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Mr. Chope : There is a general presumption against inappropriate development in green belts. The policy is set out in planning policy guidance note No. 2 (PPG2) published in January 1988. My right hon. Friend, and planning inspectors, apply this policy in determining appeals and call- ins. We expect local planning authorities to have similar regard to green belt policy in the exercise of their planning functions.
99. Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the number of council house properties currently standing empty in the Bury area ; and how many have remained unoccupied for more than three months.
Mr. Trippier : The latest available information was provided by Bury MBC in their 1988 housing investment programme return (HIP1), a copy of which is in the Library. The return shows the number of council houses which had been empty for more than six months at 1 April, but it does not give any further breakdown of those empty for six months or less.
Mr. Redmond : to ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he intends to halve the number of dangerous substances that are listed in the United Kingdom red list ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : The ministerial declaration following the second international conference on the protection of the North sea called for substantial reductions (of the order of 50 per cent.) by 1995 in the total quantity of substances which are toxic, persistent and liable to bioaccumulate entering the North sea via rivers and estuaries.
The United Kingdom reduction programme will focus in particular on a "red list" of the most dangerous substances, proposals for the selection of which were set out in a consultation paper published in July. That paper also included proposals for a new approach towards controlling inputs of the most dangerous substances, involving the application of strict environmental quality standards, the use of best available technology (not entailing excessive cost) for the main point source discharges, and measures to minimise inputs from diffuse sources. These proposals are in line with the range of measures recommended in the North sea conference declaration for the purpose of reducing inputs of the most dangerous substances.
In the meantime, the Department has asked the water authorities in England and Wales to produce action plans setting out their proposals for achieving early reductions in inputs of dangerous substances. Similar plans are being drawn up for Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is certainly no proposal to halve the number of dangerous substances that are being considered for inclusion in the United Kingdom "red list" as the hon. Member's question suggests.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment from what disaggregated sources the totals for the number of arrests at division III and IV Football League matches given in his answer of 5 December are compiled.
Mr. Moynihan : The figures given in my answer to the hon. Member on 5 December were provided by the Association of Chief Police Officers which collates statistics on arrests and ejections from football liaison officers at police forces throughout the country. The form in which the figures are sent to ACPO show only totals of arrests and ejections at each club ; they are not broken down into individual matches. Information on individual matches would require direct contact with every liaison officer and extensive searches of police records.
Column 630power station in Malta and its likely effect on the environment, as a means of drawing environmental lessons for the United Kingdom.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No. I am not aware of information that could be obtained from experiences in Malta that would add to the understanding of conditions in Britain. Full environmental impact assessments are required before power stations can be built in the United Kingdom. All specifically local factors have to be taken into account, as well as the need to conform to emission standards and requirements.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the policy and technical considerations underpinning the policy choice of early disposal instead of long-term monitorable and retrievable storage of low and intermediate level radioactive wastes.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government believe that decisions on the disposal of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes should not be left to future generations, and that the costs of disposal should be met by the "polluter". It is satisfied that early disposal in general carries a lower risk to workers in the nuclear industry and to the public, and also avoids the provision of costly and extensive storage capacity.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has made any representations to the Japanese Government and the Japanese Environment Bureau to persuade them to accept limitations on CFC113, as part of Her Majesty's Government's policy to protect the ozone layer.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No. I understand that Japan has ratified the Montreal protocol which limits production and consumption of five chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) including CFC113. The protocol will enter into force on 1 January 1989.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department or any relevant agencies have given any guidance to local authorities, landowners and farmers in respect of the environmental and public health implications of using sprays to control the spread of brackens in national parks or other areas of countryside.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Nature Conservancy Council has published guidance on the use of herbicides in nature reserves as "Focus on Nature Conservation" No. 14. This includes a chapter on asulam, which is the chemical normally used to control bracken.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in improving the sea water quality at coastal towns in the United Kingdom ; and if he is satisfied with the progress made on sea water quality at Southend-on-Sea.
