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Mr. Trippier : Local authorities are able to supplement their allocations by the use of capital receipts and we would expect them to spend more on rehabilitation than on new construction. The bids, allocations and total spend ; and new build and net additions by conversion reported by Islington council are as follows :


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           |Bid       |Allocation|Spend     |New Build |Conversion           

            (£ million)                      (units)                         

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

1983-84    |74.675    |35.103    |40.189    |121       |49                   

1984-85    |72.806    |34.449    |49.165    |80        |-                    

1985-86    |103.227   |29.319    |31.899    |42        |-                    

1986-87    |121.397   |29.486    |64.259    |135       |75                   

1987-88    |121.641   |26.307    |67.336    |90        |-                    

1988-89    |104.226   |27.009    |-         |-         |-                    

In addition the council reported 18,292 dwellings renovated or improved between 1 April 1983 and 31 March 1988.

Unused Land

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many acres of unused land, currently listed on the register, belong to (a) water authorities, (b) the electricity industry, (c) the Ministry of Defence and (d) the Property Services Agency.

Mr. Trippier : The following are the amounts of unused and underused land on the land registers at 30 November 1988 for these owners :


                         |Acres      

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

Water authorities        |2,231      

Electricity industry     |2,952      

Ministry of Defence      |617        

Property Services Agency |936        

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate by how much the public debt would be reduced if all public unused land currently listed on the register was realised on the open market.


Column 404

Mr. Trippier : At 30 November 1988 there were throughout England 8, 134 sites on the land registers, covering 85,200 acres. The value obtainable for all these sites would depend on numerous site-specific and external factors which vary widely. It is therefore not possible to make any realistic estimate of how much would be realised if all the sites on the land registers were sold.

Disposal Notices

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many directions he has made under the Local Government Act as amended by way of disposal orders in each of the last three years ; and if he will list in tabular form the acreage involved and the location.

Mr. Trippier : The statutory procedures leading to the issue of a direction require a notice of the proposed direction to be given. In many cases, the issue of the notice is sufficient to get the land brought into use or sold. Over 200 notices were issued in the last three years, and in some cases, were followed up by directions, as shown in the table below.


Column 405


Location and acreage of directions issued                            

District             |Number of sites|Acres                          

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

Amber Valley         |1              |5                              

Barking and Dagenham |1              |10                             

Barrow in Furness    |2              |7                              

Blackburn            |1              |14                             

Blackpool            |1              |3                              

Bolton               |1              |1                              

Bristol              |1              |9                              

Broadland            |1              |1                              

Burnley              |1              |1                              

Bury                 |1              |10                             

Charnwood            |2              |15                             

Cheltenham           |1              |7                              

Doncaster            |2              |25                             

Dudley               |2              |8                              

Durham               |1              |10                             

Greenwich            |2              |3                              

Harrow               |1              |<1>                            

Hounslow             |1              |7                              

Kingston upon Hull   |4              |22                             

Kingston upon Thames |1              |4                              

Kirklees             |2              |7                              

Lambeth              |1              |2                              

Leeds                |1              |2                              

Macclesfield         |2              |19                             

Manchester           |1              |15                             

Mansfield            |1              |2                              

Middlesbrough        |1              |4                              

North Hertfordshire  |1              |<1>                            

Pendle               |1              |1                              

Rotherham            |1              |16                             

Sheffield            |1              |1                              

South Ribble         |1              |3                              

Southwark            |2              |3                              

Stoke                |1              |<1>                            

Sunderland           |1              |7                              

Sutton               |2              |3                              

Tower Hamlets        |1              |5                              

Wigan                |1              |4                              

York                 |2              |14                             

                     |---            |---                            

Total                |52             |270                            

<1> These sites were less than half an acre.                         


