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Infectious Disease Reporting

Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the operation of the system of infectious disease reporting set up under the Local Government Act 1974.

Mr. Freeman : The statutory basis for the system of infectious disease reporting in England and Wales is now contained in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988.

Medical practitioners are required to notify cases of certain infectious disease to local authority proper officers who are required to pass data on to other bodies including district health authorities and the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Serious outbreaks of disease and individual cases of particular diseases must also be reported to the chief medical officer. In practice surveillance of infectious disease in the population draws upon various sources of data apart from these notifications, for example school sickness records, general practitioner reports, laboratory reports, hospital data, death registration and local surveys.

We announced last July that we accepted the general principles advanced by the chief medical officer's report on "Public Health in England" and that we would be taking a number of steps to carry forward its recommendations. To this end the Department has set up a review of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. We will be issuing a consultation paper later this year.

DEFENCE

Radiation

Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent advice he has received from the National Radiological Protection Board with respect to recommendations for further studies on mortality and cancer incidents among British participants in United Kingdom atmospheric nuclear weapons tests and experimental programmes.

Mr. Sainsbury : On 28 January 1988 the NRPB, in collaboration with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, published its epidemiological report on mortality and cancer incidence amongst British participants in the United Kingdom atmospheric nuclear weapons test programme. The report included data up to the first of January 1984. Since that time NRPB has continued to accumulate data on mortality and cancer incidence amongst both participants and the control group. The NRPB has now advised that, in order to provide a reliable assessment of the further accumulated data for the period 1 January 1984 to 1 January 1989, it will be necessary to conduct a full- scale validation and analysis exercise. Following this advice, we have decided to set in hand a further study as proposed by the NRPB and ICRF, which are the independent experts on these matters.

On the advice of the NRPB and ICRF, the methodology will be the same as that adopted for the original study. They hope to be in a position to report on this further study by the end of 1991, though this timetable is subject to any unforeseen difficulties they may encounter in the validation and analysis of the data.


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The NRPB's recommendation and the decision to proceed with this further study are not based on any new and worrying evidence, but rather on a wish to be able to give a definitive statement on whether the overall picture has changed as a result of the further five years follow-up. The MOD and other Government Departments and agencies will, to the extent that it is available, provide all the information sought by the NRPB and ICRF in support of this further study.

EC (Defence Advisory Team)

Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what briefing and assistance he is giving the defence advisory team set up by Mr. Delors, the European Commissioner.

Mr. Sainsbury : We are not aware of the existence of such a team.

Air-launched Missiles

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will outline options that are under consideration by the Government with regard to the procurement of an air-launched missile to replace the existing free- fall nuclear bombs.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I have nothing to add to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Clackmannan (Mr. O'Neill) on 17 July at column 71.

Warheads

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reduction in types of warhead and their numbers is envisaged by the statement made in paragraph 9 on page 12 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates, Cm. 675-1.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : Any changes to the number of weapons mentioned in the Statement on the Defence Estimates will depend on modernisation decisions which have yet to be taken.

HERO Unsafe Weapons

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many weapons systems classified HERO unsafe in the possession of the United States armed forces are stored, transported or deployed in the United Kingdom or its territorial waters.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I understand that there are no such systems present in the United Kingdom or its territorial waters.

EMR Emitters

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account is taken of the locations of large EMR emitters such as radio, telephone and television transmitters, when the storage, transportation or deployment of weapons is involved.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : My Department maintains a computer data base of all high intensity radio transmitting areas in the United Kingdom. This information is taken into account in all decisions involving the storage, transportation, or deployment of weapons.


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United States Forces (Payments)

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the estimated total amounts of official payments by the United States forces in the United Kingdom to British firms and agencies other than central Government plus private expenditure by United States personnel in the United Kingdom, for each financial year since 1979-80; and if he will make a statement on trends in these figures in this period.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The estimated expenditure by the United States forces on purchases made directly from the private sector, including personal expenditure, is as follows :


          |£ million          

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

1979-80   |185                

1980-81   |213                

1981-82   |289                

1982-83   |317                

1983-84   |441                

1984-85   |422                

1985-86   |499                

1986-87   |557                

1987-88   |589                

1988-89   |564                

Defence Estimates

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will state the reasons for the increases in project cost and the extension of the period of peak expenditure for the type 23 frigates, set out in the major equipment projects tables in the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989" and the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1988";

(2) what are the reasons for the increase in project cost for the GWS26 Mod 1 vertical launch Sea Wolf missile system, set out in the major equipment projects tables in the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989" and the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1988".

