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Mr. Hall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received in support of a single-tier structure of local government.
Mr. Baldry : Since we issued our consultation paper on the structure of local government in England in April 1991,
Column 370we have received many representations in favour of single-tier local government structures. They have come from local authorities and other local and national organisations, and from individuals including Members of this House. It is not possible, however, to produce a definitive list except at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what he expects the transitional costs of reorganisation in the Isle of Wight and Cleveland to amount to in total.
Mr. Baldry : We have made no such estimate. We have announced that we are prepared to make available to authorities in the Isle of Wight and Cleveland supplementary credit approvals up to a limit of £9 million in 1994-95. Subject to the approval of their applications for SCAs these arrangements will enable the authorities to borrow to meet specified transitional costs. The amount of SCAs issued will depend on the amounts incurred.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how the local authorities in Cleveland and the Isle of Wight are expected to raise the funds to cover the interest on the Government loan to cover the transitional costs of reorganisation ;
(2) what interest rate will be charged by the Government on the loan to Cleveland and the Isle of Wight to cover the transitional costs of reorganisation.
Mr. Baldry : The authorities in Cleveland and the Isle of Wight will receive supplementary credit approvals up to a specified limit. These will enable them to borrow to meet specified transitional costs and the interest incurred on the borrowing. It is anticipated that the borrowings and rolled up interest will be repaid out of the savings arising from the reorganisations. The rate of interest incurred will depend on the pool, or other, rate at which each authority borrows.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance his Department has provided to local authorities on the advice to be given to those who face eviction by bailiffs.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 2 March, Official Report , column 710 , if he will give a breakdown, using the categories used in his previous answer of money spent by Groundwork trusts which was collected from (a) local authorities and (b) the private sector for each year from 1988-89 to 1993-94.
Mr. Atkins : The tables show the income received from the local authorities and the private sector as devoted to expenditure on projects and running costs for the groundwork trusts in England. The information is not available in the categories specified in the previous question, Official Report , column 710 , which referred to the breakdown of Groundwork's grant in aid, nor is it available on a comparable basis for earlier years.
|Project |Running |costs |costs |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------ 1992-93 Local authorities |2,619,042|1,240,551 Private sector |3,371,103|247,363 1993-94<1> Local authorities |3,357,715|1,825,514 Private sector |3,435,145|357,620 <1>Estimated.
Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council tax banding appeals have been submitted to the Colchester valuation office ; how many appeals have been decided ; what is the likely time scale for resolution of the remaining appeals ; and what assessment he has made of whether sufficient resources are available to the Colchester valuation office.
Mr. Baldry : I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. Redmond) on 17 February, Official Report , column 967 . We are continuing to monitor closely the settlement of appeals in all offices of the Valuation Office agency. The agency is responsible for the allocation of resources to its individual offices.
Mr. Radice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many agency chief executives in his Department are currently paid more than £82,925, excluding performance-related bonuses ; and whether such chief executives were recruited directly to their present post from outside the civil service.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the results of the veterinary analysis of dead birds found recently on the east coast of Scotland and northern England.
Mr. Atkins : Some birds have been taken for post-mortem analysis and preliminary results indicate that they had low body weights and little or no fat reserves. Tissue samples were also analysed for heavy metal and organochlorine compounds but residues found were insufficient to have been the cause of death.
In the recent North sea incident, it is believed that the sea-bird deaths were caused by starvation, possibly due to a combination of strong onshore winds which may have disturbed normal feeding activity and, perhaps, a mismatch between bird location and food availability.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the dates between which each Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has held office in his Department since 1979.
Mr. Baldry : The Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State who have held office in this Department since 1979 are :
Column 372Lady Birk --March 1974 to January 1979
Ernest Armstrong --June 1975 to May 1979
Kenneth Marks --December 1975 to May 1979
Guy Barnett --April 1976 to May 1979
Lady Stedman --January 1979 to May 1979
Lord Bellwin --May 1979 to 6 January 1983
Hector Monro --May 1979 to September 1981
Geoffrey Finsberg --May 1979 to September 1981
Marcus Fox --May 1979 to January 1981
Giles Shaw --January 1981 to 8 June 1983
Sir George Young --September 1981 to 10 September 1986
Neil Macfarlane --September 1981 to 2 September 1985
William Waldegrave --9 June 1983 to 2 September 1985
Lord Avon --10 September 1984 to 25 March 1985
Richard Tracey --2 September 1985 to 15 June 1987
Angela Rumbold --2 September 1985 to 10 September 1986
Christopher Chope --11 September 1986 to 23 July 1990
Lord Skelmersdale --11 September 1986 to 15 June 1987
David Trippier --15 June 1987 to 24 July 1989
Colin Moynihan --15 June 1987 to 23 July 1990
Marion Roe --15 June 1987 to 25 July 1988
Virginia Bottomley --25 July 1988 to 27 October 1989
Lord Hesketh --1 February 1989 to July 1990
Lord Strathclyde --23 July 1990 to 7 September 1990
Patrick Nicholls --23 July 1990 to 11 October 1990
Robert Atkins --23 July 1990 to 30 November 1990
David Heathcoat Amory-- 27 October 1989 to 30 November 1990 Lady Blatch --7 September 1990 to 21 May 1991
Robert Key --11 October 1990 to 13 April 1992
Tony Baldry --30 November 1990 to date
Tim Yeo --30 November 1990 to 13 April 1992
Robin Squire --14 April 1992 to 27 May 1993
Lord Strathclyde --14 April 1992 to 17 September 1993
Baroness Denton --17 September 1993 to 11 January 1994
The Earl of Arran --11 January 1994 to date
s the cost of setting up the single regeneration budget offices to be.
