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Column 460commissioned through the Scottish Office information directorate. Expenditure by it on all forms of advertising for the period requested is:
|£ ------------------------------ 1994-95 |2,225,000 1993-94 |1,874,000 1992-93 |1,648,000 1991-92 |2,104,000 1990-91 |1,911,000 1989-90 |2,713,000 1988-89 |1,470,000 1987-88 |1,507,000 1986-87 |1,228,000 1985-86 |1,001,000 1984-85 |1,102,000 1983-84 |592,000 1982-83 |664,000 1981-82 |724,000 1980-81 |744,00 1979-80 |629,000
Expenditure on information publications through the information directorate is:
|£ ------------------------------ 1988-89 |630,000 1989-90 |920,000 1990-91 |591,000 1991-92 |824,000 1992-93 |1,107,000 1993-94 |816,000 1994-95 |776,000
All figures expressed in 1994 prices.
Figures not available for information publications before 1988 89. In addition to information publications, my Department has produced many hundreds of specialised publications each of interest to particular target groups. Information on these could be collated only at disproportionate cost.
Details of publicity campaigns for the period from 1 April 1993 to 1 March 1995 are shown in the following table.
|Total cost Campaign |Nature |£ |Purpose --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1993-94 Children's Panels |Press |84,000 |To recruit from all sections of the community, members to | the Children's Panels. Fire Prevention |Press/TV |169,000 |To promote the installation of smoke alarms. Open Door |Press |123,000 |To publicise The Scottish Office Central Enquiry Unit, the | service it provides and to encourage the public to use it. Organ Donor |TV/Press/Print |116,000 |To promote the carrying of donor cards and to advise | card holders to let their next of kin know of their wishes. Road Safety |TV/Metrobus |308,000 |To promote road safety among school-age children. Further and Higher Education |Press/TV/Adshels/ |136,000 |To promote awareness of the new Charter to parents and Charter | Radio/Print | students. Right to Buy |Print/Press/TV |306,000 |A campaign targeted at public sector tenants to make them 1994-95 Drugs and Solvents |Press/TV/Radio/Print |250,000 |To make parents aware of drug and misuse solvent amongst | children and offering booklets containing advice. | Campaign ran in conjunction with Department of Health. Domestic Violence |Press/TV/Print/Posters |482,000 |Targeted at males who assault their partners, the campaign | attempts to change attitudes while stating that domestic | violence is a criminal offence. Children's Panels |Press |86,000 |Repeat of 1993-94 campaign. Electoral Registration |Press/TV |99,000 |A two part campaign: (i) to encourage householders to | complete their electoral registration forms and (ii) to urge | new voters, in particular, to check the draft electoral | registers. Organ Donors |Press/Print |145,000 |A campaign requesting donor card holders to enrol in the | national register. Fire Prevention |TV |231,000 |To promote the maintenance of household smoke alarms. Road Safety |TV |232,000 |Repeat of 1993-94 campaign. Right to Buy |Print/Press/TV |220,000 |Repeat of 1993-94 campaign. Drugs and Solvents Misuse |TV/Radio |90,000 |Repeat of 1993-94 campaign. Water and Sewerage |Print |108,000 |Producing a leaflet for distribution to every Scottish | household to make householders aware of the annual costs | of these services. Local Government Reform |Print |139,000 |Producing a leaflet for distribution to every Scottish | household advising of the changes to the forthcoming | restructuring of local government.
The planned publicity budget for my Department for 1995 96 is £2.5 million.
No records are held centrally regarding publicity campaigns and publications for agencies and public bodies. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will require the local government ombudsman to report annually on the nature of the cases referred to him or her in which he or she has decided to exercise discretion and conduct on investigation notwithstanding the existence of a remedy which could be pursued through the courts. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local councillors have been found guilty of corruption in each year since 1979; and what were their political affiliations. 
