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Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what subjects are covered by the commercially confidential matters to which he referred in his answer to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling of 21 December, Official Report, column 361.
Mr. Portillo : The letters cover a wide range of issues, for example the commercial and financial structure of the proposed joint venture, which are now the subject of detailed negotiation between Eurorail and the British Railways Board. They also bear on the negotiations that need to take place with third parties before the joint venture can be established.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what improvements to the A13 between the North Circular road and the Tower of London will be started before 31 December ; at what cost ; and when they will be completed ;
(2) what improvements to the A13 between the North Circular road and the Tower of London are currently in progress ; at what cost ; and when they will be completed.
Mr. Portillo : The Department's responsibilities are for the A13 trunk road, which runs as far west as Butcher row. The remainder of the A13 known as Commercial road is the responsibility of the London borough of Tower Hamlets.
Departmental schemes currently under construction are :
Scheme |Works |Completion |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Strengthening of Britannia Bridge |0.3 |February 1990 Creation of access to "Financial |<1>0.6 |February 1990 Times" The following schemes are due to start before 31 December: West India Dock Road junction |1.2 |Mid 1991 interim improvements Cotton Street junction interim |4.0 |Summer 1992 improvements<2> Leamouth Road junction interim |2.0 |Early 1991 improvements Ironbridge waterproofing and |0.2 |September 1990 resurfacing Cumberland Road Subway |0.07 |April 1990 refurbishment Tollgate Road signalled junction |0.75 |Summer 1990 <1> Costs met by developer. <2> Progress dependent upon timely confirmation of LDDC's compulsory purchase order on land for redevelopment at Woolmore street.
Progress on most of the trunk road schemes are dependent on the completion of statutory processes which could be subject to public inquiry and delay. Completion dates are therefore provisional. Permanent schemes at Butcher row, West India Dock road and Blackwall tunnel northern approach-Cotton street will follow in 1993, when a three and a half year project will commence to make final improvements to the Leamouth road junction and widen the Ironbridge, including the connection of LDDC's East India dock link to the A13. Towards the end of this year we hope to publish Orders for improvement of the A13 junction with the A117 East
Column 151Ham Manor way and to hold an exhibition of proposals for improvement of the A13 junction with the A112 Prince Regent lane. The traffic control systems unit of the City of London is investigating on behalf of the Department the possible co-ordintation of signals on the A13 trunk road in Tower Hamlets to expedite the flow of through traffic.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the implications for the bus services of the change effected by the community charge on the method of raising finance for the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority from a precept to a levy on the five west Yorkshire districts ; and what assessment has been made of the effect of fixing that levy at grant related expenditure.
Mr. Portillo : It is up to the passenger transport authority to decide what level of bus services to provide and what levy to raise to achieve its objectives, in the same way as it decided on the level of services and set an appropriate precept for the present financial year. The districts influence PTA spending policy through their representations on the PTA. The PTA levy is only one of the elements making up total district expenditure, and there is no separate standard spending assessment for PTA services. Instead, districts' standard spending assessments will include an element designed to cover spending on these and other small services.
Mr. McLoughlin : The United Kingdom oil majors will have their own commercial arrangements for access to shipping, generally through ownership or chartering, but the information required to provide a more comprehensive reply is not available.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of reported near-miss occurrences in the transit area that covers the area from Hucknall in the south, through Mansfield, Chesterfield, Worksop, Sheffield and Rotherham to Barnsley, Doncaster and Finningley, that have involved military and civilian aircraft for the last five years ; what are the types of aircraft involved ; and what is their nationality.
Mr. McLoughlin : Within the area specified, three air misses have been reported, none of which involved commercial air traffic : 1. A civilian glider and a civilian Cessna 172 (2 November 1986). 2. An RAF Buccaneer and a civilian Cessna 152 (1 July 1987). 3. An RAF Tornado and civilian Cessna 152 (27 January 1988).
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he has received from East Sussex county council a map detailing a possible route for the A27 dual carriageway from Lewes to Polegate ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will make it his policy that any scheme brought forward to dual the A27 from Lewes to Polegate will take into full account the landmark of Mount Caburn, and the views therefrom, and from Firle Beacon ;
(3) if he will make it his policy that any scheme brought forward to dual the A27 from Lewes to Polegate will bypass Wilmington rather than dualling the present road.
Mr. Atkins : This scheme was admitted to the trunk road programme in May 1989 following a confidential scheme identification study undertaken for the Department by East Sussex county council. This study recommended the improvements to dual carriageway standards of the A27 between Lewes and Polegate, and identified one possible option.
