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Lead Water Pipes

Mr. Pickthall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make grants available for replacement of lead water pipes to council house tenants.

Sir George Young [holding answer 26 April 1994] : Local housing authorities are issued with housing investment programme allocations, reflecting the relative need for housing capital expenditure in their areas. It is for each authority to decide how to use its housing capital resources.

Wetlands

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those wetland areas that would be affected by a national management plan for the habitats of redshank and dunlin requested by the European Environment Commissioner.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 28 April 1994] : The great majority of inter-tidal mud flats in United Kingdom estuaries provide over- wintering habitat for redshank and dunlin and, as such, would be taken into account in measures to maintain a favourable conservation status for these species.


Column 208

Single Regeneration Budget

Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the planned spending on (a) inner city task forces, (b) regional enterprise grants, (c) safer cities, (d) section II grants, (e) ethnic minority grants, (f) ethnic minority business initiative, (g) grants for education support and training, (h) the programme development fund, (i) education business partnerships, (j) teacher placement schemes, (k) compacts, (l) the business start-up scheme, (m) local initiative fund schemes under the single regeneration budget for 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1996- 97.

Mr. Baldry : Planned spending by my Department on each of these component items within the single regeneration budget in 1994-95 is as follows :


                                                 |£ million          

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Inner city task forces                           |16                 

Regional enterprise grants                       |9                  

Safer cities                                     |4                  

Section 11-urban                                 |60                 

Ethnic minority grants                           |6                  

Ethnic minority business initiative              |1                  

Grants for education support and training-GEST19 |5                  

Programme development fund                       |3                  

Education business partnerships                  |2                  

Teacher placement service                        |3                  

Compacts                                         |6                  

Business start-up scheme                         |70                 

Local initiative fund                            |29                 

For 1995-96 and beyond, English partnerships, housing action trusts and urban development corporations will, as now, receive specific allocations ; and the rest of the Budget, including items (a) to (m) , will be combined.

On current plans, expenditure under the single regeneration budget will be worth some £1.3 billion in each of 1995-96 and 1996-97. The Department of the Environment's 1994 annual report provides more detailed information.

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what changes he is proposing in relation to the urban priority areas ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) what he projects the financial implications will be for the urban priority areas, arising from the single regeneration budget ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry : Regeneration programmes that have previously been targeted on the existing list of 57 urban priority areas now form part of the single regeneration budget. Since the budget is available throughout England, and proposals for funding will be locally driven, the existing list will not be used to direct budget resources and is being discontinued after 1994-95.

In assessing proposals for funding from the budget which aim mainly at relieving deprivation, the Government offices for the regions will take account of detailed information about local conditions based on the 1991 index of local conditions and other data, including Employment Service information on labour market needs and gaps. The index will be published shortly.

Existing commitments under the programmes which have been combined to form the budget will be honoured.


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Repossessions

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many properties purchased under the right-to-buy initiative have been repossessed ; and what percentage of this figure comprises households who were unable to meet the service charges levied by their local authority.

Sir George Young : The information requested is not collected centrally.

Compulsory Competitive Tendering

Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Clifton-Brown) of 29 March, Official Report, column 663 , if he will list the local authorities involved in the 122 cases referred to ; and if he will list the authorities in respect of which statutory follow up action was taken in relation to compulsory competitive tendering.

Mr. Baldry : The Secretary of State took statutory action in a total of 122 cases during 1993, serving 99 notices and giving 23 follow-up directions. The authorities to which the statutory action related, and the services concerned, are as follows :


Statutory notices and directions relating to anti-competitive behaviour                                             

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notices in relation to alleged anti-competitive behaviour                                                           

(listed in alphabetical order)                                                                                      

Adur DC                                                                                                             

 1 September 1993                                         |Other cleaning                                           

                                                                                                                    

Arun DC                                                                                                             

 7 May 1993                                               |Sport and leisure management                             

                                                                                                                    

Birmingham City Council                                                                                             

 22 April 1993                                            |Building maintenance                                     

                                                                                                                    

Bradford MDC                                                                                                        

 13 May 1993                                              |Building maintenance                                     

 10 September 1993                                        |Highways and sewers                                      

                                                                                                                    

Calderdale MBC                                                                                                      

 23 December 1993                                         |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Chester City Council                                                                                                

 1 April 1993                                             |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Dudley MBC                                                                                                          

 22 April 1993                                            |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Harrow LB                                                                                                           

 20 October 1993                                          |Other catering                                           

                                                                                                                    

