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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 20 June 1995


Sick Leave

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for every police force in England and Wales for each year since 1989 (a) the total number of sickness days taken due to injury on duty and (b) the average number of days lost per police officer due to injury on duty.     [28165]

Mr. Maclean: Information on the number of injuries sustained on duty is not held centrally. However, information has been kept since 1990 on days' sick leave taken due to assault and is shown in the table.

Total Number of Days Sick Leave Due to Assault                            

Forces                  |1990     |1991     |1992     |1993               


Avon and Somerset       |1,402.00 |840.00   |868.00   |906.00             

Bedfordshire            |582.00   |831.00   |633.00   |341.00             

Cambridgeshire          |213.00   |589.00   |391.00   |400.00             

Cheshire                |1,109.00 |921.00   |777.00   |1,119.00           

City of London          |37.00    |6.00     |4.00     |9.00               

Cleveland               |731.00   |610.00   |654.00   |1,069.00           

Cumbria                 |169.00   |358.00   |563.00   |457.00             

Derbyshire              |648.00   |1,135.00 |1,331.00 |1,502.00           

Devon and Cornwall      |865.00   |986.00   |423.00   |712.00             

Dorset                  |406.00   |325.00   |456.00   |490.00             

Durham                  |1,191.00 |1,129.00 |708.00   |448.00             

Dyfed-Powys             |622.00   |223.00   |636.00   |557.00             

Essex                   |629.00   |454.00   |1,291.00 |582.00             

Gloucestershire         |259.00   |338.00   |475.00   |482.00             

Greater Manchester      |3,708.00 |3,618.00 |1,712.00 |1,427.00           

Gwent                   |330.00   |126.00   |317.00   |342.00             

Hampshire               |2,170.00 |930.00   |1,030.00 |1,535.00           

Hertfordshire           |650.00   |640.00   |403.00   |214.00             

Humberside              |895.00   |856.00   |829.00   |727.00             

Kent                    |542.00   |190.00   |231.00   |400.00             

Lancashire              |1,371.00 |2,422.00 |2,024.00 |1,160.00           

Leicestershire          |644.00   |678.00   |1,320.00 |469.00             

Lincolnshire            |670.00   |758.00   |639.00   |709.00             

Merseyside              |4,086.00 |4,264.00 |2,560.00 |2,825.00           

Norfolk                 |381.00   |157.00   |405.00   |256.00             

North Wales             |623.00   |810.00   |531.00   |61.00              

North Yorkshire         |274.00   |419.00   |332.00   |119.00             

Northamptonshire        |132.00   |65.00    |538.00   |370.00             

Northumbria             |4,296.00 |3,993.00 |2,585.00 |4,048.00           

Nottinghamshire         |1,302.00 |1,081.00 |1,160.00 |1,161.00           

South Wales             |2,422.00 |2,874.00 |2,786.00 |3,414.00           

South Yorkshire         |1,297.00 |600.00   |813.00   |697.00             

Staffordshire           |1,120.00 |1,096.00 |622.00   |345.00             

Suffolk                 |443.00   |333.00   |440.00   |122.00             

Surrey                  |811.00   |641.00   |442.00   |240.00             

Sussex                  |1,026.00 |1,708.00 |1,083.00 |738.00             

Thames Valley           |1,144.00 |761.00   |1,152.00 |668.00             

Warwickshire            |438.00   |275.00   |498.00   |375.00             

West Mercia             |487.00   |405.00   |598.00   |504.00             

West Midlands           |2,992.00 |1,279.00 |1,979.00 |2,054.19           

West Yorkshire          |2,455.00 |2,880.00 |2,396.00 |2,017.00           

Wiltshire               |456.00   |400.00   |266.00   |249.00             

Provincial Total        |46,028.00|43,004.00|38,901.00|36,320.69          

Metropolitan Police     |7,598.00 |10,564.00|8,122.00 |11,323.00          


England and Wales Total |53,626.00|53,568.00|47,023.00|47,643.69          

Average number of days sick leave due to the assault       

Forces                  |1990  |1991  |1992  |1993         


Avon and Somerset       |12.41 |7.43  |10.59 |10.53        

Bedfordshire            |11.41 |21.87 |22.61 |13.12        

Cambridgeshire          |7.34  |18.41 |17.77 |17.39        

Cheshire                |14.04 |17.71 |16.53 |19.29        

City of London          |7.40  |3.00  |4.00  |3.00         

