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Written Answers

Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 17 January 1990

Transport

Merchant Shipping

146.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the future of British merchant shipping capacity.

There are encouraging signs that the worst of the decline in world shipping in recent years is over. British operators are among the most entrepreneurial and cost-effective and should be well placed to take advantage of the improved opportunities.

Hydrography

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the cost of hydrographic work carried out on behalf of his Department by (a) the Royal Navy and (b) the private sector;(2) if he will list the number of marine surveys ordered by his Department for the last five years.

In 1989–90 the civil hydrographic survey programme is expected to cost about £6·3 million, of which about £2·1 million represents contracts let to the private sector, £2·8 million surveys undertaken by the Royal Navy survey flotilla, and £1·4 million work undertaken by the Royal Navy personnel in commercially chartered ships. The numbers of surveys undertaken in the last five years are 1985–21; 1986–18; 1987–21; 1988–20; 1989–15.

Navtex

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those countries whose NAVTEX is fully operational and those which are not, together with the implementation dates.

NAVTEX services are fully operational in the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.NAVTEX services are operational in parts of, or under trial in, the following countries: Bulgaria, Canada, China, Egypt, France, United States of America and USSR.NAVTEX services are planned in the following countries, with an indication of the implementation date, where known: Bahrain, Bermuda, Cameroon, German Democratic Republic, India, Israel, Italy (1990–93), Korea (August 1993), Japan, Spain (1990), Thailand and Uruguay.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that EEC countries implement the NAVTEX broadcast requirements.

The United Kingdom, through its participation in the worldwide navigation warning system and membership of the International Maritime Organisation NAVTEX co-ordination panel, is actively encouraging the development of NAVTEX both within the EEC area of interest and on a worldwide basis.

Pilotage Commission

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the Pilotage Commission to be wound up.

For reasons beyond its control the Pilotage Commission is not yet able to complete the winding up of the former pilotage authorities' affairs. It is therefore not yet possible to say when the commission itself will be wound up. The Department and the commission are considering what can be done to expedite the process.

Horne Report

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies his Department has made of the effects of pot-holes and poor road standards upon cyclists; if he will reconsider his decision not to implement the Horne report; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has not undertaken specific studies of this sort. It did publish a local transport note last June entitled "Making Way for Cyclists", which gives detailed guidance to local authorities and others on a range of planning, design and legal aspects of providing for cyclists, and emphasises the importance of proper inspections and maintenance.

King's Cross Railways Bill

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with British Rail about how it proposes to justify to him, for investment authorisation, expenditure on the works covered by the King's Cross Railways Bill; and if he will make a statement.

British Rail's investment at King's Cross will need to be justified according to the normal criteria agreed between the Department and the board.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information British Rail has presented to him, for investment authorisation purposes, in relation to its anticipated revenues in connection with expenditure on the works contained in the King's Cross Railways Bill, in relation to (a) projected revenues from additional services on existing lines to King's Cross and (b) revenues from planned services on new lines for which parliamentary approval will be required and has yet to be sought; and if he will make a statement.

British Rail has not yet sought authorisation from the Secretary of State for its proposed investment at King's Cross.

Departmental Policies

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to assess the environmental friendliness of his Department's policies.

The Department pays close attention to the environmental implications of its policies and many have a directly beneficial effect. For example, we are taking steps to control vehicle emissions; we build new roads to relieve congestion and bypass communities; and we are supporting massive investment in public transport. We shall be making an important contribution to the White Paper on the environment to be published later this year.

A5 Bypass

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he is now able to say when he expects to announce the preferred route for the north-south A5 Dunstable bypass; and if he will make a statement.

Comments made during public consultation and the new national road traffic forecasts have made it necessary to reconsider our original proposals. Further consultation may be necessary, but we hope to announce a preferred route for the bypass by the autumn.

Severn Estuary

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the latest timetable for the construction of a second highway crossing of the Severn estuary.

We are currently considering tenders and remain on course to provide the second crossing by the mid-1990s.

The Arts

Arts Funding

To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will estimate the contribution to arts in the metropolitan area of (a) the Arts Council and (b) the London local authorities; upon what items this money is principally spent; and if he will make a statement.

I am advised that in 1987–88, the last year for which complete records are available, the Arts Council's grants to arts bodies in the London area (excluding the national companies) was £26·7 million. This sum was spread across the entire spectrum of art forms: music, drama, dance, literature, and the visual arts. Figures for local authority spending on the arts are more difficult to isolate. The Policy Studies Institute, however, has estimated that spending by local authorities on the arts in London for 1988–89 totalled some £42 million, of which £28 million went to arts premises and promotions, and £14 million in grants to arts organisations.

Televised Performances

To ask the Minister for the Arts what discussions he has held with national opera houses and theatres on increasing the number of televised performances.

It is for the companies themselves to decide on these matters. It is, however, the policy of the Arts Council to encourage the televising of performances in order to promote access to the arts. In addition, many new operatic productions are now broadcast on the radio. Between the two media, there were 15 broadcast productions in 1989; nine from the royal opera house, and six for English national opera.

Eduction And Science

National Curriculum

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science pursuant to his answer of 8 January, Official Report, col, 487, what guidance he has issued to the National Curriculum Council about how much of a school's curriculum it should prescribe in its circulars to schools.

None. The Education Reform Act requires all maintained schools to provide a basic curriculum consisting of the national curriculum for all pupils of compulsory school age and religious education for all registered pupils at the school. Neither my right hon. Friend nor the National Curriculum Council has the power to prescribe what else is taught in schools, nor how the timetable is arranged.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on circular No. 6 of October 1989 from the National Curriculum Council on the subject of the whole curriculum.

My right hon. Friend has received one representation concerning the place of religious education and worship in the whole curriculum.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to change the remit of the National Curriculum Council.

My right hon. Friend has no plans to change the remit of the National Curriculum Council which is set out in section 14 (3), (5) and (6) of the Education Reform Act 1988.

Teachers' Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any long-term plans to improve teacher remuneration.

The Government's policy is that teachers' pay should be such as to enable the maintained school system to recruit, retain and motivate sufficient teachers of the required quality, within what can be afforded.

Teacher Shortages

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are his Department's current figures for teacher shortages in England and Wales; and if he will set out his answer in tabular form giving details for individual local education authorities.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my right hon. Friend gave on 21 December 1989 to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) at columns 353-55. Data for Wales are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Wales

Earnings

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his estimate is of the average earnings in the valley communities.

Language Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many qualified teachers there are in the high schools of the local education authorities in Wales of (a) Welsh, (b) German, (c) French, (d) Spanish, (e) Italian and (f) Latin; and if he will make a statement.

Provisional estimates of the numbers of secondary school language teachers holding a post A-level main subject qualification are shown in the table:

SubjectNumber of Teachers
Welsh1,100
German300
French1,000
Spanish100
Italian100
Classical Languages200
Teachers possessing a qualification in a particular subject will not necessarily be teaching that subject. The figures are obtained from the Welsh secondary staffing survey conducted in February and March of 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will call a conference of local education authorities' parent-teacher associations and teacher unions to consider the need to increase the number of qualified foreign language teachers in Welsh high schools; and if he will make a statement.

No. The future pattern of demand for language teachers can be clearly determined in the light of the provisions of the national curriculum.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he has taken to increase the number of qualified secondary teachers of (a) Welsh, (b) German, (c) French, (d) Spanish, (e) Italian and (f) Latin; and if he will make a statement.

The future demand for language teachers is being taken fully into account when setting the intakes to initial teacher training, in the revision of the criteria for initial teacher training courses and in planning the LEA in-service training grant scheme and education support grants.

