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Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. People caring for the elderly within the family home may, depending upon their incomes, be eligible for rebates of up to 80 per cent. of the community charge, and if they are in receipt of income support, will have an amount reflected in their income support to help with the remaining 20 per cent.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in the event of planning appeals arising out of the refusal of local authorities to grant planning consent for municipal, chemical or hospital waste incinerators, he will make it his policy to take into account
Column 628local public concern over such proposals and the findings of the interdepartmental working group report "Dioxins in the Environment", and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chope : Section 29 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 requires those who decide planning applications to have regard to the provisions of the development plan, so far as material to the application, and to any other material considerations. My right hon. Friend and his planning inspectors are subject to the same requirement in relation to appeals. Accordingly, in deciding planning appeals inspectors can take account of a wide range of evidence, including expressions of local opinion, providing it relates to material land-use planning considerations.
dibenzo-par-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzo-furans entitled "Dioxins in the Environment", he will now consider introducing stricter planning and operational controls on municipal, chemical and hospital waste incinerators ; and if he will make a statement.
As for operational controls, new regulations came into effect on 31 March this year bringing all incinerators capable of burning waste at a rate of 1 tonne per hour or more under the control of the national air pollution inspectorates. These inspectorates already controlled all chemical waste incinerators. We have recently agreed within the European Community two directives on prevention of air pollution from new and existing municipal waste incinerators. These directives specify combustion conditions which take particular account of the need to minimise emissions of dioxins and furans. The Department has also recently drawn up, in consultation with the Department of Health, draft guidance on incineration of clinical waste which includes combustion conditions designed to minimise dioxin and furan emissions.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will tabulate what a typical married couple with two children and one wage earner living in the London borough of Waltham Forest would pay (a) in community charge and (b) in a system of capital value rates plus local income tax paid in proportions of 80 : 20, respectively, if the wage earner earned (a) £60,000, (b) £90, 000 and (c) £120,000 and lived in (i) property owned by that wage earner worth £90,000 and (ii) property owned by that wage earner worth £120,000 and (iii) property owned by that wage earner worth £150,000, making the same assumptions as in his reply to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Sir H. Rossi) on 22 March, Official Report, column 626.
Illustrative annual liability in Waltham Forest under a system of capital value rates combined with local income tax, 1988-89 Earnings |Property value|Property value|Property value --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) £60,000 |£1,635 |£1,915 |£2,200 (b) £90,000 |£2,060 |£2,345 |£2,625 (c) £120,000 |£2,490 |£2,770 |£3,050
The figures are based on illustrative tax rates placed in the Library on 23 June 1988 and are for 1988-89. Taxable income is taken as earnings less £4,095, the married man's allowance, in each case. The illustrative 1988-89 community charge in Waltham Forest is £269.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Evaporative emissions from gasoline are of interest because of the role they play in the generation of secondary air pollutants, including ozone. A study carried out for the Department by the Harwell
Column 630laboratory concludes that further controls on Reid vapour pressure would have an insignificant impact on the formation of secondary pollutants.
Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many planning applications were decided (a) in under eight weeks ; (b) between eight and 13 weeks ; and (c) in over 13 weeks by each planning authority in Staffordshire in the most recent period for which figures are available ;
(2) what percentage of planning applications were decided (a) in under eight weeks ; (b) between eight and 13 weeks ; and (c) in over 13 weeks by each planning authority in Staffordshire in the most recent period for which figures are available ; and what is the comparable figure for England as a whole.
Planning applications decided, by each planning authority in Staffordshire, and England-July to September 1988 Planning authority |Total decided |Under 8 weeks |Per cent. |Between 8-13 weeks|Per cent. |Over 13 weeks |Per cent. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannock Chase |257 |210 |(82) |27 |(10) |20 |(8) East Staffordshire |389 |320 |(82) |53 |(14) |16 |(4) Lichfield |337 |223 |(66) |85 |(25) |29 |(9) Newcastle under Lyme |347 |321 |(92) |20 |(6) |6 |(2) South Staffordshire |327 |156 |(48) |136 |(41) |35 |(11) Stafford |389 |304 |(78) |62 |(16) |23 |(6) Staffordshire Moorland |282 |156 |(55) |66 |(24) |60 |(21) Stoke on Trent |423 |295 |(70) |105 |(25) |23 |(5) Tamworth |326 |251 |(77) |46 |(14) |29 |(9) Peak Park (Staffs section) |41 |13 |(32) |16 |(39) |12 |(29) England |164,044 |85,680 |(52) |48,172 |(29) |30,192 |(19)
Mrs. Virgina Bottomley : None. However, we have received a large number of representations on litter in public areas generally, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will shortly announce proposals for legislation designd to tackle this problem.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on Wednesday 28 June 1989 to the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner), Official Report, Vol. 155, column 479.
60. Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to compel district councils to arrange to round up stray dogs, to advertise for their owners and, after a limited time, either offer those dogs to good homes or arrange for the unclaimed dogs to be put down.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 14 June proposals for giving local authorities new duties and powers for dealing with stray dogs. We will be issuing a consultation paper on these proposals shortly.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which beaches along the south Wales coastline between Cardiff and the Gover peninsular conform to the water quality standards of Economic Community bathing water directive 76/160/EEC ; and what consideration he has given to the merits of existing and proposed screened sewage outfalls along this coastline.
Information about bathing waters listed under the directive is as follows :
Trecco bay, Porthcawl
Rest bay, Porthcawl
My Department does not hold information on non-listed waters ; I refer my hon. Friend to the chairman of Welsh Water.
My officials are in touch with Welsh Water about its capital programme of improvements for bringing outfalls along this coastline to such standards as will permit listed bathing waters to comply with the terms of directive 76/160/EEC.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which beaches on the south Wales coastline within 10 miles of Swansea attain the standards required under European Economic Community bathing water directive 76/160/EEC.
All bathing waters within 10 miles of Swansea which are listed under the terms of the directive, with the exception of Swansea bay itself, complied with its standards during 1988.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) by how much the safety net grant of gaining authorities is reduced from when there is no limit where the maximum contribution to the community charge safety net is (a) £75 per adult, (b) £70 per adult, (c) £50 per adult, (d) £25 per adult, and (e) £10 per adult, on the assumption of a self-financing safety net ; (2) how much additional Exchequer grant would be required if the maximum contribution were to be (a) £70 per adult, (b) £50 per adult, (c) £25 per adult and (d) £10 per adult on the assumption of no reduction in the community charge safety net grant to local authorities gaining from the safety net.
Mr. Gummer : The information requested is provided in the table on the basis of 1988-89 figures. If the cost of limiting contributions to the safety net were funded by Exchequer grants it would be as shown in column 1. Alternatively, safety net grant receipts could be reduced by an equal amount per adult in receiving areas up to the point at which they no longer receive transitional protection. The maximum reduction in safety net grant per adult is shown in column 2.
L Cost in 1988-89 of limits on contributions to safety nets |Column 1 |Column 2 Contribution limit |Cost |Maximum cost £ |£ million |£ per adult ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 75 |114 |8 70 |134 |9 50 |254 |18 25 |529 |48 10 |769 |114
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, for which of the following charges in local authority functions or duties the community charge safety net will make distributional adjustments (a) ring fencing of the housing revenue account, (b) abolition of the Inner
Column 632London education authority, (c) capital financing charges consequent on the new capital control system, (d) pension contributions consequent on the charges being proposed, (e) costs of community charge collection, (f) costs of community charge rebate and rebate administration and (g) continuing costs of maintaining the community charge register.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has identified all the possible options for needs assessments under the new grant system ; and if he will make a statement on which he proposes to adopt.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the level of community charge for spending at needs assessment for each local authority which would apply in 1989-90 if the proposed local government finance system were in operation ; and what assumptions are made to arrive at that answer.
The detailed assumptions underlying that answer were :
|£ million ------------------------------------------- Total GRE |27,662 Revenue support grant |9,394 Non domestic rate pool |9,516 Total adult population |36.4
Sir Hugh Rossi : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had so far with local authorities and industry for the safe recovery and recycling of chlorofluorocarbons contained in discarded refrigerants in relation to Her Majesty's Government's objectives for the protection of the ozone layer.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department has regular meetings with local authorities and industry at which these matters are discussed. United Kingdom CFC manufacturers, a number of local authorities and at least one retailer of domestic refrigerators and freezers offer recycling services for used refrigerators free of charge.
chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant material and chlorofluorocarbon II in the foam in refrigeration and air-cooling equipment under the control of his Department.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Guidelines issued by the Property Services Agency contain advice on the use of CFCs on the Government estate. They insist that at the end of its useful operational life, the refrigerant in commercial or industrial equipment is to be recovered by the PSA or contractors and returned to the refrigerant supplier for reclamation or safe disposal. We do not yet know of a proven technique for the extraction of the CFCs in the insulation.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of the remuneration for each of the board members of the regional water authorities after vesting, along with any other benefits to be given.