Location and acreage of directions issued                            

District             |Number of sites|Acres                          

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

Amber Valley         |1              |5                              

Barking and Dagenham |1              |10                             

Barrow in Furness    |2              |7                              

Blackburn            |1              |14                             

Blackpool            |1              |3                              

Bolton               |1              |1                              

Bristol              |1              |9                              

Broadland            |1              |1                              

Burnley              |1              |1                              

Bury                 |1              |10                             

Charnwood            |2              |15                             

Cheltenham           |1              |7                              

Doncaster            |2              |25                             

Dudley               |2              |8                              

Durham               |1              |10                             

Greenwich            |2              |3                              

Harrow               |1              |<1>                            

Hounslow             |1              |7                              

Kingston upon Hull   |4              |22                             

Kingston upon Thames |1              |4                              

Kirklees             |2              |7                              

Lambeth              |1              |2                              

Leeds                |1              |2                              

Macclesfield         |2              |19                             

Manchester           |1              |15                             

Mansfield            |1              |2                              

Middlesbrough        |1              |4                              

North Hertfordshire  |1              |<1>                            

Pendle               |1              |1                              

Rotherham            |1              |16                             

Sheffield            |1              |1                              

South Ribble         |1              |3                              

Southwark            |2              |3                              

Stoke                |1              |<1>                            

Sunderland           |1              |7                              

Sutton               |2              |3                              

Tower Hamlets        |1              |5                              

Wigan                |1              |4                              

York                 |2              |14                             

                     |---            |---                            

Total                |52             |270                            

<1> These sites were less than half an acre.                         

Electrical Transformers

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any proposals to control the disposal of obsolete or redundant electrical transformers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Disposal of electrical transformers is controlled under part 1 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. Where they contain polychlorinated biphenyls, they are also subject to the Special Waste Regulations 1980. A code of practice for the disposal of PCBs is contained in Waste Management Paper No 6.


Column 406

South Wiltshire Structure Plan

Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will announce modifications to the south Wiltshire structure plan following his examination in public.

Mr. Chope : I will do so soon.

Commissioner for Local Administration

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what administrative redress is available from him to a complainant, against a decision of a local authority when the Commissioner for Local Administration has ruled in a council's favour and against the complainant.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : None : the commisioner for Local Administration (the local ombudsman) is independent of both local authorities and central Government.

Radon Gas

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will consider reducing the action level of radon gas attracting grant aid by 50 per cent. to 200 bq/cu m measured by an approved laboratory following a 12-month continuous survey ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will consider when recommending new action levels for radon gas, setting the same level for domestic and occupational exposure ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The action level for radon was recommended by the National Radiological Protection Board. The board has a statutory responsibility to advise Government on matters of radiological protection. They are keeping the level under review. Any recommendation from the board to reduce levels would be considered very carefully. The responsibility for administering regulatory controls on occupational exposure to radon rests with the Health and Safety Executive, which is also advised by the board.

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider an extension to the provisions of mandatory house renovation grants to include all dwellings with radon levels above the action level irrespective of their age or their ability to meet the other qualifying condition of grant aid for housing ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : No.

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider producing advice and guidance for local authorities on the administrative procedures to be adopted when giving grants for work in dwellings with levels of radon above the action level as proposed by the Institution of Environmental Health Officers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : My Department wrote on 30 November to the local authority associations inviting their comments on draft guidance on the way in which authorities might consider applications for improvement grants toward the cost of radon remedial work. We await their comments.

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider the inclusion within


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any forthcoming legislation on housing, reference to external factors that may affect the internal environment of the dwelling caused by poisonous substances including radon gas, methane from refuse tips or contamination from industrial operations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : We are considering the scope of the work which will be eligible for grant aid under our proposals for legislation to reform the improvement grant system.

Ministerial Vehicles

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will detail by make and model the vehicles allocated to each of the Ministers in his Department.

Mr. Chope : Ministers in the Department of Environment have been allocated vehicles as follows :

Secretary of State--Rover 827

Minister for Local Government--Austin Rover Montego

Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside--Ford Sierra Sapphire

Minister for Water and Planning--Austin Rover Montego

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Mr. Trippier)-- Austin Rover Montego

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Mr. Chope)-- Austin Rover Montego (temporarily allocated a Rover Fastback 820 on trial) Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Mrs. Bottomley)-- Vauxhall Cavalier

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (The Hon. Colin Moynihan)--Ford Sierra Sapphire

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if there exists any hierarchy in terms of vehicle allocation for Secretaries of State, Ministers of State and Parliamentary Under- Secretaries.