Langbaurgh on Tees BC                                                                                               

 10 September 1993                                        |Street lighting                                          

 21 December 1993                                         |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Leeds City Council                                                                                                  

10 September 1993                                         |Refuse collection                                        

                                                                                                                    

Oldham MBC                                                                                                          

 6 April 1993                                             |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Oswestry BC                                                                                                         

10 September 1993                                         |Sport and leisure management                             

                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                    

 30 June 1993                                             |Building maintenance                                     

                                                                                                                    

South Somerset DC                                                                                                   

 30 March 1993                                            |Sport and leisure management                             

                                                                                                                    

South Tyneside MDC                                                                                                  

 1 February 1993                                          |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Staffordshire Moorlands DC                                                                                          

 11 January 1993                                          |Sport and leisure management                             

                                                                                                                    

Stockton-on-Tees BC                                                                                                 

 8 March 1993                                             |Other cleaning                                           

                                                                                                                    

Warrington BC                                                                                                       

 10 June 1993                                             |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Directions relating to anti-competive behaviour                                                                     

(listed in alphabetical order)                                                                                      

Birmingham City Council                                                                                             

 13 July 1993                                             |Building maintenance                                     

 8 October 1993<1>                                        |Building maintenance                                     

                                                                                                                    

Bolton MBC                                                                                                          

 1 April 1993                                             |Building maintenance                                     

                                                                                                                    

Bradford MDC                                                                                                        

 14 December 1993                                         |Highways and sewers                                      

                                                                                                                    

Chester City Council                                                                                                

 24 June 1993                                             |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Mole Valley DC                                                                                                      

 24 March 1993<2>                                         |Sport and leisure management                             

                                                                                                                    

Portsmouth City Council                                                                                             

 10 September 1993                                        |Building maintenance                                     

                                                                                                                    

Sefton MBC                                                                                                          

 23 April 1993<3>                                         |Highways and sewers                                      

                                                                                                                    

South Tyneside BC                                                                                                   

 27 July 1993<4>                                          |Ground maintenance                                       

                                                                                                                    

Stockton-on-Tees BC                                                                                                 

 19 February 1993<5>                                      |Refuse collection                                        

 27 July 1993                                             |Other cleaning                                           

                                                                                                                    

Warrington BC                                                                                                       

 14 December 1993                                         |Ground maintenance                                       

<1>Variation to direction given on 13 July 1993.                                                                    

<2>Variation to direction given on 15 July 1992.                                                                    

<3>Variation to direction given on 2 December 1992.                                                                 

<4>Variation to direction given on 23 December 1993.                                                                

<5>Replacement for direction given on 12 November 1992.                                                             


Statutory notices and directions relating to financial failure                                                                                              

Authority and date                                  |Service concerned                                                                                      

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notices relating to financial failure                                                                                                                       

(listed in alphabetical order)                                                                                                                              

Ashford BC                                                                                                                                                  

 1 September 1993                                   |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

 1 September 1993                                   |Refuse collection                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                            

Barking and Dagenham LB                                                                                                                                     

 1 September 1993                                   |Refuse collection                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                            

Bedfordshire CC                                                                                                                                             

 29 September 1993                                  |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Blackburn BC                                                                                                                                                

 11 May 1993                                        |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 11 May 1993                                        |Construction <£50,000                                                                                  

 11 May 1993                                        |Construction >£50,000                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                            

Bournemouth BC                                                                                                                                              

 15 June 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Brent LB                                                                                                                                                    

 11 May 1993                                        |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 11 May 1993                                        |Vehicle maintenance                                                                                    

 11 May 1993                                        |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

 11 May 1993                                        |Building cleaning                                                                                      

 11 May 1993                                        |Other catering                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Brighton BC                                                                                                                                                 

1 September 1993                                    |Other catering                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Cambridgeshire CC                                                                                                                                           

 15 June 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Camden LB                                                                                                                                                   

 25 March 1993                                      |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 11 May 1993                                                                                                                                                

 11 May 1993                                                                                                                                                

 11 May 1993                                                                                                                                                

 11 May 1993                                        |Vehicle maintenance                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Canterbury City Council                                                                                                                                     

 7 April 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

 7 April 1993                                       |Other catering                                                                                         

 7 April 1993                                       |Sport and leisure management                                                                           

 7 April 1993                                       |School and welfare catering                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                            