Mr. Ridley : Under the Water Act 1989 all current appointments to water authority boards will end at vesting. Executive and non-executive directors of the successor companies will be appointed at vesting and through to flotation on essentially their existing terms and conditions as water authority board members or officers. Remuneration following flotation will be a matter for the companies themselves.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what correspondence, discussions, or meetings he has had with the advertising standards authority regarding advertising by the water filter industry.
Mr. Ridley : Yes. The complement for the office of water services will be about 100. The director general's duties have been added to since the number of about 80 was given in the explanatory and financial memorandum to the Water Bill last November.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what obligations there are on statutory water companies to disclose information about their structure, finances and activities ; and what are the comparable obligations of private limited companies.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 12 July 1989] : The requirements for disclosure of information about the structure, finances and activities of the statutory water companies are set out in their local statutes and company legislation ; and the requirements for private companies are set out in company legislation.
Column 634city council, concerning the impact on the national exhibition centre of the capital control proposals contained in the Local Government and Housing Bill.
Mr. Ridley [holding answer 12 July 1989] : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government wrote to the leader of Birmingham city council and Councillor Reg Hales about the national exhibition centre on 10 April, and I replied to their latest letters, of 26 May and 7 July, on 11 July.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 11 July 1989] : There are 808 premises in England which are currently authorised under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 to discharge liquid radioactive waste. the authorisations prescribe discharges into drainage systems, which include public sewers. All authorisations contain strict conditions, including the quantities of radioactive liquid that may be discharged.
Mr. Hurd : I have this week agreed on the need for early progress towards a confiscation agreement with the Interior Minister of Pakistan. We have already signed bilateral agreements with the United States of America, Canada, the Bahamas, Australia, Switzerland and, in the last few weeks, Spain, and have concluded similar arrangements with Bermuda. Discussions are also in progress with West Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Jamaica, Malaysia, Sweden andGuyana, and we expect further agreements soon.
55. Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many seizures of cocaine have been made in the Merseyside area this year ; and in how many cases crack was found to be present.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. McLoughlin) on 21 April at column 517. The ministerial group is next due to meet on 26 July, under the chairmanship of my right hon. Friend, when particular attention will be given to the threat to this country from cocaine and crack.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We receive a steady stream of representations from hon. Members and members of the public about drug abuse among young people. We take a very serious view of the problem of drug misuse and have developed a comprehensive strategy set out in "Tackling Drug Misuse" a copy of which is in the Library. A number of measures under the strategy--for example, drug education in schools--are aimed specifically at young people.
21. Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further steps he is taking to enhance international co- operation in respect of the trafficking in drugs in the light of the forthcoming European single market.
Mr. Hurd : In my contacts with our European partners I stress the need for early ratification by all countries of the 1988 United Nations convention against the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. We shall maintain the frontier checks necessary to control drug trafficking and promote closer international co-operation between law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Hurd : My hon. Friend's recent valuable visit to the United States and the Bahamas provided graphic evidence of the destructive effects on individuals and the community of widespread misuse of and trafficking in cocaine and crack. He studied both means of enforcement and of reducing demand. We already have in place a comprehensive strategy for tackling misuse. The ministerial group on the misuse of drugs is considering urgently how this strategy can be strengthened and extended.
17. Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received about entry into the United Kingdom of citizens from Hong Kong in the future ; and if he will make a statement.
18. Miss Widdecombe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases of a death of a patient on National Health Service premises in the past three years an inquest has been refused when it has been recommended by a coroner.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Home Secretary has power to order an inquest only if a coroner applies in the absence of a body. There was one application in this period for a death on National Health Service premises. It was concerned with the abortion in Carlisle City general hospital in July 1987.