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General guidance on the disposal of asbestos wastes is given in waste management paper No. 18, published by the Department, and in the Institute of Waste Management's code of practice for the disposal of asbestos waste, which was supported by the Department.
Mr. Trippier : This information is reported quarterly by local authorities and I referred the hon. Member to the latest available figures in the reply that I gave him on 15 June 1989. [ Official Report, Vol. 154, column 538 ].
82. Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to ensure that new factories and workshops conform to European Community standards of environment pollution and noise pollution.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government intend to strengthen the pollution control powers available to local authorities and introduce a system of integrated pollution control for major industrial processes which will be applied by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. Taken with the creation of the National Rivers Authority under the Water Act 1989, our proposals will create a powerful pollution control re gime which will ensure compliance not only with European Community standards, but in many cases with more stringent standards. There are no European Community standards of environmental noise pollution for new factories and workshops. Controls are exercised through the planning system and the statutory nuisance provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) over what period of time any ballot on the proposed creation of a housing action trust in Southwark will be open to those eligible to vote ;
(2) to whom spoilt ballot papers will be referred during the count of votes cast after any ballot on the proposed formation of a housing action trust in Southwark ;
(3) what provisions will be made for those, such as the elderly, infirm and disabled unable to take part in any ballot on the proposed creation of a housing action trust in Southwark ;
(4) what steps will be taken to ensure the maximum participation by residents in any ballot on the creation of a housing action trust in Southwark ;
(5) whether any vote on the proposed creation of a housing action trust in Southwark will take the form of (a) a postal vote, (b) a ballot box vote or (c) both ;
(6) whether he will ask the Electoral Reform Society to encourage residents to vote in any ballot on the proposed formation of a housing action trust in Southwark ;
Column 213(7) which individuals are entitled to attend and observe the count of the votes cast after any ballot on the proposed formation of a housing action trust in Southwark ;
(8) who will have the responsibility for conducting the count of the votes cast after any ballot on the proposed formation of a housing action trust in Southwark.
We shall certainly encourage the Electoral Reform Society to take all reasonable steps to ensure that eligible tenants have an opportunity to vote in a housing action trust ballot.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when the new terms of the tenancy agreement will be finalised in relation to the proposed creation of a housing action trust in Southwark ;
(2) if he will now publish a draft tenancy agreement that would operate in the event of the establishment of the proposed housing action trust in Southwark.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether tenants leaving the Gloucester Grove and North Peckham estates in Southwark after the compilation of the register of those entitled to vote in any ballot on the creation of a housing action trust will retain voting rights.
Mr. Trippier : When I met Southwark council and tenants' representatives on 24 May I said that a trust for Southwark could consist of a chairman and up to 10 other members. Half these other members could be tenants and council representatives. Tenants and the council are welcome to suggest candidates. The Secretary of State is required to consult the local authority before appointing such members.
Mr. Trippier : A trust's statutory position as a landlord would be exactly the same as that of a local authority as regards the discretion it could exercise over individual rent arrears cases. Trusts would be sensible managers which would follow the best practices of local authorities in trying to avoid the accumulation of rent arrears. My Department has issued a circular (18/87) on best practice, which trusts would be encouraged to follow.
(2) what powers he would possess in relation to decisions made by the proposed housing action trust in Southwark.
Mr. Trippier : Day-to-day decisions would be for the trust itself. Section 72 of the Housing Act 1988 enables the Secretary of State to give an established trust directions in the exercise of its functions. Other provisions in part III of the Act set out the basis on which the Secretary of State may determine a trust's financial duties ; and the circumstances in which he has to authorise, oppose or consent to its actions.
Mr. Trippier : The powers of a trust are set out in part III of the Housing Act 1988. Its objects and general powers are covered in section 63. The Secretary of State may by order under sections 65, 67 and 68 confer various housing, planning and public health functions on the trust. Wherever possible our intention is to leave powers with the local authority.
Spending power from capital receipts |£ million ------------------------------ 1985-86 |6.161 1986-87 |7.497 1987-88 |9.610 1988-89 |16.710
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate the total amount of derelict land grant awarded in respect of the reclamation of the site of the former Mosley Common colliery in Wigan.
Column 215publishes annually a digest of environmental protection and water statistics which provides authoritative data on most aspects of environmental protection. Copies are in the Library. It has published "Protecting Your Environment--A Guide" which provides a summary of current environmental issues and policies across the board, describes the principles which underlie the Government's actions in this field, and provides a "who does what" guide to environmental protection. A copy is in the Library. It has published "Environment in Trust"--a series of leaflets which give in-depth accounts of environmental issues and current policies. Copies are in the Library.
Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish illustrative figures for 1989-90 showing for each area (a) community charges, (b) differences between general rates and the national non-domestic rate and (c) domestic bills with a combined system of capital value rates and local income tax, so that a comparison can be made with current local government taxes.
Mr. Ridley : I have today placed in the Library illustrative community charge figures for English authorities which are consistent with 1989-90 rate levels and show what the community charge might have been if the new local government finance system were in operation now. The figures have been calculated on the basis of the safety net and other transitional proposals which I announced earlier today.
The figures are subject to the same qualification as those for earlier years. In particular they are not a prediction of the community charges which will apply in 1990-91. Those will depend largely on the spending decisions of individual local authorities. These figures are based on : estimated 1989-90 income from rates and Government grants for individual authorities ; the new revenue support grant arrangements (but using the 1989-90 distribution of grant-related expenditure between individual authorities) ; the 1989-90 equivalent to aggregate external finance (grant and business rates) ; the business rate distribution which will come into effect from April 1990 ; and a safety net calculated on the principles for 1990-91 which I announced today.
