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shortly to be publishing a good practice guide as a result. The Department co-funds the local authorities race relations information exchange and funds schemes aimed at encouraging the recruitment and training of ethnic minority staff in local authority housing departments and housing associations. The Housing Act 1988 extended section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976 to cover the Housing Corporation and HATS, and gave the Commission for Racial Equality power to issue codes of practice on rented housing, which would be admissible in court proceedings. This power would be extended to all housing under a provision in the current Local Government and Housing Bill.

The urban programme enables my Department to support projects benefiting ethnic minorities and women in the inner cities. We give priority to projects designed to benefit disadvantaged minorities. Since 1980-81, around £220 million has been directed towards projects of specific benefit to ethnic minorities. In 1988-89, such projects account for approximately 11 per cent. of UP expenditure, supporting more than 1,100 projects at a cost of £29 million. Projects targeted on ethnic minorities cover a wide range of activities with expenditure being concentrated on economic development, training and health and welfare. The particular problems of women are recognised as priority issues in many local authority urban programme strategies, as is reflected in projects aimed at training and child care. In the internal management of the Department, we have published policy statements on race relations and on equal opportunities for women ; we have asked staff to participate in a survey of their ethnic origins as a basis for checking that our practices in recruitment, posting and promotion are fair ; and we have taken a number of steps to help women combine a career with domestic responsibilities, including the provision of child care facilities, in cooperation with the trade unions concerned, on some residential training courses in the summer of 1987. This is to be repeated in the summer of 1989.

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what volumes of (a) low-level radioactive waste and (b)

intermediate-level radioactive waste, arising from reprocessing of imported spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield, will be deposited in NIREX repository by the year 2030 ; and what proportion of the total waste in each category is this expected to constitute.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Since 1976, BNFL's contracts for the reprocessing of overseas spent fuel have contained options for the return of wastes. The Government intend that reprocessing contracts with overseas customers should continue to contain such options, that the options should be exercised and that the wastes should be returned.

The total volumes of waste which are likely to arise from BNFL's pre 1976 contracts are 3,000m for intermediate level wastes and 20, 000m for low level wastes representing respectively approximately 1 per cent. of the total operational wastes arising in the United Kingdom by the year 2030.

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Aerial Surveys (Yorkshire)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which of the three counties of Yorkshire make use of aerial surveys to monitor mineral workings ; if he will list all encroachments that have occurred during the last five years : what action has been taken by his Department where infringement has taken place ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : Day to day planning for mineral working, including the taking of measures to deal with unauthorised extraction, is the responsibility of the appropriate planning authority.

In North Yorkshire, the county council is the mineral planning authority. In the former metropolitan counties of South and West Yorkshire, this function is the duty of the respective metropolitan district councils.

My Department deos not collect information or keep records on the use made by local authorities of aerial surveys to monitor mineral working or the number of encroachments. Unauthorised working is not reported to my Department as a matter of course, but cases may come before the Secretary of State if there is an appeal against an enforcement notice or stop notice issued by a mineral planning authority.

Radiation (Cumbria)

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what data his Department has on radioactive contamination of the River Esk near Ravenglass, Cumbria, including by isotopes of americium and caesium ; how and by whom the monitoring is carried out ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ridley : Data on levels of environmental radioactivity, including caesium and americium in the river Esk, Ravenglass estuary is provided by British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) to my Department as a statutory requirement of their certificate of authorisation to discharge radioactive wastes. The most recent data supplied by BNFL is summarised on page 26 (table 7) of their annual report entitled "Radioactive Discharges and Monitoring of the Environment 1987". The most recent data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods's extensive environmental monitoring programmes is summarised on page 26 (table 10) of their aquatic environment monitoring report No. 19 for 1987. Both reports are published and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

As part of the national environmental monitoring programme sponsored by my Department, mud from the Ravenglass estuary including the river Esk has been sampled for radiological analysis. This programme was started in 1988 and the results have not yet been published. When they are, a copy of the report will be placed in the Library of the House.

