Written Answers To Questions
Monday 8 July 1985
Parliamentary Commissioner For Administration
asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether the Government accept the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration contained in its fourth report, Session 1983–84; and if he will make a statement.
Yes. We plan to extend the jurisdiction of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration to include certain executive non-departmental public bodies and will introduce legislation in due course to amend the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration Act 1967. Although the Select Committee found no evidence of any significant maladministration by any of the bodies recommended for inclusion in the PCA's jurisdiction, the Government agree that there is a case in principle for including certain non-departmental public bodies whose impact on citizens may be as significant as that of Government Departments. The Government's response is published today and has been laid before Parliament as a White Paper, Cmnd. 9563. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Kincora Boys' Home, Belfast
asked the Prime Minister what representations she has received from Mr. Colin Wallace relating to investigations into the Kincora boys' home in Belfast; what request he has made in connection with giving evidence to the current inquiry headed by Mr. Justice William Hughes; what further action she has taken; and if she will make a statement.
It is not my practice to reveal the contents of correspondence sent to me by private individuals. I understand that, in view of the possibility that Mr. Wallace may have relevant evidence to give the committee of inquiry into children's homes and hostels in Northern Ireland, the committee approached Mr. Wallace through the governor of Her Majesty's prison, Lewes, with a view to an interview being arranged. Mr. Wallace has asked for certain assurances before the interview is held and I understand that these are being followed up by the committee. There are no grounds for any action on my part at this time.
|Route||Public Inquiry Opened|
|M1-A1 Kirkhamgate-Dishforth||April 1983|
|A1 Clifton-Stannington Bridge||November 1984|
|A 3 Liphook and Petersfield Bypasses||February 1985|
|A 5 Telford-Shrewsbury||November 1984|
Ec (Own Resources)
asked the Prime Minister which Parliaments of the other nine member countries of the European Community have so far ratified the proposal to increase the own resources contribution to 1·4 per cent.
The necessary procedures have been started in most other member states, but have not yet been completed in any member state.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will have discussions with oil companies and public transport operators about the quality of diesel fuel available for motor vehicles.
Officials from my Department are already taking part in discussions of proposed revisions to the British standard for diesel fuel. The existing standard is observed voluntarily by the oil industry.
Vehicle Testing (Regulations)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made any assessment of the average cost to a small garage of meeting the new conditions of the vehicle testing regulations.
In view of the wide variation in size and layout of garage premises, it is not possible to make an average assessment.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the reply of the Minister of State to the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth on 2 July, concerning representations from garages concerning the new vehicle testing regulations, how many garages made representations; of these how many where in favour of the changes; and how many were against.
I have received approximately 170 representations, which equates to about 1 per cent. of the testing stations currently authorised. Most of these raised objections but some made favourable comments, particularly about the improved security arrangements.
Public Inquiries (Roads)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Waller) on 26 June, Official Report, columns 425–26, about public inquiries on proposals for new or improved roads, if he will list the dates upon which each of the public inquiries referred to commenced.
The information requested is as follows:
Public Inquiry Opened
|A 10 Melbourn Bypass||November 1984|
|A 11 Thetford Bypass||March 1985|
|A 11 Wymondham-Cringleford||November 1984|
|A 12 Hackney Wick-M11 Link||February 1983 adjourned July 1983, resumed September 1983|
|A 12 Martlesham Bypass||February 1985|
|A 21 Robertsbridge Bypass||July 1984|
|A 23 Warninglid-Brighton||March 1985|
|A 35 Bridport Link Road||October 1984|
|A 35 Dorchester Bypass||February 1985|
|A 39 Barnstaple Bypass||October 1984|
|A 42 Castle Donington, North||April 1984|
|A 43 Brackley Bypass||December 1984|
|A 47 Eye Bypass||March 1985|
|A 47 Wardley Hill Improvement||April 1985|
|A 303 South Petherton-Broadway||March 1984|
|A 361 North Devon Link Stage IIA (Tiverton-Newtown)||January 1984|
|A 361 North Devon Link Stage IIB (Newtown-Barnstaple)||January 1985|
|A 406 Falloden Way-Finchley High Road||March 1983|
|A 406 Hanger Lane-Harrow Road||February 1984, adjourned to May 1984, adjourned to September 1984|
|A 406 Popes Lane-Western Avenue||December 1983|
|A 616 Stocksbridge-M1||October 1984|
|A 629 Airedale Route (Kildwick-Beechcliffe)||March 1984|
|A 629 Airedale Route (Victoria Park-Crossflats)||March 1984|
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to reach a decision following the public inquiry into the proposed Robertsbridge bypass.
I hope to announce a decision following the inquiry by the autumn.
Spray (Lorries And Coaches)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he is making in developing methods of reducing lateral and rear sprays from lorries and coaches driving in wet conditions.
My right hon. Friend made regulations last November which require new lorries and existing heavy trailers to be fitted with antispray devices conforming to the British standard BS AU 200, by various dates starting in May this year. These regulations are a first step, and my right hon. Friend will be ready to revise them in the light of technical progress. Buses are already fitted with comprehensive wheel guards and are not included in the scope of the regulations.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many road accidents in 1984 were attributed to wet road conditions, including lateral and rear sprays from lorries and coaches.
Details of accident causes and spray from vehicles are not identified in accident report. However, road surface conditions are recorded. Provisional figures show there were 81,827 accidents on wet or damp roads and 322 accidents on flooded roads in Great Britain during 1984.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure the better drainage of the carriageways of motorways.
Potential improvements in drainage are frequently considered and evaluated as part of the continuing process of developing better designs and construction methods. Currently, trials are in progress in an attempt to develop durable previous surfacings through which water can drain to the edge of the carriageways, thereby reducing spray from vehicles.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether a date and venue has yet been arranged for the formal investigation into the loss of the sailing barque Marques; and whether a wreck commissioner has been appointed.
Yes. The formal investigation will commence at 11 am on Monday 14 October 1985 in the New Continental hotel, Plymouth, and is expected to last approximately six weeks. The wreck commissioner will be R. F. Stone Esq., QC.
asked the Attorney-General if he will list the dates on which each of the judges in the Court of Appeal, the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Vice-Chancellor and the head of the Family Division of the High Court have to retire.
