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Column 459applications for legal aid from applicants in Bradford. Information is not collected for civil legal aid or legal aid in the Crown Court in the form requested by the hon. Member. The following figures relate to the applications for legal aid in the magistrates' courts in the Bradford police force area :
|Number of applications|Number granted |Number refused |Percentage refused |made ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |3,694 |3,377 |317 |8.6 1985 |4,511 |3,984 |527 |11.7 1986 |3,915 |3,586 |329 |8.4 1987 |4,885 |4,461 |424 |8.7 1988<1> |3,514 |3,241 |273 |7.8 <1>No returns were received for one quarter in 1988.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give details of the agreement reached on nuclear co-operation between the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany ; what levels of spent nuclear fuel and waste will be imported into the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Copies of the full text of the joint declaration on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which was signed by the Governments of the United Kingdom ad the Federal Republic of Germany on 25 July 1989, have been placed in the Library of the House. No specific contracts for the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel have yet been agreed as a result of the declaration. In line with Government policy, the contracts, when concluded, will provide for the return of wastes to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the renovations and redecorations to the Prime Minister's personal apartment at Downing street ; whether a designer or architect has been appointed ; and what will be the overall cost of the work.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 23 October] : Apart from fitting cupboards, there has been no fundamental work on refurbishment or modernisation of the personal apartment at Downing street. Any redecoration or modernisation work has been undertaken by the Property Services Agency.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 23 October] : There has been a barrier at the Whitehall entrance to Downing street since 1973 and the present gates and railings were installed in 1982. It is intended to replace these with new gates and railings.
Plans for new demountable railings and gates have been prepared by the Property Services Agency in consultation with English Heritage and the Royal Fine Arts Commission. These have been agreed by Westminster city council.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 23 October] : There has been a barrier at the Whitehall entrance to Downing street since 1973 and the present gates and railings were installed in 1982. It is intended to replace these with new gates and railings.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he has made any assessment of the claimed benefits of the greenhouse effect, made by the Soviet climatologist, Mikhail Budyko, in a paper to the United Nations environment programme in August ; (2) if his Department has made any assessment of the recent analysis by Dr. John Woods of the Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Division for the Natural Environment Research Council suggesting that the onset timescale for the greenhouse effect has been significantly underestimated ;
(3) what study has been made by his Department, or under consultancy to his Department, of the plankton multiplier effect on the level that global warming may reach following the greenhouse effect.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Each of these matters is for consideration in the international review of climate change science being carried out by working group I of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). This work is being led by the United Kingdom under the chairmanship of Dr. John Houghton, director general of the Meteorological Office and supported by funds totalling over £600,000 from the Departments of the Environment and Energy.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what initiatives he introduced to the Council of European Environmental Ministers to combat the greenhouse effect, at its meeting on 19 September.
Column 461lead in initiatives for the conservation of tropical forests. In particular, he supported the redeployment of resources within the European Commission towards forestry, advocated the need for close collaboration with developing countries in taking forward projects for the sustainable management of forest resources, and expressed the hope that other EC countries would support the United Kingdom initiative at the Council of the International Tropical Timber Organisation for a feasibility study on an EC-wide labelling scheme for tropical timber imports.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any information from the United States of America Government or Her Majesty's ambassador in Washington DC in regard to the implications for joint environmental protection research between the United States of America and the United Kingdom, of the proposed increases in the United States budget for environmental research in 1990.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Joint environmental protection research between the United States of America and the United Kingdom is undertaken through a variety of arrangements, including a memorandum of understanding agreed in 1987. Collaborative work also takes place through the auspices of other bodies such as the United Nations environment programme, Economic Commission for Europe, and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
It is not possible at this stage to assess the implications for research collaboration of proposed increases in the United States budget for 1990 for environmental protection research.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any information on the scientific assessment by Dr. Eric Banks of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology of the potential harmful effects of chlorofluorocarbon ozone-friendly replacements, details of which were presented to the ninth European symposium on fluorine chemistry in September.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the accident involving radioactivity at Sellafield on 5 September ; when his Department was informed ; and what were the causes and consequences of the accident.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My Department and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (the authorising Departments) were informed on the afternoon of that day of an event that had led to a slight over- emptying of a discharge tank. Checks by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food confirmed the view of British Nuclear Fuels that the event had not led to any breach of discharge limits or radiological consequences. A
Column 462press release was issued by British Nuclear Fuels later that afternoon, and full details were also included in the site's regular newsletter, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department was represented at the conference on the role of clean technologies in integrated pollution control, held at the University of Sheffield on 19 October.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department was represented at, and presented any papers to, the conference on the future of waste management, held at the Botanical Gardens, Birmingham on 23 October.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what departmental papers were presented, and what departmental representation there was at (a) the PAGIS/Commission of the European Communities conference on nuclear waste in Madrid in June and (b) the Commission of the European Communities/International Atomic Energy Agency/OECD Nuclear Energy Agency sponsored conference on the safety assessment of radioactive waste repositories, in Paris, 9-13 October ;
(2) what departmental representation was made, and what papers presented at the forum on radioactive waste repositories held in Paris between 9-13 October, organised by the Commission of the European Communities, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Two DOE officials attended the CEC/IAEA/OECD (NEA) symposium on the safety assessment of radioactive waste repositories held in Paris from 9 to 13 October 1989. The following four papers co-authored by DOE officials were presented :
(i) The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Probabilistic Assessment Codes (PSAC) User Group ; Objectives, Achievements and Programme of Activities' by B G J Thompson et al.