Column 631water directive. At Southend-on-Sea, although the recently extended outfall has brought about substantial improvements to water quality, further measures are being considered to deal with the problem of storm overflows.
Mr. Knowles : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he can give details of the Housing Corporation's approved development programme for 1989-90 and forward plans for 1990-91 and 1991-92 ; and what grant rates will apply next year to the Housing Corporation's programme of mixed privately and publicly funded schemes.
Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend announced on 1 November that gross provision for the Housing Corporation in 1989-90 would be £815 million, rising to £1,036 million in 1990-91 and £1,328 million in 1991-92. By 1991-92 gross expenditure by the Housing Corporation is planned to be 80 per cent. above original provision for 1988-89, demonstrating the Government's confidence in the housing association movement to play a central role in the provision of subsidised housing for those in the greatest housing need.
The programme we have now approved for 1989-90 and the provisional plans for the following two years should enable the Housing Corporation to approve schemes in 1989-90 providing about 17,600 homes for rent rising to 24,400 new approvals in 1991-92, over 50 per cent. more than the expected number of approvals in the current financial year. This will be possible not only because of the greatly increased level of public resources being made available, but because of the wider opportunities for private finance opened up by the Housing Act 1988. It is planned that by 1991-92 schemes providing about 80 per cent. of new homes for rent will be approved on a mixed funded basis, combining grant from the corporation with private loan.
Substantial public subsidy will remain available in all cases to ensure that rents are within the reach of those on low incomes. Mixed funded grant rates will vary in different parts of the country because of the significant regional differences in development costs, but the average grant rate in England in 1989-90 will be 75 per cent. The Housing Corporation will publish in due course details of the rates applying to different regions and in respect of different scheme types.
Provision of housing for sale under the corporation's low-cost home ownership programme will also be significantly expanded. The whole of the programme is planned to operate on a mixed funded basis from 1989-90 which should allow the corporation to approve over one-third more new homes than in the current year. By 1991-92 the number of approvals given for housing for sale should be nearly double this year's expected outturn.
In allocating resources regionally for new rented projects, greater emphasis will be placed in 1989-90 and subsequent years on the Housing Corporation's index of housing needs, which will be reviewed to ensure that it reflects housing needs as accurately as possible. A total of £381 million of public and private money will be invested in London and the south-east, where housing pressures are most acute, nearly 40 per cent. more than in the current financial year. But owing to the overall increase in
Column 632resources available, investment in all other regions will also go up by between 12 per cent. in the north-east and 53 per cent. in the east midlands.
At my request, the Housing Corporation will encourage associations to examine their lettings policies to ensure that priority is given to those in the greatest housing need, especially the homeless. I am convinced that the needs of the homeless are best catered for by focusing sufficient resources in the right places. The greatly expanded overall programme for the Housing Corporation and the improved targeting of resources to areas of greatest need should help provide much needed homes for the homeless.
I have also asked the Housing Corporation to ensure that the needs of those in rural communities are adequately catered for. The corporation will bring forward to 1989-90 its target of giving 600 approvals for new homes in the special rural programme for villages with a population of less than 1,000. A further announcement will be made in due course on targets for later years and the corporation's investment programme in rural areas generally.
I have confidence in the Housing Corporation to make the very best use of the greatly increased level of resources being made available to it within the approved development programme for 1989-90 and provisional plans for the following two years, and to justify the enhanced responsibility it now bears for the provision of subsidised housing for those in housing need.
