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Beach Pollution (Southport)

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what (a) levels and (b) types of beach pollution were measured in Southport in each year since 1994. [132490]

Mr. Mullin: The bathing water at Southport passed the mandatory coliform standards of the Bathing Water Directive in 1994, 1996 and 1998 but failed in 1995, 1997 and 1999. I refer the hon. Member to my Department's annual publications "Bathing Water Directive, Detailed Summary of Survey Results, United Kingdom", available in the Library, for information on levels and types of beach pollution for each year in question. Details are also available on the Environment Agency's internet site: "", and then follow "What's in your backyard".

Housing Investment Programme

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which local authorities have scored better than average rating for their Housing Investment Programme assessment. [132511]

Mr. Mullin: Details of the performance assessment rating given to each housing authority in the 1999 Housing Investment Programme were included in the press notice (DETR 1160/99) issued on 7 December 1999, which announced housing capital allocations for 2000-01.

Water Additives

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what chemical compounds are added to water supplies by water companies; from what sources these compounds are derived; what is the (a) largest, (b) smallest and (c) average dosage added; what powers are available to him in respect of the addition of such compounds to the water supply; and what recent research his Department has (i) undertaken and (ii) evaluated into the environmental impact of increasing the levels of fluoride in water. [132420]

Mr. Mullin: The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 provide for approval by the Secretary of State of products, substances and processes used in the provision of public water supplies. The Secretary of State is advised on approvals issues by the Committee on Chemicals and Materials for Use in Public Water Supply. That Committee also considers the impact on the environment of residues from approved chemicals. The

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Secretary of State's list of approved products, which includes all chemicals approved for use in public water supplies, is published annually by the Drinking Water Inspectorate. The list is installed on the inspectorate's website,, and includes as a public health protection measure, conditions of approval that limit the maximum dosing concentrations.

Coastal Byelaws

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to take forward the recommendations of the Review of Byelaws for the Coast published in 1998. [132645]

Mr. Mullin: We shall implement the review's recommendations, which require legislation when parliamentary and other pressures permit. We have already published a voluntary code of best and safe practice for leisure craft users, and we are exploring options for a voluntary boat registration and identification scheme.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many unfilled vacancies for permanent staff his Department has; what percentage of staff positions in his Department are vacant; what the monthly cost would be to his Department of employing civil servants in these positions; how many and what percentage of staff his Department employs on a temporary basis through employment agencies; how much his Department paid employment agencies to supply temporary staff in each of the last 12 months; and how much he expects to pay employment agencies to supply temporary staff in each of the next 12 months. [131435]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The number of permanent, casual and temporary staff employed by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Centre), and cost associated with employing temporary staff, are set out in the tables. The Department does not have a target number of posts to be filled by permanent staff. Budgets for staff fall within the Department's running cost limits. Vacant posts are filled by permanent or casual staff, or by temporary staff, depending on the nature and duration of work.

Number of staff in DETR(C)

July 1999
August 1999
September 1999
October 1999
November 1999
December 1999
January 2000
February 2000
March 2000
April 2000
May 2000
June 2000
April 2001(1)

(1) Forecast number of staff in DETR(C) including casual and temporary staff--monthly forecast data are not available

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Staff costs
July 1999
Costs (£000)292252
August 1999
Costs (£000)290224
September 1999
Costs (£000)276212
October 1999
Costs (£000)135240
November 1999
Costs (£000)294210
December 1999
Costs (£000)189168
January 2000
Costs (£000)212188
February 2000
Costs (£000)238221
March 2000
Costs (£000)290249
April 2000
Costs (£000)221192
May 2000
Costs (£000)172150
June 2000
Costs (£000)235203
April 2001
Costs (£000)725637


Permanent = established civil servants

Casual = employed by the Department on a short-term basis, not exceeding one year

Temporary = employed on a temporary basis through employment agencies


1. All staff numbers have been calculated on a full-time equivalent basis

2. DETR(C) staff numbers do not include Government Office, Agency and NDPB's therefore comparisons cannot be made with Cabinet/Treasury reports

3. Figures for temporary staff have been based on the total number of hours invoiced (based on 36 hour week)

4. Average cost for permanent staff to replace temporary staff are compared with Pay £15,538 per annum

5. Statistics for temporary staff may not be complete--local arrangements are in place--clarification of details could be obtained only at disproportionate cost

6. Monetary values are in £000.

25 Jul 2000 : Column: 586W

Connex South Central

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 17 July 2000, Official Report, column 54W, on Connex South Central, what plans he has to introduce requirements for train operators to provide for a well planned and smooth changeover period between franchises in future franchise contracts. [132291]

Mr. Hill: The Franchising Director has produced a revised template franchise agreement for replacement franchises. This contains improved provisions for smooth transfer at the end of the franchises.

Radiological Protection

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the Government plan to implement the justification requirements of Euratom Directive 96/29 on radiological protection; and if he will make a statement. [130875]

Mr. Meacher: The Government are still considering the best means of implementing these requirements in the light of advice received from the Health and Safety Commission.

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