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Mr. Ridley : The information needed to produce the tables was already available within the Department. The cost of the computer runs to produce the three tables was less than £50.

Project Funding (Tottenham)

Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by department all amounts granted in Government and European Community funds to projects in Tottenham, together with the name of the organisation receiving funds and the purpose for which it was granted ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : I will write to the hon. Member.

Council Rents

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library due documents showing projected rents for council tenants throughout the United Kingdom arising from setting rents according to property capital values ; what rents were projected for tenants of Bradford metropolitan district council ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : The Department of Environment has made no such projections. The Government have as yet made no decision on the overall national guidelines for rent income and management and maintenance expenditure which would be an essential part of any such projection.


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Rifle Range (House of Lords)

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the cause of the delay in completing the programme of work to the rifle range under the House of Lords ; and when this will be available for use.

Mr. Chope : I regret that this work has taken so long but it is now almost complete. Subject to a satisfactory inspection by the safety authority, the rifle range should be ready for use again by the middle of August.

Seals

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the research projects on the effect of pollution on seals, and on the links between pollution and seal health ; if he will give the spending on each ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 18 July 1989] : Within the past year, the Department of the Environment has commissioned three new research projects which examine the impact of contamination on seals, including possible effects on immuno-competence, as part of its North sea research programme with values in 1988-89 as follows : contaminant effects monitoring using seals (£10,000)

possible links between environmental pollutants and seal disease (£35,000) ; and

thymulin in seals (£10,000).

The Department is also commissioning further work on contaminants and the marine food chain which will cost over £450,000 this year. Other relevant aspects of seal research including monitoring, analysis of contaminants and diet are contained in the research programmes of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the sea mammal research unit of the Natural Environment Research Council.

HIP Allocations

Mr. Irvine : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what have been the housing investment programme allocations in each of the last 12 years for (a) Basildon, (b) Cambridge, (c) Chelmsford, (d) Ipswich, (e) Luton, (f) Norwich, (g) Peterborough and (h) Stevenage.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 19 July 1989] : The information requested is listed in the table. Since 1981-82 local authorities have been able to supplement their allocations by expenditure financed from capital receipts. Nationally, two thirds of local authorities' spending power on housing in 1989-90 is expected to come from capital receipts.


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Total housing investment programme allocations: £ thousands                                                                                                 

             |1978-79   |1979-80   |1980-81   |1981-82   |1982-83   |1983-84   |1984-85   |1985-86   |1986-87   |1987-88   |1988-89   |<1>1989-90           

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Luton        |5,084     |5,430     |4,139     |3,992     |5,579     |4,247     |4,396     |4,021     |3,129     |3,304     |2,904     |2,110                

Norwich      |11,396    |9,884     |9,360     |6,661     |9,085     |8,500     |7,640     |6,868     |5,981     |5,837     |4,606     |3,569                

Stevenage    |3,284     |3,592     |2,687     |2,353     |2,935     |2,881     |2,604     |2,320     |2,020     |1,894     |1,383     |1,152                

Cambridge    |4,226     |3,742     |2,969     |2,511     |4,290     |5,124     |3,845     |3,336     |3,029     |2,669     |2,359     |1,747                

Peterborough |4,254     |3,778     |3,191     |2,941     |4,352     |3,596     |3,875     |3,372     |2,823     |2,849     |2,171     |1,739                

Ipswich      |5,393     |5,414     |4,562     |4,397     |6,551     |6,991     |6,314     |5,384     |4,528     |4,331     |3,877     |2,843                

Basildon     |5,414     |6,114     |4,972     |2,438     |3,672     |2,742     |3,399     |2,580     |1,975     |1,988     |1,505     |1,222                

Chelmsford   |2,900     |3,002     |2,244     |1,831     |2,624     |2,759     |2,690     |2,478     |2,185     |1,978     |1,685     |1,223                

<1> Allocations issued to date.                                                                                                                             

Homelessness

Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the number of homeless single people in London ; and what action he has taken to tackle the problem.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 19 July 1989] : Information on the number of single homeless is not collected centrally. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is reviewing the homelessness legislation and hopes to announce conclusions soon.

Community Charge

Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to ensure that everybody in full-time education or training will be treated alike for the purposes of the community charge.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 19 July 1989] : Full-time students will pay only 20 per cent. of the personal community charge while those in training who are on low incomes will be eligible to claim rebates of up to 80 per cent.

