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Mr. Mudie : To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer from the Chairman of the Administration Committee on 17 May, Official Report, column 416, when the Commission will publish the details of the survey into child care in the parliamentary estate.
Column 230consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. Since commencement of the Act is still some months away, I would not expect the Committee to be appointed yet.
Mr. Spring : To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, East (Mr. Brown) of 19 May, Official Report, column 959, if he will publish the full text of the letter on the drafting of amendments from the head of the civil service to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) to which he referred.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Lord President of the Council on which private Members' Bills, introduced into either House of Parliament since April 1992, Parliamentary Counsel has been involved in drafting amendments which have subsequently been tabled in the names of Members of either House, other than Ministers.
Mr. Newton : Parliamentary Counsel drafts amendments on the instructions of Departments acting on the authority of Ministers. How many of these were subsequently tabled by Members of either House is not centrally recorded.
Mr. Churchill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the annual intake at, and graduation from, Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth ; what are the annual running costs ; how many (a) service and (b) civilian personnel are employed there, and in what professional and other groups.
Mr. Hanley : During the last training year, the intake at Britannia Royal Naval College was 861. This number includes 433 students who attended courses, including the officer new entry course, from which 401 graduated ; the remaining 428 students attended courses from which there is no formal graduation.
The annual running costs excluding sea training for Britannia Royal Naval College for the last three financial years are as follows :
|£ ------------------------------------------ FY 1991-92 |15,800,000 FY 1992-93 |18,500,000 FY 1993-94 |<1>18,900,000 <1> Estimate.
The total number of Service personnel employed at the college is 129, and is broken down as follows :
|Number ------------------------------- Officers |50 Warrant Officers |3 Senior Ratings |<1>36 Junior Ratings |40 <1> Includes 4 RM.
Column 231The total number of civilian staff employed at the college is 169.5 and is broken down as follows :
|Number ---------------------------------------------------- Defence Administration Group |29.0 Defence Engineering and Science Group |45.5 Other |14.0 Industrial |81.0
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the known atomic test veterans listed on departmental files were contacted as part of the study on mortality and comparative health of atomic test veterans conducted for his Department by the National Radiological Protection Board, published last December ; and what criteria were adopted in choosing those former service men to contact as part of the study.
Mr. Hanley : The independent study conducted by the National Radiological Protection Board was a statistical analysis of the health and service records of more than 21,000 test participants. The NRPB acquired information from a variety of independent and official sources including the British Atomic Veterans Association, the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, the Royal British Legion, the Department of Social Security, besides NRPB and MOD records. Thus there was not a requirement to contact test participants directly.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he replied to Mr. Denzil Hancock of Abertillery, Gwent, in regard to his letter on the National Radiological Protection Board study of atomic test veterans.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to examine the proposals set out in the recent report by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on a blueprint for a nuclear weapon-free world and the 1995 non-proliferation treaty conference, a copy of which has been sent to him.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has made concerning the sale by British Aerospace of its space systems business to Matra Marconi Space ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Aitken : If such a proposal is announced, my Department will if necessary advise the regulatory authorities in the usual manner on any competition and national security implications. Such advice is, of course, confidential.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with the United States authorities regarding the disposal of hazardous wastes shipped to the United Kingdom for disposal from bases of the United States armed forces in Europe.
Mr. Hanley : Officials of my Department have occasionally discussed with the appropriate United States authorities the disposal of hazardous wastes imported into the United Kingdom. The handling of such waste in the United Kingdom is carried out in accordance with national and international regulations governing the movement and destruction of hazardous waste.
Mr. Hanley : At present some 500 personnel are employed at RNAD Beith. The depot plays an important and active role in supporting both the Navy and the RAF in the storage and processing of a wide range of armaments. By the end of 1994, the depot will have assumed further non- armament engineering tasks which have been transferred from other MOD establishments. The future of the depot, which is currently subject to a market-testing exercise, is being reviewed, along with other MOD establishments, as part of the defence costs study.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will decide whether British troops will be deployed in Bosnia this winter ; and what are the crucial factors affecting that decision.
