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EMPLOYMENT

Labour Statistics

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his policy towards releasing the monthly unemployment figures to (a) journalists and (b) hon. and right hon. Members.

Mr. Cope : The figures are made available to anyone who requests them from the set time of release. In particular, every effort is made to ensure that all right hon. and hon. Members can have access to the figures as soon as they are published. Copies of the press notices are made available in the Library, where additional more detailed information can also be obtained via the computer database.

Local Employer Networks

Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many local employer networks are presently in operation in England and Wales ; and how many more are planned for 1988-89.

Mr. Cope : At the end of October, 98 local employer networks were operating in England and Wales. A further six applications are currently being considered, and discussions are taking place with three organisations showing an interest in applying to "host" a local employer network.

Job Clubs

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have obtained a job whilst participating in job clubs ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : The number of people participating in the job club programme who have found jobs since April 1986 (when central records begin) is 115,815. A further 29,531 have also gone into other positive outcomes, such as training or a place on community programme or the enterprise allowance scheme.

I am pleased with the continuing success of job clubs in giving positive help to long-term unemployed people. Around 70 per cent. of all those joining the programme achieve a positive outcome.

YTS (Clothing Industry)

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many YTS trainees in the clothing


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industry have employed status and have their allowance made up to the minimum rate for the job by the company ; and what percentage this is of the total.

Mr. Cope : At the end of September 1988 YTS records show 12,600 young people in training on YTS in clothing and textiles manufacturing occupations. Of these 5,700 (45 per cent.) has employed status.

Information is not available on the number of trainees who have their allowance made up to the minimum rate for the job by the company.

Training

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employment training participants there are in the London borough of Newham.

Mr. Nicholls : In November 1988 there were 264 people in training on employment training in the London borough of Newham.

Equal Pay

Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what recent discussions he has had with the Confederation of British Industry concerning equal pay for work of equal value and the House of Lords rulings in the case of Hayward v Cammell Laird and Pickstone v Freemans.

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend has had no such discussions, although I understand that the CBI has these matters under consideration.

Age Discrimination

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to introduce legislation to protect employees being discriminated against on account of their age.

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend has no such plans.

Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974

Mr. Mudd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if, in the light of the Court of Appeal ruling of 9 November 1988, in the matter of Rayware Ltd. and another v Transport and General Workers Union and another, he plans to introduce amendments to section 15 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 as substituted by section 16 of the Employment Act 1980 and amended by section 21 of schedule 3 to the Employment Act 1982.

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend has no present plans to amend this legislation, but the matter is kept under review.

Emission Controls (Crown Immunity)

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will be seeking Crown immunity from prosecution for the institutions which are the responsibi-lity of his Department when the anticipated new controls on emissions come into operation.

Mr. Nicholls : I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on


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Monday 28 November at column 218. My Department has no plans to seek removal of Crown immunity in relation to the proposed air pollution regulations.

ENVIRONMENT

Local Self-government

114. Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the United Kingdom will sign the Council of Europe's charter for local self-government ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave to the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) on 24 November, at column 10.

Right to Buy

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will consider setting Camden council a public target for dealing with the backlog of offer notices under the right-to-buy legislation ;

(2) if he will consider setting the London borough of Newham public targets for dealing with its backlog of offer notices under the right-to-buy legislation.

Mr. Trippier : I am requiring regular monthly reports from Camden and Newham councils on progress towards eliminating backlogs. I will take whatever action seems appropriate in the light of the reports.

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many tenants are waiting for but have not been served an offer notice under the right-to-buy laws within the statutory time limit in (a) Camden, (b) Brent, (c) Lewisham and (d) Newham ; and how many tenants have been served with such notices in each of these boroughs during each of the last three months.

Mr. Trippier : The latest available information is :


(b) Offer notices served in the last three months 

          |August   |September|October            

--------------------------------------------------

Camden    |135      |111      |n.a.               

Brent     |22       |34       |183                

Lewisham  |182      |125      |257                

Newham    |168      |165      |166                


(b) Offer notices served in the last three months 

          |August   |September|October            

--------------------------------------------------

Camden    |135      |111      |n.a.               

Brent     |22       |34       |183                

Lewisham  |182      |125      |257                

Newham    |168      |165      |166                

Football (Arrests)

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is his estimate of the number of arrests (a) within football grounds in the 1987-88 season and (b) in the vicinity of football grounds on match days during the same period ; (2) at how many division III and division IV football matches no arrests were made in the 1987-88 season.


