Mr. Hardy : To ask the Attorney-General what information he has on the nature and extent of training or briefing organised for judges, by the Judicial Studies Board or otherwise, in connection with the introduction of the Children Act 1989.
The Attorney-General : Twenty one one-day seminars on the Children Act 1989, held in London and the large provincial centres, were attended by High Court judges, circuit judges, district judges, magistrates and justices' clerks. The speakers included paediatricians, child psychiatrists, directors of social services, guardians, court welfare officers and legal academics and the philosophy and new approach required by the Act were thoroughly explored. Residential seminars were attended by the designated family liaison judges and the nominated care judges. At further one-day seminars, district judges and justices' clerks worked out the local operation of the Act. A training pack was commissioned from the Open university for the use of those who train justices of the peace. A special seminar was arranged for the Law Lords and the judges of the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Attorney-General how many days of training have had to be undertaken by magistrates who serve on domestic benches in the current year both in respect of their normal duties and of their work in connection with the Children Act 1989.
The Attorney-General : Since training for magistrates is organised locally by magistrates courts committees and no records are kept centrally it is not possible to state how many days of training have been carried out. However, the Children Act training syllabus requires 13.5 hours, and an extra three hours for panel chairmen. How much other training magistrates undertake depends on local requirements.
Column 74now use gas and how much in each case ; what increase in the use of gas for power generation is forecast over the years 1991 to 1995 ; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards the use of gas for this purpose.
Mr. Moynihan : Gas accounted for just over 1 per cent. of the total amount of fuel used for power generation in the United Kingdom in 1990. The total amount of gas used for power generation in the United Kingdom in 1990 was estimated to have been in the region of 400 million therms--"Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 1991", table 53, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The amount of gas used by individual stations is a commercial matter for the companies concerned.
Those stations currently operating in England and Wales with the capacity to use gas as a fuel for electricity generation of 50 MW or above, and that hold such consent under section 14 of the Energy Act 1976, are as follows :
Organisation |Location --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lakeland Power |Roosecote, Cumbria London Transport Executive |Greenwich, London London Transport Executive |Lots Road, Chelsea, London
Any increase in the use of gas in the period up to 1995 will depend upon commercial decisions taken by the companies currently in, or proposing to enter, the electricity generation market. My Department is currently aware of around two dozen projects for power stations intending to use gas as their fuel.
I refer my hon. Friend to my answer given to the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Pike) on 11 November, at column 768, which outlines my Department's policy towards the use of gas for power generation.
Mr. Moynihan : The Government are committed to the development of all sources of renewable energy which have the potential to be economically viable and environmentally acceptable. From 1 April 1979 up to 31 march 1991 over £174 million has been spent on renewables research and development. The budget for this year is a record £24 million.
Outturn expenditure from 1979-80 on my Department's renewable energy research, development and demonstration programme is set out, by technology, in the table.
