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s England and Wales, (£000s) Year |Total expenditure |Total government grant|Per cent |supported |allocated ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1987-88 |205,360 |108,510 |53.0 1988-89 |218,937 |125,700 |57.0 1989-90 |227,380 |131,640 |58.0 1990-91 |229,090 |134,165 |59.0 1991-92 |<1>- |- <1>Not yet determined.
Under the former in-service teacher training grants scheme, which this scheme replaced, a further £17.27 million was made available in 1985- 86 and £20.74 million in 1986-87 to support in-service training.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much is currently spent on in-service training for teachers ; and if he will also express this figure as a percentage proportion of the total teachers' salaries bill.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Local education authorities in England have indicated that they are planning to spend £289 million on the in- service training of teachers in 1989-90. This represents about 4 per cent. of the total teachers salary bill for that year. Support for in-service training is also available through the Universities Funding Council, the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council, the Open University, the National Curriculum Council and other agencies.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy to reduce the residential qualification for mandatory grants especially in cases where applicants wish to take courses necessary in obtaining a teaching qualification.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing central Government support per house in each district council area in each year in the period 1977-78 to 1988-89.
Loans charges paid |1983-84 |1984-85 |1985-86 |1986-87 |1987-88 |£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Aberdeen |25.1 |28.9 |29.6 |28.5 |32.6 Dundee |20.7 |23.7 |26.3 |27.3 |34.3 Edinburgh |35.4 |41.6 |41.0 |42.2 |45.8 Glasgow |126.1 |142.1 |155.7 |160.6 |167.9
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the effect of current interest rates on the loan charges facing Scottish local authorities in the present financial year.
estimates--which do not take account of the most recent increase in interest rates--indicate that this figure may be £20 million higher as a result of interest rate changes. The majority of the loans taken out by local authorities are at fixed rates of interest. Therefore, loan charges depend to a large extent on the interest rate current when a loan was taken out, and fluctuations in interest rates have a lesser effect than would otherwise be the case.
Loan charges, budgeted to be met from housing revenue accounts, amount to £495 million for 1989-90 and the effect of increased interest rates is under consideration. If necessary, a housing support grant variation order will be made in due course.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Patients with severe symptoms requiring immediate treatment are treated immediately. Other urgent patients are treated within three to four weeks. Patients whose symptoms are less severe may have to wait up to one year for treatment although if their condition deteriorates their priority for treatment will be reassessed. Recent changes at the unit have enabled more patients to be treated each week. This should help to reduce waiting times.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The latest returns available show that at 31 March 1988, the total outstanding capital debt of Scottish local authorities was £8 billion, of which £4.4 billion was housing capital debt.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what research his Department has conducted into the possible link between inhalation of spores from bracken fern and cancer ; if he will publish the results ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Department is not directly involved in such research. However research work has been carried out for a number of years at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, on the biology of bracken, including the periodicity of spore release, and its control. Work on bracken control and on monitoring its distribution in Scotland has been carried out by the Macaulay land use research institute.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations have been received regarding the disposal of untreated domestic sewage at sea off the west coast of Scotland ; what steps his Department intends to take to prevent this from happening ; and what provision is made by regional councils for the disposal of septic tank wastes.
Responsibility for discharges from public sewerage systems and outfalls lies with the regional or islands council concerned. All discharges to the sea of sewage effluent require the consent of the local river purification authority who can set conditions which may include the volume and quality of the discharges. Failure to comply with consent conditions may result in prosecution.
Most regional and island councils collect and dispose of septic tank wastes as part of their overall sewage disposal operation. In many areas septic tank waste is dealt with at local sewage treatment works. In other cases disposal to land or to sea may provide the best practicable environmental option.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many sufferers of dyslexia were assessed as registered disabled persons and had their names entered on the registered disabled persons' register in each of the past seven years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : Information on the number of persons in particular categories of disability is not collected centrally. Local authorities are required to inform themselves of the numbers of chronically sick and disabled persons within their areas. They are not, however, required to keep registers for the purpose.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the sums spent on (a) preservation of monuments in care, (b) archaeology and (c) assisting with the repair of historic buildings in (i) Scotland, (ii) Shetland and (iii) Orkney in each financial year since 1983- 84.
£000s |1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Presentation of monuments in care (i) Scotland |286 |624 |771 |1,150 |968 |2,027 (ii) Shetland |- |- |- |35 |16 |7 (iii) Orkney |- |- |- |- |6 |40 (b) Rescue Archaeology and Archaeology at monuments in care (i) Scotland |698 |745 |781 |866 |1,006 |1,138 (ii) Shetland |12 |1 |- |3 |5 |7 (iii) Orkney |118 |136 |137 |147 |133 |13 (c) Historic Building Repair Grant (i) Scotland |2,734 |2,618 |3,871 |3,651 |5,443 |6,474 (ii) Shetland |1 |- |- |14 |- |2 (iii) Orkney |34 |16 |28 |77 |38 |76 Note: 1. The Scotland figure for 1988-89 under (a) includes £1.370 million at Edinburgh Castle. 2. Rescue archaeology predominates in (b), and expenditure is incurred in response to threats to sites from development or natural causes such as erosion. 3. Expenditure on historic building repair grant arises from application by owners.