Design agents are to be appointed very shortly to investigate and prepare proposals for the improvement. They will identify and evaluate all feasible route options for the scheme, including combinations of on-line and off- line solutions, on which to consult the public. Their brief will include a requirement for environmental and landscape assessments of the alternatives identified. It is too soon, therefore, to predict what route the improvement might follow or how villages along the existing A27 might be placed in relation to it.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is for compensating those people whose dwelling is (a) compulsorily purchased and (b) severely blighted as a result of major road improvements.
Mr. Atkins : Where land is compulsorily purchased, the statutory basis for compensation is the open market value of the land, disregarding any alteration in value due to the scheme for which the land is being acquired. Vendors may also be eligible for additional payments, such as removal costs, reconnection and refitting charges, and legal expenses. A displaced houseowner who had lived in the property for at least five years is also entitled to a home loss payment. Entitlement to compensation is set out in a series of booklets "Land Compensation--Your rights Explained". There are copies in the Library of the House.
Where a dwelling lies in the line of a road proposal and cannot be sold in the open market at a reasonable price, protection is given by the blight provisions in the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. An owner-occupier may serve a notice on the highway authority, requiring it to buy the property. In the early stages of a road proposal, before a preferred route is announced, there also exists a discretionary power to buy where there is a genuine possibility that the property will be required. Policy is to exercise this power to alleviate cases of serious hardship.
When roadworks are imminent or in progress, there is discretionary power to buy dwellings not required for the road but likely to be severely affected by the construction works. There is also discretionary power to buy property severely affected by nuisance arising from the use of a new or improved road, up to one year after opening.
Column 153The legislation governing compulsory purchase and compensation is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. He is currently considering whether improvements are needed in the light of comments on an consultation paper published last year.
Mr. Atkins We have no present plans to extend the M27 motorway. However, consultants are carrying out a study into the possible need to increase the capacity of the existing roads and its junctions. They are expected to report in the spring.
We are also improving progressively the south coast trunk route, running westwards from the M27 to Honiton and eastwards to Folkestone. The national trunk road programme currently includes 36 schemes at various stages of preparation, collectively valued at some £375 million.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each London borough (a) the transport supplementary grant and (b) the capital allocations or annual capital guideline for transport purposes for each of the years 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 15 January 1990] : Details of each London boroughs (a) transport supplementary grant and (b) transport capital allocation, annual capital guideline and supplementary credit approval for the period 1987-88 to 1990-91 are given in the table.
Transport Supplementary Grant for London Boroughs 1987-88 to 1990-91 |£ million Authority |1987-88 |1988-89 |1989-90 |1990-91 ------------------------------------------------------------------ City of London |0.479 |0.183 |0.194 |0.101 Barking and Dagenham |0.800 |2.836 |1.895 |1.748 Barnet |0.475 |0.400 |0.291 |0.161 Bexley |0.451 |0.649 |1.118 |2.134 Brent |0.311 |0.436 |0.450 |0.007 Bromley |0.429 |3.883 |3.833 |3.834 Camden |0.107 |0.131 |0.086 |0.189 Croydon |0.202 |0.234 |0.294 |0.888 Ealing |1.911 |1.938 |2.820 |2.429 Enfield |7.413 |11.255 |11.958 |4.881 Greenwich |1.980 |0.816 |0.023 |0.019 Hackney |0.200 |0.427 |0.410 |0.186 Hammersmith and Fulham |0.118 |0.065 |0.142 |0.148 Haringey |1.478 |3.662 |5.812 |2.721 Harrow |1.609 |3.578 |3.050 |3.214 Havering |1.284 |0.320 |0.207 |0.215 Hillingdon |2.421 |1.957 |4.530 |2.742 Hounslow |0.623 |0.758 |0.714 |0.279 Islington |0.103 |0.072 |0.148 |0.168 Kensington and Chelsea |0.261 |0.069 |0.633 |0.285 Kingston upon Thames |4.737 |0.331 |1.661 |0.566 Lambeth |0.288 |0.247 |0.182 |0.154 Lewisham |0.299 |0.970 |5.314 |1.987 Merton |2.719 |2.529 |4.280 |7.100 Newham |1.164 |0.343 |0.497 |1.791 Redbridge |1.048 |0.403 |0.339 |0.134 Richmond upon Thames |0.205 |0.186 |0.163 |0.172 Southwark |0.734 |0.997 |1.952 |0.249 Sutton |0.843 |0.778 |0.682 |0.590 Tower Hamlets |0.169 |0.068 |0.070 |0.091 Waltham Forest |1.091 |0.494 |0.476 |0.056 Wandsworth |2.442 |0.554 |0.433 |1.011 Westminster |0.383 |0.210 |0.750 |0.367
