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Road Building

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which sites of special scientific interest will be affected by future proposals for road building.

Mr. Watts: Information on the effect of trunk road proposals on sites of special scientific interest is held by the Highways Agency and I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member. Information about the effect of local authority road proposals on such sites is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. David Hinchliffe, dated 23 February 1995:

The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr. John Watts, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about those sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) that will be affected by future proposals for road building.

I enclose a list of the Trunk Road and Motorway schemes in England, for which preferred routes have been announced, that are likely to involve permanent or temporary landtake from a SSSI and a list of schemes that may have an impact on a SSSI but do not involve landtake. Schemes marked with an asterisk have been under construction in 1994/95. The remaining schemes are at varying stages of design.

You will, I hope, appreciate that the lists are therefore dynamic and will be subject to change as, and when, scheme designs are developed.

I hope this is helpful.

Schemes which may involve permanent or temporary landtake                                          

from SSSIs                                                                                         

Road scheme                      |SSSI                                                             


*A30 Indian Queens Bypass        |Goss and Tregoss Moors                                           

A31 Poole Harbour Crossing       |Poole Harbour (Holes Bay)                                        

A31 Poole Link Road              |Slop Bog and Uddens Heath,                                       

                                 |  Canford Heath                                                  

A35 Chideock-Morcombelake        |Morcombelake, West Dorset                                        

  Bypass                         |  Coast                                                          

A43 Geddington Bypass            |River Ise and Meadows                                            

A46 Upper Swainswick-            |Monkswood Valley                                                 


*M4/M49 Second Severn            |Magor and Undy, Severn                                           

  Crossing                       |  Estuary                                                        

M5 Widening J18-10               |Severn Estuary                                                   

A456 Kidderminster,              |Hurcott and Podmore Pools                                        

   Blakedown and Hagley                                                                            

Birmingham Northern Relief       |Chasewater Heath                                                 


A1(M) Redhouse-Ferrybridge       |Brockadale                                                       

A650 Bingley Northern Relief     |Bingley South Bog                                                


*A13 Thames Avenue-              |Inner Thames Marshes                                             


A120 Stansted to Braintree       |High Wood, Dunmow                                                


*M6 J30-32 Widening              |Red Scar and Tun Brook Woods                                     

*M6 J20-21A Widening             |Woolston Eyes                                                    

A249 Iwade-Queenborough          |The Swale, Medway Estuary                                        

  Improvement                    |  and Marshes                                                    

*A249 M2-Iwade                   |The Swale                                                        


A259 Bexhill and Hastings        |Combe Haven, Pevensey Levels,                                    

  Western Bypass                 |  Marline Valley Woods                                           

A259 Dymchurch-M20 J11           |Lympne Escarpment (The                                           

  Improvement                    |  Roughs)                                                        

