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Football Club Membership Scheme

Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the response of the football authorities to his proposed national football membership scheme.

Mr. Moynihan : The football authorities contributed fully in the working party which I chaired on the national membership scheme and agreed the report which the working party produced. They have made clear that they are opposed to the principle of the scheme but I am very glad that both the new president of the Football League and the chief executive of the Football Association have recently repeated their willingness to co-operate with the Government in producing a workable scheme. I look forward to discussing the details of the scheme further with them.

Croxteth Hall

Mr Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the future of Croxteth hall and Country park, Liverpool.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We are awaiting the Merseyside residuary body's proposals on detailed arrangements for ensuring the future of Croxteth hall and country park. We hope to make a statement shortly.

Truscon RD27 Houses

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent representations he has received from Liverpool city council about the possible repurchase of Truscon RD27 houses situated in Storrington avenue, Liverpool ; and what his response has been.

Mr. Trippier : Liverpool city council have applied for consent to repurchase three privately owned Truscon


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RD27 type houses at Storrington avenue and the Department's officials recently wrote to the council about the repurchase terms. It is now for Liverpool city council to take the matter forward.

Planning Applications

Mr. Malins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many planning applications were received by the London borough of Croydon in each of the last 10 years ; how many were granted ; how many appeals were made ; how many appeals were allowed ; and how many appeals were refused.

Mr. Chope : The information available in the Department is given in the tables.


Table 2-Planning appeals under sections 35 and 37 

of the Town                                       

and Country Planning Act 1971                     

Year      |Received |Allowed  |Dismissed          

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

1984-85   |79       |22       |47                 

1985-86   |117      |38       |47                 

1986-87   |128      |50       |45                 

1987-88   |136      |54       |67                 


Table 2-Planning appeals under sections 35 and 37 

of the Town                                       

and Country Planning Act 1971                     

Year      |Received |Allowed  |Dismissed          

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

1984-85   |79       |22       |47                 

1985-86   |117      |38       |47                 

1986-87   |128      |50       |45                 

1987-88   |136      |54       |67                 


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Planning Controls

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which are the current planning controls now protecting water authority lands from developers because of (a) their outstanding natural beauty, (b) their value to urban or rural communities as spaces of recreation or as environmental protection, and (c) their character as national parks.

Mr. Chope : The Town and Country Planning Acts and subsidiary legislation, and the Government's planning guidance, apply to water authority land as they do to land in other ownership. The Town and Country Planning General Development Order grants planning permission, subject to limitations, for development by water authorities for the purpose of their functions.

Planning Appeals

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the number of planning appeal decisions which were (a) allowed, (b) dismissed, (c) withdrawn and (d) undetermined in each of the English national parks, including the Broads authority in each of the last five years ; and if he will express the numbers allowed and dismissed as a percentage of those determined. Mr. Chope [holding answer 2 December 1988] The available information in respect of the English national parks is given below. Similar information in respect of the Broads authority area is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


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National Park Year     Decided    Allowed               Dismissed             Withdrawn            

                                 |Number    |Percentage|Number    |Percentage                      

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

Peak District                                                                                      

1984-85               |23        |6         |26.1      |17        |73.9      |3                    

1985-86               |25        |5         |20.0      |20        |80.0      |7                    

1986-87               |38        |9         |23.7      |29        |76.3      |6                    

1987-88               |38        |9         |23.7      |29        |76.3      |5                    

                                                                                                   

Exmoor                                                                                             

1984-85               |7         |4         |57.1      |3         |42.9      |0                    

1985-86               |6         |4         |66.7      |2         |33.3      |0                    

1986-87               |4         |2         |50.0      |2         |50.0      |1                    

1987-88               |4         |0         |-         |4         |100.0     |1                    

                                                                                                   

Northumberland                                                                                     

1984-85               |2         |0         |-         |2         |100.0     |0                    

1985-86               |0         |0         |-         |0         |-         |0                    

1986-87               |0         |0         |-         |0         |-         |0                    

1987-88               |0         |0         |-         |0         |-         |1                    

                                                                                                   

Dartmoor                                                                                           

1984-85               |32        |6         |18.8      |26        |81.2      |2                    

1985-86               |29        |8         |27.6      |21        |72.4      |4                    

1986-87               |22        |9         |40.9      |13        |59.1      |3                    

1987-88               |24        |7         |29.2      |17        |70.8      |0                    

                                                                                                   

