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                       |Net revenue                              

                       |expenditure per head                     

                       |of relevant                              

                       |population 1990-91                       

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Avon                   |750                                      

Bedfordshire           |778                                      

Berkshire              |732                                      

Buckinghamshire        |741                                      

Cambridgeshire         |702                                      

Cheshire               |744                                      

Cleveland              |905                                      

Cornwall               |713                                      

Cumbria                |729                                      

Derbyshire             |785                                      

Devon                  |679                                      

Dorset                 |606                                      

Durham                 |714                                      

East Sussex            |624                                      

Essex                  |681                                      

Gloucestershire        |688                                      

Hampshire              |653                                      

Hereford and Worcester |634                                      

Hertfordshire          |691                                      

Humberside             |797                                      

Isle of Wight          |702                                      

Kent                   |663                                      

Lancashire             |777                                      

Leicestershire         |760                                      

Lincolnshire           |667                                      

Norfolk                |644                                      

Northamptonshire       |743                                      

Northumberland         |722                                      

North Yorkshire        |663                                      

Nottinghamshire        |769                                      

Oxfordshire            |714                                      

Shropshire             |726                                      

Somerset               |715                                      

Staffordshire          |668                                      

Suffolk                |678                                      

Surrey                 |615                                      

Warwickshire           |694                                      

West Sussex            |585                                      

Wiltshire              |679                                      

Table file CW900726.004 not available

Local Government Reform

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what reductions in expenditure (a) in central Goverment and (b) in local government have been achieved arising from the abolition of the Greater London council and the metropolitan county councils.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The projected long-term annual saving resulting from staff savings following abolition of the GLC and metropolitan county councils is estimated at £100 million.

Pollution Inspectors

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will publish the annual report of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution district inspectors for 1988 and 1989.

Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State expects to publish HMIP's annual report for 1988-89 next month.

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which of the district offices of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution he intends to run down, close or relocate ; where he intends to maintain existing staffing levels at Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution district offices ; and whether staff who leave district offices or are transferred will be replaced with staff of equal grade.

Mr. Trippier : Staff in Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution have been informed that regional offices in


Column 382

Bedford, Bristol and Leeds will be the focus of the development of its regional structure. Sub-offices in Cardiff, Lancaster and London will be retained. Staff leaving or transferring from present offices in Lincoln, Luton, Chelmsford, East Grinstead, Sheffield, Darlington, Preston, Chester and Birmingham will not be replaced at those offices. The need for, and location of, further sub-offices will be considered carefully when regional offices are staffed up to complement.

Shire Counties (Manpower)

Mr. Mans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of people employed in (a) the fire services and (b) the library service in the shire counties in 1990.

Mr. Nicholls : The information requested is as follows :


Non-metropolitan counties in England                                      

                          |Full-time  |Part-time  |Total staff            

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Fire service                                                          

    (Regulars and Others) |20,032     |1,296      |21,328                 

(b) Public Libraries and                                                  

    Museums               |10,344     |11,648     |21,992                 

Source: Joint staffing watch for England, March 1990 survey.              

Political Advisers

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the political advisers and public relations advisers currently employed to advise Ministers in his Department, including those persons paid by other organisations and seconded to the Government, giving in every case the source of payment, rate of salary and expenses.

Mr. Chris Patten : Professor D. Pearce is my special (economic) adviser on environmental matters and Mr. P. J. Rock is my special (political) adviser. Mr. R. Marsh is special (political) adviser to the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities, the Minister for Housing and Planning, and the Minister for the Environment and Countryside.

It is not the practice to give information about the salaries of individual advisers as they are negotiated in relation to previous outside earnings and are therefore confidential. The normal civil service rules apply to expenses and each adviser may be provided with secretarial assistance.

No public relations advisers are currently employed by my Department, nor are there any special advisers on secondment.

County Hall, London

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement regarding the future of county hall, London SE1.

Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave on 24 July to my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis).

Council Houses (Defects)

Mr. Gorst : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from or on behalf of people who bought council houses and have


Column 383

been unable to resell them since the Building Research Establishment issued a report in 1987 alleging defects in large panel system dwellings and building societies have refused to accept mortgage risks on such properties ; what action he is taking to deal with the situation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : My Department has received a number of representations about the mortgageability of dwellings built from large panels, and we commissioned our Building Research Establishment to carry out a major study to establish the facts about the structural adequacy and durability of such buildings. That study revealed no general problem of structural safety. We published the report in 1987, and drew it to the attention of major lending institutions, who have confirmed that it is their policy to grant mortgages on large panel system dwellings, judging each building on its merits, in the same way as they do dwellings of more traditional construction.

