|Previous Section||Home Page|
Column 416seasonally adjusted basis. In February 1994 16,600 dwellings were started.
These figures are as reported to the Department together with estimates for those local authorities which have not sent in statistical returns for their districts. They cover the total of housebuilding by private builders, housing associations and the public sector.
Figures for February 1995 are not yet available.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the role of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution at the planning inquiry into the application by Nirex to build a rock characterisation facility at Longlands farm.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with the chief executive of Wandsworth council, Mr. Gerald Jones, on the report of Mr. Rowland Little, the appointed auditor for the council, on the council's housing, homeless, and temporary accommodation policies; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the present number of homeless families from the London borough of Wandsworth who have now been placed in bed-and-breakfast or temporary accommodation outside the borough.
(2) how many local authority properties in the London borough of Wandsworth have been sold under the priority sales scheme in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Tables presenting latest available information on total sales of council homes reported by each local authority from 1979 80 to March 1994 are in the Library. These also show the number of sales made under right-to-buy legislation, but information collected on other sales does not identify individual schemes within a local authority.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The publications "Housebuilding in England by Local Authority Area: 1980 to 1989" and "Local Housing Statistics" show estimates of housebuilding completions in local authority areas of London. They show completions by sector, including activity by local authorities.
"Housebuilding in England by Local Authority Area: 1980 to 1989" shows figures for the period 1980 to 1984. "Local Housing Statistics" shows figures for later years: Issue No. 103 covers the years 1985 to 1990; No. 105 covers 1991; No. 106 covers 1992; and No. 110 covers 1993. Copies of these publications are in the Library.
Local authorities' primary housing tasks are now the efficient management of their own stock of housing and enabling other organisations to provide new housing, and Housing associations are the main providers of new social housing.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The information requested is available in a table in the Library which summarises the reported data on homeless households accepted for permanent rehousing by each local authority in England for the years 1979 to 1993.
Column 418waiting lists in the London borough of Wandsworth in each of the last five years.
programme--HIP--returns submitted by Wandsworth show the following numbers of households on their housing waiting lists on the 1 April in each of the last five years:
(2) how many local authority properties in the London borough of Wandsworth are for sale.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The latest information held by my Department relates to dwellings vacant on 1 April 1994 when Wandsworth borough council reported a total of 615 vacant dwellings, of which 439 dwellings were to be sold. The data comes from its 1994 housing investment programme return, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evaluation he has made of the delivery and adequacy of support to small and medium-sized enterprises via objective 1; and whether the range of support on offer meets their needs.
It is early days to make an evaluation of that support, since projects are only starting to get underway. We will be monitoring and evaluating objective 1 projects closely.
Mr. Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 1 February, Official Report, columns 685 86, on what date he expects the background information on the need for new social housing lettings to be published.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if housing associations are regarded by his Department as subject to management supervision by his Department or by the Housing Corporation for the purpose of the EU public procurement directive.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: No, but the Government are considering the position of housing associations in the light of a recent ruling by the European court regarding similar bodies in another state, and legal opinions brought to my Department's attention. I will write to the hon. Member when we have completed this further consideration.
Number of people employed by Hampshire County Council in General Services (excluding Law & Order services) at June of each year: Year |Numbers employed --------------------------------------------------- 1979 |51,748 1980 |47,419 1981 |48,669 1982 |47,573 1983 |48,366 1984 |48,248 1985 |48,141 1986 |50,764 1987 |51,698 1988 |52,518 1989 |51,152 1990 |50,427 1991 |49,746 1992 |50,831 1993 |43,451 1994 |44,395 Source: Joint Staffing watch for England Notes: (i) Polytechnics and higher education institutions were transferred from the local authority sector in April 1989. (ii) Further education institutions became the responsibility of the Further Education Funding Council in April 1993.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the annual expenditure of Hampshire county council each year since 1979 expressed in cash terms, real terms and as a real term percentage increase or decrease on 1979 and on the previous year.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The available information is as follows. There were two changes in the system of financing authorities in the period covered by the figures in the table, along with a number of changes in local authority responsibilities. In particular, in April 1989 responsibility for polytechnics was taken out of local authority control, and in April 1993 responsibility for further education was transferred to the Further Education Funding Council. Net revenue expenditure increased in 1994 95 through expenditure financed by the care in the community special grant. For these reasons it is not always valid to make comparisons either between financial systems, or between years within a financial system.
