|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Baldry : Our revised planning policy guidance note 6 "Town Centres and Retail Developments" sets out clear advice on the issues that local planning authorities, including development corporations, will need to take into account when considering planning applications for retail developments. Local planning authorities have adequate powers to obtain all the necessary information to enable them to make a decision. The Secretary of State expects local planning authorities to use those powers where necessary.
Local planning authorities must notify the Secretary of State, under the Town and Country Planning (Development Plans and Consultation) Direction 1992, of any applications which involve specified departures from the development plan. They are also required to notify the Secretary of State of certain proposals for retail development under the Town and Country Planning (Shopping Development) (England and Wales) (No. 2) Direction 1993. If any local authority failed to notify the Secretary of State of a planning application subject to either of these directions, its decision could well be challenged in the courts.
Proposals for the development of retail sites in South Yorkshire and elsewhere continue to be monitored under the provisions of these directions. The Secretary of State will consider calling-in any application for retail development which appears to conflict with published policy on the development of retail sites set out in planning policy guidance note 6 "Town Centres and Retail Developments" or otherwise raises issues of more than local importance.
To help achieve a more sustainable approach, we are reducing the landbank-- the amount of land-won material, that is, sand and gravel, with planning consent at any one time--from 10 to seven years. An assured supply of aggregates for construction is a basic requirement of a healthy economy. But sustainable development means that we must reduce our very high dependence on primary aggregates and make more use of substitutes such as secondary and recycled material. We need to seek better patterns of supply and use of resources, and more environmentally acceptable ways of working mineral sites and restoring these sites once work has ceased. As a first step in achieving this, industry is being asked to reduce its dependence on land won aggregates from 83
Column 176to 68 per cent. by 2006. Provision of sand and gravel in the south-east will be 10 per cent. less than that envisaged for the same 15-year period in the current MPG6 guidelines, published in 1989. Industry is asked to increase its use of secondary and recycled materials by 100 per cent. To make clear that the Government are looking for early progress towards sustainable development, these guidelines will run to 2006 and not 2011 as assumed in the draft guidelines issued in January 1993.
We are inviting industry to come forward with proposals on how these targets can be achieved and developed.
We propose to establish, on a trial basis, a help line to provide practical advice to the industry on specifications and ways to increase the use of recycled and secondary materials in particular projects.
As the construction and repair of roads consumes some 30 per cent. of all aggregates, my Department intends to conduct research, jointly with the Department of Transport, into how to increase the use of recycled and secondary materials in the construction and repair of roads.
We will also be commissioning further research to enable monitoring and measurement of the progress towards the target set in MPG6. A copy of MPG6 has been placed in the House Library.
Mr. Haselhurst : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will lay before Parliament regulations to enable the introduction of waste management licensing under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Mr. Atkins : The Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994, laid before Parliament today, will come into force on 1 May 1994, when the waste management licensing sections of part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 will be commenced. The 1990 Act will then have replaced and updated most of the last generation of controls on waste under the Control of Pollution Act 1974. In the case of the scrap metal industry, however, I propose that the new system should come into force on 1 October 1994. This is to give that industry further time to consider the implications of the new system and to make any representations ; in the meanwhile, that industry will remain subject to the 1974 Act.
The new waste management licensing system will bring real improvements and benefits, putting responsibility firmly on waste operators, empowering local authorities to act to prevent pollution, making more information available to the public and raising the standards of dealing with waste. At the same time, the new regulations are closely targeted on the potentially polluting operations that need control, and will remove unnecessary burdens and red tape from many small-scale activities and especially from many types of recycling.
The regulations are the outcome of public consultations launched when draft regulations were published in August 1992 and continued since. In the light of those consultations, there has been extensive redrafting to meet the concerns and interests of industry, local authorities and the public. The regulations have also been revised to take account of European measures on waste regulation, including a new definition of waste consistent with the European definition.
