Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many civil servants taking early retirement or redundancy went into employment with a training and enterprise council since the abolition of the councils.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what estimate has been made of the cost of the provision of divorce information as set out in the Green Paper entitled, "Mediation and the Ground for Divorce."
Mr. John M. Taylor : No decisions have been made about the proposals in the Government's consultation paper. When reponses to that paper have been fully considered, the Lord Chancellor will decide how best to proceed and relevant cost estimates will be prepared.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department with whom he has had consultations over the provision of divorce information as set out in the Green Paper, "Mediation and the Ground for Divorce."
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what training he intends to provide for those who will be responsible for the provision of divorce information and mediation under the proposals contained in the Green Paper, "Mediation and the Ground for Divorce."
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what estimate he has made of the cost of training mediators, pursuant to the proposals contained in the Green Paper, "Mediation and the Ground for Divorce."
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what discussions his Department has had with the Treasury about the cost of the provision of divorce information as set out in the Government's Green paper, "Mediation and the Ground for Divorce."
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if it is his policy that there should be a phased take-on of work for the mediation service, pursuant to the proposals contained in the Green Paper, "Mediation and the Ground for Divorce."
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department for how many solicitors' offices pre-contract audit for legal aid franchise has been completed ; and how many of these solicitors' offices had passed their pre-contract audit, as of 13 May.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many solicitors had submitted and not withdrawn applications for legal aid franchises in each of the legal aid areas as of 13 May.
|Number ------------------------- London |164 Brighton |105 Reading |182 Bristol |163 Cardiff |62 Birmingham |82 Manchester |96 Newcastle |57 Leeds |100 Nottingham |111 Cambridge |153 Chester |72 Liverpool |79
Column 667Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. David Wilshire, dated 16 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Robert Key, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the number of representations received from the Spelthorne constituency for and against the M25 link road proposals. Draft highway Orders for the provision of link roads between junctions 12 and 15 of the M25 were published on 7 April this year. The objection period ends on 15 July. By 7 June, 43 letters of objection and one letter of support from addresses within the Spelthorne constituency had been recorded.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is his latest estimate for daily traffic flows on the M40 between (a) junctions 5 and 6 and (b) junction 6 (Lewknor) and Postcombe ;
(2) how many residential properties lie within 100 m, 200 m and 300 m of the M40 between junctions 5 and 6 ;
(3) what is his Department's estimate of the cost of resurfacing the M40 between junction 6 (Lewknor), and Postcombe with porous asphalt ;
(4) how many residential properties lie within 100 m, 200 m and 300 m of the M40 between Lewknor, junction 6 and Postcombe ;
(5) what is his Department's estimate of the noise reduction which will be achieved for local residents of resurfacing the M40 between (a) junctions 5 and 6 with hot-rolled asphalt and (b) junction 6 (Lewknor) and Postcombe with porous asphalt ;
(6) what is his Department's estimate of the cost of resurfacing the M40 between junctions 5 and 6 with (a) hot-rolled asphalt and (b) porous asphalt.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. David Lidington, dated 16 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Robert Key, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent six Parliamentary Questions about the forthcoming resurfacing of the M40 between Junction 5 (Stokenchurch) and Adwell near Postcombe.
It might be helpful if I were first to fill in some of the background. The obligations placed on the Department of Transport to deal with noise intrusion relate only to where the Department acts in the manner of a developer in providing a new road or in substantially altering an existing one. It follows that the Agency can only undertake maintenance of existing roads for genuine maintenance reasons and, trials apart, then only in the most cost-effective manner. As porous asphalt (PA) is known to be more costly to construct and maintain, normally its use can only be justified at present for new construction works where these higher costs can be offset by savings in the costs of noise mitigation measures which would be otherwise incurred. There are, of course, no similar offsetting saings to be had in the case of maintenance works. PA is relatively new material which needs to be tested before more wide scale use. The 4 mile section of the M40 which is now to be re-surfaced was built in the early 1970s and has a jointed concrete carriageway. As we have no experience of overlaying PA on roads constructed in this way, we are taking the opportunity presented by the maintenance to carry out a trial over the 2 mile stretch between Junction 6 and Adwell. This length is quite adequate for trial purposes. The trial is not, therefore, specifically aimed at noise reduction but it is designed to get some of the technical information you seek and more. Interim results are unlikely to be available for at least 18 months. The answers which I give below to your questions should, therefore, be taken as very provisional.
Column 668Tenders for the maintenance contract are still being evaluated. Early indications are that the additional construction costs of resurfacing with PA the length between Junction 6 (Lewknor) and Adwell (near Postcombe) will be in the order of £800,000. Using the tenders for that length as the measure, the additional construction costs of using PA on the length between Junctions 5 and 6 would be in the order of £1M. I cannot yet quantify additional maintenance costs.
The Agency has had no reason to undertake accurate assessments of the number of properties close to the M40 in these areas. However, a count made from available plans suggests the numbers may be as follows :
Number of Properties Location |100m |200m |300m ------------------------------------------------------ Junctions 5-6 |30 |51 |68 Junction 6-Adwell |2 |14 |56
In 1993 the average traffic flow between Junctions 6 and 7 was 71, 200 vehicles per day. There is not a traffic counter between Junctions 5 and 6, but flows there are likely to be broadly similar to the adjoining stretch of motorway.
