Written Answers To Questions
Monday 28th October 1985
asked the Attorney-General if he will list all instances of private prosecutions taken over by the Director of Public Prosecutions in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement on general policy followed in taking over such prosecutions.
In deciding whether to exercise his powers under section 4 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1979 in relation to a prosecution instituted by a person in a private capacity, the Director of Public Prosecutions first considers whether the evidence is sufficient to justify continuation of those proceedings. Where the evidence is sufficient in this respect, he considers whether the continuation of the prosecution would he in the public interest and whether that same public interest requires him to intervene and assume responsibility for it. In exceptional circumstances he will intervene to discontinue proceedings which appear to be vexatious or constitute an abuse of process.The director adopts the same approach when considering a request for intervention made after a conviction has resulted (that is to conduct any appeal) but in such circumstances he takes into account that the public interest requires that ordinarily convictions properly recorded by the criminal courts should not be allowed bo be quashed simply for want of prosecution.The director does not keep statistics specifically relating to interventions under section 4 of the 1979 Act but there have been at least three such cases in the last three years. The defendants were:
- Gary Austin (St. Albans Crown Court)
- Eric Miller (Maidstone Crown Court)
- Royal College of Surgeons (Croydon Crown Court on appeal from Bromley Magistrates Court).
Duty Solicitor Scheme
asked the Attorney-General what plans he has to implement the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 with regard to the creation of a Londonwide duty solicitor scheme.
We intend that a duty solicitor scheme covering the whole of England and Wales should come into force on 1 January 1986, at the same time as the relevant provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The Lord Chancellor has invited the Law Society to proceed with the arrangements to make the scheme uniformly effective as soon as possible.
Crown Prosecution Service
asked the Attorney-General if he will list the trade union consultative meetings that have taken place with the Council of Civil Service Unions and others on the proposals to establish an independent Crown prosecution service; if he is satisfied that all consultative procedures have been followed; and if he will make a statement.
In 1985 my officials have had formal meetings with a combined trade union side, consisting of representatives of the Council of Civil Service Unions and the National and Local Government Officers Association, on the following occasions:
- 26 February
- 19 March
- 28 March
- 23 April
- 14 May
- 13 June
- 9 July
- 6 August
- 3 September
- 1 October
asked the Attorney-General to what extent he has given assurances to the trade unions and prosecuting solicitors that their future prospects and salaries will be secured under the independent Crown prosecution service; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. and learned Friend has assured the staff of existing prosecuting solicitors departments and their representative bodies that the staff who will serve in the Crown prosecution service will be remunerated on a basis that should ensure that they provide the high standards that will be required.It is the Government's intention, as has consistently been reflected in what my right hon. and learned Friend has said in his discussions with representatives of the staff of existing prosecuting solicitors departments, that career prospects in the new service should also be such as to attract and retain staff of the necessary calibre.On 30 March 1984 my right hon. and learned Friend told a meeting of the Prosecuting Solicitors' Society that its members' career prospects would be enhanced by reason of the larger total requirement of the new service for qualified prosecutors.
asked the Attorney-General whether he will delay the implementation of the independent Crown prosecution service, especially the transfer regulations timetable affecting the metropolitan counties, until satisfactory assurances regarding the future of their grades, salaries and resident offices have been agreed with prosecuting solicitors and other officers in the six provincial areas; and if he will make a statement.
It is intended to establish the service in the present six metropolitan counties and the county of Durham on 1 April 1986. It would not be in the public interest or the interests of the staff affected to subject prosecution arrangements in the metropolitan areas to two separate disturbances. Discussions on each of the matters referred to in the right hon. Member's question and on related matters are currently taking place between officials of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the relevant representative bodies, with a view to arrangements which will suffice to attract and retain staff of the requisite quality.
asked the Attorney-General what assurances have been given to the South Yorkshire county prosecuting solicitors' department working at Barnsley magistrates' court that no further upheaval in transfers of men and offices will take place when the independent Crown prosecution service is established.
No assurances have been give. To be efficient, effective and economical the Crown prosecution service will need to be structured on a system of area and branch offices. Moreover, it is desirable that, as soon as practicable, it should be housed in accommodation separate from the police. All changes will be affected with proper consideration for the interests of the staff concerned and, where appropriate, after consultation.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will set out in detail his latest proposals to the teachers involved in the present dispute.
