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Unitary Authorities

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the amount of standard spending assessment per person for each of the new unitary authorities created on 1 April. [31169]

Sir Paul Beresford: The standard spending assessments requested are as shown in the table.

SSA
£ per head
Bath and north-east Somerset664.62
Bristol699.88
South Gloucestershire622.56
North Somerset647.33
Hartlepool815.36
Middlesborough862.89
Redcar and Cleveland805.25
Stockton on Tees772.02
East Riding of Yorkshire668.03
Kingston upon Hull813.89
North-east Lincolnshire760.06
North Lincolnshire718.32
York629.64

Building Research Establishment

Mr. Dover: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the current key performance targets for the Building Research Establishment. [31805]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 2 April 1996 his proposals for transferring the Building Research Establishment to the private sector by February 1997. While it remains an executive agency, BRE is working to the following key targets for 1996-97:


Cement Kilns

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will issue the Government's response to the second report of the Environment Committee on the burning of secondary liquid fuels in cement kilns, HC497 of Session 1994-95. [32086]

Mr. Clappison: The Government have today published their response to the Select Committee and copies have been placed in the Library.

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 507

Water (Pesticides)

Mr. Dover: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the working party on the incidence of pesticides in water will publish its report. [31804]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The working party on the incidence of pesticides in water has today published its review on the monitoring of pesticides in water in the United Kingdom. I am placing a copy in the Library. It concludes that:


This report provides a comprehensive summary of the data which is available on pesticides in water. A group, led by the Environment Agency, will be formed to ensure that there is an ongoing review of monitoring requirements and that monitoring efforts are most effectively directed.

Rack Marsh, Bagnor

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he has been given in relation to the creation of a site of special scientific interest at Rack marsh, near Bagnor in Berkshire. [31362]

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 5 June 1996]: I understand that English Nature's Council has approved the notification of Kennet and Lambourn floodplain, Berkshire/Wiltshire as a site of special scientific interest. The area known as Rack marsh forms a component part of this composite site. English Nature is now notifying owners and occupies of the council's decision.

Vertigo Moulinsiana Snail

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he has been given in relation to the creation of a special area of conservation for the vertigo moulinsiana snail in the Kennet and Lambourn valleys. [31363]

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 5 June 1996]: English Nature, through the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, has formally recommended that eight separate locations in the Kennet and Lambourn valleys be considered as a possible candidate for designation in due course as a special area of conservation under the European directive 92/43/EEC--the habitats directive--following the discovery in the area of large populations of the species Vertigo moulinsiana, Desmoulin's whorl snail. All the relevant survey material has been placed in the Library. The Government have accepted this recommendation and public consultation on this proposal is now under way.

The JNCC has also recommended that parts of the Avon valley appear to qualify for possible designation, subject to more detailed survey work to determine boundaries. If this recommendation is confirmed and accepted, public consultation on a site in this area will be undertaken in due course.

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 508

Another possible site, Chilbolton common, on which public consultation has already taken place, is, in the light of recent survey material, not now considered by the JNCC to be of sufficiently high quality to qualify for SAC status and is withdrawn from further consideration.

The recommendation of parts of the Kennet and Lambourn floodplains and part of the Avon valley as possible SACs for this species seems to me to be consistent with the requirements of article 4 and annex III of the habitats directive and with the United Kingdom approach to selection of possible SACs for other habitat types and species. The JNCC's advice is that these two sites would complement the selection of three other sites for this species in East Anglia which have already been submitted as candidate SACs to the European Commission following consultation.

The implications of the JNCC's advice for the Newbury bypass are explained in a separate answer given today to my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir D. Mitchell) by my hon. Friend the Minister for Railways and Roads.

I consider that, subject to the outcome of public consultation, a proposal for five high quality sites would comply with the obligations under the habitats directive to make a contribution to the Natura 2000 network in proportion to the representation within this country of the habitat of the species. The course of action announced today in respect of the safeguarding of Vertigo moulinsiana is also consistent with my general endorsement on 15 May of the biodiversity steering group's report which recommended an action plan for the species.

HEALTH

Lariam

Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on adverse drug reaction to the anti-malarial drug Lariam (Mefloquine); and if he will indicate the number and type of reactions reported. [31322]

Mr. Malone: None.

The Medicines Control Agency monitors adverse reactions reported with Lariam and evaluates potential safety issues in the light of any new evidence that emerges. The MCA received 956 reports of 2,678 suspected adverse reactions associated with Lariam between 1990, when the product was launched in the United Kingdom, and 1 June 1996. During this time in excess of half a million patients have received Lariam. The reports received are consistent with the known safety profile of Lariam as described in the authorised product information.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 26 March, Official Report, column 515, how much his Department estimated it would have cost to provide the information requested. [31460]

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 509

Mr. Horam: More than £450, the current threshold above which answers are deemed to incur disproportionate cost.

Health Authorities (Severance Costs)

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to hold centrally information in respect of severance costs incurred by health authorities to achieve management cost reductions targets; and if he will make a statement. [31425]

Mr. Malone: No.

Cash Limits and Running Costs

Mr. Day: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes will be made to the cash limits and running costs limit of his Department in 1996-97. [31969]

Mr. Dorrell: The cash limit for class XI vote 1--hospital community health, family health and related services, England--will be reduced by £4,000,000 (from £27,686,304,000 to £27,682,304,000). This allows for a transfer to class XI, vote 2--Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health and personal services, England--in respect of a re-apportionment between health votes.

The cash limit for class XI, vote 2--Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health and personal social services, England--will be increased by £35,984,000, from £1,173,472,000 to £1,209,456,000. This allows for an increase of £36,000,000; £25,000,000 for services for people seeking asylum; £7,000,000 for a grant to the Thalidomide Trust, and £4,000,000--running costs--for a transfer from class XI, vote 1 as mentioned. The overall increase is partially offset by a transfer of £16,000 to class VI, vote 2--regeneration and countryside and wildlife, England--in respect of a project requiring assistance from the European regional development fund.

The Department's gross running costs limit will be increased by £4,002,000 from £276,202,000 to £280,204,000 reflecting the transfer. Also the original running cost limit published in the "Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses", Cm 3201, table 3.8a was understated by £2,000.

All increases will either be offset by foregoing the take-up of end year flexibility, transfer to or from other votes or charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.


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