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               |New Jobs   |Safeguarded            

                           |Jobs                   

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

United Kingdom |4,207      |3,348                  

North America  |560        |1,610                  

Far East       |2,342      |241                    

Rest of Europe |972        |657                    

               |-------    |-------                

Total          |8,081      |5,856                  

Information on whether companies are new to Wales is not collected centrally. However, of the total jobs recorded in 1993-94, 27 per cent. related to new projects as opposed to expansions, acquisitions and joint ventures.

The figures are based on information given by the relevant companies at the time of their decision to invest and take no account of subsequent developments.

Wheelchair Repairs

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 26 April, Official Report, column 139, on what date the wheelchair repair contract eventually won by SERCO was advertised in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union ; and what details it gave in relation to the provision of (i) direct services of repair and (ii) general facilities management.

Mr. Redwood [holding answer 29 April 1994] : The Welsh Health Common Services Authority advertised the wheelchair repair and maintenance contract in the United Kingdom on 8 July 1993 and in the European Journal on 6 July 1993.

The advertisement invited interest from organisations to bid for the contract to repair and maintain wheelchairs with delivery into 37,000 users' homes in Wales. Firms which expressed an interest were sent a more detailed specification. I will write and send a copy to the hon. Member.

Press Releases

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to introduce electronic mail or multi-fax for despatch at press releases, including the despatch of press releases to the Library simultaneously with their despatch to the press.

Mr. Redwood [holding answer 29 April 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 25 April, at column 58. Distribution by both electronic mail and multi-fax is kept under review.

ENVIRONMENT

Air Monitoring

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he ensures responsibility for co-ordinating air monitoring in respect of European directive EC 85/203 and World Health Organisation air safety levels ; and at what cost, including equipment and staffing costs.

Mr. Atkins : The monitoring of nitrogen dioxide for the purposes of European directive EC 85/203 is undertaken by the National Environment Technology Centre on behalf


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of the Government, and the results are reported to the Commission. The results of monitoring at all Department of the Environment automatic air pollution monitoring sites, including the nitrogen dioxide directive sites, are published annually by the National Environment Technology Centre. The annual reports include an analysis of exceedences of European Community and World Health Organisation guidelines and standards.

The annual running cost of a nitrogen dioxide directive monitoring site, which may include measurements of other pollutants, is in the order of £25,000. The capital cost of establishing an automatic nitrogen dioxide monitoring site is about £30,000.

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he co-ordinates air monitoring with local authorities.

Mr. Atkins : My Department has a successful history of co-operation with local authorities on air pollution monitoring. For example, smoke and sulphur dioxide, using non-automatic techniques, are monitored at some 250 sites by 151 local authorities, with central Government providing the central co-ordination and quality assurance and quality control. The national nitrogen dioxide diffusion tube survey established in 1993, in which nitrogen dioxide is being monitored at more than 1,200 sites by some 300 local authorities, is run on similar lines.

In order to build on this co-operation the Government recently published a consultation paper, "The Future of Air Quality Monitoring Networks in the United Kingdom", in which proposals were made to develop a framework which draws local and national automatic air quality monitoring together into a coherent quality assured network. The Government are currently considering responses to the proposals in that paper.

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the report of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology entitled "Breathing in our Cities" ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : The Government are fully aware of the growing links between air pollution and health, not least from its own advisory group. We have made clear our intention to publish proposals later this year for a strategy to improve the quality of air in the United Kingdom, after widespread consultation. To this end, the Government have issued a discussion paper entitled "Improving Air Quality" which discusses the options available and invites comment from all interested organisations and individuals. Copies of this paper have been placed in the Library.

Vacant Housing

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the latest estimates of housing property remaining vacant ; how much of this is owned by (a) local authorities, (b) the private sector and (c) Government Departments for each local authority in England ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young : Local authorities in England report the numbers of their own dwellings that are vacant at 1 April on their annual HIP1 return. Details for individual local authorities are available from the "1993 HIP1 All


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Items Print", a copy of which is in the Library ; columns A71 and A76 gives figures for vacant dwellings inside and outside the authority's area, respectively.

Housing associations report the numbers of their own dwellings vacant at 31 March on their annual HAR10/1 return. I have today placed in the Library a table giving the reported numbers of vacant housing association dwellings in each local authority area. The figures are incomplete as there are around 900 vacant dwellings--3 per cent. of vacant dwellings--for which an analysis by district is not available.

In addition to providing information on those of their own dwellings that are vacant, local authorities are also asked to provide estimates of the number of private sector and other public sector vacant dwellings in their area on their annual housing investment programme returns. The reported information for each local authority is given in columns A74 and A73 respectively of the "1993 HIP1 All Items Print".

