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Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The annual total net cost of processing individual insolvencies, including payments to insolvency practitioners and direct administrative expenses, in Scotland, was as follows:
|£ million ------------------------------ 1987-88 |0.42 1988-89 |2.76 1989-90 |7.60 1990-91 |12.51 1991-92 |18.59 1992-93 |21.77 1993-94 |22.96
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions in the past year the spouse of a Minister in his Department has travelled abroad at public expense to accompany a Minister on public duties, and what has been the total cost to public funds; and on how many occasions such travel has been undertaken at own cost.
Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much grain was in intervention storage in Scotland in each of the years from 1984 to 1994; and what were the figures for the past five years for (a) the number of farmers on the five-year set-aside scheme, (b) the amount of land, in hectares, in the five-year set-aside scheme and (c) the amount of money paid to farmers in the five-year set-aside scheme in Scotland.
(i) Grain in intervention storage in Scotland Year |'000 tonnes ------------------------------------ 1984 |40 1985 |319 1986 |594 1987 |452 1988 |452 1989 |318 1990 |302 1991 |327 1992 |341 1993 |638 1994 |523
(ii) Five-year set-aside scheme (Scotland) |Number of |Amount paid Year |participants |Area (hectares)|(£'000) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |364 |12,555 |2,207 1990 |529 |18,752 |3,434 1991 |658 |23,040 |4,194 1992 |780 |23,366 |5,037 1993 |712 |23,766 |3,700
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to bring forward legislation to abolish the feudal system in Scotland as outlined in the Scottish Law Commission's discussion paper on the abolition of the feudal system; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 October 1994]: The Scottish Law Commission has now completed the consultation process which followed its discussion paper on the abolition of the feudal system. Several substantial issues have emerged as a result of the consultation process and the commission is unable to give a precise indication as to when its report will be available. The Government are committed to completing the reform of the feudal system and will give careful
Column 973consideration to the commission's recommendations, when they are received, and to the need for legislation.
Year ------------------------------ 1989 |1,065,286 1990 |1,046,624 1991 |1,023,055 1992 |1,022,492 1993 |1,019,899 Source: June agricultural census.
The figures relate to the area of crops and fallow, including set-aside, and grass under five years old.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 28 October 1994]: The responsibility for promoting access to the countryside lies with Scottish Natural Heritage and local authorities. My right hon. Friend expects the recently published Scottish Natural Heritage paper, "Enjoying the Outdoors: A Programme for Action", to make a major contribution to the development of wider access to the countryside.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he plans to bring forward legislation to ensure the land register covers all the counties of Scotland; when he envisages its full implementation; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 October 1994]: The land register for Scotland was created under the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979. At present the land register is operational in seven counties covering more than 40 per cent. of the Scottish housing stock. It is due to be extended to the county of Fife on 1 April 1995, and will be progressively extended to cover the remaining counties by 2003.
Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to dispose of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' crofting estates to community ownership following the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993; if
Column 974he plans to bring forward legislation to increase the number of crofts in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 28 October 1994]: My Department has no plans at present to dispose of its crofting estates; nor are there any plans to bring forward new legislation to increase the number of crofts in Scotland.
Police personnel stationed at Peterhead |Number --------------------- 1976 |39 1980 |44 1986 |48 1988 |55 1992 |64 1994 |66
Deployment of officers to particular police stations is the responsibility of the chief constable.
Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list those water and sewerage companies that have decided not to embark on a policy of installing meters in domestic properties on a compulsory basis;
(2) if he will list those water companies that have a policy of installing meters in domestic households against the wish of the resident.
Mr. Atkins: Only one water and sewerage company, Anglian Water, has so far announced a widespread programme of metering existing domestic properties. The company announced recently a review of the compulsory element of its metering programme. Several water supply companies have decided to install meters in existing domestic properties in certain parts of their area. Most companies have a policy of installing meters in new and substantially converted domestic properties.
Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what discussions he has held with the Water Services Association about charging systems for water and sewerage in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what discussions he has held with water companies or the Water Services Association about the method of charges for water and sewerage in new and refurbished properties.
Mr. Atkins: My right hon. Friend and I have discussions with water companies and the water industry associations from time to time about matters of mutual interest. The Water Services Association and the Water Companies Association have recently submitted their views on future methods of charging for water and
Column 975sewerage services and that is currently being considered. Most water companies require new and substantially converted properties to be metered and charges are recovered on that basis.
Mr. Atkins: The Water Industry Act 1991 recognises three separate elements to charging for a new connection to the mains or sewer. A connection charge is payable to cover the direct cost of connecting a new property to the water company's main or sewer. If there is a dispute between the customer and the company about the amount of the charge, the director general of water services has powers to determine the charge. Where it is necessary to requisition the provision of a public water main or sewer, a requisitioning charge is payable. Payment of this charge may be spread over a 12-year period at a rate of interest approved by the director general. When new properties are connected for the first time to a public water main or sewer for domestic purposes, an infrastructure charge is payable. The director general has powers to set limits on each company's infrastructure charges. In his recent periodic review of price limits, the director general set new infrastructure charge limits of £200 each for water and for sewerage. These limits, will apply to all water and sewerage companies from 1 April 1995.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will investigate the case of the application by Mr. John Large for documentation held by Her Majesty's pollution inspectorate on past nuclear waste policy and practice with particular reference to the basis for calculation of the cost quoted for the information to be provided; and if he will make a statement on the effectiveness to date of the Environmental Information Regulations 1992.
