Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many former registered dock workers have been made redundant on a port- by-port basis since the abolition of the dock labour scheme ; how much the Government have contributed to the redundancy payments ; how many of these redundancies are because firms went into liquidation and how many through shedding of labour ; how many stevedoring firms have gone into liquidation and where ; what is his estimate of the cost of further redundancies on both these bases still to come ; and if he will make a statement on the liquidations.
Mr. McLoughlin : Total Government expenditure to date on compensation under the Dock Work Act 1989 is £84.5 million, of which £27.7 million relates to employees of firms which became insolvent. I am not able to forecast the numbers of redundancies or any insolvencies during the remaining period of the compensation scheme, but over 90 per cent. of the claims so far received were in the first three months since the scheme started in July. The table shows redundancies in each port.
Port |Total |Number of |Resulting |redundancies |employers |redundancies |who became |(including in |insolvent |first column) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Aberdeen |149 |2 |149 Ardrossan |15 |- |- Ayr |14 |- |- Barry |21 |- |- Bristol |62 |- |- Blyth |32 |- |- Boston |28 |- |- Cardiff |160 |- |- Charlestown |1 |- |- Clyde |108 |- |- Dundee |95 |1 |95 Falmouth |7 |- |- Fleetwood |44 |- |- Forth |152 |- |- Fowey |44 |- |- Garston |108 |1 |29 Goole |78 |- |- Grimsby and Immingham |511 |3 |374 Great Yarmouth |101 |1 |101 Hull |314 |- |- Ipswich |50 |- |- Kings Lynn |41 |- |- Liverpool |402 |1 |69 London |748 |1 |40 Lowestoft |27 |- |- Manchester |116 |- |- Medway |42 |- |- Newport |84 |- |- Par |28 |- |- Penzance |7 |- |- Plymouth |16 |- |- Port Talbot |4 |- |- Seaham |10 |- |- Sharpness |2 |- |- Silloth |1 |- |- Southampton |250 |- |- Sunderland |31 |- |- Swansea |79 |- |- Tees and Hartlepool |252 |- |- Tyne |59 |- |- Weymouth |4 |- |- Wisbech |11 |1 |11 Workington |10 |- |- |------ |------ |------ |4,318 |11 |868
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) body and (b) persons are responsible for listing, collating or co- ordinating the proposals and programmes of major road maintenance on main traffic routes in Greater London ; what public notification is given of such works ; and if he will consider publishing maps at monthly intervals, showing known works and temporary traffic diversions.
Mr. Atkins : The programming and publicity arrangements for road maintenance works are the responsibility of the highway authority concerned. In the case of trunk roads, the Department announces its annual programme of major schemes shortly before the start of each financial year and publishes maps indicating the location and likely timing of schemes. The Department provides details of planned major lane closures likely to involve delays to road users in fortnightly bulletins, which are circulated to the media and others.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money has been paid in light dues to the general lighthouse fund in each of the past four years, specifying the amounts paid by the different types of vessels.
Mr. McLoughlin : Light dues income to the general lighthouse fund was £42.34 million in 1985-86, £48.75 million in 1986-87, £56.14 million in 1987-88 and £50.2 million (provisional) in 1988 -89. An analysis of dues collected by different types of vessel is only available for 1985-86 and 1988-89.
-------------------------------------------------------------- Tankers (Oil) |13,308,897|13,743,034 Tankers (Other) |1,585,544 |2,781,020 General Cargo |8,449,257 |10,493,157 Bulk Carriers |4,733,613 |6,103,137 Container Ships |10,529,134|13,466,394 Passenger (including cruise) |549,922 |595,784 Ferries |461,715 |716,574 Towed |12,052 |40,735 Pleasure (over 20 NRT) |2,421 |1,003 Yachts (over 20 NRT) |12,153 |15,325 Tugs |9,299 |7,825 Fishing Vessels |- |447,361 Other |2,842,889 |2,717,434 The analyses by vessel type are cash received figures uncorrected for repayments and other accounting adjustments, and therefore differ in total from the total income figures shown above taken from the GLF accounts.
Mr. McLoughlin : The incident took place at 13.30 hours, approximately five miles west of Barnard Castle, Yorkshire. The BA5950 was en route from Heathrow to Newcastle at 12,500 ft and was receiving a radar advisory service from Pennine radar at Manchester. No avoiding action was taken and the Tornado aircraft passed 800 ft below the British Airways aircraft.
The circumstances surrounding the incident will be fully investigated by the independent joint air miss working group.
Mr. McLoughlin : A Department of Transport marine surveyor attended the Viking Trader on 19 January to investigate concerns that had been expressed about one of the securing pins holding the bow visor. Temporary securing arrangements were made to the surveyor's satisfaction, and the vessel allowed to sail. It is understood that the visor has now been welded permanently closed.
