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Column 549community charge payers should be informed that the community charge register containing their names and addresses can be inspected and copied by third parties.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 19 December 1988] : It is made clear in the notice which is sent to registered persons informing them of their entry in the community charges register, prescribed in schedule 2 to the Community Charges (Registration) (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 1988, that the parts of the register showing names, addresses and collective community charge multipliers applying to certain premises will be made available for public inspection.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report, a list of all those categories of people who will (a) be excluded from liability to pay the community charge and (b) be entitled to a rebate on community charge payments ; and what the scale of such rebates will be.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 22 December 1988] : Those persons who will be exempt from liability to pay the personal community charge are listed in schedule 1A to the Abolition of Domestic Rates Etc. (Scotland) Act 1987, as amended by the Local Government Finance Act 1988. In addition, people undertaking a full-time course of education who fall within the definitions contained in the Personal Community Charge (Students) (Scotland) Regulations 1988 will be liable for only 20 per cent. of the personal community charge. People on a low income who qualify under the provisions of the Housing Benefit (Community Charge Rebates) (Scotland) Regulations 1988 will be entitled to a rebate of their personal community charge or their collective community charge contribution as appropriate. Depending on their personal circumstances, including income, they will be entitled to a rebate of up to 80 per cent. of their liability.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to amend the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to enhance the powers of the river purification boards to control pollution from cage fish farms.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : Discharges from fish farms are regarded as trade effluents and are subject to control by the river purification authorities under the consent provisions of section 34 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. We propose to clarify the application of these provisions to fish farms in forthcoming legislation.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : None are presently planned, as the routes to the south of Edinburgh are being studied by consulting engineers commissioned by the Scottish Development Department to consider the effectiveness of the existing trunk road network in meeting current and future demands between Edinburgh and the south
Column 550including, in particular, the motorway and trunk road network in England. I expect to receive the technical report, which will recommend a future route strategy, in January and thereafter I intend to make a statement on its findings and the proposed way ahead. This is likely to be in the spring and there will be a period for comment before we reach final decisions.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : Provision for the roads programme has been increased substantially in 1990-91 and later years when construction of the M74 will be under way. Road schemes generally are becoming more expensive as standards rise. Therefore, the benefits accruing from each potential scheme will have to be carefully assessed in the light of the resources available as decided in future reviews of expenditure plans.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : Feasibility studies are under way to assess the best means of implementing the Government's decision to upgrade the A74 to motorway status. Only after these studies have been completed and all the options examined in depth will a decision be taken about whether the M74 will be a dual two-lane or three-lane motorway.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many sewage pumping stations in (a) Strathclyde regional council area, excluding Glasgow district, and (b) Glasgow district council area, have consent for the emergency discharge of screened sewage effluent into local ditches, burns, streams and rivers.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : This information is not held centrally. Information regarding sewage pumping stations is held by Strathclyde regional council as sewerage authority. Details of consents for emergency discharges of screened sewage are available from the Clyde river purification board.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what monitoring takes place of discharges of screened sewage effluent into watercourses in Scotland ; how many such discharges are known to have occurred in each of the last three years ; and how many cases of pollution have occurred as a result.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : This information is not held centrally. These discharges are subject to control by the river purification authorities. Information about consented
Column 551discharges is held on statutory registers which may be inspected at the offices of the river purification authority concerned. Details of routine monitoring of such discharges and of pollution incidents are also held by river purification authorities.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek to make it compulsory for all new residential developments in urban areas to provide a gravity feed sewage system directly connected to the main sewage system.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : No. It is not possible to provide gravity-feed sewarage systems in all cases. To act in the manner suggested would involve drainage authorities and developers in unnecessary expense or sterilize areas otherwise suitable for development.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what effect the discharge of screened sewage effluent into a burn is known to have upon the wildlife existing in such a burn ; and what hazards to human health such discharges are known to cause.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : The effects of screened sewage discharges on a burn will depend on the composition, duration and frequency of the discharge as well as the dilution afforded by the receiving waters. Fresh water fauna and flora differ widely in their tolerance of pollution. However, regular episodes of pollution could be expected to result in changes in the diversity and relative abundance of species.
