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Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to have the opportunity to discuss with the new Foreign Minister of India the possibility of India joining the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the chief Minister and other Ministers in Montserrat have been consulted about the adequacy of British aid to the island following the devastation caused by hurricane Hugo ; and if he is satisfied that the aid given is adequate in terms of the island's medical and rehousing needs.
Mr. Sainsbury : There has been, and continues to be, close consultation with the Government of Montserrat, particularly through our development division in Barbados. I have visited Montserrat twice since hurricane Hugo for discussion with the chief Minister and others. I am satisfied with the aid provided so far. Much remains to be done and we are urgently considering the longer term needs. The chief Minister is meeting ODA officials today, 8 December.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the achievements of the programme for progress in scientific culture, run by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation advanced studies unit at Erice, Italy.
Mr. Maude : NATO runs an advanced study institutes programme which makes grants to individuals who apply to organise summer schools at post graduate level. Some of these have taken place at the Ettore Majorama centre for scientific culture which is an Italian institution and not organised or directly funded by NATO. This programme is of benefit to scientists from both the United Kingdom and other NATO countries.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what benefits accrue to the United Kingdom Exchequer from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation advanced study unit at the Ettore Majorama centre for scientific culture in Erice, Italy ; and what is the annual upkeep grant made available to this centre.
Mr. Maude : NATO's advanced study institutes programme makes grants to individuals who apply to organise summer schools at post-graduate level. The programme is of benefit to the scientific community in the United Kingdom and in other Alliance countries. An analysis of the precise financial benefit is not available. Some of the summer schools have taken place at the Ettore Majorama centre for scientific culture. However, this is an Italian institution and is not organised or directly funded by NATO.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many market research and sample surveys were carried our by or for his Department in the last 12 months ; what was the cost of each ; what was the total cost ; how many were carried out in house ; how many were carried out for his Department by outside organisations ; and what percentage of the total expenditure was paid to outside organisations.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The latest period for which information is available is from 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1989. During this period, 35 market research, sample surveys and similar studies were carried out on behalf of the Department. None was carried out in-house. The costs involved were :
|Number --------------------------------- Under £5,000 |6 £5,000 to £10,000 |6 £10,000 to £20,000 |13 £20,000 to £30,000 |4 Over £30,000 |6 Total cost = £1,257,896. Note: These studies were at differing stages of development-not all involved client interface during 1988-89.
The Department also sponsors part of the social policy research unit at York university. They were involved in seven studies during 1988-89 at a total cost of £184,363.50.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will update the figures given in the reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, on 23 June, Official Report, column 276, for the cost of diets for people with AIDS or HIV infection ; if he will also give figures for the income support available to people under 25 years of age who are unemployed but still capable of work ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : Based upon the food component of the September 1988 retail prices index, the diet costed at £14.19 would now cost £15.43 and that of £9.46 would now cost £10.29. The income support available to people under the age of 25 years is £27.40 a week for all 18 to 24 year olds, and certain 16 to 17 year olds who, of necessity, have to live away from home ; 16 to 17-year-olds who live in someone else's household may qualify for £20.80 a week.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what recent consultations he has had concerning the financial needs of people with AIDS/ARC and HIV ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what representations he has received concerning the financial needs of people with AIDS/ARC/HIV ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : I have received various representations from organisations, including the Terrence Higgins trust, and from individuals. Officials have also had recent consultations with the Department of Health.
Column 421substantive reply to the letter of 12 July from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, on income support for people with AIDS/ARC/HIV ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will specify any difference in treatment in regard to means- tested benefits between payments under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 and the £20,000 payments from the Macfarlane trust in respect of (a) children and (b) adults.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : All payments from the Macfarlane trust are disregarded for benefit purposes. Lump sump payments made under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 are normally taken into account as capital, unless they are placed in trust for the recipient. They are then disregarded.
