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Column 85225 January 1994
3 February 1994
15 February 1994
17 February 1994
22 February 1994
24 February 1994
2 March 1994
Appeals at determination stage (i.e. submission of written representations by parties concluded or hearing held)
6 February 1989
7 February 1990
30 March 1990
22 August 1991
28 October 1991
31 January 1992
14 February 1992
31 March 1992
7 May 1992
15 July 1992
30 July 1992
15 September 1992
16 September 1992
9 October 1992
12 February 1992
22 March 1993
28 May 1993
15 June 1993
Appeals in abeyance (e.g. negotiations taking place between parties or awaiting resolution of planning issues)
9 December 1987
1 August 1988
26 April 1991
9 July 1992
26 August 1992
23 November 1992
5 January 1993
24 February 1993
9 March 1993
16 April 1993
26 April 1993
26 July 1993
10 August 1993
22 September 1993
20 October 1993
18 November 1993
Mr. Bellingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what effect he expects the additional grounds for appeal and the need to establish precedents to have on the incidence of waste licensing appeals following the introduction of the new waste management licensing system on 1 May ;
(2) what assessment he has made of the time taken to deal with appeals under section 10 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 ; (3) how many staff are employed in his Department on appeals made under section 10 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 ; and what proportion of their time was spent thereon in the periods (a) 1 March 1993 to 31 August 1993 and (b) 1 September 1993 to 28 February 1994 ;
(4) what steps he is taking to expedite determination of (a) current appeals made under section 10 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and (b) future appeals made under section 43 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 from 1 May.
Mr. Atkins : The administration or determination of appeals forms part of the duties of four members of staff within the Department's waste management division. Members of staff in the Department's planning inspectorate--PINS--are also employed on appeals where they take the form of a hearing. The proportion of staff time spent on the administration or determination of
Column 853appeals, and the administration and conduct of hearings, depends on a number of factors and varies from day to day. The time taken to determine appeals also depends on factors such as the time taken by the parties to provide written representations or their availability to attend a hearing. It is the Department's aim to deal with all appeals expeditiously and wherever possible to improve on the time taken to determine them.
Responsibility for the administration of appeals which are to be determined on the basis of written representations will be transferred from waste management division to PINS on 1 May 1994 when the new waste management licensing system under part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 comes into force. PINS' duties will include responsibility for appeals made under section 43 of the 1990 Act and, where appropriate, appeals under section 10 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
Section 43 of the 1990 Act will widen the grounds on which an appeal may be made against a waste regulation authority's decision. However, sections 35(8) and 74(5) require authorities to have regard to any guidance issued to them with respect to the discharge of their functions. The guidance which we intend to issue under sections 35(8) and 74(5) should ensure that proportionately fewer appeals need to be made under section 43 of the 1990 Act than has historically been the case under section 10 of the 1974 Act.
Mr. Bellingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals under section 10 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 have been determined in theperiods (a) 1 March to 31 August 1993 and (b) 1September 1993 to 28 February 1994.
Mr. Atkins : Eight appeals under section 10 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 were determined in the period 1 March to 31 August 1993 ; and two appeals were determined in the period 1 September 1993 to 28February 1994.
Mr. Frank Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library all submissions and other comments made to him on the most workable formula for the discharge, through joint working, of strategic functions and planning by new or proposed unitary authorities.
Mr. Baldry : We have received a large number of representations on the general issue of joint working, including those received in response to our 1992 consultation exercise on the policy guidance to the Local Government Commission. These could not be assembled except at disproportionate cost. We have said, however, that when we lay implementation orders for each area where the Local Government Commission recommends change to the structure of local government, we will place
Column 854in the Library a summary of all representations received by the Secretary of State about the recommendations. Individual representations will be made available if requested unless the writers intended their views to be treated in confidence.
Mr. Frank Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those people and organisations he has consulted as to the most workable formula for the discharge, through joint working, of strategic functions and planning by new or proposed unitary authorities.
Mr. Baldry : It is for the Local Government Commission to consider, for each area that it reviews, whether or not joint working between any proposed unitary authorities is necessary for particular functions. A list of those persons and organisations whom the Commission is required to consult on its draft recommendations is included in our procedure guidance to the Commission, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Frank Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the strategic functions on which he has consulted as to their discharge, through joint working, by new or proposed unitary authorities.