The respective dates are as follows:
|Latest retirement date|
|Court of Appeal|
|The Right Honourable The Lord Chief Justice of England||17 July 1993|
|The Right Honourable The Master of the Rolls||6 October 1995|
|The Right Honourable The President of the Family Division||6 May 1990|
|The Right Honourable The Vice-Chancellor||30 March 2005|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Lawton||21 December 1986|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Ackner||18 September 1995|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Oliver||7 March 1996|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Watkins, VC||18 November 1993|
Latest retirement date
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice O'Connor||28 December 1989|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Fox||8 October 1996|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Kerr||1 March 1996|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice May||28 June 1998|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Slade||2 June 2002|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Purchas||19 June 1994|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Goff||12 November 2001|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Dillon||2 October 2000|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Brown||3 October 1999|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Parker||25 February 1998|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Croom-Johnson, DSC, VRD||28 November 1989|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Lloyd||9 May 2004|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Neill||2 August 1998|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Mustill||10 May 2006|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Nourse||3 April 2007|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Glidewell||8 June 1999|
|The Right Honourable Lord Justice Balcombe||29 September 2000|
British Nuclear Fuels (Prosecution)
asked the Attorney-General if he will prosecute British Nuclear Fuels plc. for contempt of court in respect of the exhibition staged by it at Windscale during the current trial of British Nuclear Fuels plc.; and if he will make a statement.
I understand the question as referring to the static exhibition which has been maintained at the premises of British Nuclear Fuels plc. for several years. I am satisfied that it does not provide any basis for proceedings for contempt against British Nuclear Fuels plc.
British Telecom Shares (Fraudulent Applications)
asked the Attorney-General what progress has been made in bringing prosecutions against those who made fraudulent applications for BT shares.
The Director of Public Prosecutions expects to receive a report from the Metropolitan police shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many specified activity requirements were included in supervision orders from (a) 1 July 1983 to 31 December 1983 and (b) 1 January 1984 to 30 June 1984;(2) what proportion of offenders aged 14 to 16 years, inclusive, found guilty of indictable offences received specified activity requirements or suspension orders between
(a) 1 July 1983 and 31 December 1983 and (b) 1 January 1984 and 30 June 1984;
(3) how many night restriction requirements were included in supervision orders between 1 July 1983 and 30 June 1984;
(4) how many charge and control conditions were made by courts between 1 July 1983 and 30 June 1984.
The information available to me, which may be incomplete for those requirements infrequently used, was published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin, issue No. 12/85 "The Sentencing of Young Offenders under the Criminal Justice Act 1982: July 1983—June 1984".
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what has been the average weekly change in the prison population since 4 January;(2) what has been the average weekly change in the prison population since Easter.
Between 4 January and 28 June, the prison population rose by an average of 244 per week, which is equivalent to about 160 per week after allowing for normal seasonal variation. The average increase since Easter—5 April—has been 145 per week; this figure is not greatly affected by seasonal adjustment.
Pucklechurch Remand Centre
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons investigation of Pucklechurch remand centre, completed on 6 August 1982, was not published until 27 June 1985; and if he will make a statement.
This report was received in April 1984. It was one of a substantial backlog of inspection reports which had built up because of other pressing work—in particular, the Maze inquiry—and staffing difficulties in the Prisons Inspectorate during 1982 and 1983, when only five reports were received, and which were subsequently submitted to my right hon. and learned Friend during 1984, when 23 were received. Because of the increased number of reports requiring consideration, the interval between receipt and publication has been longer than we would have wished. Urgent steps are being taken by the Prison Department to clear the backlog.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the number of sexual assaults recorded by the Metropolitan police for each year since 1979, and subsequent clear-up rates.
Details of the numbers of sexual offences recorded by the Metropolitan police are published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, Supplementary Tables" — volume 3, table S3.1 of the issues for 1980 and 1983—and for the latest year 1984 were published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin, issue 6/85—table 6. I understand from the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis that for all sexual offences the numbers and percentages of recorded offences cleared up are as given in the following table:
|Notifiable sexual offences recorded by the Metropolitan Police which were cleared up*|
|Offences cleared up (Number)||Clear up rate (Percentage)|
* Offences cleared up in one year may have been initially recorded in a previous year.
† Excludes for comparability offences of "gross indecency with a child".
Forensic Science Units
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the future of forensic science units within the United Kingdom and if he will make a statement.
The forensic science service plays a vital role in the criminal justice system and, while my right hon. and learned Friend is always prepared to consider proposals for improving its economy, efficiency and effectiveness, he has no present plans to change the way it is organised.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the annual cost of supervising a probation order in the financial year 1983–84;(2) what was the annual cost to the probation service of supervising an offender under a supervision order in the financial year 1983–84;(3) what was the average cost of supervising a community service order in 1983–84.
The information is published annually in "Probation Statistics, England and Wales" and the latest available information is for 1982–83, published in table 12.3 of the issue for 1983.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what manpower reductions his Department has achieved in 1984–85.
The position is as follows:
|Staff in post at 1 April 1984||Staff in post at 1 April 1985|
|Home Office other than Prison Department||9,369||9,252·5|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any limitations are imposed on the issue of British passports to applicants whose British nationality status falls outside the definitions of British citizenship, British dependent territories' citizenship and British overseas citizenship.
No. Passports issued to other British nationals—British subjects and British protected persons — have the same period of validity as those issued to British citizens and are valid for travel to all countries.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Her Majesty's Government have ratified (i) the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 or (ii) the United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971; and if he will make a statement.
The United Nations single convention on narcotic drugs 1961 was ratified by the United Kingdom on 2 December 1964. The Government intend to ratify the United Nations convention on psychotropic substances 1971 and we are now consulting trade and professional organisations on the changes that will be necessary to our domestic legislation before ratification can take place.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has of the cost of producing the proposed new European Community passport; and how this compares with the cost of producing the existing passport.
The common EC format passport should cost no more to print and produce than the existing passport, the present cost of which is about £1·40.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the prison population on 28 June.
Forty seven thousand, five hundred and eighty two, excluding 51 in police cells.
Drugs (Forensic Analysis)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is currently the time taken by the police forensic science laboratories to analyse samples of products suspected of containing cannabis, heroin and cocaine.
Information is not available on the time taken to complete analyses in different types of drug cases in either the six Home Office forensic science laboratories or the Metropolitan police laboratory. The average time currently taken in all drugs cases, of which cannabis, heroin and cocaine form the major part, varies as between laboratories from 17 to 32 days.
Trade And Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if work at the National Physical Laboratory on the corrosion of metals by air pollutants has been started.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the industrial potential to the United Kingdom of participation in the SEDCO 471 ocean deep-drilling programme.
The ocean drilling project is likely to lead to some opportunities for the development of drilling equipment, submersibles, sensors and other equipment which may be of wider application. Contracts for these will, however, be placed throughout the participating nations and the industrial benefits for any individual nation are likely to be limited.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish a table showing the value of tobacco products imported from West Germany in each of the most recent 24 months, respectively, for which figures are availble.
The information is as follows:
Source: data corresponding to SITC/R2 Group 122 in the United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.
(i) imports are valued cif.
(ii) the value for May 1985 is an estimate.
Ec (Trade Statistics)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for the United Kingdom and Germany the increase in imports from and exports to other European Economic Community countries of manufactures between the first quarter of 1979 and the latest available quarter in terms of European currency units; and if he will provide corresponding figures for trade with the rest of the world.
