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Mr. Chope : The Housing Corporation is prepared to apply the criteria in circulars HC 31/88 and HC 74/89 (which has just been issued) flexibly. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind, he may like to take it up with the corporation direct.

Chemically Polluted Land

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the development of a national register for chemically polluted land.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We are reviewing possible registration systems but currently favour the concept of locally held registers of previous land uses which could have given rise to contamination.


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Greenhouse Effect

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy at the next meeting of the European Environment Council to introduce policies to reduce the greenhouse effect by restricting road transport use to lower carbon dioxide releases.

Mr. Trippier : We recognise the important contribution which emissions of carbon dioxide from vehicles make to the greenhouse effect. At the Environment Council meeting on 28 November, my right hon. Friend urged the European Commission to bring forward proposals to reduce these emissions.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many tonnes of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere of the United Kingdom in 1987, 1988 and 1989 (a) by electricity generating stations, and (b) by petrol and diesel-driven road vehicles.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Estimated carbon dioxide emission as carbon from selected sources in 1987 was as follows :


(Million tonnes)                        

                            |1987       

----------------------------------------

Power stations              |54.7       

Petrol-driven road vehicles |19.0       

Diesel-driven road vehicles |7.3        

All sources                 |158.6      

Figures for 1988 are currently being prepared and will be published in the Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics early next year. Figures for 1989 are not yet available.

Smoking Room (House of Commons)

Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the cost of redecorating the Smoking Room in the summer recess ; and why the redecoration has taken place.

Mr. Chope : The renovation of the Smoking Room was undertaken in two stages during the 1988 and 1989 summer recesses as part of the planned programme of work in the Palace of Westminster. The cost, which includes some electrical work, was £9,000.

Tritium

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what records he, or Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, has concerning the imports of radioactive tritium from Dall Ridge laboratories in the United States of America to the United Kingdom over the past year.

Mr. Trippier : This Department does not maintain records of tritium imports. Users of tritium must be registered by HMIP under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960. A condition of registration requires that proper records relating to the keeping and use of all radioactive material must be maintained. These records are subject to scrutiny by HMIP inspectors.


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Bottle, Can and Paper Banks

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to ensure that supermarket chains co-operate with his recycling policy for bottle, can and paper banks.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Retail groups, including supermarket chains, are represented on the Government's advisory group on recycling which, among other things, considers ways of encouraging the provision of recycling facilities. They also co-operated in drawing up the Government's programme in relation to the 1985 European Directive on Containers of Liquids for Human Consumption which specifically referred to recycling.

Emissions

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the type and amount of toxic emissions (a) per mile, (b) per minute of transmission, and (c) per head of number of passengers per mile or per minute of (i) a family sized car, (ii) a diesel-electric train, (iii) a double decker bus, (iv) a milk float and (v) a bicycle.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I shall write to the hon. Gentleman.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere in the United Kingdom have been accounted for (a) by electricity generation, and (b) by petrol and diesel-driven road vehicles in 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Percentages of carbon dioxide emissions from selected sources in 1987 were as follows :


                            |1987     

--------------------------------------

Power stations              |34.0     

Petrol driven road vehicles |12.0     

Diesel driven road vehicles |5.0      

In 1987 a little more than one third of carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom came from power stations. Approximately 12 per cent. came from motor spirit and a further 5 per cent. from DERV. Figures for 1988 are currently being prepared and will be published in the Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics early next year. Figures for 1989 are not yet available.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere in the United Kindom have been accounted for (a) by electricity generation, and (b) by petrol and diesel-driven road vehicles in 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Percentage of sulphur dioxide emissions from selected sources was as follows :


                            |1987     

--------------------------------------

Power stations              |73.0     

Petrol driven road vehicles |0.2      

Diesel driven road vehicles |1.0      

Source: Digest of Environmental       

Protection and Water Statistics,      

1988.                                 


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In 1987 almost three-quarters of sulphur dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom came from power stations. Only a little more than 1 per cent. came from motor spirit and from DERV. Figures for 1988 are currently being prepared and will be published in the Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics early next year. Figures for 1989 are not yet available.

Housing (Handsworth)

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to issue guidelines to enable Birmingham city council to draw up a proposal for a housing renewal area in central Handsworth to enable a transfer from the existing housing action areas from 1 April 1990.

Mr. Chope : We shall shortly be consulting the local authority associations and other relevant bodies on the matters councils should consider before they declare renewal areas under part VII of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. We aim to issue advice as soon as possible after the consultation has finished, and in any event before the end of March next.

Leicester City Council

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much additional resources he is proposing to allocate to Leicester city council as part of its new green proposals.

