Home Page

Column 377

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 27 June 1989

TRANSPORT

Road Safety

Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contribution he expects the proposals in "Road Users and the Law" to make towards his target for reducing casualties in his policy document, "Road Safety : The Next Steps."

Mr. Peter Bottomley : In 1987 we set the target of reducing casualties by one third by the year 2000. That means a reduction of some 100,000 deaths and injuries. Our priority must be the deaths and serious injuries.

In 1988 we made good progress towards this. Deaths decreased by 2 per cent. compared with 1987, and were 10 per cent. down compared to the baseline of our target. Serious injuries were down by 1 per cent. compared with 1987, 15 per cent. compared with the target baseline. This represents good progress, particularly as traffic volumes continue to rise.

Publication of the North report, and the White Paper "The Road User and the Law", (Cm. 576) has helped considerably to increase the awareness of the need for action to cut road casualties, and to give such action much higher priority. The proposals in the White Paper are an important part of the Government's overall package of measures which, by changing public attitudes, improving enforcement and adopting improved road engineering techniques are together designed to achieve the target.

Road Traffic Law

Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on any progress made in implementing some of the non- legislative recommendations of the road traffic law review which he accepted.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The White Paper "The Road User and the Law" sets out the Government's proposals for taking forward the non-legislative recommendations accepted from the road traffic law review.

We have received many positive and helpful comments from interested organisations. We will now be discussing with them how best to take forward, jointly, the non-legislative aspects of the White Paper. We shall also be adding a number of projects to our research programme to follow up those aspects of the North report which require further research.

Rail Freight (Barnes Bridge)

Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the average weekly amount of rail freight transported over Barnes bridge and its average journey length ; and what assessment has been made of the equivalent number of average road freight vehicle miles this represents.


Column 378

Mr. Peter Bottomley : This information is not known to the Department.

Roads (Liverpool)

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has given for road building and improvement in Liverpool ; and if he will list the Liverpool city council plans it was allocated for, for each of the last five years.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : There are no trunk roads in Liverpool. We support expenditure on the city council's more important roads through the transport supplementary grant system. The information requested is :


E

Year                   |Amount of TSG given (£                       

                       |million) (including                          

                       |minor works)                                 

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

1985-86                |<1>2.083                                     

1986-87                |2.702                                        

1987-88                |2.267                                        

1988-89                |1.235                                        

1989-90                |1.762                                        

<1> (to Merseyside County Council).                                  


Major Schemes accepted             |Years TSG allocated                                                  

for TSG 1985-1990                                                                                        

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

Liverpool Inner Ring Road          |1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88                                            

Garston Bypass                     |1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88                                            

Access to Lime Street Station      |1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88                                            

Great George Street                |1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88                                            

Everton Valley Improvement         |1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89                                   

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received about road building and upgrading plans in Liverpool ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : We have recently received representations about the Park road relief road from the chairman of the Merseyside development corporation and the hon. Member. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker) wrote to me about motorway communications on Merseyside and in Liverpool.

NATIONAL FINANCE

EAGGF (Commitment Appropriations)

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement explaining the procedures under which one quarter of all EAGGF commitment appropriations were made available to the Commission in January of recent years when provisional twelfths applied.

Mr. Brooke [holding answer 19 June 1989] : In 1980, 1985, 1987 and 1988, when provisional twelfths have applied, one quarter of all EAGGF commitment appropriations have been made available to the Commission, on its request, in accordance with article 204 of the Rome treaty and article 8 of the financial regulation. The Commission has used these commitments to meet EAGGF payments, which tend to fall disproportionately in the early part of the year.


Column 379

THE ARTS

Disabled People

Mr. Janner : To ask the Minister for the Arts how many and what percentage of persons employed in his Department are registered as disabled.

Mr. Luce : None.

ENVIRONMENT

Greenhouse Effect

Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the carbon dioxide emissions recorded for 1987 and 1988 related to public sector energy use, broken down into (a) central Government offices, by individual Departments of State, (b) local government, (c) health authorities and (d) other public sector bodies.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Estimates of carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom have been published in the "Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics, Number 11", copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. Emissions due to fossil fuel use in the public sector are included in the source category "Commercial/Public Service" : in 1987 these amounted to 32 million tonnes of CO , which was 5 per cent. of the total United Kingdom annual emissions. Data for 1988 are currently being prepared. It would involve disproportionate cost to provide emission estimates in the categories requested.

