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Column 29840 Signal Unit, Lindholme, for both (i) civilian and (ii) service personnel ; and if he will make a statement on the results.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for the last two years the number of (a) movements at and (b) personnel of the armed services who have used RAF Finningley ; how many times civilian aircraft were used ; and what types of aircraft were so deployed.
Mr. Neubert : Since RAF Finningley's task is flying training rather than air transport, aggregated records of military movements are not kept, nor do service personnel normally use the station as an airhead. There were 69 civil aircraft movements at RAF Finningley in 1987 and 25 in 1988, almost entirely by air taxi and light executive aircraft, including air ambulance flights.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many nuclear warheads assigned to NATO control have been withdrawn from deployment since April ; what types of warhead they were ; what has been done with the nuclear material recovered from the warheads ; and whether the withdrawals were under multilateral or bilateral agreements or by unilateral decision ;
(2) how many nuclear warheads were deployed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and in what countries, in April 1959, 1969, 1979 and 1989.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : In 1979, NATO Defence Ministers agreed to reduce by 1,000 the number of NATO nuclear warheads stockpiled in Europe. In 1983, at their meeting in Montebello, the Ministers decided to reduce the stockpile by a further 1,400 warheads. Those two actions together have resulted in bringing the NATO nuclear stockpile in Europe to its lowest level for more than 20 years. The level is being further reduced as warheads are removed in association with the implementation of the INF treaty. All the 2,400 warheads removed were the property of the United States Government ; the disposal of the nuclear materials contained in them is therefore a matter for the United States Government. Details of the types and location of NATO's nuclear warheads in Europe are classified, but the number of NATO LRINF and SRINF systems with nuclear-capable variants is set out in figures 18 and 19 of volume 1 of the Statement on Defence Estimates 1988 (Cm 344-I).
Column 30flights over East Linton at 4.30 pm on 21 March and at 2.25 pm on 29 March ; and if he will make a statement on the speed and height of those flights.
Mr. Neubert : United Kingdom and other military aircraft are authorised as a matter of routine to carry out low-level flying training in the area mentioned at heights no lower than 250 ft and at speeds normally not exceeding 450 knots. Aircraft may originate from a number of flying stations in both the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the large uninhabited areas of the world used for low-level flight training referred to in his Department's current advertising campaign for the recruitment of Royal Air Force officers.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration has been given to the installation of transponder equipment on military aircraft which will provide warning directly to the pilots of other aircraft flying at low level of the presence of conflicting air traffic.
Mr. Neubert [holding answer 25 January 1989] : The Ministry of Defence has placed a small contract for a study into the feasibility of giving military aircraft collision warning facilities in order to give early warning of conflicting military traffic, in particular, by utilising existing transponder equipment.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how he intends to inform the general public of Her Majesty's Government's commitment to the Falkland Islands garrison and its upkeep since 1981 ; what future reviews are planned ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Government policy on the defence of the Falkland Islands has been set out in successive statements on the Defence Estimates. The maintenance of a garrison continues to be necessary in support of the Falkland islanders' right to live in peace and security under a Government of their choosing. The adequacy of that garrison to fulfil its task is kept under constant review.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Tucano aircraft, to the full specification, have so far been delivered to the Royal Air Force for training use ; and how many were due to be delivered by this time under the terms of the original contract.
Column 31sector agencies for which he is responsible, in 1988 ; and how many of these vehicles were British-made within the definition of British as set out by the Department of Trade and Industry in its arrangement on content with the European Community.
Mr. Sainsbury : In 1987-88, the most recent year for which full information is currently available, some 8,200 logistic vehicles, ranging from small vans and cars to heavy trucks, were purchased by the Ministry of Defence at a total cost of £180 million. Apart from 258 bought at a cost of £1.5 million, all of these vehicles were UK-produced in accordance with the definition employed by the Department of Trade and Industry for statistical purposes, under which a vehicle is classified as UK-produced if the UK content exceeds 50 per cent. of the ex-works value. No vehicles were purchased by the Ministry of Defence for other public sector agencies.