Mr. Atkins: The response to Mr. Large quoted a rate of charging for the inspector's time of £993 per man-day. This is the standard rate of charging levied on applicants for authorisation, and includes an allowance for overheads. However, there is a different rate of charging for the provision of information to members of the public, based on the direct costs of inspectorate staff time. The rate varies with the location and grade of staff involved. For staff based in London, the rate is, for example, £33 per hour for a pollution inspector and £19 per hour for an executive officer. The higher rate of charging was inadvertently quoted to Mr. Large. HMIP will be writing again to Mr. Large to apologise and to provide him with the correct charging information.
Regarding the effectiveness to date of the Environmental Information Regulations, I refer the hon. Member to my answer given on 26 January 1994, Official Report , column 240.
Column 976costs associated with the burying of low- level nuclear waste on landfill tips;
(2) what are the estimated costs of burying low-level nuclear waste on landfill tips.
Mr. Atkins: Charges for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste at landfill sites are a commercial matter for the operators of the sites and those disposing of the waste. It is for the site operators to set an appropriate rate, and for the disposers to bear the costs.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what percentage of gross domestic product (a) the United Kingdom Government and (b) each other EC country invests in housing; (2) what percentage of housing stock in each other EC country is provided by the equivalent of housing associations.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Comparable information in the form requested is not available. The booklet "Statistics on Housing in the European Community 1993," published by the European Commission, sets out a range of comparative information which may be of interest to the hon. Member. I have placed a copy in the Library.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The proportion of the overall housing stock that was provided by housing associations at the end of December 1993 is estimated as 3.8 per cent. in England and 2.9 per cent. in Wales.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Research into the housing needs of elderly people has revealed that there is approximately 16 per cent. more subsidised housing provision for elderly people in England than was previously thought to exist, and that there is currently over-provision of ordinary sheltered housing but under-provision of very sheltered housing. Details are in the table following:
Type of housing |Dwellings provider ----------------------------------------------------- Local authorities |465,920 Housing Associations |148,586 Abbeyfield societies |6,230 Almshouses |20,758 Total |641,494
I hope to publish the results of the research later this year.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of dwellings were owner-occupied in each year since 1979; what percentage of owner-occupation resulted from the right-to-buy scheme; and what percentage of properties sold under the right to buy is represented by newly constructed local authority accommodation over the same period.
|Percentage of owner |Percentage of |occupied dwellings |dwellings which |purchased under End of Year |were owner occupied|right-to-buy scheme -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |56.6 |- 1980 |57.7 |- 1981 |58.2 |0.6 1982 |59.5 |2.2 1983 |60.5 |3.3 1984 |61.3 |3.9 1985 |62.2 |4.5 1986 |63.2 |5.1 1987 |64.3 |5.6 1988 |65.6 |6.5 1989 |66.6 |7.5 1990 |67.1 |8.1 1991 |67.2 |8.4 1992 |67.2 |8.7 1993 |67.3 |8.9
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households were accepted as homeless in rural areas for each year since 1979 and for the current year; and how many dwellings were built in such areas in those years by (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Department collects information about homelessness and about house building for each local authority area. This information does not distinguish between rural and urban areas.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 19 October, Official Report, column 265, how many tenants of (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations and (c) private landlords, occupying (i) one, (ii) two and (iii) three or more bedrooms more than required by members of their household are over retirement age.
Tenants over retirement age and having more bedrooms than the bedroom standard 1993-94 England Number of bedrooms more than Tenure bedroom standard |Three or |One |Two |more |thousands|thousands|thousands ------------------------------------------------------------- Council tenants |530 |280 |10 Housing associations tenants |60 |20 |- Private tenants |160 |120 |10 All tenants |750 |420 |20 Note: "-" indicates less than 5,000. These figures are from the 1993-94 Survey of English Housing and are subject to sampling error.
Mr. Pike: to ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much the Government have spent on projects for rough sleepers since the introduction of the rough sleepers initiative; and what is the number and capacity of hostels created under the initiative in (a) London and (b) the rest of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Under the rough sleepers initiative the Government are spending £182 million over the period 1990 96 with the aim of making it unnecessary for people to sleep rough on the streets of central London. The bulk of these resources have been channelled through the Housing Corporation to enable housing associations to develop at least 3,300 places in permanent accommodation in flats and houses. The initiative has also funded 950 places in 25 temporary hostels and night shelters in London. In addition, the initiative has funded 700 places in properties leased for up to three years from private sector landlords, an annual winter shelter programme and outreach, resettlement and other support services. No hostel provision has been funded under this initiative outside London.
