§ Lord Melchett
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will state, in respect of the Nature Conservancy Council's (NCC) grant-in-aid:
- (i) what is the level for 1981–82;
- (ii) what sum was requested for 1982–83 by the NCC in the light of its greatly increased responsibilities under the Wildlife and Countryside Act;
- (iii) what sum they propose to make available to the NCC in 1982–83;
- (iv) what sum the NCC estimate they require in 1982–83 to take account of inflation but otherwise maintain their activities at their present level.
§ The Earl of Avon
The approved level of grant-in-aid to the Nature Conservancy Council for 1981–82 was £10,047,000. The council asked for its grant-in-aid to be increased by an amount within the range from £950,000 to £1,130,000, in constant terms, for 1982–83 in the light of its increased responsibilities under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Subject to parliamentary approval of the estimate, the Government propose that the level of grant-in-aid to the NCC for 1982–83 should amount to £11,270,000. The NCC is not required to estimate the cost of maintaining its activities at the present level during 1982–83, but on the basis of forecast pay and price increases that would have required a grant-in-aid settlement of £10,670,000.
The difference of £600,000 between the last two figures does not mean that that sum has been allocated specifically for new responsibilities. The grant-in-aid will cover the whole range of the council's activities and it will be for the council to decide how to distribute the funds amongst them.