Hampshire county council expenditure |Real increase over|Real increase over |Cash |1994-95 prices |1982-83 figure |previous year |£ million |£ million |Percentage |Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total expenditure (outturn) 1982-83 |458.251 |825.546 |- |-- 1983-84 |473.714 |815.577 |-1.2 |-1.2 1984-85 |482.349 |791.427 |-4.1 |-3.0 1985-86 |500.475 |777.786 |-5.8 |-1.7 1986-87 |529.511 |798.813 |-3.2 |2.7 1987-88 |578.833 |829.076 |0.4 |3.8 1988-89 |628.143 |843.278 |2.1 |1.7 1989-90 |658.829 |826.728 |0.1 |-2.0 Net Revenue Expenditure to compare with SSA (outturn) 1990-91 |724.996 |842.270 |2.0 |1.9 1991-92 |809.140 |884.448 |7.1 |5.0 1992-93 |888.472 |933.971 |13.1 |5.6 1993-94 |840.713 |857.527 |3.9 |-8.2 1994-95<1> |935.579 |935.579 |13.3 |9.1 Note: <1>Budget estimate.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The latest available estimates of the level of reserves as at 1 April 1994 are as follows. The authorities are ranked by order of reserves excluding those held by schools, non-LMS; schools' reserves are shown separately, LMS. The first column, non-LMS reserves, includes funds, which may be substantial, held for specified purposes which may not be available to the council for general use, for example funds to finance capital projects to which the authority is committed; and insurance funds where the authority is bearing its own
Column 420insurance risks. These estimates are subject to amendment as authorities finalise their accounts. Compatible data on the use of balances in 1994 95 which would be needed to derive an estimate of the level of reserves at 1 April 1995 is not yet available.
Estimated level of reserves at 1 April 1994 County Councils |Non-LMS |LMS |£000 |£000 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Nottingham |-1,492 |14,965 Shropshire |-557 |7,789 Isle of Wight |2,258 |1,516 Leicestershire |2,540 |14,305 Northamptonshire |2,629 |10,191 Dorset |3,510 |6691 Derbyshire |6,732 |13,078 Bedfordshire |7,114 |15,674 Cumbria |7,822 |3,514 Warwickshire |8,576 |7,015 Hereford and Worcester |10,305 |14,112 West Sussex |12,070 |4,748 Gloucestershire |12,252 |7,041 Durham |12,549 |7,810 Oxfordshire |13,162 |12,395 Cleveland |13,474 |9,239 Northumberland |14,573 |3,666 Suffolk |14,982 |13,120 Avon |16,205 |11,403 Wiltshire |17,260 |6.697 Humberside |23,735 |8.701 Cornwall |24,354 |7,371 North Yorkshire |24,776 |11,828 Norfolk |24,791 |9,059 East Sussex |29,181 |5,829 Somerset |30,901 |5,575 Cheshire |30,979 |17,584 Lincolnshire |32,774 |13,876 Hertfordshire |32,881 |23,522 Kent |35,234 |12,513 Staffordshire |38,073 |10,351 Buckinghamshire |38,981 |8,609 Lancashire |39,138 |32,976 Berkshire |39,574 |43,883 Devon |41,419 |10,439 Cambridgeshire |48,602 |7,930 Essex |49,465 |25,039 Hampshire |67,407 |25,310 Surrey |69,410 |5,545 Source: Level of reserves (outturn) at 1/4/93 appropriations to/withdrawals from reserves 1993-94 (RS returns for 1993-94).
