§ Mr. Cormack
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what stage he has reached in his consideration of the future administration of ancient monuments and historic buildings in England; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Heseltine
I have today issued a consultation paper outlining proposals to amalgamate two existing bodies, the Ancient Monuments Board for England and the Historic Buildings Council for England, into a single public sector organisation which would also undertake certain responsibilities currently carried out by my Department. I am seeking views on the future role of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in England were a new body on these lines to be set up.
I believe that the day-to-day running of this part of the heritage would be more effectively carried by a single organisation at arm's length from Government. No firm decisions have been taken and proposals on these lines, would, if agreed, require legislation. The Government are anxious to have views from a wide range of interests before reaching any conclusions.
I am placing a copy of the consultation paper in the Libraries of both Houses.