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Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of (a) housing association tenants on assured lettings and (b) secure housing association tenants were in receipt of (i) full housing benefit and (ii) partial housing benefit on 31 March 1993, and at any subsequent date for which figures are available.
Sir George Young : An estimated 60 per cent. of housing association tenants on assured lettings and also 60 per cent. of secure housing association tenants were receiving housing benefit in 1993. A breakdown between full and partial benefit is not currently available.
The proportions are provisional estimates from the "Survey of English Housing" for the period April to December 1993.
Sir George Young : Harrogate borough council has reported the sale of 2,300 dwellings to sitting tenants between April 1980 and December 1993. Information is not available on the number of these sales before 1980-81.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each local authority (a) the address, (b) the date of approval by his Department's officials, (c) the overall scheme cost, (d) the date of withdrawal, (e) the level of subsidy, (f) the date of completion and (g) the letting date of each completed property for which a supplementary credit approval has been agreed under the LOTS--living-over- the-shop--initiative since its inception.
Sir George Young : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 17 December 1993, Official Report, column 1097. Details of the allocation of 1993-94 flats-over-the-shops supplementary credit approvals will not be available until the final claims have been received from local authorities. They have six months after the end of the financial year in which to submit claims.
Column 511Eco-Labelling Board ; how many products have received an eco-label ; and how many items of each labelled product have so far been sold.
Mr. Atkins : Total expenditure, to date, in setting up and running the United Kingdom Eco-labelling Board amounts to £1.7 million. This expenditure covers the costs of setting up the board, promoting the scheme nationally, assisting the European Commission in developing ecological criteria and processing applications from United Kingdom manufacturers.
To date, the eco-label has been awarded to seven models of washing machine in Hoover's "New Wave" range. We do not have any information on the number of eco-labelled products sold.
Mr. Peter Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to identify sensitive areas as required by the urban waste water treatment directive ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : Following discussions with appropriate bodies, the Secretary of State for Wales and I have today placed in the Library of the House, a map of the 33 areas in England and Wales that we have identified, on advice from the National Rivers Authority, as sensitive areas on the basis of the eutrophic status--SAs(E). We have also placed in the Library a list of these areas along with the sewage treatment works at which the installation of phosphorus removal plants will be required in SAs(E) by the end of 1998 in accordance with the directive. These decisions will make a significant contribution to safeguarding our fresh waters. We have accepted the NRA's advice that further monitoring is needed in the case of at least 20 other sites to establish whether they meet the criteria for identification as SAs(E). We have also concluded that current data do not support the case for the identification of nine other candidate SAs(E) proposed by the NRA, and that, before reaching a decision in these cases, further monitoring should be carried out. These cases, along with the 20 areas recommended by the NRA, will be reviewed within the four-year period prescribed by the directive. A list of these areas has also been placed in the Library of the House.
The map and lists will also be available for inspection at NRA headquarters and their main regional offices.
Mr. Richard Tracey : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to identify high natural dispersion areas, less sensitive areas, as required by the urban waste water treatment directive ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : Following discussions with appropriate bodies, the Secretary of State for Wales and I have today placed in the Library of the House a map showing those areas in England and Wales which we have identified as high natural dispersion areas. The map shows all 58 areas around the English and Welsh coastline which the National Rivers Authority has advised meet the criteria in the directive. On the basis of available information, the NRA believes that the provision of primary treatment for the named discharges into these areas will be sufficient and that no further environment benefit will accrue from the provision of additional levels of treatment. We have accepted this advice.
Column 512Comprehensive studies will now be carried out at each location. The NRA must be satisified, before they issue a discharge consent, that the study demonstrates that the proposed discharge of primary treatment effluent will not adversely affect the environment. The NRA is also preparing maps defining the outer boundaries of estuaries as required by the directive. In all cases except for the Humber, the Severn and Swansea bay the boundaries are the same as those used by the NRA for other purposes.
Our decisions will ensure that sewage discharges are properly treated ; that the quality of our coastal waters and estuaries will continue to improve, and that costs to water charge payers are kept within acceptable limits.
The map will be available for inspection at NRA headquarters and their main regional offices.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what records are kept, and by whom, concerning toxic or other chemical waste deposits on former industrial sites in the Greater London area.
authorities--including, in particular, the London waste regulation authority, London borough councils and the Common Council of the City of London--to decide what records to hold in connection with the exercise of their pollution control or planning powers, which could impinge on the type of site described.
Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many hours of civil servants' time, and at what cost, was spent in drafting amendments and new clauses to the Energy Conservation Bill.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of whether authorities which will be restructured following the local government review will have sufficient time to implement the compulsory competitive tendering of housing management.
Sir George Young : I am keen that local authorities in the shires should press ahead with their preparations for housing management CCT without delay. Where they can, authorities should let contracts before reorganisation. Where they cannot, their preparatory work will not be wasted but will stand restructured authorities and their tenants in good stead.
