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Mr. Lee : The English Tourist Board's tourism investment report shows total investment in construction projects with a capital value of over £500,000 for the period January to June 1988 amounted to £1, 984 million. This represents an increase of 60 per cent. over the same period in 1987.
78. Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were employed in 1979 in manufacturing industry in the north west ; and what is the comparable figure for the latest date available.
Mr. Lee : In September 1979 there were 970,000 employees in employment in manufacturing industry in the north-west region. In September 1988 the latest date for which regional figures are available, there were 601,000.
Mr. Lee : In October 1988 the number of unfilled vacancies registered at jobcentres in the Greater London region, seasonally adjusted, was 29,000. This figure does not include all vacancies in the economy. A survey conducted in June 1988 showed that there were around 150,000 vacancies in total in Greater London, around four and a half times the level of vacancies recorded at the jobcentres at that time.
82. Mr. Simon Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to enable employees of an insolvent business to obtain payments from the redundancy fund without first obtaining a certificate from the receiver or liquidator ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend has it in mind to amend the provisions so as to clarify the circumstances in which the Department may pay an employee direct without being obliged to seek first a statement of the amount due from the relevant officer. The proposal will be included in the forthcoming Employment Bill.
83. Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information has been sought by Peat Marwick McClintock, as advisers to the Department of Environment on housing action trusts in Lambeth, about facts disclosed in job restart interviews.
Mr. Lee : Peat Marwick McClintock sought general statistical information from the employment service about unemployed people living in proposed housing action trust areas. No individual details disclosed at restart interviews have been retained by the consultants.
Mr. Cope : We have no plans to introduce a programme of national community service. Community benefit is taken into account, where appropriate, in the choice of training projects under employment training.
90. Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has received any representations following the publication of the Reward group's September survey on cost of living in the regions ; and if he will make a statement.
94. Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what measures he intends to take to improve the job opportunities for registered disabled workers, following the recent report of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.
The recently published information in the report by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, on the financial circumstances of disabled adults living in private households, does not provide sufficiently precise information about the employment needs of people with disabilities. My Department has recently commissioned a survey to provide such information, the results of which will be available in the second half of next year.
97. Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will review the case of Mr. Martin Davies, of 14 March way, Coventry, and his claims for compensation against the Training Commission, then the Manpower Services Commission.
Mr. Lee : No. A full investigation into Mr. Davies's case was held by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration in 1980. I am not aware of any developments since then which would warrant a further review of Mr. Davies's claims.
Column 15016 and 17-year-olds in (a) northern region and (b) Durham, North-West constituency who are currently (i) in full-time employment, (ii) on recognised training schemes and (iii) unemployed.
Mr. Cope : The number of young people in training on YTS in the northern region on 31 October, the latest available date, was 33,200 and in Derwentside and Wear valley (the nearest approximation to north-west Durham constituency) 952. Comparable information at that date for 16 and 17-year- olds in full-time employment is not available.
There are now hardly any under 18-year-olds recorded as unemployed.
Mr. Cope : My Department is currently assisting partnerships of employers and education authorities in 30 inner-city areas to develop plans to establish compacts in 1989. Applications for operational funding are due to be submitted early in the new year. Until then it will not be possible to provide any estimate of the numbers of young people who will be participating.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the average weekly household income for (a) the United Kingdom as a whole, (b) the northern region and (c) Durham, North-West constituency for each of the last available five years.
Mr. Lee : Information on average weekly household income is available from the family expenditure survey, but estimates are not available below regional level. Also, because of the relatively small sample size, estimates for some regions, including the northern region, are based on two years' data.
The figures for 1984-85 and 1985-86 are as follows :
Gross normal average weekly household income |1983-84|1984-85 |1984-85|1985-86 |£ |£ ---------------------------------------- United Kingdom |207.06 |225.37 Northern Region |170.78 |187.72
Because of the introduction of the housing benefit scheme in November 1982, figures for earlier years are not available on a comparable basis.