Radioactive Substances (Slough)

Mr. Watts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what sites in the borough of Slough are licensed under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information is as follows : Thirty- three premises in the Slough area are registered under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 to keep and use radioactive materials. These are as follows :

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3M United Kingdom Limited, Photogard Laboratories, Unit 8, Building No. 1, Banbury Avenue, Slough.

Acton Plastics, Poyle Trading Estate, Colnbrook.

Asda Stores Limited, Telford Drive, Slough.

Auriema Limited, 442 Bath Road, Slough.

Celltech Diagnostics Limited, 240-244 Bath Road, Slough. Cecil H. Greville Limited, 60 Chalvey Road East, Slough. Celltech Limited, 216-222 Bath Road, Slough.

Combined Optical Industries Limited, 200 Bath Road, Slough. Crane Packing Limited, 222 Berwick Avenue, Trading Estate, Slough. Crane Packing Limited, 210-214 Bath Road, Slough.

CRC Information Systems Limited, 750-751 Deal Avenue, Slough Trading Estate, Slough.

Great Mills DIY Superstore, 217A Bath Road, Slough.

Guardian Royal Exchange Properties Limited, High Tech Industries Development, 185-187 Bath Road, Slough.

ITW Limited, 470-474 Bath Road, Chippenham, Slough.

Johnson & Johnson Limited, 6298/630 Ajax Avenue, Slough. Kodak Limited, Colour Snaps, 144 High Street, Slough.

Mars Limited, Dundee Road Trading Estate, Slough.

Master Models (1983) Limited, 5 David Road, Poyle Trading Estate, Colnbrook, Slough.

McDonalds, 179 High Street, Slough.

McMichael Limited, Wexham Road, Slough.

Nevin Electric Limited, Arkwright Road, Colnbrook.

Nicholas Laboratories Limited, 225 Bath Road, Slough.

Non-Destructive Testers Limited, 514 Ipswich Road, Slough. Satchwell Control Systems Limited, Farnham Road, Slough. Slough College of Technology, Wellington Street, Slough. Slough Enamellers Limited, 128 Edinburgh Avenue Trading Estate, Slough.

Thames Water Authority, Wood Lane, Slough.

Vita-Tex Limited, 73 Buckingham Avenue Trading Estate, Slough. Wexham Park Hospital, Slough.

W. H. Smith Do It All Ltd., Farnham Road, Slough.

Wormald International Electronics, Station Estate off Mill Street, Slough.

Wykeham Farrance Engineering Limited, Weston Road Trading Estate, Slough.

Xenova Ltd., 545 Ipswich Road, Slough.

Premises also authorised for the disposal of radioactive waste. A list of all premises in England and Wales authorised under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 to dispose of

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radioactive waste was published by the Department in April 1988 and a copy was placed in the Library of the House.

Caravan Sites

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if statistics are held centrally, on the number of caravan sites not licensed by local authorities operated under the auspices of voluntary organisations in England.

Mr. Trippier : Precise figures are not available. However, recreational organisations holding an appropriate certificate of exemption from the Department of the Environment have currently approved approximately 5,000 sites in England for no more than five caravans for use by their members. In addition they occupy about 145 sites in England on a permanent or seasonal basis for any number of touring caravans, for which they have obtained the informal approval of the local authority. Further sites are used on a temporary basis for holiday meetings and rallies for club members of up to five days, but no central records are kept of these temporary uses.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of caravan sites licensed under the Caravan Sites (Control of Development) Act 1960 by local authorities in England.

Mr. Trippier : This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Housing Stock

Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress made in improving the housing stock since 1981.

Mr. Trippier : The results of the 1986 English house condition survey, published in November last year, showed that, overall, the conditions of the stock had improved since the last survey in 1981. Less than 3 per cent. of the stock lacked basic amenities compared with 5 per cent. in 1981. The proportion of the stock classified as unfit had been reduced from 6.3 per cent. to 5.6 per cent. The proportion in serious disrepair had remained broadly the same at about 6 per cent.

A copy of the report of the survey is available in the Library.

Liverpool Urban Development Corporation

Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what contribution the urban development corporation in Liverpool has made to fighting urban decay.