These figures illustrate the community charge levels associated with current levels of spending. The new local government finance system would have allowed all authorities to finance expenditure sufficient to provide a standard level of service while levying a community charge of £240 in 1989-90.
The extent to which the full, unsafety-netted, community charge in any area exceeds £240 is simply a measure of the overspending by local authorities in the area. Likewise a full community charge of less than £240 is a measure of the efficiency of the authorities concerned.
In this way the level of the full community charge in each area will provide a ready reckoner enabling chargepayers to compare the amount which their councils spend with the cost of providing a standard level of service and with the performance of other authorities. The message is clear. High spending leads to high community charges.
In 1989-90 the level of local authority spending is likely to be 6.8 per cent. higher than allowed for in the
Column 216settlement. This leads to an average illustrative community charge of £274 before the safety net, the same as the average rate bill per adult.
The published figures also include the latest estimates of the effect of moving to a uniform business rate. The latest figures suggest that about 60 per cent. of non-domestic hereditaments would have benefited from the uniform business rate on its own. The move to a uniform poundage will be of particular benefit to businesses in the north and the inner cities. For example, poundages would reduce by 35 per cent. in Sheffield, 31 per cent. in Manchester and over 28 per cent. in Liverpool. The uniform business rate is particularly good news for areas of above-average unemployment where high rates have slowed economic regeneration. And businesses generally will benefit from the linkage of business rates to the RPI.
Although the move to the national business rate could mean significant changes in rate bills when combined with the revaluation of non-domestic properties, there will be transitional arrangements to limit the year-on- year changes.
I have also placed in the Library estimates of the impact of the combination of a local income tax and capital value rates. As the basis for calculating community charges has been changed since 1988-89 figures were placed in the Library on 23 June 1988, I have also provided a comparative table showing 1988-89 and 1989-90 community charges calculated on a consistent basis. In 1990-91 actual charges will be determined by the amount that local authorities need to raise from their chargepayers. The nearest equivalent in 1989-90 is the amount they raise in rates. Illustrative charges in previous years were based on total expenditure which determined an authority's block grant but which is no longer relevant.
Mr. Newton : No reliable comparisons exist for absolute levels of manufacturing productivity between different countries. But available figures do show that in the 1980s the United Kingdom has had the fastest rate of growth of manufacturing productivity of the seven major industrial countries.
18. Mr. Madden : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress is being made in securing the inclusion of clauses concerning workers' rights in the negotiations in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Uruguay round ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : The latest available figures for consumer credit are as follows. At the end of March 1989 that amount of consumer credit outstanding on the broad definition, which includes bank lending, was £43.4 billion. On the narrower definition, at the end of May it was £28.4 billion. The vast majority of household borrowing is accounted for by mortgages.
20. Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to conclude his consideration of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the supply of beer ; and if he will make a statement.
56. Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on which statistical measures of competitiveness Britain's competitiveness has (a) improved and (b) declined over the last 10 years.
Column 218changed by comparision with ten years ago and our share of world trade in manufactures has been stable over the last seven years after decades of decline. Other measures such as relative export prices and import price competitiveness have fluctuated over the period. However, competitiveness also depends on non-price factors such as quality, reliability and delivery performance.
23. Mr. Darling : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the net flow of investment in and out of Britain for the last year that is available ; and what were the comparable figures 10 years earlier.
40. Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the net flow of investment in and out of Britain for the last year that is available ; and what were the comparable figures 10 years earlier.
47. Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the net flow of investment in and out of Britain for the last year that is available ; and what were the comparable figures 10 years earlier.
Mr. Atkins : Net direct and portfolio investment in the United Kingdom from abroad in 1988 is provisionally estimated to have been £11.4 billion whilst net direct and portfolio investment abroad was £25.4 billion. The corresponding figures for 1978 were £1.8 billion and £4.6 billion respectively.
Mr. Atkins : Net capital expenditure in manufacturing industry in the north-west is estimated to amount to £971 million in 1979 and £1, 204 million in 1987. At constant 1985 prices the figures are £1,510 million and £1,108 million respectively.
Divisions 2-4 Standard Industrial Classification, Revised 1980.
Column 219appropriate, we take up representations on market access with the Japanese authorities, both directly and through the European Commission. Such action has brought improved access to the market, most recently in respect of Scotch whisky. At the same time, through the Opportunity Japan campaign, my Department is encouraging British exporters to take advantage of the great potential of the Japanese market. Over the last five years our exports to Japan have doubled in value and are presently running at nearly £2 billion per annum.
Mr. Maude : Expenditure in 1988 on acquisitions and mergers within the United Kingdom by industrial and commercial companies is estimated to be about £22 billion. Expenditure in 1988 on acquisitions overseas by United Kingdom companies is estimated to be about £17 billion.
Region |Number --------------------------------- Scotland |8,300 Wales |4,600 Northern Ireland |3,300 North |4,500 North west |16,500 Yorkshire and Humberside 12,300 East Midlands |10,800 West Midlands |15,300 East Anglia |6,100 South east |95,300 South west |13,600 |------- Total |190,600
Mr. Atkins : In May 1989 manufacturing output was at a level of 119.0, based on 1985 equal to 100. This is 9 per cent. more than the level of 109.1 for May 1973. But my hon. Friend will appreciate that monthly data can be erratic. A firmer based comparison would be in the three months to May 1989 manufacturing output was 8 per cent. higher than in the same period in 1973.
Mr. Forth : I have no plans to do so. The Trade Descriptions (Place of Production) (Marking) Order 1988 which requires corrective origin marking in cases where the consumer might otherwise be misled as to where goods were produced, represents the most that is possible on a national basis within the confines of our European Community obligations.