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Research Institutes

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list by standard region the research institutes operated for or on behalf of his Department and the total employment thereat ; if he will give for each region the total number of such institutes and the employment therein ; and if he will express the regional totals as a percentage of the national totals.

Mr. Forth : The distribution of Department of Trade and Industry's research establishments falls in two regions--Scotland and the south-east. There is one establishment in Scotland and three are in the south-east.

The total number of staff in post at 1 March 1989 (excluding casual staff) was 1,951, of which 30 per cent. were in Scotland and 70 per cent. in the south-east. The research establishments and their staff are :


Area                                |Research establishments            |Number                                                                 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scotland                            |National Engineering laboratory,                                                                           

                                    |East Kilbride                      |579.0                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                

South-east region                   |Warren Spring laboratory (now an                                                                           

                                    |executive agency), Stevenage, Herts|290.5                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                

                                    |Laboratory of the Government                                                                               

                                    |Chemist, Teddington, Middlesex     |312.5                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                

                                    |National Physical laboratory                                                                               

                                    |(excluding the national measurement                                                                        

                                    |accreditation service-NAMAS),                                                                              

                                    |Teddington, Middlesex              |769.0                                                                  

Unichem

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will place a copy of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report into Unichem in the Library.

Mr. Maude : I will do so as soon as it has been considered by my right hon. and noble Friend and laid before the House.

Tankers (Export Credits)

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if export credits have been approved for the tankers to be built at Harland and Wolff, Belfast.

Mr. Alan Clark : It has been the practice of successive Governments not to disclose information about ECGD support for individual cases.

ENERGY

Fawley B Power Station

Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if the Central Electricity Generating Board has withdrawn its application to build a coal- fired power station at Fawley B, and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 28 April 1989, at column 707.

Petrol Prices

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the recent increases of petrol prices for motorists.

Mr. Peter Morrison : I have nothing to add to the statement my right hon. Friend made to the House in response to a private notice question from the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Doran) on 20 April, at column 457.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for East Lothian on 10 January, Official Report , column 577 , he will explain the discrepancy between the figures quoted for per capita expenditure on renewable energy of 43p and 20p in Greece and Spain, respectively, with the figures for the same year of 65p and 33p referred to by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in its publication, "Energy Policies and Programmes of International Energy Agency Countries 1986 Review".

Mr. Michael Spicer : It is not clear how the hon. Gentleman has arrived at the figures he quotes. The numbers given in my previous reply are valid. They were derived using the following data : Population of Greece--10 million

Population of Spain--39 million

Expenditure in Greece--$7.6 million

Expenditure in Spain--$14.1 million

And a conversion of £0.56 to $1. The expenditure data were obtained from "Energy Policies and Programmes of IEA countries--1987 Review", table B11.

Coal Industry (Rescue Services)

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has on the experiment that was undertaken by British Coal during the summer of 1988 at Cynheidre, Betws, and Blaenant colleries regarding the speed of rescue services ; and if he will publish such results as are available in the Official Report .

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is a matter for the British Coal Corporation, which is aware of no such experiment. I understand that the corporation undertakes an annual emergency exercise at each of its collieries.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what assessment he has made as to the extent to which the plans by British Coal to reorganise the mines rescue service by downgrading the Loughan rescue station from category A to category B will provide adequate safety cover for coal miners working at both British Coal and mines in private ownership.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is a matter for the British Coal Corporation, but I understand that the reclassification was discussed with the mines and quarries inspectorate.


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Publicity

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will place in the Library details of each major publicity campaign mounted by his Department in 1985-86 and each successive year, including in each case the objectives of the campaign, the intended audience and the outcome of the monitoring of the achievement of the intended objectives, and national research conducted for him by the Central Office of Information together with a note of the intended objectives in the campaigns in 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Morrison : I will write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my reply in the Library.

ENVIRONMENT

Building Regulations

Mr. Ray Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he plans to publish new building regulations strengthening energy efficiency standards ; whether he has received any recent representations from the building industry objecting to such plans ; and if he will make a statement on the role that energy conservation measures may play in combating pollution of the earth's atmosphere.

Mr. Trippier : I will write to the hon. Member.

Pollution

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the Government's concern with environmental pollution, it is his intention to provide in building control regulations for the energy efficiency of buildings.

Mr. Trippier : I will write to the hon. Member.