Mr. Trippier : The Merseyside Development Corporation has made a significant contribution to fighting urban decay. The corporation was set up in 1981 to regenerate 865 acres of mostly derelict and disused docklands in the urban development area. To that end it has spent £186 million since its inception ; 387 acres of land have been reclaimed ; 2.3 million sq ft of buildings have been refurbished, including the Albert Dock, the largest collection of grade 1 listed buildings in the country ; 259 business units have been provided, including the Brunswick business park in the South Docks where 0.5 million sq ft have been let ; 2,500 jobs have been created,

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1,100 safeguarded and on average 1,000 jobs every year have been generated by construction and related projects ; 340 dwellings have been completed including the first phases of 240 residential flats provided by refurbishment and conversion schemes in partnership with the private sector at Albert Dock and Wapping Warehouse ; £50 million of private sector investment has been secured so far and this is expected to double within the next year.

In November last year the designation order extending MDC's area came into effect. This will enable another 1,500 acres in Liverpool and Wirral to benefit from MDC's direct and determined approach. More details of the Merseyside Development Corporation's activities are contained in its annual reports, copies of which are laid before Parliament.

Competitive Tendering

Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the potential to reduce the cost of local government services by means of competitive tendering.

Mr. Gummer : Experience of voluntary competitive tendering indicates that savings of 20-30 per cent. of previous costs may be achieved. With expenditure on the services covered by the Act approaching £3 billion, it is clear that major savings are available.

Employment Training

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines he has issued concerning the joint funding of projects by both the urban programme and employment training, and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : The Department has issued a set of ministerial guidelines to partnership and programme authorities to help them in the preparation of their inner area programmes. These stress that that the urban programme should not generally be used to fund projects which are eligible for assistance under other programmes but that it may be used to complement expenditure, for example, under the employment training scheme.

Dog Wardens

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many district councils provide a dog warden or similar scheme for the control of strays ; and how many do not.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not collected by the Department. I understand that the Joint Advisory Committee on Pets in Society estimates that some 200 of the 401 local authorities at district level in England and Wales provide dog warden services.

St. Martin's Estate

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will respond to the current application for inner area programme funding for the St. Martin's estate community project B9/207.

Mr. Trippier : I understand that Lambeth is currently reviewing a revised bid for the St. Martin's estate community project. If formally submitted to the Department, this will now need to be considered along

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with many other bids being proposed for inclusion in the 1989-90 Lambeth IAP, on which decisions are expected by April.

Housing (Waiting Lists)

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households were registered on local authority housing waiting lists on 1 April 1988 in (a) Greater London, (b) the south east outside London, (c) East Anglia, (d) the east midlands, (e) the west midlands, (f) the south west, (g) the north west, (h) the north, (i) Yorkshire and Humberside and (j) England as a whole.

Mr. Trippier : This information is reported by local authorities in their annual Housing Investment

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Programme return (HIP 1). It is shown at column B51 of the "Grossed Estimates for Standard Regions--1988 HIP 1", a copy of which is in the Library.

Local Authority Dwellings

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide the number of local authority dwellings (a) let to new secure tenants and (b) let to new secure tenants who were homeless households, between 1 April 1987 and 31 March 1988, in (1) Greater London, (2) metropolitan areas outside London, (3) non-metropolitan areas in the south east, (4) all non-metropolitan areas and (5) England as a whole.

Mr. Trippier : Following are estimates derived from local authorities' annual housing investment programme returns (HIP 1) :

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                            |New secure tenants         |of which homeless          |New non-secure tenants     |of which homeless          |National mobility scheme   |of which homeless          |Nominations to Housing     |of which homeless                                                                  

                                                        |households                                             |households                                             |households                 |Associations<2>            |households                                                                         


(i)                         |Greater London             |28,300                     |17,300                     |4,400                      |3,400                      |3,800                      |900                        |3,300                      |1,100                                                  

(ii)                        |Metropolitan Outside London|90,700                     |20,900                     |1,700                      |600                        |1,800                      |<1>                        |8,100                      |800                                                    

