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Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the present number of staff at his Department's offices at Irene house, Tooting ; Arndale house, Wandsworth, and Crown house, Streatham ; and what was the number of vacancies at each of these offices on 31 March.
|Complement |Staff in post |1988-89 |31 March 1989 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Irene house, Tooting |121 |118.5 Arndale house, Wandsworth |172 |179.0 Crown house, Streatham |120 |121.5
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide figures for the Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Woodgrange Park offices of his Department for the year ended 31 March of (a) their social fund amounts allocated sub-divided between community care grants and loans, (b) the amounts paid out, similarly sub-divided, (c) the amount which was paid out by each office in the previous year and (d) their allocation for the forthcoming year, similarly sub-divided.
Information about the numbers of social fund applications processed and amounts paid is available in the Library for the period April 1988 to February 1989. Information for March 1989 will be placed in the Library later this month.
Information about local office expenditure on single payments for the period 1987-88 is also available in the Library.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what additional publicity his Department is giving to the availability of community care grants, following the low initial take-up of such grants.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Local office managers have been asked to improve and maintain liaison with local statutory and voluntary organisations since these are often best placed to identify people who may be eligible for help. We also intend to produce additional information material on the social fund aimed at potential applicants. This will supplement the information already available in leaflet SB16 "A Guide to the Social Fund" as well as a variety of other leaflets and forms.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Take-up of community care grants has continued to rise steadily. In February 1989, 42,000 applications were received compared with 24,000 in August 1988. Expenditure over the same period rose from £2 million to just over £6 million, representing 110 per cent. of anticipated monthly expenditure. Total expenditure to the end of February was £34.1 million.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what consultations he has had with local authority associations and voluntary organisations on the implementation of sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 574should follow the conclusion of discussions on the implementation of section 7. Work on section 7 is still under way.
Mr. Scott : We need to wait until all the reports have been published on the OPCS surveys of disability, and their findings considered, before deciding whether and when to introduce legislation to reform disability benefits.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any plans to introduce a partial incapacity benefit following the publication of all Office of Population Censuses and Surveys surveys on disability.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications were received in each month since 11 April 1988 for (a) community care grants, (b) budgeting loans and (c) crisis loans in (i) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (ii) Strathclyde and (iii) Scotland as a whole.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Details of the numbers of social fund applications received are not recorded. However, information on the numbers of applications for social fund loans and grants processed and awarded, listed by local office, including information on budget allocations and expenditure, may be obtained from the details held in the Library.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the staff-to-claimant ratios for social fund departments in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information is not available in the format requested. Details of the staff days spent on social fund activity are, however, recorded monthly. The information available to 28 February 1989 is given in the table.
|c|February 1989|c| |Staff days spent on|Income support load |social fund -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scotland |10,839 |512,671 Strathclyde |6,884 |276,125 Greenock |211 |11,394 Port Glasgow |147 |4,890
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many 16 and 17-year-olds in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole have lost benefits since September 1988 because they are unemployed or have been unable to take advantage of guaranteed YTS places ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The guaranteed offer of a YTS place to all 16 and 17-year-olds not in full-time education or employment means that there is now no need for young people to be unemployed. We are satisfied that the training agency has more than sufficient YTS places available in Greenock and Port Glasgow, Strathclyde, and in Scotland as a whole.
Mr. Scott : The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) has today published the third report on the findings of the surveys of disability in Great Britain carried out between 1985 and 1988. The report covers the prevalence of disability among children. It is the third of six reports on the surveys' findings which will be published by the OPCS over the next three months.
The report provides prevalence estimates from the OPCS surveys of disabled children under 16 in private households and communal establishments. OPCS estimates that 360,000 children in Great Britain have disabilities. Five thousand six hundred of the children live in communal establishments, the remainder in private households. We will welcome comments on this and the further OPCS reports as they are published.
Mr. Moynihan : It is currently the responsibility of the water authorities to take steps to prevent drinking water sources becoming contaminated with phenolic compounds which can be transformed by the chlorination process into trichlorophenol. The Water Bill will transfer this function to the National Rivers Authority and will provide strengthened powers of pollution control.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any representations concerning the fitting of catalytic converters to all new vehicles in order to reduce air pollution ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 6 April 1989] : We have received a number of representations on the matter of catalysts to reduce motor vehicle pollution. The so-called Luxembourg package of vehicle exhaust emission standards was adopted by the Council of Ministers in December 1987 and last year we played a major role in the achievement of a common position on tighter standards for small cars. The common position now awaits further consideration by the European Parliament under the co- operation procedure. The directives specify the tightest standards that may be applied by Member states and, subject to confirmation of
Column 576the common position on small cars, we have decided to apply them all in the United Kingdom. We expect them to result in almost all cars in the United Kingdom requiring catalysts and to lead to a substantial improvement in air quality. It will, however, be possible for cars of less than 2 litres to meet these standards with lean-burn engines coupled with simple and robust oxidation catalysts. Lean-burn engines offer the prospect of significant fuel savings.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list, by location, the sewage outfalls to the sea in (a) the Yorkshire water authority and (b) the Severn-Trent water authority ; and of these, if he will show in his answer (i) those that are primary treatment works and (ii) those that are long outfall.