Mr. Chope : Local authorities' revenue expenditure is supported generally by rate support grant, or, in future, revenue support grant. This grant is distributed between authorities on the basis of an assessment of the cost for each authority of providing a common level of service. This assessment will be made on the basis of a formula, using statistical indicators applied to all authorities. The grant is unhypothecated and is not paid in support of particular services. It is for each authority to decide its own expenditure priorities, including those on environmental matters.

Ports

Mr. Neil Hamilton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will act upon the recommendation made in the report of the working group on the water transport industry with regard to an early introduction to the statutory ports of conventional assessment ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : The Government recognise the desirability of providing a common basis for the rating assessment of all parts of the ports industry, and indeed for other industries. We hope to return, so far as practicable, all the formula rated industries to conventional assessment at the 1995 revaluation.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many tonnes of sulphur dioxide have been released into the atmosphere of the United Kingdom in 1987, 1988 and 1989 (a) by electricity generating stations and (b) by petrol and diesel-driven road vehicles.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Estimated sulphur dioxide emissions from selected sources in 1987 were as follows :


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                            |1987       

----------------------------------------

Power stations              |2.830      

Power driven road vehicles  |0.009      

Diesel driven road vehicles |0.037      

All sources                 |3.867      

In 1987 almost 3.9 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide were emitted in the United Kingdom. Approximately 2.8 million tonnes came from power stations and less than 50,000 tonnes came from motor vehicles. Figures for 1988 are currently being prepared and will be published in the Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics early next year. Figures for 1989 are not yet available.

Pollution

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had on the concept of making the polluter pay ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : It is an important and well established part of the Government's environmental protection policy that the polluter, not the polluted, should pay. The United Kingdom also subscribe to OECD and European Community recommendations and practice in this respect.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in reducing the pollution levels in the rivers Don and Rother.

Mr. Howard [holding answer 4 December 1989] : Yorkshire Water is carrying out a major programme to upgrade and extend the main sewage treatment works which discharge into the rivers Don and Rother and to improve the sewerage system in Sheffield. This programme, combined with improvements to industrial effluent discharges is expected to improve river water quality by the mid 1990s.

The National Rivers Authority is responsible for monitoring river and estuarial quality, and for securing any improvements which they consider are needed to meet new statutory water quality objectives to be set by the Secretary of State.

Bradford West End

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the meetings between his officials and 3D's Ltd., regarding the Bradford West End scheme ; and if he will make a statement summarising the discussions.

Mr. Moynihan : Members of the Department's team of professional appraisers and other officials have had many discussions on the proposals for the West End development, with representatives of 3D Ltd., and officials from the local authority, at both the regional office and headquarters. Details of the precise dates are not readily available.

Advice given to the developers and local authorities regarding any application for city grant is the standard guidance contained in the city grant guidance notes. For reasons of commercial confidentiality it is not our practice to comment on individual city grant proposals.


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Environmental Health Officers

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the numbers of environmental health officers employed by local authorities ; whether the resources needed to cover their full range of activities are included in settling the revenue support grant ; if he will list the activities considered when deciding the revenue support grant ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : In setting the level of revenue support grant my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will consider all services falling to be financed from the general revenues of local authorities. The full range of activities undertaken by environmental health officers is therefore included. It is for local authorities to decide how many officers to employ.

Nirex

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to meet officials from United Kingdom Nirex Limited before the end of the year to discuss present progress in seeking a suitable site for low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes.

Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans to meet representatives of Nirex.

Groundwork Foundation Trust

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 7 December, what funding will be given to the Groundwork Foundation Trust in Bradford in 1990-91 by (a) his Department, (b) the Countryside Commission and (c) the private sector.

Mr. Trippier : The Groundwork Foundation has allocated £40,000 in 1990-91 to the proposed Bradford Groundwork Trust from funds provided by my Department. As I informed the hon. Member in my reply yesterday, the preparation of a firm proposal for the trust is at present in hand. That proposal will be drawn up by a steering group composed of representatives of the local authority, voluntary organisations and private sector in consultation with, among others, my Department, the foundation and the Countryside Commission, and a programme of work and appropriate funding will then be determined. London Pensions Fund

Mr. Robert G. Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will be making further appointments to the board of the London Pensions Fund.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has today appointed Councillor Steve Bullock of the London borough of Lewisham as a member of the board of the London Pensions Fund. This brings the membership of the board to nine. No further appointments are envisaged at this time.

Tenant Participation Grants

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress is being made on the introduction of a new regime for tenant participation grants, as recommended in the review of housing co-operatives ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 545

Mr. Chope : The then Minister for Housing, the Earl of Caithness, announced on 27 June the Government's acceptance of the recommendation of the report of the committee which reviewed housing co -operatives in England, "Tenants in the Lead".

I have today issued a detailed consultation paper which sets out proposals for a new grant regime under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986. It proposes that, from April next year, local authority tenants will be able to receive assistance direct from the Department and from their council to develop housing co-operatives and other forms of tenant control considered in the review. The Housing Corporation is already consulting on its new grant arrangements for housing association tenants.

