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Mr. Moynihan : Water authorities set their own water quality objectives which may include standards for ammonia. Compliance with such standards is a matter for the authorities. However, some 16,000 kms of river length in England and Wales have been designated by authorities for the purposes of the EC directive on the "Quality of freshwater needing protection or improvement in order to support fish life" (75/659/EEC) which does contain ammonia standards. The only compliance data held centrally relate to 1984 and show that overall some 97 per cent. of the length of designated rivers met the ammonia standards in the directive. Results for later years are held by the authorities concerned.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what organisations he intends to consult prior to introducing legislation to amend section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have sought the views of the principal organisations representing the interests of farmers and landowners, the users of public rights of way, the local authority associations and the rights of way review committee on the difficulties and deficiencies that the proposed legislation should seek to resolve.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government is concerned to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO ) and other "greenhouse" gases. The realistic pricing of energy to encourage its efficient use and the continued development of sources of power other than fossil fuels will help to reduce the generation of CO . The exhaust emission standards for small cars agreed by the European Community last month preserve the incentive to develop fuel-efficient "lean-burn" engines.
We are not yet in a position, given our present understanding of the science, to devise precise reduction targets which are feasible or related to specific environmental objectives. Our first priority therefore is to improve our understanding of the problems of climatic change and their impact on the environment. We are initiating our own research amd playing a full part in international efforts to this end.
Mr. Nicholas Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will support the implementation of the flora, fauna and habitat directive in order to protect threatened lowland heaths in Great Britain.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The draft directive proposed by the European Commission is unacceptable to all member states of the community. In Great Britain the statutory procedures imposed following designation as a site of special scientific interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) ensure that the conservation interest of the important areas of this type of habitat is protected from potentially damaging operations and is taken fully into account in all land use decisions.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from London borough councils about the distribution of the proceeds of the sale of county hall ; and what reply he has given.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Representations about the distribution of proceeds from the sale of county hall have recently been received from the London boroughs of Greenwich, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Lewisham, Redbridge, Westminster and Tower Hamlets. All London boroughs will be consulted about distribution in 1989-90 of capital receipts by the London Residuary Body, including any from county hall.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the amounts to be allowed to each local authority in (a) inner London and (b) outer London to meet the setting up costs of the community charge, indicating in each case the division between specific and block grant, and showing where available the local authority's own estimates of the costs involved.
Mr. Gummer : Column 1 of the table shows the London authorities' share of the £25 million capital allocation made available for 1988- 89. My right hon. Friend announced on 21 October that a further allocation of £135 million would be made for 1989-90 and individual allocations from this total will shortly be made.
Column 423My right hon. Friend also announced on 21 October that half the provision of £110 million included in the 1989- 90 RSG settlement for the current costs of preparing for the community charge will be met through a specific grant. Column 2 of the table sets out the estimated share of that £55 million for the London authorities. The remaining £55 million will be supported by rate support grant. We do not have comprehensive figures for local authorities' own estimates of these costs. The figure of £110 million is in line with the estimate made by Price Waterhouse and is higher than the figure for current costs put forward by the local authority associations in July.
|1988-89 Capital |1989-90 Specific Grant |Allocation |£ |£ |Column 1 |Column 2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Greater London Inner London City of London |2,879 |10,000 Camden |103,253 |368,000 Greenwich |113,799 |279,000 Hackney |96,512 |288,000 Hammersmith and Fulham |83,739 |314,000 Islington |91,389 |282,000 Kensington and Chelsea |78,508 |336,000 Lambeth |131,574 |414,000 Lewisham |123,841 |330,000 Southwark |115,568 |311,000 Tower Hamlets |79,220 |203,000 Wandsworth |140,256 |441,000 Westminster |100,987 |418,000 Outer London Barking and Dagenham |78,620 |150,000 Barnet |163,177 |421,000 Bexley |117,410 |248,000 Brent |135,687 |375,000 Bromley |161,463 |373,000 Croydon |169,030 |416,000 Ealing |157,438 |425,000 Enfield |141,895 |314,000 Haringey |104,637 |304,000 Harrow |107,651 |245,000 Havering |127,660 |260,000 Hillingdon |123,655 |282,000 Hounslow |102,520 |255,000 Kingston-upon-Thames |73,252 |180,000 Merton |89,053 |218,000 Newham |105,249 |272,000 Redbridge |123,151 |279,000 Richmond-upon-Thames |90,006 |251,000 Sutton |91,207 |207,000 Waltham Forest |113,995 |296,000
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether new funding is to be made available to the Nature Conservancy Council and the Countryside Commission to relieve pressure on their support for the voluntary sector ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The public expenditure allocations for 1989-90 announced for the Nature Conservancy Council and the Countryside Commission should enable them to make grants to the voluntary and private sectors £1.85 million and £5 million respectively. The Nature Conservancy Council has also allocated
Column 424additional resources of £440,000 for grants in the current year, as a result of savings elsewhere in the council's budget.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures are to be taken to safeguard work carried out on practical projects and by volunteers in marine conservation and bat ecology, formerly supported by the Natural Environmental Research Council funds ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I understand that the Natural Environment Research Council has made some staff reductions in areas which it judges to have lower priority. The reductions include one post concerned with bat ecology, in a project which has used volunteer labour. The council has not funded marine conservation work using volunteers in recent years. We will continue to rely on our statutory advisers, the Nature Conservancy Council, for advice on conservation matters, supplemented as necessary by research commissioned by the Department.
