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Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment in how many instances since the introduction of mineral planning guidance 3 the costs of appeal against local authority refusals to agree opencasting have been paid by his Department ; and what is the total sum involved.
Sir Patrick McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what criteria he intends to apply when considering the granting of statutory power to the New Forest Committee ; and what account he has taken in considering the granting of such powers of the New Forest Acts of Parliament.
Mr. Atkins : Our 1992 consultation paper set out the remit under which a statutory New Forest Committee might operate. They are that it could have a strategic role in co-ordinating the management of the wider New Forest area and could be charged to work with and through existing organisations in pursuit of the care and protection of the wider New Forest area and its enjoyment by the public.
Responsibilities of the existing bodies concerned with the protection of the forest or the New Forest Acts would not be affected.
Sir Patrick McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy that any granting of statutory power and Government funding to the New Forest Committee will not diminish or threaten the continuance of the current New Forest Acts of Parliament.
Mr. Baldry : There are three city grant projects in the Dearne valley currently under construction. As yet, no permanent jobs have been created, although it is expected that up to 400 will be created later this year following the completion of one of the projects and a further 1,800 when all three schemes are finished.
In addition, between 60 and 100 jobs have been created during the construction period.
Column 113Construction on Friday 25 February are being undertaken in his ministerial capacity ; and what proportion of the cost of the visit is borne by the vote of his Department.
construction-related and property services.
Mr. Baldry : We are today issuing a consultation document inviting comments on the Government's detailed proposals for extending compulsory competitive tendering to local authority professional construction-related and property services, including architecture, engineering, valuation and surveying services.
When my right hon. and learned Friend the then Secretary of State for the Environment announced to the House the Government's decisions on proposals to extend CCT to local authority white-collar corporate and professional services on November 10 1992, Official Report, column 744, he undertook that the Government would discuss details of implementing these decisions with representatives of local government and other interested parties. Since then, my officials have had very useful discussions with the local authority associations, the Audit Commission and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy on a number of joint working groups. Detailed proposals for CCT for the first of the new services to be brought into the CCT regime, local authority legal work, were issued for consultation last December. The paper issued today on professional construction-related and property services will be followed later this year by our detailed proposals for IT, finance, personnel and corporate and administrative services.
Copies of today's consultation paper will be placed in the Library. It includes a definition of these services, indicating how much of this work local authorities will be required to subject to CCT. The definition includes all professional construction-related and property management work undertaken for the management, maintenance or development of local authority buildings and land, and we are seeking views on whether it should also encompass professional support to regulatory and enforcement work.
As with the legal services, it also gives details of modifications which we intend to make to the statutory framework for competitive tendering to ensure that authorities will continue to be able to deliver services in a way which meets their own objectives and local people's aspirations.
We propose that local authorities be permitted to carry out up to 35 per cent., by value, of all professional construction-related and property services work using their own staff without going through competition, subject to smaller authorities being able to retain a minimum of £450,000 worth of work in-house and free of competitive tendering. This recognises that certain work must be retained both to enable an authority to fulfil its democratic responsibilities and to act as an intelligent client for bought-in services.
We propose that an authority will not be able to award any of the remaining 65 per cent. of work to their own staff
Column 114unless they have won it in fair and open competition. This requirement will be phased in over six months to allow authorities time to make proper preparations. We also intend to make provision to exempt professional work supporting construction or maintenance projects under way at the time at which CCT first bites to prevent undue disruption to work programmes.
Following consideration of comments received on the proposals included in this consultation document, I will submit to the House the statutory instruments required under the Local Government Act 1988 to give effect to our proposals. I anticipate that CCT will take effect from 1 October 1995 in metropolitan districts and in London. My hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Planning announced on 17 December last year a modified timetable for white collar CCT, including construction-related services, in shire counties and districts which are subject to review by the Local Government Commission.
