Dr. Wright: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which of the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department are under a statutory requirement to (a) publish their advice to Government, (b) publish an annual report and (c) lay an annual report before Parliament, and if he will list those with a statutory base. 
Insolvency Rule Committee
County Court Rule Committee
Supreme Court Rule Committee
Land Registration Rule Committee
Family Proceedings Rule Committee
Crown Court Rule Committee
Advisory Council on Public Records
Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct Council on Tribunals
Northern Ireland Court Service:
Legal Aid Advisory Committee (NI)
Advisory Committees on General Commissioners of Income Tax (NI) Advisory Committees on JPs in Northern Ireland
Advisory Committees on Juvenile Court Lay Panel
Advisory Committees on General Commissioners of Income Tax Advisory Committees on JPs in England (excluding the Duchy of Lancaster) and Wales
Judicial Studies Board
All but the last six have a statutory basis.
None is under a statutory requirement to publish its advice to Government.
The Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct, the Law Commission and the Council on Tribunals are all required by statute to make annual reports to the Lord Chancellor. While there is no statutory requirement on the Advisory Council on Public Records to submit an annual report, there is a requirement that any report by it to the Lord Chancellor should be included in the Public Record Office's own annual report, for which there is a statutory requirement. All these annual reports are laid before Parliament by the Lord Chancellor.
The Legal Aid Advisory Committee (Northern Ireland) is required to consider the Law Society's annual report on legal aid in Northern Ireland and the Lord Chancellor is required to lay before Parliament a copy of any comments or recommendations made by the committee.
(2) what was the average length of time it takes to obtain dates for public inquiries into planning refusals; 
(3) if he will list by local authority the number of (a) planning application refusals, (b) appeals, (c) public inquiries, (d) the estimated time to obtain a date and (e) the estimated costs for (i) 1992, (ii) 1993 and (iii) 1994. 
Sir Paul Beresford: I have delegated responsibility for the provision of information on planning appeals to the Planning Inspectorate agency. I have therefore asked Mr. Chris Shepley, the agency's chief executive, to reply.
Letter from Chris Shepley to Mr. Keith Vaz, dated 25 April 1995: The Secretary of State has asked me to provide replies to your Parliamentary Questions about:
the number of public inquiries held each year since 1985 (PQ/20998)
the average length of time it takes to obtain dates for public inquiries into planning refusals (PQ 20999);
for each local authority, the number of (a) planning application refusals, (b) appeals, (c) public inquiries, (d) the estimated time to obtain a date and (e) the estimated costs for (i) 1992, (ii) 1993 and (iii) 1994 (PQ 21000).
As these are all matters that have been delegated to the Executive Agency.
The number of appeals against a refusal of planning permission determined following a public inquiry in each financial year since 1985/86 is shown in the table below. The information is taken from the Chief Planning Inspector's Annual Report.
Year |Appeals determined --------------------------------------------------------- 1985-86 |1,663 1986-87 |2,098 1987-88 |1,960 1988-89 |2,204 1989-90 |2,347 1990-91 |1,960 1991-92 |1,808 1992-93 |1,505 1993-94 |1,176 1994-95 |1,108
Our most recent check showed that over 95% of inquiry dates for planning appeals were finalised within the one month negotiation period recommended by the inquiries procedure rules.
The information you seek in respect of each planning authority on (a) Planning Application Refusals, (b) appeals and (c) inquiries is not immediately available and will take a few days to compile and check. I will write to you again when the work is complete.
I cannot, however, provide the information you seek in parts (d) or (e) of your question. The Agency does not keep records at a level of detail that would enable us to estimate for each planning authority either the time taken to obtain inquiry dates or the costs of inquiries.
Sir Paul Beresford: Parish councils may have an enabling or co- ordinating role during the preparation of village design statements. They may also make representations on development plans and development control matters.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he will take if design constraints in a rural community inhibit (a) local affordable housing, (b) job creation and (c) creative use of areas of local land; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Design issues--such as considering a building's context, its relationship to its setting, and its relationship to its proposed function--may be material consideration in determining a planning application or appeal. They will need to be assessed with other planning considerations in taking decisions.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to protect free-standing buildings in (a) villages, (b) whole parishes and (c) hamlets and less defined settlements; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Paul Beresford: National policy on the re-use of rural buildings is set out in planning policy guidance note 7, "The Countryside and the Rural Economy." There should generally be no reason for preventing the re- use of rural buildings, provided their form, bulk and general design are in keeping with their surroundings.
