Previous Section Home Page

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We see no need for further legislation about this subject at present.

Capital Receipts

Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in detail what the new rules governing councils' expenditure from capital receipts will be from 1 April 1990 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : Section 59 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 provides that any capital receipt realised by a local authority on or after 1 April 1990, other than a receipt received by them as trustee of a charitable fund, must be divided into a reserved part, which must be set aside as provision for credit liabilities, and a usable balance which the authority may apply to expenditure for capital purposes or as voluntary provision for credit liabilities. The usable balance of capital receipts may be applied in the financial year in which they are received or later, at the authority's discretion. Expenditure for capital purposes is defined in section 40 of the 1989 Act. The reserved part is calculated by reference to the amount of

Column 40

the receipt reduced by the amounts (if any) which out of the receipt are paid to the Exchequer by way of clawback of Exchequer grant or assistance or (in the case of certain receipts from housing disposals) are applied to meet the administrative costs of disposal. Except insofar as is otherwise provided by regulations made by the Secretary of State or, in cases where receipts arise from disposals which required his consent, by directions given by him, the amount of the reserved part is a percentage of the amount of the receipt thus reduced. The percentage specified in the Act is 75 per cent. in the case of disposals of dwelling-houses held for the purposes of Part II of the Housing Act 1985 and 50 per cent. in other cases. It has already been announced that it is the intention to make regulations which would provide for a percentage of 75 per cent. for receipts from the disposal of share and loan capital (other than certain holdings in public transport and airport companies) and from disposals of property held in connection with the police, probation, magistrates courts, and civil defence services. My Department is currently consulting the local authority associations on proposals for regulations which would (a) specify percentages other than 50 per cent. for certain other categories of receipts, (b) provide that in certain cases the reserved part would be calculated by references to the authority's net receipt rather than the gross amount realised, and (c) specify a percentage of 0 per cent. for most receipts realised by authorities who had paid off all their captial borrowings and had made full provision for their other credit liabilities.

A credit received by a local authority as trustee of a charitable trust fund must be applied in accordance with any directions given by the Charity Commissioners or, in the absence of such directions, for the purposes of the charity concerned.

Tin Compounds

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment at what date tributyltin and organotin compounds were added to his Department's red list ; and from what external sources advice or evidence was received on this decision.

Mr. Trippier : Tributyltin and tryphenyltin compounds were included on the initial red list of priority substances liable to pose a threat to the aquatic environment, which was announced on 10 April 1989 following the issue of a consultation paper. There were, in total, 80 responses to the consultation exercise, of which seven specially commented on the inclusion of these substances on the list. Copies of these responses were placed in the Library of the House on 10 April, with the exception of one respondent who asked for their comments to be treated in confidence.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has been completed or is in process on the toxicity of tributyltin and organotin compounds.

Mr. Trippier : Much of the research which led to the existing controls on triorganotins is referred to in DOE pollution paper 25 (Organotin in anti-fouling paints : environmental considerations). This was published in 1986 and a copy has already been placed in the Library of the House. Twenty seven scientific papers and reports produced subsequently under DOE funding are listed in the DOE report on research and development 1986-1988.

Column 41

Current research funded by the Department of the Environment at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Burnham laboratory and at the Plymouth marine laboratory is mainly concerned with monitoring recovery since the ban imposed in 1987 and assessing the implications of tributyltin use on vessels over 25 metres.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he proposes to commission an environment impact statement on the use of tributyltin or organotin compounds in anti-fouling paints and on alternative anti-fouling systems.

Mr. Trippier : No. All antifouling preparations have to be notified under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. Approvals are granted or withheld following an assessment of possible impact on human health and the environment. Tributyltin compounds have not been approved for use on small boats or in fish farming ; other uses are being kept under review by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides.

Tenants Incentive Scheme

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the introduction of the tenants incentive scheme for the tenants of charitable housing associations.

Mr. Chope : The tenants incentive scheme will be introduced by the Housing Corporation in 1990-91. It will enable registered housing associations, including charitable housing associations, to give cash grants to help their tenants buy homes of their own.

