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Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he possesses concerning the future level of rents, including those where they are defined as affordable ; and what level of inflation he expects in such rents in the next three years.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of dwellings available for letting in each year since 1970 in the private and public sectors, respectively, in total and as a proportion of the housing stock ; if he will give a regional breakdown ; and what is his estimate of the proportion in France, Germany and Italy.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the number of sites and pitches at each site provided for travelling people under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 by the local authorities at (a) Bradford, (b) Leeds, (c) Kirklees, (d) Calderdale and (e) Craven ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) if he will make it his policy to take into account the sites available in neighbouring local authorities when considering any application by Bradford for designation under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what discussions have taken place between officials of his Department and representatives at Leeds, Kirklees and Craven local authorities regarding implementation of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 ; and if he will make a statement.
Local Authority |Site |Number of pitches -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bradford |Bowling Back Lane/Mary Street |24 |Esholt |16 Leeds |Cottingley Springs (2 adjacent sites)|36 Kirklees |- |- Calderdale |- |- Craven |- |-
The Secretary of State takes full account of all the relevant circumstances affecting applications for designated status under the Caravan Site Act 1968. These include the level of site provision in neighbouring authorities.
Officials of my Department have meetings and discussions with local authorities as required. Meetings have been held this year with all the authorities in West Yorkshire to discuss the need for gipsy sites and to encourage the formulation and implementation of appropriate programmes of site provision.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy in general on whether to refuse or allow planning consents for industrial purposes in green belt land ; what criteria he adopts in considering any exceptions ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : Planning policy guidance note 2 indicates and describes that very special circumstances are necessary to justify development for industrial or other purposes that are normally inappropriate in the green belt.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list by regions the allocations received for derelict land purposes for 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90 in real terms and constant value terms ;
(2) if he will list by region the derelict land grant allocations for 1987- 88, 1988-89 and 1989-90 in real terms and constant value terms.
£ million [TIITRE] --------------------------------------------------------------- Northern |13.52|15.31|10.95|11.55|8.20 North West |21.15|23.94|17.98|18.97|15.75 Merseyside Task Force Area |8.33 |9.42 |7.91 |8.35 |5.95 Yorkshire and Humberside |9.75 |11.04|13.65|14.40|12.00 West Midlands |16.63|18.83|16.16|17.05|13.00 East Midlands |8.23 |9.32 |8.28 |8.74 |8.15 London |1.05 |1.19 |0.77 |0.81 |0.75 South West |1.40 |1.58 |1.67 |1.76 |1.99 South East |0.61 |0.69 |0.45 |0.47 |0.70 Eastern |0.10 |0.11 |0.14 |0.15 |0.50 |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- Total |80.77|91.43|77.96|82.25|66.99 <1> constant prices at 1989-90 values.
Comparable information for other grant regimes dealing with derelict land is not available. Urban development corporations, city grant and the urban programme all make a significant contribution towards the reclamation of derelict land. It is estimated that in the period 1987-88 to 1989-90 some £170 million (£180 million in 1989-90 prices) will have been made available for reclamation projects through these regimes.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of replies held over to October for substantive answers for questions tabled for written reply in the final week of parliamentary business before the summer Adjournment in each year since 1986.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The latest meeting of the Paris commission was held in Dublin between 19 and 22 June 1989. Progress was achieved across a wide range of topics relating to pollution of the seas from riverine inputs, atmospheric inputs and direct discharges. In particular, progress was reported on defining suitable control technologies for a number of industrial sectors.
The Paris commission has also carried forward work on pollution control arising from the second North sea conference and endorsed the agreements on the use of best available technology and the precautionary principle : the results of this work will be discussed by Ministers at the forthcoming North sea conference in the Hague next March.
The Paris commission continues to provide a valuable forum for developing measures for the protection of the north-east Atlantic waters.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report a table listing the monthly recorded details of deaths of seals, since June 1988, in United Kingdom coastal waters and beaches, broken down by areas covered by the water authorities.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations at, and papers for, the World Clean Air Congress to be held in the Hague on 11 to 15 September will be prepared by his Department.
Dr. Blackburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, following his recent meeting with the president and vice-president of the British Bathroom Council, he will make a statement on the water byelaws.
Mr. Howard : European Community procedures to harmonise product standards are not intended to change traditional practices which do not present barriers to trade. New European standards will specify different levels of performance for water fittings to suit the requirements of individual member states. In these circumstances, the United Kingdom water byelaws will continue in operation.
Mr. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many (a) general improvement areas and (b) housing action areas have been declared, per year, in each of the last 10 years ; how many dwellings there have been in general improvement areas and housing action areas, per year, in each of the last 10 years ; how many grants have been approved in general improvement areas and housing action areas, per year, in each of the last 10 years ; and how many works have been completed in general improvement areas and housing action areas, per year, in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Chope : Information on numbers of dwellings for which grants have been paid and total numbers of dwellings on which work has been completed inside general improvement areas and housing action areas in the 11 years up to 1986-87 is published in table 7.6 of "Housing and Construction Statistics 1977-1987". A copy is available in the Library.
