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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) of 18 July, Official Report, column 44 , in what form and quantities the information from his Department's non-automatic and automatic monitoring sites is published; and how this information is distributed.
helpline--freephone 0800 556677--and are updated hourly. The information is supplied daily to 20 other organisations for their use and 70 groups have on-line access to the databases currently held at the National Environmental Technology centre. Specific requests for air quality information can also be made to the centre.
Following validation of the data, the air quality measurements from both the automatic and non-automatic networks are available from the operators of the network. Since 1987, annual reports such as "Air Pollution in the United Kingdom" have been prepared which summarise the measurements made by the different national networks. Two thousand copies of these reports are published and are available on request. The information is also published in specialist reports prepared by the Department's review groups and as specialist papers in the open scientific literature.
Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he now expects to make a decision on the application and appeal to build a store at Tiviot way, Stockport by Tesco Stores and Salinam Investment Ltd.
Sir Paul Beresford: Our normal target is to seek to issue the decision on a planning appeal within eight weeks of receipt of the inspector's inquiry report, which in this case would be before 9 November.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Government have to abandon the future storage of radioactive waste at the British Nuclear Fuels plc base at Sellafield; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins: None. The Government's position was set out in the consultation document, "Review of Radioactive Waste Management Policy: Preliminary Conclusions", which was published in August. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. Responses to the document are currently being considered.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many responses were received to his consultation paper on radioactive waste management as part of the nuclear review; if he will place in the Library a list of the respondents; and when he expects to complete the report on the responses to the consultation.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 17 October 1994]: The review of radioactive waste management policy is being carried out separately from but parallel to the nuclear review. The total number of responses received when the consultation period ended on 14 October was 292. We are, however, continuing to receive a number of late returns. A list of respondents will be placed in the Library of the House. A statement of the Government's conclusions in the light of the consultation exercise will be made in due course.
Mr. Atkins: The Government maintain a close watch on developments in the understanding of climate change, primarily through my Department's climate change prediction programme at the Meteorological Office's Hadley centre. The programme seeks to greatly improve our understanding of human impacts on the climate system and to provide improved predictions of future climate change. The programme also provides continual advice on the latest research results and current climate events and trends. The Hadley centre also provides a focus for the United Kingdom's effort on climate change research.
The Government also look to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-- IPCC--to provide a well-balanced and comprehensive review of all the issues relating to climate change. The IPCC has prepared a number of assessments including an interim report this year and will prepare a major assessment in 1995.
The Act provides for inspections of the premises by inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State, and the local authority has powers to refuse to grant a licence if it is not satisfied that the standards of accommodation, staffing or management are adequate for the proper care and well-being of the zoo animals.
If, following an inspection, a zoo is refused a licence, the authority concerned would normally give reasons for refusal. An establishment refused a licence would not be
Column 263able to operate as a zoo, and would subsequently be granted a licence only if it was able to rectify any deficiencies identified by the local authority. Enforcement of animal welfare legislation is the responsibility of the police and local authorities.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the number of (a) council tenants, (b) housing association tenants, (c) tenants of private landlords and (d) owner- occupiers who are living in accommodation which contains (i) one, (ii) two and (iii) three or more bedrooms more than are needed for their own household requirements, in (a) England and Wales and (b) each local authority area in Greater London.
Households with more bedrooms than the bedroom standard 1993-94 Number of bedrooms more than bedroom standard |One |Two |Three or more Tenure |000,s |000,s |000,s ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- England Council tenants |1,260 |470 |20 Housing association tenants |180 |40 |- Private tenants |690 |300 |50 Owner occupiers |5,450 |4,300 |980 |---- |---- |---- All tenures |7,570 |5,110 |1,040 Greater London Council tenants |140 |50 |- Housing association tenants |30 |10 |- Private tenants |100 |30 |- Owner occupiers |580 |460 |100 |---- |---- |---- All tenures |860 |550 |110 - indicates less than 5,000. These figures are from the 1993-94 Survey of English Housing and are subject to sampling error. The sample is not large enough to provide estimates for individual local authorities. Comparable figures for England and Wales are not readily available.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what evidence he has on the extent of under-occupancy by tenants of (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations and (c) private landlords receiving housing benefit;
(2) what information he has on the number of tenants receiving housing benefit who are occupying accommodation which contains (a) one, (b) two and (c) three or more bedrooms more than are required by members of their household (i) in Great Britain, (ii) in England and Wales and (iii) in each local authority area in Greater London.
