HL Deb 12 February 1997 vol 578 c26WA
Lord Alderdice

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they intend to contract out the management of national nature reserves, country parks and historic buildings in Northern Ireland.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Baroness Denton of Wakefield)

Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Environment and Heritage Service under its Chief Executive, Robert C. Martin. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Alderdice from the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service, Mr. R. C. Martin, dated 5th February 1997.

As Chief Executive of the Environment and Heritage Service, I am responsible for operational aspects of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland's work on heritage properties.

I am therefore responding to the parliamentary Question which you put down in the House of Lords.

The Environment and Heritage Service of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland has begun a three-year programme to assess the opportunities to disengage from direct management of its nature reserves, country parks and historic properties. Each property will be assessed individually and its management will be contracted out if a competent body is able to undertake the necessary work efficiently, effectively and economically.