§ Mr. Pendry
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the effect the privatisation of the water industry will have on areas of natural beauty, on recreation on and by water, on bird-watching, on rambling and on other recreational activities.
§ Mr. Moynihan
Last year the Government published proposals to strengthen, at the time of privatisation, the statutory framework for protecting and enhancing the water environment. These include the retention of statutory duties towards nature conservation, access, recreation and amenity, the introduction of statutory river quality objectives, a policy for protection zones and the preparation of a statutory code of practice. Proposals for the establishment of a national rivers authority which will have an important role in this field, will be published in the near future.