The information is as follows:
|Exports of Manufactures*Increase from 1979 1st quarter to 1985 1st quarter|
|United Kingdom||Federal Republic of Germany|
|* Standard International Trade Classification Section 5 to 8.|
Sources: Eurostat Monthly External Trade Bulletin CRONOS
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how often in recent years his fisheries protection service has had requests from the Northumbrian water authority to assist in the regulation of the north east drift net fishery; and if he will make a statement.
There have been no such requests. In 1984, a Royal Navy vessel that normally undertakes salmon patrols off south-east Scotland was diverted from time to time to patrol the waters off the Northumbrian coast. That will be repeated this year.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his latest estimate of the effect of the north east drift net fishery on the rod and net catches of salmon grilse and sea trout in (a) the rivers Tweed, Forth and Tay and (b) the rivers South Esk, North Esk, Dee, Don, Ugie and Ytham; and how this is affecting the runs and stocks of migratory salmonids in each of these rivers.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland estimates that the reported north-east coast fishery catch for 1983 of 77,277 fish included the following numbers of salmon and grilse returning to rivers in the stated districts:
|(a) Tweed, Forth and Tay||61,800|
|(b) South Esk, North Esk, Dee, Don, Ugie and Ythan||13,700|
Trees (Health Survey)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when a full report of the results of the Forestry Commission's survey into the health of the nation's trees, announced on 12 March, will be published.
The Forestry Commission plans to publish a report on this survey in mid-August.
Scottish Office (Staff Car Park)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many car parking spaces are reserved for Scottish Office staff at the St. James's centre car park. Edinburgh; what is the total annual cost; and how much is recovered.
Two hundred and four spaces are available to Scottish Office staff during working hours from Monday to Friday. Responsibility for the provision of spaces and the related financial arrangements lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. No charge is made to the staff who use the car park.
Edinburgh Dental Hospital
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his reply on 24 May, Official Report, column 583, whether the further meeting on the future of the Edinburgh dental hospital has been held; and if he will make a statement.
The Scottish Home and Health Department has arranged to meet the university, the health board, and the University Grants Committee on 23 July.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make a statement on his policy towards the privatisation of the Forth, Tay and Erskine road bridges;(2) if he has had any discussions on the possibility of privatising the three toll road bridges in Scotland.
The Forth and Tay road bridge joint boards, which are the responsible authorities for these two bridges, have made no proposals to me concerning their privatisation. My right hon. Friend has no present plans to privatise the Erskine bridge.
University Of Aberdeen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will seek to ensure that the future of the BSc (AGR) at the University of Aberdeen is not affected by the proposed cuts in research and development and advisory services; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 5 July 1985]: The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland has issued a consultation document on the future of agricultural research and development in Scotland. A similar document on the future of the advisory services will be issued at a later date. Before decisions are taken, proper consideration will be given to any responses that are received on the effect of these proposals on agricultural education in Scotland.
British Library (Cataloguing)
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether the Minister for the Arts intends to meet the chairman of the British Library to discuss the computerisation of the British Library's cataloguing.
My noble Friend has no plans for such a meeting.
European Declaration On Cultural Objectives
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts if he will make a statement on the implementation of the European declaration on cultural objectives adopted in 1984 in terms of the arts.
The Government support the Council of Europe's declaration on cultural objectives.
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts when the Minister for the Arts last met the chairman of the Arts Council; and what subjects were discussed.
My noble Friend met the chairman of the Arts Council on 3 July, and they discussed topics of mutual interest.
Local Government Reform
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts what representations the Minister for the Arts has received following the Arts Council meeting of 29 May above the level of Government arts funding in the event of the abolition of the Greater London council and the metropolitan county councils.
My noble Friend has received a small number of letters following the Arts Council's press statement about the level of funding and has said that he awaits the formal request from the Arts Council for funding for 1986–87.
Objects In Lieu Of Tax
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts if he is in a position to announce changes to the provision for acceptance by the nation of pre-eminent heritage items in lieu of taxation; and if he will make a statement.
Consideration of the "in lieu" arrangements is in progress. A statement will be made in due course.
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts what recent representations the Minister for the Arts has received from Northern Arts concerning the overall level of provision for the arts in the current financial year.
My noble Friend has received no such representations recently.
National Heritage Act 1980
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether he will make a statement on the operation of section 16 of the National Heritage Act 1980.
The National Heritage Act 1980 enables Ministers to indemnify loans for exhibition purposes. The scheme is widely used and the rules governing it have not been changed.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy, what manpower reductions his Department has achieved in 1984–85.
My Department reduced its manpower by a further 26 staff, from 1,098 to 1,072, in the period.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what new research is being undertaken in the United Kingdom supported by the Government, to develop new low pollution combustion techniques and emission control technologies.
Primary responsibility for developing new low pollution combustion techniques and emission control technologies rests with the industries concerned. The CEGB and NCB have substantial research programmes to investigate coal cleaning techniques, fluidised bed combustion and technologies for reducing emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Vehicle manufacturers are also developing lean-burn engines which will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.As part of this overall effort, my Department is financially supporting two joint studies. The first, involving the CEGB and NCB, is a design study of a power station based on a pressurised fluidised bed combustor using both gas and steam turbine generators. The second, which also involves BGC, is investigating a combined cycle using the British Gas-Lurgi slagging gasifier. Both concepts are aimed at reducing emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what finance he makes available to the Natural Environment Research Council for the study of tectonic changes by scientists on royal research ship Charles Darwin; and what is his policy on financing long-term research on tectonic change.
My Department does not fund any study of tectonic changes by scientists on royal research ship Charles Darwin. However, my Department has contributed to the international phase of oceangraphic drilling and has offered support to the new ocean drilling programme.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give details of redundancy payments available for opencast coal industry workers under article 56 of the Treaty of Paris.
Article 56.2(b) of the treaty empowers the Commission to provide certain non-repayable aids towards tideover allowances, payments to workers temporarily laid off, resettlement and vocational training.Such aid depends upon undertakings in the coal or steel industries needing permanently to discontinue, curtail or change their activities as a result of fundamental changes in the market conditions of those industries. It will be provided, on application by a member Government, only if that Government are themselves contributing at least an equivalent figure.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current salary paid to permanent chairmen of industrial tribunals; when this was last reviewed; and what was the percentage increase.
The current salary paid to full-time chairmen of industrial tribunals (other than regional chairmen) is £28,500. This was last increased in 1984 following report No. 21 of the top salaries review body. The former salary of £26,750 was increased by 3 per cent. on 1 April 1984 and by a further 3·5 per cent. on 1 November 1984. In addition, a London weighting allowance, currently £1,300 is paid to chairmen serving in inner London. Chairmen's salaries have recently again been reviewed by the top salaries review body. Its report is at present being considered by the Government.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment by how much the work load of industrial tribunals has been reduced as a result of the introduction of the new qualifying period.