Lake District                                                                                      

1984-85               |17        |6         |35.3      |11        |64.7      |1                    

1985-86               |37        |18        |48.6      |19        |51.4      |5                    

1986-87               |37        |16        |43.2      |21        |56.8      |1                    

1987-88               |76        |34        |44.7      |42        |55.3      |2                    

                                                                                                   

Yorkshire Dales                                                                                    

1984-85               |22        |7         |31.8      |15        |68.2      |2                    

1985-86               |21        |6         |28.6      |15        |71.4      |1                    

1986-87               |14        |4         |28.6      |10        |71.4      |3                    

1987-88               |15        |4         |26.7      |11        |73.3      |0                    

                                                                                                   

North Yorkshire Moors                                                                              

1984-85               |28        |8         |28.6      |20        |71.4      |3                    

1985-86               |23        |3         |13.0      |20        |87.0      |1                    

1986-87               |17        |11        |64.7      |6         |35.3      |4                    

1987-88               |31        |12        |38.7      |19        |61.3      |0                    

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the number of planning appeal decisions which were (a) allowed, (b) dismissed, (c) withdrawn and (d) undetermined in England in each of the last five years ; and if he will express the numbers allowed and dismissed as a percentage of those determined ; (2) if he will give for each of the last five years for which figures are available, the number of planning appeal decisions which were allowed, dismissed, withdrawn and undetermined, respectively in England ; and if he will express the numbers allowed and dismissed as a percentage of those determined ;

(3) if he will give for each of the last five years for which figures are available, the number of planning appeal


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decisions which were allowed, dismissed, withdrawn and undetermined, respectively, in each of the English national parks, including the Broads authority ; and if he will express the numbers allowed and dismissed as a percentage of those determined ;

(4) if he will give for each of the last five years for which figures are available, the number of planning appeal decisions which were allowed, dismissed, withdrawn and undetermined, respectively on green belt land ; and if he will express the numbers allowed and dismissed as a percentage of those determined.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 2 December 1988] : The available information is as follows :


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Year       Decided   Allowed             Dismissed           Withdrawn In hand on 31 March

          |Number   |Number   |Per cent.|Number   |Per cent.|Number   |Number             

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

1984-85   |12,714   |4,161    |32.7     |8,553    |67.3     |2,109    |8,049              

1985-86   |14,130   |5,581    |39.5     |8,549    |60.5     |2,143    |9,615              

1986-87   |15,613   |6,208    |39.8     |9,405    |60.2     |2,533    |11,325             

1987-88   |18,474   |6,955    |37.6     |11,519   |62.4     |3,173    |12,160             

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the number of planning appeal decisions which were (a) allowed, (b) dismissed, (c) withdrawn and (d) undetermined on green belt land in each of the last five years ; and if he will express the numbers allowed and dismissed as a percentage of those determined.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 2 December 1988] : The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Football Matches (Arrests)

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has anything to add to his answer of 30 November, with regard to division 3 and 4 football matches at which no arrests were made in the 1987-88 season.

Mr. Moynihan : As opposed to individual club information for the season, information about the number of arrests at individual matches for the 1987-89 season is not held centrally. The total number of arrests at division 3 and 4 matches in the 1987-88 season was as follows :


              |Total arrests              

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

Division 3    |866                        

Division 4    |929                        


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ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Councillors (Pecuniary Interests)

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list all cases since 1 January 1978 in which successful action has been taken against councillors under section 94 of the Local Government Act 1972 for failure to declare a pecuniary interest in contracts in which local authorities, of which they are members, are engaged.

The Attorney-General : As far as it has been possible to ascertain, during the period mentioned no prosecutions have been brought under section 94 of the Local Government Act 1972,

Sir Harold Cassel

Ms. Harman : To ask the Attorney-General if the Lord Chancellor will be taking any action in respect of the comments of Judge Cassel at Knightsbridge Crown court on 29 November ; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : His Honour Judge Sir Harold Cassel has retired on medical grounds.

The judge tendered his resignation on grounds of ill-health in a letter which he sent to the Lord Chancellor on the day before his controversial comments in a case of indecent assault dealt with by him at Knightsbridge Crown court. The Lord Chancellor received the letter on the day of the case. In the light of medical advice, the Lord Chancellor has decided to accept Judge Cassel's resignation.


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In his capacity as head of the judiciary the Lord Chancellor issued a statement in the following terms :

"It would not be right for me to comment on the sentence passed by Judge Cassel in a recent case of indecent assault. But, having now seen a report of the case, I wish to put on record my personal disapproval of the remarks he made when passing sentence. It is regrettable that a judge should have expressed himself in a way that suggested that there are any circumstances that can excuse or condone indecent assault on children."