Mr. Allan Roberts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what specific proposals his Department has put forward for consideration and enactment, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane, since the seminar on the greenhouse effect held by the Prime Minister on 26 April.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 26 June 1989] : At the first meeting of parties to the Montreal protocol, held in Helsinki in May, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave the full support of the United Kingdom to the European Community's call for a reduction in the production and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons by 85 per cent. as soon as possible with a view to phasing them out by the end of the century.

At the Council of EC Environment Ministers, held in Luxembourg 9-10 June, my noble Friend the Minister of State for Housing, the Environment and Countryside, successfully pressed for the Commission to report back to Council on measures that can be taken to combat carbon dioxide emission from cars.

Ivory

Mr. Harris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration has been given to the payment of compensation for firms whose business will be destroyed by a ban on trade in new ivory.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is not normal practice to pay compensation to firms whose trade is adversely affected by import restrictions imposed for the purposes of conserving endangered species.


Column 380

Community Charge

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance has been issued to community charge registration officers concerning the obtaining of addresses from telecommunications operators.

Mr. Gummer : Community charge practice note No. 3, published in August last year, gave guidance to registration officers on those bodies from whom they have power to require information. These do not include telecommunications operators.

River Pollution

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if any rivers in South Yorkshire are known to be polluted by the use of tributyl tin by boat owners ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard : The main freshwater rivers affected have been those carrying large numbers of pleasure craft, which were treated with tributyl tin antifouling paints before the Government banned their sale and supply in 1987. The rivers of South Yorkshire do not fall into this category and so have not been monitored.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many companies have deemed consent to discharge into the River Mersey.

Mr. Howard [holding answer 26 June 1989] : I understand from the North West water authority that 27 companies currently have deemed consents under the terms of part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to discharge effluent into the River Mersey.

The number of extant deemed consents is being progressively reduced as they are reviewed by the North West water authority and either revoked or replaced by a positively determined consent. Following privatisation, the National Rivers Authority will take responsibility for this work.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will name the establishment on Merseyside that is exempt from the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

Mr. Howard [Holding answer 26 June 1987] : There are no establishments exempt from the provision of part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 other than those which are subject to Crown immunity. In such cases, it is the general policy of the Government that the standards of pollution control applied should, wherever possible, be no lower than that for other establishments.

Rainfall

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the most recent figures and those for five and 10 years ago on the levels of acidification in rainfall (a) in Doncaster, (b) the three counties of Yorkshire and Humberside and (c) nationally.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The data requested are provided only for 1988 in the table. Prior to 1986 no data are available for the region and there are insufficient to calculate a representative United Kingdom average. The Doncaster value has been interpolated from nearby rural stations which may not be representative of an urban area.


Column 381


Annual mean precipitation weighted acidity in rainfall             

in u eq H+/litre                                                   

Data region              |u eq H+/litre|pH                         

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

United Kingdom           |25           |4.6                        

Yorkshire and Humberside |58           |4.2                        

Doncaster                |73           |4.1                        

Grants (South Yorkshire)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what grants have been, or are due to be made by the Rural Development Commission, for the county of South Yorkshire during 1989-90 ; and if he will list them.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Under the 1989 rural development programme for South Yorkshire the Rural Development Commission has agreed in principle to support six projects :

Rural Development Area Project Officer

Sports hall extension

Church Street/Bridge Street infrastructure link

Resource centre

Market extension

Workspace

Bids for other specific projects will also be considered as they arise. Formal approval and timing of projects will depend on the availability of resources and consideration of detailed applications. The commission also offers grants within the rural development area for the conversion of redundant buildings.

Public Relations

Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which public relations firms his Department has employed and at what cost, for each year since 1979.

Mr. Ridley : Apart from the special circumstances of privatisation work, the consistent practice of successive Governments has been to avoid the use of public relations firms or other firms outside Government for public relations work.

