§ Mr. Morley
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) of 28 November,Official Report, column 188–89, if he will indicate how he has responded to requests for assurances concerning the independence, duties, funding, staffing and location of the proposed Natural Heritage Agency for Scotland.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
My right hon. and learned Friend has stated publicly that the proposed Scottish natural heritage agency will have the same independent status as the present Nature Conservancy Council and Countryside Commission for Scotland, will have resources commensurate with the needs of conservation in Scotland, and will have similar duties to NCC and CCS. Staff in NCC and CCS have been assured by Government of an offer of employment on terms and conditions not less favourable taken as a whole than they have at present. It is too early to decide on the location of the proposed new body.
More detailed proposals on these and other issues will be included in the further consultation.
§ Mr. Wray
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what action his Department is taking to(a) prevent further damage to water, wildlife and trees in particular caused by pollutants such as acid rain, (b) sponsor further research on this matter and (c) help in restoring water, wildlife and trees to their original healthy state.