Lead-free Petrol

Mr. Andrew MacKay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the percentage of motorists using lead- free petrol ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Heddle) on 26 April.

Rating Reform

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment(1) what would be the approximate amount paid in community charge, expressed as a percentage of disposable income, that would arise for a family of one wage earner, and two other adults over 18 years living in the London borough of Waltham Forest, where the wage earner was (a) a senior executive earning over £75,000 with twice the average-value mortgage, (b) a ward sister earning over £15,000 with an average-value mortgage and (c) a home help earning less than £7, 500 with a half-average mortgage ; how those percentages would change if the family decided to look after an elderly relative on state pension ; and what are the percentages derived from a system of capital value rates plus local income tax paid in the proportions of 80 : 20, respectively ;


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(2) pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Sir H. Rossi), 22 March, Official Report, column 626, what would be the approximate amount paid in community charge, expressed as a percentage of disposable income, that would arise for a family of one wage earner, and two other adults over 18 years living in Hornsey, where the wage earner was (a) a senior executive earning over £75,000 with twice the average-value mortgage, (b) a ward sister earning over £15,000 with an average-value mortgage and (c) a home help earning less than £7,500 with a half-average mortgage ; how those percentages would change if the family decided to look after an elderly relative on state pension ; and what are the percentages derived from a system of capital value rates plus local income tax paid in the proportions of 80 : 20, respectively.

Mr. Gummer : This question requires a very large number of assumptions to be made about the personal circumstances of the individuals cited and answers would not be meaningful.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has identified any beneficial effects on electoral registration arising from the poll tax in England.

Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. It is too early to identify beneficial effects on electoral registration arising from the community charge. However, the electoral registration officer for any area in England and Wales may inspect the community charges register of any charging authority which will add to the sources available to help in compiling electoral registers.

Severn-Trent Water (Consent Conditions)

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the submissions made by the Severn-Trent water authority to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution which apply for a tightening of current consent conditions ;

(2) what named works Severn-Trent water authority have submitted to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution for changes to sewage discharge consent conditions ;

(3) if he will list the submissions made by the Severn-Trent water authority to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution which apply for a relaxation of current consent conditions and showing which are temporary and which are permanent.

Mr. Howard : I am placing in the Library a list of those sewage works in respect of which the Severn-Trent water authority has applied for revised consents.

Football Stadiums

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what incentives his Department offers to football clubs to go over to all-seater stadiums.

Mr. Moynihan : The Government share the view expressed by the football authorities and others that there should be a move towards all- seater stadiums for the major clubs. The incentive for the clubs would be in improved safety and comfort of their supporters. We welcome Liverpool FC's announcement of its intention to make Anfield an all-seater stadium.


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Insulation Industry

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total turnover of the United Kingdom insulation industry in 1968, 1978 and in 1988.

Mr. Trippier : Sales of insulation materials such as expanded vermiculite, mineral wood, mica, mica products, glass fibre, etc. were around £300 million in the United Kingdom in 1988. Comparable figures for 1968 and 1978 are not readily available.

Water Privatisation

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will introduce legislation to ensure that after privatisation the water companies are not permitted to supply water to new customers unless and until (a) adequate provision has been made to supply them without detriment to existing customers, (b) they have consulted all parties whose interests are likely to be adversely affected by any development connected therewith and (c) adequate compensation is paid not only for disturbance to land and amenity but also for the inconvenience caused to such parties.

Mr. Howard : The Water Bill already provides full safeguards for the interests of existing customers and anyone adversely affected by new provision. In particular, undertakers' performance against service indicators and targets will be monitored by the Director General of Water Services. The exercise by undertakers of compulsory powers will be subject to the same constraints as now and in addition the Bill provides for a mandatory code of practice for pipelaying with power for the director general to require an undertaker to compensate an owner or occupier for inconvenience caused by the undertaker acting unreasonably.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make it his policy to require the water supply companies currently and after privatisation not to withhold their consent unreasonably for the planting of trees and the erection of new buildings within 2.5 metres of a new water main running across private land and to include such a provision in all future wayleaves requiring the landowner to get their written consent in such cases.