London boroughs' transport capital allocations 1987-88 to 1989-90 and annual capital guidelines/supplementary credit approvals 1990-91 £ million Capital allocations <1>ACG <2>SCA Authority 1987-881988-891989-901990-91 ----------------------------------------------------------------- City of London |1.320 |0.720 |0.630 |0.461 |0.000 Barking and Dagenham |2.590 |6.210 |4.580 |3,622 |0.000 Barnet |1.340 |1.110 |0.790 |0.571 |0.000 Bexley |1.835 |2.870 |2.780 |2.869 |0.000 Brent |1.120 |1.370 |1.190 |0.736 |0.000 Bromley |1.710 |8.880 |8.880 |4.328 |0.000 Camden |1.430 |0.710 |0.260 |1.095 |0.000 Croydon |1.180 |0.800 |1.110 |1.890 |0.000 Ealing |5.145 |6.820 |6.450 |3.592 |1.710 Enfield |16.325|15.550|24.210|0.429 |6.480 Greenwich |5.160 |3.460 |2.590 |1.149 |0.000 Hackney |1.675 |1.910 |1.550 |0.791 |0.000 Hammersmith and Fulham |0.360 |0.285 |0.410 |1.303 |0.000 Haringey |3.400 |8.475 |11.592|0.661 |2.780 Harrow |4.130 |9.690 |8.980 |5.668 |0.000 Havering |3.510 |1.330 |0.960 |0.568 |0.000 Hillingdon |7.300 |10.710|3.012 |2.297 |4.917 Hounslow |1.960 |1.050 |1.630 |0.540 |0.279 Islington |0.800 |0.480 |0.530 |0.549 |0.000 Kensington and Chelsea |0.710 |1.170 |1.570 |0.694 |0.000 Kingston upon Thames |9.770 |5.690 |3.870 |1.881 |0.000 Lambeth |1.140 |0.850 |0.610 |0.280 |0.000 Lewisham |1.840 |2.530 |11.030|3.081 |0.000 Merton |7.780 |6.850 |9.400 |7.282 |1.150 Newham |3.510 |2.850 |2.420 |2.869 |0.000 Redbridge |2.800 |1.980 |0.900 |0.598 |0.000 Richmond upon Thames |0.920 |0.850 |0.610 |0.633 |0.000 Southwark |2.970 |4.470 |5.610 |1.701 |0.000 Sutton |2.180 |2.830 |2.330 |3.168 |0.000 Tower Hamlets |0.970 |0.740 |0.420 |1.007 |0.000 Waltham Forest |2.670 |1.870 |1.250 |0.726 |0.000 Wandsworth |6.880 |2.800 |2.690 |3.429 |0.000 Westminster |2.360 |1.840 |2.020 |4.589 |0.000 <1> Annual Capital Guidelines. <2> Supplementary Credit Approvals.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 15 January 1990] : The Department has no detailed records of bus services in north-west Sussex. The operation of services is a matter for operators and local authorities. In West Sussex as a whole, bus mileage has increased whilst the county council has been able to reduce spending on bus support from some £1.5 million before deregulation to £610,000 for 1989-90.
(2) when he expects to reach a conclusion on the payment of light dues by yachtsmen.
Mr. McLoughlin : The British Ports Federation has not yet completed its study on the feasibility of extending light dues to pleasure craft. I expect to invite views on its report from interested parties before reaching any conclusions. Charging practice in relation to navigational aids varies widely in other countries. I understand that almost half the states with membership of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities levy dues of some kind as the sole source of finance, but information on the treatment of pleasure craft is not available.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the total liability of his Department, as of the end of December 1989, to reimburse the Haberdashers' company for expenses incurred to that date in connection with the proposed establishment of a city technology college in Deptford.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement on the funding of primary age children in middle schools under schemes of local management of schools.
Mrs. Rumbold : Under schemes' funding formulae, schools should receive a basic sum of money for each pupil of the same age ; that sum should be the same whether the pupil is in a primary or a middle school. Schools will, however, receive additional resources over and above this basic allocation for a variety of reasons and this may lead to differences in funding both between primary schools and between primary and middle schools with similar numbers of pupils.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to meet with the teachers' unions to discuss the establishment of negotiating machinery for teachers' pay and conditions ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend held a series of meetings with the teacher unions in October and November last year. He is considering carefully the points made to him then. Further meetings will take place in due course.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the latest year for which his Department has any estimates of the numbers of students in higher education in the United Kingdom ; and what is the estimate for that year.
Mr. Jackson : The policy objectives for Department of Education and Science funding of civil science were set out in the Secretary of State's speech at the first plenary meeting of the Academia Europaea in London on 26 June 1989. Copies are available in the Library. The Government support scientific research through the science budget which funds the research councils and through the Universities Funding Council block grant to universities. Some research is also carried out by polytechnics funded through the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council. It is for the research councils and higher education institutions to determine the priority they accord to opto-electronics or any other scientific field, taking due account of the policy objectives referred to above.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The overall pupil-teacher ratio in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in England in January 1989 was 17 and in January 1979 was 18.9. Similar information for Wales is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the Manchester university study on teacher shortage, a copy of which has been sent to his Department.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department has not received a copy of the report referred to. However, officials have been in touch with the authors of the report, and I understand that their findings are broadly consistent with the Department's statistics about teacher wastage. They confirm that the majority of those leaving teaching do so on retirement. Others resign on maternity, on moving house or on going abroad, and less than 1 per cent. of the work force leaves teaching for other employment, including self- employment.