Mr. Chope : Cabinet Ministers, unless security reasons demand otherwise, are allocated Austin Rover 820 series vehicles. Other Ministers are allocated Austin Rover Montegos, or equivalent models.


Column 408

Tidy Britain Group

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the particular reasons for the selection of the A1-Grantham service area as one of the experimental projects currently being carried out by the Tidy Britain Group.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Grantham service area, being on a trunk road as opposed to a motorway, was chosen by the Tidy Britain Group to enable comparisons to be drawn with a similar project being undertaken on the Keele motorway service area. The hon. Gentleman may approach the Tidy Britain Group for more information.

Drinking Water

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements exist within his Department to keep London local authorities informed of progress in meeting the standards of directive 80/778/EEC.

Mr. Moynihan : Specific arrangements have not been established as London boroughs have a duty to ascertain the wholesomeness of drinking water in their respective areas.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which areas of London fail to meet the standards set out in the European Community drinking water directive 80/778/EEC.

Mr. Moynihan : There are no drinking water supplies to areas of London regularly exceeding the standards set in the EC drinking water directive.

Consultation Papers

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the consultation papers issued by his Department during this Parliament giving for each : the numbers issued, the date of issue, the date consultation closes/closed, the number of responses received and whether they are available in the Library ; if summaries of responses are available ; and whether additional publicity materials were developed, and at what cost.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 25 November 1988] : The information the hon. Gentleman has requested is given in the table :


Column 407


District                                        |Number of sites  |Acres                                                                                                      

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

Proposed Amendment to Public Rights to          |9 July 1987      |9 October 1987   |65               |35               |No               |No                                 

   Inspect Local Authorities' Accounts and                                                                                                                                    

   Associated Records                                                                                                                                                         

The National Rivers Authority: The              |16 July 1987     |15 October 1987  |1,825            |355              |Yes              |No                                 

   Government's Proposals for a public                                                                                                                                        

   regulatory body in a privatised water                                                                                                                                      

   industry                                                                                                                                                                   

Non-domestic Rates: Amendments to the           |31 July 1987     |18 September 1987|200              |270              |No               |Yes                                

   Rating Legislation in England and Wales                                                                                                                                    

Finance for Housing Associations                |18 September 1987|31 October 1987  |2,500            |273              |Yes              |No                                 

Competition in the Management of Local          |28 September 1987|11 December 1987 |500              | 350+            |Yes              |No                                 

   Authority Sport and Leisure Facilities                                                                                                                                     

The Private Rented Sector: Legislative          |2 October 1987   |31 October 1987  |475              |232              |Yes              |No                                 

   Proposals                                                                                                                                                                  

Right to Buy: Legislative Proposals             |2 October 1987   |31 October 1987  |20               |200              |Yes              |No                                 

Deregulation of the Private Rented Sector:      |6 October 1987   |31 October 1987  |375              |115              |Yes              |No                                 

   Implications for Housing Benefit                                                                                                                                           

Housing Action Trusts                           |8 October 1987   |6 November 1987  |800              |126              |Yes              |No                                 

Tenants' Choice: An explanatory paper           |1 November 1987  |4 December 1987  |1,200            |212              |Yes              |No                                 

Competition in the Provision of Local Authority |2 November 1987  |31 January 1988  |675              |267              |Yes              |No                                 

   Services                                                                                                                                                                   

Home Improvement Policy                         |5 November 1987  |4 January 1988   |500              |307              |Yes              |No                                 

Paying for Local Government-Appeals and         |10 November 1987 |18 December 1987 |675              |122              |No               |Yes                                

   valuation and Community Charge Tribunals                                                                                                                                   

Competition for Education-Related Activities    |14 November 1988 |31 January 1989  |250              |Not yet known    |No                                                   