Business Rate

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the arrangements for the levying of the uniform business rate in Wales on properties open for only part of the year as a result of seasonal trade.

Such property will be liable for non-domestic rating for the days on which it is used for non-domestic purposes and is entered on a local non-domestic rating list. Property used for non-domestic purposes can include property which is open all the year around, and also property where paying guests are not admitted out of season but where rooms are maintained in preparation for non-domestic use in the next holiday season. Where, however, the off-season use becomes domestic (for example, where the proprietor's family occupies the property for domestic purposes), the property is not rateable and should be deleted from the rating list for that period.Valuation of seasonally operated properties will take into account seasonal patterns of trade. The assessment of a hotel or guest house in an isolated tourist location can take into account the likelihood that winter trade may be minimal or non-existent. The pattern of trade is taken into account by the valuation officer in his valuation of a range of properties including hotels, guest houses, public houses and holiday cottages.Occupiers of seasonally operated properties which are liable to rates for any period will have their rate liabilities calculated in accordance with the Welsh non-domestic rating multiplier for the year. For the financial year 1990–91 that multiplier has been set at 0·368, or 36·8p in the pound.

Mental Health Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements are under consideration for the all-Wales mental health strategy at the conclusion of the current 10-year programme.

We assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the all-Wales mental handicap strategy, as our all-Wales mental illness strategy was launched only last year and does not have a set 10-year programme. The Welsh chapter of the Government's White Paper "Caring for People" indicates that there will be a full review of service development and of the framework provided by the mental hanicap strategy in 1991–92. This review will help to inform consideration of future arrangements for mental handicap services.

A465

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the timetable for making the A465, the Heads of the Valleys road, a continuous dual carriage highway throughout its entire length.

There are no plans for dualling the Heads of the Valleys section of the A465. The position is being reviewed as part of the south Wales traffic study, which will be completed towards the end of 1990.

A470

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the timetable for the completion of the Pentrebach bypass, and other bypass work, to take the A470 round Merthyr Tydfil.

The A470 Pentrebach-Cefn Coed improvement is programmed to start in the period April 1991 to March 1994. Construction is expected to take two years.

Agricultural Land

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average price paid for the following agricultural land in Wales during 1989 (a) lowland. (b) marginal and (c) hill land; what were the corresponding figures for each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

Information is available only on the basis of land grade. The average price paid for agricultural land of five or more hectares in vacant possession is shown in the table:

Average land prices (£): Reported in 12 months ended September
Grades 1 and 2Grade 3Grades 4 and 5
19792,5932,3681,607
19804,3513,2402,181
19814,5043,1172,027
19823,3533,1191,792
19833,0023,4432,079
19844,8013,8162,427
19855,5123,7052,070
19864,2383,6422,213
19873,2923,1712,196
19884,3762,9061,604
19895,0653,6803,627

Note: Grades 1, 2 and 3 approximate to the lowland areas, grades 4 and 5 to the less-favoured areas of marginal and hill land. There is a lag between agreeing a sale and reporting it which means that prices reported in the 12 months ended 30 September generally related to sales agreed in the previous calendar year.

Environment

Disabled People (Housing)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the need for purpose-built bungalows for disabled people.

No such estimates are made. Generally the Government favour the design of housing, of whatever kind, which is accessible to the disabled and convenient for them to use. We aim to enable people with disabilities to lead, as far as possible, an independent and active life without having to move to specialised accommodation or institutional care. New grant arrangements coming into effect in April will facilitate adaptation and improvement works to help those who become disabled to remain in their existing homes.

Chlorofluorocarbons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to prohibit the disposal of consumer durables containing chlorofluorocarbons to landfill.

The Government have at present no plans to do so, although the Department of Trade and Industry has commissioned an intensive study of the problems associated with the use of CFCs which is being carried out by Coopers and Lybrand. Further action will be considered in the light of that report. In addition, various pilot schemes are being undertaken by individual local authorities, some in conjunction with industry.

Ec Housing Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement on the meeting of EEC Housing Ministers held in Lille in December.

The meeting was arranged by the French Government with a view to establishing direct links between Housing Ministers from the EC member states. Almost all member states were represented, most at ministerial level, and discussions were cordial and productive. At the conclusion of the meeting it was unanimously agreed that similar meetings should be arranged annually, by the country holding the EC presidency for the second half-year, and that national Administrations should make the necessary arrangements to prepare for them.

Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by (a) location and (b) water authority the sites that suffered from toxic pollution due to blue-green algae, caused by phosphates and nitrogen from sewage and farming entering public reservoirs; and if any successful prosecutions have been made.

There were 53 sites in England where blooms of toxic blue-green algae were identified in 1989. The causes of the blooms have not yet been determined, but the National Rivers Authority is investigating the issue.

Drought Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by (a) water company and (b) location those areas where drought orders still remain in force in England and Wales.

The table lists, by water company area, the drought orders currently in force in England (and that part of Wales served by Severn Trent Water), the locality or water supply source affected by each order and its expiry date. Orders affecting the supply area of Welsh Water are a matter for the Secretary of State for Wales.

Water company area and locality or water supply source affectedDate of expiry of Order
WATER SERVICE COMPANIES
Anglian
Ely-Ouse River, Essex128 February 1990
North West
Ullswater31 January 1990
Bottoms and Teggsnose31 March 1990
Lamaload31 March 1990
Tytherington Boreholes31 March 1990
Severn Trent
Tittesworth6 March 1990
Clywedog Reservoir118 March 1990
Buxton21 March 1990
Derwent Valley Reservoirs, Ambergate6 April 1990
Homesford, Little Eaton, Church Wilne Derby, Notts, Leicester26 April 1990
Southern
North and West Kent and West and East Sussex20 January 1990
River Medway31 March 1990
Kent Groundwater (No. 2)31 March 1990
West and East Sussex21 May 1990
Hardham (West Sussex)31 March 1990
River Rother, Robertsbridge31 March 1990
Plucks Gutter31 March 1990
South West
River Torridge29 January 1990
Avon Reservoir21 January 1990
River Tamar4 February 1990

Water company area and locality or water supply source affected

Date of expiry of Order

River Tavy26 January 1990
Venford Reservoir4 February 1990
Devon and Cornwall2 February 1990
River Axe, Whitford Bridge10 February 1990
River Yealm28 February 1990
Fernworthy Reservoir28 February 1990
Colaton Raleigh Stream23 February 1990
Challacombe Reservoir22 February 1990
River Dart at Littlehempstead28 February 1990
Upper Tamar Lake and Lower Tamar Lake6 March 1990
Bude-St ra t ton Canal7 March 1990
Leswidden Pool19 April 1990

Yorkshire

Harrogate area6 April 1990
Hebden Valley and Withens Clough18 April 1990
Pennine Reservoirs13 April 1990
Bradford Reservoirs12 April 1990
Underbank Reservoir18 April 1990
River Wharfe30 April 1990
River Hull22 June 1990
Lindley Wood Reservoir1 June 1990
STATUTORY WATER COMPANIES

East bourne

Eastbourne22 February 1990
River Wallers, Haven24 April 1990

Folkestone

Folkestone14 March 1990

Mid Kent

Mid-Kent25 January 1990

West Kent

River Medway, Hartlake4 February 1990

1Orders made on application of the National Rivers Authority.

War Memorials

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what financial assistance his Department has given to the joint project being carried out by the imperial war museum and the royal commission on the historical monuments of England towards the national inventory of war memorials.