Offers of pay increases for school teachers are made by the management panel of the Burnham primary and secondary committee. The last formal offer was made in that committee on 12 September and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The offer was constructed on the Government's willingness to see an extra £1,250 million spent on teachers' pay over the next four years in order to develop a new career and promotion structure and to clarify the range of teachers' professional duties. In addressing these objectives the offer proposed:
This offer was rejected by the teacher unions after just 20 minutes consideration. Developments since that rejection were outlined in my statement to the House on 22 October at column 152.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many academic staff in universities, polytechnics and higher education colleges have been (a) made redundant or (b) taken early retirement, since 1979; and what these figures represent as a percentage of the total academic staff for each year since 1979.
The number of academic staff in British universities made redundant or taking early retirement since the scheme started in 1981–82 is 3,317. This represents 7·7 per cent. of the 1979–80 staff, 7·5 per cent. of the 1980–81 staff, 7·6 per cent. of the 1981–82 staff, 7·7 per cent. of the 1982–83 staff and 7·7 per cent. of the 1983–84 staff.Since 1979 the number of polytechnic teachers in England and Wales who had applied under the premature retirement scheme was 1,784. If this is expressed as a percentage of the full-time staff in each financial year from 1978–79 to 1983–84, the percentages are 10·6 per cent., 10·5 per cent., 10·6 per cent., 11–0 per cent., 11·2 per cent., and 11·5 per cent. respectively.Redundancies and early retirements for staff in other colleges engaged in higher education cannot be separated from all other further education staff.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many applications were made by mature students for entry to courses in higher education for each of the last 10 years; and how many were accepted.
The numbers of applicants and acceptances, for students aged 21 and over through the Universities' Central Council on Admissions scheme, have been as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has about the number of overseas students studying in higher education in European Economic Community states, the United States of America and Japan, and the percentage they represent within the indicated student population as a whole.
The data requested are shown in the following table:
|Host Country||Year||Overseas students in higher education (thousands)||*Percentage of all higher education students|
|* Including part-time students where appropriate.|
|† Universities and equivalent degree-granting institutions only.|
|† Universities only.|
|║ Figures refer only to students enrolled in institutions in Luxembourg; higher education students mainly study outside Luxembourg.|
|¶ Includes private sector.|
|● Includes private sector and correspondence courses.|
|■Excludes private sector colleges.|
|★These percentages increase to 8·0 and 7·8 respectively when based on full-time students alone.|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many new enrolments of (a) full and (b) part-time students in colleges and institutes of advanced further education in England, excluding polytechnics, have occurred in each year since 1979.
The numbers of first-year enrolments of full-time and part-time students on advanced courses in colleges and institutes of further education in England for the period from 1979 to 1984 (the latest date for which figures are available) are as follows:
|First year enrolments on advanced courses in public sector establishments (excluding polytechnics) England; 1 November each year.|
|1981 final figures||1982 as at 20 October 1982||1983 as at 5 October 1983||1984 as at 24 October 1984||1985 as at 16 October 1985|
|* Includes art, drama, history, music, RE, languages, English.|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many university applicants there were in each of the last 20 years; how many candidates were finally accepted in each of those years; and what the acceptance rate represents as a percentage of applications for each of those years.
1. All figures relate to total student numbers i.e. home, EC and overseas student.
2. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many applications there have been for places on postgraduate certificate in education courses in each of the last five years for which figures are available, in total, and broken down into the following categories (a) primary phase, (b) secondary phase, (c) mathematics and science and (d) arts.
Applications to postgraduate courses of initial teacher training as registered by the clearing houses are as follows:
The numbers of applicants and acceptances through the Universities' Central Council on Admission scheme have been as follows:
|Engineering and technology|
|Full-time and sandwich||35,817||36,761||36,991||36,531||35,418|
|Mathematics and computing*|
|Full-time and sandwich||11,450||12,695||13,740||14,355||14,717|
|* Excluding mathematics and physics and other combinations Figures are not yet available for 1984, but an increase is expected.|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many students in (a) British universities and (b) polytechnics have met or are currently meeting the full cost of tuition fees at the home rate, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, for each of the last five years.
Information is not available in the form requested. It is estimated that only about 1 or 2 per cent. of home students in higher education are not in receipt of mandatory or discretionary awards.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teaching staff were employed in higher education in May 1979 and for each year since.