Mr. Howard : I have today placed in the Library of the House summary schemes of organisation prepared by each water authority in conjunction with the National Rivers Authority Advisory Committee under my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Crickhowell.
These show the proposed organisation of the National Rivers Authority unit in each water authority region, and together with a summary document indicate that about 6,500 staff are likely to transfer to the National Rivers Authority, of whom about 50 per cent. will work on flood defence/land drainage work, and about a third on environmental and water resource functions.
Provisional estimates suggest that existing water authority assets to a value of £460 million are expected to transfer to the National Rivers Authority. Inevitably, these figures are provisional at this stage, and the final figures will depend on decisions on various matters still under consideration.
I should like to pay tribute to the water authorities, and to the National Rivers Authority Advisory Committee, for the work done so far on the restructuring of the industry.
These documents show that the water authorities are well on target for the operation of separate National Rivers Authority units from 1 April 1989. They represent a major step forward towards the establishment of a National Rivers Authority and the preparation for the privatisation of the utility functions.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of the State for the Environment (1) if he will state, in respect of each water authority, the area of land which has been designated as (a) sites of special scientific interest, (b) national parks and (c) areas of outstanding natural beauty ;
(2) if he will state, in respect of each statutory water company, the area of land which has been designated as (a) sites of special scientific interest, (b) national parks and (c) areas of outstanding natural beauty.
(2) if he will estimate the payments outstanding to small firms arising from the IBAP processing delays ; and what arrangements are being made for loans to cover emergency requirements ;
(3) what representations he has had from the makers of cakes and biscuits regarding the adequacy of the export refund system ; (4) what is his estimate of the total cost of the current backlog of the export refund payments in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The net value of outstanding export refund payments is currently estimated at around £35 million, about 70 per cent. below the peak in the summer. I regret that separate figures are not available for any specific category or size of trader. There have been a number of representations to both Ministers and officials from cake and biscuit manufacturers about the impact of delayed payments. The Intervention Board is doing all in its power to reduce outstanding payments and estimate that by the end of the year some 95 per cent. of all claims by value will be paid within two months of becoming payable. As announced on 28 July, the board has been authorised to pay compensation on export refunds paid after more than two months from the time they become payable. This is a fair means of recompensing all exporters who incur additional costs as a result of delays and, by comparison with other methods of compensation, minimises the need to divert resources from processing claims and eliminating payment delays.
Mr. MacGregor : The quality status report prepared by scientists of North sea countries for the North sea conference in 1987 recorded West German and Dutch data that 3.3 tonnes per year of PCBs entered the North sea from continental rivers. Levels of PCBs in United Kingdom rivers are below detectable levels. The extent of release of PCBs into the North sea from the Piper Alpha platform is being assessed at present.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 1 December 1988] : We are taking this issue very seriously. I am holding meetings with the various sectors of the industry--the eggs, poultry and feedingstuffs industries and the retailers. All are aware of the need to act to reassure consumers--their customers. Steps are being taken as a result. A comprehensive code of practice has already been agreed under the poultry health scheme. The eggs industry, which has already issued new instructions for producers, is meeting today to discuss the adoption of a similar code of practice. A joint feeding stuffs working party met yesterday to consider how we might tighten up enforcement of the feedingstuffs orders, and the preparation of a tough code of practice. A further working party, comprising scientists from my Ministry, the Department of Health and the egg industry have been studying urgently the scientific background to these outbreaks and will make recommendations soon.
