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Information is not available in the form requested. The table gives information on large self-administered pension funds reporting to the Inland Revenue action which they propose to take to remove surpluses following the provisions of the Finance Act 1986.
Large self-administered schemes Number of schemes Schemes reporting in |with surplus |with surplus |wound up |Aggregate |over 5 per |under 5 per | value<1> |cent. |cent. |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1987-88 |127 |176 |12 |530 1988-89 |481 |853 |26 |2,040 April-December 1989 |443 |596 |15 |1,830 <1> Surplus for those reporting on surplus of over 5 per cent. Note: The amounts shown in the final column represent figures for schemes reporting to the Inland Revenue in each year. They do not provide a basis for estimating the aggregate level of pension fund surpluses.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to reply to the letter of 27 November 1989, from the hon. Member for Stretford in his capacity as honorary secretary of the north- west group of Labour hon. Members of Parliament, requesting a meeting with him and a delegation from that group to discuss accidents involving the discharge of harmful chemicals ; and if he intends to meet a delegation.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment pursuant to the answer on 15 January concerning the date of the public inquiry on the Hylands park, Chelmsford, planning application, what negotiations he is referring to in his answer ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan : The negotiations are being undertaken by Chelmsford borough council with the Sue Ryder Foundation and other parties, in the light of the objections to the present planning applications, and with the aim of submitting revised proposals. Those revised proposals are expected to reduce the issues which need to be considered at the public inquiry, with savings on its duration and costs.
None. The herb catnip is not a controlled drug and I am not aware of any evidence to suggest that it gives rise to such harmful effects that it ought to be considered for control under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the average delays for elderly people waiting for housing benefit determinations ; and if he will make a statement.
I regret that information is not collected in the form requested. Local authorities have statutory responsibility for determining housing benefit claims. Returns for the financial year 1988-89 have not yet been received from all local authorities, but the information available indicates that 75 per cent. of all claims for housing benefit have been processed within 14 days.
Source : Housing benefit management information system.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated level of unified business rate payments due to metropolitan district councils in 1990-91 ; and what was the income from the business rate in 1989-90.
Mr. Chope : Tables placed in the Library on 11 January show that under our proposals business rates payable to metropolitan district councils from the non-domestic rate pool total £2.4 billion in 1990- 91. The estimated amount to be raised from non-domestic properties in metropolitan districts in 1989-90 is £2.1 billion.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to reach a conclusion about the proposals of the Electrical Contractors Association for reciprocal recognition of electrical contractors in the single European market ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he, or any ministers in his Department, have any plans to meet the director and staff of the energy and environment research unit at the Open university.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his discussions with the Nature Conservancy Council on the use of private Bills to circumvent planning issues.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend has had no discussions with the Nature Conservancy Council on the use of private Bills to circumvent planning issues. The Government's initial response to the Joint Committee's report on private Bill procedures (HC 625, Session 1987-88) was given by the Leader of the House in the debate on 20 April 1989.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what curtailment has taken place in the programmes for (a) marine conservation and (b) urban nature conservation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : The development of marine and urban nature conservation programmes is primarily for the Nature Conservancy Council. It is for NCC to decide where its priorities lie and to implement them in accordance with its corporate plan, copies of which have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his proposals for the protection of drinking water in the light of the recommendations of the report of the Lowermoor incident health advisory group.
Column 579(LIHAG), the Department wrote to all the water undertakers in England drawing their attention to its conclusions and
recommendations. The substance of LIHAG's recommendation No. 8 requiring a water undertaker to notify the relevant health authorities without delay of any incidents such as Lowermoor had already been included in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 (SI. No. 1147). The water undertakers were asked to confirm that the remaining recommendations, Nos. 7 and 9, relating to water supply had been or were being incorporated into their standard procedures. I am pleased to report that they have confirmed that these recommendations had been or were being implemented.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce an incentive scheme for developers, builders and specifiers to use environmentally friendly materials and techniques when maintaining the existing building stock ; and if he will make a statement.
Occupiers of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings are increasingly demanding evidence of the "green" credentials of their properties. Many of the nation's major developers, builders and specifiers have recognised this and are responding to this market demand.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will publish in the Official Report the time scale for making changes to current compensation arrangements for those individuals and institutions affected by road and rail building projects.
Mr. Moynihan : We are currently considering proposals for changes in land compensation arrangements in the light of the responses received to the Department's consultation paper of 7 March 1989. Any proposals to change the law will be introduced at the earliest suitable opportunity.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what accounts and bill-paying functions are currently performed by the Property Services Agency at Hastings ; how many staff are engaged on this work ; and what arrangements are being considered for the future of this work and the staff.
a. Payment of contractors' accounts for construction and maintenance work at civil central Government properties and defence establishments, including United States bases, in the United Kingdom.
b. Payment of fees to consultants engaged by PSA and suppliers of materials and equipment.
c. Payment of gas, water and electricity accounts for the central Government civil estate.
d. Payment of rents for leasehold civil estate properties. e. Calculation and payment of salaries to PSA and DOE non-industrial staff.
f. Payment of travelling etc claims to PSA employees.
