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The Royal Parks Agency

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): The Chief Executive of the Royal Parks is currently examining the recommendations of the recent review of the organisation and structure of the Royal Parks. The chief executive will submit his recommendations to Ministers in due course.

The comments about income generation and commercial estate management in the report reflect the consultants' personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ministers or the chief executive. Although the agency must consider how it can maximise income from the Royal Parks in order to meet the financial targets set by Ministers, the chief executive proposes to achieve such targets within the parameters of the agency's existing policy, including the

29 Feb 1996 : Column WA116

recommendations of the Jenkins Reviews that Ministers have already accepted.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Royal Parks Agency will now publish a complete list of all its consultancy contracts, including those entered into by the agency before it was set up, and those entered into by its primary and other contractors, together with all relevant dates and details of action subsequently taken or not taken.

Lord Inglewood: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Beaufort's Dyke: Survey Work

Lord Lyell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will announce details of further survey work at Beaufort's Dyke.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Lindsay): The Government have arranged for the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen, to undertake further surveys of Beaufort's Dyke and the surrounding area. The principal objective of this work, which will be undertaken in May and July, will be to map the densities and distribution of any dumped munitions, particularly those located outwith the Beaufort's Dyke explosives disposal site.

The survey work will encompass: an area to the north, including the territory to be covered by the proposed electricity interconnector; the area to the east between the deep trench and the Scottish coastline; and an area to the south and east up to and including the natural gas pipeline between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

The final limits of the investigation will be determined by the distribution and densities of dumped munitions. A map of the areas to be covered by the survey has been placed in the House Library.

The MLA investigations will utilise their research vessel's hull-mounted transducer interfaced to RoxAnn ©, high resolution side-scan sonar, towed sledge, ROV-mounted and drop frame (suspended from the survey vessel) underwater television systems, and a magnetometer, or pulse induction or resistivity system. A boomer system may also be used to investigate sub-surface seabed sediments.

Seabed sediment and fish and shellfish samples will again be collected, particularly from those areas which were not sampled earlier, to confirm whether dumped munitions have had an effect on the quality of the marine environment or commercially exploited species.

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