Column 513However, as I said in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) on 15 December 1993, Official Report, columns 733-34, I recognise that restructured authorities will need some extra time to complete the competition process. In my answer, I confirmed the arrangement whereby such authorities will benefit from an exemption of 18 months following reorganisation to complete the first round of competitive tendering. This should give most authorities sufficient time, having regard to the time that their predecessors will have had to prepare.
Some restructured authorities may, nevertheless, have difficulty in completing the process in the 18-month period. I have therefore decided to extend the exemption to 24 months in certain limited circumstances. The authorities which will benefit from this extension will be those which inherit more than 1,000 dwellings from an outgoing authority which is below the proposed de minimis threshold--and does not, therefore, have to prepare for housing management CCT--and those with a total housing stock of more than 15, 000 dwellings. This extension will be granted automatically to restructured authorities meeting one or both of those criteria.
Mr. Atkins : My right hon. Friends the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State for Wales and I issued today a consultation document giving details of the areas in England and Wales which it is proposed to designate as vulnerable zones under the terms of the EC nitrate directive. Following proposals from the National Rivers Authority, 72 zones, with a total area of about 650, 000 hectares, have been identified in accordance with criteria laid down in the directive.
The designation that we are proposing represent the latest stage in a broad package of measures that the Government are taking to control nitrate pollution from agriculture. Four years ago, we established 10 nitrate sensitive areas and we expect to open a further 22 such areas to applicants very shortly. At the national level we have already anticipated the requirement in the nitrate directive to publish and promote a code of good agricultural practice to help farmers reduce nitrate pollution in water. The Government also maintain a substantial programme of nitrate research and development which helps to provide the basis for a comprehensive range of advice to farmers on sensible nitrate practice through such publications as the Ministry of Agriculture's fertiliser recommendations. A fully revised and updated edition of this publication will be available next week. The designations that we are proposing today reflect the fact that the problem of nitrate pollution in England and Wales is largely confined to a number of discrete areas. In due course the directive requires us to introduce measures in these areas to control certain agricultural activities with the aim of reducing nitrate pollution. Considerable care has been taken to ensure that the zones are as precise as possible, thereby ensuring the measures will be effectively targeted and produce the desired environmental benefit. The consultation document provides a preliminary indication of the type of measures that might be introduced in the zones.
Column 514The measures must be established by December 1995 and come into effect at a date to be decided between then and the end of 1999. The resulting reductions in nitrate leaching in vulnerable zones will add to reductions already taking place because of recent changes in agriculture and voluntary application of the code of good agricultural practice for the protection of water issued by MAFF and Welsh Office Agriculture Department.
I am placing copies of the consultation document in the Library.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what criteria it is determined whether a property occupied by a disabled person should receive a one-band reduction for the purposes of assessing council tax payments.
Mr. Curry [holding answer 16 May 1994] : Disabled persons may be entitled to a one-band reduction in council tax if they need extra rooms or more space as a result of their special needs. Reductions apply to dwellings where any one of the following special features is present ; an additional kitchen or bathroom, or special room required because of a resident's disability, or extra floorspace where a wheelchair is required to be used indoors. Reductions are determined in accordance with The Council Tax (Reductions for Disabilities) Regulations 1992, SI 1992/554.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the number of changes to the community charge register in England and Wales in the latest available year ; and what was the estimate of the level of under-registration for the community charge.
Mr. Curry : This information is not available centrally. However, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has published an estimated percentage turnover on the community charge register in England and Wales for 1992-93 in the results of its "Revenue Collection Statistics 1992/93 Actuals" survey published in January 1994. From a response of 305 out of 403 local authorities in England and Wales, CIPFA gives an estimated percentage turnover on the community charge register for England and Wales of 34 per cent. This represents the total number of additions to, plus deletions from, the register in the period 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1993, expressed as a percentage of the number on the register at 1 April 1992.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 20 April, Official Report , column 541 , regarding trusts failing to meet their capital return targets, by what percentage and sum each such trust failed to meet its three financial targets.
Mr. Sackville : The information requested for the years 1991-92 and 1992-93 will be placed in the Library. Information for 1993-94 will not be available until the annual accounts of trusts for that year have been audited.
Mr. Sackville : It is not illegal for an unqualified person to perform cosmetic surgery procedures as such, as long as that person does not falsely claim to be a doctor or carry out any procedures without the patient's permission.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the effect of changes in NHS funding in respect of the voluntary sector, with particular reference to groups assisting those with HIV/AIDS ;
(2) what asssessment she has made of the effect of changes in local authority funding on voluntary groups assisting those with HIV/AIDS.
Column 516million in 1994-95, and local authority funding from £14.9 million to £15.4 million. Changes in allocating these funds came into effect only from 1 April. It is too soon to assess any effect that this may have on the voluntary sector.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made by her Department of the provision of services for people suffering obsessive compulsive disorder ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis : It is for each district health authority to decide what range and type of services to provide based on their assessment of local needs. This will include services for people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorders.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for increased medical checks or medical screening on people subject to immigration control and travellers entering United Kingdom airports and ports for the detection of tuberculosis, cholera and typhoid ; who will be subject to these measures ; on what basis people will be chosen ; what diseases or conditions will be checked ; under what authority these checks will be made ; what will be the outcome for persons found to be suffering from any of the prescribed conditions or diseases ; what changes there will be in statutory instruments and immigration rules ; and what co-operation there has been with the Home Office on the immigration implications of increased screening and checks.
