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Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for each civil service grade in his Department (a) the total number of persons employed and (b) the percentage of this figure that are women.
Mr. Hague : The information requested for permanent staff employed by the Department, including its agencies, on 28 February 1994 is as follows :
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the interviews he gave to (a) the broadcast and (b) print media on 8 and 9 March, respectively ; and if he will arrange for transcripts of his broadcast interviews to be put in the Library.
Mr. Waldegrave : On 8 March I gave formal radio and TV interviews to : ITN 5.40 pm news, Channel 4 news, BBC TV 6.00 pm news, Sky TV, BBC Radio PM programme and GMTV.
On 9 March I gave interviews to BBC Radio Today programme, LBC, BBC Jimmy Young programme, Channel 4 news, HTV and BBC Radio Bristol. I was interviewed by NHK TV Japan on the Science White Paper. In addition I spoke to print journalists and broadcasters as I arrived at various engagements during the day.
My Department does not hold transcripts of these interviews and they can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will set out the criteria and conditions he adopts in deciding whether to give full or abbreviated replies to parliamentary questions.
Mr. Waldegrave : I answer parliamentary questions on the basis set out in paragraph 27 of "Questions of Procedure for Ministers".
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list for each civil service grade in his Department (a) the total number of persons employed and (b) the percentage of this figure that are women.
Mr. David Davis : The staff in post figures as at 15 March 1994 for the Cabinet Office, the Office of Public Service and Science, including CCTA, and the six executive agencies for which I am responsible-- Chessington computer centre, Civil Service College, Occupational Health Service, the Recruitment and Assessment Services, COI and HMSO, are as follows :
Grade band |Total number|Percentage |of staff |women -------------------------------------------------------------- Grade 1 (including 1A) |3 |0.0 Grade 2 |19 |10.5 Grade 3 |26 |19.2 Grade 4 |4 |0.0 Grade 5 |70 |23.5 Grade 6 |93 |19.3 Grade 7 |347 |20.1 SEO |481 |26.2 HEO(D) and AT |17 |23.5 HEO | 877.5 |32.3 EO |951 |40.9 AO |1,275 |67.6 AA |515 |67.2 |---- |---- Total | 4,678.5 |45.4
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the cost of new furniture for his private office during the year 1993- 94.
Mr. Gummer : Such purchases are included within my Department's overall administration expenditure which is published every year in the annual report.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will conduct an urgent study into the extent of water pollution problems posed by landfill sites ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will conduct urgent studies into the connection between the landfill sites at (a) Docking, (b) Edgefield, (c) Hempton, (d) Mayton Wood, (e) Beetley,, (f) Attlebridge, (g) Blackborough End, (h) Costessey, (i) Harford, (j) Barnack road, (k) Helpston, (l) Wereham, (m) Rocklands, (n) Pakefield, (o) Norwich lane, (p) Buckden, (q) Bear's Pit and (r) Foxhall I and II, and water pollution ;
(3) what is the scientific basis for the criteria used by the Waste Regulation Authority to decide whether it is unlikely that pollution of the environment and water will occur from landfill sites ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The Department of the Environment has carried out research for many years on the environmental aspects of landfilling. Since 1990 my Department has been funding specific research into the effects of landfilling on groundwater. This research is continuing. It has already enabled the Department to produce the monitoring protocols which will be included in statutory guidance to be published shortly with the Waste Management Licensing Regulations to be made under part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This information will provide waste regulation authorities with a more precise means to decide whether a landfill site is unlikely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.
The sites listed by the hon. Member are mostly old and/or closed. The waste regulation authorities concerned and the NRA are aware of them and additional studies have been or are being conducted, where they have judged these are appropriate. I see no need for any additional study by my Department over and above the research I have mentioned.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what basis sites for air monitoring were selected ; if he will list the selected sites and the equipment used in respect of each ; and when monitoring came into effect.
Mr. Atkins : The basis of site selection, the sites involved, the measurement methods and the dates of monitoring for urban monitoring sites funded by the Department of the Environment are given in the first report of the quality of urban air review group published in January 1993 which has been placed in the Library of the House. Similar information for rural monitoring of ozone is given in the first report of the photochemical oxidants.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the organisations and individuals who have responded to the report of the efficiency scrutiny of the local government superannuation scheme ; and if he will place their responses in the Library ;
(2) which organisations and individuals who responded to the report of the efficiency scrutiny of the local government superannuation scheme supported the decentralisation of the local government scheme so as to allow local authorities to take responsibility for their own pension provision.