All this is in addition to the excellent work of the State Veterinary Service, investigating every outbreak of salmonella enteritidis.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the implications for research into salmonella in poultry of the loss of three AFRC scientists at Bristol engaged in work related to food safety with regard to salmonella in poultry ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 29 November 1988] : My Department undertakes ongoing reviews of all commissioned research. Following an extensive review of MAFF commissioned research in microbiology involving consultations with the Department of Health, the Public Health Laboratory Service, the AFRC Institute for Food Research, the food research associations and representatives of the food industry it was decided that work on manipulation of the microbial flora of the gut of young chicks should cease from April 1989 since it was now at the stage where the work was ready for industry to develop. This will not constitute a reduction in Government support on microbiological research, such as on salmonella. The funding is to be diverted to other important microbiological work. The work had been supported by MAFF and the AFRC for more than 10 years. Considerable effort has been made by the Institute for Food Research to interest the industry in the techniques which have been developed. Unfortunately, practical difficulties associated with the technique have proved unattractive to both the veterinary pharmaceutical and poultry industries at present. If future developments should make the work commercially feasible, and industry decides to come forward with funding, the work can be picked up again.
My Department commissions more than £1 million of research each year into the microbiological safety of food and gives a high priority to salmonella control. The deployment of staff at the IFR Bristol is a matter for the AFRC.
Year |Number --------------------- 1987 |115 1988 |127
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he will put forward to provide alternative financial support for Northern Ireland beef farmers for the anticipated loss of £2.2 million should the proposal to end calf premium on 31 December be implemented.
Mr. Viggers : The ending of calf premium in Northern Ireland cannot be considered in isolation from the European Commission's overall proposals for revision of the beef regime. It is the Government's intention to seek adequate and fair premium support for beef producers in all areas of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy to oppose any limitations of numbers of male animals eligible for Euro-premium and seek to persuade the European Commission that beef produced from maiden heifers in Northern Ireland should qualify for any headage payment paid out on male animals.
Mr. Viggers : The European Commission's proposals for reform of the beef regime include termination of the beef variable premium and calf premium and the introduction of a special premium on male animals, subject to a headage limit, and an increase in the suckler cow premium. Difficult and detailed negotiations on this proposed package are still in progress. The Government's objectives are to seek adequate and fair premium support for beef producers in all parts of the United Kingdom at a reasonable cost to the Community budget and the United Kingdom taxpayer.
Mr. Viggers : If it is decided to discontinue the beef variable premium, the Government will seek adequate arrangements for orderly transition to any new premium system which is agreed. I cannot at this stage give any specific commitment on timing of changes because this depends on the progress of negotiations in and decisions by the EC Council of Agriculture Ministers.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many beef cows in Northern Ireland herds do not qualify for premium because of the rules relating to the proportion of income derived from farming and the proportion of time spent on the farm ; what is the estimated loss of income by these rules to the Northern
Column 428Ireland agriculture industry annually ; and if he will seek to amend these rules so that all beef cows qualify for full premiums payable.
Mr. Viggers : The information is not available in the form requested. In the 1987-88 scheme year income checks were applied to 4,468 claims in Northern Ireland and as a result 1,569 claims (involving 6,224 cows and some £208,000 in premium) were withdrawn or failed the main occupation test. The qualifying rules of the beef cow premium scheme are laid down in EC legislation. They will be considered during the current review of the EC beef support arrangements. Any proposed amendment such as removal of the main occupation test will be studied carefully with regard to its budgetary and administrative impact.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many road accidents and how many injuries and death arising therefrom were reported during each of the past three years on the main public roads between Greyabbey and Kircubbin, County Down.
|Numbers ----------------------------------------- 1986 |70 1987 |98 1988 (to end of October) |37
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Royal Ulster Constabulary stations there are in the Ards peninsula south of the line between Newtownards and Donaghadee ; and what is the estimated winter and summer population in that sector of the Ards peninsula.
South of the line between Newtownards and Donaghadee, there is one Royal Ulster Constabulary station. It is estimated that the residential population of the area is approximately 21,000 and that in the peak holiday period the average number of staying visitors is about 2,000.