Department of Energy R, D & D expenditure on renewable energy £ million |1979-80|1980-81|1981-82|1982-83|1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Wind |0.6 |0.8 |0.9 |2.5 |2.5 |4.8 |5.4 |3.7 |4.0 |3.9 |4.8 |4.5 Wave |3.0 |3.3 |4.4 |3.1 |1.0 |0.4 |0.4 |0.1 |0.2 |0.1 |0.1 |0.4 Geothermal aquifers |1.3 |1.7 |2.6 |1.5 |1.8 |1.1 |0.3 |0.1 |0 |0.1 |0.2 |0 Geothermal hot dry rocks |0 |0.6 |5.6 |3.0 |2.9 |4.6 |3.5 |3.5 |3.6 |3.5 |3.3 |2.6 Solar |1.2 |0.9 |0.7 |1.4 |0.9 |0.5 |0.7 |0.9 |1.1 |1.4 |1.9 |2.1 Biomass<1> |0.1 |0.4 |0.4 |1.2 |0.7 |1.1 |0.8 |1.3 |2.2 |1.5 |1.4 |1.8 Tide |0.6 |1.4 |0.4 |0 |0 |0.3 |0.1 |0.1 |1.4 |1.2 |1.1 |1.9 Hydro/General studies |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0.8 |0.8 |0.8 |1.0 Technology transfer and promotion |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0.7 |1.0 |1.6 |2.7 ETSU services |1.4 |2.2 |2.3 |2.0 |1.9 |2.1 |2.0 |2.3 |2.3 |2.5 |2.7 |3.8 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- |8.2 |11.3 |17.3 |14.7 |11.7 |14.9 |13.2 |12.0 |16.3 |16.0 |17.9 |20.8 <1> Includes expenditure on "waste as a fuel" projects under the Energy Efficiency Office Demonstration scheme. Note: Up to 1986-87 total for R & D also includes expenditure on low head hydro and general studies to 1986-87. These are separately identified for 1987-88 and include work carried out by the Chief Scientist Group, ETSU.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The report of the coal task force about the way forward for coal research development and demonstration in the United Kingdom was published in August as a consultation document. This has led to a substantial number of comments from United Kingdom industry and overseas organisations. The great majority of the comments we have received acknowledged the thoroughness of the work undertaken by the coal task force. The Department is in the process of reviewing the comments and in some cases we may need to seek further clarification concerning the technical issues raised by the consultation. The Department intends to publish the results of the consultation process and its response next year.
The completion of this review is not holding up the initiation of new coal R and D projects. In partnership with United Kingdom industry, British Coal and overseas agencies we have recently launched five new clean coal projects with a contract value of £20 million. A number of further projects are at the planning stage for which announcements will be made in due course.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to reach a decision under the terms of the pooling and settlement agreement about on-site generation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is fully seized of the importance of the issue and is concerned to find the most appropriate solution. He will announce his decision in due course.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the locations of the television sets in his Department which can receive the live television feed from the Chamber, and the total cost to his Department of this service.
Mr. Wakeham : The only television set in my Department which can receive the live feed from the Chamber is in the press office. It is supplied by the Central Office of Information at a total cost of £15, 427.25 for the 12 months to 30 November 1991.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consideration he has given to Dr. Brenda Boardman's study on behalf of Neighbourhood Energy Action entitled "Ten Years Cold", and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I received a copy of this report when I attended its launch on 12 November. I am studying it with interest. The Energy Efficiency Office's budget for the promotion of energy efficiency in low-income households for 1992-93 is some £40 million, an increase of 50 per cent. on this year's budget.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all incidences where the United Kingdom Government have been reported to the European Court of Justice on the ground of failure to comply with an EC environmental directive ; and what has been the adjudication of the court.
Mr. Baldry : The European Commission has to date made two applications to the European Court of Justice against the United Kingdom under article 169 of the treaty of Rome in connection with alleged infringements of EC environmental directives :
Case 337/89 concerns various aspects relating to the implementation of directive 80/778/EEC on the quality of water for human consumption.
Case 56/90 concerns implementation of directive 76/160/EEC on the quality of bathing water at Blackpool, Southport and Formby. The court has not yet issued a judgment in either case.
Mr. Key : The 1990 corporate plan provides forecast outputs of 53, 000 jobs within the urban development area by the end of 1990-91 and 65,600 by 1991-92. The corporation aims to improve the training and job opportunities available to local people and assist them to enter the employment market.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement concerning investigations by the Property Services Agency into the removal of historic fixtures and fittings from the Probate Registry in Cardiff road, Llandaff, Cardiff.
Mr. Yeo : The National Audit Office report claimed that considerable internal alterations some time ago had resulted in the removal of virtually all historic internal elements and little of much value remains within the Probate Registry in Llandaff. It is clear that some of the early contents of this building, such as internal doors and fireplaces, were removed when part of it was converted into offices over 20 years ago--well before the building was listed. Much of the original interior still remains, however, including most of the ceilings, although these were hidden from the NAO inspector by false ceilings.
