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Mr. Forth : The working group chaired by my Department to which I believe my hon. Friend refers is a technical working party of officials and representatives of the industries concerned with Her Majesty's Customs" treatment of express consignments. Its meetings are private and it would be inappropriate to publish details. The Institute of Logistics and Distribution Management is not represented.
Mr. Forth : My officials last met postal representatives from New Zealand at the Executive Council meeting of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in April of this year. A wide range of postal topics was disccussed between the representatives of about 40 postal administrations.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will refer to the Director-General of Fair Trading claims made in advertisements by RRR Ltd. that one of its products can regain crystal clear hearing ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : Advertisements for hearing aids are covered by specific provisions in the British code of advertising practice, which is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority. False statements in advertisements are covered by the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. The Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 enable the Director-General of Fair Trading to seek a court injunction to prevent the publication of a misleading advertisement, where other means of control have failed.
I have no powers to intervene in the way in which the director-general performs his functions under the regulations. The hon. Member may wish to write to the Advertising Standards Authority or, if he prefers, to the Director-General of Fair Trading.
Mr. Forth : The Hearing Aid Council (Amendment) Bill sponsored by the hon. Member for Ynys Mo n (Mr. Jones), which the Government supports, would achieve stricter controls over the dispensing of hearing aids for the benefit of hearing-impaired consumers.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 27 April, Official Report, columns 615-16, concerning trade in finished manufactures with the United States of America, whether he will provide the correlation co-efficient between the change in the United States of America share of United Kingdom exports lagged by one year after the change in relative export unit values in United States dollars.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 27 April, Official Report, columns 614-5, concerning gross output of finished manufactures and imports of semi-manufactures, intermediate products and basic materials, whether he will provide comparable figures for finished textiles, including man-made fibres with other fibres as basic materials ; and if he will add figures for 1973 and for exports.
Gross output of finished manufactures: textiles<1> 1985 prices |£ million ------------------------------ 1970 |<2>- 1973 |2,039 1979 |1,833 1988 |2,011 <1> Finished textiles is defined as carpets and other textile floor coverings, household and made-up textiles (SIC groups 438 and 455). <2> Not available.
Exports and imports: textiles OTS basis, current prices <1>Semi-manufactures <2>Intermediate <3>Basic materials finished manufactures |exports £ million|imports £ million|exports £ million|imports £ million|exports £ million|imports £ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1970 |335.9 |217.5 |- |- |96.5 |183.7 1973 |485.4 |431.5 |- |- |172.1 |322.2 1979 |1,093.0 |1,413.4 |- |- |315.7 |475.5 1988 |1,615.2 |2,965.5 |- |- |439.5 |688.4 <1> Semi-manufactured textiles are defined as division 65 of SITC less made-up articles (658) and floor coverings (659). <2> Intermediate finished manufactures are not appropriate to textiles. <3> Basic materials for textiles are defined as division 26 of SITC (textile fibres).
Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what action the Government are taking concerning the European Commission's proposal to increase the tariff on compact hand-held video cameras from 4.9 per cent. to 14 per cent.
Mr. Caborn : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many applications the Department of Trade and Industry import licensing board received from traders wishing to exclude existing contracts from the import prohibition on iron and steel from South Africa set out in NTI2097 ; how many applications were approved ; what was the total value of approved applications ; what were the dates of entry into such contracts ; and how long they will run.
Mr. Alan Clark [holding answer 26 May 1989] : Records are kept of licences issued, not of applications. Since 1 January 1987, 377 licences have been issued. Allowing for licences returned unused, the total quantity licensed was 66,187 tonnes. Details for 1986 could be provided only at disproportionate expense.
Column 76Information relating to contract terms is provided in confidence by applicants.