Algae

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to deal with harmful blooms of algae in the Thames, Humber, Tyne and Forth estuaries ; what steps he is taking to prevent further eutrophication in British waters ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard [holding answer 19 July 1989] : The authorities responsible for the Thames, the Humber, the Tyne and the Forth have informed the Department that there are no problems from harmful algal blooms in the estuaries of these rivers. Further, a recent survey carried out by water authorities and river purification boards has confirmed that eutrophication is not a problem in United Kingdom coastal waters and estuaries and where algal blooms have historically occurred there is no increase in their frequency. However, the responsible authorities are keeping the situation under review.

Landfill Gas Sites

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the implications for the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect of discharges of gases from landfill sites ; and what steps he is taking to mitigate these effects.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 19 July 1989] : From reviews and research work commissioned by the Department, it can be concluded that methane has a secondary stratospheric role, tending to reduce ozone in the upper stratosphere, but to increase it in the lower stratosphere. Methane is a strong greenhouse gas which currently contributes about 14 per cent. globally to the


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greenhouse effect. Additionally methane contributes to ozone formation in the lower atmosphere which in turn also contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Landfill sites are estimated to contribute about 20 per cent. of total United Kingdom emissions of methane from both natural and manmade sources. Combustion of methane produced carbon dioxide which is much less potent than methane as a greenhouse gas on a molecule-for-molecule basis.

There are 26 schemes already using methane from landfill in operation with another 13 in the offing. In addition the Department is carrying out research on inhibition of methane production and oxidation of methane at landfill sites.

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will announce the commencement date of the review he is proposing into methane in landfill.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 21 July 1989] : Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution commenced a review into the extent of methane generation in current and closed landfills on 18 December 1987. The report is expected soon.

Dog Registration, Manchester

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what study his Department has made of Manchester city council's proposals for a dog registration scheme, details of which have been sent to him by the city's director of environmental health ; if there is any action he will be taking ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : I will consider the letter to which the hon. Member refers when I receive it. We do not believe, however, that a national dog registration scheme is the answer to problems of dog control. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently announced proposals for giving local authorities new powers and duties for dealing with these problems. We will be issuing a consultation paper shortly.

Footpaths

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to provide extra funding for the Countryside Commission to bring all footpaths into good order.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : Decisions on funding for 1990-91 have not yet been taken.

Fiddlers Ferry

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent figures he has on sulphur emissions from Fiddlers Ferry power station.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : I am advised by the CEGB that emissions of sulphur dioxide for 1988 were about 150,000 tonnes.


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Nature Conservancy Council

Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) where the scientific work on estuaries, heathlands, woodlands, peatland and ornithology will be based once the proposed re-organisation of the Nature Conservancy Council is completed ; (2) whether he intends to keep intact the Nature Conservancy Council's chief scientist's directorate.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : Detailed discussions are now taking place to determine the organisation, complement and geographical location of the bodies which will succeed the Nature Conservancy Council. The Government will ensure that each of the bodies has access to appropriate scientific expertise and hopes that it will be possible for all members of NCC's existing permanent staff to be offered posts by the successor bodies.

Community Charge, Nottingham

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of what the community charge in Nottingham will be in May 1990.

Mr. Gummer : The level of the community charge in Nottingham in 1990 depends on the expenditure levels set by both Nottingham city council and Nottinghamshire county council. I have made no estimate of these and cannot forecast what the community charge might be. Illustrative estimates of charges had the new system been in operation this year were placed in the Library on 19 July.

Consultative Council on Local Government Finance

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy in respect of smoking by participants at meetings of the consultative council on local government finance.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : My policy is freedom within the law.

Departmental Working Hours

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment during what hours his office is normally open to inquiries from hon. Members and others.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : My office is always open to inquiries during normal working hours--and often well beyond.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why the office of the Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside was unmanned on Friday 14 July from 12 noon until 3.30 pm.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : I understand that my noble Friend is writing to my hon. Friend.

Royal Parks

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has concerning the numbers of applications for permission to use royal


Column 476

parks property for filming, photography and sound recordings which are dealt with each week by the press office facilities officer of his Department.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : My Department's press office facilities officer--in consultation with the parks and police authorities--deals with about 14 requests a week to use the royal parks, Trafalgar Square, Parliament square and Grosvenor square for the purposes of filming cinema and television dramas, documentaries, commercials and outside broadcasts ; and about 30 applications a month for fashion and advertising photography which includes requests for annual passes.

Major news companies, based in London, hold annual passes for frequent news features and commentaries on camera, mainly on Abingdon street gardens.

Sound broadcasts are infrequent.