This property became the responsibility of Property Holdings on 1 April 1990 and during the financial year 1990-91 Property Holdings initiated masonry repairs, stonework cleaning and renewal of windows. In fact, previous masonry repairs using cement and stone dust have now been replaced with stonework closely matching the original Ashlar work and these high- standard repairs have been favourably commented upon by NAO in its report. The Lord Chancellor's Department, the occupant, accepted total maintenance responsibility for this property from 1 April 1991. It is, however, aware of the need to keep Property Holdings and the DOE conservation unit fully involved in any proposals to carry out future repairs or alterations.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by district authorities in Cumbria all capital receipts from the sale of council houses received each year since the introduction of the right to buy, together with totals to date.
Sir George Young : The total discounted values of all sales of houses and flats for each year from 1980-81, as reported by local authorities, are in the table. Actual cash receipts in any year will depend on the extent to which the sales were financed by loans from the authorities.
Cumbria<1> Discounted value of all sales (£ 000) Local authority |1980-81 |1981-82 |1982-83 |1983-84 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Allerdale |117 |1,591 |1,330 |1,772 Barrow-in-Furness 40 1,195 n/a n/a Carlisle |7 |4,205 |3,885 |3,422 Copeland |70 |1,138 |6,140 |3,284 Eden |- |1,678 |1,897 |1,114 South Lakeland |- |2,522 |4,427 |2,639 |1984-85 |1985-86 |1986-87 |1987-88 Allerdale |1,692 |1,016 |1,086 |n/a Barrow-in-Furness 1,270 n/a n/a n/a Carlisle |2,464 |2,277 |2,832 |4,654 Copeland |1,796 |1,458 |1,827 |n/a Eden |664 |692 |829 |1,475 South Lakeland |2,762 |2,385 |2,266 |3,243 |Total |April 1980 to |1988-89 |1989-90 |1990-91 |March 1991 Allerdale |n/a |1,636 |2,554 |n/a Barrow-in-Furness n/a n/a 3,238 n/a Carlisle |6,364 |8,783 |3,967 |42,860 Copeland |n/a |n/a |2,354 |n/a Eden |3,172 |2,483 |1,177 |15,181 South Lakeland |4,222 |5,744 |3,669 |33,879 <1> Figures shown are as reported by individual authorities. n/a indicates that the information is not available.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the total usable capital receipts held by each district authority in Cumbria, together with outstanding loans at the latest convenient date.
Sir George Young : The outstanding loan debt as at 31 March 1990 and the total accumulated usable capital receipts as at 1 April 1990 and also 1 April 1991, for all district authorities in Cumbria are in the table :
Authority Outstanding Accumulated |Loan Debt |Usable Receipts |31 March 1990 |1 April 1990 |1 April 1991 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Allerdale |57,707 |1,693 |1,200 Barrow-in-Furness |37,206 |1,471 |2,497 Carlisle |<1>46,106 |4,168 |690 Copeland |30,861 |1,101 |642 Eden |14,140 |1,954 |814 South Lakeland |23,313 |2,911 |1,809 <1> Outstanding loan debt as at 31 March 1989 (Source: Departmental returns) The data are expressed in £'000s.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimates he has made of the likely increases in emissions of vanadium and other heavy metals that would result from the conversion of Pembroke and other power stations to burning orimulsion, and the effect this would have on the United Kingdom's ability to meet its obligations under The Hague convention on discharges into the North sea.
Mr. Baldry : Power stations that are currently burning orimulsion or which are proposing to burn orimulsion will be required by HM pollution inspectorate to meet an emission limit for particulate material as tight or tighter than that required for heavy fuel oil. They will also be required to use adequate abatement equipment to meet this limit. An increase in the emission of vanadium and other heavy metals is not expected. This will not affect our obligations under The Hague convention.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has been undertaken into the effectiveness of electrostatic precipitators in capturing vanadium and other heavy metals emitted from burning orimulsion in power stations and into whether wet flue gas desulphurisation systems in addition to electrostatic precipitators would be efficient in capturing these pollutants.