Mr. Howard : The powers available to the privatised water companies to lay pipes across private land will be subject to a mandatory code of practice to be submitted by the companies to the Secretary of State for approval. The model code of practice prepared by the Department in consultation with interested parties requires a company to consult the owner or occupier about the route of new pipes. The width of the strip of land above the pipe on which activities are to be restricted will be such as is necessary to protect the pipe and to allow the company access for maintenance. It is the responsibility of the owner or occupier to ensure that his activities do not damage the pipe. Compensation is payable where the value of the land is depreciated as a result of pipelaying.

London Docklands Development Corporation

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of the London Docklands Development Corporation's expenditure for 1989 to 1990 will be on transport projects.


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Mr. Trippier : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave him on 14 February at column, 188.

Satellite Dishes

Mr. Anderson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will issue guidelines to local planning authorities to minimise the environmental and visual aspects of satellite dishes.

Mr. Chope : Advice about the installation of satellite dishes is included in planning policy guidance note No. 8 "Telecommunications", a copy of which is in the Library. The Department is reviewing the permitted development rights for telecommunications in the light of technological advances since existing rights were set in 1985-86 ; we intend to issue a consultation paper later this year.

Water Bill

Mr. Wilshire : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to ensure that the provisions of the Water Bill are consistent with European law ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ridley : The Government have now reached agreement with the European Commission, following detailed discussions, on all the outstanding points arising from the Water Bill. My noble Friend the Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside, will shortly table amendments to the Bill which will put beyond doubt that these provisions are fully consistent with European law.

Quite separately, the Commission has recently issued a reasoned opinion to the effect that the United Kingdom does not have legislation in place to give direct effect to the drinking water directive. Regulations incorporating the directive's standards will be made under the Bill and laid before Parliament immediately after Royal Assent. The European Commission has confirmed that such legislation would enable them to close this part of the case.

Rents

Mr Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the average level of registered rents being set for (a) a one-bedroom flat, (b) a two-bedroom flat and (c) a three-bedroom flat or house in the district of Doncaster ; for each of the last four years.

Mr. Trippier : This information is not available.

Bed-and-Breakfast Accommodation

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the number of people Doncaster metropolitan borough council is providing with bed-and-breakfast accommodation ; and what is the comparable figure five years and 10 years ago.

Mr. Trippier : The number of households temporarily resident in bed and breakfast accommodation as reported by each English local authority at the end of 1978, 1983 and 1988 can be found in the following publications, all of which are available in the Library : "Homeless households reported by local authorities in England ; Statistics for 1978" ;

"Homeless households reported by local authorities in England ; Results for the second half of 1983 ; Supplementary Tables" ;


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"Local authorites' action under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 Housing Act : England. Results for the fourth quarter of 1988. Supplementary Tables".

Research Institutes

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by standard region the research institutes operated for or on behalf of his Department and the total employment thereat ; if he will give for each region the total number of such institutes and the employment therein ; and if he will express the regional totals as a percentage of the national totals.

Mr. Ridley : There is only one research institute operated on behalf of my Department. This is the Building Research Establishment (which incorporates the fire research station). Most of BRE is situated in the south east, but it does have a Scottish laboratory in East Kilbride. On 1 April 1989, 654 staff were employed at BRE.

Community Charge

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now provide an estimate of the amount of the community charge in Lambeth on the assumption that expenditure remains at budget levels for 1989-90.

Mr. Gummer : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave on 25 April to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) at column 532 .

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of people who will either pay the community charge or be exempted from it from 1 April 1990.

Mr. Gummer : Latest estimates from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys suggest that there are about 36.5 million adults in England. Around 0.5 million are expected to be exempt from the personal community charge.

Mr. Robert B. Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will set out in tabular form the level of the community charge for (a) Dacorum borough and (b) Hertfordshire county if it had been in effect in the financial year 1988-89 and 1989-90 (i) at the level of spending budgeted and (ii) if the local authority concerned had spent at its grant-related expenditure allowance level.

Mr. Gummer : The illustrative figures placed in the Library on 23 June 1988 suggested that if the community charge had been in operation in 1988-89, the charge in Dacorum district would have been £247. The community charge for spending at need would have been £202. Of the excess of £45, £3 was attributable to spending by Dacorum and £42 to spending by Hertfordshire county council.

Illustrative figures for 1989-90 will be published for all areas once data needed from local authorities has been received and analysed.

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide the latest available figures for the costs of administering the rates in England and Wales, together with his estimate of the comparable costs of the administration of the community charge.