Experience with the manual services already subject to CCT has shown that competition brings not only financial savings, but significant improvements in the management, efficiency and quality of public services. I fully expect that CCT will bring the same benefits to construction-related and other white collar work.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will be taking to ensure that planning and transport policies are better co-ordinated to minimise damage to the environment and the nation's health.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 21 February 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to chapter 26 of the Government's "United Kingdom Sustainable Development Strategy", which sets out our overall approach. One key element will be planning policy guidance note 13--PPG13--"Transport". It will provide guidance on integrating and co-ordinating land-use planning and transport procedures. It will also suggest locational policies for local planning authorities to take into account in preparing their development plans. The aim is to meet the social and economic needs for access, with less need for travel and consequential air pollution.
Medical aspects of air pollution are being explored by a number of independent groups that have been set up by the Government. These include the Committee on Medical Aspects of Air Pollution, the Advisory Group on Medical Aspects on Air Pollution Episodes and the expert panel on air quality standards.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what support is currently available for the development and redevelopment of canals in the United Kingdom ; and what was available in April 1992.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 21 February 1994] : The British Waterways Board, which is responsible for canals in England, Wales and Scotland, is receiving grant in aid of £49.3 million from my Department in the financial year 1993-94. Grant support in 1992-93 was £51.1 million. In addition, individual canal projects can be considered for my Department's derelict land grant and environment action fund schemes. Local authorities can assist in
Column 115maintaining and improving inland waterways, and financial support may also be available from EC structural funds.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to the oral answer by the Minister for Housing to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Burden) on 16 February, Official Report, column 936, if he will publish a table distinguishing the total number of lettings of rented housing expected to be completed in 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96, from the total expected output by housing associations in those three years.
Sir George Young [holding answer 21 February 1994] : The Housing Corporation's approved development programme provides new lettings of rented housing in two ways : new lettings provided by the rental programme ; and new lettings freed up through the tenants' incentive scheme and 60 per cent. of the do-it-yourself shared ownership programme which helps existing housing association and local authority tenants to become full or partial owner occupiers. The Housing Corporation estimates that in the years 1993-94 to 1995-96 its approved development programme will provide new lettings for rent and for shared ownership as set out in the table.
|1993-94|1994-95|1995-96 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- New lettings for rent |42,800 |41,800 |31,900 Properties freed up by: TIS |6,300 |7,000 |7,000 DIYSO (60 per cent. of total DIYSO) |3,240 |2,820 |4,560 |--- |--- |--- Total lettings for rent |52,340 |51,620 |43,460 New lettings for shared ownership: DIYSO (40 per cent. of total DIYSO) |2,160 |1,880 |3,040 Low Cost Home Ownership |3,100 |4,800 |5,000 |--- |--- |--- Total lettings for shared ownership |5,260 |6,680 |8,040 |--- |--- |--- Total lettings for rent and shared ownership |57,600 |58,300 |51,500
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list details and dates of all representations the Government have received from EU bodies concerning the Government's implementation of legislation covering the disposal of sheep dip, and the Government's responses to them.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 21 February 1994] : The United Kingdom received a letter of formal inquiry from the European Commission dated 29 April 1993 to which a response was sent on 12 August 1993. This followed a prior informal letter dated 24 October 1991 to which we responded on 20 December 1991.
Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the proposed new accounting framework for local authority support services cost, outlined in the consultation paper "Competing for Quality : Competition in the Provision of Local Services", November 1991.
Mr. Baldry : This Government are committed to bringing the benefits of competition to all public services. When he announced the Government's decision to extend compulsory competitive tendering to local authorities' professional and corporate services on 10 November 1992, column 744, my right hon. and learned Friend the then Secretary of State for the Environment also made clear he intended to require local authorities to account for the cost of these services under a rigorous and comprehensive statutory accounting framework. I am pleased to announce that my Department is today publishing a consultation paper setting out detailed proposals for requiring local authorities to prepare and publish a statement of support service costs. This statement, which will be published with an authority's annual accounts and be subject to audit, will illustrate the full cost, including overheads, of each of the professional and corporate services to the authority and show how this cost is borne by front-line service departments. A copy of the consultation paper will be placed in the Library of the House.
