Mr. Lang : My right hon. and learned Friend met representatives of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry when he addressed the council's international forum at Aviemore on 29 September 1989.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Current plans for the Scottish motorway network, linked to the proposed widening of the M6, M1 and M25, will substantially improve access to Europe. The Scottish Development Department is undertaking a review to ensure that the strategic Scottish trunk and key principal road network can meet demands. We are encouraging potential Scottish rail customers to make their requirements for services to the Channel tunnel known to British Rail. The Government's policy of liberalising air services will assist operators to provide improved services where demand exists.
30. Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will instruct a study to be carried out of the number and characteristics such as age, sex and occupation of persons seeking election to regional and district councils in 1990 and 1992, respectively.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to do so at present. We do, however, have it in mind to update in due course the substantial programme of research commissioned by the Widdicombe committee of inquiry into the conduct of local authority business in 1985 and published in four volumes in 1986. Volume II contained a wide range of information on the personal and occupational characteristics of local government councillors.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend announced his intention to appoint Magnus Magnusson KBE as chairman of the Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland, and thereafter as first chairman of the proposed Scottish natural heritage agency, provided the Government's proposals to reorganise the Nature Conservancy Council receive parliamentary approval. These proposals are provided for in the Environmental Protection Bill now before Parliament.
32. Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has on the actions which some health boards are taking to curtail their level of provision in order to remain within budget in the current year ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No new section of road upgraded to motorway is programmed to be opened during 1990. However, the 4.5 mile M80 Stepps bypass, which will relieve the existing heavily congested road at Stepps, is currently under construction and is expected to be open in April 1992. Further motorway schemes, including upgrading from dual carriageway, are expected to commence during 1990-91 and details will be announced in March by my right hon. and learned Friend.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No. The Government are aware of developments in this field and my officials have regular meetings with regional and islands council staff at which sewage disposal matters are discussed. My right hon. and learned Friend holds regular meetings with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on local government finance matters.
36. Mr. Younger : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a list of those local authorities in Scotland which are planning to increase their expenditure above the rate of inflation.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has issued or proposes to issue any regulations or guidance under section 16(1) of the Abolition of Domestic Rates Etc. (Scotland) Act 1987.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Regulation 9 of the Community Charges (Registration) (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations makes provision relating to community charge appeals made under section 16(1) of the 1987 Act. The notes prescribed under these regulations informing people of their register entry or an amendment to that entry include information about a person's rights of appeal.
52. Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make an estimate of the amount which a police officer in Scotland will on average have to pay in respect of the personal community charge following abolition of the rates element of the police rent allowance on 31 March.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Like other members of the community, police officers in Scotland have been liable to pay the community charge since April 1989. The level of the charge depends on the area in which they live.
Regulations made last November had the effect of restoring the rates element of rent allowance, on an interim basis, to those officers who were in receipt of rent allowance on 31 March 1989 for such period as their circumstances remain unchanged. Draft regulations now sent to the police negotiating board provide for the sum payable by way of rates on 31 March 1989 to continue to be included in the calculation of an officer's rent allowance and in any transitional rent allowance payable from 1 April 1990.
42. Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his Department's latest estimate of the additional resources required to cover the administrative costs of poll tax collection in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Based on the latest local authority figures available, the increase in the administrative costs of collecting the community charge in 1989-90, as against rates collection in 1988-89, is estimated at £14.5 million.
Column 213Mr. Lang : Since the hon. Member last inquired about this on 20 December 1989 the Government have received a variety of representations from organisations representing different sectors of the fishing industry, from MPs and MEPs and from local authorities and other bodies. Many of these expressed appreciation of the success achieved by the Government at the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 18 and 19 December 1989.
40. Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to be able to publish the conclusions of the consultative document "Assessment and Control : the Management of Violent and Disruptive Prisoners".
