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8 Oct 1998 : Column WA87

Written Answers

Thursday, 8th October 1998.

Working Children: Protection

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the membership and terms of reference of their review of the arrangements for the protection of working children's health, safety, welfare and general development; whether the review will include the employment of children in entertainment and advertising; and whether it will be within its remit to recommend the total prohibition of the employment of children in any capacity.[HL3322]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The review is being carried out by officials from the Departments of Health, Trade and Industry, Education and Employment, the Cabinet Office and the Health and Safety Executive. Expert practical advice is being provided by the National Child Employment Network.

The terms of reference of the working group are to:


    consider the present arrangements for protecting children in relation to employment, including regulatory arrangements, levels of protection and enforcement;


    examine any research or other evidence it considers necessary from any source including interested organisations and individuals;


    make any necessary investigations;


    draw up any proposals necessary to ensure that children's health, safety, welfare and development is strictly protected and that they are shielded from exploitation;


    report jointly to relevant Ministers at the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry by the end of 1998.

8 Oct 1998 : Column WA88

The review includes the employment of children in entertainment and advertising. It is free to recommend anything which will further the protection of children.

Waste Water Treatment, Scotland

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the position with respect to derogations under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive in Scotland.[HL3376]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The Government have decided to withdraw the designation of 12 High Natural Dispersion Areas around the Scottish Coast as set out in the table below. This means that water authorities will provide secondary treatment at all discharges in these locations for population equivalents of greater than 10,000. This is a major step towards improving the quality of Scottish coastal waters and beaches.

As part of this, the Government have also decided to withdraw the derogation request for the Aberdeen discharge under Article 8.5 of the Directive. It has become apparent that it would be more appropriate for the North of Scotland Water Authority to provide secondary treatment at Aberdeen. This is a significant move towards further improving the quality of North Sea waters and the decision will also ensure that the project can be commissioned in sufficient time to meet the Directive's deadlines.

List of high natural dispersion areas to be withdrawn

Water authority areaName of designation
EastFirth of Forth--Coastal
EastFirth of Forth--Estuary
EastFirth of Tay
NorthAngus Coast--South
NorthAngus Coast--North
NorthKincardine Coast
NorthPeterhead Coast
NorthFraserburgh Coast
NorthBanff Coast
NorthBuckie Coast
NorthMoray Firth
WestClyde Coast (Irvine/Ayr Bays)

8 Oct 1998 : Column WA87



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