Cleveland               |14.06 |16.05 |16.77 |19.80        

Cumbria                 |8.45  |8.95  |20.11 |19.04        

Derbyshire              |12.00 |30.68 |21.47 |32.65        

Devon and Cornwall      |18.02 |12.97 |8.13  |10.79        

Dorset                  |31.23 |10.16 |12.67 |18.85        

Durham                  |26.47 |23.04 |19.67 |13.18        

Dyfed-Powys             |22.21 |22.30 |42.40 |27.85        

Essex                   |12.58 |11.95 |25.31 |10.39        

Gloucestershire         |7.85  |13.52 |14.39 |17.21        

Greater Manchester      |15.32 |16.45 |8.65  |8.49         

Gwent                   |10.65 |12.60 |19.81 |21.38        

Hampshire               |19.38 |16.61 |25.12 |17.64        

Hertfordshire           |12.50 |26.67 |13.90 |9.30         

Humberside              |18.27 |16.78 |16.58 |12.32        

Kent                    |12.90 |4.52  |5.13  |9.30         

Lancashire              |12.81 |27.52 |23.26 |12.08        

Leicestershire          |12.63 |12.56 |32.20 |8.53         

Lincolnshire            |13.14 |15.79 |13.04 |12.66        

Merseyside              |25.86 |30.68 |20.48 |20.62        

Norfolk                 |10.03 |5.61  |11.25 |7.11         

North Wales             |12.98 |4.68  |23.09 |4.36         

North Yorkshire         |14.42 |16.12 |11.45 |7.93         

Northamptonshire        |7.33  |5.42  |35.87 |18.50        

Northumbria             |23.22 |18.66 |16.46 |21.31        

Nottinghamshire         |25.53 |15.23 |14.50 |20.73        

South Wales             |14.33 |19.55 |18.82 |21.88        

South Yorkshire         |23.16 |14.63 |14.78 |20.50        

Staffordshire           |14.55 |17.68 |14.81 |9.34         

Suffolk                 |19.26 |11.10 |19.13 |6.78         

Surrey                  |17.63 |16.03 |13.39 |10.43        

Sussex                  |16.29 |33.49 |21.66 |17.57        

Thames Valley           |30.11 |31.71 |46.08 |22.27        

Warwickshire            |15.10 |10.58 |22.64 |14.42        

West Mercia             |11.33 |11.25 |17.09 |14.82        

West Midlands           |17.00 |13.61 |3.50  |13.97        

West Yorkshire          |43.07 |24.20 |18.02 |13.36        

Wiltshire               |10.36 |10.53 |9.85  |10.83        

Provincial Total        |17.08 |16.89 |14.35 |15.51        

Metropolitan Police     |8.67  |13.47 |18.09 |12.36        


England and Wales Total |15.02 |16.09 |14.88 |14.62        

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he intends to send asylum seekers under 18 years of age, or who claim to be under 18, to Campsfield house detention centre when Group 4 sets up its tactical support unit at the centre;     [29663]

(2) if he will take into account the advice of an independent medical expert in helping to determine the age of an asylum seeker who claims to be under 18 years old when detention is being considered.     [29673]

Mr. Nicholas Baker: The availability of staff trained in control and restraint techniques is required to meet extreme operational demands. This facility will not affect the fundamental regime at Campsfield house, which will remain suitable for the detention of young people and those claiming to be under the age of 18. Asylum applicants who are, or claim to be, under 18 are detained only in the most exceptional circumstances where this appears appropriate in the light of all relevant considerations. In assessing the person's age, medical evidence may be taken into account and if that were

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available from an independent medical expert that would be considered. However, I see no justification for formal arrangements to seek such independent evidence in all cases where the detainee claims to be under 18.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children are currently held in detention in connection with asylum applications; what are their nationalities; how many have been held for more than two months; and if he will list the detention establishments where they are being held.     [29885]

Mr. Baker: As at 16 June 1995, there was one recognised minor who had claimed asylum in the United Kingdom being held in detention. This Algerian national, who is 17 years of age, was an illegal entrant and has been held at Campsfield house for less than two months.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if unaccompanied children seeking asylum will be excluded from the short procedure pilot scheme; and if he will make a statement.     [29672]

Mr. Baker: Asylum applications made by or on behalf of unaccompanied children under the age of 18 are not included in the short procedure pilot.

