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Nature Conservancy Agencies

Volume 181: debated on Monday 26 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he expects to make a public decision on the resources available to the new nature conservancy agencies;(2) what resources he estimates will be required by the new agencies of the Nature Conservancy Council to commence operations; and what resources he is making available to fill these posts.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 8 November that grant-in-aid for the new Nature Conservancy Council for England (NCCE) for 1991–92 has been set provisionally at £32·411 million. This will allow the NCCE not only to undertake the full range of conservation activities inherited from the Nature Conservancy Council but also to add to them or intensify them significantly.Announcements about the grant-in-aid to be provided to the new Councils in Scotland and Wales are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales respectively.The staffing resources needed by the three new councils in 1991–92 were described by the noble Lady Blatch in a statement made during Report stage of the Environmental Protection Act in another place on 17 October 1990 at columns 895–97. It is primarily the responsibility of the new councils to ensure that sufficient staff are in post when they assume their full functions and duties.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the terms of reference of the Joint Committee on Nature Conservation.

The statutory functions of the three new country agencies which are to he discharged through the joint nature conservation committee are set out in section 133 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It is for the JNCC in the first instance to develop its detailed programme within the provisions of the Act.