Mr. Rifkind : Since I announced revised criteria for forestry planting on agricultural land in Scotland on 24 March 1986, there have been a number of significant developments affecting forestry and agriculture. In particular, the Government have introduced a number of new initiatives to encourage planting on better quality land as well as increasing the overall planting target to 33,000 hectares a year for new forestry planting, with an additional 12,000 hectares a year for planting under the farm woodland scheme. It is clear that there will continue to be considerable interest in new forestry planting in Scotland. I have, therefore, considered changes which might be made to the criteria for the release of agricultural land to facilitate this achievement of the type and level of planting for which we are aiming while preserving an acceptable balance with agriculture, the environment and other interests. I have also taken the opportunity to
Column 400simplify the criteria. In bringing forward these proposals I have consulted both the Countryside Commission for Scotland and the Nature Conservancy Council.
There is a continuing need to retain in agriculture prime quality land, which is in general too scarce and important a resource in Scotland to be put to any other use, and to protect the land necessary to maintain a thriving hill sheep farming industry to underpin the economy of the hill areas. In the present situation, however, there is not generally so pressing a need to preserve other land for agricultural use and I am in particular willing in appropriate circumstances to support the release for forestry planting of non-prime arable land--that is, land falling within classes 3.2 and 4 of the land capability classification for agriculture-- where such planting could play an important part in reducing agricultural surpluses, and bring significant environmental benefits.
Applications under the Forestry Commission's woodland grant scheme and the commission's own proposed land acquisitions will continue to be considered on their merits through the usual procedures for consultation between the commission and other interested authorities. To simplify the criteria for the release of agricultural land
Column 401for forestry planting, a single threshold of 40 hectares has been set for consultation with my Department. Consultation will not be required for planting applications in respect of areas of land falling below this threshold except in the following cases : applications relating to prime quality agricultural land, for that is, land falling within classes 1, 2 and 3.1 of the land capability classification for agriculture, and to specifically identified areas where the scope for afforestation has to be severely constrained to ensure that the hill sheep industry continues to thrive. In these cases my Department will apply a general presumption against release of the land for forestry planting. Separate applications for areas of land of less than 40 hectares submitted either simultaneously or consecutively and relating to the same agricultural unit, which together exceed 40 hectares. Applications relating to areas of land in respect of which agricultural grant has been paid within the previous two years where consultation is necessary to ensure that there is no conflict between the requirements of the relevant agricultural grant scheme and the planting proposals. For the same reason consultation will also be necessary in relation to land which is the subject of a conservation agreement under the environmentally sensitive area scheme (ESA). The Forestry Commission will continue generally to take account of the special status of ESAs in considering applications within the designated areas.
The requirement for consultation on all applications in these categories does not, however, necessarily imply that objections to the planting proposals involved will be raised on agricultural grounds. There will otherwise be a general presumption in favour of the release of agricultural land for forestry planting. This means that the Department will have to demonstrate that the presumption in favour of release should not apply in any particular case where a planting proposal is regarded as being unacceptable on agricultural grounds, for instance because release of the land involved would undermine the agricultural structure of the area.
A map, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House, is being made available to interested parties showing the areas of hill sheep land and of prime quality agricultural land where a general presumption against release for forestry planting will apply ; the map also shows the boundaries of the Scottish ESAs. The location of the prime quality agricultural land in Scotland can be found in greater detail, in maps produced by the Macaulay land use research institute.
I have also taken the opportunity to revise the procedures for carrying out assessments of planting proposals to reduce the time taken to deal with applications.
I hope that these changes in criteria and procedures will result in a better understanding of the circumstances in which agricultural land will be released for forestry planting and will help to promote an increase in the levels of new planting in areas where this can be accommodated without detriment to, and in many cases with positive benefit for, the environment.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of reports submitted by the police and other reporting agencies to the procurator fiscal were marked "no proceedings" in the fiscaldom of (a) Wick and (b) Dornach for the whole of 1987 and 1988.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 23 October 1989] : The proportion of reports submitted by the police and other reporting agencies to the procurators fiscal of Wick and Dornach which were marked "no
Column 402procedings" for the whole of 1987 and 1988 were 18 per cent. and 17 per cent. and 11 per cent. and 7 per cent. respectively.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will tabulate in the Official Report, the amounts paid, in 1988 pound sterling equivalents, to each of the political groups of the European Parliament, together with an indication of any allocated expenditure within the totals and the total expected expenditure in 1990.
Mr. Maude : The information requested for 1988 is not immediately available, but a reply will be given as soon as possible. The EC budget for 1990, and hence the European Parliament provision, cannot be adopted before the December plenary session of the European Parliament.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to monitor the work of the Schengen group of European Community countries in its planning for the abolition of border controls ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : We are naturally interested in the experience of the Schengen partners in seeking to reduce frontier controls. We are monitoring progress closely through contacts with the member states concerned. I understand that they are unlikely to meet the 1990 deadline for abolishing land frontiers between them.