DOE circular 26/92 advises on planning controls over demolition.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance is given to local authorities in determining the relative priority which is accorded to (a) a village design statement and (b) other building development; and what guidelines apply in respect of the use of concrete blocks as building materials in villages. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Village design statements are being promoted by the Countryside Commission. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State supports this initiative, which enables local people to express views on how future development can make a positive contribution to a specific area. The Countryside Commission plans to publish advice on the preparation of village design statements later this year. Village design statements may be a material consideration in determining a planning application or appeal, and it is for local planning authorities to consider whether to adopt them as supplementary guidance to the development plan.
The development plan system provides the framework for planning for new development and for delivering a quality built environment. Planning policy guidance note 1 advises planning authorities to reject obviously poor designs which are out of scale or character with their surroundings.
Column 712of the image presented by former seaside guest houses and hotels now operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation in seaside towns on the prospects for trade in those towns. 
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Representations received by the Department of National Heritage from tourism operators and trade organisations strongly suggest that the growth in numbers of houses in multiple occupation in traditional tourism areas, particularly in some seaside resorts, is having an unfavourable effect on the tourist trade. My Department conducted a consultation exercise between November 1994 and February 1995 on the principle of a licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation and received similar representations. The Government hope to announce shortly the conclusions of this review.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance is given by his Department to North Tyneside city challenge project relating to the placing of contracts for security work; what contracts have been issued by North Tyneside city council for security work; if he will name the city challenge board members and officials who are responsible for such contracts; and how they are appointed. 
Sir Paul Beresford: The Department of the Environment has not given any specific guidance to North Tyneside city challenge, or any other city challenge partnership, about the placing of contracts for security work. North Tyneside city challenge has not let any such contract. The North Tyneside city challenge partnership undertakes no direct tendering or contracting relating to city challenge projects; this is the responsibility of project sponsors, who are required to achieve value for money. Where projects are assisted by city challenge funding, it is the responsibility of the contractor to assess the degree of risk and make the appropriate contractual arrangements for security.
Mr. Macdonald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the number and location of Building Research Establishment, Ordnance Survey, Planning Inspectorate, Security Facilities Executive and Buying Agency offices closed and the number of jobs lost or transferred as a result of agency work transferring from Scotland to the rest of the United Kingdom over the past five years; and what is the number and location of offices opened and jobs gained in Scotland as the result of agency work transferring to Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom over the same period. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average weekly household expenditure on housing for (a) those in rented accommodation and (b) owner-occupiers in the United Kingdom; what were the corresponding figures in (i) 1987 and (ii) 1992; and if he will make a statement. 
Column 713accommodation and for owner-occupiers in the United Kingdom are as follows:
Gross and net average weekly housing costs £ per week |Gross |Net |Owner |Owner |Renters |occupiers|Renters |occupiers ------------------------------------------------------------ 1987 |26.80 |n/a |17.20 |35.80 1992 |45.40 |n/a |28.00 |57.40 1993 |49.70 |n/a |29.40 |52.50
Housing costs include rates, community charge or council tax as appropriate. The estimates of net costs allow for housing benefit, rent rebates and allowances, and rates/community charge/council tax rebates.
Figures for gross average weekly housing costs for owner occupiers are not readily available.
These figures are drawn from the family expenditure survey and are subject to sampling error.
Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what additional financial support he will provide to local authorities which have severe problems with pigeons, with special reference to Bradford. 
Mr. Curry: Support for local authorities' revenue expenditure, provided through revenue support grant, is made in respect of all local authority powers and duties. Individual authorities make expenditure decisions on the basis of local needs and priorities. We have received no representations about problems with pigeons.
Sir Paul Beresford: Under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, my Department and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food issue annual general licences permitting authorised persons to kill or take 13 species of pest bird, including feral pigeons for specified reasons. Under part VI of the Public Health Act 1961, local authorities have a specific power to abate or mitigate any nuisance, annoyance or damage caused by the congregation of pigeons in any built-up area.
Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many accidents due to pigeon droppings were reported in (a) Bradford and (b) West Yorkshire in the last year for which information is available. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State of Education how many people graduated from English higher education institutions with honours either in philosophy or in a joint honours or composite degree involving philosophy in 1994; what proportion of the total number graduating from English higher education this represents; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Boswell: Some 500 students graduated from first degree courses wholly or mainly in philosophy from English higher education institutions in academic year 1992 93, which represents one third of 1 per cent. of all graduates from these institutions. It is not possible to give data from courses where philosophy is combined with other subjects. Statistics on the numbers graduating where philosophy has been a minor element of the course are not readily available.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many higher education institutions in England currently offer single honours or joint honours degrees in philosophy; what percentage of the total number of higher education institutions in England this represents; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Boswell: From the 110 higher education institutions in England which are members of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, 45 offered philosophy as an element of a first degree course in the UCAS "Handbook for 1995 Entry". This represents 41 per cent. of all English higher education institutions offering courses through UCAS.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his answer of 24 April, column 339 , if he will now reply forthwith to the letter sent to him on 25 April by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportions of all children are in households claiming (a) income support, (b) family credit and (c) housing benefit; and what proportion of (i) single parents and (ii) unemployed drawing income support or housing benefit have mortgages. 
