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Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the number of consultants employed by the Property Services Agency at DWO Teddington ; and what was the total cost in 1989.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance he has given to local rent officers to ensure that nominal rent levels for hostels for single people do not vary widely from one area to another.
Mr. Chope : The Rent Officers (Additional Functions) Order 1989 lays down the basis on which rent officers assess the rents paid by, and accommodation occupied by, private tenants claiming housing benefit. The order broadly requires the rent officer to assess the claimant's rent by reference to the level of rents being paid for similar accommodation within the locality by tenants who are not in receipt of housing benefit. Advice on how rent officers might approach this task--particularly in circumstances where no direct market evidence is available--was included in a study of the private rented housing market commissioned by the Department from the consultants Price Waterhouse. Copies of that report were circulated to rent officers and placed in the Library in February 1989. We have not issued any specific guidance as to the assessment of hostel charges.
Column 553level of nominal rent set by rent officers for single person hostels and (b) replace rent officers whose assessments are grossly out of line with reasonable rents.
Mr. Chope : Where a local authority is dissatisfied with the rent officer's determinations under the Rent Officers (Additional Functions) Order 1989, it can apply for the case to be redetermined by another rent officer, drawn from a different rent registration area. The redetermination will be made by reference to the same criteria as applied to the initial determination. The redetermining officer is normally required to seek the views of two other rent officers, neither of whom will have previously dealt with the case. Responsibility for the day-to-day management of the rent officer service in each registration area lies with the chief rent officer, but overall responsibility lies with the proper officer of the local authority concerned.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action his Department is taking in respect of the report by the district auditor on the sale by Westminster city council of three cemeteries.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Action on the report is for the city council and the auditor to take. The auditor's findings are provisional and the council has until 30 March to make representations to him. The auditor will then decide whether to apply to the High Court for a declaration that the items in the accounts relating to the transactions are "contrary to law".
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to introduce initiatives on (a) prevention of sea disposal of wastes, (b) reductions in atmospheric pollution from transport, (c) long-term monitored storage for radioactive waste, and (d) measures to combat the greenhouse effect at the next Council of European Environment Ministers in Brussels on 22 March.
Column 554the agenda for meetings of the Council of Ministers rests with the member state holding the Presidency of the Council, currently Ireland. Nevertheless I have asked the Presidency to consider a number of possible initiatives for consideration by the Environment Council on 22 March, including the Community's role in global action to tackle the greenhouse effect.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out a table showing for each year since 1979 (a) the full-time, (b) the part-time and (c) the total staffing levels of Kirklees metropolitan council.
Kirklees metropolitan district council: Staffing levels at June |Full-time|Part-time|Total -------------------------------------------------- 1979 |10,678 |7,734 |18,412 1980 |10,505 |7,679 |18,184 1981 |<1>- |<1>- |<1>- 1982 |10,206 |8,231 |18,437 1983 |10,381 |8,496 |18,877 1984 |10,587 |8,107 |18,694 1985 |10,748 |8,084 |18,832 1986 |11,440 |8,507 |19,947 1987 |11,707 |9,292 |20,999 1988 |11,808 |9,954 |21,762 1989 |10,908 |8,983 |19,891 <1> Data not available.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the expenditure of Kirklees metropolitan council for each year since 1979 per head of population in (a) cash terms and (b) constant 1989- 90 price terms ; what was the percentage increase in each year ; and what was the percentage increase between 1979 and 1990 ;
(2) what was the expenditure of Kirklees metropolitan council for each year since 1979 in (a) cash terms and (b) constant 1989-90 price terms ; what was the percentage increase in each year ; and what was the percentage increase between 1979 and 1990.
Net current expenditure Year-on-year Percentage Change |Cash Terms |Real terms |Cash terms |Real Terms |£ million |1989-90 Prices |<1>£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1981-82 |101.787 |157.831 |- |- 1982-83 |112.024 |162.009 |10.1 |2.6 1983-84 |116.162 |160.501 |3.7 |-0.9 1984-85 |122.959 |161.851 |5.9 |0.8 1985-86 |132.523 |165.548 |7.8 |2.3 1986-87<2> |164.623 |198.947 |24.2 |20.2 1987-88 |178.736 |205.117 |8.6 |3.1 1988-89 |196.764 |210.537 |10.1 |2.6 1989-90 |212.809 |212.809 |8.2 |1.1 1981-82 to 1989-90 |109.1 |34.8 1981-82 |270 |419 |- |- 1982-83 |297 |430 |10.0 |2.6 1983-84 |308 |425 |3.7 |-1.2 1984-85 |326 |429 |5.8 |0.9 1985-86 |352 |439 |8.0 |2.3 1986-87<2> |437 |528 |24.1 |20.3 1987-88 |476 |546 |8.9 |3.4 1988-89 |524 |561 |10.1 |2.7 1989-90 |567 |567 |8.2 |1.1 1981-82 to 1989-90 |110.0 |35.3 <1>Using the GDP deflator to convert from cash values to constant prices. <2>Metropolitan county councils were abolished on 31 March 1986 and their functions transferred to metropolitan districts. <3>Population figures used to derive per capita values are latest available Office of Population Censuses and Surveys mid-year estimates of total population.
