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Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many miles of (a) statutory public footpaths, (b) statutory public bridleways and (c) permissive footpaths lie within British water authorities' land holdings ; and if he will list the mileage for each water authority in each category.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been expended, where and on what, through derelict land grant in the north-west for the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Trippier : Derelict land grant expenditure by local authorities in the north west totalled £24.28 million in 1987-88 ; a further £5.2 million grant was paid to non-local authority applicants. Details are given in the following table.
A wide variety of reclamation schemes meeting the Department's criteria for grant were supported in 1987-88. A total of 142 schemes were completed in the course of the year producing 563 hectares of reclaimed land. One hundred and six hectares were reclaimed for industrial and commercial development, 24 hectares for housing and 109 hectares for mixed development. The remaining 324 hectares were reclaimed for public open space or other soft end uses.
Derelict Land Grant: Expenditure in the North West, 1987-88 |£ ------------------------------------------------------------ 1. Local authorities Cheshire County Council |638,323 Congleton |381,604 Crewe and Nantwich |127,045 Macclesfield |127,285 Vale Royal |4,999 Warrington |1,148,926 Lancashire County Council |1,495,163 Blackburn |355,120 Blackpool |17,100 Burnley |30,846 Chorley |52,992 Hyndburn |191,555 Lancaster |154,505 Pendle |349,719 Preston |820,088 Ribble Valley |17,938 Rossendale |377,899 South Ribble |16,556 West Lancashire |45,931 Cumbria County Council |3,123,386 Allerdale |1,083,134 Barrow |72,090 Carlisle |58,773 Eden |16,571 Bolton |364,131 Bury |433,063 Manchester |422,715 Oldham |249,480 Rochdale |26,751 Salford |5,255,292 Stockport |20,298 Tameside |507,334 Trafford |45,438 Wigan |1,303,223 Ellesmere Port and Neston |1,007,115 Halton |1,264,307 Knowsley |455,929 Liverpool |248,830 Sefton |341,000 St. Helens |497,587 Wirral |187,922 Merseyside Residuary Body |940,991 |------- Total local authority expenditure |24,278,954 2. Non local authorities Total expenditure |5,200,892 |------- Total Derelict Land Grant expenditure |29,479,846
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will specify each donation made by his Department in response to appeals for financial aid during each financial year since 1979-80
Mr. Ridley : In the financial year 1985-86 my Department made a contribution of £250,000 to the Lord Mayor of Bradford's appeal fund set up to help victims of the stadium fire disaster. There have been no other donations since 1979-80. In general my Department responds to particular emergencies or similar situations through established public expenditure programmes rather then by contributing to private appeal funds.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider increasing the penalties for offences of pollution of water courses and the discharge of effluents containing illegal levels of polychlorinated biphenyls and pollutants.
Mr. Moynihan : Under part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, the maximum penalties which can be imposed by magistrates for water pollution offences, including any illegal discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls or other pollutants, are fines not exceeding £2,000 and terms of imprisonment of up to three months. However, on indictment there is no limit on the fine that may be imposed and the term of imprisonment can be up to two years. Penalties for pollution offences are kept under regular review, but I understand that there are no immediate plans for increasing them.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each water authority the number of pollution incidents and the number of sewage works which breached their discharge consents in 1987-88.
|Number --------------------------- Anglian |1,605 Northumbrian |671 North West |2,961 Severn Trent |4,435 Southern |1,795 South West |2,251 Thames |2,969 Wessex |1,339 Yorkshire |2,738
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of the membership and terms of reference of the document clearing group supervised by his Department's advisers Schroder Wragg in respect of information made available to the general public by water authorities.
Mr. Ridley : The document clearance group comprises members from Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith, legal advisers to the Government and to the Water Authorities' Association on the privatisation of the water industry, J. Henry Schroder Wragg, the Government's merchant bank advisers and Dewe Rogerson, financial public relations advisers to the association and the Government. The group's role is to review information relating to the businesses of the 10 water authorities in England and Wales which is to be made publicly available by Government, the WAA or the water authorities, to ensure that such information complies with the legal requirements relating to offers for sale.
Mr. Franks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the standards to be set for discharges of radioactive waste from pressurised water reactors and those set for comparable reactors abroad.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The technology of the new generation of PWRs will make it possible to operate them so that the levels of radioactivity in the discharges are very low. In granting authorisation for such discharges the authorising Departments will continue to require the operators to meet specified discharge limits and in addition to use best practicable means to limit discharges of radioactivity so as to ensure that exposures are kept as low as reasonably achievable. These controls will ensure that radiation doses to the critical group of people most affected by the discharges will remain well within the limits recommended by the International Commission for Radiation Protection and endorsed by the National Radiological Protection Board. Due regard will be had to the balance between costs of pollution abatement, including the exposure of on- site personnel, and the effects of the discharges on the environment. Each case will be considered on its merits, but in general the effect is likely to be that levels of radioactivity in discharges from PWRs in the United Kingdom will not differ significantly from those from reactors of a compatible size and environ-mental situations such as those in France.