Column 151programme to the employment training programme in (a) Great Britain, (b) Scotland, (c) the Lothian region and (d) Edinburgh.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 5 December] : No community programme participants have been transferred to employment training. However, most community programme participants are eligible to join employment training and many have chosen to take up the worthwhile training opportunities that are available.
Mr. Cope : The number of young people in training on YTS in Derbyshire on 2 December 1988, the latest available date, was 8,280. Comparable information at that date for the number of young people in full- time employment is not available.
With the guarantee of the offer of a YTS place to all 16 and 17-year-olds who apply for one and who are not in full-time education or employment, there are now hardly any under 18-year-olds recorded as unemployed.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has consulted the Charity Commission about the vires of charitable housing associations entering into mixed funding schemes and taking over council housing under the provisions of the Housing Act 1988.
Mr. Trippier : My Department is in regular contact with the Charity Commission. The precise form in which the objects of charitable housing associations are expressed varies, and the compatibility of any particular proposed action with those objects will depend on all the circumstances of the case.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much cash received by district councils from the sale of council housing is at present frozen (a) in total and (b) within each district council of Devon.
Mr. Trippier : Under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, a local authority may in any year use 20 per cent. of its accumulated and in-year receipts from the sale of council houses for prescribed expenditure as defined by schedule 12 to the Act and regulations made under it. It may also at its discretion use receipts to redeem debt or to finance expenditure which is not prescribed expenditure but which is properly chargeable to capital account.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how much has been allocated by the Housing Corporation to individual Merseyside housing associations for adaptations to properties tenanted by disabled people ; if he will list the associations' bids ; and what were the comparable figures for 1987-88 ;
Column 152(2) how much the Housing Corporation has allocated throughout the United Kingdom for adaptations for the disabled ; and what were the comparable figures for 1987-88.
Mr. Trippier : This information is not held by the Department. The Housing Corporation is responsible for allocating its capital programme for grants and loans to individual housing associations and types of scheme within the broad framework agreed annually with Ministers. I have therefore asked the chairman of the corporation to provide the information requested to the hon. Member direct.
For details of the current levels I refer the hon. Member to the answer to his question of 1 December at column 362.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received regarding the effects on PRC house reinstatements of the move to disallow for tax relief interest payments on mortgages required for loans to carry out reinstatements.
Mr. Trippier : We have received very few representations urging the removal of mortgage tax relief on loans where designated PRC houses are being reinstated. Decisions on changes to the tax system are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how far the review of housing co-operatives has progressed ; whether in this review, he is taking special notice of the needs of ethnic minorities ; and whether he will be initiating legislation to give recognition to co- operative tenure.
Mr. Trippier : The co-ops review is making good progress. Its remit is to look at all aspects of co-op promotion and support, and it is currently addressing the many issues raised in the written responses received from co-ops and other interested parties, including those mentioned by the hon. Member.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the reasons for the delay in the publication of the 1986 English house conditions survey ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if his figure for national council house vacancies included the number of houses vacant due to major repairs and modernisation ; (2) how he calculates the length of time council house vacancies exist ; and how average figures for this are calculated.
Mr. Trippier : Local authorities report the number of council-owned dwellings empty at 1 April in their annual housing investment programme returns. They also provide a breakdown of this total according to the length of time that the dwellings have been empty (six months or less, over six months up to one year, over one year up to two years, and over two years) and the reasons why, including the number which are awaiting or undergoing major works of repair or modernisation.
The Department is currently undertaking a more detailed survey of empty local authority dwellings at 1 October 1988, which will also include information about the types of dwellings which are empty, and the average time dwellings let between 1 April and 30 September 1988 were empty.
Mr. Ridley : I have delegated the leadership of the United Kingdom delegation to this Council to the Minister responsible for the environment, currently my noble Friend the Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside and previously my noble Friend the Minister for the Environment, Countryside and Water, and the Minister for the Environment, Countryside and Planning. They have all performed with outstanding success.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made as to the likely effect on (a) his Department's capital building programme and (b) the rent the Department will pay under
Column 154occupational leases, of implementation of the European Court of Justice's judgment on value added tax on non domestic buildings.
