Mr. Atkins : My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment, for Wales and for Scotland are responsible for determining Ramsar sites and special protection areas in England, Wales and Scotland respectively. They are advised by the nature conservation councils for the three countries.
Some 76 Ramsar sites have been designated in the United Kingdom. A map showing protected areas in the United Kingdom, including Ramsar sites and special protection areas is reproduced on page 84 of "Sustainable Development--The United Kingdom Strategy", Cm 2426, a copy of which is in the Library. Information on the number of Ramsar sites within two miles of a port
Column 374boundary, where the port is designated as a major port, is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. There are a further 83 sites identified as being suitable for designation as Ramsar sites in the United Kingdom, of which 32 are in England. A list of Ramsar sites was published on 17 July 1991 Official Report, columns 201-6 and 217-22 and on 18 July 1991, Official Report, columns 254-55, which covered Great Britain sites only.
Some 86 special protection areas have been designated in the United Kingdom, of which 54 are in coastal locations. Some 151 potential special protection areas, which were included in the lists published in July 1991, remain to be designated, of which 89 are in coastal locations. Some 49 designated Ramsar sites in the United Kingdom are wholly or partly also special protection areas. Some 72 identified Ramsar sites in the United Kingdom are also potential special protection areas. A list of map references for the full geographical details of designated special protection area sites and Ramsar sites in the United Kingdom will be placed in the Library shortly. The list of potential Ramsar sites and special protection areas is being reviewed in the light of the most recent scientific knowledge and information. When this work is completed, map references indicating the location of the sites will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 30 March, Official Report , columns 854-55 , which of the member states of the Environment Council did not support the United Kingdom proposals on integrated pollution prevention and control.
Mr. Atkins : No member state expressed opposition to the development of legislation on integrated pollution prevention and control and Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain expressed general support for the approach adopted. The environment working group were asked to take forward work on the details of the proposals as quickly as possible.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his assessment of the net effects on global warming of anthropogenic aerosols and particulates ; and what assessment he has made of the global warming effects of particulates from diesel vehicles and the net effect of emissions from diesel vehicles on greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr. Atkins : The impact of anthropogenic aerosol particles on the climate is highly uncertain. In its 1992 Report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the present-day effect of all particles was probably a net cooling, with the cooling effect of sulphate aerosol particles exceeding the warming effect of particles containing elemental carbon, of which one source is diesel engine exhaust. The panel is currently reviewing this subject, in preparation for a report on the radiative forcing of climate due to be published later this year.
The main greenhouse gas emitted by diesel vehicles is carbon dioxide, and in 1992 these accounted for 6 per cent. of total United Kingdom CO emissions.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what decisions were taken at the European Commission meeting on 11 May regarding the adoption of a draft directive on the ecological quality of surface water.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received concerning the effect on the local government superannuation scheme of the impending local government reforms and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : Discussions have taken place with the local authority associations and other interested parties on superannuation issues. Our proposed amendments to the Local Government Superannuation Regulations 1986 will be issued for a period of statutory consultation shortly.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to meet the newly appointed Director General of the European Environmental Agency, to discuss the role of the agency in developing a database of markets and resources for clean technology products.
Mr. Atkins : None. Officials of the Department are in regular contact with Mr. Beltran, the newly appointed Director General of the European Environment Agency, and the United Kingdom is represented on the agency's management board, which is developing its work programme for this and future years.
Sir Cranley Onslow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to ensure that holders of waste disposal licences have been given adequate notice by local authorities of the timing and terms of the introduction of waste management licensing fees and charges under section 41 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Mr. Atkins : The charging scheme was the subject of consultation exercises in August and December 1992. The Department recommended in the December 1992 consultation paper that waste regulation authorities should inform all disposal licence holders of the proposed scheme and the manner in which charges would be set by reference to descriptions and amounts of waste. My hon. Friend announced on 29 November 1993, Official Report, column 380, our intention to implement on 1 May 1994, the waste management licensing provisions of part II of the 1990 Act. On 30 November 1993 the Department wrote to the local authority associations informing them of the basis on which the 1993-94 fees and charges in the December 1992 consultation paper would be uprated to 1994-95 ; levels ; and providing an indication of the changes to the scheme being considered in the light of consultation.
The scheme made under section 41 of the 1990 Act was laid before the House on 24 March, Official Report, column 395, and came into force on 1 May 1994. Paragraph 3(13) of the scheme requires waste regulation authorities to serve a written notice on licence holders stating the date on which the subsistence charge will be due ; the amount of the charge ; the descriptions of activities, waste and amounts of waste by reference to which the charge has been calculated ; and the method of payment. Paragraph 3(14) requires the notice to be served by 31 May ; and paragraph 3(12) provides that the 1994-95 charge becomes due on 30 June 1994.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many Winget-type houses there are in each local authority possessing housing of this design ; and of those how many are (a) rented in the public sector, (b) rented in the private sector, (c) owner-occupied, with method of repair undertaken and (d) private sector, without option for repair.
Sir George Young : The table shows the numbers of Winget houses reported by English local authorities at the outset of the housing defects scheme which were (a) in their ownership and (b) in private ownership and eligible under the scheme ; and (c) reinstated or (d) repurchased under the scheme by 1 April 1993. Data are not collected centrally on Winget houses which are within the private rented sector or whose owners are ineligible for assistance under the scheme.
Local authority |Publicly |Privately |Reinstated |Repurchased |owned |owned |(a) |(b) |(c) |(d) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kingston upon Hull |880 |9 |- |4 Norwich |469 |17 |- |14 Wakefield |1,210 |75 |2 |51
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what remedies are available for owner-occupiers who discover that their homes are of a Winget type and cannot be sold on the housing market.
Sir George Young : To be eligible for assistance under part XVI of the Housing Act 1985, owners of Winget houses must have purchased from the public sector before 26 April 1984, or within 12 months after this date if they
Column 376bought in ignorance of the defect and at a price which did not take account of it. Provided that such owners apply to their local authority by 30 November 1994, they are entitled to have their homes reinstated to mortgageable standard, or repurchased at 95 per cent. defect-free value if the authority so determines.
Mr. Baldry : The power of an authority to control hunting activities on its land depends both on the powers under which the land is held, and on any applicable local Acts, byelaws and covenants. The court has recently held that an authority, having acquired land under section 120 of the Local Government Act 1972 for the benefit, improvement or development of its area, cannot have regard to moral considerations when deciding to ban stag hunting on that land, but has to make an objective judgment about the proper management of the land.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the Environment Commissioner of the European Union in relation to the obligations of the sea fisheries committees of England and Wales for enforcement duties under the habitats directive.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of houses constructed in the last 10 years would qualify for a standard assessment procedure rating of (a) 55, (b) 60, (c) 65, (d) 70 and (e) 75.
Sir George Young [holding answer 13 May 1994] : To answer the question as posed would require exact data on the characteristics of all dwellings built in the period. This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the proposed revisions to the building regulations, in addition to leading to an improvement in energy efficiency of between 25 and 35 per cent. compared with the current standards, will also require all new dwellings and conversions to dwellings to obtain an SAP rating.