Mr. Baldry : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 15 February, Official Report, column 734.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much the setting up of the single regeneration budget has cost.
Mr. Baldry : The single regeneration budget combines 20 existing Government expenditure programmes to provide flexible and responsive support for local initiatives which promote regeneration, economic development and industrial competitiveness. As such no additional costs have been involved in setting up the Budget ; indeed, the combination of programmes should improve value for money so that public investment will go further.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 14 February, Official Report, column 566, if he will list the European funding schemes for which local authorities can apply.
Mr. Baldry : The principal sources of European Community funding available to local authorities are the European Community's three structural funds. These are the European regional development fund, the European social fund and the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund. Local authorities may also be able to obtain grants or loans for specific purposes from various other European sources.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 14 February,
Column 373Official Report, column 566, what was the total amount of funding obtained by local authorities from Europe in each year since 1979 for which figures are available without incurring
Mr. Baldry : My Department has records of European regional development fund grants to local authorities in England. This information is set out in table 1. The figures represent the total value of ERDF grant approvals for local authority projects falling within my Department's policy responsibilities. However, it does not include grants to local authority companies, nor grants approved under programmes managed by other Departments.
Table 1-ERDF approved for local authority projects from 1 January 1979 to 31 December 1993 (by calendar year) Year |ERDF |approved |(£s) ------------------------------------------- 1979 |13,423,340 1980 |10,711,800 1981 |22,600,866 1982 |45,059,387 1983 |43,009,044 1984 |78,125,916 1985 |79,045,299 1986 |80,781,998 1987 |81,965,476 1988 |69,794,279 1989 |39,459,150 1990 |113,679,498 1991 |180,328,261 1992 |170,427,853 1993 |236,223,117 |------- Totals for all calendar years |1,264,635,284
Figures are also available for European Social Fund grants. Table 2 shows the total value of ESF grants approved or paid to local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales since 1990. Figures covering years prior to 1990 are not readily accessible.
Table 2-ESF granted for local authority projects from 1 January 1990 to 31 December 1993 (by calendar year) Year |ERDFgranted |(£s) --------------------------------------- 1990 |83,680,023 1991 |118,969,706 1992 |126,532,128 1993 |203,714,216 |------- Totals for all calendar years |532,896,073
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to improve the standard spending assessment system.
Mr. Baldry : We will be looking carefully at the priorities for future work and research into the standard spending assessment system in consultation with the local authority associations. We are always prepared to consider new evidence in support of changes in SSAs.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the standard spending assessments for each of the local authorities in Greater Manchester for 1994-95.
Mr. Baldry : The standard spending assessments for the local authorities in Greater Manchester for 1993-94 are as follows :
Authority |£ million|£ head ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bolton |188.498 |715 Bury |12.651 |622 Manchester |412.867 |958 Oldham |169.177 |768 Rochdale |158.355 |770 Salford |175.339 |754 Stockport |175.121 |602 Tameside |149.805 |678 Trafford |144.103 |664 Wigan |202.121 |654 Greater Manchester police authority |157.194 |61 Greater Manchester fire and civil defence authority |73.054 |28
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the total level of Government grant per head of population for 1994 -95 for (a) Wandsworth, (b) Westminster and (c) each of the district councils in Greater Manchester.
Mr. Baldry : Authorities receive revenue support grant annually and, where their standard spending assessment for 1994-95 has been reduced by more than 2 per cent. as a result of incorporating the results of the SSA review and 1991 census data, will receive SSA reduction grant. The figures, expressed as pounds per head, for Wandsworth, Westminster and the district councils in Greater Manchester are given.
Authority |RSG |SSA reduction|Total |grant ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Wandsworth |507 |105 |612 Westminster |760 |41 |801 Bolton |386 |- |386 Bury |282 |- |282 Manchester |635 |- |635 Oldham |443 |- |443 Rochdale |442 |- |442 Salford |430 |- |430 Stockport |247 |- |247 Tameside |349 |- |349 Trafford |310 |- |310 Wigan |329 |- |329
In addition, these authorities will receive redistributed national non- domestic rates of £196 per head.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total amount of capital receipts currently held by each of the district authorities in Greater Manchester ; and what is the total amount of reserved receipts held.
