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Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who are the members currently appointed to the Local Government Commission for England.
Mr. Baldry : The Local Government Commission currently has 15 members :
Sir John Banham-- Chairman
Professor Michael Chisholm
Christopher Chope, OBE
Sir Kenneth Couzens
Ken Ennals, CB
Column 574Professor Malcolm Grant
Brian Hill, CBE, DL
Margaret Hodge, MBE
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who are the members currently appointed to each rent assessment panel.
Sir George Young : There are approximately 440 members appointed to the 13 rent assessment panels in England. I have arranged for a copy of the most recent list, showing the position at 31 December 1993, to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the members currently appointed to the British Board of Agre ment.
Mr. Baldry : The current members of the Board of the British Board of Agre ment are :
Mr. W. J. W. Courtney, CBE--Chairman. Chairman, Southern Water plc Dr. P. C. Hewlett, PhD, BSc, CChem, FRSC, FInstCeram, APRI, FInst Conc Tech-- Director
Mr. N. M. Chaldecott, OBE, Director General, National Council of Building Material Producers
Mr. A. M. Cooper, FCIOB, Hon. FIAS, consultant to the National House Building Council
Mr. R. F. Gainsford, MITSA, DCA, DMS, assistant chief executive of the local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Trading Standards (LACOTS)
Mr. T. Henney, MBE, M Arch(MIT), DA(Edin), RIBA, FRIAS, FCIOB, FBIM, an architect, practising in Edinburgh
Mr. D. C. Leonard, FCMA, ACIS, managing director of British Gypsum Ltd. and a director of BPB Gypsum Industries Ltd and Westroc Ltd. Mr. T. P. O'Brien, MA, BSc. Director, Ove Arup Partnership. Technical Director within the Arup Research and Development Dr. A. C. Paterson, CBE, DSc, FEng, FICE, FIMechE, FIStructE, consultant partner, Bullen and Partners, consulting engineers Mr. A. J. Peach, MCIM, JP, former marketing director and now a non- executive Director of Catnic Ltd.
Mr. D. W Quinion, BSc, FEng, FICE, FIStructE, consultant to Tarmac Construction
Column 575Mr. C. A. Rackliffe, FIBC, building control manager, Waverley borough council
Miss P. R. Tindale, architect, chairperson of the HNBC RIBA housing design awards and a trustee of he Building Conservation Trust Mr. J. W Turner, CBE, FCIOB, former chairman of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee. Former chairman, E Turner and Sons Ltd, building contractors, Cardiff. Past president of Building Employers Confederation and Concrete Society
Mr. C. A Wilson, MA DA(Manc), Dip Arch, RIBA, MRTPI, director of development, Lancaster city council
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who are the members currently appointed to the Letchworth garden city corporation.
Mr. Baldry : The constitution of the Letchworth garden city corporation makes provision for a board of six members. Four--including the chairman--are appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, one by North Hertfordshire district council and one by Hertfordshire county council. The current members of the board are as follows :
E. Lyall, CBE--(Chairman)
A. R. Atherton, CB
P. W. Harkness
P. E. McMenemy
Mrs. L. A. Needham
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the implications for United Kingdom environment policy of the environment strategy released by the Greek presidency of the European Union.
Mr. Atkins : We welcome the announcement that the Greek presidency intends to encourage measures to prevent environmental damage and improve the quality of life and look forward to discussing more detailed proposals in the coming months.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been spent by each urban development corporation since their inception on acquiring land and buildings ; and what money has been received by each urban development corporation for the sale of land and buildings.
Mr. Baldry : Expenditure and receipts in respect of the acquisition and sale of land and buildings for each urban development corporation from inception until 31 March 1993 are as follows :
|Expenditure|Receipts |(£ million)|(£ million) ---------------------------------------------------------- Bristol<1> |26.911 |2.709 Black Country<2> |86.119 |4.946 Birmingham Heartlands |3.311 |- Central Manchester |13.224 |0.608 Leeds |23.918 |5.909 London Docklands |168.000 |319.000 Merseyside |37.711 |8.745 Sheffield |34.348 |1.167 Teesside |63.004 |36.683 Trafford Park |49.898 |10.462 Tyne and Wear |37.758 |7.603 <1> Includes £10,332 million expenditure for the Bristol spine road. <2> Includes £15,449 million expenditure for the black country spine road, and £6,099 million for open space.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council leaseholders there are in each local authority.
Sir George Young : Information on the number of council leaseholders in each local authority is not held centrally.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of applications for council housing now held by local authorities in England.
Sir George Young : Local authorities provide information on the numbers of households on their council housing waiting lists on their annual housing investment programme--HIP1--returns.
At 1 April 1993, the latest date for which figures are available, a total of 1,208,800 households were reported as being on council housing waiting lists in England.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions his Department has had with the Department of Health on the progress of the homeless mentally ill initiative ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir George Young : Officials of my Department meet with those of the Department of Health from time to time to discuss issues relating to the homeless mentally ill initiative, and in particular the contribution which the Housing Corporation is able to make to the provision of move-on accommodation.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many homeless people are estimated to have used each of the cold weather shelters so far this winter.