(iii)                       |Non Met areas in South East|27,700                     |8,000                      |3,500                      |2,800                      |1,200                      |<1>                        |1,700                      |200                                                    

(iv)                        |All non Metropolitan       |110,100                    |26,700                     |6,800                      |5,000                      |3,800                      |<1>                        |7,700                      |500                                                    

(v)                         |England                    |229,000                    |64,900                     |12,900                     |9,000                      |9,400                      |1,000                      |19,100                     |2,400                                                  

<1> Nil or negligible                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

<2> Nominations to new town dwellings were not counted in 1987-88                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


                                     |Total households accepted           |of which in priority need           |Dwellings vacant and                |Dwellings management                |Coming into which were              |Other                               |Total dwellings available                                                                                     

                                     |as homeless                                                              |available for letting on            |newly built                         |acquisition etc.                                                         |for letting 1 April 1987                                                                                      

                                                                                                               |1 April 1987                                                                                                                                       |to 31 March 1989                                                                                              



(i)                                  |Greater London                      |31,100                              |30,300                              |4,800                               |1,400                               |2,900                               |57,000                              |66,100                                                                   

(ii)                                 |Metropolitan Outside London         |36,400                              |28,800                              |10,700                              |2,200                               |4,900                               |162,100                             |179,800                                                                  

(iii)                                |Non Metropolitan areas in South East|17,800                              |16,700                              |3,700                               |5,700                               |1,900                               |58,300                              |69,700                                                                   

(iv)                                 |All non Metropolitan                |50,400                              |47,400                              |12,100                              |12,600                              |5,900                               |201,000                             |231,700                                                                  

(v)                                  |England                             |117,900                             |106,500                             |27,600                              |16,200                              |13,700                              |420,200                             |477,600                                                                  

Public Sector Housing

Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many applications have been made to date to the Housing Corporation for approval under part IV of the Housing Act 1988 to seek to acquire public authority housing, from (a) registered housing associations, (b) unregistered housing associations, (c) housing co-operatives, (d) commercial companies, (e) private individuals and (f) other bodies ; how many approvals have been granted by the Housing Corporation ; and to which local authority areas these applications and approvals have related ;

(2) how many approaches have been received to date by the Housing Corporation from council tenants in England (a) asking to be put in touch with another landlord who might take over their homes and (b) asking the Housing Corporation not to approve another landlord to take over their homes ; and if he will list the local authority areas from which any such approaches have been made.

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Mr. Trippier : I have asked the Housing Corporation to reply to the hon. Member.

Housing Action Trusts

Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date he received the reports from the consultants appointed to investigate the proposed designations of housing action trusts in (a) Lambeth, (b) Southwark, (c) Tower Hamlets, (d) Sunderland, (e) Leeds and (f) Sandwell ; what was the cost of each of these reports ; and when he intends to publish these reports and make a statement on the Government's intentions in respect of housing action trusts.

Mr. Trippier : We have yet to receive all the consultants' final reports but expect to do so shortly. When we have completed our consideration of the reports, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State intends to publish them and announce his conclusions. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, fees for individual consultancies are not normally disclosed.

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Seal Products (EC Ban)

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what negotiations have taken place within the European Economic Community with regard to a renewal of the ban on the importing of white coat pups of harp and hooded seals, except those from traditional hunting by the Inuit people, under European Community directive 83/129/EEC ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will make a statement on his policy towards the European Community directive 83/129/EEC, and towards its extension beyond 1 October 1989.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government fully supported EC directive 83/129/EEC, and the subsequent extension of the ban on the import of harp and hooded seal pup skins and products, on conservation grounds. I understand that the European Commission is considering the future of the ban. We have not yet been formally consulted. We shall give careful consideration to any proposals for a further extension of the ban.

Urban Programme

Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made to date in achieving the objectives of the urban programme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : Each of the local authorities who receive urban programme grant produce an annual report on achievements in their areas. Annual reports on the programme as a whole have been published each year since 1985-86 setting out details of the operation and achievements of the urban programme. The most recent "DoE Inner City Programmes 1987-88", reporting on the whole range of DoE inner city policies and programmes, was published in December 1988. The Department has also published a number of research reports on the effectiveness of the urban programme ; details are set out in an annual publications list. I am forwarding a copy of this, and of the 1987-88 annual report to my hon. Friend.

