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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 24 October 1994

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Law Students

Ms Walley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary , Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has made of the numbers of law students embarking on the final year legal practice course in order to qualify for the profession of solicitors; how many he estimates were unable to obtain discretionary grant funding; and what assessment he has made of the effect that the availability of discretionary grant has had on the number of people entering the legal profession.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The award of discretionary grants is a matter for individual local authorities, and policy on postgraduate grant funding is a matter for the Secretary of State for Education. The Lord Chancellor's Department has therefore made no assessment of the numbers of law students embarking on the legal practice course, of those unable to obtain discretionary funding, or of the effect this may have had on numbers of entrants to the legal profession. However, I understand from the Law Society that numbers embarking on the course have risen steadily in recent years. There will be about 6,500 students commencing the 1994 95 course, compared with about 6,000 for 1993 94.

Contract Law

Mr. Thurnham: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to the answer of 31 March 1993 to the hon. Member of High Peak (Mr. Hendry), Official Report, columns 195 96 what representations he has received concerning the date when reforms of privity of contract should take effect.

Mr. John M. Taylor: Since 31 March 1993, representations have been received from the British Retail Consortium and from several members of the public.

Mr. Ernest Saunders

Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much legal aid was given to Mr. Ernest Saunders, formerly of Guinness plc.

Mr. John M. Taylor: Lawyers representing Ernest Saunders in the first Guiness trial received legal aid payments totalling £1,342,465. This figure includes VAT and covers all legal representation at the Crown court and the Court of Appeal.

Legal Aid

Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many applications there were for legal aid in 1993 94; how many staff are employed in total to check the financial


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data presented with each claim; how many staff on average check the financial data presented with such claims; and how many prosecutions there were for fraudulent claims in 1993 94.

Mr. John M. Taylor: In 1993 94, there were 413,728 applications for civil legal aid. Civil legal aid means assessments are carried out by trained specialist staff of the Benefits' Agency legal aid assessment office. The office has 134 assessment officers whose duties are to check and assess legal aid applications. In 1993, there were 606,041 applications for criminal legal aid. Applications are dealt with by magistrates court or Crown court centre staff. Prosecutions for fraudulent claims by applicants for legal aid are matters for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. In 1993 94, the Legal Aid Assessment Office referred 15 cases to them.

Sheriffs

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department to whom high sheriffs and under-sheriffs are accountable; and what are the procedures for an individual citizen to pursue a claim against an under-sheriff whom he believes to have acted in an oppressive manner.

Mr. John M. Taylor: A complaint about a sheriff's officer should, in the first instance, be made to the under-sheriff. If the matter is to be taken further, a complaint should go to the high sheriff. High sheriffs are appointed annually by Her Majesty the Queen and are independent of Government.

In addition, complaints can be made to the Under-Sheriffs Association. and the Sheriffs Officers Association. Although the associations have no statutory authority to act on their findings or to punish an offending member, together the two associations are able to investigate and resolve justified grievances. There is no professional requirement for appointment as an under-sheriff, but in practice all are solicitors and a complaint can also be addressed to the Law Society.

The final recourse for a person who wishes to pursue a grievance is to issue legal proceedings against the high sheriff. The high sheriff would be in a position to issue a third party notice to the sheriff's officer.

Magistrates Bench

Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what efforts he is making to ensure that the magistrates bench throughout England and Wales is politically balanced.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The Lord Chancellor and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster seek, through their local advisory committees, to encourage applications from suitable people of all walks of life and political affiliations by means of press notice and articles, posters and leaflets, court open days and contact with local organisations and employers. Appointments are made from those considered to be suitable having proper regard to the various balancing factors, including political affiliation, so that each bench broadly reflects the community it serves.

Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the political balance of the magistrates bench in (a) the London borough of Brent and (b) England and Wales, broken down into petty sessional areas.


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Mr. John M. Taylor: (a) The political affiliation of magistrates in the London borough of Brent, based on the latest information available, is as follows:

Conservative 79

Labour 43

Liberal/Democrat 18

Green 8

Independent/Not Known 18

(b) The individual political balance of each of the 406 petty sessional divisions in England and Wales could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Should the hon. Member require this information for a particular bench or benches it could be supplied to him.