There are doubts about the quality of some of the estimates provided by authorities. Information from the 1991 English house condition survey suggests that the England total for the private sector may be an over- estimate, and data from central Government Departments on their own vacant dwellings, for which no geographical breakdown is readily available, indicate that there is

under-reporting of public sector vacant dwellings.

House Building

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans his Department has to revitalise the construction industry to ensure an increase in the permanent dwellings started in 1994 in (a) council housing, (b) housing association and (c) the private sector ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young : The construction industry will continue to benefit from the range of Government policies which are leading to a sustained economic recovery. These have brought about substantial falls in interest rates leading to more affordable home ownership. The industry also


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benefits from our approach of bringing in private sector resources to increase the output from our social housing programmes. My Department's public expenditure plans for housing are contained in its 1994 annual report--Cm 2507.

Aluminium Recycling Industry

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the effect of imports on the aluminium recycling industry.

Mr. Atkins : United Kingdom imports of primary aluminium in 1992 and 1993 increased from 341,700 tonnes to 581,300 tonnes respectively. At the same time, the United Kingdom aluminium recycling industry increased its production from 251,800 to 274,400 tonnes. It is encouraging to note that increased imports of primary aluminium have not prevented an increase in the level of aluminium recycling in the United Kingdom.

Latham Report

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the Latham report to be published.

Sir George Young : Sir Michael Latham's final report of the joint Government/industry review of procurement and contracting arrangements in the United Kingdom construction industry will be published on Monday 18 July this year. Copies of the report will be placed in the House Library. Publication of the report will be followed by a conference organised by the industry groups involved in the review on Monday 25 July 1994 at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre.

Regional Office Staff

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many of the staff in each of the integrated regional offices are (a) black people, (b) Asian and (c) female ; and what percentages these are of the total.

Mr. Baldry [holding answer 26 April 1994] : The information requested is as follows.


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Total numbers of Black, Asian and female staff in the Government offices for the regions                    

Region      |Total staff|Female     |Percentage |Black      |Percentage |Asian      |Percentage             

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

NE          |310.0      |211        |58         |0          |0          |*          |less than 5            

NW          |460.4      |194        |42         |9          |2          |*          |less than 5            

Y and H     |315.5      |151        |48         |*          |less than 5|7          |2                      

M           |72.2       |53         |73         |0          |0          |0          |0                      

WM          |364.9      |191        |52         |29         |8          |7          |2                      

EM          |260.3      |127        |49         |*          |less than 5|*          |less than 5            

E           |198.15     |88         |44         |*          |less than 5|*          |less than 5            

L           |251.0      |95         |38         |29         |12         |28         |11                     

SE          |295.2      |149        |50         |7          |2          |7          |2                      

SW          |223.5      |99         |44         |*          |less than 5|*          |less than 5            

            |------     |------     |------     |------     |------     |------     |------                 

Total       |2,751.2    |1,358      |49         |74         |approx. 24 |49         |approx. 18             

General notes:                                                                                              

All figures calculated on a headcount basis.                                                                

Figures exclude casual and industrial staff.                                                                

Black and Asian staff figures include only those who responded to a voluntary survey and do not include     

other ethnic minorities.                                                                                    

DOE, ED and DOT figures for Asian and Black staff are as at 1 October 1993.                                 

DTI figures for Black and Asian staff are as at January 1994.                                               

All figures for female staff are as at April 1994.                                                          

Total staff figures are based on those of 1 October 1993.                                                   

Following the code of practice on ethnic origin of individuals, where the totals are 5 or less, actual      

figures have been replaced by an asterisk.                                                                  

DTI notes:                                                                                                  

Figures for London region are included in those for the South East region.                                  

Merseyside figures are included in those for the North West.                                                

Employment Department notes:                                                                                

Merseyside figures are included in those for the North West.                                                

Due to reorganisation, figures for Merseyside are still being finalised. Gender breakdown of the 30 staff   

involved is not yet known.                                                                                  

This breakdown by ethnicity and grade is a new retrieval for the ED system. This has reduced the ethnic     

origin figure by 3 staff who identified themselves as black.                                                

Homelessness

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many people who have previously been housed by local authorities as homeless applicants are currently homeless.

Sir George Young : The information requested is not available.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many families rehoused last year by London boroughs had lost their homes as a result of repossessions by lenders ;

(2) what percentage of families who were made homeless last year through repossessions are currently living in temporary accommodation.

Sir George Young : Data provided by local authorities on the numbers of homeless households for which they accept responsibility to secure permanent accommodation include information on the reason for the loss of their last settled home. Some 1,730 households were accepted in London, and 8 per cent. of acceptances in England, in 1993 as a result of mortgage arrears ; cases where the mortgage arrears led to repossession are not separately identified. These data do not provide information on the number of accepted households who were subsequently placed in temporary accommodation, or on the point when households are permanently rehoused.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the level of support provided to the long- term homeless after they are housed.

