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Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of any organisation or individuals to which his decision about some or all of the applications for out-of-town shopping developments have been communicated.
Mr. Howard : It is my right hon. Friend's invariable practice to notify applicants and others concerned of his decisions on planning appeals and called-in applications when they are finalised, and not before. Decisions on the group of appeals and called-in planning applications for major retail developments in Greater Manchester and north-east Cheshire have not yet been finalised.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals he has received during the last 12 months against the refusal to grant an import licence under CITES ; how many of these appeals he granted ; and whether any were in respect of ivory earrings or other ivory jewellery.
Mr. McLoughlin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list how many members of each national park planning board live within the area of that park as a percentage of the total numbers on each board.
Park |Members |Number living within Park|Percentage of total |number |Per cent. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dartmoor |21 |7 |33 Exmoor |21 |4 |19 Lake District<1> |30 |10 |34 Northumberland |27 |2 |7 North York Moors |27 |4 |15 Peak District |34 |10 |29 Yorkshire Dales |24 |11 |46 <1>29 members are in place and there is currently one vacancy on the Lake District Board.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will make available the model contract which a tenants' choice applicant landlord must use when employing an independent teller to conduct the ballot of tenants' views.
Column 508when consulting tenants in a tenants' choice ballot was issued by the Department and the Housing Corporation today. It has been drawn up in consultation with the Electoral Reform Society.
The applicant landlord is required to use this contract as a condition of his approval to apply to acquire the property. The contract is a rigorous document designed to ensure as far as possible that every tenant eligible to do so is able to return a fully informed vote within the consultation period.
Copies of the contract have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and are available from the Housing Corporation.
Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list all discharges into the River Wear which are controlled by the sewage treatment effluent consent standards by maximum admissible concentrations, the number of occasions when these standards have been breached and action taken to enforce compliance ;
(2) if he will list the number of occasions the Northumbria water authority has been found to be in breach of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (a) river by river in the authority's area, (b) the substances involved in each incident, (c) the source of the contravention, and (d) on coastal outfalls and the substances involved ;
(3) if he will list the number of times that Northumbria water authority has been in breach of the sewage effluent consent standards on the River Wear since 1987 ; which sewage treatment works were involved in each incident ; and what action was taken to enforce compliance.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 21 June 1989] : Details of the consents to discharge into the River Wear, including those for sewage effluent, and information about breaches of these consents are held on registers maintained by the Northumbrian water authority and are available for public inspection, free of charge, at all reasonable hours. This information is not held centrally.
In considering what action to take to enforce compliance, Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution pay particular attention to the following factors : whether the sewage treatment works is persistently or grossly non- compliant ; whether the breach has had a detrimental effect on the receiving water quality ; and whether there are plans for improvement either through capital investment, by better maintenance or by improved operational control.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make an allocation to each local authority to enable a survey to be carried out to assess the need for the repair and replacement of street lighting ; and if he will make available to local authorities adequate funding to finance a rolling programme to improve street lighting.
No. The repair and renewal of street lighting on local roads is a local highway authority responsibility. Local authorities finance them from within their general resources for roads expenditure. If individual authorities
Column 509have special needs they may wish to highlight them in their transport policies and programme submissions to the Department.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have repeatedly made clear our view that the closure of schools is not justified by Israel's security concerns, and called on the Israeli authorities to allow the schools to reopen--most recently in the European Council declaration on the middle east of 27 June.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East can expect a substantive reply to his letter of 27 January to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, concerning the case of Mohammed Nazak and Jurida Begum and the appeal lodged in Abu Dhabi on 1 May 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Attorney-General on what date the chief constable of the Sussex police consulted the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning correspondence between the hon. Member for Brent, East and the chief constable of the Sussex police regarding the circumstances surrounding Mr. Colin Wallace's conviction for manslaughter.
The Attorney-General : I take the hon. Member's question to refer to his letter to the chief constable of the Sussex police dated 24 February 1989. It was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions by letter dated 7 March 1989.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what monitoring systems are installed at No. 2 pile at Windscale to safeguard against a release of Wigner energy ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether any attempt was made to anneal or remove the stored Wigner energy in the No. 2 pile at Windscale ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 510when it was closed down and defuelled. This energy could be released in significant quantity only by substantial heating of the pile ; there are no credible circumstances in which such heat could be generated inadvertently. Nevertheless, temperatures are monitored continuously using instruments positioned in the outlet ducts.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to collect statistics on the numbers of domestic credit customers disconnected in each region of British Gas during (i) 1979 and (ii) the most recent full year for which figures are available.
Mr. Peter Morrison : It is for the Gas Consumers Council to monitor disconnections figures and take up any issues arising from them. The GCC published a report on disconnections in February of last year when disconnections were still rising. Subsequently British Gas modified its procedures on debt and disconnections, in agreement with the Office of Gas Supply, and in the latest 12-month period for which figures are available the number of disconnections has fallen by 35 per cent.