The workload of industrial tribunals has not yet reduced as a result of the recent change in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims. The change applies only to those commencing a period of continuous employment on or after 1 June 1985. The effect of any reduction in case load will not therefore begin to be felt until June 1986, and the full effect will not be felt until the second half of 1987.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what advice his Department gives to the careers service on the job opportunities in the leisure industries.
The Department's guidance to local education authorities advises them to seek to ensure that careers officers establish good relationships with employers and their organisations, trade unions and training institutions in order to build up detailed knowledge of occupations and working environments, employment opportunities and training schemes. This applies to all fields of work including the leisure industries. If my hon. Friend knows of any particular problem I would be pleased to hear from him.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what specific measures he plans to undertake to ensure that his Department implements the proposals contained in the recent Department of Trade and Industry report on the scrutiny of administrative and legislative requirements in small businesses.
Since publication of the "Burdens on Business" report the Government has been considering action to carry forward this initiative and should be able to make its plans known shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment in the following travel-to-work areas (a) what percentage of those registered as unemployed are registered for work with the local jobcentre and (b) what further percentage it is estimated-use the jobcentre self service system in Andover, Ashford, Aylesbury and Wycombe, Bicester, Cambridge, Crawley, Guildford and Aldershot, Harrogate, Heathrow, Hertford and Harlow, London, Medway and Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Reading, Slough, Swindon, Watford and Luton, respectively.
Those registered for work with the local jobcentre include a number of people seeking a change of employment and others who are not claiming unemployment benefit. Unemployed people are longer required to register at the jobcentre as a condition of claiming benefit. Therefore it is not appropriate to express the number of jobseekers registered at jobcentres as a percentage of claimant unemployed. Information on registered jobseekers is only available for jobcentre areas which do not correspond to travel-to-work areas; and it is not readily possible to assess the number of jobseekers using only the self service facilities at jobcentres.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people under 21 years of age in Tameside have never had a job since leaving school.
The following information is in the Library. On 13 June 1985 there were 612 unemployed claimants aged 18 or younger in Tameside local authority district who had never had a job since leaving school. No information is separately available for those aged 19 and 20 years.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list all the different categories of persons according to willingness and ability to work who are included in the overall unemployment figures.
The monthly unemployment figures relate to those claiming unemployment benefit, supplementary allowances or national insurance credits at unemployment benefit offices. It is a condition of receipt of these benefits or credits that a person be unemployed and capable and available for work. In addition to the statutory conditions, the Department of Health and Social Security also has arrangements for reviewing those who have been unemployed for at least six months.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have registered as willing to work and given details of their skills and experience at the Hemel Hempstead jobcentre at the most convenient recent date; and what was the number of people registered unemployed for the purpose of benefit in the same area on the same date or most convenient date to the same date.
On 7 June 1985, 937 jobseekers were registered at the Hemel Hempstead jobcentre. This figure includes some employed people seeking a change of employment and some unemployed people not claiming benefit. The number of unemployed persons claiming unemployment benefit, supplementary allowances or national insurance credits in the Hemel Hempstead jobcentre area on 13 June 1985 was 3,698. It is a condition of receipt of these benefits or credits that a person be unemployed and capable and available for work.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will show from the 1984 labour force survey the number of people in Great Britain who are economically active and (a) in employment, (b) unemployed and (c) others on Government training schemes, broken down (i) by ethnic origin and (ii) by age in five-year age bands.
Information from the 1984 labour force survey is as follows:
|(i) Economically Active Persons Aged 16 and over by Ethnic Origin|
|Great Britain Thousands|
|Ethnic Origin||In Employment||Unemployed||‡Others on Government Schemes|
|Non-white, of which:||820||213||7|
|West Indian or Guyanese||221||66||●|
|Pakistani or Bangladeshi||83||44||●|
|All ethnic origins†||23,282||2,905||61|
|* Including African and mixed origin.|
|† Including those persons whose ethnic origin was not stated.|
|‡ Those persons on Government employment or training schemes who described themselves as employed or unemployed are counted as such; the remainder are in this category (apart from those on TOPS schemes who said they were neither working nor seeking work, who are classified as inactive).|
|● Sample size too small for reliable estimate.|
|(ii) Economically Active Persons Aged 16 and over by Age|
|Great Britain Thousands|
|Age||In Employment||Unemployed||*Others on Government Schemes|
|* Those persons on Government employment or training schemes who described themselves as employed or unemployed are counted as such; the remainder are in this category (apart from those on TOPS schemes who said they were neither working nor seeking work, who are classified as inactive).|
|† Aged 20 years and over.|
|● Sample size too small for reliable estimate.|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have registered as willing to work, giving details of their skill and experience, at jobcentres covering St. Albans and Harpenden at the most recent convenient date; and how many people were registered as unemployed for the purpose of benefit in the equivalent area at the same date.
On 7 June 1985, 597 jobseekers were registered at the St. Albans jobcentre and 124 jobseekers registered at the Harpenden jobcentre. This figure includes some employed people seeking a change of employment and some unemployed people not claiming benefit. The numbers of unemployed persons claiming unemployment benefit, supplementary allowances or national insurance credits in the St. Albans and Harpenden jobcentre areas on 13 June 1985 were 2,233 and 668 respectively. It is a condition of receipt of these benefits or credits that a person be unemployed and capable and available for work.
Job Release Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to reduce the qualifying age for the job release scheme to 55 years; and if he will make a statement.
We have no plans at present to reduce the qualifying age for the job release scheme. The scheme, in common with all employment measures, is kept under review.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what statistics are being collected to monitor the code of good practice on the employment of disabled people.
A variety of statistics to monitor the promotion of the code of good practice is being collected by the Manpower Services Commission on a quarterly basis. These include the number of copies of the code issued; types of organisation to whom it was issued; and the number of visits to employers by the disablement advisory service. Monitoring of employers' first reactions to the code is currently being undertaken and some preliminary results should be available later this year. A full, in-depth evaluation of the code's effectiveness will be made after about two years.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the reasons for the lack of figures available on the number of unemployed disabled people after 1982; and if he has considered ways in which reliable statistics can be collected.
As foreshadowed in the September 1982 Employment Gazette, with the removal of the compulsory requirement to register for employment as a condition for the receipt of unemployment benefits in October 1982, it became no longer possible to collect statistics of unemployed disabled people on the same basis that had previously applied. However, figures on the numbers and characteristics of unemployed disabled people who choose to register for employment continue to be collected in jobcentres. These figures are published in the Employment Gazette each month.The Government decided that in addition it needed to know regularly how many other unemployed disabled people there might be. The labour force survey would be used for this purpose, and first results were published in the article "Labour Force Surveys: preliminary results for 1984" in the May 1985 issue of the
Employment Gazette. These new figures are based on a self-assessment of health problems and disability, and cannot therefore be compared directly with earlier series.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many employers are subject to the disabled persons quota; of these what percentage meet the quota; what percentage has been issued with permits within the last 12 months and what percentage with bulk permits; and what percentage is below the quota but has not been issued with permits.