Column 264Mr. Robert B. Jones: The latest available estimates for England and Greater London are as follows:
Households receiving housing benefit and having more bedrooms than the bedroom standard 1993-94 Number of bedrooms more than bedroom standard |One |Two |Three or more Tenure |000's |000's |000's ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- England Council tenants |750 |280 |10 Housing association tenants |100 |20 |- Private tenants |220 |70 |- |---- |---- |---- All tenants |1,070 |370 |10 Greater London Council tenants |100 |40 |- Housing association tenants |10 |- |- Private tenants |40 |10 |- |---- |---- |---- All tenants |150 |50 |- - indicates less than 5,000 These figures are from the 1993-94 Survey of English Housing and are subject to sampling error. The sample is not large enough to provide estimates for individual local authorities. Comparable figures for Great Britain and for England and Wales are not readily available.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he will publish details of the annual on-going compliance costs for new regulations affecting business for which his Department has completed compliance cost assessments.
The Environmental Protection (Controls on Injurious Substances Regulations 1993
These regulations restrict the marketing and use of specified substances such as lead carbonate and lead sulphate in paint in order to reduce risks to the environment and human health. Annual compliance costs to industry are estimated to be £50,000 for changing to alternatives for the few remaining uses where alternatives had not already been introduced by 1993.
The Environmental Protection (Controls on Injurious Substances) (no. 2) Regulation 1993 (Cadmium Directive)
The compliance cost assessment of 16 June 1993 estimated costs to business of restricting the use of cadmium at £200,000 over 3 years. Assuming a linear decline in the cost differential, the annual costs are estimated as:
1993 94 £100,000
1994 95 £66,000
1995 96 £33,000
The Boilers (Efficiency) Regulations 1993
Estimated initial costs incurred by manufacturers will be approximately £25 million, with annual costs thereafter of £750,000. These costs will be passed on to purchasers, but will be more than offset by the consequential savings from greater fuel efficiency which are expected to rise over 20 years to over £23 million, a year.
Column 265The Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste Regulation 1993
The regulations apply only to a narrow class of radioactive waste travelling in to and out of the United Kingdom. Compliance costs for the small number of shipments affected are limited to filling in the forms necessary to obtain authorisation for such a shipment to take place. This cost is estimated to be in the region of £150 per application, which is minimal in the context of the typical value of contracts likely to be affected by the regulations. Conditions imposed on an authorisation or approval granted under the regulations may not be stricter than those that would be imposed upon a purely domestic shipment of radioactive waste. The regulations came into force on 1 January 1994--implementing EC Directive 92 3/Euratom--and no applications have so far been made under them.
The Local Authorities (Recovery of Costs for Public Path Orders) Regulations 1993
The estimated cost for all applicants is £1.2 million £1.5 million per year, not taking account of any refunds or waivers conceded in particular cases. The cost to business was not identified separately.
The European Community Substances Regulation 793/93 (and draft Notification of Existing Substances (Enforcement) Regulation 1994) Estimated compliance costs are £11 million to £48 million for 1993 99 and thereafter under £1 million per year representing the cost of reporting data on substances to the Community for priority-setting and risk assessment of priority substances. Industry will supply information about significant new costs if any. Annual collection of data would not be cost-effective because it would place too high a burden on industry and the Department.
