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Sir Keith Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in upgrading sewage treatment works were in breach of their discharge consents at the time of privatisation of the water industry.
Mr. Atkins : The water industry's investment programme is making good progress. The latest figures available demonstrate a continuing improvement in the operational performance of sewage treatment works. In 1992 the proportion of works complying with their consent standards was more than 95 per cent. compared with 83 per cent. in 1988.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what support has been provided to local authorities where they have taken over miners' welfare schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : No specific support has been provided to local authorities for this purpose. The support of miners' welfare schemes is a matter for British Coal and the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation.
Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information his Department has about the number of authorities which appoint councillors as directors of companies who have contracted-out services for local authorities.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what resources will be made available to authorities in Cleveland and the Isle of Wight for reorganisation costs incurred by them in 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : We propose, on the basis, inter alia, of information provided by the authorities themselves, the Government's public expenditure plans and progress on implementing the review of local government, to issue to authorities in Cleveland and the Isle of Wight Supplementary Credit Approvals, subject to a maximum, to enable them to borrow to meet certain start-up costs which will be incurred in 1994-95 before they are reorganised. Once reorganised, the Government expects that, in general, early revenue savings and capital receipts from reorganisation will significantly reduce the need for further transitional assistance and will provide resources to repay borrowing undertaken in reliance on these SCAs. For 1994-95 the maximum amounts proposed for authorities in Cleveland and the Isle of Wight are as follows :
Authority |SCA maximum |£K (rounded) Isle of Wight Isle of Wight County Council |1,370 Medina Borough Council |80 South Wight Borough Council |30 Cleveland Cleveland Borough Council |1,060 Hartlepool Borough Council |1,680 Langbaurgh on Tees Borough Council |2,000 Middlesbrough Borough Council |1,040 Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council |1,740 |---- Total |9,000
Mr. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many accidents in the home each year result from faulty electrical wiring ; and what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure high standards of electrical installation.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 15 February 1994] : Between 1988 and 1992 the average number of deaths in the home due to receiving an electrical shock were 28. Of these less than 3 per cent. resulted from faults in fixed electrical wiring.
As a result of representations from: the deregulation task forces, the Electrical Contractors Association and others, my Department, in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Health and Safety Executive, is looking at the desirability and practicability of including electrical safety within the Building Regulations. My Department has also recently accepted an invitation to join other Government bodies on the board of the National Inspection Council for electrical Installation Contractors. Inspectors of the Health and Safety Executive and of local authorities enforce the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 which govern the safety of electrical installations in workplaces.
Mr. O'Hara : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if live horses have been used in the tests carried out at the defence weapons establishment at Porton Down into the efficacy of whips on horses ;
Column 817(2) which organisation has commissioned the defence weapons establishment at Porton Down to conduct tests on the efficacy of whips on horses ;
(3) what is the purpose of testing of the efficacy of whips on horses at the defence weapons establishment at Porton Down ; (4) on what date tests commenced at the defence weapons establishment at Porton Down on the efficacy of whips on horses ; and on what date they finished or will finish.
Letter from Mr. G. Pearson to Mr. Edward O'Hara, dated 16 February 1994 :
1. Your Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence asking about the testing of whips involving the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down have been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.
2. In June 1993 the Stewards of the Jockey Club established a Working Group to assess whether the current Rules of Racing were adequate to control whip abuse. The Terms of Reference of the Working Group are to promote and co- ordinate further research into the specifications and design of the whip together with methods of assessing possible injury. Because of CBDE's expertise in the development of protective equipment for Service personnel against impacts and explosive blast we were invited by the Animal Health Trust on behalf of the Jockey Club to advise the Whip Working Group on the probable biomechanical principles of impacts to skin by whips and to recommend a simple, objective and scientifically credible test method that can be used to rank whips submitted to the Jockey Club. The Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is acting in a purely advisory role and will not be undertaking the tests on the whips submitted to the Jockey Club. Live horses are not used in any of this advisory work being carried out by the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment. The tests will be carried out by the Jockey Club or their agents.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the policy of the Royal Air Force towards officers and men who fall into debt as a result of increased maintenance payments set by the Child Support Agency.
Mr. Hanley : The total number of hours booked at low level in the United Kingdom low flying system in 1993 was 107,220. This figure does not include the hours booked in the recently created low flying area 10 as this information is not yet available.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many low flying sorties were undertaken in the United Kingdom low flying system in the years 1989, 1990 and 1993, calculated on the pre-1985 basis of estimating sorties from numbers of movements.
9 Year |The approximate |number of sorties |using the pre-1985 |method --------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |121,088 1990 |125,210 1993 |<1>105,189 <1>This figure does not take account of movements flown within LFA 10 as this information is not yet available.