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what measures have been taken to protect the Cumbrian population during the dismantling of the two radioactive chimneys associated with the 1957 fire at Windscale (Sellafield) ; and what plans are under way for the examination of children and pregnant women during this period.
Mr. Michael Spicer : BNFL is currently decommissioning one of the two original Windscale pile chimneys. All necessary safety precautions will be taken during the decommissioning and this will ensure that no member of the public will be at risk from exposure to radioactive contamination.
Mr. Churchill : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the cumulative total of benefit to the Exchequer from North sea oil and gas since May 1979 to date in respect of (a) licence fees and other revenues, and (b) taxation.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The cumulative total of licence fees attributable to United Kingdom oil and gas production over the fiscal years 1979-80 to 1988-89 is £545 million. Receipts from the gas levy over the same period were £3.8 billion. Total royalty revenues over the period are estimated at £13.6 billion, and total tax revenues at £51.6 billion. Further details are contained in the Report of the Secretary of State for Energy to Parliament of April 1989 (the "Brown Book").
Column 511The round has been a great success. Virtually all the major companies involved on the United Kingdom continental shelf have made applications. Overall there were 414 applications for individual blocks, many more than in most previous rounds, and representing an average of 3.6 applications for each block applied for.
The high quality of the work programmes on offer was a particular feature of this round, which was evident both by the willingness of many applicants to evaluate prospects at many different geological layers, and by the average of 2.38 firm or conditional wells per block offered by the successful applicants, which is a far higher average than in any previous round.
This round was intended to give the industry the chance to make up lost ground after the difficulties occasioned by low oil prices at the time of the 10th round. These results show that our confidence in launching the round was entirely justified. The industry has responded magnifi-cently, and its commitment will ensure that the UKCS continues to be a major international oil province well into the 21st century.
Before offering particular blocks my Department undertook extensive consultations with fishing, environmental, shipping and defence interests, and where appropriate other particular interests in the area. Special conditions, tailored to the precise circumstances of the block in question, will be included in the licences to ensure that these concerns are taken into account when undertaking operations. I have also ensured that all operators for the newly licensed blocks will be capable of meeting the necessary safety standards.
I am pleased to see that British independents have been well represented in this round. As a result of the awards some British independents will be taking on offshore operatorships for the first time. This demonstrates that our own independent sector is alive and well, and I hope that these opportunities will encourage the further growth of this sector.
A copy of the list of awards has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what principles he expects to be reflected in British Coal's statement of its licensing policy and practice in relation to the private mining sector referred to in his reply to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling on 3 November, Official Report, column 708 ;
(2) when British Coal's statement on its licensing policy and practice in relation to the private mining sector referred to in his reply to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling on 3 November, Official Report, column 708, will be finalised ; (3) whether he will place in the Library a copy of British Coal's statement on its licensing policy and practice in relation to the private mining sector when it is finalised.
The statement represents the furthest that the corporation considers it can go towards greater flexibility and transparency towards the licensed sector within the constraints imposed by the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946. It describes the criteria the corporation will use for assessing licence applications, and sets the target of processing applications within three months and of indicating objections at an earlier stage if possible. In addition, although a system of external appeal against licence rejection would not be consistent with the 1946 statute, British Coal is instituting internal arrangements along the same lines.
British Coal has reaffirmed its undertaking to set royalties at levels that will permit efficiently managed operations to develop their business profitably, and to reduce royalties for new licences in any case where accounting evidence is provided which demonstrates that profit expectations would otherwise be cut to unreasonably low levels. The corporation has also offered to discuss an increase in the licence period, which may facilitate licensees' mine planning and financial arrangements.
The statement confirms that it is not British Coal's policy to refuse a licence solely on the ground that it is already adequately supplied. It recognises the importance to licensed mines of reasonably assured markets for their coal, and supports the endeavours of licensed operators supplying on a continuing basis to obtain terms which properly reflect this.
British Coal has agreed to prepare annual reviews of developments in the licensed sector, together with brief summaries each six months. I will ensure that copies of these reviews will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Parkinson : I have set a financial target of 4 per cent. return on capital employed defined as current cost profits before long-term interest and extraordinary items on the current cost value of the authority's assets. The external finance limit is £1.2 million, as published in the public expenditure White Paper (Cm. 606).
Mr. Grist : We have made record provision for housing associations in Wales, not least because they are in a good position to provide starter homes. The Housing for Wales programme for 1989-90 itself allows for significant investment in new low-cost home ownership schemes. I shall be in touch with local authorities and other interests very soon as regards planning considerations for houses in rural areas.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives he will take to provide low-cost rented accommodation in conjunction with (i) housing associations, (ii) local authorities and (iii) the private sector ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : We welcome the hon. Gentleman's interest in mixed funding. We have encouraged housing associations and local authorities to work together to provide homes for rent as well as for shared ownership. Some £15 million of private investment in social housing is expected to be attracted to Wales in 1989-90 on top of the publicly funded programme of over £70 million.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from general practitioners and others on the effects of the proposals outlined in the National Health Service White Paper, "Working For Patients", on practices in (a) the south Wales valleys and (b) rural areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : It is for individual local authorities to determine the appropriate number of social workers required to meet their statutory obligations and provide an adequate range and depth of services. Rate support grant provision to local authorities for 1989-90 was 14.5 per cent. higher than that for 1988-89. My right hon. Friend will be announcing the rate support grant for 1990-91 in the autumn.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the number of social workers employed by each of the county authorities of Wales ; what is his estimate of the number of fully qualified social workers ; and if he will make a statement.