Bottle Banks

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the proportion of bottle banks per head of population for each London borough.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : I understand from the British Glass Manufacturers' Confederation that at the end of March the position was as follows :


                       |Population per bottle                      

                       |bank (000)                                 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Barking                |16.6                                       

Barnet                 |60.92                                      

Bexley                 |110                                        

Brent                  |36.41                                      

Bromley                |59.2                                       

Camden                 |11.47                                      

Croydon                |20.63                                      

Ealing                 |22.49                                      

Enfield                |11.52                                      

Greenwich              |15.4                                       

Hackney                |26.7                                       

Hammersmith and Fulham |16.49                                      

Haringey               |8                                          

Harrow                 |19.92                                      

Havering               |15.87                                      

Hillingdon             |39.27                                      

Hounslow               |33.16                                      

Islington              |11                                         

Kensington and Chelsea |68                                         

Kinston upon Thames    |16.72                                      

Lambeth                |20.42                                      

Lewisham               |9.67                                       

Merton                 |20.68                                      

Newham                 |21                                         

Redbridge              |19                                         

Richmond upon Thames   |8.51                                       

Southwark              |27.12                                      

Sutton                 |18.9                                       

Tower Hamlets          |21                                         

Waltham Forest         |26.94                                      

Wandsworth             |26.8                                       

Westminster            |8.8                                        

Clinical Hospital Waste

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department has taken any action on the recommendation by the Environment Select Committee's second report on toxic waste that landfill sites no longer be used to dispose of clinical hospital waste.


Column 477

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government response (Cm. 679 April 1989) to the Environment Committee report indicated that clinical wastes should be managed in accordance with guidelines in waste management paper No. 25 which advises that landfill is suitable for only a restricted range of clinical wastes. This advice is currently under review.

African Elephants

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the intention of Her Majesty's Government as regards entering a reservation on behalf of Hong Kong at the CITES meeting in October when consideration is given to appendix I listing of African elephants.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : The Government support the case for the transfer of the African elephant to appendix I. We are in discussion with Hong Kong on the effect of such listing. All relevant issues will be discussed at the conference of the parties to CITES at Lausanne in October.

Inland Waters (Jet-skis)

Mr. Onslow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultation he has had with the Nature Conservancy Council, the Countryside Commission, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the National Anglers' Council and other interested bodies on the environmental impact of the use of jet-skis and similar devices on rivers and other inland waters ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 21 July 1989] : No consultation has taken place with these bodies on the use of jet-skis.

Housing Starts

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing housing starts in each region in the quarter to April, showing the percentage change in starts from the quarter ended April 1988.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : Housebuilding starts for regions in England in the three months to April 1989 and the corresponding period a year earlier are given in the table.


Housebuilding starts in thousands                                                            

                      February to April                                                      

                     |1988             |1989             |Percentage change                  

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

North                |2.4              |2.5              | +2                                

Yorkshire and                                                                                

  Humberside         |4.4              |4.2              | -4                                

East Midlands        |5.8              |4.7              |-19                                

East Anglia          |4.4              |3.5              |-19                                

                                                                                             

South East:                                                                                  

  Greater London     |3.5              |4.0              |+13                                

  Rest of South East |16.5             |12.0             |-27                                

                                                                                             

South West           |6.9              |5.4              |-22                                

West Midlands        |5.5              |4.0              |-28                                

North West           |4.7              |4.8              | +1                                

England              |54.1             |45.1             |-17                                

Housing Action Trust (Southwark)

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the policies of the proposed housing action trust in Southwark on rent arrears.

Mr. Trippier : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on Wednesday 19 July at column 213 .

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if the proposed housing action trust in Southwark would be able to accept transfer applications from Southwark council tenants ; (2) what effect would the creation of the proposed housing action trust in Southwark have on the rehousing, if places became available, of those tenants of the North Peckham and Gloucester grove estates, currently on Southwark council waiting lists.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : These would be matters for discussion between Southwark council and a trust.

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment in the event of a housing action trust being created, what requirement would be placed on the trust to accept a share of homeless cases in Southwark.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : Where a local housing authority requested a trust's assistance in discharging certain of its responsibilities towards the homeless, section 70 of the Housing Act 1988 would require the trust to co-operate in rendering reasonable assistance.

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of the membership of the proposed housing action trust board in Southwark would be tenants from either the Gloucester grove or North Peckham estates.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 19 July, at column 213.

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he intends to take to ensure the independence of action of the members of the proposed housing action trust board in Southwark.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : The trust would itself be responsible for day-to-day decisions. Members will also be appointed for a number of years, fixed in advance. I would expect all of them to play a full part in helping to achieve a trust's objectives.

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether there will be any limitations on the time the proposed housing action trust in Southwark could continue to exist.

