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Selby District Council

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Sheffield Metropolitan Borough Council

South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Southwark

Stockton-on-Tees District Council

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

City of Sunderland

London Borough of Sutton

Thurrock District Council

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

London Borough of Waltham Forest

London Borough of Wandsworth

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council

Wrekin District Council

Cleveland

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how the timetable for proposed reorganisation of Cleveland is affected by the county council's application for a judicial review.

Mr. Curry: We have laid before Parliament, for its approval, a draft order to give effect to reorganisation in Cleveland on 1 April 1996. If that approval is given, we shall consider the position in relation to the county council's outstanding application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal before the order is made.

National Environmental Technology Centre

Mr. William O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many of the sites for monitoring air pollution operated by the National Environmental Technology Centre are sited at a road; and if he will list the sites.

Mr. Atkins: The National Environmental Technology Centre currently operates the automatic monitoring station at the Cromwell road kerbside site on behalf of the Department of the Environment. The National Environmental Technology Centre is also contracted by the Department to co- ordinate the on-going national survey of nitrogen dioxide using passive diffusion tube samplers. Measurements are being made at nearly 1,300 locations across the United Kingdom. One in four of the diffusion tubes sites have been specifically chosen to be at roadside locations. The locations of these sites can be obtained from the National Environmental Technology Centre.

Palm House, Liverpool

Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in restoring Palm house, Liverpool; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Paul Beresford: As the hon. Member is aware, essential repair work to the fabric of the building was completed with urban programme funding of £0.254 million in 1993. Liverpool city council has now submitted to the Government office for Merseyside an objective 1 funding application for future phases of the work in 1995 and beyond. I expect the outcome of the objective 1 bidding round to be announced in May 1995.


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Nirex

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he expects to make a decision on the planning application by Nirex to build a rock characterisation facility; (2) how many representations he has received in opposition to the proposed Nirex rock characterisation facility; and how many of these favoured on-site, above-ground storage of nuclear waste;

(3) what plans he has for a public inquiry into the application by Nirex to build a rock characterisation facility.

Sir Paul Beresford: I will write to the hon. Member.

Air Pollution

Mr. William O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the names of the sites for recording air pollution in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.

Mr. Atkins: The following automatic monitoring stations funded by the Department of the Environment are located in the Yorkshire and Humberside region:

Barnsley, Leeds, Kingston-upon-Hull, Sheffield and High Muffles in North Yorkshire.

The Department in collaboration with local authorities is supporting on- going national surveys of nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide using passive diffusion tube samplers. Measurements of smoke are also made at the same sites as those used for the sulphur dioxide measurements. The local authorities listed are involved in these surveys.

(a) Nitrogen Dioxide:

Humberside

--Boothferry, Glanford, Grimsby and Kingston-upon-Hull.

Yorkshire

--Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, Hambleton, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Richmondshire, Rotherham, Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby and Wakefield.

[There are four diffusion tube sites in each area.]

(b) Smoke/Sulphur Dioxide:

Humberside

--Cleethorpes (2), Glanford (1), Grimsby (1), Kingston-upon-Hull (1) and Scunthorpe (1).

Yorkshire

--Barnsley (11), Bradford (2), Calderdale (2), Doncaster (4), Kirklees (3), Leeds (3), Rotherham (4), Scarborough (1), Selby (1), Sheffield (1), Wakefield (9 including Normanton) and York (2). [The number in brackets gives the number of sites in each area.] There are also acid deposition monitoring stations situated at High Muffles and Thorganby. The levels of lead and nine other inorganic elements are measured in Leeds.

Mr. William O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what pollutants are included in the collection of air samples at his Department's fund monitoring stations.

Mr. Atkins: The Department of the Environment monitors the levels of ozone, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, fine particulates as PM10 and 26 volatile organic compounds, including benzene and 1,3- butadiene across the United Kingdom using a number of different automatic analysers.

The Department in collaboration with local authorities is supporting on- going national surveys of nitrogen


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dioxide and sulphur dioxide using passive diffusion tube samplers. Measurements of smoke are also made at the same sites as those used for the sulphur dioxide measurements.

