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Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has now reflected on the legal opinion quoted by the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling during the debate on the Adjournment on 13 January, Official Report, columns 425-29 ; and if British Rail will revise its leaflet on the subject of compensation for noise and vibration.
The passages quoted from the opinion were concerned with the interpretation of section 9 of the Land Compensation Act 1973. Among other issues, that section provides in appropriate circumstances for claims to be payable in respect of compensation for depreciation in the value of properties arising as a consequence of certain railway works. These works fall into two categories : works which have been reconstructed, extended or otherwise altered after they have been first used--dealt with in subsection (1)(b) of the section--and works in respect of which there has been a change of use-- dealt with in subsection (1)(c). Subsection (7) of the section goes on to state that references in the section to a change of use do not include references to the intensification of an existing use.
Counsel made the point that it follows from these provisions that changes of use which are limited to intensification of the use of existing lines do not give rise to compensation, whereas reconstructions, extensions and other alterations may do so. The Government see no reason to dissent from this interpretation. In the debate, my right hon. Friend sought to suggest that a contrary view had been taken by Ministers in previous debates in Parliament. More specifically, he referred to what I said in the debate on 19 June 1991 about provisions in the 1973 Act not applying if the amount of the traffic on a road or railway were to increase. Those comments need to be read in the context of my statement as a whole. This related to a proposal to introduce a discretionary power for the Secretary of State to pay compensation in cases of injurious affection arising from the intensification of operations by the British Railways Board. I went on to stress the clear distinction between
"the construction or alteration of public works and the intensification of use of existing works".--[ Official Report, 19 June 1991 ; Vol. 193, c. 345-46. ]
As reflected in that statement, I fully recognise that compensation may be payable where existing railway lines are reconstructed, extended or otherwise altered after they have first been used and where it can be shown that
Column 729depreciation has resulted from physical factors, such as noise and vibration, caused by their use. It is for individuals to make claims where they consider that such depreciation has occurred and for the responsible authority, currently British Rail, to address those claims. In the event of a dispute, there is provision for reference to the Lands Tribunal, and the possibility thereafter of appeal to the courts.
On the question of the British Rail leaflet, the board is studying the issues which have been raised so as to determine whether to amend the leaflet. Department of Transport officials will keep in close touch with BR on this and I will make a further statement on this matter shortly.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date his review of the technical and cost implications of seat belts in coaches and minibuses was announced ; what is the timescale for its completion ; and if he will publish the full results of this review.
Mr. Key : Work began on reviewing the full technical and cost implications of the compulsory fitment of seat belts in minibuses and coaches during November 1993. I expect to receive a report within the next few weeks. I cannot anticipate when decisions will be taken ; but we shall be publishing our conclusions.
Sir Keith Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the report on European aviation by the Comite des Sages ; and what steps he is taking to ensure the recommendations are implemented by all members of the European Union.
Mr. Norris : I warmly welcome the publication of the report of the Commite des Sages and, in particular, its commitment to the implementation of the single market. It offers a useful assessment of the position of European air transport and emphasises a number of key areas where improvements need to be made. Specifically, I endorse whole-heartedly the report's conclusions on reducing Government intervention in airlines' commercial decisions. I also support the report's general views on state aids and have urged the Commission to ensure that these are reflected in the revision of its own guidelines on state aids in this sector. However, there are a number of other recommendations on which the United Kingdom has reservations, including the need for a new European body for air traffic control. It will, of course, be for the Commission to take forward implementation of the report's recommendations and put forward proposals to the Council of Ministers where appropriate. I shall, however, be pressing the Commission to take action on the report's key recommendations on the implementation of the single market.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what compensation was paid to British Airways for giving up landing rights at Heathrow in favour of Malaysian Airways ; what was the Government's role in the negotiations leading to this concession ; and from what funds compensation was provided.
Mr. Norris : The United Kingdom has liberal air services arrangements with Malaysia which permit the airlines of either side to operate up to a maximum proportion of the total air services operated by United Kingdom and Malaysia airlines. Following airline discussions in 1989, as commercial agreement was made between British Airways and MAS concerning the operation of a further service by the Malaysian airline. The two Governments then agreed to vary the arrangements to enable that airline to operate the further service. The Government are not privy to the details of the commercial agreement between the two airlines. No public funding formed part of the air services arrangements.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by DVLA local office for the last five years how many excise offence reports have been received during the last year ; how many have resulted in (i) out of court settlement, or (ii) a successful prosecution ; and what were the amounts raised by out of court settlements and prosecutions.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many copies of the second report of the quality of urban air review group on diesel vehicle emissions and urban air quality were printed ; at what cost ; and to whom they were distributed.