Column 177The waste management licensing regulations will be complemented by the charging scheme, published on 24 March 1994, Official Report, columns 395-96, and by guidance in the form of a circular and two waste management papers. The guidance will, for the first time, be on a statutory footing. So this will give a clear signal to industry and to authorities as to the way in which the system is to operate. The new waste management licensing system will offer improved, clear, consistent, firm controls on waste. This will benefit the public, industry, local authorities and the environment. I know the waste industry welcomes this new system and I am confident that the waste regulators will use their stronger powers to secure environmental improvements.
Mr. Baldry : A publication, "Standard Spending Assessment Handbook 1994/95", has been produced to provide details of the standard spending assessment of each local authority. Copies have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies are also being sent to every local authority in England, and to the local authority associations.
(2) what is the annual cost of upkeep of Alexander Fleming house ; (3) what is the current market value of Alexander Fleming house.
Sir George Young [holding answer 12 April 1994] : Alexander Fleming house was formerly occupied by the Department of Health and is now vacant following rationalisation of the Department's London offices and relocation of staff to Leeds. The building has a net internal floor area of 272,000 sq ft and future maintenance and security costs are estimated to average £500,000 per annum. The current rent is £313,157 per annum--£1.15 per sq ft--which is payable up to expiry of the lease in 1997. The offices are unlettable in the current market owing to their age and obsolescence and discussions have been held with the freeholder, with a view to early surrender of the lease. So far, however, it has not proved possible to reach agreement on acceptable terms.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now meet representatives of the Child Migrant Trust to discuss the British child migrants scheme and Government policy towards former child migrants.
The Prime Minister : The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis), gave details of the policy files held by the Department of Health and the Public Record Office in the Adjournment debate on 22 November 1993, Official Report , columns 305-6. No Government Department holds personal files relating to individual child migrants and their families.
Sir Jim Spicer : To ask the Prime Minister what was the total amount paid in grants by central Government Departments to voluntary bodies in the financial year 1992-93 ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : Central Government funding of voluntary organisations in 1992-93 amounted to £3,925 million. Of this, £3,362 million was payments to housing associations and £563 million went directly to voluntary organisations to support the provision of services and a wide range of activities and projects. The latter figure shows that Government funding of the voluntary sector increased in cash terms by 15 per cent. and in real terms by 11 per cent. over the level of provision in 1991-92--£490 million. Between 1979-80 and 1992-93, the level of Government support for voluntary bodies has risen by 172 per cent. in real terms.
The amount spent under individual departmental programmes in 1992-93 was as follows :
|£ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Agriculture, Fisheries and Food |209,248 Defence |16,555,426 Education |7,337,719 Employment Direct grants |35,452,818 Equal Opportunities Commission |22,000 Environment (including Energy Efficiency Office) Direct grants |25,542,597 Urban programme |51,700,000 Housing corporations |2,862,000,000 Countryside Commission |1,242,000 English Nature |621,000 Rural Development Commission |4,595,000 Derelict land grant |317,000 Foreign and Commonwealth Office |2,697,820 Overseas Development Administration |147,426,026 Health Direct grants |52,138,716 Health Education Authority |2,450,755 Home Office Direct grants |50,596,492 Commission for Racial Equality |702,539 National Heritage Direct grants |566,808 Sports Council |14,535,000 Northern Ireland Office Direct grants |18,455,323 Housing associations and societies |57,404,589 Sports Council for Northern Ireland |658,037 Youth Council for Northern Ireland1,357,803 Scottish Office Direct grants |25,674,985 Urban programme |46,618,000 Housing associations |260,000,000 Scottish National Heritage |1,360,000 Highland and Islands Enterprise |1,000,000 Sports Council for Scotland |1,527,694 Social Security |14,094,810 Trade and Industry |13,303,996 Transport |509,615 Welsh Office Direct grants |12,007,481 Urban programme |5,110,000 Joint finance |274,535 Development Board for Rural Wales |470,510 Housing for Wales (Tai Cymru)-grants to housing associations |182,323,223 Sports Council for Wales and Play Wales | Management Committee |------- Grand Total |3,924,946,565
I am placing in the Library of the House a list of voluntary bodies funded by the Government in 1992-93, other than those funded under housing programmes and the urban programme or via non-departmental public bodies.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Prime Minister what consultations he has had with ex-service men's organisations regarding the proposed participation of former axis powers ex-service men's representatives at the 1995 50th anniversary commemorations of the ending of world war II or Remembrance day parades ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 31 March 1994] : The commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the end of world war II will include a service in St. Paul's cathedral, a parade in central London, a lunch or dinner for visiting Heads of State and a number of other events throughout the country. Peace and reconciliation will feature strongly in themes for these events.
