The Attorney-General : Having considered this report the Lord Chancellor has decided that it would be right to invite views on the conclusions reached by the Law Commission and in particular on the question whether, if the case for abolition is in general made out, the remedy of distress for rent should nevertheless be retained for business tenancies.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received concerning his payments to stockbrokers for services rendered in the course of privatisation of the electricity supply industry of England and Wales.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The Secretary of State has received one representation on the payment of selling commissions in respect of the regional electricity companies' share offers. The process of making the relevant payments is under way.
(2) if he will institute a public inquiry to investigate the proposed refuse-to-energy plant in Belvedere.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend has directed Cory Environmental to advertise its application for his consent to construct a waste-fired power station at Belvedere and a period up to 6 June 1991 has been allowed in which objections from the public can be made to him. In addition the local planning authority has until 12 August 1991 by which to make its views on the application known to him.
Until he has seen all such objections and has received the views of the local planning authority, it is too early to say whether a public inquiry will be necessary. However, if the local planning authority objects to the application there is a statutory obligation to call for a public inquiry to be held.
To date, my Department has registered over 50 objections to the application.
Mr. Wakeham : The Council adopted the directive on transit of gas, concluding the package of proposals introduced by the Commission in July 1989 as a first step towards liberalising the Community's energy market. The United Kingdom fully supports that process and looks forward to the introduction of further measures by the Commission to increase competition and open markets in energy.
In the field of energy efficiency, a political agreement was reached on the SAVE programme, which the Commission introduced at the Energy Council in October 1990. SAVE is intended to provide a framework for co-ordinating member states' own programmes of efficient energy use. The way is now clear, once the European Parliament has given its opinion, to adopt the decision.
The Council also considered the Commission's proposals on oil crisis measures and contingency oil stocks. The Council recognised that the Community's existing provisions needed review, but did not agree that the Commission's proposals were appropriate, especially in relation to the International Energy Agency. The Commission will reconsider its proposals.
The Council also briefly discussed the proposed European energy charter.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he published his pamphlet, "Energy, Looking to the Future"; how many copies have been printed ; at what cost ; and to whom the pamphlet is being distributed.
Mr. Wakeham : I published the pamphlet "Energy : Looking to the Future" on 1 May when it was announced via a Department of Energy press release. Initially 1,000 copies were printed at a cost of £1, 238. Demand has been such that another 500 copies have been printed at a cost of £658. The pamphlet has been and continues to be distributed to energy and Lobby journalists and to interested parties in the United Kingdom and overseas.
Column 271the publication of a framework document for Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, and of the first three in the series of executive unit framework documents which describe the responsibilities, freedoms and accountabilities in individual units within the Department-- Official Report , columns 480-81. Customs and Excise have now published framework documents for each of the remaining executive units, comprising :
Accountant and Comptroller General's Office
East Anglia Collection
Information Technology Divisions
Internal Audit Unit
London Airports Collection
London Central Collection
London North and West Collection
London Port Collection
London South Collection
Northern England Collection
Column 272South Wales and Borders Collection
South West England Collection
Tariff and Statistical Office
Training Services Division
Copies of each of the documents have been placed in the Library. This is an important step towards the full operation of Customs and Excise on next steps lines, and is accompanied by continuing progress on the action programme annexed to the framework document for the Department.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give for each available year from 1978 the energy consumption, broken down by fuel, of the buildings occupied by the Treasury, expressing the figures in (a) cash terms, (b) 1990-91 money terms and (c) units of consumption for electricity in kilowatt hours, gas in therms, liquid fuel in litres and solid fuel in tonnes ; and if he will give the square footage of accommodation to which these figures relate.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 3 June 1991] : The hon. Member was given the consumption figures for 1989 in cash terms in the answer of my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Norfolk (Mr. Ryder) on 14 May 1990, in column 274. The information at 1990-91 prices, which covers major offices only, is as follows :
Gas Electricity Liquid fuel |'000 therms|£'000 |'000 kWh |£'000 |'000 litres|£'000 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Consumption-1 April 1990 to 31 March 1991 Government Offices, Great George Street, London SW1 |204.0 |42.9 |3,375 |193.0 |42.4 |8.7 (311,500 sq ft) Chessington Computer Centre, Surrey |- |- |935 |42.6 |248.0 |27.0 (86,600 sq ft) Riverwalk House, London SW1 |68.1 |18.1 |1,328 |81.5 |- |- (72,200 sq ft) Consumption-1 January 1989 to 31 December 1989 Government Offices, Great George Street, London SW1 |169.0 |41.6 |3,341 |189.6 |42.0 |4.4 (331,500 sq ft) Chessington Computer Centre, Surrey |1.0 |0.3 |935 |42.8 |97.0 |11.3 (86,600 sq ft) Riverwalk House, London SW1 |57.0 |14.8 |1,449 |79.0 |- |- (72,200 sq ft) Note: All figures rounded.
Figures for years before 1989 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the extra yield in a full year if income tax were unified with national insurance contribution at a rate of 34 per cent. assuming (a) no change to higher rate income tax and (b) higher rate income tax at 49 per cent.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 4 June 1991] : At 1991-92 income levels, it is estimated that the net yield of increasing the basic rate of income tax to 34 per cent. and of abolishing national insurance contributions for employees and the self-employed would be about £0.8 billion. This yield would increase to about £3.8 billion if
Column 272the higher rate of income tax were increased to 49 per cent. These estimates ignore any behavioural effects which might result from such changes.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total amount spent by his Department in the 1990-91 financial year on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases ; and if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by his Department in 1990-91, giving in each case the name
Column 273of the consultancy firm, the subject of the assignment and, if appropriate, the executive agency for which the contract was carried out.
