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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 1 March 1996

ENVIRONMENT

Secondary Liquid Fuels

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if it is his Department's policy to permit the permanent use of secondary liquid fuels. [17912]

Mr. Clappison: Each application for the burning of secondary liquid fuels will be determined on its own merit and in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If the operator of the plant has demonstrated, by trials, that there is no net adverse effect on the environment, authorisation with strict conditions under the Act is likely to be granted.

Flags

Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what planning permission provisions apply to the flying of flags of non-sovereign nations, with special reference to the City of Westminster; what is his policy on this matter; what payment has to be made with a planning application to fly such a flag; and if he will make a statement. [18082]

Sir Paul Beresford: Provisions in schedule 2 (class I) to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 effectively enable the national flag of any country to be displayed in England and Wales, provided the flag is on a single, vertical flagstaff and there is no advertisement or subject matter additional to the flag's design. If these conditions are fulfilled, no application for planning permission or advertisement consent is required to fly a national flag. No special provisions apply in the City of Westminster.

My right hon. Friend has no proposals to amend these provisions.

Groundwater (London)

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with London local authorities, Thames Water and London Underground about rising levels of groundwater underneath London; and if he will make a statement. [18299]

Mr. Clappison: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Austin-Walker) on Tuesday 27 February, Official Report, column 479-80.

Civil Servants (Company Directors)

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which serving civil servants in his Department are presently directors of companies; and if he will indicate for each (a) the name of the company

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concerned and (b) if the annual remuneration was (i) £1 to £5,000, (ii) £5,000 to £10,000 and (c) above £10,000.[18136]

Sir Paul Beresford: Four serving civil servants in my Department currently hold non-executive company directorships. No fees are payable under the Cabinet Office rules:

NameCompany
Dr. Alan AplingH. R. Wallingford Group(ex officio)
Mr. Roger CourtneyWoods of Colchester
Mr. William RickettRedland Tile Business
Mr. John StokerMersey Partnership Hanson Brick(ex officio)

Hare Krishna Temple, Hertsmere

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received in relation to the appeal over the Hare Krishna temple in Hertsmere, Hertfordshire; and when he expects to make a decision on it. [18505]

Sir Paul Beresford: A number of representations for and against the proposals were heard at least year's public inquiry into the planning appeal. We received the inspector's report in December, and we are considering his conclusions and recommendations very carefully. It is too early to say when the Secretary of State's decision will be issued.

Power Lines

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to meet the chief medical officer to discuss the potential danger to health from power pylons and lines; and if he will make a statement. [17972]

Sir Paul Beresford [holding answer 29 February 1996]: My right hon. Friend has no such plans. The National Radiological Protection Board advises industry, local authorities and other regulators on these matters.

Mrs. Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from (a) housing organisations, (b) mortgage lenders, and (c) health organisations about the potential danger to health from power pylons and lines. [17971]

Sir Paul Beresford [holding answer 29 February 1996]: As far as is known, my right hon. Friend has received no direct representations from these bodies.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Civil Servants (Company Directors)

Mr. Byers: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which serving civil servants in his Department are presently directors of companies; and if he will indicate for each (a) the name of the company concerned and (b) if the annual remuneration was (i) £1 to £5,000, (ii) £5,000 to £10,000 and (c) above £10,000. [18141]

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Mr. Jonathan Evans: No central register is kept in this Dapartment of company directorships held by serving civil servants. However, members of staff are required to declare to senior management any commercial interest they may have. This requirement is set out in the Department's personnel management manual. Senior officials are not aware of any such declarations having been made by current members of staff. More detailed research would involve the examination of individual personal files and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Scott Inquiry

Mr. Allen: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what consultations he had with the secretary to the Cabinet concerning the Government's response to the Scott inquiry; and where and when such consultations took place. [16641]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: Successive Governments have not disclosed the nature or the specific sources of the advice they receive from the civil service.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Cultural Traditions Group

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what factors led the cultural traditions group to decline to utilise Ulster Scots in its logo; and what is its policy for ensuring a funding balance between Ulster's main cultural traditions and an appropriate input at policy level from each. [16748]

Mr. Ancram: The cultural traditions group continues to seek an appropriate expression of the Ulster Scots tradition for inclusion in its logo. The CTG's funding policy is to encourage respect for diversity by spreading knowledge of Northern Ireland's separate and shared traditions. It welcomes funding applications for projects reflecting any aspect of Northern Ireland's cultural heritage and considers each on its merits. Membership of the group and its sub-committees is representative of Northern Ireland's main cultural traditions and it welcomes policy submissions from any interested cultural organisation.

EDS Ltd.

Ms Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list those contracts his Department currently holds with EDS Ltd., indicating for each the (a) date of inception, (b) value and (c) duration. [17452]

Sir John Wheeler: One contract is currently held with EDS, the date of inception for which was 1 September 1995. This contract is due to last 19 months. I am unable to disclose the value of this contract as it is covered by commercial confidentiality.

Miss Rita O'Hare

Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the arrest of Miss Rita O'Hare is still sought; and what attempts have been made to extradite her from the Irish Republic. [17099]

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Sir Patrick Mayhew: The arrest warrant for Ms O'Hare is still outstanding and has not been withdrawn.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary made a request to have Ms O'Hare extradited from the Republic of Ireland. However, she successfully relied on the political offence defence and won her case against extradition in the High Court in Dublin in March 1978.

Confiscation Unit

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will review with the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland the resources allocated to the confiscation unit. [17149]

Sir John Wheeler: The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland has in this financial year been allocated £7,089,000. The distribution and any reviews of this to specific parts of his office are matters for the director to decide.

Civil Servants (Company Directors)

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which serving civil servants in his Department are presently directors of companies; and if he will indicate for each (a) the name of the company concerned and (b) if the annual remuneration was (i) £1 to £5,000, (ii) £5,000 to £10,000 and (c) above £10,000. [18143]

Sir John Wheeler: Central records indicate that we have no staff in Northern Ireland civil service departments serving as directors of companies.


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