On 1 June 1984, the latest date for which information is available, 36,680 employers were subject to the provisions of the quota scheme, of which 30·3 per cent. employed the full quota of registered disabled people. A further 51·2 per cent of this total were below quota but had been issued with permits during the previous 12 months, 49·9 per cent. with bulk permits. The remaining 18·5 per cent. of employers were below quota and had not been issued with permits. However, these were not necessarily breaking the law unless they had engaged other than registered disabled people in the period.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of disabled people who are in (a) section I and (b) section II who, during 1984–85, have been placed in employment by (i) disablement resettlement officers and (ii) mainstream advisers; and what these figures are as a percentage of total jobcentre placements.
The information requested is as follows:
|Disabled people placed during 1984–85|
|(1) by Disablement Resettlement Officers (as percentage of total jobcentre placements):|
|(ii) by Mainstream advisers (as percentage of total jobcentre placements):|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate for the latest available date the total known annual amount of income received by individuals and of this how much is paid (a) in wages and salaries to employees, (b) through other forms of remuneration deriving from employment, (c) from the profits of or remuneration of self-employment, (d) by way of interest, dividends and other benefits of investments, (e) in non-state pensions, annuities, and similar payments, (f) in social security benefits including the remission of rent or rates through housing benefit, free prescriptions, and similar remissions and (g) in any other way.
The most recent comprehensive information on the sources of gross income received by individuals in private households is given in table 21 of the report on family expenditure survey for 1983. A copy is in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide the most recent available estimates from the family expenditure survey on average expenditure of (i) all households and (ii) households with incomes below £150 per week on fuel, light and power, food, clothing and footwear, and durable household goods for the following household types (a) single person, (b) married couple, (c) married couple with one child, (d) married couple with two children, (e) married couple with three children and (f) three adult household; and if he will also update these estimates to May 1985 and November 1985 using the retail price index and Government assumptions or projections for price movements.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations his Department has received in the last 12 months on the question of Aujeszky's disease.
My Department received about 110 representations on this subject in the last 12 months.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what manpower reductions his Department has achieved in 1984–85.
There were 103 fewer staff in my Department on 1 April 1985 as compared with 1 April 1984.
Register Of Fish Farms
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether members of the public will have any access to the register of fish farms which he proposes to establish under the Diseases of Fish Act 1983.
|Expenditure on agricultural support under the CAP and on national grants and subsidies (£ million)||263||257||1,012||972||1,433||1,729||*1,780|
|Gross domestic product at current market prices (£ million)||26,180||52,786||237,373||259,803||283,855||305,708||327,000|
|Expenditure on agricultural support as a percentage of GDP (per cent.)||1·00||0·49||0·43||0·37||0·50||0·57||0·54|
Source: Expenditure—Annual Review of Agriculture White Paper series.
Gross domestic product—Economic Trends Annual Supplement 1985 for the years up to 1983–84 and for 1984–85 Table 2.4 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1985–86.
Note: These figures exclude some other areas which might be designated as agricultural support—R and D, departmental administration, ADAS, animal health measures—which it is not possible to extract on the same basis as before.
European Community (Agriculture Budget)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the maximum amount expendable under the European Economic Community budget in 1986 on agriculture as a percentage of the total budget under the new rules; and how this compares with the actual percentage in each of the past five years and the current year.
If the hon. Member is referring to the financial guideline which applies to expenditure from the
Section 9 of the Diseases of Fish Act 1983 places very strict limits on the disclosure of specific information gained through registration, which would preclude the disclosure of such information to members of the public without the written consent of the persons by whom the information was provided.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he proposes to have with other European Economic Community Agriculture Ministers about the implementation of his proposals regarding nutritional labelling of foods; and if he will make a statement.
Copies of the statement of my right hon. Friend of 12 March together with copies of the draft guidelines on nutrition labelling have been circulated at official level to all member states. We will consider whether further action is appropriate when all responses have been received.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing (a) the amount spent on agricultural support in the United Kingdom under the common agricultural policy and by national grants and subsidies and (b) the expenditure on agricultural support as a percentage of the gross domestic product, for the years 1960–61, 1970–71, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85, respectively.
The information requested is as follows:guarantee section of the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund, excluding fisheries, the Commission has estimated that maximum permitted expenditure under the guideline in 1986 will be 20·6 billion ecu. This represents 59 per cent. of the total expenditure the Commission intends to propose in its preliminary draft budget for 1986. The percentage shares of total budget taken by this expenditure since 1980 are as follows:
|1984 supplementary and amending budget No. 1||67|
European Community (Farm Structures)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about his plans to implement the European Community farm structures regulation No. 797/85.
We have today laid before the House three statutory instruments which will implement this regulation. The Agriculture Improvement Regulations 1985 will, if adopted by Parliament, govern from 1 October the payment of farm capital grants for which part funding is available from the EC. Grants under these regulations will be paid to eligible farmers on a broad range of agricultural investments at basic rates of 15 per cent. in the lowlands and 30 per cent. in less-favoured areas; on tourism and craft works in hill areas at 25 per cent.; and on environmental improvements at 30 per cent. in the lowlands and 60 per cent. in the less-favoured areas. Young farmers under the age of 40 may qualify for increased rates of grant. The agriculture improvement scheme 1985 will from 1 October 1985 provide nationally funded grants for environmental works, including, for the first time, poultry waste disposal facilities, and, in fulfilment of a continuing Government commitment, for horticulture. The scheme also closes the agriculture and horticulture grant scheme 1980 to expenditure incurred after today and specifies deadlines for grant claims. In most cases, the deadline is December 1985, but for some land improvement works and for orchard replanting this is extended to 1988. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development (Amendment) Regulations 1985 amend grant rates under the Agriculture and Horticulture Development regulations 1980 for new applications received between now and 1 October. The new rates under these regulations are, in general, those which will apply under the new arrangements from 1 October.
Anglesey (A5 Bypasses)
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the current state of the investigation by consultants into routes for bypasses around the five villages on the A5 on Anglesey; when he expects to receive a final report; and if he will make a statement.
The consultants are making good progress with their investigations and I still expect to receive their final report by the end of the year.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the actual percentage reduction in the net central Government expenditure on housebuilding in Wales between 1979–80 and the latest available date.
It is not possible to answer the question in the form put by the hon. Gentlemen. Public sector housing is primarily the responsibility of local authorities and the Housing Corporation and it is for them to decide what proportion of their total resources to devote to house building.
Courtaulds Plant, Greenfield (Closure)
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on progress of Government measures to help the people of Delyn following the closure of the Courtaulds plant at Greenfield.
