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Mr. Peter Bottomley : Internationally the Government have been actively pursuing their objective, first stated in the 1985 White Paper on airports policy (para 8.5), of securing the phasing out of chapter 2 aeroplanes such as the BAC1-11 and B727. Since aircraft have long operational lives, the replacement of chapter 2 by chapter 3 aircraft will be a long and expensive process, but a start has been made with the decision, supported by the United Kingdom, of the European civil aviation conference that from 1 October 1990 no further chapter 2 aircraft should be added to member states' registers. The issue of the
Column 478eventual banning of operations of chapter 2 aircraft is one of the main topics to be discussed at the International Civil Aviation Organisation's general assembly in the autumn.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied that Manchester airport plc has consulted adequately in conformity with section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 with representatives from local authorities affected by excessive aircraft noise.
(2) if he has any plans to seek an improvement in the monitoring of noise levels in the vicinity of Manchester airport.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations he has received regarding the provision of an extension of the Northern line of the tube into south-east London to Camberwell and beyond since January 1989 ;
(2) what assessment has been made of the socio-economic effects of an extension of the Northern line of the Underground to Camberwell and beyond, with particular reference to the effects of improving transport links to areas of higher employment in attracting new enterprise into the area ;
(3) what assessment has been made of the effects of an extension of the Northern line of the Underground to Camberwell and beyond on overcrowding in the Victoria area ;
(4) what assessment has been made of the effects of an extension of the Northern line of the Underground into south-east London to Camberwell and beyond on congestion on the roads of south-east London ;
(5) if, following the publication of the central London rail study in January 1989 and subsequent representations, he intends to provide for an extension of the Northern line to Camberwell and beyond ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : The Department has received 17 letters supporting the extension of the Underground to Camberwell. The central London rail study concluded that such an extension would not achieve the study's objectives. It is now for London Underground Limited and London Regional Transport to consider in the first instance whether a line to Camberwell is worthwhile in its own right and how it compares with the many competing schemes for improvements to the Underground network.
Mr. Baldry : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce his decision in respect of the inspector's report relating to the compulsory purchase, side roads and bridge orders concerning the Banbury trunk relief road, stages II and III.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will detail the number of vehicle first registrations, and of replacement driving licences issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing centre, Swansea in each of the past 10 years.
Column 480respectively since 1979-80. The tables provide the year-on-year information (the volumes include commercial vehicles and motorcycles, as well as cars) :
Vehicle First Registrations 1978-80/1980-89 Year |Volume ------------------------------ 1979-80 |2,386,868 1980-81 |2,038,140 1981-82 |2,004,335 1982-83 |2,211,126 1983-84 |2,306,742 1984-85 |2,253,508 1985-86 |2,277,893 1986-87 |2,365,901 1987-88 |2,554,442 1988-89 |2,736,327
Replacement Driving Licences 1979-80/1980-89 Year |Volume ------------------------------ 1979-80 |1,469,295 1980-81 |1,576,957 1981-82 |1,354,354 1982-83 |1,869,745 1983-84 |1,972,378 1984-85 |2,035,602 1985-86 |2,295,228 1986-87 |2,808,782 1987-88 |2,920,831 1988-89 |2,930,869
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for any future privatisation programme ; and if he will name the financial advisers employed to advise on such a programme.
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend keeps the options for further privatisation under constant review. A study of the long-term options for British Rail is in progress, including the feasibility of transfer to the private sector.
As part of that work Deloitte, Haskins and Sells was appointed to carry out a factual study of the structural options, National Economic Research Associates to advise on regulation and Samuel Montagu to provide financial advice.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : As my right hon. Friend announced in the House on 14 June, we propose to place on local authorities a duty to clear up dog mess in public places. This will be enforced through a code of practice to which local authorities will be required to adhere.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No formal discussions have taken place recently. We shall, however, be consulting the local authority associations and other interested organisations shortly about the proposal that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 14 June to place on local authorities a duty to deal with strays and clear up dog faeces in public places.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received a large number of representations on this matter. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Home Secretary announced on 14 June a package of measures to deal with the problems caused by irresponsible dog ownership--dog attacks, straying and fouling. Registration is not the answer to these problems.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have made no such estimate. A recent report by the London school of economics on behalf of the RSPCA estimates that the cost of administering and keeping up to date a national dog registration scheme would be about £20 million annually. We do not believe that dog registration addresses the real problems caused by dogs.
31. Sir George Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he implemented the provision in the Housing Act 1988 for council tenants to set aside rent against mortgage payments in the event of delays by councils in processing their applications to buy their homes.
51. Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he implemented the provision in the Housing Act 1988 for council tenants to set aside rent against mortgage payments in the event of delays by councils in processing their applications to buy their homes.
Mr. Trippier : As I announced in my answer of 10 March to my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Hughes) at column 699, section 124 of the Housing Act 1988 came into force on that date. It enables tenants whose applications are delayed by the landlord to have rent payments set against the purchase price of their homes.