Castle Point DC                                                                                                                                             

 1 September 1993                                   |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

 1 September 1993<1>                                |Other cleaning                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Colchester BC                                                                                                                                               

 1 September 1993                                   |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Corby DC                                                                                                                                                    

 1 September 1993                                   |Vehicle maintenance                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Crewe and Nantwich BC                                                                                                                                       

 15 June 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Daventry DC                                                                                                                                                 

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Devon CC                                                                                                                                                    

 11 May 1993                                        |Construction >£50,000                                                                                  

 11 May 1993                                        |Other cleaning                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Epsom and Ewell BC                                                                                                                                          

 15 June 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Exeter City Council                                                                                                                                         

 15 June 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Hammersmith and Fulham LB                                                                                                                                   

 7 April 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Hampshire CC                                                                                                                                                

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Harborough DC                                                                                                                                               

15 June 1993                                        |Refuse collection                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                            

Harrow LB                                                                                                                                                   

 1 September 1993                                   |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Hereford and Worcester CC                                                                                                                                   

 7 April 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Hillingdon LB                                                                                                                                               

 1 September 1993                                   |Building cleaning                                                                                      

 1 September 1993                                   |School and welfare catering                                                                            

 1 September 1993                                   |Other catering                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Kennet DC                                                                                                                                                   

 15 June 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Kerrier DC                                                                                                                                                  

 11 May 1993                                        |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Kingston upon Hull City Council                                                                                                                             

 1 September 1993                                   |Other catering                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Kingston upon Thames LB                                                                                                                                     

 1 September 1993<1>                                |Other cleaning                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Leicestershire CC                                                                                                                                           

 1 September 1993                                   |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Liverpool City Council                                                                                                                                      

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Luton BC                                                                                                                                                    

 11 May 1993                                        |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Manchester City Council                                                                                                                                     

 15 June 1993                                       |Construction >£50,000                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                            

Mansfield DC                                                                                                                                                

 15 June 1993                                       |Construction >£50,000                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                            

Northavon DC                                                                                                                                                

 1 September 1993                                   |Vehicle maintenance                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Peterborough City Council                                                                                                                                   

 15 June 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Plymouth City Council                                                                                                                                       

 11 May 1993                                        |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

 11 May 1993                                        |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Reading BC                                                                                                                                                  

 15 June 1993                                       |Sport and leisure management                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                            

Redditch BC                                                                                                                                                 

 15 June 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Richmond upon Thames LB                                                                                                                                     

 1 September 1993                                   |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Rother DC                                                                                                                                                   

 11 May 1993                                        |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Sandwell DC                                                                                                                                                 

 7 April 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Sheffield City Council                                                                                                                                      

 11 May 1993                                        |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

South Bedfordshire DC                                                                                                                                       

 29 September 1993                                  |Refuse collection                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                            

Southwark LB                                                                                                                                                

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

 7 April 1993                                       |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

 7 April 1993                                       |Refuse collection                                                                                      

 7 April 1993                                       |Vehicle maintenance                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

St. Albans City Council                                                                                                                                     

 15 June 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Stevenage BC                                                                                                                                                

 11 May 1993                                        |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                            

Stoke on Trent DC                                                                                                                                           

 25 January 1993                                    |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 7 April 1993                                       |Construction >£50,000                                                                                  

 7 April 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

 7 April 1993                                       |Other cleaning                                                                                         

 7 April 1993                                       |Refuse collection                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                            

Tameside MBC                                                                                                                                                

 15 June 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Tamworth BC                                                                                                                                                 

 15 June 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Waltham Forest LB                                                                                                                                           

 7 April 1993                                       |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Warwick DC                                                                                                                                                  

 15 June 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Directions relating to financial failure                                                                                                                    

  (listed in alphabetical order)                                                                                                                            

Bedfordshire CC                                                                                                                                             

 9 December 1993                                    |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Camden LB                                                                                                                                                   

 3 August 1993                                      |Vehicle maintenance                                                                                    

 3 August 1993                                      |Building maintenance                                                                                   

 3 August 1993                                      |Single direction covering the following activities:                                                    

                                                    |  Highways and sewers                                                                                  

                                                    |  Construction <£50,000                                                                                

                                                    |  Construction >£50,000                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                            

Castle Point BC                                                                                                                                             

 9 December 1993                                    |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                            

Hammersmith and Fulham LB                                                                                                                                   

 23 July 1993                                       |Highways and sewers                                                                                    

 23 July 1993                                       |Building maintenance                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                            

