At the current rate of progress it would take just under 23 years to complete the scheduling of the ancient monuments mentioned in the Board's recent report. We are now considering whether the staff should be strengthened as recommended by the Board.
Surely the hon. Gentleman can do more than just consider it? Would it not be better to spend a little money and increase the staff now rather than have so many monuments destroyed that there will not be any work left in 15 or 20 years' time?
We must keep this in perspective. There is no evidence that any monuments are being destroyed as a result. We have a good system of reporting when a monument is threatened. We have only had the Report of the Ancient Monuments Board for six weeks and we are urgently considering its proposals.