Special Security Unit (Whitemoor Prison)

Sir Ivan Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the special security unit at Whitemoor prison will reopen.     [30059]

Mr. Howard: The special security unit at Whitemoor prison reopened yesterday. Comprehensive changes have been made to the unit since it closed following the escape attempt last September. These changes are in line with the recommendations in Sir John Woodcock's report. They include: major construction work to upgrade physical security measures; mandatory operating standards which lay down procedures for staff; carefully selected with trained staff, and a reorganised management structure with clear lines of responsibility.

I have also decided to introduce a policy of closed visits for all exceptional risk prisoners in the light of the Prison Service's assessment of their security requirements. By removing all physical contact between prisoner and visitor, the opportunity for the passing of weapons or other illicit items should be eliminated. As a result, all exceptional risk prisoners in the Whitemoor special security unit and the category A unit at Belmarsh prison will be subject to closed visits arrangements. The policy will be applied at the Full Sutton special security unit when it reopens following the construction work necessary to implement the Woodcock recommendations.


Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his current policy on allowing switching after entry into the minister of religion category by people who are admitted to the United Kingdom, under the immigration rules, in another capacity.     [30060]

Mr. Nicholas Baker: The immigration rules require that a person entering the United Kingdom as a minister of religion must obtain an entry clearance for that purpose in advance. The purpose of the entry clearance requirement is to ensure that the bona fides of the applicant as a minister of religion can be fully assessed,

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in the country where he lives and works, in advance of his coming to the United Kingdom. An application to remain as a minister of religion in the United Kingdom by a person who has not entered in that capacity is therefore to be refused. We would be prepared, exceptionally, to waive this requirement only where a bona fide minister of religion had been granted a visa or leave to enter as a visitor specifically to attend an interview for a job as a minister in the United Kingdom and was offered the job; or where a bona fide minister of religion, who had been granted a visa or leave to enter as a visitor specifically for a preaching tour of the United Kingdom, was asked to fill a vacant post as a minister in this country, the job offer appeared to be genuinely unexpected at the time the applicant entered the United Kingdom and there were good community relations reasons for allowing him to stay.

Community Service

Mrs. Peacock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted offenders failed to complete their community service orders, and were not taken back to court, in west Yorkshire in each year since 1985.     [27706]

Mr. Nicholas Baker [holding answer 13 June 1995]: Complete information about whether offenders who fail to comply with their orders are taken back to court is not collected centrally. The available information is given in the table.

Termination of Community Service Orders, West Yorkshire                     

Probation Service, 1985-93                                                  

                                      |Percentage of CSOs                   

                                      |terminated because                   


                   |Percentage of CSOs|failure to comply                    


                   |completed without |requirements,                        

                                      |conviction of                        

                   |termination for   |another offence or                   

                   |breach or         |other                                

Year               |further offence   |reason<1>                            


1985               |74                |26                                   

1986               |77                |23                                   

1987               |75                |25                                   

1988               |72                |28                                   

1989               |71                |29                                   

1990               |71                |29                                   

1991               |69                |31                                   

1992               |71                |29                                   

1993               |69                |31                                   

<1>Includes small proportion terminated due to changes in circumstances.    

Animal Welfare

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many designated establishments have ethics committees, operated by the Home Office inspectorate, for animal care and use under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and if he will list them.     [28677]

Mr. Nicholas Baker: None.

The Animals (Scientific Procedures) inspectorate does not operate any ethics or animal care and uses committees in establishments designated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. They may attend meetings of animal care and use committees set up by

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designated establishments as invited observers when asked to do so.


Parliamentary Questions

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what percentage of parliamentary questions, which would have been answered directly by him or his Ministers prior to the establishment of executive agencies, are now referred to the chief executive of such an agency.     [28502]

Mr. John M. Taylor: Ministers are accountable to Parliament for all matters concerning their agencies. Written parliamentary questions concerning matters which have been delegated to the chief executive of an executive agency in its Framework document normally receive a reply from the Minister to the effect that he or she has asked the chief executive to reply direct to the Member by letter. The chief executive's letter is published in Hansard below the Minister's reply.

