§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he has received from the Council for British Archaeology in January relating to his plans for the future of English Heritage; what reply he has sent; if he will publish the representations; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Brooke
I understand that the only representations by the Council for British Archaeology in January about English Heritage's forward strategy were, in fact, made to the National Heritage Select Committee. Representations to my Department by the council were made in November last year and it would be for the council to decide whether to publish its comments and my reply.
I have absorbed the anxieties expressed by a number of organisations and individuals about the proposals in the strategy and hope that the responses from my Department and English Heritage have helped to reassure them that the proposals will ensure greater, not lesser, protection for the built heritage. The benefits of the strategy, in terms of a clearer focusing of priorities, are already apparent. Despite constraints on funding, English Heritage expects to be able to spend £6 million more next year on restoration of properties in its care and on grants to owners of historic buildings.