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Column 363irrespective of their background or employment. It is open to local authorities to provide help for key workers who have difficulty in finding such accommodation.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to publish the estimates of the distributional impact of the community charge on household finance using the figures he published on 6 November 1989.
Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish his best estimate of the number of local authorities which he estimates will set poll tax at a level of £278 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what level of grant loss results from the revised standard spending assessment for the London borough of Hillingdon ; and on what basis the figures have changed since the assessment made by his Department in November 1989.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 17 January 1990] : The standard spending assessment (SSA) for Hillingdon published on 11 January is lower overall than that published on 6 November 1989 primarily because of reductions in its highway maintenance and capital financing SSA elements.
The reduction in the estimated revenue support grant entitlement for Hillingdon for 1990-91 (before safety net adjustments) flowing from the reports laid on 11 January as compared with our 6 November proposals is £2.638 million. This is attributable to changes in our figures for adult population as well as to changes in SSA.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the level of the community charge for the London borough of Hillingdon based on the figures published by him on 11 January with the benefit of the safety net ; by how much this figure exceeds the Government's estimate of £278 for a standard level of service ; what is his estimate of overspending by Hillingdon per adult ; what he expects the final level of community charge will be ; and if he will make a statement on the basis on which the above figures were calculated.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 17 January 1990] : The figures placed in the Library on 11 January show an assumed 1990-91 community charge of £359 in Hillingdon. Hillingdon's assumed spending is £121 per community charge payer higher than its standard spending assessment. The final level of community charges will depend on budget decisions made by local authorities. The spending assumptions underlying the 11 January figures are set out in the transition report (England) laid on that date.
Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the main factors which determine the levels of community charge to be raised by different authorities spending at their SSA level.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 17 January 1990] : Revenue support grant is distributed so that if each notifiable authority were to spend at the level of its standard spending assessment then, subject to qualifications set out in the distribution report (England), all charging authorities could set the same personal community charge--the community charge for standard spending.
The community charge for standard spending in 1990-91 will be £277.94.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Each Government Department makes its own arrangements for the disposal of waste in the light of local circumstances and security and other considerations. The Government are currently reviewing the arrangements made for the disposal of waste by Departments with a view to maximising the proportion of waste which is recycled. In the case of Department of the Environment headquarters buildings in Westminster and Lambeth, waste paper and cardboard are collected for recycling by contractors.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will publish by (a) tenure, (b) income and (c) age of head of household, the following information gathered for the English house condition survey : the number of homes with rising damp, penetrating damp, slight mould growth, serious mould growth ; excessive draughts, the number of houses with seriously defective, defective, just acceptable, satisfactory and unknown dampness and provide written material used in instructing surveyors on how to interpret these categories and on how to decide whether a dwelling was unfit for human habitation under the Housing Act 1955 for reason of dampness or other reason and to tabulate slight and serious mould growth by main types of exterior wall ;
(2) if he will publish by (a) tenure, (b) income, (c) age of head of household, (d) employment status, (e) age of dwelling, (f) type of heating system and (g) main fuel type, where applicable, the following information gathered in the interview survey for the English house condition survey (i) questions 19a, 19c, 19d, 19f, (ii) questions 21 to 23c, (iii) questions 24 to 26b, (iv) questions 28 to 42, (v) question 44 and (vi) question 48.
Column 365Mr. Chope : Part I of the Housing Act 1988 deregulated new lettings by private landlords as from 15 January 1989. We shall be evaluating its impact in due course, but initial indications are encouraging--in particular the estimated 7,000 extra homes for rent being provided under the business expansion scheme. At this stage we see no case for further measures.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about the ballot held under part IV of the Housing Act 1988 by the Milton Keynes development corporation ; and if he will make a statement.
|Permanent |Limited period|Totals |appointments --------------------------------------------------------------------------- England Peterborough |67 |66 |133 Wye |12 |11 |23 Newbury |11 |4 |15 Taunton |13 |9 |22 Norwich |12 |8 |20 Shrewsbury |16 |5 |21 Newcastle |12 |7 |19 Bowness-on- Windermere |12 |9 |21 |---- Total |274 Scotland Edinburgh |23.5 |26 |49.5 Balloch |12 |5 |17 Aberdeen |10 |11 |21 Inverness |14 |12 |26 |---- Total |113.5 Wales Bangor |13 |10 |23 Aberystwyth |8 |9 |17 Cardiff |6 |5 |11 |---- Total |51 |------ |---- |------ Overall Totals |241.5 |197 |438.5
These figures include officers based at sub-regional offices. Staff with scientific backgrounds also occupy some administrative and other non- scientific posts.
Column 366Conservancy Council into the effects on the marine ecology of British waters of commercial fish farming, broken down into England, Scotland and Wales.
Mr. Trippier : The Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) has commissioned the following research projects related to the effects on marine ecology of commercial fish farming. All were carried out in Scottish waters.