As far as hazards to human life are concerned, few dangers are likely to arise unless, in an extremely rare case, the burn is the source for a potable untreated water supply downstream of the discharge. Then there would be a potential threat from bacterial and viral contamination of the water supply.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the estimated difference in cost between providing the proposed new residential development at Springhill farm in Shettleston constituency with (a) a gravity feed sewage system or (b) a sewage pumping system ; and how the total costs are divided between local authority and developer.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : Detailed cost information for specific schemes is not held centrally. The division of costs between the authority and a developer is for the council to determine in line with its responsibilities under the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : Information on the condition of motorways and trunk roads and on maintenance works undertaken is already published annually in "Scottish Transport Statistics". Information on the condition of non-trunk roads is a matter for local roads authorities and is not published though a random sample survey is undertaken each year under the direction of the County Surveyors' Society.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many local authority employees in each of the regions of Scotland have been used in work relating to the implementation of the Community Charge (Scotland) Act ; what the total cost of this has been to date ; what effect this has had on other local authority services ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : The proposed extension of the M8 between Baillieston and Newhouse is currently planned to be carried out in two phases. It is hoped the necessary preparatory work for both phases will be completed in time to allow construction to start on the first phase between Baillieston and Shawhead in late summer 1991 and on the second phase between Shawhead and Newhouse in early summer 1994. The actual timing of starts will depend upon priorities within, and the finance available for, the trunk road programme at those dates.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : There is no requirement for the nationality of an elector to be entered in the electoral register. My right hon. and learned Friend has made no estimate of the number of citizens of the Republic of Ireland whose names are on electoral registers in Scotland, but table 2 in the country of birth volume of census 1981 Scotland shows that some 26,500 such citizens aged 16 and over were resident in Scotland at that time.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the groups with which the Scottish Special Housing Association has discussed or intends to discuss the transfer of housing stock in each district council area of Scotland.
Column 553about the transfer of ownership or management of parts of its housing stock. Such inquiries are commercial in confidence. Until such interested parties declare they are interested publicly it would be improper and inappropriate for the SSHA or the Government to announce them. Most inquiries are from existing housing associations mainly interested in small numbers and in particular parts, of the SSHA housing stock in their areas.
Two firm proposals for the purchase of housing stock already have been made public. The SSHA has confirmed that a proposal by a group of senior SSHA managers, advised by Price Waterhouse, to purchase up to 25,000 houses in SSHA's south region and Fife region is not acceptable in its present form. A separate proposal by Grampian Homes Ltd. to purchase up to 3,600 houses in the district council areas of Aberdeen, Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside and Moray which includes proposals to establish ownership corporations and housing associations, is still under consideration and it will be for Scottish Homes to respond to this proposal after 1 April 1989.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what authority the Scottish Special Housing Association has entered into discussions for the transfer of housing stock and tenants to other landlords ; what involvement his office has had in this ; what safeguards for tenants he has demanded of the Scottish Special Housing Association ; and what is his general policy on stock transfer ahead of 1 April 1989.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 20 December 1988] : Public sector landlords, including the Scottish Special Housing Association, have always had the legal right to make voluntary disposals of houses to other landlords, subject to the Secretary of State's consent. A number of inquiries have been made about the transfer of SSHA houses, but the Scottish Office has not given its approval to any proposals for the voluntary sale of SSHA stock. It has been made clear to such inquirers that the diversification of housing tenure is one of the Government's objectives and that the Government welcome appropriate moves to reduce the dominant public sector share of the housing stock in particular localities. However inquirers have been told that they must submit any proposals to the SSHA.
I have also made it clear to SSHA that it must follow the guidelines issued recently to local authorities on the handling of such voluntary sales or the Secretary of State would not be prepared to consent to any disposals. In particular, the Secretary of State would need to be satisfied prior to any possible sale that there had been proper arrangements for consultations with tenants. The Secretary of State would also wish to consider carefully the value for money of any proposal put forward by SSHA or Scottish Homes and all relevant matters affecting the interests of tenants. More detailed guidance on the particular factors relevant to proposed sales of SSHA, or in future Scottish Homes, stock is being prepared by the Scottish Development Department.
I have concluded, with the agreement of the SSHA, that it should be for Scottish Homes to respond formally to proposals for voluntary transfers of stock after 1 April 1989. Scottish Homes will of course be required to consult tenants if it wishes to proceed with a proposal, and
Column 554depending on the outcome, would then have to seek the Secretary of State's consent and satisfy the Secretary of State that the interests of tenants were safeguarded.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many individuals have been charged or disciplined for misuse of plastic bullets in Northern Ireland for each year since they were first used.