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Mr. Moynihan : Total arrests at English league matches during the 1987-88 season were 6,147 with 6,542 ejections, 11 per cent. and 1 per cent. up on the 1986-87 totals respectively. The relevant statistics away from grounds on match days are not available.

Identity Cards

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the proposed identity card system will apply to non- league club supporters attending Football Association cup matches.

Mr. Moynihan : This issue is discussed in the report of my working party on the national membership scheme, published on 9 November. I have sent a copy of the report to my hon. Friend. The report recommends that supporters of non-league clubs should not be required to produce membership cards for FA cup matches involving league teams. This is a matter that we will be considering further when our legislative proposals are published.

Wildlife (Protection)

Mr. Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list any of the administrative implications of the proposed draft European Commission directive on wildlife habitat protection which he will seek to raise with the Commission ; and what representations he has had on the subject from the National Farmers Union.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The draft directive proposed a rigid and bureaucratic system of nature conservation. At the Environment Council in Brussels on 24 November, member states unanimously rejected this approach. The majority agreed that the objective of any Community action should be to assist member states, as necessary, to achieve implementation of the relevant existing international conventions.

We have received no representations from the National Farmers Union on this subject.

Greenhouse Effect

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research his Department has commissioned, or has planned, on the role of nuclear power, energy conservation and renewable energy sources in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect ; if he will list any such studies which have been published and place copies in the Library ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department is currently considering what further studies would be timely and appropriate on all aspects of responses to the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. This will take into account the role of the working group on responses recently set up by the UNEP/WMO Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change. We will certainly build on the expertise available at the Building Research Establishment on energy conservation in buildings, and on the extensive energy efficiency and renewable sources programmes run by the Department of Energy.


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Vehicle Emissions

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the 1987 emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides from automobile and freight transport.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information available relates to emissions from petrol-engined and diesel-engined road vehicles. The basis for estimation is constantly being updated, and a major revision took place in 1988. For comparability, therefore, figures are given for the years 1977 -1987.


---------------------------

EC Production  |372|66     

EC Use (Sales) |259|48     

Source: European Council   

of Chemical Manufacturers' 

Federation.                

Figures for CFC 115 are    

not available.             

Methane

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 1987 emissions of methane in the United Kingdom, by source, in million metric tonnes.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information requested is not available.

Chlorofluorocarbons

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 1987 production and usage of chlorofluorocarbons in the United Kingdom, and the projections for 1990 and 1995.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Production and use figures for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are not given separately for the United Kingdom (UK) or any individual member state of the European Community (EC). Figures for production and use (sales) in the EC in 1987 are not yet available. Following are 1986 figures for CFCs 11, 12, 113 and 114 :


---------------------------

EC Production  |372|66     

EC Use (Sales) |259|48     

Source: European Council   

of Chemical Manufacturers' 

Federation.                

Figures for CFC 115 are    

not available.             

The Montreal protocol provides for production and consumption of CFCs 11, 12, 113, 114 and 115 to be frozen at 1986 levels by 1990, reduced by 20 per cent. by 1994 and by a further 30 per cent. by 1999. The regulation adopted in October 1988 to implement the protocol within the EC provides for the consumption obligations to be fulfilled by the Community as a whole. The United Kingdom has called for the protocol to be strengthened so as to reduce CFC emissions by at least 85 per cent. by the end of the century.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the reasons which underlie his policy decision to rely on voluntary measures by industry to reduce pollution by chlorofluorocarbons.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The provisions of the regulation to implement the Montreal protocol in the European Community for controlling productions and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons are directly binding on producing and importing companies. Within the EC, consumption is to be controlled by control of overall supply not specific uses. Market forces will determine how available supplies are used. It is within this overall regulatory framework that we expect user industries to take steps on a voluntary basis to reduce the use of CFCs and halons to the maximum possible extent. EC Environment Ministers on 16 June asked the European Commission in co-operation with member states to initiate discussions with European industry to this end. Controls on specific uses are not necessary. A voluntary approach is simple, quick and effective. In the United Kingdom and some other EC member states action has already been taken on a voluntary basis to reduce CFCs in aerosols : the United Kingdom aerosol industry expects to phase-out non-essential use of CFCs in aerosols by the end of 1989.