Mr. Chris Patten : The Government have advised local planning authorities, in circular 22/80, confirmed by circular 31/85, and in planning policy guidance note No. 1, that they should not seek to impose their tastes on developers simply because they believe them to be superior. Judgments about external design are essentially subjective, and I have seen no evidence that a more interventionist approach by local authorities would result in improved standards overall. Indeed, there is a risk that attempts to compromise between differing aesthetic judgments may produce bland buildings which satisfy no one.
Accordingly, where they consider it essential to refuse planning permission or to impose conditions related to design, local planning authorities should ensure that the grounds for refusal or for conditions relate to relevant planning issues such as the density and bulk of the development and its compatibility with its surroundings. This may include, in sensitive areas, the use of materials appropriate to the locality. Such control of external appearance may be particularly important where development proposals affect national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas, or the setting of important historic landmarks. Authorities should in general confine their concern to those aspects of design which are significant for the aesthetic quality of the area. Only exceptionally should they control design details, if the sensitive character of the area or the particular building justifies it. Alterations to buildings of special architectural or historic interest are controlled through listed building consent procedures, for similar reasons.
Although I have no plans to impose further measures of aesthetic control, I am deeply concerned to promote good design. My concern relates particularly to the standard of planning applications made for major developments. I hope that developers will bring forward schemes which will make a major contribution to the architectural fabric of the country in the long term.
Column 556Pursuit of the highest architectural standards should not be deflected by debate about style. I acknowledge that style is important, but dressing a building in different stylistic devices, whether classical, gothic, high tech or of the modern movement, is essentially a subordinate activity. I attach great importance to the more fundamental architectural values of good proportion and scale, and skill in the use of space and light, which distinguish good buildings of any period.
I do not believe that these qualities can be achieved by regulation, control or Government edict. I cannot and would not want to try to impose my own views on design through individual planning appeals. So I must look to developers and designers to have greater regard for the impact of their buildings on the environment, now and in the future, and to aim always to achieve the highest possible standard.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the costs to local planning authorities in Leicestershire of advancing the present expiry date of the county structure plan of 1996 : and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer [holding answer 5 March 1990] : My Department has no information on costs relating specifically to the review of the Leicestershire structure plan. All such plans have to be reviewed well in advance of their end date if they are to continue to perform their planning function.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of planning appeals (a) upheld and (b) rejected by him in each year since 1980 in respect of planning refusals by (i) Lichfield district council, (ii) Cannock Chase district council and (iii) Stafford district council.
F Year |1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) Appeals allowed |12 |15 |10 |14 |13 Dismissed |16 |26 |23 |28 |32 (ii) Appeals allowed |7 |7 |4 |6 |4 Dismissed |8 |7 |6 |10 |4 (iii) Appeals allowed |10 |20 |16 |25 |19 Dismissed |21 |30 |31 |43 |29
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 2 March 1990] : We have not sought to define litter in the Environmental Protection Bill. Clause 71 of the Bill defines the offence of littering in terms of throwing down, dropping or otherwise depositing, and leaving
"any thing whatsoever in such circumstances as to cause, or contribute to, or tend to lead to, the defacement by litter of any place."
It is for the courts to decide, in all cases brought before them, whether the item complained of constitutes litter.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to announce his legislative proposals in respect of the Common Land Forum's recommendation on commons.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 2 March 1990] : I have nothing to add to the answer given to the hon. Member by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside, on 12 February 1990, Official Report, column 64.
Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will issue an urgent planning circular to planning authorities recommending that they relax planning requirements that storm damaged thatched roofs must be repaired or replaced with thatch, where shortage of available thatchers renders such a course impractable for the householders concerned.
Mr. Michael Spicer [holding answer 6 March 1990] : In those cases where planning or other permissions are required, each proposal must be considered on its merits, having regard to the development plan and any other material considerations. Wherever possible, local planning authorities should adopt a flexible approach, but they will need to take account of the long-term consequences for the special character of thatched buildings and their surroundings.