Mr. Hanley : The deployment of British forces in Bosnia is kept under constant review. A decision on whether the current deployment will continue through the winter will be taken later this year and will take account of factors such as the situation on the ground, humanitarian needs, UNPROF0R's ability to carry out its mandate without unacceptable risk to the safety of its forces, and progress towards an overall peace agreement.
Sir Keith Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent communications he has received from the United States Government about the shooting down of two United Nations helicopters by aircraft of the United States air force.
Mr. Hanley : The two United States helicopters shot down in northern Iraq on 14 April are the subject of a United States investigation. The United Kingdom has two representatives on the inquiry and they are taking a full part in the proceedings. We have been kept regularly informed of the progress of the investigation and will make the results available as soon as possible.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the letter of the Minister of State for Defence Procurement to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West of 16 May, if he will list the 40 contracts held by Airwork Ltd. for the Ministry of Defence ; and if he will list those which are in the majority that have been rated as satisfactory.
Provision of Simulator Instructor and maintenance of
simulator and supply of spares
Provision of aircraft Maintenance Services
Post Design Work
Maintenance of Communications Equipment at various
Provision of Helicopter Support and On Call Maintenance Servicing of maintenance of Range Safety Radars and Ground Radio
Provision of Flying Instruction
Servicing of Aircraft
Repair and Reconditioning of Spares
As stated in my letter dated 16 May 1994 to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West, in general these contracts are being performed satisfactorily.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the letter from the Minister of State for Defence Procurement to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West, dated 16 May, if he will list the names of all the contractors placed on the Ministry of Defence list of contractors requiring special attention ; on what date they were placed on that list ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Aitken : The list is maintained for internal use only, as part of my Department's risk management technique. It is treated as "commercial in confidence" and therefore I am not prepared to identify the contractors currently on it.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the letter of the Minister of State for Defence Procurement to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West, dated 16 May, on what date Airwork Ltd. was placed on the Ministry of Defence list of contractors requiring special attention.
Mr. Sykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will now give further details regarding the introduction of a system for broadcasting details of firing intentions in local sea areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : I am pleased to announce, as foreshadowed in my answer to the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Macdonald) on 3 March, Official Report, columns 871-72 that from Wednesday 1 June 1994 the Royal Navy is to introduce a new information service for advising fishermen and other mariners of gun and missile firings in designated exercise areas around the United Kingdom. The time and approximate geographic locations of all planned live firings--other than with small arms--and underwater explosions will be broadcast twice a day by the Royal Navy : where appropriate this will also include the times of firing flares, other illuminants, and naval gunfire support firings using sea ranges and inert ammunition. This new broadcasting of information is to be known colloquially as GUNFACTS,
Column 234A broadcast scheme for transmitting information of this nature has been operating in the heavily used Portland exercise area for almost two years, and has proved successful in ensuring that civil craft using these waters are aware of Royal Navy firing activity. The aim now is to extend the arrangements operating in the Portland areas to cover all exercise areas around the United Kingdom in which gunnery and missile firings and underwater explosions take place. The introduction of the United Kingdom-wide broadcasting arrangements for GUNFACTS does not reflect any shortcomings in the Royal Navy's existing range safety procedures, which are already rigorous and comprehensive : the intention is, rather, to complement the existing measures. As such, the introduction of this scheme represents a further step forward in maritime safety and underlines our continuing commitment to ensure safe operations by the Royal Navy at sea.
Mr. Aitken : HMS Vanguard is scheduled today to launch an unarmed Trident II D5 ballistic missile off the coast of Florida as part of her demonstration and shakedown operation. I shall inform the House of the outcome of the firing in due course.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the single service and joint service adventurous training facilities maintained by funds from his Department, showing the costs, staffing and principal equipment of each.
Mr. Hanley : Adventurous training is, and will continue to be, an essential part of armed forces training, developing the qualities of fitness, courage, initiative, powers of endurance, leadership and interdependence which are essential to each service. The information requested, with costs for financial year 1993-94, will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he met representatives of West Glamorgan to discuss its inclusion in Interreg ; when he met his Irish counterpart to discuss adding south-east Eire and south-west Wales to the United Kingdom submission ; when subsequently he made written representations on behalf of West Glamorgan and to whom ; and what was the reason for the time lag between his meeting with the Irish Minister and his written submission.
