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Ozone Layer

Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the organisations that have been invited to the saving the ozone layer conference on 5 to 7 March 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave on 20 February to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn), Official Report, column 493.

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 25 January, Official Report, column 1010, on the identification of the hole in the ozone layer by the British Antarctic scientific expedition, he will report on progress in ending the use of chlorofluorocarbons in aerosols.

Mr. Ridley : My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I will be hosting an international conference on 5-7 March in London in order to persuade the world to phase out the use of CFCs for all purposes as soon as practicable, taking account of the availability of safe substitutes.

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Lead-free Fuel

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice is given by his Department to garages to ensure that the correct advice is given to motorists concerning the use of lead- free fuel in different types and makes of vehicles.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This Department has produced, and is currently updating, the "E" list of cars that can use unleaded petrol without adjustment. This is freely available in booklet and wall chart form.

The Department of Transport also provides advisory information on the use of unleaded petrol in the "New Car Fuel Consumption" guide. We have asked SMMT and MAA to take steps to ensure that their members readily provide necessary information.

In addition, we also welcome information provided by motoring organisations, oil companies and motor manufacturers.

Defective Housing

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to give additional assistance to owners and tenants in defective precast reinforced concrete housing.

Mr. Trippier : Eligible owners of designated defective properties are entitled to assistance from their local authority under the housing defects legislation. Owners or

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tenants could also benefit from our proposed reform of the home improvement grant system, as provided in the Local Government and Housing Bill.


Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to allow local authorities to give home improvement grants to owners of houses for the installation of remedial measures where radon levels are high.

Mr. Trippier : The Department has today written to 21 local housing authorities in Cornwall, Devon, Derbyshire and Somerset advising them in what circumstances the Secretary of State is prepared to contribute towards the expense incurred by them in making an improvement grant for radon remedial measures. I am sending a copy of the letter to my hon. Friend.

Retired People

Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider creating a standing committee of representatives of the pensioners' movement together with the Minister and senior civil servants dealing with the areas mainly affecting the retired in housing and environmental matters.

Mr. Ridley : [holding answer 21 February 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on Friday 17 February 1989, Official Report, column 404.


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