(a) if the payment is for a child, until he or she is no longer a dependant ;
(b) if the payment is for an adult, for 2 years, or longer in certain circumstances.
Any payments from a trust will be taken into account as income or capital in the normal way.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We do not agree that the main problems caused by dogs would be solved by a national dog registration scheme, though consideration is being given to alternative schemes to deal with straying and fouling. Our proposed solutions are set out in the consultation paper "Action on Dogs" issued in August. Controls on dangerous dogs have already been significantly strengthened by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Under the terms of the draft regulation on the proposed European Environment Agency, data supplied or or emanating from the agency may be published and shall be made accessible to the public, subject to compliance with the rules of the Commission and the member states on the dissemination of information.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of the states parties to the Montreal protocol on chlorofluorocarbon control held in Geneva in November ; and how the decisions taken at this meeting will affect Her Majesty's Government's policies to combat the greenhouse effect.
Mr. Trippier : The meeting was one of a series of preparatory meetings for the second meeting of the parties to the Montreal protocol in London next summer. Its purpose was to identify the amendments and adjustments to the protocol which will be proposed at that meeting. This was achieved. The United Kingdom, acting in concert with the European Community, has taken a leading position on the timetable for phasing out CFCs which are greenhouse gases as well as ozone depleting substances.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to obtain for his Department's library from Channel Four television or Pip Limited a copy of (a) the transcript and (b) the videotape of the programme "Inside Sellafield" broadcast on 9 November.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from the trade unions representing the Nature Conservancy Council work force in Scotland concerning his proposed reorganisation of the National Conservancy Council ; and if he will make a statement as to the nature of these representations.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any recent communication from the Open university's energy and environment research unit on the matter of environmental aspects of transport planning.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of acid rain deposition, and contamination of groundwater by acidity is caused by monocultural foresty development in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Trippier : The Department's acid waters review group in their second report, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House, concluded that the primary cause of acidification in sensitive areas of the United Kingdom was acid deposition from the atmos-phere. Afforestation might increase the deposition of
Column 423pollutants by 30 per cent. in a mature stand. The effect of the contamination of groundwater is difficult to quantify. Research by the Forestry Commission and within the Department's air pollution research programme on quantifying the effect of afforestation, including mono-cultural forestry, on acid deposition is continuing.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the number of large facilities which can handle low and intermediate level radioactive wastes for treatment and volume reduction in (a) the European Community, excluding the United Kingdom, and (b) the rest of the world.
(2) if he will give details of the amounts found by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution of polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxin in the flue gases from the Rechem international incinerator plant at Ponteg, Pontypool ; and what information he has on comparable figures of large chemical incinerators in the mainland of Europe ; (3) if he will provide an estimate of the total amount of special wastes dumped at the Leigh environmental waste disposal site at Walsall ;
(4) if he will summarise the results found by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution of tests for poly-chlorinated biphenyls and dioxin in herbage and soil samples around the Rechem incinerator plant at Ponteg, Pontypool ;
(5) what amounts of chemical waste were incinerated at the Rechem plant in Pontypool in each year from 1985 to the present time ; and what quantities of polychlorinated biphenyls contaminated waste were handled each year ;
(6) what estimate he has of the cumulative total amount of polychlorinated biphenyls manufactured over the last 30 years in (a) the Monsanto chemical works in Newport, Gwent, (b) Britain, (c) western Europe and (d) worldwide ;
(7) what information he has as to the amount of special waste incinerated on board ships during 1988 (a) in the North sea, and (b) in European waters ;
(8) what information he has as to the number of large chemical incinerators which can handle special wastes in (a) the European Community, excluding the United Kingdom, and (b) the rest of the world ;
(9) what information he has as to the number of large chemical incinerators for toxic wastes worldwide having (a) a double door with an air-lock, and (b) a single door ;
(10) what information he has of alternative methods to incineration now being developed or considered for the destruction of polychlorinated biphenyls ;
(11) what is the total amount of special wastes that have been subjected to the Leigh environmental sealofsafe solidification process ; and what proportion of this is in a non-solid form ;
Column 424(12) what quantities of flyash have been imported through Swansea docks for every year from 1979 to the present time ; and what are the results of analyses carried out for dioxin in such flyash ; (13) what quantities of special wastes were imported into Britain for incineration for every year from 1979 to the present time ; (14) whether Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution will consider the installation of continuous monitoring equipment to measure the amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls dioxin in the flue gas from the Rechem plant in Pontypool.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment in determining public expenditure plans for 1990-91 what provision was made for the cost of (i) refuse disposal, (ii) land drainage, (iii) cemetaries and cremation, (iv) environmental and port health, (v) planning control and implementation, (vi) recreation, (vii) refuse collection and (viii) community charge collection.