Mr. Sainsbury : The Statement on the Defence Estimates tables show the cost and peak expenditure periods of projects on order or in clear prospect at the time the information was compiled. The Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989 therefore takes into account a larger number of type 23 frigates and VLSW missile systems than that in the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1988.

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the reasons for the increase in expenditure between 1988-89 and 1989-90 in the category "Extramural research : Overseas", set out in table 3.3 of the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989" volume two.

Mr. Sainsbury : The difference between the 1988-89 and 1989-90 Estimates in the overseas category of extramural research in table 3.3 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989, volume (Cm 675-II) arises principally from the payment through Defence Votes of the United Kingdom's contribution to the European trans-sonic wind tunnel (ETW) which has now entered the construction phase.


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Low Flying

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all alterations made to low flying avoidance areas and transit areas since August 1988, giving in each case the date of the alteration and the reason for the alteration.

Mr. Neubert : No. It is not our practice to publish detailed information on the United Kingdom low flying system. The system is, however, kept under continuous review and minor changes are made frequently, to improve the operation of the system and to take account of new developments.

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the percentage increase in 1988 in the airspace over land in the United Kingdom which is available for military low flying.

Mr. Neubert : I regret that the information requested by the hon. Member is not available.

Frigate Project

Mr. Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the up-to-date progress of the NATO frigate project ; and how much money his Department has spent on this so far.

Mr. Sainsbury : The contract for project definition was signed in January and is expected to take two years to complete.

The next milestone is a review of progress by all eight NATO nations during this autumn, when the United Kingdom will also consider the alignment between the programmes for the ship and its major weapons systems.

My Department's expenditure to June 1989 amounts to approximately £4.5 million.

Creches

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has received any recent representations about pilot or permanent workplace creches and similar incentives further to encourage the return to employment of women in his Department ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : We are planning to establish in 1990 a nursery for the children of staff working in central London. We are also considering what might be done to provide child care in other locations throughout the United Kingdom.

Other policies designed to encourage the return to employment of women working in the MOD are :

More flexible working patterns at all levels (for example part-time work and job sharing).

combining working in the home and in the office.

the granting of up to 5 years maternity leave.

"Keeping in Touch" schemes, involving periods of casual work, for staff on temporary absence from the Department.

the use of unpaid leave to allow for care of children during school holidays.

Aldermaston (Flooding)

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent flooding of the atomic weapons research establishment at


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Aldermaston ; whether underground bunkers and the underground railway were flooded ; and to what extent research programmes were interrupted or adversely affected.

Mr. Sainsbury : Heavy local rainfall on 6 July 1989 caused minor flooding in some buildings at the atomic weapons establishment, Aldermaston. Research programmes were not significantly interrupted or adversely affected.

Flight Simulators

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flight simulators are available to the Royal Air Force ; when they entered service ; and which aircraft they simulate.

Mr. Neubert : A total of 43 simulators are available to the RAF as follows :


Aircraft type                      |Numbers                           |Entered service                                                      

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

Air Combat                         |1                                 |1986                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Buccaneer                          |2                                 |pre-1975                                                             

                                                                                                                                            

Chinook                            |1                                 |Time hired on a commercial system                                    

                                                                                                                                            

Harrier GR3                        |2                                 |pre-1975                                                             

                                                                                                                                            

Harrier GR5                        |1                                 |Time hired from Spanish airforce                                     

                                                                                                                                            

Hawk                               |3                                 |1977                                                                 

Hawk                               |2                                 |1978                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Hercules                           |1                                 |1983                                                                 

Hercules                           |1                                 |1984                                                                 

Hercules                           |1                                 |1985                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Jaguar                             |3                                 |pre-1975                                                             

