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Renewable Energy

Mr. Dafis : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make it his policy to consider the encouragement of 15-year rolling contracts for renewable energy projects as part of his Department's review into the non-fossil fuel obligation system.

Mr. Eggar : I expect to take decisions on the policy framework for a further renewables order under the non-fossil fuel obligation in the light of the recommendations in the forthcoming report from the Renewable Energy Advisory Group.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to publish the report of the Renewable Energy Advisory Group.

Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 2 November 1992, Official Report, column 60.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what representations he has made to the European Commission on the desirability of funding both the nuclear and renewable energy sectors when extending the non-fossil fuel obligation ;

(2) what representations he has made to European Commission officials within the last six months concerning the extension of the non-fossil fuel obligation and its effect on the Community's competition policy.

Mr. Eggar : My Department is in discussion with the European Commission concerning the 1998 limitation on the non-fossil fuel obligation in respect to renewables. My Department has not made any representations to the Commission about further funding for the nuclear sector.

Pit Closures

Mr. Cummings : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what guidelines have been set by his Department for Boyds Mining Consultants in relation to the assessment of viability of the 21 collieries under current review ;

(2) what methodology will be used by Boyds Mining Consultants to assess the viability of each of the 21collieries currently under review.

Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend for Waveney (Mr. Porter) on 20November 1992, Official Report, column 433 .


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Mr. Cummings : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the likely cost to the Exchequer for work to be carried out by Boyds Mining Consultants in relation to the viability study on the 21 collieries under current review.

Mr. Eggar : Details of contractual terms between the Department and its consultants are commercially confidential.

Mr. Cummings : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many private companies have expressed an interest in operating any number of the 10 collieries at present in the review procedure and due to close in January1993.

Mr. Eggar : My Department knows of eight private sector companies which have expressed potential interest in operating one or more of the 10 collieries currently subject to statutory consultation.

Mr. Cummings : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many consultancies were asked to tender by his Department to assess the viability of the 21 collieries under present review.

Mr. Eggar : John T. Boyd Company was the only consultancy approached. In the light of its previous work for the Department, it is uniquely well-placed to complete the study in the very limited time available. I am satisfied that its appointment represents good value for money.

Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what external legal advice he has taken over who is responsible for the cost of cleaning any future river pollution arising from the closure of collieries ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : The relevant legislation on water pollution and, in particular, discharges into the United Kingdom's river system, the Water Resources Act 1991, is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he has had with British Coal and the National Rivers Authority about the environmental effects of proposed colliery closures ; what consultancy work is planned and by whom ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : None. I understand that there is regular liaison between British Coal and the NRA at local and regional levels on all issues relevant to the NRA's responsibilities for regulating water pollution.

Trade Statistics

Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what were the United Kingdom monthly volumes of imports and exports for each month this year.

Mr. Needham : Information on United Kingdom visible trade in index form is published in "Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics", which is available in the Library of the House.

Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of United Kingdom trade was with (a) Group of Seven countries, (b) EC countries and (c) G7 or EC countries, in each year since 1980.


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Mr. Needham : The information is given in the table.


|c|Table: United Kingdom total visible       

trade<1>|c|                                  

Per cent.                                    

Year     |G7<2>   |EC<3>   |EC or G7         

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

1980     |39.0    |45.2    |60.8             

1981     |40.1    |44.5    |61.7             

1982     |41.3    |45.7    |63.3             

1983     |43.4    |47.4    |65.4             

1984     |43.9    |47.4    |65.6             

1985     |45.4    |49.0    |67.4             

1986     |46.0    |50.3    |68.1             

1987     |47.0    |51.3    |69.0             

1988     |47.2    |51.4    |69.4             

1989     |47.7    |51.6    |70.0             

1990     |47.6    |52.7    |70.6             

1991     |47.2    |54.0    |70.9             

<1> Exports plus imports.                    

<2> G7 countries, other than the United      

Kingdom, are Canada, US, Germany, including  

former East Germany, France, Italy and       

Japan.                                       

<3> EC countries, other than the United      

Kingdom, are Germany, including former East  

Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,   

France, Italy, Denmark, Irish Republic,      

Greece, Spain and Portugal.                  