   Following Abolition of ILEA                                                                                                                                                

Uses of Rateable Values in Housing and          |23 December 1987 |31 March 1988    |175              |155              |Yes              |No                                 

   Building Legislation                                                                                                                                                       

Local Government (Superannuation and            |7 January 1988   |29 January 1988  |550              |57               |No               |No                                 

   Compensation) (Amendment) Regulations                                                                                                                                      

   1988                                                                                                                                                                       

London Government Reorganisation                |8 January 1988   |29 January 1988  |35               |25               |No               |No                                 

   (Non-domestic Mortgages) Order                                                                                                                                             

Environmental Assessment: Implementation of     |26 January 1988  |25 March 1988    |550              |164              |Yes              |No                                 

   EC Directive                                                                                                                                                               

Consolidation of the Town and Country           |4 February 1988  |7 April 1988     |460              |211              |Yes              |No                                 

  Planning General Development Order                                                                                                                                          

Local Government Bill-Race Relations            |9 February 1988  |29 February 1988 |75               |70               |Yes              |No                                 

   Matters                                                                                                                                                                    

Portable Antiquities                            |11 February 1988 |30 April 1988    |225              |111              |Yes              |No                                 

Section 5 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986: |19 February 1988 |15 April 1988    |10               |7                |No               |No                                 

   Loans in respect of Service Charges and the                                                                                                                                

   Housing (Right to Buy) (Mortgage Costs)                                                                                                                                    

   Order                                                                                                                                                                      

City Grant: Simplification of Urban Grants      |7 March 1988     |8 April 1988     |2,000            |119              |Yes              |Yes                                

Local Authority Building Control Fees           |8 March 1988     |15 April 1988    |50               |21               |No               |No                                 

Local Government Act 1988: Contract Periods     |20 April 1988    |31 May 1988      |230              |197              |Yes              |No                                 

   and Financial Objectives                                                                                                                                                   

London Government Reorganisation (Property)     |9 May 1988       |3 June 1988      |40               |10               |No               |No                                 

   Order 1988                                                                                                                                                                 

Draft National Code of Practice on the use of   |19 May 1988      |1 September 1988 |400              |28               |No               |No                                 

   Sewage Sludge in Agriculture                                                                                                                                               

Planning Control Enforcement Notice Appeals-    |26 May 1988      |26 August 1988   |25               |121              |No               |No                                 

   Efficiency Scrutiny and Action Plan                                                                                                                                        

Local Authorities' Interests in Companies       |13 June 1988     |30 July 1988     |900              | 200+            |No               |No                                 

London Government Reorganisation                |14 June 1988     |1 August 1988    |85               |36               |No               |No                                 

(Hampstead Heath) Order                                                                                                                                                       

Disputes about Valuations under the Leasehold   |23 June 1988     |30 September 1988|50               |23               |No               |No                                 

   Reform Act                                                                                                                                                                 

Building Regulations-Parts G, H, and J          |28 June 1988     |28 October 1988  |225              |223              |Yes              |No                                 

Housing in Rural Areas: Village Housing and     |5 July 1988      |26 September 1988|800              |210              |Yes              |No                                 

   New Villages                                                                                                                                                               

The LRB: Disposal of Remaining Housing          |5 July 1988      |1 August 1988    |65               |7                |No               |No                                 

   Mortgages                                                                                                                                                                  

Capital Expenditure and Finance                 |7 July 1988      |7 October 1988   |2,800            |404              |No               |No                                 

Houses in Multiple Occupation                   |18 July 1988     |1 September 1988 |1,250            |221              |Yes              |No                                 

Building Regulations-Parts F and L              |20 July 1988     |28 October 1988  |280              |130              |Yes              |No                                 

New Financial Regime for Local                  |27 July 1988     |7 October 1988   |1,400            | 300+            |No               |No                                 

   Authority Housing in England and Wales                                                                                                                                     

Integrated Pollution Control                    |28 July 1988     |31 October 1988  |2,350            |94               |No               |No                                 