As the maintenance work is not aimed at noise reduction, we have not carried out any assessment of existing noise levels over the Junctions 5 to 6 length and have not estimated the reductions which might result from the re-surfacing of that length in hot rolled asphalt (HRA). It is likely, however, that the perceived noise levels will be less given the elimination of joints in the present surface. Before and after' measurements of noise will be taken at selected sites to quantify the noise reducing properties of PA on the Junction 6 (Lewknor) to Adwell length. The results will not be available for some time. No estimates have been made.
Mr. Key : The Department employs a wide range of appraisal procedures which reflect the many considerations that need to be taken into account, such as the importance of benefits to the wider community and the structure of management incentives. But the methods are applied in a way designed to ensure there is no bias in favour of any one mode.
In urban areas the Department is developing the "package approach" to local transport funding. Under this approach the same multi-criteria framework is to be used by local authorities and the Department to assess the merits of all local transport investment proposals.
Column 669the community, provided that the use of a vehicle under a permit meets the requirements of section 19 of the Transport Act 1985. The Secretary of State has designated certain bodies to grant permits to themselves or their local organisations and these are listed in SI 1987 No. 1229--the section 19 Minibus (Designated Bodies) Order 1987--and the amendment to that order, SI 1990 No. 1708.
Year |Number of ------------------------------ 1989 |4,800 1990 |6,230 1991 |7,275 1992 |5,780 1993 |4,775
Mr. Key : I have today released a new statement of our cycling policy which has been developed in consultation with other Government Departments. In it the Government recognise the need for us as a nation to take full account of the benefits which cycling offers. A change of perceptions is needed. More local authorities should consider cycling from the outset in planning and traffic management. Secure cycle parking should be more widely available near offices, shopping centres and public transport stations. Employers should make available cycle parking, and changing and showering facilities. Cycling should be more widely seen as a sensible means of transport, offering a realistic alternative to the car for local journeys. We intend to work with other organisations to create the conditions in which more people will choose to cycle.
Copies of the statement have been placed in the Library, and are being sent to all local authorities.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what instructions are given to security staff in his departmental offices in London for dealing with (a) those sleeping rough in departmental doorways and (b) beggars in the vicinity ; and how many problems have been experienced with each category in the last three months.
Mr. Eggar : If members of the public are found to be blocking emergency exits or their activities restrict access to departmental buildings, the security guards ask them to move. If any problems arise the police are called. My Department does not keep a separate record of incidents relating to beggars or people sleeping rough.
Mr. Eggar : When the UKAEA last estimated its decommissioning liabilities in 1990 the estimate was of the order of £3 billion to £4 billion, undiscounted, including liabilities for fuels and wastes. This estimate was based largely on preliminary technical assessments. The estimate has now been updated by a much more detailed and systematic review which started several years ago and which has looked individually at each of the UKAEA's many facilities. The UKAEA's new central estimate of the cost of decommissioning facilities on its own sites is £6 billion. It also has estimated liabilities of £2 billion for fuels and wastes, and for decommissioning and waste management on BNFL sites--therefore, a total liability of £8 billion. These estimates are undiscounted, in 1993-94 prices. Discounted at 2 per cent. for comparison with figures published by other nuclear businesses, the total estimated cost is £5 billion.
The increase reflects the more systematic review, together with the inclusion in the new estimate of the costs of infrastructure, of care and maintenance where final decommissioning is deferred, and of programme management and supporting research.
Most of the expenditure will not arise until well into the future, with final decommissioning of some facilities taking place in the middle of next century or even later. Because of the unique nature of many of the UKAEA's individual facilities, the cost estimate remains subject to considerable uncertainty. The UKAEA believes that around its total central estimate of £8 billion, the total cost could lie in the range £6 billion to £12 billion.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what instructions are given to security staff in his departmental offices in London for dealing with (a) those sleeping rough in departmental doorways and (b) beggars in the vicinity ; and how many problems have been experienced with each category in the last three months.
Mr. Sproat : My Department has not issued any instructions to its security staff for dealing with those sleeping rough in doorways or beggars. Security guards are instructed to keep all exits clear in case of fire. The Department has not experienced any problems with rough sleepers or beggars.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of state for the Environment what minimum standards for heating residential accommodation are issued which must be adhered to by local authorities, housing associations and private developers.
Mr. Baldry : When new residential accommodation is constructed in England and Wales, local authorities, housing associations and private developers are required to comply with the building regulations. The regulations contain no specific minimum standards for heating, but part L of those regulations sets requirements for the conservation of fuel and power which include provisions for insulation of the building elements and adequate heating controls. The Government are proposing to lay before Parliament shortly revised regulations which strengthen the requirements of part L.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce the result of the public inquiry into the application by Safeway to build an edge-of-town superstore in Hailsham, Sussex.