In addition, I regret that the answer given to the hon. Member on 2 April 1993 at column 505 did not take account of the number of night movements flown in 1991 and 1992. Revised figures for the approximate number of sorties flown using the pre-1985 method in 1991 and 1992 are as follows :
Mr. Hanley : Presentations by the Ministry of Defence low flying presentation team are currently planned to take place on Thursday 24 February at Barnard Castle, County Durham and on Monday 28 February at Llandrindod Wells, Powys.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the impact of the concentration of RAF fast jet advanced flying training at RAF Valley on the amount of low flying in north Wales ; and what research was carried out by his Department, prior to the decision to concentrate training at Valley, on (a) the effects on air traffic density and air safety and (b) the noise disturbance.
Mr. Hanley : Although every effort will be made to spread low flying sorties throughout the United Kingdom flying system, it is inevitable that with the concentration of fast jet advanced flying training at RAF Valley more use will be made of the airspace over north and mid Wales.
Revision of procedures for the management of the local airspace will ensure that the effect of this increased air traffic is minimised and that air safety is not compromised.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints about low flying were received by his Department from addresses in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland in each months since March 1993.
Mr. Hanley : The numbers of inquiries or complaints relating to military low flying training which my Department received during the period April 1993 to January 1994 from addresses in England, Wales and Scotland were as follows :
Month |England |Wales |Scotland ---------------------------------------------- 1993 April |263 |30 |84 May |404 |54 |118 June |541 |53 |105 July |666 |83 |92 August |566 |70 |108 September |403 |70 |70 October |259 |35 |94 November |164 |29 |73 December |193 |34 |49 1994 January |237 |27 |31
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft movements (a) by Hawk aircraft and (b) by other types of aircraft were recorded at RAF Valley in each of the last four years ; and what is the projected number of Hawk movements per annum at RAF Valley after the transfer there of all RAF fast jet advanced flying training.
Mr. Hanley : Records of aircraft movements at RAF Valley are designated as either fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter. It is therefore not possible to give a precise figure on the number of movements recorded solely by Hawk aircraft during the last four years, although in the figures shown in the table for fixed-wing movements, the majority were flown by Hawks :
|Movements ------------------------------ 1993 |46,007 1992 |60,771 1991 |66,469 1990 |62,007
The number of movements flown by helicopters at RAF Valley during the last four years were as follows :
|Movements ------------------------------ 1993 |5,410 1992 |6,827 1991 |12,813 1990 |14,846
When advanced Hawk training is transferred to RAF Valley, the projected number of Hawk movements per annum will be in the order of 65,000.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the titles of all survey and research reports produced by the Royal Air Force Institute of Community and Occupational Medicine since 1989.
Column 820Royal Air Force Institute of Community and Occupational Medicine (ICOM), has issued about 280 reports covering an extensive range of occupational and public health issues affecting the Royal Air Force worldwide. They include classified, in-confidence or otherwise sensitive subjects. All were produced solely for internal use within my Department and it would not be appropriate to release a complete list of titles.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the current and planned activities of the Royal Air Force Institute of Community and Occupational Medicine relating to aircraft noise.
Mr. Hanley : The RAF Institute of Health and Medical Training's current research activities include investigation of the noise levels surrounding helicopter landing sites and development of criteria for classifying the effect of night-time helicopter noise. The institute is undertaking research with Salford university into the noise effects of light aircraft operations. It also provides a member for a working group which is examining the feasibility of a study to investigate the possible effects on health of noise from low flying aircraft.
The institute has a number of research tasks planned in addition to the routine surveys of the noise contours around operational airfields. Future tasks include incorporating helicopter noise data into the AIRNOISE computer model and the calculation of noise from Chinook auxiliary power supply engines.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will commission a health study of British nuclear test participants and their families in order to compare health and genetic records with the general population ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : My Department has no plans for further studies regarding the British nuclear test veterans. As the recent National Radiological Protection Board report indicated that there was no risk to test participants, any effect on their families is therefore extremely unlikely.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he will take to ensure that cases of leukaemia and myeloma among British nuclear test participants are included in the studies of the National Radiological Protection Board.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action he proposes to take following the recent publication of the National Radiological Protection Board report into mortality and incidence of cancer in British nuclear test participants.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what efforts have been undertaken to assess the health risk to persons (a) not wearing protective equipment, (b) with a blue book entry and (c) present at the
Column 821time of explosion, in connection with studies by the National Radiological Protection Board into British nuclear test participants.
Mr. Hanley : The recent NRPB report concluded that participation in the test programme had no detectable effect on participants' expectation of life or on their overall risk of developing cancer or other fatal diseases.