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Mr. Gummer [holding answer 26 April 1989] : Our estimate of the cost of collecting and administering the community charge in 1990-91 in England and Wales, based on the Price Waterhouse report, is between £379 million (if all authorities work as efficiently as the most efficient in their category) and £429 million (if authorities maintain their current efficiency). These estimates were at November 1987 prices. The cost of collecting the rates in 1989-90 is estimated to be about £200 million. The Labour party's two-tax system could cost up to four times as much to administer as the existing rating system.

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations have been received from (a) trades unions representing Government information officers and (b) individual officials, concerning the preparation and dissemination of material relating to the community charge.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 26 April 1989] : In the normal course of business I receive advice from my officials on community charge information material. I am not aware of having received any representations from the trade unions mentioned by the hon. Member.

Mr Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report a consolidated list of all sources of legislation and official guidance to the public, local authorities and other interested bodies on the operation of the community charge, giving reference to title, date, authorship, means of availability and other relevant details.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 27 April 1989] : The following are official sources of information and guidance about the operation of the community charge :

1. Legislation

Local Government Finance Act, 1988 (July 1988)

Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1989 (SI. 1989/438) (March 1989)

Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals Regulations 1989 (SI. 1989/439) (March 1989)

Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals (Transfer of Jurisdiction) Regulations 1989 (SI. 1989/440) (March 1989) The Personal Community Charge (Students) Regulations 1989 (SI. 1989/443) (March 1989)

The Personal Community Chrge (Exemptions) Order 1989 (SI. 1989/442) (March 1989)

The Valuation of Rating (Plant and Machinery) Regulations 1989 (SI. 1989/441) (March 1989)

2. Community Charge Practice Notes

The Government, in conjunction with the local authority associations, is publishing a series of community charge practice notes. These provide detailed advice on the operation of the community charge and are circulated to local authority practitioners and others with a professional interest in community charge. The following practice notes have been issued to date ;


                                        |Date                       

--------------------------------------------------------------------

An introduction to the Community Charge |May 1988                   

Exemptions                              |June 1988                  

The Register                            |August 1988                

Data Protection                         |August 1988                

Rebates                                 |August 1988                

Omission of Names from the Extract      |October 1988               

Appeals                                 |October 1988               

The Canvass                             |November 1988              

Sole or Main Residence                  |November 1988              

Data Protection No. 2                   |January 1989               

Billing                                 |February 1989              

Collection                              |February 1989              

Standard Charge                         |March 1989                 

Collective Charge                       |April 1989                 

Joint and Several Liability             |April 1989                 

3. Other Publications

My Department is producing guidance for the general public on the community charge by means of a free booklet and series of supplementary free leaflets. Publications so far issued in this series are :


                                           |Date                       

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

"You and the Community Charge (Your Step                               

   by Step Guide)"                         |December 1988              

"You and the Community Charge: Exemptions" |March 1989                 

Copies of these are available free of charge from Room P1/163,         

Department of the Environment, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3EB.      

Further free leaflets will shortly be available on appeals, the collective community charge, rebates, second homes and students and the community charge. In addition, My right hon. Friend will send a short leaflet on the community charge to every household in England in May.

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to publish the proposed fact sheet on community charge and rents inclusive of rates.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 28 April 1989] : Shortly.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what guidance his Department has issued to community charge registration officers as to how to register for community charge purposes persons with an itinerant lifestyle as they move between local authority areas ;

(2) what guidance his Department has issued to community charge registration officers on the registration of people living on non- stationary houseboats who hold a British waterways licence and have a nominal permanent mooring ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 28 April 1989] : Guidance on the registration of individuals in such circumstances is contained in community charge practice note No. 9 entitled "Sole or Main Residence". Copies of all practice notes are in the Library.

Housing Action Trusts

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make funds available to the tenants' organisations in the Loughborough and Angell estates in Lambeth to provide information about housing action trusts comparable to information provided by him and his Department's consultants.

Mr. Trippier : The information that we have sent tenants' organisations and individual residents explains the proposals for housing action trusts as the first step in local consultations. We have now appointed consultants to discuss with residents ideas for improving the design, condition, management and general living conditions on their estates. I hope that tenants' organisations will play a full part in these discussions.


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Water Quality

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the extent of Her Majesty's Government's compliance with the signed agreement of the European convention on the standards of the water supply.


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