Financial year and title of project |NCC expen- |diture<1> |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1982-83 Impact of marine fish farming in Scotland |4,981 1983-84 Survey of Mariculture sites in the Western Isles |8,710 1987-88 The reduction of the impact of fish farming on the nature marine environment |8,955 1987-88 Impact of fish farmed salmon on native stocks |3,900
In addition, the NCC contributed to the following projects, funded by other bodies in Scotland :
Financial year/title and other contributors |NCC expen- diture<1> |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985-89 Highlands and Islands Development Board Study on Impact of Fish Farming' |15,000 1986-88 Shetland Islands Council and Shetland Salmon Producers' Association Shetland Fish-Farming impact survey' |29,630 <1> These figures exclude project management costs (permanent staff salaries and related expenses).
Mr. Chope : The Government have invited bids from local authorities in London and the south-east, including the borough of Newham, and after assessment appropriate supplementary credit approvals will be given.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses have been sold by each local authority in Kent under right-to- buy legislation for each year since 1979 ; and what proportion of total local authority stock in percentage terms these represent.
Mr. Chope : A table giving the latest reported information for each local authority based on returns to September 1989 was placed in the Library on 18 January 1990. This gives sales for each year from 1985-86 to 1988-89 and for the first six months of 1989-90. A table giving figures for 1979-80 to 1984-85 was placed in the Library on 15 May 1987.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which local authorities operate schemes and facilities to recover chlorofluorocarbon gas from abandoned or dumped refrigerators ; what steps he intends to take to encourage the provision of facilities to recover chlorofluorocarbon gas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : A number of local authorities have pilot schemes for the removal and recycling of the chlorofluorocarbons from the coolant systems of refrigeration equipment that has been delivered to them for disposal. My Department will shortly be conducting a survey of the recycling activities of local authorities and this should establish the full extent of such work. An intensive study of the problems associated with the use and disposal of CFCs has been commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry from Coopers and Lybrand ; decisions on the need for further Government action will be taken in the light of this study.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures are being taken to ensure improvement in standards of equipment for monitoring water quality ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I understand that the National Rivers Authority and certain water undertakers have committed significant funds to support research and development of equipment for monitoring water quality. The work, which is co-ordinated by the Water Research Centre, involves the specification of performance standards for monitoring equipment as well as the development of new monitoring systems.
Mr. Trippier : Radioactive waste may be discharged from nuclear power stations only if an authorisation has been issued under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 jointly by Her Majesty's inspectors of pollution and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Authorisations impose strict conditions and activity limits and are issued only after careful assessment is made of the environmental impact of proposed disposals to ensure that doses to the public are below the maximum permissible limits as recommended by the International Committee on Radiological Protection. Operators are required to use best practicable means to limit discharges of radioactivity. They are also required to monitor discharges, details of which are published annually both by the generating industry and this Department. The premises concerned are subject to scrutiny by inspectors to ensure compliance with the terms of the authorisation.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will take action to extend to council tenants the grants payable for energy efficiency under the Local Government and Housing Act.
Mr. Michael Spicer : There are no plans to extend the private sector home renovation grant provisions in the 1989 Act to council tenants. Local authorities are able to fund energy efficiency measures for their own stock from within their housing investment programme allocations. In addition, the Secretary of State for Energy has introduced provisions in the Social Security Bill for a grant scheme to assist low income households in the council and private sectors with basic insulation measures through community insulation services.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what specific financial, efficiency and quality of service targets he has approved for the QEII Conference Centre Agency for the current year and for the longer term.
Mr. Chris Patten [holding answer 15 January 1990] : Financial targets presently approved for the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre are to achieve an operating surplus of £53,000 in 1989-90, £200,000 in 1990-91 and £320,000 in 1991-92 before interest, depreciation and rate charges are levied. Targets covering the period up to 1994-95 will be set when the five-year corporate plan is approved later this year.
The centre's efficiency will be measured broadly by the extent of increases in its occupancy level. This currently stands at 56 per cent. and specific targets will be set within the corporate plan. No specific quality of service target has yet been set but one of the centre's fundamental objectives is continually to improve the standards of service offered to clients. These are monitored through analysis of both client/delegate questionnaires and the volume of bookings, particularly those representing repeat business.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he plans to discuss with the National Housing Forum its statement about the need to build 3 million homes by the end of the century.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 15 January 1990] : Government policy is that all renewable energy sources should be exploited where economically and environmentally acceptable. The Government through the Department of Energy are funding a major programme of research into landfill gas with a contract value over £1 million. This includes work to optimise the extraction of gas from landfill sites and increase the understanding of the biological processes which generate gas. There are 30 such schemes currently operating in the United Kingdom and over 30 at the construction or planning stage.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The chief inspector of the drinking water inspectorate has been appointed and seven other professional and administrative staff are already in post. A number of professional posts are being advertised.
Mr. Peter Walker : Since 1979 Ministers at the Welsh Office have taken, and will continue to take, a close personal interest in the economic development of all areas of north Wales, working with the Welsh Development Agency, the Development Board for Rural Wales and the Wales Tourist Board. The most recent exercise aimed at sustaining the improvement in the economy of north Wales resulted in the publication on 6 December 1989 of the document "A55--The Road to Opportunity".
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the latest unadjusted figures for unemployment in (a) Newport, (b) Gwent and (c) Wales ; and if he will give the equivalent figures for 1979 on the most nearly comparable basis.