Mr. Gummer : I represented the United Kingdom at the Environment Council held in Luxembourg on 8 and 9 June. The Council reached a common position on the draft directive on the landfill of waste by a majority vote with Belgium and France voting against. The agreed text is considerably more flexible than the original Commission proposal and is in line with the United Kingdom's position on subsidiarity. It would allow us to continue to operate our waste disposal sites where we mix domestic waste with other wastes, as long as we maintain stringent controls and monitoring.
The Council discussed climate change issues, including the Commission's proposed carbon/energy tax. The Council agreed to renew the mandate of the working group established at the last Environment Council and requested the group to report to the next ECOFIN and Environment Councils. Council conclusions were also agreed on the Commission White Paper on "Growth, Competitiveness and Employment", focusing on the environmental aspects of trans-European networks and an approach to sustainable economic development which respected environmental needs. The Council had a wide-ranging discussion on points arising from the May session of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development and considered various ways to enhance its next session.
A common position was agreed unanimously on the proposed regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer, based on the text which had been agreed politically last December. The Council also agreed the arrangements for the signature by the Community of the sulphur dioxide protocol. The Council noted progress on the proposed
Column 672directive on integrated pollution control. My proposal for a Council statement condemning the illegal trade in tiger and rhinoceros products was agreed unanimously.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations she has received on discrepancy of treatment of English and Welsh farmers under the arable area aid scheme ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : Since the beginning of the year my right hon. Friend has received 12 representations on Welsh regionalisation arrangements from Members of the House and from farming organisations. These have suggested that area payments to Welsh arable farmers should be at the same level as those to English farmers. Arable area payments are based on historic average cereal yields, as required by EC legislation, and these are lower in Wales than in England.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the Government's policy on the planned restrictions on naturally occurring phosphates in wholemeal flour and milk products contained in the proposed EC directive on food additives.
Mr. Soames : The Government share industry's concerns that the current text of the proposed directive on food additives other than colours and sweeteners does not take proper account of the fact that phosphates occur naturally in many foods, including flour and milk. We have therefore been pressing for an amendment to the text. The EC Council of Ministers and the European Commission have agreed to find a solution to this problem before the directive is implemented.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions she has had with the Dairy Trade Federation on the timetable for the implementation of the new milk marketing scheme ; and if she will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has announced her and the Secretary of State for Wales's decision to approve the milk marketing board's reorganisation scheme with modifications. Under the approved scheme vesting day will be 1 November 1994.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the average age of farmers is in (a) the English less-favoured areas and (b) the equivalent of the less-favoured areas in each EC member state.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The farm structure survey contains information on the age of the holder of the farm by age band. The table provides estimates of the average age of holder based on analysis of this age band data for farms which are classified as being wholly or mainly in the less favoured areas.
Estimated average age of holder of farms wholly or mainly in the less- favoured areas in 1987<1> Member state |Estimated average ---------------------------------------------------------- Belgium |50 Germany |48 Greece |56 Spain |56 France |52 Ireland |54 Italy |56 Luxembourg |51 Portugal |57 United Kingdom (1990) |53 England (1990) |52 <1> The holder of the farm is the person legally or economically responsible for the holding.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The table shows the proportion of holdings in England which are wholly owner occupied, rented or are partly owner and partly rented for those holdings which are wholly or mainly in the less favoured area or wholly or mainly outside the LFA.
Proportion of holdings in England by type of tenure |Wholly |Wholly |Part owned |Percentage|Percentage|Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Holdings wholly or mainly in the LFA |60.3 |18.1 |21.6 Holdings wholly or mainly outside the LFA |63.7 |15.6 |20.7
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : MAFF Ministers have this year undertaken visits to the ISM sweets and biscuits fair in Cologne ; the Salon International de l'Agriculture in Paris ; and the Agro-Expo exhibition in Beijing.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he plans to have, and when, with his partners in the European Union and the United Nations on steps to combat Iranian terrorism.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will arrange for all British and locally employed staff at British posts overseas who come into contact with the public to wear identity badges.
Mr. Goodlad : With effect from 1 January 1993, British posts overseas were instructed to ensure that, unless there are local security considerations--for example, for entry clearance officers--all staff who come into contact with the public identify themselves.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision is to be taken on the application made to the United Kingdom post in Islamabad by Mrs. Noor Jahan, DOB : 1966 ; Ref : C1573 and her children to enter the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In the absence of any information in London about applications from Mrs. Noor Jahan and her children, I have asked the entry clearance officer at the high commission in Islamabad to let me have a report. I shall arrange for the hon. Member to receive a substantive reply from the migration and visa correspondence unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as soon as possible.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the status and function of (a) Mr. Giles Chichester and (b) Mr. Michael Rogers in July 1993 ; what was the purpose of their visit by the United Kingdom mission in Geneva in July 1993 ; which officials they met ; how many pages of cables, facsimile messages or reports he received from the United Kingdom mission in Geneva in relation to the visit ; and if he will place those documents in the Library.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which missions, other than those of the United Kingdom, were visited in Geneva in July 1993 by Mr. Giles Chichester ; what was the purpose of the visits ; and if he will make a statement.