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Column 142respect of any of the above any reason for declining to act other than the claim that no further or significant evidence had been drawn to his attention which had not already been contained, or dealt with, in the report from his marine accident investigation branch. 
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, in the light of the recommendations made by the jury at the completion of the inquest into the death of persons aboard the Marchioness on 20 August 1989, he will reconsider his refusal to initiate a review of the rescue arrangements on the Thames by an independent person as recommended by John W. Haynes Esq., in his report to him of July 1992, Cm 1991. 
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 April 1995]: Thames rescue arrangements have been kept under review since the Marchioness disaster and we do not propose to initiate a further independent review. The London emergency services liaison panel has recently published new procedures for dealing with major incidents on the River Thames, with the police as co- ordinators of the emergency response. The river users liaison safety sub- committee of the London district marine safety committee has also completed a review of craft available for rescue throughout the tidal Thames and made recommendations for the provision of lifesaving appliances, grab-chains and warning signs along the river banks. We are giving urgent and careful attention to the recommendations made by the jury at the Marchioness inquest.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, in respect of the activity of the inspector primarily responsible for investigating the collision between the Marchioness and the Bowbelle near Southwark bridge on 20 August 1989, he will list (a) the witnesses interviewed at the initiative of the inspector, (b) those who directly or indirectly approached his marine accident investigation branch, and (c) others who have given evidence in any court and inquest relating to this event; and, in relation to those named in lists (b) and (c) , if he will give the occasion and date on which they made the approach or gave evidence. 
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 April 1995]: The MAIB inquiry team obtained evidence either orally or in the form of written statements from well over 100 people.In the case of most of the survivors, the statements were those made to the police. It is not normal practice to provide a list of witnesses. My Department does not have any responsibility for keeping records of those who have given evidence in courts which are outside the jurisdiction of my Department.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at what times the operations manager of South Coast Shipping and the officers of the Metropolitan police boarded the dredger Bowbelle on 20 January 1989, as referred to in his answer of 11 January 1994, Official Report , column 133 ; by what means; and if those times were recorded in the ship's log. 
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 April 1995]: The exact time at which such persons boarded Bowbelle and by what means is not known to my Department except that it was while the vessel was anchored in Gallions reach.
Column 143She was at anchor between 03.25 hours and approximately 04.45 hours on 20 August 1989. There is no record in the ship's official log book nor in the deck log book of such persons boarding Bowbelle on 20 August 1989.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the statutory bases of the marine accident investigation branch; when, for what reason and by whom it was proposed that it replace some of the functions of the surveyor general's organisation; who was consulted about the change; and what documents relating to its creation were placed before Parliament for information or approval prior to, or at the time of, its inception. 
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 April 1995]: The marine accident investigation branch was established under section 33 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 and operates under the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 1994. The then Secretary of State for Transport proposed its establishment in the Merchant Shipping Bill published in 1987. The reasons for this proposal were set out in paragraphs 47 to 52 of "Merchant Shipping: Legislative Proposals," Cm 239, published in October 1987. Parliament was consulted about the change, and the relevant legislation--including the Merchant Shipping (Accident Investigation) Regulations 1989, since superseded--was placed before it.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what agreement, regulation or similar instrument of the International Maritime Organisation prohibits, with or without specific application, the introduction of local navigation byelaws, additional to international arrangements otherwise in force, for those parts of ports or navigable waterways possessing acknowledged and particular hazards to safe navigation. 
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of the trunk road schemes which have been assessed by the use of the cost- benefit analysis method since 1979 and which have now been constructed what was (a) the capital cost of the scheme as included in the COBA assessment submitted to the public inquiry, (b) the net present value of the scheme as calculated in that assessment, (c) the actual capital cost of building the scheme and (d) the net present value of the scheme of the COBA assessment submitted to the public inquiry, if it had used the actual capital costs of the scheme in the calculation. 
Column 144Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Ms Joan Walley, dated 19 April 1995:
As you know, Mr. John Watts, Minister for Railways and Roads, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question askingfor a list of those road schemes assessed by COBA since 1979 and which have now been constructed; in each case giving (a) the capital cost estimate submitted to the public inquiry, (b) the net present value estimated at the public inquiry, (c) the actual cost of building the scheme and (d) the estimate of the net present value had the actual final cost been used in the calculation.