The breakdown of the approved development programme for 1989-90 and forward plans for the following two years is as follows :
|1989-90 ADP |1990-91 plans|1991-92 plans |£ million |£ million |£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Net allocation (cash limit) |701 |921 |1,211 Receipts |114 |115 |117 |------- |------- |------- Gross allocation |815 |1,036 |1,328 |------- |------- |------- Housing for rent Schemes approved under the Housing Act 1985: 100 per cent. public funding |501 |158 |36 Mixed funding |28 |22 |- Schemes approved under the Housing Act 1988: 100 per cent. public funding |74 |422 |575 Mixed funding |40 |318 |587 Major repairs |52 |54 |62 Mini HAG |4 |5 |5 |------- |------- |------- Housing for rent-total |699 |979 |1,265 |------- |------- |------- Housing for sale Improvement for sale, leasehold scheme for the elderly and shared ownership: Schemes approved under the Housing Act 1985 |65 |15 |1 Schemes approved under the Housing Act 1988 |7 |21 |30 Home ownership for tenants of charitable associations etc. |39 |16 |27 |------- |------- |------- Housing for sale-total |111 |52 |58 |------- |------- |------- Other expenditure |5 |5 |5 Notes: 1. Included within housing for rent: Housing Act 1988 100 per cent. publicly funded schemes is expenditure to be incurred on schemes to be approved before 1 April 1989 which do not reach tender approval until after 30 September 1989 and are therefore to be be resubmitted under the Housing Act 1988 framework. 2. Other expenditure includes right to buy mortgages and a provision of £1 million to support certain self-build schemes. 3. £8.5 million has been included in the programmes of housing for rent and for sale in 1989-90 to cover the costs of certain projects in Merseyside. Further sums will be made available in subsequent years.
Mr. Trippier : The Housing Corporation's approved development programme for 1989-90 allocates £39 million for the home ownership scheme for tenants of charitable housing associations, under which portable discounts are paid to people who do not have the right to buy their present homes. There are currently some 3,250 tenants who have applied but are having to wait. They will all be able to proceed by 31 March 1990.
The scheme has helped nearly 6,000 households into home ownership, and released their old homes for reletting, but demand has outpaced the resources available. The rules of the scheme, under the payments are related to right-to-buy discount, are not apt to help as many tenants as possible to buy homes of their own. The scheme is therefore to be superseded by one which will enable resources to be used more efficiently, and no further applications will be accepted after today under the present scheme in England or Wales. The Housing Corporation is today publishing a consultation document seeking views on proposals for a new scheme to be introduced in 1990-91. Housing for Wales will shortly be publishing a separate consultation document in Wales. The proposals are modelled on the powers in section 129 of the Housing Act 1988 for local authorities to offer financial assistance to tenants to obtain new homes. The forward programme provides substantial funds for the new scheme. It will not be specifically aimed at tenants who do not have the right to buy, but the Housing Corporation envisages that in allocating resources some preference would initially be given to charitable housing associations whose tenants would have qualified for assistance under the present scheme.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 12 December 1988] : Information about inputs of PCBs, concentrations in marine species and ecological effects in the North sea is contained in the quality status report (scientific and technical working group) prepared for the second North sea conference in November last year, a copy of which is in the Library.
As the report shows, levels of PCBs in European coastal waters have been declining. Levels in United Kingdom waters are considerably lower than in the eastern North sea. Monitoring by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries
Column 634and Food and water authorities continues, but generally levels are so low that it is difficult to make reliable estimates for rivers and coastal waters.
Health board |Annual recurrent saving |£000s ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Argyll and Clyde |147 Ayrshire and Arran |115 Borders |63 Dumfries and Galloway |230 Fife |103 Forth Valley |397 Grampian |598 Greater Glasgow |1,688 Highland |102 Lanarkshire |386 Lothian |1,124 Tayside |148 |----- Total |5,101
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many of the recent tenders in the National Health Service awarded to private contractors as the result of competitive tendering value added tax was paid.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the total value to date of all contracts placed with the private sector following competitive tendering in the National Health Service.