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many written parliamentary questions were tabled for answer by his Department in each of the past five years; how many of these were not answered because the information (a) could be obtained only at disproportionate cost (b) was not held centrally and (c) was not normally disclosed; how many of these could now be answered due to non- computerisation, more effective and efficient operational systems or more open government; and if he will list each question along with the name and constituency of the right hon. or hon. Member who originally tabled it.     [28521]

Mr. Taylor: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Asylum Appeals

Mr. Terry Davis: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many appeals against the refusal of entry clearance were outstanding on 31 May or at the most recent date for which this information is available; how many appeals against the refusal of asylum were outstanding on this date; what action is being taken to reduce the numbers of outstanding appeals; and whether any priority is given to appeals against the refusal of asylum.     [29793]

Mr. John M. Taylor: The number of outstanding appeals against refusal of entry clearance is not recorded as a separate figure. However, at 31 May 1995, approximately 9,369 non-asylum appeals were outstanding. The number of asylum appeals outstanding was 4,885. There are plans to recruit additional adjudicators and staff, and to expand existing court room accommodation, to enable more cases to be heard in future. In the short term, more flexible listing arrangements and an increase in the length of the sitting day will help to increase the disposal rate. The immigration appellate authorities are also able to offer parties in London a hearing at a provincial centre where waiting times are shorter.

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The immigration appellate authorities endeavour to determine asylum appeals where the Secretary of State has certified the claim to be without foundation within seven days of their receipt, and all other asylum appeals within 42 days, in accordance with the Asylum Appeals (Procedure) Rules 1993.


Negative Equity

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the environment, pursuant to his answer of 23 February, Official Report , column 268 , if he will update the table on the number of households in negative equity.     [27532]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Estimates of negative equity are sensitive to the house price index and other assumptions used. Based on Department of the Environment house price data, an estimate of the number of households affected by negative equity in the first quarter of 1995 and the value of negative equity by region is as follows:

                     |Number of                          

Region               |households |Value                  



South East           |374        |1,910                  

Greater London       |100        |371                    

South West           |97         |309                    

East Anglia          |71         |309                    

East Midlands        |33         |71                     

West Midlands        |7          |6                      

Wales                |11         |13                     

Yorks and Humberside |70         |153                    

North West           |41         |29                     

North                |28         |40                     

Scotland             |53         |80                     

Northern Ireland     |1          |1                      


UK                   |886        |3,292                  

This table is intended to provide only a broad indication of the level of negative equity. Certain assumptions used in compiling the table may have overstated the number. My Department is reviewing with the Bank of England the reliability of those assumptions.

Sewage Treatment

Mr. Congdon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what percentage of coastal discharge of sewage are given (a) no treatment, (b) preliminary and (c) secondary treatment;     [28675] (2) what steps are being taken to achieve those provisions of the urban waste water treatment directive requiring all towns, whether or not with a population greater than 10,000 to apply secondary treatment before discharge.     [28676]

Mr. Atkins: Some 96 per cent. of the UK population is connected to a sewerage system. Eighty per cent. of sewage is treated and 90 per cent. of this receives secondary treatment or better. The proportions, already high in comparison with those in many continental countries, will rise as a result of investment over the next few years in particular the implementation of the urban waste water treatment directive. More detailed

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information on the proportion of the UK's population receiving different levels of sewage treatment and the programmes for implementing the directive are contained in the report produced by the UK under article 17 of the directive, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

Temporary Accommodation

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the percentage and total number of families in temporary bed-and- breakfast accommodation who have kitchen facilities.     [28808]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The information requested is not centrally available.

Paper Pulp

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what guidelines his Department has published for the disposal of paper pulp;     [29271]

(2) what discussions he has had with ADAS with regard to the disposal of paper pulp by spreading on land;     [29272]

(3) what representations he has received regarding problems caused by the disposal of paper pulp at Thieveley Pike, Cliviger, Burnley;     [29273]

(4) if he will call for an inquiry into environmental damage at Thieveley Pike, Cliviger, Burnley caused by the spreading of paper pulp; and if he will make a statement.     [29274]

Sir Paul Beresford: Responsibility for the enforcement of waste management controls rests with waste regulation authorities such as Lancashire county council. It is an offence under section 33(1)(a) or (b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deposit, recover or dispose of controlled waste without a waste management licence or contrary to the conditions of a licence exemption. It is also an offence under section 33(1)(c) of the 1990 Act to carry out these activities in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

We have provided exemptions from licensing in schedule 3 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994. Subject to certain conditions, paragraph 7 of schedule 3 exempts the spreading of de-inked paper sludge on land used for agriculture. The exemption applies only where the actively results in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement and the waste regulation authority for the area are provided with information about the spreading.