I regret that the information you asked for is not held centrally by the Agency and given the number of schemes involved a file search to extract it could only be done at disproportionate cost.
However, I can say that a recent study of 6 schemes has indicated that the overall post-construction net present value is very close to that predicted prior to public inquiry on those schemes.
The Attorney-General: The Serious Fraud Office is investigating the affairs of Butte Mining plc, and the circumstances under which the company was floated on the stock exchange in October 1987. The circumstances surrounding the issue of listing particulars for a further share issue in April 1988 are also under consideration. This involves scrutiny of several other companies, but it is the practice of the Serious Fraud Office not to give operational details of continuing investigations.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the capital asset value of the computing and information technology services included in the market testing--competitive tendering programme for each regional health authority for 1994 95 (a) as recorded on asset registers at 31 March 1994, (b) at project net book value as at 31 March 1994 and (c) as identified in the statement of services requirements of assets likely to be transferred to the successful supplier.
Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sums have been expanded on the bridge strengthening programme in Northern Ireland; what are the estimates for 1995 96; when he expects the programme to be completed; and if he will list the bridges replaced, the cost of each bridge, the original estimate and which bridges and at what cost have still to be replaced; and if he will list the number of sites where replacement work is in progress.
1993 94: £5,072,000
1994 95: £6,249,000
Column 145Information prior to 1992 93 is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The provisional allocation for the 1995 96 financial year is £5,000,000.
It is planned that the assessment programme will be completed by 31 December 1988. The timing of the completion of the associated strengthening works will depend on the volume of work identified by the assessments and the availability of finance.
The bridges replaced in the period 1992 93 to 1994 95 were as follows:
Road Service |Bridge |Estimatedcost |Actualcost Division |£000 |£000 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ballyemena |Aldergrove |420 |410 Belfast |Lower WindsorAvenue (Footbridge)|230 |207 Coleraine |Faughan |181 |219 |Swanns |1,100 |not finalised |Rascahan |84 |78 |Cahery |43 |42 |Park |10 |12 |Mullarts |45 |41 |Lisdillon |13 |12 |Drumrankin |20 |29 Craigavon |Tartaraghan Road |4.5 |4.1 |Aguill |70 |62 |Drumgaw Lane |41 |36 |Lisdrumburghas |23 |21 |Brootally |25 |19 |Coolsallagh<1> |41 |26 |Ballynacor Lane |7 |8 |Crossdened |24 |25 |Hanslough |25 |22 Downpatrick |Ballydrain Road |15 |15 |Tullybrannigan |97 |127 |Carson's Lane |11 |11 |Ballydugan Road |22 |22 |Peartree Road |8 |8 Omagh |Meenacloy |50 |40 |Moher |35 |45 |Ligfordrum |30 |30 |Flood Lodge |15 |15 |Carnony |30 |25 |Formil |40 |45 |Glenhull |30 |30 |Dromore Culvert |35 |40 |Claggan |20 |20 |Greencastle |40 |30 |Green |35 |40 |Trillick |65 |65 <1> Scope of scheme reduced after initial estimate.
A further 20 small bridges in Omagh division have been replaced by pipes at a total cost of £205,000.
The bridges which have so far been identified as requiring replacement are as follows:
Roads Service |Bridge |Estimated cost £000 Division ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ballymena |Ballee |71 |Number 289 |58 |Number 290 |24 |Number 336 |10 |Number 340 |10 |Moss |11 |British |60 |Barn Halt |320 |Downshire |970 |Chapel |16 Belfast |King's |1,900 |Ballymacarret Flyover |800 Coleraine |Coshquin |98 |Rallagh |66 |Altinure |50 |Chathamhall |15 |Stroan Middle |15 |Movenis |23 Craigavon |Gosford Forest |50 |Captain's |75 |Carcullion |20 |Kernan Underpass |100 |Drumnagoon |100 |Clare Glen |80 |Derrynoose |100 |Uminavore |30 |Acton |25 |Tavanagh |80 |Carnbane |140 |Charles Doyle's |45 |Madden Railway |240 |Derrykernan |20 |Derrycughan |96 |Miller's |42 |Tullysarran Road |20 |Keadymore |120 |Mowhan |72 |Waterie Lane |42 |Lisnafeedy Road |15 Downpatrick |M1 over Stockman's Lane (2 bridges)<2>|2,000 |Crumlin Road, Glenavy |450 |Tullynakill Road |300 |A21 South Street<2> |125 Omagh |Ardtrea |350 <2> A final decision to replace these bridges has not yet been made. Replacement is the favoured option.