Column 635to be made available to health board members, staff in hospitals and in the community, the family practitioner service and the public. In addition, about 3,000 copies have been issued to all hon. Members for Scottish constituencies, local health councils and the media and in response to requests from, for example, teachers and the public. The booklet is having a wider impact and greater range of applications than we anticipated and has been very well received.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prosecutions were brought against retailers for illegal sales of cigarettes to children in the last year for which figures are available ; of these how many led to convictions ; where these cases were heard ; what penalties were imposed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide a breakdown of each training agency area in Scotland together with details of the host organisations that have been awarded posts and the number of posts allocated to those host organisations.
|Fulltime posts |Part-time posts ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Glasgow City Community Central Halls |1 |- Glasgow Old People's Welfare |1 |- Volunteer Centre |1 |- Scottish Conservation Project |1 |- Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway Ayr Volunteer Exchange |2 |- Wigtown council for Voluntary Services |1 |- Coodham Unemployed Project |1 |- Central and Fife Scottish Conservation |1 |- Falkirk Voluntary and Action Resource Centre |1 |- Fife Inter Church Action |1 |- Gangforth |1 |- Impasse Community Industry (Glenrothes) |1 |- Highlands and Islands Ross and Cromarty Council of Voluntary Services |1 |- Lewis Council of Social Services (Western Isles) |1 |- Voluntary Services (Orkney) |- |1 Inverness Voluntary Organisation Group |1 |- Highland Regional Council |1 |1 Shetland Not contracted as yet |- |1 Grampian and Tayside Adult Community Training (Dundee) |1 |- Perth and Kinross Association for Voluntary Service |- |2 Unallocated |1 |2 Lothian and Borders Organisations yet to be publicly announced |3 |1 Lanarkshire YMCA |2 |- East Kilbride District Council |1 |- Clyde Calders Projects (Motherwell) |1 |- Renfrew, Dunbarton and Argyll Volunteer Centre (Centre for Employment and Training) |3 |- Training Services Inverclyde Ltd. |1 |- Strathkelvin Enterprise Trust |1 |- |-- |-- |31 |8
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money will be allocated to community opportunities in (a) Scotland and (b) Glasgow in the current financial year and for the financial year 1989-90.
Mr. Lang : A total of £560,000 has been budgeted for community opportunities in Scotland in the current financial year of which £64, 000 has been allocated to Glasgow. Comparable figures are not yet available for 1989-90.
Mr. Lang : The nature of community opportunities activities cannot yet be determined, nor can the number of individuals who may choose to participate. These matters will depend on the types of opportunities identified and whether or not individuals take them up.
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money the Training Agency expects to expend on the voluntary projects programme in (a) Scotland and (b) Glasgow for the financial year 1988-89.
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in the Glasgow area were recruited into voluntary work in 1987-88 by schemes funded through the voluntary projects programme ; and if he will provide a breakdown of this, project by project.
Mr. Lang : A cumulative total of 798 volunteers were recruited into voluntary work in 1987-88 through the voluntary projects programme. From April 1987 to March 1988 the following voluntary projects programmes operated in Glasgow :
Column 637(a) The Volunteer Centre--402 volunteers ;
(b) The Govan Aid Project/Pearce Institute--38 volunteers ; (c) Maryhill Community Central Halls--156volunteers ;
(d) Community Care/Gairbraid Community Association--112 volunteers ;
(e) Community Service Volunteers--90 volunteers.
Mr. Lang : Glasgow voluntary projects programme sponsors provided training or further education opportunities to all their volunteer helpers. This took the form of on or off the job training and further education, according to individual requirements.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list all professional bodies within the Scottish education system that have made representations to him requesting or demanding the right to opt out of the state system ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The right to apply to withdraw schools from education authority control will be offered to parents. It will be for parents at a local level to decide whether to exercise this right.