Lord Chancellor

Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what percentage of meetings of the Cabinet the Lord Chancellor has attended for each year since 1970.

Mr. John M. Taylor: It is not Government policy to release details concerning meetings of the Cabinet. The Lord Chancellor is, however, guided, as are all Cabinet Ministers, by paragraph 20 of Questions of Procedure for Ministers, which states:

"Cabinet meetings take precedence over all other business except meetings of the Privy Council."

Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what figures he has concerning the percentage of working time spent by (a) the current Lord Chancellor and (b) Lord Chancellors since 1964 on their three respective roles as head of the judiciary, Speaker of the House of Lords and head of the administration of the civil justice system; what figures he has on the number of hours each has spent sitting as a judge and as Speaker of the House of Lords; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The information is not available in the form requested and it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information is available on the number of days which Lord Chancellors since 1964 have spent sitting judicially in the House of Lords and in the Privy Council, and is set out in the table. The Lord Chancellor spends a significant proportion of his time carrying out his duties as Speaker of the House of Lords, for which 14 per cent. of his official salary is paid by the House of Lords. The great majority of the Lord Chancellor's time is spent on his combined duties as head of the judiciary and as a Cabinet Minister with a wide range of responsibilities for the administration of justice.


                                     |Number of      |Number of                      

                     |Period of      |days* House    |days* Privy                    

Lord Chancellor      |Office         |of Lords       |Council                        

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lord Gardiner        |1964-70        |4              |9                              

Lord Hailsham of St.                                                                 

 Marylebone          |1970-74        |28             |10                             

Lord Elwyn-Jones     |1974-79        |8              |-                              

Lord Hailsham of St.                                                                 

 Marylebone          |1979-87        |53             |15                             

Lord Havers          |1987           |-              |-                              

Lord Mackay of                                                                       

 Clashfern           |1987-94        |60             |7                              

* ie 4.5 hours.                                                                      

TRANSPORT

Vehicle Emissions

Mr. Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps have been taken by his Department to promote the smoky vehicle hotline; what assessment he has made of how many individual members of the public are aware of its existence; and what additional steps he is prepared to take to publicise its existence.

Mr. Norris: The procedure under which members of the public can report excessively smoky heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles to the Vehicle Inspectorate is explained in detail in a leaflet published in August 1993. I have placed copies in the library.

Copies of the leaflet were sent to local authorities, libraries, citizens advice bureaux, motoring organisations, environmental groups and other interested bodies. The leaflet is currently available on request from both the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment. The reporting procedure is also explained in a leaflet which has been sent out with all vehicle excise licence renewal notices since February 1994.

The Vehicle Inspectorate received almost 3,000 hotline calls between April 1993 and March 1994. We are committed to continuing to run the hotline and to encouraging people to make good use of it.

Public Transport (Fares)

Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to take into account the surveys carried out by the Association of London Authorities and the London Research Council in reviewing public transport fares; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: I am aware of the results of these surveys. In reviewing operators' proposals for public transport fares, we take all relevant factors into account.

Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage above inflation increases in fares represent for the period 1984 85 to 1993 -94 in respect of (a) London Buses, (b) London Underground and (c) Network SouthEast.

Mr. Norris: The following is the information:

(a) 33 per cent., (b) 34 per cent., (c) 25 per cent.

Night Blindness

Sir Trevor Skeet: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has a record of the number of accidents caused through motorists not being able to identify other vehicle headlamps at night.

Mr. Norris: The information requested is not available.

SS Richard Montgomery

Sir Roger Moate: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the survey in 1993 of the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery.

Mr. Norris: A very thorough survey of this dangerous wreck was completed in September 1993 and delivered to the Coastguard Agency, which has responsibility for the wreck. The wreck is surveyed on a biennial basis to monitor its condition. A hydrographic survey of seabed area surrounding the wreck was also completed by the


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Port of Sheerness Ltd. The port authority is under contract to the Coastguard Agency to guard the wreck.

The survey revealed that there was no evidence of any major change to the wreck since the previous survey in 1991, although it continues to deteriorate slowly and may be expected to begin to break up within the next few years. No dangerous material was found during the survey, although a substantial quantity of munitions remain on board. The silt surrounding the site was shown to be mobile with a deep scour under the wreck itself which is expected to accelerate the deterioration of the hull and eventually lead to the disappearance of that part of the wreck still visible above the surface.