The proposed joint project by the imperial war museum and the royal commission on the historical monuments of England is being supported by grants from the Leverhulme Trust, the Western Front Association and the Imperial War Museum Trust. With this support, the museum and the royal commission expect to be able to meet the full cost without the need to seek any additional funding from the Department of the Environment or any other Government source. The royal commission's day-to-day operations are, of course, largely funded through the grant-in-aid from the Department, which in 1990–91 will be £6·07 million. The grant-in-aid in 1990–91 to the imperial war museum from the Office of Arts and Libraries will be £9·6 million.

Home Improvements

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment in which 10 local authority areas in the United Kingdom the Government have provided the largest sums of money for home improvement since 1979.

The table shows those local authorities in England which, between the financial years 1981–82 and 1988–89, received the largest total amount of Exchequer contribution towards the cost of loan charges incurred by them in giving home improvement grants. Information for years prior to 1981–82 is not readily available. I refer my hon. Friend to the Secretaries of State for Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland for information relating to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Local authorityTotal payment £ million
Birmingham69,640
Liverpool61,475
Manchester58,713
Bradford39,970
Leicester35,480
Wirral35,229
Wandsworth34,526
Nottingham31,543
Hammersmith and Fulham30,957
Sheffield29,952

Public Footpaths And Bridleways

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to make regulations under sections 150 and 151 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 to provide for charges to be made for anything done by a local authority in connection with public footpaths and bridleways.

We are presently considering whether, and if so how, the enabling power in the Act might be used in respect of charging for public path orders. No regulations will be made without full consultation with interested parties.

Environmental Assessment Directive

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to whom his Department has let the contract for monitoring the implementation of the environmental assessment directive.

My Department is currently considering tenders which have been received from invited organisations.

Town And Country Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he plans to introduce legislation to consolidate town and country planning legislation; and if he will make a statement.

It is hoped to introduce consolidating legislation prepared by the Law Commission into Parliament shortly.

Bathing Water Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library a copy of the "Bathing Water Survey" (1989 results).

The results are at present being collated. I expect to place a report in the Library shortly.

Drinking Water

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the use of ozone as a purifier of drinking water within the EEC.

I understand that ozone is used to some extent in most member states while it is used extensively in France.

Houseboats

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he has given to the desirability of introducing legislation to afford protection to those who reside on houseboats on canals and rivers; what recent representations he has received on this matter; and if he will make a statement.

The Department occasionally receives letters from hon. Members and the public about security of moorings for houseboat residents. We have no plans to introduce legislation providing statutory security of tenure for them.

Migrant Households

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which data source is used to determine the number of households headed by migrants from the new Commonwealth and Pakistan in determining levels of rate support grants for local authorities.

The data source for the number of households headed by migrants from the New Commonwealth and Pakistan is the 1981 Census.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any proposals to deal with the causes of homelessness.

The review of the homelessness legislation, published in November 1989, sets out the Government's proposals for tackling homelessness. Copies are in the Library.

Competitive Tendering, Kirklees

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made by Kirklees metropolitan council in implementing the provisions of the Local Government Act 1988 in relation to compulsory competitive tendering of (a) refuse collection, (b) cleaning of buildings, (c) other forms of cleaning, (d) catering in schools and welfare roles, other forms of catering, (f) grounds maintenance, and (g) repair and maintenance of vehicles; what are the projected annual savings as a result of competitive tendering for each of the services; and when the successful tenderers will commence operating each of the services.

The dates by which local authorities are required to expose their services to competition under the terms of part I of the Local Government Act 1988 are prescribed in the Local Government Act 1988 (Defined Activities) (Competition) (England) Regulations 1988 (SI 1988 No. 1371). The dates by which Kirklees metropolitan borough council is required to expose services to competition in this way, and the progress in implementing those requirements is as follows:

  • (a) refuse collection—the date prescribed was 1 January 1990. I understand that the contract was awarded to the authority's Direct Service Organisation (DSO) and commenced on that date. The authority estimate that net savings of approximately £½ million or 10 per cent. have been achieved;
  • (b) cleaning of buildings—the date prescribed is 1 January 1991 and I understand that the authority is taking steps to ensure that competition is introduced in accordance with that timetable;
  • (c) other cleaning—the date prescribed is 1 August 1990. I understand that the authority is currently considering applications from persons wishing to be included on its select tendering list and intends to commence the contract in accordance with the timetable;
  • (d) catering for purposes of schools and welfare—the date prescribed is 1 January 1992. I understand that the authority is taking steps to ensure that competition is introduced in accordance with that timetable;
  • (e) other catering—the date prescribed is 1 August 1991. I understand that the authority is taking steps to ensure that competition is introduced in accordance with that timetable;
  • (f) grounds maintenance—the regulations require that authorities should expose a first tranche of 20 per cent. of this work to competition by 1 January 1990, and subsequent tranches of 20 per cent. at six monthly intervals thereafter. I understand that the contract comprising the first 20 per cent. tranche was awarded to the authority's DSO and commenced on 1 January and that a further contract comprising an additional 20 per cent. tranche of work was also won by the DSO and will commence on 1 April. The authority estimate that no net savings will be achieved from those contracts;
  • (g) repair and maintenance of vehicles—the date prescribed in Regulations for competition was 1 August 1989. I understand that the contract was awarded to a private contractor and commenced on that date. The authority estimate that net savings of approximately £50k or 2 per cent. will be achieved.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the research projects commissioned by his Department in the past 10 years on rural matters, giving details of cost, publication and follow-up action on recommendations.

    Annual expenditure under the Department's countryside research programme and lists of publications resulting from it are given in the Department's periodic reports on research and development, published by HMSO, copies of which are in the Library. The individual research projects are listed in the annual surveys of research prepared for the countryside recreation research advisory group by the school for advanced urban studies at the university of Bristol, copies of which are obtainable from the school. It is usually left to the contractor to make the final report on a research project available to others on request. Such reports do not normally include recommendations for action.

    Water Companies

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many employees of each of the recently privatised water companies became shareholders; and what percentages of the total work forces this represented.

    A total of 37,488 employees, representing 85·57 per cent. of the eligible work force of the 10 companies, have successfully applied for shares in the companies under free and matching offers.The figures for each company are as follows:

    Employees

    Per cent. of workforce

    Anglian3,72382·97
    North West6,37987·09
    Northumbrian1,29889·46
    Severn Trent6,48688·53
    Southern2,45380·56
    South West1,49682·15
    Thames6,77883·17
    Welsh3,28085·73
    Wessex1,49585·38
    Yorkshire4,10088·59

    In addition, some of the small number of employees not eligible for the free and matching offers will have successfully applied for shares, but exact figures could not be provided without disproportionate cost.

    Recycled Material

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to introduce a standard symbol to denote material which has been recycled; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. Friend announced on 9 January that, following consultation, the Government are to set up an advisory group to develop an eco-labelling scheme to reflect the key characteristics of a product's environmental impact from design to disposal or "cradle to grave". Thus the extent to which a product includes recycled material and can itself be recycled will be taken fully into account.

    Business Rates

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of profits and trading surpluses the unabated post-revaluation uniform business rate represents for each standard region.

    Association Of County Councils

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the centenary of the Association of County Councils to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

    I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 5 February to Friday 9 February.

    Hazardous Waste

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he proposes to respond to the report of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America in regard to the hazardous waste material which remains in Wath upon Dearne; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 15 January, Official Report, column 111.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the transfrontier shipment of toxic waste within the European Community.

    Transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste into, out of or within the Community is subject to control under existing EC directives. Discussion is taking place in Brussels to revise these directives and to implement the Basel convention on transfrontier shipment. It is the Government's view that international waste movements should be reduced to the environmentally justified minimum and those that are necessary should be subject to effective monitoring and control.