                                                                                                                                            

Jet Provost                        |4                                 |pre-1975                                                             

                                                                                                                                            

Jetstream                          |1                                 |1977                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Nimrod                             |3                                 |pre-1975                                                             

                                                                                                                                            

Phantom                            |3                                 |pre-1975                                                             

                                                                                                                                            

Puma                               |1                                 |Time hired on commercial simulator                                   

                                                                                                                                            

Tornado F3                         |4                                 |1988                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Tornado GR1                        |1                                 |1982                                                                 

Tornado GR1                        |2                                 |1983                                                                 

Tornado GR1                        |1                                 |1984                                                                 

Tornado GR1                        |1                                 |1985                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Tristar-500                        |1                                 |Time hired on commercial simulator                                   

                                                                                                                                            

VC10 C1                            |1                                 |1987                                                                 

VC10 K1                            |1                                 |1987                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Victor                             |1                                 |pre-1975                                                             

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is his policy towards the use of flight simulators by the aircrew of the Royal Air Force ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what studies his Department has carried out to determine the extent to which low flying training may be sustained by the use of flight simulators.

Mr. Neubert : Simulation is an important element in training military pilots, particularly in procedures,


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instrument flying and cockpit familiarisation. The extent to which low flying training might be substituted by the use of simulators is kept under review but simulators currently in service with the Royal Air Force do not reproduce the necessary environment with sufficient fidelity to provide an adequate substitute for low level tactical flying training.

Armour Piercing Weapons

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what agreements his Department has entered into with the United States Government to develop jointly a hand-held armour piercing weapon ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : None. There has, however, been a discussion between officials on the possible benefits of an exchange of data.

Laser Systems

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department intends to place orders for multiple integrated laser engagement systems for use by the Army ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : We are looking into the requirement and suitable procurement arrangements for this type of training equipment for the British Army. We expect that the decision on whether to proceed will be made before the end of the year.

Lodging Allowances

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each rank of serving officer in the armed forces between the rank equivalent to an army captain and a major-general, inclusive, the lodging etc. allowances payable to those having to rent accommodation in London while serving in the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Neubert : Personnel for whom no public accommodation is available, and who are therefore required to rent accommodation, are paid lodging allowance as follows :


                                             £ per day                  

Rank                                        |Rate A|Rate B|Rate C       

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

Captain or equivalent                       |20.11 |14.33 |18.81        

Major and Lieutenant Colonel or equivalents |22.54 |16.76 |21.24        

Colonel and above, or equivalents           |25.62 |19.84 |24.32        

Notes:                                                                  

1. A rates of lodging allowance are payable to personnel who would be   

eligible for free food and accommodation if they were occupying service 

single accommodation. As virtually all personnel are required to pay a  

food charge, rate A is mainly used as the basis for calculating rates B 

and C.                                                                  

2. B rates are payable to personnel who, if they were occupying public  

single accommodation, would be required to pay food and accommodation   

charges.                                                                

3. C rates are payable to those married unaccompanied personnel who, if 

they were occupying public single accommodation, would be required to   

pay the married unaccompanied rate of food charge but would be eligible 

for free accommodation.                                                 


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Environmental Pollution

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the environmental effects of the production, use, storage and ultimate disposal of nuclear fuels for the United Kingdom's naval forces.

Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 13 July 1989] : The environmental effects of the production, use, storage and ultimate disposal of nuclear fuels for the United Kingdom's naval forces are negligible. Radioactive discharges to the environment that lie within United Kingdom jurisdiction, whether made by contractors associated with the programme or by the Royal Navy itself, comply with authorisations from, or agreements with, the Department of the Environment or the Scottish Development Department. These authorisations and agreements are set so that discharges within the limits they permit have no detrimental effect on any human beings. Radioactive discharges made by nuclear submarines on the high seas are governed by naval regulations that have the same effect.

Joint Tactical Information Distribution

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what study he has made of the cost of providing joint tactical information distribution system terminals for (a) the Tornado air defence variant aircraft, (b) Invincible class aircraft carriers and (c) Type-42 destroyers.

Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer Monday 17 July 1989] : Studies of the cost of integrating JTIDS into the Tornado ADV have been undertaken and work is now proceeding concurrently with the full development phase of the JTIDS project.

Project definition studies on the RN variant of JTIDS for the CVSA and type 42 classes are currently being undertaken in industry. Estimates of the costs of the system will be submitted upon completion of the PD phase.

ENVIRONMENT

Housing Action Trust (Southwark)

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is his policy on the eviction of squatters in the event of the proposed housing action trust being created on the Gloucester grove or North Peckham estates in Southwark ;

(2) whether there will be any limitations on the time the proposed housing action trust in Southwark could continue to exist.

Mr. Trippier [holding answer 21 July 1989] : As I told the hon. Member in my replies to her on Thursday 20 July, one of the primary statutory objects of a housing action trust would be to secure the proper and effective management and use of the housing for which it was responsible. It would be for a trust to decide how to deal with problems of unlawful occupation of property by squatters.

Craven Cottage Football Ground

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he received from Hammersmith and Fulham council the compulsory purchase order and


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supporting evidence relating to Craven Cottage football ground ; and when he intends to hold the inquiry to consider the council's compulsory purchase order.

Mr. Chope : The compulsory purchase order was received from Hammersmith and Fulham council on 30 May. An inquiry is being arranged.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he accepts the claims made by the Association for the Conservation of Energy about United Kingdom emissions of carbon dioxide ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Estimates of United Kingdom emissions of carbon dioxide since 1977 were published in the "Digest of Environmental Protection Statistics", No. 11, in February this year. They do not support the figures quoted by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE). United Kingdom emissions were only 1 per cent. higher in 1987 compared with 1986. This is still 10 per cent. lower than in 1979. An initial estimate of the emissions for 1973 shows that they were about 14 per cent. higher than at present, not 20 per cent. lower as claimed.

Local Polls

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, what provisions permit local authorities to conduct local ballots, polls or referenda on issues of local concern ; and under what conditions.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : There are specific provisions for parish polls in England and Wales on questions arising at parish meetings, where 10 electors (or one third of the electors for the parish, if that is less) so demand.

The provisions are in paragraphs 18, 21 and 22 of schedule 12 to the Local Government Act 1972 and the Parish Community Meetings (Polls) Rules 1987 (SI1987, No. 1).

For other local authorities, there are no specific provisions.

Debate (Information)

Mr. Gow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on which date he drew to the attention of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry the information which had been given to the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment by the hon. Members for Bexhill and Battle (Mr. Wardle) and for Eastbourne during a debate in the House on 26 May, Official Report, columns 1291 and 1292 ; and what further action has been taken.

Mr. Moynihan : I wrote to my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs at the Department of Trade and Industry on 7 June drawing his attention to the information provided by the hon. Members during the debate on 26 May. It is for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, who has responsibility for such matters, to decide what action to take on the basis of this information.


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Sewage Discharges

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report, those sewage treatment works in the North West water authority which have failed to meet their discharge consents during the last 12-month period for which figures are available.

Mr. Howard : In 1988 90 per cent. of sewage treatment works in the North West water authority area complied with the terms of their discharge consents. Those which did not are as follows :

Adlington

Appleby

Ashley

Ayside

Barrow in Furness (Palace N)

Beston

Beetham

Betley

Bolton

Brigham

Chorley No.1

Crooklands

Delamere

Dunkinfield

Eaglesfield

Failsworth

Fazakerley

Gamblesby

Glenridding

Hesketh Bank

High Leigh

Hillhouse

Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Hyde

Irlam

Kendal

Langwathby

Nether Eover

Ormskirk

Pardshaw

Prescot

Ravenstonedale

Rowrah

Skelmersdale

Strines

Talkin

Thornton Hough

Utkinton (Quarry Bank)

Wardle

Weeton

Wigan

Windergill

Worsley

The North West water authority has in hand a major capital expenditure programme designed to bring substandard sewage treatment works into compliance with their discharge consents by March 1992, wherever practicable.


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