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35. Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the implementation of the legislation regarding charging for activities by schools.
36. Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has received from local authorities about difficulties arising from the new provisions relating to charging for school expeditions.
Mr. Butcher : My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations on the subject of charging for school activities. He has invited the local authorities and others to assist in monitoring the impact of the new arrangements. The legislation was drafted following consultation with the education service, and reflects the concern of respondents to confirm the principle of free education. We believe that it provides a sound framework for the continuation of a wide range of school activities, provided these are valued by parents as a worthwhile part of their children's education.
Mr. Butcher : My right hon. Friend's proposed education support grant programme for 1990-91 which was announced in May does not include a specific activity related to school libraries. He will, however, consider the inclusion of such an activity in a future programme.
@ |1988-89|1989-90 |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------- a. Students living away from home and attending an establishment in London |3,630 |3,970 b. Students living away from home and attending an establishment outside London |2,975 |3,125 c. Students living in the parental home |2,160 |2,270
The Medical Research Council and the Agricultural and Food Research Council have decided to supplement maintenance grants to postgraduate students supported by them by an average of £500 per student with effect from 1989-90. Research students working on MRC's programme of AIDS research will receive a further supplement of £500.
All research councils make additional payments to disabled and older students and to those with dependants. They also pay approved fees and expenses for daily and end-of-term travel, fieldwork and conference attendance.
38. Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to ensure that the London nautical school in the London borough of Southwark continues to be available as a choice to parents throughout London for their children's education.
Mrs. Rumbold : Our plans for the current financial year allow for a continuation of the steady expansion of provision for the under-fives which has marked the last decade. Provision for local education authorities' spending on education in 1990-91 is still to be determined.
Column 124biological sciences in the United Kingdom who are not British Nationals, and the availability of post-doctoral staff likely to remain in research careers in Britain.
Mrs. Rumbold : At my right hon. Friend's request, the National Curriculum Council has been considering the framework for the primary curriculum. The council published non-statutory guidance on 30 June and copies have been sent to all maintained schools, local education authorities and others. The organisation of classes is a matter for local discretion. The council's guidance explains that there is a variety of ways in which pupils may be grouped, depending on the circumstances in each case.
Mr. Jackson : My reply of 17 February to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) at column 417, showed that, over the last eight years, there has been a net inflow of academic staff to British universities. The Government recognise that concern has been expressed about the academic quality of those leaving the United Kingdom, but believe that it is for the universities themselves to be more rigorous in monitoring the flows, and to use the more flexible arrangements for academic pay now in place to help forestall and counteract them as necessary.
Mr. Jackson : Comparable information is not available over the period requested. However, between the academic years 1981-82 and 1987-88, the proportion of universities' total recurrent income derived from research grants and contracts rose from 12.9 to 19.6 per cent.
Column 125education. I believe that parents have a legitimate interest which they should be trusted to express and that competition encourages good schools to do even better and poorer schools to raise their sights.
49. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress is being made in securing the teachers required for secondary and junior schools in the Southend-on-Sea area ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Butcher : Responsibility for securing teachers for maintained schools rests with the local education authority which needs to take appropriate recruitment measures. Our action programme to combat teacher shortages, which has cost £50 million over the last three years, is designed to help authorities to that end.
51. Mr. Radice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to increase the financial support available to local education authorities through the local education authority training grants scheme.
57. Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to increase the financial support available to local education authorities through the local education authority training grants scheme.
Mr. Butcher : On 21 December 1988 the Council of Ministers of the European Communities adopted a directive that will enable a range of professionals, including teachers, to have their professional qualifications recognised for the purposes of practice in member states other than their own. The directive must be implemented by 1991. My right hon. Friend proposes to make regulations according the benefits of the directive to members of the teaching profession qualified in other member states from September this year. This should assist LEAs in their recruitment of teachers from other member states.
The Department is also supporting a project at the university of York which is recruiting and training teachers from France and Germany.
64. Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to improve the provision of primary school places arising out of developments in the London docklands.