The Future Funding of Housing Association       |28 July 1988     |30 September 1988|875              |151              |Yes              |Yes                                

   Hostels and Special Needs Projects                                                                                                                                         

Part III Local Government Planning and Land     |28 July 1988     |31 October 1988  |630              |185              |Yes              |No                                 

   Act 1980: Competition for Building and                                                                                                                                     

   maintenance work                                                                                                                                                           

Inputs of Dangerous Substances to Water:        |28 July 1988     |30 October 1988  |500              |81               |No               |No                                 

   Proposals for a United System of Control                                                                                                                                   

Review of Planning Control Enforcement          |1 August 1988    |30 September 1988|65               |121              |No               |No                                 

   Powers                                                                                                                                                                     

Right to Buy: Proposed revision of the Housing  |5 August 1988    |30 August 1988   |20               |11               |No               |No                                 

   (Right to Buy) (Prescribed Persons) Order                                                                                                                                  

   1984                                                                                                                                                                       

Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act    |12 August 1988   |31 October 1988  |40               |26               |No               |No                                 

   1960: Model Standards                                                                                                                                                      

New Towns Housing Transfer                      |23 August 1988   |21 October 1988  |225              |24               |No               |No                                 

Sale Licensing for Butterflies                  |15 September 1988|30 September 1988|90               |30               |No               |No                                 

Control of Pollution (Landed Ships' Waste)      |4 October 1988   |28 October 1988  |40               |18               |No               |No                                 

   Regulations                                                                                                                                                                

Zoo Licensing Act                               |18 October 1988  |None given       |120              |37               |No               |No                                 

Draft Regulations on the Administration of the  |28 October 1988  |23 December 1988 |35               |Not yet          |No               |No                                 

   Community Charge                                                                                   |known                                                                  

Access to Housing Authority Tenants' Records    |28 October 1988  |25 November 1988 |85               |Not yet          |No               |No                                 

                                                                                                      |known                                                                  

Competition in the Management of Local          |14 November 1988 |13 January 1989  |250              |Not yet known    |No               |No                                 

   Authority Sport and Leisure Facilities: The                                                                                                                                

   Local Government (Competition in Sport                                                                                                                                     

   and Leisure Facilities) Order                                                                                                                                              

Preserved Right to Buy: Regulations under       |21 November 1988 |20 January 1989  |10               |Not yet          |No               |No                                 

   Section 171c of the Housing Act 1985                                                               |known                                                                  

Waste Disposal Law Amendments: Follow-up        |23 November 1988 |23 January 1989  |180              |Not yet known    |No               |No                                 

   Consultation Paper                                                                                                                                                         

Proposed Amendments to the Boundary             |1 December 1988  |31 January 1988  |210              |Not yet known    |No               |No                                 

   between Domestic and Non-domestic                                                                                                                                          

   property in the Local Government Finance                                                                                                                                   

   Act                                                                                                                                                                        

Sewers

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the approximate mileage of sewers, currently the property of regional water authorities, that are serviced and maintained by locally elected councils.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 7 December 1988] : This information is not available.

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make arrangements to enable local authorities which currently service and maintain sewers under contract to regional water authorities to become exclusive contractors to their successor bodies.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 7 December 1988] : No.

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with representatives of local authorities concerning the future servicing and maintenance of sewers which are currently the property of regional water authorities.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 7 December 1988] : The Government issued a consultation paper on the future of sewerage agency arrangements in November 1986, and invited comments from a range of interested organisations. Among those who responded were the Association of District Councils, the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, NALGO, and the Water Authorities Association. The subject has also been raised since then in discussions between Ministers and the ADC.

Defective Dwellings

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when and how residents of the Galleys Bank estate in Kidsgrove were issued with statutory notices under section 563 of the Housing Defects Act.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 8 December 1988] : Section 563 of the Housing Act 1985 requires public sector bodies selling designated properties to notify the purchaser, specifying the qualifying defect and stating that no assistance will be available under the housing defects legislation. We understand that purchasers at Galleys Bank estate, Kidsgrove were not notified by British Coal until October 1986.

