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Mr. Baldry : The partners in the three City Pride cities, Birmingham, London and Manchester, have all formed partnerships to take forward the preparation of prospectuses for their areas, and are making good progress.
Sir George Young : The Housing Corporation's capital programme provided 98 new homes in rural areas--defined as settlements with a population of 3,000 or less--in 1990-91, 491 in 1991-92, 1,665 in 1992-93 and 1,701 this financial year up to the end of February 1994. These figures exclude completions of new homes which were approved before 1989-90, since the Housing Corporation did not collect such information on rural schemes approved prior to this date.
Member State |Percentage of |population |served by |sewage works ------------------------------------------- Belgium<1> |33 Denmark |100 France |52 Germany (West) |92 Greece |76 Ireland |44 Italy |60 Luxembourg |92 Netherlands |90 Portugal |45 Spain |47 United Kingdom |88 <1> Wallone region only Source: 10th Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities, Municipal Waste Water Treatment, volume I, May 1991.
Mr. Atkins : In England and Wales analyses of water and waste water carried out by water companies, local authorities, and the National Rivers Authority, are made available for public inspection. The drinking water inspectorate publishes annually the results of the analyses of drinking water. So far as we are aware, comprehensive information is not available on the position in other member states.
The home energy efficiency scheme provides grants for basic energy efficiency measures for vulnerable members of society. On 1 April funds for the scheme are to be almost doubled and the scheme extended to elderly and disabled people. Local authorities run substantial council housing repair and improvement programmes which include energy efficiency measures. The new single regeneration budget will incorporate energy efficiency work currently covered in the estate action programme. VAT on domestic fuel and power will also contribute to improved efficiency and conservation.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment United Kingdom authorities are able to make of the health effects on battery recycle workers in industrialising third world nations which import acid batteries from the United Kingdom for recycling.
Mr. Atkins : There is no requirement under present legislation for United Kingdom authorities to make assessment of the type suggested. When the EC Waste Shipments Regulation applies in May, the export of waste for recovery will be prohibited if a competent authority of dispatch has reason to believe that a shipment will not be managed in accordance with environmentally sound methods in the country of destination. Guidelines for environmentally sound recovery operations are being prepared by a working group under the Basel convention.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evaluation he has made of the relevance to the United Kingdom sustainable development strategy of the report to the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection on the monitoring by the EC of the implementation of Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environmentand Development by Mrs. Guadalupe Ruiz-Giminenez Aguilar, MEP.
Mr. Baldry : As my right hon. Friend considers the recommendations of the Local Government Commission in each of the shire counties, he will be looking to ensure that they enable adequate provision to be made for all existing local government functions, including records and archives.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the Government's policy on the level of public expenditure on (a) the collection and maintenance and (b) the availability locally for public inspection of local records.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he proposes to allow the Energy Savings Trust to offer a lower rate of support to eligible owner-occupiers than to social housing ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what plans he has to exclude low-rise flats from the Energy Saving Trust grant schemes ; and if he will consider including (a) low-rise owner- occupier flats and (b) low rise social housing flats that are an integral part of housing layouts in energy savings trust schemes.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 7 March, Official Report, columns 38 -39, if he will provide the total cost of each listed refurbishment where such figures are available, an analysis of the nature and cost of each refurbishment where it is available on an economic basis and the total cost of all refurbishments in (a) the SW1 postal district of London and (b) the remainder of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Baldry : As advised in my answer of 7 March, Official Report, columns 38-39, the detailed information requested on the nature and cost of the 77 refurbishment schemes listed cannot be provided at an economic cost.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the reason for the proposed increase in expenditure between 1993-94 and 1994-95, on hazardous wastes, as set out in figure 10 of his annual report and expenditure plans 1994-95 to 1996-97, Cm. 2507.
Mr. Atkins : The expenditure represents contributions to trust funds established under the UNEP Basel convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous waste and their disposal. Until this year, the United Kingdom made voluntary contributions of United States $50,000 to support the work of the convention. From 1994, the United Kingdom is required to make a mandatory contribution as a party to the convention of United States $119,930. The United Kingdom also makes additional voluntary contributions to the Basel technical trust fund which assists developing and other countries in need of assistance to implement the convention.