Source: "Monthly Review of External Trade    

Statistics".                                 

Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what percentage United Kingdom trade was as a proportion of gross national product for each year since 1980.

Mr. Needham The information is in the attached table.


|c|United Kingdom exports of goods and services as a  

percentage of|c|                                      

|c|GNP at current factor cost|c|                      

Year              |Exports as                         

                  |percentage of GNP                  

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

1980              |30                                 

1981              |29                                 

1982              |29                                 

1983              |29                                 

1984              |31                                 

1985              |32                                 

1986              |28                                 

1987              |28                                 

1988              |25                                 

1989              |26                                 

1990              |26                                 

1991              |26                                 

Source: CSO Blue Book.                                

Timber

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what three countries import the most timber into the United Kingdom ; what were the comparable countries in 1980 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Needham : In 1991, Canada, Sweden and Finland were the main exporters of timber into the United Kingdom. In 1980, the main sources of timber imports into the United Kingdom were Canada, Finland and the Soviet Union.

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much timber was imported into the United Kingdom in each year since 1989 ; what guidelines are followed to ensure that this timber is not imported from countries defying safe environmental directives ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Needham : Statistics on timber imports are published in the "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom," a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Her Majesty's Customs and Excise is responsible for enforcing the restrictions on imports provided for under the convention on international trade in endangered species. The Government's policy is to encourage sustainable management of forests ; wider restrictions on timber exports are neither practicable nor desirable.

Coal Industry

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make representations at the forthcoming EC Energy Council concerning subsidies to the German coal industry ; whether he will consult at the Energy Council with other EC nations concerning the proposed pit closure programme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : I expect there to be a discussion at the next meeting of the Energy Council on 30 of this month of the coal industry throughout the Community.

Energy Programmes

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals Her Majesty's Government will make to the forthcoming EC Energy Council concerning the ALTENER and SAVE programmes ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : At the Council my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade intends to recommend that the terms of the ALTENER decision are politically agreed and that consideration of the SAVE directive, relating to non-traded goods, should continue. Final adoption of either item is not possible until after the European Parliament's opinion has been received.

Dr. Howells : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the amounts and specific sources of European-sourced funding received by (a) the fast reactor programme and (b) the Atomic Energy Authority fusion programme in 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Mr. Eggar : The UK programme in support of the European fast reactor collaboration does not receive any funds from European sources. The AEA's fusion programme receives support from Euratom as part of the AEA's contract of association with Euratom. In 1991-92 the contribution was £3.9 million and in 1992-93 it is expected to be in the order of £2.4 million.

Dr. Howells : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the level of Government funding for 1992-93 and 1993-94 to (a) the fast reactor programme and (b) the Atomic Energy Authority fusion programme.

Mr. Eggar : 1992-93, provision for the fast reactor and fusion programmes is set out in the Supply estimates for 1992-93, class V, vote 2, section D, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library. For 1993-94 the allocation of funds for individual nuclear research and development programmes has yet to be determined.

Dr. Howells : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many people are employed in each site currently (a) on the fast reactor programme and (b) on the Atomic Energy Authority fusion programme.


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Mr. Eggar : This is a management matter for the AEA. I am asking the chairman of the AEA to write to the hon. Member.

Insurance Agents

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will outline the powers available to him to resolve a failure to agree between the Securities and Investments Board and the Office of Fair Trading on disclosure rules for insurance agents.

Mr. Nelson : I have been asked to reply.

The Financial Services Act 1986 confers on the Treasury specific functions in relation to competition. In particular, sections 121(2) and (3) and 122(7) mean that the Treasury may exercise certain powers if, after receiving a report from the Director General of Fair Trading under section 122(4) or (6), it considers that any rules made by the Securities and Investments Board in the exercise of functions transferred it to have, or are intended or likely to have, to any significant extent the effect of restricting, distorting or preventing competition and that that effect is greater than is necessary for the protection of investors. The powers available under section 121(3) of the Financial Services Act are (a) to make an order resuming all or some of SIB's functions ; and (b) to direct the agency to take specified steps for the purpose of securing that the rules do not have the relevant effect.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to decide upon, and publish, rules on disclosure for insurance agents ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nelson : I have been asked to reply.