18. Mr. Flannery : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to ensure that sufficient measures are being taken to prevent further pollution of the River Don where it flows through Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
Mr. Moynihan : The river objective for the River Don, set by Yorkshire water authority is for fair quality-class 2. This should be achieved shortly for the Don upstream of Sheffield with the implementation of the final stages of the Don valley interceptor sewer. A major programme for upgrading and extending Sheffield's sewage treatment works and sewerage system, combined with improved trade effluent discharges, should result in 63km of the River Don downstream of Sheffield reaching this standard by 1995.
19. Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to ensure the efficient and urgent use of empty properties before allowing green belt land to be used for property development ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 483Uptake more than doubled in the following month to 14.4 per cent. The latest figure for the month to mid-May is 19.3 per cent., which shows that the switch to unleaded fuel is rapidly gaining momentum. The rate of progress is very encouraging as the average for the whole of 1988 was a mere 1.1 per cent. This can be attributed to the Chancellor's Budget incentive, the successful national television advertising campaign and many other Government and private sector promotional initiatives.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association advises us that approaching two out of three refuellings now take place at petrol stations where unleaded fuel is available.
23. Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he now expects to submit to the European Community proposals to meet the requirements of the European Commission bathing water directive and the drinking water directive in full.
Mr. Gummer : We have introduced a number of measures to secure greater efficiency into the provision of local authority services. The Audit Commission we established is responsible for reviewing value for money in local government. Local authorities are being required to put seven services out to competitive tender, and the community charge and our proposals for the new capital finance system and ring fenced housing revenue account will lead to greater accountability and increased efficiency in the provision of services.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A duty on local authorities to keep land clean, and to have regard to a code of practice, is one of a number of proposals for legislation on litter which my right hon. Friend intends to announce soon.
27. Mr. Charles Wardle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what he estimates would have been the additional costs so far incurred if services currently put out to competitive tender had not been so treated.
Mr. Gummer : Research carried out by the Audit Commission and published in its report "Preparing for Compulsory Competition" suggests that savings of at least 20 per cent. can be made on previous contract costs, irrespective of whether a private contractor or the in-house organisation wins the work. Figures relating to competition under the Local Government Act 1988 are not yet generally available.
Mr. Gummer : The Department will be asking authorities to supply information on the first round of tendering shortly. Earlier research into the voluntary competition indicated that savings of 20 to 30 per cent. were available on an expenditure of some £3,000 million.
28. Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the medical advice he has received on the exemption of severe dementia sufferers from the community charge.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the leaflet, "The Community Charge (The So-Called Poll Tax) : How It Will Work For You" delivered to all households in England has been reprinted with amendments.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. In advice that the Department commissioned from Price Waterhouse, the current cost of preparing for the community charge in 1989-90 was estimated to be between £99 million and £122 million, and the capital costs in 1989-90 was estimated to be between £125 million and £175 million. These estimates were at November 1987 prices.
81. Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to issue further guidance to community charge registration officers on the questions being asked on community charge registration forms.
Mr. Gummer : Clear and explicit advice on these matters has already been issued to community charge registration officers, as well as a model community charge registration form. It is for registration officers to ensure that their requests for information comply with the statutory requirements.
Mr. Gummer : In the illustrative community charge figures published for 1988-89, the three shire counties with the highest over-spend per adult were Cleveland, Cumbria and Derbyshire, Cleveland and Derbyshire were Labour-controlled in April 1988, but no party had overall control in Cumbria.
Mr. Gummer : The Government are aware of the actions of a number of bodies and individuals whose aim is to encourage people to evade their legal responsibilities in relation to the community charge. Such actions are irresponsible and undemocratic.
Mr. Chope : Current policy on new settlements is set out in paragraph 11 of planning policy guidance note 3, which makes it clear that proposals must be subject to normal planning procedures and must be considered within the framework of existing planning policies.
77. Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now recommend that the African elephant become an appendix I protected animal at the next meeting of CITES in October.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have introduced an immediate ban on the import of ivory into the United Kingdom pending the introduction of a Community wide ban, and have asked our European colleagues to support the case for transferring the African elephant from appendix II to appendix I of the convention on international trade in endangered species of fauna and flora (CITES). We shall play a full part in the discussions on this difficult and complex issue at the forthcoming conference of the parties to CITES.
33. Mr. Frank Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the number of school children participating in sport and recreation ; and what action his Department is taking to ensure adequate facilities are available for outside school sports facilities.
Mr. Moynihan : I have no detailed information on which to base an estimate of the number of school children participating in sport and recreation. The Sports Council provides grant-aid towards the provision of sports facilities and this year has earmarked nearly £9 million from its allocated budget of £41 million for this purpose.
35. Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give a breakdown of the money provided to each urban development corporation up to March 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
UDC |Provision --------------------------------------- Black Country |25.4 Bristol |0.3 Central Manchester |2.5 Leeds |2.7 London Docklands |514.5 Merseyside |189.2 Sheffield |8.0 Teesside |26.0 Trafford Park |26.0 Tyne and Wear |28.0