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Drinking Water (Pesticides)

Mr. Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to his answer of 7 February, if he will list in the Official Report the number and location of breaches in the precautionary standard for pesticides in drinking water in 1988 in supplies provided by the Anglian water authority.

Mr. Moynihan : During the period December 1987 to November 1988 there were breaches of the standard of 0.1 microgram per litre for pesticides, specified in the EC drinking water directive, in water supplies leaving 14 of Anglian water authority's treatment works. These were :

Alton, Ardleigh, Bedford, Clayhill, Covenham, Drove Lane, Etton, Foxcote, Grafham, Heigham, Houghton, Marham, Pitsford and Wing.

Local Authority Pension Funds

Mr. Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which local authority pension funds had

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implemented the results of an interim valuation before 28 July 1988 and will therefore be covered by the protection offered by him in his letter of that date.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information requested is not available to the Department. I shall be writing in response to a letter which I have received from the hon. Gentleman on this subject.

Local Authorities (Funding)

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish, for each local authority in England, as available, its (a) cash backed, (b) non-cash backed and (c) total capital receipts as at 31 March 1988.

Mr. Ridley : My Department has now received accumulated capital receipts returns for 1987-88 from 99 per cent. of English local authorities. On the basis of these it is estimated that at the end of 1988- 89 local authorities in England held accumulated receipts of £11.7 billion. Some of these receipts such as leasing disposals, were notional. The cash from much of the remainder had been used for such purposes as repaying debt and financing capitalised housing repairs. After allowing for such factors only £6.4 billion out of the £11.7 billion could be converted to cash.

I have today placed in the Library a table showing for each local authority which has provided a return, (a) the accumulated receipts and (b) the amount which could be converted into cash.

Football Hooliganism

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) of 1 February, Official Report , columns 56-60, whether he has received letters from Southampton or Fulham football clubs regarding the table of arrests for the 1987-88 football season.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 9 February 1989] : The chairman of Southampton football club wrote to me on 3 January about the 1987-88 arrest figures in respect of the club. I have received no correspondence from Fulham football club.

Water Charges

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide information showing (a) the range of rates paid, (b) rateable values and (c) water charges paid as a proportion of rates paid and rateable values prevailing in each water authority area in England and Wales (i) in 1979, (ii) in 1983 and (iii) for the last twelve months, to date ; and if he will estimate, on the basis of recently announced increased water charges, the figures for the next 12 months.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 10 February 1989] : Information in the form requested by the hon. Member is not available centrally.

Rates Statistics

Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing the relationship of domestic rates to net equivalent household

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income, assuming a 100 per cent. rate rebate broken down in to (i) income bands of under £75, £75 to £100, £100, to £150, £150 to £200, £200 to £250, £250 to £300, £300 to £350, £350 to £400, £400 to £500 and over £500, all showing how many households fall into each income band and (ii) decile groups, showing how many households fall into each decile group.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 13 February 1989] : No. I have published illustrative community charge figures together with comparative figures for domestic rates on the basis of the latest tax and benefit rates. I have not been prepared to proceed by hypothetical example--either in forecasting the future or by "what-if" versions of history.

Sewage Works

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 8 February, he will list for each water authority in England the number of sewage works which breached their discharge consents in 1987-88.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 13 February 1989] : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave him on 20 December 198 at column 194. Figures for 1988 are not yet available.

Environmental Health Officers

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many environmental health officer posts on the establishment of each local community are currently unfilled ;

(2) if he will make additional funds available to local authorities for the purpose of employing additional environmental health officers ;

(3) what discussions he has had concerning the level of training places for environmental health officers ;

(4) how many environmental health officers are employed by Westminster city council ; and how many posts are on the establishment.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 13 February 1989] : Decisions on the resources to be made available within local authority budgets for the employment of environmental health officers, on the numbers of such posts to be created, on recruitment, and the timing of appointments to those posts, and on the training of such officers are all matters for the local environmental health authorities.

Water Authorities (Privatisation)

Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what indication he has had of the European Commission's view of the Government's proposals for a golden share in the water authorities after privatisation.

Mr. Howard : The Government have never been in any doubt about the legality of our policy on competition and merger in the water industry, and our proposals for a "Golden Share" to protect the new water plcs from takeover in their first five years in the private sector.

In view of the quite unjustified doubts raised by some critics of water privatisation, I welcome the European Commission's clarification of the position.

In a statement on 7 February, the Commissioner responsible, Sir Leon Brittan, said that having looked into the matter, the Commission

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"has not found anything which would raise problems as far as the Community law is concerned in the fields of competition or company capital structure".

This is exactly as we had expected, since our proposal involves absolutely no element of discrimination as between different categories of potential investors. I recognise that this will disappoint those opposed to water

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privatisation and therefore opposed to this sensible and temporary protection of the new plcs and their customers. Our proposals will simply avoid major and potentially damaging upheaval too early in their private sector existence, and provide a long-term safeguard against loss of comparative competition.


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