Local Authorities (Costs)

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, pursuant to his duty of monitoring all new costs imposed on local authorities by Ministers, he will publish, by Department, a list giving the estimate of all such costs in the financial years 1990-91 and 1991-92, subdivided pursuant to (a) Acts passed since 31 July 1989, (b) statutory instruments coming into force since 31 July 1989 and (c) departmental circulars issued since 31 July 1989.

Mr. Chris Patten : The information is not available in the form requested. However, the major new burdens falling to local government in 1990-91 include : community charge collection, the implementation of the Children Act, new initiatives in waste disposal management, and the structural maintenance of bridges after existing EC derogation in respect of lorry weights ends in 1999.

The major new burdens falling to local government in 1991-92 will include the first phase of community care, the expansion of responsibilities relating to mental illness, the code of practice on litter, and new responsibilities arising from the Environmental Protection Bill and the Food Safety Bill.

The best estimates of the costs of these burdens, plus savings resulting from improvements in efficiency or the removal of responsibilities, were taken into account, along with all other relevant factors, when we set the levels of total standard spending for the respective years.

Tanhouse Estate, Skelmersdale

Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what grant he is proposing to make to the West Lancashire district council to upgrade the Tanhouse estate in Skelmersdale under the estate programme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : Estate Action resources to improve the Tanhouse estate have been provisionally earmarked as follows :


          |£ million          

------------------------------

1990-91   |1.150              

1991-92   |1.019              

1992-93   |1.00               

          |-----              

Total     |3.169              

Final approval is subject to agreement on a detailed scheme.

Councillors (Allowances)

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will review the operation of the local authority members' allowance scheme introduced under the provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

Mr. Portillo : Yes. We have already agreed with the local authority associations, in discussing the proposed new system, that there will be a review of its working after about a year.

Housing Act 1988

Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what information he has as to when Westminster council will complete the evaluation of the Walterton and Elgin estate in the matter of the application by the tenants of the estate to change their landlord under the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988 ; (2) if he will take action to ensure that Westminster council does not delay further in processing the applications by tenants of the Walterton and Elgin estates to change their landlord under the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988 ;

(3) what information he has on the reasons for the delay by Westminster council in processing the application by tenants of the Walterton and Elgin estate to change their landlord under the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Under the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988, the local authority has eight weeks to notify the applicant landlord of the price it considers should be paid for the property. Extensions to this period are a matter between the local authority and the applicant landlord, and the Secretary of State has no locus in the matter. I understand that in the case of the Walterton and Elgin estate in Westminster the reasons for the delay are being discussed by the parties concerned, and I hope that the outstanding issues can be speedily resolved.

Sewage Treatment

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment has been made by his Department of the Oxymaster sewage treatment system in regard to the implementation of technological improvements to meet European Community standards on sewage treatment ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My officials have discussed the Oxymaster system in detail with representatives of the manufacturers. However, it is not our practice to recommend one commercial product rather than other alternative products.

Nitrogen Oxides

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey, on 17 July Official Report, column 499, when he expects to receive the final report into evaluation of nitrogen oxide abatement technologies for large combustion plant ; and if he will place a copy in the Library on receipt.


Column 385

Mr. Trippier : My Department expects to receive a final report on NOx abatement technologies for large combustion plant early in the autumn. Consideration will then be given to placing it in the Library.

Antarctica

Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if Antarctic conservation is to be addressed by the environment White Paper.

Mr. Trippier : The White Paper will deal with a wide range of international environment issues, including the environment in the polar regions.

Disabled People (Housing)

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department has or plans to commission any independent research into the housing needs of disabled people and the extent to which those needs are currently being met ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : The Department has commissioned Ernst and Young management consultants to carry out an independent study of the housing needs of elderly and disabled people. They began work on the research this month and aim to complete it in the spring of 1992.

Solvent-free Paint

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department or Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has evaluated the benefits to reduced pollution of the development of solvent- free paint ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : The Harwell laboratory and the Warren Spring laboratory are making a study of volatile organic compounds and their effects under contract to my Department. These studies include the benefits from reducing solvent content of paints.