Mr. Trippier : We have announced new targets for low-cost housing in rural areas and proposals for enabling shared ownership dwellings in villages to be retained to meet low-cost housing needs. Last July the Government announced the rural housing initiative which set specific targets for low-cost housing in smaller villages. The Housing Corporation established a special rural programme aimed at expanding the role of
Column 727housing associations in villages with a population of under 1,000. The corporation agreed to earmark sufficient funds to permit some 300 approvals for rented housing in 1989-90 and 600 in 1990-91. In December 1988 the Housing Corporation announced that the target of 600 approvals had been brought forward to 1989-90. We are pleased to announce today that the new targets for 1990-91 will be 900 approvals and for 1991-92 1,100 approvals. These targets effectively mean that the number of approvals given under the special rural programme will have nearly quadrupled over a four-year period.
There is concern that subsidised shared ownership houses in villages should be kept as low-cost homes and not lost through people becoming full owners and selling in the open market. In those rural areas where replacement of a shared ownership dwelling may be difficult, or where a private landowner has contributed a site on condition that it be retained for low-cost housing, we have in mind giving housing associations a pre-emptive right to buy back the dwelling at full market value when an occupier moves on. We will of course need to establish a funding arrangement which ensures that the association has the funds to exercise its right to repurchase. The arrangement proposed will maintain the right of the tenant to become the full owner of his home, but will provide a means of retaining the dwelling for low-cost housing when the occupier moves. It will provide a means therefore of sustaining the supply of low-cost housing in the villages and will reassure those landowners who contribute sites for that purpose. The details of the scheme are being discussed with the Housing Corporation.
Taken together with the proposals announced last Friday by the Secretary of State to improve the supply of sites for low-cost housing in rural areas, these measures will make a further significant contribution to augmenting the supply of low-cost housing in villages.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list in the Official Report, and according to the latest information available, the number of authorised permanent gipsy sites within each district of the counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 31 January 1989] : Authorised permanent gipsy sites can be either private or local authority operated. The Department does not hold information on the numbers of authorised private sites. Information on the location of private sites is held by local authorities. Information provided by the district councils for the Department's biannual count exercise reveals that at July 1988 there were 49 caravans on private sites in Somerset ; 52 in Wiltshire ; three in Dorset and 17 in Devon.
Information on authorised local authority sites is held by the Department and updated each January. In respect of the counties requested the latest information is as follows :
South Somerset (Chubbards Cross, Ilton)
(Marsh Lane, Tintinhull)
Taunton Deane (Otterford)
West Somerset (Farringdon Hill Lane, Stogursey)
North Wiltshire (Thingley Junction, Chippenham)
Salisbury (Dairyhouse Bridge, Salisbury)
(Oak Tree Field, Odstock, Salisbury)
(Lode Hill, Downton)
Thamesdown (Chiseldon Camp, Swindon)
(Hay Lane, Wroughton)
West Wiltshire (Fairwood, Dilton Marsh)
East Dorset (Mannington Park, Wimborne)
North Dorset (Thornicombe, Blandford)
Poole (Mannings Heath)
Purbeck (Coldharbour, Wareham)
West Dorset (Piddlehinton, Dorchester)
East Devon (Broadclyst near Exeter)
(Sowton near Exeter)
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary ofState for the Environment how many women have been (a) arrested and (b) found guilty of offences committed at Football League grounds during each of the last three seasons.
Mr. Waldegrave ; These talks, now known as the negotiation on conventional armed forces in Europe, and the negotiations on confidence and security building measures, will be opened in Vienna by Foreign Ministers of the CSCE countries on 6 to 8 March.
9. Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the next central American presidential summit ; and if he has discussed this subject with the new Government of the United States of America.
Mr. Eggar : Our latest information is that the next central American summit will take place in San Salvador on 13 to 14 February. We are in regular touch with the United States Administration about a wide range of issues, including central America.
72. Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has had any discussions with the United States Administration with regard to their policies on central America.
40. Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the next central American presidential summit ; and if he has discussed this subject with the new Government in the United States of America.
Mr. Eggar : Our latest information is that the next central American summit will take place in San Salvador on 13 and 14 February. We are in regular touch with the United States Administration about a wide range of issues, including central America.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. and learned Friend has no present plans to visit central America. I shall be visiting Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala later this month, when I attend the San Jose V Conference being held at San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
81. Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has recently made to the Israeli ambassador concerning Israel's treatment of Palestinians suspected of participating in the Intifada.
Mr. Waldegrave : We continue to take all appropriate opportunities to remind the Israeli authorities of their obligation to administer the occupied territories in accordance with international law and human rights standards.
83. Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government concerning west bank and Gaza detainees ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 730suggestion to end the Palestinian uprising on the west bank and Gaza, for the purpose of encouraging talks with the Israelis ; and whether he will make a statement on the implications for the peace process.
42. Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will use the opportunity of his next meeting with the United States Secretary of State to reiterate the United Kingdom's commitment to international free trade.
Mr. Eggar : Yes. We share with the United States Administration a commitment to free trade. With our Community partners we must work with the United States to resist protectionism, and to sustain and extend the open multilateral trading system, in particular through the current GATT round.
36. Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to meet the Secretary of State of the United States of America ; and what matters will be discussed.
16. Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent the prospects for a peace settlement in the middle east have improved since the visit of the Minister of State the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave) to representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Tunis.
Mr. Waldegrave : Recent developments, including the PLO's recognition of the right of Israel to exist, and its renunciation of terrorism, have substantially improved the prospects for progress towards a negotiated settlement of the Arab/Israel dispute.
We are continuing our efforts to identify the necessary common ground for such a conference to be convened.