The container was lost in an area of the Channel in which under a longstanding bilateral agreement the French authorities are responsible for co-ordinating counterpollution action. Despite an intensive and very comprehensive search mounted by the French Navy and continuing vigilance, it has not been found. My
Column 558Department's marine pollution control unit maintains close contacts with the French authorities and is satisfied that every effort has been made to try and locate the missing container. Sampling and analysis of seawater and fish both in the area where the container was thought to be lost and in the English Channel as a whole has been undertaken by the French authorities and by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) respectively. No increased levels of lindane have been detected. Further sampling and analysis will be undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food later this year.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) of 15 February, Official Report, column 371, how many of the 31 Iranian citizens served with the notice of the intention to make deportation orders against them on the grounds that this would be conducive to the public good for reasons of national security were involved in full-time or part-time education.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by name since 1979 the number of employees of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that have been detained by special branch officers ; on what charge they were detained ; and what was the result of their inquiries.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nationals of (a) Jamaica, (b) Trinidad and Tobago, (c) Guyana, (d) Barbados and (e) St. Lucia have made applications for entry clearance certificates at the respective British High Commissions in the West Indies ; how many such applications have been refused during the 12 months of 1989 ; and what are the figures for each year since 1979.
Column 5595 April 1989, Official Report, columns 221- 24, in answer to a question from the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Darling). Information on applications in 1989 is given in the table. The other information requested is not available centrally.
Applications for entry clearance<1> to the United Kingdom in 1989 Number of persons Applications |Newly |Refused Country<2> |received<3> |Granted<4><5>|initially<5> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jamaica |3,140 |2,950 |470 Trinidad and Tobago |1,920 |1,780 |240 Guyana |1,840 |1,560 |160 Barbados<6> |1,580 |1,460 |110 <1>Including applications for a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode in the United Kingdom. <2>Country in which the application was received, irrespective of the nationality of the applicant. <3>Including applications subsequently withdrawn. <4>Granted initially or on appeal. <5>These applications may have been received in an earlier period. <6>Including applications by persons in St. Lucia.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nationals of (a) Trinidad and Tobago, (b) Guyana, (c) Barbados and (d) St. Lucia have (i) been admitted and (ii) been refused admittance and removed during the 12 months of 1989 ; and what are the figures for each year since 1979.
Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Barbados admitted to, and refused leave to enter and removed from, the United Kingdom Trinidad and Tobago Guyana Barbados Year/Month |Total admitted|Total refused |Total admitted|Total refused |Total admitted|Total refused |leave to enter |leave to enter |leave to enter |and removed |and removed |and removed ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |18,000 |20 |7,600 |26 |8,900 |9 1980 |18,000 |17 |7,200 |23 |9,000 |10 1981 |17,000 |17 |6,700 |10 |8,800 |7 1982 |19,000 |13 |5,500 |19 |8,100 |7 1983 |20,000 |10 |5,750 |17 |8,120 |5 1984 |22,200 |10 |5,920 |29 |8,280 |4 1985 |24,600 |6 |6,490 |16 |9,230 |2 1986 |18,400 |20 |6,120 |16 |9,260 |7 1987 |18,500 |31 |5,680 |27 |9,100 |9 1988 |17,300 |42 |5,640 |27 |9,520 |20 1989 |17,500 |76 |6,230 |44 |9,510 |31 January 1989 |1,200 |5 |400 |3 |700 |- February 1989 |900 |7 |300 |1 |300 |2 March 1989 |1,100 |6 |400 |7 |500 |4 April 1989 |1,300 |5 |500 |4 |500 |3 May 1989 |1,200 |7 |400 |2 |600 |4 June 1989 |1,700 |4 |600 |3 |1,200 |- July 1989 |2,400 |6 |800 |5 |1,600 |3 August 1989 |2,100 |9 |800 |3 |1,400 |5 September 1989 |1,800 |9 |700 |2 |1,000 |4 October 1989 |1,600 |6 |600 |5 |700 |3 November 1989 |1,000 |6 |400 |5 |500 |2 December 1989 |1,100 |6 |400 |4 |500 |1
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are being held in detention for immigration reasons ; where they are being held ; how many are asylum-seekers ; and how many in the latter category are women.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No central record is maintained of the number of people held in detention for immigration reasons. On 28 February there were 187 people detained solely under Immigration Act powers in the following establishments :
|Number --------------------------------------------- Harmondsworth detention centre |70 Queens Building, Heathrow |13 Gatwick Airport |6 Newhaven |11 HMP Haslar |87
It is estimated that some 30 people were detained at other prisons and in police cells in the south-east of England on the same day. There is no central record of how many of those detained had sought asylum.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women have been detained in Holloway for immigration reasons over the last 12 months ; and how many of these are asylum-seekers.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The most recent figures available are for the calendar year 1989. In this period, 16 women were detained in Holloway under the powers conferred by the Immigration Act 1971. There is no central record of how many of these had sought asylum.
