Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Caerphilly, of 22 June, Official Report, columns 205-6, whether the figures given relate to actual hectares of forestry planted within the period specified or the number of hectares for which grant was paid within that period.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 30 June 1989] : As stated in the answer, the figures given in categories (b), (c) and (d) were the areas on which planting grant was paid, while the figures in categories (a) and (e) were, respectively, the areas actually planted and the areas estimated to have been planted, in the period specified.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will set out the basis of the statement made by the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Mr. Spicer) to the international business machines conference in Bournemouth on 13 June that each new pressurised water reactor nuclear station operated would reduce United Kingdom carbon dioxide emissions by 6 million tonnes a year against a coal-fired station.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Each tonne of typical United Kingdom power station coal burnt produces approximately 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The figure of 6 million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide equates to a 1.2 GW station displacing equivalent baseload coal fired plant burning a little under 3 million tonnes a year.
Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what commitments he intends to enter into on behalf of the Government in respect of National Power's costs for the decommissioning of nuclear power stations and the disposing of and reprocessing of nuclear waste ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Parkinson : As my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy made clear to the hon. Member on Report on 10 April at column 667, the industry, and, therefore, the consumer, will pay these costs unless something happens which is not foreseen--such as the regulations concerning the environment being changed--and proper provisions could not, therefore, have been made in the accounts. The amendments the Government intend to table at Lords Report stage, announced by Baroness Hooper on 19 June at column 20, do not represent a change to this policy, but a particular means of implementing the Government's commitments under it.
Mr. Hayward : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any further information in relation to water use restrictions following his answer to the hon. Member for Kingswood on 8 June, Official Report, column 87.
Mr. Howard : We are now aware of 16 cases in England where water utilities, using their powers under section 16 of the Water Act 1945, have imposed bans on the use of hosepipes for watering gardens and washing cars. These affect about 6 per cent. of the population.
Mr. Trippier : The Department does not collect information in the detail requested. Some indication of local authorities' intentions may be found in their annual housing investment programme submissions, copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment by which date he expects all identified bathing waters in the north-west region to meet the provisions of EEC directive 76/160/EEC ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard : The Department is currently discussing with water authorities, including North West water authority, plans that they have drawn up aimed at bringing remaining bathing waters up to EC standards by the mid-1990s.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list North West Water's environmental quality objectives for all identified bathing waters on the Fylde coast, Morecambe bay and north Cumbrian coast.
Mr. Howard : Quality objectives for rivers and estuaries are at present set by water authorities ; in future this will be the responsibility of the Secretary of State on the advice of the National Rivers Authority. The relevant standards for identified bathing waters are set out in the EC directive 76/160/EEC, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Gummer : The surcharging of councillors under sections 19 and 20 of the Local Government Finance Act 1982 is a matter for individual auditors. I am not aware of any case in which councillors have been surcharged for refusing to grant planning permission.
Mr. Gummer : I understand that the last two occasions on which councillors were surcharged were in September 1985 when councillors from Lambeth and Liverpool were surcharged in connection with late rate-making.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the carbon coefficient assumed for motor spirit and derv in producing carbon dioxide emissions ; and what are the latest estimates of carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector, broken down into road, rail and air transport.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 29 June 1989] : Estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from fuels are made by multiplying the fuel consumption figures by a factor which is the assumed carbon content of the fuel in question. These factors are subject to constant revision as more information becomes available from suppliers about the carbon content of their fuels. The factors used in calculating carbon dioxide emissions from petrol and derv are 855g/kg and 857g/kg of fuel used respectively.
