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Mr. Alan Clark : The trade negotiations committee of the GATT met in Geneva last week to deal with the four issues--agriculture, intellectual property, textiles and safeguards--left unresolved at its meeting in Montreal last December. The committee agreed frameworks of principles to guide further negotiation of these issues, and confirmed the agreements provisionally made in Montreal on the other 11 issues under negotiation in the Uruguay round.
On agriculture, the committee agreed that the long-term objective of the negotiation should be to work towards substantial and progressive reductions in agricultural support and protection sustained over an agreed period of time. It agreed to realise this objective through strengthened GATT rules and disciplines applicable to all contracting parties and extending to all measures affecting import access and export competition. It also agreed that developed countries would not exceed their current levels of domestic and export support and protection before the end of the round. On the protection of intellectual property rights it agreed that the negotiations should cover effective enforcement, and dispute settlement, adequate standards, and the applicability of basic GATT principles. It confirmed that the negotiations on textiles and clothing should aim for a further general liberalisation of trade including progressive integration of this sector into the GATT on the basis of strengthened rules and disciplines. On the question of better safeguard arrangements to deal with sudden surges of imports the committee instructed negotiators to draw up a draft text for a comprehensive agreement.
These four agreements, and the confirmation of those made in Montreal on such important issues as services, tariffs and dispute settlement, provide a firm basis for the negotiation of substantial strengthening and extension of liberal and multilateral rules for trade by the conclusion of the round around the end of 1990. The Government will continue to work with our European Community partners to ensure an effective outcome to the negotiations which reflects United Kingdom priorities.
Mr. Robertson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many technical committees of the European Committee for Standardisation and of the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation are chaired by the United Kingdom, France and West Germany, respectively.
|United Kingdom|France |Germany ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CEN secretariats and chairmanships |30 |25 |51 CENELEC secretariats |8 |9 |17 CENELEC chairmanships |9 |13 |5
representations from bodies about the Hearing Aid Council (Amendment) Bill sponsored by the hon. Member for Ynys Mo n (Mr. Jones). These bodies represent dispensers of hearing aids, consumers and those with specialised medical and audiological knowledge.
Ms. Quin : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, further to his answer of 20 March, to the hon. Member for Gateshead, East, Official Report, column 429, what is his estimate of the amount of time that will have to elapse before there is sufficient experience of the operation of the code of practice on price indication to enable an informed assessment on it to be made ; and if he will make available in the Library the representations on the code which have been received since it came into operation on 1 March.
Mr. Forth : It would not be practicable to estimate when there will be sufficient experience of the operation of the code of practice for traders on price indications to enable an informed assessment of it to be made. However, as I said in my reply to the hon. Member on 20 March at column 249, I have suggested that a committee should be set up to monitor the operation of the legislation and the working of the code. It is important, however, that sufficient time should elapse to allow the effectiveness of part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the associated code of practice to be assessed before consideration is given to making any further changes.
I have no plans to make available in the Library the
representations which have been received on the code since it came into operation on 1 March.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has on the volume of arms export business with Libya conducted by Lonrho or its subsidiary company, Tradewinds plc.
Mr. Alan Clark [holding answer 7 April 1989] : It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on individual licensing matters. Licences are required for the export to all destinations, including Libya, of arms which are subject to control under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1987 (SI 1987 No. 2070), as amended.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the television advertising campaigns mounted by the Department of Trade and Industry in 1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89 and those to be mounted in 1989-90 giving the cost or estimated cost in each case.
1987-88--Enterprise Initiative : £4.3 million.
Single European Market : £0.3 million.
1988-89 --Enterprise Initiative : £6.1 million.
Single European Market : £7.1 million.
Allocations for 1989-90 have not been finalised.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library details of each major publicity campaign mounted by the Department of Trade and Industry in 1985-86 and each succeeding year, including in each case the objects of the campaign, the intended audience and the outcome of the monitoring of the achievement of the intended objectives, together with a note of the intended objectives in the campaign to be mounted in 1989-90.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The amount of waste produced varies from week to week and year to year. The volume of waste produced may not be the same as that which is disposed of ; some volumes may be reduced by compaction or incineration ; others may be increased by solidification of liquids or stabilisation of reactive solids. Approximate figures for the volume of domestic, coal and nuclear waste are as follows :
(a) Domestic (England and Wales)--120 million cu m per annum of loose waste or about 2,300,000 cu m per week (based on arisings of 18 million tonnes per annum and assuming a weight of 150 kgm per cu m). (
(b) Coal (British Coal deep mined : England, Scotland and Wales)--25 million cu m per annum of non toxic material which is not a controlled waste under the Control of Pollution Act 1974. (
(c) Nuclear (United Kingdom)--46,050 cu m per annum of waste conditioned for safe storage or disposal (of which 30 cu m is high-level waste, 1,920 cu m intermediate level waste, and 44,100cu m low-level waste), or about 886 cu m per week.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Copeland, 22 March, Official Report, column 651, he will make a statement about the recent United Nations environment programme conference in Basle on the international trade and regulation of hazardous and toxic wastes.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A Department of the Environment working party is currently examining the feasibility of compiling registers of contaminated land and their report is expected shortly. It would be unwise to pre-empt the recommendations of this working party.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to announce a decision in respect of (a) the City of Leeds (Kirkgate Market Area) Compulsory Purchase Order 1987 and (b) the City of Leeds (Kirkgate Market Area) Compulsory Purchase (No. 2) Order 1987, following the public inquiry held in April 1988.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the structure of the water industry in other European Community states and in the United States of America and the level of investment and consumer charges in each of these countries.
