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Mr. Norris: Airports can bring substantial economic and social benefits to their surrounding areas, but aircraft noise can also cause annoyance. It is important therefore, that aerodrome and aircraft operators minimise the disturbance to local communities caused by their operations, so far as is practicable and reasonable. All larger aerodromes and many smaller ones already take measures to reduce noise disturbance.
Aerodromes are also subject to planning legislation in the usual way, and it is for the local planning authority to assess all the relevant factors when considering planning applications. It is possible to exercise a measure of control over aircraft noise by way of conditions attached to planning permissions. Because aerodromes vary greatly in size, types of operation, and in their local circumstances, measure to minimise noise nuisance are best developed and monitored locally.
In March last year, following extensive consultation, the Government published their conclusions on new measures to control aircraft noise. The Government announced their intention-- Official Report , 25 March 1993, column 706 7 --to introduce new legislation to give aerodromes powers to prepare and enforce noise amelioration schemes. These arrangements would build on the existing, mainly voluntary system of control. The Government will introduce the new legislation at a suitable parliamentary opportunity. There are no plans to
Column 763introduce interim measures, but consideration is being given to producing national guidance on mitigating aircraft noise.
Mr. Norris: Under existing legislation, all civil jet aircraft operating into all United Kingdom airports must carry a noise certificate demonstrating compliance with standards agreed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Civil propeller-driven aircraft certificated after 6 October 1977 are also required to comply with such standards. These standards are included in The Air Navigation (Noise Certification) Order 1990.
Mr. Norris: The Government have no plans to prevent aircraft from flying purely on the grounds of their age. The United Kingdom has, however, implemented directive 92/14/EEC, which requires older, noisier jets, the so called "chapter 2" types, to be phased out between 1995 and 2002. This legislation builds on earlier action to ban non-noise certificated jets and to prevent the addition of chapter 2 types to the United Kingdom register.
From 1 April 1993 (figures are at September 1993) |General |manager/chief|Senior Trust |executives |managers --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Royal Group of Hospitals and Dental Hospital HSS Trust |1.00 |27.00 Belfast City Hospital HSS Trust |1.00 |22.00 Greenpark HSS Trust |1.00 |13.00 Ambulance Service HSS Trust |1.00 |4.00 Ulster, North Down and Ards HSS Trust |1.00 |13.00 Craigavon Area Hospital Group HSS Trust |1.00 |11.00
From 1 April 1994 (figures are at September 1994) |General manager/ Trust |chief executives|Senior managers ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Royal Group of Hospitals and Dental Hospital HSS Trust |1.00 |39.00 Belfast City Hospital HSS Trust |1.00 |22.00 Greenpark HSS Trust |1.00 |13.00 Ambulance Service HSS Trust |1.00 |5.00 Ulster, North Down and Ards HSS Trust |1.00 |14.00 North Down and Ards Community Trust |1.00 |30.00 North and West Belfast Community HSS Trust |1.00 |30.00 South and East Belfast Community HSS Trust |1.00 |31.00 Down and Lisburn HSS Trust |1.00 |28.00 Mater Infirmorum Hospital HSS Trust |1.00 |6.00 Craigavon Area Hospital Group HSS Trust |1.00 |12.00 Craigavon and Banbridge Community HSS Trust |1.00 |21.00 Newry and Mourne HSS Trust |1.00 |13.00 All figures expressed are WTE (Whole Time Equivalent). Figures from 1 April 1993 are from PIMS (Personnel Information Management System) and figures from 1 April 1994 are extracted from Corporate Monitoring Returns.
Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the annual roads service budget for minor works in each of (a) Fermanagh, (b) Dungannon, (c) Omagh, (d) Strabane district council areas and (e) Derry city council area.
|Expenditure in District council |£000s area --------------------------------------------------- Derry |587 Dungannon |333 Fermanagh |555 Omagh |521 Strabane |415
Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the current major road works schemes being undertaken in the Fermanagh, Dungannon, Omagh and Strabane council areas; and what is their total value
Mr. Moss: Work is currently being undertaken on Omagh through-pass stage 2A and over a period 1994 to 1999 it is planned to undertake major road schemes at Anne street/Thomas street, Dungannon, on the A29 at Carland bridge, on the A5 at Burndennett, Leckpatrick, Magheramason and Garvaghy and on the next stage of the Omagh through-pass. The total estimated cost of these schemes is approximately £9.4 million.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what factors led to the decision to close the Boucher Road technical training centre in south Belfast and to build a new centre two miles away at Springvale;
(2) if he will list the number of students attending courses at each of the technical training centres in the Greater Belfast area in each of the past three years;
(3) if he will list the locations, student capacity and catchment area of technical training centres in the Greater Belfast area; (4) what plans he has made to provide technical training for students from south Belfast once the Boucher Road training centre is closed;
(5) what will be the cost of the construction of the new technical training centre at Springvale in west Belfast; and what are the projected annual running cost;
(6) what are the annual running costs of Boucher Road technical centre in south Belfast.
Mr. Ancram: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Training and Employment Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Julien Crozier. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Column 766Letter from J.S. Crozier to Rev. Martin Smyth dated28 November 1994:
You have asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland six questions, all of which are concerned with the planned closure of Boucher Road Training Centre in 1996 and the provision of a new facility at Springvale.
The Secretary of State has asked me as Chief Executive of the Training and Employment Agency, which has responsibility for these matters, to reply. I will deal ;with all of your questions under a number of main headings.
The decision to close Boucher Road was taken in the light of cost, existing capacity and demand, principally the latter. Boucher Road has a target capacity of 240 and currently has 185 trainees, of whom 80 per cent. come from Catholic West Belfast, and some 2 per cent. from South Belfast.
There are already sufficient YTP and adult training places in the catchment area of Boucher Road. The continuation of that centre, together with the arrival of a new Springvale facility, would result in considerable over provision in the West Belfast area.
The total running cost of Boucher Road for the last financial year was £1.25 million for a capacity of 240 places.
Training Centres in Greater Belfast
Details of Training Centre provision in the greater Belfast area are in the attached annex.
Given the low numbers involved there is ample provision in the other Belfast and Lisburn Training Centre for anyone from South Belfast who does not wish to travel to Springvale. However, if at any time in the future we were experiencing significantly increased demand from that area, we would consider how best to meet that demand.
In 1990 a review of the organisation of training in the Springfield/Lower Falls area of Belfast was carried out by consultants. The main recommendation was that a new training organisation should be established in the area which would embrace both adults and young people, promote complementarity and avoid duplication. In order to develop such a capacity in the heart of that area and to provide a community focus in the re- development of the old Mackies' site at Springfield Road the Agency, along with Making Belfast Work is to provide a new hitech skills training facility. Springvale, which will be a private non-profit making company, plans to provide enhanced opportunities for individuals from the area to develop their skills in the manufacturing and engineering industries. This in turn is aimed at attracting inward investment to that area.
The project is being funded through the Making Belfast Work Initiative and will cost in total some £4.5 million. Estimated annual running costs for the first 3 years fall within the following ranges for a planned capacity of 350 places:
Year 1: £841,000 £ 917,000
Year 2: £1,029,000 £1,133,000
Year 3: £1,136,000 £1,287,000
I hope that you will find this information helpful.
Occupancy |1994-95 Technical training |Capacity |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |to date centres and catchment area --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Boucher Road Largely west Belfast-small minority from north and south Belfast and Lisburn district council areas. |240 |152 |131 |177 |159 Dundonald East Belfast and Ards, Castlereagh and North Down district council areas. One course, contractors plant, draws trainees from all over Northern Ireland due to its specialised nature. |240 |189 |176 |222 Felden North and west Belfast and Newtonabbey and Carrickfergus district council area. Small minority from Antrim and Larne areas. One course, heavy vehicle repair, draws trainees from all over Northern Ireland due to its specialised nature. |260 |162 |195 |263 |251 Lisburn South Belfast and Lisburn district council area. Small minority from Banbridge and Antrim areas. Lisburn has a number of specialised courses, mainly at technician level, and these draw trainees from all over Northern Ireland. |150 |117 |131 |128 |108
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will provide (a) the annual remuneration paid to the Independent Commissioner for the Holding Centres in Northern Ireland and that of the Staff under his supervision, (b) the total annual cost to the public purse of the office of the Independent Commissioner for the Holding Centres in Northern Ireland and (c) a list of any meetings, conferences or functions outside of the United Kingdom which the commissioner has attended in his official capacity since taking up office.