A paper describing our proposals was issued last week and I look forward to receiving constructive comments from all involved in Scottish education including appropriate professional bodies.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the cost effect of interest rate increases since May on the average arable farm in the east of Scotland ; and if he will express these figures by acre.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effect on the incomes of arable farmers in the east of Scotland of payments of bank and other interest on loans for purchase of inputs up to May 1989.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from the Scottish farming industry about interest rates rises ; and what indications he has of their effect on Scottish farmers.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend is naturally very much aware of the concerns of Scottish farmers about the possible implications of increases in interest rates. Higher interest rates are expected to add £3 million to interest payments this year, but, because of a lower level of overall borrowings than a year ago, interest payments in 1988 are likely to be only marginally higher at £97 million than the 1987 level of £96 million.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many items of correspondence he has received from hon. and right hon. Members about the work of the Department of Registers for Scotland since 1 July.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many items of correspondence he has received from hon. and right hon. Members about the work of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Directorate since 1 July.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the established number of procurators fiscal and procurators fiscal depute in each sheriffdom in Scotland ; and how many such positions are currently vacant.
Complement Vacancies Sheriffdom |PF |PFD |PF |PFD -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Glasgow and Strathkelvin |1 |65 |Nil |7 Lothian and Borders |6 |28 |Nil |Nil North Strathclyde |6 |27.5 |Nil |3 South Strathclyde |6 |31 |Nil |Nil Grampian |14 |16 |Nil |2 Tayside |10 |26 |Nil |Nil |----- |----- |----- |----- |43 |193.5 |Nil |12
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average time between first appearance in (a) summary cases and (b) solemn cases and final disposal in each sheriffdom in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The average period between pleading and trial diet in summary criminal business in the sheriff courts for the year ending 31 March 1988 was 17 weeks. The actual delay period in each sheriff court as at 30 September is as shown in the table below. Information about the average time between first appearance and final disposal in solemn cases is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Summary Criminal Business Quarter ended 30 September 1988--Delay Period between Pleading and Trial Diet (in weeks).
|30 September 1988 ------------------------------------------------------ Aberdeen |17 Airdrie |15 Alloa |10 Arbroath |15 Ayr |18 Banff |9 Campbeltown |13 Cupar |19 Dingwall |8 Dornoch |10 Dumbarton |23 Dumfries |16 Dundee |7 Dunfermline |10 Dunoon |9 Duns |3 Edinburgh |19 Elgin |7 Falkirk |7 Forfar |7 Fort William |18 Glasgow |17 Greenock |11 Haddington |31 Hamilton |22 Inverness |9 Jedburgh |5 Kilmarnock |16 Kirkcaldy |7 Kirkcudbright |16 Kirkwall |7 Lanark |9 Lerwick |8 Linlithgow |10 Lochmaddy |8 Oban |10 Paisley |20 Peebles |10 Perth |9 Peterhead |13 Portree |8 Rothesay |5 Selkirk |6 Stirling |12 Stonehaven |8 Stornoway |14 Stranraer |12 Tain |6 Wick |8
Mr. Michael Forsyth : This information is not currently available. A detailed programme is being worked out with health boards for implementing a national breast cancer screening programme in Scotland by 1991. Once the service is fully operational, about 111,000 women will be screened each year.
Mr. Rifkind : Yes. I intend to make a change to one of the cash limits within my responsibility. The 1988-89 cash limit for Class XVI, Vote 19 (General Register Office for Scotland) will be reduced by £25,000 from £4,951,000 to £4,926,000 as a penalty following a cash limit breach in 1987-88.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 12 December 1988] : I assume that the hon. Member's question refers to staffing standards in local authority schools. I am considering the responses to a draft circular on teaching staff in schools. I have also arranged for the outcome of the review of staffing needs to be reflected in the Government's provision for education within the revenue support grant for 1989-90.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of secondary school language teachers which the Government project is needed for 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.
|Number ---------------------- 1989-90 |1,910 1990-91 |1,880 1991-92 |1,880 1992-93 |1,890
These projections fall to be revised in detail in the light of the Government's intentions for the teaching of modern languages in secondary schools. By 1992-93 I expect the number of modern languages teachers to rise to about 2,300.