§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the reason for the reduction in the level of his Department's funding of the British Geological Survey between 1979–80 and 1985–86.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
The Department's level of funding of the British Geological Survey was given in a written answer to the right hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) on 17 June 1986.
The reduction reflects changing priorities for research expenditure. In addition, the geological investigation of potential for deep disposal of radioactive waste, begun in 1979, was terminated in 1982. Work on disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste is now the responsibility of NIREX. The introduction of competitive tendering for part of the Department's requirements for geological and related research has led to a proportion of that work being let to the private sector.