The Ministry of Defence is leading the planning for the Government, but, at this early stage, no decision on the nature of the parade has been taken. The Ministry of Defence will consult a variety of appropriate organisations, including veterans' associations in the United Kingdom, over the content of the commemorations before final decisions are taken.
There are, however, no plans for veterans' representatives from former axis powers to take part.
Mr. Gale : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps the United Kingdom Government are taking to ensure the enforcement, within the European Union, of regulation 91/628, chapter 2, article 31B concerning the transport of live animals.
Mr. Soames : Each member state is required to bring into force the laws and administrative provisions necessary to implement directive 91/628 EEC. The directive is implemented in Great Britain through the Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992. In the case of contraventions involving trade with other member states, the Government take the matter up as appropriate with the authorities concerned.
Mr. Gale : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) of 18 March, Official Report, column 900, how many of the live sheep imported from Poland and Spain since 1 January were known to have given birth in transit or immediately on arrival in the United Kingdom ;
(2) how many sheep have been held back or destroyed at lairages as being unfit to travel onwards since 1 January 1994 after import from abroad.
Mr. Soames : Three sheep were found to have lambed in consignments imported from Spain and Poland and a further six were found to be close to lambing upon veterinary examination. A total of 32 sheep were detained in portal lairages as unfit to continue their journey. These were humanely destroyed.
Ms Jowell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if she will list the total consignments of animals destined for slaughter arriving from Poland or Spain since 1 January listing (a) the original point of departure of each consignment and (b) the points of lairage on route ;
(2) if she will give, for each consignment of animals destined for slaughter arriving from Poland or Spain since 1 January (a) the journey time for each stage of the journey, (b) the number of animals that were dead or recumbent on arrival in the United Kingdom, (c) the number that were deemed by Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food veterinary inspectors to have been unfit for transit and (d) the total of carcases that were condemned by meat inspectors.
Imports of sheep from Spain and Poland since 1 January 1994 (1) |(2) |(3) |(4) |(5) |(6) |(7) |(8) |(9) Date of arrival at Country Point of departure Lairages on route Journey time<1> Number of Sheep Carcases condemned: slaughterhouse |of origin |sheep dead |deemed unfit |or recumbent |for transit |(a) Full |(b) Partial -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17 February 1994 |Poland |Sielinko, Brody, Paproc, |Dover |403/4 hours (25" hours to|3 |none |none |6 |Cicha Gora and |Dover) |Granowko 8 March 1994 |Poland |Cicha Gora and |Dover - several |123" hours (max 24 hours |7 |4 |30 |39 |Gluponie |days stopover |between staging posts) 9 March 1994 |Poland |Podale and Kielpino |Belgium - several |Not determined |none |1 |18 |7 |days stopover, and |Petham, Kent 17 March 1994 |Poland |Not recorded |Belgium (several |14 hours (from Belgium) |8 |none |12 |16 |days stopover) 28 January 1994 |Spain |Segovia |Irun (Spain) and |55" hours (max 30 hours |1 |none |3 |4 |Southampton |between staging posts) 15 February 1994 |Spain |Segovia |Bordeaux and |57 hours (max 15 hours |2 |none |3 |4 |Poitiers (France) |between staging posts) 8 March 1994 |Spain |Segovia |Irun (Spain), Poitiers |66 hours (max 14 hours |2 |none |11 |23 |(France), |between staging posts) |Southampton 23 March 1994 |Spain |Segovia |Irun (Spain), |78" hours (max 11 hours |4 |28 |11 |20 |Poitiers (France), |between staging posts) |Southampton <1> From place of departure, to destination, rest periods included.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will make a statement on the recently established Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew conservation group ; and what funding will be made available.