Requiring local authorities to publish the cost of procuring or providing support services will stimulate the challenging of these costs by both internal customers and by local taxpayers, and promote the development of fair competition and a proper choice between internal and external service providers. It will also, I believe, encourage comparisons between similar authorities, thus increasing pressure for greater efficiency and value for money.
These proposals have been developed by Government following detailed discussions with representatives of local authorities, the audit and accounts commissions and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accoutancy. Consultation with local authorities and other interested parties will end on 29 April. The new requirement to keep an SSSC will be introduced by regulations made under section 23 of the Local Government Finance Act 1983 soon after that. The first authorities will be required to publish an SSSC for the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessments are being made by his Department on the impact on traffic flows in surrounding areas arising from the City of London's current security arrangements ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : The Department of Transport has made no formal assessment of the experimental traffic measures introduced by the City of London but is aware of the traffic monitoring at sites in the City and in five adjacent boroughs.
Mr. MacGregor : My review has now been concluded and a consultation document on revised draft inquiry rules is being published today with a view to implementing revised rules in the summer. The public inquiry represents a key stage in the planning of a trunk road as it allows a
Column 117final decision to be made in the light of all information and arguments. The current 1976 and 1967 rules governing highway inquiries no longer represent accepted best practice. This means that proceedings can take longer than is necessary or desirable. This wastes time and money and can mean substantially higher costs for objectors.
The consultation document, a copy of which has been placed in the Library, covers both highway inquiry procedures rules and compulsory purchase by Ministers inquiry procedure rules. There will be a three-month consultation period and I would welcome comments from anyone with an interest in the conduct of trunk road inquiries.
Mr. Freeman : The British Railways Board, with the strong support of the Government, is keen to help its managers and staff to mount successful bids for passenger franchises. BR therefore issued guidelines to its staff on 3 February about the steps it is taking to help managers and staff wishing to mount management or
management-employee buy-outs for franchises, including the provision of financial assistance, and to minimise potential conflicts of interest which may arise.
Under these guidelines BR employees wishing to lead a possible MBO or MEBO are asked to inform senior management before talking to third parties, such as potential backers or joint venture partners. Having done so, and agreed to accept the guidelines, potential MBO-MEBO teams may talk to advisers, prospective partners and backers as soon as the arrangements for establishing the shadow franchise in question have been agreed by the board's restructuring committee and endorsed by the franchising director.
Two guiding principles are established for giving access or information to franchise bidders. These are evenhandedness--the need for information provided to one bidder to be provided to all--and the need to ensure that the release of information is properly controlled and recorded. The guidelines set out detailed arrangements governing the provision of information, covering in particular the franchising director's important ro le in ensuring that the arrangements for the franchise competitions he holds are fair.
The guidelines indicate that the board will decide whether it is necessary or expedient to provide substitutes or additional cover for the members of an MBO-MEBO team for the period in which they would be mounting a bid, in the light of discussion with the team, and after consulting the franchising director.
The guidelines also indicate that the board will decide in each case whether it wishes to bid for a franchise and its intention, should the board win a franchise, to transfer the franchise company to the private sector as soon as possible after the franchise award. I welcome the issue of these guidelines, which make clear the British Railways Board's positive and helpful approach. I have placed a copy in the Library.
Mr. Freeman : The following are currently appointed to the British Railways Board : Sir Bob Reid ; finance director, Mr. J. J. Jerram ; technical director, Dr. P. Watson, OBE ; full-time member, Mr. D. E. Rayner CBE ; part-time members : vice-chairmen, Messrs. C. J. Campbell CBE and R. B. Horton ; other part-time members : Messrs. P. D. Allen, J. K. Aziz, K. H. M. Dixon, C. W. Jonas, A. J. Norman, E. F. Sanderson, Miss K. Kantor and Miss J. A. Page.
Mr. Key [pursuant to his reply, 15 February 1994, c. 719] : The previous chief executive of the Driving Standards Agency was appointed on 2 April 1990. He did not receive any payments under his performance bonus scheme in respect of his first two years in DSA. Payment in respect of the third year is still being considered. He did receive in 1993 a special bonus of £500 for his work on options for the future of the agency.