In the light of the survey findings, I have decided that the site of the wreck should remain a prohibited area under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 and that no attempt be made to clear it or its cargo. The wreck will continue to be monitored and another survey undertaken in due course.

I have placed in the Library a report by the Coastguard Agency summarising the result of the 1993 survey, and the steps taken over the years to contain the danger from the munitions on board. I am sending a copy to my hon. Friend.

Marine Accidents

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will name those flag states which, according to the 1993 annual report of the marine accident investigation branch, leave the investigation of accidents involving vessels bearing their flag to other administrations; and what representations he has made to those countries.

Mr. Norris: A definitive list is not available. No direct representations have been made, but the United Kingdom is working through IMO to encourage those flag states to fulfil their obligations under the various conventions.

Sleeper Services

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement outlining Her Majesty's Government's policy with regard to the provision of rail sleeper services between London and Scotland; and if he will make it his policy that existing services will be guaranteed for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Watts: The provision of sleeper services between London and Scotland is at present a matter for British Rail. In future it will be for the operator to decide on the level of such services in the light of the minimum service specification set by the franchising director. The objectives, instructions and guidance given to him by the Secretary of State made it clear that for the initial letting of franchises minimum service specifications should be based on the level of services being provided by British Rail immediately prior to franchising, taking into account the existence of and justification for seasonal variations in service schedules.

West Coast Main Line

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to promote the inclusion of the west coast main line route in the proposed trans-European railway network currently under consideration by the European Union; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Watts: The west coast main line is already included in the draft trans-European railway network. We have proposed adding the modernisation of the line to the list of priority projects which is being developed by the Christophersen group, and have provided the Commission with full briefings on its scale and significance. We are optimistic that the group will recognise the importance of this project to the trans-European railway network in the report which it is due to present to the European Council in December.

Gatwick Airport

Mr. Kenneth Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cubic metres of soil are being removed to make the cutting for the M3 at Twyford Down; and how much would need to be removed if an additional runway were to be constructed at Gatwick as suggested by the RUCATSE working group.

Mr. Norris: I understand that some 1.8 million cubic metres of soil were removed to make the cutting for the M3 at Twyford Down. The RUCATSE working group estimated that, at Gatwick, some 18 million cubic metres of soil would need to be removed in constructing the northern runway option that was subject to detailed study.

Mr. Kenneth Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has undertaken the further study, referred to in the report of the RUCATSE working group, into the possibility that the construction of a runway at Gatwick in a deep cutting would create turbulence.

Mr. Norris: No.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Public Bodies

Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the non-departmental public bodies to which his Department makes appointments in the Greater London area, together with the total annual budget for each body and the number of appointments made or renewed for each body in each of the last five years.

Mr. Dorrell: The information requested is shown in the chart.


                                               |Number of New                        

                                               |Appointments and                     

                            |Gross Expenditure |Appointments                         

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Executive Bodies                                                                     

                                                                                     

Arts Council of England                        |17A                                  

1989-91                     |155.5             |4N 1R                                

1990-91                     |175.792           |1N 2R                                

1991-92                     |206.365           |2N 2R                                

1992-93                     |206.365           |5N 1R                                

1993-94                     |225.6             |2N                                   

                                                                                     

British Film Institute                         |20A                                  

1989-90                     |22.98             |5N 3R                                

1990-91                     |24.14             |3N 4R                                

1991-92                     |26.82             |2N 4R                                

1992-93                     |30.369            |7N 2R                                

1993-94                     |27.178            |3N 2R                                

                                                                                     

British Library                                |14A (includes 3                      

                                               |ex-officio                           

                                               |appointments)                        

1989-90                     |77.05             |2N 2R                                

1990-91                     |80.49             |1N 1R                                

1991-92                     |80.49             |3N                                   

1992-93                     |96.71             |1N 2R                                

1993-94                     |105.123           |2N 2R                                

                                                                                     