Mains Water (Connection)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce a system of interim relief in respect of payments for connection to mains water supplies.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We first announced proposals for the introduction of water and sewerage infrastructure charges in May 1989. Introduction was delayed until 1 April 1990. My right hon. Friend has no plans at present to introduce further transitional arrangements.

Hostel Deficit Grants

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it is his policy to increase the number of hostel deficit grants.

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has been considering proposals put to him by the Housing Corporation for replacing hostel deficit grant by a flat-rate allowance. He wrote to the corporation and the National Federation of Housing Associations on 25 July announcing his decision that the


Column 386

allowance should be introduced for new schemes from next April and extended, or equivalent arrangements applied, to existing schemes as soon as practicable. The new grant system should be seen as transitional, since it will need to be kept under review in the light of the evolution of the care in the community policy.

Nature Conservancy Council

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many staff are employed by the Nature Conservancy Council's Great Britain headquarters for the purposes of processing grant applications ; and what number will be required to do this work following the Nature Conservancy Council's reorganisation.

Mr. Trippier : Seven people are currently employed to process grant applications at the Great Britain headquarters of the Nature Conservancy Council. I cannot yet say how many staff may be allocated to this work following reorganisation as staffing levels for the new conservation agencies are still under consideration.

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those persons or organisations that have been consulted over the future funding requirements of the Nature Conservancy Council or the Countryside Commission.

Mr. Trippier : Discussions about the future funding requirements of the successor bodies to the present Nature Conservancy Council and Countryside Commission are taking place between the relevant Government Departments, the existing agencies and the

chairmen-designate of the new bodies.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Mr. Murphy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he is liaising with the department of chemical engineering at Bath university over research into alternative methods of disposing of polychlorinated biphenyls ;

(2) if he will fund research being carried out by the department of chemical engineering at Bath university into alternative methods of disposing of polychlorinated biphenyls.

Mr. Trippier : There are no formal liaison arrangements with the department of chemical engineering at Bath university on research into alternative methods of disposing of polychlorinated biphenyls. Officials in my Department are aware of the work going on there and Professor Thomas is on the mailing list for the environmental protection technology scheme which the Department funds. I am not aware of any recent approach by the university to fund the research being carried out there, but I am happy to consider, in the usual way, any research proposals which the university cares to make.

Air Pollution

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what studies have been undertaken by his Department into the use of lichen to assess the extent of air pollution.

Mr. Trippier : My Department is currently commissioning a review of the use of lichens as one possible method


Column 387

of assessing the extent of air pollution in the United Kingdom. The results of this research will be published in due course.

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the deadline for compliance set by the European Community's directive on sulphur dioxide emissions from large construction plants ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : The deadline for achieving a 60 per cent. reduction on 1980 levels of sulphur dioxide emission levels from existing large combustion plants in the United Kingdom is 2003.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what projects are currently funded by his Department to study air pollution.

Mr. Trippier : My Department's research programme on air pollution currently funds over 40 projects. This programme is reviewed in the Department of the Environment report on research and development 1986-88. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House. This review contains a full list of research reports and papers produced and is currently being updated.

Environmental Management

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he last met his United States counterpart to discuss issues of environmental management.

Mr. Trippier : During the London meeting of the parties to the Montreal protocol in June I was able to discuss a wide range of international environmental issues with Willian Reilly, administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Radioactive Discharges (Sellafield)

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations his Department has received from the Governments of the Republic of Ireland, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Sweden and Denmark, regarding radioactive discharges from the Sellafield nuclear installation.

Mr. Trippier : I will write to the hon. Member.

Sports Council

Mr. Andrew Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what budget his Department has set for allocation to the Sports Council for use in the prevention and detection of drugs in sport.

Mr. Atkins : Government grant in aid to the Sports Council for 1990- 91 is £43.747 million. The Sports Council allocates this according to its priorities. I understand that it has allocated £600, 000 for its drugs testing programme in 1990-91.

Water Pollution

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has had any discussions with Yorkshire Water about pollution of the River Aire in Leeds ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 388

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : It is for the National Rivers Authority, as the body primarily responsible for the control of water pollution, to pursue local issues with dischargers, including, where appropriate, water and sewerage undertakers.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what requirements exist in respect of the fitting of non-return valves to household equipment so as to prevent pollution from water syphoning back into the mains supply.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Water byelaws are in force throughout the United Kingdom that require household equipment to be fitted with non- return valves or other no less effective devices to prevent the pollution of water from water syphoning back into mains supply.

Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to fully implement the recommendations of the 1981 Commission on Energy and the Environment regarding ferruginous discharges into rivers and streams.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Following the commission's recommendations, discharges of waste water from active mine workings--including ferruginous discharges--were brought within the pollution control system for the first time upon implementation by this Goverment of part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. The relevant provisions have been substantially re- enacted in the Water Act 1989. Discharges from abandoned mine workings do however present particular difficulties, as the commission recognised. The ownership of many such workings is unknown and cannot be traced. The National Rivers Authority has been considering the extent of these problems in England and Wales and we shall be discussing further with the authority how they might best be tackled.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey, on 19 July Official Report, column 725, how many authorisations (a) were granted and (b) were in force for discharges of radioactive waste to the public sewer in 1989 in (i) England, (ii) Wales, (iii) Greater London and (iv) East Sussex.

Mr. Trippier : I refer the hon. Member to the Department's "List of Premises in England and Wales currently authorised under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960", a copy of which is in the Library of the House. This lists the authorisations in force at April 1988. The detailed information requested by the hon. Member can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the results of the National Rivers Authority's review of discharge consents and compliance assessment will be made public.

Mr. Trippier : The National Rivers Authority has today published its review of the discharge consent system. The aim of the review is to ensure that the system serves to protect water quality and is effective in enabling pollution control standards to be enforced. I therefore welcome the review as a major and important contribution in this difficult and technical area. It will help to provide a sound basis for the authority's future work in securing lasting improvements in the water environment.


Column 389

The National Rivers Authority has published its review in order that interested parties should have the opportunity to comment on the proposals, before decisions are taken about implementation. I look forward to hearing from the authority what conclusions it draws in the light of the comments it receives.

Urban Development Corporations

Mr. Caborn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library the guidelines given to chairmen and members of urban development corporations where a conflict of interests may arise.

Mr. Portillo : The guidelines are designed to ensure that the duties of urban development corporation chairmen and board members do not conflict with their private interests.

Chairmen are required to sign undertakings which reflect their particular circumstances. If they are involved with companies that might otherwise operate in the urban development area they will normally be required to confirm that the companies will not so operate during the term of their appointment.

Other board members must declare to the board their private interests which might give rise to a conflict. If a particular case gives rise to a possible conflict of interest, the member is required to write in advance to the chairman and it is for the other board members to decide what action to take. Unless the interest is trivial, the member would normally withdraw from the discussion and not vote on it.

Specialised Housing

Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list, for each local authority in England, the number of (a) sheltered housing units, (b) wheelchair housing units and (c) mobility housing units provided, together with the number of units in each category started in each year from 1981 to 1988-89.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Local authorities report the numbers of sheltered dwellings and wheelchair dwellings in their areas in their annual housing investment programme returns (HIP1). The latest figures are for April 1989 and appear in columns A2a1 and A2c1 (local authority owned sheltered and wheelchair dwellings respectively), A2a2 and A2c2 (housing association), A2a3 and A2c3 (other public sector) and A2a4 and A2c4 (private sector) of HIP1 all items print (1989), a copy of which is in the Library. Mobility dwellings are not identified separately from the general housing stock.

The publication "Local Housing Statistics--England and Wales" gives information for individual local authorities in England about the numbers of sheltered dwellings for the elderly started each year and about the numbers of wheelchair and of mobility dwellings for the chronically sick and disabled started each year.

The issue and table numbers that show these data for calendar years from 1981 to 1988 are as follows :


Tables numbers for :                                                       

               |Issue number  |Sheltered     |Wheelchair                   

               |of "Local     |dwellings     | and mobility                

               |Housing                      |dwellings                    

               |Statistics                                                 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

<1><2>1981     |62            |11            |11                           

<1>1982        |66            |7(a)          |7(b)                         

<1>1983        |70            |9             |10                           

<1>1984        |74            |9             |10                           

<1>1985        |78            |10            |11                           

1986           |82            |10            |11                           

1987           |86            |10            |11                           

1988           |90            |12            |13                           

<1> Tables in issues 62 to 78 show dwellings for the elderly: with warden; 

and dwellings for chronically sick and disabled: specially designed and    

mobility.                                                                  

<2> Figures for dwellings for the elderly: with warden, for period July    

1980 to December 1981 are shown in table 7(a) issue number 66.             

