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Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the United Kingdom will ratify the UNEP Basel convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.
Mr. Atkins : The United Kingdom deposited its instrument of ratification for the Basel convention on 7 February. This means that the United Kingdom will become a party to the convention on 8 May. The EC will also become a party on 8 May.
Column 144The convention provides a framework for states to control shipments of hazardous waste. where these do occur, the onus is on the exporting state to ensure environmentally sound management of the wastes. Shipments are not allowed between parties and non-parties without specific agreements. Parties may ban imports of waste. The Waste Shipments Regulation (259/93/EEC), which incorporates the obligations of the Basel convention, will apply on 6 May. The regulation will enable the United Kingdom to control more effectively waste imports and exports. The regulation covers shipments destined for the recovery operations, as well as those going for final disposal.
The United Kingdom is firmly committed to the objectives of the Basel convention. We have been making voluntary financial contributions to the running of the convention each year since 1990.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what powers he has to intervene to establish legal planning conditions in a dispute arising from amended planning permission expiring under the Town and Country Planning Act 1991.
Mr. Baldry : The Secretary of State has the power to call in planning applications--including applications to vary conditions previously attached to a planning permission--for his own determination by virtue of section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The Secretary of State also has the duty to determine appeals made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
In exceptional circumstances, the Secretary of State has the power to make orders to revoke or modify planning permissions or to discontinue any use of land.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will name the persons already appointed to the posts of senior regional directors, consequent to his decision to establish multi-departmental teams together with their biographical details and occupational experience ; and what is the period of each appointment.
East Midlands :
North East :
North West :
South East :
South West :
West Midlands :
Yorkshire and Humberside :
Biographical notes :
John Turner has been Deputy Chief Executive of the Employment service since 1989. He joined the Civil service in 1967, and after 14 years in the Department of Trade and Industry and its predecessor Departments working on industry sponsorship at home and abroad, he trasferred to the Department of Employment group and worked on training polices and programmes in the then Manpower Services Commission. He then served as Principal Private Secretary to Lord Young and Sir Norman Fowler and was then Head of Small Firms and Tourism Division.
Mark Lanyon has been DTI's Regional Director for Yorkshire and Humberside since April 1993. He is a graduate of the University of
Column 145St. Andrews, a chartered engineer and a member of the British Institute of Management. He joined the Civil Service in 1963, and has served in the DTI's South West Regional Office, and from 1982-85 as Regional Director in the West Midlands office. His career also includes working on programmes designed to spread best practice in advanced manfacturing technology and managerial methods, computer aided engineering, advanced robotics and manfacturing processes. Between 1990 and 1993, he was Assistant Director of Consumer Affairs at the Office of Fair Trading.
John Stoker has been Director of the Merseyside Task Force since 1992. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Brasenose College, Oxford. He joined the Department of the Environment in 1973. He has served in the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Office, based in Leeds (dealing with housing affairs), and in London on housing policy and rates reform. He also served as a Civil Service Selection Board assessor and in the Cabinet Office. Since 1985 he has headed Divisions responsible for departmental organisation, housing (Estate Action), the preparation of the 1990 Environment White Paper (Our Common Inheritance) and the coordination of the department's financial programmes.
Pamela Denham has been Regional Director for the Department of Trade and Industry in the North East since 1990. She was educated at Central Newcastle High School, and holds a doctorate in Physics from King's College, London. She joined the Civil Service in 1967, and has spent much of her career working in policy related to
Industry--including international negotiations, Government assistance for research and development, and running programmes to encourage the application of best practice and new technology. She led the Quality Design and Education Division of the DTI from 1985-89, before a secondment in the Management and Development Group at the Cabinet Office.
Marianne Neville-Rolfe is at present Chief Executive of the Civil Service College and Director of the Cabinet Office Top Management Programme. She was educated at St. Mary's Convent, Shaftesbury, and Oxford University. After seven years with the Confederation of British Industry including two years in Brussels, she joined the Department of Trade and Industry in 1973. Her jobs there have included dealing with selective financial assistance to industry, the promotion of major export projects, and most recently, responsibility for policy towards the Single European Market, including ensuring that business was fully informed of the implications and opportunities.