Discussions are currently taking place between my Department, the local authorities and the other agencies involved about the detailed allocation of planned resources including those I announced on 27 June. I hope that the local authorities can put forward final proposals within a very few days in order that the earliest possible start can be made.
Welsh Development Agency
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give details of the future plans of the Welsh Development Agency.
The future plans of the Welsh Development Agency are outlined in its published corporate plan, a copy of which is available in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many students in the polytechnic in Treforest received first class honours, 2A, 2B or 3rd degrees in marketing and marketing research in 1975, 1980 and 1984.
The polytechnic of Wales offers a post-graduate course in marketing. It does not, however, offer a first degree course in marketing or market research.
Hospital Development Schemes
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will enumerate those major hospital development schemes currently under way and at the planning stage in Wales.
Work is currently in progress on the following hospital projects:
- Wrexham Phase I
- Bridgend Phase I (Princess of Wales)
- Morriston Phases I and II
- Ystradgynlais Community Hospital
- St. Tydfil's
- Bryntirion, Llanelli
- Prince of Wales, Rhydlafar
- Llandudno Phase I
- Royal Gwent Phase VI
- Morriston Phases III and IV — including regional burns and plastic surgery unit
- Singleton Phase III
- Neath General—Redevelopment
- Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Phase II
- Wrexham Phase II
- Prince Charles Development, Gurnos
- East Glamorgan—Development
- Bridgend Phases II and III
- University Hospital of Wales — Regional Cardiac and Regional Genetics Centre
2. Other Hospitals in Planning
- Llanelli New Hospital
- Deeside Community Hospital
- West Mon Community Hospital (replacement of Valley Hospital)
- Garth Angharad (Regional Secure Unit)
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number of persons in Wales aged under 21 years who have been unemployed for over 12 months.
The information is not available in the precise form requested. In April 1985, for those aged under 20 years the figure was 6,647.
South Cardiff Redevelopment Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the progress of the South Cardiff redevelopment scheme.
The next step is a decision on the inspector's report following the public inquiry into compulsory purchase orders for land needed for the development which will be available very shortly. I will announce my decision on that report as quickly as possible.
Local Authority Expenditure
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate local government expenditure in Wales for 1985–86; what restrictions, if any, he intends to impose on capital expenditure by local authorities; if he will review the percentage of capital receipts which can be spent by local authorities; and if he will make a statement.
Local authorities have budgeted to spend £1,323 million on current account in 1985–86, about 1 per cent. more than the level of provision underlying the rate support grant settlement for the year. Allowing for the normal degree of shortfall on budgeted capital spending, and the tendency for budgets to understate the final level of receipts, the latest statistical returns suggests that local authority net capital spending in Wales in 1985–86 will be of the order of £265 million, about 5 per cent. more than the Government's control total.In the light of this forecast I have no plans to restrict the level of capital spending during the course of the year, or to revise the proportion of receipts which authorities can use to enhance the spending power of their capital allocations. The situation will be closely monitored. If in the event there is an overrun on the cash limit it would be met from the reserve of £5 billion, and would not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Enterprise Trusts And Agencies
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has as to the location of all enterprise trusts or agencies which have been established in Wales and as to any plans for the creation of any new ones.
Twelve local enterprise trusts are currently operating in Wales at the following locations: Deeside, Delyn, Clwyd Fro (West Clwyd), Powys, Newport, Llanelli, West Glamorgan, Cardiff, Neath, Pembroke, Merthyr and Ogwr. There are currently plans to establish a local enterprise trust in the Rhymney Valley and to introduce the enterprise movement into the Cynon Valley.
Young Mentally Handicapped Persons
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those long-stay hospitals in Wales which have resident in them young mentally handicapped persons under the age of 16 years; and what is the number of such persons at each hospital and the date when that hospital last admitted such a person.
Provisional estimates of the numbers of persons aged under 16 years who were resident in mental handicap hospitals and units on 5 April 1985 are contained in the following table. Information as to the date when a hospital/unit last admitted a person aged under 16 years is readily available only in respect of admissions during the period January 1975 to April 1985.
|Hospital/Unit||Number of residents aged under 16 years||Dale when hospital/unit last admitted a person aged under 16 years|
|Broughton||7||26 April 1985|
|Coed du Hall||—||1974 or earlier|
|West Wales General||9||29 April 1985|
|Allt-y-Mynydd||—||26 April 1985|
|South Pembrokeshire||5||26 April 1985|
|County, Griffithstown||—||1974 or earlier|
|Llanfrechfa Grange||5||23 August 1984|
|Bryn-y-Neuadd||7||7 April 1985|
|Llwyn View||—||1974 or earlier|
|Garth Angharad||—||1974 or earlier|
|Cefn Hirgoed||—||12 January 1983|
|Hensol||4||4 April 1985|
|Ystrad Mynach||2||29 April 1985|
|Bronllys||1||4 April 1985|
|Brynhyfryd||—||19 July 1980|
|Llys Maldwyn||—||27 April 1985|
|Ely||3||27 March 1985|
|Gorseinon||—||27 August 1982|
|Llwyneryr||—||25 November 1983|
|Drymma Hall||—||1974 or earlier|
Mv Bridgeness (Oil Pollution)
asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is his latest estimate of the numbers of seabirds, and the amount of coastline affected by oil pollution as a result of the disaster involving the MV Bridgeness;(2) what is his latest estimate of the effects of oil pollution on the Welsh coast following the MV Bridgeness accident; and if he will make a statement.
The latest estimate given by the Nature Conservancy Council is that about 2,500 seabirds have been affected by oil following the MV Bridgeness incident on 16 June. More accurate figures will be available later as a result of continuing coastal surveys.Oil from the MV Bridgeness had affected he shores of the islands off the South West Wales Coast to some degree. On Friday, 28 June, oil possibly from the MV Bridgeness had come ashore on beaches in Mid and the Northern half of Cardigan Bay and subsequently in Caernarfon Bay — extending from Borth in Dyfed to Treaddur Bay on Anglesey. Quantities are very small however except at Barmouth, where the groynes and sea walls have been contaminated. The local authorities are cleaning the beached oil as quickly as they are able and technical assistance is being provided by the Marine Pollution Control Unit of the Department of Transport. Aerial surveillance has shown that there is no further oil off shore.
St Helenians (United Kingdom Courses)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to the number of St. Helenians at present attending educational, vocational and other training courses in the United Kingdom; and for what qualifications.