Sir George Young : As part of the rough sleepers initiative, the Government are funding seven cold weather shelters this winter, providing a total of 353 places until 31 March 1994 for people who would otherwise sleep rough on the streets of central London, as follows :
Location Bedspaces Managing organisation |Male |Female ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- St. John Street, EC1 |76 |15 |English Churches Housing Group Tudor Street, EC4 |30 |- |Salvation Army Albert Street, NW1 |- |25 |Camden Borough Council Soho Square, W1 |20 |20 |Centrepoint Soho Page Street, SW1 |60 |10 |St. Mungo's Association Tooley Street, SE1 |50 |10 |Crisis John Street, WC1 |26 |11 |Riverpoint
The shelters have had high occupancy rates since they opened early in December. On the night of Thursday 13 January, 313 bedspaces were occupied. More detailed information about the people using the shelters will become available from reports which the managing organisations are due to send to the Department by 31 May 1994.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has now received the audited accounts of Lambeth council's direct labour trading divisions ; and
Column 577what conclusions he has reached as to whether each of those divisions shall continue to provide services to the local authority.
Mr. Baldry : The London borough of Lambeth has provided my right hon. Friend with accounts relating to the council's direct labour organisations--DLOs. These cover the financial year ending 31 March 1993 and earlier years, going back in the case of some activities to 1985-86.
The accounts have been certified by the authority's internal auditors but await certification by the district auditor. The internal auditor has qualified some of the accounts in respect of matters already made public in reports issued by the authority's former chief executive and the district auditor.
The accounts were specifically required as a result of directions given, on 23 July 1993 by my right hon. Friend, under section 19B of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 and section 14 of the Local Government Act 1988.
Subject to any changes which might be required by the district auditor the accounts show that the following defined activities met any necessary financial objectives ; sports and leisure management, welfare catering, other cleaning, refuse collection and street cleaning, building cleaning, and grounds maintenance.
Losses were made in relation to general highways work. Under the terms of the relevant direction, the authority must cease carrying out the work, except for work of an emergency nature, snow clearance and gritting, as from 1April 1994. Losses were also made on new construction work. The authority has now ceased to carry out such work.
Heavy losses have also been recorded for building maintenance work. The relevant direction already required work to be retendered by 1 April 1994 and my right hon. Friend's consent will be required before any new building maintenance work can be awarded to the authority's own DLO.
Lambeth has been notified of my right hon. Friend's views on these matters.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households have protected tenancies in (a) Ealing, (b) London and (c) England.
Sir George Young : There is no information available centrally on the number of protected tenancies in Ealing. Provisional estimates from the first half year of data collection from the new survey of English housing are that in 1993 there were around 70,000 protected tenancies in Greater London and 350,000 in England.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each district council in England (a) the number of houses without central heating and (b) the proportion of the area's housing stock such homes constitute.
Mr. Baldry : Information on the number of houses without central heating in each district is not available. The number of households without central heating in each district can be found in Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, General Register Office for Scotland, "1991
Column 578Census, Housing and Availability of Cars, Great Britain" , London : HMSO, 1993--table 3, Housing characteristics-- copies of which are in the Library.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many low-income households will have received assistance under the home energy efficiency scheme programme by 2000 ; and how many low-income households will remain unassisted at that date at the current level of funding.
Mr. Atkins : On current plans the total number of households receiving grants under the home energy efficiency scheme--HEES--in the United Kingdom is expected to be almost half a million a year in the three years from 1 April 1994. Because Government expenditure plans for later years have yet to be agreed, it is not possible to make a firm estimate of the number of households which will receive assistance by the year 2000.
Nor can a realistic estimate be made of the number of households which will remain unassisted in the year 2000. The number will depend not only on the numbers of households eligible for and assisted under HEES. It will reflect the number of households which already have basic insulation measures and those which will be insulated by the year 2000, either by householders themselves or through the other schemes which are improving energy efficiency.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the maximum number of local authorities' properties that can be included in proposed compulsory competitive tendering of housing management packages.
Sir George Young : The local government Acts do not set limits for contract sizes for compulsory competitive tendering. We have indicated that we would not normally expect comprehensive area-based housing management contracts in large authorities to exceed 5,000 dwellings. It would, however, be acceptable good practice for small authorities with up to 7,500 dwellings to proceed on the basis of one contract, provided that reasonable competition can be secured.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Bates), of 17 December 1993, Official Report, column 1106, what was the voting record of each member state on (a) the packaging directive and (b) the UN framework convention on climate change.