Mr. Howard : I would refer the hon. Member to table 13C of the 1988 edition of the water authorities publication, "Waterfacts", a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library. Further information, on a consistent basis is not available.
Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy towards the acquisition of United Kingdom statutory water companies by foreign-domiciled companies ; and if he will list which foreign companies have acquired majority or controlling interests in which United Kingdom statutory water companies since 1 January 1988.
Foreign company |Statutory water company ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lyonnaise des Eaux |East Anglian |Essex |Newcastle and Gateshead |Sunderland and South Shields Generale des Eaux (through its subsidiary, |Lee Valley General Utilities)North Surrey |Tendring Hundred SAUR |Eastbourne |Mid Southern |Mid-Sussex |West Kent
We do not discriminate against foreign investment in the water industry. An important objective of privatisation is to enable English and Welsh water undertakers to compete with foreign companies in the world-wide market for water services. It would be contrary to our EC obligations to discriminate against investment by nationals of other member states.
Mr. Gow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the percentage increases in water charges inforced by the statutory water companies since 1 January ; which of these companies are French-owned ; and which are owned by SAUR SA.
Mr. Howard : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave on 14 March to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South-West (Mr. Madel) and to the reply that I gave today to my right hon. Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir J. Stanley).
Mr. Howard : My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales have considered carefully the responses to a consultation paper that we issued in December. They have concluded that the General Development Order 1988 should be amended to revert to 28 days permitted use of land for clay pigeon shooting. They propose to lay an amending order before the House today. In reaching their decision they have taken particular account of two arguments. First, the change from 28 to 14 days permitted use could result in less control and safety if shoots were to take place for 14 days on one piece of land and 14 days on another. Secondly, the Department has now concluded negotiations with the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association on a draft code of practice for clay pigeon shooting. This would apply to all clay pigeon shoots and would cover such matters as separation distances between shoots and noise sensitive premises, times of operation and sound reduction techniques. The draft code is now being issued for consultation. Subject to comments from consultees, when finalised it will be approved by my right hon. Friends under section 71 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
Mr. Trippier : Statutory invitations under the terms of schedule 32 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, were issued today to Tyne and Wear Development Corporation and Sunderland borough council to prepare schemes with a view to designation as an enterprise zone of some 150 acres of land at Southwick Shipyard, Hylton Riverside, Castletown and Doxford Park. It is intended that the enterprise zone will last for 10 years from its designation. Copies of the invitations and maps showing the land specified are being placed in the Library of the House. The statutory procedures of consultation and then the hearing of representations will begin shortly.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he gives to the possible conflict of interests when making appointments to public bodies responsible to his Department.
Mr. Ridley [holding answer 7 April 1989] : The question of possible conflicts of interest is always considered when appointments are being made. The Department generally follows the guidance for dealing with conflicts of interest
Column 402on the part of board members set out in the HMSO publication "Non Departmental Public Bodies--A Guide for Departments".
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce a decision in respect of (a) the Hythe (Kent) marina and (b) the implementation of the revocation procedure in respect of the irregular granting of ancient monument consent for the destruction of the eastern end of the Royal military canal.
(2) what information he has on the level of untreated and partly treated sewage pumped into the River Teign ;
(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that the River Teign is protected from pollution by sewage.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 6 April 1989] : Information is not held by the Department in a form which would allow the identification of discharges in any particular area. Details of all consents granted a water authority are, however, held on the register maintained by the water authority which may be inspected free of charge at all reasonable hours.