    Nature Conservancy Council

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Wyre (Mr. Mans) of 23 November 1989, Official Report, column 16, he will give the likely cost of creating a joint co-ordinating committee for the restyled nature conservancy bodies and the estimated annual cost of serving it; and what is the overall annual impact on public expenditure of the proposed reorganisation.

    Preparatory work to establish the new conservation agencies, including the joint committee, is likely to cost £1·5 million in 1990–91. Some additional costs are likely to be incurred thereafter in operating the new agencies and servicing the committee. It is too early to give an estimate of these costs, as several issues, such as the staff complement of each agency and the programme of the joint committee, are still under detailed consideration by the Government and the Nature Conservancy Council.

    Waste Disposal

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy on the siting of large toxic waste disposal plants in the middle of major conurbations.

    The siting of waste disposal facilities is determined by local planning authorities in dealing with relevant planning applications. Any planning appeal to my right hon. Friend would be considered in relation to the circumstances of the case.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce a decision concerning the appeal by Thomas Brown of Whinfield farm, Pennington, against revocation of his waste disposal licence by Cumbria county council, submitted in summer 1988.

    Written representations have been completed on this appeal, lodged on 16 September 1988, and an official from the Department will make a site visit on 20 February. The Secretary of State hopes to be able to determine the appeal once he has received the site visit report.

    Local Government Finance

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has yet established the criteria he will use for community charge capping.

    If authorities insist on budgeting excessively my right hon. Friend will not hesitate to cap them, but it would not be right to speculate on the detailed operation of any charge-capping scheme which might be needed.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the measures announced by the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities in October 1989 to limit the increase in the amount of the community charge to not more than £3 per week will apply to charge payers in the London borough of Hillingdon; and if he will make a statement.

    The community charge transitional relief scheme will apply in all charging authority areas. In properties containing one or two community charge payers, relief will be paid where there is a difference of £156 a year (£3 a week) or more between the assumed rates bill and the community charges which would be set if local authority spending were in line with the Government's assumptions for this purpose. For properties with more than two charge payers relief will be based on a comparison between the assumed rates bill and two assumed community charges and distributed equally among the chargepayers. Elderly and disabled people who were not former ratepayers or the partners of former ratepayers will be entitled to relief to reduce their assumed community charge to £156. As was made clear in the announcement, however, relief will not cover any excess of the actual community charge over the assumed community charge.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department is considering measures to ensure that his recommendation that seafarers out of the country for more than six months are eligible for exemption from community charge will be complied with; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: Guidance on the treatment of Royal Navy personnel was contained in the community charge practice note No. 9 "UK Service Personnel". This advised that married seagoers might be regarded as having their residence with their family except for continuous absences in excess of six months, that single seagoers who are householders might be treated in the same way, and that single seagoers with no permanent home address need not be registered for the personal community charge except during periods of shore leave in excess of 61 days. My Department issued further guidance which suggested that merchant seamen might be treated in broadly the same way as their service counterparts. It is for community charges registration officers to determine liability taking into account all the circumstances of any individual case. Anyone dissatisfied with a determination may appeal to a valuation and community charge tribunal.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the poll tax for Nottingham.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: If each authority seeks to raise from its residents an amount consistent with its behaviour in 1989–90 and with total standard spending of £32·8 billion for 1990–91, its community charge will be that shown in table 2 of the revised exemplifications which my right hon. Friend laid in the Library on 11 January. In the case of Nottingham that would be £254.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish an up-to-date list of all the regulations in respect of the community charge setting out the area each regulation covers, the primary legislation giving rise to each regulation, the date each came into force, details of amendments to the regulations and the number of pages of each regulation.

    [holding answer15 January 1990]: The information is as follows:

    Date of coming into force
    Regulations made under the Local Government Finance Act 1988
    1. The Personal Community Charge (Exemptions) Order 1989–2 pages7 April 1989
    —These cover persons in detention, the severely mentally impaired and patients in homes
    2. Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals Regulations 1989–15 pages
    Regulations 4 to 8 and 117 April 1989
    All others1 May 1989
    —These establish new appeal procedures
    3. Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1989–51 pages
    All except Regulations 4 and 57 April 1989
    Regulations 4 and 522 May 1989
    —These define the detailed powers of authorities for registration, billing and collection of the charge
    4 Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals (Transfer of Jurisdiction) Regulations 1989–10 pages1 May 1989
    —These transfer powers of Local Valuation Panels to the new Tribunals
    5. Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) (Amendment) 1989–1 page19 May 1989
    —This inserts a line of print missing from item 3 above
    6. The Community Charge (Information Concerning Social Security) Regulations 1989–2 pages22 May 1989
    —These enable Social Security offices to supply CCROs with details on persons receiving income support
    7. The Community Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1989–2 pages21 July 1989
    —This amends the wording of item 3 above on service of summonses and redefines co—owners
    8. The Community Charge Benefits (Transitional) Order 1989–4 pages30 August 1989
    —These allow for the transition from Housing Benefit to a scheme of community charge benefits
    9 The Community Charges (Cross-Border Information) Regulations 1989–1 page1 Sepember 1989
    —These allow for specific information to be supplied between CCROs in England and Wales and Scotland
    10. The Personal Community Charge (Students) Regulations 1989–5 pages1 October 1989
    —These define full-time students and the functions of certification offices
    11 The Collection Fund (England) Regulations 1989–7 pages13 December 1989
    Date of coming into force
    —These provide for the payments to and transfers from collection funds of charging authorities
    12. The Community Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Regulations 1989–7 pages28 December 1989
    —These provide for local authorities to offer discounts and amend regulations on billing and the standard charge
    13 The Personal Community Charge (Relief) (England) Regulations 1990–10 pages21 January 1990
    —These provide for a transitional relief scheme
    Regulation made under the Social Security Act 1986
    14 The Community Charge Benefits (General) Regulations 1989–61 pages
    Regulations 1, 59-63, 92, 9311 August 1989
    All other regulations1 April 1990
    —These provide the operation of the community charge benefit system
    Regulations made under the National Health Service Act 1977
    15. The National Health Service (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Amendment Regulations 1989–3 pages25 August 1989
    —These provide a procedure to identify and exempt severely mental impaired people

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the sums raised by the London borough of Newham from its industrial and commercial ratepayers for the financial year 1989–90 (a) in total and (b) per expected payer of the community charge; and what is the sum he expects to pay the borough in respect of the uniform business rate for the financial year 1990–91 (i) in total and (ii) per community charge payer.

    I estimate that in 1989–90 industrial and commercial ratepayers will pay about £32·2 million in non-domestic rates to the London borough of Newham. This is £201·64 per community charge payer. Under our proposals for 1990–91 the share of the non-domestic rate pool paid to Newham will be £46·7 million. This is £292·51 per chargepayer. The two figures are not directly comparable. The relevant population calculation for Newham is 159,694.

    Dangerous Substances

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he has taken to ensure compliance with European Community quality objectives for list I dangerous substances in water; and if he will make a statement.

    The Surface Waters (Dangerous Substances) (Classification) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989 No. 2286) came into force on 1 January 1990. These contain the quality standards for surface waters for each of the list I dangerous substances for which Communitywide standards have been set. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales have now issued a notice to the National Rivers Authority under section 105 of the Water Act 1989 establishing these standards as statutory water quality objectives. They have also issued directions to the authority under section 146 of the Act requiring it, with effect from 8 January, to implement the quality standards in the regulations, to undertake the necessary monitoring and to supply the Secretaries of State with the appropriate information. Copies of the notice and direction to the National Rivers Authority have been placed in the Library.

    Land Reclamation

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce a decision concerning the Crooklands Brow, Dalton-in-Furness, derelict land reclamation scheme.