Column 79burning of orimulsion. It is expected that they will be at least as effective as for other particulate matter. There is only limited experience of the effectiveness of wet flue gas desulphurisation in series with electrostatic precipitators, but, in any event, care will be taken to control emissions of heavy metals from power stations fitted with wet flue gas desulphurisation systems.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what consultations he has had with the promoters of the over-the-shop campaign about achieving better residential use of excess retail outlets accommodation ;
(2) what guidance he has given to high-street retailers in relation to the alternative potential residential use of unused capacity in their premises ;
(3) what guidance he has given local authorities to help them promote the use for residential accommodation of spare capacity in retailing outlets.
Mr. Yeo : We have invited local authorities to bid for £25 million over the next three years to bring flats over shops into residential use. Officials have had discussions with two organisations : Homes over the Shop and Living over the Shop. The latter receives grant from the Department and its director is on our steering group. A guidance note for local authorities was sent out on 25 November. Similar information will be made available to retailers shortly.
Mr. Baldry : We shall seek to introduce legislation to secure the protection of key hedgerows when parliamentary time permits. Meanwhile, we are taking steps to draw up our proposed scheme to provide new incentives for hedgerow management, and hope to make a further statement on the proposed new scheme early in the new year.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his current estimate of the total cost of paying back the debt on (a) a council house and (b) a housing association property over the full repayment period.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy that the local government commission should complete its examination of the overall structure of local government before making decisions about individual local authority areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : We propose to ask the local government commission to review the structure of local government in the shire counties area by area. The Local Government Bill provides for orders to implement changes to be laid before both Houses of Parliament, following recommendations from the commission.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what extra measures he intends to take this winter to provide help for homeless people sleeping rough in Coventry in snow or extreme cold ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Yeo : In the event of severe weather this winter, I would expect individual local authorities to make emergency provision for people sleeping rough in their areas. In 1991-92 the Government are already providing just under £6 million in grants to voluntary organisations throughout the United Kingdom for practical projects to prevent and relieve homelessness. Among those being funded are Coventry Cyrenians and the Coventry day centre.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment in relation to the toxic waste disposal site at Ewelme, Oxfordshire (a) what reports he has received of leakage and contamination of groundwater, (b) what is the extent of the contamination, (c) what measures are being taken to clear up the pollution and (d) whether he will call in the planning application to extend the site submitted by S. Grundans Ltd.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 2 December 1991] : I understand that routine monitoring of the waste disposal site at Ewelme by Oxfordshire county council, as the waste disposal authority, has identified chlorinated solvents in nearby groundwater. Mains supply drinking water is unaffected, but local environmental health officers are making urgent quality checks on water from nearby boreholes and wells. The site operator, S. Grundans, is also seeking consultants' advice on the extent of pollution and on possible remedial measures. The county council, as planning authority, has the planning application under consideration and are presently consulting on a submitted environmental statement. When consultation is completed it will be in a position to consider the matter further in the light of local criteria. The Secretary of State would generally consider calling in the application only if planning issues of more than local importance were involved.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what would be the revenue yield for (a) the first year and (b) in a full year, asssuming this is introduced at the beginning of 1991-92, and (c) in the first year and (d) in a full year, assuming this is introduced at the beginning of 1992-93, in Northern Ireland of national insurance contributions on unearned income at a rate of 9 per cent. for individuals under retirement age, subject to (i) a £3, 000 exemption, (ii) a £3,500 exemption and (iii) a £4,000 exemption, respectively ;
(2) what would be the revenue yield (a) in the first year and (b) in a full year, asssuming this is introduced at the beginning of 1991-92, and (c) in the first year and (d) in a full year, assuming this is introduced at the beginning of 1992-93, in Great Britain of national insurance
Column 81contributions on unearned income at a rate of 9 per cent. for individuals under retirement age, subject to (i) a £3,000 exemption, (ii) a £3,500 exemption and (iii) a £4,000 exemption, respectively ;
Threshold |Yield £ |£ million ------------------------------ 3,000 |870 3,500 |820 4,000 |780
The amount of revenue collected in the first year would depend on the administrative arrangements for collecting such a charge. The corresponding yield in 1992-93 would depend on the levels of investment income for that year.