Mr. Sackville : Current policy is that new immigrants from countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis entering the United Kingdom for six months or more are screened for tuberculosis. The aim of this policy is not only to identify those with active disease so that they can be referred for further investigation and treatment, but to be able to offer the protection of BCG immunisation where appropriate. The Department, in consultation with the Home Department and within the remit of the inter-departmental working group on tuberculosis, is reviewing the procedures in order that the policy may be more effectively implemented.
The Department has no plans to screen travellers or new immigrants to the United Kingdom for cholera or typhoid.
Mr. Sackville : The Department of Health continues to support breast -feeding as the best way of feeding a baby. Spending on the promotion of breast-feeding, including grant aid to voluntary organisations, publicity, surveillance and research, reached £118,000 in 1993-94 and is expected to increase to £125,000 in 1994-95.
Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of, and how many, patients treated in London teaching hospitals had their main place of residence outside Greater London in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Sackville : The estimated figures for England for the years 1982 to 1985 and 1988-89 to 1991-92 are shown in the table. These figures relate to deliveries in hospitals and not to the number of babies born.
Data are unavailable for the years 1986 to 1987-88 because of changes to the data collection system.
Year |Estimated |Estimated |Percentage by |Number of |Number of |Caesarian |Section ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1982 |574,620 |58,110 |<1>10.1 1983 |578,300 |58,370 |<1>10.1 1984 |586,110 |59,140 |<1>10.1 1985 |605,120 |63,270 |<1>10.5 1988-89 |642,000 |64,000 |<2>10.0 1989-90 |643,000 |77,000 |<2>12.0 1990-91 |659,000 |86,000 |<2>13.0 1991-92 |649,000 |84,000 |<2>13.0 Source: <1> Hospital in-Patient Enquiry. <2> Hospital Episode Statistics (These estimates are based upon incomplete data, and are rounded to the nearest 1,000).
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses completed their registered general nurse qualification in 1993 ; and how many of them are now employed by the national health service.
Mr. Sackville : The number of admissions from England to the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting register for the period 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1993 is shown in the table. The total figure represents an increase of 3 per cent. on the previous year.
|Number ------------------------------------------------------------------- Part 1-First level nurses trained in general nursing |15,042 Part 12-First level nurses trained in adult nursing (Project 2000) |635 |--- Total |15,677
Information relating to nurses qualifying in particular years and employed by the national health service is not available centrally.
Dr. Mawhinney : Annual figures, since 1991-92, for the central funds spent on measures to reduce junior doctors' hours of work are shown in the table. Action taken includes creating 750 extra senior doctor posts and other local projects to reduce hours and improve living conditions.
$ Year |£ ------------------------------------ 1991-92 |6,202,000 1992-93 |24,466,000 1993-94 |37,048,000 1994-95 |50,015,000 |------- Total |117,731,000 Note: Figures at cash for each year.
In addition, authorities and trusts will have devoted their own funds to local measures to reduce hours. Information on the level of such local funding is not available centrally.
(2) what plans she has to ensure that those health authorities which are currently not purchasing IVF treatment are able to offer the same service to patients as those health authorities which have decided to purchase IVF treatment.
The national health service provides a wide range of treatments for sub- fertility. Decisions about the resources to be made available for these services must be left to individual health authorities as they are in the best position to determine priorities in the light of local needs and circumstances. Advice is available to health authorities and clinicians in two publications drawn to the attention of the national health service in 1992 :
(a) The Effective Health Care Bulletin on management of subfertility, published for the NHS Management Executive by a consortium of Leeds and York Universities and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians.
(b) The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists publication "Infertility--Guidelines for Practice".
Copies of these publications are available in the Library.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were treated for stomach ulcers in each of the last three years ; and what percentage of these patients were treated with maintenance therapy.
Mr. Sackville : The information shown in the table relates to finished consultant episodes where the primary diagnosis was for gastric ulcer. Details of medication given to individuals are not available centrally.
Year |Number ------------------------- 1989-90 |24,717 1990-91 |23,469 <1>1991-92 |24,075 <1> Preliminary estimate.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research her Department has undertaken into the cause of stomach ulcers and the link with the bacteria helicobacter pylori ; (2) what research her Department has undertaken into the use of triple therapy through the use of antibiotics as a means of treating stomach ulcers.
The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The MRC is an independent body deciding what research to do on its own expert judgment. The council is always willing to consider for support soundly based new scientific proposals in competition with other applications.
In 1992-93 the MRC spent £1.44 million on research into the gastro- intestinal tract, and a further £9 million on research which may have some relevance to the gastro-intestinal tract.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the NHS drugs bill is accounted for by the prescribing of Tagamet and Zantac ; and how much the NHS spends on these drugs per year.