A259 Pevensey-Bexhill            |Pevensey Levels                                                  


A259 Rye Bypass                  |Walland Marsh, Camber Sands                                      

                                 |  and Rye Saltings, Rye Harbour                                  

A17 Leadenham-Sleaford Imp       |High Dyke                                                        

A10 Setchey and West Winch       |River Nar                                                        


A27 Lewes-Polegate               |Southerham Grey Pit, Milton Gate                                 

  Improvement                    |  Marsh                                                          

A2/A282 Dartford Crossing        |Darenth Wood                                                     

A34 Newbury Bypass               |Snelsmore Common                                                 

M2 J1-4 Widening                 |Shorne and Ashenbank Woods,                                      

                                 |  Cobham Woods                                                   

*M3 Bar End-Compton                                                                                

                                 |  Valley Water Meadows                                           

A5 Dunstable Eastern Bypass      |Blows Down                                                       

Schemes with possible indirect impact on SSSIs but do not involve                             


Road schemes                    |SSSI                                                         


A45 Stonebridge GSJ             |River Blythe                                                 

A31 Ashley Heath                |Avon Valley, Hurn Common                                     

A5 Dunstable Eastern Bypass     |Houghton Regis Marl Lakes                                    

A1(M) Ferrybridge-Hook          |Fairburn and Newton Ings                                     


A303 Wylye-Stockton Wood        |Stockton Wood and Down                                       

A303 Ilminister-Marsh           |Long Lye                                                     

A21 Kipping's Cross-Lamberhurst |Brookland Wood                                               

A57/A628 Mottram Tintwistle     |Dark Peak                                                    


Birmingham Northern Relief      |River Blythe                                                 


A40 Witney Bypass-              |Pixey and Yarnton Meads                                      


A419 Latton Bypass              |North Meadow, Cricklade, River                               

                                |  Churn                                                      

A10 Wadesmill High Cross-       |Plashes Wood                                                 

  Colliers End Bypass                                                                         

A1(M) Hook Moor-Bramham         |Hook Moor                                                    

A64 York-Malton Bypass          |Mount Pleasant Query                                         

A65 Hellifield and Long Preston |Long Preston Deeps, Pan Beck                                 

  Bypass                        |  Fen                                                        

M6 Widening J11-16              |Doxey and Tillington                                         

Western Orbital Route           |Hurcott Pools                                                

A556(M) M6-M56 Imp              |Rostherne Mere                                               

Forth Rail Bridge

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report, column 53, what assessment he has made of the time scale of the threat to the structural integrity of the Forth rail bridge.

Mr. Watts [holding answer 10 February 1995]: Railtrack continues to carry out detailed assessments of the Forth bridge. The structure is being inspected more thoroughly than ever before so as to ensure that attention can be concentrated on the areas which are in the most deserving condition. New shotblasting methods are currently being concentrated on the lattice tie-members of the bridge. Although relatively small components, these are of great importance to the bridge's structural integrity. Railtrack assessments confirm that the present maintenance and painting programme is fully adequate to protect the structural integrity of the bridge.

Vehicle Excise Duty

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the classes of vehicle currently exempt from vehicle excise duty for which vehicle excise duty will become payable from 1 July; and if he will give the amount of vehicle excise duty that will be payable in each class.

Mr. Norris [pursuant to his reply, 27 January 1995, c. 383]: The information requested is as follows:

Current exempt class       |Proposed class      |Proposed duty                            


Special vehicles                                                                          

Road roller                |road rollers        |£135                                     

                                                |(under 3.5 tonnes)                       


                                                |(over 3.5 tonnes)                        

Road construction                                                                         

Street cleansing           |PLG or HGV          |£135-<1>£5,000                           

Street lighting                                                                           

Vehicles used for short    |<2>as appropriate   |£15-<1>£5,000                            

  journeys between private                                                                



Special concessionary                                                                     

Electric                   |electric                                                      

Gritter                    |gritter             |£35                                      

Snowplough                 |snowplough                                                    

<1> No increase of more than £1,000 in first year of vehicle relicensing from 1 July      


<2> Vehicles will license in appropriate new classes; the majority in special             



Out-of-town Shopping Centres

17. Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to limit the growth of out-of-town shopping centres.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The need for attractive, vital and viable town centres, and their importance in the life of communities is emphasised in my right hon. Friend's published planning guidance, in the press release he issued last November and in his environmental agenda.

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Local Government Staff

19. Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many local government staff are employed in Wales; what population they serve, and at what cost; what are the figures for (a) England an (b) Scotland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: Figures for local authority staffing are compiled by the Local Government Management Board. These show that in June 1994, there were 117,000 local government employees in Wales serving a population of almost 3 million and costing £2 billion. Comparable figures for England were 1,677,000 employees for a population of 48.5 million at a cost of £32.4 billion; and for Scotland, 255,000 employees for a population of over 5 million at a cost of £4.6 billion.

Rare Beef Breeds

20. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of Sate for Wales what measures he is taking to promote the export of rare Welsh beef breeds for human consumption and for breeding.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The development agencies provide financial support for Welsh Food Promotions Ltd. which has recently launched an initiative to promote Welsh beef, including Welsh Black beef.

Jobseekers Allowance Bill

21. Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made on the future effects on Welsh jobs of the Jobseekers Allowance Bill.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The jobseeker's allowance will help unemployed people to obtain jobs.

Morriston Hospital, Swansea

22. Mr. Donald Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to announce his decision on the future of the cardiac unit at Morriston hospital, Swansea.

Mr. Richards: I hope to make an announcement shortly.

Training and Enterprise Councils

23. Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales that representations he has received on the resources allocated to training and enterprise councils in Wales for the current financial year.

Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend and I have received no recent representations on this matter. I met TEC chairmen on 11 January to discuss, in broad terms, the 1995 96 training and enterprise public expenditure package. Allocations to TECs have not yet been made for 1995 96; the Department will begin negotiations with TECs shortly.

Unemployment (Coal Mining Areas)

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he is taking to lessen unemployment levels in former coal mining areas in south Wales.

Mr. Richards: We are using the full range of the Welsh Office's responsibilities, in conjunction with public bodies, development agencies and the private sector, to

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help to provide both job opportunities and skills training for the people of the former coal mining areas in south Wales. Most importantly, the Government are creating the framework for a healthy economy in which businesses create jobs.

Crewe-Holyhead Railway Line

Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what priority he has given to the Crewe to Holyhead railway line as a link between member states of the European Union.

Mr. Richards: The Crewe to Holyhead line is included in the European Commission's proposals for trans-European transport networks.

Local Government Reorganisation

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to approve the necessary staff transfer order where there is a local agreement to the effect that all local government staff within a locally agreed area would transfer to a new authority following local government reorganisation.

Mr. Gwilyn Jones: That already is my policy.

I wrote to the Staff Commission for Wales on 20 January as follows:

"Once a group of authorities in a particular area has agreed which staff should be transferred to them, [the Secretary of State] would be prepared to give effect to the decision in the staff transfer order to be made under section 42 of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994."


Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evaluation his Department has undertaken of the role of the National Rivers Authority in relation to serious flooding in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Welsh Office maintains close contact with the National Rivers Authority over its handling of flooding defence and I am pleased to report that there has been no serious flooding of developed areas in Wales so far this winter, despite the unusually wet weather.

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to earmark or ring-fence a sum to each district and borough council in Wales to enable it to discharge its obligations effectively under its permissive drainage powers; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Welsh Office funds local authorities through the annual local government revenue and capital settlements. It is for individual authorities to decide how to apportion those moneys between and within their various functions in accordance with their statutory obligations and their own priorities. However, the Welsh Office does make grant aid available under the Land Drainage Act 1991 specifically to assist district councils to undertake capital works under their permissive drainage powers.


Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total expenditure on all forms of

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advertising by his Department and its agencies for each year since 1979 in 1994 prices.

Mr. Redwood: Advertising expenditure, expressed in 1994 prices, for my Department and its executive agency, Cadw, since 1979 is as follows:

             |Welsh office|Cadw                     

Year         |£000<1>     |£000<1>                  


1979-1980    |146         |-                        

1980-1981    |128         |-                        

1981-1982    |184         |-                        

1982-1983    |170         |-                        

1983-1984    |178         |-                        

1984-1985    |103         |-                        

1985-1986    |46          |-                        

1986-1987    |109         |-                        

1987-1988    |317         |-                        

1988-1989    |227         |-                        

1989-1990    |495         |-                        

1990-1991    |317         |-                        

1991-1992    |366         |58                       

1992-1993    |434         |71                       

1993-1994    |275         |126                      


1. Cadw was set up as an executive agency in April  

1991.<1> At 1993-1994 prices, using the retail      

prices index.                                       

Arts in Wales

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next plans to meet officials of the Arts Council in Wales to discuss funding for the arts in Wales.

Mr. Richards: I am meeting the chairman of the Arts Council of Wales on 27 March to discuss the council's plans for 1995 96.


EU Spending

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if he will list (a) the spending on agriculture by the EU and (b) the national Government spending on agriculture by each member state (i) in the current year, (ii) in the previous year and (iii) five years ago.

Mr. Jack: Details of expenditure on agriculture by the EU, broken down by member state, are contained in annexe 2 of the annual financial reports on the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund, guarantee section, copies of which have been deposited in the Library of the House. The latest report available relates to 1993. Provisional figures for 1994 are set out in the table.

Details of United Kingdom expenditure on agriculture are contained in table 9.1 of the annual publication "Agriculture in the United Kingdom", copies of which are also deposited in the Library of the House. Comparable information for other member states is not readily available. Summary information on national aids to agriculture in other member states is available in the Commission's periodic surveys of state aids in the European Community. The latest of these covers 1986 to 1990 and is available in the Library of the House. This information is not, however, fully representative of

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national Government expenditure on agriculture--for example, it excludes aid for research but includes aid financed by parafiscal charges.