I am pleased to announce that £3.25 million will be available next year for tenant participation grants. Further provision will be made by the Housing Corporation for grants for tenant participation in the housing association sector. This major increase in resources demonstrates the Government's commitment to promote and develop new housing co-operatives and alternative forms of tenant participation.

Local Government Finance

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines he is issuing to local authorities regarding seamen who spend much of the year out of the United Kingdom and their requirement to pay the community charge.

Mr. Chope : Guidance on the treatment of Royal Navy personnel was contained in the community charge practice note No. 9 "UK Service Personnel". This was placed in the Library on 10 May 1989. This guidance suggests that married seagoers might be regarded as having their residence with their family except for continuous absences in excess of six months. Single seagoers who have no permanent home address will not be registered for the personal community charge except during periods of shore leave in excess of 61 days, where registration will be deemed to have begun from day 1. The Department issued further guidance which suggested that merchant seagoers might be treated in the same way as their naval counterparts. A copy of this guidance was placed in the Library on 26 October 1989.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list for each charging authority area, attributing grant income received by precepting authorities under the current grant system to each area in proportion to the adult population in that area : (a) the rate support grant payable for 1989-90 uprated to 1990-91 prices, in line with the assumptions used in his statement of 6 November and (b) the estimated amount of revenue support grant which would be payable in 1990-91 without safety nets or special grants, showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority, for each region, showing inner London, outer London and the rest of the south-east separately, and for each county and metropolitan area ;

(2) if he will list for each charging authority area, attributing grant income received by precepting authorities under the current grant system to each area in proportion to the aggregate of rateable values in that area : (a) the rate support grant payable for 1989-90 uprated to 1990-91 prices, in line with the assumptions used in his


Column 546

statement of 6 November and (b) the estimated amount of revenue support grant which will be payable in 1990-91 with safety nets and special grants, and (c) the estimated amount of revenue support grant which would be payable in 1990-91 without safety nets or special grants, showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority, for each region, showing inner London, outer London and the rest of the south-east separately, and for each county and metropolitan area.

Mr. David Hunt [holding answer 7 December 1989] : The information requested has been placed in the Library. The figures are consistent with the exemplifications in the consultation paper my right hon. Friend issued on 6 November. Net receipts from the London rate equalisation scheme have been included with rate support grant for 1989-90 which has been scaled to the proposed total for revenue support grant for 1990-91.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) 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 adult population in each area : (a) the estimated revenue received in 1989-90 from the non-domestic rate uprated to 1990-91 prices, in line with the assumptions used in his statement of 6 November, and (b) the estimated amount which will be paid from the national non- domestic rating pool in 1990-91 to each area, showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority, for each region, showing inner London, outer London and the rest of the south-east separately, and for each county and metropolitan area ;

(2) 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 aggregate of rateable values in that area : (a) the estimated revenue received in 1989-90 from the non-domestic rate uprated to 1990-91 prices in line with the assumptions used in his statement of 6 November, and (b) the estimated amount which will be paid from the national non-domestic rating pool in 1990-91 for each area showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority, for each region, showing inner London, outer London and the rest of the south-east separately, and for each county and metropolitan area.

Mr. David Hunt [holding answer 7 December 1989] : The information requested has been placed in the Library. The figures are consistent with the exemplifications in the consultation paper that my right hon. Friend issued on 6 November. Business rate income is shown for each area : it is not necessary to apportion it from precepting authority level to charging authority level. The total for 1989-90 has been scaled to the non-domestic distributable amount for 1990-91.

Property Services Agency

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the expenditure incurred on property (a) owned by the Property Services Agency and (b) tenanted by the Property Services Agency in each year since 1983 in Scotland ; and what is the expected investment in each category in 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 8 December 1989] : The expenditure by PSA on major projects on properties held


Column 547

in the name of the Secretary of State for the Environment cannot readily be split between Crown hold and leasehold and a single figure is given for each year. The split is provided below for expenditure by PSA on maintenance and minor new works.


<

             Major       Minor new works and                

            |projects   |maintenance                        

                        |Crown hold |Leasehold              

            |£ million  |£ million  |£ million              

------------------------------------------------------------

1984-85     |36.4       |8.238      |3.482                  

1985-86     |30.1       |9.166      |3.358                  

1986-87     |26.6       |7.631      |8.527                  

1987-88     |22.0       |10.070     |3.723                  

1988-89     |19.5       |17.258     |5.151                  

With the changed arrangements to be introduced next year, much of this expenditure will be funded by the occupying Departments from their own votes. It is not possible, therefore, to forecast future investment.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total staff complement of the Property Services Agency in Scotland ; and what it is expected to be in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 8 December 1989] : The number of permanent non-industrial staff in post in the Property Services Agency in Scotland is 1,022. The staff numbes for later years will depend upon the business which PSA Scotland secures.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the value of the assets held by the Property Services Agency and the value of leased properties in Scotland in 1989.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 8 December 1989] : The capital value of Crownhold properties in Scotland held in the name of the Secretary of State for the Environment, other than very specialised holdings such as museums and courts, is £155 million. The value of properties leased in the name of the Secretary of State for the Environment, is a matter for each owning landlord.

