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'000 tonnes |High |Low ------------------------ 2000 |2.596|2.050 2005 |2.200|1.890 2010 |2.332|1.889
These figures represent 47 to 58 per cent., 53 to 61 per cent. and 52 to 61 per cent. reductions respectively against 1980 sulphur emissions. The protocol requires reductions in sulphur emissions against 1980 levels of 80 per cent. by 2010, to be achieved through intermediate targets of 50 per cent. by 2000 and 70 per cent. by 2005.
There have been considerable changes since these projections were prepared and the Government expect to produce revised projections this year, taking account of recent developments. These will provide a basis for consultation on a national strategy to achieve the protocol commitments.
Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many properties that are designated for sale have been empty in each of the wards within the borough of Westminster in the last (a) three months, (b) six months, (c) nine months, (d) 12 months and (e) 24 months.
Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the district auditor's interim report on Westminster city council's designated sales policy has caused his Department to review guidelines on relationships between members and officials in the control of local councils.
Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines have been issued to local authorities since the district auditor's interim report on Westminster city council's designated sales policy; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Government have said that they will consider whether there are any general lessons to be learned, when it is possible to do so without prejudice to the particular case in question. No guidelines have been issued by the Secretary of State to local authorities concerning housing sales since the district auditor published his provisional findings on the allegations relating to council house sales in Westminster, in January 1994. Designated sales take place under long- standing statutory consents for voluntary sales of housing as part of authorities' normal activities. Revised consents were issued in September 1994 and my Department is currently consulting the local authority associations on further revisions to those consents.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Local authorities wishing to engage consultants must follow their own standing orders and obtain value for money. In this regard, the Audit Commission, in 1994, produced a good practice guide for local authorities called "Reaching the Peak? Getting Value for Money from Management Consultants".
Mr. Hawksley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals his inspectors have heard against the refusal of councils to grant planning consent to McDonalds Restaurants Ltd.; and what were the results of the appeals in each of the last three years.
Sir Paul Beresford: I understand that English Partnerships has reached agreement with British Gas about the grant required to develop phase I of the site and that a survey will be completed this month for British Gas to establish ground conditions on phase II of the site. A formal submission to the board of English Partnerships will be made shortly after that about the offer of a grant to British Gas.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will investigate whether the secondary liquid fuel currently being burned by Rugby Cement at Barrington should be reclassified as hazardous waste.
Mr. Atkins: It is for waste regulation authorities to decide whether or not a material should be classified as a waste under the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994, and, if so, whether that waste should be considered special, under the Special Waste Regulations 1980. The Department of the Environment has issued guidance on what is a waste and what is not in its circular 11/94, and on how to determine whether or not a waste is special in waste management paper No. 23. I understand that Cambridge waste regulation authority has taken the view that the material in question is not waste.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library copies of representations made to him relating to his decision over whether to call in the planning application for a leisure development at Whitechapel moors, north Devon.
Sir Paul Beresford: I will arrange for the hon. Member to receive copies of all the representations made about the proposed leisure development at Whitechapel moors, north Devon, as it would not be appropriate to place copies in the Library. Copies of all these representations have already been sent to the agents acting for the applicant and North Devon district council.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what considerations underlay his Department's delay in calling in the planning application for a leisure development at Whitechapel moors, north Devon.
Sir Paul Bereford: I refer the hon. Member to the answers that I gave him on 2 November 1994, Official Report , columns 1152-53 . There was no undue delay in calling in the planning application. On 21 December 1994 North Devon district council wrote to the Government office for the south- west indicating that it had resolved to grant planning permission for a leisure development at Whitechapel moors, north Devon. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State took full account of all the planning issues involved, and the representations received, and called in the application for his own determination on 19 January 1995--15 working days after receipt of the council's letter.
The planning issues which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wants considered at the public inquiry are set out in the call-in letter issued by the Government office for the south-west.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total amount of housing benefit paid in the last year for which figures are available to private tenants renting properties previously acquired from local authorities under the right-to-buy scheme.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The cost of work undertaken by the Valuation Office agency on council tax banding proposals and appeals in England between 1 April 1993 and 31 December 1994 was £56.2 million. During the same period, the running costs of the valuation tribunals in dealing with all types of appeal, including non-domestic rating, council tax liability and valuation, were £18 million. Non-domestic rating cases accounted for a majority of this figure, but no exact breakdown is available.