Further networks monitor the levels of (a) lead and nine other inorganic elements, and (b) toxic organic micropollutants such as dioxins and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

Housing Corporation

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he has given to separating the funding and the monitoring roles of the Housing Corporation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: In the Government's response to the Environment Select Committee's second report 1993, Cm 2363, we said that we believed the link between the monitoring and funding roles of the Housing Corporation was a natural and positive one and that the former role had a vital part to play in informing decisions on the latter. However, we undertook to keep this under review in further reviews of the Housing Corporation.

The Government announced a prior options review of the Housing Corporation on 14 December, Official Report, column 663 . This will provide an opportunity to consider this again.

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total planned expenditure in Berkshire by the Housing Corporation in the financial year 1994 95.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Housing Corporation currently estimates that some £13 million of its capital budget for 1994 95 will be spent in Berkshire.

Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total planned expenditure in Dorset by the Housing Corporation in the financial year 1994 95.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Housing Corporation currently estimates that some £14 million of its capital budget for 1994 95 will be spent in Dorset.

Waste Management

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the proposed national waste strategy will continue to emphasise the hierarchy of waste management options including reduction, re-use and recycling, including materials recycling, composting and energy recovery contained in the Department of Environment's recent response both to the 17th report of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution and to the second report of Session 1994 94 from the House of Commons Environment Select Committee, HC63.

Mr. Atkins: Yes, I can confirm that the waste hierarchy will be a key policy for the waste strategy that is shortly due to be issued for consultation.

Housing Associations

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what support his Department gives to housing societies and smaller housing associations.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Housing Corporation provides capital funding to registered housing associations through its approved development programme which


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amounts to some £1.5 billion in 1994 95. Smaller associations, defined as those with fewer than 500 dwellings, received around 11 per cent. of allocations for new scheme approvals in 1994 95. In addition, the Housing Corporation's total revenue grant support for registered housing associations, including smaller associations, is expected to amount to some £195 million in 1994 95.

Micro-organisms

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is Her Majesty's Government's policy in respect of (a) the agreement made at the UN environment programme conference in 1993 that a state has sovereignty over its flora and fauna and (b) whether this sovereignty extends to micro-organisms; and what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to ensure the categorisation and identification of micro-organisms.

Mr. Atkins: The United Kingdom has ratified the convention on biological diversity, which covers inter alia flora, fauna and micro- organisms. Article 3 of the convention recognises that states have, in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies. In order to improve our knowledge of micro-organisms, research is in progress in subjects such as soil microbiology. The Office of Science and Technology commissioned an independent review of publicly funded microbial culture collections in the United Kingdom. The Government are currently considering its findings, which were published in November.

Homelessness

Mr. Parry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures his Department is taking in combating the problem of homelessness in Merseyside, with particular reference to Liverpool; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The responsibility for dealing with homelessness in Merseyside rests with the local authorities there. In Liverpool, for example, the city council has made extensive provision to meet the demands of the homeless and has good partnership arrangements with voluntary agencies and housing associations. There are no homeless households currently in bed and breakfast in Liverpool and I am pleased with that clear indication of the success of that approach.

Merseyside

Mr Parry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has in the near future to meet the Mersey Partnership to discuss the promotion of Merseyside's development opportunities, business development, land reclamation and environmental improvements; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: I have no immediate plans to visit the Mersey Partnership, but I am in regular contact with many of the members. The Mersey Partnership, with its drive and energy, is developing and putting across a clear and positive image of Merseyside; its wide membership across the public and private sectors has an important part to play.


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Smoke Detectors

Mr. Garrett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if Her Majesty's inspector of pollution will establish the number of ionising smoke detectors disposed of in household rubbish and the safety implications of the accumulation of radioactive material in waste tips from such disposals.

Mr. Atkins: Disposal of smoke detectors containing very small radioactive sources is controlled under the terms of the Radioactive Substances (Smoke Detectors) Exemption Order 1980, as amended, made under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993. The order provides exemption from regulation under the full requirements of the Act but imposes limits and conditions on the accumulation and disposal of these articles. These requirements are designed to ensure that public and environmental safety is fully maintained and Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution is satisfied that this is the case. Because these sources are of very low radiological significance, it is not necessary to record the numbers disposed of in refuse.

Regional Planning

Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to release the draft regional planning guidance for Yorkshire and Humberside.

Sir Paul Beresford: Next month.

Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is currently the average time between his Department receiving the draft regional planning conference advice and his Department issuing draft regional guidance.

Sir Paul Beresford: The average time for the completion of draft regional planning guidance after receipt of the conference advice is approximately 14.5 months.

National Rivers Authority

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total budget of the west and south-east areas of the Thames region of the National Rivers Authority for the financial year 1994 95.

Mr. Atkins: I am informed by the National Rivers Authority that in the west and south-east areas of its Thames region the total budget for 1994 95 was as follows:

Thames West--£10.6 million

Thames South-East--£20.7 million

Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total budget of the area of the south-western region of the National Rivers Authority which covers Dorset for the financial year 1994 95.

Mr. Atkins: I am informed by the National Rivers Authority that in the south Wessex area of their south western region, which covers Dorset, the total budget for 1994 95 was £7.6 million.

Hares

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) on 14 December, Official Report , column 661 , what was the estimated population


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of hares in Great Britain in (a) 1974, (b) 1979, (c) 1984, (d) 1989, (e) 1990 and (f) 1991.

Sir Paul Beresford: For 1991, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside to the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) on 14 December, Official Report , column 661 . No Government estimate of the hare population exists for the years in question up to and including 1990.

Cemfuel

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the current test burn of Cemfuel at the Castle Cement works, Ribblesdale, is due to end.

Mr. Atkins: The extra monitoring work at Ribblesdale is now complete and the operator is preparing an assessment of the results and the effect of emissions on the environment.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information has so far appeared on the public register in respect of Castle Cement's burning of Cemfuel at its Ribblesdale plant; what further information he expects to appear between the present time and the conclusion of the test burn of Cemfuel; and what assessment Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has made of the quality and quantity of such information.

Mr. Atkins: All information prior to the protocol of June 1994 is on the public registers. Monitoring trials conducted under the protocol were supervised by HMIP and the final report of these, along with the assessment of environmental effects, is expected at the end of 1994. HMIP is assessing these results.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measurements of total organic carbon have been taken in the emissions from Castle Cement's kilns when they are burning Cemfuel.

Mr. Atkins: Measurement of total organic carbon has been part of all tests carried out.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measurements of total organic carbon in the emissions from Castle Cement's kilns when they are burning Cemfuel have been made during electrostatic precipitator trips caused by high levels of carbon monoxide.

Mr. Atkins: Electrostatic trips are few and far between and last only for a matter of minutes. No total organic carbon measurements have been taken in these periods.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what conclusions Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has drawn from the information placed on the public register in relation to the burning of hazardous waste at Ribblesdale.

Mr Atkins: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution's preliminary assessment of the results available so far indicates that, compared with coal, the burning of Cemfuel does not have a net adverse environmental effect.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many deliveries of Cemfuel have been made to Castle Cement's works at Ribblesdale; how many inspections have been made of them by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution; and how many have been rejected as a result of failing to meet the specification.


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Mr. Atkins: There have been approximately 1,500 tanker deliveries of Cemfuel to the Ribblesdale site in the last 12 months. The HMIP site inspector has been present and witnessed the unloading operation on numerous occasions. Three loads were rejected in the last 12 months--one load, because the seals on the tanker were not intact, and two, because the paperwork showed fuel of unaccceptable quality.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has been informed by Castle Cement that Cemfuel has proved inferior to its specifications and had therefore been rejected for use; and what action Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution took on each occasion.

Mr. Atkins: Three loads were rejected in the last 12 months--one load, because the seals on the tanker were not intact, and two, because the paperwork showed fuel of unacceptable quality.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution proposes to take as a result of the amount of particulate matter in the emissions from Castle Cement's works at Ribblesdale exceeding the authorised limit.

Mr. Atkins: The particulate emissions from all kilns comply with the authorised limits.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether (a) his officials in the directorate of pollution control and wastes and (b) Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution have seen the British Cement Association's code of practice on the use of recycled liquid fuels in the manufacture of cement; and whether they were consulted on its contents before publication.

Mr. Atkins: The British Cement Association's code of practice was issued by the association on its own initiative and it did not consult officials in the Department or in Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution before publishing it. Officials have seen the code.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what analysis Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution had made of the contents of the uncombusted waste materials among emissions from cement kilns where hazardous wastes are being burnt.


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