Lord James Douglas Hamilton : We have received a wide range of comments on the consultative document which aroused considerable interest. My right hon. and learned Friend and I are still considering the responses, but we expect to reach our conclusions within the next few weeks.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Government's housing policies for both the public and the private sector will help to ensure an adequate supply of low-cost accommodation. The proposed top-up loans for student support will be at a level well in excess of a student's average likely entitlement to benefits.
Lord James Douglas Hamilton : The introduction of central European time throughout the United Kingdom is one of the options set out in the Green Paper "Summer Time--A Consultation Document" published last June. A decision on future summer time arrangements will not be taken until the responses, including those from Scotland, have been fully considered.
Mr. Lang : During the past six months my right hon. and learned Friend has received representations from Berwickshire district council, Ettrick and Lauderdale district council, and the Scottish Trades Union Congress. These representations expressed concern about the current
Column 214state and future prospects of the knitwear and textile industry and suggested that renewal of the multi-fibre arrangement is essential to the future well-being of the industry. In addition, my right hon. and learned Friend received representations from two members of the public about the knitwear industry in the Hawick area, one of which stressed the importance of the multi-fibre arrangement.
53. Sir Hector Monro : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussion he has had with the National Farmers Union of Scotland about the level of farm incomes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Rifkind : My noble Friend the Minister of State met the president and senior officials of the National Farmers Union of Scotland on 15 January for a discussion on a range of issues, including the EC price- fixing proposals, which have a significant bearing on farmers' incomes. The union represented that a substantially greater green pound devaluation than was proposed by the EC Commission was justified. My noble Friend reaffirmed the Government's commitment to the removal of monetary compensatory amounts by 1992 and assured the representatives of the union that the need for our farmers to be able to compete on fair terms in the Community would be borne in mind in the negotiations in Brussels. My noble Friend and colleagues from other Departments yesterday met the United Kingdom farming unions to discuss further the price-fixing proposals.
58. Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with people interested in forming a local enterprise company for Renfrewshire ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : Neither I nor my right hon. and learned Friend have personally had discussions with people interested in forming a local enterprise company for Renfrewshire, but officials from my Department and from the Training Agency and the SDA have been working closely with the steering group led by Mr. John McClelland, director IBM, Greenock, which has now submitted an application for development funding for a local enterprise company for Renfrewshire.
62. Mr. McAvoy : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what requests he has received from Greater Glasgow health board for additional revenue or capital allocations to meet the costs of dealing with the care of the growing elderly section of the population.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Requests for allocations of capital are contained within the health board's capital plan submitted yearly to the Department. No requests for additional revenue resources have been received.
Since privatisation, investment decisions have been a matter for British Steel.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make a statement on the current situation in the North East river purification board and the situation regarding the cancelled appointment to the post of general manager ;
(2) if he will make a statement regarding the current duties and structure of the North East river purification board ; and if there have been any changes in these duties and the structure of the board.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : River purification boards have powers under statute to appoint such officers as they think necessary for the proper discharge of their functions. This is not a matter for which the Secretary of State is reponsible. Any queries about the staffing of a river purification board or the duties of its officers should be addressed to the board.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the rivers the North East river purification board is responsible for ; and which are used as part of the Grampian water supply.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The boundary of the North East river purification board defines the catchments draining to the coast between Hopeman and Milton Ness. These cover the Rivers Lossie, Spey, Deveron, Ugie, Ythan, Dee, Don and Bervie, together with their tributaries and the coastal streams encompassed by the boundary. Except for the Rivers Ythan and Bervie, all these rivers, or tributaries of them, are used as sources of public water supply by Grampian regional council.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the latest figures for levels of manufacturing investment in Scotland in (a) cash and (b) constant prices ; and what are the annual figures for each of the previous 10 years.
Mr. Rifkind : The table gives estimates of gross domestic fixed capital formation by manufacturing industry in Scotland at current prices for each year from 1977 to 1987, the latest year for which estimates are available. There are no separate price deflators for Scotland and the use of United Kingdom deflators does not give sufficiently reliable constant price estimates.