Since the figures in Cm. 2507 were finalised, it has been agreed that the United Kingdom should pay its mandatory contribution at the start of the relevant calendar year. As a result the first mandatory payment will now fall in 1993-94 and total payments in 1993-94 will be £131,807.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each local authority in Lancashire the capital receipts held by them resulting from the sale of land, property and other assets.
|Usable capital |receipts at |1 April 1993 |£'000 -------------------------------------------------------- Lancashire county council |3,427 Blackburn |0 Blackpool |6,561 Burnley |1,184 Chorley |982 Fylde |458 Hyndburn |0 Lancaster |619 Pendle |1,391 Preston |1,823 Ribble Valley |1,097 Rossendale |12 South Ribble |243 West Lancashire |1,434 Wyre |371
Sir George Young : Support in the form of grants is available both directly and indirectly to tenants to encourage and develop greater tenant participation in the management of local authority and housing association housing. The powers to pay grant derive from section 429A of the Housing Act 1985--as inserted by section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986-- and from section 87 of the Housing Associations Act 1985 respectively.
With the introduction of the right to manage on 1 April 1994, section 16 grant will be focused increasingly on the development of tenant management organisations. Grant provision of £6.4 million is available during 1994-95.
Housing association tenant participation is sponsored by the Housing Corporation. In 1994-95 the corporation expects to spend £2.4 million in providing grants under section 87. The emphasis of this programme is on the establishment of tenants groups and for aid to housing associations wishing to involve tenants in the management of their homes.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of quangos for which he is responsible ; how much in public funds has been given to each quango in each of the last three years ; what is the current staffing establishment of each quango ; and what it was five years ago.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many self-financing regulatory authorities his Department has set up since 1979 ; what was the annual running cost of each of the self-financing regulatory
Column 682authorities in each of the last three years ; what is the current staffing establishment ; and what it was last year and two years ago.
The figures for its running costs over the last three financial years are :
|£million --------------------------- 1991-92 |5.7 1992-93 |6.1 1993-94 |<1>8.2 <1>Estimate.
Staff figures for those years are respectively--
|Number ---------------------- 1991-92 |116 1992-93 |131 1993-94 |153
|Number --------------------- 1991 |149 1992 |181 1993 |174
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many environmental health officers there were in each of the last five years ; how many support staff they have ; what they cost in each year ; what mileage allowances were offered to environmental health officers ; and whether they get cars supplied.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state (a) the location of the new integrated Government office for London and when it will commence operations, (b) the numbers of civil servants attached to, or related to, specific Government Departments to be posted to it, (c) the number of any other employees located there, (d) the date when he expects to announce the name of the services' regional controller and (e) the date that post will be taken up.
Column 683currently located at 236 Grays Inn road, Millbank tower, Bridge place and 2 Marsham street respectively. In the short term, the functions of the new office will continue to be performed from those offices. The Government Office for London will open for business in April, staffed by some 320 civil servants from existing regional offices and related divisions. We hope to announce the appointment of the regional director in the near future and the successful candidate should take up their post shortly thereafter.
Mr. Gummer : Planning policy guidance note 6 contains our current policy. It encourages retail development that respects town centre vitality and viability, in locations that are accessible by a choice of means of transport and which encourage economy in fuel consumption. PPG 13, published yesterday, underlines the importance of these policies.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about the funding of Bradford's city centre project ; what funding applications from the project he has received in the past year ; how many have been (a) approved, (b) refused and (c) how many are still being considered ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 15 March 1994] : The Department is currently funding the Bradford city centre project under the urban programme and under section 73 of the Housing Act 1985. We have received no representations about the project's funding. The Department has offered BCCP section 73 grant to expand the organisation's outreach scheme in 1994- 95.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the reasons for the dates of approval of individual aid and trade provision projects not being given in the list to which he referred in his answer to the right hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) of 28 October 1993, Official Report , column 732 ; and if he will now make it his policy to provide the approval dates to Parliament.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The aid and trade provision scheme was established in 1978 and has been successful in securing over 270 overseas projects for Britain. In many of these projects the extended period of negotiation has meant that the project has been submitted for approval on more than one occasion. The list of successful ATP projects placed in the Library of the House is based on the dates when the formal Government-to-Government agreements or exchanges were signed for each project ; this is the operative date for project commencement. Details of the