Column 673exemption from council tax under each category of exemption.
As at 7 June 1994 |000s ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A. Empty dwellings where works are required, under way or recently completed |89.5 B. Empty dwellings owned by charities |1.5 C. Dwellings left empty and unfurnished |201.5 D. Dwellings left empty by prisoners |1.0 E. Dwellings left empty by patients in hospitals and care homes |31.6 F. Dwellings left empty by deceased persons |57.5 G. Dwellings which are unfit etc. |10.4 H. Empty clergy dwellings |1.2 I. Dwellings left empty by people receiving care |5.9 J. Dwellings left empty by people providing care |0.7 K. Dwellings left empty by students |2.1 L. Repossessed dwellings |31.9 M. Halls of residence |9.2 N. Dwellings occupied solely by students or school leavers |98.5 O. Armed forces' accommodation |61.9 P. Visiting forces' accommodation |14.0 Q. Dwellings left empty by bankrupts |0.6 R. Vacant caravan sites and moorings |0.5 Total |620.0
The number of dwellings on the valuation list, including the 620, 000 listed was 20,216,303.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the factors taken into account in the calculation of local authorities' standard spending assessments in order of importance.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The amounts allocated by each of the main indicators in the standard spending assessment formula for 1994-95 were set out in the standard spending assessment handbook 1994 95, a copy of which was placed in the Library. The corresponding figures for the SSAs for 1995 96 will be set out in the next edition of the handbook which is expected to be published in April.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: In central London, where the problem of rough sleeping is greatest, a count undertaken last November by voluntary sector agencies found 288 people sleeping rough, of whom two were aged under 18 and a further 45 aged 18 to 25.
Outside central London, I know of no reliable information about the number of young homeless people. It is properly the responsibility of each local authority to consider the housing needs of all people in their area, including young homeless people.
Mr. Atkins: I have today published a consultation paper continuing the review of navigation functions of the British Waterways Board and the National Rivers Authority recommended by the Select Committee on the Environment. I intend to consider carefully the views of those who respond and, therefore, I cannot yet say what effect the outcome of this consultation exercise may have on the future of the British Waterways Board.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what study his Department has made of changes in air pollution levels in (a) Manchester and (b) other United Kingdom cities; what comparable information he has about the situation in major industrial cities elsewhere in the EU; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins: Changes in annual average levels of pollution in Manchester and other United Kingdom cities are set out in the 16th edition of the Department of the Environment "Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Information on levels of pollution in major industrial cities elsewhere in the European Union is not held centrally.
A European topic centre of the European Environment Agency on air quality has been established to assess, among other issues, environmental data requirements, collection and reporting, with a view to improving information on urban air quality across Europe.