British Museum                                 |25A                                  

1989-90                     |31.120            |4N 2R                                

1990-91                     |34.531            |1N 3R                                

1991-92                     |38.351            |2N 3R                                

1992-93                     |42.68             |1N                                   

1993-94                     |44.32             |2N 4R                                

                                                                                     

British Tourist Authority                      |6A                                   

1989-90                     |37.9              |1N 5R                                

1990-91                     |39.8              |1N 1R                                

1991-92                     |43.51             |1N 4R                                

1992-93                     |45.08                                                   

1993-94                     |48.0              |3N 3R                                

                                                                                     

Broadcasting Complaints                                                              

Commission                                     |5A                                   

1989-90                     |0.259             |1N                                   

1990-91                     |0.340             |1N                                   

1991-92                     |0.482             |1N 1R                                

1992-93                     |0.417             |2N                                   

1993-94                     |0.537             |2N                                   

                                                                                     

Broadcasting Standards                                                               

Council                                        |8A                                   

1989-90                     |1.080                                                   

1990-91                     |1.243                                                   

1991-92                     |1.343             |1N                                   

1992-93                     |1.263             |1N 1R                                

1993-94                     |1.465             |4N 1R                                

                                                                                     

Crafts Council                                 |14A                                  

1989-90                     |3.26              |2N 3R                                

1990-91                     |3.49              |5N                                   

1991-92                     |3.83              |2N 3R                                

1992-93                     |4.11              |3N 1R                                

1993-94                     |4.6               |2R                                   

                                                                                     

English Tourist Board                          |7A                                   

1989-90                     |19.15             |2N 5R                                

1990-91                     |24.5              |1N 1R                                

1991-92                     |18.95             |1N 4R                                

1992-93                     |20.8              |1N 1R                                

1993-94                     |18.9              |2N 4R                                

                                                                                     

Football Licensing                                                                   

Authority                                      |9A                                   

1989-90                     |-                                                       

1990-91                     |0.110             |6N                                   

1991-92                     |0.766                                                   

1992-93                     |0.8                                                     

1993-94                     |0.9               |3N 5R                                

                                                                                     

Geffrye Museum<1>                              |12A                                  

1992-93                     |0.971             |1N                                   

1993-94                     |1.195             |4R                                   

                                                                                     

Historic Buildings and                                                               

Monuments Commission                                                                 

(English Heritage)                             |14A                                  

1989-90                     |87.0              |4N 2R                                

1990-91                     |90.2              |3N                                   

1991-92                     |102.857           |5N 1R                                

1992-93                     |114.257           |3N 3R                                

1993-94                     |114.264           |2R                                   

                                                                                     

Horniman Museum<1>                             |10A                                  

1992-93                     |2.895             |4R                                   

1993-94                     |2.477             |1R                                   

                                                                                     

Imperial War Museum                            |15A (+6                              

                                               |Commonwealth                         

                                               |Commissioners)                       

1989-90                     |16.464                                                  

1990-91                     |14.588            |3N 2R                                

1991-92                     |17.262            |1N 2R                                

1992-93                     |17.415            |2N 1R                                

1993-94                     |17.975            |1N                                   

                                                                                     

Millennium Commission<2>                       |9A                                   

1993-94                     |0.082             |9N                                   

                                                                                     

Museum of London                               |18A                                  

1989-90                     |6.233             |3R                                   

1990-91                     |7.233             |4R                                   

1991-92                     |8.258             |1N 4R                                

1992-93                     |12.989            |5R                                   

1993-94                     |13.631            |3N                                   

                                                                                     

Museums and Galleries                                                                

Commission                                     |15A                                  

1989-90                     |6.95              |1R                                   

1990-91                     |10.439            |1R                                   

1991-92                     |11.676            |3N 2R                                

1992-93                     |9.123             |3R                                   

1993-94                     |9.364             |3N 3R                                

                                                                                     

National Film                                                                        

Development Fund                               |3A                                   

1989-90                     |0.35                                                    

1990-91                     |0.24              |1N 1R                                

1991-92                     |-                 |1N                                   

1992-93                     |-                                                       

1993-94                     |-                 |2R                                   

                                                                                     