Gipsies

Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about redefining the term gipsy as used in the Caravan Sites Act 1968 ; and what decisions he has reached on those representations.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 11 December 1989] : Over the past year I have received representations from two local authorities, the County Landowners Association and a travellers' education project. At this stage, I have no proposals to introduce legislation to change the definition in the Act.

Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will consider excluding New Age Travellers from alleged gipsy counts when considering applications by a local authority for designation status under the 1968 Act, as is practised in Wiltshire.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 11 December 1989] : Questions of definitions under the Act are for local councils to decide. My role is to assess whether an authority has satisfied its duty to provide gipsy sites before I grant designation.


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Local Government Finance

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the likely grants, targets and level of the community charge in 1990-91 as levied by Suffolk county council.

Mr. Chope [holding answer 11 December 1989] : From April 1990 revenue support grant will be paid to charging authorities (the district councils in Suffolk), who will also set community charges. The expenditure of county councils will be financed by precepts on the collection fund administered by those charging authorities. Suffolk county council will therefore receive no revenue support grant nor will it set a community charge.

On present proposals, Suffolk county council will have a standard spending assessment for 1990-91 of £294.176 million, about £15.35 million or 5 per cent. above its equivalent grant related expenditure for 1989-90.

No targets will be set for any local authority.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of block grant was paid in each of the years from 1980-81 to 1989-90 expressed in cash terms and in constant 1989-90 prices for (a) each London borough, (b) each metropolitan district, (c) Inner London education authority, (d) former metropolitan counties and the Greater London council up to 1985-86, (e) each non-metropolitan county, (f) each non-metropolitan district and (g) each metropolitan joint board showing in each year the total paid to the respective classes of authority.

Mr. David Hunt : I have today placed this information in the Library.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Public Appointments

Mrs. Roe : To ask the Attorney-General how many persons above the age of (a) 60, (b) 65 and (c) 70 years he has appointed to public bodies in each of the last 10 years.

The Attorney-General : None.

Official Solicitor

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Attorney-General (1) how contractors were obtained, and how many tender prices were received, for recent work carried out at the home of Mr. Freddie Andrews (1976 No. 516) ; (2) whether any independent inspection of completed works authorised by the office of the Official Solicitor has taken place ; and whether the work was carried out satisfactorily.

The Attorney-General : As I said in an earlier reply to the hon. Member for Antrim, East, (Mr. Beggs), Official Report 23 February 1988, column 258 , it is not appropriate to publish details of the affairs of any patient without the leave of the court.

An application may be made to the court by any person concerned about a particular case for disclosure of any information in respect of which the applicant can demonstrate a legitimate interest.


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EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Rate Reform

Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements he is making to enable full-time students to pay the community charge ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : Arrangements made by local authorities to collect the community charge are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. I understand that local authorities have been given guidance on the procedures for ensuring that students are included in the community charge register for the area in which they reside while they are studying.

Full-time students, as defined by the relevant legislation, will be liable for only 20 per cent. of the community charge in their area, and the net impact of this discounted liability is among the factors considered when mandatory student grant rates are decided.

Civil Scientific Research

Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of Britain's gross domestic product was devoted to civil scientific research (a) in 1978-79 and (b) 1988-89.

Mr. Jackson : This information is not available in the form requested since details of spending by industry on civil scientific research are not collected centrally. In 1988-89 public expenditure on civil research and development was estimated to be 0.52 per cent. of gross domestic product compared with about 0.6 per cent. in 1978-79.

Child Abuse

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many education authorities have specifically run courses to teach children about child abuse.

Mr. Alan Howarth : This information is not centrally available.

Teachers' Pay

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science by how much teachers' pay will have increased less than inflation at the present rate of inflation during the period of time the interim advisory committee has been in existence by March 1990.

Mrs. Rumbold : Teachers' pay rose by some 12.5 per cent. between October 1987 and April 1989, the date of the last teachers' pay settlement. As compared with the movement of the RPI over the same period, this represents a real-terms increase of some 1.5 per cent. The interim advisory committee has been asked to advise on what pay increase should be awarded to teachers for the 12 months beginning April 1990.

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much a teacher at the top of the main professional grade will be worse off against the present rate of inflation by March 1990.


Column 550

Mrs. Rumbold : A teacher at the top of the main scale outside London without an incentive allowance currently earns £14,694. Retail price inflation stood at 7.3 per cent. in October but is expected to fall during next year.


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