Mr. Robert B. Jones: We have received a small number of representations commenting on our decision, announced on 2 March, to direct the commission to look again at the case for giving the districts of Blackpool and Blackburn unitary status. Some have welcomed the decision; others have opposed it.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to obtain for his Department's library a copy of the recent DRI/McGraw-Hill report on carbon dioxide emissions across Europe. 
Column 463cats may have a detrimental effect on some local bird populations, there is no evidence that this is significantly affecting the conservation status of birds at the national level.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what inquiries the Government's Building Research Establishment has made into the use of lindane, gamma BHC or gamma HCH; and what were the results. 
Sir Paul Beresford: The Building Research Establishment has for a number of years conducted research into many aspects of the behaviour, fate and efficacy of lindane when used as a wood preservative. The results of much of this research have been published, either in professional journals or in the research establishment's publications. Some information on the non-agricultural uses of lindane appeared in the review which was published in December 1992--"Evaluation on Gamma HCH (Lindane II; Evaluation No. 64)", a copy of which is lodged in the Library of the House.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the extent of pollution of the North sea by lindane, gamma HCH, gamma BHC or comparable pesticide products; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Information on the North sea distribution of organochlorines such as lindane--gamma HCH--is given in the 1993 "Quality Status Report on the North Sea", with more detailed information in six sub- regional reports produced by the UK. Copies of these reports are in the Library of the House. The highest concentrations of lindane in North sea waters were found in the southern North sea and German bight. Monitoring by UK fisheries departments, reflected in the quality status report, has found little indication of serious organochlorine contamination of fish tissue in our North sea estuaries. Similarly, concentrations of organochlorines in marine mammals stranded on the UK North sea coast are generally low.
Sir Paul Beresford: Both lindane and DDT are organochlorine insecticides. However, lindane is less persistent than other organochlorine pesticides and, as it is excreted rapidly from mammals, has less potential to accumulate in man or wild animals.
hexachlorocyclohexane are used. 
Sir Paul Beresford: This information is already in the public domain for all products containing lindane registered by the Health and Safety Executive or the pesticides safety directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and all these products must indicate that they contain lindane. For products registered up to October 1994, this information is listed in "Pesticides 1995, Reference Book 500"--the Blue Book--a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Any products containing lindane registered since then are listed in the monthly "Pesticides Register" which is produced by the Health and Safety Executive and
Column 464pesticides safety directorate and published by HMSO. I understand that there are no pet care products containing lindane licensed in the UK at present.
Sir Paul Beresford: Under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, Ministers established an independent committee, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, to provide them with advice on the approval of pesticides. Current policy on the approval of lindane is based on the advice of this committee. In 1992, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides considered a substantial body of evidence on the toxicology and behaviour of lindane when it reviewed its use as a non-agricultural pesticide, including as a wood preservative. The advisory committee recommended that approvals should continue as there was no evidence of an unacceptable risk to human health from use of lindane as a wood preservative. The Ministers of the pesticide approving Departments accepted these recommendations.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice is issued by the Building Research Establishment in respect of the number of hours people should stay out of enclosed areas sprayed with lindane, gamma BHC or gamma HCH; what information he has to the comparable advice given to customers by the producers of this product; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Guidance on re-entry periods for occupants of buildings treated with wood preservatives appears on product labels. As such it is a statutory condition for the approval of use of a product, recommended by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides and agreed by Ministers. In the case of lindane, unprotected persons and animals should not re-enter treated buildings for a minimum period of 48 hours and only then if the timber is dry.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he is giving to local authorities who use lindane fumers with insecticide smoke to clear houses of insects and other pests. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Adequate requirements and advice are already in place. Work with lindane is covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994--COSHH. COSHH requires employers to inform, instruct and train their employees about: the nature of the substances they work with; the risks created by exposure to those substances and the precautions to be taken. Under the provisions of the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, conditions of approval and instructions for use appear on lindane pesticide products.