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he will take to make sure that those residents who purchased their homes from a private owner, and who had no means of knowing that their homes were classified as defective under section 563 of the Housing Defects Act at the time of purchase, could be made eligible for grant aid under the Act.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 8 December 1988] : We have no plans to amend the housing defects legislation in


Column 412

this respect ; the 12-month period of grace following the cut-off date, provided for by the Act, should have allowed sufficient time for knowledge of the defects to reach all those involved with the buying and selling of properties.

Water

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the average annual domestic water bill at constant prices deflated by the retail prices index in 1979, 1987 and 1988.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 8 December 1988] : The information requested by the hon. Member is presented in the following table. The RPI deflator for 1988-89 is based on the Autumn Statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Average domestic water bill at  

constant (1987-88) prices and   

deflated by the RPI.            

1979-80 |1987-88|1988-89        

£       |£      |£              

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

72.88   |98.81  |101.11         

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Provan on 5 December, Official Report, column 16, he will set out functions of water authorities for which development is and will be allowed in their land.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 8 December 1988] : Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning General Development Order (SI No. 1813/1988) contains general permissions which may apply to water authority land. In addition, parts 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17 (class E) of schedule 2 all specify particular kinds of development for which the GDO grants general permission, unconditionally or subject to specified conditions, and which may be particularly relevant to water authorities. If a water authority's development proposal requires specific planning permission, the application will be determined on its merits by the local planning authority.

Rates

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the rate increase for Leeds city council for 1989-90, assuming expenditure by the council at the Government's grant-related expenditure allocation level ; and what is his estimate of the corresponding increase for Bradford city council on the same assumptions, based on the information contained in the rate support consultation paper for 1989-90 issued on 11 November.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 8 December 1988] : We estimate that, if Leeds city council's total expenditure for 1989-90 were to equal its GRE, and the


Column 413

council use the same amount of balances as in 1988-89, its rate increase for 1989-90 would be 12 per cent. We estimate that for Bradford the corresponding figure would be a rate decrease of 12 per cent.

Local Government Commissioners (Rulings)

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to enable him to consider cases where the decision of a local government commissioner in ruling on a case appears to a constituent to be at variance with a previous decision.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 9 December 1988] : No. It is essential that the independence of the Commissioners for Local Administration in carrying out investigations is retained.

Water Authorities

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

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 9 December 1988] : The acres of land disposed by English water authorities from the Land Register each year from 1984 are as follows :


Size in acres                              

             |1984|1985|1986|1987|1988     

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

Anglian      |10  |178 |70  |15  |44       

Northumbrian |3   |17  |3   |16  |3        

North West   |8   |5   |1   |12  |9        

Severn Trent |2   |-   |27  |-   |-        

Southern     |4   |-   |-   |-   |16       

South West   |2   |21  |10  |21  |-        

Thames       |7   |44  |-   |65  |53       

Wessex       |6   |-   |10  |-   |-        

Yorkshire    |-   |9   |-   |-   |32       

Mr. Ron Davies To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the value of the land sold by each water authority in England for each year since 1983.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 9 December 1988] : Receipts from the sale of fixed assets are published in the water authorities' annual reports. Copies are available from the Library.

Darenth Park and Swan Farm

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he is likely to issue his decision on the Darenth park site and the Swan farm planning inquiries.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 9 December 1988] : My right hon. Friend hopes to issue his decisions shortly.

Water Pollution

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much his Department intends to spend on measures to combat water pollution in the north-west area between now and the proposed privatisation of the water industry.

Mr. Moynihan : Water pollution is usually the result of industrial or agricultural activities or unsatisfactory discharges of sewage effluent. The North West water


Column 414

authority is responsible for sewage effluent discharges within its area and is engaged in major programmes to replace inadequate and outdated sewerage systems and to upgrade its sewage treatment works. The costs of these programmes are still being drawn up. Expenditure on measures to reduce the impact of industrial and agricultural discharges will be borne by the dischargers in line with the polluter pays principle.