The bridge replacement schemes currently on site are as follows:
X Road Service |Bridge |Estimated cost £000 Division ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ballymena |Drumcrow Road |70 |Connor Burn |50 |Greenfield Road |25 Belfast |Connswater |1,300 Omagh |Miniburns (2 bridges)|300
Mr. Robert B. Jones: According to the statutory definition, in 1991 there were 1.5 million such dwellings. Half these are unfit on only one item and we estimate that one third of the properties could be made fit for less than £500.
25. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will amend the bidding guidance for the single regeneration budget to specify more clearly the criteria which will be given greatest weight when determining the success or otherwise of an application. 
Mr. Curry: The criteria for assessing bids for financial support from the SRB challenge fund are contained in the updated bidding guidance which was published on 12 April 1995 and copies of which have been placed in the Library.
Sir Paul Beresford: The guidance to bidders for the second round of the single regeneration budget challenge fund was released on 12 April 1995. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. The guidance does not refer explicitly to support for projects to meet the needs of refugees, although such projects could fall within the challenge fund's objectives where they form part of a local regeneration strategy.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many bids to help refugees, including bids from the Refugee Council, (a) failed and (b) succeeded under the single regeneration bid. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Information is not specifically collected about unsuccessful and successful bids for support from the single regeneration budget challenge fund which are aimed at helping refugees, since most challenge fund bids address a range of objectives. However, about a third of the 201 successful challenge fund bids are specifically intended to benefit minority ethnic communities. Some of these bids are likely to include help for refugees.
26. Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions his Department has held with the Department of Employment about the future of the Rural Development Commission's direct training scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Atkins: I have met my right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Employment to discuss this issue. The Rural Development Commission has identified an outline plan for alternative provision, and is investigating the scope for supporting young people on the new entrants training scheme through modern apprenticeships. The commission is now developing detailed proposals in consultation with officials from both Departments.
Mr. Atkins: Campaign literature from organisations such as Greenpeace, Seas at Risk, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and a few letters from members of the public.
28. Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent discussions he has had with representatives of other Governments about the pollution of the earth's atmosphere and its likely effect on the climate; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gummer: During the Berlin conference of the parties to the climate change convention, which ended on 7 April, I had numerous discussions with representatives of other Governments, particularly during intensive negotiations on future commitments under the convention. The mandate which was adopted is consistent with United Kingdom and European Union objectives and opens the way for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries in the period after 2000.
31. Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has of the increased average temperature of Reddish and of Denton in Greater Manchester over the next 10, 25 and 50 years. 
Mr. Atkins: Specific estimates of future temperatures are not available for local areas in the United Kingdom. The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research has predicted that the average temperature for the UK as a whole could increase by 0.1 deg C, 0.5 deg C and 1 deg C over the next 10, 25 and 50 years respectively.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: We have put in place the legislative framework extending compulsory competitive tendering to housing management. The first contracts are due to be in operation from April 1996. I am pleased to
Column 149say that local authorities are making good progress with their preparations.
Mr. Gummer: I will shortly launch a national campaign to promote consideration of urban design and its contribution to the quality of the built environment. The campaign will focus on specific sites where development is anticipated, and will help to assess how greater attention to urban design issues can help to ensure new development fits successfully into the existing built environment.
The urban design campaign is an example of action stemming from my Department's initiative "Quality in Town and Country" which seeks to encourage debate and stimulate ideas about what Government and others can do to help achieve quality in the built environment, in city, town and village.
Mr. Curry: Forty local authorities have transferred almost 180,000 dwellings, generating over £2.6 billion in private finance. The 1995 96 disposals programme includes a further 13 authorities and 51,000 dwellings. We are working with metropolitan authorities to identify ways of taking the policy forward in urban areas as well.
Mr. Gummer: We shall direct the Local Government Commission to conduct reviews of nine districts, four of which were, or contained within their areas, former county boroughs. We are also looking at the case for referring other districts to the commission, some of which are former county boroughs. We intend that the reviews should begin in early July, when Sir David Cooksey takes up his appointment as chairman of the commission.
Mr. Curry: We have commissioned research which may enable us to take a fresh look at the boundaries of the zones used in the calculation of the area cost adjustment. The findings of this research will be discussed with the local authority associations in the summer.