Mr. Peter Walker : On 14 December 1989, the numbers of unemployment claimants in the Newport district, Gwent and Wales were 4,604, 13,475, 87,161 respectively. Unadjusted figures for 1979 are not available on a basis that enables a valid comparison to be made.
The hon. Gentleman may like to note, however, that since he first asked me this question on 6 July 1987 the unadjusted unemployment figures for the Newport district, Gwent and Wales have fallen by 47 per cent., 47 per cent. and 43 per cent. respectively.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all local education authorities in Wales in rank order of expenditure per secondary pupil per year, starting with the highest spending authority, together with their position in the table of examination results for school leavers achieving grades A to C at GCSE in 1988 and 1989.
|Expenditure per |Examination result |secondary school |position (1987-88 |pupil (£) |(1987-88 |financial year) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- West Glamorgan |1,713 |6 Gwent |1,535 |7 Powys |1,534 |1 Dyfed |1,470 |5 Gwynedd |1,469 |2 Clwyd |1,431 |3 Mid Glamorgan |1,426 |8 South Glamorgan |1,402 |4 Examination information for 1988-89 is not yet available. <1>Ranked in order of the percentage of the 1988 school leavers achieving one or more grades A-C at GCSE, A-C at O' level or CSE grade 1.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of children sitting (a) GCSE and (b) A-level examinations in each local education authority in Wales as a percentage of the total number in the relevant year groups for 1988 ; and if he will list by each local education authority in Wales the total number of children achieving (i) GCSE grades A to C, (ii) GCSE grades C to F and (iii) A-level grades A to E as a percentage of the total number of pupils in the relevant year in 1988 and 1989.
(2) what guidelines he has issued to Welsh district councils on the minimum distance required between new housebuilding areas and existing methane- generating household refuse tips (a) with and (b) without methane collection ;
(3) what guidelines he has issued to Welsh district councils on the minimum time lapse required before building can be allowed in safety on household refuse tips ;
(4) what guidelines he has issued to Welsh local authorities on the extraction of methane from household refuse tips.
Mr. Grist : Technical guidelines on the monitoring and control of landfill gas are provided in waste management paper No. 27, "The Control of Landfill Gas", which was published by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution in 1989, and Welsh Office circular 38/39 which gives advice to local planning authorities about the use of their planning
Column 371powers in relation to landfill sites which may be generating harmful gases. While not specifying a particular time- lapse before development may commence in safety, circular 38/89 advises local planning authorities to exercise due caution in granting permission for development or redevelopment on or near landfill sites. It advises that planning permission should not be granted unless reliable arrangements can be made to overcome the danger of migrating gas.
The circular also refers to the provisions of article 18 of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 which requires a local planning authority to consult the waste disposal authority before granting planning permission for development within 250 m of land which is (or has been at any time in the 30 years before the relevant application) used for the deposit of waste, and which has been notified to the planning authority by the waste disposal authority. Copies of the circular 38/39 and waste management paper No. 27 have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what guidelines he has issued to Welsh district councils on the environmental and public safety parameters for the removal of the contents of 10 to 20- year-old household refuse tips ;
(2) whether he will ask Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to review the guidelines for the safe excavation and transportation of decayed household refuse tip material of five to 20 years' vintage.
Mr. Grist : Guidance on landfill practice was given in waste management paper No. 26, published in 1986. Guidance on licensing waste disposal facilities, first published in waste management paper No. 4 in 1976, was revised in a new edition of this paper published in 1988. Copies are in the Library of the House.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will state in total, and by education authority for (a) primary and (b) secondary schools (i) the number of demountable classrooms in use and (ii) their average age ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 11 January, Official Report, column 725, what is the total amount payable under the new uniform business rate in each case.
Mr. Peter Walker : The amount payable for each hereditament depends upon both the non-domestic rating multiplier and its rateable value, subject in each case to the operation of the transitional arrangements for non-domestic ratepayers. Rateable values for individual hereditaments are contained in local non-domestic rating lists--they are not held centrally. The calculation of 1990-91 rates bills, having regard to rateable values, the multiplier, the transitional arrangements, and 1989-90 rates bills, is a matter for the relevant charging authority.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the safety of the open hearth incinerator at the Rechem plant at Pontypool as a method of toxic waste disposal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist [holding answer Monday 15 January] : Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has monitored the operation of the Rechem plant since it began operating. Independent assessments of the efficiency of destruction of one of the most stable groups of organic chemicals handled at the site, the PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), indicate that a minimum efficiency of 99.9999 per cent. was, and continues to be, achieved. No other toxic waste disposal site is known which exceeds this performance.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give details in parts per billion of the polychlorinated biphenyl levels in foliage readings taken close to the Rechem incinerator at Pontypool from 1979 to the latest available date.
1986--Her Majesty's industrial air pollution inspectorate Five samples-- 11.1, 14.8, 19.0, 9.4 and 13.0.
1989--Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution
Two samples--221 and 68.
For the results of sampling commissioned by other agencies, in particular Torfaen borough council and Rechem plc, the hon. Gentleman should approach the organisations concerned.