Mr. Key : The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is currently working with the British Standards Institution, the police and the number plate industry to improve the readability and durability of number plates. Manufacturers and suppliers of plates could be required to put their names and addresses on plates so that they can be traced.
Mr. Key : The chief executive is eligible for performance-related bonuses of up to 15 per cent. which currently depend on the agency meeting or exceeding targets relating to efficiency, vehicle excise duty enforcement and quality of service.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the grade of the chief executive of the DVLA ; what is his basic salary ; and what is the maximum amount of performance pay that he can achieve in a year.
Mr. Key : The chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is a grade 3 post. His basic salary is £51,360 per annum. He is eligible for performance related cash bonuses of up to 15 per cent, which depend on the agency meeting or exceeding specific targets, but not for the general performance bonus arrangements for civil servants at grade 3.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the chief executive of the DVLA has received in bonus pay since his appointment to the post ; and for what reason such payments are made.
Mr. Key : The chief executive has received the following non- consolidated bonus payments : in the financial year 1991-92 a bonus of £750 in respect of personal performance in 1990-91 ; in the financial year 1992-93, a bonus of £2,250 in respect of personal performance in 1991-92 ; in the financial year 1993-94, a bonus of £5,782 for meeting the 1992-93 targets concerned with efficiency, VED enforcement and quality of service. The chief executive does not participate in the general performance bonus arrangements for civil servants at grade 3.
B |Fines (£s)|Section 9 |Costs (£s) |Backduty |(£s) ------------------------------------------------------------------ April-March 1990-91 |10,114,280|6,267,337 |1,585,784 April-March 1991-92 |11,847,904|7,644,060 |2,479,567 April-March 1992-93 |13,416,850|8,786,816 |3,485,706 April-January 1993-94 |14,954,417|8,322,997 |3,757,913 |----- |----- |----- Total |50,333,451|31,021,210|11,308,970
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by year since its introduction the amount of revenue generated for the enforcement operations of DVLA by the use of the LOBS computer system ; and if he will estimate for the next three years the amount expected.
Year |Revenue |raised £ |million ----------------------------- 1985-86 |21.0 1986-87 |23.1 1987-88 |23.6 1988-89 |25.6 1989-90 |25.9 1990-91 |27.5 1991-92 |34.5 1992-93 |37.5 <1>1993-94 |36.1 1994-95 |- 1996-97 |<2>- <1>Figures to end January 1994. <2>Estimated similar year-on-year increase.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions there have been for violation of the construction and use regulations 1986 governing in-service emissions from motor vehicles.
Mr. Key : I regret the information is not available. The Home Office collects statistics relating to police prosecutions under the Construction and Use Regulations 1986 ; but they do not identify specific offences.
However, the latest statistics published by the Department's vehicle inspectorate show that almost 2 per cent. of heavy goods vehicles, 2.5 per cent. of public service vehicles, and almost 11 per cent. of cars and other passenger vehicles initially fail the emissions check at their annual roadworthiness test.
Mr. Norris : The United Kingdom tabled a liberalisation proposal in December which goes much further than anything we have previously offered. It takes a phased approach offering immediate complete liberalisation of all UK-US services except those involving Heathrow and Gatwick and offers real commercial opportunities at those two airports.
I hope that the United States will recognise our proposal as a serious one and agree to meet us around the negotiating table soon so that we can achieve a deal by 19 April, as agreed between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and his United States counterpart last year.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a table showing the number of road traffic accidents involving injury to (a) vehicle users, (b) pedestrians and (c) all persons affected in the Greenwich town centre area in each year since 1985.
Road accidents and casualties on A200 and A206 within Greenwich town centre area (Romney road and westwards to junctions with Norman road) Year |Total PI |Vehicle user|Pedestrian |accidents |casualties |casualties ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |98 |99 |17 1986 |95 |101 |17 1987 |75 |66 |23 1988 |66 |60 |18 1989 |99 |93 |25 1990 |91 |71 |25 1991 |76 |80 |15 1992 |79 |65 |18 <1>1993 |51 |51 |11 <1> January to October.
