Results 181–200 of 2174 for speaker:Mr Robert Atkins

New clause 1: Relevant Authorities to Define Requirements of Environmental Protection (27 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: The hon. Lady will recall that, when we discussed the matter in Committee, I made it clear that although we were pushing as hard as we could within the Government estate to be aware of all that should and can be done by various Departments, we did not always meet every objective. Being a reasonable person, she will understand that there are always pressures and difficulties that prevent our...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Sewage Treatment Works (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: Of 918 sewage treatment works identified in 1989 as requiring investment, 95 per cent. are now compliant with their consents. Further investment is planned over the next 10 years.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Sewage Treatment Works (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his remarks. The problem that he mentions has been around for a considerable time, and because of its size it is not likely simply to go away. However, since privatisation many companies involved in the disposal of sewage have spent vast sums on improvements. My hon. Friend's point is well taken, and I am sure that the water companies already spending that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Sewage Treatment Works (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: The hon. Lady raises several points, although, as usual, she puts her finger on a problem that is easy to attack, but she does not understand the solutions. The fact remains that this country has spent more on cleaning up its beaches and providing sewerage facilities than any other country. That has happened as a direct result of privatisation, although the hon. Lady is right to say that the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Sewage Treatment Works (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for his kind remarks. Blackpool is arguably the most important tourist resort in Europe, and certainly the most important in the United Kingdom. My hon. Friend, and my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Elletson), speak firmly and regularly in favour of the town they represent. Anyone who attacks Blackpool and its contribution to the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Rats (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: It seems singularly appropriate that rats should be answering a question about rats. My Department has received no such representations.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Rats (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: According to the survey that was carried out, there has been an increase in the number of infestations from 4.4 per cent. to 4.8 per cent. I suggest that most of those are in Monklands.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Rats (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: My hon. Friend has a point. However, there is a serious issue. Scare stories are being spread by the likes of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths) to suggest that rats are on the increase. There has been a small increase in certain areas, but the problem must be viewed in proportion. According to the survey by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the number of rats...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Rats (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: It depends whether they are rattus vulgaris or whether they are black rats. My comment about Monklands would apply to the black rats.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Cement Kilns (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I wrote to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) on 13 June welcoming the Select Committee's initiative on burning SLF in cement kilns. I said that the existing controls are sufficient to regulate cement kilns and SLF. I can assure the House that the trials are strictly controlled and that Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution will stop any which endanger the environment....

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Cement Kilns (21 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: My hon. Friend the Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) has been particularly involved in pursuing me on a matter affecting his constituency directly, and the hon. Gentleman and the Select Committee have asked similar questions. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his Committee's report and, as he will know, I am in full agreement with some of the things that he said. The trials that are...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Environment Agency (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: The work to be transferred to the environment agency is valued at £528 million at 1994–95 prices.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Environment Agency (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: There is an old adage that, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. We are in the business— [Interruption.] We are in the business of ensuring that we get very large monkeys—[HON. MEMBERS: "Stop digging!"] We are in the business—

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Environment Agency (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I know exactly where I am, Madam Speaker. We are in the business of ensuring that, whoever is appointed chief executive of that most important agency, which is a product of far-seeing legislation that the Government are introducing, will be paid the right amount to do an important job. Industry will need to ensure that the people who run that agency can speak the same language as it does, so...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Environment Agency (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: There is a question on the Order Paper about that issue, which I intend to answer, but I can give the hon. Gentleman the assurance that he wants.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Environment Agency (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: My hon. Friend makes an extremely important argument. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are examining it closely. In discussing the Environment Bill, currently in Committee, we have not reached the provisions relating to the national parks, but I intend to ensure that there is better representation from those who live and work in the parks, who are, in my book, the most...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Minewater Pollution (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: My Department maintains regular contact with the National Rivers Authority about minewater pollution. Responsibility for the control of such pollution lies in the first instance with mine operators.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Minewater Pollution (17 May 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I hope that the hon. Gentleman will recognise that we hold similar views on the determination to ensure that abandoned mines do not cause detrimental pollution. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that during a recent visit to Durham by the chairman of the Coal Authority the matter was discussed between county councillors and the Coal Authority. Durham county council was able to issue a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Contaminated Land (19 Apr 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: The contaminated land provisions in part II of the Environment Bill include proposals for local authorities to inspect their areas to identify contaminated land, to assess the seriousness of the contamination using guidelines to be set out by the Secretary of State, and taking into account the advice of the Environment Agency, to decide what should be done by way of remediation.

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Contaminated Land (19 Apr 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I share the hon. Gentleman's desire to bring contaminated or brown land back into the development cycle. That is why we have coined the phrase "suitable for use" which we talked about yesterday in the debate on the Environment Bill. I expect that in due course the hon. Gentleman and I will find out the extent of that in Committee. The point is surely that those who have caused the problem,...


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