Satanic Verses"

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Attorney-General what representations he has received requesting prosecution of the publishers of the book, "Satanic Verses" ; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : The Director of Public Prosecutions and I have received written representations concerning the contents of the book "Satanic Verses" from a number of individuals, from two hon. Members, and from two organisations writing on behalf of the Moslem community. The director is considering the matter.

CIVIL SERVICE

Barlow Clowes

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will ensure that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration has available to him any additional staff necessary for the expeditious conclusion of his investigation into the Department of Trade and Industry's handling of the Barlow Clowes affair.

Mr. Luce : The Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 provides that the commissioner may appoint such officers

"as he may determine with the approval of the Treasury as to numbers and conditions of service."

My understanding is that the commissioner has already appointed some additional staff with a view to ensuring the completion of his investigation as swiftly as its complexity permits and that he is continuing to keep his resource requirements under review.

WALES

Water Bill

15. Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what environmental safeguards he proposes to make to the Water Bill in order to protect the public access, recreational and amenity value of the 100,000 acres of land owned by the Welsh water authority.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The hon. Gentleman will by now have seen the Water Bill, which provides the environmental safeguards he refers to.

Nursing

16. Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he proposes to take to improve confidence and morale among the nursing profession and ancillary workers in the National Health Services in Wales.


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Mr. Grist : We continue to recognise the value to the NHS of all the staff who work within the service. I hope that the Government's commitment to the Health Service is a source of encouragement to the staff.

Employment Measures

17. Sir Anthony Meyer : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales of he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the Government's employment measure in Wales ; and how many were benefiting from them at the latest available date.

Mr. Peter Walker : At October 1988 there were 115,130 people benefiting from the Government's employment and training measures in Wales. In the last year unemployment has dropped by 23,000.

Child Poverty

18. Mr. Martin Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make funds available to the Child Poverty Action Group in Clwyd ; and what further steps he proposes to take to protect children in (a) Clwyd and (b) the whole of Wales from the effects of poverty.

Mr. Grist : No. The Government are directing substantial additional resources towards families eligible for income support and family credit. Next year, a total of £70 million will be made available above a social security uprating based on price rises. This extra expenditure will be to the greater benefit of up to 3 million children in Great Britain and will help to protect children in Wales.

Road Planning

19. Mr. Raffan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he proposes to take following the National Audit Office's report on road planning as it relates to his Department.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The Public Accounts Committee is expected to take evidence on the report in January. In the meantime we are studying it carefully.

Public Bodies

20. Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many appointments he has made to public bodies in Wales in 1987 and 1988 ; and what total costs are involved in each year in respect of (a) salaries, (b) expenses and (c) other costs.

Mr. Peter Walker : Since taking office in June of last year, I have made 300 appointments to public bodies in Wales. The numbers of such appointments for each non-departmental public body concerned, together with details of any salaries paid can be obtained from "Public Bodies", the 1988 version of which will be published on 7 December and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House. The other information requested is not readily available.

M4

21. Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to ensure that the M4 will be complete and continuous from England to Pont Abraham by 1992.


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Mr. Wyn Roberts : Work on the missing section of the M4 between Baglan and Lonlas is expected to start before the end of 1990, as indicated in "Roads in Wales".

Severn Crossing

22. Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he is yet able to estimate the effect on the Welsh economy of the projected second Severn crossing.

Mr. Peter Walker : The existing Severn bridge has been a notable success in contributing to economic growth in south Wales and I am convinced that a second crossing will help to accelerate the economic achievements of the area. Its construction will in due course also offer substantial employment opportunities.

Gwynedd Area Health Authority

23. Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he last met Mrs. Noreen Edwards, chair of Gwynedd area health authority ; and if he will make a statement on the financial problems facing that authority.

Mr. Peter Walker : I last met Mrs. Edwards on30 November together with all other Welsh health authority chairmen. Gwynedd Health Authority-- like all health authorities--is statutorily required to ensure that its financial position is in balance. It has submitted various service rationalisation proposals towards this end and these are currently under consideration.

Labour Statistics

24. Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the latest unadjusted figures for unemployment in (a) Newport, (b) Gwent and (c) Wales ; and if he will give the equivalent figures for 1979 on the most nearly comparable basis.

Mr. Peter Walker : On 13 October 1988 the number of unemployed claimants in the Newport district, Gwent, and Wales were 6,313, 18, 978 and 117,683 respectively. Unadjusted figures for 1979 are not available on a basis that enables a valid comparison to be made.