Gillian Ashmore is currently on secondment from the Department of Transport to the British Railways Board working on railway privatisation. She joined the Civil Service in 1971 and has worked variously in the Departments of the Environment, Transport, Employment and Trade and Industry. On the Transport side, she has worked mainly in the public transport field. In the latter two Departments she was Deputy Director of the Enterprise and Deregulation Unit. Mrs. Ashmore has also been a non-executive director of P & O European Transport.
Brian Leonard is Regional Director for the Departments of Environment and Transport in Newcastle. He was educated at Dr. Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham and the London School of Economics. He joined the Civil Service in 1974 and has worked in divisions dealing with the Government's public expenditure and private rented sector housing, and on secondment to a major housing association in London. In 1986/87, he served as Assistant Private Secretary to two Secretaries of State and in 1987/88 spent a year in North America on a Hubert Humphrey Fellowship to the University of Minnesota. On return he served as a Regional Controller for Housing in the London Regional Office and as head of the division responsible for local authority housing finance policy in England.
David Ritchie is Regional Director of the Departments of Environment and Transport in Newcastle. He was educated at
Column 146Manchester Grammar School and St. John's College, Cambridge. He joined the Ministry of Transport in 1970 and he has had two spells in the joint Environment and Transport North West regional Office. He has also served in London dealing with Water Legislation and Housing association Policy.
Yorkshire and Humberside
Jeremy Walker has been regional Director of the Employment Department in Yorkshire and Humberside for the last five years, and leader of the Leeds and Bradford City Action Team since 1990. He joined the Department of Employment in 1971 after graduating from Birmingham University. He has also worked in the Cabinet office ; on an exchange programme with the Australian Government ; and in the Manpower Services Commission, where he headed up the Community Programme and the New Job Training Scheme during the 1980s. The duration of these appointments will be up to three years in the first instance.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the job descriptions of the newly-appointed senior regional directors for urban regeneration ; what variation there is between areas ; and what specific duties will apply to that of the director for London.
Mr. Baldry : The duties of the new senior regional directors will be to implement Government policies in the English regions on behalf of the Department of Environment, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Employment--training, enterprise and education directorate--and Department of Transport ; to ensure that the development of Government policies and programmes for the English regions are informed by local views and experience ; and to contribute to Government policy formation for the regions. These duties will apply to all directors, including London, although the emphasis given to particular policies and programmes will differ from region to region to take account of local circumstances.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 28 January, Official Report, column 439, whether sections 59 and 60 of the Housing Act 1985 are also applicable before any local authority duties arise for securing accommodation for persons asked to leave by family or relatives.
Sir George Young : Section 65 of the Housing Act 1985 provides that where a local housing authority is satisfied that a homeless applicant has a priority need and is not intentionally homeless the authority must secure accommodation for him.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 28 January, Official Report, column 439, if he will list the number of representations received about the operation of part III of the Housing Act 1985 which specifically referred to the House of Lords' decision in the case of Din v. London Borough of Wandsworth and to the operation of section 63 of the Act.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the companies commissioned in 1992-93 by his Department to carry out polling and market research of the views of council tenants ; and if he will list the areas of research, the questionnaires used and report the results of the research.
Sir George Young : No companies were specifically commissioned to do so in 1992-93, but a number of the continuous general surveys carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, which provide housing information for my Department, include council tenants in the sample. Examples of these are :
The Survey of English Housing ;
The Family Expenditure Survey ;
The Omnibus Survey ;
The General Household Survey.
All my Department's published research reports are placed in the House of Commons Library. Among those published in 1993 dealing with local authority housing are :
Crime Prevention on Council Estates ;
Priority Estates Project Costs Effectiveness Study : Summary of Findings ;
An Evaluation of Estate Based Housing Management ;
An Evaluation of the First Year Experience of the Local Authority Reports to Tenants Regime.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of local authority tenants received a personal copy of an annual report about standards of local authority housing management performance in 1992-93.
Sir George Young : Figures are not available for the number of tenants that have transferred to housing action trusts. However, the proportion of local authority dwellings which had transferred to housing action trusts at July 1993 was about 0.1 per cent.
Sir George Young : Between April 1988 and July 1993 nearly 119,000 dwellings were transferred out of local authority ownership as a result of large-scale transfers--LSVTs--tenants' choice and small-scale transfers. This represents about 2.75 per cent. of the council stock at 1 April 1988. A further 3,500 dwellings have transferred since July and another 25,000 should transfer by the end of March this year. The Department does not record the number of individual tenancies transferred to new landlords.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new rights were introduced for council tenants between July 1992 and July 1993 to simplify and strengthen their ability to get minor repairs affecting health, safety or crime prevention carried out by their landlord.