The most recent estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from road, rail and air transport for 1987 are based on
Column 61information supplied by Warren Spring laboratory. Both the carbon content of fuel and fuel consumption figures are subject to revision. These are the current best estimates available. In 1987, 96.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted by road transport. The figures for rail and air transport are 2.2 million tonnes and 18.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide respectively. Emissions from aircraft using fuel supplied in the United Kingdom will not all occur in United Kingdom air space. The figure of 18.4 million tonnes is an estimate of emissions occurring world wide from aircraft fuel supplied originally in the United Kingdom. The figures given here differ slightly from those published in the Department's "Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics 1988", because of updating.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish the further report allowing publication of the strategy for national nature reserves ; and what plans he has for consultation.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my noble Friend the Minister of State for Housing, Environment and Countryside in another place. Anyone wishing to send comments to the Nature Conservancy Council about the preliminary report is invited to do so. An announcement will be made in due course about the next stage of the review.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what extent the monthly cost of water bills in the pilot scheme in the Isle of Wight involving water meters differed from previous costs before the introduction of water meters.
Mr. Howard : The tariff used in the meter trials on the Isle of Wight have been set so as to recover the same amount of income in total from the island as would have been recovered under a rateable value basis. It is, however, too early to say to what extent individual bills will differ as customers on the island will not receive their first metered bills until October.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether there has been any formal evaluation of the pilot scheme for water meters in the Isle of Wight ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard : Some preliminary results from the Isle of Wight and other metering trials were set out in the first interim report which was published last February. Other reports will be published from time to time over the next three years as information on various aspects of the trials becomes available.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to act on the recommendation in the Glasgow university report "The Nature and Effectiveness of Housing Management in England" to introduce a system of performance indicators for local authority housing management.
This would enable a performance indication scheme to be put in place in every local authority so that tenants will be able to see--for the first time--how efficient, effective and economical their authority is in managing its housing stock. Precise requirements will be for regulations. We plan to consult widely before introducing the scheme.
Mr. Jessel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what reports he has received concerning the presence in water supplies in south-west London of the organism chironomidae ; what action is being taken to eliminate the organism ; how long he expects elimination to take ; and if he will make a statement on how the matter arose and what action he intends to take to prevent a recurrence ;
(2) what advice or instructions his Department gives to water undertakings to monitor water supplies to test for the presence of unwanted organisms ; whether he considers present practice to be adequate in the light of the existence of chironomidae in water supplies in south-west London ; whether he considers Thames Water complied fully with the recommended procedures ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what advice or instructions his Department gives to water undertakings to check their filter beds and other elements in the processing cycle for water supplies against physical objects which might lead to the entry and multiplication of unwanted organisms in the water supply ; whether such instructions or advice were complied with by Thames Water in the light of the presence of contaminated water supplies in south-west London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard : My Department has received a report from Thames Water that chironomid larvae are present in the water supply to parts of the boroughs of Hammersmith, Fulham, Hounslow, Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Southwark and Wandsworth supplied from the Hampton treatment works.
Thames Water found that two sand filters were passing larvae into the supply. These filters have been isolated for inspection and, if necessary, repair. Thames Water is also draining and cleaning the filtered water storage tank at the works. This cleaning operation is expected to take several days to complete. Thames Water is still investigating the cause of the incident.
My Department has not issued specific advice on the monitoring of water supplies or the checking of filter beds for the presence of unwanted organisms such as chironomidae. It is the water undertaker's responsibility to check that processes are operating efficiently and to monitor the quality of water entering supply. My Department's standing committee of analysts has published methods of biological sampling for macro- invertebrates which includes chironomidae. I understand that many water undertakers use these methods to monitor certain water supplies at times of the year when the presence of chironomidae is possible.
My Department will urgently review current practice with water undertakers when the cause of this incident is known.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place a copy of the Government's response to the European Community's reasoned opinion on drinking water quality in the Library.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Four hundred and eighty eight hospitals in England are authorised to store radioactive waste under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 and under the Radioactive Substances (Hospitals' Waste) Exemption Order 1963. Monitoring and safety are ensured by inspectors from both Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and the Health and Safety Executive.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a list of hospitals licensed under the Radioactive Substances Act 1966 to discharge radioactive wastes into the atmosphere or into the sewers.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Hospitals authorised to discharge radioactive wastes are given in the list of registrations in England and Wales issued under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 for the keeping and use of radioactive materials and mobile sources. A copy is in the Library of the House.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish figures for the amount of radioactive waste released into the atmosphere or down drains or stored on site at hospitals in each of the last five years.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what access local people and their representatives have to information about the level and potential dangers of the discharge of radioactive wastes from hospitals.