The only representations that my right hon. Friend has received concerning sewage disposal to the River Teign were submitted in response to the statutory advertising of a discharge consent application made by the South West water authority under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 for the repositioning of the sewage outfall at Shaldon occasioned by the blockage of the existing one by shifting sand. Consent was granted to this discharge on 29 November 1988. The only discharges of untreated sewage to inland waters are from storm and emergency overflows. By definition, the operation of these is intermittent and thus conditions imposed reflect this and prescribe when a discharge may take place.
Many existing discharges to estuarial waters are of crude sewage or screened or macerated sewage and are of long standing. These discharges have deemed consent. It is the Department's intention that each should be reviewed by 1992 and where necessary, alternative arrangements considered.
Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution issued guidelines on the environmental conditions new long sea outfalls should be designed to achieve. Copies of these guidelines have been placed in the Library of the House.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list any requests made to him for county council boundary reviews that involve the abolition of any county councils, other than Humberside ; and if he will state his criteria for instructing the Local Government Boundary Commission to consider the abolition of any county councils as part of their reviews.
Mr. Ridley [holding answer 4 April 1989] : Since the Local Government Boundary Commission for England has a statutory duty to consider the abolition of counties when carrying out its periodic review of county boundaries, I do not keep records of any requests that I receive for this to be done and I do not have criteria for instructing it to consider that question.
It was in view of the scale and strength of the representations that I received on the report of the Boundary Commission in which it concluded that, on the guidelines that it had been given, it could not recommend major change in the case of Humberside, that I decided to direct it to carry out a further review of that county without the limitation that it should propose the abolition of a principal area only where present arrangements clearly fail to provide effective and convenient local government.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of (a) the responses he has had to his request to charging authorities for a progress report on implementing the community charge, (b) when he proposes to publish the responses to his Department's request for a progress report from local authorities on implementing the community charge, (c) whether the Department of Environment has any plans to undertake further surveys of local authorities in connection with implementation of the community charge, and (d) whether any future surveys of local authorities will ask them for information concerning the costs incurred by them in implementing the community charge.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 4 April 1989] : I have today placed in the Library a summary of progress on the implementation of the community charge. It is based on the responses from chief finance officers to the letter sent to them on 21 December 1988.
The survey reveals an encouraging picture overall. All of the 90 per cent. of authorities which have responded to the letter so far have made plans for the implementation of the community charge, and the majority of these appear to be making good progress with their arrangements.
I intend to issue a detailed questionnaire to all charging authorities later this month. The main purpose will be to obtain details of the implementation programme for each authority. I do not intend that this questionnaire should seek information about the cost of implementation.
Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many people are currently registered homeless in (a) Warrington, (b) Macclesfield, (c) Congleton, (d) Crewe and Nantwich, (e) Vale Royal and (f) Staffordshire, Moorlands ; and how many people were registered homeless in March 1979 in the same districts.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 4 April 1989] : The numbers of households accepted as homeless by each English local authority under the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977 in the first six months of 1979 appear in table A of "Homeless households reported by local authorities in England : Statistics for first half of 1979." Latest estimates appear in table 7 of the regular quarterly publication "Local authorities' action under the
Column 404homelessness provisions of the 1985 Housing Act : England. Results for the fourth quarter of 1988. Supplementary Tables."
All these publications are available in the Library.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each year since its establishment the planned housing developments (a) the Wirral side and (b) the Liverpool side of the Merseyside development corporation area ; and what progress has been made on the completion of these plans.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 4 April 1989] : Since the MDC was established in 1981, the corporation has intended that land would be made available for housing in its designated area. No figures were put on the annual number of dwellings planned and the following information records those completed or under construction in the period up to 1988-89. From 1989 to 1994 land zoned for housing development will provide for approximately 1330 dwellings in the MDC area (1,237 in Liverpool and 97 in Wirral). These will be provided by the private sector and housing associations, mainly on land reclaimed and serviced by the MDC.
Dwellings Completed or Under Construction |Liverpool|Wirral ---------------------------------------- 1981-84 |8 |Nil 1984-85 |100 |Nil 1985-86 |19 |Nil 1986-87 |32 |<1>20 1987-88 |11 |Nil 1988-89 |305 |Nil <1> A 20-bed single persons hostel was opened in December 1986.
Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Newham North East of 16 March, Official Report, column 315, if he will list the several employment and training co-ordinating groups which have been set up in docklands ; and if he will list their membership.
Joint LDDC/Bishop of Stepney Docklands Wide Group :
--Bishop of Stepney, the Roman Catholic Bishop of East London, East London Church Leaders Group, LDDC, ILEA, LB Tower Hamlets, LB Southwark, LB Newham, Department of Employment (Training Agency, Employment Service and Docklands Liaison Group), Department of the Environment, LENTA, Docklands Forum, Skillnet.