In addition to the major increase in resources being made available for the Housing Corporation's main programme, the Government are making available through the corporation an extra £73 million over the next two years to help housing associations provide more homes for homeless people by various means including securing vacancies by giving additional grants under the tenants incentive scheme. These extra resources will be targeted on London and the south-east where homelessness pressures are greatest.

Column 42

Endangered Species

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will increase resources to allow the designation of special sites to be undertaken more speedily and effectively ;

(2) if he will make resources available to identify species decline in the British Isles ; and if he will strengthen legislation protecting endangered species habitat.

Mr. Trippier : The Government's grant-in-aid to the Nature Conservancy Council in the financial year 1990-91 will be £44.069 million, an increase over this year of almost £4 million. The council has indicated that this amount will allow it to carry forward its statutory work and to deliver additional benefits for nature conservation. Within the framework of the corporate plan, it is for the council to decide the priorities of the calls on its resources, and site safeguard is regarded as being of the highest priority. The Government have no plans to amend the legislative provisions for protecting the habitats of endangered species.

Countryside Work Force

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he will take to create a countryside work force, to monitor, identify, protect and manage environmentally important sites ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : A large number of organisations are active in various aspects of the environmental protection and enhancement work to which the hon. Member refers, including particularly the Government's statutory agencies, the Nature Conservancy Council and the Countryside Commission, the Groundwork Trusts and numerous voluntary conservation bodies, many of which receive financial assistance from public funds.

Overspent Targets (Shires)

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those shire counties in England which overspent the targets or other assessments set by Government in each of the last two years for which figures are available, with the amount of overspending and the proportion this formed of the total spending in each case.

Mr. Chope : The information requested is as follows :

Column 41

Shire counties' spending compared to grant related expenditure          


                 |1987-88   |1987-88   |1988-89   |1988-89              

                 |Overspend |Percentage|Overspend |Percentage           

                            |overspend            |overspend            

                 |£ million            |£ million                       


Avon             |27.7      |7.6       |34.4      |8.7                  

Bedfordshire     |17.6      |8.2       |15.7      |6.7                  

Buckinghamshire  |11.8      |4.6       |11.3      |4.0                  

Cambridgeshire   |-14.9     |-5.9      |5.4       |2.0                  

Cheshire         |31.0      |7.7       |31.6      |7.2                  

Cleveland        |25.5      |9.3       |27.1      |9.2                  

Cumbria          |21.3      |10.5      |21.8      |10.0                 

Derbyshire       |33.3      |8.7       |36.1      |8.7                  

Durham           |6.5       |2.6       |7.8       |2.9                  

Essex            |-1.5      |-0.3      |20.3      |3.1                  

Gloucestershire  |0.1       |0.1       |3.5       |1.5                  

Hertfordshire    |-19.3     |-5.0      |91.8      |22.3                 

Humberside       |21.7      |5.6       |25.3      |6.1                  

Isle of Wight    |2.7       |5.6       |2.6       |4.8                  

Lancashire       |0.3       |0.1       |17.8      |2.7                  

Leicestershire   |5.2       |1.4       |10.9      |2.6                  

Northamptonshire |0.5       |0.2       |4.9       |1.9                  

Northumberland   |6.3       |5.2       |10.3      |7.9                  

Nottinghamshire  |25.0      |5.9       |47.9      |10.5                 

Oxfordshire      |3.5       |1.8       |11.8      |5.5                  

Somerset         |1.4       |0.8       |4.3       |2.2                  

Warwickshire     |-2.5      |-1.3      |7.6       |3.6                  

West Sussex      |17.7      |6.9       |-15.9     |-5.7                 

Wiltshire        |-2.6      |-1.2      |7.1       |3.0                  

Habitats Directive

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will support a European Community habitats directive, providing protection for special features of value to wildlife.

Mr. Trippier : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Luton, South (Mr. Bright) on 30 November at column 370.