Mr. Redwood : My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture announced the 1994-95 cost recovery targets and the associated restructuring of ADAS in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Hargreaves) on 25 February 1994, Official Report , columns 492-93 . The agency's activities in Wales are being carried forward and its organisation adjusted in line with that. Detailed operational matters are the responsibility of the chief executive.
My right hon. Friend and I also announced on 22 September 1993 that a study of the future corporate status of ADAS is being undertaken. A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.
agri-environmental advice through a streamlined system, which will be both simple and effective. Farmers will gain access to advice through a single clearing-house which will direct both telephone and written inquiries to an adviser who will be the single point of contact for the farmer. The adviser will provide the farmer with impartial sound advice on all the environmental aspects of farming and the support schemes available. Further details will be announced soon.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his oral statement of 15 March, Official Report, column 758, on what date he requested parliamentary draftsmen to prepare the amendments for clause 44 of the Local Government (Wales) Bill [Lords].
Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he has received regarding pollution of water supplies resulting in inconvenience to consumers for each year since 1986.
Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many areas have been designated as areas of protection under the Water Resources Act 1991 ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what plans he has for changes to legislation to deter polluters of water supplies ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : It is for the National Rivers Authority to apply for the making of an order under section 93 of the Water Resources Act 1991 for the designation of a water protection zone. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I are currently considering the first such application by the NRA, in respect of the River Dee.
Column 236Regardless of any specific protective measures. it is in general an offence, punishable by an unlimited fine or a prison sentence or both, to pollute watercourses or water supplies.
|£ million ---------------------------------- Birmingham |1,233 Coventry |385 Dudley |277 Sandwell |284 Solihull |71 Walsall |301 Wolverhampton |309
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the topics to be included in the 1994 review of standard spending assessment ; and what resources his Department will be devoting to the 1994 review of standard spending assessments, in terms of (a) the number of full -time equivalent posts and the estimated staff costs and (b) the cost of externally commissioned research.
Mr. Curry : A wide-ranging review of standard spending assessments was carried out in 1993. The Government do not propose to carry out a similar review this year. Their policy on further changes in SSAs was set out in its response to the first report from the Select Committee on the Environment, Cm 2494, and in paragraphs 32 and 33 in particular. Possible topics relating to SSAs which may be discussed with the local authority associations this year were set out in a paper for the SSA sub-group. A copy has been placed in the Library. The division primarily concerned with SSAs has a complement of 12.8 full-time equivalent posts, the cost of which is some £420,000 per year. The Department expects to commission external research relating to SSAs, the cost of which will be met from the budget for local government research as a whole of £534,000 in 1994- 95. Actual expenditure in 1994-95 will depend on the prices offered by contractors and the timing of the work but is not expected to exceed £50,000.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what extent local authorities that are allocated money for flood prevention by his Department are able to vire the money to other purposes.
Mr. Curry : My Department does not allocate money to local authorities specifically for flood prevention. However the standard spending assessment methodology used to distribute revenue support grant includes an element for flood defence which is based on the previous year's expenditure. Since RSG in unhypothecated, where this element exceeds the amount levied by the National Rivers
Column 237Authority for flood defence in any year, authorities themselves decide how best to use any additional resources in the light of local needs and priorities. This principle applies equally to all services included in the SSA system.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many complaints have been received by the housing association tenants' ombudsmen in England and Scotland from the date that the respective services became operational in December 1993.
Sir George Young : The housing association tenants' ombudsman service, which covers the activities of registered housing associations in England, has received 412 complaints in its first six months of operation-- from November 1993 to April 1994. In the case of Scotland, for which the arrangements are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, I am advised that in its first full month of operation--April 1994--the service there received 12 complaints.
Sir George Young : The Housing Corporation has distributed posters and leaflets about the housing association tenants ombudsman service to all registered housing associations in England, as well as to citizens' advice bureaux, local libraries, law centres and housing advice centres.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on progress towards meeting the United Nations conference on environment and development at Rio de Janerio obligations in so far as they concern energy saving in the domestic market.