Column 684dates of each individual approval is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. There are no plans to maintain such records centrally.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answers of 3 March, Official Report , column 800 , on what basis the payment to Antah Biwater JV is consistent with his answer on payments to Malaysian companies.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My answers in the Official Report , column 800 are consistent. The status of the rural water supply project had changed from that of a proposed project to that of a project formally agreed between the two Governments before the payment referred to was made.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons the ODA appointed a temporary rock expert to the Pergau design review panel ; what is the cost likely to be of further steel lining for the power tunnels ; what assessment the ODA has made of whether the contractors had an adequate geological evaluation of the cost of the project when they were given the work ; if he will place in the Library the relevant documents explaining the geological reasons requiring an increase in Balfour Beatty--Cementation costs ; and if he will make it his policy that any extra cost should be borne by the contractor.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : ODA appointed a rock mechanics expert for 2 weeks in early 1993 to advise Tenaga Nasional Berhad Malaysian power authority and ODA whether the design of the power tunnel and power cavern proposed by the contractor would ensure long term satisfactory and safe operation of the completed project. The cost of the additional steel lining in the power tunnel is the subject of a claim by the contractor for extra payment ; this is currently being discussed by the contractor and Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Geological information available to the Contractor was taken into account in the price submitted to DTI and ODA in March 1989 and at the time of contract signature in 1991. Under the terms of the contract it is the contractor's responsibility to deliver the completed project for a fixed basic price subject only to (i) the application of agreed indices for cost escalation of certain items and (ii) for specified geological risks, the cost of which is to be shared between the Contractor and the client. The geological reasons for the likely cost increase for further steel lining are the concern of the contractor and Tenaga Nasional Berhad. ODA is not a party to the contract between them. ODA will not meet any of the additional costs.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which international relief organisations have been forced to evacuate their humanitarian activities and in which locations in Sudan ; and what representations he has made to the Sudan Government.
Column 685been affected by the fighting. World Vision has reduced numbers in Thiet ; GOAL and AICF have taken people out of Ame, Aswa and Atepi camps, as has IRC ; and AAIN has been forced to reduce its staff in Maridi and evacuate its staff from Mundri, as has Oxfam from Mundri. Relief workers have also withdrawn from Ulang, Kier and temporarily from Akobo.
The United Nations has, with our support, made direct representations to the Government of Sudan about the indiscriminate bombing of civilians and the effects of the hostilities on the distribution of relief aid.
United Kingdom net official development assistance as a percentage of GNP 1979-1992 Year |Percentage --------------------------------- 1979 |0.52 1980 |0.35 1981 |0.43 1982 |0.37 1983 |0.35 1984 |0.33 1985 |0.33 1986 |0.31 1987 |0.28 1988 |0.32 1989 |0.31 1990 |0.27 1991 |0.32 1992 |0.31
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what action he proposes to take over the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts current management difficulties ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : The Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts-- ABSA--is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. As part of its activities, ABSA administers on behalf of my Department the business sponsorship incentive scheme. In that regard, my Department maintains a close working relationship with ABSA. I am not aware of any current management difficulties related to the scheme which would require action on my part.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what assessment he has made of the management arrangements at the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts in respect of handling Government grant aid ; when the organisation was last evaluated ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : In July 1993 the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts reported to my Department on the outcome of an independent, external review of its financial and management arrangements for the Government-funded business sponsorship incentive scheme. In the light of that detailed review, I am satisfied that efficient and effective systems are in place.
Mr. Peter Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what instructions have been given to the Director General of OFLOT about how he discharges his responsibilities under section 5.6 of the invitation to apply to run the national lottery ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) whether the article by Mr. Richard Branson in the Sunday Times of 20 February, constitutes a breach of section 5.6 of the invitation to apply ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what constitutes a breach of section 5.6 of the invitation to apply to run the national lottery ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of quangos for which he is responsible ; how much in public funds has been given to each quango in each of the last three years ; what is the current staffing establishment of each quango ; and what it was five years ago.
Mr. Norris : The information which my hon. Friend seeks is contained in "Public Bodies 1993" and previous editions of the same publication. Copies of all editions are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Key : The diversity of vehicle types and the way in which they are constructed are such that it is not possible to estimate the full range of costs involved in fitting belts to individual vehicles.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many self-financing regulatory authorities his Department has set up since 1979 ; what was the annual running cost of each of the self-financing regulatory authorities in each of the last three years ; what is the current staffing establishment ; and what it was last year and two years ago.
The Rail Regulator was appointed and the office of the Rail Regulator was established as a non-ministerial Government Department on 1 December 1993. However, the majority of the Rail Regulator's statutory functions will not be exercisable until the remaining provisions of the Railways Act are commenced at the beginning of April 1994. The Rail Regulator's running costs for 1994-95 are estimated to be £5.2 million. The average planned staffing establishment for 1994-95 is 55.
The executive agencies of the Department of Transport listed in the table have regulatory functions and are required to recover total costs through fees and charges. Information given is taken from agencies' annual reports.