Sir George Young : Long-term homeless people who are rehoused under the homelessness legislation--part III of the Housing Act 1985--are entitled to the same social security benefits as other comparable members of the population.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many families subsequently rehoused in housing association accommodation in the last available year had previously lost their houses as a result of repossession by lenders.

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

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of families accepted as homeless in each year since 1990 have had members of their families subsequently taken into care.

Sir George Young : The information requested is not available in the Department.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the economic causes of homelessness.


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Sir George Young : During the 12 months ending 31 December 1993, only about 10 per cent. of households accepted by English local authorities for rehousing under the homelessness legislation had lost their previous home for reasons of mortgage or rent arrears.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has concerning the ages of those currently living rough in London.

Sir George Young : Counts of people sleeping rough in central London are undertaken periodically by voluntary sector agencies and co-ordinated by Homeless Network. The latest count, on 18 November 1993, found 287 people sleeping rough. The breakdown by age is shown in the table :


Age range |Per cent.          

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

Under 18  |1                  

18 - 25   |16                 

26 - 49   |49                 

50 - 59   |22                 

Over 60   |12                 

                              

Total     |100                

Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average cost of keeping a family of four in bed-and-breakfast accommodation in London for one year ; and what is the comparable cost of housing a homeless family in a council-owned dwelling.

Sir George Young : The information requested is not available.

London Docklands Development Corporation

Mr. Simon Huges : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much land set aside for public housing has been developed by the London Docklands development corporation in each of the last 10 years ; and what amount was set aside for commercial development over the same period.

Sir George Young : The London Docklands development corporation does not set aside land for particular uses. Disposals of land over the last 10 years are as follows :


Year       |Public    |Commercial           

           |housing   |(acres)              

           |(acres)                         

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

1984       |3.1       |8.7                  

1985       |2.9       |21.7                 

1986       |9.5       |160.1                

1987       |6.8       |64.5                 

1988       |3.8       |19.3                 

1989       |17.0      |20.5                 

1990       |26.1      |11.2                 

1991       |13.4      |19.1                 

1992       |5.0       |32.9                 

1993       |12.9      |4.6                  

           |----      |----                 

Total      |100.5     |362.6                

Mr. Simon Huges : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many new units of housing in London docklands have been (a) given planning permission and (b) built, since the LDDC was formed ; and how many people accepted by the London boroughs of Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets as homeless have been housed in these developments.

Sir George Young : (a) the number of new units given planning permission is 22,874 ; (b) the number of new units built since 1981 is 17,460.

Nominations to new dwellings built within London docklands are subject to arrangements agreed between housing associations, local authorities and the Housing Corporation. The LDDC does not have access to information as to whether the lettings are to households accepted as homeless by the boroughs.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much LDDC land remains undeveloped ; and what percentage of this undeveloped land is set aside for public housing in (a) Newham, (b) Southwark and (c) Tower Hamlets.

Sir George Young : A total of 465 acres of land remain undeveloped at 1 April 1994.

It has not been the LDDC's practice to distinguish between land for public or private housing in setting aside land for residential purposes.

Boat Dwellers

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many registered boat dwellers there are in the United Kingdom (a) currently and (b) 10 years ago ; and whether this figure is expected to increase.

Sir George Young : This information is not held centrally.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to bring forward legislation to provide boat dwellers with long-term security of tenure.

Sir George Young : We have no plans to introduce legislation providing statutory security of tenure for houseboat dwellers. Their rights will depend on the terms of any agreement with the landlord of the mooring.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to extend the tenants charter to boat dwellers.

Sir George Young : The tenants charter applies only to those resident in council-owned property. While we would encourage the development of good practice, it is for the owners and operators of moorings to consider whether to follow the Government's citizens charter route in developng their service standards for boat dwellers.

Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with his ministerial counterpart in Norway concerning THORP ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : No such discussions have taken place.


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Fire Precautions (Government Departments)

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what were the results of the cost-benefit analysis his Department has carried out to assess the relative costs and benefits of central provision of advice and training to all Government Departments on fire precautions compared with employing consultants to provide comparable advice and training ;

(2) if it is his intention to end his Department's provision of free advice and training to other Departments on fire precautions and standards ;

(3) what consultation process was followed between his Department and other Government Departments over the intention to withdraw from them the advice and training at present provided by the Department of Environment fire branch.

Mr. Baldry : My Department will continue to provide central guidance on fire protection standards for Government buildings and on procedures for the management of fire safety. But individual Departments are responsible for protecting the buildings which they occupy against fire hazards. They are best placed to decide on the most cost-effective means of obtaining advice about measures to be adopted in particular buildings and about training, whether from in-house staff or consultants. It is therefore appropriate that they should in future take on these responsibilities. Departments were advised on 25 April of the proposed changes ; and invited to contribute their views to a review to be carried out on how best to provide my Department's continuing services.