Sir George Young : The existing right to repair scheme was introduced under the Housing Act 1985 and came into effect on 1 January 1986. The new right to repair scheme is being introduced under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 in place of the current scheme, from 1 April 1994. The new scheme will be more effective in ensuring that tenants get certain small urgent repairs affecting their health, safety or security done quickly and at no expense to them.
Sir George Young : By July 1993, the Secretary of State for the Environment had approved 71 management agreements for tenant management organisations on local authority estates. These cover approximately 35,000 homes, representing about 0.9 per cent. of local authority dwellings.
Mr. Allason : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make public his decision upon the recommendation of his inspector in respect of Paignton zoo under his reference SW/P/5183 and local planning authority reference 92/1161/0A.
Mr. Baldry : These proposals for a superstore and associated developments raise some complex issues. As soon as the inspector's report is received, the Secretary of State will write to the parties indicating his proposed timescale for the decision. The outcome will be made public at the earliest opportunity.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing the total amount of housing benefit subsidy otherwise payable to local authorities in England which was clawed back by negative entitlement under the housing revenue account subsidy formula in the last year for which figures are available.
Sir George Young : The total amount of rent rebates paid to local authority tenants for 1992-93 was £3,477 million of which £2,982 million was funded directly by housing revenue account subsidy. The details appear in the table.
|1992-93 |outturn |£ million ---------------------------------------------------------- Gross rent rebates |3,477 Housing subsidy negative entitlements |-495 Rebate element of HRA subsidy |2,982
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the change in the annual level of United Kingdom carbon dioxide emissions between the year 2000 and 2012, on the basis of current policies.
Mr. Atkins : It is not possible to estimate future changes in United Kingdom carbon dioxide emissions in 2000 and 2012 precisely. The analysis published in "Climate Change--the UK Programme" draws on the range of scenarios in energy paper 59. These suggest on the basis of past trends that United Kingdom emissions in 2000 could be between 3 million tonnes of carbon below and 19 million tonnes of carbon above the 1990 level ; and in 2012 between 15 and 80 million tonnes of carbon higher than in 1990. The measures in the United Kingdom's programme should reduce emissions in 2000 by some 10 million tonnes of carbon, but it is not yet possible to assess what effect emissions reduction measures could have by 2012.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which major new policy commitments and initiatives announced in "Sustainable Development : the United Kingdom Strategy" have not already appeared in previous Government documents and ministerial speeches.
Mr. Atkins : The Government did not delay practical commitment to sustainable development until we were ready to publish our strategy document. Many policies were therefore well in place by 25 January. However, among the new announcements made in the strategy are the Government's panel on sustainable development, a United Kingdom round table on sustainable development and a citizens' environment initiative. Each chapter in sections 3 and 4 contains a summary of the way forward in that sector or topic area.
Mr. Baldry : Last year we published a draft planning policy guidance note 13 (PPG13) on planning and transport issues. It suggested that local authorities should encourage the provision of secure cycle parking at public transport interchanges, including railway stations and park and ride facilities, to increase the opportunities to use cycles in combination with public transport and car sharing. Provision of secure cycle parking facilities should be sought in all major developments and in town centres, and encouraged at education institutions. We hope to publish the final version of the guidance within the next few months.
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the amount of money allocated from Government funds in the last financial year for each department of North Yorkshire county council ; and what comparable amounts will be provided in the next financial year.
Mr. Baldry : Central Government support--that is, revenue support grant and redistributed business rate income--is given in support of the provision of local services as a whole. It is not hypothecated to particular service departments. For 1993-94 central Government support to North Yorkshire county council is £283.4 million, of which revenue support grant is £135.3 million. For 1994-95 the corresponding figures are £290.5 million and £154.2 million respectively.
Mr. Hall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he has received on the issue of local government reorganisation since January 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what areas under consideration by the Local Government Commission will be subject to special arrangements to ensure that the Minister for Local Government and Planning is not involved in decisions affecting local authorities in his constituency and those adjoining.
Mr. Baldry : My hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government and Planning, will not be involved in decisions on the Local Government Commission's recommendations for Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire. Whether or not he is involved in decisions on recommendations for Lancashire and Cumbria will depend on the nature of those recommendations.