Expenditure on CAP support from the EC budget by member state                           

1994 (provisional)             |MECU              |£ million                            


Belgium                        |1,170             |904                                  

Denmark                        |1,277             |986                                  

Germany                        |5,174             |3,997                                

Greece                         |2,626             |2,029                                

Spain                          |4,255             |3,287                                

France                         |8,019             |6,195                                

Ireland                        |1,457             |1,126                                

Italy                          |3,464             |2,676                                

Luxembourg                     |12                |9                                    

Netherlands                    |1,916             |1,480                                

Portugal                       |652               |504                                  

United Kingdom                 |2,797             |2,161                                

Non-attributed direct payments |103               |80                                   


Total                          |32,924            |25,433                               


1. The figures are rounded and do not add up to the totals shown.                       


Commission Working Document                                                             

Exchange rate: 1 ecu = £0.77249                                                         

Public Bodies

Mr. Patten: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list those public bodies for which he retains departmental responsibility; which of these bodies have been identified as suitable for placing in the private sector; and by when it is expected each of these bodies will enter the private sector.

Mr. Jack: The bodies are listed in "Public Bodies 1994" which has recently been placed in the Library of the House. None of these has been identified as currently suitable for placing in the private sector.


Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department has carried out into the effect of the removal of hedges and trees on the propensity of land to flood; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: Research is being funded by MAFF into the hydrological effects of urban growth and the run-off response of river catchments, which are major factors influencing storm water run-off and therefore the propensity of land to flood. The removal of hedges and trees, taken on its own, is unlikely to have a significant effect on flood flows and this is therefore not seen as a priority area of research.

Common Fisheries Policy

Mr. David Porter: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will include the option of negotiating to leave the common fisheries policy and developing a policy for fisheries management based on the premise that each member state can reclaim the sovereignty of its waters as part of his policy group review of the common fisheries policy;

(2) what are the terms of reference of his policy group reviewing the common fisheries policy; what evidence it

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will take from the industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: The arrangements for the group to review the common fisheries policy are currently under consideration and an announcement will be made in due course.

Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he has not yet provided the information about the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce requested from him by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton in his question about next step agencies on 20 January.

Mr. Waldegrave: The intervention board is an independent Government Department established under the European Communities Act 1972 responsible to all four Agriculture Ministers. Although it is an executive agency, it is not a next steps agency in my Department, and did not therefore come within the terms of the right. hon. Member's question. It has not, however, acquired its own buildings, its staff numbers have declined since it became an agency; it publishes no periodical journals; has no executive cars; its logo pre-dates agency status and was internally designed at no cost; it has no corporate clothing, although it provides protective clothing to specialist staff when their duties require it, and it has always had its own corporate stationery. This was redesigned in August 1993 at a cost of under £500.

Lead Contamination

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies he has undertaken to identify risks to human health resulting from lead contamination from petrol entering the human food chain; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: MAFF routinely monitors the dietary intakes of lead by the United Kingdom population. The average intake is very low and in 1991 had further decreased to about half that found in 1988. The results of specific studies on the effect of lead fall-out from the atmosphere on the food chain, which would include lead from petrol, were reported in 1989 in "Food Surveillance Paper" No. 27 published by HMSO.

Rules and Regulations

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the rules and regulations in his Department which have been withdrawn in the last 12 months, or which his Department plans to withdraw in the next 12 months; and what impact this will have on his Department's manpower.

Mr. Waldergrave [holding answer 6 February 1995]: The following rules and regulations were revoked by my Department over the last 12 months. Many, however, were replaced by new, but wherever possible less burdensome, legislation. The Department is continuing to identify rules and regulations for withdrawal. Those for withdrawal in the next 12 months will be announced as and when consultations are completed. The manpower implications will be taken into account in the Department's central manpower plans which will be published in the Department's annual report in March:

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The Milk Marketing Scheme 1933, SR and 1933/789 as amended. Part 1 of the Agriculture Marketing Act 1958, in relation to milk.

The Common Agricultural Policy (Wine) Regulations 1993, SI 1993/517 as amended.

The Pig Carcase (Grading) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/180 as amended.

The Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) Regulations 1993, SI 1993/2631 as amended.

