HC Deb 08 December 1988 vol 143 cc276-7W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy on the recommendations in the Environment Select Committee Report concerning the introduction of new prohibitive powers enabling water authorities or other independent bodies to stop dischargers releasing effluent and to revise effluent permits without financial penalty.

Mr. Moynihan

The Water Bill will empower my right hon. Friend to direct the National Rivers Authority to revoke or modify particular discharge consents with immediate effect, where this is necessary for the protection of public health or of flora or fauna dependent on the aquatic environment. Compensation would arise in those circumstances only where the authority in granting the consent could reasonably have been expected to foresee the threat to public health or the aquatic environment.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will(a) list all the local authorities which, under present legislation, have lost lands given to the present water authorities, (b) indicate the location and size of such land and (c) list the cases in which local authorities received proper and direct compensation for that loss of land.

Mr. Moynihan

[holding answer 5 December 1988]: Information is not available in the form requested on land transferred from local authorities to water authorities in the 1974 reorganisation. The local authorities concerned, or their successors, were relieved of the debt liabilities associated with the land transferred.

Mr. Livsey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of income in cash terms each water authority in England and Wales raised from land drainage precepts, direct charges for abstraction and impoundment licences, fishing rod licences and navigation licences in 1987–88, broken down by region.

Mr. Moynihan

[holding answer 5 December 1988]: information on land drainage precepts and charges for abstractions is shown in the annual reports and accounts of the water authorities laid before Parliament each year and available in the Library. This information is brought together in Waterfacts, published annually by the Water Authorities Association and also available in the Library. The remaining information requested by the hon. Member is not available centrally.

Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he possesses concerning the asset value of all property, plant, including sewers, and machinery relating to disposal of used water currently owned by regional water authorities; and what is the basis of valuation.

Mr. Moynihan

[holding answer 7 December 1988]: Analyses by service of the net asset value of water authorities' tangible fixed assets are set out in the historic cost and current cost sections of the authorities' published annual accounts. The basis of the figures is explained in notes to the accounts.