§ Mr. Conway
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether a decision has been reached on the location of the headquarters of the National Rivers Authority.
§ Mr. Howard
The great majority of National Rivers Authority staff will be based in the regions where the authority's main activities will take place. But we have concluded that, at least for an initial period, the small central policy unit of not more than 60 people should occupy the same London offices as the National Rivers Authority advisory committee. This will ensure continuity between the advisory committee and the NRA itself in the busy period up to vesting and flotation. Other headquarters support functions of the NRA, such as computers, payroll, and information technology work, will be located in the regions from the establishment of the NRA. We shall keep under review the scope for further regionalisation of these London-based staff.