National Gallery                               |12A                                  

1989-90                     |17.328            |2N 1R                                

1990-91                     |22.953            |3N                                   

1991-92                     |21.976            |-                                    

1992-93                     |22.871            |1N 1R                                

1993-94                     |26.1              |3N 1R                                

                                                                                     

National Heritage                                                                    

Memorial Fund                                  |13A                                  

1989-90                     |17.6              |1R                                   

1990-91                     |17.9              |1N 1R                                

1991-92                     |15.811            |3N 2R                                

1992-93                     |12.292            |3N 1R                                

1993-94                     |10.558            |2R                                   

                                                                                     

National Maritime                                                                    

Museum                                         |12A                                  

1989-90                     |11.109            |2N                                   

1990-91                     |12.461            |1N 1R                                

1991-92                     |12.468            |1R                                   

1992-93                     |12.468            |3N                                   

1993-94                     |11.608            |2N                                   

                                                                                     

National Portrait Gallery                      |14A (+2 ex officio                   

                                               | appointments)                       

1989-90                     |4.93              |1R                                   

1990-91                     |5.97              |1R                                   

1991-92                     |6.691             |2N 2R                                

1992-93                     |11.031            |3N                                   

1993-94                     |11.402            |1R                                   

                                                                                     

Natural History Museum                         |12A                                  

1989-90                     |29.1              |2N                                   

1990-91                     |32.552            |1N 2R                                

1991-92                     |38.115            |2N                                   

1992-93                     |39.509            |1N                                   

1993-94                     |41.208            |1N 4R                                

                                                                                     

Royal Armouries                                |11A                                  

1989-90                     |4.0               |2N                                   

1990-91                     |4.2               |1N                                   

1991-92                     |4.35              |1N 1R                                

1992-93                     |6.031             |2R                                   

1993-94                     |6.641             |1N 2R                                

                                                                                     

Royal Commission on                                                                  

Historical Manuscripts                         |17A                                  

1989-90                     |0.62              |3N                                   

1990-91                     |0.79              |3N                                   

1991-92                     |0.81              |1N                                   

1992-93                     |0.81              |2N                                   

1993-94                     |0.947             |2R                                   

                                                                                     

Science Museum (National                                                             

Museum of Science and                          |15A                                  

Industry)                                      |1N                                   

1989-90                     |29.099            |2N 1R                                

1990-91                     |22.186            |1N 3R                                

1991-92                     |22.722            |2N 2R                                

1992-93                     |25.148            |2R                                   

1993-94                     |26.233            |-                                    

                                                                                     

Sir John Soane's Museum                        |9A                                   

1989-90                     |0.33              |-                                    

1990-91                     |0.73              |-                                    

1991-92                     |1.029             |1N 1R                                

1992-93                     |0.892             |2N 1R                                

1993-94                     |0.994             |1N 2R                                

                                                                                     

South Bank Theatre Board                       |3A                                   

1989-90                     |0.017             |2N                                   

1990-91                     |0.017                                                   

1991-92                     |0.004             |1N                                   

1992-93                     |0.001             |1N                                   

1993-94                     |0.003                                                   

                                                                                     

Sports Council                                 |14A                                  

1989-90                     |49.7              |3N 2R                                

1990-91                     |55.9              |2N 1R                                

1991-92                     |51.7              |1N 6R                                

1992-93                     |51.7              |2N 8R                                

1993-94                     |53.955            |5N 20R                               

                                                                                     

Tate Gallery                                   |12A                                  

1989-90                     |12.973            |2N 1R                                

1990-91                     |15.067                                                  

1991-92                     |21.709            |3N                                   

1992-93                     |21.709            |1R                                   

1993-94                     |21.829            |4N 1R                                

                                                                                     

Victoria and Albert                                                                  

Museum                                         |17A                                  

1989-90                     |17.392            |2N                                   

1990-91                     |31.939            |3N 3R                                

1991-92                     |32.082            |5R                                   

1992-93                     |35.6                                                    

1993-94                     |32.938            |2N 4R                                

                                                                                     

Wallace Collection                             |7A                                   

1989-90                     |1.26              |1N                                   

1990-91                     |2.104             |1N 2R                                

1991-92                     |2.181             |1R                                   

1992-93                     |2.319                                                   

1993-94                     |2.164                                                   

                                                                                     