Mr. Atkins: The production of halons, chlorofluorocarbons and carbon tetrachloride has already ceased, and methyl chloroform will cease by the end of this year. The Community has introduced a new European regulation which phases out hydrochlorofluorocarbons by 2015. This is directly applicable in United Kingdom law.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Column 675five years by his Department in relation to a consultancy contract.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list (a) the planned average rent, (b) the planned actual average rent rise and (c) the planned percentage rent rise of each of the London boroughs.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Local authorities set their own rents and are currently in the process of doing so for 1995 96. For the purposes of calculating housing revenue account subsidy, each authority is given an average weekly guideline rent. These are as follows for all London boroughs for 1995 96:
Guideline rents Rents Increase over 1994-95 Borough |(£) |(£) |(per cent.) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Barking and Dagenham |36.98 |2.82 |8.2 Barnet |46.84 |2.51 |5.7 Bexley |39.59 |2.82 |7.7 Brent |44.40 |2.82 |6.8 Bromley |43.62 |1.82 |4.4 Camden |42.88 |2.82 |7.0 City of London |44.98 |1.82 |4.2 Croydon |48.57 |2.82 |6.2 Ealing |47.04 |2.82 |6.4 Enfield |45.96 |2.82 |6.1 Greenwich |44.06 |2.82 |6.4 Hackney |39.79 |2.82 |7.1 Hammersmith and Fulham |49.39 |2.82 |6.1 Haringey |48.49 |2.82 |6.2 Harrow |49.29 |2.82 |6.1 Havering |43.92 |2.82 |6.9 Hillingdon |44.15 |2.82 |6.8 Hounslow |41.56 |2.82 |7.3 Islington |44.76 |2.82 |6.7 Kensington and Chelsea |58.50 |2.82 |5.1 Kingston upon Thames |49.11 |2.82 |6.1 Lambeth |39.35 |2.82 |7.7 Lewisham |43.17 |2.82 |7.0 Merton |44.00 |1.89 |4.5 Newham |40.14 |2.82 |7.6 Redbridge |46.56 |1.82 |4.1 Richmond upon Thames |46.60 |2.82 |6.4 Southwark |44.86 |2.82 |6.7 Sutton |45.12 |2.82 |6.7 Tower Hamlets |39.80 |2.82 |7.6 Waltham Forest |42.07 |2.82 |7.2 Wandsworth |48.93 |1.82 |3.9 Westminster |50.93 |1.82 |3.7
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, column 411, how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.
Sir Paul Beresford: No central record is maintained of the total number of appointments made by the Department. However, information readily available indicates that 105 public appointments were made during 1994.
Sir Paul Beresford: Since April 1992, there has been a reduction of more than 500,000 in the number of unemployed. In that time, my Department's policies have been successful in creating or safeguarding over 340,000 jobs.
Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he proposes to take to assist small firms to improve their environmental performance when the European Community eco-management and audit scheme becomes fully operational in April.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Government strongly supports the EC eco- management and audit scheme which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will be launching on 10 April. The scheme will give public recognition, throughout the European Union, to manufacturing businesses which adopt a positive approach to managing their environmental impacts. I am now delighted to be able to announce that we will be introducing a new grant to help small companies participate. The grant will be known as the small company environmental and energy management assistance scheme or SCEEMAS. SCEEMAS will be an adaptation of the existing energy management assistance scheme. It will help small firms address the whole spectrum of environmental issues facing them. Energy will remain an important element since the scope for saving energy must always be considered in establishing an environmental management system. Eligibility will be confined to manufacturing industry and to firms with fewer than 250 employees.
The details of the grant will be refined over the next few weeks and its management will be contracted out, subject to satisfactory competitive tenders being received. I expect SCEEMAS to come into operation during May.
To make way for SCEEMAS, the existing grant scheme will be phased out over the next year. Fresh applications under the existing scheme will be allowed up to 31 March; applications for successive stages will be allowed up to 29 September; with final claims allowed up to 31 January 1996. My officials will be writing to consultants involved in the scheme in the next few days, explaining the arrangements. The new grant should play an important role in promoting environmental management among smaller firms, and assisting them to become more competitive.
Mr. Simon Coombs: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he has taken to continue the review of British Waterways and the National Rivers Authority's navigation functions recommended by the Environment Select Committee.
Mr. Atkins: I have today published a consultation paper continuing the review of British Waterways' and the National Rivers Authority's navigation functions begun in 1991. Copies have been placed in the House libraries.
Column 677The paper seeks views on how we might secure the best possible stewardship of our waterways for future generations. A number of options are identified, including those of transferring all the NRA's existing navigations to BW and vice versa, achieving more effective management through closer co-operation between existing authorities, and the possibility of creating a new single statutory authority for navigation. Our waterways are a unique asset and must serve a wide range of interests and uses. This consultation aims to give all those concerned about the waterways the opportunity to make their views on the best way forward known to Government.
Mr. Curry: I have today given my approval for Docklands Light Railway Ltd. to shortlist four private consortia to tender for the concession to finance, build, own and maintain the extension of the DLR to Lewisham, under the Government's private finance initiative. The competition is expected to last about nine months, with the concession contract being concluded before the end of this year. Construction should start in 1996, and the extension should then open to passenger services in 1999.