We have provided guidance on this exemption in DOE circular 11/94 paragraph 5.66 5.86. I understand that Lancashire county council, as waste regulation authority for the area, is aware of the incident referred to by the hon. Member and has taken appropriate action. The Department has received no representation about the incident. The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food has published codes of good agricultural practice for the protection of water in 1991 and for soil in 1993. The Department is also considering with MAFF the provision of technical guidance on the spreading of waste on land. In this context, officials have held discussions with ADAS and other consultants.

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National Superdome, Odsal

Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what action will be taken in respect of safety issues such as fire risks, chemical fire or spillage at the proposed new national superdome at Odsal;     [29005]

(2) what action will be taken in respect of fire and other anticipated safety hazards in the development of the national superdome.     [29006]

Sir Paul Beresford: Should planning consent be granted for the superdome, these issues will be matters for the developers, the contractors the stadium operators and the appropriate safety authorities.

Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals are being considered to minimise risks to the public from chemical works and associated industrial development in the area of the proposed national superdome.     [29004]

Sir Paul Beresford: A planning application for the superdome in Bradford has been referred to the Secretary of State as a departure from the development plan and is being assessed to decide whether it should be called in for public inquiry. The relevance of risk from other development is a matter for consideration in the normal procedures of local planning authorities and, where necessary, consultation with the appropriate safety authorities.

Conservation Areas

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when a national list of sites will be sent to the European Commission under the habitats directive.     [29856]

Mr. Gummer: Following extensive local and national public consultation launched on 31 March, a first list of 136 candidate special areas of conservation was sent today to the European Commission.

This list covers only sites on land and those that are already sites of special scientific interest. Consultation on possible marine sites will continue until 22 June.

I will announce the submission of a further tranche of sites to the Commission as soon as points raised in the consultation exercise have been fully considered and resolved.

A number of organisations have suggested additions to the list. These suggestions will be fully considered in accordance with the approach to site selection applied to the current list of possible sites and outlined in section 3 of "A list of possible Special Areas of Conservation in the UK" which was published on 31 March and placed in the Libraries. If the nature conservation agencies, through the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, advise that any of these additions qualify as possible SACs they will be published for consultation in due course. As indicated in my written reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) on 31 March at column 834 , there will also be consultation on those sites proposed for certain habitats types and species where it is necessary first to complete further SSSI notifications or on which additional scientific information is being sought.

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The list of sites which has been sent to the Commission is as follows:

Sites                                      |Country                          


Amat Woods                                 |Scotland                         

Ardmeanach                                 |Scotland                         

Ballynahone Bog                            |Northern Ireland                 

Barry Links                                |Scotland                         

Beer Quarry and Caves                      |England                          

Benacre to Easter Bavents Lagoons          |England                          

Berwyn                                     |Wales                            

Birklands and BIlhaugh                     |England                          

Black Bog                                  |Northern Ireland                 

Black Wood of Rannoch                      |Scotland                         

Balwhorn Moss                              |Scotland                         

Blean Complex                              |England                          

Borrowdale Woodland Complex                |England                          

Braehead Moss                              |Scotland                         

Bredon Hill                                |England                          

Burry Inlet: Dunes/Cilfach Burry:Twyni     |Wales                            

Cannock Extension Canal                    |England                          

Carrine Common                             |England                          

Castle Eden Dene                           |England                          

Castle Hill                                |England                          

Chilmark Quarries                          |England                          

Chilterns Beechwoods                       |England                          

Cockinhead Moss                            |Scotland                         

Coed y Cerrig                              |Wales                            

Coedydd a Cheunant Rheidol/Rheidol                                           

  Woods                                    |Wales                            

Coedydd Derw Meirion/Merionnydd                                              

  Oakwoods                                 |Wales                            

Coleg Glynllifon                           |Wales                            

Cors Caron                                 |Wales                            

Cors Fochno                                |Wales                            

Corsydd Mon/Anglesea Fens                  |Wales                            

Cothill Fen                                |England                          

Craigengar                                 |Scotland                         

Cranley Moss                               |Scotland                         

Creag nan Gamhainn                         |Scotland                         

Crymlyn Bog/Cors Crymlyn                   |Wales                            

Cuilcagh Mountain                          |Northern Ireland                 

Culbin Bar                                 |Scotland                         

Culm Grasslands                            |England                          

Cym Cadlan                                 |Wales                            

Derryleckagh                               |Northern Ireland                 

Drostre Bank                               |Wales                            

East Hampshire Hangers                     |England                          

Eastern Mournes                            |Northern Ireland                 

Ebernoe Common                             |England                          

Eilean na Muice Duibhe                     |Scotland                         

Elenydd                                    |Wales                            

Eryri/Snowdonia                            |Wales                            

Fairy Water Bogs                           |Northern Ireland                 

Fenland                                    |England                          

Feur Lochain                               |Scotland                         

Flow of Dergoals                           |Scotland                         

Gang Mine                                  |England                          

Garron Plateau                             |Northern Ireland                 

Garry Bog                                  |Northern Ireland                 

Glac na Criche                             |Scotland                         

Glannau Mon: Cors heli/Anglesea Coast:                                       

  Saltmarsh                                |Wales                            

Glannau Mon: Twyni/Anglesea Coast:                                           

  Dunes                                    |Wales                            

Glanau Ynys Gybi/Holy Island Coast         |Wales                            

Glen Coe                                   |Scotland                         

Godrevey Head to St. Agnes                 |England                          

Great Orme's Head/Pen y Gogarth            |Wales                            

Great Yews                                 |England                          

Hascosay                                   |Scotland                         

Helvellyn and Fairfield                    |England                          

Hill of Towanreef                          |Scotland                         

Holme Moor and Clean Moor                  |England                          

Hoy                                        |Scotland                         

Inchnadamph                                |Scotland                         

Invernaver                                 |Scotland                         

Isle of Wight Downs                        |England                          

Keen of Hamar                              |Scotland                         

Kenfig/Cynffig                             |Wales                            

Kilhern Moss                               |Scotland                         

Kingley Vale                               |England                          

Kirkcowan Flow                             |Scotland                         

Lewes Downs                                |England                          

Limestone seacliffs of S W Wales/Clogwyni                                    

  Calchfaen De-Orllewin Cymru              |Wales                            

Lismore Lochs                              |Scotland                         

Llangorse Lake/Llyn Syfaddan               |Wales                            

Loch Watten                                |Scotland                         

Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs              |England                          

Magheraveely Marl Loughs                   |Northern Ireland                 

Merrick Kells                              |Scotland                         

Minsmere to Walberswick Heaths and                                           

  Marshes                                  |England                          

Mochrum Lochs                              |Scotland                         

Monadh Mor                                 |Scotland                         

Monawilkin                                 |Northern Ireland                 

Moniack Gorge                              |Scotland                         

Morrone Birkwood                           |Scotland                         

Mound Alderwoods                           |Scotland                         

Newham Fen                                 |England                          

Norfolk Valley Fens                        |England                          

North Northumberland Dunes                 |England                          

North Pennine Dales Meadows                |England                          

Oak Mere                                   |England                          

Oldshoremore and Sandwood                  |Scotland                         

Oxford Meadows                             |England                          

Pasturefields Salt Marsh                   |England                          

Pembrokeshire bat sites/Safleoedd Ystlumod                                   

  Penfro                                   |Wales                            

Pettigoe Plateau                           |Northern Ireland                 

Pewsey Downs                               |England                          

Pitmaduthy Moss                            |Scotland                         

Prescombe Down                             |England                          

Preseli                                    |Wales                            

Queendown Warren                           |England                          

Reidside Moss                              |Scotland                         

Rex Graham-Reserve                         |England                          

Rhinog                                     |Wales                            

Rhos Goch                                  |Wales                            

Rhos Llawr-cwrt                            |Wales                            

Rooksmoor                                  |England                          

Rum                                        |Scotland                         

Slieve Beagh                               |Northern Ireland                 

St. David's/Ty Ddewi                       |Wales                            

Staverton Park and the Thicks,                                               

  Wantisden                                |England                          

Strath                                     |Scotland                         

Stromness Heaths and Coast                 |Scotland                         

Tanat and Vyrnwy Bat Sites/Safleoedd                                         

  Ystlumod Tanat ac Efyrnwy                |Wales                            

Taynish Woods                              |Scotland                         

Teal Lough                                 |Northern Ireland                 

The Mens                                   |England                          

The New Forest                             |England                          

The Stipperstones and the Hollies          |England                          

Thorne Moor                                |England                          

Thrislington                               |England                          

Tingon                                     |Scotland                         

Tregonning Hill                            |England                          

Trotternish Ridge                          |Scotland                         

Tulach Hill and Glen Fender Meadows        |Scotland                         

Tyne and Allen River Gravels               |England                          

Upper Lough Erne                           |Northern Ireland                 

Wasdale Screes                             |England                          

West Midlands Mosses                       |England                          

Whitlaw and Branxholme                     |Scotland                         

Windsor Forest and Great Park              |England                          

Wye and Crundale Downs                     |England                          


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action his Department is taking to minimise detrimental environmental effects from (a) opencast mining and (b) quarrying.     [29646]