Mr. Jack : The centre for plant conservation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew incorporates elements from the body's former economic and conservation section, the living collections department, the Jodrell laboratory and seed bank. The centre's conservation activities include research, advice, and support to field programmes worldwide. It is funded mainly from the grant in aid provided annually by the Ministry to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Mr. Jack : The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was invited to collaborate with the Government of Mauritius and the Mauritian wildlife appeal fund to review the needs for plant conservation on the islands of Rodrigues and Mauritius. The intention is to develop a habitat restoration programme to ensure the long-term survival of threatened habitats and plant species on the islands. In addition, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a lead organisation in the production and editing of the "Flora of the Mascarenes" and is currently propagating a number of critically endangered species for future reintroduction.
Column 182instruments affecting the food farming and fishing industries which have been rescinded and the 18 that have been retabled during the course of this Parliament.
The Sheep Scab (Revocation) Order 1992
The Blue Eared Pig Disease (Revocation) Order 1992
The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Dioxins) (England) No. 2 (Revocation) Order 1992
The British Wool (Guaranteed Prices) (Revocation) Order 1993 The Bananas (Interim Measures) (Revocation) Regula- tions 1993 The Agriculture Act 1993 (Commencement No. 1) Order 1993 The Diseases of Animals (Therapeutic Substances (Revocation) Order 1993
The Poultry Laying Flocks Testing and Registration Etc. (Revocation) Order 1993
The Foot and Mouth (Sera and Glandular Products) (Revocation) Order 1993
The Specified Animal Pathogens Order 1993
The Marek's Disease (Restrictions on Vaccination) (Revocation) Order 1994
The Soft Drinks (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The Poultry Breeding Flocks and Hatcheries Order 1993
The Poultry Breeding Flocks, Hatcheries and Processed Animal Protein (Fees) Order 1993
The Import (Plant Health Fees) (England and Wales) Order 1993 The Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) Regulations 1993
The Tuberculosis (Deer) (Amendment) Order 1993
The Import of Bovine Semen (Amendment) Regulations 1993 The Sea Fish Licensing (Variation) (No. 2) Order 1993
The Fodder Plant Seeds (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The Seeds (Registration, Licensing and Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The Food Labelling (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The Local Fisheries Committees (Fees for Copy Byelaws) Order 1993 The Specified Animal Pathogens Order 1993
Sea Fisheries (Conservation of Sea Fish) The Undersized Lobsters Order 1993
The Fresh Meat and Poultry Meat (Hygiene, Inspection and Examinations for Residues) (Charges) (Amendment) Regulations 1993 The Common Agricultural Policy (Wine) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The Importation of Bees (Amendment) Order 1993
Column 183The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Radioactivity in Sheep) (England) (Partial Revocation) Order 1994
Mr. Jack : I represented the United Kingdom at a meeting of the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 12 April in Luxembourg, together with my noble Friend the Minister of State, Scottish Office. The major issue before the Council was a proposal arising from the Act of accession for Spain and Portugal. The Act requires that the provision for the Irish box must end at 31 December 1995. In addition, the Council can adopt any necessary changes in the light of a review of the operation of the provisions of the Act. Any changes decided on have to apply from 1 January 1996.
As the House knows, the Council has been addressing the issues raised by the terms of the Act at successive meetings since June 1993. At its meeting yesterday, the Council concluded the first stage of this work by adopting by qualified majority a presidency compromise proposal on the procedure to be followed for amending the current arrangements applying to Spanish and Portuguese access to the waters of the other member states. It sets out in legal form the principles to guide the Commission and the Council in settling the detailed provisions.
