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Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what investigation the Health and Safety Executive has conducted into the burning of asbestos at the protein fractionation centre in Edinburgh adjacent to the Liberton and Southfield hospitals ; and what conclusions they have reached.
Mr. Nicholls : Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive are currently investigating the incineration of filters at the protein fractionation centre in Edinburgh. I will write to the hon. Member when the investigation is complete.
Mr. Nicholls : Results so far available show that measurements of cobalt dust in air were below the current recommended occupational exposure limit at 16 factories visited by the Health and Safety Executive in the hard metal special national project. At 17 factories visited the level of cobalt dust was not controlled below the recommended limit.
Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what action the Health and Safety Executive will be taking to ensure that compliance by the hard metal industry with the occupational exposure limit for cobalt is improved.
Mr Nicholls : Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive have enforcement powers under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to require an employer to comply with his duties to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of his employees. These duties extend to the risks associated with the exposure of workers to cobalt dust.
At visits inspectors check that employers comply with the recommended occupational exposure limit for cobalt and its compounds and will take enforcement action necessary where companies do not meet the required standards.
Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment under what instructions Health and Safety Executive inspectors have been working in taking enforcement action in relation to employers' failures to comply with the cobalt occupational exposure limit and to provide adequate medical surveillance.
Mr. Nicholls : At visits, inspectors consider whether employers have complied with their duties under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Inspectors check that employers comply with the recommended occupational exposure limit for cobalt and its compounds and will take any enforcement action necessary where companies do not meet the required standards.
Column 179of those failing to attend are believed to have found work ; how many of those failing to attend have not found work ; how many failing to attend have their benefit stopped and how many of these have successfully appealed against the benefit decision ; and how many failing to attend have subsequently re-registered as unemployed in the most recent 12-month period.
Mr Lee : Between April 1988 and March 1989, 3,066,000 were called for restart interview of which 326,000 were referred to unemployment benefit offices for failing to attend that interview. 25,387 (7.8 per cent.) of these had their benefit or credits disallowed.
The other information requested is not available.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many claimants each month have been referred to the unemployment benefit service due to doubts over non-availability or doubts about their restricted availability since December 1988 for each employment service region.
Mr. Lee : Up to December 1988 statistics on decisions by adjudication officers on availability cases were produced by the Department of social security on a six-monthly basis. From January 1989 the figures will be produced every quarter. The figures for the period ending 31 March 1989 are not yet available, but I will write to the hon. Member when statistics are to hand on decisions on availability cases for the period requested.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many child minder allowances have been granted to lone parent ET participants since September 1988 ; and how many were granted during the most recently available monthly period, for each training agency area.
Mr. Nicholls : Information about the number of lone parents on employment training receiving child care payments before April 1989 is not available. The number of lone parents receiving child care payments during April is given in table 1.
Table 1 Employment Training Number of lone parents receiving child care payments during April 1989 Training Agency area |Lone parents ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East region Berkshire and Oxfordshire |49 Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire |47 Essex |47 Hampshire and Isle of Wight |43 Kent |35 Surrey |22 Sussex |87 London region Inner London North |131 Inner London South |109 London East |92 London North |107 London South |74 London West |27 South West region Avon |123 Devon and Cornwall |121 Dorset and Somerset |35 Gloucester and Wiltshire |46 West Midlands region Birmingham and Solihull |229 Coventry and Warwickshire |55 Dudley and Sandwell |45 Staffordshire |48 The Marches, Hereford/Worcester |55 Wolverhampton and Walsall |16 East Midlands and Eastern region Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire |40 Derbyshire |17 Leicester and Northamptonshire |84 Lincolnshire |19 Norfolk and Suffolk |47 Nottinghamshire |87 Yorkshire and Humberside region Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees |111 Humberside |71 North Yorkshire and Leeds |91 Sheffield and Rotherham |53 Wakefield, Doncaster and Barnsley |38 North West region Cheshire |45 Cumbria |23 Lancashire |42 Central Manchester |80 Greater Manchester North |46 Greater Manchester East |96 Merseyside |190 Northern region Cleveland |119 County Durham |56 Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle |37 Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead |41 Wales Dyfed and West Glamorgan |58 Gwent |21 Gwynedd, Clwyd and Powys |56 Mid Glamorgan and South Glamorgan |54 Scotland Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway |44 Central and Fife |44 Glasgow City |73 Grampian and Tayside |69 Highlands and Islands |16 Lanarkshire |37 Lothian and Borders |45 Renfrew, Dumbarton and Argyll |21
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the terms of reference and other details of the surveys being carried out or commissioned by his Department amongst claimants at either unemployment benefit offices or jobcentres in the west midlands ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lee : My Department commissioned the Harris Research Centre Ltd. to undertake a survey of claimants at unemployment benefit offices in the west midlands conurbation. Interviewing took place during March and April. All those interviewed were selected at random by
Column 181interviewers. All interviews were anonymous and voluntary. The aim was to collect information about a representative sample of claimants, not about individuals.