Sir Paul Beresford: Tight, improved guidelines which upgrade environmental requirements on opencast mining were published last July. Similar guidelines for quarrying were published in April 1994. These guidelines would apply to any new permissions for either opencast mining or quarrying.

Social Housing

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the likely need for social housing in Britain up to 2001.     [28108]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: My Department estimates that the additional demand for new social lettings over the current public expenditure survey period lies within the range of 60,000 and 100,000 units per year.

Building Regulations

Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the current timetable for recommendations to changes in part M of building regulations to be considered by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee;     [29665]

(2) what is the current timetable for bringing into force parts M5 and M6 of building regulations.     [29666]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Officials in my Department are analysing all the many responses received to the consultation paper on part M of the building regulations issued earlier this year. I expect the Building Regulations Advisory Committee to consider this analysis in the autumn, after which its recommendations will be considered by Ministers. No decisions have been taken as to when any changes to part M should come into effect.

National Parks

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment under what circumstances he will call in a proposal for major development in a national park.     [29877]

Sir Paul Beresford: Both within and beyond national parks, planning applications are, in general, called in for decision by my right hon. Friend only if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. He is very selective about calling in applications to determine himself. Such cases may include, for example, those which, in my right hon. friend's opinion, could have wide effects beyond their immediate locality, which give rise to substantial regional or national controversy, which may conflict with national policy on important matters and

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those where the interests of foreign Governments may be involved.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he will outline Government policy on major development proposals in national parks.     [29879]

Sir Paul Beresford: Special considerations apply to major development proposals in national parks. Such development should not take place in national parks, the Broads and the New Forest heritage area save in exceptional circumstances.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment for what reasons it was decided not to call in the planning application for further minerals extraction at Swinden quarry in the Yorkshire dales national park.     [29875]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Secretary of State is selective about calling in applications for his determination and will, in general, take this step only if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. Each case must be considered on its individual merits. The decision not to call in the application to extend Swinden quarry, given the site's location in a national park, was taken only after the most careful scrutiny. The Secretary of State decided on the basis of the information before him that the application did not raise issues of more than local importance.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the application for development at Swinden quarry was in accordance with the structure plan; and if it was subject to an officer recommendation of refusal.     [28878]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Yorkshire dales national park authority considered the application to be contrary to the provisions of the north Yorkshire county structure plan. It was subject to an officer recommendation of refusal.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many letters he has received requesting him to call in the application for further mineral extraction at Swinden quarry.     [29876]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Secretary of State has received 55 letters asking him to call in the application for further mineral extraction at Swinden quarry. In addition a petition was received.

Thames Tunnel

Mr. Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give approval to London Underground Ltd. to go ahead with shotcreting the Thames Brunel tunnel to allow tunnel repair and associated works to go ahead.     [29874]

Sir Paul Beresford: An application by London Underground Ltd. for listed building consent to carry out works to the Thames tunnel has been notified to the Secretary of State for the Environment in order that he may consider whether he should determine it.

Very careful consideration is currently being given to whether the application should be called in. In these circumstances, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter.

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Standard Spending Assessment

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the answer of 21 February given by the Secretary of State for Education, Official Report , columns 183 84 , in relation to his statement in the debate on council budget capping on 15 June about comparative figures for Devon and Somerset local education authorities' central administrative costs; and if he will make a statement on whether the figures are correct.     [29926]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Our decisions on capping were based on the figures put to us by the authorities themselves as a part of their representations, rather than the 1992 93 figures listed in the answer of 21 February. In the view of Somerset county council the difference between the Somerset and the Devon figures in the answer may reflect differences in definitions or accounting practices between the authorities.

Local Government Commission

Mr. Patrick Thompson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who will serve on the Local Government Commission for England.     [30058]

Mr. Curry: Sir David Cooksey will be chairman. We have asked four of the existing commissioners to remain on the commission and they have agreed to do so. They are: Professor Malcolm Grant, Ken Ennals, Robert Scruton and David Thomas.