Advisory Bodies                                                                      

                                                                                     

Advisory Committee on                                                                

Historic Wreck Sites                           |9A                                   

1989-90                     |0.091                                                   

1990-91                     |0.165                                                   

1991-92                     |0.001                                                   

1992-93                     |0.001                                                   

1993-94                     |0.001                                                   

                                                                                     

Advisory Committee on the                                                            

Government Art Collection                      |7A (4 ex-officio)                    

1989-90                     |0.001                                                   

1990-91                     |0.001             |1N                                   

1991-92                     |0.001             |1N                                   

1992-93                     |-                                                       

1993-94                     |-                 |1N 1R                                

                                                                                     

Library and Information                                                              

Services Council                               |20A                                  

1989-90                     |0.034             |5N 1R                                

1990-91                     |0.037             |4N                                   

1991-92                     |0.023             |4N 6R                                

1992-93                     |0.023             |3N 3R                                

1993-94                     |-                 |4R                                   

                                                                                     

Reviewing Committee on                                                               

the Export of Works of Art                     |8A                                   

1989-90                     |0.014             |1N 1R                                

1990-91                     |0.093             |1N 2R                                

1991-92                     |0.012             |2R                                   

1992-93                     |0.012             |2N 1R                                

1993-94                     |0.014             |1N 3R                                

                                                                                     

Royal Fine Art                                                                       

Commission                                     |18A                                  

1989-90                     |0.395             |2R                                   

1990-91                     |0.513             |2R                                   

1991-92                     |0.61                                                    

1992-93                     |0.655             |1N 8R                                

1993-94                     |0.69              |1N 1R                                

                                                                                     

Theatres Trust                                 |15A                                  

1989-90                     |0.015             |3N 2R                                

1990-91                     |0.016             |1N 3R                                

1991-92                     |0.063             |2N 2R                                

1992-93                     |0.059             |2N 3R                                

1993-94                     |0.052             |5R                                   

                                                                                     

Regional Councils for                                                                

Sport and Recreation                                                                 

                                                                                     

London Council                                 |7A                                   

1989-90                     |-                 |2N 1R                                

1990-91                     |-                 |1N                                   

1991-92                     |-                 |2R                                   

1992-93                     |-                 |3N 1R                                

1993-94                     |-                 |1R                                   

Notes * Gross expenditure as published annually in `Public Bodies'                   

<1> Sponsorship commenced in the 1992-93 financial year                              

<2> New body established in 1994                                                     

Key                                                                                  

A = total number of current appointees                                               

N = new appointments                                                                 

R = reappointments                                                                   

Chess

Mr. Hoon: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he has received from the British Chess Federation concerning the recognition of chess as a sport; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sproat: We have received several representations from the British Chess Federation concerning the recognition of chess as a sport. However, my Department's responsibility is for physical sport and recreation. The Government's interest in intellectual


Column 404

pursuits rests with the Department for Education, from which the British Chess Federation receives some financial assistance.

Official Hospitality

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what has been the total amount spent on official hospitality by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies for each year since 1990.

Mr. Sproat: The information requested is as follows:


                  |Department of    |Historic Royal   |Royal Parks                        

                  |National Heritage|Palaces Agency   |Agency                             

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1992-93           |£22,037          |£17,690          |£1,032                             

1993-94           |£18,278          |£16,374          |£8,541                             

The figures for the years prior to the establishment of my department, in April 1992, are 

not available.                                                                            


Column 403

Channel 3

Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what arrangements he intends to introduce to ensure that all persons licensed to provide Channel 3 services will continue to share transmission and distribution costs in such a manner as to maintain the viability of regional services beyond the end of 1996.

Mr. Dorrell: As required under the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 1990, I have given my approval to the arrangements proposed by the Independent Television Association for sharing the transmission costs for Channel 3 for the period 1994 1998. These arrangements have the unanimous approval of all the Channel 3 licensees.

ENVIRONMENT

Official Hospitality

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the total amount spent on official hospitality by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies for each year since 1990.

Mr. Gummer: Expenditure on official hospitality by my Department-- including Property Holdings--was approximately £67,000 in 1990 91, £63,000 in 1991 92, £98,000 in 1992 93 and £75,000 in 1993 94.

