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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 8 June 1993


Departmental Buildings

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the buildings currently owned or rented by his Department, together with (a) the estimated value, (b) the annual rent and (c) the annual maintenance cost of each building in the current financial year.

The Attorney-General : The Departments for which I am responsible-- the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the Serious Fraud Office--occupy accommodation in 148 buildings in England and Wales, all of which form part of the common user estate which is administered by Property Holdings. The Secretary of State for the Environment will include the rent and maintenance costs borne by Property Holdings of this accommodation in his answer to a similar question from the hon. Member. The internal maintenance costs for the accommodation, when borne by Departments, are included with expenditure for other works and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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The Crown Prosecution Service rents accommodation directly at only one site, for which the annual rent is £12,000 and the annual maintenance charge is £1,500.


Trans-Pennine Crossing

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what considerations he imposed on Transportation Planning Associates, the consultants appointed to carry out the trans-Pennine study, over the use of data gathered as part of the study for purposes beyond the preparation of their report.

Mr. Key : It is my Department's practice that consultants may make use of published reports for their own purposes, but that any unpublished material remains the Department's intellectual property. The Department's permission must be sought before unpublished material is used for consultants' own purposes or made available to outside parties.

Warren Spring Laboratory

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many research contracts he has awarded to Warren Spring Laboratory in the last two years ; if he will provide full details of each contract ; and what arrangements for research into (a) vehicle emissions and (b) clean-up technology for oil spillages he envisages on the next 12 months.

The following contracts have been let :

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Title                                                                |Date let      |Duration                     


Technical advice on aircraft emissions/air quality                   |April 1991    |1 year                       

Hazards from residual fuel oils                                      |June 1991     |8 months                     

Clean up of rocky shorelines                                         |October 1991  |6 months                     

Oil thickness measurement                                            |November 1991 |3 years                      

Bulk cargoes: Japanese penetration method                            |December 1991 |3 months                     

Sampling of operational discharge at sea                             |January 1992  |4 months                     

Drainage and settlement: Iron ore concentrate-Phase 3                |January 1992  |4 months                     

Technical advice on aircraft emissions/air quality                   |April 1992    |1 year                       

Review of bioremediation techniques                                  |April 1992    |9 months                     

Use of demulsifiers                                                  |June 1992     |3 years                      

Fate of chemicals feasibility study                                  |June 1992     |6 months                     

Review of refined products                                           |June 1992     |20 months                    

Dispersion-natural and chemically enhanced                           |July 1992     |6 months                     

Feasibility study to forecast fuel consumption and exhaust emissions |September 1992|8 months                     

Eurospill (oil spill model) Extension                                |September 1992|9 months                     

Vapour cloud dispersion                                              |October 1992  |6 months                     

Review of sorbents                                                   |October 1992  |1 year                       

Drainage and settlement: Iron ore concentrate-Phase 4                |October 1992  |8 months                     

Emission tests on catalyst cars                                      |November 1992 |2 months                     

In-situ burning of oil                                               |November 1992 |3 months                     

Inservice performance of oily water separators and bilge monitors    |November 1992 |3 months                     

Modelling of sinking chemicals                                       |February 1993 |4 months                     

Assessment of emission abatement (cold conditions)                   |March 1993    |2 years                      

The Department's plans for future research are set out in our research newsletter for 1993-94, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

Transport Research Laboratory

Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the budget of the Transport Research Laboratory in each of the last three years and the current year.

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Mr. Key : The Transport Research Laboratory became an executive agency on 1 April 1992, and expenditure information was published in the "Department of Transport Report 1993", Cm 2206. It is repeated in the table for the years in question.

                          |£ million          


1990-91 Outturn           |32.6               

1991-92 Outturn           |35.2               

1992-93 Estimated Outturn |38.2               

1993-94 Plans             |34.1               

Maritime Safety

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will support the efforts of the Turkish Government to improve the safety standards of international shipping in the Bosphorus.

Mr. Norris : The Turkish Government put forward an information paper at the last meeting of the maritime safety committee of the International Maritime Organisation, which outlined proposals for improved control of navigation in the Bosphorus. Our policy is to support all sound initiatives for improving the safety of shipping, and we shall offer constructive assistance when the Turkish Government submit formal proposals to the International Maritime Organisation.

Channel Tunnel

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has for progressing further the consultation on the channel tunnel rail link, in particular with reference to the Boxley valley.