Sir Paul Beresford: Bats are protected animals under schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. All wood preservatives containing lindane carry the statement that: before treating any structure used by bats, English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage or the Country Council for Wales should be consulted. The conservation bodies have lists of products which are acceptable for use in
Column 465roosts; products containing lindane are not recommended for this purpose.
Sir Paul Beresford: In the United Kingdom, concern over the environmental effects of DDT led to reductions in use from the 1960s culminating in a complete ban by 1986. Because of its properties and widespread use, DDT accumulated in the environment, exposing animals higher up the food chain to concentrations which produced various toxic effects. DDT was implicated in the decline in populations of a number of these animals, most notably birds of prey through egg-shell thinning.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will ensure that his ministerial management information system for establishing objectives for his Department, includes deregulation objectives (a) for him and (b) for each of the Ministers within his Department. 
Sir Paul Beresford: The aims and objectives for the Department of the Environment are set through its management information system for Ministers--MINIS. The Department's commitment to the deregulation initiative is reflected in the aims and objectives for the relevant policy areas.
Mr. Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each local authority area (a) the number of empty homes and (b) the proportion of empty homes in (i) the private sector, (ii) the local authority sector and (iii) the housing association sector. 
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Local authorities in England report the numbers of their own dwellings that are vacant at 1 April on their annual housing investment programme--HIP1--return. The latest figures for individual local authorities can be found in section A of the "1994 HIP1 All Items Print", a copy of which is in the Library; figures are given separately for vacant dwellings inside and outside the authority's area.
Housing associations report the numbers of their own dwellings vacant at 31 March on their annual HAR10/1 return. I have today placed in the Library a table giving the reported numbers of vacant housing association dwellings in each local authority area. The listed figures
Column 466are incomplete as there are an estimated 700 vacant dwellings in England--3 per cent. of vacant dwellings--for which an analysis by district is not available.
In addition to providing information on those of their own dwellings that are vacant, local authorities are also asked to provide estimates of the number of private sector and other public sector vacant dwellings in their area on their annual HIP1 returns. The reported information for each local authority can also be found in section A of the "1994 HIP1 All Items Print".
There are doubts about the quality of some of the estimates of these vacants provided by authorities. Information from the 1991 English house condition survey suggests that the England total for the private sector may be an over-estimate, and data from central Government Departments on their own vacant dwellings, for which no geographical breakdown is readily available, indicate that there is under-reporting of public sector vacant dwellings.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what facilities in terms of (a) access to telephones, (b) use of equipment, (c) use of offices, (d) access to ministerial meetings, (e) sight of correspondence, (f) attendance at inter-departmental meetings and (g) access to civil servants are available to specialist advisers in his Department. 
Name |Period ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mr. Patrick Rock |Joined on 1 May 1992, left on 27 May | 1993. Mr. James Gray |Joined on 3 June 1992. Still with the | Department. Mr. Keith Adams |Joined on 28 May 1993. Still with the | Department.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of newly built housing tenancies required to meet demand annually; and how this figure is calculated. 
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Housing Corporation funds housing associations under its approved development programme. My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Housing announced the ADP allocations for 1995 96 on 15 December 1994. Details were placed in the Library of the House. These allocations supersede those made following the 1992 autumn statement.