In addition, four new commissioners will be appointed with effect from 1 July 1995. They are: Peter Brokenshire, chairman of Redbridge and Waltham Forest family health services; Professor Michael Clarke, professor and head of the School of Public Policy, university of Birmingham; Helena Shovelton, chairman

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of the National Association of the Citizens Advice Bureaux; and Norman Warner, managing director of Warner Consultancy and Training Services Ltd.

Ministerial Meeting, Sofia

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to assist with the preparations for the pan-European conference of Environment Ministers to be held in Sofia in October.     [30237]

Mr. Gummer: With the Austrian Minister of the Environment, I co- hosted and chaired a meeting of a number of Environment Ministers from western and eastern Europe at Lancaster house on 12 and 13 June to discuss key issues for the forthcoming Sofia conference and to guide the officials engaged in the detailed preparations. There was a consensus that the conference should focus on further implementation of the environmental action programme for Europe under which countries of central and eastern Europe are being assisted to tackle their most serious environmental problems, and that to this end enhancing environmental investment, encouraging the private and business sectors to become fully involved and protecting biodiversity were key areas for attention. My colleagues agreed that the Sofia conference should produce a number of concrete projects to demonstrate how new ideas could be realised, including the development of pilot projects for joint implementation under the climate change convention and the sulphur protocol.

In addition we have co-sponsored with our Austrian colleagues a study of impediments to environmental investment from the perspective of central and eastern European countries and we are assisting the Bulgarians directly with the conference preparations through the provision of a high-level adviser.

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Barlow Clowes

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much Her Majesty's Government have paid to Barlow Clowes victims;     [27272] (2) if he will publish the statement read out in court in the recent Barlow Clowes case; and if he will set out the full terms of the settlement;     [27274]

(3) what sums each of the relevant parties have agreed to pay to HM Treasury following the recent out-of-court settlement in connection with Barlow Clowes;     [27270]

(4) for what reasons Her Majesty's Treasury agreed to settle out of court in the Barlow Clowes case; and on whose authority the decision was taken;     [27273]

(5) what was the total cost to public funds of the action to obtain payment in the matter of Barlow Clowes recently settled out of court.     [27271]

Mr. Nelson: The Government's publicly stated aim is to pursue vigorously any claims showing prospect of reducing the cost to the public purse of the ex-gratia payments scheme. This has paid some £150 million to investors who suffered loss as a result of the collapse of the Barlow Clowes group of companies in May 1988. Consequently, the Government initiated litigation against a number of parties previously involved with Barlow Clowes companies. This litigation included proceedings against a group of professional advisers, comprising Midland bank plc, Rensburg and Co., Simpson Curtis, Singer and Friedlander Ltd., Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) Ltd., Sinjul Nominees Ltd., Spicer and Pegler, Spicer and Pegler (Gibraltar) and Touche Ross and Co.

The decision to settle the litigation by acceptance of a substantial sum in respect of claims made in those proceedings, including interest and costs, was taken after receiving firm legal advice from leading counsel and solicitors, which also confirmed the commercial good sense of such a course.

The settlement was signed and announced to the High Court on 24 May 1995. That statement made it clear the parties do not intend to make any further public statement, except as may be required of the Government by Parliament or of any defendant by its obligations to the stock exchange, concerning the settlement of these proceedings. I have arranged for a copy of the statement to the court to be placed in the Library.

It is generally the Government's policy not to comment on the detail of legal proceedings or settlements relating to the Barlow Clowes litigation, so as not to influence the attitude and outcome of continuing actions. The Government continue to pursue vigorously any claims in relation to the Barlow Clowes companies which show any prospect of cost-effective recovery in order to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of the ex-gratia payments schemes.

European Single Currency

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the report of the study group on the role of public finance in European

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integration chaired by Sir Donald MacDougall, published in 1977; and what are his conclusions on its findings on the effect on the size of the European Community budget, in the event of the creation of a single currency.     [27671]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The MacDougall report was an early attempt to assess the role of the public finances in European integration. Its analysis reflected the thinking of the 1970s. The Government do not endorse its conclusions or its recommendation that the EC budget should grow to some five to seven per cent. of EC GDP to be compatible with monetary union. There is no provision in the Maastricht treaty for any such expansion of the EC budget and the Government remain committed to the firm ceilings on EC spending agreed at Edinburgh.

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