Sir Neil Macfarlane : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why the A1 southbound carriageway was closed on the afternoon of 22 January south of the A605 interchange ; what advance warning was given to the radio networks and motorists ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The southbound carriageway was closed to deal with a chemical spillage from an overturned heavy goods vehicle. The closure lasted for three hours, during which a diversionary route was set up by the police. Local radio stations were informed.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 23 January 1990] : There is no natural market for methanol in the United Kingdom because of its high production costs and the lack of any manufacturing or distribution infrastructure. When substituted for petrol or diesel, methanol's attractive clean burning properties may be offset by problems such as :
the toxic effects of methanol itself ;
relatively high tailpipe emissions of formaldehyde ;
its low energy density ;
its corrosive properties ; and
its cold starting difficulties, unless conventional petrol is used as an additive.
Column 778These problems will need to be overcome before a significant market for methanol-fuelled vehicles is likely to develop.
Sir Trevor Skeet : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he proposes to introduce clean fuel technology in the United Kingdom similar to the legislation proposed by President Bush in the United States of America.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 23 January 1990] : The main thrust of President Bush's proposals is to secure further reductions in the emission of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and the oxides of nitrogen in those areas of the United States of America that are failing to meet air quality standards.
Regulation on vehicle emissions in the United Kingdom requires agreement in the European Community, and we have played an active role in developing new standards.
From 1992, three-way catalysts will have to be fitted to virtually all new cars.
Local authorities report rate arrears to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and these are published in "Rate Collection Statistics". The latest reported figure for Lambeth shows rate arrears of £33.3 million at the end of March 1986.
Authorities have a statutory duty to make their accounts within six months and to publish them within nine months of the end of the financial year ; Lambeth borough council has not yet published accounts for the years 1986- 87 to 1988-89. For the latest position on arrears I would therefore refer the hon. Member to the chief executive.
Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to receive the report from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and Wales regarding the possibility of abolishing the county of Humberside.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The commission was directed to carry out the further review of Humberside by the end of January 1990 if possible. Its programme of work is, however, for it to determine with the resources at its disposal, and I understand that the review is not expected to be completed before late spring. I regret that I cannot at present give a firmer forecast.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which London authorities in each of the last complete financial years have been unable to file unqualified audited accounts with his Department.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions his Department has issued licences to trap glis glis during each of the last five years ; under what circumstances and to whom such licences were issued ; how many animals were taken ; and what conditions he imposed on the handling and disposal of the trapped animals.
Mr. Trippier : Licences to trap glis glis have been issued on two occasions to the seven local authorities within whose boundaries the species occurs. The first licence ran from June 1987 to February 1988 and the current one from March 1989 to February 1991. These licences were issued for the purpose of preserving public health or public safety or preventing serious damage to property. A total of 102 animals were taken under the first licence ; figures for the numbers taken in the first year of the second licence will be available shortly. The current licence is subject to specific conditions which were introduced following consultation with the Nature Conservancy Council. One of these obliges the licensee to send a written report to the Secretary of State detailing numbers of animals taken and killed, numbers taken and released elsewhere, if any, numbers taken and disposed of in another manner, to be specified ; the type of trap or traps used ; the particular circumstances that justified the taking of the animals.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the Acts of Parliament since 1960 and their dates of implementation which relate to the operation of the privately rented housing market.
Act |Commencement Date --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Protection from Eviction Act 1964 |17 December 1964 Rent Act 1965 |8 December 1965 Rent Act 1968 |8 June 1968 |(consolidation Act) Housing Act 1969 |25 August 1969 Rent (Control of Increases) Act 1969 |1 January 1970 Housing (Finance) Act 1972 |10 August 1972 Counter-Inflation Act 1973 |22 March 1973 Furnished Lettings (Rent Allowances) Act 1973 |29 April 1973 Rent Act 1974 |14 August 1974 Housing Rents & Subsidies Act 1975 |11 March 1975 Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 |1 January 1977 Protection from Eviction Act 1977 |29 August 1977 |(consolidation Act) Rent Act 1977 |29 August 1977 |(consolidation Act) Housing Act 1980 |28 November 1980 Rent (Amendment) Act 1985 |23 May 1985 Housing Act 1988 |15 January 1989
Mr. Chope : The standard spending assessment for Ashfield district council was calculated according to formulae set out in the revenue support grant distribution report (England) approved by the House of Commons on 18 January.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 23 January 1990] : Attachment of earnings is one of the remedies available to a charging authority that has obtained a liability order from a magistrates court in respect of an individual who has failed to pay the community charge. The attachment order served on employers will contain all the information necessary for the correct deductions to be made. Community charge practice note No. 15 contains a model form of attachment order and explanatory notes which a local authority may use in correspondence with individual employers. Employers will be entitled to deduct £1 towards their administrative expenses each time an attachment is made.
