Previous Section Index Home Page


Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will place in the Library a copy of the correspondence referred to in paragraph 40 of the National Audit Office report,"Aid to Indonesia", relating to aid proposals and defence sales. [2278]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: I have been asked to reply.

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) will write to the hon. Member shortly. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

18 Jun 1997 : Column: 166


Sustainable Development

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what plans he has for consultation with women about appropriate ways to promote sustainable development; and if he will make a statement; [3747]

Ms Angela Eagle: Our sustainable development strategy involves environmental, economic and social goals and is about improving the quality of life for all. Women's groups will be consulted with others as we draw up proposals for revising the strategy over the coming months and we will continue to consult widely--including with appropriate women's organisations--as the Department works up its environmental programmes. As part of our initiative to increase the influence of women in decision-making we are in the process of setting targets for higher levels of representation by women in our public bodies.

OECD Multilateral Agreement on Investment

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how the Government will ensure that environmental protection is fully integrated into the OECD Multilateral Agreement on Investment; [3962]

Ms Angela Eagle: The Government would not want to see a Multilateral Agreement on Investment which damaged our commitment to sustainable development and to environment protection. We shall also want to ensure that obligations under multilateral environmental agreements are fully safeguarded. We are aware of the concerns raised by environmental non-governmental organisations and support both formal and informal consultation with them as negotiations continue. We will discuss with negotiating partners in the OECD whether there is a need for an impact study of the Agreement.

Council Tax (Oxfordshire)

Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many representations he has received from council tax payers in Oxfordshire concerning the level of the council tax levied by Oxfordshire county council for 1997-98. [3801]

18 Jun 1997 : Column: 167

Mr. Raynsford: We have received three letters from local tax payers complaining about the level of council tax set by Oxfordshire County Council for 1997-98.

Fly Tipping

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he is taking to monitor the incidence of illegal fly tipping of waste following the introduction of the landfill tax; and if he will make a statement. [3779]

Ms Angela Eagle: Responsibility for monitoring illegal fly tipping, clearance of the wastes involved and pursuing offenders, lies with a number of organisations. The Environment Agency is actively working with these organisations to gather reliable information on fly tipping and other forms of illegal waste disposal.

Most notably a co-operative exercise is planned between the Environment Agency, Local Government and the Tidy Britain Group to survey the incidence of fly tipping twelve months on from the introduction of the landfill tax. A report summarising the finding is due to be published in the first half of 1998.

Further co-operative surveys are planned with the emphasis on improving the quality of data collected by using standard definitions of waste types and quantities.

The evidence of increased fly tipping gathered to date is not conclusive, and may reflect increased public awareness and concern over fly tipping rather than a demonstrable increase in incidents. Nevertheless the Environment Agency are treating this matter very seriously and are working with local authorities to co-ordinate any necessary enforcement action.

City Challenge

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many City Challenge schemes are currently in train; how many (a) public and (b) private money has been received by each; and if he has received (i) the exit strategies and (ii) the date of the completion of each scheme. [4007]

Ms Angela Eagle: There are 20 City Challenge schemes currently in train.

The latest published figures for the total amount of public and private money received or attracted by each of these schemes are:

PartnershipActual public funding to 31 March 1996 (£000)(8)Actual private sector funding to 31 March 1996 (£000)
Batley (Kirklees)54,65149,579
Bootle (Sefton)42,894101,161
Brixton (Lambeth)46,00634,547
Dalston (Hackney)92,40452,415
Harlesden (Brent)37,616107,579
Newtown South Aston (Birmingham)70,15245,305
North Kensington (Kensington and Chelsea)66,22729,705
North Tyneside77,255174,171
Stockton on Tees55,27347,837
Stratford (Newham)89,22473,732
Tipton (Sandwell)52,57448,546

(8) This comprises funding from City Challenge Grant; other DOE programmes; other Government departments; local authority main programmes; and Housing Corporation grant.

18 Jun 1997 : Column: 168

The Exit or Forward Strategy is an integral part of each Partnership's annual Action Plan. The Plan is discussed and developed over the lifetime of City Challenge.

The five year period of Government funding for the 20 partnerships ends on 31 March 1998 but, exceptionally, approval has been given for one partnership--North Tyneside--to implement its programme over 6 years. There will be some, limited, grant-funded expenditure taking place in the year after the main funding period ends.

Water Treatment

Mr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the progress by the water companies in cleaning bathing water on British coastlines, and what further measures he proposes to obtain higher standards of effluent treatment disposal by water companies. [3814]

Ms Angela Eagle: The improvement programme undertaken by the water companies in England and Wales, the water authorities in Scotland and the water service in Northern Ireland has led to 90 per cent. of UK bathing waters meeting the EC Bathing Water Directive's mandatory coliform bacteria standards in the 1996 bathing season. This compares with compliance rates of 67 per cent. and 80 per cent. in 1988 and 1993 respectively. Compliance rates should further increase as more schemes are completed over the next few years under this Directive and under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

Climate Change Convention

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proposed amendments have been tabled by the Dutch Presidency on behalf of European Union member states to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in preparation for the review conference in Kyoto on the convention. [3818]

Ms Angela Eagle: I have placed a copy of the European Union proposal for a Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, together with a copy of a proposed EU amendment to the Convention itself, in the library of this House.

18 Jun 1997 : Column: 169

Transmitter Masts

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will give greater powers to local planning authorities to restrict inappropriate siting of transmitter masts for cellular phone networks more than 10 metres in height. [4018]

Mr. Raynsford: Local planning authorities already have adequate powers to influence the siting of transmission masts for cellular phone networks that are more than 10 metres in height. Under the prior approval procedure of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, local planning authorities have the opportunity to say whether they wish to approve, within 28 days, details of the siting and appearance of permitted mast development of up to 15 metres high proposed by licensed telecommunications code system operators outside protected areas. The authority is able to refuse approval if it considers there to be a serious threat to amenity. A full planning application must be made to the local planning authority for all masts proposed in protected areas, such as a National Park, area of outstanding natural beauty or conservation area, and for all masts of more than 15 metres in height elsewhere.

Next Section Index Home Page