Mr. Neubert [holding answer 11 April 1989] : The terms of service of members of the armed forces are governed by service law and regulations. The extent to which the provisions of civil employment legislation apply to the Crown in general and to the armed forces in particular is set out where appropriate in the legislation itself. Many of the most significant of such provisions are contained in the Employment Protection Act 1975 and the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 ; I refer the right hon. Gentleman especially to sections 121 and 138 respectively, which state that those Acts do not apply to service as a member of the naval, military or air forces of the Crown.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what information his Department has on the level of registration and non- registration for the poll tax in (a) England and (b) Nottingham ;
(2) if he will make a statement on progress on registration for the poll tax in England.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. As far as the community charge is concerned, the hon. Member really cannot seriously expect any information on levels of registration before registration officers have even started to compile their registers. Registration officers have until the end of November 1989 to complete their initial registers.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimates his Department has made of the costs of collecting the poll tax compared with collecting the rates in (a) Nottingham and (b) England as a whole.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. We estimate that the cost of collecting community charges in England and Wales would be approximately twice the cost of collecting rates, since there will be twice as many chargepayers as there are now ratepayers. The two tax alternatives proposed by Labour would, of course, cost significantly more than either rates or the community charge to collect.
We have made no estimate of the collection costs for any individual charging authority.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what a ward sister would pay (a) in poll tax and (b) in rates if she lived in (i) a typical one-bedroom flat and (ii) a typical two-bedroomed house in Nottingham.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. Based on 1988-89 figures, a ward sister living in a flat or house of average rateable value in Nottingham would pay a rates bill of around £430. This compares with the illustrative community charge figure of £251 (with no safety net) or £231 (with the safety net).
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 10 local authorities on current estimates which will levy (a) the highest and (b) the lowest level of poll tax ; giving the political control in each authority.
Based on these figures, the 10 highest ranking areas are Camden, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hackney, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Islington, City of London and Hammersmith and Fulham. All are Labour-controlled London boroughs, with the exception of the City, which is independent. The community charge in all ten reflects spending by the Labour-controlled Inner London education authority. The 10 lowest ranking areas are Isles of Scilly (independent), Runnymede (Conservative), Purbeck (no overall control), Rochester upon Medway (Conservative), Redbridge (Conservative), North Dorset (independent), West Dorset (independent), Hereford (Liberal), Poole (Conservative) and South Herefordshire (independent).
The county councils providing services in these areas--Kent (Rochester and Medway), Dorset (Purbeck, North and West Dorset), Surrey (Runneymede), Herefordshire (Hereford, South
Herefordshire)--are all under Conservative control.
No Labour-controlled authority figures in any way among the low spenders whereas, with one exception, all the high spenders are Labour-controlled.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list numbers and sources of representations on the poll tax which he has received from individuals and organisations in Nottingham.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. Correspondence on the community charge is not recorded within my Department according to the local government area from which it is received.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has for publicity on registration for the community charge in the period before 22 May, including (a) the timing, coverage and cost of any newspaper advertisements, (b) the timing and cost of any hoarding advertisements, (c) proposed methods of distribution, timing and cost of any leaflets, (d) the use of broadcast media and the timing and cost, and (e) the timing and cost of any promotional tours, breakfast, meetings, and exhibitions involving Ministers in his Department.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will commission research to establish the proportion of the increase or decrease of those registering to vote (a) in Nottingham and (b) in England and Wales as a result of the poll tax and its registration powers ; and if he will make a statement.