Column 429system of regional quotas to interested slaughtering plants on the basis of recent volumes as a means of ensuring an element of competition for available quotas and maintaining a place for smaller meat plants if proposals to invite tenders for intervention purchasing of beef proceed.
Mr. Viggers : No. Little information is available on how the tendering system for beef intervention proposed by the EC Commission will operate but regional or slaughter plant quotas based on recent volumes is not envisaged.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps will be taken by Her Majesty's Government to prevent large monopolistic interests from gaining control of the meat industry in Northern Ireland to the detriment of small meat plants by the proposed tendering for beef intervention.
"the tender procedures must ensure equality of access for all persons interested".
The Government supports such an undertaking which, if approved by the EC Council of Ministers, should prevent large monopolistic interests from obtaining unfair advantages in the Northern Ireland meat industry.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the rate of changes in the number of (a) incidents, (b) injuries and (c) deaths arising from terrorist acts between the three years before 15 November 1985 and the three years since that date.
|1982 |1983 |1984 |<1>1985|<2>1985|1986 |1987 |<3>1988 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deaths |97 |77 |64 |47 |7 |61 |93 |87 Injuries |525 |510 |866 |828 |88 |1,450 |1,130 |923 Shooting attacks |382 |290 |230 |169 |27 |285 |489 |305 Explosions |219 |266 |193 |128 |20 |172 |236 |220 <1>1 January to 14 November. <2>15 November to 31 December. <3>To 31 October.
Mr. Ian Stewart : The information requested is not readily available since 1968 and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. However, since 1982 compensation paid as a result of rubber and plastic bullet injuries is as follows :
|£ --------------------------- 1982 |39,250 1983 |5,515 1984 |57,800 1985 |59,751 1986 |245,250 1987 |96,050 1988 |<1>7,750 <1>To October.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many instances have been discovered since 1979 of employers breaking the law in failing to pay statutory minimum wages according to wage council agreements ; and how many resultant prosecutions there have been.
Column 430compiled on the basis of establishments rather than employers. With that proviso, the figures sought are shown in the following table.
Establishments underpaying and prosecutions for failing to pay not less than the legal minimum |Number |Prosecutions ---------------------------------------------------- 1979 |10,969 |12 1980 |12,154 |8 1981 |10,074 |8 1982 |9,269 |6 1983 |9,842 |2 1984 |9,466 |2 1985 |9,064 |2 1986 |8,205 |2 1987 |4,443 |4 <1>1988 |4,778 |<2>10 <1>At 30 October. <2>At 30 November.
Establishments are classified as underpaying if one or more workers is found to be underpaid. In the typical case only one or two workers are affected. In 1987 the proportion of workers found to be underpaid in all checks conducted by the wages inspectorate was 3 per cent.
Mr. Nicholls : The Health and Safety Executive plans to increase the number of nuclear installations inspectors working in the inspectorate from the current level of 127.5 (1 November 1988) to 140 by 1 April 1989.
Column 431number of registered workplaces, the total number of employers and the number of factory inspectors who inspect workplaces for each Health and Safety Executive area for the years 1974 to 1987 inclusive.
The Health and Safety Executive does not hold information on the number of workplaces registered with the factory inspectorate for the years 1974 to 1977. The number of registered fixed premises for the years 1978 to 1987 is as follows :
Date |Number of Premises --------------------------------------------------------- 1 January 1978 |280,716 1 January 1979 |300,718 1 January 1980 |309,915 1 January 1981 |309,100 <1>1 January 1982 |576,456 1 January 1983 |468,609 1 January 1984 |393,237 31 March 1985 |395,860 31 March 1986 |399,885 31 March 1987 |401,815
The figure for 1982 is the first of those produced from a computerised database which was based on the Department of Employment census. The database was initially inflated by premises for which the Health and Safety Executive was not the enforcing authority and accounts for the high figures in 1982 and 1983.