Hillingdon LB                                                                                                                                               

 9 December 1993                                    |Other catering                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                            

Manchester City Council                                                                                                                                     

 9 December 1993                                    |Construction >£50,000                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                            

South Bedfordshire DC                                                                                                                                       

 9 December 1993                                    |Refuse collection                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                            

Waltham Forest LB                                                                                                                                           

 23 July 1993                                       |Ground maintenance                                                                                     

<1>Revised 2 September.                                                                                                                                     

EC Waste Shipments Regulation

Mr. Waterson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will lay before Parliament regulations to supplement the provisions of the EC Waste Shipments Regulation which applies from 6 May.

Mr. Atkins : The Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994, laid before Parliament on Monday 25 April, will come into force on 6 May when Council Regulation EEC No. 259/93 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community--the "Waste Shipments Regulation"--applies. The Waste Shipments Regulation implements the obligations of the Basel convention which, together with the EC, the United Kingdom ratified on 7 February and to which it will become a party on 8 May. The EC regulation is directly applicable, but additional domestic legislation is required to give full effect to some of its provisions. For the United Kingdom, this additional legislation is contained in the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994. The regulations designate waste regulations authorities in Great Britain and district councils in Northern Ireland as the competent authorities of dispatch and destination, for imports and exports to and from the United Kingdom, and designate the Secretary of State as competent authority for transit shipments, and as "correspondent" for the purposes of the EC regulation. Other provisions include conferring


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powers on customs officers to assist competent authorities in carrying out their functions by detaining shipments where appropriate ; and specifying offences and penalties relating to compliance with the regulation. The regulations also provide for the preparation of a waste management plan, in accordance with the waste framework directive.

Public consultations were carried out in March on a draft of the regulations and of the accompanying guidance. The regulations have been modified to reflect the concerns and interests of industry, local authorities and the public in response to those consultations. The Government are satisfied that these regulations will enable the United Kingdom to fulfil its obligations under the Basel convention, and contribute significantly towards securing the environmentally sound management of waste movements to and from the United Kingdom.

Public Housing

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many new houses have been built to replace houses with defective concrete in (a) Cornwall, (b) Devon, (c) Somerset and (d) Dorset ; and how much public money has been made available by the Government for repairs and maintenance of public housing in these four counties since 1979.

Sir George Young [holding answer 12 April 1994] : The Department collects information about total housebuilding by local authorities, but not about the reasons for it.

Figures for housing revenue account subsidy for repair and maintenance by local authorities on their own dwelling stock are only available since 1990 -91. The following levels of subsidy were given to authorities in the four counties :


<

HRA subsidy paid for repairs and maintenance by local       

authorities:                                                

                    |1990-91 to 1993-94:                    

                    |£ million                              

------------------------------------------------------------

Cornwall            |<1>41.9                                

Devon               |102.0                                  

Dorset              |47.7                                   

Somerset            |58.3                                   

<1> Excluding subsidy paid to Carrick BC in 1990-91.        

The actual expenditure by local authorities on repair and maintenance will differ from the subsidy paid by the Government.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Aquarium, London

Mr. Dickens : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what the Government's policy is towards the building of a major new aquarium in London.

Mr. Sproat : I would greatly welcome the establishment of a major new aquarium in London. This would be a valuable new educational and tourist attraction. While the responsibility, including the financing, for taking such a project forward would rest wholly with its promoter, I would be interested to hear from any group or individual who can help to establish such an aquarium. Any promoter may wish to consider an association with the natural history museum.


Column 215

English Heritage (North Yorkshire)

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how much was spent by English Heritage on properties and activities in North Yorkshire in 1993-94 ; and how much is budgeted for such activities in 1994 -95.

Mr. Brooke : In 1993-94, English Heritage spent £4.3 million on its historic properties and other activities in North Yorkshire. The other activities relate to conservation grants, marketing, and research and professional services. Assuming a similar level of expenditure on grants, which are dependent on demand, a further £4.3 million is expected to be spent in 1994-95.

SCOTLAND

Local Government Reform

16. Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received on the reform of local government in Scotland.

Mr. Stewart : My right hon. Friend continues to receive a range of representations about the Government's proposals for local government reform in Scotland. Since January I have met 24 hon. Members who accompanied delegations.

19. Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received about the provisions of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill allowing Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee to become single-tier authorities again.