The Poultry Meat (Hygiene) Regulations 1976, SI 1976/221 as amended.

The Diary Produce Quotas Regulations 1993, SI 1993/923 as amended.

The Agricultural Holdings (Units of Production) Order 1993, SI 1993/2037.

The Sea Fishing (Enforcement of Community Quota Measures) Order 1993, SI 1993/387.

The Third Country Fishing (Enforcement) Order 1993, SI 1993/1197.

The Sea Fishing (Enforcement of Community Control Measures) Order 1993, SI 1993/2016.

The Sea Fishing (Enforcement of Community Conservation Measures) (Amendment) (No. 5) Order 1992, SI 1992/2936.

The Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Food) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/1378.

The Movement and Sale of Pigs Order 1975, SI 1975/203 as amended.

The Movement of Animals (Records) Order 1960, SI 1960/105 as amended, in relation to pigs and bovine animals.

The Markets, Sales and Lairs Order 1925, SR and O 1925/1349 as amended, in relation to pigs.

Articles 8 (1)(a) and (e) and 18 The Swine Fever Order 1963, SI 1963/286.

The Bovine Animals (Identification Marking and Breeding Records) Order 1990, SI 1990/1867 as amended.

Article 14 (3) to (6) and (8) (b) of The Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990, SI 1990/2628.

The Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992, SI 1992/3304.

The Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981 SI 1981/1051, in relation to the export of animals to another member state.

The Poultry Pens, Fittings and Receptacles (Disinfection) Order 1952, SI 1952/437 as amended.

The Poultry Premises and Vehicles (Disinfection) Order 1956, SI 1965/11.

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The Fowl Pest (Infected Areas Restrictions) Order 1956, SI 1956/1611 as amended.

The Live Poultry (Movement Records) Order 1958, SI 1958/1344. The Fowl Pest Orders (Amendment) Order 1983, SI 1983/941. The Infectious Diseases of Poultry Order 1986, SI 1986/1755. The Racing Pigeons (Vaccination) Order 1994, SI 1994/944. The Medicines (Leaflets for Veterinary Drugs) Regulations 1993, (SI 1983/1727.

The Medicines (Veterinary Medicinal Products) (Applications for Product Licences) Regulations 1983, SI 1993/2398 as amended. The Medicines (Labelling) Regulations 1976, except for regulations 9 and 13, SI 1976/1726 as amended in respect of veterinary drugs placed on the market in accordance with the Marketing Authorisations for Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations 1994.

The Medicines (Veterinary Drugs) (Renewal Applications for Licences and Animal Test Certificates) Regulations 1993 SI 1993/1227.

The Medicines (Restriction on the Administration of Veterinary Medicinal Products) Regulations 1983, SI 1983/1732.

Article 4 of the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974, SI 1974/2211 as amended, in respect of commercially traded cats and dogs from other member states.

The Medicines (Fees Relating to Medicinal Products for Animal Use) Regulations 1992, SI 1992/694.

The Welfare of Livestock (Intensive Units) Regulations 1978, SI 1978/1800 as amended.

The Welfare of Battery Hens Regulations 1987, SI 1987/2020. The Welfare of Calves Regulations 1987, SI 1987/2021.

The Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1990, SI 1990/1445. The Welfare of Pigs Regulations 1991, SI 1991/1477.

The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Compensation Order 1990, SI 1990/222.

The Seeds (National Lists of Varieties) (Fees) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/617 as amended.

The Plant Breeders' Rights (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 1993, SI 1993/430.

The Marek's Disease (Restriction on Vaccination) Order 1987, SI 1987/905.

Partial revocation of The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Radioactivity in Sheep) (England) Order 1991, SI 1991/6.

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Income Support (Mortgages)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what discussions he has had with the Council of Mortgage Lenders regarding changes in income support for mortgage interest; what views he received from the council; what plans he has to review his decision; and what further plans he has to meet the Council of Mortgage Lenders for further discussions of his proposals.

Mr. Roger Evans: We have on-going discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders and will continue to do so throughout the consultation process. The council has expressed concern about the possible impact of the proposals. We are listening carefully to its concerns but believe that these proposals will result in the development of comprehensive quality insurance and will provide better protection for all home owners, not just those who currently get help from income support mortgage interest.

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