Mr. Baldry : Annex B of the Department's policy guidance to the Local Government Commission sets out considerations relevant to structural change for a range of local government functions. That guidance, which was issued after an extensive consultation process, draws attention to options for joint working, particularly in relation to strategic planning. A copy of the guidance is in the Library.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many, and what percentage of officers in each of grades 1 to 7 and overall, in his Department are (a) women, (b) from ethnic minorities and (c) disabled, respectively.
Total Women <1>Ethnic <1>Disabled minority |staff |Men |Number |Per cent.|Number |Per cent.|Number |Per cent. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grade 1 |1 |1 |0 |0.0 |0 |0.0 |0 |0.0 Grade 2 |7 |4 |3 |43.0 |0 |0.0 |0 |0.0 Grade 3 |34 |30 |4 |12.0 |0 |0.0 |0 |0.0 Grade 4 |7 |7 |0 |0.0 |0 |0.0 |0 |0.0 Grade 5 |140 |119 |21 |15.0 |1 |0.7 |1 |0.7 Grade 6 |322 |293 |29 |9.0 |1 |0.3 |0 |0.0 Grade 7 |788 |654 |134 |17.0 |11 |1.4 |7 |0.9 Overall total 6,582 3,909 2,673 41.0 501 7.6 142 2.2 <1>Figures are based on voluntary responses to staff surveys. The response rate to the ethnic origin survey is 91 per cent. Respondents to the disability survey include registered and non-registered disabled staff.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many mandatory house improvement grants have been made available in the areas covered by the five district councils on Merseyside during the past financial year ; how many applications were received ; how many homes remain in the pipeline awaiting renewal ; when he expects to make an announcement concerning the targeting of house improvement grants into designated renewal areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir George Young : Information on the number of mandatory renovation grants made available by the five Merseyside district councils during 1993- 94 is provided to my Department through local authority quarterly monitoring returns. The number of returns received to date and the number of grants approved is shown in the table.
1993-94 |Number of returns|Grants approved ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Knowsley |2 |97 Liverpool |2 |361 Sefton |- |- St. Helens |3 |158 Wirral |3 |143
My Department does not hold statistics of renovation grant applications made to authorities or of applications still under consideration. The Government will announce their conclusions on the future of private sector housing renewal programmes following last year's consultations in due course.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of the single regeneration budget he expects is likely to support bids from local partnerships as mentioned in paragraph 5.9 of the Department's annual report.
Mr. Baldry : The first round of bidding for single regeneration budget funding will be for new initiatives starting in 1995-96. On current plans, the total budget will be worth over £1.3 billion in 1995-96 and it is expected that about £100 million will be available to support new bids. Following the recent public consultation exercise, bidding guidance will be published soon.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was (a) the total money spent, (b) the percentage of that money allocated according to decisions made by Ministers on competitive bids and (c) the percentage of that money allocated according to some statistical measure of need in the last available operational year of (i) city challenge, (ii) urban programme, (iii) inner city task forces, (iv) city action team, (v) English
Column 856partnerships, (vi) urban development corporations, (vii) the docklands light railway, (viii) estate action and (ix) housing action trusts.
|1993-94 |estimated |out-turn |(£m) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) |City Challenge |223.2 (ii) |Urban Programme |173.0 (iii) |Inner Cities Task Forces |18.0 (iv) |City Action Teams |3.4 (v) |English Partnerships |161.9 (vi) |Urban Development Corporations (including Docklands Light Railway) |380.8 (vii) |Estate Action |356.0 (viii) |Housing Action Trusts |78.1
City challenge and the £20 million urban partnership fund--which forms about 12 per cent. of the urban programme in 1993-94--targeted resources on projects selected by competition among the local authorities in the 57 urban priority areas. Local housing authorities also compete for estate action resources. The other support regimes operate in the most deprived urban areas, run-down council housing estates, and areas of concentrated or extensive dereliction. Since resources are limited, assistance is concentrated on projects which are likely to provide the best value for money.
Mr. Curry : My right hon. Friend has today laid before the House the Government's responses to the Environment Committee's first report on standard spending assessments. Copies of the response have been placed in the Library and the Vote Office.