Mrs. Rumbold : Developments in the London docklands are increasing the demand for primary school places. The provision of those places is a matter for the London borough of Newham, the Inner London education authority and, from 1 April 1990, the boroughs of Southwark and Tower Hamlets. My right hon. Friend, in determining annual capital guidelines, will continue to give a high priority to plans for additional school places from these and other local education authorities.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy to increase funding for research into pollution of the river ecosystem before privatisation of the water industry.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend will as usual consider expenditure on all areas of scientific research sponsored by this Department later this year, after studying advice from the Advisory Board for the Research Councils. I understand that my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for the Environment is discussing, with the water industry and the National Rivers Authority advisory committee, future research arrangements in the water sector.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) whether he will make it his policy to give the Natural Environment Research Council the necessary funds to develop work on environmental microbiology ;
(2) whether he will make it his policy to give the Natural Environment Research Council the necessary funds to develop work into the risks and opportunities of modifying natural micro-organisms.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend will as usual consider expenditure on all areas of scientific research sponsored by this Department later this year, after studying advice from the Advisory Board for the Research Councils.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) whether, in transferring funds for scientific research from universities to research councils, he will make it his policy to give the Natural Environment Research Council the necessary funds to develop work in the interactions of the land and atmosphere ;
Column 127(2) whether, in transferring funds for scientific research to research counils, he will make it his policy to give the Natural Environment Research Council the necessary funds to develop work in atmospheric sciences.
Mr. Jackson : The planned transfer of funds from the Universities Funding Council to the research councils, recently announced by my right hon. Friend, corresponds to a change in the balance of funding responsibilities for university research projects sponsored by research councils. It is not intended that this will lead to any change in the total funding provided for university research through the two sides of the dual support system, nor to any change in the research council's scientific priorities.
Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the implications of the local management scheme on staffing levels of the education departments in local authorities.
Mrs. Rumbold : As more decision-making is delegated to schools there should certainly be scope for economies in LEAs' central administration costs, but authorities will have a continuing strategic role under local management and will be able to hold back resources for key central services. Each authority will determine its own staffing needs for these.
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultation took place with the football clubs, the Football League, the Football Association and the Football Supporters Association over the structure, membership and powers of the Football Membership Authority ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : The role of the Football Membership Authority was considered by the working party which I chaired last summer on the national membership scheme and which included representatives of the Football Association and the Football League. I have had discussions with the football authorities about their wish to form the FMA. I have also had discussions about the FMA with the Football Supporters Association and the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment with reference to his announcement of charges to be introduced through a new clause in the Water Bill, how the figure of £800 per dwelling for new
Column 128water and sewerage infrastructure and services was calculated ; how soon he will be able to make more accurate figures available ; and how these charges will vary across the United Kingdom.
Mr. Howard : The figure was an estimate of the average cost per new connection of investment in additional water supply and sewerage capacity, excluding infrastructure which could be requisitioned under clause 40 or clause 70 of the Water Bill (as amended by the House of Lords). Individual limits for water authorities will be included in their instruments of appointment published in August, and it is intended to give provisional figures for statutory water companies at the same stage with firm limits following in the autumn.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make available in the Library the responses so far to the Green Paper on the role and functions of waste disposal authorities.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We will shortly deposit in the Library copies of all responses so far received, where the authors have given permission so to do. I will write to the hon. Member at that time.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those nature reserves assisted by grant from the Nature Conservancy Council, where it has been made a condition of grant that the shooting of birds or other creatures will continue.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information is not available in the form requested and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. In considering land purchase proposals whether for themselves or by grant aid to NGO's the Nature Conservancy Council will normally expect the new owners to allow the traditional rights or uses of the land to continue and to alter the level or practice of these activities only when they are in conflict with the interests of conservation.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to amend section 33 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 in order that local authorities can recover costs of reconnection of supplies of gas and electricity incurred in paying arrears from landlords who then sell the house to evade debts ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department plans to simplify the powers and procedures referred to in the consultation paper on housing in multiple occupancy published last year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the proposed housing in multiple occupancy fitness standard referred to in Standing Committee on the Local Government and Housing Bill will include comprehensive fire safety provision such as means of detection and warning systems ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what appointments have recently been made to the Nature Conservancy Council ; what relevant experience these people have that qualifies them for membership ; whether he has received any representations concerning the appointments from pressure groups or other interested bodies ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Five new members of the Nature Conservancy Council were appointed with effect from 1 April 1989--the Earl of Dalkeith, Dr. Bill Mutch, Earl Peel, Mr. Lindsay Waddell and Mr. William Wilder. They have a range of relevant qualifications and experience. More details are given in the press release issued by my noble Friend, the Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside on 29 March 1989, a copy of which I have sent to the hon. Member. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, has received a small number of letters commenting on the recent appointments. Members are appointed for the personal contribution that they can bring to the work of the council.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all those individual and organisations who have been lobbying him and other Ministers in his Department about common land footpaths, and access to the countryside during the last two months.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A large number of representations have been received during the last two months, covering a wide range of views on access issues. They have arisen primarily from the Ramblers' Association's footpaths appeal, the Countryside Commission's "Enjoying the Countryside" initiative, the Government's proposals for privatising the water industry and for legislation in the Rubinstein case, and the question of future access to upland commons. Also, on 7 June, I met the hon. Member for a useful discussion of current concerns on these matters.
Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what studies the North sea task force is undertaking to evaluate the impact of pollutants on marine mammals and seabirds ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The role of the North sea task force is principally to co-ordinate and assess the marine environmental research and monitoring carried out by member states and to identify gaps in knowledge. It is for member states to give effect to task force priorities and objectives and in the United Kingdom, this falls to the research programmes of relevant Departments, and other agencies such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) and universities. In the case of marine mammals, studies are currently under way sponsored by the Department of the Environment, with assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, on the impact of contaminants on seals. Similar work on cetaceans is under consideration and studies of contaminant effects on sea birds are carried out by NERC and sponsored by NCC.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many licences have been issued under the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna for the importation of rhinoceros products for each of the last five years for which records are available ;
(2) how many licences have been issued under the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna for the importation of ivory or ivory products for each of the last five years for which records are available.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of which standards set in the European Community drinking water directive are regularly exceeded by water suppliers in England which have not been granted derogations.
Mr. Howard : The standard for nitrates in the EC drinking water directive is regularly exceeded in some water supplies in England. Remedial programmes are in hand to ensure compliance as quickly as possible taking account of practicalities.
The pesticides standard in the EC directive is also exceeded in some water supplies. Current medical advice is that pesticide levels detected do not constitute a risk to health.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 3 July 1989] : Control of emissions to atmosphere from British Steel, Redcar including dust are the responsibility of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. Standards are set and are currently being met. There have been a number of complaints about dust arising from stockpiles particularly in high wind conditions. Work is in hand to minimise such occurrences.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the precise locations of each application made for derogation of sewage discharges in the north-west ; if he will list also any other derogation currently in force in the north-west ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will state for each sewage derogation site currently approved or under consideration by his Department in the north-west (a) what improvement programmes for effluent at each location has been submitted, (b) what are the commencement and finishing dates for such improvement programmes and (c) what are the target levels for achievement of the improvement of effluent at the point of discharge ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 30 June 1989] : I announced on 7 December 1988 at column 199, an accelerated capital investment programme of about £1 billion to bring sub-standard sewage treatment works into compliance with their discharge consents. Water authorities may apply for time-limited discharge consents to regularise the present discharge whilst these improvements are carried out.
A list of the applications made for time-limited consents where improvements are planned has been placed in the Library. Details of these applications are on the register maintained by each water authority and are available for public inspection. The applications have also been advertised by the authorities concerned.
In some cases improvements have already commenced and in others will commence shortly. In general, I expect the improvements to be completed, by March 1992, but in some cases because of the scale of design and construction work which is necessary, works will be completed as soon as practically possible thereafter.
The time-limited consents will not permit deterioration in the current performance of these works and consent conditions no less stringent than those which currently apply will be reintroduced once the work is complete. The programme is expected to produce significant improvements in river quality both in the north-west and more generally.
Details of all discharge consents, including any derogations currently in force, are available on the authority's public register.