Mr. Roger Evans: The available information is set out in the tables. Figures are not available for housing benefit recipients with mortgages. Housing benefit is not payable for mortgage interest. Although there are a small number of cases where both housing benefit and mortgage interest are in payment, it is not possible to identify these cases separately.
Children in households receiving benefit<1> |As a percentage of |all children in Benefit |Number (000) |Great Britain ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Income Support |2,980 |25.8 Family Credit |1,086 |9.4 Housing Benefit |2,238 |19.4 <1> Children can be in households receiving more than one benefit so figures cannot be totalled. For example, in May 1993 2,053 thousand children were in households in receipt of Housing Benefit, Income Support and/or Family Credit. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand and to one decimal place. 2. Children have been defined as dependents under the age of 16. Source: Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys Mid 1993 estimates. Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry Mid 1994. Family Credit Statistics Quarterly Enquiry July 1994. Housing Benefit Management Information Statistics annual 1 per cent. sample May 1993.
Income Support claimants with mortgage interest included in the assessment |As a percentage of |all claimants with |mortgage interest |included in the Client Group |Number (000) |assessment ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Single parents |120 |22.7 Unemployed |195 |36.9 Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand and to one decimal place. 2. Children have been defined as dependents under the age of 16. Source: Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys Mid 1993 estimates. Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry Mid 1994. Family Credit Statistics Quarterly Enquiry July 1994. Housing Benefit Management Information Statistics annual 1 per cent. sample May 1993.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what challenges in court have been made to his policy on the date for commencement of payment of retirement pensions; and what discussions there have been of this policy at international bodies of which the Government are a member. 
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to pay retirement pensions so as to include the amount which is currently not paid for the intervening days from a person's date of retirement or relevant birthday to the Monday following. 
Mr. Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what records are kept by the vaccine damage payment unit of claims for compensation; and whether such records are available for all claims made since 1979. 
Mr. Hague: The administration of the vaccine damage payment scheme is a matter for Mr. Ian Magee, the acting chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Ian Magee to Mr. Richard Burden, dated 27 April 1995 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the records kept of claims to the Vaccine Damage Scheme.
Column 716Information is available from the inception of the scheme about the total number of claims received and awards made. Statistics are also available from 1981 in respect of the reasons for disallowance within certain categories.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his estimate of the number of current invalidity benefit recipients in Wales who will not qualify for incapacity benefit; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what is his estimate of the fiscal impact of implementing the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Act 1994 on social security expenditure incurred in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hague: There are insufficient data on which to base a reliable breakdown of the national estimates provided for the effect of the new medical test, or to assess, on a regional basis, the public expenditure consequences of the Incapacity For Work Act 1994.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what studies he has instigated to determine the effect of the single market on welfare provision in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Widdecombe: Fair play for women is a joint initiative between the Department and the Equal Opportunities Commission launched in April 1994. Ten independent consortia have been set up all over England to plan how woman can realise their full capabilities and to take suitable action within their regions. The Government and the EOC are encouraged by the wide range of organisations and individuals supporting fair play, and will be monitoring consortia activity.
Miss Widdecombe: Workstart pays a subsidy to employers who recruit very long-term unemployed people. On 5 November 1993, the then Secretary of State for Employment visited Bishop's Move Distribution Service of Broadstairs, Kent, an employer who received a Workstart subsidy under the original pilots, which ended December 1994. Further pilots commenced this month.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 18 April, Official Report , column 57 , under which sections of the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 Stapro insecticide was used at Grays benefit office on 5 October 1991. 
Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Andrew Mackinlay, dated 28 April 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about under which sections of the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, Stapro Insecticide was used at Grays Unemployment Benefit Office on 5 October 1991.
You will wish to note that, according to our records, spraying actually took place on 8 October 1991.
My colleagues at the Health and Safety Executive advise me that Regulations 4(5) of the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 allows use of a pesticide that has been approved by Ministers under regulation 5, provided that
(a) the conditions of approval are complied with, and
(b) the requirements of the consent of use (Schedule 3 as amended) are followed.
The Regulations do not tie the use of pesticides to specific premises, but the conditions of approval specify, for example, who can use the product, the application method and the necessary precautions.