The Environment Committee's recommendations will be reflected in the development work on SSAs which we will undertake in partnership with the local authority associations in 1994 and in the longer term.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now refrain from participating in the appeal hearing due to be held in the Appeal Court, against the granting of planning permission for the Dumplington scheme in Greater Mancester.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he or his Ministers last visited Lewisham, East ; with whom they met and for what purpose ; and if he intends to inform hon. Members when he visits their constituencies.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 29 March 1994] : All Ministers in the Department of the Environment customarily inform hon. Members when they are visiting their constituencies on official business. My hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Planning has not recently visited Lewisham, East on official business.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what contribution his Department made to the Employment Training '94 exhibition on environmental technology and management held in Birmingham from 22 to 24 March.
Mr. Atkins : Both the energy efficiency office and Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution took stands at ET '94 in Birmingham to promote the benefits of energy efficiency, and to explain the work of HMIP on pollution control. One of our pollution inspectors also presented a talk.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many and what percentage of playgrounds in Leicestershire comply with British Standards Institute BS 5696 ; and if he will publish a list of playgrounds which do not comply.
This Department has policy responsibility for playground safety and issues guidelines advising local authorities and others on relevant playground standards including BS 5696 and the German DIN 7926 standard. Compliance information on individual playgrounds is not held centrally.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the duties of the senior regional director for London ; what support staff he will have ; where he will be based ; what will be the cost of this area of administration ; what are the geographical boundaries of his administration ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir George Young : The duties of the regional director will be those set out in my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State's, reply to the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on 8 February, Official Report, column 146. The regional director will be supported by some 320 staff and contributing Departments are now finalising administrative budgets for the new office. A decision on the operational base of the regional director will be made in the very near future. The regional director and his office will be responsible for the Greater London area.
Mr. Atkins : The Government have welcomed the report by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution on the incineration of waste as a clear and comprehensive analysis of the role of incineration as a waste management option. A full response by Government to the report will be published later this year.
Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he is making to improve the tendering process for local authority waste disposal contracts under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Mr. Atkins : Competitive tendering for waste disposal under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 generally works well and there are no plans to change the requirements of the 1990 Act. However, my Department is working on updated guidance to local authorities which will re-emphasise the importance of taking environmental factors into account in that process, such as the benefits of the waste-to-energy option in appropriate locations. We hope to consult on draft guidance later this year.
1. The DoE/OES (other environmental services) non-voted cash limit will be increased by £2,676,000 from £45,000,000 to £47,676,000. This increase will be matched by a corresponding reduction in the DoE/NT (new towns) non-voted cash limit. The switch reflects local authority contributions to the Commission for the New towns under road cost sharing agreements. The increase in provision on the DoE/OES cash limit will be used to provide supplementary credit approvals to local authorities to cover their capital contributions to the Commission for the New Towns.
2. The DoE/LACAP (local authority capital) non-voted cash limit will be increased by £99,577,000 from £2,457,808,000 to £2,557,385, 000. The increase will be matched by a corresponding reduction in the DoE/NT cash limit. This results from the provision of additional supplementary credit approval resources to Basildon district council to facilitate the bulk transfer of rented housing stock between the Commission for the New Towns and the council. It also includes provision for Milton Keynes borough council and Wrekin district council to purchase residual rented housing stock from the commission.
3. The DoE/NT (New Towns) non-voted cash limit will be reduced by £102,253,000 from £96,325,000 to £198,578,000. This is the result of reductions of £2,676,000 and £99,577,000 resulting from additional receipts from local authorities financed by the cash limit increases described above.
4. The cash limit for class VII, vote 8 (revenue support grant, payments of non-domestic rates, Valuation Office services, etc., England) will be reduced by £35,000 from £28,808,113,000 to £28,808, 078,000. This reduction is due to a saving on the council tax preparation grant resulting from lower than expected claims. This saving will be used to offset increased expenditure within the new control total on class VII, vote 12 (community charge grants, council tax transitional reduction grant, rate rebate grants, emergency financial assistance to local authorities, non-domestic rates outturn payments, etc., England), to meet claims for
Column 859emergency assistance to local authorities. The increase within vote 12 is being met by virement from voted expenditure not included in the new control total.
All increases will be offset by reductions in other cash limited expenditure and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.