Mr. Gould : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement following the Council of Environmental Ministers on 28 and 29 November concerning discussions held on the proposed European Community habitats directive ; and if he will indicate what funding will be made available to enable the effective implementation of the directive in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Chris Patten : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Luton, South (Mr. Bright) on 30 November at column 370.

Registered Funding Co-operatives

Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give urgent consideration to exempting registered funding co-operatives from the requirements set out in his Department's circular 31/88 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : Housing Corporation circular HC31/88 sets out the financial viability tests the corporation applies where registered housing associations seek consent for private loans. The criteria in the circular are of a general nature and the corporation is prepared to relax them in appropriate circumstances.

Water Shares

Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to ensure that service personnel who own, but are unable to be resident at a United Kingdom home, are in no way disadvantaged in obtaining access to special terms offered by water authorities for the purchase of shares by their customers.

Mr. Howard : It was open to absent servicemen qualifying as customers under the terms of the water share offers to make arrangements to be registered with the Water Share Information Office by the last date for registration of 15 November, and to make arrangements for their personalised customer application forms to be completed and returned by representatives in the United

Column 44

Kingdom before the closing date and time which is 10 am on 6 December. No applications may, however, be made which are in breach of the local securities laws of the country in which they are serving.


200. Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what legislative proposals he intends to introduce to reduce litter.

Mr. Trippier : The proposals we intend to introduce in the forthcoming environment Bill, to improve the appearance and standards of cleanliness of public places were published in a consultation paper Action on Litter', a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

These proposals include a new duty on local authorities, statutory undertakers and owners of some other land to keep their land clear of litter. In carrying out this duty, these bodies will have to have regard to a code of practice issued by my right hon. Friend. If they fail to carry out the duty, an aggrieved person will be able to apply to the magistrates court for a litter abatement order compelling them to do so. We will also bring in tougher penalties for litterers : we intend to raise the maximum fine for littering from £400 to £1,000 ; and give local authorities powers to introduce a fixed penalty scheme for litter offences, similar to that already operating in Westminster.

Dust Emission Limits

201. Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to place individual SO and dust emission limits on large industrial plants.

Mr. Trippier : Large industrial plants which have the potential for significant emissions of SO and dust are subject to control by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution. Operators of these plants are required to fit such equipment and to operate in such a way as to minimise air pollution and its effects. The specification of the requirements may include emission limits. Under proposed changes to air pollution legislation to be introduced this Session, control requirements, including any relevant emission limits, will be set in legally binding authorisations which will be open to public inspection. I have written to my hon. Friend about the control of dust and SO emissions from the Fiddlers Ferry power station, which is among the plants covered by proposals in the Department's recent consultation paper on implementation of the EC large combustion plants directive.

Column 45

Poll Tax Publicity

295. Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish details of his planned poll tax publicity campaign showing (a) the cost of television advertising, (b) the cost of newspaper advertising, (c) the cost of radio advertising and (d) the planned start and end dates of the campaign ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Hunt : We are not planning a poll tax publicity campaign. We are, however, preparing an

Column 46

information campaign to ensure that those eligible are aware of entitlement to community charge benefit and transitional relief.

Local Government Finance

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 10 highest annual rate increases reported among English local authorities since 1983, giving the year of increase, the amount and the appropriate local authority.

Mr. David Hunt [holding answer 29 November 1989] : The information requested is as follows :

Column 45

General rates-Highest annual increases since 1983-84                    

                            Year of  PercentagPoundages in pence        

                           |increase|increase|from    |to               


 1. Ealing                 |1987-88 |57.4    |160.5   |252.5            

 2. Waltham Forest         |1987-88 |56.6    |205.0   |321.0            

 3. Haringey               |1989-90 |55.7    |245.3   |381.9            

 4. Hammersmith and Fulham |1987-88 |44.1    |165.5   |238.4            

 5. Calderdale             |1986-87 |37.3    |208.2   |286.0            

 6. Eden                   |1986-87 |35.0    |194.3   |262.2            

 7. Leicester              |1986-87 |34.7    |174.7   |235.3            

 8. Allerdale              |1986-87 |34.1    |198.5   |266.1            

 9. Barrow-in-Furness      |1986-87 |33.7    |202.0   |270.0            

10. South Lakeland         |1986-87 |33.2    |192.9   |256.8            


Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total projected cost of transport, environmental and infrastructure improvements financed by the Exchequer and designed to serve London Docklands between 1985 and 1995 ; and if he will itemise all such improvements.

Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 30 November 1989] : Past expenditure, current commitments and proposals by the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) and the Department of Transport (DTp) on transport, environmental and infrastructure improvements to serve docklands exceed £2 billion. A full list of all such schemes is not available, but transport projects by DTp and LDDC are summarised in DTp's publication "Transport in Docklands" (June 1989), copies of which are in the Library.

Water Companies

Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 27 November to the hon. Member for Copeland, Official Report, column 86, he will list the individuals serving on each water holding company trust scheme.

Mr. Chris Patten [holding answer Thursday 30 November 1989] : The Companies Act 1985 requires the filing of names and addresses of directors at Companies House and for these to be made available to the public on request.

Child Care Facilities

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will be introducing any new measures to assist or encourage local authorities to provide additional child care facilities in order to enable more women with pre-school age children to seek employment.

Column 46

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I have been asked to reply.

It is for local authorities to decide what priority they give to provision of services for pre-school children. We would expect local authority provision to be targeted on children from families with particular health or social difficulties rather than specifically designed to enable mothers to seek employment. Under the Children Act local authorities will be expected to review the availability of services and to publish information not only about what they provide themselves but also the provision of others and in particular voluntary organisations who make a valuable contribution in this area. The Department of Education and Science wrote in October to encourage local education authorities to allow the use of school premises for child care provision out of school hours.


A487 (Tourist Signposting)

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when his Department received a letter from Inigo Jones and Co. Ltd., Groeslon, Caernarfon, dated 17 August, concerning information signposting for tourists on the A487 trunk road ; on what date a reply was sent ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The letter from Inigo Jones and Co. Ltd., dated 17 August and addressed to the county surveyor of Gwynedd was received in the Welsh Office on 18 September. A full reply was sent to the company on 30 November. This set out the criteria used in considering the signing of tourist attractions from trunk roads in Wales.


Mr. Murphy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each charging authority area, attributing business rate income received by precepting authorities under the current system to each area in proportion to the

Column 47

aggregate of rateable values in that area (a) the estimated revenue from non-domestic rates in 1989-90, (b) the estimated amount which would have been raised in revenue by the national non-domestic rate in 1989-90 after the end of transitional arrangements and assuming rateable values at current levels, (c) the amount which would have been paid from the national non-domestic rating pool to each area in 1989-90, (d) the difference between (a) and (b) , (e) the difference between (b) and (c) , and (f) the difference between (a) and (c) , showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority.

Mr. Peter Walker : The estimates requested are shown in the following table :

Column 47

                               |(a)               |(b)               |(c)               |(d)               |(e)               |(f)                                  

Charging authority             |Revenue from non- |Amount to each    |Amount from       |Difference        |Difference        |Difference                           

                               |Domestic rates    |district/area from|national non-     |(a)-(b)           |(b)-(c)           |(a)-(c)                              

                               |national non-                        |domestic rating                                                                               

                                                  |domestic rate     |pool<1>                                                                                       

                               |£ million         |£ million         |£ million         |£ million         |£ million         |£ million                            


Alyn and Deeside               |12.787            |12.198            |10.420            |0.589             |1.778             |2.366                                

Colwyn                         |5.828             |5.611             |8.215             |0.218             |-2.604            |-2.386                               

Delyn                          |6.847             |6.546             |9.413             |0.301             |-2.866            |-2.565                               

Glyndwr                        |4.480             |4.255             |6.123             |0.226             |-1.868            |-1.643                               