This survey is part of a wider study of the labour market in the west midlands conurbation, which also includes a survey of employers' vacancies and recruitment practices. The aim of the study is to establish what the barriers are to the efficient operation of the labour market and, in particular to see what are the factors which prevent longer-term unemployed people from being able to take advantage of the available jobs and to help determine how best my Department's programmes can meet their needs.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list from the 1988 labour force survey by region, including Greater London and by male and female, the number of people not counted as unemployed by the definition using broad ILO guidelines on the grounds that they had not looked for a job in the four weeks prior to interview, but who stated that they would like a job if one was available, and (a) were available to start work within two weeks or (b) were not available to start work within two weeks.
Persons not in employment and not unemployed on ILO-OECD definition who had not looked for work in four weeks prior to interview<1> but would like a job, by availability to start work Spring 1988, thousands Available to sta<2>Not available to within two weeksstart within two weeks |Males |Females|Males |Females ------------------------------------------------------------------ Great Britain |367 |763 |294 |554 Northern |20 |52 |33 |39 Yorkshire and Humberside |34 |84 |30 |51 East Midlands |30 |62 |19 |40 East Anglia |11 |23 |<3> |11 South East |93 |201 |63 |175 of which Greater London |45 |90 |32 |91 South West |18 |57 |16 |40 West Midlands |44 |70 |30 |53 North West |56 |99 |52 |67 Wales |22 |42 |20 |28 Scotland |39 |74 |26 |51 <1> Includes those who did not state whether they had looked for work. <2> Includes those who did not state whether they were available to start work. <3> Sample size too small for a reliable estimate.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list those employers who have made a compensatory payment to a complainant under the Fair Employment Act ; and what were the sums involved in each case, the original date of each settlement and the actual date of payment since the Act became law to the present time.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave on 21 April 1989 to the question from the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) at column 316.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much he estimates Lambeth will receive from the proceeds of the national business rate, in relation to the current yield from rates of non-domestic properties.
Mr. Gummer : The proceeds of the national business rate will be distributed as an equal amount per adult. The level of receipts in any area will depend on the distributable amount per adult and the number of adults in that area. This information will not be available before the autumn. It is of no significance to community chargepayers if the income from non- domestic ratepayers retained in Lambeth changes when the new system is introduced. Grant will be paid according to need. So if Lambeth retained more non-domestic rate income, the need for grant would be lower and chargepayers would not benefit.
|Designated |Not designated -------------------------------------------------------------------- Shire districts |94 |203 Metropolitan districts |10 |26 London Boroughs |22 |10
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he replied to the letter sent to him by Brodsworth parish council in the county of South Yorkshire, dated 14 March, in respect of sewage and river pollution ; and if he will publish his reply in the Official Report.
Column 183numbers of puffins on the south coast. The latest available figures show a maximum of some 260 birds in the area between 1985 and 1987, compared with 205 in 1969-70. While some small colonies may have declined or moved elsewhere, any localised changes are not considered so significant, in relation to the total British puffin population of over 500,000 breeding pairs, to justify commissioning a study.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table outlining how many people his Department estimates will gain and how many will lose as a result of the introduction of the community charge in (a) Leeds, West and (b) Kirkstall ward.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out (a) all the exempt categories of those who will not have to pay the poll tax and (b) the exact nature and amount of the exemptions including housing benefit payment arrangements ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. The categories of people who are exempt from liability to pay the personal community charge are listed in schedule 1 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988. We estimate that the number of individuals in these categories will be about half a million.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside of 8 May, Official Report, column 350 , he will publish the letter in the Official Report.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who (a) collected the local information for and (b) distributed the newspaper articles on the poll tax in the name of the Minister for Local Government which appeared last week.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. My articles were distributed by the Department's press office and the regional offices of the COI. The information they contained was collected from a range of sources.
Mr. Kaufman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when regulations relating to the processing of information gathered for the purpose of compiling the poll tax register will come into effect ; what guidelines his Department will issue to councils on this matter ; what representations he has received concerning the sending out by Westminster city council of registration forms with a 21-day deadline for reply ; and if he will make a statement.