Mr. Chope : The principles of rating valuation, which govern assessments made by the valuation officer, are set out in schedule 6 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988, and are supplemented by a number of regulations and orders made under that schedule. Apart from these provisions, there are no rules for the assessment of any class of property.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will reply to the letter from the Manufacturing, Science and Finance trade union of 12 September 1989 on the subject of OMNIPAC.
Mr. Trippier : I can find no trace of the letter. If the Manufacturing, Science and Finance trade union would be kind enough to send me a further copy of its letter, I will ensure that it receives a reply.
Mr. Trippier : We have today published a consultation paper which reviews the operation of the Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980 (SI 1980, No. 1709) and sets out the changes that the Government propose to make to strengthen and improve the controls applied to dangerous and difficult waste.
The proposals made in the consultation paper are complementary to the measures on waste disposal included in the Environmental Protection Bill. However, they are designed to deal with those wastes that are particularly dangerous or difficult to dispose of and for which special provision is required. We have carried out a fundamental review of the 1980 regulations. The starting point of the review was the announcement in December 1985 of our conclusions on the report of the joint review committee. We have subsequently taken account of the proposal for a directive on hazardous waste which the European Commission published in July 1988 to supersede the existing directive on toxic and dangerous waste (78/319/EEC) ; complementary work on the definition of hazardous waste carried out by the OECD ; and the definition of such waste contained in the Basel convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal which the Government signed on 6 October 1989.
The changes proposed in the consultation paper include : (a) a new, broader definition of special waste. In future, special waste will be defined by reference to eleven characteristic properties and will explicitly include substances which present an immediate, delayed or accumulative risk to the environment as well as those harmful to human health. It will also include clinical waste ; (b) a requirement that before special waste is removed from the producer's premises there must be a contract which ensures its disposal at an appropriately licensed site ;
(c) a requirement on disposal authorities to recover a reasonable charge for consignment note forms, including the cost to authorities of administering and monitoring the operation of the consignment note system ;
(d) a prohibition on disposers accepting special waste unless they have contracted to do so and have a licence which authorises its disposal. On rejection of a consignment the carrier will be required to return it without undue delay to the person from whom he collected it ;
(e) a prohibition on carriers mixing different consignments of special waste and from mixing special waste with non-special waste. Disposers will also be prohibited from mixing special waste with non-special waste except for the purpose of improving safety during disposal or ensuring that it is disposed of without causing danger to public health, serious detriment to local amenities or risk to the environment ; and
(f) a requirement on disposal authorities to keep a public register of consignment notes for each licensed site in their
Column 782area. Safeguards will be provided to prevent the disclosure of information which would prejudice to an unreasonable degree the producer's commercial interests.
The Government are committed to improving standards in waste management and disposal. These proposals are specifically designed to ensure that dangerous and difficult waste is managed and disposed of safely, without endangering human health or harming the environment. I am arranging for copies of the consultation paper to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions during the past 10 years discharges (a) to the air and (b) to water from the Sellafield nuclear complex have been found to exceed maximum permissible limits ; what is the frequency of official inspections ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : During the past 10 years there have been no occasions recorded when radioactive discharges to the air, or to water, from the Sellafield nuclear complex have been found to exceed maximum permissible limits. Other discharges to air are subject to the requirement that the best practicable means are used to prevent emissions and are not subject to maximum permissible limits. Other discharges to water are the responsibility of the National Rivers Authority. Currently HMIP inspectors spend an average of about five man days per month on the Sellafield site.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will now declassify the Turton report on the Crown Suppliers ; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library ; (2) what criteria are used for classifying Government documents ; and how these were applied in the case of the Turton report on the Crown Suppliers.
Mr. Chope : Government documents are given a security classification if unauthorised disclosure would damage the interests of the nation. The Cabinet Office review team's report of September 1985 on the future of the Crown Suppliers was not classified. It did, however, contain commercially sensitive information and other sensitive material given to the review team in confidence. The trade unions were consulted on the report, excluding only such sensitive material, in December 1985. It is not usual for officials' advice to Ministers to be disclosed. I, therefore, see no reason to change the decision taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) not to publish it more widely ; nor do I propose to place a copy in the Library.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what basis it is now proposed that the cost of pensions increases should be transferred to the local government superannuation funds in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the then Minister for Local Government announced on 24 April 1989 that he proposed, subject to consultation with the relevant local government interests, to transfer the cost of pensions increases to the local government superannuation funds as from 1 April 1990 on the basis that the
Column 783present requirement that they should be in a position to meet all foreseeable future liabilities in respect of basic pensions only should be replaced by a provision that they should be able at any point in time to meet three quarters of a combined liability for basic pensions and pensions increases. He estimated that on that basis most local authorities in England and Wales would be able to reduce their overall annual expenditure on superannuation by about £6 per head of adult population.