Expenditure on hospitality by the Department's agencies was £15,000 in 1990 91, £29,200 in 1991 92, £41,000 in 1992 93 and £32,000 in 1993 94.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Government have to introduce transitional relief for authorities which will be adversely affected by the new rating list coming into effect on 1 April 1995.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: My Department issued a consultation paper on 3 October setting out proposals for transitional arrangements to phase in the effects of the 1995 revaluation. Copies have been placed in the Library. We expect to announce our decisions by the end of November. The arrangements would apply to local authorities, in respect of rate bills on the properties they occupy, in the same way as to other ratepayers.


Column 404

Conference Speeches

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library copies of his speeches to (a) the Conservative and Unionist party conference and (b) the Tory green initiative fringe meeting on matters for which he has departmental responsibility at Bournemouth on 13 October.

Mr. Gummer: In responding to the environment and planning debate I did not use a pre-prepared text. However in the course of my speech I confirmed that the Government had begun work on a major White Paper on the countryside; I announced that the Government intended to legislate to secure a dramatic increase in recycling of packaging waste; I announced the publication of draft legislation for the creation of the new environment agency in order to maintain this country's lead in developing methods of integrated pollution control; and I emphasised the importance of raising the quality of new development and the quality of the built environment generally. At the fringe meeting of the Tory Green Initiative I discussed the outstanding record of the Conservative party in government in taking practical and specific action to deal with environmental issues and I emphasised the responsibility which falls to a party of government not to pretend that high environmental standards can be achieved without anyone anywhere having to meet the bill. I pointed to the fundamental inconsistency of the Opposition, who demand higher environmental standards while attacking the necessary means of delivery, in particular VAT on fuel, the sensible extension of water metering and additional taxation in petrol.

National Rivers Authority

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will be making an announcement on the method it is proposed to use to ensure that the National Rivers Authority new main and new second fund will be fully able to meet all its liabilities.

Mr. Atkins: Section 173 of the Water Act 1989 puts beyond any doubt my right hon. Friend's obligation to meet any deficit. The method and timing of any action necessary under the section will ensure that pension liabilities are met in full, while minimising the burden on the taxpayer.


Column 405

Public Appointments

Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the public appointments for which he is responsible (a) in the west midlands region and (b) in Shropshire, indicating in each case the duration of the appointment, the date when a new appointment is due, and the salary.

Mr. Gummer: The information requested is as follows:

(a) West Midlands Region


                    |New Appointment                                            

Appointment         |Due                |Salary                                 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Birmingham Heartlands Development Corporation                                   

Chairman            |8 March 1995       |£26,700                                

                                                                                

Deputy Chairman     |8 March 1995       |*£9,060                                

                                                                                

Up to 11 other      |22 June 1995(9)                                            

 Board members      |31 October 1995(1) |£5,300                                 

                    |One vacancy                                                

                                                                                

Black Country Development Corporation                                           

Chairman            |14 May 1997        |£26,700                                

                                                                                

Deputy Chairman     |15 April 1996      |**£18,120                              

                                                                                

Up to 11 other      |4 April 1995                                               

 Board members      | 21 June 1995                                              

                    |31 December 1995                                           

                    |31 January 1996                                            

                    |21 June 1996                                               

                    |31 July 1996(3)                                            

                    |31 August 1996                                             

                    |Two vacancies      |£5,300                                 

                                                                                

Castle Vale Housing Action Trust                                                

Chairman            |30 June 1996       |£26,700                                

                                                                                

Deputy Chairman     |30 June 1996       |£9,060                                 

                                                                                

Up to 10 other      |30 June 1996 (10)                                          

 Board members                          |£5,300                                 

                                                                                

Black Country Limestone Advisory Panel                                          

Chairman            |Open - ended       |Fee based on                           

                    |appointments       |attendance at                          

                                        |meetings                               

5 other members                                                                 

* based on one day per week                                                     

** based on two days per week                                                   

(b) Shropshire None

Environment Agency

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what criteria will be used in the appointment of the head of the environment agency.