Mr. Atkins : The common position on the packaging directive was agreed by qualified majority vote without the agreement of Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. As my hon. Friend the Member of Suffolk, South (Mr. Yeo) stated in the answer he gave on 17 December last, although the United Kingdom strongly supports Community ratification of the climate change convention, we abstained on the formal resolution because of doubts about the choice of legal base.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it is his intention that in an area reviewed by the Local Government Commission short-term start-up costs will be offset by future savings.
Mr. Baldry : We have said on our guidance to the commission that change to the structure of local government should be worthwhile and cost- effective over time. Cost-effectiveness cannot be measured purely in financial terms, but for most review areas we would expect structural change to produce financial savings.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the Local Government Commission is precluded from recommending an option which results in transitional costs which are not offset by future savings.
Mr. Baldry : The policy guidance which we issued to the commission in November 1993 provides that the commission
"is not precluded from recommending an option which would be marginally more expensive than the status quo if the extra cost would be outweighed by other considerations."
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how any net transitional or ongoing costs are to be met in areas reviewed by the Local Government Commission if future ongoing savings are not identified;
(2) how the additoinal ongoing costs in respect of options, put forward by the Local Government Commission in areas reviewed, which are more expensive than the status quo, are to be met by the new local authorities.
Mr. Baldry : We expect recommendations which would be more expensive than the status quo, or which would not lead to ongoing savings, to be the exception. We shall look at the issue of any additional ongoing costs in the light of particular recommendations. We are currently considering the treatment in years after 1994-95 of all aspects of transitional costs.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the Housebuilders Federation, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the National Federation of Housing Associations and local authority associations concerning the implications for housing and planning policies of the confirmation
Column 580of the positive correlation between winter waterlogging of soils and the level of infant mortality ; and what further action he proposes to take.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the chairman of the National Rivers Authority on the relationship between the level of infant mortality and winter waterlogging of soils ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has for commissioning research into the positive relationship between winter waterlogging of soils and higher levels of infant mortality.
Mr. Atkins : My Department has no plans to commission such research.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on land drainage policy in relation to the effect of winter waterlogging on the level of infant mortality.
Mr. Atkins : Land drainage policy is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Mr. Heald : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue the latest details about statutory action taken against local authorities in relation to compulsory competitive tendering of local council services following publication of the position as at the end of September 1993.
Mr. Baldry : The table lists the authorities against which statutory action was taken in the period 1October to 31 December 1993. It also gives a cumulative figure for the number of notices and directions given under the Local Government Act 1988 and the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 for 1993 as a whole, and since 1989 when the anti-competitive provisions were brought into effect.
Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 Local Government Act 1988 Compulsory Competitive Tendering Statutory Action Bulletin England 4th Quarter 1993 |4th quarter 1993 |Total for 1993 |Total from (October-December) |January 1989 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Notices served relating to anti-competitive behaviour |3 |20 |57 Calderdale MBC-Ground Maintenance Harrow LB-Other Catering Langbaurgh on Tees BC-Ground Maintenance Notices served relating to financial failure |0 |80 |88 Nil Directions given relating to anti-competitive behaviour |3 |12 |30 Birmingham CC-Building Maintenance Bradford MDC-Highways and Sewers Warrington BC-Ground Maintenance Directions given relating to financial failure |7 |16 |48 Bedfordshire CC-Ground Maintenance Camden LB-Building Maintenance Canterbury CC-New Construction £50k Castle Point BC-Ground Maintenance Hillingdon LB-Other Catering Manchester CC-New Construction £50k South Bedfordshire DC-Refuse Collection
Mr. Forman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received on his proposed notional amounts for capping in 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : We have received a small number of representations from authorities, including new information and revised data, which we are considering carefully. However, we have now reached preliminary views on all these representations, and we are today informing authorities of our current proposals reflecting these preliminary conclusions. I am arranging for a table showing our current proposals for notional amounts to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 29 November to the hon. Member for Erewash (Mrs. Knight), Official Report , column 380 , if he has reached any decisions on the Local Government Commission's final recommendations for Cleveland ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gummer : I have today written to Sir John Banham, chairman of the Local Government Commission, giving my decisions on the commission's recommendations for Cleveland as set out in its report "Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Cleveland and Durham".
After considering the commission's recommendations and the representations made, I have concluded that effective and convenient local government in Cleveland would be achieved by abolishing Cleveland county council and establishing four unitary authorities for the area--commission recommendation 1--and that this would reflect the identities and interests of local people. I have accepted in principle that the county of Cleveland should be abolished, but I shall defer a final decision until I have reached decisions on the commission's forthcoming recommendations for Durham and North Yorkshire.
The remaining recommendations for Cleveland have been accepted as submitted, except that I am still considering the proposal that I direct the commission to undertake a further parish review. In agreeing with the establishment of unitary authorities based on existing districts, I have given careful consideration to representations which I received about the implications for those services and functions currently performed on a wider basis. My decision is based on a presumption that the authorities which are to become unitary will work together to plan for these services and functions, and will forge working links with other bodies such as health authorities.