The regulation ensures that no changes can be made to the current rules governing Spanish and Portuguese fishing until the replacement arrangements have been set out and agreed by the Council. All the changes will have to conform to the key principles of relative stability and no increase in fishing effort. In formulating the changes, the Commission will also have to provide specifically for sensitive zones, in particular to take account of the need to balance resources and the fishing effort deployed. The area of the Irish box is noted as such a zone where fishing effort will need to be closely monitored and any necessary measures taken.
Another issue which is of particular concern to United Kingdom fishermen is the position regarding areas in which Spain and Portugal are currently not allowed to fish, such as the North sea. There is no obligation on the Commission to make any proposals for access to these areas. But if it does, access can only be given to stocks not currently subject to total allowable catches and would have to be on the basis of track records in a recent and representative period. Spain and Portugal have had no track record in the North sea since the date of their accession. This is a satisfactory outcome which fully protects the interests of the British fishing industry and provides a sound basis for the detailed negotiations over the coming months.
The Commission tabled a report on the ecological impact of drift netting, together with a proposal. The Council had a first discussion on the issues raised, including a suggestion that a derogation for use of drift nets longer than 2.5 km should be reintroduced. I made clear my firm opposition to this and the importance I attach to taking environmental implications fully into account. The
Column 184derogation was not renewed. These matters will now be considered by experts taking into account the scientific evidence.
The Council discussed the current difficulties in the European fish market. Although no single factor was identified as the underlying cause, there was widespread agreement that an important part of the present difficulties is due to structural factors, notably the continuing imbalance between fishing effort and fish resources. The Commission has undertaken to prepare a full analysis of all the elements affecting the market for consideration by the Council at its next meeting in June.
The Council agreed by qualified majority a regulation on direct landings by third country fishing vessels, subjecting them to the same rules as member states' fishing vessels, notably in relation to existing hygiene controls, and to some aspects of the market regime. The market regime provisions will not apply to fish for processing or to landings by European Economic Area vessels. The United Kingdom, Denmark and the Netherlands voted against the regulation because of reservations about its practicality.
The Council also agreed autonomous tariff reductions for certain annual quotas of whitefish imports.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what occasions and in respect of which companies and products the United Kingdom Government have not followed a directive from the European Community concerning fruit or fruit products.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 21 March 1994] : The United Kingdom has not yet amended its national legislation implementing EC Council directive 93/77 to take account of EC Commission directive 93/45 concerning the manufacturer of fruit nectars without the addition of sugar.
However, enforcement authorities are aware of the requirements of directive 93/45 and will take this into account in their enforcement action. The United Kingdom implementing legislation will be amended to take account of directive 93/45 at the earliest opportunity.
Mr. Key : The consultants who undertook a study of a feasibility of the new Tamar crossing advised that a new crossing is likely to be needed by the turn of the century if unacceptable congestion is to be avoided. Their report was published in June 1993 and comments were invited on the four possible routes which had been identified. I am considering the responses to the consultation before deciding if, when and how the proposal for a new Tamar crossing should be taken forward.
Mr. Key : It is entirely for individual local authorities to decide which classes of vehicle may use any off-street car parks they provide, and to determine the terms and conditions under which they may do so.
Mr. Norris : The Secretary of State has made an order increasing London taxi fares by about 2.88 per cent. on average with effect from Saturday 23 April 1994. The new tariff will incorporate a minimum fare of £1--including an unchanged hire charge of 60p--for the first 564 yds or 114 seconds. The rate will then be 20p for every 282 yds or 57 seconds up to six miles and 20p for each 188 yds or 38 seconds thereafter.
The Secretary of State has decided that there will be no increase this year in the fees for London taxi driver and vehicle licences, currently £87 and £78 respectively.