Since July 1988 my Department, jointly with the Water Authorities Association, has employed Dewe Rogerson Ltd. as marketing and public relations advisers in connection with the forthcoming privatisation of the water authorities. I am unable to reveal the costs of its work for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Dioxin

Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to publish the findings of an investigation commissioned by his Department into the extent and effects of dioxin contamination.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 22 June to my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) [at columns 202-3], when I announced publication of pollution paper No. 27, entitled "Dioxins in the Environment". A copy is in the Library.

Housing Co-operatives

Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to publish the report of his Department's working party on housing co-operatives.

Mr. Trippier : I welcome the report of the committee which has carried out the review of housing co-operatives


Column 382

in England and which has been published today. The committee has responded positively to its terms of reference and confirmed that co-ops and other tenant control arrangements are popular with tenants, are effective, and are able to justify the grant support which has already been provided for them.

The committee recommends several important measures to increase the involvement of tenants in the management of their homes, and extra support for tenants' groups to help them form housing co-operatives and the other types of tenant control considered in the review. I am delighted to accept the committee's recommendations and to endorse its view that an expansion of co-operatives and other tenant-led initiatives is now needed. This mirrors the Government's belief that real choices must be available for tenants.

This expansion must be accompanied by further work, linked to research recently carried out and soon to be published by the Department, to refine our understanding of the value for money that tenant-led management can offer and to monitor progress. In the meantime, I am happy to announce that :

we will provide a significant build-up for additional support for the promotion and development of new housing co-operatives and alternative forms of tenant control in the local authority stock ; my Department will urgently discuss with interested bodies training opportunities for both tenants and development workers and ways of improving them ;

we will make £2 million available in 1990/91 to provide start-up support for new tenant initiatives and the promotion of new co-operatives in the housing association stock ;

a new promotional unit will be set up at the Housing Corporation to increase opportunities for participation among housing association tenants ;

we will ensure effective monitoring arrangements are established to ensure progress is made with tenant involvement using these newly increased resources ;

we will discuss with interested parties possible ways of improving the coverage of sources of advice and assistance for tenants by secondary co- operatives and other local organisations ;

we will invite local authorities to discuss proposals for the decentralisation of a major part of whole of their stock to local management organisations. We intend to develop a small number of pilot projects to test cost-effectiveness and service delivery. Copies of the report have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Domestic Property (Compensation)

Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to publish regulations to deal with the basis of compensation payable under part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Mr. Trippier : It is hoped that consultations with the relevant bodies will take place towards the end of the year and that proposals will be laid before Parliament thereafter.

Brodsworth Hall, Doncaster

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about the future of Brodsworth hall, near Doncaster ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave his agreement on 5 April to English


Column 383

Heritage opening negotiations with the National Heritage Memorial Fund and with the owners of Brodsworth hall on the acquisition of the hall and its contents. No representations have been received since then.

Bradford West End Scheme

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the occasions when his officials had discussions with the developer for the Bradford "west end" scheme for a city grant ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : Members of the Department's team of professional appraisers and other officials have had a number of discussions on the proposals for "west end". For reasons of commercial confidentiality it is not our practice to comment on individual city grant proposals.

Water Supplies

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of private drinking water supplies in England and Wales and the number of people served by those supplies.

Mr. Howard : Local authorities collect and hold information on private supplies in their respective areas. Precise information is not held centrally. However, we estimate that there are 80,000 to 100,000 private supplies in the country serving approximately 1 per cent. of the population.

North West Water Authority (Contracts)

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on (i) the length and nature of the contracts given by North West water authority to (a) Mr. Archie Ramsay and (b) Miss Dora McCabe and (ii) their current responsibilities.

Mr. Howard [holding answer 23 June 1989] : Mr. Ramsay has been appointed by the Secretary of State as an executive member of North West water authority on terms similar to those in his original contract with the authority. His present salary is £65,000. Miss McCabe's appointment as an officer remains a matter for the authority. They continue to fill the posts of financial director and corporate affairs manager respectively.

Set-aside Land

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many applications for development on set-aside land have been submitted since the scheme was launched.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 23 June 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 20 June, at column 68-9.

Blood Sports

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice has been given by his Department to the Nature Conservancy Council regarding the pursuance of blood sports on land purchased by conservancy bodies with grant-aid.