Column 64the premises. Details of any hazards found are published in the inspectorate of pollution's annual report which is available in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures his Department intends to take in order to protect the environment from the use of cyanide in prospective gold mining.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I have been asked to reply. Cyanide is not used in any gold mining operation in Scotland, nor are there any plans for its use in Scotland. The use of cyanide in mining would be subject to existing controls which apply, for example, to the use of substances hazardous to health and safety, to discharges to rivers or sewers and to the disposal of waste. I am not aware that any further controls are needed.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department has commissioned research on the environmental effects of cyanide in prospective gold mining ; and if he will publish the results.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I have been asked to reply. Cyanide is not used in any gold mining operation in Scotland, nor are there any plans for its use in Scotland. The dangers of cyanide to human health are well known and its use is thus strictly controlled. I am not aware of any need for research in this area.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of land within the Argyll and Bute district council area is designated as sites of special scientific interest or otherwise protected.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I have been asked to reply. The Nature Conservancy Council has advised me that 7 per cent. of land within Argyll and Bute district council area is designated SSSI or otherwise protected.
Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to the answer of 22 June, Official Report, column 198, how many copies of the community charge practice notes have been issued to people or organisations other than local authorities.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 29 June 1989] : In the case of the community charge practice note No. 19 "Exemptions from the Personal Community Charge (2)", published earlier this month, 2,700 copies were distributed to practitioners in local government and a further 700 copies were circulated to other organisations and individuals. Detailed records of distribution are not available for previous practice notes, but the proportion of local authority to other recipients was similar.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his reply of 11 May to the hon. Member for Copeland, Official Report, column 521, he will state how many requests have been received from the public by the private company, contracted by the Central Office of Information, for the leaflets on the community charge listed on page 2 of "The Community
Column 65Charge (The So-Called Poll Tax) : How It Will Work For You" delivered to all households in England : what is the average time taken to deal with a request for one or more leaflets ; what monitoring of this company's performance is being undertaken by the Central Office of Information ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ridley [holding answer 28 June 1989] : There has been exceptionally high demand for these further leaflets with over 235, 000 requests received so far. Many requests are for more than one leaflet. It was thought right to delay distribution until the outcome of court action by Greenwich borough council against the short leaflet "The Community Charge (the so-called Poll Tax)" was known and the implications of the judgment could be fully assessed. This and the level of demand has led to delays, both factors beyond my control, which I naturally regret. Orders arising for the short leaflet are, however, now being met and an explanatory letter is being sent to people who have placed orders which cannot be fulfilled until stocks have been replenished. Reprinting to meet the high demand is under way. The usual monitoring procedures are in place. All orders will be fulfilled as quickly as possible.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to ensure compliance by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway company with the terms of his consent issued under section 6 of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Act 1988, for the phase one reclamation by the company of lands at Fagbury.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 30 June 1989] : The Department's primary concern for limiting the consent under section 6(3) of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Act 1988 to phase one reclamation by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway company was to ensure that the environmental effects, in particular the damage and disturbance to the birds, were minimised.
Before issuing the consent, I had regard to the various agreements and undertakings entered into by or on behalf of the company during the passage of the Act in respect of the establishment of a nature reserve at Trimley marshes, landscaping and other matters. I also had regard to the agreement reached between the Nature Conservancy Council and the company subsequent to the passage of the Act for a programme of ornithological and hydrological monitoring studies within the Orwell estuary to identify changes in the bird population and their habitats resulting from phase one of the works. It is up to the parties to the various agreements to monitor the situation and seek compliance with the terms of the agreement. It is understood from the Nature Conservancy Council that the ornithological monitoring studies are progressing satisfactorily.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the monitoring arrangements he has made in respect of derogations of water supplies granted by him ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 66directive my officials carry out periodic reviews. Where improvements are necessary, my officials check on progress made by water undertakers.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the monitoring arrangements he has made in respect of any derogation of sewerage either in force or under consideration in the north west ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard [holding answer, 30 June 1989] : At present, consents to discharge effluent from sewage treatment works issued under part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 contain conditions which require that discharges are sampled by the water authority on the basis of agreed sampling guidelines. Under the Water Bill, it will become the responsibility of the National Rivers Authority to issue discharge consents and to determine appropriate sampling and monitoring arrangements.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what alternative method to the rating valuation list he proposes to use after the introduction of the poll tax in England and Wales in April 1990 to calculate home loss payments.