(ii) The Development and Application of an Integrated Radiological Risk Assessment Procedure using Time Dependent Probabilistic Risk Analysis' by J -M Laurencs et al.
(iii) CHEMVAL -- An International Research Initiative for the Verification and Validation Testing of Chemical Speciation and Chemical Transport Computer Programs' by T W Broyd et al. (
(iv) Quality Assurance for Safety Assessment of Radioactive Waster Repositories' by I Hill et al.
1. The PAGIS (performance assessment of geological isolation systems) information day held in Madrid on 30 June
Column 4631989 was organised by by CEC to report on the Commission-funded research programme assessing radiological impact of radioactive waste disposal. PAGIS consisted of a series of generic studies to assess the radiological impact resulting from the disposal of high-level radioactive wastes in clay, granite and salt formations and in ocean sediments. Scientists drawn from a number of European, including United Kingdom, establishments were involved. The conclusion of the studies is that all four options should, in principle, allow for safe disposal of radioactive wastes. Reports of the studies have recently been published. The audience consisted of politicians, scientists and industry representatives, mainly from European Community member states. Two DOE officials attended ; Mr. B. D. Ponsford, director of HMIP, who participated as the United Kingdom representative, in the concluding panel discussion, and Dr. S. Brown, head of research and assessments branch of HMIP. Sir Hugh Rossi MP gave the invited introductory talk.
2. The international symposium on the safety assessment of radioactive waste repositories held in Paris from 9-13 October 1989 was jointly organised by the Commission of the European Communities, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD. The aim of the conference was to give member countries an opportunity, based upon current experience, to summarise the state of the art on safety assessment issues and to discuss possible future developments. Two DOE officials attended ; Dr. S. Brown, head of research and assessments branch, HMIP and Dr. B. Thompson, principal inspector, HMIP. A number of papers reporting work commissioned by DOE were presented as were four papers co-authored by DOE officials. The proceedings of the Symposium will be published by the nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD in due course.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what meetings he has had since July with representatives of national, international and regional environmental pressure groups and non- governmental organisations ; when they were held ; what issues were raised ; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards communications and co-operation with such organisations in policy development.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Since July, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has met representatives of Friends of the Earth for a general discussion of environmental issues, and representatives of the Council for the Protection of Rural England to discuss countryside matters.
In addition, my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside and I have had meetings on a range of environmental matters with a number of other bodies, including CLEAR, the British Conservation Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Tidy Britain Group and UK 2000.
We welcome a dialogue with constructive and well-meaning environmental groups in order to strengthen mutual understanding of the issues that we face and the policy options that are available.
Mr. Chope : There are at present three local authority gipsy sites in Warwickshire. These are at Alvecote, near Tamworth, which has 17 pitches, at Griff, Nuneaton, 21 pitches, and at Pathlow, near Stratford-on- Avon, 29
Column 464pitches. There are, in addition, 54 caravan spaces for gipsies on eight authorised private sites elsewhere in the county.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give illustrative figures for the level of community charge (a) under the previously proposed system and (b) following the latest changes, for 1990-91, in pounds per adult for (i) Elmbridge, (ii) Surrey Heath, (iii) Waverley, (iv) Woking, (v) Hertsmere, (vi) North Hertfordshire, (vii) Three Rivers, (viii) Bradford, (ix) Calderdale, (x) Kirklees, (xi) Leeds and (xii) Wakefield, respectively.
