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Prisoners (Donated Organs and Brains)

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if (a) donated organs and (b) brains removed from deceased prisoners are classed as waste under the European definition of waste and require the completion of waste transfer notes under the duty of care regulations. [23666]

Mr. Clappison: Whether a substitute or object is waste must be determined on the facts of the case and the interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts. In any particular case, the key question is whether the holder of a substance or object is discarding it or intends or is required to do so.

The Department has provided guidance on the interpretation of the definition of waste in annex 2 to DOE circular 11/94. On the basis of this guidance, the Department's view is that:


EDS Ltd.

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 28 February to the hon. Member for Wallasey (Ms Eagle), Official Report, column 640, what are the penalties involved should he seek early termination of the contract with EDS; what contracts his agencies have with EDS; and if he will make a statement. [23717]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Department's contract conditions enable it to terminate for breach of contract and sue the contractor for damages up to the limit permissible under general contract law.

The Department's agencies currently have no contracts with EDS.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the additional funds made available to local authorities to cover part of the extra expenditure they will incur as a result of the withdrawal of benefits from asylum seekers will count towards the capping limit for their expenditure; if the capping limit will apply (a) to funds local authorities have to contribute to looking after the needs of such asylum seekers and (b) to funds that

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will be reimbursed by the Government; and what will be the position of those authorities already at or near their capping limit. [24014]

Mr. Curry: The funds made available to local authorities will be by way of special grant; they will, therefore, have no impact on an authority's budget requirement and will fall outside capping. Any expenditure incurred by local authorities that is not covered by the grant will form part of their budget requirement and therefore will be subject to capping.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what the budget of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee will be for 1996-97 for (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Scotland. [23825]

Mr. Clappison: The total allocation to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee for 1996-97 will be £4.465 million, made up as follows:

£ million
(a) English Nature2.515
(b) Countryside Council for Wales0.700
(c) Northern Irelandnil
(d) Scottish Natural Heritage1.250

Mrs. Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many ecologists were employed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in (a) 1994-95 and (b) 1995-96; and what is the proposed number for 1996-97. [23826]

Mr. Clappison: The number of staff with relevant scientific qualifications employed by the JNCC's support unit for the years in question are:

YearPermanentFixed-term appointments
1994-952143
1995-962436
1996-972436

The figures for 1996-97 are for staff in post at 1 April. It is impossible to predict how this figure will alter during the year due to resignations or terminations of fixed-term appointment contracts.

London Docklands Development Corporation

Ms Gordon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what extent the salary of the chief executive of the London Docklands development corporation is performance related; what targets are used to measure his performance; and what account is taken of the income from the sale of land. [24106]

Sir Paul Beresford: The employment contract of the London Docklands development corporation's chief executive provides for an annual salary reviewable by the corporation's remunerations committee each year. Any increase proposed by the committee and supported by the corporation's board is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury. In

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addition, the chief executive is eligible for a non-consolidated performance-related payment of up to 10 per cent. each year at the discretion of the committee. The targets against which the chief executive's performance is measured are set by the committee and supported by the board. Income, from whatever source, is just one aspect of over 30 benchmarks designed to assess the effectiveness of the chief executive's overall operational and financial management for the purposes of performance-related pay.

Details of the chief executive's remunerations are contained in the corporation's published annual report and financial statements. Copies are placed in the House Libraries each year.

Organophosphates

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements his Department has made since 1992 to ensure that guidance note MS17 from the Health and Safety Executive is circulated to HSE field officers; and if he will make a statement. [23829]

Sir Paul Beresford: Copies of guidance note MS17 have been distributed to the area offices of the Health and Safety Executive for use by field inspectors and copies have been issued to the Employment Medical Advisory Service.

Dog Registration

Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will assess the advantage of a national registration scheme for dogs. [22550]

Mr. Clappison: No. Our policy is to look at the specific issues related to dogs rather than impose a national registration scheme.

Regulations

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which of the 1,000 regulations identified for repeal or amendment by the Prime Minister are the responsibility of his Department; of those which (a) have been repealed or amended and (b) are planned to have been repealed or amended by the end of the 1995-96 parliamentary Session; and if he will list those whose repeal has saved business more than £1 million per annum. [23655]

Sir Paul Bereford: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given earlier today by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Council Tax

Mr. Dunn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the percentage increase for band D council tax for each local authority in England for the year 1996-97 relative to the year 1995-96 [24167]

Sir Paul Beresford: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Urban Regeneration to my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) on 20 March 1996, Official Report, column 213.

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Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the review of the boundaries of Sefton metropolitan borough council to begin; and when the review will be completed. [24276]

Mr. Curry: I expect the Local Government Commission's review of Sefton to start later this year. The exact start date and the length of the review will be the subject of discussion with the commission, taking into account the other priority tasks which the commission has to undertake.

Menwith Hill Station

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action the Health and Safety Executive is taking to examine whether the people of Thornthwaite with Padfield parish, near Harrogate, are at risk of cancer from radomes located at Menwith Hill station; what co-operation there is between the HSE and North Yorkshire health authority in this matter; when inquiries are expected to be completed; to whom the report will be submitted; and if he will make a statement. [24367]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Health and Safety Executive was contacted by Harrogate borough council in February seeking views on possible risks associated with operations at Menwith Hill and the incidence of cancer in the area. Inquiries have been initiated, including contact with the North Yorkshire health authority and a response will be made to the borough council as soon as practicable.


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