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Pollution Inspectorate

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many inspectors have left Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (a) since its formation, (b) since 1 January 1988 and (c) since 1 January 1989.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: Seven inspectors have left Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution in total since its formation including six since 1 January 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many inspectors were employed by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (a) at its formation, (b) on 1 January 1988, (c) on 1 January 1989 and (d) at the latest available date; and what should be its establishment.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution employed 75 professional staff at its formation; 90 on 1 January 1988; 100 on 1 January 1989 and 105 at present. The inspectorate's complement is 135 professional posts.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many of the inspectors at Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution have been employed by the inspectorate since its formation.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: A total of 35 inspectors have been recruited into Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution since its formation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many of the inspectors now employed by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution are based in London; and at what centres the other inspectors are based.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution employs 104 professional staff; 46 professional staff are currently based in London but over half of these will be posted to the new regional offices when they become operational next year. Other staff are based in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Chester, Darlington, East Grinstead, Lancaster, Leeds, Lincoln, Luton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Preston and Sheffield.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many prosecutions have been instigated by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution in 1987, 1988 and 1989 for (a) air pollution and (b) toxic waste disposal.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution undertook three successful prosecutions for air pollution in 1987–88 and two in 1988–89 (records are kept for financial years). HMIP has no regulatory powers under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 in relation to toxic waste disposal. Enforcement responsibility lies with waste disposal authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the report drafted by the late director of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, Mr. Brian Ponsford.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: The report on Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution prepared for the Department's management information system (MINIS 10) was placed in the Library on 15 November.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about staff morale within Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: Staff in Her Majesty's Inspectorate are responding in positive and constructive ways to the demands placed on them at a time of fundamental organisational change. This was evident at the inspectors' conference held in late November, and is exemplified by a letter written by inspectors to a national newspaper on 11 December. I appreciate such efforts by staff to dissociate themselves from remarks attributed to unnamed inspectors in recent press reports. The committed professionalism of the staff in the inspectorate plays a vital role in maintaining and improving environmental standards.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution's annual report 1988–89 to be published; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on Wednesday 13 December to the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Taylor) at column 734.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to increase the establishment of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: The staff complement of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution was increased from 219 to 240 with effect from 2 October 1989. An additional 10 posts have already been approved for 1990–91 and the objectives of HMIP and the resources it needs to fulfil them effectively are being kept under close review.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the effects of the recent reorganisation within Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution on his plans to introduce integrated pollution control.

[holding answer 14 December 1989]: The reorganisation of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution was intended to facilitate the integration of the four regulatory functions which were combined when it was formed. It provides the organisational structure appropriate for the effective implementation of integrated pollution control. I am pleased that such good progress has been made to date.