We have no plans to do so. The register of electors and the community charges register are different registers, separately compiled, and we do not think that research of the kind suggested would be profitable even if it were feasible.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the speed with which correspondence between Department of Environment offices in Bristol concerning footpaths and the Secretary of the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society has been dealt ; and whether he has any plans to increase the number of officials dealing with footpaths and public rights of way.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Every effort is made to deal with all correspondence as quickly as possible, the resources necessary to deal with work on public rights of way are kept under review. There has been a substantial reduction in the time taken to decide opposed rights of way orders even though workload is increasing.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the Countryside Commission position statement "Working for the Countryside" and, in particular, on its ideas for a countryside task force.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Countryside Commission issued its position statement "Working for the Countryside" on 31 March to mark the conclusion of the community programme. The statement recognises the value of the contribution made to environmental work by the CP and puts forward suggestions for bridging the gap between CP and the smaller environmental and countryside work component of the employment training programme. I welcome the Commission's efforts with the
Column 34Training Agency to encourage as many countryside bodies as possible to use the new scheme as effectively as some have already done. The commission's thinking on its longer-term concept of a national countryside task force is as yet only at a preliminary stage. I have asked the commission to work up the details so we can take a considered view of it.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the authorities and research centres undertaking research into the incidence of cryptosporidia in water, with an indication of the resources available to them in terms of (a) staff, (b) government financial support, (c) other public sector finance and (d) other sources of financing.
Mr. Howard : This information is not held centrally. However, the expert group on cryptosporidium in water supplies which was announced in my reply of 2 March, column 286, will be examining the occurrence and extent of cryptosporidia in water supplies and the need for further research.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any proposals to relax quality controls for sewage works at Ashover, Clay Cross and Kelstedge in the North Derbyshire district of the Seven-Trent water authority.
Mr. Howard : I have received an application for a time limited consent variation in respect of the Clay Cross sewage treatment works. No such applications have been received in respect of the sewage treatment works at either Ashover or Kelstedge.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many vehicles and at what value were purchased by (a) his Department, (b) water authorities, (c) local authorities and (d) other public sector agencies for which he is responsible, in 1988 ; and how many of these vehicles were British-made within the definition of British as set out by the Department of Trade and Industry in its arrangement on content with the European Community.
Mr. Ridley : The Crown Suppliers (a trading fund account of the Property Services Agency), operate a self-drive vehicle contract hire service, providing vehicles to a number of Government Departments and public sector organisations.
During 1988, the Crown Suppliers purchased 1,007 vehicles at a total cost of £7,538,640.
Five hundred and fifty seven vehicles were United Kingdom-produced, on the definition employed by the DTI for statistical purposes, under which a vehicle is classified as United Kingdom-produced if the United Kingdom content exceeds 50 per cent. of the ex-works value. The remainder (with the exception of one vehicle) were manufactured within the EEC.
Details of vehicle purchased by water authorities, local authorities and other public sector agencies are not the responsibility of my Department.
Mr. Chope : The costs of the Terrace awning which are being carried on my Department's Vote are approximately £35,000. The balance of the total cost of about £150,000 is being paid by the House of Commons Refreshment Department.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the implications for flood alerts in those London boroughs opting not to be part of the tidal flood warning system ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is for the London boroughs, which have the necessary powers under section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972, to determine whether the risk of flooding justifies maintaining the siren warning system or taking other action.
Mr. Tony Banks To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what safeguards exist to ensure that London ratepayers receive the best possible price for public assets disposed of by the London residuary body.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomleyy : Paragraph 7 (2) of schedule 13 to the Local Government Act 1985 subjects the London residuary body to section 123 (2) of the Local Government Act 1972, which requires the LRB to obtain the Secretary of State's consent to any disposal of land not required for carrying out its functions for less than the best consideration reasonably obtainable. Section 79 of the 1985 Act provides that the LRB is audited in accordance with the provisions of part III of the Local Government Finance Act 1982.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will ensure that records are made publicly available in respect of the price paid and the names of the new owners of former publicly-owned assets sold by the London residuary body ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the report commissioned from Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution on arrangements for waste management in Greater London and the former metropolitan county areas is to be published ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ridley : The report is being published today and copies have been placed in the Library. The report has concluded that the local authorities in the relevant areas are working together effectively under statutory and voluntary arrangements to achieve generally acceptable operating standards, although some areas of possible improvement have been identified.