Figures for the total number of registered fixed premises in each HSE area for the years 1978 to 1987 are not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Figures for the total number of employers for the years 1974 to 1987 inclusive are not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Figures for the number of factory inspectors who inspect workplaces for each HSE area between 1974 and 1979 could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The number of factory inspectors employed in each HSE area on 1 April each year between 1980 and 1987 is as follows :
Area |1980|1981|1982|1983|1984|1985|1986|1987 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- South West |32.0|30.0|28.0|27.0|26.0|26.0|26.0|29.0 South |30.0|28.0|27.0|27.0|29.0|26.0|27.5|27.5 South East |25.0|25.0|25.0|23.0|22.0|25.0|24.0|26.5 London North West<1> |30.0|26.0|24.0|22.0|21.0|- |- |- London North |25.0|23.0|22.0|22.0|20.0|36.0|35.5|36.0 London South |30.0|37.0|34.0|32.0|28.0|40.0|35.0|34.0 East Anglia |24.5|25.5|27.0|26.0|25.0|24.5|25.0|21.5 Northern Home Counties |26.0|21.0|20.0|19.0|20.0|22.0|23.0|24.5 East Midlands |29.0|26.0|24.0|23.0|23.0|23.0|25.0|26.0 West Midlands |44.0|44.0|40.0|37.0|33.0|32.0|32.0|32.0 Wales |33.0|31.0|29.0|23.0|23.0|23.0|25.0|26.0 Marches |28.0|27.0|25.0|23.0|22.0|24.0|25.5|23.5 North Midlands |31.0|30.0|29.0|26.0|25.0|27.0|23.0|23.0 South Yorkshire |33.0|31.0|28.0|29.5|29.0|27.0|24.5|24.0 West and North Yorkshire |37.0|35.0|29.0|31.0|29.0|35.5|33.5|31.5 Greater Manchester |34.5|34.5|33.0|33.0|32.0|33.5|28.5|30.5 Merseyside |29.0|28.0|26.0|25.0|27.0|25.0|26.0|25.0 North West |26.5|30.5|28.0|27.0|25.0|28.0|24.0|23.0 North East |38.0|37.0|33.0|32.0|31.0|31.0|30.0|31.0 Scotland East |33.0|31.0|32.0|27.0|25.0|26.0|23.0|23.0 Scotland West |34.0|33.0|30.0|28.0|26.0|27.0|25.0|25.0 <1> The London north-west office is no longer regarded as a separate area office. Factory inspectors located there are outstationed from the London, north or London, south area offices.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list (a) the number of prosecutions and (b) the average fine under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act for the years 1974 to 1987 inclusive.
Year Informations laid Convictions obtained Average fine per conviction (£) |<1><2>All|<3>FAID |<4>FI |<1><2>All|<3>FAID |<4>FI |<1><2>All|<3>FAID |<4>FI --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1975 |2,956 |2,732 |81 1976 |2,174 |2,010 |94 1977 |2,814 |2,546 |105 1978 |2,603 |2,364 |134 1979 |2,427 |2,227 |184 1980 |2,624 |2,416 |180 1981 |1,892 |1,654 |189 1982 |2,342 |2,057 |233 1983 |2,238 |1,941 |252 1984 |2,209 |1,944 |313 1985 |2,231 |1,915 |436 1986 (January to March)<5> |541 |467 |438 1986-87<6> |2,199 |1,771 |410 1987-88<6> |2,322 |2,002 |<7>794 <1> Data include prosecutions taken by factory and agricultural inspectorates, explosives inspectorate, Her Majesty's mines and quarries inspectorate, nuclear installations inspectorate, railway inspectorate and the petroleum engineering division of the Department of Energy. <2> All figures exclude the results of prosecutions taken by local authorities. The latest information for local authorities (LAs) relates to 1986-87, for which we know of about 390 informations laid under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and 233 under other associated legislation. For 1986-87 the number of convictions was about 530 in total. No information is collected on the average fine. <3> Factory and agricultural inspectorates only. <4> Factory inspectorate only. <5> Data for the period 1 January 1986 to 31 March 1986. <6> Data for the year commencing 1 April 1986 and provisional data for the year commencing 1 April 1987. <7> The average includes fines of £500,000 and £250,000 against BP following three fatal accidents. Without these convictions the average fine would have been £420.
Proceedings instituted by the Health and Saftey Executive's factory and agricultural inspectorates, 1987-88 |Number ---------------------------------------------------- Informations laid |<1>30 Convictions obtained |19 Average fine per conviction (£) |<2>41,224 <1> These figures are for HSE inspectors only. Information on prosecutions could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost. <2> The average includes fines of £500,000 and £250, 000 against BP following three fatal accidents. Without these convictions the average fine would have been £1,956.