The Directive on Control of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emission Resulting from the Storage of Petrol and its Distribution from Terminals to Service Stations (the so-called Stage 1' Directive)
Total non-recurring costs to industry shown in the compliance cost assessment are between £332.8 million and £357.8 million. Total recurring costs are expected to be between £105.2 million and £113.1 million. A proposal for a further directive--stage 2--is expected later in 1994, and a CCA will be provided.
The Council Regulation on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
The regulation is not likely to come into force before the end of 1994. Estimated costs to the refrigeration and air conditioning industry of changing from transitional HCFCS to non-ozone depleting alternatives were around £110 million at current prices. These costs will be staggered over time as equipment becomes obsolete. The foam-blowing industry will be the other major sector involved; the main issue here is not the cost of compliance but rather the increased flammability risk involved in alternative processes. The Hazardous Waste Incineration Directive
Most of the hazardous waste incinerators are in the private sector where costs can be recovered.
I have also placed in the Library details of compliance costs for legislation passed before 1993 for which compliance cost assessments were completed.
Column 266Environment Council
Dr. Goodson-Wickes: To ask the Secretary of State of the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Environment Council on 4 October and on his meeting with representatives of central and eastern European states on 5 October.
The Council called on the Commission to take forward work on eco-labelling urgently and to bring forward measures to protect groundwater. In the discussion on the disposal of PCBs/PCTs, I offered help to small member states, such as Portugal, without sufficient destruction capacity of their own and there was agreement on a split phase out date of 2000 for North sea states and 2005 or 2010 for other member states. Debates were held on climate change and transport and the environment. Discussion of both the draft biocides directive and proposals to amend the wildlife trade regulation showed the need for further work at official level. There was an inconclusive debate on an unsatisfactory presidency text on the draft directive for integrated pollution prevention and control. The meeting on 5 October marked the start of structured dialogue with six central and eastern European states. Those present were Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. There was an useful exchange of views on a wide range of topics including preparations for the next Environment Ministers' conference in Sofia, climate change, and transport and the environment.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will be involved in the decision to be taken on the discontinuance order made by Mid Suffolk district council seeking to restrict flying at Crowfield airfield, Suffolk.
Mr. Gummer: As the airfield is close to my home and constituency, I have delegated the taking of a decision on the discontinuance order to my right hon. Friend the Minister for Construction and Planning in accordance with the long-standing convention that planning Ministers do not take decisions where they have a personal or constituency interest.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what land the Housing Executive owns in the village of Ballyhalbert, and what plans the Executive has to build new homes in the village.
Mr. Tim Smith: This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive but I understand from the chief executive that the Executive owns one small area of land at Moat road in Ballyhalbert. It does not, however, intend to develop the site because of low demand for housing in the area.
Column 267renovation scheme at Victoria gardens, Ballyhalbert; and when the Northern Ireland Housing Executive plans to commence this work.
Mr. Tim Smith: This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive but I understand from the chief executive that an improvement scheme for the five dwellings at Victoria gardens, Ballyhalbert is programmed to commence early in 1995.
Year |Percentage --------------------------------- 1990-91 |12.3 1991-92 |14.6 1992-93 |5.3 1993-94 |8.1 1994-95 |4.7
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are connected to the public water supply; and how many of these have their water consumption measured by water meter.
Mr. Tim Smith: It is estimated that approximately 98.5 per cent. of the Northern Ireland population of 1.6 million receives public water supplies. Only commercial, industrial and agricultural premises have their water consumption measured by meters. There are presently 77,912 supplies in these categories.
Sir Patrick Mayhew: It is the Government's policy that the status and organisation of all next steps agencies should be reviewed periodically to ensure that the organisational arrangements continue to be appropriate. The Department of Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland has started work on a review of the Social Security Agency. As well as evaluating the performance of the agency since it was established in 1991, the review will consider what future organisation of the work of the agency will best support the cost-effective delivery of social security operations within Northern Ireland. The review will pay particular attention to improvements in service to the customer, value for money, accuracy and fraud prevention.