Welsh Water Authority

25. Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next expects to meet the chairman of the Welsh water authority ; and what matters will be discussed.

Mr. Peter Walker : I meet the chairman on a regular basis to discuss a range of matters.

Council House Sales

26. Sir Raymond Gower : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many council tenants in Wales have bought their dwellings up to the last convenient date.

Mr. Grist : A total of 61,261 council houses and flats have been sold to tenants in Wales between October 1980 and September 1988 under both right-to-buy and voluntary terms.

Water Authorities (Land)

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the area of land owned by the Welsh water


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authority which has been designated as (a) sites of special scientific interest, (b) national parks and (c) areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Mr. Grist : The acreage of land owned by the Welsh water authority within national parks in Wales is as follows :


               |Acres        

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

Brecon Beacons |13,783       

Pembroke       |Nil          

Snowdonia      |5,399        

Major landholdings in areas of outstanding natural beauty are as follows :


              |Acres      

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

Lleyn AONB    |72         

Anglesey AONB |151        

Clwydian AONB |206        

There is a total of 32 SSSIs on Welsh water authority landholdings of greater than one hectare (2.5 acres) and the total authority landholdings within such areas is about 51,000 acres.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the area of land sold by the Welsh water authority as being land surplus to operational requirements for each calendar year since 1983.

Mr. Grist : The information is more readily available on a financial rather than a calendar year basis. The acreage of land disposed of by Welsh water since 1 April 1983 is as follows :




             |Acres        

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

1983-84      |222          

1984-85      |240          

1985-86      |113          

1986-87      |492          

1987-88      |323          

1988 to date |1,001        

             |------       

Total        |2,391        

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the area of land owned by the Welsh water authority which is currently registered under the provisions of the Local Government and Planning Act 1981 as being unused or underused.

Mr. Grist : This is a matter for the Welsh water authority. I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is, 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.

Mr. Grist : These are matters for the statutory water companies. I have asked the chairman of Chester waterworks company and of the Wrexham and East Denbighshire water company to write to the hon. Member.


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Higher Education

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has received any representations proposing the corporate status of the institutes of higher education in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : My right hon. Friend has neither received nor expects to receive any representations proposing corporate status for any of the institutions of higher education in Wales. This is a matter for discussion and agreement between the institutions and their maintaining local education authorities.

Employment Training

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his assessment of the budget for Wales for the introduction of employment training in 1988-89 ; how much has been spent to date ; how many places have been allocated for Wales ; how many places have been taken up ; and of these places taken up, how many are considered to have been those relating to the residual community programme.

Mr. Peter Walker : I am satisfied that the financial allocation for Wales for the 1988-89 financial year is sufficient to meet the expenditure employment training will incur during the year. Employment training will offer some 50,000 unemployed adults an opportunity to find and keep work in Wales each year ; and it is expected that during 1988-89 about 24,000 will be in training at any one time. In the first two months of the programme over £4 million was spent in Wales. At 30 November 1988 there were 5,996 in employment training in Wales, but it is not known how many of those who were taking part in the former community programme and were eligible to join employment training have done so.

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will list the training agents in Wales to whom contracts have been given for the employment training programme.

Mr. Peter Walker : The following organisations have been contracted by the Training Agency to operate as employment training agents in Wales :

Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd

Careers Service Adult Guidance Agency (Mid Glamorgan County Council)

Clwyd Local Education Authority

Clwyd Training Agency

Dyfed County Council

Gwent County Council

Gwynedd County Council

Manpower Development Agency

Maud and Grove Management Associates Ltd

Powys County Council

Psychological Consultancy Services

South Glamorgan County Council

West Glamorgan County Council.

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will list the qualifications and experience of those training agents in receipt of a contract who are operating in Mid Glamorgan.

Mr. Peter Walker : Contracts were awarded to training agents in Wales who, in the judgment of the Training Agency, are best able to deliver the assessment, guidance and counselling to meet the quality standards necessary to assist their client groups.


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Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to inspect the performance and quality of work of those training agents in Mid Glamorgan in receipt of contracts under the employment training programme.

Mr. Peter Walker : It is vitally important that the people who organise and deliver employment training have the necessary skills and competence to do so. Training agents (and training managers) will need to meet stringent criteria as part of the process of obtaining approved training agent status--without which they will not be able to continue with employment training. Training Agency staff will regularly monitor training agents, while helping them develop the skills of their staff, as will the training standards advisory service.


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