Rules on disclosure under the Financial Services Act 1986 are primarily a matter for the Securities and Investments Board and self-regulating organisations. The Director General of Fair Trading is currently considering the rules.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he has taken to promote discussions between the Securities and Investment Board and the Office of Fair Trading on disclosure rules for insurance agents.

Mr. Nelson : I have been asked to reply.

Any such discussions are a matter for the bodies concerned.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many sets of draft rules on disclosure for insurance agents have been submitted to him.

Mr. Nelson : I have been asked to reply.

The Securities and Investments Board and the Life Assurance and Unit Trust Regulatory Organisation published detailed new rules on disclosure and standards of advice in connection with the marketing of life assurance on 22 July. They have stated that they will not be bringing the new rules into force until after they have been considered by the Director General of Fair Trading.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to receive the Office of Fair Trading report on the Securities and Investment Board's proposals on disclosure rules for insurance agents.


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Mr. Nelson : I have been asked to reply.

The timing of any such report is a matter for the Director General of Fair Trading.

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Dr. David Clark : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much of the Export Credits Guarantee Department support for medium-term credit between 1983 and 1987 was extended to defence equipment.

Mr. Needham [holding answer 18 November 1992] : ECGD does not record figures separately as between cash and credit sales. The figures exclude support provided by the now privatised Insurance Services Group.


1983-87                             

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

Total (£ million)   |11,891         

Defence (£ million) |1,726          

Percentage          |14.5           

Assisted Areas

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many representations he has received in total for Great Britain to his consultation paper on assisted areas.

Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 16 November 1992] : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 20 November, Official Report, column 434.

WALES

Acid Deposits

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what forecast he has made as to when acid depositions in all areas of Wales will fall below critical load levels.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : As indicated by the maps on page 99 of "This Common Inheritance : The Second Year Report" (Cm 2068), we expect the area of Wales subject to acid depositions in excess of critical loads to be significantly reduced by 2005. It is not yet possible to forecast progress after that date.

Nitrogen Oxide

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many people in Wales currently live in areas which exceed European Community recommended levels of nitrogen oxide ;

(2) if he will list the locations in Wales exceeding guidelines on ambient nitrogen dioxide levels published in EC directive 85/203 ; (3) if he will list the locations in Wales which currently exceed World Health Organisation air quality guidelines for (a) hourly and (b) daily mean concentrations for nitrogen dioxide.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : A research project "Survey of Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations in the United Kingdom using Diffusion Tubes : July to December 1991", was undertaken in 1991. A copy of the published report is in the Library of the House. This report, based on


Column 620

monitoring carried out in both urban and rural areas, indicates that neither EC nor World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines are being exceeded in Wales. However, in order to gain a picture of the trends in Wales, the Department is currently funding a nitrogen dixoide survey. This survey will be completed in early 1993 and will be published.

Carbon Dioxide

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the projected figures for carbon dioxide emissions in Wales for (a) 2005 and (b) 2020.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Projections of carbon dioxide emissions in 2005 and 2020 for the UK under a range of scenarios, were published in Energy Paper 59--Energy Related Carbon Emissions in Possible Future Scenarios for the United Kingdom, HMSO, October 1992--a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. The modelling work for these projections was carried out on a UK wide basis. Emissions have not been separately projected for Wales.

Water Pollution

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the total tonnage of (a) xylene, (b) benezene and (c) methyl ethyl ketone which has been released into water in Wales in each of the last five years ; and if he will list the number of known instances of such discharges which have taken place in each year.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : This information is not held centrally. The consented volumes of discharges and the results of sampling of controlled waters undertaken by the National Rivers Authority are entered on to public registers maintained by the authority.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make representations to water authorities in Wales to secure that information on the monitoring of trade effluent consents and agreements concluded between industrial companies and the water authorities is made available to the general public.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Under the Water Industry Act 1991 details of consents for discharges to sewers issued by sewerage undertakers are available for public inspection. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 all controlled releases are subject to monitoring, upon which, as a condition of authorisation, data must be supplied to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, and placed on public registers.