Mr. Maude : The Schengen agreement is an arrangement between France, the Federal Republic and the Benelux countries. Their work is entirely separate from the wider discussions on free movement of people which are taking place among all member states of the European Community, in which the United Kingdom participates fully and actively.
Mr. Sainsbury : None. We co-operate closely with the Government of India in the fight against a violent challenge to the rule of law from ruthless terrorists. We have no sympathy with people who use violence to threaten India's unity and cohesion.
Mr. Geoffrey Robinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government have protested to the Indian Government over human rights abuses in the Punjab.
Mr. Sainsbury : No. We have always made clear our views on the need for all Governments to respect human rights. For their part, the Indian Government have recently reaffirmed their resolve to take action where there are abuses of human rights in Punjab.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what deputations and representations have been received from Hong Kong during the summer adjournment on the issue of the right of abode.
Mr. Maude : We have received numerous representations on this subject from people in Hong Kong and from others with a close interest in Hong Kong. For example, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs had a very useful discussion on this and other current Hong Kong issues with a delegation from OMELCO in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr. Maude : We are working on a scheme to give the assurance of right of abode in the United Kingdom to people in the private and public sectors, whose skills are essential to the continued prosperity of Hong Kong. Our aim is to give such people the confidence to remain in the territory. No decision has yet been taken on what form these assurances should take.
Mr. Galloway : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what information he has on the size of the Moslem population and the country of origin in each of the member states of the European Economic Community ;
(2) what information he has on the number of the Moslem population and their country of origin in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales, (d) Northern Ireland, (e) the Channel Islands, (f) each of the county towns of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and (g) each of the towns containing the regional or islands councils in Scotland.
Official data on persons' religions are not available, but an unofficial estimate of the number of active members of the Moslem religion in the whole of the United Kingdom is given in table 11.8 of the Central Statistical Office publication "Social Trends 19".
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy of 28 July, Official Report , column 117 , on seal deaths, he will publish that letter to which reference is made in the Official Report .
Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much the London Docklands Development Corporation is spending on social housing and community facilities in the current year in the London Borough of Newham ; and what are the future plans.
Mr. Moynihan : LDDC's programme includes £24 million of expenditure on social housing and community projects specific to Newham in the current year, in addition to expenditure on various Docklandswide initiatives which will also benefit this area.
Future plans will be decided in the light of the Department's expenditure plans for 1990-91 to 1992-93 which will be announced by the Secretary of State at the time of the autumn statement.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the appeal against refusal by Waveney distict council to demolish listed building 333 Whapload road, Lowestoft, Ref. : APP/T3535/89/804854 and Ref. : APP/T3535/A/89/130250 will be dealt with by written representation or public inquiry ; why his Department has announced both methods for determination ; and whether he will assist the appellant financially on his second appeal for the same building.
Mr. Moynihan : Although the appeals in question were originally to be dealt with by an exchange of written representations, the submissions made indicated that a public local inquiry was necessary in order to inform the inspector of all the relevant issues. This change in procedure does not make a further appeal necessary.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received a copy of the report on the movement and management of toxic waste approved by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe ; and if he will make it his policy that the United Kingdom complies fully with the recommendations made in this report.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have seen the provisional edition of the recommendations on transfrontier movement of toxic waste by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The United Kingdom, by signing the Basel convention on transboundary movements of hazardous waste and working within the European Community for its ratification and implementation, intends to comply with the recommendations.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take in response to the loss of wildlife habitat and the damage or destruction of sites of special scientific interest ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the guidance given in the Department's circular 27/87 "Nature Conservation" ensures that planning authorities are able to take full account of the nature conservation interest of land which is the subject of development proposals. It is the responsibility of planning authorities to consider these interests together with the requirements of other legitimate land uses in reaching their decisions. A high proportion of damage is the incidental result of third party activities. We are ready to consider, with the NCC and others, practicable action to minimise them. Damage to SSSIs from agricultural operations is now a tiny proportion of the total.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to when the toxic waste received by the Wath Recycling Company from the United States of America is to be moved from Wath upon Dearne and what information he has as to the intended destination.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department has no information as to when the waste imported from the United States of America to Wath Recycling Ltd. will be moved from Wath upon Dearne nor as to its destination.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he expects to take criminal action against any party involved in the importation of contaminated waste by the Wath Recycling Company.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The question as to whether criminal legal proceedings should be taken concerning the importation of waste by Wath Recycling Ltd. is a matter for Rotherham metropolitan borough council, the appropriate waste disposal authority, to decide.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation giving powers to local authorities to conduct a referendum on any proposed development which is subject to an application for city grant ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : The criteria applied in appraisal of an application for city grant are described in the city grant guidance notes. The appraisal process seeks to establish that the private sector participant has the necessary financial strength and expertise to carry out the project, and whether any external finance needed is in place.
Column 407any development before city grant is made ; what is the general level of city grant as a proportion of total anticipated expenditure ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what safeguards exist to prevent local authorities from being prejudiced in dealing with planning applications which are subject to city grant requests by accepting plans on the basis that the grant will be made ; and if he will make a statement.