Mr. Patten : Information is not available in the form requested. An assessment of local authorities' revenue needs for these services and others was made in the standard spending assessment (SSA) for the other services block. The total SSA for other services for 1990-91 is £4,491 million. Within this total, £160 million was identified for land drainage.
The public expenditure planning total includes the credit approvals issued to local authorities and central Government grants towards local authority capital expenditure but does not include local authority self-financed capital expenditure. The provision for 1990-91 includes credit approvals and capital grants of £9 million for land drainage. There is also provision of £193 million for credit approvals for local environmental services, which include the services mentioned in the question. Of this, £33 million will be issued to authorities needing to carry out remedial works on the build up of landfill gas at waste disposal sites and £39 million will be issued to the authorities responsible for waste disposal expenditure in Greater London and the metropolitan counties. The public expenditure planning total also includes provision for expenditure of £44 million by the Sports Council and £24 million by the Countryside Commission.
Mr. Trippier : I welcome the growing practice of environmental auditing which has been adopted by industrial corporations. Such audits help to safeguard the environment by ensuring a more judicious use of resources and energy and minimising waste.
Mr. Chope : I welcome this report by researchers at the university of Bristol which underlines the need for early action by housing managers when local authority rent arrears arise. Court proceedings can too easily substitute for effective housing management practice. The report, published today, was based on a study of 1,200 possession action cases brought by local authorities most of which were actions to recover rent arrears. It showed that there were considerable variations in the level of rent arrears before local authorities took action in the courts. Delays meant that rent arrears often increased substantially before cases were heard in court. The Lord Chancellor's civil justice review recommended several improvements to the current procedures for possession actions and suggested a new streamlined rent action to speed debt recovery and avoid some possession cases coming to court.
Sir Michael Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will review the data used in calculating the highway maintenance element of the standard spending assessment relating to the treatment of winter maintenance.
Mr. David Hunt : Following representations from my hon. Friend and others, I have concluded that the formula for the highway maintenance component of standard spending assessments (SSAs) does not reflect my right hon. Friend's desired treatment of winter maintenance. We have therefore today notified the local authority associations and informed all local authorities of a revised formula. After allowing for some other data changes, this will increase the standard spending assessments component for this service for a number of
non-metropolitan counties which have a high incidence of snow. I have put details in the Library. As a result the standard spending assessment for north Yorkshire will increase by £3.1 million, which is equivalent to a £6 per head reduction in the community charge bill.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many civil servants in his Department work (a) full time and (b) part time on (i) heritage, (ii) archaeology and (iii) the royal parks.