Local Authority Number of full-time social workers at 30 September 1988 |Total<1> |Qualified<2> ------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |168 |144 Dyfed |148 |117 Gwent |208 |175 Gwynedd |111 |71 Mid Glamorgan |245 |204 Powys |41 |27 South Glamorgan |188 |170 West Glamorgan |167 |106 Notes: <1>Senior social workers, social workers and community workers. <2>Holding the certificate of qualification in social work of the CCETSW or equivalent.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a list indicating the position of all sewage outfalls, whether into rivers or the sea, and the daily average volume of effluent released by each outfall.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he intends to make for postgraduate medical and dental education in Wales following the abolition of the Council for Postgraduate Medical Education in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker : Following extensive consultation by officials of my Department, I have concluded that a separate Welsh Council for Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education would be appropriate and will be established with effect from 1 July 1989, with the following terms of reference :
To advise the Secretary of State for Wales and make provision on his behalf for the delivery of postgraduate and continuing medical and dental education in Wales, taking into account both the standards promulgated by professional bodies and the potential difficulties of reconciling service and training needs ; to identify particular problems and to develop realistic solutions to these in consultation with relevant interests ; and to report regularly.
The chairman of the council will be Mr. E. M. W. Griffith CBE, chairman of Clwyd health authority. Members have been selected so as to cover the widest range of educational, professional and service interests. The setting up of this new body, after extensive consultation with professional and educational interests in Wales, reflects the Government's commitment to maintaining and enhancing the standards of medical and dental education in Wales.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, pursuant to this reply to the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, South-West (Sir A. Grant) on 8 June, Official Report , column 229 , he will make a statement on his proposals to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 in so far as it affects the security of tenure of tenants of licensed premises.
Column 515Dudley Breweries owned 33 per cent. or more of the full on-licensed premises in the following petty sessional divisions : Dudley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Bewdley Borough.
Mr. Nicholas Baker : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will consider introducing into United Kingdom law, laws similar to the United States Lemon laws giving a right to consumers to reject faulty cars.
Mr. Forth : The Sale of Goods Act 1979 provides for the consumer, if he acts within a reasonable time, to reject goods which are not of merchantable quality. Subject to minor clarifying amendments, the Government intend to implement the Law Commissions' recommendations (Cm. 137) for changes which would strengthen and clarify consumers' rights, in particular by replacing the old requirement of "merchantable" quality with a more up-to-date definition. However there are no plans to introduce legislation similar to United States Lemon laws.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what British trade missions have visited Iraq in the past year ; and if he will ensure that any future missions are briefed by the Government on the Iraq Government's war against its Kurdish minority.
British Water Industries Group
Engineering Industries Association
Association of British Healthcare Industries
British Electro-technical and Allied Manufacturers Association The addition my Department is aware of three missions led by : Nottingham Chamber of Commerce
Coventry Chamber of Commerce
Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Officials from my Department normally brief officially sponsored missions and those unsponsored missions they are invited to address. Such briefing concentrates on commercial relations and aspects of doing business in the country. Officials in the United Kingdom and commercial staff abroad are always willing to brief trade delegations on political developments.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what advice has been given by the British Government to the European Communities regarding the Commission of the Communities proposal for a programme in human genome analysis.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 26 June 1989] : The European Commission's proposal for a new research programme in predictive medicine is concerned with human genome analysis. An explanatory memorandum on this programme was submitted to the Committees of the House concerned with European legislation by the Department of Health on 28 September 1988. Discussion on the programme is still taking place in a working group of the European Council in which the British Government participated.
71. Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any proposals to add the nephrops fisheries in areas IV and VI to the current United Kingdom pressure stock licensing scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : In view of the fact that nephrops in area IV are not subject to a quota, and that catches of nephrops in areas Vb and VI have been on average only 70 to 80 per cent. of the United Kingdom's total allowable catch in recent years, I do not consider that the designation of these stocks as pressure stocks would be justified. However, fisheries departments continue to monitor these stocks closely and have the ability to restrict their uptake if necessary.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will give the total amount of expenditure in regional development grant between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989 and for each of the region and island authorities ;
(2) if he will give the total amount of expenditure on enterprise grants between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989 and for each of the region and island authorities ;
(3) if he will give the total amount of expenditure on regional selective assistance between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989 and for each of the region and island authorities.