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The period for responses to my Department's consultation paper on the case for licensing houses in multiple occupation closed on 18 February. Several of these responses drew attention to the particular problems associated with student accommodation. We are now considering what action to take in the light of these responses and an announcement will be made in due course.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines he issues regarding the part councillors who declare an interest in a planning application can take in making decisions on that application.
Sir Paul Beresford: We have issued guidance on disclosure of members interests in DOE circular 8/90--"The National Code of Local Government Conduct", and in DOE circular 9/92--"Pecuniary Interests of Members of Local Authorities".
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the present position with regard to the proposed special protection area on the Northumberland coast; if he will make a statement; what plans he has to introduce restrictions on the collection of bait from the foreshore on the north-east coastline; and what powers he has to designate an area for protection when it is to the seaward side of the mean low water mark.
Sir Paul Beresford: My officials are consulting owners and occupiers. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans to introduce any restrictions on bait digging above those currently in force at the Lindisfarne national nature reserve. The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 provide for the designation of European marine sites.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many sites of special scientific interest have been (a) damaged and (b) destroyed by(i) development and (ii) other means in England in each year since 1979.
Sir Paul Beresford: The information is not available in the form requested. Statistical information on damage to SSSIs in Great Britain between 1 April 1984 and 31 March 1991 is set out in the annual reports of the former Nature Conservancy Council. Since 1 April 1991, similar detail for England is contained in English Nature's annual reports. Copies of annual reports are in the Library.
Mr. Atkins: Reliable figures are not available in the form requested. However, two surveys carried out for my Department covering the periods 1984 1990 and 1990 1993 indicated net losses of hedgerow in England of 85,000 km and 49,000 km respectively. These figures include losses caused by lack of management as well as by deliberate removal. The latest survey showed that the rate of removal of hedges during 1990 93 more than halved compared with 1984 90.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The data collected from local authorities on homeless households accepted for permanent re-housing does not differentiate between households from rural and non-rural areas. A summary print showing the reported acceptances in each local
Column 423authority area in England for the years 1979 to 1993 is in the Library.
Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement concerning facilities and arrangements for disabled people working in or visiting his Department's new building, Eland house.
Sir Paul Beresford: Eland house is currently under construction and will then be fitted out by my Department. It is my policy that we should follow best practice in providing facilities for disabled persons and we will ensure that the facilities and arrangements for disabled persons at the new building comply fully with code of practice, BS5810, and part M of the Building Regulations 1991.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, when he expects to announce the location of the proposed enterprise zone on Tyneside following the closure of Swan Hunter's shipyard, following the oral statement of 12 May 1993, Official Report, columns 801 02.
Sir Paul Beresford: The three local authorities concerned, and the Tyne and Wear development corporation, have submitted a package of sites for consideration. This is currently being examined by Ministers and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the implications for the protection of the environment which will result from the agreement reached between British Nuclear Fuels plc and Scottish Nuclear, for the long-term management and reprocessing of spent thermal oxide nuclear fuels at Sellafield.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 7 March 1995]: Any contract entered into by British Nuclear Fuels is a matter for that company, but any operations at Sellafield which result from such a contract will have to comply with the limits and conditions of the site discharge authorisations. Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution is satisfied that compliance with these authorisations will fully protect the environment.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to restore the Assembly chamber at Parliament buildings, Stormont, after the fire; and if the new chamber will be a replication of the previous design and decor.
Mr. Moss: Following the completion of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and forensic investigation, the process of salvaging material which might assist with restoration has begun, as has a detailed examination of the extent of the damage. When these exercises are
Column 424completed, a decision will be taken on the restoration of the chamber.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to receive the report from Sir Reginald Doyle on the fire and related matters at the Parliament buildings, Stormont.