Carbon Monoxide

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 1987 emissions of carbon monoxide in the United Kingdom, by source, in million metric tonnes.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information requested is as follows :


Carbon monoxide: estimated emissions by source                                  

United Kingdom, 1987                  |Million tonnes                           

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Domestic                              |.42                                      

Commercial-public service             |.01                                      

Power stations                        |.05                                      

Refineries                            |. .                                      

Agriculture (fuel use)                |. .                                      

Other industry                        |.08                                      

Rail transport                        |.01                                      

Road transport                        |4.47                                     

Incinerators and agricultural burning |.2                                       

                                      |----                                     

All sources                           |5.26                                     

. .=less than 5,000 tonnes.                                                     

Planning Consent

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to change the law which


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allows a developer to dig a short trench which by doing so satisfies the definition of a specified activity and thereby enables that developer artificially to preserve a planning consent without undertaking any real development on the site.

Mr. Chope : The Government have no present plans to amend the definition of a specified operation for the commencement of development given in section 43 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. Local planning authorities have power to serve a completion notice under section 44 of the Act if they consider that a development will not be completed within a reasonable period.

Mrs. Ana Maria Quick

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to reply to the letter of the hon. Member for South Hams of 20 October concerning Mrs. Ana Maria Quick of 8 MacAndrew Walk, Ivybridge, Devon.

Mr. Chope : I wrote to my hon. Friend on 28 November 1988.

Air Pollution

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what policy considerations underlie the United Kingdom's decision not to make a commitment to a 30 per cent. cut in nitrogen oxide emissions in 1988 at the international meeting on air pollution control held in Bulgaria on 1 November.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The proposition before the meeting of the executive body of the UN/ECE convention on long-range transboundary air pollution was a protocol on the control of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) or their transboundary fluxes. The protocol commits signatories to halt the hitherto inexorable rise in NOx emissions (bringing emissions back to 1987 levels by 1994), to apply suitable standards to stationary and mobile sources, and by 1996 to have adopted control policies based on the "critical loads" which the environment can tolerate.

The United Kingdom and 24 other countries signed the protocol. More indicated their hope to sign in the near future. This represents a major international commitment.

The United Kingdom is committed to taking action on the basis of scientific study of the problems caused by acid deposition and the implications of various possible solutions. The 1979 convention provides the right forum for advancing the international consensus which is essential if transboundary air pollution problems are to be successfully tackled.

Before the protocol was due to be signed the Government received an invitation to sign a draft declaration to the effect that they would by 1998 achieve reductions in NOx emissions of at least 30 per cent. measured from a baseline of any year between 1980 and 1985. We did not think it right to commit ourselves both to an arbitrary percentage target for 1998 and to the quite different "critical loads" approach of the protocol for the earlier date of 1996. At the last moment the draft declaration was reduced to a commitment to achieve reductions "in the order of 30 per cent." from a baseline of any year between 1980 and 1986.


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Twelve countries signed this version on 31 October. It is uncertain from the final wording what action they mean to take. The protocol is specific.

Radioactive Waste

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the environmental advantages and disadvantages of reprocessing in regard to the production of volumes of radioactive waste.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government's position on reprocessing is contained in the Government's response to the House of Commons Environment Committee's report (Cmnd. 9852, paragraphs 75-82). The following reports of research commissioned by DOE address the environmental implications of different approaches to spent fuel management.

(i) Management of Spent Oxide Fuel from Thermal Reactors : the Environmental and Radiological Effects of Alternative

Approaches--Associated Nuclear Services. Ref. DOE/RW/83-086. (

(ii) Direct Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel : the Current Status of Technology, January 1987--National Nuclear Corporation Ltd. Ref. DOE/RW/87- 021.

(iii) Magnox Fuel Dry Storage and Direct Disposal : Assessment of CEGB/SSEB Reports--Ove Arup and Partners. Ref. DOE/RW/87-125. These reports are publicly available through the British Lending Library.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if there are any technical problems remaining to be solved in the disposal of (a) low level radioactive waste, (b) intermediate level radioactive waste, (c) high level heat generated radioactive waste and (d) unreprocessed spent nuclear fuel.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : There are no fundamental technical problems to be solved in the disposal of radioactive waste. Work is continuing in order to demonstrate the safety of disposal.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what are the current estimated costs (a) per cubic metre and (b) per mile of transporting radioactive wastes in each of the low, intermediate and high level categories ;

(2) what are the current estimated costs per cubic metre of packaging radioactive wastes in the low, intermediate and high level categories ;

(3) what are the current costs per cubic metre of storing radioactive wastes in each of the low, intermediate and high level categories.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The costs of transporting, packaging and storing radioactive wastes are matters for the waste producers.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, under current or planned European Commission research programmes, the option of subseabed emplacement or disposal of (a) low, (b) intermediate and (c) high level radioactive wastes has been examined.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Seabed disposal of radioactive wastes forms part of the current programme of research at the European joint research centre, Ispra, Italy. The future EC research programme on radioactive waste management has not yet been defined.