(a) The annual remuneration paid to the Independent Commissioner for the Holding Centres in Northern Ireland is £30,000; that for his Deputy is £10,000. The support staff comprise two civil servants on secondment who also serve the independent assessor of military complaints procedures from the same office premises. The portion of annual remuneration specific to their support work for the independent commissioner totals £24,000.
(b) The total annual cost to the public purse of the office of the Commissioner in Northern Ireland is £107,000.
(c) Since his appointment in December 1992, the independent commissioner has, to date, made three visits in that capacity outside the United Kingdom.
Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the nature and scope of the work carried out by Phelim Hamill, during his employment with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action; and if he will make a statement.
Column 768period of employment with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action; and if he intends to carry out an inquiry.
Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the present chairman of Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action was in office during the period when Phelim Hamill was employed; and what other public appointments the NICVA chairman holds in Northern Ireland or within any other jurisdiction.
Mr. Moss: The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action is a leading voluntary organisation in Northern Ireland which provides support and training for other voluntary organisations, and which also represents and articulates the views of the wider voluntary sector on matters of common concern. Full details of income are contained in the annual accounts for 1993 94, which are available from the council.
Mr. Mallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what is the average period of time taken to process an appeal in respect of an application for disability living allowance; (2) what is the average period of time taken to process an application for disability living allowance;
(3) how many appeals have been lodged in respect of disability living allowance claims; and, of these, how many are (a) successful, (b) unsuccessful and (c) outstanding.
Mr. Moss: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alec Wylie. I have asked him to arrange for replies to be given. Letters from Alec Wylie to Mr. Seamus Mallon, dated 25 November 1994:
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the average period of time taken to process an appeal in respect of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) applications.
Column 769The average number of days taken to process an appeal from the date of receipt of the letter of appeal until the date the case is sent to the Independent Tribunal Service (ITS) is 86 days for the period April 1994 to October 1994. Additional staff have been deployed and overtime is being worked to improve the clearance time. The arrangements for hearing appeals is the responsibility of the President of the ITS and I have passed a copy of your question to him.
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary question about the average period of time taken to process an application for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Information on the processing of DLA claims is not available in the "average period" format that you have requested but is available in terms of the percentage of claims cleared within time limits set by the Minister. For the 1994 95 year these time limits/targets are 68 per cent. to be cleared in 30 days and 85 per cent. to be cleared in 53 days.
For the period April 1994 to October 1994, 55 per cent. of claims were cleared within 30 days and 82 per cent. within 53 days. Performance over the last few months has shown a marked improvement as a result of measures taken earlier in the year to deal with some identified problems and in October, 74 per cent. of claims were being cleared within 30 days and 92 per cent. within 53 days.
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary question about the number and outcome of appeals lodged in respect of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Since the introduction of DLA in April 1992 to the end of October 1994 there have been 2321 review decisions appealed. Of these, 601 have been successful and 857 have been unsuccessful. There were 608 appeals awaiting preparation of submissions to the Independent
Column 770Tribunal Service (ITS) and around 250 are with the ITS for hearings to be arranged.
Mr. Mallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications for disability living allowance were received in each month since the introduction of this benefit; and if he will give, for each month, details of applications that are (a) approved, (b) refused, (c) withdrawn and (d) outstanding.
Mr. Moss: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alex Wylie. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from Alec Wylie to Mr. Seamus Mallon, dated 28 November 1994:
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the numbers and outcome of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) applications received since its introduction.
I am sorry that data for the period February 1992 to March 1993 is not readily available in the form you requested. Work has started on extracting the data and I will write to you when this becomes available. I can however supply you with the information for the period April 1993 to October 1994 and this is set out in the table below. I hope you will find this helpful.