Mr. Lang : I have received a number of representations supporting the proposal to establish Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee as single -tier authorities. The proposal has been widely welcomed.

Rural Community Hospitals

18. Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what priority he attaches to rural community hospitals in Scotland as part of the care in the community initiative and the NHS reforms.

Mr. Stewart : Our main priority is to provide high quality health care which is easily accessible to local communities. We will continue to examine the role which rural community hospitals have to play in achieving this.

Trunk Roads

20. Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent in each of the past three years on upgrading trunk roads in Scotland.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The figures for new construction and improvement of motorways and trunk roads in Scotland for 1991-92 was £175 million, for 1992-93 was £198 million and for 1993-94 was £196 million.

Setting Forth"

21. Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to announce the result of his consultation on the document, "Setting Forth" ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 216

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : We issued our response to the consultation on "Setting Forth" on 1 February 1993, following which a range of feasibility studies on aspects of the proposed road bridge across the Forth and associated road and rail links were put in hand. These studies are nearing completion and the results will be published as soon as possible.

Forestry Policy

22. Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to announce a decision on his future forestry policy.

Sir Hector Monro : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke) and my hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewksbury (Mr. Clifton-Brown) earlier this afternoon.

Water Services

23. Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration he has given to the membership of the water authorities.

Sir Hector Monro : Membership of the new water authorities will include persons knowledgeable about the industry, and persons with proven business skills. We will also expect to see a significant number of local councillors taking up appointments. No individual members have yet been considered.

27. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many water authorities he has visited in Scotland this year to discuss with them his proposals for removing water and sewerage services from local authority control.

Sir Hector Monro : My right hon. Friend has made no such visits. Discussion with local authorities has been prevented by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities campaign of

non-co-operation.

33. Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met representatives of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss the future of water services in Scotland.

Sir Hector Monro : My right hon. Friend last discussed water and sewerage with COSLA on 9 July 1993. Subsequent discussion has been prevented by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities boycott.

37. Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the new water board to be set up in Scotland has autonomy to sell off land and property without consultation.

Sir Hector Monro : The Local Government Etc. (Scotland) Bill provides for new water authorities to dispose of land and property as they see fit. They may not, however, dispose of land for a consideration less than the best expected value on the open market without the consent of the Secretary of State.

39. Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last visited a local authority-run water treatment works.


Column 217

Sir Hector Monro : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has not made an official visit to a water treatment works.

Concessionary Travel

24. Mr. Chisholm : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he intends to take to safeguard concessionary travel for pensioners following local government reorganisation.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : After local government reform, the new councils will retain the discretionary powers currently available to regional and islands councils under section 93 of the Transport Act 1985 which allows local authorities to establish a concessionary travel scheme for eligible categories of person. The Strathclyde passenger transport authority will also have the power to establish a scheme for its area.

Acute Beds

25. Mr. Ernie Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the chairs of the health boards to discuss acute beds in hospitals.

Mr. Stewart : My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State met health board chairmen on 25 February 1994.

Health Provision, Glasgow

26. Mr. Galloway : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will next meet the chairman of the Greater Glasgow health board to discuss health provision in the Glasgow area ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State regularly meets representatives from all health boards to discuss health provision issues. There are no immediate plans for a further meeting at present.

Businesses Support

28. Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to support businesses.

Mr. Stewart : A wide range of measures are in place, and continue to be evolved, to support businesses in Scotland. These include support through central Government, local authorities, the Scottish enterprise bodies and others. Examples of recent initiatives include the Clydebank business creation centre, which I opened formally on 15 April, and the Scottish business shop network launched by my right hon. Friend on 18 April and involving a partnership between Scottish Enterprise and its local enterprise companies, local authorities, enterprise agencies and chambers of commerce.

NHS Doctors

29. Mr. Gallie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many doctors were employed in the NHS in Scotland in 1979 ; and how many currently.

Mr. Stewart : The number of doctors employed in the NHS hospital and community health services in Scotland, whole-time equivalent, was 5,613.3 in 1979 and 6,405.6 in 1993. In addition, the number of general medical practitioners, as a head count, was 3,190 in 1979 and 3,824 in 1993. The figures for 1993 are provisional.


Column 218

Heavy Goods Vehicle Licences

30. Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the Department of Transport to discuss the proposed increase in charges for heavy goods vehicle licences and their extension to Scottish islands.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend has had no meetings with the Department of Transport to discuss changes to the heavy goods vehicle licensing regime.