Mr. Dunn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the housing and non-housing debt for the London boroughs of Lambeth, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Newham, Haringey, Camden, Waltham Forest, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what is the housing and non-housing debt for Birmingham, Leeds Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Bradford and Sheffield; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dunn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the value of the housing and non-housing assets of Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Bradford and Sheffield; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what is the value of the housing and non-housing assets of the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Newham, Haringey, Camden, Waltham Forest, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dunn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how much is owed in (a) domestic rates, (b) community charge and (c) council tax to the London boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Newham, Haringey, Camden, Waltham Forest, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich; and if he will make a statement;  (2) how much is owed in (a) domestic rates, (b) community charge and (c) council tax for Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Bradford and Sheffield; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Information on uncollected domestic rates and community charge for each local authority is not available centrally. However, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy regularly publishes estimates for individual authorities: figures for 31 March 1994 are available in its "Revenue Collection Statistics 1993/94" publication, and are given in the table:
Arrears outstanding at 31 March 1994 for: £(000) |Domestic |Community |rates |charge |Council tax --------------------------------------------------------------- Birmingham |9,615 |<1>n/a |18,406 Leeds |4,061 |<1>n/a |8,386 Liverpool |22,696 |68,402 |10,703 Manchester |<2>n/a |<2>n/a |<3>7,061 Newcastle |<2>n/a |<1>n/a |<3>4,116 Bradford |<2>n/a |<1>n/a |<3>4,378 Sheffield |4,095 |24,907 |7,995 Hackney |16,689 |13,325 |12,824 Islington |<2>n/a |<2>n/a |<3>10,270 Southwark |3,853 |26,215 |7,693 Newham |5,314 |26,183 |7,703 Haringey |5,559 |35,426 |10,917 Camden |55,616 |21,301 |8,742 Waltham Forest |9,683 |20,352 |7,043 Lewisham |<2>n/a |<2>n/a |<3>5,617 Tower Hamlets |8,657 |7,190 |2,639 Greenwich |3,953 |13,735 |5,055 <1> No information was published by CIPFA for these authorities at 31 March 1994. But CIPFA did publish estimates of their Community Charge arrears at 31 March 1993 and they were as in the following table. <2> No information was published by CIPFA for these authorities and these figures are not available centrally. <3> No information was published by CIPFA for these authorities: the figures shown are the Department's estimates on information provided in May 1994.
Community charge arrears |£(000) ------------------------- Birmingham |92,993 Leeds |37,966 Newcastle |24,005 Bradford |21,000
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The available figures are shown in the publication "Housing and Construction Statistics". Figures for housebuilding by housing associations in England between 1988 and 1993 are in table 6.1(a) of the annual edition for 1983 93; table 7.1 shows corresponding figures for dwellings renovated. Figures for housebuilding in 1993 and 1994 were shown in table 1.2(a) of the December 1994 edition of part 1 of this publication. The figures for renovations during the first part of 1994 are shown in table 2.15 of the September 1994 edition of part 2 of this publication. Copies of theses publications are in the Library.
Mr. Atkins: My Department has today issued for public consultation draft special waste regulations and accompanying guidance, together with an assessment of compliance costs and a paper on charging proposals. Copies have been placed in the Library.
Column 469The existing regulations date from 1980, and set out additional controls over the most dangerous wastes designed to ensure that they are monitored and safely managed from "cradle to grave". The new proposals implement the 1991 hazardous waste directive, and the EC list of hazardous wastes adopted by the Council of Ministers in December. They also introduce other desirable changes. The key details are:
--A new definition of special waste which embraces both the EC List of hazardous waste and any other waste which is special under the current regulations. New technical guidance will be the subject of a separate consultation exercise later in the spring.
--Pre-notification to waste regulation authorities of waste movements will be simplified. Wasteholders will be able to prenotify a series of repetitive movements, and carriers will be able to prenotify collection rounds. Where movements cross authority boundaries, wasteholders need no longer notify both authorities. A redesigned consignment note should help wasteholders provide descriptions of their waste and its associated hazards so as to assist sound management.
--Fees will be payable when movements are pre-notified, as part of the policy of charging for local authority services, and in line with the "polluter pays" principle. The fees should recover authorities' supervisory costs.
--Restrictions are introduced on mixing by carriers and consignees, of different special wastes and of special with non-special wastes. Subject to the outcome of public consultation, our aim is to introduce the new regulations and associated guidance this summer. The Government believe that the proposals will introduce a useful measure of deregulation, with no diminution of the controls which help to minimise the risk these wastes can pose to human health and the environment.
Mr. Atkins: Inconsiderate noisy neighbours can cause extreme distress and suffering to many. My concern about the steeply rising complaints about domestic noise and the effectiveness of the current legislation to deal with these problems resulted in the formation last October of a working party to review the situation.