Column 561Mr. Peter Lloyd : I wrote to my hon. Friend on 28 February. I am sorry for the delay in his receiving a reply.
Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department has conducted any studies in the last five years into alternative shift systems for the police service ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No such studies have been conducted by the Home Office. However, a report prepared by the Home Office police requirements support unit, which was sent to all chief officers of police in England and Wales on 30 January, collates all the research into shift patterns which has been done in forces during the past three years and proposes further research into alternative shift systems.
Mr Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the cost of implementing in full the agreement reached by the Police Negotiating Board ; and what will be the cost resulting from his decision to set aside the agreement on rent allowances and related matters.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : My right hon. and learned Friend has decided that serving officers who are receiving rent allowance on 31 March should receive no less after that date and that officers living in accommodation provided by the police authority on the same date should receive a transitional allowance of £300 a year for up to three years. These decisions mean that the level of expenditure on rent allowance is unlikely to be significantly reduced in the next financial year. There are too many hypothetical factors for a meaningful comparison to be made between this situation and what would have happened had my right hon. and learned Friend accepted the agreement of the Police Negotiating Board in full.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the outcome of the study into regional co-ordination of home defence planning undertaken in the north-west ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waddington : I have received a report on the study, and I have today placed in the Library a summary of its main findings. The study has identified a number of deficiencies in the co-ordination of home defence planning at regional level, and proposals are made for improvements. In the light of this study, and with the continuing support of other Departments, it has been decided that a small centrally led team should be established whose aim will be to improve co-ordination of planning in each region, drawing on and extending the work of the original study. Under these arrangements, responsibility for writing plans would remain with individual authorities, departments and public utilities at the local level, but the team will provide additional guidance, working through existing emergency planning fora.
I have asked officials to put the arrangements into effect as soon as possible and to consult interested parties at national and local level.
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pedal cyclists have been convicted in each of the last five years for offences involving (a) going through traffic lights, (b) riding on the pavement and (c) going the wrong way along a one-way street.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 21 February 1990] : Information available centrally cannot separately identify the number of pedal cyclists who commit offences of going through traffic lights and going the wrong way along a one-way street. Information on the number of pedal cyclists convicted of riding on the pavement for 1984 to 1988 is given in the table.
Pedal cyclists convicted o riding on a footpath<1> England and Wales Year |Convictions ------------------------------------ 1984 |1,990 1985 |1,198 1986 |936 1987 |502 1988 |549 <1>Offence under Highway Act, 1835 ( section 72), Metropolitan Police Act, 1839 (section 54(7)) and Byelaws.
Data for 1989 will not be available until autumn 1990.
The Prime Minister : I have received a number of representations and reports on homelessness in London. I and my colleagues look at them very carefully in the light of the action we are taking as follow-up to our review of the homeless legislation.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the procedures operated by the Commission to ensure that EEC legislation is adhered to by member states, with particular reference to the South African sanctions measures ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if she has any proposals to introduce a consultation programme as part of the review into the effects of policies of a number of Government Departments towards young people who leave home and come to live in the inner cities ;
(2) which Government Departments are involved in reviewing the effects of those Departments' policies towards young people who leave home and go and live in the inner cities ; and which Department is taking the lead.
The Prime Minister : The main Departments involved in these discussions are the Department of the Environment, which has a co- ordinating role, the Department of Health, the Department of Employment, the Department of Social Security, the Home Office and the Department of Education and Science. When we have fully considered the issues, appropriate consultation arrangements will be made.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Prime Minister (1) what arrangements she has made for the representation of Scotland in the review of the effects of a number of Departments' policies on young people who leave home and go to live in the inner cities ;
(2) whether consideration of young people who leave home and live on the peripheral estates and in rural areas will be included in Departments' reviews of the effects of policies on young people who leave home and go and live in the inner cities.
The Prime Minister : Scottish Ministers are kept in touch with all discussions on this matter. The Scottish Development Department itself considers all situations which may contribute to homelessness.
The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I hope to have an Audience of Her Majesty the Queen.