Tower Hamlets Education Employment and Training Co-ordination Group :
--LB Tower Hamlets, LDDC, Department of Employment, Department of the Environment, Department of Education and Science, ILEA, New Start, Olympia and York, CITB.
Southwark Employment and Training Co-ordination Group : --LB Southwark, LDDC, Department of Employment, Department of the Environment, North Peckham Task Force. LDDC has offered to set up similar new arrangements
Column 405in Newham. For the time being LDDC and the borough are continuing to liaise closely through existing arrangements.
Mr. Page : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, what responses he has received to his consultation document on a new system of industrial pollution control for industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [pursuant to her reply 28 February, Official Report, c. 110] : Our proposals for controlling inputs of the most dangerous substances to water--the "Red List"--were published last July. We have received responses from 80 organisations and individuals. A list of these has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. There was very widespread support for our proposals and it is now our intention to implement them. This will provide the regulatory framework for cleaning up our rivers, and for meeting our international obligations including those on cleaning up the North sea. It puts us in the forefront of developments in Europe in this area.
Comments were sought and received on a number of points of detail, and these have been taken into account in reaching conclusions. We announced on 28 February ( Official Report, column 110 ) our intention to proceed with the proposal that discharges from prescribed processes should be controlled by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (HMIP) under the proposed new arrangements for integrated pollution control. Such discharges would be subject to a requirement, to be introduced progressively for existing plant, that the process should be operated according to the best available technology not entailing excessive costs with a view to minimising discharges of the most dangerous substances. However, discharge consents would also have to ensure that strict environmental quality standards were met and maintained in the receiving waters, and the proposed National Rivers Authority would have to be satisfied that this was the case before consent could be granted by HMIP. An important part of our proposals, welcomed by many respondents, was the establishment of a priority "Red List" of dangerous substances. As a result of consultation and of some new and corrected data received, we have slightly amended the provisional "Red List" set out in the consultation paper. The initial priority "Red List" will comprise the following substances :
Substance |CAS number ---------------------------------------------------- Mercury and its compounds Cadmium and its compounds Gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane |00058-89-9 DDT |00050-29-3 Pentachlorophenol |00087-86-5 Hexachlorobenzene |00118-74-1 Hexachlorobutadiene |00087-68-3 Aldrin |003090-00-2 Dieldrin |00060-57-1 Endrin |00072-20-8 Polychlorinated Biphenyls |01336-36-3 Dichlorvos |00062-73-7 1,2-Dichloroethane |00107-06-2 Trichlorobenzene |12002-48-1 Altrazine |01912-24-9 Simazine |00122-34-9 Tributyltin compounds Triphenyltin compounds Trifluralin |001582-09-8 Fenitrothion |00122-14-5 Azinphos-methyl |00086-50-0 Malathion |00121-75-5 Endosulfan |00115-29-7
Further substances may be added to the list from time to time where there are sound scientific reasons for doing so. These will be identified broadly along the lines set down in the annex to the consultation paper. The selection scheme is being further developed and modified in the light of the comments received. Candidates substances identified by the scheme will be subject to a second-stage assessment, taking particular account of the risk posed for the aquatic environment, and to consultation before addition to the list.
Many respondents confirmed the view expressed in the consultation paper that diffuse sources constitute an important input for many dangerous substances and that these merit greater attention. In the light of comments received we remain of the view that existing powers and arrangements for controlling the supply, use and disposal of substances should be sufficient to deal with any potential pollution problem from diffuse sources, but this position will remain under review. In the meantime, we have initiated more widespread environmental monitoring for priority substances and will consider the need for specific action where this proves necessary case by case.
The consultation document also referred to earlier proposals issued by my Department for controlling discharges to sewer of the most dangerous substances after privatisation of the water authorities. There we have concluded that the Secretary of State, advised by HMIP, should authorise the discharge of these substances to sewer. However, dischargers need only make a single application to the sewage undertaker, who will refer any aspects involving dangerous substances to the Secretary of State. These arrangements are reflected in the Water Bill currently before Parliament, and regulations would be made under proposed powers in that Bill to prescribe the substances or processes to which they would apply.
The full application of technology-based emission standards to discharges from prescribed processes under a system of integrated pollution control will require new legislation, which will be introduced at the earliest opportunity. However, provisions included in the Water Bill currently before Parliament would enable such controls to be introduced before then on an interim basis. We will make further announcements about this in due course.
In the meantime the Department, together with the Welsh Office, has today issued a circular (DOE circular 7/89, Welsh Office circular 16/89) revising and extending existing guidance on the implementation of EC Directives concerning the discharge of dangerous substances into the aquatic environment. The circular includes environmental quality standards for a number of new list I and list II dangerous substances.