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Written Answers

Volume 490: debated on Tuesday 17 November 1987

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Written Answers

Taylor Report: Implementation

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many of the recommendations of the Taylor Committee have been wholly or partly put into practice.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Education and Science
(Baroness Hooper)

Legislation passed since the publication of the report of the Taylor Committee in 1977 has put 39 of the report's recommendations wholly or partly into effect. In addition, a number of the report's recommendations which were not capable of being given effect by legislation will have been put into practice by local education authorities and governing bodies.

European Consumer Affairs Council

asked Her Majesty's Government:What date was agreed on for the next meeting of the European Consumer Affairs Council following the discussion on 10th November referred to in HL Deb., 5th November, col. 1082.

The date of the next meeting of the Consumer Council is a matter for the Presidency. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Corporate and Consumer Affairs asked Commissioner Varfis about the prospects for an early meeting during discussions on 10th November, but was given no indication of a likely date.

Ashdown Forest: Borehole Proposal

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will invite British Petroleum not to appeal against the unanimous decision by the East Sussex County Council and the Conservators of Ashdown Forest not to allow an exploratory borehole within the original pale of the forest, which is an Environmentally Sensitive Area.

It would be inappropriate to ask any developer to forgo its right of appeal following the refusal of planning permission.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will summarise the reasons put to them by BP for sinking an exploratory borehole on the edge of Ashdown Forest in an AONB and SSSI which persuaded them that the need to undertake the development outweighed the environmental objections.

An applicant for planning permission for an exploratory borehole is not required to set out reasons for its proposals to HMG. The case for the development should be made as part of the application.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the exploration for oil within the original pale of Ashdown Forest and its subsequent exploitation would be consistent with the letter and spirit of Section 16 of the Ashdown Forest Act 1974 (c xxi) in which Parliament lays on the Conservators the duty to "protect the forest from encroachments and to conserve it as a quiet and natural area of outstanding beauty".

Each case should be considered on its merits. Any development permitted by a planning application would remain subject to the provisions of the Ashdown Forest Act 1974, including the need to comply with the by-laws made under the Act.

Street Robberies

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many street robberies are known to have occurred in London during the first half of 1987 and of those:—

  • (a) how many resulted in prosecutions;
  • (b) how many resulted in convictions for felonious wounding; and
  • (c) how many of the victims of the robberies received wounds resulting from the use of sharp weapons.
  • I understand from the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis that, of the 8,669 robberies recorded in the first half of 1987, 5,444 were street robberies of personal property, of which 1,429 involved the use of sharp instruments. Information on prosecutions or convictions does not distinguish street robberies from other robberies: it is not yet available for 1987.