RUC regular age band |Number --------------------------------------------------------------- 20 and under |7 21-25 |430 26-30 |1,544 31-35 |2,036 36-40 |1,658 41-45 |1,203 46-50 |853 51-55 |502 56-60 |221 61 and over |14 Total |8,468
RUC Reserve (Full-time) Age band |Number ------------------------------- 20 and Under |2 21-25 |287 26-30 |620 31-35 |642 36-40 |431 41-45 |360 46-50 |320 51-55 |261 56-60 |228 61 and Over |31 Total |3,182
RUC reserve (part-time) Age band |Number ------------------------------- 20 and Under |9 21-25 |149 26-30 |221 31-35 |233 36-40 |205 41-45 |209 46-50 |173 51-55 |168 56-60 |114 61 and Over |20 Total |1,501
Sir John Wheeler: The Northern Ireland citizens charter which was published on 5 February 1992 cost £30,000 to produce and £4,200 to distribute. It is sold through HMSO at a cost of £8.50 per copy. A free summary guide is available from the Northern Ireland citizens charter unit on a freephone number, 0800 243174, and by using a freepost address, Freepost BE111 Belfast BT4 3SX, and at libraries and citizen's advice bureaux offices.
Copies of the main charter can be inspected at libraries and citizen's advice bureaux offices.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the costs of production and distribution of, and the availability of the charters of the Government Departments in Northern Ireland, with special reference to (a) the patients and clients charter,
Column 426(b) the Social Security Agency charter, (c) the Training and Employment Agency charter, (d) the Northern Ireland Housing Executive charter (e) the Northern Ireland railways charter, (f) the Royal Ulster Constabulary charter, (g) the Ulsterbus and Citybus charter, (h) the Child Support Agency charter, (i) the Driver and Vehicle Licensing (Northern Ireland) charter and (j) the Courts and Compensation Agency charter.
Individual public service organisations are responsible for producing and distributing their own charters for those who use their services. The table shows costs and other details of production and distribution in so far as they are available centrally.
Northern Ireland citizens charters and charter standard statements Charter/Charter |Cost of Publication |Cost of Distribution |Where available Statement |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Patients and Clients |67,218 |18,110 |All health and personal social services | (includes the | (includes the | bodies and related organisations. | summary guide) | summary guide) | A summary guide was produced and | distributed to every household in | Northern Ireland Social Security Agency Customer Charter |4,443 |60 approx |Copies were issued to voluntary | organisations, Chief Librarians and | advice bodies. Copies available in all | Social Security Agency Offices Training and Employment Agency Customers |11,000 |None |All Agency local offices Charter Parents Charter |105,000 |9,000 |On request from the Department of | Education. Copies were distributed, at | the launch in September 1992, through | schools, to all parents Northern Ireland Housing Executive Tenants |61,817 |38,532 |Initially copies were posted at the launch Charter | of the Charter in September 1992 to all | tenants. New tenants get a copy on | signing the tenancy agreement. All | district offices of the NIHE | have copies Northern Ireland Railways Passengers Charter |30,000 |None |Libraries, government outlets and all main | NI Railways stations. Royal Ulster Constabulary Charter |25,000 |- |All RUC stations and RUC Headquarters | (includes cost | of publication, | distribution and | advertising Ulsterbus/Citybus Passengers Charter |10,611 |Minimal as copies |At bus stations | were placed in bus | stations Child Support Agency (NI) Charter |66,175 |£60 |The Charter was widely distributed on the | (includes reprint | launch of the Agency in April 1993 and | costs incurred in | copies are available from the Agency's | November 1994) | headquarters and each of its seven | local offices. NI Court Services |5,065 |Less than £500 |NI Court Service, Communications Unit, | Court Offices, Citizen Advice Bureaux | offices and public libraries | throughout NI Redundancy Service |1,514 |None |Redundancy Services Offices, Training | and Employment Agency offices, | Social Security Agency | office and Citizen's Advice | Bureaux offices. Driver and Vehicle Licensing (NI) |878 |Minimal as copies |Copies are available in all DVLI local | were placed in offices | local offices Compensation Agency |Publication and |Agency offices, solicitors dealing with | distribution costs | compensation claims, Citizen Advice | total £500 | Bureaux and Victims Support Groups Valuation and Lands Agency |1,485 |None-distributed |Copies are available at Agency | by Agency Staff | Headquarters, District Offices and | as part of their | Rate Collection Offices |duties Belfast Action Teams |8,245 |600 |Belfast Action Team offices, local | libraries and on request. Copies were | also circulated within NI Government | Departments Government Purchasing Service |850 |Minimal - |From all Government Purchasing Service | distributed at | Managers and Headquarters | seminars and on | request by post Our Service Standards (Department |12,800 |5,500 |Approximately 30,000 copies of Agriculture NI) | distributed to individual addresses. | Copies are also available from | Divisional Veterinary Offices, | County Agricultural Development | Offices, District Forest Offices | and the Department's | Communications Unit
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much of the £4 million planned for the Forensic Science Laboratory in Northern Ireland in 1994 95 was spent preparing to become an executive agency.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what reason there is a planned decrease in spending between 1994 and 1997 in (a) industry, energy, trade and employment, (b) transport and (c) environmental and miscellaneous services referred to in table 1.1 of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities 1994 95 to 1996 97".
