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Mr. Chope [holding answer 1 February 1990] : This letter was acknowledged and treated as a representation from the council about the intended contents of the Revenue Support Grant Distribution Report (England). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State considered the council's point, along with those of other authorities which had made representations, before reaching his decisions. Those decisions were embodied in the Revenue Support Grant Distribution Report (England) laid before the House on 11 January and approved on 18 January. A copy of that report has been sent to Eastbourne borough council.
My right hon. Friend decided not to adopt the suggestion put forward by the council but to use population estimates produced by the Registrar General for England and Wales as he initially proposed. We have no plans to change this or to make an amendment report at present.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth will receive a reply to his letter dated 27 November 1989 referring to Rugby borough council.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing the numbers of mortgage repossessions taken by (a) building societies and (b) local authorities in each year since 1979.
Table file CW900205.006 not available
(b) Mortgage repossessions by local authorities : England Year Number As a percentage of loans at end of period 1979-80 1,100 n/a
1980-81 1,000 0.14
1981-82 1,100 0.16
1982-83 950 0.14
Table file CW900205.007 not available
In addition some 100 to 150 additional properties reverted to local authority ownership as a result of vesting.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 30 January, if he will list the factors taken into account in the children at risk index ; and how they have operated in the case of the figure given in his answer for Humberside.
(i) the number of children aged under 18 years of age resident in each authority ;
(ii) the proportion of children living in private households containing a lone parent ;
(iii) the proportion of children dependent on a claimant receiving Supplementary Benefit or Income Support ;
(iv) the proportion of children living in private housholds in rented accommodation.
The weight given to each of these indicators and full details of the children's social services standard spending assessment are given in the Revenue Support Grant Distribution Report (England), a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 30 January on the Humberside and national average figures for children at risk, what factors have caused the SSA allocation for child care for Humberside to be lower than the preceding grant-related expenditure allocation.
Mr. Trippier : None. Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor his advisers English Heritage have received any reports of thefts from scheduled archaeological sites in London. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has announced the Government's intention to seek legislation to strengthen controls over scheduled sites by making it an offence to remove any finds whether or not discovered by a metal detector. At present objects may be removed from a scheduled site without consent, if found on the surface.
Column 444The general laws of trespass and theft apply to archaeological sites that are not scheduled as they do elsewhere.
The quantities of these metals entering the North sea in sewage sludge dumping is only about 1 per cent. of the total inputs of these metals to the North sea, most of which result from river discharges from continental countries, atmospheric inputs and disposals of dredged spoil.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each London local authority (a) the amount reduced from their grant in 1990-91 to fund London Regional Transport and (b) the amount of the levy upon them in 1989-90 ; and on what basis he has calculated the reduced grant figure.
Mr. Chope : The grant for 1990-91 of London local authorities has not been reduced to fund London Regional Transport (LRT). The cost of funding LRT which until 1989-90 fell on London ratepayers through the LRT levy will, from April 1990, be borne by the Exchequer ; this is reflected in the total amount of revenue support grant for 1990-91. The LRT levy was 9.06p in 1989-90 ; I estimate that it will yield about £188.6 million.
The Standard Spending Assessments (SSAs) for 1990-91 of London boroughs and the City of London have been reduced by the equivalent of about £24 per adult to reflect the fact that these authorities do not provide support for public transport. The basis of this calculation is set out in the Revenue Support Grant Distribution Report (England) laid before the House on 11 January. The total reduction is £121.275 million.
83. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he has any conveniently available figures for the costs of running the Property Services Agency and Crown Suppliers Bill Committee stage after 9 pm.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : All the paper that is provided by Her Majesty's Stationery Office for official use in the House of Commons can be recycled. The Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee is considering ways in which recycled material can be used more widely for House stationery and parliamentary publications.
85. Mr. Michael : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will ask Westminster city council to provide a further pedestrian crossing to facilitate safe crossing from Old Palace Yard and other Members' offices to the Palace of Westminster near the House of Lords entrance.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : The Accommodation and Administration Sub- Committee is at present considering a proposal from Westminster city council for the installation of various traffic and pedestrian management schemes in and around Parliament square designed to speed up traffic flow. I understand that the installation of a pedestrian crossing from Old Palace Yard would run counter to these proposals.
87. Mr. Rooker : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many reminder notices have been sent by the Fees Office to hon. Members about the need for contracts of employment in respect of staff paid via the Fees Office.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : Reminder notices were sent to all Members in March 1988. In November 1989 further reminder letters were sent to 333 Members in respect of 523 employees (secrataries and research assistants) in respect of whom statements of main conditions of employment, and so on, were still outstanding. Additionally, since March 1988, Members engaging new staff have, where necessary, been individually reminded of the requirement to provide such statements.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : Of the Bills introduced in the Commons and printed so far this Session, the Reform of the House of Lords Bill will require the Queen's Consent on Second Reading : and the Agricultural Holdings (Amendment) Bill, the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Bill, the Environmental Protection Bill, the Landlord and Tenant (Licensed Premises) Bill, the Property Services Agency and Crown Suppliers Bill, and the Social Security Bill will require the Queen's consent on Third Reading.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : The total number of persons employed by hon. Members and paid directly from the Members' office costs allowance is currently 1,270. Since job titles ascribed to Members' employees vary considerably and do not conveniently fit into the categories specified, it is not possible to provide a meaningful breakdown.
Mr. Grylls : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will investigate whether there is any evidence of the Australian spider beetle Ptinus Tectus or the bread beetle Stegobium Paniceum in the books in the Library ; and what steps he is taking to avoid damage to the books by these beetles.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : The House of Commons Library has a continuous cleaning and conservation programme for its books, which up to now has afforded no evidence of infestation by beetles. However, in the light of current concern, Library staff have already been asked to be alert for any signs of beetle activity. Appropriate control measures would be taken immediately if any such evidence came to light. Secondhand books acquired by the Library will be examined for any signs of paper decay before they are added to stock, and similar provisions will be adopted for older books borrowed for Members from other libraries.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consideration he gave to the need to alter and extend St. Luke's school, West Norwood, when considering the building programme approved for Lambeth for 1990-91.
Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend took careful account of the proposal put forward by Lambeth for a building project at St. Luke's school, West Norwood. Although we increased the amount available for new voluntary aided building works in 1990-91 by 17 per cent. compared with 1989-90, project bids exceeded the resources available. Priority was given first to projects for additional school places in areas of population growth, then to building work which governors have a statutory duty to undertake as a result of proposals approved under section 13 of the Education Act 1980 and, thirdly, to projects for the improvement or replacement of inadequate buildings. The project at St. Luke's fell in the third category and was one of a number of projects in that category which could not be accommodated in the 1990-91 programme.
Mr. Jackson : Implementation of the report on the rationalisation of universities' earth sciences departments is a matter for the Universities Funding Council, in consultation with the institutions concerned.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science who will be responsible for discharging the Inner London education authority's responsibilities after 31 March 1990 in respect of any salary arrears due to (a) teachers in schools and (b) teachers in colleges of further education.
Mrs. Rumbold : In general, liabilities in relation to salary arrears of teachers in ILEA-maintained schools or colleges of further education will become the responsibility of the new inner London education authorities from 1 April.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further advice or undertakings he has given in respect of the payment of transitional and capital costs for the proposed Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college as a result of his meeting with representatives of the Haberdashers' Company this week.
(2) when he anticipates receiving the results of a detailed feasibility study for the proposed Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college.
Column 448in September 1991, detailed studies will be required related to the adaptation of buildings and to the CTC's organisation and curriculum. Preliminary studies have been commissioned but are not yet complete.
Mrs. Rumbold : The timing of the formation of the governing body of the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college is a matter for the Haberdashers' Aske's City Technology College Trust. My right hon. Friend expects that a governing body will be in existence for the opening of the college in September 1991.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidelines his Department gives local education authorities on the relationship between planning total primary school numbers and the rising five intakes in the autumn, spring and summer terms.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Department has issued no such guidance. It is up to local education authorities to decide when to admit children under five to schools, and to make plans for primary provision accordingly.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those schools which have current applications for voluntary-aided status ; and when he expects to make a decision on the applications.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The schools are listed in the table. My right hon. Friend will reach a decision on the proposals as quickly as is compatible with a full and careful consideration of all the issues involved. He has stated that it is his intention to come to a decision on statutory proposals within five months of publication wherever possible. Delays in some cases arise from factors outside the Department's control.
Table file CW900205.008 not available
Table file CW900205.009 not available
Proposals to Change Status from Voluntary Controlled to Voluntary Aided
Date published LEA Name of Proposed School (if known) 4 October 1989 Cheshire Davenham CE Primary
18 August 1989 Kingston-upon-Thames St. Mary's CE Primary
Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table to show such information as he has to hand from the schemes of local management of schools submitted for his approval by education authorities under the headings (a) the value of the general schools budget ; (b) the value of the mandatory exceptions ; (c) the value of the aggregate schools budget ; (d) (b) as a percentage of (a) ; and (e) (c) as a percentage of (a) .
Column 450local management of schools scheme submissions made by local education authorities to my right hon. Friend. The table gives the percentage figures requested ; it is not possible to provide comparative cash figures because the information has been supplied using a variety of price bases.
The full information requested by my hon. Friend, relating to 1990-91 budgets, will be available in the spring from statements published by all local education authorities with approved schemes under section 42 of the Education Reform Act.
Table file CW900205.010 not available
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list all organisations which have advised or are now advising his Department on any aspect of the privatisation of electricity, giving in each case the dates of their involvement and, in each case, the aspect on which they advise.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list all the organisations known by his Department to have advised or now to be advising any parts of the electricity supply industry on any aspects of privatisation, giving in each case the dates of their involvement and the aspect on which they have advised.
Mr. Wakeham : This is a matter for the industry. I have therefore asked the Electricity Council, in respect of the area boards, and the CEGB, in respect of National Power, PowerGen and the National Grid Company, to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Wakeham : Advertising by the industry to promote its goods and services is a matter for the industry itself. Currently there is no advertising for the forthcoming offers for sale. I have, jointly with the electricity supply industry, appointed Dewe Rogerson to develop and co- ordinate a marketing strategy and we shall consider the need for advertising in the light of this strategy.
Mr. Wakeham : Total costs of privatisation will be made available once flotation has been completed. Expenditure to the end of March 1989 amounted to £6.3 million and provision has been made for £30 million for the current year. Latest forecasts of requirements for 1990-91 will be published as part of the supply Estimates in March.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy why his officials have briefed the press that the value of the electricity supply industry for privatisation will be £7 billion ; and how this valuation was arrived at.
Mr. Wakeham : The Government have not published estimates of the value of the electricity supply industry. It would be premature to do so, since the value will depend on many factors, including market conditions at the time of the sale.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, further to his reply on 29 January, Official Report, column 13, what information he has received from British Coal on the cancellation of the proposal to build a coal-fired power station at Bilsthorpe ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether he will provide updated public expenditure estimates for the Overseas Development Administration and for the component of overseas aid, in the light of Government commitment for economic assistance to eastern Europe, which were not fully included in table 2.1 of Cm 1002, "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1990-91 to 1992-93" ;
(2) whether the estimated total expenditure for the Overseas Development Administration will be increased in the light of recent commitments for economic assistance to eastern Europe ; from which reserves any aid to eastern Europe will be paid for ; and if he will make a statement.