    The application for derelict land grant in respect of this scheme is currently receiving consideration. It is hoped to issue a decision within four weeks.

    Council Grants

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what grant gain has resulted for the London boroughs of (a) Brent and (b) Ealing as a consequence of the reduction in the standard spending assessment of those boroughs; and on what basis the assessment was reduced.

    The standard spending assessments (SSAs) for Brent and Ealing published on 11 January are lower overall than those published on 6 November 1989 primarily because of reductions in the highway maintenance SSA (in the case of Brent) and in the highway maintenance and capital financing SSAs (in the case of Ealing).The increase in the estimated revenue support grant entitlements for Brent and Ealing for 1990–91 (before safety net adjustments) flowing from the reports laid on 11 January as compared with our 6 November proposals is £1·004 million and £5·763 million respectively. This is primarily attributable to changes in our figures for estimated population and for the Metropolitan police budget.

    City Of London Heliport

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to make an assessment of the noise impact upon the Palace of Westminster arising from helicopter movements using the proposed City of London heliport; and if he will make a statement.

    Refuse-Derived Fuel And Humus

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy in respect of grant aiding future research into refuse-derived fuel and refuse-derived humus; and what priority will be given to industry-led and funded research.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: A substantial programme funded by my Department of research into combustion of refuse derived fuel is drawing to a close. Industry has developed techniques for solid waste composting. The reclamation and recycling group set up by my Department and the Department of Trade and Industry is currently looking at barriers to the increased use of recycled compostibles.

    Water Privatisation

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the water privatisation share issue.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: Over 2·7 million applications for shares in the 10 water plcs were received. The public offers were nearly 5·7 times oversubscribed. After clawback of shares from institutional and overseas offers, almost 47 per cent. of the shares available were allocated to the public. Nearly 1·35 million registered customers applied for incentives and preference in their local company. We allocated to registered customers 57·5 per cent. of the shares available to the public.The response from the public represents the second-highest level of applications for any privatisation. This is a privatisation that will bring benefits for the environment, for customers and for the 10 water plcs.

    National Rivers Authority

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the record of the National Rivers Authority since it was established.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: The NRA fully assumed its responsibilities on 1 September 1989. Since then regional rivers advisory committees, regional fisheries advisory committees and regional flood defence committees have been established in the 10 NRA regions together with regional advisory boards chaired by the regional board members. Priorities for future action are currently being set by the authority and will be set out in its corporate plan. The authority has already embarked on a number of reviews of policy areas. In addition, the authority has successfully prosecuted a number of offenders under its pollution control powers against offenders.

    Pollution Inspectorate

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of times per year since 1979 that Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution officials have inspected each of the following waste disposal sites (a) Rechem Incinerator, Pontypool, (b) Leigh Interest, Stubbers Green, Walsall, (c) Leigh Interests, Lumshill quarry, Matlock and (d) Leigh Interests, Killamarsh, Sheffield.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and its predecessors have inspected the Rechem incinerator at Pontypool at least 12 times in 1981 and in 1982 and between 15 and 18 times in each subsequent year. No inspections have been made of Lumshill quarry, Matlock by the inspectorate. The sites at Killamarsh and Walsall were inspected as follows:

    KillamarshWalsall
    198123
    198220
    198381
    198414
    198530
    198691
    198713
    KillamarshWalsall
    198839
    1989261

    Leigh Interests Plc

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received regarding the plan by Leigh Interests plc to build a toxic waste incinerator at Kirk Sandall.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: Various representations have been received from hon. Members and the public about this proposal which is to be the subject of a public local inquiry in April.

    Thermally Stable Plastics

    :To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what are the products of combustion from thermally stable plastics used in the medical industry during combustion in hospital-type incinerators;(2) what studies have been carried out by his Department of the problems experienced by the combustion of plastic clinical waste in hospital incinerators within the United Kingdom;(3) whether there is a requirement placed upon the suppliers of thermally stable plastics to provide a thermal analysis of their products to enable the combustion characteristics of such plastics to be understood.

    [holding answer 16 January 1990]: The products will include carbon dioxide and water and may include hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide, metal oxides and halides and a range of organic materials. Some of these chemicals may be removed from the exhaust gases by scrubbing equipment. Because the quantities of plastics used in the medical industry are increasing and the compositions are changing, my Department has placed a research contract with the Warren Spring Laboratory to study combustion of them. The chemical compositions of these plastics are well known and no purpose would be served by requiring suppliers to provide thermal analyses.

    Tin Cans

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will consider prohibiting mixing of metals in tin cans where consumer safety does not require it, in order to allow recycling.

    I have been asked to reply.No. The mixed composition of some cans does not inhibit their recycling. Indeed, the aluminium contained in the ends of certain steel cans is beneficial to current reprocessing operations.

    House Of Commons

    Parliamentary Questions

    To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list in rank order, by number of questions, the 20 right hon. and hon. Members who asked the most parliamentary questions during the 1988–89 Session.

    The information is as follows:

    Number
    1. Mr. Ron Davies775
    2 Dr. Dafydd Elis Thomas717
    3. Mr. Graham Allen707
    4 Mr Martin Redmond699
    5. Mr Harry Cohen661
    6. Mr. Tony Banks613
    7. Mr. Paul Flynn519
    8. Dr. David Clark483
    9. Mr. Jack Ashley456
    10 Mr Austin Mitchell445
    11. Mr. Archy Kirkwood443
    12 Mr. Frank Dobson439
    13. Mr. Nicholas Bennett426
    14 Mr. David Flinchliffe398
    15. Mr. Jim Sillars368
    16. Mr. Henry McLeish347
    17 Mr. Jimmy Wray342
    18 Mr. Jeremy Corbyn337
    19. Mr. Barry Jones327
    20. Mr. Tam Dalyell326

    Note: The figures include oral, written and private notice questions but exclude supplementary questions and unreached oral questions asking the Prime Minister to list her engagements.

    Select Committees

    To ask the the Lord President of the Council what extra seating facilities for the general public are being made available, following the admission of television cameras to Select Committee meetings; and if he will make a statement.

    The arrangements for televising Select Committees are at an experimental stage and I understand that the two temporary camera stands can take up space for some eight seats previously available to the general public. Every effort is made to make maximum use of space for those persons wishing to attend sittings of Select Committees and I understand that, in some cases, Chairmen have agreed to make available for the public parts of the Committee Room previously available to hon. Members.The Select Committee on Televising of Proceedings of the House will consider the availability of seating in Committee Rooms during its review of the experimental period.

    Attorney-General

    Shops Act 1950

    To ask the Attorney-General if he will make it his policy to give a favourable response to any application by a local authority for his fiat to a relator action in pursuance of its statutory duty to enforce the Shops Act 1950.

    The statutory duty of local authorities to enforce the Shops Act 1950 is not subject to the consent of the Attorney-General. Local authorities act independently in the exercise of the duty.

    To ask the Attorney-General what (a) assistance or (b) guidance he is proposing to give local authorities on the taking of measures to secure compliance with the Shops Act 1950 in the light of the recent decision of the European Court of Justice on 23 November.

    Section 71 of the Shops Act 1950 places a clear duty on local authorities to enforce the provisions of the Act. That duty has not been altered by the judgment of the European Court of Justice in case 145/88.

    To ask the Attorney-General what representations he has received from the chairman of the Keep Sunday Special Campaign on the enforcement of the Shops Act 1950 in the light of the European Court decision on 23 November; if he will publish his response in the Official Report; and if he will make a statement.