Ozone Monitoring

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish figures showing the total number of days where hourly ozone concentrations were classed as poor or very poor at each monitoring site in Wales in each year from 1985 onwards.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Monitoring of ozone levels in Wales commenced in 1987. Information for 1987-90 is published in Table 3.24 in the "Welsh Office Digest of Environmental Statistics No. 6", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. There were no days when concentrations were classed as poor--over 100 parts per


Column 621

billion--in 1991 and only two days in 1992, and at no time since 1987 have very poor levels--over 200 parts per billion --been recorded.

Sustainable Development

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to produce a national sustainable development plan for Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given to him on 11 November 1992, Official Report, column 791, by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside.

Conservation Sites

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what guidelines are currently produced by his Department for local authorities concerning the wording of site safeguard policies for conservation sites contained in development plans ;

(2) if he will list the local authority development plans which contain specific protection for sites of special scientific interest, Ramsar sites and special protection areas.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Planning policy guidance note 7, "The Countryside And The Rural Economy", includes advice on how local authority policies should take full account of designated areas, including particular references to national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and sites of special scientific interest. All future development plans will be expected to reflect this advice.

Policies to protect designated areas including sites of special scientific interest are contained in the approved structure plans for Dyfed, Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan, Gwent, Powys, Clwyd and Gwynedd. No approved structure plans in Wales refer to Ramsar sites or special protection areas.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many local nature reserves have been designated within each county council area of Wales in each of the last five years.

Sir Wyn Roberts : Two local nature reserves have been designated within the last five years. These are Mumbles Hill in West Glamorgan designated by Swansea city council in March 1989, and Howardian in South Glamorgan designated by Cardiff city council in July 1991.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will issue guidelines to local authorities recommending the inclusion of landscape conservation in policies on nature conservation.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) now requires local authorities, when drawing up their development plans, to include land use and development policies that are designed to secure the conservation of natural beauty and amenity of land and the improvement of the physical environment. Planning policy guidance note 12 (Wales), "Development Plans and Strategic Planning Guidance in Wales", advises that the development plan process should take account of the environmental implications of development, including the impact on landscape quality, and consider local options for conserving and improving the landscape.


Column 622

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the local authorities which have offered specific protection from mineral development to sites of special scientific interest within their structure plans.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Clwyd, Dyfed, Mid Glamorgan and South Glamorgan. In addition, Gwent county council has a structure plan on deposit which includes such a policy.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will issue guidelines to local authorities to secure that structural development plans (a) regard woodlands as a habitat and (b) have regard for the protection of habitats other than woodland.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Advice to local planning authorities on the content of development plans is contained in planning policy guidance note 12 (Wales) "Development Plans and Strategic Planning Guidance in Wales". This indicates that structure plans should include land-use policies on, inter alia, conservation of the natural environment. Further advice will be contained in the forthcoming guidance on nature conservation.

Teachers

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total number employed in the teaching profession, primary and secondary levels, in Wales in each of the last 10 years ; and how many were employed on short-term contracts in each year.

Sir Wyn Roberts : The number of full-time equivalent teachers in service with local education authorities and grant-maintained schools in the primary and secondary sectors, for each of the last 10 years, is given in the following table :


D

Description      |Adult population|Total population                 

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

Ynys             |55,400          |69,800                           

Notes:                                                              

1.{en space}Registrar General{apos}s provisional mid-year estimates,

 1991.{endline}                                                     

2.{en space}Adults assumed to be all those aged 16 and over,        

{endline}                                                           

3.{en space}All figures rounded to nearest 100.{end of              

table}{text}{flag}{text}{fill}{end par}                             

Information relating to teachers contracts was first collected in 1991-92, at which time there were 1,112 full-time and 899 part-time teachers in regular service employed on contracts of less than one year's duration in the nursery, primary and secondary sectors. A breakdown of the figures by sector is not available.

Housing

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to amend the Use Classes Order so as to allow properties in the private rented and privately owned sectors to be covered by requirements for express consent when a property changes from housing individuals from within a local community to housing people from outside the community.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : No.


Column 623

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to review the procedure whereby planning permission is granted for the conversion of farm buildings into second homes.


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