Mr. Ian Stewart : The information is not available in the form requested. However, since 1978 a total of five RUC officers have been charged with disciplinary offences and one with a criminal offence arising from the use of plastic baton rounds. One officer was found guilty of disciplinary offences and the remainder were found not guilty. Records are not maintained centrally of minor disciplinary action taken at divisional level against RUC officers and information about such action could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Since 1972 three soldiers involved in two separate incidents have been charged for misuse of plastic bullets in Northern Ireland ; in one case the charge was dismissed and the other case, involving two soldiers, has not yet been finalised. Information about soldiers disciplined as a result of incidents involving the use of baton rounds is not available.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table or list in the Official Report showing for each quango in Northern Ireland, the name of the chairman, the name of the chief executive, the length of each period of appointment of each and the present salary paid where the posts are paid posts and indicating for how many periods of appointment each such chairman and chief executive has been serving.
Applications for social fund loans have been increasing steadily and by the end of October loan payments totalling £5.857 million had been made. The majority of loan applications have resulted in awards and a minority have been turned down on grounds of low priority. The take-up of community care grants has been lower than expected and the end of October grants amounting to £1.198 million had been paid. Some measures to increase take-up have already been implemented, the demand for grants is gradually increasing, and we are considering possible further steps to increase awareness of the availability of grants amongst those people for whom they are intended.
The review system is operating satisfactorily. About 23 per cent. of people refused a payment have asked for a
Column 555review of the decision at the social security office. In just under a quarter of the cases reviewed the original decision has been changed. By the end of October some 109 people had exercised their right to ask for a further review by the social fund inspector. In 67 out of 99 cases decided, the original decision was confirmed by the inspector.
Mr. Barry Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make representations to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ireland to ensure that any future applications for extradition of persons to Britain will be dealt with promptly and in accordance with the laws of Ireland.
Mr. Tom King : The Government of the Republic of Ireland are well aware of our views. We remain in close touch on extradition matters and, indeed, on all matters affecting Anglo-Irish relations, through the auspices of the Anglo-Irish inter-governmental conference, which is the appropriate forum for such discussions. We shall continue to work together to ensure that extradition is an effective method of bringing fugitives from Northern Ireland to justice.
Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many action for community employment scheme sponsors are presently operative in each of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland ; how many reductions in places have been required in each district council area to date ; and how many further reductions are envisaged.
|Number ------------------------------------- Antrim |3 Ards |7 Armagh |10 Ballymena |8 Ballymoney |3 Banbridge |4 Belfast |147 Carrickfergus |3 Castlereagh |2 Coleraine |6 Cookstown |2 Craigavon |16 Derry |31 Down |12 Fermanagh |37 Larne |3 Limavedy |8 Lisburn |12 Magherafelt |4 Moyle |4 Newry and Mourne |20 Newtownabbey |7 North Down |8 Omagh |20 Strabane |17
There are no plans to reduce the number of places in any of these projects.
Column 556scheme sponsors in the Armagh district council area and state the reduction of places required for each sponsored scheme.
Armagh Business Group
Armagh Business Centre
Armagh Diocesan Council
Archdiocese of Armagh
Armagh District Council
Cill Chlunna Community Association
Oonagh Development Association
St. Patrick's Parish Armagh
St. Patrick's Parish--Keady
There are no plans to reduce the number of places in any of these projects.
Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the action for community employment scheme sponsors in the Newry and Mourne district council area and state the reduction of places required for each sponsored scheme.
Hilltown Community Group
Clanrye Abbey Developments
Confederation of Community Groups
Crossmaglen Community Association
Cuan Mhuire Trust
Mourne Community Association
Newry Citizens Advice Bureau
Newry & District Community Services
Newry & Mourne Co-op
Newry & Mourne Pre-School Playgroup Association
Sisters of Mercy
St. Vincent de Paul Camlough
St. Patrick's and St. Colmans Trust
St. Monninna Youth Club
St. Patrick's Youth Club Mayobridge
St. Peter's Parish Warrenpoint
Warrenpoint Mothers and Toddlers
There are no plans to reduce the number of places in any of these projects.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether all mouth samples taken for DNA profiling purposes in criminal investigations are obtained by means of a swab taken from between the lip and the gum.