HC Deb 26 January 1989 vol 145 cc730-1W
Dr. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those non-departmental public bodies responsible to his Department for which funding and staffing(a) have been reduced in 1988 and (b) are planned for reductions in 1989; and, for each case, if he will list the change in funding and staffing levels.

Mr. Ridley

Tablesa to c give information on my Department's NDPBs which (a) received less funding by way of grants and/or net borrowing from the Department in 1988–89 compared with 1987–88; (b) are planned to receive less funding by way of grants and/or net borrowing from the Department in 1989–90 compared with 1988–89; and (c) reduced their staffing levels between the start of 1987–88 and the start of 1988–89;

The reduction in funding for the National Heritage Memorial Fund between 1987–88 and 1988–89 largely reflects the payment of a £20 million endowment to the fund in 1987–88. The reduction in grant in aid for the Countryside Commission is partly due to the separate provision of core-funding for the groundwork foundation and trusts from 1 April 1988. 1987–88 figures are also inflated by the emergency provision for tree replanting following the 1987 great storm.

The higher level of funding for the London Docklands development corporation in 1988–89 compared with planned provision in 1989–90 reflects £38 million supplementary provision during 1988–89.

Reductions in staffing levels of the new town development corporations, which are funded mainly from revenue and by receipts from the disposal of their property, reflect the rundown of their programmes and some privatisation of functions. Aycliffe and Peterlee development corporation and Washington development corporation were wound up at the end of the 1987–88 financial year. Peterborough development corporation was wound up in September 1988.

The residuary body staffing is reducing because they are limited life bodies which are being wound up as soon as practicable. Tyne and Wear residuary body was wound up in October 1988. The residuary bodies are not funded by the Department.

During 1988–89, which is subsequent to the period covered by table c, the staff complement of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission has been reduced from 1562.5 to 1560.5. Reductions in the staffing of the new town development corporations and the residuary bodies have continued during 1988–89 and further reductions are expected during 1989–90. These apart there are no specific proposals for reducing staff numbers in 1989–90 in the bodies sponsored by the Department although it remains my Department's policy that NDPBs should be staffed at the minimum necessary to carry out their responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

Table A
£ thousand
1987–88 1988–89
outturn provision
Countryside Commission 22,750 21,118
National Heritage Memorial Fund 21,546 1,500
New Towns Staff Commission 3 2

Table B
£ thousand
1988–89 1989–90
provision provision
London Docklands Development Corporation 116,415 86,000

Table C
Staffing March-April 1987 Staffing March-April 1988
Countryside Commission 125 115
Letchworth Garden City Corporation 108 93
New Town Development Corporations
Aycliffe and Peterlee 29 0
Milton Keynes 816 540
Peterborough 339 249
Telford 702 469
Warrington and Runcorn 555 380
Washington 126 0
Commission for the New Towns 1,107 1,085
Residuary Bodies:
Greater Manchester 267 112
London 3,094 2,148
Merseyside 334 213
South Yorkshire 109 17
Tyne and Wear 46 14
West Midlands 52 21
West Yorkshire 116 57

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