Water Pollution, Worcester

Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to co-ordinate the investigation and eventual reports into the pollution of water supplies in the Worcester area, now being conducted by the drinking water inspectorate, the National Rivers Authority, Severn-Trent Water plc, the West Midlands regional health authority and Worcester and district health authority.

Mr. Atkins : We shall ensure that, taking into account the investigations that the various bodies concerned have in hand, the incident is fully and thoroughly investigated.

Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the pollutants which reached consumers' water supplies in the Worcester area on 15 April.

Mr. Atkins : On 29 April, Severn Trent Water Ltd. in a communication to the drinking water inspectorate, reported the contaminants as 2-ethyl-4- methyl-1, 3-dioxolane and 2-ethyl-5, 5-dimethyl-1, 3-dioxane.

The drinking water inspectorate, as part of its investigation, is requiring Severn Trent Water Ltd. to provide full data from its analysis of samples of drinking water supplies taken in association with the incident. The inspectorate will be checking the validity of the methods of analysis used.

Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the role of the Director General of the Office of Water Supplies in relation to the water pollution incident at Worcester on 15 April ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Atkins : The director general has no role in the immediate investigation of the incident. He may, however, consider in conjunction with the customer service committee, whether the company responded adequately to the needs of its customers, particularly the elderly and the disabled, during the incident and whether appropriate levels of compensation have been offered.

Vitalscheme Ltd

Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the licensing procedures followed by Shropshire county council when they authorised the operation of Vitalscheme Ltd. in Wem, Shropshire.

Mr. Atkins : Shropshire county council granted a waste disposal licence under part I of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to Vitalscheme Ltd. on 28 February 1994. That Act and regulations made under it prescribe the procedures to be followed in granting such licences. Further information on the licence may be obtained from Shropshire county council.

Drinking Water

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to reduce the chlorine levels present in drinking water.

Mr. Atkins : Chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water, and to provide continuing protection in water distribution. There is no evidence that levels used by water companies in England and Wales are excessive, and my right hon. Friend has no plans to require reduced levels to be used.

Property Services Agency

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration is given to quality and technical competence when contracts are being considered for former sections of the Property Services Agency.

Mr. Curry : Client departments are responsible for considering quality and technical competence standards when selecting contractors for tender lists in relation to any contract they let, whether or not one of the privatised PSAS businesses is involved.

Local Government Commission

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many final reviews have been issued by his Local Government Commission to date ; how many initial reports have been issued ; how many are in course of preparation.

Mr. Curry : The Local Government Commission has published final reports on 10 shire counties, but has been asked to conduct further reviews of three of them. The commission will be publishing draft reports on these and the other 29 shire counties under review during the summer. Final reports on all areas are due to be with the Secretary of State by the end of 1994.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to implement the final reports of the Local Government Commission he has


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received so far ; and if he will make a statement on the powers to be employed with particular reference to the extent to which proposals for different areas will be dealt with together.

Mr. Curry : Changes to local government structure will be implemented by statutory order, subject to affirmative resolution in both Houses. We have made an order establishing a unitary structure on the Isle of Wight from 1 April 1995. We expect that orders for other areas where there is to be change will be laid by summer 1995 and reorganisation will be completed by 1 April 1997. Orders may be laid and debated together, depending on progress ; we shall decide on handling at the time, taking into account the pressure of parliamentary business.

Housing (Green Paper)

Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many responses were received by his Department to the Green Paper on access to local authority and housing association tenancies ; which representations have not been included in this total and for what reasons ; and what was the previous highest number of responses to one of his Department's Green Papers.

Sir George Young : The total of all responses received is now over 9,500. As I said in my answer to the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle) on 12 April, Official Report, column 133, the Department has on occasion received substantially more representations on other matters of widespread interest.

Water Charges

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a direction to the Director General of Water Services that he should invite views from national, regional and local consumers' organisations and from hon. Members in the course of the current review of water charging limits for water companies in England and Wales.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 28 April 1994] : The Secretary of State does not intend to issue such a direction.

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the bodies and individuals whose views have been formally invited in the course of the current review of water charging limits for water companies in England and Wales.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 28 April 1994] : The Director General of Water Services, Mr. Ian Byatt, is responsible for the current periodic review of water charge limits. He began the process of consultation in July 1991 by publishing a consultation paper on the "Cost of Capital". Since then, Mr. Byatt has published a series of further papers in connection with the review, on which a wide range of bodies and individuals, including consumers' organisations and hon. Members, have been invited to express their views. The director general also asked all water companies to consult their customers widely through the publication of market plans.

Birds

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the Countryside Councils for Wales, Scotland and Northern


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Ireland and English Nature with respect to an agreed management plan United Kingdom-wide for the protection of the habitats of the redshank and dunlin ; and if he will supply such a plan to the Environment Commissioner of the European Union.


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