Mr. Chris Patten [holding answer 7 December 1989] : The complement of headquarters civil servants dealing with heritage and archaeology is 392.5 full time equivalents. Within this complement there are about 17 part-time workers--most employed at the new Historic Palaces Agency. Ten officers work full-time in the Department on archaeological casework to do with the scheduling of monuments and sites. However, responsibility for advising Government on archaeological matters and for grant-aiding particular projects lies with English Heritage. Its ancient monuments division has 45 staff and a further 22 are engaged on monuments scheduling work. The royal parks have a complement of 599 full-time equivalent staff. Within this complement there are three part-time workers.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those representations he has received (a) welcoming and (b) opposing his plans to dismember the Nature Conservancy Council.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 7 December 1989] : My Department has received a large number of representations, about the proposals to reorganise the Nature Conservancy Council. It is not possible to allocate these in a meaningful way to the precise categories envisaged by the hon. Member. A number of representations contained elements both of support and of criticism.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide for both full-time adult males and females figures corresponding to those given in his answer of 1 November Official Report, column 240, in cash and in percentages for the period 1979 to 1989, together with the number of employees represented by each category at each of the dates.
Increases in weekly earnings, April 1979 to April 1989 and estimates of employees in employment, March 1979 and 1989 Average earningsMedian earnings Employees in employment Cash Per centCash Per centThousands |£ |£ |1979 |1989 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Males Manufacturing |162.8 |160 |142.4 |149 |na |3,518.8 Non-manufacturing |173.6 |176 |145.3 |161 |na |7,257.5 Females Manufacturing |99.1 |165 |86.0 |149 |1,603.1|1,226.9 Non-manufacturing |123.6 |191 |107.2 |180 |3,902.5|4,635.5 Notes: 1. Earnings data relates to full-time adult employees in Great Britain whose earnings were not affected by absence. 2. Estimates of employees in employment in Great Britain are taken from the regularly published employment series. 3. na denotes not available.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the increase in output per head and the corresponding averages and medians for manual and non-manuals in each case with a further breakdown for each of the principal manufacturing industry groups for the last 10 years to April.
Mr. Nicholls : Information is not available on output per head in the form requested. Output per head for the principal manufacturing industry groups is given in table 7.2 of the Monthly Digest of Statistics.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what training schemes were referred to in the published decisions of the adjudication officers in the period between April and June 1989 that 300 claims for unemployment benefit were disallowed because of refusal or premature termination of training.
Mr. Eggar : A person can be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefit only in cases of refusal or premature termination of training, if it is a training scheme approved by the Secretary of State for the purposes of section 20(1)8(e)-(g) of the 1975 Social Security Act.
The only training scheme approved by the Secretary of State is the youth training scheme.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will monitor the demand for older people to return to the work force due to the decreasing numbers of young skilled workers and ensure that returning older workers are not exploited.
The onus is on employers to offer terms and conditions which encourage older workers to remain in or return to the labour force. The Government have emphasised the impact on employers of the declining number of young people and will continue to stress to employers the importance of making the best use of the abilities and skills of all people in the labour force, particularly under-utilised groups such as older workers.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what level of lead in the bloodstream is considered to be medically safe for industrial workers working on processes which bring them into regular contact with lead ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1980 and the accompanying approved code of practice specify that where the level of lead in the blood is greater than 70 microgrammes per 100 millilitres (or 40 microgrammes per 100 millilitres for a women of reproductive capacity), the worker should be removed from further exposure to lead until the blood-lead levels have fallen below these concentrations.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the proportion of mothers of children aged five years to 11 years who are in (a) part-time, and (b) full-time work for the latest year that figures are available.
Mr. Nicholls : Among women in Great Britain whose youngest dependent child was aged at least five years but under 11 it is estimated, using information from the labour force survey, that in spring 1988 just over 45 per cent. were in part-time employment and about 18 per cent. were in full- time employment.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the reasons for his decision not to hold centrally information about the numbers of firms adhering to the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944 ; and whether these compliance levels will be analysed centrally before any recommendation concerning the future of the quota system is made by him.
Mr. Eggar : Information about the number of firms adhering to the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944 is held centrally. However, this does not include the more detailed information about specific industries requested in the hon. Gentleman's question on 6 November 1989 at column 478. To assemble and hold such information centrally would be disproportionately costly.
Information on quota compliance levels is being considered in the internal review of services to people with disabilities which this Department is currently undertaking.