Mr. Caborn : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what quantity and value of iron and steel goods in each of the commodity categories described in Notice to Importers 2097 and 2180 were imported in each month (i) from all sources and (ii) from South Africa, in the period since September 1986 ; and what was South Africa's ranking among all sources.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations with the European Commission and other member states on the state pension age.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The proposal for a Council directive "completing the implementation of equal treatment for men and women in statutory and occupational social security schemes" was first tabled in October 1987. Since March 1989 there have been three working group meetings of officials from member states in Brussels and the draft directive was also discussed at the informal meeting of Ministers at Toledo on 28 April which I attended. While progress has been made there still remain a number of outstanding problems. Negotiations are continuing to see how these might best be resolved so as to ensure unanimous agreement by member states.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many deaf-blind people are currently in receipt of the mobility allowance ; how many have appealed after an initial refusal ; and how many have succeeded on appeal.
(2) what is the estimated cost of extending the mobility allowance to (a) all deaf-blind people, and (b) deaf-blind people between the age of five and 75 years.
Mr. Scott : I regret that we do not collect information about the number of deaf-blind people who have claimed or who are in receipt of mobility allowance. In view of this and the lack of information about the number of deaf-blind people in the population, it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the cost of making the allowance available specifically for deaf-blind people.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list in the Official Report the community care grants expenditure in respect of the Department of Social Security offices in Smethwick and West Bromwich for the year 1988-89 ; what percentage these figures are of the total amount of community care grants allocations for those offices in Smethwick and West Bromwich for the year 1988-89 ; and what arrangements are made so far as the disposal of the surplus expenditure for 1988-89 is concerned.
Local office allocations are made for a financial year. Unspent balances at the end of a financial year are not available for expenditure in the following year.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The latest information available, for 28 February 1989, has been placed in the Library. The source of the information, which is provisional and subject to amendment, is the quarterly count of cases in action which may include some cases not actually in receipt of benefit.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : There are no plans to extend the 56-day limit. The regulations provide that people who claimed community charge benefit within 56 days of 1 April 1989, or who claim within 56 days of receiving their first community charge demand notice if this is later, will have their claim treated as if it had been made on 1 April 1989 provided that they were liable for the charge from that date and the appropriate authority is satisfied that any delay in issuing the demand notice was not caused by the
Column 78claimant's attempts to evade payment of the charge. The 56-day period was arrived at following discussion with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. It has been extensively publicised. It represents a real concession to the concerns expressed and is a significant departure from the principle that benefit cannot normally be awarded until it has been claimed. The 56 days allow reasonable time for the making of claims, even where people may not have claimed benefit before.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish (a) his latest estimates of how many people in England and Wales will be entitled to community charge rebate, and (b) the expected level of take-up.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that no estimates are available of the numbers of people who might be entitled to community charge rebate if they were to claim it, so it is not possible to derive an estimated level of take up. Estimates of the numbers of people expected to receive it were given in my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) on 19 October 1988 at columns 897-8. Revised estimates will be available in due course.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what reply he has sent to the letter from ACT-UP delivered to him on 18 May ; what action he is taking to ensure that all people with AIDS or ARC are able to afford the food recommended to them by their doctors ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : A copy of my reply to the letter from ACT-UP which was handed to their representative on 22 May has been forwarded to the right hon. Member. We will be giving careful consideration to the implications for benefits of the results of all the OPCS surveys. We welcome the views of interested groups such as ACT-UP on those results and their implications.
Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether electronic surveillance listening devices are used by his Department or by any organisation or agency acting on its behalf ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of (a) budgeting loans and (b) community care grants were awarded to each of the 15 client groups defined by his Department for (i) the East Midlands region and (ii) each of the offices serving the Nottingham, North constituency.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether the revised estimate for family credit take-up by caseload included the estimated number of families entitled to family credit due to the freeze in the child benefit rate.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The latest estimate relates to 1988 only. It is based on an examination of family expenditure survey returns for April to December 1988 and therefore has regard to the child benefit rates applicable at that time.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many (a) families and (b) children are in receipt of means tested benefits broken down into family credit, income support and housing benefit as a result of the freeze in child benefit, taking into account the new estimates of the take-up of family credit.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 9 May 1989] : Estimates are only available on the caseload assumptions in the Public Expenditure White Paper (Cm. 615). They are based on combined 1985 and 1986 family expenditure survey data uprated to reflect the position in 1989-90. Estimates of this kind are particularly uncertain because of small sample sizes. Bearing these factors in mind, it is possible that an extra 15,000 families (with perhaps 30,000 children) are now claiming family credit because child benefit was not uprated in April 1989. The number of extra families receiving income support and housing benefit are likely to have increased by about 5,000 (with perhaps 10, 000 children).
