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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 27 January 1998


Remuneration (Deans and Chapters)

Mr. Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, what has been the level of remuneration to the Dean and Chapter of (a) St. Paul's, (b) Westminster Abbey and (c) St. George's Windsor for each year from 1993 to 1997 inclusive. [25612]

Mr. Stuart Bell: The total costs (excluding National Insurance) of the stipend paid to the Dean and Chapter at St. Paul's for the years 1993-94 to 1997-98 are shown in the table:

Westminster Abbey and St. George's Windsor are "Royal Peculiars" and outside the clergy payroll administered by the Commissioners.



Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what estimate he has made of the total cost of closing four coastguard stations and merging two stations; [22843]

Ms Glenda Jackson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Coastguard Agency, Mr. Chris Harris, to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from C. J. Harris to Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody, dated 27 January 1998:

The Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about the Coastguard service.

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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will estimate the number of empty housing units in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in (a) 1995, (b) 1996 and (c) 1997 (i) in total and (ii) by housing sector. [24659]

Mr. Raynsford: The numbers of vacant local authority and housing associations dwellings in Newcastle upon Tyne on 1 April are set out in the table, alongside the local authority's estimates of private and other public sector vacant dwellings.

Local authority(1)1,6341,7261,674
Housing association(2)327569607
Other public sector(1)498369287
Private sector(1)4,3394,1914,385

(1) Source: Annual Housing Investment Programme (HIP1) returns.

(2) Source: Annual HAR10/1 returns.

Mrs. Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what factors underlay his assessment that a possible five million new homes are required for the next century's housing needs. [24867]

Mr. Raynsford: My Department has made no such assessment. The 1992-based household projections, published in March 1995, indicate a 4.4 million increase in the number of households in England in the 25 year period from 1991 to 2016. However, these household projections are not an estimate of the number of additional houses which have to be built. Rather, they represent just one of the factors to be taken into account by local planning authorities when arriving at figures for housing provision to be included in regional guidance and development plans.

These projections remain the latest official estimates of household formation until the 1996-based household projections are compiled around the end of this year.

Manual Handling

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many prosecutions the Health and Safety Executive has carried out under the Manual Handling Regulations since they came into force; and of these how many were against (a) health care employers, (b) local government employers and (c) private residential homes. [25006]

Angela Eagle: The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 came into force on 1 January 1993. Between then and 31 March 1997, the Health and Safety Executive has taken eight cases, involving the laying of 15 informations. Ten of the resulting charges produced successful convictions.

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One case was taken against a local government employer. This case resulted in two convictions. No cases were taken against health care employers.

Local authorities enforce the Manual Handling Operations Regulations in private residential homes; HSE has therefore taken no prosecutions against private residential homes.

Green Field Site Development, Bradford

Mrs. Ann Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received on the allocation of a large green field site at Silsden for housing development in the Bradford Unitary Development Plan. [24969]

Mr. Raynsford: Since Bradford City Council published their proposed modifications to the Unitary Development Plan, and their notice of intention to adopt it, we have received my hon. Friend's representations and others on behalf of the Silsden Town Action Group. Officials have also received telephone calls about the proposals for Silsden.

We have been aware of the public controversy about the Plan and have taken full account of the representations before concluding that intervention by the Secretary of State would not be warranted.

Street Trees

Ms Jenny Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 2 December 1997, Official Report, column 110, what guidance is given to local authorities to develop strategies for the preservation of mature street trees; and what monitoring takes place as to the effectiveness of the delivery of these strategies. [25018]

Angela Eagle: Various guidance has been given to local authorities, in Circulars, research reports and other documents, on the scope and content of strategies to guide the planting, maintenance, protection and replacement of trees in their area. In particular, the 1994 report 'Urban Tree Strategies' illustrated, through a number of case studies, a range of different approaches to help other local authorities when preparing their own strategies.

Monitoring its effectiveness in achieving objectives should be an important element of any such strategy and should be undertaken at the local level.

Countryside Access

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will publish his consultation document for the promotion of greater access to the countryside. [24816]

Mr. Meacher: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Wirral, West (Mr. Hesford) and for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) on 22 January 1998, Official Report, column 614.

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Green Belt

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many hectares in England are currently zoned as Green Belt. [24981]

Mr. Raynsford: The latest information available centrally relates to September 1993; it is estimated that there were 1,555,700 hectares of Green Belt in England. More up-to-date information will be available later this year.


Mrs. Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research his Department has carried out into the impact of the completion of the A419 in Gloucestershire on traffic flows. [24866]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Traffic studies were carried out in accordance with the Department's Traffic Appraisal Manual for the schemes on the A419 in Wiltshire and A417 in Gloucestershire which have recently been completed. The studies covered the effects of the Latton Bypass, the Cirencester and Stratton Bypass, the North of Stratton to Nettleton Improvement and the Brockworth Bypass on traffic flows in that corridor. We are monitoring traffic on the new road but it will be some time before we are able to draw any conclusions as to traffic patterns.

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