Private sector interest in the project has been strong, with seven consortia representing a wide range of finance, construction and project management expertise from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan competing to prequalify. The four selected by DLR Ltd. to proceed to tendering are, in alphabetical order:
Brown and Root, AMEC and Dragados
Docklands Link Group
Lewisham Extension Company
Light Rail Group.
In his statement last October, the Secretary of State indicated that the project could not be financially viable with Cutty Sark station included and that the station could therefore be built only if its costs were to be met in full by third parties. He said that contributors should agree unconditionally and contractually by the end of January 1995 to meet the actual costs of the station as they arose during the construction period. I have to report that no funding package was submitted by third parties. The tender documents to be issued by DLR Ltd. for the Lewisham project will therefore make it clear that bids are being invited on the basis of six stations, without provision for a station at Cutty Sark.
Greenwich council, local landowners and other interested bodies wish to discuss with the four prequalified bidders for the Lewisham extension the possibility of their making separate contractual and financial arrangements to provide a station at Cutty Sark. Those discussions must neither delay the Lewisham project nor prejudice its financial arrangements. The decision whether to enter into negotiations or reach an agreement with the council and other local interests will be for the private bidders to make, according to their own commercial judgment. I have asked DLR Ltd. to provide information, as requested, to assist any discussions between third parties.
Column 678I am pleased to confirm that the Lewisham line will have a new station at Island Gardens just north of the river, which will be 600 m from Cutty Sark via the Thames foot tunnel and another alongside the Greenwich BR station, some 700 m south west of the Cutty Sark. Further south it will have stations at Deptford Bridge, Elverson Road and Lewisham town centre, all in the Deptford city challenge area. The extension will therefore dramatically improve access to Greenwich and Lewisham, and provide new cross-river access to and from the City, Docklands and Stratford for local residents, tourists and north Kent commuters. It will be a splendid addition to the capital's public transport network and will reinforce the Government's commitment to promote regeneration in the Thames gateway.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the provision for credit liabilities as at 31 March 1994; and what is his estimate of the total of the provision for credit liabilities represented by cash for each local authority and its total for England.
The Department has no detailed information as to the extent to which these amounts are represented by cash held by local authorities, but is aware that many authorities have made use of the cash involved to meet their financing needs.
Sir Paul Beresford [holding answer 13 February 1995]: Proposals for minerals extraction in Hampshire are set out in the deposit draft of the Hampshire minerals and waste local plan, which is due to be considered at a public local inquiry commencing on 21 March. There are no proposals in the draft plan for gravel working in the Avon valley.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 6 February, Official Report, columns 15 18, if he will name and provide a grid reference for each countryside stewardship site; and if he will indicate those sites where access is available beyond September 2004.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 14 February 1995]: A list of the names of countryside stewardship sites has been placed in the House Library. Details of grid references of sites are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Countryside stewardship agreements are signed for 10 years. Contractual obligations to provide access under current stewardship agreements will not extend beyond September 2004 when the last of these agreements terminate. Existing rights of way are unaffected.
Sir John Wheeler: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Compensation Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Denis Stanley. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Denis Stanley to Ms Majorie Mowlam, dated 13 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me to reply, on behalf of the Compensation Agency, to your recent Question regarding criminal damage and emergency provisions compensation. The following amounts of compensation were paid out on criminal damage and emergency provisions in each of the last ten years:
|£ million |Emergency |Criminal damage|provisions Year |compensation |compensation ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |19.9 |Not available 1985-86 |17.2 |Not available 1986-87 |15.2 |0.3 1987-88 |19.0 |0.6 1988-89 |20.6 |1.3 1989-90 |22.1 |1.2 1990-91 |22.7 |1.7 1991-92 |33.1 |1.9 1992-93 |75.9 |2.8 1993-94 |67.9 |2.6
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report , column 168 , if he will list the 58 consultants who undertook assignments under the small firms fair employment scheme.
Coopers and Lybrand
DTM Management Consultants
Engineering Employers Federation
P. E. Scullion and Co.
Ernst and Young