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Many developers already contribute voluntarily to archaeological investigations before development. Where a site is scheduled, archaeological evaluations may be required before an application for scheduled monument consent can be determined, or an opportunity for excavation may be required as a condition of consent. Local planning authorities may in some circumstances require further information about the archaeological implications of development proposals before they determine a planning application. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden) on 24 May at column 602 about our proposals to issue guidance on such matters.
Column 80plant to meet EEC standards, whether he will publish in the Official Report the sum of the initial projections together with his view of what constitutes a reasonable return capital on capital invested in water undertakings.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The national resurvey of listed buildings, which began in 1970, is virtually complete. Three areas have still to be resurveyed : Isle of Lundy ; the parishes of Bracebridge Heath, Canwick, Heighinton, Washingborough in Lincolnshire ; and the parish of Southwell in Nottinghamshire, and six areas are in the process of being resurveyed. A further 50 lists are being prepared for publication. To date a total of 1,757 resurvey lists have been published. Some of the lists produced during the early years of the resurvey have been found to be deficient in various respects. English Heritage will be reviewing them over the next few years.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in the light of the alteration of valuation lists for commercial premises, he intends to make regulations revising the basis of calculation for compensation to tenants under part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the matter of B1 planning consents in general following the recent High Court case, London borough of Camden v. Department of the Environment, and on local authorities' powers to attach conditions to such consents in particular.
Mr. Howard : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Evennett) on 11 May at column 521. I do not believe the recent High Court judgment is inconsistent with the Government's policy in relation to the "business" use class.
Members appointed by Barnsley metropolitan borough council :
Column 81Mrs. A. Bailey ; Mrs. N. Collett ; Councillor T. Dixon ; Mr. P. Doyle ; Councillor Mrs. C. Evans ; Councillor B. G. Goodard ; Mr. M. Harper ; Councillor Mrs. M. Harrison ; Mr. S. Hepworth JP ; Mr. F. Hollins ; Mrs. N. Hollins JP ; Mr. J. Marsden ; Mr. D. Roberts ; Mrs. P. Smith ; Mr. A. Tucker ; Mr. A. Vodden.
Members appointed by Doncaster metropolitan borough council : Mr. M. Burns ; Councillor B. Cassley JP ; Mr. M. Collins ; Mr. H. Dutton ; Councillor G. Gallimore JP ; Mr. H. Gladders ; Mr. A. Greening ; Mr. C. Griggs ; Councillor A. Grimson JP ; Councillor K. S. Judge ; Councillor A. Lanaghan ; Mr. M. McCoy ; Councillor G. M. McDade JP ; Miss E. Plumb ; Councillor C. W. Verrill ; Mr. C. Wedd. Members appointed by Rotherham metropolitan borough council : Mr. D. W. Dale ; Mr. A. M. Davies JP ; Mr. J. P. Dolbon ; Mrs. I. Farren ; Mrs. A. Jarvis ; Mr. A. Kiddy ; Mr. R. H. Noble ; Mr. R. S. Russell ; Councillor Miss M. Sides ; Mr. P. Thirlwall ; Mr. V. M. Thornes ; Councillor B. Walker ; Councillor S. Walker ; Councillor G. Whelbourn ; Mr. B. Williams ; Councillor W. Winder.