Mr. Gummer : My Department's efficiency scrutiny report on the local government superannuation scheme was completed in July 1993. Over 1,000 copies were circulated widely in England and Wales, together with a discussion paper. Two hundred and forty responses were received from local authorities, other organisations and individual scheme members. A list of respondees has been placed in the Library, but no authority has been received to publish their actual comments. However, respondees may be willing to give an indication of their views if approached. The following organisations expressed varying degrees of support for the scrutineer's recommendation that local authorities should take responsibility for their own pension provision :
Cambridgeshire County Council
Somerset County Council
Bradford Metropolitan Council
Birmingham City Council
Babergh District Council
Cherwell District Council
Woking District Council
National Rivers Authority
The Pensions Trust
Association of British Insurers
Bacon and Woodrow
Clay and Partners
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the reason for his projected progressive reduction in the expenditure projected on radioactive substances policy from £2.4 million in 1993-94 to £1.3 million in 1996-97 in figure 22 of his Department's annual report and expenditure plans 1994-95 to 1996-97, Cm 2507.
Mr. Atkins : The reduction in research expenditure on radioactive substances policy set out in figure 22 of Cm 2507 reflects the completion of the Department's current research and monitoring programme on radon. Research on other aspects of radioactive substances policy is being maintained on a stable basis, subject to normal year-to-year variations.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what remaining assets the Commission for New Towns has to dispose of in Basildon ; and when it will be wound up.
Mr. Baldry : In addition to the 2,444 rented and shared ownership dwellings and 10.7 acres of land due to be disposed of to the Basildon community housing
Column 787association before the end of March, the Commission for the New Towns retains the following assets for disposal in Basildon : 390 acres of developable land ;
186,633 sq. feet of freehold commercial premises ;
6,700 sq. feet of freehold industrial premises ;
560,067 sq. feet of lease/leaseback industrial premises ; 13,190 sq. feet of other miscellaneous properties ;
54 commercial ground leases ;
3 residential hostels where negotiations are currently in progress with the managing agents ;
6 miscellaneous properties used for social/voluntary purposes. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 27 July 1993, the Commission for the New Towns is to be wound up by no later than 31 March 1998. In the mean time, the Basildon office of the Commission will close to the public on 31 March 1994.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the reason for the proposed reduction in expenditure between 1994- 95 and 1995-96 on research and monitoring in the environment, as set out at figure 9 on environmental protection expenditure of his Department's annual report and expenditure plans 1994-95 to 1996-97, Cm 2507.
Mr. Atkins : Details of expenditure within the environmental protection programme are given in figure 22 of Cm 2507. Funding of environmental protection research and monitoring increased by about 50 per cent. since the 1990 White Paper, "This Common Inheritance". Year-to-year variations in funding, should be expected as projects move from start-up to completion. For example, the period between 1994-95 and 1995-96 is dominated by the procurement spend profile of the advanced along track scanning radiometer satellite instrument, which is due for launch in 1998.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will call for a report into complaints of corruption in the Liverpool city housing department ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir George Young : No. Local authorities are accountable to their electorate and, where necessary, to their auditor and to the courts for the conduct of their business. If the law has been broken it is a matter for the police.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to set a limit on acceptable levels of PM10 particulates in the air.
Mr. Atkins : The expert panel on air quality standards, a group of independent medical and scientific experts which recommends air quality standards to the Secretary of State for the Environment, is currently considering a standard for particulates.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the link between levels of PM10 particulates in the air and traffic levels.
Mr. Atkins : The recently published second report of the quality of urban air review group estimated that in 1991
Column 788road vehicles contributed 27 per cent. and 42 per cent. of United Kingdom emissions of PM and black smoke respectively. In London, QUARG estimated the contribution of road vehicles to emissions of black smoke was 94 per cent.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 9 March, Official Report, columns 294-95, which local authorities made representations to his Department seeking the use of nature of housing tenure as an indicator for the purpose of standard spending assessment distribution prior to his announcement of a provisional settlement for 1994-95.
Mr. Baldry : Prior to consultation on the provisional revenue support grant settlement for 1994-95, as part the review of standard spending assessments, the following local authorities made representations in support of the use of nature of housing tenure as an indicator in the calculation of SSAs.
Barrow Borough Council
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
London Borough of Greenwich
Leeds City Council
Sheffield City Council
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he published his departmental discussion paper on reducing emissions of hazardous chemicals to the environment ; how many copies have been prepared ; at what cost ; and to whom it has been circulated.
Mr. Atkins : The discussion paper "Reducing Emissions of Hazardous Chemicals to the Environment" was published on 7 March 1994. A total of 1,200 copies have been prepared at a cost of £25,800, which includes the cost of drafting the paper, the graphical work, printing and its distribution. The paper has been circulated within my Department, other Government Departments, relevant agencies and non-governmental organisations, industry and trade associations, all of which have interests in either the manufacture, supply and use of hazardous chemicals as well as their potential impact on human health and the environment.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received a copy of the Government Chief Medical Officer's report on asthma and air pollution ; and if he will make a statement.
The Department of Health's independent Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution has not yet reported on the effects of air pollutants on asthma. Their report is expected to be published this year.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes he has made in charges payable by operators of industrial processes licensed by air pollution control authorities under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) on 9 March 1994, Official Report, column 300 .