Mr. Freeman : Union Railways will be arranging special meetings for two sections of the route of Ashford and Detling to Boxley. For each of these sections, more than one route option was identified in Union Railway's report. I am clear that, based on the facts in the report, the route for consultation announced by the Government in March is the right choice. The special meetings will be an opportunity for those concerned about the choice between route options to satisfy themselves on all the facts, and for material factual differences, if any, to be identified and brought to Ministers' attention.

Cash Limits

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes he proposes to make to the cash limits and running costs limits for his Department for 1993-94.

Mr. MacGregor : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary revised estimate, the cash limit for class VI, vote 5 will be reduced by £5,801,000 from £495,744,000 to £489,943,000. This reduction will be offset by a corresponding increase on the Department of Transport/local authority capital non-voted cash limit from £451,334, 000 to £457,135,000 to enable the Greater Manchester passenger transport executive to repay public transport facilities grant following the receipt of European regional development fund grant and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Railway Rolling Stock

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will show the number of (a) locomotives, (b) high-speed trains and (c) coaching vehicles owned by British Rail in 1979 and 1992.

Mr. Freeman : The information requested is as follows :

                                |1979  |1992         



  Diesel                        |3,261 |1,634        

  Electric                      |310   |262          

High speed trains (power units) |136   |197          

Coaching vehicles               |20,963|12,925       

Source: British Railways Board Annual Report and     

Accounts 1979 and 1991-92.                           

Marine Oil Spills

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the time of call and country of destination of radio communication calls from the MV Braer via Wick Radio, Shetland Radio or Collafirth Radio between 8 am on 4 January and 5 am on 5 January.

Mr. Norris : None.

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will detail the steps taken by his Department and the marine pollution control unit in response to recommendations 74 and 75 in the eighth report of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution regarding the use of dispersants to deal with oil spills ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris : I refer the hon. Member to pollution paper No. 20 of 1983, which sets out the Government response to the royal commission report. Since its publication, the MPCU has considerably increased its capacity for dealing with oil spills and, with its contractor Air Atlantique and with Warren Spring Laboratory, has developed considerable expertise in the use of aerial spraying of dispersants and aerial surveillance. In addition, the MPCU has four ship-based oil recovery systems ready to deploy in vessels of opportunity and stockpiles of booms, skimmers and other recovery and clean-up equipment. Details of the arrangements for dealing with pollution arising from spillages of oil from ships into the marine environment are set out in the marine pollution control unit's national contingency plan. This was revised in May 1993 and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.


Ethnic Minorities (Employment)

Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those organisations which have made representations to him regarding proposed cuts in funding under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : In addition to letters from, or on behalf of, staff, governors or parents from schools and other educational institutions, written observations have been received from the following :

Age Concern

Association of County Councils

Association of LEA Advisory Officers for Multicultural Education Association of London Authorities

Association of Metropolitan Authorities

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

County of Avon

Bedfordshire County Council

Berkshire County Council

Birmingham City Council

Blackburn Racial Equality Council

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Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Brent

Bristol City Council

Buckinghamshire County Council

Burnley and Pendle Racial Equality Council

Burnley Borough Council

Burton-on-Trent Pakistani Welfare Association

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Cambridgeshire County Council

London Borough of Camden

Cleveland County Council

Coventry City Council

Coventry Racial Equality Council

London Borough of Croydon

Derbyshire County Council

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Ealing

East Sussex County Council

London Borough of Enfield

Enfield Racial Equality Council

Free Church Federal Council

Gloucester City Council

Gosford Asian Group

London Borough of Greenwich

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Hampshire County Council

London Borough of Harrow

Harrow Council for Racial Justice

Hemel Hemstead Muslim Welfare Association

Hereford and Worcester County Council

London Borough of Hillingdon

London Borough of Hounslow

Humberside County Council

London Borough of Islington

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea Teachers Association

Kent County Council

Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council

Lancashire County Council

Leeds City Council

Leicester City Council

Leicestershire County Council

Leicestershire Gujerati Hindu Association

The Library Association

Lincolnshire County Council

London Boroughs Association

London Borough of Lewisham

London Boroughs Grants Unit

Manchester City Council

London Borough of Merton

Merton African Caribbean Association

Middlesbrough Borough Council

National Association of Headteachers

National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers National Union of Teachers

Newcastle Upon Tyne City Council

London Borough of Newham

Newham Bengali National Association

Northamptonshire Race Relations Advisory Council

North Staffordshire Racial Equality Council

Northern Race Relations Advisers Group

Norwich City Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Preston Borough Council

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