Regulations prescribing the powers of community charges registration officers to require information from the public were laid before Parliament on 17 March and come into force on 22 May. Where information is required under this provision, the person concerned has 21 days within which to respond. It is open to CCRO's to seek information before that date on a voluntary basis but they have been advised that such requests would not have any statutory character. I expect however that most recipients of requests before 22 May will co-operate by providing the information to compile the register in a smooth and economical manner.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to meet the costs which have so far been incurred in setting up the community charge system in Nottingham beyond the £307,000 specific grant for 1989-90 already made available.
Mr. Gummer : No. To agree to meet any costs incurred by authorities in preparing for the community charge would give no incentive to efficiency. Nottingham has been allocated £306,864 specific grant and a similar amount of expenditure has been supported through RSG. It is now for it to use its available resources to ensure that the new arrangements are effectively implemented.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what a managing director would pay (a) in community charge and (b) in a system of capital value rates plus local income tax paid in proportions of 80-20, respectively, if he or she lived in a typical five-bedroom house in Hornsey ;
(2) what a home-help would pay (a) in community charge and (b) in a system of capital value rates plus local income tax paid in proportions of 80-20, respectively, if he or she lived in a typical council high-rise flat in Hornsey.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total United Kingdom demand for sea dredged aggregates for the last five years ; what is the percentage growth over the last ten years ; and what are the predicted levels of demand during the next five years.
The percentage growth over the last 10 years (1977-87) is 46 per cent. Specific predictions for the estimated level of demand over the next five years (1989-93) are not available. But an estimate is made in MPG5, "Guidelines for Aggregates Provision in England and Wales" that the total level of demand over this period is likely to be 81.1mt.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, (Dr. Thomas) Official Report, 2 May, column 53, he will list the 12 sites earmarked by UK Nirex Ltd for further appraisal.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) on 2 May Official Report, column 53, if he will list the 12 sites chosen for further appraisal by Nirex.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the gross amount owed to each local authority in England in rent arrears ; what proportion such sums represent as a percentage of rental income ; and how much has been owed in each case for (a) three months, (b) six months, (c) one year and (d) two years.
Mr. Trippier : A table was placed in the Library on 1 March this year showing rent arrears reported at 1 April 1988 and the arrears as a percentage of rent roll. Corresponding information for the position at 1 April 1989 will be available towards the end of this year. Information about total tenants' arrears (including rates and service charges and so on) together with estimates of the length of arrears is contained in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy publication "Housing Rents Statistics at April 1988", a copy of which is also in the Library.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to ensure that integrated pollution control will require industry to take account of waste minimisation and waste reduction.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Under the Government's proposals industrial processes scheduled for integrated pollution control will need a consent from Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to operate. That consent will require the generation and emission of specified polluting wastes to be minimised through the application of best available technology not entailing excessive cost. The consent will also require the minimisation of the impact on the environment as a whole of all waste outputs from scheduled processes.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 24 April, Official Report, column 413, if he will make a statement as to the parameters within which Her Majesty's Government will define pensions for Crown Suppliers employees as broadly comparable to present arrangements.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recommendations he has received from English Heritage about the possible listing of Plumstead baths and library ; and what has been his response.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : English Heritage has recommended that the baths and library are not buildings of special architectural or historic interest, and I have decided to accept its advice. Accordingly, these buildings will not be included in the statutory list.
Column 187Morecombe North, and (c) Bardsea of (i) a long sea outfall, (ii) full sewage treatment works with a short sea outfall, and (iii) full sewage treatment works with a long sea outfall to enable them to comply with European Economic Community bathing water directive 76/160/EEC ; and when the appropriate solution will be put in place, giving the estimated cost of commencement and completion.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is for waste disposal authorities to choose the most appropriate method of disposal for their own locality, taking account of the economic and environmental implications in so doing. We are currently considering changes to the legislation which will ensure that the true costs of waste disposal are met by those disposing of the waste. It may well be that recycling or other methods of treating waste will then be seen as more attractive options.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many paper recycling plants there are operating in the United Kingdom currently ; what are their respective capacities ; and how much recycled paper they produce.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 12 May 1989] : I understand that there are 54 mills in the United Kingdom (approximately half of all the paper and board mills in the country) that use waste paper. In 1988 they consumed a total of 2.4 million tonnes of waste paper and produced an estimated 2.1 million tonnes of paper made wholly or partly from waste paper. Details of their respective capacities or production are not available.
We are also co-operating in the current series of seminars organised by the Department of Trade and Industry aimed at raising awareness of the growing demand for waste paper as a raw material for newsprint production.
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for Trade and Industry has responsibility for co-ordinating Government policy on recycling. I and other colleagues work closely with him to promote recycling whenever it is an economically viable method of waste disposal.