Housing Act 1988

Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment at what dates the remaining provisions of the Housing Act 1988 will be fully implemented.

Mr. Trippier : I expect the remaining provisions of the Housing Act 1988 to be brought into force by late spring this year.

Wildlife Habitats

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance he has given the Nature Conservancy Council concerning the curtailing or encouragement of field sports on land which is the subject of applications for grants in respect of wildlife habitats.

Mr. Nicholas Ridley : The council's policy--which I support--is that traditional country pursuits should not be interfered with wherever they are not in conflict with the conservation of species or habitats. Where NCC propose to give grants for the acquisition of land for conservation purposes, they normally expect the new owner to allow traditional rights and uses of the land to continue, and to

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alter the level or practice of these activities only when it is required for the management of the site for nature conservation.

Water Directives

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many 169 letters have been received by his Department from the European Commission since the beginning of January with respect to the drinking water directive and bathing water directive ; and for which specific breaches of those directives.

Mr. Ridley : None.

Rate Capping

Mr. Baldry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further progress there has been, since his reply to the hon. Member for Banbury on 2 February, Official Report, column 356, in the finalising of rate limits for rate-capped authorities in 1989-90.

Mr. Ridley : I announced on 2 February that Tower Hamlets had accepted the proposed rate limit that I announced in December and that I was seeking the agreement of Hackney and Southwark to limits--113p and 97p respectively--which were higher than those I proposed in December. Southwark accepted the limit I proposed ; and I have now agreed a rate limit of 122p with Hackney. In the four cases where I was not minded to agree an increase over the rate limits I proposed in December, I looked very carefully at all the relevant information and representations I had received. I was not persuaded, however, that I should take a different view from that which I announced on 2 February. I therefore yesterday laid an order before the House in draft. I have also now considered some later information I received from Camden, but remain unpersuaded that an increase in their limit would be appropriate. I shall therefore be seeking the approval of the House to the rate limits specified in the draft order.

Hospital Waste (Rixton)

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when his Department was notified by Cheshire council waste authority of the dumping of yellow incinerator-only hospital waste bags at Rixton, Cheshire ; and what advice it gave.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [Holding answer 13 February 1989] : Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution was telephoned in April 1988 by Cheshire county council, which was seeking advice on the action to be taken over a substantial quantity of clinical waste that had been landfilled. As the clinical waste had been covered by other wastes the inspectorate advised that it should be left undisturbed. The inspectorate also confirmed that the landfilling of clinical waste had ceased at that time.

Environmental Health Officers

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will review the World Health Organisation guidelines on which the ratio of environmental health officers to population is based.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 13 February 1989] : Decisions on the number of environmental health

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officers to be appointed are a matter for local environmental health authorities. They are able to take into account the publication of the World Health Office regional office for Europe No. 18 "Development of Environmental Health Manpower" to which I assume that the hon. Member refers.

Green Belt

Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the effect of his latest planning circular on Her Majesty's Government's green belt policy ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 14 February 1989] : The Government remain fully committed to their green belt policy set out in planning policy guidance notes published in January 1988. No subsequent Departmental publication has affected that policy. PPG2 reaffirms earlier advice and provides a clear basis for planning decisions to uphold the green belt principles which have been an essential element of planning policy for over 30 years.

Housing Associations

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received asking to introduce legislation to oblige housing associations to establish local management committees and for tenants to have the right to elect representatives to those management committees.

Mr. Trippier [Holding answer 14 February 1989] : None.

Local Authorities (Funding)

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will publish, for each local authority in England, its capital allocation, in total for 1989-90, showing the percentage change from (a) 1988-89, and (b) 1981-82 ;

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(2) if he will publish, by region and in total for England, capital allocations to local authorities for 1989-90, showing the percentage change from : (a) 1988-89, and (b) 1981-82.

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