I am today placing in the Library of the House and publishing a consultation paper which sets out the conclusions and recommendations of the working party. The key recommendations are:
--Good practice guidance should be made available to local authorities on the management of noise services.
--Local authorities should be encouraged to provide information to residents about their authority's noise complaints service and to increase public awareness of neighbour noise issues. Government should consider supporting publicity initiatives to increase awareness of what constitutes unacceptable noise.
--Consideration should be given to issuing general guidance on the sorts of noise problems which might constitute a statutory nuisance. --Local authorities should be encouraged to provide services which respond to complaints outside working hours wherever such services are required.
--Local authorities should be encouraged to establish streamlined local arrangements for obtaining warrants to enter domestic premises to temporarily confiscate noise-making equipment or silence intruder alarms.
Column 470--A code of good practice should be issued jointly by the professional representative bodies to police forces and local authorities to encourage effective local arrangements for dealing with noise complaints.
--A specific power of temporary confiscation of noise-making equipment--to provide a stronger legal base for existing practice--should be introduced, with the power for local authorities to levy an administration charge for its return.
--Local authorities should be encouraged to seek, where appropriate, deprivation orders for the permanent confiscation of noise-making equipment following prosecution.
--Consideration should be given to the creation of a criminal offence, separate to the statutory nuisance regime, to apply to night time neighbour noise disturbance.
The paper invites comments in particular on the options for creating a new criminal offence, including a direct noise offence based on the World Health Organisation guidelines of 35dB(A) for acceptable indoor night noise levels. Such an offence has the potential to provide a swifter remedy than the current statutory nuisance regime for some of the most disturbing neighbour noise problems.
Copies of the consultation paper are being sent to all district, borough and island councils in England, Wales and Scotland, representative bodies for local authorities and the police, voluntary noise groups and a wide variety of other organisations. The consultation period lasts until 30 June.
Wherever possible, attempts should be made to resolve problems informally. However, it is vital that effective legislation is in place to deal with situations where a formal remedy is the correct course. I am grateful to the working party for producing what I believe is a worthwhile package of proposals which, if implemented, will strengthen current neighbour noise controls, improve the management of local authority noise services and improve liaison between local authorities and the police.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities in terms of (a) access to telephones, (b) use of equipment, (c) use of offices, (d) access to ministerial meetings, (e) sight of correspondence, (f) attendance at interdepartmental meetings and (g) access to civil servants are available to specialist advisers in his Department. 
Mr. Michael Forsyth: A reply by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs, in response to a similar question today from my hon. Friend, sets out the targets across the Government. In the Home Office our targets for deregulation include the following:
Abolish the compulsory afternoon break in licensing hours on Sundays, Christmas day and Good Friday for both on-licensed and off-licensed premises and for registered clubs, and permit
Column 471of-licensed sales from 10 am on these days, through the Licensing (Sunday Hours) Bill;
abolition of "the long-pull offence" by the repeal of section 165 of the Licensing Act 1964;
amend the rules for special hours certificates so that discotheques and other places where public dancing takes place do not effectively have to close an hour early when the clock goes forward to British summer time in the spring.
Issue a consultation paper on removing restrictions applying to casinos and bingo clubs;
extend the duration to three years, from one, and provide for simplified renewal procedure for bookmakers permits and betting office licences, contained in the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963;
relax existing controls over greyhound racing contained in the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963;
removal of certain restrictions on betting offices facilities under the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 concerning the supply of refreshments, displays of information and television screens; increase the number of jackpot machines allowed in casinos, licensed bingo clubs and registered members clubs under section 31 of the Gaming Act 1968;
allow all-cash amusement-with-prizes machines in adult premises, including betting shops.
Following up proposals made by the charities and voluntary organisations task force.
Abolition of the licence to kill game contained in the Game Act 1831 and 1860;
abolition of pedlars certificates by the repeal of the Pedlars Acts 1871 and 1881.