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Natural England: Finance

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) the adequacy of the Government’s funding of Natural England and (b) the effect of funding levels on Natural England’s ability to support local groups such as the Stroud Valleys Project in Stroud constituency. (202427)

We announced core funding of £176 million for Natural England in 2008-09 on 21 February. The board of Natural England consider that to be a good settlement in the current financial climate. Decisions on funding for individual projects and grants are a matter for Natural England and its board.

Securing a healthy natural environment remains a top priority and is one of my Department’s two high level goals alongside tackling climate change. Natural England will be a key contributor to this work. I am confident that the budget allocation we have made for this year will enable Natural England to play a major part in delivering those goals.