Mr. Trippier : Section 88 of the Housing Act 1988 requires a housing action trust to use its best endeavours to secure that its objects are achieved as soon as practicable.

Council Rents

Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list the estimated council rent rises assessed by his Department on the formula relating them to local house values.


Column 479

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : The policy announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 14 June concerned a proposed mechanism for determining annual rent guidelines for local authorities by reference to the value of their housing stock. The mechanism does not in itself imply any particular levels of rents.

Gipsy Sites

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many designated gipsy sites there are in England and Wales ; and if he will list them by county area.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : The number of local authorities in England which are designated under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 is as follows : 94 shire districts, 10 metropolitan districts and 22 London boroughs. In these areas local authorities currently provide 130 sites for gipsies. There are a further 128 gipsy sites provided by local authorities in areas that have not been designated under the Caravan Sites Act. There are also some authorised privately operated sites in some areas, but information is not available on numbers of these.

My Department publishes a list of gipsy sites provided by local authorities in England and I will send a copy to the hon. Member. Gipsy sites in Wales are the responsibility of the Welsh Office.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Recycled Paper

Ms. Walley : To ask the Lord President of the Council if, pursuant to his answer of 4 July, Official Report, column 154, he will make it his policy to take into account environmental considerations when deciding what is to qualify as first-class stationery ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wakeham : The Accommodation and Administrative Sub-Committee is already fully aware of the need to take into account the environmental implications of decisions concerning the type of paper used in the House. Apart from its instructions to Her Majesty's Stationery Office and the authorities of the House to be kept informed of developments in relation to the use of recycled paper, the Sub-Committee is also engaged in consultations with the Department of Trade and Industry about the suitability of using paper containing recycled material for first class stationery.

Green Card Requests

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will look into ways of shortening the time it takes for green card requests for personal interviews to reach hon. Members.

Mr. Wakeham : The Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee recently agreed to a revised form of green card which is designed to facilitate speedier handling. Responsibility for the day-to-day management of this service lies, however, with the Serjeant at Arms and if the hon. Member has any specific complaint or suggestion to make he is advised in the first instance to consult the Serjeant at Arms.


Column 480

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Director of Public Prosecutions

60. Mr. Janner : To ask the Attorney-General when he last met the Director of Public Prosecutions ; and what matters were discussed.

The Solicitor-General : On 10 July. We discussed a matter of departmental interest.

European Court of Human Rights

61. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Attorney-General when he last visited the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The Attorney-General : I represented the Government at the oral hearing of the Soering case on 24 April this year.

Legal Profession (Reform)

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Attorney-General (1) if he has received any representations from the Leicestershire Law Society concerning the effects on the network of national solicitors' offices of the proposals in "The Future of the Legal Profession" ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he has received any representations from the Leicestershire Law Society concerning the takeover rate by insurance companies, building societies and other such institutions of estate agent firms ; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : The Lord Chancellor has received representations from the Leicestershire Law Society in connection with his Green Papers on the future of the legal profession. The White Paper "Legal Services : A Framework for the Future" (Cm 740) published on 19 July describes the Government's decisions on the proposals in the Green Papers and its plans for legislation.

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the organisations which have responded to the document entitled "The Future of the Legal Profession" ; which organisations (a) favour and (b) oppose the proposals ; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : The Lord Chancellor's three Green Papers published in January--"The Work and Organisation of the Legal Profession", "Contingency Fees" and "Conveyancing by Authorised Practitioners"--have been treated collectively as his papers on the future of the legal profession. They contained a variety of proposals and options. Over 2,000 responses were received from individuals and organisations. They included comments for and against some or all of the points raised. There would therefore be little benefit to be gained from seeking to construct a list of those for and against them as a whole. The White Paper "Legal Services : A Framework for the Future" (Cm. 740) published on 19 July contains a synopsis of the responses. The Lord Chancellor has also arranged, where authors have consented, for copies of all responses (except those which dealt only with personal cases) to be made available for inspection in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament, in the Supreme Court library and on written application, in his Department's headquarters.


Column 481

Small Businesses

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months ; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.

The Attorney-General : As the Government's principal legal adviser, I should regard it as my duty to provide ministerial colleagues with legal advice relating to small businesses if required. However, my Department, in the nature of its work, has no direct or particular responsibility towards small businesses as such.

Malicious Communications Act 1988

Mr. Janner : To ask the Attorney-General how many prosecutions were brought under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 in the London metropolitan area ; and what was their outcome.

The Attorney-General : I regret that such information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. EMPLOYMENT

Labour Statistics

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total number and proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds in the northern region and Durham in full-time employment or recognised training schemes or unemployed.


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