Mr. David Hunt : The latest illustrative figures are those published on 19 July. The changes to the safety net and the scheme of transitional relief announced on 11 October will not affect community charges for 1990- 91, except those for individuals entitled to the relief.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he proposes to introduce regulations which ensure that a carer who resides part-time in his own home and the remainder of the time in the home of a person being cared for will only pay one poll tax liability ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table indicating which local authorities gain and which authorities lose as a result of the Government's latest decisions on safety nets and the community charge, in terms of pounds sterling per adult.
Mr. David Hunt : For 1990-91 there is no change from the proposal for the safety net announced on 19 July. The proposal to abolish the safety net after 1990-91 will benefit chargepayers in those areas which would otherwise have had to contribute directly to the safety net. The position of areas benefiting from the safety net will be unchanged.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish his Department's estimate of how many households in Leeds will receive safety net payments on the community charge, according to the number of people in the household.
Mr. David Hunt : The information requested is not available. If the effect of the safety net is to reduce community charges in Leeds then the same reduced community charge will apply to each liable adult in every household.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish his Department's illustrative figures on the impact of the community charge on households in Leeds as a result of the recent decision, assuming that the local authority spends at its grant-related expenditure allocation level.
Column 465household which qualifies for safety-net payments under community charge transitional payment the reduction will be applied.
Mr. David Hunt : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Mr. Conway) on 20 October, Official Report, column 262. Copies of the Department's further proposals document, which sets out the basis on which transitional relief should be given for larger households with three or more adults, are in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what inflation assumptions for local authority expenditure are made in his Department's indicative figures for the impact of the community charge.
Mr. David Hunt : I have published no indicative figures showing my estimate of future community charge levels. Illustrative figures were provided on 19 July based on local authority spending levels in 1989-90, which required no inflation assumption.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how long it takes the National Radiological Protection Board to assess an individual's home monitoring unit for radon contamination, once it has been returned after the three-month survey period ; and if the results are always notified to the occupier.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The National Radiological Protection Board usually completes assessments funded by the Department within 10 weeks of the end of the survey period. It always notifies the results to the occupier.
Mr. Moynihan : Since 1872, on the abandonment of mine workings plans have been required by statute to be deposited with the Secretary of State for Employment. Those for minerals other than coal are lodged with the Health and Safety Executive (Mining Records Office), and those for coal mines are lodged with the British Coal Corporation. Pre-1872 records are not kept centrally. However, mine records are held by Barnsley metropolitan borough council (as successor to South Yorkshire county council) to provide a mining advisory service to Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham metropolitan borough councils, and by Sheffield city council. It is not known whether any of these records would include old limestone mine workings.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how far the negotiations of transferring Brodsworth hall, near Doncaster into the hands of the nation have progressed ; and how much money the Government have put into the scheme to date.
Column 466have put no funds expressly into the acquisition of Brodsworth hall and its contents for the nation. If the negotiations with the owners prove successful it will be for English Heritage and the National Heritage Memorial Fund to find the necessary resources from their existing grant in aid.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the current rate of depletion of the number of elephants inhabiting the African continent ; and whether any improvement on the rate of depletion over the past 10 years is expected.
Mr. Trippier : Accurate information about the rate of decline is difficult to obtain, but it is generally accepted that in the last 10 years the population has declined by about 45 per cent. In the light of this, the recent CITES conference agreed the inclusion of the African elephant in appendix I of the convention. We hope that the stricter controls which will now apply to this species will halt its decline and that numbers will increase.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence is available on the effectiveness of the British Government's contribution to international efforts to save the African elephant from extinction.
Mr. Trippier : The Government have played their full part in international efforts to save the African elephant from extinction and were instrumental in the setting up of the CITES ivory trade monitoring unit. We were, however, dissatisfied with the effectiveness for conservation of the controls on ivory trade and in June we called on our European partners to introduce a ban on the import of African ivory and to support appendix I listing for the African elephant. I am delighted that the appendix I listing was approved at the recent CITES conference.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what fresh initiatives he proposes to take to help secure the future of the African elephant (a) through specifically British initiatives and (b) through joint action with European and other nations on a worldwide basis.