Robin Hood's Bay
At Withernsea, sewage currently receives primary treatment before discharge. There are long sea outfalls at Bridlington and Hornsea and a new long sea outfall is under construction at Scarborough to replace the existing outfalls. There are new sewage outfalls to the sea in the Severn- Trent water authority area.
Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions have taken place as to the feasibility of introducing an employee share ownership scheme in any future privatisation that his Department may sponsor.
Mr. Ridley : In his reply on 15 March to a written question by my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle (Mr. Leigh), at column 238, my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Water and Planning announced that there will be special share offer arrangements for the employees of the new water plcs when the present water authorities are floated later this year. Discussions are in progress between my Department and the Water Authorities Association on the establishment of share schemes, approved by the Inland Revenue, as part of those share arrangements.
In his statement to the House on 3 February 1988 at column 983 my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope) made it clear that in evaluating private sector bids for the Crown Suppliers he would pay particular attention to proposals for the involvement of the staff in the success of the enterprise.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the differences in standards of construction between dwellings constructed and completed wholly by the housing association grant system and those either planned or completed through mixed housing association grant and private finance ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : To receive housing association grant from the Housing Corporation all schemes must meet appropriate standards of construction and provide accommodation appropriate for the intended use. The same design and contracting requirements are specified by the Housing Corporation, irrespective of whether the schemes are financed wholly by public funds or by a mixture of HAG and loans from the private sector.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what extent section 11(7) of the proposed Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations allows a community charge registration officer to provide the police, immigration authorities and the Inland Revenue with a copy of the publicly available extract of the register.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what timetable for implementation of the Community Charge (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1989, (S.I., 1989, No. 438) his Department is working to.
Mr. Gummer : The operative dates of the regulations are set out at the beginning of the statutory instrument. The regulations are all now in force except for regulations 4 and 5, which will come into effect on 22 May. These two regulations will enable registration officers to require information from individuals for the purpose of compiling their registers.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether young people over the age of 18 years who are either (a) studying on a discretionary grant or (b) on employment training or a similar scheme will have their income adjusted to take account of their obligation to pay the community charge from April 1989 in Scotland and from April 1990-91 in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer, 6 April 1989] : Full-time students wil pay only 20 per cent. of the community charge, and people undertaking employment training will be entitled to claim rebates of up to 80 per cent. The level of discretionary grants is a matter for local education authorities and the level of training allowances is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to seek powers to enable him to charge for public inspection of definitive maps and statements of public rights of way, contained in section 57(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the cost of bringing beaches in Yorkshire up to European Economic Community standards ; and from what date he is expects the standards to be met.
Water |Cost £ million|Completion ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Robin Hood's Bay |1.3 |Spring 1993 Scarborough (North and South Bays) |26.2 |Summer 1991 Flamborough South Landing |1.0 |Spring 1992 Withernsea |3.8 |Spring 1992
Only one of these waters--that at Flamborough south landing--failed to comply with EEC standards in 1988. However, it is expected that all Yorkshire Water bathing waters will reliably meet those standards once the improvement works have been completed.
(2) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) of 14 February, on dog registration, Official Report, column 186 , if he has any plans to repeal section 37 of the Local Government Act 1988 ;
(3) if he has consulted local authorities and other organisations on the question of dog registration, as required by section 37 of the Local Government Act 1988.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Section 37 was inserted into the Act by another place against Government advice. We accepted it so as not to delay Royal Assent. We have no plans to repeal section 37. We do not intend to introduce a dog registration scheme so that the requirement to consult local authorities does not arise.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Domestic rate payments as a percentage of total personal disposable income in the United Kingdom are estimated to be 2 per cent. in 1979-80, 2.4 per cent. in 1984-85 and 2.6 per cent. in 1987- 88. Information for 1959-60 is not available.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate what the level of the uniform business rate in England would have been (a) in 1987-88 and (b) in 1988-89, if introduced on existing business rateable valuations.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those statutory powers in respect of strategic planning in the Greater London area which were formerly held by the Greater London council which are now not possessed by Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Chope : The Local Government Act 1985 replaced the Greater London council's responsibility for preparing a structure plan under the former two-tier development plan system by providing that London borough councils prepare unitary development plans. Each plan, when it becomes operative will, for the area covered by the plan, supersede the Greater London developement plan. Since 1 April 1986 the boroughs have been responsible for handling all planning applications for which the former GLC held statutory responsibility.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, further to his answer of 2 February, Official Report, columns 359-64 , to the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle), he will update the information provided where appropriate.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will publish a list of those pesticides which he views as persistent and toxic and with a liability to bio-accumulate ; (2) if he will publish a list of those pesticides which are on his Red List for priority review.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 April, which included the initial list of priority substances posing a particular risk for the aquatic environment (the Red List) selected primarily on the basis of their toxicity, persistence, and liability to bio-accumulate. Of the substances on that list, the following have been or can be used as pesticides : Some Mercury compounds
Tributyltin and triphenyltin compounds
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he intends to conduct a ballot of the tenants of the Angell town and Loughborough estates in Lambeth in relation to a housing action trust.
Mr. Trippier : Tenants in proposed housing action trust areas will be fully consulted before any ballots are held. We have already announced that the Electoral Reform Society has agreed to conduct ballots under the terms of section 61(3)(a) of the Housing Act 1988.