Rhuddlan                       |7.977             |7.899             |8.424             |0.078             |-0.525            |-0.446                               

Wrexham Maelor                 |18.120            |16.613            |16.829            |1.507             |-0.215            |1.292                                

Carmarthen                     |5.744             |5.717             |8.291             |0.026             |-2.574            |-2.547                               

Ceredigion                     |6.454             |6.576             |9.926             |-0.122            |-3.350            |-3.472                               

Dinefwr                        |2.847             |2.873             |5.781             |-0.026            |-2.908            |-2.933                               

Llanelli                       |8.761             |8.275             |11.048            |0.486             |-2.773            |-2.287                               

Preseli Pembrokeshire          |9.988             |10.601            |10.268            |-0.613            |0.332             |-0.280                               

South Pembrokeshire            |14.325            |14.344            |6.104             |-0.019            |8.240             |8.221                                

Blaenau Gwent                  |7.575             |7.881             |11.314            |-0.306            |-3.433            |-3.740                               

Islwyn                         |5.278             |5.377             |9.679             |-0.099            |-4.302            |-4.401                               

Monmouth                       |10.175            |10.097            |11.923            |0.079             |-1.826            |-1.747                               

Newport                        |30.605            |31.261            |18.483            |-0.656            |12.778            |12.122                               

Torfaen                        |12.903            |12.787            |13.349            |0.116             |-0.562            |-0.445                               

Aberconwy                      |6.888             |6.950             |8.158             |-0.062            |-1.207            |-1.269                               

Arfon                          |11.604            |11.821            |7.967             |-0.217            |3.854             |3.637                                

Dwyfor                         |3.284             |3.315             |4.069             |-0.031            |-0.754            |-0.785                               

Meirionnydd                    |6.341             |6.523             |4.754             |-0.182            |1.769             |1.587                                

Ynys Mon                       |10.938            |11.076            |10.154            |-0.138            |0.922             |0.784                                

Cynon Valley                   |6.432             |6.317             |9.375             |0.114             |-3.057            |-2.943                               

Merthyr Tydfil                 |7.447             |7.056             |8.424             |0.392             |-1.368            |-0.976                               

Ogwr                           |14.872            |14.026            |19.985            |0.846             |-5.959            |-5.113                               

Rhondda                        |5.202             |4.924             |11.143            |0.278             |-6.219            |-5.942                               

Rhymney Valley                 |10.147            |9.477             |14.775            |0.669             |-5.298            |-4.628                               

Taff Ely                       |15.287            |14.099            |13.596            |1.188             |0.503             |1.691                                

Brecknock                      |4.440             |4.788             |6.104             |-0.348            |-1.316            |-1.664                               

Montgomeryshire                |5.659             |6.290             |7.568             |-0.631            |-1.278            |-1.909                               

Radnorshire                    |3.078             |3.496             |3.366             |-0.418            |0.130             |-0.288                               

Cardiff                        |51.673            |59.038            |41.054            |-7.365            |17.984            |10.619                               

Vale of Glamorgan              |17.756            |20.535            |17.285            |-2.780            |3.250             |0.471                                

Port Talbot                    |17.119            |16.751            |7.226             |0.368             |9.525             |9.893                                

Lliw Valley                    |6.392             |5.842             |9.108             |0.550             |-3.266            |-2.716                               

Neath                          |9.631             |9.050             |9.546             |0.581             |-0.496            |0.085                                

Swansea                        |31.762            |26.361            |27.401            |5.401             |-1.040            |4.361                                


All Welsh charging authorities |416.647           |416.647           |416.647           |0                 |0                 |0                                    

<1> Distributed using the Registrar General's mid year estimates (1988) of population aged 18 and over.                                                             

Craft Industry

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will publish the full cost of the review of the Welsh craft industry that took place in February 1988 ;

(2) if he will publish the full costs of the design and development fees for the "Wales--Land of Quality" promotion and logo ; (3) what information he has on the current position of the finances and on the number of jobs created by the craft incentive of the Welsh Arts Council which began on 1 April 1988 ;

Column 48

(4) what information he has on the figures on the current expenditure on and value of sales achieved by the Welsh Craft Council's (a) Buyers' Guide 1988-89, (b) Wales fair, October 1988 and (c) direct sales events ;

(5) what information he has on the full expenditure on, and income received from, the Welsh Development Agency's (a) publication of the Buyers' Guide 1989 and the South Wales Business Adviser, (b) research and promotion of retail sales, (c) craft shops in museums and (d) grant to Wales Craft Council.