Gross domestic fixed capital formation by manufacturing industry in Scotland |£ millions --------------------------------- 1977 |491 1978 |523 1979 |561 1980 |645 1981 |586 1982 |541 1983 |470 1984 |597 1985 |861 1986 |788 1987 |738 Source: Central Statistical Office.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what surveys have been undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland in respect of pollution following the Piper Alpha tragedy ; and what were the results.
Mr. Lang : I refer to the reply given to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) on 25 January 1990. The results of initial monitoring work by DAFS scientists were published on 6 June 1989 and copies of the reports were placed in the Library.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Since the publication of our proposals to reorganise the Nature Conservancy Council in the Environmental Protection Bill, my right hon. and learned Friend has received a number of representations covering a variety of views.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the average revaluation factors by property type for the top 20 and the lowest 20 rating authorities in England and Wales ; if he will list the national average by property type ; and if he will place the complete list in the Library.
Mr. Chope : I have today placed in the Library a table showing revaluation factors by property type in English local authority areas and nationally. The figures are based on the 1990 rateable values for properties as shown on the rating lists deposited with local authorities on 20 December. The new rateable values are based on market rents in each area in April 1988, the date by reference to which the valuation has been carried out under the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
The 20 authorities with the highest average revaluation factors are
|Figures --------------------------------------- York |14.6 Bath |13.3 Kensington and Chelsea |13.0 Selby |12.8 Chichester |12.7 South Lakeland |12.6 Canterbury |12.4 West Devon |12.2 Winchester |12.1 Scarborough |11.9 Ryedale |11.9 Harrogate |11.5 Weymouth and Portland |11.5 Hart |11.4 Runnymede |11.4 Medina |11.4 Castle Morpeth |11.3 North Devon |11.3 Tunbridge Wells |11.3 South Wight |11.3
The 20 authorities with the lowest average revaluation factors are
|Figures ------------------------------- Knowsley |4.2 Wolverhampton |4.5 Sandwell |5.0 Derby |5.4 Walsall |5.4 Birmingham |5.5 St. Helens |5.6 Liverpool |5.6 Dudley |5.8 Halton |6.1 Wansbeck |6.1 Darlington |6.2 Lambeth |6.2 Middlesbrough |6.3 Leicester |6.3 City of London |6.3 Scunthorpe |6.3 Sedgefield |6.3 Gateshead |6.4 Wigan |6.4
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the total cost of (a) splitting county Humberside into two new counties and (b) merging the south bank into Lincolnshire and the north bank into North Yorkshire and what central Government financing is available for such changes.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My Department has made no such estimates : it is one of the matters that we expect to be covered in the report on the further review of the county of Humberside which the Local Government Boundary Commission is now undertaking. Apart from grant for specific services, central Government support to local government is concentrated in the revenue support grant, which is distributed on the basis of assessed needs which contain no specific provision for the costs of administrative reorganisation.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by location where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed by his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.
Mr. Chris Patten : My Department is undertaking a feasibility study of the provision of a nursery in Westminster and is also looking for opportunities to co-operate with other employers to provide nurseries in areas of the south-east from which staff commute into central London and at locations in the regions where the Department has offices.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the percentage increase, in real terms, in the retail price of the Ordnance Survey map sheets for a comparable area on the scale of 1 : 1,250 from 1979 to 1989 ; what is the current cost of maps for the parliamentary division of Finchley ; and what is his policy for the pricing of this map series.
Mr. Trippier : The retail price of Ordnance Survey 1 : 1,250 quality paper maps has increased by 83 per cent. in real terms over the 10-year period between 1979 and 1989. The main use of these maps is by local authorities, land developers and utilities.
The current cost of these maps to cover the parliamentary division of Finchley is £1,197.
These maps form part of Ordnance Survey's core activities and are priced to help achieve the cost recovery target set by the Secretary of State.