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Lord Sewel: The three Scottish water authorities operate in very different circumstances, and it is therefore difficult to make valid comparisons of cost-effectiveness which take full account of factors such as geographical situation and quality of outputs.
Lord Sewel: The figures in the following tables show the water authorities' apportionment of their total costs to give gross unit costs for water supply and sewerage services in 1996-97. For each service the costs are split into operating costs, capital maintenance and interest charges. Some of the apportionment of costs is provisional, and there may be inconsistencies in the assumptions behind the apportionment of costs by the three authorities. These figures take no account of the different geographical operating conditions of the three authorities.
|Operating costs||Capital maintenance||Interest|
|North of Scotland Water||33||10||15|
|East of Scotland Water||28||12||12|
|West of Scotland Water||27||12||11|
|Operating costs (pence/m)||Capital maintenance (pence/m)||Interest (pence/m)|
|North of Scotland Water||26||6||10|
|East of Scotland Water||24||8||11|
|West of Scotland Water||23||5||13|
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): Our requirement is for frozen lamb, for which the primary sources are overseas. Our contractor's estimate is based on its market analysis of the sources expected to provide the most competitive prices consistent with meeting our quality specification and the need to guarantee supplies throughout the year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The Government have not had an opportunity to study the reports of the charity Second Harvest. However, we are keen to learn from experiences abroad as we develop our welfare reform programme.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Many economic and social factors have contributed to the increase in workless households. The Government's concern is to correct any deficiencies in the provision of welfare which contribute to, rather than alleviate, this problem, such as disincentives to working.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The Government believe the welfare state should prevent poverty, not just meet the costs of failure. Worklessness is a major cause of low incomes and we are determined to reform the welfare system so that it does everything possible to help and encourage people of working age to work where they are able to do so.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): The Government are currently conducting a review of the water abstraction licensing system in England and Wales. A consultation paper is expected to be published within the next few weeks.
Baroness Hayman: We have decided that from 1 May this year the Institute of Environmental Assessment will take over this function from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), which has administered EMAS in the United Kingdom since it came into operation in April 1995. The institute will be the official Competent Body responsible for registering sites under the scheme on a fee charging basis in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A separate announcement will be made later about Scotland.
The decision therefore reflects the importance which the Government attach to motivating businesses to adopt externally verified environmental management systems. The Environment Agency is firmly committed to encouraging the use of such systems because of their value in improving the environment, and we welcome its work in this respect. We will be looking to all leading companies to respond by committing themselves to EMAS and ISO 14001.
Baroness Hayman: A new annual survey by DETR found that in 1995-96 almost 24 million tonnes of household waste was collected by, or on behalf of local authorities in England and Wales. Figures were published in January 1998 in a new statistical bulletin, Municipal Waste Management 1995-96. A copy was placed in the Library of the House of Lords. Figures for 1996-97 will be published in early summer, 1998.
The only data on waste handled by local authorities for earlier years derive from surveys carried out in the 1970s and 1980s by CIPFA. These surveys used different definitions and suffered from a declining response rate, so it is not easy to make comparisons over time. However, recent research suggests that between 1983 and 1993 household waste arisings may have grown by as much as 2 per cent. per annum.
|Sixth form colleges|
|Other FE sector colleges|
|Schools and FE sector colleges|
|The GCE A level point scores|
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