United Kingdom regular forces Year |Royal Navy|Army |Royal Air |Gurkhas |Total |services |Force |including |Gurkhas ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |66,588 |92,899 |72,741 |742 |232,970 1980 |65,631 |96,363 |76,066 |905 |238,965 1981 |70,526 |96,653 |77,862 |1,258 |246,299 1982 |66,727 |90,127 |75,102 |596 |232,552 1983 |66,257 |88,977 |73,605 |1,167 |230,006 1984 |62,644 |92,278 |75,523 |1,226 |231,671 1985 |60,300 |93,021 |76,230 |1,226 |230,777 1986 |59,899 |92,093 |76,285 |1,300 |229,577 1987 |60,899 |90,616 |76,578 |1,201 |229,294 1988 |58,704 |91,560 |75,902 |1,342 |227,508 1989 |58,131 |88,481 |73,583 |1,170 |221,365 1990 |54,957 |88,290 |72,668 |1,437 |217,352 1991 |53,512 |82,392 |71,982 |1,373 |209,259 1992 |53,884 |85,951 |70,835 |1,346 |212,016 1993 |52,805 |82,605 |66,775 |1,397 |203,582
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish a list of the equipment stolen from his Department in the last three years for which information is available ; and what was the approximate value of each item.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much public money has been spent by the Ministry of Defence in maintenance, monitoring and repair of the sewage treatment works at RAF Saxa Vord since its completion in 1989.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy with regard to compensation of residents living in close proximity to RAF bases in respect of increased or excessive noise pollution and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : Since 1985, following a detailed examination of noise created by military aircraft, it has been my Department's policy to offer sound insulation grants to the owners/occupiers of houses in the vicinity of operational airfields which fall within certain scientifically defined noise contours. In cases where noise exceeds a higher level, the Department may offer to acquire the particular property concerned. There is also scope to provide compensation for the depreciation in value of property resulting from the bringing into use of new public works.
The Department's compensation scheme is a voluntary one but follows closely statutory schemes of the Department of Transport at civil airports.
To date, more than 30 such schemes have been introduced ; these are reviewed at five-yearly intervals unless operational changes are such that an earlier review is warranted.
Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the cost of the United Kingdom's nuclear defence capability, in money terms and as a percentage of his Department's budget, for (a) his Department as a whole, (b) the Royal Navy, (c) the Army and (d) the Royal Air Force.
|Estimated |Relevant |financial year |percentage of |1993-94 outturn|grouping/total |£ million |budget ---------------------------------------------------------------- Royal Navy |<1>1,200 |22.00 Army<2> |- |- RAF |<3>20 |0.36 |---- |---- Total |<4>1,820 |7.80 Notes <1> Direct capital and operating costs of Trident and Polaris. <2> The Army does not operate nuclear weapons. <3> Non warhead equipment, security and operating costs of the WE177. <4> Includes RN and RAF costs as shown, plus £600 million which falls to the Procurement Executive and Research Grouping.
Anyone who undertook certain civilian service in one of 50 different categories in the United Kingdom for a period of not less than three years between September 1939 and May 1945 may qualify for the defence medal ; and these categories include relevant service in a number of organisations with the words "civil defence" in their title. I am arranging for copies of leaflets giving full details of those who may qualify to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Service qualifying for the defence medal does not as such confer entitlement to the award of any other medal.
Mr. Aitken : A contract worth some £300m has been awarded today for the development, production and delivery in orbit of two Skynet 4 stage 2 military communication satellites. These will replace the existing Skynet 4 stage 1 satellites as they approach the end of their operational life.
British Aerospace is prime contractor for this work. The main sub- contractors are Matra Marconi Space (UK) for satellite communications payload work and McDonnell Douglas and Arianespace for the launch vehicles. This is an important contract which will ensure the well-being of the United Kingdom's space industry and contribute to its long-term future.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark), of 26 November, Official Report, column 240 , if he will publish, or place in the Library, a copy of his letter on Mr. Gordon Foxley.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were in temporary employment ; and what percentage they represented of total employees, in each region in each year since 1979.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons in receipt of unemployment benefit within the parliamentary constituency of Greenock and Port Glasgow have been unemployed for (a) more than six months, (b) more than 12 months and (c) more than two years ; and if he will give these figures for (i) men and (ii) women for each month since 1992.
Miss Widdecombe : A count of the numbers of people claiming unemployment related benefits, by duration, is available on the unadjusted basis only. Information for the months of January, April, July and October can be obtained from the NOMIS database in the Library.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people in (a) Lewisham and (b) London were in temporary employment at the latest available date ; and how many of them were women.
Miss Widdecombe : Latest estimates from the Summer 1993 Labour Force Survey show that there were 196,000 people in temporary employment in Greater London, of which 109,000 were women. No information is available on the numbers in temporary employment in Lewisham.
Work force in employment: Great Britain (Seasonally adjusted) Thousand |Full time|Part time --------------------------------------------- September 1993 |17,427 |6,941
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many 16 to 18-year-olds were undergoing apprenticeship training in (a) Lewisham and (b) London during each calendar year from 1990.
Miss Widdecombe : Information for the South East (which includes London) and for London separately on the estimated number of apprentices in spring of each year is given in the following table. No information is available for the Lewisham area.
Number of 16 to 18-year-olds undergoing apprenticeship training ('000s)<1> |Spring|Spring|Spring|Spring |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 --------------------------------------------------------- South East (including London) |45 |37 |38 |25 London |17 |12 |<2>- |<2>- Source: Labour Force Survey <1> This is based on the number of people reporting they were doing a recognised trade apprenticeship at the time they were interviewed. <2> Less than 10,000 in cell; estimate not shown.
Column 825in the number of people in (a) Lewisham and (b) London availing themselves of youth training, including credits and training for work schemes ; and if he will make a statement.