Mr. Baldry : Figures for usable receipts and for unapplied provision for credit liabilities are given. No separate figures are available for unapplied reserved receipts set aside as provision for credit liabilities.
|Usable |Provision for |receipts at |credit liabilities |31 March 1993 |(PCL)at |31 March 1993 |£ million |£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bolton |1.8 |2.0 Bury |0.6 |14.5 Manchester |1.4 |70.2 Oldham |Nil |35.9 Rochdale |3.8 |23.8 Salford |0.5 |19.5 Stockport |Nil |15.3 Tameside |2.0 |<1>15.8 Trafford |7.6 |29.5 Wigan |1.4 |25.1 <1>At 31 March 1992.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when regulations will be laid before Parliament to extend the home energy efficiency scheme to pensioners and disabled people, as announced in the Budget on 30 November.
Mr. Atkins : Proposals to amend the regulations governing the home efficiency scheme which would extend eligibility for the scheme to those receiving disability living allowance and those aged 60 and over were laid before Parliament yesterday.
Mr. Peter Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to make a decision about the removal of Crown exemption from planning legislation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : My Department issued a consultation paper in November 1992 inviting comments on proposals to remove Crown exemption from the planning system. Similar consultation papers were issued by the Scottish and Welsh Offices and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. The principle behind these proposals was that in future all Crown bodies should be required to apply for planning permission, hazardous substances consent, listed building consent, conservation area consent, and scheduled consent in the normal way. This principle received overwhelming support. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for Scotland therefore intend to remove Crown exemption from the planning system as soon as a suitable legislative opportunity arises. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will introduce similar changes in Northern Ireland.
We propose to introduce minor refinements to our original proposals, in response to comments on the consultation paper. In particular, we shall seek to provide an informal appeal mechanism to deal with disputes between local planning authorities and Crown bodies in relation to alleged breaches of planning control. This remedy would be in addition to a High Court declaration.
Once implemented, these proposals will mark a significant increase in the openness and accountability of Government Departments.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date Ministers received the report of the Forestry Commission review group ; and which Ministers received a copy.
Sir Hector Monro : The report of the forestry review group was submitted on 28 February to those Ministers who were represented on the review group.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider measures to address the situation that whilst antique shops must be licensed and pay a fee as such, dealers selling at car boot sales are not subject to such a fee.
Mr. Lang : District and island councils may resolve to license the activities of second-hand dealers under the provisions of part II of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. Antique dealers may be licensed as second-hand dealers under section 24 of that Act, and some authorities license car boot sales as private markets in terms of section 40, though such sales are exempt if held by charitable and certain other organisations. Licensing authorities may charge such reasonable fees as they may determine in relation to such licenses by virtue of paragraph 15 of schedule 1 to the 1982 Act. Any fee charged to participants selling goods at a car boot sale is at the discretion of the operator.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many hospitals are currently directly managed by health boards ; how many there will be on 1 April ; and what percentage of total bed provision those hospitals will represent.
Mr. Stewart : The information requested is set out in the table :
Numbers of directly managed hospitals and bed provision Numbers of Percentage bed hospitals in: provision<1> in: |DMUs |Trusts|DMUs |Trusts ------------------------------------------------------ At 30 September 1993 195 80 68 32 At 1 April 1994<2> |81 |194 |16 |84 <1> Average available staffed beds during quarter ended 30 September 1993. <2> Figures for 1 April 1994 are an estimate based on bed provision at 30 September 1993.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money was generated by the NHS in Scotland from amenity charges ; and how many people paid them in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Mr. Stewart : The information available in respect of income from amenity beds is as follows :
|1991-92|1992-93 |£ |£ ----------------------------------------------------- Single Rooms and Small Wards |292,362|258,323
Figures are not available on the number of patients using amenity beds who paid for them.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made towards identifying defunct charitable accounts, with a view to reallocation of their funds, in terms of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : We have undertaken a preliminary trawl of banks and building societies in Scotland which indicates that the total amount held in dormant charitable accounts is likely to be between £100,000 and £150,000. We are at present considering the next steps and hope to make an announcement shortly.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many tenants have been decanted from their homes in Dreghorn while the refurbishment of their homes by Scottish Homes takes place ; and whether all tenants were offered the opportunity to be decanted when it became apparent that the work on their homes was of a major nature ;
(2) if he will make a statement about the current programme of works being undertaken by Scottish Homes in Dreghorn ; and how many homes are involved in the work ;
(3) what measures have been adopted by Scottish Homes to monitor the refurbishment work being undertaken by contractors operating on their contracts in Dreghorn ;
(4) what arrangements have been made by Scottish Homes for safeguarding the health and welfare of tenants living in Dreghorn while their homes have been subject to major refurbishment ; (5) whether all Scottish Homes tenants in Dreghorn were advised of the nature of the refurbishment work to be undertaken on their properties before it began ; what degree of choice tenants were given as regards agreeing to the work being carried out or not ; and how many tenants opted not to be part of the programme of refurbishment ;
(6) what arrangements exist for Scottish Homes to compensate tenants living in Dreghorn whose properties have been damaged while the work on their homes has been carried out.