Mr. Ridley : Implementation of the European Court of Justice's judgment on VAT will have no effect on my Department's capital building programme, since compensating adjustments have been made to the relevant expenditure provisions. At this stage, before landlords have decided whether to exercise their option to tax rents, it is not possible to offer meaningful estimates of the effects of the judgment on rental costs.
Mr. Allen Mckay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any proposals to bring in regulations to provide for his Department or any other Government Department to deliver to each household an estimate of the amount of poll tax to be paid by that household.
Mr. Gummer : No. But there will of course be regulations to enable the charging authority to provide each person liable to pay the community charge with details of the amount due and the payment arrangements.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 1 December 1988] : A review of legislation relating to the subject of homelessness is under way. It is not possible to say when the review will be complete, but efforts are being made to bring it to a speedy conclusion. The Secretary of State has no plans to make a statement at present.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment under what circumstances a local authority withholds any moneys approved by him under the urban programme ; and what action he will take to ensure that moneys approved by him under the urban programme are paid within a reasonable period.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 28 November 1988] : Urban programme grant from my Department reimburses a local authority for expenditure it has incurred on approved urban programme projects. It is therefore the authority's decision whether to fund a new urban programme project, once it has been approved by my Department. I would normally expect a local authority to continue to pay urban programme moneys for an ongoing approved project provided it was satisfied that the moneys are being properly spent.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the number of appeals against right-to-buy valuations made in each London borough during the current financial year, indicating the numbers upheld by the district valuer.
|Appeals made to the|Valuations provided|Original valuations |district valuer |to date by the |upheld |district valuer ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Barking and Dagenham |53 |24 |6 Barnet |39 |18 |12 Bexley |3 |Nil |Nil Brent |27 |19 |5 Camden |197 |167 |19 Croydon |29 |18 |8 Ealing |1 |1 |1 Enfield |4 |4 |1 Greenwich |216 |169 |2 Hackney |30 |12 |5 Hammersmith and Fulham |26 |24 |6 Haringey |22 |20 |4 Harrow |4 |3 |3 Havering |31 |12 |3 Hillingdon |17 |14 |6 Hounslow |54 |44 |10 Islington |190 |169 |95 Kensington and Chelsea |8 |7 |4 Kingston |3 |2 |1 Lambeth |34 |21 |3 Lewisham |42 |21 |3 Merton |10 |11 |9 Newham |15 |12 |8 Redbridge |12 |6 |Nil Richmond |42 |28 |19 Southwark |86 |77 |1 Sutton |16 |15 |Nil Tower Hamlets |140 |120 |42 Waltham Forest |37 |26 |4 Wandsworth |61 |43 |22 Westminster |64 |35 |18 City of London |7 |6 |Nil Note: The figures for Lewisham include those for Bromley.
Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is to happen to sewage agency agreements between local authorities and present water authorities following privatisation of the water industry.
Mr. Moynihan : Paragraph 15 of schedule 23 to the Water Bill provides that existing sewerage agency agreements between water authorities and local authorities will continue to have effect after the privatisation of the water authorities. The agreements will be terminable by either party giving reasonable notice to the other. However, sewerage undertakers will not be able to give notice which expires before 1 April 1992. If agencies are terminated then local authority staff engaged on the sewerage work will be protected by the termination provisions in existing agreements.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to change the arrangements for recovering CFCs from scrap refrigeration equipment : and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Officials of the Department of the Environment and of the Department of Trade and Industry are discussing with representatives of the refrigeration and rigid foam industries and of the CFC manufacturers possibilities for recovery of CFCs from scrap refrigeration equipment and their subsequent recycling or destruction with a view to developing advice on the matter. There are at present a number of economic, technical and logistical problems to overcome.