Sir John Wheeler: The planned decreases in Northern Ireland public expenditure cash plans in these areas is accounted for mainly by the completion of the privatisation payments to Harland and Wolff and Shorts-- industry, energy, trade and employment; the completion of the Belfast cross -harbour bridge--transport; and a rephasing of capital expenditure on water and sewerage--environmental and miscellaneous services.
Column 428on which £25 million will be spent on the police building programme, referred to in table 4.3 of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities 1994 95 to 1996 97".
Sir John Wheeler: Table 4.3 of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities 1994 95 to 1996 97" shows the Police Authority for Northern Ireland's plans, as at 31 March 1994, to take forward work, on construction projects valued at more than £50,000 each, costing a total of £25 million in the 1995 96 year.
At that date, these plans included four new projects--three replacement police stations and a further phase of a regional support centre--costing a total of £6 million, in the 1995 96 year. The remainder of the planned expenditure for that year is in respect of on-going projects started in previous years.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the meaning of the term DRC in section 1.5 of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities 1994 95 to 1996 97"; and for what reasons it needed an increase of £13 million allocated to it in 1993 94.
Sir John Wheeler: The term DRC stands for departmental running costs and is explained in paragraph 11.2 of the plans. The £13 million increase, relating to capital and DRC end-year flexibility carryover, was required in 1993 94 due to slippage in planned expenditure in 1992 93.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will provide a breakdown of the £7 million allocated each year to community relations in the years 1994 95 to 1996 97, mentioned in section 1.4 of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities 1994 95 to 1996 97".
Sir John Wheeler: The resources available for community relations are directed at consolidating a range of major initiatives which are designed to increasecross-community contact and encourage greater mutual understanding and respect of different cultures and traditions. Since publication of the current edition of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities 1994 95 to 1996 97", I have announced on 6 December 1994, that the resources available will be increased.
Over the period 1994 95 to 1996 97 these resources will be allocated as follows:
|1994-95|1995-96|1996-97 |£000 |£000 |£000 -------------------------------------------------- Central Community Relations Unit<1> |4,414 |5,307 |5,457 Department of Education for Northern Ireland<2> |2,638 |3,133 |3,333 Department of Finance and Personnel (Policy, Planning and Research Unit<3>) |250 |300 |305 Total |7,302 |8,740 |9,095 <1>These resources will be directed to the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, district council community relations programme, community reconciliation bodies, cultural traditions programme and capital programme. <2> The main elements of DENI's programme are the cross-community contact scheme, cultural traditions programme and voluntary reconciliation bodies. <3>This will support an information, evaluation and research programme.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what reasons table 4.18 of "Northern Ireland Expenditure Plans and Priorities1994 95 to 1996 97" does not contain projected expenditure on (a) the electoral service and (b) the state pathology service; and what was the actual expenditure on these services in 1994 95 and the projected expenditure in 1995 96 and 1996 97.