Column 280

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the current and future estimated costs per cubic metre of the disposal of radioactive wastes in each of the low, intermediate and high level categories.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Nirex estimates the costs of disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive wastes as :

Intermediate level wastes

--Land based deep repository : £2,000 to £7,000 per cubic metre. --Offshore deep repository : up to £14,000 per cubic metre. Low level wastes

--Deep repository : £750 to £2,000 per cubic metre.

For high level wastes accurate cost estimates are not possible as waste in this category will not be disposed of for at least 50 years. An indicative estimate is £500 per litre.

Ozone Layer

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any report from the chairman of the United Kingdom stratospheric ozone review group in regard to co-ordinating ozone layer research in the European Economic Community following the meeting in October in the Netherlands of European ozone researchers.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The meeting in the Hague on 15 and 16 October to discuss coordination of EC/EFTA research on the ozone layer was called by the United Kingdom Government and the Commission of the European Communities. Officials of the Department were present and there was no need for a report from the chairman of the stratospheric ozone review group, who was also present. The Department is now taking steps to set up a co- ordination unit, based in the United Kingdom, following decisions taken at the Hague meeting.

Water Supply (Cuts)

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses have had their water cut off for each of the years from 1979 to the present by water authority regions.

Mr. Moynihan : The information requested by the hon. Member is in the table below ; a breakdown of disconnections of households for non- payment is not available for years prior to 1984-85.

Data on the duration of disconnections is not held centrally.


Household disconnections for non-payment                       

Authority    |1984-85  |1985-86  |1986-87  |1987-88            

---------------------------------------------------------------

Anglian      |218      |774      |2,268    |1,586              

North West   |110      |238      |457      |448                

Northumbrian |70       |59       |300      |480                

Severn Trent |650      |1,074    |1,000    |932                

South West   |76       |404      |404      |324                

Southern     |115      |1,249    |1,152    |1,164              

Thames       |788      |225      |576      |1,594              

Welsh        |90       |350      |950      |1,785              

Wessex       |0        |0        |0        |32                 

Yorkshire    |25       |189      |293      |560                

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will produce a table showing the number of houses having water cut off by region and by length of time cut off for the year 1987.


Column 281

Mr. Moynihan : Data on the duration of disconnections is not held centrally.

Fauna, Flora and Habitats

Mr. Chapman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's policy on, and response to, the draft Economic Community directive on the protection of threatened fauna, flora and habitats ; and what legislative measures would be necessary to implement such a directive.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : At the Environment Council in Brussels on 24 November member states unanimously rejected the approach embodied in the Commission's draft directive. We await revised proposals.

Emission Controls

Mr. Jack Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will be seeking Crown immunity from prosecution for the institutions which are the responsibility of his Department when the anticipated new controls on emissions come into operation.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on Tuesday 29 November. The Department has no plans to seek to remove Crown immunity in relation to the proposed air pollution regulations.

Electric Bulbs

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what policy Her Majesty's Government follows in respect of the use of low-energy use and long-life electric bulbs.

Mr. Chope : It is Government policy to use the most cost-effective and energy efficient form of lighting appropriate to the circumstances.

Brundtland Report

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in the light of the Brundtland report "Our Common Future", he will consider publishing an annual report on how Government policies, programmes and spending are being redirected towards global sustainable development.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Prime Minister's foreword to the United Kingdom's response to the Brundtland report, published in July, stated that Government Departments had been invited to examine their policies in the light of the report's recommendations. Promoting sustainable development on a global scale must be achieved through concerted action by the entire international community. The Government are not persuaded that publishing an annual report would be the best way to make progress. The United Kingdom is already taking a leading role within organisations such as the United Nations and OECD to ensure that the main thrust of the report's conclusions is integrated into their activities.

Nature Conservancy Council

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment for what reasons he decided to allocate to the


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