,803
Percentage of CRI included in total income23·019·922·427·630·3
The grant-in-aid for 1987–88 has yet to be finally decided, but it is expected to be about £1,443,000 at 1986–87 prices. This represents a reduction of 26 per cent. over the total grant-in-aid for 1986–87. However, the grant-in-aid for 1986–87 contained £300,000 for the net capital cost of the move of the culture collection of algae and protozoa from Cambridge to the FBA's Windermere station. After taking this into account, the reduction is 13 per cent.