Column 384

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 26 June 1989] : Traditional country rights and uses should be interfered with only where they are in conflict with conservation interests.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

A Few Scientific Statements on Racial Difference"

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Attorney-General what representations he has received about the British Voice publication, "A Few Scientific Statements on Racial Difference," which has been circulated through the post to residents of south-east London, urging prosecution of those responsible for its distribution under section 5a of the Public Order Act ; and if he will make a statement.

The Solicitor-General : The Attorney-General has received representations from Greenwich borough council about the publication. The Director of Public Prosecutions has been asked to request the police to make inquiries concerning its publication and distribution. Section 5a of the Public Order Act 1936 has been repealed and replaced by part 3 of the Public Order Act 1986.

SCOTLAND

NHS Reform

72. Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement on his proposals for the reform of the Health Service.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Following publication of the White Paper (Cm. 555) and our working papers a large number of responses have been received. These responses, which include a number of generally positive and constructive comments, will be considered before final decisions are taken on the implementation of our proposals for improving the NHS in Scotland.

Management Consultants

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money was spent in 1988-89 and in the first quarter of 1989-90 on management consultants brought in from outside the National Health Service.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : £192,336 was spent centrally in 1988-89 and £36,595 in the first quarter of 1989-90.

Consultancy Fees

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give for each health board the amount spent on consultancy fees in the year 1988-89 and the first quarter of 1989-90.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Information available from the annual accounts of health boards relates to the total of fees paid to management consultants, to legal firms (other than for legal expenses connected with compensation claims) and to work study consultants. The amounts for each health board for 1988-89 are shown in the table.


Health Board          |1988-89                  

                      |£                        

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

Argyll and Clyde      |68,429                   

Ayrshire and Arran    |32,084                   

Borders               |15,562                   

Dumfries and Galloway |61,258                   

Fife                  |61,810                   

Forth Valley          |67,789                   

Grampian              |42,576                   

Greater Glasgow       |257,258                  

Highland              |106,072                  

Lanarkshire           |26,570                   

Lothian               |172,797                  

Orkney                |17,499                   

Shetland              |5,405                    

Tayside               |14,738                   

Western Isles         |28,534                   

                      |----                     

Total                 |978,381                  

Information relating to the current financial year is not yet available centrally.

Ambulance Service

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give for each year since 1980 the number of emergency call-outs by the Scottish ambulance service both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the 1980 figure.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is as follows :


Year                      |Number of emergency calls|Percentage of 1980 total                           

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

1980                      |129,201                  |100.0                                              

1981                      |131,219                  |101.6                                              

1982                      |132,672                  |102.7                                              

1983                      |138,229                  |107.0                                              

1984                      |146,302                  |113.2                                              

1985                      |145,383                  |112.5                                              

1986                      |154,018                  |119.2                                              

1987                      |161,822                  |125.2                                              

1988                      |165,956                  |128.4                                              

WALES

Sewage

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish details of Welsh Water's proposals for investment in sewage treatment works in Rhymney valley necessary to ensure compliance with the relevant European directive ; and if he will indicate in respect of each works the projected time scale for completion.

Mr. Grist : There is no European directive concerning the performance of sewage treatment works. However, Welsh Water is engaged upon a programme of improvements to provide for full compliance with discharge consent conditions at poorly performing works.

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the precise location of each of the applications for derogation of sewage discharges in Wales advertised by his Department on 21 June ; and if he will also list all other derogations currently in force in a similar way.

Mr. Grist : No applications for derogation of sewage discharges in Wales have been advertised by the Department.

Details of the Welsh Water applications for time-limited variations of consent conditions, including the


Column 386

national grid reference of the location of discharge, were advertised by the authority in the London Gazette and Western Mail on 21 June. A copy of the applications may be inspected at the regional rivers division of Welsh Water, St. Mellons, Cardiff.

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will state for each sewage discharge derogation site currently approved in Wales or currently under consideration by his Department (a) whether he has approved a programme of works to improve the effluent at each specific site, (b) when each programme of work is due to start and finish and (c) to what level each programme of works is designed to improve the effluent at that point of discharge.

Mr. Grist : All Welsh Water sewage treatment works for which applications for time-limited consents have been received are included in a programme of capital improvements designed to ensure future compliance. Details of the consent parameters applied for are included in the detailed applications which are available for inspection at the regional rivers division of Welsh Water at St. Mellons, Cardiff.


Next Section

  Home Page