Comments and contributions from those with an interest in the Social Security Agency and its work will be most welcome. Anyone who would like to comment is asked to make contact as soon as possible with:
Mr. Peter Small
Principal Establishment & Finance Officer
Department of Health & Social Services
Belfast BT4 3TL
Column 268The closing date for contributions is Friday 18 November 1994. I will inform the House of the result of the review.
Mr. Ancram: The citizens charter recognizes the key role played by public service inspectorates in checking standards and ensuring that the professional services which the public receives are delivered in the most effective way possible and genuinely meet the needs of the people they serve. The charter puts forward three key principles for inspectorates: independence, lay involvement and openness. In August 1993 my right hon. and learned friend the Secretary of State issued a consultation paper, "Improving Inspections", which set out proposals for the entrenchment of each of these principles in the inspection of health and social services in Northern Ireland. The paper received a wide circulation amongst interested parties and attracted a generally favourable response. Having considered the comments made we have now issued a circular which provides that inspectorates will remain at arm's length from the management of services and that, from April 1995, lay people will play a full part in many inspections. It also reinforces earlier guidance in requiring that inspection reports should be published. I have placed a copy of the circular in the Library of the House.
The new requirements extend both to health and social services board's registration and inspection units and to the social services inspectorate of the Department of Health and Social Services. The latter has been publishing its reports of inspections on particular areas of practice for some time, and has already begun user involvement in certain inspections.
We believe that these changes will give inspectors a stronger influence on services and help the public form their own judgements.
Mr. Robert Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out the qualifications, including testing, which are required for drivers of minibuses and vehicles in which more than 10 passengers are carried.
Drivers of such vehicles which are used for hire or reward, and drivers of vehicles with more than 16 passenger seats, are required to pass a further driving test for a category D, bus, licence and to be able to meet specified standards of health and conduct. Drivers of vehicles which are used under the terms of the permit schemes which allow organisations concerned with education, social welfare and other activities of benefit to the community, to charge for transport services,
Column 269providing no overall profit is made, are exempted from the need to hold a category D licence and may be driven by category B licence holders.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what matters were discussed, what decisions taken, and which were decided by vote, at the EU Transport Council meeting in Brussels on 26 September.
The Council reached a common position on a draft directive which lays down uniform procedures for checking lorries carrying dangerous goods.
The Council discussed the texts of two directives on licences for railway operators and the allocation and charging of track capacity. The United Kingdom was successful in limiting the scope to certain types of international services only and protecting the position of the channel tunnel shuttle services. The adoption of a common position is subject to the lifting of the parliamentary scrutiny reserves that I placed.
The Council agreed a resolution on the situation in the European civil aviation industry. I expressed strong concern about the Commission's criteria for allowing state aids and the way in which they have been applied in recent cases. I emphasised that state aid was not acceptable if it maintained over-capacity.
The Council agreed a resolution on the road haulage industry. In particular it asked the Commission to review the standards for access to the road transport operator profession and to report on the training of lorry drivers.
The Council agreed resolutions on transport telematics and structural improvements in inland waterway transport. The Council held a preliminary debate on trans-European networks.
The Council invited the Commission to seek further clarification from the Swiss Government on their plans for implementing the referendum vote to ban lorries from transmitting the country by 2004, and to report at the November Council.
No votes were necessary.
Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates he has made of the effect of the extra (a) cars and (b) heavy goods vehicles on the road during the signalmen's strike to date.
Column 270Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mrs. Anne Campbell, dated 19 October 1994.
Steven Norris, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, has asked me to write in response to your Parliamentary Written Question about the cost of renumbering the A45 to A14 along its entire length.
The estimated total cost of renumbering the A45 to A14 through Cambridgeshire and Suffolk is £122,938. A final account has yet to be submitted.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated cost to the Treasury would be in the next financial year if the relief from duty on spirits used to manufacture certain eligible foodstuffs and beverages was extended to businesses which manufacture mainly or wholly for retail sale in terms of (a) lost revenue and (b) administration and processing costs.
It is estimated that between £5 million and £10 million was generated by VAT on zoo admission prices in 1993.