At present eight St. Helenians financed through the British aid programme are attending courses in this country. One is studying for GCE 'A' levels; and four are on vocational courses (midwifery, nursing, dentistu7ry, and medical laboratory services) leading to recognised qualifications. The remaining three are on special programmes in education and fisheries. In addition, in the current year, four students returned to St. Helena on completion of their courses; five more are due to arrive at the start of the next academic year; and a further 23 applications for training awards are under consideration.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards technical support for selected national institutions with a view to developing prototype curricula for health education at school and related teacher training in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute in 1985–86 and 1986–87;(2) how much the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards contracts with institutions for pilot activities aimed at introducing into literacy activities for young people and adults, and educational dimension relating to population problems and drug abuse prevention in 1984–85; and how much it intends to contribute in the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;(3) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards
(a) the organisation of training activities aiming to include in educational curricula and non-formal educational activities interdisciplinary content relating to drug abuse prevention, and (b) the publication of an appraisal of activities undertaken by certain member states in
education and communication to combat the use of narcotics and prevent drug abuse in 1984–85: and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(4) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards operational projects to further the inclusion in general educational curricula and in non-formal educational activities of subject matter relating to problems connected with the quality of life, the environment and nutrition education in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(5) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation contributed towards the development of Palestine university institutions in the occupied Arab territories in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(6) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards consultancy services to assist in setting up a scholarship fund for students from the occupied Arab territories in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(7) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards further training fellowships for the teaching staff of universities in the occupied Arab territories, and to the supply of teaching materials and equipment for these universities in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(8) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards the supply of educational material and equipment for the education centres of African national liberation movements, and the organisation of seminars with a view to improving the training of the staff of the centres in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(9) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed to fellowships for students sponsored by African national liberation movements and students presented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(10) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards the cost of printing school textbooks for the education centres of African national liberation movements in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(11) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation subsidised the publication of African poems and other activities decided upon with those responsible for education in African national liberation movements with a view to helping to preserve their cultural indentity in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(12) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards informing public opinion about the assistance it provided in the implementation of education projects of African national liberation movements in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87.
[pursuant to his reply, 10 May 1985, c. 529]: As the information is rather detailed I wrote to my hon. Friend on 8 July and have placed a copy of the letter in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the nature of the research done in the United States of America which indicates that species diversity may be affected by the tributyl tin from anti-fouling paint; and if he will place a copy of the relevant papers in the Library.
I understand, from informal discussions at official level, that studies on behalf of the US Navy Department have been carried out on natural populations of marine organisms exposed to low levels of organotin compounds in large sea water enclosures; and that a selective loss of species occurred, indicating that one effect in the environment is likely to be a loss of species diversity. No papers are available but a report may be published soon and, if so, I shall arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.
Local Government Reform
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the qualifications for the membership of the statutory joint committees for planning matters in Greater London.
The Local Government Bill will require local planning authorities in Greater London to establish a single joint planning committee before the abolition date. Its membership will be for the planning authorities themselves to decide.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to alter the criteria for qualifications as unfit under the next national Department of the Environmental housing survey; and if he will make a statement.
The 1986 English house condition survey will be designed to allow comparability with the results of the 1981 survey and it will measure stock condition against the same standard of fitness. We also hope to assess the effect of any revised fitness standard which may be adopted following current consultation on the proposals in the Green Paper on improvement policy, Cmnd. 9513.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the last annual report sent to the European Commission by his Department, as required by directive 79/409 on the conservation of wild birds, on the implementation of the directive in the United Kingdom, reported the numbers of (a) herons, (b) cormorants, (c) goosanders, (d) red-breasted mergansers, (e) grey geese and (f) barnacle geese killed in Scotland under a licence granted to prevent serious damaged to crops and so on; and if, in each case, it was reported whether the licence had been granted after a site investigation by Nature Conservancy Council officials.
The last annual report on derogations under article 9 of EC directive 79/409 was submitted to the Commission last November and covered the calendar year 1983. It showed birds killed or taken under licence and the purpose for which each licence was granted. A copy of the report was placed in the Library.The report does not show whether the Nature Conservancy Council carried out a site investigation for any particular licence. Current practice is to carry out such investigations when licence applications are received relating to herons and to barnacle geese on certain farms on Islay.In other cases, monitoring is carried out on the basis of information made available to Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries staff in the course of their duties, including reports of action furnished by licensees.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what manpower reductions his Department has achieved in 1984–85.
Numbers of staff in the Department of the Environment, including the Property Services Agency, have fallen from 33,836 at 1 April 1984 to 32,791 at 1 April 1985, a reduction of 1,045 or 3 per cent.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to make a statement on the Nature Conservancy Council's findings on the subjects of anglers' lead weights and the lead poisoning of swans.
I expect to make a statement very shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much he expects to spend on air pollution research in 1985–86; and how this compares with expenditure in 1984–85.
My Department expects to spend about £3·4 million on air pollution research in 1985–86, compared with expenditure of £1·9 million in 1984–85.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the results of the Government's consideration of the need to set up a research programme into causes and control of reductions in atmospheric visibility.
Visibility impairment is one of several consequences of photochemical activity in the atmosphere. These consequences are best considered as a whole. An expert group is being set up to review the evidence about the problem, both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and the current relevant research, including that covered in my Department's own programme. I expect the group to report in two years' time.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the latest figures for United Kingdom emissions of sulphur dioxide, how these compare with figures for the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the percentage reaching other countries.
In 1983. the latest year for which figures are available, it is estimated that United Kingdom sulphur dioxide emissions were 3·69 million tonnes, representing reductions of some 31 per cent., 21 per cent. 13 per cent. and 9 per cent. on the 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982 figures respectively. Estimates of emissions for 1984 will be available shortly.As set out in the table to section III of my Department's memorandum of evidence to the Environment Committee, the co-operative programme for monitoring and evaluation of the long-range transmission of air pollutants in Europe — EMEP — has estimated that, in the period October 1978 to September 1980, some 28 per cent. of United Kingdom sulphur dioxide emissions were deposited in other countries. Work is in progress within EMEP to update the model on which this estimate is based.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps are being taken to achieve the Government's aim of a 30 per cent. reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions by the end of the 1990s.
The Government expect the downward trend in sulphur dioxide emissions since 1970 to continue in the longer term, through the expansion of our nuclear generation capacity, the introduction, as they become available, of new cost-effective technologies for cleaner and more efficient fuel combustion, improved efficiency in the use of energy, and further changes in the pattern of energy usage.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made by the building research establishment in preparing an inventory of the different locations, amounts of materials and types of buildings within the United Kingdom which are likely to be at risk from acid rain.
This is a large task. Good progress is being made. We expect to have preliminary findings in the spring of 1986.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what stage has been reached in the discussions with the University of Manchester institute of science and technology regarding a programme on the interaction of air pollutants with building materials, with special emphasis on nitrogen oxides.
A three-year contract has been let to UMIST. This work will supplement the BRE in-house laboratory-site work programme on the effects of air pollutants.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if, following the results revealed in the initial survey by the Property Services Agency of atmospheric attack on buildings, the extended survey envisaged has yet been completed;(2) what progress has been made by the Property Services Agency in monitoring for damage a selection of buildings constructed of different materials.