It is estimated that in 1987-88, 4,300 dwellings in housing action areas benefited from grants, and work was completed on 5,700 dwellings in such areas. The equivalent figures for general improvement areas are 15,600 and 22,900 respectively.
The other information requested is as follows :
Housing action areas General improvement areas |Number of areas declared|Number of dwellings in |Number of areas declared|Number of dwellings in |areas |areas ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |109 |28,413 |89 |16,550 1980-81 |59 |17,540 |84 |12,569 1981-82 |56 |15,073 |132 |5,493 1982-83 |96 |26,856 |159 |9,509 1983-84 |60 |18,108 |107 |29,654 1984-85 |32 |11,510 |76 |20,779 1985-86 |25 |6,735 |69 |30,521 1986-87 |23 |5,059 |54 |18,227 1987-88 |21 |5,658 |78 |15,038 <1>1988-89 |21 |6,308 |29 |7,775 <1> Provisional.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many people employed by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution have (a) resigned, (b) taken early retirement, (c) taken voluntary redundancy and (d) left for other reasons since January 1988 ;
(2) if he will publish the headquarters address and telephone number of each regional office of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution ; on what date each will become operational ; if he will give full details of all full and part-time posts for each office ; if he will itemise each post on the current establishment which has been vacant or unfilled in each of the proceeding 12 months ; and which posts in each region were vacant on 25 July or unfilled.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will in future print Government publications on paper which does not require environmentally hazardous phosphates for its production ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Government publications generally are handled by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, for which responsibility rests with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The environmental impact of phosphates depends on the circumstances in which they are discharged. There is no widespread problem of environmental pollution by phosphates in this country.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he intends giving guidelines to the proposed Football Membership Authority about what would lead to a disqualification from the national membership scheme for football for a supporter, other than a relevant conviction ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what consultations he has had, or proposes to have with police and emergency services concerning whether, under the proposals of the proposed Football Spectators Bill and associated national membership scheme, clubs should be able to open exit gates before the end of a football match ; and as to the siting of neutral supporters and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what consultations he is having concerning what guidance might be given to football clubs and to the
Column 1179proposed Football Membership Authority as to what constitutes a disabled person under clause 5(2)(c) of the Football Spectators Bill and as to how football clubs should check if a child is under or over the age of 10 years in order to grant exemption from membership under clause 5(2)(c) of the Bill ;
(4) what consultations he proposes to undertake concerning by what means the identity of a cardholder, under the proposed national membership scheme for football will be checked against the card on entry to the ground ; and if he will make a statement ;
(5) what discussions he has had with (i) the football clubs and (ii) any other organisation concerning financial assistance to those who cannot afford the price of a card under the proposed national membership scheme for football ; and if he will make a statement ; (6) what guidance he proposes to issue to clubs at the commencement of the proposed national membership scheme for football registration as to what grounds for denial of membership there would be ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : Subject to parliamentary approval of the Football Spectators Bill and the commencement orders for which it provides, it will be for the Football Membership Authority to prepare the national membership scheme required by the Bill. It is the Government's hope that a body set up by the Football Association and the Football League will be appointed as the Football Membership Authority. The football authorities have established a joint working party to prepare the development of the scheme, in consultation with my Department and the police and other bodies as necessary.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) on what occasions he met representatives of football supporters before publishing the Football Spectators Bill ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) when he proposes to consult the Police Federation and Association of Chief Police Officers concerning the proposed national football membership scheme ; if he will also consult the Football Supporters Association ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : The Association of Chief Police Officers was represented on the working party which I chaired last summer on the national membership scheme. I and my officials discussed the scheme with representatives of the Police Federation in December 1988 and February this year and I shall be meeting the chairman of the federation again next week. The Government and the football authorities will continue to consult the police on the development of the scheme.
I met the Football Supporters Association and the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs twice last year, before the publication of the Bill, and I made it clear to the Standing Committee considering the Bill that I would consider the possibility of involving representatives of the football supporters organisations directly in the running of the Football Membership Authority.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he is conducting concerning the legal structure of the proposed Football Membership Authority ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 1180consider further the question of the constitution of the Football Membership Authority and would bring forward appropriate amendments to the Bill at its Report stage.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received seeking restriction on the numbers of temporary identity cards issued by football clubs under the proposed national membership scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research his Department undertook which led him to state on 27 June Official Report, column 848, that the number of clubs likely to be put out of business by the proposed national membership scheme for football will be zero ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : There is no reason why the national membership scheme should put any football club out of business. Even without commercial exploitation of the scheme, the cost of high technology membership cards to individual supporters need be no more than £3.30 a year at current costs. There are few grounds in the country where spectators would pay less than that to watch one match. Indeed, if football clubs take a positive attitude to the potential of the national membership scheme, it can provide a commercial benefit to both them and their supporters.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research his Department undertook which caused him to reject the advice of the Football League, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Football Association, the Professional Footballers Association and the Football Supporters Association as to the impractical nature of a comprehensive national membership scheme for football.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 27 July 1989] : The Association of Chief Police Officers, the Football League and the Football Association were all members of my working party on the national membership scheme which met last summer. They agreed a number of recommendations on the practical nature of a national membership scheme. I have also discussed the scheme with representatives of the Football Supporters Association, the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs and the Professional Footballers Association.
Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total amount of money being transferred from Bedfordshire county council, Mid-Bedfordshire district council and South Bedfordshire district council by way of resource reallocation in the current financial year ; what are the estimated figures for those three authorities in the years 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. David Hunt : Resource equalisation is one of the factors affecting the distribution of block grant. In order to estimate the effect of this factor alone, I have assumed that each local authority in England is spending at the level of its grant-related expenditure assessment. On that basis, I estimate that in 1989-90 there would have been an implicit transfer of £7.2 million from domestic ratepayers in Mid Bedfordshire (£2.1 million) and South Bedfordshire (£5.1 million) to ratepayers in other parts of the country.
Column 1181Resource equalisation based on rateable values will end with the introduction of the new grant system in April 1990. There will, however, be a temporary safety net to phase in these arrangements.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to encourage local authorities to establish advisory committees for youth sport ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : The School Sport Forum, which was established at the request of my right hon. Friends, the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Education and Science, recommended that county and metropolitan district councils should appoint advisory committees for youth sport. My right hon. Friends are considering this and the other recommendations of the forum.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) from whom the Crown Estate Commissioners received a request to extend the gardens of St. John's Lodge in Regent's park as set out by John Nash ;
(2) if he will list the organisations which occupy property in Regent's park on lease from the Crown Estate Commissioners together with the locations and acreage of the property concerned.
(2) whether there have been any consultations with the Bengali Sports Council about the proposal to include the running track in Regent's park in the land taken over by London Zoo ;
(3) whether the staff of Regent's Park or his Department have consulted any of the users of sports facilities in Regent's Park about its future management.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We await the Zoological Society of London's detailed proposals for the further 10 acres of Regent's park that it would like to lease under the terms of the Crown Estate Act 1961. Any impact on sports facilities will be considered very carefully and kept as far as possible to a minimum.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the Crown Estate Commissioners made an informal inquiry to his Department in relation to the reinstatement of the original garden of St. John's Lodge, Regent's Park ; and when they were told the formal request would not be looked on favourably.
Mr. Chope : Under the terms of the contract let to Fairclough Building Ltd. in May 1987, construction of the building was required to be completed in May 1990. Although the work was already behind schedule, until January 1989 the contractor assured the Department that it saw no reason why the contract should not be completed on time, though it would be in a better position to report following a review in April 1989. Following that review the contractor has now reported that, unfortunately, the work will not be completed until October 1990, a delay of five and a half months. On the assumption that Fairclough Building Ltd. achieve its revised forecast the building will not now be ready for occupation until the Easter recess, 1991.
I have provided the New Building Sub-Committee with a detailed report on how this situation has developed and the action that has been taken. I understand that the Sub-Committee will be taking evidence after the House returns from the summer adjournment.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he hopes to answer the letter from the hon. Member for South Hams of 3 March to the Under-Secretary, enclosing one from Major E. G. M. Pearce, dated 27 February ; and if he will make a statement as to the reasons for the delay.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many claims were made against local authorities in each of the years, 1988, 1987, 1986 and 1985 after accidents to pedestrians as a result of defects in roads and pavements ; what proportion were accepted by the local authorities and their insurers ; how much was paid out in compensation ; and what advice his Department gives local authorities about dealing with such claims.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when a reply will be sent to the letter of 22 May from Councillor J. G. Vane to the Minister for Local Government concerning the committee structure of Northamptonshire county council.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he has any proposals to issue licences for traditional pearl fishing in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) if he has considered proposals to place the freshwater mussel (Margaritisera margaritisera) on the schedule of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 as a protected species ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what information he has as to the maximum permitted level of Atrazine in drinking water in (a) France, (b) the Federal Republic of Germany and (c) Italy ; and what is the comparable figure for the United Kingdom ;
(2) what information he has as to the maximum permitted levels of (a) trichlorethylene, (b) chloroform and (c) tetrachlorcarbon, in drinking water in (i) France and (ii) the Federal Republic of Germany ; and what are the comparable figures for the United Kingdom.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has ordered a full investigation into the circumstances in which special waste from a disused gas works in Woking, Surrey, have to be dumped in a field outside Chobham; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent discussions he has had with local authorities to encourage them to use the existing laws under the Control of Pollution Act to stop the playing of loud music in residential areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 24 July 1989] : This issue has not been discussed with local authorities recently. Noise nuisance in whatever form can be a most unwelcome intrusion into people's lives and a great source of annoyance. Local authorities have extensive powers under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to control noise when necessary.