Mr. Enright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the latest figures for road accidents involving each category of minibuses for each of the last three years in each (a) local authority and (b) police area.
Mr. Key : Police reports of injury road accidents involving minibuses and motorised caravans for the years 1990 to 1992 in police force areas are shown in the table. No more detailed analysis of these vehicles is collected. Information for 1993 is not yet available.
There are 461 London boroughs and local authority districts. An analysis of minibus and motorised caravan accidents at this level of detail is not readily available.
Personal injury accidents involving minibuses/motor caravans, by police force area, 1990 to 1992 Police area |1990 |1991 |1992 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Metropolitan police |114 |136 |133 Cumbria |22 |28 |24 Lancashire |37 |39 |48 Merseyside |68 |77 |74 Greater Manchester |109 |93 |82 Cheshire |43 |37 |49 Northumbria |24 |20 |18 Durham |8 |17 |16 North Yorkshire |56 |34 |44 West Yorkshire |38 |30 |32 South Yorkshire |48 |40 |42 Humberside |28 |26 |25 Cleveland |19 |11 |4 West Midlands |51 |59 |55 Staffordshire |28 |23 |21 West Mercia |36 |18 |15 Warwickshire |8 |9 |14 Derbyshire |7 |6 |6 Nottinghamshire |32 |20 |16 Lincolnshire |40 |20 |27 Leicestershire |58 |27 |40 Northamptonshire |22 |25 |16 Cambridgeshire |32 |40 |33 Norfolk |51 |39 |26 Suffolk |11 |18 |15 Bedfordshire |13 |16 |17 Hertfordshire |22 |18 |16 Essex |42 |51 |49 Thames Valley |52 |64 |65 Hampshire |77 |74 |75 Surrey |40 |26 |23 Kent |78 |79 |56 Sussex |63 |56 |63 City of London |0 |0 |0 Devon and Cornwall |58 |34 |47 Avon and Somerset |31 |48 |27 Gloucestershire |18 |23 |17 Wiltshire |8 |6 |20 Dorset |24 |27 |23 North Wales |41 |44 |34 Gwent |24 |25 |19 South Wales |51 |57 |65 Dyfed-Powys |27 |35 |32 Northern |27 |31 |26 Grampian |40 |18 |22 Tayside |17 |15 |14 Fife |20 |11 |11 Lothian and Borders |21 |36 |20 Central |9 |6 |14 Strathclyde |122 |88 |76 Dumfries and Galloway |11 |10 |5 |--- |--- |--- Total |1,926 |1,790 |1,711
Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to ensure that the contraflow system in place during widening of the M6 in Cheshire is adequately and correctly signposted to ensure no last-minute lane changing on the southbound carriageway of the M6 at junction 21A and 21, when changes to the contraflow take place.
Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on a cones hotline concerning the lack of signposting of the correct lane for access off the M6--southbound--to M56 on Sunday 13 February.
Mr. Key [holding answer 21 February 1994] : Work on the widening scheme started in November 1992. Good progress is being made and I expect the widening--including the refurbishment of the present Thelwall viaduct--to be completed in summer 1996.
Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations he has received via the cones hotline concerning the carriageway repairs to the M4 at Heston ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what progress is being made to the carriageway repairs of the M4 near Heston ; and when he expects the work to be completed.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 February 1994] : The M4 has provided sterling service since it was built nearly 30 years ago but now needs major refurbishment. Three representations have been made through the cones hotline about the carriageway works currently under way between Heston service area and Boston Manor road. These works, involving partial reconstruction of the concrete carriageway followed by full overlay with bituminous material, started on 22 January and were expected to take 13 weeks. However, good progress is being made and, weather permitting, the works could be completed in a total period of about 10 weeks.
Further works are planned between junction 4 and the elevated section for later this year to complete the refurbishment programme which will prevent the sort of failures experienced last year. These are part of a £30 million programme of essential works for the main radial routes in west London over the next 18 months. These works are necessary to keep the roads safe and serviceable, and to improve their appearance, but everything possible will be done to minimise any inconvenience to road users.