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Water Research Centre

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 15 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make it his policy that the Water Research Centre continues to support the water industry as a whole;(2) what is his intention on the extent to which the Water Research Centre should receive support from public funds after the water utilities are privatised.

The manner in which water undertakings support the Water Research Centre is in the first instance a matter for them, and for the centre itself. However, in the consultation paper "The National Rivers Authority" published in July 1987, the Government stated that when the water industry was restructured the Government would expect the Water Research Centre to continue to be an attractive research contractor for the Government themselves, for the utility companies and for the National Rivers Authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how it is intended that the research activities of the Water Research Centre will be funded after the utilities are privatised; to whom the results will be made available; and on what terms.

I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to his question on 10 December 1987, at column 275. The Water Research Centre currently derives its income from subscriptions and contracts, with contract income an increasing proportion in recent years. The future balance is among the issues being considered by the managers and members of the Water Research Centre and by the council. The policy of making the results of publicly funded research generally available will not change.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who are currently the directors of the Water Research Centre; what income it receives from public funds; and if he will place in the Library a copy of its memorandum and articles.

The directors of the Water Research Centre are the members of its council. They do not receive remuneration for their work on the council other than expenses allowable under clause 4 of the memorandum of association. I am arranging for copies of the memorandum and articles of association to be placed in the Library, together with copies of the Water Research Centre annual review, which contains a list of council members.