    The chairman of the Keep Sunday Special Campaign asked to see me with a group of trade representatives from the retail trade. I found the meeting helpful. It was useful to hear at first hand the problems of the enforcement of the Shops Act 1950 as they are perceived by some members of the trade.It is now for the domestic courts to apply the judgment of the European Court of Justice in case 145/88. Parliament has conferred the responsibility for enforcing the legislation on local authorities and I am not persuaded that it is appropriate for me to take an initiative on either a local or a national basis at present.

    Ko Hsuan School

    To ask the Attorney-General if he will investigate the charitable status of Ko Hsuan school in north Devon; and if he will make a statement.

    I have caused investigations to be made and can inform my hon. Friend that the Ko Hsuan school in north Devon is not a registered charity.

    Accident Compensation

    To ask the Attorney-General if he will list by category the United Kingdom's accident compensation payment laws; when they were last brought up to date in line with inflation; and if he intends a further update in line with the current rate of inflation.

    With the exception of the statutory provisions relating to damages for bereavement under the Administration of Justice Act 1982, which apply in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, it is not clear to what provisions the hon. Member may be referring, and there is, therefore, no further specific information which I am able to give. As to the position in relation to bereavement damages, I refer him to the reply which I gave to a question from the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) on 12 January 1990 at column 774.

    Northern Ireland

    Four Winds Park (Flooding)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has received any complaints about flooding at the rear gardens of dwellings at Four Winds park, Castlereagh; what proposals he has to remove the cause of this flooding; what works were carried out at the location of this flooding during the month of December 1989; what assessment he has made of the dangers to young children living at Four Winds park due to this flooding; and if he will make a statement.

    A complaint was received by the Department of Agriculture on 16 December 1989. Flooding was caused by an obstruction in a culverted section of the watercourse to the rear of the dwellings and the Department deployed pumps to alleviate the flooding and removed debris from the entrance to the culvert.Responsibility for the efficiency of the watercourse lies with riparian occupiers. The culvert, which in any case is inadequate to discharge storm flows, was installed without the consent of the Department and in 1986 residents were asked to have it upgraded in size: householders will again be advised of their responsibilities.

    Telecommunications

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what groups comprise the task force established in April 1989 by the Department of Economic Development to promote awareness of, and stimulate demand for, the new telecommunications services as a result of the launch of the STAR programme;(2) what steps have been taken by the task force established in April 1989 by the Department of Economic Development to promote awareness of and stimulate demand for the new telecommunications services as a result of the launch of the STAR programme.

    The STAR task force comprises representatives of the Department of Economic Development, the Industrial Development Board, the Local Enterprise Development Unit, the Technology Board for Northern Ireland, Queen's university of Belfast and the university of Ulster. To date £328,360 of grant aid from the European regional development fund has been committed to 10 projects in Northern Ireland aimed at promoting awareness and use of the new telecommunications infrastructure. These cover promotional seminars, feasibility studies and demonstration projects. Additional projects are being developed.

    Cystic Fibrosis

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans the Northern Ireland Department of Health and Social Services has to establish an institute for those suffering from cystic fibrosis similar to the one in Peto in Hungary.

    I understand that conductive education as practised in the Peto institute in Budapest is not appropriate for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.However, the Government have agreed to contribute to the funding of a new international institute to be established in Hungary. Detailed discussions with the Hungarian Government on this project are continuing and it would not be appropriate to take decisions on proposals for similar provision in Northern Ireland until those discussions are concluded.

    Parliamentary Boundary Commission For Northern Ireland

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will announce the membership of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland.

    Mr. Speaker is the chairman of the Boundary Commission. The other members are as follows:

    MembersAppointed by
    Deputy Chairman
    The Hon. Mr. Justice HigginsThe Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
    Members
    Mr. P. G. DuffyThe Secretary of State
    Mr. D. J. ClementThe Secretary of State

    Wounded Soldiers (Compensation)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the sums payable in compensation to officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers wounded on service in Northern Ireland.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sums are payable in compensation to the families of officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers killed on service in Northern Ireland.

    They depend in each case on the amount of pecuniary loss suffered and expenses actually and necessarily incurred by the families as a result of the victim's death.

    Action For Community Employment

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total number of ACE placements in each district council area in Northern Ireland.

    [holding answer 16 January 1990]: Following is the information:

    Action for Community Employment (ACE) Placements in each District Council area in Northern Ireland as at 5 January 1990 The numbers of filled places in each District Council area are—
    District CouncilNumber
    Belfast3,452
    North Down185
    Lisburn479
    Ards210
    Down211
    Castlereagh153
    Carrickfergus207
    Larne121
    Ballymena209
    Antrim202
    Moyle132
    Coleraine224
    Magherafelt247
    Ballymoney171
    Newtownabbey353
    Cookstown171
    Dungannon391
    Armagh281
    Banbridge127
    Craigavon371
    Newry and Mourne648
    Derry1,050
    Limavady185
    Strabane307
    Fermanagh316

    District Council

    Number

    Omagh255
    Total10,658

    Youth Training

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total number of youth training placements in each district council area in Northern Ireland.

    [holding answer 16 January 1990]: The information is not available in the form requested. However, the table shows that 10,184 full-time training places, broken down by job market area, were occupied at 29 December 1989. In addition, 2,415 young people were receiving employment with training under YTP work scheme across the province at the same time.

    Youth training programme full-time training
    Job marketOccupied places at 29 December 1989
    Bangor404
    Lisburn462
    Newtownards157
    Belfast3,328
    Antrim165
    Carrickfergus148
    Larne137
    Magherafelt172
    Ballymena544
    Ballymoney135
    Coleraine277
    £ thousand
    Financial yearRoads service headquartersBallymenaBelfastColeraineCraigavonDownpatrickOmagh
    1985–86Major works6129063,1547571,4349851,568
    Minor works1,1081,0451,2371,3511,3671,164
    1986–87Major works4181,0143,2681,5051,8041,092879
    Minor works1,0901,7061,6891,3581,5371,061
    1987–88Major works6901,0713,1691,8211,784890793
    Minor works1,3411,4801,2711,1741,4011,382
    1988–89Major works1,7553,0631,9999861,8441,827694
    Minor works1,0781,3991,1471,0571,3071,306
    1989–901Major works1191,8307,8391,4251,5692,2153,107
    Minor works1,3051,5931,4161,3991,3581,524
    1 To 11 January 1990.
    Note:
    The roads service headquarters expenditure was mainly in respect of specific major works handled centrally rather than divisionally.

    Home Department

    Birmingham Pub Bombings

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last discussed the Birmingham pub bombings case with the assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. and learned Friend has not discussed this case with the assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire, Mr. Shaw. However, Home Office officials have maintained close contact with the Police Complaints Authority, which is supervising Mr. Shaw's

    Job market

    Occupied places at 29 December 1989

    Limavady145
    Londonderry1,153
    Strabane191
    Armagh85
    Cookstown81
    Dungannon197
    Enniskillen227
    Omagh395
    Portadown345
    Ballynahinch86
    Banbridge102
    Downpatrick192
    Kilkeel1
    Lurgan243
    Newcastle84
    Newry728
    Total10,184

    Roads

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total amount allocated for (a) major works and (b) minor works by the Department of the Environment's roads service to each of the district offices in each division of the Northern Ireland roads service in each year since 1985.

    [holding answer 16 January 1990]: Allocations for major works and minor works are primarily made on a divisional basis as follows:investigations into the West Midlands serious crime squad. We will consider carefully whether anything emerges from this investigation which might cast doubt on the safety of the convictions of the Birmingham Six.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the investigations into the Birmingham Six to be concluded; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. and learned Friend is considering very carefully the further material which has been presented to him by a solicitor on behalf of the Birmingham Six, and will decide as soon as possible whether it justifies any intervention on his part.