Members appointed by Sheffield metropolitan district council : Mr. F. W. Adams ; Mrs. M. Burrow ; Councillor J. A. Butler ; Mr. J. M. Davey ; Mr. J. G. Marshall ; Mr. M. Nicholson ; Mr. C. Oates ; Mrs. D. Podlesny ; Mrs. G. L. Randell ; Councillor Mrs. E. Smith ; Mr. M. E. Smith ; Mr. G. A. Winter ; Mr. P. E. Wood.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the sites in the three counties of Yorkshire, and in Humberside which are licensed to dispose of (a) radioactive waste, (b) special waste, and (c) clinical waste.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the Department's "List of premises in England and Wales currently authorised under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 to dispose of radioactive waste" which includes premises in the three counties of Yorkshire and Humberside. A copy of this list is in the Library of the House. The numbers of sites in these counties licensed for the disposal of other wastes are listed below. Information on the types of waste licensed for disposal is held by the appropriate waste disposal authority, which is required to maintain a public register.
|Number ------------------------------ North Yorkshire |118 South Yorkshire |257 West Yorkshire |443 Humberside |154
Mr. Trippier : Locations of steel-framed houses built in England, and reported to the Building Research Establishment, are listed in its 1987 report "Steel-framed and steel-clad houses : inspection and assessment". A copy is in the Library.
Mr. Mills : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he plans to implement the proposals contained in the consultative document on capital accounting requiring local authorities to maintain a comprehensive inventory of assets.
Mr. Gummer : I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the consultative implementation manual, "Capital Accounting in Local Authorities--The Way Forward", published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, the Association of County Councils, the Association of District Councils, and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. This document is the responsibility of the bodies by which it was published and its implementation is a matter for the local authorities to whom its recommendations are addressed. I am sympathetic to the general approach set out in the manual.
Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many recommendations of the Popplewell report which bear on the responsibilities of his Department have not been implemented ; what were those recommendations ; and, in each case, what are the reasons they have not been acted upon.
Mr. Moynihan : None. In December 1986, the Home Office issued a revised version of the guide to safety at sports grounds. Chapter 11 of the document--"Fire Safety"--dealt, among other fire-related issues, with recommendation 10 of the Popplewell report. The technical content of the building regulations continues to be under review. Later this year, the Department will issue a consultation document covering all aspects of the building regulations as they relate to fire.
The Government's proposals for a football membership scheme (recommendation 15 of the Popplewell report) are contained in the Football Spectators Bill.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many times between 1985 and 1987 water sources in England and Wales were shown to exceed maximum admissible concentrations of pollutants.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions in the period from May 1988 to May 1989 maximum admissible concentration levels have been exceeded in water supplies for Leicestershire.
Mr. Howard : I understand that water supplies for Leicestershire regularly complied with the EC drinking water directive in the period May 1988 to May 1989 except for water supplies serving a small part of north- west Leicestershire, which marginally exceeded the standard for magnesium. There were occasional breaches of the pesticide standard set in the EC directive. However, all were within levels considered acceptable by medical advisers.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what Ministers or officials of his Department will (a) be present, (b) present papers and (c) be involved in round-table discussion sessions at the Riso international conference on environmental models ; emissions and consequences, to be held on 22 to 25 May in Denmark.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : One of the Department's principal scientific contractors, an expert on environment modelling, attended parts of the Riso meeting. He gave a paper and participated in discussions.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was his Department's participation at the conference on protecting the ozone layer held in Finland on 2 May ; what papers were presented by it ; and if he will make a statement on the outcome of the conference.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State attended the first meeting of the parties to the Montreal protocol in Helsinki. Copies of the United Kingdom national statement, and of the message from the London "Saving the Ozone Layer" conference, which he presented to the meeting, are available in the Library. The European Community's call, made in response to a United Kingdom initiative, for CFCs to be eliminated by the end of the century, was endorsed by the Governments attending the Helsinki meeting. We shall work towards amendment of the protocol to this effect at next year's second meeting of the parties in London.
Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will ensure that rate support grant reflects the call for local authorities to invest in programmes to achieve the targets set in the "Health For All By The Year 2000" programme.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is for local authorities to decide to what extent the targets outlined in the WHO "Health For All By The Year 2000" programme should be reflected in their plans and priorities. Rate support grant is unhypothecated and provides support for local authority spending on all services.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report the total sum realised by sale of assets by the Commission for the New Towns in Corby for each year since 1979-80.