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Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional finance he is granting to (a) industry, (b) local authorities and (c) health boards to remove asbestos from their premises.

While my right hon. and learned Friend pays particular regard to any special needs brought to his attention in determining the resources to be made available to local authorites and health boards, and while asbestos removal or treatment may in suitable cases form part of an assisted industrial development scheme, no funds are specifically allocated for work relating to asbestos.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his Department's estimate of the time it will take to remove the optimum amount of asbestos from premises in Scotland.

The Department is not in a position to make such an estimate. Authorities and individual businesses are themselves best placed to examine their own building stocks, to identify any problems and to assess the nature and time scale of any necessary asbestos treatment. Guidance issued by the Department emphasises that removal programmes arc often neither the best nor the safest course of action to follow.