Mr. Chope : With the co-operation of the police, the Department has recently run successful campaigns against road tax evaders in the London and Strathclyde areas. In June, a regional blitz has been launched covering the north-east of England and more are planned during 1991. Such action is very effective both in deterring potential evaders and in catching offenders who have failed to heed the warnings given.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many accidents there have been involving motor vehicles at railway crossings with barriers (a) in Wales and (b) in Britain in each year since 1985-86 ;
(2) how many accidents there have been involving motor vehicles at open railway crossings (a) in Wales and (b) in Britain in each year since 1985- 86.
Mr. Freeman : The information requested in respect of Britain as a whole for the years 1985-89 is set out in the table. Details for 1990 are not yet available, but will be published in the Health and Safety Executive's annual report on railway safety later in the year. Separate information for Welsh crossings is not readily available.
Crossings with barriers Year |Number of accidents ------------------------------------------------------------ 1985 |11 1986 |10 1987 |6 1988 |8 1989 |3
Open crossings (includes those with and without traffic signals) Year |Number of |accidents ------------------------------ 1985 |16 1986 |11 1987 |15 1988 |20 1989 |10
Mr. Freeman : Installation costs range between £100,000 and £135, 000, depending on the type of crossing. Annual running costs for crossings with automatic half barriers are about £12,000. Running costs for manually controlled crossings depend on the level of manning.
Mr. Freeman : Following the accident at an automatic open crossing at Lockington in 1986, Professor P. F. Stott was appointed to carry out a review of safety at this type of crossing. He recommended that safety at some crossings might be improved either by providing half-barriers or by a reduction in the speed at which the train approaches the crossings.
All proposed speed reductions at crossings have now been implemented. Under the Stott recommendations 126 crossings were to be converted to half- barriers. Of these, 38 crossings have been converted to standard automatic half-barrier protection and six have been converted to automatic barrier crossings locally monitored by the train driver.
BR's target for completion of this work is late 1992. The Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate is keeping the programme under review and regularly monitors progress.
|auto open crossings |auto barriercrossings ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) In Wales |29 |10 (b) In Britain |190 |370 Note:-(b) include (a)
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have been killed in each year since 1985-86 in accidents involving (a) open railway crossings and (b) crossings with barriers.
Year |Fatalities at |Fatalities at |crossings with|open |barriers |crossings<1> ------------------------------------------------------------ 1985 |3 |2 1986 |5 |<2>11 1987 |2 |2 1988 |2 |2 1989 |- |2 <1> Includes those with and without traffic signals. <2> All fatalities in one accident at Lockington.
Mr. Freeman : For automatic open level crossings the average installation cost is £73,000 and the annual running costs are about £12,000. Figures for open crossings with no lights are not readily available.
|Current £ |Previous £ ------------------------------------------------------------ Motorcycles not over 150cc |15 |10 Over 150cc up to 250cc |30 |20 All other motorcycles |50 |40
The last increase was in 1985.
Mr. McLoughlin : My right hon. and learned Friend is considering a revised offer put forward by Racal Electronics plc to extend the life of the Decca navigator system into the next century. He expects to reach a decision shortly.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list the organisations which have shown reasonable cause as outlined in section 15(1) of the Road Vehicle (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971 to receive personal data from the DVLA ; whether he has discussed the DVLA's disclosure procedures with the Data Protection Registrar ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chope : Regulation 15 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971 requires the Secretary of State to provide, free of charge from the vehicle register, names and addresses of vehicle keepers to the police and local authorities for use in connection with an offence. The information must also be made available to others who can show reasonable cause for their inquiry. There is no list of organisations which have shown reasonable cause as each request is dealt with on its merits when it is received.
Column 277The advice of the Data Protection Registrar has been sought on a number of occasions about DVLA's disclosure procedures, most recently on 15 April 1991. He has expressed himself satisfied.
Mr. John Browne : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on what action is to be taken by the railways inspectorate following the examination of a door which revealed a fault in its slam-shut locking mechanism during an investigation into the death of a passenger who fell from the Birmingham to London InterCity train on 3 December 1990.
Mr. Freeman : At the coroner's inquest into this fatality at Carpenders park, an open verdict was returned. No evidence was available to show from which door, or in what circumstances, the deceased had fallen from the train. I understand that when BR examined the train later, a hinge on one door was found to be faulty, but not unsafe.
The Health and Safety Commission announced on 3 May that Her Majesty's railway inspectorate, and other specialist resources within the Health and Safety Executive, will undertake an investigation into the pattern of falls from passenger trains and whether, or the extent to which, they could be attributable to the design of doors or locks. The results of the investigation, which is now under way, will be published.
Mr. Freeman : My right hon. and learned Friend has not met the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission to discuss the current investigation into train doors. He plans to meet Dr. Cullen shortly to discuss railway safety generally.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will now introduce regulations to revise the orange badge scheme for disabled drivers in conformity with the views of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and other disabled person's organisations.