Column 238year commits developed countries to take measures aimed at returning emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2000. The United Kingdom climate change United Kingdom programme, which was published in January, sets out in full the measures aimed at meeting the convention commitment. These include measures affecting the domestic energy sector, which are expected to reduce emissions by 4 million tonnes of carbon--MtC--against projected CO emissions by 2000.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment by what percentage each year the rebuilding costs per square foot have increased between 1964 and 1990 for residential property built before 1920 in Hull.
Sir George Young : Figures for Hull are not available, but there is no reason to suppose that these differ significantly from increases in rebuilding costs for residential property nationally which were as follows :
Year |Percentage --------------------------------- 1964 |0 1965 |5 1966 |7 1967 |0 1968 |5 1969 |6 1970 |10 1971 |9 1972 |25 1973 |37 1974 |17 1975 |6 1976 |6 1977 |13 1978 |13 1979 |17 1980 |24 1981 |0 1982 |3 1983 |7 1984 |4 1985 |4 1986 |4 1987 |9 1988 |11 1989 |9 1990 |1
Privately rented dwellings and households 1981 to 1993 England Year Dwellings Households |Number |Proportion of |Number |Proportion of |all dwellings |all households |thousands |percent |thousands |percent ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1981 |2,050 |11.4 |1,910 |11.0 1982 |2,040 |11.2 |- |- 1983 |2,030 |11.1 |1,880 |10.6 1984 |2,030 |10.9 |1,920 |10.7 1985 |2,000 |10.7 |1,900 |10.6 1986 |1,940 |10.3 |1,690 |9.2 1987 |1,880 |9.9 |1,670 |9.1 1988 |1,800 |9.3 |1,700 |9.1 1989 |1,900 |9.3 |1,610 |8.6 1990 |1,910 |9.7 |1,690 |8.9 1991 April |1,920 |9.8 |1,760 |9.3 1991 December |1,970 |10.0 |- |- 1992 |2,030 |10.2 |1,790 |9.2 1993 |2,050 |10.2 |1,950 |9.9 Notes: 1. Dwellings figures are at the end of December except for 1981, when they are for April, and 1991 when figures are shown for both April and December. 2. Household figures are estimates from the Labour Force Survey and are subject to sampling error. They are for the period March to May each year.
A statistical paper explaining the derivation of these figures is to be included in the May issue of "Housing Finance". I will place a copy in the Library as soon as it is available.
Mr. Atkins : The Government are firmly committed to the transposition of the directive into United Kingdom law. We expect to lay draft regulations for this purpose before Parliament soon after the Whitsun recess. The regulations will be made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 and will require the approval of Parliament before they can come into effect. The directive requires the necessary laws, regulations and administrative provisions to be brought into force within two years of its notification on 5 June 1992. Although this target will not quite be achieved, our first priority must be to ensure that the draft regulations, which are very complex, fulfil the directive's requirements.
The Government issued a public consultation paper in October 1993 indicating what provisions were considered necessary to implement the directive. The responses to this consultation, and that undertaken in March 1993 concerning proposed changes to permitted development rights to comply with the directive, have been considered during the process of framing the draft regulations.
Subject to parliamentary approval, the regulations will establish mechanisms for the designation and protection of sites qualifying under the EC habitats and birds directives. They will also cover species protection aspects of the habitats directive. These measures will provide a self- contained body of legislation to give effect to the directive's requirements and will build on the already comprehensive provisions for habitats and species conservation in existing law and policy.
Column 240served on the authority on 23 December 1993 under section 13 of the Local Government Act 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : My right hon. Friend, after carefully considering the response which Calderdale metropolitan borough made to the notice served on the authority, has decided to give the authority a direction under section 14 of the Local Government Act 1988. The effect of the direction is to require the authority to re-tender the ground maintenance work which was the subject of the notice by 1 June 1995. The direction also requires the authority, when re-tendering the work, to draw up a contingency plan to cover the remedying of defects in the contractor's performance and/or procuring the service of another contractor in the event of contractor failure, to which any performance bond requirement would be related. The authority must agree the contingency plan, and the terms of any performance bond requirement, with an independent arbitrator appointed by the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management.