Q16. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the operation of the automatic agricultural stabilisers and the legally binding budgetary controls.
The Prime Minister : I have no plans to do so. The stabilisers and the legal limit on market support expenditure, for which the United Kingdom fought so hard, have been a considerable success. They have been major elements in reducing expenditure on the common agricultural policy and bringing about significantly lower levels of surplus food.
The Prime Minister : I share the hon. Member's concern about pornography. We have introduced legislation for the control of sex shops and outlawing possession of child pornography. Legislation to outlaw indecent displays has been carried with Government support. The Government have also given support to two private Members' Bills to strengthen the Obscene Publications Act 1959 which were
Column 158unsuccessful, and has taken other steps to uphold standards in published material. My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary has commissioned a review of the available research on links between pornography and violence and the effects on attitudes to women.
The Prime Minister : I receive such representations from time to time from hon. Members, interest groups, and members of the public. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is responsible for housing issues in England.
We have announced a significant increase in resources available to the Housing Corporation over the next three years. Total capital expenditure is planned to rise to£1,736 million by 1992-93, more than double the provision in 1989-90. As a result we expect the number of new homes provided by associations in 1992-93 to be over twice the 1988-89 output.
We have specifically enabled the Housing Corporation to establish a special programme for smaller villages which will rise to 1,500 new rented houses a year by 1992-93.
The Prime Minister : I welcome the preference expressed in some of the African National Congress' statements for a resolution of South Africa's problems through negotiation. But there have also been statements repeating the commitment to armed struggle. We hope that the organisation will remove this ambiguity and commit itself explicitly to the pursuit of peaceful solutions only.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list the Government Departments which have been or will be funding research into AIDS, giving the amount that each Department contributed to this work for 1989-90 and 1990-91 ; and if she will make a statement.
The latest available information about expenditure by central Government on AIDS research in 1989-90 is as follows :
|£ ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Research Council |<1>13,100,000 Other Research Councils |2,909,700 Department of Health |496,000 Health Education Authority |1,000,000 National Institute of Biological Standards and Control |440,000 Public Health Laboratory Service |1,100,000 Scottish Home and Health Department |163,000 Overseas Development Administration |533,306 <1> Includes expenditure on work commissioned by the Department of Health.
Figures for 1990-91 are not yet available.
Mr. John Townend : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what effect the proposed changes made by the occupational pension board will have on small self-administered pension schemes for small businesses.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) whether social security adjudication officers will automatically treat an unemployed claimant whose income support is suspended for not actively seeking work as suffering hardship so that they only lose 40 per cent. of their personal allowance ; whether unemployment benefit recipients will be treated automatically as suffering hardship so long as they fulfil the basic qualifying rules for income support ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether unemployed claimants who are quarterly attenders who have had their benefit suspended for not actively seeking work, have to return their order books ; whether they will be paid benefit if they are in hardship ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 160support may be made. The adjudication officer considers each case on its merits. If he is satisfied that the claimant, or any member of his family, would suffer hardship unless benefit were paid, income support is awarded at a reduced rate. Quarterly attenders who do not satisfy the actively seeking employment condition are required to return their order books.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of the claimants affected by his introduction on 10 December of the new benefit rule on claimants earning more than £43 a week he estimates (a) will have an entitlement to income support or other income replacement benefits, and (b) in cases where they have two employers, will not earn enough from one employer to have a National Insurance contribution liability as an employee ; and how many of these are married/cohabiting women, lone parents and claimants with intermittent work patterns due to chronic illness and disability.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : It is estimated that of around 5,000 people who will lose unemployment benefit as a result of this rule up to 1, 000 will qualify for income support or housing benefit. I regret that the other information requested is not available.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent discussions have taken place between the British and Canadian Governments to discuss the payment of uprated pensions to British pensioners residing in Canada.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Oldham, West of 20 December concerning short-term foster parents, what arrangements he has made regarding requirements for (a) availability for work and (b) actively seeking work in the periods between placements.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The general rule is that people claiming benefits on grounds of unemployment have to be available for and actively seeking employment. No special arrangements apply to short-term foster parents, who are treated in the same way as natural parents.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the cause of the pre-Christmas computer error which delayed automatic renewal of 42,000 pension books ; how many staff, departmental and consultancy, were employed, for how long and at what cost, to send out substitute giros ; and what has been the cost of overpayment as a result of the error.