Local Enterprise Companies

31. Mr. Norman Hogg : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to redraw the boundaries of local enterprise companies ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : My right hon. Friend has no plans at present to redraw the boundaries of local enterprise companies. Should he receive representations in favour of any adjustments once the Local Government Etc. (Scotland) Bill, which alters local authority boundaries, has received Royal Assent, he would of course consider these.

Tourism

32. Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the chairman of the Scottish tourist board to discuss tourism in Scotland.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend regularly discusses tourism matters with the chairman of the Scottish tourist board.

Cottage Hospitals

34. Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to meet the chairmen of the three Tayside health hospital trusts to discuss the future of cottage hospitals.

Mr. Stewart : My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to meet the chairmen to discuss the future of cottage hospitals.

Mountain Climbers

35. Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what advice the Scottish tourist board gives to mountain climbers about safety.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Scottish tourist board's "Walk Scotland" brochure provides general advice on safety and is available on request to anyone wishing information on Scotland's hills and mountains. This advice complements that which is issued by the Scottish Mountain Safety Group and other such organisations.

NHS Pay Levels

36. Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on pay levels for national health service staff in Scotland.

Mr. Stewart : The Government have accepted in full the recommendations of the review bodies on the pay of doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, health visitors and the


Column 219

professions allied to medicine in 1994-95. Negotiations on the pay of other staff on national terms and conditions are in progress in the Whitley councils. NHS trusts are free to negotiate locally on the pay of staff on trust terms and conditions of service.

Health Board Budgets

38. Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet the health board chairmen to discuss their budgets.

Mr. Stewart : My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State meets health board chairmen regularly to discuss a wide range of strategic matters affecting the management of the NHS in Scotland, many of which have implications for budgets. The next meeting will take place on 24 June 1994.

Scottish Economy

40. Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to meet the Scottish Trades Union Congress to discuss employment and the Scottish economy.

Mr. Stewart : My right hon. Friend and I have frequent contacts with the STUC on matters concerning the Scottish economy. We look forward to a continuing exchange of views.

Abattoirs

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many abattoirs are currently operating in Scotland ; at what cost to public funds ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Hector Monro : There are 51 licensed red meat abattoirs currently operating in Scotland, 19 of which received assistance totalling £410,256 over the past 12 months from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Travel Concessions

Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the groups of two or more local authorities which are jointly operating travel concession schemes under section 93 of the Transport Act 1985.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : From the information we have available, there are no joint concessionary travel schemes currently operating in Scotland.

Further Education

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he proposes to publish his report on the discharge of his duties for further education in Scotland as required under section 1 of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang : I am pleased to say that the report entitled "Further Education in Scotland 1993 : Report by the Secretary of State for Scotland" has been published today and has been laid before each House of Parliament. Copies are available in the Library of the House.


Column 220

On 1 April 1993, 43 further education colleges transferred from education authority management and funding to incorporated status, grant-aided by the Scottish Office. Preparations for incorporation were undertaken vigorously and enthusiastically and the transition went smoothly. A great deal of credit for this goes to college boards of management and staff.

The report shows that the first year of incorporation has been a successful one for the colleges and I look forward to working in partnership with them in the future.

Monklands District Council

Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had on the dealings of Monklands district council with Lowlands Building Services (Scotland) Ltd., now in liquidation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang : A copy of a letter sent to the hon. Member on 14 April 1994 by a shareholder of the company has been brought to my attention. I have asked my officials to look into the matter. I shall write to my hon. Friend in due course.

Fox Hunting

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the location of land and estates owned by his Department for which he has granted permission for fox hunts ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 21 April 1994] : The Forestry Commission has issued a permit for fox hunting to take place on land at Clatto, Pitmedden and Weddersbie in Fife region and Torloisk in Tayside region. Fox hunts also occasionally use commission land at Carskeoch in Strathclyde region ; at Craik, Newcastleton, Priesthaugh, and Wauchope in the Borders region ; and at Cullendoch, Murrayton and Tinnisburn in the Dumfries and Galloway region.

Glanders and Farcy

Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the number of cases of glanders and farcy in each year since 1985.

Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 25 April 1994] : There have been no recorded cases of glanders or farcy in Scotland over this period.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Parliamentary Estate

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Lord President of the Council what is the relationship between the remit and responsibilities of the House of Commons Commission and of the domestic committees in respect of the provisions of services and facilities on the parliamentary estate.

Mr. Beith : I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 25 May 1993 at column 486.


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