Mr. Curry: None. The rough sleepers initiative focuses available resources on central London because that is where the greatest concentrations of people sleep rough. Part of the success of this initiative has stemmed from encouraging close links between statutory and voluntary sector agencies. Local authorities outside central London are encouraged to follow this model in devising their strategies to help people sleeping rough within their area.
|Expenditure|Number of |£ millions |Projects Year |(forecast) |(forecast) ------------------------------------------------ 1993-94 |34.938 |1,331 1994-95 |<1>22.717 |<1>801 <1> These figures exclude the London boroughs of Lewisham and Newham, which are not yet available.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: There is no source of data providing a direct count of the numbers of elderly people in sheltered housing in England. The 1991 census does not separately identify households in this form of accommodation.
Column 979It is possible to produce an estimate that approximately 8 per cent. of the population aged 65 or over live in sheltered housing. This estimate is derived from two sources: First, a study of the housing needs of elderly people commissioned by the Department from Ernst and Young management consultants included a survey of residents of sheltered housing which asked a question about household size. Combining this data with information also collected in the study on the numbers of units of sheltered housing for rent produces an estimate of 579,000 elderly people in this form of accommodation. Secondly, to this must be added 51,000 elderly people in private sector sheltered housing. This is calculated in the same way but uses data from local authority housing investment programme returns for 1 April 1993 on units of private sheltered housing. Shared Ownership Scheme
|Units ----------------------- 1992-93 |335 1993-94 |210 1994-95<1> |117 <1> To 30 September 1994.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has regarding new developments for sheltered accommodation by (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations and (c) the private sector.
Sheltered housing starts: England 1994 |1 January 1994 to|1 April 1994 to |31 March 1994 |30 June 1994 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Local authorities |5 |13 Housing associations |204 |284 Private sector |142 |234 Source: Housing and Construction Statistics
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a list of the sites to be included in the enhanced air pollution monitoring programme by 1997, including the time frame for each site.
Mr. Atkins: We are committed to expanding the enhanced urban network from 12 to 24 sites by 1997. The location of new sites is being reviewed in the light of our consultation proposals for the integration of central and local government monitoring networks.
Column 980quality research programme for the current year and for 1995 96
Mr. Atkins: The total budget for the enhanced urban network air pollution monitoring programme for the current year, 1994 95, is £3.2 million. The provision for 1995 96 will be determined when tenders have been assessed.
Heilbronn-Neckarsulm experiment banning dirty old cars and lorries to cut air pollution in urban areas, referred to in his letter to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 19 September.
Mr. Atkins: No data have yet been released by the German authorities on the Heilbronn-Neckarsulm experiment. I understand that first results are likely to be published within the next six months. We shall study them when they become available.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has concerning the number of empty dwellings owned by Government Departments, and which Departments, for latest available year; and if he will make a statement.
|Empty as |percentage |Total stock|Empty at |of total |at 1 April |1 April |stock |1994 |1994 |Per cent. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Department of Transport |3,845 |887 |23 Home Office |<1>4,524 |498 |11 Ministry of Defence |68,106 |11,313 |17 Department of Health |<2>15,000 |<3>1,800 |12 Scottish Office |<4>1,601 |158 |10 Welsh Office |239 |<5>43 |18 The management, use and disposal of Government residential property is the responsibility of the Department concerned. Notes: <1> Excludes figures for the provincial police authorities. <2> Most up-to-date figures available are as at 31 December 1992. <3> Excludes bed-spaces in hostels. <4> NHS figures included in this stock are as at 1 April 1993. <5> Excludes properties awaiting demolition or conversion to non-residential use.
The Government believe, however, that the present mechanisms used to calculate the HNI and the GNI require substantial revision. The Department has recently completed a fundamental review of the indices which looked at all the elements of the current mechanisms and the principles underlying them. We wish to consider further and in detail the changes proposed during the review before making any major changes to the composition of the indices.
(2) if he will list the scrap metal yards in the south Yorkshire area which have been given licences in each of the past five years.
Mr. Atkins: The recovery of scrap metal is subject to licensing under part I of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. Waste regulation authorities are responsible for issuing licences under section 5 of the 1974 Act and details of them are not held centrally. Section 6(4) of the 1974 Act requires each waste regulation authority to maintain a register containing copies of all current licences which it has issued; and to ensure that its register is open for public inspection at its principal office. Cockington Valley
Mr. Allason: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will reconsider his decision not to call in the planning application made in respect of the development within the conservation area of Cockington Valley.
Sir Paul Beresford: Torbay borough council issued the planning decision and listed building consent on 28 October. It is now too late for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to reconsider calling in the applications. Council Housing
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the authorities which have handed their council housing over through the large-scale voluntary transfer scheme and the number and total value of properties concerned.
Mr. Curry: Since 1988, 34 local authorities have transferred a total of 154,081 homes through large-scale voluntary transfer. These authorities are as listed. The tenanted market value of the dwellings transferred is £1,358 million. Tenanted market value reflects the fact that the stock is transferred as a going concern for the long term provision of social rented housing.
Tonbridge and Malling
Epsom and Ewell