Mr. Atkins: In appointing the chairman and other members of the environment agency, my right hon. Friend will have regard to the desirability of appointing persons who have experience of, and have shown capacity in, some matter relevant to the functions of the agency.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate the time frame he intends to adopt in directing existing waste regulation authorities to submit schemes for the transfer of property, rights and liabilities to the environment agency, as required under paragraph 3(3) (a) and (b) of the Environment Agencies Bill.


Column 406

Mr. Atkins: Timing will depend upon passage of the necessary legislation. If this is enacted by the summer of 1995, it is the Government's intention to invite authorities shortly thereafter to submit transfer schemes and for the Secretary of State to complete the approval of schemes in time for the agency to be vested on 1 April 1996.

Pollution Control

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what contracts have been awarded by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution for the monitoring of releases from sectors controlled by integrated pollution control.

Mr. Atkins: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution--HMIP--has awarded the following contracts for the routine monitoring of releases from processes regulated by Integrated Pollution Control--IPC:


Contract                           |Contractor                             

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.Emissions to Atmosphere-National |BCRA Scientific and                    

 Power Sites                       |Technical Services                     

                                   |Ltd.                                   

                                                                           

2.Emissions to Atmosphere-Powergen |TBV Science                            

 Sites                                                                     

                                                                           

3.Releases to Water-National Power |National Rivers                        

 Sites                             |Authority                              

                                                                           

4.Releases to Water-Powergen Sites |Yorkshire                              

                                   |Environmental Ltd.                     

                                                                           

5.Releases to both Atmosphere and  |Fugro                                  

 Water from Chemical Waste         |Environmental Ltd.                     

 Incinerators                                                              

                                                                           

6.Releases to Atmosphere in the    |EA Technology                          

 Midlands and South West of                                                

 England                                                                   

In addition, ad-hoc/reactive monitoring of IPC controlled processes is carried out under the following contracts:


Contract                           |Contractor                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------

7.Releases to Water and Effluent   |National Rivers                  

 Streams                           |Authority                        

                                                                     

8.Releases to Atmosphere in the NW |Entec Cremer                     

 and NE Regions of HMIP            |and Warner Ltd.                  

                                                                     

9.Releases to Atmosphere in Wales, |CRE Group Ltd.                   

 the Midlands and South West                                         

 Regions of HMIP                                                     

                                                                     

10.Releases to Atmosphere in the   |AEA Technology                   

 Anglian and Southern Regions of                                     

 HMIP                                                                

Radioactive Waste

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many enforcement notices have been served on British Nuclear Fuels plc under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 since it came into force; and what actions have been taken by British Nuclear Fuels plc to comply.


Column 407

Mr. Atkins: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has served one enforcement notice on British Nuclear Fuels plc under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993. This was served on 20 June 1994 and related to its Sellafield site.

British Nuclear Fuels plc confirmed compliance with the requirements of this notice within the specified time in a report submitted to HMIP on 1 September 1994.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many staff are employed by his Department; and what proportion of them are employed in each of the standard regions.

Mr. Gummer: As at 1 October 1994, there were 6,340 non-industrial staff in my Department, excluding PSA Services. These staff were employed in each of the regions as follows:


Region                 |Staff employed as                      

                       |percentage of total                    

---------------------------------------------------------------

Eastern                |1.1                                    

East Midlands          |1.6                                    

London                 |61.9                                   

North West             |7.9                                    

Northern               |2.0                                    

South East             |4.0                                    

South West             |13.1                                   

West Midlands          |3.0                                    

Yorkshire & Humberside |3.4                                    

Scotland               |1.1                                    

Wales                  |0.9                                    

Direct Labour Organisations

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the rules governing profit-related pay in relation to local authority direct labour organisations; and what changes he proposes to make.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Subject to the statutory requirement for local authority direct services organisations --DSOs--to meet the prescribed financial objective for the service in question, and to the normal rules of financial propriety and regularity, local authorities have discretion to structure DSO pay in whatever way they think appropriate, including linking it to financial surpluses achieved. My right hon. Friend has no plans to introduce rules on this matter.

Odour Pollution

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has received on the two odour pollution incidents at the Global Environmental plant in Leeds in August; and what steps have been taken to avoid future discharge from wet air oxidation waste processing plants.


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