Mr. Atkins : Two thousand copies of the second report of the quality of urban air review group on diesel emissions and urban air quality were printed at a cost of £11,412. The report has been distributed to :
the Environment Select Committee,
the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution,
Chief Environment Health Officers in England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland,
Environmental Interest Groups,
Respiratory Health Interest Groups,
National and motoring press,
Government Research Institutes,
and a number of interested individuals.
Copies were also placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he or his officials have had with his counterpart in the Irish Republic over the past year in regard to the quantity and type of toxic waste imported into the United Kingdom from the Republic.
Mr. Atkins : My hon. Friend the then Minister for the Environment and Countryside met the Irish Environmental Protection Minister on 15 July last year, when a number of issues were discussed including the Irish Republic's plans for disposing of its hazardous waste.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide a breakdown of spending for 1993-94 of the grant-in-aid given to the Groundwork Foundation, showing how much money was forwarded by the foundation to Groundwork trusts and how much was used by the Groundwork Foundation.
Mr. Atkins : The Groundwork Foundation's grant allocation for 1993- 94 is £5,516,000, of which the foundation expects to pay £3,792, 014 in total to Groundwork Trusts. The foundation estimates that it will pay £1,994,318 as contributions towards the running costs of the trusts, £1,472,696 as grants for specific projects and £325,000 towards the purchase of computer systems. In addition, the foundation will spend £205,000 on training costs for the benefit of trust personnel. The foundation estimates that its own staffing and support costs will be £1,518,986.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the staff employed by the Groundwork Foundation in the financial years 1991-92 and 1992-93 with their annual salaries ; and if he will list the dates at which new staff were taken on.
Mr. Atkins : The Groundwork Foundation employed 17 staff in 1991-92 and the total cost of salaries was £663,693. In 1992-93 it employed 33 staff and salaries totalled £888,355. I am obtaining the more detailed breakdown the hon. Member has requested and shall write to him.
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table indicating the number of jobs created by (a) Teesside urban development corporation and (b) Tyne and Wear urban development corporation in each year since 1987.
|TDC |TWDC ----------------------------- 1987-88 |N/a |1,485 1988-89 |600 |7,670 1989-90 |2,600 |<1>387 1990-91 |2,800 |1,500 1991-92 |3,000 |4,452 1992-93 |3,123 |3,814 <1>The 1989-90 figure does not include shipyard and other related job losses.
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will supply for each financial year since 1987 the amount of grant aid given by his Department to (a) Teesside urban development corporation and (b) Tyne and Wear urban development corporation.
£ million |TDC |TWDC ----------------------- 1987-88 |5.0 |4.0 1988-89 |20.7|24.0 1989-90 |36.0|35.8 1990-91 |42.1|37.8 1991-92 |56.2|40.5 1992-93 |40.3|44.1
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of private sector investments was attracted by (a) Teesside urban development corporation and (b) Tyne and Wear urban development corporation broken down to show (i) United Kingdom investment and (ii) overseas inward investment.
Mr. Baldry : The amount of private secrtor investment in the Tyne and Wear and Teesside urban development corporation areas during the lifetime of the corporations up to 31 December 1993 was as follows :
£ million |TDC |TWDC ------------------------------------------ United Kingdom investment |591 |559 Overseas inward investment |77 |25
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all television advertising, newspaper advertising, radio advertising and other promotional campaigns with a budgeted cost in excess of £10,000 conducted by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies (i) in the current financial year and (ii) planned for 1994-95, showing for each the objectives and mechanisms for asssessing the effectiveness of the advertising.
Helping the Earth Begins at Home
The objective of this campaign was to create a link between domestic energy consumption and global warming, and to reduce energy use. The campaign focused on raising awareness of energy efficiency methods and encouraging energy efficient behaviour among householders.
Rent to Mortgage
The objective of the campaign was to inform qualifying tenants of the new rent-to-mortgage scheme.
The effectiveness of these campaigns was assessed by market research and coupon/telephone responses.
