HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc327-8W
Mr. R. C. Mitchell

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's programme of grants to voluntary bodies for environmental work in the current financial year, and the purposes for which these grants are made.

Mr. Charles R. Morris

In recent years the Department has been exploring ways, through grants to voluntary organisations, (a) to encourage practical conservation work using young volunteers; and (b) to improve co-ordination between local amenity societies and their links with local authorities.

After considering applications I have decided on the following programme for 1974–75, subject to parliamentary approval of the expenditure. Most of the grants continue ones paid in 1973–74. The figures are maximum amounts, subject to the conditions of grant being met.

Practical conservation work
Community Service Volunteers £4,530
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers £17,000
National Trust Acorn Camps £5,000
Trees for People £1,000
Civic Trust for the North-East £5,000
Civic Trust for the North-West £10,000
Yorkshire Council for the Environment £7,500
Environmental Liaison Officers (National Council of Social Service) £15,000
Tree Council £5,000
Council for Urban Studies Centres £5,000

Similar work by rural community councils in rural areas is being financed from the Development Fund on the recommendation of the Development Commission. The Department also pays grants to local voluntary groups for conservation of ancient monuments and for rescue excavations. Other grants are paid to various bodies, including voluntary groups, for work in outstanding conservation areas or to outstanding historic buildings; these grants are awarded on the advice of the Historic Buildings Council.

In addition, the following bodies, funded or grant-aided by the Department, have powers among other things to assist-voluntary organisations, within the limits of their resources: Countryside Comission, European Architectural Heritage Year, Nature Conservancy Council, Sports Council.