§ Mr. Wareing
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the consequences for the work of the Lancashire and Western sea fisheries joint committee of the abolition of the Merseyside county council; what steps he is taking to seek to ensure its work continues; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
I have received representations from members and staff of the Lancashire and Western sea fisheries joint committee, from hon. Members and from noble Lords about the reduction in the committee's income and activities arising from the decisions by all but two of the district councils in Merseyside and Greater Manchester not to join the committee, following the abolition of the Merseyside and Greater Manchester county councils. While I am naturally concerned about the committee's problems, it is for the councils concerned to decide whether or not to join local sea fisheries committees and accept a share of the costs.
The basic work of the committee on enforcement of sea fisheries regulations will be maintained and it is reassessing the scope for its other activities. An order to ensure the continued operation of the committee pending the determination of its long-term constitution was made on 7 March and came into operation on 1 April.