HC Deb 04 April 1995 vol 257 c1068W
Mr. Trend

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what decisions have been reached on recently completed prior options studies carried out by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. [18765]

Sir Patrick Mayhew

These prior options studies were undertaken as part of a strategic review of the Department which examined how it might be reorganised and managed in the context of the Government reform initiative. As a result, it is proposed to create a further five next steps agencies dealing with the planning, environment, road and works services and the land registry and registry of deeds. These proposals will lead to radical restructuring of the Department which will involve a substantial shift in emphasis towards the Department becoming a purchaser rather than a direct provider of executive services. It is proposed that these Agencies will be launched and come into operation from 1 April 1996. When added to the Water Executive Agency, which is in the course of preparation for launch and five existing next steps agencies, the Department will have a total of 11 Agencies.