Column 580g. Invoicing clients for works services supplied on payment terms, tenants for rents and services charges, and government departments for accommodation, gas, water and electricity charges on the civil estate.
h. Maintenance of costing, management information and vote accounting records, the latter incorporating expenditure by PSA overseas.
i. Supply of information about expenditure on properties and projects, administration cost budgets, vote subheads to PSA divisions.
j. Supply of expenditure information to other departments. k. Operation of resource costing management information systems, and supply of information.
Firm decisions have not yet been taken about the location of the accounting functions which will support the operating divisions of PSA Services and Property Holdings, but it is likely that some functions will be dispersed to local units of the operating divisions. Responsibility for the payment of gas, water and electricity accounts is currently being transferred to Departments. The agency will make every effort to find other posts, in PSA or in other Departments, for staff whose posts are no longer required as a result of these changes.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what work DITMOS is carrying out for the Property Services Agency ; how many staff are engaged on this work ; when the work will be complete ; and what arrangements will be made to find alternative work for DITMOS staff.
Mr. Chope : PSA's directorate of information technology management and office systems (DITMOS) provides the agency with a range of IT and business support services. Its headquarters is in Hastings and it currently has some 490 staff in post. This number is likely to reduce over the next two to three years. It will then stabilise at a level reflecting the need for continuing systems support.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to keep open the option of compulsorily transferring the Property Services Agency's executive, administrative and support staff to the Government-owned company.
Mr. Chope : If PSA is incorporated as a Government-owned company it is intended that the staff in it will be transferred by a scheme under clause 1 of the Property Services Agency and Crown Suppliers Bill. The PSA will use its best endeavours, in advance of that incorporation, to find other posts within Government for staff who do not wish to transfer.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment by what date local authorities must complete the list of politically restricted posts referred to in section 2(2) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
Mr. David Hunt : By section 2(4) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, local authorities must deposit their first list under section 2(2) with the proper officer of the authority by 29 January. Thereafter they must maintain the list, and from time to time deposit any necessary modifications with the proper officer.
Column 581"Restrictions on Public Political Activity by Senior Local Government Staff", what was the last date for submissions on the document ; and when he will issue his response.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consents are held by British Nuclear Fuels plc for the discharge of non- radioactive toxic wastes from Sellafield ; what is the annual volume of each such waste discharged from Sellafield ; and what changes in consents have been necessitated by the Water Act 1989.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps are taken to ensure that British Nuclear Fuels plc plants at Sellafield, Springfields, Capenhurst and Chapel Cross are operated within the appropriate regulations under the Alkali Works Regulation Act 1906, the Radioactive Substances Act 1960, the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Control of Pollution Act 1974, the Control of Pollution (Special Wastes) Regulations 1980 and the Treaty of the European Atomic Energy Community (the 1957 Euratom Treaty).
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what volumes of radioactive waste are currently disposed of at Clifton Marsh ; what radionuclides are deposited ; how many bequerels of (a) gamma, (b) beta and (c) alpha radioactivity are at the site ; and when disposal of radioactive waste was first begun at Clifton Marsh.
Mr. Trippier : Radioactive wastes disposed of at Clifton Marsh originate from British Nuclear Fuels plc's plant at Capenhurst and Springfields and are measured by weight (tonnes) not by volume. In 1988 a total of 10,000 tonnes was disposed of which equates to approximately 6,600 sq. m.
Column 582Uranium and its short-lived daughter radionuclides are authorised for disposal at Clifton Marsh.
It is estimated that for the period up to 1988 0.7 terabecquerels of alpha activity and less than or equal to 0.7 terabecquerels of beta/gamma activity have been disposed of at Clifton Marsh. Disposals at Clifton Marsh commenced in 1974.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the highest sums (a) per local authority and (b) per community charge payer, being paid under the safety net arrangements to (i) a London borough and (ii) non-London local authorities in England ; what is the sum being paid or received in the London borough of Newham (1) in total and (2) per community charge payer ; and if he will illustrate his calculations relating to the levels of each of these receipts or payments.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 17 January 1990] : Under our proposals the highest sums to be paid under the safety net arrangements to a London borough is £32.96 million to Greenwich ; and to a non-London local authority in England is £38.57 million to Sheffield. When divided by relevant population, the highest amounts paid are £212 to Greenwich and £138 to Calderdale.
The London borough of Newham would contribute £3.06 million to the safety net, a payment of £19 per charge payer.
A description of the calculation of the safety net contributions and receipts can be found in the annex to the revenue support grant transition report (England) laid before the House on 11 January 1990.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each local education authority in England the standard spending assessments in the categories and sub-categories (a) education, (b) under-fives, (c) primary schools, (d) secondary schools, (e) 16 to 19- year-olds and (f) other.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 18 January 1990] : I have today placed in the Library a table showing 1990-91 standard spending assessments for under-fives education, primary education, secondary education, post-16 education, other education and all education services ; for each local education authority in England.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total amount his Department estimated Lancashire county council should have collected from commerce and industry in rates during 1989-90 ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 584allowance for community charge benefit would be about £20 million. This assumes a total of 73,250 YTS trainees liable to pay the community charge.
Virtually all non-employed trainees, and a proportion of employed trainees, would be entitled to community charge benefit.