The local authority associations may put forward other possible methodology changes for discussion.
36. Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department will be maintaining a dialogue with environmental green groups before and during the passage of the Environment Bill through the Commons; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Atkins: On 13 October, my right hon. Friend published the draft clauses and schedules in respect of the environment agency. This allowed interested parties a chance to inform themselves of the details of the proposed legislation before it was introduced to Parliament. Subsequently, both Ministers and officials have met with various groups, including environmental groups, on the provisions contained within the Bill.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: There are cases where a local authority auditor is investigating allegations of corruption, but everyone is innocent until proved guilty. Criminal proceedings are, of course, a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish details from each Government Department of expenditure on energy and energy efficiency measures incurred during 1993 94 with reference to total expenditure on energy (£), total energy used (kwh), energy expenditure per M (£), the standard performance indicator, expenditure on energy efficiency measures (£), total floor area of Government Departments, and percentage progress on £/m relative to 1992 93. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will ask the Director General of Ofwat to explain his failure to reply to the letter dated 18 January from the hon. Member for Aylesbury about cesspool emptying charges; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each agency and the central Department for which he is responsible (a) the total hours of overtime worked for which overtime has been paid, (b) the total amount paid in overtime and (c) the total time in days and its monetary equivalent lost through sickness in each of the last three years. 
Overtime 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 |Hours|£ |Hours|£ |Hours|£ ---------------------------------------------------------------- DOE |148 |1,267|116 |967 |58 |495 SAFE |- |- |- |- |43 |337 Planning Inspectorate |4 |24 |3 |18 |2 |16 Building Research Est |15 |130 |14 |125 |11 |97 The Buying Agency |1 |6 |1 |8 |1 |7 QEII Conf Centre |13 |130 |13 |128 |12 |118 Note: Both hours and cost are given to the nearest 000. Sickness: Details of sickness absence taken from the OHSA reports shows in 1992 DOE lost 58,741 man days and in 1993 55,587 days ( including 4,481 days for the Planning Inspectorate and 19 days for QEIICC). Data for 1994 are not yet available.
Mr. Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to seek to extend the right to buy their homes to tenants of all housing associations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Atkins: To continue and develop the measures agreed by the first, second and third North sea conferences which have been successfully addressing the protection of the North sea environment since 1983.
Mr. Thomason: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has concluded, in the light of the recommendations of the deregulation task forces, whether the scope of the building regulations in England and Wales should be widened to address electrical safety. 
Mr. Robert B. Jones: After consideration of this issue, the Building Regulations Advisory Committee has recommended that more detailed work should be undertaken on a proposal that electrical safety should be introduced into the building regulations for work which already has to be notified to building control authorities. I have accepted this recommendation and have asked for
Column 152additional studies to be undertaken to identify the costs, benefits and practical implications.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: A publication, "Standard Spending Assessment Handbook 1995 96", has been produced to provide details of the standard spending assessment of each local authority. Copies have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies have also been sent to every local authority in England, and to the local authority associations.
The tables from the handbook are being made available in computer-readable form.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of the contracting parties to the first review of the intergovernmental convention on climate change held in Berlin recently. 
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what work is being done by the United Nations Development Programme to produce an analysis of the problems of Sierra Leone, and what is the timetable of action that will be followed by the United Nations to act on that analysis. 
Mr. Baldry: We are not aware of any specific analysis. However, UNDP, along with other development agencies, is involved in assisting the Government of Sierra Leone both in the transition to democratic rule and in tackling their development and humanitarian problems.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much development aid is being given by the United Kingdom to South Africa in 1994 95 and 1995 96 (a) as bilateral aid, (b) through the European development fund and (c) through other multi-lateral initiative. 
Column 153expenditure to be about £20 million. EC aid to South Africa is provided not through the European development fund but under a specific line in the EC's budget. The UK share of the EC allocation was about £15 million in 1994 and about £17 million for 1995. To date, no loans have been made by the World bank or African development bank; our contributions through the various United Nations programmes are not readily attributable to individual countries.
Miss Lestor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his written answer of 27 March, Official Report , column 444 , for what reason expenditure on the Pergau dam project was not listed in table 1 on page 34 of the supply estimates, class II for 1991 92, HC 236-II; and under which subhead of which vote parliamentary authority was sought for expenditure in 1991 92.