The extended survey is covering buildings of different materials, and preliminary results will be made available to the House before the summer of 1986.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made with the study of damage to natural stonework in Bolsover abbey.
I believe that my hon. Friend is referring to Bolsover castle—the Government's White Paper, Cmnd. 9397 incorrectly referred to Bolsover abbey — which is in the care of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Some of this monument's stonework has been treated successfully in the past with Brethane, but in response to some further discoloration, the Commission has installed monitoring equipment to measure the effects of atmospheric pollution. I shall ask the commission to inform my hon. Friend of the results of these tests when they have been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what stage has been reached in the building research establishment programme for assessing the costs and benefits of preventing the avoidable erosion of historic and modern buildings; and when the programme is expected to be completed.
To undertake a cost benefit analysis, it is first necessary to quantify the area of materials at risk and to determine the rates of erosion of materials. An inventory of buildings is, therefore, being carried out, and a programme of research on the dose response of building materials will commence shortly at BRE. Meanwhile, BRE continues to assess preservative treatments. The costing of benefits is especially difficult and it is, as yet, too early to say when the programme will be completed.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in the last 12 months in extending the Department's monitoring networks for nitrogen oxides and ozone.
Financial provision for acquisition of equipment to extend the network has been made in the current, 1985–86, estimates. The monitoring techniques are sophisticated and each site costs some £50,000. The network has been planned and instrumentation is being acquired and developed, in order to commence establishment of new sites before the end of this year.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what need for additional research has been identified by the Committee on Air Pollution Effects Research, following the Environment Committee's report on acid rain.
Additional research on the effects of low temperature stress on trees and on the increased susceptibility of trees to insect and fungal attack due to pollution is being undertaken as a result of the Committee's advice.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the results of the evaluation by the building research establishment of the extent of deterioration in stone samples exposed to air pollution in the vicinity of power stations.
The samples have recently been returned to BRE. The analytical techniques are lengthy, and the completed analysis will not be available before the end of 1985.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research is being carried out into the damage done to organic materials by ozone and photo-oxidants.
Studies of the degradative effects of atmospheric pollutants on plastics and organic surface coatings are included in the building research establishment's programme. The establishment is also undertaking a review of relevant overseas research.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if the Government have yet initiated their programme to determine mercury levels in fish originating from acid waters on catchments naturally rich in heavy metals.
The Department is discussing details of a limited programme with the freshwater fisheries laboratory, Pitlochry.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in planning a network of stations to monitor air pollution in rural areas, following the recommendations of the United Kingdom review group on acid deposition and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.
The primary acid deposition monitoring network will be in place this year; a secondary network is being developed from existing sites owned and operated by a variety of public authorities. The rural sulphur dioxide monitoring network is at an advanced stage of planning.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations on the subject of acid rain have been received from the West German and Scandinavian Governments in the last 12 months.
The Prime Minister of Norway, Mr Willock, wrote to my right honourable Friend the Prime Minister on 2 October 1984, enclosing a joint declaration by himself and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Herr Kohl, concerning the preservation of clean air.The Prime Minister of Iceland, Mr Hermannsson, also wrote to my right honourable Friend on 17 December 1984, enclosing a statement by the Nordic Prime Ministers on air pollution and acidification.In the past 12 months, I have personally visited both Norway and Sweden, to see and discuss the effects of acid deposition, and my colleagues and I have also had a number of contacts with representatives of the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and Scandinavian countries, where the subject of acid rain has been discussed.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the stage which has been reached in the examination of the health effects associated with acid rain, referred by the executive body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Air Pollution to the World Health Organisation.
The United Nations World Health Organisation — UNWHO — has produced two interim reports for the United Nations economic commission for Europe's executive body for the convention on long-range transboundary air pollution. These reports relate to the direct and indirect effects of air pollution, including acid deposition, on human health. The UNWHO has been asked to update these reports for submission to the 1986 meeting of the executive body.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in setting emission standards for medium and large cars following the EEC agreement in principle in March.
I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 3 July to my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mrs. McCurley).
Urban Programme (Bradford)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide the total revenue and capital figures for the urban programme in the Bradford area for 1984–85 and that projected for 1985–86: and if he will break these figures down into sub-headings under the urban programme.
In 1984–85, Bradford was originally allocated £1·71 million revenue and £2·87 million capital under the urban programme. In 1985–86, the figures were £1·66 million revenue and £2·92 million capital. The initial allocation for 1984–85 was assigned by project category as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of approved Bradford urban programme spending was related to ethnic minority projects in 1984–85; and what is the percentage projected for 1985–86.
In 1984–85, approximately 15 per cent. of Bradford's approved urban programme expenditure of £4·58 million was allocated to projects of specific benefit to ethnic minorities. It is not yet possible to estimate the corresponding figure for 1985–86.
Rate Support Grant (Liverpool)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of rate support grant will now be paid at the levels of expenditure currently set by Liverpool city council; how much has already been paid; and if he will make a statement.
As a result of Liverpool city council budgeting to spend £265 million in 1985–86, the rate support grant entitlement will be £50·273 million after holdback of grant. Including the payment being made today, the city council will have received £36·478 million.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the originally planned level of rate support grant for 1985–86 for Liverpool on the basis that the city council would budget to spend at his Department's target.
|Region||"Homeloan" scheme house price limits from 20 July 1985 £||Average price paid by first-time buyers 1st quarter 1985 £||Increase in "Homeloan" scheme house price limits on 20 July 1985 Per cent.||Increase in average price paid by first-time buyers between 1st quarters of 1984 and 1985 Per cent.|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||20,400||16,660||6·3||-1·6|
|rest of South East||33,500||27,680||14·0||7·9|
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many first time home buyers have received help under the Home Purchase Assistance and Housing Corporation Act 1978, each year since it came into force; and if he will give separate numbers of each region.
We estimate that the number of first-time buyers who have received help under the home purchase assistance—"Homeloan"—scheme are as follows:
Had Liverpool budgeted to spend at their target for 1985–86, they would have been entitled to £139·597 million in rate support grant.
asked the. Secretary of State for the Environment why the house price limits for the home loan scheme he announced on 28 June, at column 515, vary from the rate of increase in homes purchased by first time buyers; and if he will list the percentage increase in such homes and the limits for each region.
The home loan scheme's house price limits are set so that about two thirds of first-time purchasers could qualify. That was the criterion proposed by the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore) on 20 February, 1978 at column 1032, when he was Secretary of State for the Environment. The increases required in order to meet this criterion differ from the increases in average prices paid by first-time buyers. The table below compares the "Homeloan" scheme's house price limits with the average price paid by first-time buyers in the first quarter of 1985; and the increase in the "Homeloan" price limits as compared with the increase in average prices paid by first-time buyers in the year ending in the first quarter of 1985. Following is the information.I regret that separate numbers for each region are not available.