Local government interests have made representations to the effect that it may be appropriate for the funds to be required to meet a rather higher proportion of their new combined liability at any one time. I have come to the conclusion, however, that a 75 per cent. rate of funding would be entirely prudential, as explained by my right hon. Friend, and would minimise the number of authorities who were required to increase expenditure on superannuation in consequence of the transfer of responsibility for payment of pensions increases to the funds.
I shall, however, keep the level of liabilities that funds are required to be in a position to meet under review, with a view to increasing it in future years as such increases become appropriate.
Mr. Trippier : The results for the survey carried out during the 1989 bathing season showed that 76 per cent. of the 401 identified bathing waters in England and Wales met the mandatory coliform bacteria standards of the EC bathing water directive. This compares with 66 per cent. of the 364 identified bathing waters in 1988. These figures are encouraging, though some of the improvement is no doubt attributable to the good weather last year. Nevertheless, the results show that we are continuing to make good progress in cleaning up our bathing waters. We have already announced a £1.4 billion capital investment programme over the next 10 years as a result of which we expect over 95 per cent. of our bathing waters to meet the directive's standards by the mid-1990s and to achieve full compliance within 10 years.
The 1989 results for England and Wales are set out in the table in summary form. I shall arrange for a more detailed summary of the results to be placed in the Library, and we shall also be sending the results to the Commission of the European Communities.
Bathing Waters Survey-1989 Results for England and Wales Compliance with Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC): COLIFORM STANDARDS |Pass |Fail |Total -------------------------------------------------------- Northumbrian Region |20 |12 |32 Yorkshire Region |18 |4 |22 Anglian Region |23 |5 |28 Thames Region |3 |0 |3 Southern Region |45 |20 |65 Wessex Region (South Coast) |25 |2 |27 South West Region |113 |19 |132 Wessex Region (Bristol Channel) |6 |5 |11 Welsh Region |40 |8 |48 North West Region |11 |22 |33 |--- |--- |--- Totals |304 |97 |401
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he will give the location of the landfill sites officially described as poor by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution in its evidence to the House of Commons Environment Select Committee inquiry into toxic waste, HC22 1988-89.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 15 January 1990] : The responsibility for enforcing landfill site licences rests with the waste disposal authority. The HMIP monitors the performance of waste disposal authorities, which includes visiting a selection of sites. In view of the historical nature of much of the information, it would be neither fair nor helpful to give the locations of those previously listed as "poor".
Mr. Jackson : The terms of the lease required by the Student Loans Company are commercially confidential. If asked to reveal the terms in confidence by the National Audit Office or the Public Accounts Committee, we shall of course do so. The rent payable is within the terms of the departmental minute laid before the House on 22 November.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teacher training places there will be this autumn ; how many applicants there are so far ; and what were the comparable figures in previous years.
Mr. Alan Howarth : A total of 23,244 places have been allocated to teacher training institutions in England and Wales for 1990. Equivalent target intake allocations for 1986 to 1989 were 18,613, 19,637, 20,509 and 21,187 respectively.
Data on applications are collected by the Central Register and Clearing House Ltd. and 40,325 applications for teaching places in 1990 were recorded at mid-January. Figures for 1986 to 1989 are not comparable with current figures. They no longer include applications to 19 institutions that now recruit through UCCA. The basis for the collection of data has also changed. However, the figures at mid-January for 1986 to 1989 were 20,839, 22,019, 20,532 and 36,314 respectively.
Column 785Mrs. Rumbold : No.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Guidance on teaching about homosexuality in maintained schools in England is provided in the Department's circular 11/87 which was issued to all such schools in England in September 1987. A copy of the circular is in the Library.
Mrs. Rumbold : Circular 7/88 on LMS provides for the budgets of county and voluntary schools generally to be determined entirely by their LEA's formula by 1 April 1994 where schemes will have been introduced on 1 April 1990. LEAs may propose a longer transitional period for individual schools with particularly high staff costs.
Mr. Jackson : None. The analysis in annex C of the White Paper "Top- up Loans for Students" showed that, by international standards, the British system is generous in the level of the grant after means-testing, in the proportion of higher education students provided for, and in including free tuition. No other country attempts to provide support at this level to such a high proportion of these students.
Mr. MacGregor : I am today inviting the National Curriculum Council and the School Examinations and Assessment Council to undertake a number of tasks designed to help secondary schools accommodate the curricular needs of pupils in the last two years of compulsory education. I am also today setting out in a speech to the Society of Education Officers the flexibility which will be available to schools in planning the curriculum in these years. A copy of the speech has been placed in the Library and the texts of the letters are as follows :
Duncan G. Graham, Esq. CBE
Chairman and Chief Executive
National Curriculum Council
15-17 New Street
York YO1 2RA 25 January 1990
In my speech today to the Society of Education Officers I am making a statement of general policy on Key Stage 4 in the