At the present time the only campaign planned for 1994-95 with a budget exceeding £10,000 is :
Helping the Earth Begins at Home
The Department's agencies have not run any advertising campaigns with a budget in excess of £10,000 in the current financial year and there are currently no plans for campaigns in 1994-95.
Mr. Baldry : The new Government offices for the regions will come into existence in April and, although detailed arrangements are still being worked out, our intention is that there should be no resultant increase in the cost of central Government.
Mr. Baldry : Some 2,752 staff are currently employed in the existing regional offices of the Departments of the Environment, Employment, Trade and Industry and Transport. This figure excludes Department of Transport staff who will transfer to the Highways Agency from 1 April. No final decision on the complement of each new regional office has yet been taken.
Mr. Baldry : Each senior regional director, with the exception of the London appointee, is to be paid at the appropriate personal point on the grade 3 national pay range (currently £51,360--£59,599). An announcement about the appointment of a senior regional director for London will be made in due course.
Mr. Baldry : Thirty-one city challenge partnerships are currently implementing their five-year programmes for regeneration. At the end of the first full year of operation the key achievements of the 11 pacemaker partnerships were :
3,154 dwellings completed/improved,
2,712 jobs created/preserved,
114 hectares of land improved,
78,254 sq.m of new/improved business and commercial floorspace, 269 new business start-ups.
It is estimated that, over the five years, £1,162 million of City Challenge funding will attract private sector investment of £3,100 million.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will specify the outstanding problems relating to the details of the EC directive on environmental audits, mentioned in his speech of 7 February, Official Report, column 78.
Column 734the eco-management and audit scheme in the United Kingdom and aim to have it fully operational by April/May 1995. My right hon. Friend's comments were made in response to a question on the EIA directive (85/337/EEC).
The Government are committed to the principle of environment impact assessment, but we are concerned about inconsistent application within the Community, as described in the Commission's five-year report on the implementation of the EIA directive. Explanatory memoranda were submitted to the House of Commons Select Committee on European Legislation on 19 May 1993 and 10 January 1994. The Government will therefore be urging the Commission to concentrate on securing fuller implementation of the directive before introducing substantial new requirements.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will provide details of the contents and date of dispatch of the United Kingdom report to the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert Atkins : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will shortly be placing a copy of the report in the Library at the time it is submitted to the United Nations Commission.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he proposes to ensure that the review of the Countryside Commission and English Nature does not delay the implementation of measures to conserve biodiversity in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Atkins : The Government published the first United Kingdom biodiversity action plan on 25 January. The study into bringing together English Nature and the Countryside Commission is being conducted in the light of our commitments to biodiversity and sustainable development, on which we are determined to make early and sustained progress. Bringing together these two bodies will ensure that institutional arrangements assist with the delivery of those objectives. It will be important to ensure that the study does not cause a loss of momentum in carrying forward the policies and programmes of either of the two agencies concerned. It is for that reason that I aim to complete it within six months.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 11 January, Official Report, column 6, regarding the carbon dioxide emission implications of the latest GATT, if he will publish the outline of the calculations which led to his conclusions.
Mr. Atkins : As my hon. Friend the then Minister for the Environment and Countryside indicated in his answer of 11 January at column 6, the interngovernmental panel on climate change will be evaluating projections of world greenhouse gas emissions including the impact of the GATT agreement, for its second assessment report due to be published in 1995.
Mr. Baldry : There are no departmental criteria : shredding provides one way of disposing of certain categories of classified documents. Information as to the numbers of documents shredded in a typical day could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will ensure that any deregulation proposals concerning the environment and land use will be subject to an environmental assessment as part of the scrutiny procedure.
Mr. Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to respond to the fourth report from the Environment Select Committee of 1992-93, on energy efficiency in buildings, HC 648.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 14 February 1994] : Neither my right hon. Friend nor I have had discussions with ReChem about sources of toxic emissions. However, Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (HMIP) has, and continues to be in regular contact with ReChem regarding the authorisation and operation of its incinerators.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will press for the immediate implementation of the aid regime promised as a concomitant arrangement to the change in the banana regime for the Windward Islands, Dominica and Belize.
There are funds for assistance in the European Community 1994 Budget, which has already been approved. We are working closely with the Commission to assess how these can best be used to assist the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 10 February, Official Report , column 414 , who will be signing the reply to the chief executive of Manchester Airport plc in regard to liberalising access to regional airports ; and if he will place a copy of his reply in the Library.