Numbers of DLA claims received, allowed, disallowed, withdrawn and outstanding from April 1993 to date. Month |Received |Allowed |Disallowed |Withdrawn |Outstanding ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- April 1993 |3,187 |2,799 |1,769 |21 |5,316 May |3,878 |2,643 |1,611 |12 |4,891 June |4,349 |2,788 |1,659 |24 |4,744 July |3,054 |2,746 |1,852 |13 |3,150 August |3,026 |1,925 |1,376 |12 |2,851 September |3,663 |1,809 |1,386 |18 |3,292 October |3,708 |1,562 |1,660 |15 |3,750 November |3,591 |1,566 |1,714 |11 |4,038 December |2,256 |1,006 |1,307 |17 |3,959 January 1994 |2,625 |1,188 |1,422 |35 |3,933 February |2,986 |929 |1,333 |17 |4,618 March |3,629 |1,578 |1,843 |14 |4,789 April |2,883 |990 |1,032 |12 |5,627 May |3,038 |1,769 |1,444 |12 |5,422 June |3,604 |2,132 |1,843 |25 |5,001 July |2,467 |2,043 |1,906 |13 |3,491 August |2,955 |1,562 |1,668 |11 |3,179 September |3,995 |1,810 |1,690 |23 |3,609 October |3,779 |1,629 |1,980 |11 |3,734
Mr. Mallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications for (a) community care grants, (b) budgeting loans and (c) crisis loans were received by each office of the Social Security Agency in each month since January 1993; and if he will break down the figures for applications which were (i) approved and (ii) refused.
Mr. Moss: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alec Wylie. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given, but as the tabular material is exceptionally lengthy I have arranged for it to be placed in the Library.
Column 770Letter from Alec Wylie to Mr. Seamus Mallon, dated 28 November 1994:
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question requesting information about the number of applications for Community Care Grants, Budgeting and Crisis Loans.
I am sorry that information is not held in precisely the format you have requested but I have set out the available data in the attached tables. As the Social Fund has been managed on a District basis from April 1991, it is not possible to provide details for each Social Security Office. I am therefore providing information by District but I have also included an annex to show which Social Security Offices make up each District. I should also explain that the number of awards made is the total of all awards made in each month, including those made as a result of a review, and the refusals information is the number of initial decisions to refuse as a percentage of all decisions made in that particular month. While, therefore, there is no direct correlation between the figures in each column in the table,
Column 771the information as set out fairly reflects the general position on social fund applications.
Mr. Ancram: The Northern Ireland census 1991 summary report, published in January 1992, contains at table 4, pages 4 to 13, the population of each District Council ward. Copies of this report are available in the House of Commons library.
If, however, the hon. Gentleman is referring to the current electorate of each ward, this information is contained in the 1994 electoral register, copies of which were forwarded to the main political parties in January 1994 by the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Mallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish the indices of deprivation used by his Department; and if he will list the electoral wards of Northern Ireland in order of the degree of deprivation.
Sir John Wheeler: A general index of relative multiple deprivation was published in September 1994 by the Department of Finance and Personnel in a report entitled "Relative Deprivation in Northern Ireland", policy planning and research unit occasional paper no. 28, a copy of which is in the Library. The report lists the 26 district councils, 566 wards and 3,729 enumeration districts in Northern Ireland ranked in order of their degree of deprivation. Where appropriate, Departments may use this research to target programmes in accordance with their own needs and priorities.
Mr. Mallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what was the total Exchequer expenditure voted for Northern Ireland in each of the past five years; and what is the latest estimate of Exchequer spending over the next five years;
(2) if he will take steps to ensure that there is no reduction in the level of Exchequer expenditure, in real terms, in the incoming financial year;
(3) what Exchequer savings are expected to result from the recent end to violence; and what steps will be taken to ensure that such savings are invested in Northern Ireland.
Sir John Wheeler: The total public expenditure in Northern Ireland in the past five years is given in the table below. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his unified Budget Statement announced the public expenditure totals for Northern Ireland for 1995 96 to 1997 98 and these are also shown. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will shortly be making a statement on the allocation of those totals to individual programmes within Northern Ireland. Estimates for 1998 99 and 1999 2000 are not available.