§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro),Official Report, 28 November, 230W columns 188–89, how many of the 179 respondents expressed (a) an unconditional welcome for the proposed NCC-CCS merger and (b) the need for a strong science base or co-ordination of standards, research and matters of British or international significance, and (c) the need for sufficient resources.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The Scottish Development Department's consultation paper invited comments on the Government's proposals to bring forward legislation to merge the Countryside Commission for Scotland and the proposed Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland to form a natural heritage agency for Scotland. Of the 179 respondents, 159 expressed a view on his proposal and, of these, 98 in principle supported it. Almost all respondents commented on a range of issues including science and resources, or sought assurances that the Government would address particular issues before finalising their proposals. As a result, the responses are not capable of analysis in terms of the questions posed.
In connection with co-ordination on science issues, I refer to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment on 23 November, at columns 16–17.
A file containing a copy of all the responses, except the few which were submitted in confidence, is available for inspection in the House of Commons Library.