I have decided, therefore, that no new arrangements are required under section 10(2) of the Local Government Act 1985, but I have instructed Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to pursue its recommendations for improvements in performance directly with the local authorities concerned.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many anti-competitive practices have been referred to him under the Local Government Act 1988 ; how many involve the refusal of the use of an authority's depot ; and how many times he has exercised his powers under the Act.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 13 April 1989] : The Department has received approximately 80 complaints about a wide range of alleged anti -competitive practices adopted by local authorities under the Local Government Act 1988. About half of these complaints concern the alleged refusal by authorities to make their depots available to contractors. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not yet exercised his sanction powers under part I of the 1988 Act, but a number of authorities have decided to modify their practice after approaches by the Department and other cases are not yet closed. Under similar new powers in section 19A of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, however, he has served a notice on one authority for alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the award of building and maintenance work.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Uxbridge concerning the London Green Belt Estate on 8 March, Official Report, column 524, (a) whether he has to give his consent to the disposal of any title and (b) if he will indicate what is his policy towards the use of his reserve powers under the Green Belt (London and Home
Column 37Counties) Act 1938 about which he gave assurance at the time of the abolition of the former Greater London Council ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 10 April 1989] : A High Court judgment of March 1988 established that section 5 of the 1938 Act continues to require local authorities to obtain the consent of my right hon. Friend for the disposal of land held under that Act notwithstanding that other legislation also applies to the sale. In determining applications under the 1938 Act, my right hon. Friend's primary concern, in line with the assurances given in 1984 and 1985, is to ensure that the land concerned continues to fulfil the objectives both of the 1938 Act and of green belt policy as set out in planning policy guidance note 2.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will list the steps taken by the Property Services Agency to carry out the instructions of his predecessor, following the public inquiry on 7 October 1980, to find a purchaser to renovate Stocken hall, Rutland, as described in a ministerial letter by the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave) to the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton ; and whether he will make a statement ; (2) why his Department, when instructing Messrs. Cluttons to offer Stocken hall for sale, permitted the published offer for sale document to state that the sale would be on the basis that the building should be renovated ; at what stage his Department established that such a condition was unenforceable ; why the sale was permitted to proceed on such a basis ; and what steps were taken by his Department to seek a voluntary contractual agreement with the purchasers which would implement the decision in favour of renovation already taken by the Secretary of State.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Strict regulation of emissions of the exhaust gases and particulates from motor vehicles was agreed by European Community Environment Ministers in December 1987. The new limit values, which are contained in a European Community Directive, will be implemented in full in the United Kingdom. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport expects to consult interested parties shortly on regulations bringing this into effect. A common position was taken by the Community on a further stage of stricter limits for small car gaseous emissions in November 1988. This has been considered by the European Parliament, who have proposed amendments. It is now for the Commission to re-examine the common position taking into account the Parliament's proposals.
Column 38number of arrests in the current season at the ground of each club in divisions one, two, three and four of the Football League ; and what were the comparable figures at the same point in 1987-88.
The most up-to-date figures collected centrally by the Association of Chief Police Officers are up to 31 October 1988. At the end of each football season the ACPO carefully reviews the returns from 43 individual forces relating to the number of arrests made at the 92 Football League clubs. Since the provisional totals have not yet been given a full end of season check, it would be inappropriate to publish a club-by-club breakdown. The available divisional totals are as follows :
Division |1987-88 season to 31|1988-89 season to 31 |October 1987 |October 1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 |937 |672 2 |764 |540 3 |266 |287 4 |330 |248
Mr. Newton : We have contributed £148,000 to Evangelical Enterprise and £6,000 to Church Action with the Unemployed towards their work for the urban priority areas, and £215,000 to the Church of England Board for Social Responsibility for a linking-up project at Manchester designed to develop church-based projects in inner-city areas. Church-sponsored projects in 10 task force areas have already been helped by task force funding.
We have also established a churches liaison group, which will advise and assist those both of Christian denominations and of other faiths who wish to develop co-ordinated schemes for action in the inner cities.