Mr. Peter Walker : I will write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Column 49

Hospital Beds

Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the numbers of hospital beds available in Ceredigion for geriatric cases ; how many patients there are on the waiting list ; and what steps he is taking to increase the number of beds in the area.

Mr. Grist : 106 NHS hospital beds are currently designated for geriatric medicine in Ceredigion. At 31 March 1989 there was one person on the in-patient waiting list for admission to those beds. The planning of bed numbers for particular specialties is an operational matter for the relevant district health authority in the first instance.

Trunk Roads (Traffic Flow)

Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the total traffic flow on the Cardigan to Machynlleth trunk road and the A44 Aberystwyth to Ponterwyd road ; and what proportion of this traffic is heavy goods vehicles.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : In 1988, the annual average daily traffic flows on the A487 between Cardigan and Machynlleth ranged from about 3,000 vehicles per day on stretches between Cardigan and the outskirts of Aberystwyth to up to 11,000 vehicles per day through Aberystwyth itself. The heavy goods vehicle content ranged between about 2 per cent. and 8 per cent.

Annual average daily traffic flows on the A44 between Aberystwyth and Ponterwyd, in 1988 ranged from 2,500 vehicles per day between Ponterwyd and the A4159 junction to almost 8,000 vehicles per day at Llanbadarn with a heavy goods vehicle content of between 7 per cent. and 10 per cent.

Welsh Language Teaching

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the average number of hours spent teaching Welsh in schools in Wales in (a) primary and (b) secondary sectors ; and if he will give a county by county breakdown.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The latest information about the time spent on teaching Welsh is derived from the primary school staffing survey 1987. The information is shown in the following table :

Percentage of class time spent        

learning Welsh                        



Clwyd           |9                    

Dyfed           |14                   

Gwent           |<1>                  

Gwynedd         |19                   

Mid Glamorgan   |n/a                  

Powys           |9                    

South Glamorgan |3                    

West Glamorgan  |5                    


Wales           |<2>8                 

<1> Less than 1.                      

<2> Includes an estimate for Mid      


No comparable information is currently available for secondary schools. The results of the recent secondary schools staffing survey will be published during 1990.

Column 50

East Glamorgan Hospital

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether funds have been allocated to the Mid Glamorgan health authority sufficient to ensure an immediate start to the repair programme to the fabric of East Glamorgan general hospital.

Mr. Grist : Mid Glamorgan health authority has received revenue allocation of £149 million and a capital allocation of over £7 million in the current financial year. These allocations represent cash increases by comparison with 1988-89 provision of 7 per cent. and 27 per cent. respectively. It is for the authority to determine how these resources should be deployed.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether funds have been allocated to the Mid Glamorgan health authority sufficient to ensure a speedy start to the construction of a replacement district general hospital for the existing East Glamorgan general hospital.

Mr. Grist : It is for Mid Glamorgan health authority to decide how best to deploy the capital and revenue resources allocated to it. We are, however, currently considering a number of bids under the programme for the valleys for health schemes starting in 1990-91, including a bid from Mid Glamorgan health authority in respect of preliminary works associated with the proposed new district general hospital. We shall announce decisions on the programme early in the new year.

Water Pollution

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many reservoirs and lakes in Wales have been affected by poisonous algal blooms during 1989 ; how much dredging has taken place to get rid of such blooms ; and what action he will take to ensure that algal blooms are effectively eliminated in future.