I regret that it is not possible to provide separate information for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
These estimates take no account of any possible behavioural changes following the introduction of such a charge.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) basic rate and (b) higher-rate taxpayers in 1991-92, in Northern Ireland would be affected by the introduction of national insurance contributions on unearned income at a rate of 9 per cent. for individuals under retirement age, subject to a £3,000 exemption, giving the average annual charge per individual with gross incomes between (i) £10,000 and £20,000, (ii) £20,000 and £30,000, (iii) £30, 000 and £40,000, (iv) £40,000 and £50,000 and (v) over £50,000, respectively ;
(2) how many (a) basic rate and (b) higher-rate taxpayers in 1991-92, in Great Britain would be affected by the introduction of national insurance contributions on unearned income at a rate of 9 per cent. for individuals under retirement age, subject to a £3,000 exemption, giving the average annual charge per individual with gross incomes between (i) £10,000 and £20,000, (ii) £20,000 and £30,000, (iii) £30,000 and £40,000, (iv) £40,000 and £50,000 and (v) over £50, 000, respectively.
Individuals aged under 65 with investment income over £3,000 in 1991-92 Basic rate taxpayers<1> Higher rate taxpayers Individual total income (£ per annum) |Numbers |Average<2> |Numbers |Average<2> |(000s) |(£) |(000s) |(£) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 0-10,000 |230 |160 |- |- 10,000-20,000 |340 |280 |- |- 20,000-30,000 |180 |440 |20 |800 30,000-40,000 |neg. |- |120 |800 40,000-50,000 |- |- |60 |930 50,000 and over |- |- |160 |2,990 <1>Liable at basic rate only. <2>Average charge payable at a rate of 9 per cent.
I regret that it is not possible to provide information for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
These estimates take no account of any possible behavioural changes following the introduction of such a charge.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the number of taxpayers who were liable in the latest financial year for which information is available, to capital gains tax in (a) Great Britain and (b) Northern Ireland.
Mr. Maude : The current estimate of the number of individuals and trusts liable to pay capital gains tax on gains realised in 1990-91 is 100,000. I regret that separate figures for Great Britain and Northern Ireland are not available.
The Treasury seeks to implement the relevant parts of the civil service code of practice on the employment of
Column 82people with disabilities. We seek to provide a working environment that allows all colleagues, including the disabled, to compete equally, while respecting an individual's right not to be seen as seeking special treatment. £100,000 has been spent on a series of adaptions to the central Treasury office building in Whitehall to allow wheelchair-bound staff and visitors independent access to and use of most of the building. Further money has been spent making similar improvements to the five other Treasury office buildings and on other forms of support for people with different disabilities. The Treasury has appointed a number of staff to offer advice and support in response to individual needs. Line managers across the whole Department have been sent a personal copy of the summary of the civil service code of practice. Work is in hand to draw together and publish a guide on the support available to disabled staff.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has concerning the extent to which other member countries of the European Community have adopted systems of lower levels of excise duties on the products of smaller brewers.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Beer produced by smaller brewers in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands is subject to lower rates of excise duty. Their daily systems provide either a single reduced rate for
Column 83brewers producing less than a certain annual quantity, or a number of lower rates which are applied as a sliding scale according to production levels.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to introduce into the United Kingdom a system of lower levels of excise duty on the products of smaller brewers.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has concerning the policy of the European Commission to the system of lower levels of excise duties on the products of smaller brewers which is adopted by other member countries of the European Community.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : In framing its proposals concerning the harmonisation of beer duty, the Commission included an option for member states to apply a single reduced rate of duty on beer brewed by small brewers. At the Economic and Finance Council meeting on 24 June it was decided that this option would apply to brewers producing less than 200,000 hectolitres per annum--122,250 barrels--with the reduced rate set at not more than 50 per cent. below the standard national rate.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the locations of the television sets in his Department which can receive the live television feed from the Chamber, and the total cost to his Department of this service.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Minister of State
The cost to the Department is £13,421.65, inclusive of VAT.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether people required to have a medical examination to renew an LGV licence or on reaching the age of 46 years are able to claim the cost of the medical examination against income tax.