Mr. Trippier : At the recent CITES conference, the United Kingdom strongly suported the proposal to include the African elephant in appendix I of the convention. Furthermore, we were successful in obtaining approval for our resolution urging all party states to implement appendix I controls with immediate effect. It is for the African Governments concerned to work out a long-term conservation strategy to ensure the survival of this species, but we are always ready to consider any proposal from African countries for assistance with measures to conserve their populations of elephants.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the names and numbers of local authorities which he considers operate satisfactory collection and recycling arrangements as far as domestic waste is concerned ; and if he will list the names and numbers where such arrangements are either non-existent or inadequate.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not currently held on a systematic basis for all domestic waste streams. My Department, with the Department of Trade and Industry and the assistance of local authorities, are reviewing in each local authority area arrangements to encourage recycling in order to identify best practice and raise the level of recycling facilities generally. We will also be carefully evaluating the results of the major experiment in recycling--Recycling City--in Sheffield, which is supported by the Government.
Mr. Norman Hogg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of the total housing stock is comprised of sheltered housing ; and what proportion is provided by local authorities, housing associations and the private sector in England and Wales.
Mr. Chope : Estimates derived from local authorities' annual housing investment programme returns for April 1988 indicate that, of a total housing stock of some 19,142,000, 2.3 per cent. were sheltered dwellings, of which 68 per cent. were owned by local authorities, 25 per cent. by housing associations and 6 per cent. were privately owned.
For corresponding information about Welsh local authorities, I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Raison : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will approve an application by Aylesbury Vale district council to operate a cash incentive scheme under section 129 of the Housing Act 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chope : Approval has today been given for Aylesbury Vale district council to incur expenditure of £100,000 in 1989-90 on cash incentive grants to help the council's tenants to buy homes of their own.
Many councils are coming to realise that cash incentives offer a cost- effective means of releasing council homes for reletting to homeless families and others in acute housing need. Since section 129 of the Housing Act 1988 came into effect on 1 April this year, 38 cash incentive schemes have been approved which will enable the councils concerned to spend up to £12 million on grants to secure 1, 100 vacancies for reletting. Further schemes are under consideration. This is an encouraging start. Other councils should consider putting schemes forward for approval.
Mr. Moynihan : The General Development Order 1988 enables the Post Office, British Telecom and other licensed telecommunications operators to undertake operations without applying for specific planning permission. In some special areas the operator must give notice to the local planning authority, which has a general power to withdraw permitted development rights where there is a real and specific threat to amenity. These arrangements are
Column 468designed to help the operators to fulfil their respective obligations efficiently ; they have generally worked satisfactorily for many years, and my right hon. Friend sees no reason to change them.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement in respect of the radioactive uranium deposit found in a warehouse belonging to the Richmond Metal Company, in an industrial estate at Feltham, Middlesex on 13 October.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : During sorting of metal scrap at Richmond Metals on 13 October 1989, a small bar of unusually heavy metal was found which was suspected to be uranium. Checks with a radiation detector showed that the radioactive content was small and there was no hazard. Subsequent checks have confirmed that the bar is uranium. Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating how the uranium came to be on the premises of the Richmond Metal Company.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many responses were made to his Department's consultation paper entitled, "Proposals for Additional Legislation on the International Release of Genetically Manipulated Organisms", and if he will make them available for public inspection.
Mr. Trippier : A total of 61 responses were received, of which 42 have been placed in the Department's library, where they are available for public inspection. Those which have not been deposited were from organisations or individuals who did not indicate their agreement to making their comments publicly available.
Mr. Chris Patten [holding answer 19 October 1989] : The information requested is set out below for the 9 water plcs in England. Appointments to Welsh Water plc are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Bernard Henderson, Chairman (£43,860). Formerly managing director of the Henderson Group. Deputy chairman of the Water Services Association. Non -executive director of the WRc.
Francis Cator, Deputy Chairman (£9,317). Formerly a joint vice chairman of J. Henry Schroder Wagg. A vice-chairman of the Norwich Insurance Group and a director of Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers.
Andrew Semple, Group Managing Director (£53,750).
Alan Smith, Group Deputy Managing Director and Group Director of Finance (£48,375).
John Simpson, Group Operations Director (£48,375).
Alison Abbey, Non-executive Director (£7,167). Formerly