Table file CW900726.008 not available

Shire Counties (Education)

Mr. Mans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total estimated expenditure on tertiary education in all shire counties for 1990 ; and what was the total actual expenditure on tertiary education in all shire counties in 1985.

Mr. Nicholls : The available information is as follows. The figures are not on a comparable basis because of changes in the definition of local authority expenditure in 1990-91 and because polytechnics were transferred from the local authority sector in 1989-90.


                       |Actual      |Estimated                

                       |spending on |spending on              

                       |education   |  education              

                       |1985-86     |1990-91                  

                       |£ million   |£ million                

--------------------------------------------------------------

Avon                   |213.2       |n/a                      

Bedfordshire           |122.2       |176.8                    

Berkshire              |155.5       |219.2                    

Buckinghamshire        |136.2       |192.0                    

Cambridgeshire         |133.2       |193.9                    

Cheshire               |217.8       |295.8                    

Cleveland              |152.2       |203.8                    

Cornwall               |87.3        |133.2                    

Cumbria                |108.7       |n/a                      

Derbyshire             |209.1       |315.0                    

Devon                  |197.2       |280.5                    

Dorset                 |112.2       |163.6                    

Durham                 |130.3       |189.0                    

East Sussex            |124.8       |164.7                    

Essex                  |314.3       |442.1                    

Gloucestershire        |106.5       |153.4                    

Hampshire              |320.1       |439.3                    

Hereford and Worcester |133.1       |190.7                    

Hertfordshire          |223.9       |315.2                    

Humberside             |209.9       |281.3                    

Isle of Wight          |24.6        |34.7                     

Kent                   |287.1       |412.1                    

Lancashire             |326.7       |432.2                    

Leicestershire         |216.5       |290.8                    

Lincolnshire           |111.4       |160.1                    

Norfolk                |136.7       |202.2                    

Northamptonshire       |128.2       |179.0                    

Northumberland         |65.9        |96.3                     

North Yorkshire        |143.6       |202.9                    

Nottinghamshire        |250.8       |323.7                    

Oxfordshire            |119.7       |162.7                    

Shropshire             |87.2        |130.6                    

Somerset               |87.4        |138.3                    

Staffordshire          |238.4       |316.2                    

Suffolk                |119.7       |176.1                    

Surrey                 |181.9       |252.4                    

Warwickshire           |101.4       |150.3                    

West Sussex            |114.1       |174.1                    

Wiltshire              |110.3       |n/a                      

n/a = not available                                           

Table file CW900726.010 not available

Column 391

Radioactive Waste Management

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the participation of the United Kingdom in the International Atomic Energy Agency's radioactive waste management advisory programme.

Mr. Trippier : The United Kingdom participates fully in the radioactive waste management advisory programme of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many meetings have taken place between officials of his Department, and other United Kingdom experts, and members of the International Atomic Energy Agency in furthering its radioactive waste management advisory programme in each year since 1987, and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier : My Department is represented on the international radioactive waste management advisory committee of the International Atomic Energy Agency which meets at least every two years. In addition, my officials and United Kingdom experts attend many advisory groups and other ad hoc meetings of the agency each year.

Common Land

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will bring forward detailed proposals on common land.

Mr. Trippier : On 29 January 1987 the then Minister for the Environment, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave) made a statement accepting the case for legislation on common land, at a suitable opportunity when parliamentary time permitted, based broadly on the recommendations of the Countryside Commission's common land forum.

The common lands of England and Wales represent one of our most valuable environmental assets. They include some of our most scenically attractive areas. They are often of great importance for nature conservation. Much common land comprises vital habitat for birds and other wildlife, particularly ground nesting birds protected by the EC birds directive. Although usually in private ownership, common land is often used by the general public as a way of enjoying the countryside.

The aim of our policy is to safeguard the status of common land and to strengthen the ways in which we protect and use it. There are three main requirements.

First, while we welcome the recent House of Lords judgment in the Hazeley Heath case, there remain weaknesses in the legislation governing the registration of common land. As well as ensuring that land correctly registered as common retains that status, we need to be able to remove land that was registered in error.

Secondly, we need new arrangements to ensure that common land is properly managed, in the interests of those who own the land and those who have commoners' rights over it, and to preserve its conservation value.

Thirdly, there is scope to improve public access to common land. The arrangements for this must take account of the particular characteristics of individual commons. The forum recommended that there should be a general right of access to all common land, except where


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