In paragraph 8 of the consultation paper on land compensation and compulsory purchase legislation which my Department issued on 7 March 1989, we have proposed provision for the Secretary of State to prescribe a single flat rate of home loss payable to all qualifying claimants at broadly the present level. However, the paper invited comments on whether, in the light of the general operation of the land compensation code, some further provision would be appropriate in the case of owner-occupiers who are displaced as a result of compulsory purchase. We are currently studying the responses of the consultation papers, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the water supply in Yorkshire meets the European Community guidelines for aluminium content, and for any other additives, metals or pesticides.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 29 June 1989] : Most supplies in the Yorkshire water authority area regularly comply with the standards set in the EC drinking water directive. Those supplies which regularly exceed the directive's standards, including those for aluminium, manganese and iron, and for which the Department has granted derogations under article 9 of the directive, are included in the list which I placed in the Library on 22 June. Derogations under article 9 can be granted only where the situation is due to the nature and structure of the ground and there is no risk to public health.
I also refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. Redmond) on 8 March, Official Report, column 521-22.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to receive notification under circular 18/84 of proposal, for new boundary fencing at HMS Cambridge, Wembury ; and when he is planning to hold a public inquiry.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 20 June 1989] : My hon. Friend the then Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces undertook to follow the procedures for Crown development laid down in circular 18/84. But it is for his Department to decide how to proceed within the terms of that circular. If the proposal is referred to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State he will then decide whether the proposal should proceed by way of a non- statutory local inquiry, an informal hearing or the exchange of written representations.
Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the sewage treatment works within Northumbria water authority's boundaries and the number of times each sewage treatment works has failed the discharge consent standard in each of the last two years.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 21 June 1989] : Details of the sewage treatment works in the Northumbrian water authority area are held on the public register, which is maintained by the authority and is available for public inspection, free of charge, at all reasonable hours. The register includes information about any breaches of discharge consents.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes his Department will make to the procedure of granting deemed consent to companies following the privatisation of water authorities.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 26 June 1989] : The arrangement for granting deemed consents to companies was a transitional provision under part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 related to those categories of discharge brought under control for the first time. This applied only to applications received by 14 October 1987. There are no plans to reintroduce the procedure for granting deemed consents following privatisation of the water industry.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to the answer to the hon. Member for Dewsbury, 26 June, Official Report, column 299 , if he will specify the exact amount which was allowed for expenditure on the water authorities' current corporate awareness advertising compaigns when approving the water authorities' overall financing limits.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many unemployed people have (a) been called for a restart interview, (b) attended a restart interview, (c) been referred to UBO for failing to attend interview, (d) been disallowed, (e) been called for restart follow- up interview, (f) attended a restart follow-up interview, (g) been referred to UBO for failing to attend follow-up interview and (h) been disallowed after referral to UBO for the Training Agency covering the Doncaster area, for each of the latest four three monthly periods available.
|April-June 1988 |July-September 1988 |October-December 1988|January-March 1989 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (a) Called for restart interview |10,923 |10,337 |12,308 |13,072 (b) Attended restart interview |8,731 |8,707 |8,434 |8,903 (c) Referred to UBO for failing to attend interview |669 |775 |663 |687 (d) Disallowed for failing to attend |56 |68 |40 |67 Restart follow-up interviews (figures also included in totals above) (e) Called for restart interview |134 |235 |1,177 |1,298 (f) Attended restart interview |47 |124 |765 |884 (g) Referred to UBO for failing to attend interview |2 |5 |63 |114 (h) Disallowed for failing to attend Not available in form requested-included in (d) above