Mr. Grist : Monitoring carried out during 1989 revealed no significant algal blooms in Welsh reservoirs and therefore no dredging has been carried out. It is for the National Rivers Authority, in conjunction with Dwr Cymru, to consider what future action may be necessary in areas potentially affected by algal blooms.

Deprivation Survey

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends publishing his Department's survey of 100 towns facing deprivation in Wales ; and if he will include information on how the survey was conducted and the action he is taking in reaction to the survey's findings.

Mr. Peter Walker : I assume the hon. Gentleman is referring to some work undertaken by my Department to devise a mechanism for the distribution of one of the new allowances payable to general medical practitioners under the new GP contract to take effect on 1 April 1990. The work was undertaken for this specific purpose and is not considered to have any wider application. Discussions continue with representatives of GPs.

Wrexham Maelor Hospital

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has yet received a new submission from the Clwyd health authority for the funding of renal services at Wrexham Maelor hospital.

Column 51

Mr. Grist : We understand that the health authority is presently preparing its submission in respect of a regional subsidiary renal unit in the context of its response to consultation on the report of the evaluation of renal services in Wales.


Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what investigations he will institute to consider the rates for cancer in North Wales ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what measures he will take to investigate (a) the rate of stomach cancer in North Wales, (b) breast cancer rates in Merioneth, Aberconway, Rhondda and Colwyn, (c) rates of cancer of the cervix in Clwyd and Anglesey and (d) incidences of leukaemia in women in Colwyn, Merioneth and Wales generally ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist : It has been known for some time that there was a slight elevation of cancer incidence rates for north Wales in comparison with the average for Wales as a whole. In order to establish if any particular factor could be held responsible it was announced in 1987 that Professor Hubert Campbell, Emeritus Professor of Medical Statistics of the University of Wales, College of Medicine had been appointed to consider the available data relating to the incidence of cancers in north Wales since 1974.

Professor Campbell's report was published in July 1988. In introducing his findings Professor Campbell emphasised there was nothing new in the elevation of cancer incidence rates in north Wales ; records demonstrate this situation has existed for at least 70 years and it would not be possible to identify any aetiological agent as being responsible. It was however suggested that some further investigation might be undertaken into the question of whether some genetic factor might play a contributory role in the excess of leukemia registration identified in the report and also into the possible reasons for an excess in thyroid cancer registration in women over the age of 25 between 1974 amd 1978.

The feasibility and potential value of such further investigation is being considered in conjunction with the small areas health statistics unit.

The Wales Cancer Registry records incidence rates for all types of cancer and detailed summaries are published periodically. The third report "Cancer Registration Wales 1974-84" was published in May 1988.

It must be appreciated in considering such reports that at district level or below the number of annual registrations for certain types of malignancy can be very small. As such, considerable care must be exercised in the interpretation of the derived incidence rates.

Domestic Rates Bills

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many households in the area of the Merthyr borough council are paying an annual rates bill of less than £350 ;

(2) how many households in the communities of Rhymney, Brithdir, Tydfil and New Tredegar are at present paying an annual rates bill of less than £350.

Column 52

Mr. Peter Walker : The information requested is not available centrally.

Sheltered Accommodation

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in the Official Report the number of sheltered schemes for the elderly, units in those sheltered schemes and other purpose-built dwellings for the elderly operated by (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations.

Mr. Grist [holding answer 30 November 1989] : In April 1989 there were 16,219 Local Authority sheltered dwellings and 23,111 other local authority dwellings designed for the elderly. Housing association data held centrally do not distinguish between sheltered and other purpose- built dwellings, and are not yet available for April 1989. However, in April 1988 there were 4,313 Housing Association dwellings designed for the elderly.



93. Mr. Rathbone : To ask the Attorney-General what plans the Government have to review the application of the law of trespass.

The Attorney-General : The Government have no plans to review the application of the law of trespass.

Birmingham Pub Bombings

97. Mr. Mullin : To ask the Attorney-General when he last discussed the Birmingham pub bombings case with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Next Section

  Home Page