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what reports he has received since May 1992 from his advisory committee on releases to the environment ; and what actions he has taken in response to the reports.
Mr. Atkins : Since 1 May 1992 the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment has given advice to the Secretary of State on 20 applications to release genetically modified organisms to the environment, made under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 1992.
For each application made under the regulations, all ACRE's advice has been considered by the Secretary of State in deciding whether to issue a consent to release a genetically modified organism. Details of each application and ACRE's advice relating to them are kept on a public register.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent meetings he or officials of his Department have had with the Business and Technology Education Council on its national vocational qualifications scheme on environmental conservation.
Mr. Atkins : None. However, the Department suppports the Council for Occupational Standards and Qualifications in Environmental Conservation, which is working with the Business and Technology Education Council to deliver environmental conservation national vocational qualifications.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what support his Department gives to the Institution of Environmental Health Officers programme to improve energy efficiency in private sector housing.
Mr. Atkins : My Department has collaborated with the Institute of Environmental Health Officers on a series of workshops for IEHO members aimed at improving energy efficiency in private sector housing. We are currently considering other possible methods of collaboration.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of his departmental critical loads advisory group reports on critical loads of acidity in the United Kingdom ; and what actions he plans to take arising from its recommendations.
Mr. Atkins : The Government warmly welcome the reports of the critical loads advisory group and its various sub-groups. The reports contain a number of recommendations as to further research which the Department will be considering. The group's findings have been and will continue to be an essential element informing the Government's development of effects--based emission control policies and the Government's position in international negotiations designed to reduce transboundary air pollution.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent support his Department has given to assist research in the private sector or research establishments on clean production technologies to replace the use of cadmium plating in corrosion protection.
Mr. Atkins : The Department has recently offered a grant of up to £390,000 towards the costs of a three-year project initiated by the National Centre for Tribology, within AEA Technology. The centre will undertake the project along with a consortium of 20 or more companies. The project will investigate new technologies to replace cadmium plating in corrosion protection and in bearing materials.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of funding the careers service has received in each year since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : The available information is as follows :
Government grants to local authorities in England in respect of Careers Service Administration |£ million ------------------------------ 1979-80 |3.1 1980-81 |5.2 1981-82 |7.9 1982-83 |11.4 1983-84 |11.1 1984-85 |12.0 1985-86 |12.7 1986-87 |13.9 1987-88 |13.7 1988-89 |16.8 1989-90 |18.8 1990-91 |23.2 1991-92 |22.9 1992-93 |24.5 #TCW94031755 - [TITRE ------------------------------ 1989 |2 1990 |none 1991 |none 1992 |4 1993 |3 1994 |1 to date
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many licensing applications have been intimated to his Department for marine dredging of aggregates in each year since 1989 for the purpose of obtaining a Government view.
Mr. Baldry : The numbers of licensing applications for marine dredging of aggregates intimated to my department in each year since 1989 for the purpose of obtaining a Government view are as follows :
Table file CW940317.055 not available
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many licence applications for the marine dredging of aggregates have received a favourable Government view in each year since 1989.
Mr. Baldry : The numbers of licence applications for the marine dredging of aggregates within English waters which have received a favourable Government view in the years since 1989 are as follows :
Year |Number ------------------------------------------ 1989 |2 1990 |2 1991 |1 1992 |1 1993 |none 1994 |none to date.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total area of sea bed covered by (a) licensing applications for a Government view of marine dredging of aggregates and (b) licensing applications for the marine dredging of aggregates which have received a favourable Government view, in each year since 1989.
Mr. Baldry : The total area of seabed covered by current licensing applications for a government view of marine dredging of aggregates is 196.08 sq km. The total area of seabed covered by licensing applications for the marine dredging of aggregates which have received a favourable government view, in each year since 1989 is as follows :
Year |Area --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |34.85 km 1990 |35.73 km 1991 |49.17 km 1992 |<1>1 1993 |no favourable government views given. 1994 |no final decisions on government views |given to date. <1>The licensing application covered by the one favourable government view issued in 1922 was for a change in tonnage for two previously licensed areas: there was no increase in area.
Mr. Baldry : My Department issued a letter on 15 March, stating that it was minded to issue a favourable Government view for limited extraction by NRA on Race bank, subject to the finalisation of strict conditions.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what payments have been made to date in respect of the City Challenge programme for Bolton ; and what further authorisations are currently due.
Mr. Baldry : A total of £5.753 million grant has been paid to date in respect of Bolton's city challenge expenditure in 1993-94, the first year of the programme.
Bolton city challenge partnership is forecasting a full spend of its £7.5 million funding allocation for 1993-94. A remaining £1.747 million grant is therefore due to be paid in respect of city challenge expenditure in this financial year.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will extend the home energy efficiency scheme to all people aged 60 years or over.
Mr. Atkins : Proposals to amend the regulations governing the home energy 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 on 9 March.