    Bingo Clubs

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to exclude bingo clubs from section 42 of the Gaming Act to allow them to advertise; and if he will make a statement.

    Licensed bingo clubs already advertise freely as social clubs, and specific games of bingo, and certain prizes in them, are already advertised on the front of club premises. The principal effect of section 42 of the Gaming Act 1968 on bingo clubs is to prohibit the wider advertising of the specific locations of the clubs as places where gaming takes place. We have informed the Bingo Association of Great Britain (BAGB) that we cannot accept its campaign for the complete removal of the controls on the advertising of bingo clubs, but that it is open to them to resume discussions with the Gaming Board for Great Britain on the scope, if any, for some relaxation of the controls.

    Boundary Commissions

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement of progress on the work of the boundary commissions on parliamentary constituencies; and when he expects the new boundaries to take effect.

    The boundary commissions have a duty to keep the distribution of seats under continuous review. They are also required to present reports on the whole country 10 to 15 years after their previous report. The English commission's next such report is due between 1993 and 1998. I understand that the commission is likely to begin work in 1991. At present the commission is reviewing the Buckingham and Milton Keynes constituencies; revised draft proposals were published in November 1989, and in due course it will report. New parliamentary constituency boundaries come into effect at the general election following Parliament's approval of the commission's recommendations and the making of an Order in Council.

    Nuclear Bunkers

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by local authority, how many nuclear bunkers have been built or provided by local authorities to date; and how many additional bunkers are being planned.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) on 18 December 1989 at columns 18-19.

    Sunday Trading

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many retail outlets in England and Wales have been prosecuted for trading on Sundays during each of the last four years; and if he will make a statement on the steps he is taking to secure widespread agreement to a reform of the existing law.

    Figures are not yet available for 1989. Those for the previous four years 1985–88 show that the number of prosecutions for Sunday trading offences in England and Wales were 647, 724, 646 and 536 respectively. The Government accepted the findings of the Auld committee that there was no satisfactory solution short of total deregulation. Since the defeat of the Shops Bill, the Government have made clear that they are prepared to consider reform short of total deregulation if a solution can be found which is widely accepted, enforceable, practicable and likely to command a parliamentary majority. No such solution has yet emerged.

    Bail Lodging Places

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will undertake a review of the number of bail lodging places since the coming into force of the Social Security Act 1988.

    I see no need for such a review at the moment in the light of other measures we are already taking to increase the accommodation available for bailees. The target for the bail hostel development programme has been considerably increased to 1,000 new places by April 1993. Planned expansion in bail information schemes should allow the number of courts being served to increase from the current 45 to 100 courts by April 1992. We are also examining ways of increasing accommodation in the community for bailees and how bail information schemes and accommodation networks can best be developed.

    Prostitution

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many men were convicted of kerb crawling in each of the last five years at (a) the South Western magistrates court and (b) courts in England and Wales;(2) how many men were sent to prison for

    (a) kerb crawling and (b) living on immoral earnings in each of the last five years by the South Western magistrates court;

    (3) how many men were sent to prison for (a) living on immoral earnings and (b) kerb crawling by courts in England and Wales in each of the last five years;

    (4) how many times the maximum fine has been imposed on men convicted (a) at the South Western magistrates court and (b) courts in England and Wales of kerb crawling in each of the last five years;

    (5) how many women were convicted of soliciting (a) at the South Western magistrates court and (b) in England and Wales during each of the last five years.

    The information requested is given in the tables:

    Persons found guilty and sentenced for kerb crawling and prostitution
    Table 1
    Males convicted of kerb crawling
    England and WalesSouth Western magistrates court
    ConvictionsImmediate custodyNumber fined maximum1ConvictionsImmediate custodyNumber fined maximum1
    21986163
    1987275
    198851736
    1The maximum fine is £400.
    2The offence was introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 1985.
    Table 2
    Males found guilty of living on immoral earnings
    England and WalesSouth Western Magistrates court
    YearFound guiltyImmediate custodyFound guiltyImmediate custody
    19842911
    19852581
    19862471
    1987167
    19882911
    Table 3
    Females convicted of soliciting
    YearEngland and Wales ConvictedSouth Western Magistrates court Convicted
    19848,595402
    19859,159579
    19869,091288
    19878,171399
    19888,829226

    Planting Of Evidence

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of alleged planting of evidence were made last year against the police in England and Wales; and how many of these resulted in prosecutions.

    Such information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will bring forward amendments to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 in order to guard against the planting of evidence on suspects by police.

    No. Such conduct, if proved, already constitutes an offence under the police discipline code, and I see no justification for amending the Act along the lines suggested.

    Police Complaints Authority

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the findings of the Hertfordshire police, acting on behalf of the Police Complaints Authority, in the series of cases relating to PC Judd, and other officers, in Notting Hill in 1984–85.

    No. I understand that the report of the investigation carried out under the supervision of the authority is under consideration by the authority. Home Office Ministers have no role in the process.

    Message Switch Systems

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by region, the sites of all new message switch systems that have been installed in local authority emergency centres.

    As at 31 December 1989, emergency centres in the following local authorities have received the equipment:

    Region 2

    Cleveland

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees.

    Durham

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, Durham, Easington, Teesdale.

    Humberside

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Beverley, Cleethorpes, East Yorkshire, Glanford, Great Grimsby.

    North Yorkshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Scarborough, Selby.

    Northumberland

    County Main and the following districts: Alnwick, Tynedale.

    Tyne and Wear

    The following districts: North Tyneside, Sunderland.

    West Yorkshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees

    Region 3

    Derbyshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Chesterfield, High Peak, Derbyshire Dales

    Leicestershire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Blaby, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Leicester, Melton, Rutland

    Lincolnshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Lincoln, North Kesteven, South Kesteven

    Northamptonshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Daventry, Northampton, Wellingborough

    Nottinghamshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark, Nottingham

    Region 4

    Bedfordshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Luton, Mid Bedfordshire, North Bedfordshire, South Bedfordshire

    Cambridgeshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire, South Cambridgeshire

    Essex

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Tendring, Thurrock, Uttlesford

    Hertfordshire

    County Main and the following districts: East Hertfordshire, St. Albans

    Norfolk

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Breckland, Great Yarmouth

    Suffolk

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Babergh, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, St. Edmundsbury

    Region 5

    London

    South West Group and the following boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, City of London, Havering, Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames

    Region 6

    Berkshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham

    Buckinghamshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Chiltern, Milton Keynes, South Bucks, Wycombe

    East Sussex

    County Main and the following districts: Brighton, Hove, Lewes, Rother, Wealden

    Hampshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Hart, Havant, New Forest, Portsmouth, Rushmoor, Southampton, Test Valley, Winchester

    Isle of Wight

    County Main and Standby

    Kent

    County Main and the following districts: Dover, Gillingham, Gravesham, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells

    Oxfordshire

    County Main and the following districts: Cherwell, Oxford, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire

    Surrey

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley, Woking

    West Sussex

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Adur, Arun, Chichester, Horsham, Mid Sussex, Worthing

    Region 7

    Cornwall

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Caradon, North Cornwall, Penwith

    Devon

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, Plymouth, Teignbridge, Torbay

    Dorest

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset, Poole, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland

    Gloucestershire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Tewkesbury

    Somerset

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, Taunton Deane

    Wiltshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, West Wiltshire

    Region 8

    Clwyd

    County Main and Standby and the following district: Colwyn

    Dyfed

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Carmarthen, Llanelli

    Gwent

    County Standby

    Gwynedd

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Aberconwy, Ynys MÔn

    Powys

    County Main and Standby and the following district: Brecknock

    South Glamorgan

    County Main and the following district: Cardiff

    West Glamorgan

    County Main and Standby

    Region 9

    Hereford and Worcester

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Leominster, Redditch, Worcester, Wyre Forest

    Shropshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Shrewsbury and Atcham, South Shropshire

    Staffordshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: East Staffordshire, Lichfield, South Staffordshire, Staffordshire Moorlands

    Warwickshire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Rugby, Stratford-on-Avon

    West Midlands

    County Main and the following districts: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Wolverhampton

    Region 10

    Cheshire

    County Main and Standby and the following district: Vale Royal

    Cumbria

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Allerdale, Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden

    Lancashire

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Blackburn, Blackpool, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire

    Greater Manchester

    County Main and Standby and the following districts: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Stockport, Trafford

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the manufacturers which have installed message switch equipment for local authority emergency centres; and what assessment has been made of their relative merits.