THE ARTS

Libraries

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Minister for the Arts how many replies to his financing libraries Green Paper (a) support and (b) oppose his proposals ; and when he expects to make a statement.

Mr. Luce : Most of the 7,000 respondents neither directly supported nor opposed the proposals as a whole. Six respondents supported all the recommendations ; 106 rejected them all. As I said on 7 November in reply to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms. Walley) at column 14, I intend to make a statement in due course.

CIVIL SERVICE

Foreign Office (Disbursements)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will provide the most convenient breakdown of the disbursements made by his Department to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the last financial year.

Mr. Luce : The total of disbursements made by my Department to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1987-88 was £209,756.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Taxation Offences

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Messrs. Lewis and Tucker of 16 Hanover square, London W1 ; (2) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Wisland Investment Group Ltd ;

(3) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Bestwood Property Ltd ;

(4) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Chelwood Holdings Ltd ;

(5) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Royal Investments Ltd ;


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(6) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Platemede Ltd. ;

(7) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Cemetery Assets UK Ltd. ;

(8) what progress has been made on investigations into alleged offences under the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the Taxes Act 1988 in respect of Clive Warren Lewis of Lewis and Tucker, of 16 Hanover square, London W1.

Mr. Norman Lamont : Such information is confidential.

Earned Income

Mrs. Roe : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate women's earned income as a percentage of total earned income for the years 1958, 1960, 1970, 1980, and the latest available figure.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The information is for years ending on 5 April. For single women, estimates are confined to those with total income above the PAYE threshold, and for married women, to those where the combined total income of husband and wife is above the threshold. For the years 1980 -81, and the latest readily available year, 1985-86, earned income is net of superannuation contributions. I regret that information for 1958-59 and 1960-61 is not available. The nearest years for which an estimate can be compiled are shown in the table :


-

Women's earned income as a    

percentage of total earned    

income                        

          |Per cent.          

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

1954-55   |16                 

1962-63   |15                 

1970-71   |20                 

1980-81   |22                 

1985-86   |26                 

Taxation

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a breakdown of the marital status of those caught in the poverty and employment traps ; what effect his proposals for the separate taxation of husbands and wives will have on the numbers caught in each trap ; and whether he will publish in the Official Report figures for his revised proposals corresponding to those in chart 3.2 of Cmnd. 9756 on the Green Paper basis and on the present basis together with the number of low- earning households which will be worse off than at present as a result of the restriction on the transfer of any part of the husband's personal allowance to the wife.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The number of families in the poverty and unemployment traps is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security. The introduction of independent taxation will have a negligible effect on the number of families in either trap in 1990- 91.

An update of the figures underlying chart 3.2 of Cmnd. 9756 could be provided only at disproportionate cost. There are transitional provisions which ensure that no married couple will suffer a cash reduction in their total tax allowances simply as a result of the change to independent taxation.


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Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, further to paragraphs 12 and 13 of annex 4 to Comnd. 9756, he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the changes in the number paying tax and average gain or loss in each case as a result of his revised proposals at current rates of income tax.

Mr. Norman Lamont : When independent taxation is introduced in April 1990, the number of higher rate taxpayers will fall to about 1 million and the provisions for wives' earnings elections will be withdrawn. Details of the average gains to individuals from the introduction of independent taxation were included in the Inland Revenue press release of 15 March 1988. Further estimates were provided to the hon. Member for Dunfermline, East (Mr. Brown) on 19 May at columns 574-76. I regret that further estimates could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the economic case for reducing income tax on investment income in the case of those with an income in excess of the ceiling below which there is an entitlement to income support ; and if he will publish in the Official Report an estimate of the saving to the Revenue from increasing the tax on investment income by eight percentage points.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The reduction in tax rates in the 1988 Budget will have improved incentives for all taxpayers both to earn and to invest. A surcharge on investment income of 8 per cent. would yield just over £1.5 billion per annum at 1989-90 income levels. This estimate takes no account of any behavioural changes that would follow the introduction of the surcharge. The estimate is based on a projection of the 1985-86 survey of personal incomes and is therefore provisional.


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