    The equipment is being supplied and installed by Chernikeeff Telecommunications Ltd. Installations are subject to technical acceptance by Home Office engineering staff.

    South Yorkshire Police

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of additional posts applied for by South Yorkshire police authority since 1980; how many he has approved in this period; what was the basis on which he declined to accept the totals requested; and what assessment he has made of the effects of manpower levels on (a) morale and (b) crime prevention in South Yorkshire.

    Applications have been made and approvals given in the years set out in the table.

    YearPosts applied forPosts approved
    1980–81278120
    1983–84154
    1985–869
    1986–8721350
    1987–885220
    1988–895020
    1989–905027
    1990–9150220
    1Letter from the Chief Constable rather than from the police authority.
    2Approved subject to the police authority confirming willingness to meet its share of the cost.
    Applications have been considered within the limits of the police growth which is affordable year on year, and with advice from Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary on the evidence of need and the ability to release police posts by recruiting civilian staff. We are not aware of any morale or crime prevention considerations which would justify different treatment of the police authority's manpower applications.

    Refugees

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to assist refugees arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick airports who are without (a) food and (b) money.

    In October we agreed in principle to Home Office grant being made available to strengthen the voluntary sector assistance given to asylum seekers arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick who have no other means of support. An emergency fund to provide destitute asylum seekers with food and initial accommodation is now operated by the refugee arrivals project and the Refugee Council and the need for additional staff and strengthened reception arrangements is under consideration.

    Gallows

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if gallows are still kept at any prison in the United Kingdom.

    John Mccarthy

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from or on behalf of the Friends of John McCarthy, with respect to their ineligibility for charitable status; and if he will make a statement.

    We have received no representations. I understand that in June 1988 the Charity Commission had correspondence about the question of charitable status with solicitors acting on behalf of the Friends of John McCarthy.

    Betting Offices

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when and how he intends to conduct the deregulation review of the opening hours of licensed betting offices; and if he will make a statement.

    The opening hours of licensed betting offices would be likely to be among the matters considered by an inquiry into the financing of horse and greyhound racing, since the racing and betting industries are interlinked. My right hon. and learned Friend is at present considering whether or not to establish such an inquiry. If in due course it seems right to conduct separately the review of betting office opening hours, the review will itself be conducted within the Government's policy on gambling, with no prior assumption about whether or not the hours should be varied, and in consultation with outside interests, including, for example, organisations representative of off-course and on-course bookmakers, betting office employees, horse racing and greyhound racing, the betting office licensing authorities, the police, the local authorities and those concerned with the study of gambling.

    Animal Procedures Committee

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to make further appointments to the animal procedures committee; and if he will make a statement.

    Following his appointment as the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, the chairman of the committee, Professor David Williams, has resigned from 31 December 1989. I am pleased to be able to announce that Lord Nathan has agreed to succeed him.

    I am pleased to be able to announce further that Professor Barry Bridges, of Queen's university, Belfast; Dr. Fiona Broughton-Pipkin, of the Queen's medical centre, Nottingham; Dr. Susan Iversen, of Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories; and Professor Michael Spyer, of the Royal Free Hospital medical school, London, have also accepted appointments as members of the committee.

    I should like to place on record my appreciation of the excellent way in which Professor Williams has chaired the committee since its formation following the passage of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. I am grateful to Lord Nathan and the other new members for agreeing to serve on this committee.

    Prime Minister

    National Trust Silver

    To ask the Prime Minister how much National Trust silver she has at Downing street; and when she intends to return the 20 pieces to Belton house, near Grantham, for the benefit of the nation.

    There are 22 pieces of National Trust silver on loan to 10 Downing street from Belton house. This will be returned as and when requested by the National Trust.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Hazardous Waste

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates representations were made, and to whom, in respect of the drums of toxic waste currently in the constituency of Wentworth which are to be returned to the United States of America.

    Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has been in close touch on this subject with the United States Environment Protection Agency since July 1989, most recently on 3 January 1990. Similarly, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of the Environment have been in contact with the United States embassy in London and a representative of the embassy was invited to call on the FCO for talks on 22 December.

    Hong Kong

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people emigrated from Hong Kong in each of the years from 1980 to date; and how many of these were heads of households.

    [holding answer 16 January 1990]: According to Hong Kong Government statistics, the estimated figures for emigration were as follows:

    Number
    198022,400
    198118,300
    198220,300
    198319,800
    198422,400
    198522,300
    198619,000
    198730,000

    Number

    198845,800
    198942,000

    It is not possible to state how many emigrants were heads of household.

    Employment

    New Businesses

    143.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many new businesses were started over the past year.

    In 1988, the latest year for which figures have been published, the net increase in the number of VAT-registered businesses was 64,000, an average of just over 1,200 per week. This was the net result of 230,000 new registrations and 166,000 deregistrations.

    Energy

    Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has received details from area boards of how many non-nuclear projects have sought to be included within the non-fossil fuel obligation; and if he will make a statement.

    My Department has been informed of nearly 300 such applications. This is a very encouraging response.

    Renewable Energy

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of the national budget in each of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries is spent on Government-funded research into renewable energy sources.

    The table sets out the percentage of the national budget in each of the OECD countries spent on Government-funded research, development and demonstration into renewable energy sources in 1988, the latest year for which information is available. The information was derived from published OECD reports (Energy Policy and Programmes of IEA Countries: 1988: OECD Outlook, December 1989; and OECD Main Economic Indicators, December 1989).

    Renewables expenditure as a percentage of total Government expenditure
    Percentage
    Canada0·01
    United States0·01
    Japan0·01
    Austria0·01
    Belgium0·01
    Germany0·02
    Greece0·02
    Italy0·01
    Netherlands0·02
    Norway0·01
    Portugal0·01
    Spain0·01
    Percentage
    Sweden0-02
    Switzerland0-03
    United Kingdom0-01

    Note: Data on renewables expenditure are not available for Australia. New Zealand, Denmark, France, Ireland, Finland, and Turkey.

    North Sea

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the extent of operations in the North sea, British section, by South African-owned or controlled companies.

    Two South African-owned companies hold small interests in a total of four United Kingdom offshore petroleum production licences.

    Plutonium

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy towards the control of the transportation of plutonium (a) by air, and (b) by sea from Sellafield to its major customers in Japan and West Germany.

    The transport of plutonium is covered by stringent international regulations. Transport options for returning the plutonium arising from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at THORP are still under consideration. Before anydecision is taken, all necessary safety and security aspects will be carefully considered.

    Health

    Medical Instruments (Imports)

    144.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the percentage of the home market of medical instruments supplied by imports.

    145.