The numbers of teaching staff in British universities and in public sector higher education in England since 1978–79 are as follows:
|*Universities Great Britain (Full-time only)||†Maintained Institutions England (Full-time equivalent)||†Direct Grant and Voluntary Institutions England (Full-time only)|
|* As at 31 December.|
|† Estimated, as at January of each year.|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many engineering undergraduates there are expected to be in universities in the academic year 1985–86; and how this compares with each year since 1979;(2) how many mathematics and computer undergraduates there are expected to be in the academic year 1985–86; and how this compares with each year since 1979.
The numbers of undergraduates in British universities were as follows:‡ Including a small non-advanced component, as at March of each year.║ Provisional.Figures are not yet available for 1984–85.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list in the Official Report current pay scales for lecturers in (a) universities and (b) polytechnics.
The current pay scales are as follows:
|Universities (non-clinical academics)||1 April 1984 £|
|Assistant Lecturer and Lecturer||7,520|
1 April 1985 £
|Lecturer Grade I||6,207|
|Lecturer Grade II||7,926|
Overseas Students (Fees)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recommendations have been issued about fees for overseas students, non-EEC, on courses of further and higher education in the academic year 1985–86.
The Government's policy is that overseas students who began their courses on or after 1 September 1980 should pay fees that cover the cost of their education here, but it is for individual institutions and authorities to determine the fees that they charge such students in accordance with the Government's policy and in the light of their own particular circumstances. The University Grants Committee has however recommended that universities should charge at least the following minimum fees to such overseas students during the current academic year:
|Clinical courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science||8,050|
Similarly, the Council of Local Education Authorities has recommended that local authority institutions should charge at least the following minimum fees to such overseas students:
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, for each local education authority, how many admission appeals have been made to education appeals committees for (a) the voluntary and (b) the state sectors under the provisions of the Education Act 1981; how many applicants have been successful in their appeals; and how many cases have subsequently been referred to the Commission for Local Administration on grounds of maladministration by the local education authority involved, in each year for which figures are available.
This information is not collected centrally.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he is taking to improve school buildings, in the light of the statement by Her Majesty's inspectorate of schools in its recent expenditure survey that the state of school buildings are a cause of growing concern.
It is for local authorities themselves to determine repairs and maintenance priorities in the light of local needs and circumstances. We have made clear our view that this area should be given priority within the resources available. The Government's plans for local authority expenditure on education for the current year provide scope for some improvement in the level of provision for repairs and maintenance, provided costs cart be contained and feasible savings made elsewhere. In order to help authorities make the best use of the resources available, the Department published in March this year guidelines for determining maintenance priorities and for setting up cost-effective maintenance programmes.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information is available to his Department concerning (a) the standards of hygiene in school cloakrooms and (b) outbreaks of dysentery in schools; and if he will make a statement.
The standard of hygiene in cloakrooms of schools which are maintained by a local education authority is a matter for that authority. While my right hon. Friend is aware of a small number of outbreaks of dysentery in schools in recent years, the Department does not collect information on either subject. Advice on all aspects of health and hygiene m relation to their schools is available to education authorities from their district health authority and local environmental health officer.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement concerning the Government's present position on the use of corporal punishment in schools, in the light of European Court judgments.
The Government are considering the appropriate course of action to take in the light of the decision not to proceed with the Education (Corporal Punishment) Bill this Session announced on 23 July 1985 at column 863.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has yet received advice from the Department steering committee for the adult unemployed on whether the REPLAN scheme should be extended beyond 1987.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on Friday 25 October 1985 at column 263. In reaching his decision my right hon. Friend will of course take account of any views which the programme's steering committee put to him.
Plant Breeding Station, Aberystwyth
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether a final decision has been reached about the future work of the plant breeding station at Aberystwyth; and if he will make a statement.
The Welsh plant breeding station at Aberystwyth is an institute of the Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC), which receives a grant-in-aid from the Department's science budget.I understand that the AFRC is shortly to publish a statement of forward policy based on its long-term view discussion paper and subsequent consultation. The council is committed to supporting a strong research programme at the Welsh plant breeding station relating to the needs of livestock and grassland enterprises of the wetter west of Britain. The station will make a major contribution to the council's integrated research programme for the animal production and grasslands sector.I understand that the AFRC expects to make a grant of £3·01 million to the Welsh plant breeding station for recurrent expenditure in 1986–87. This compares with £3·09 million in the current year and takes account of the reduced needs of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for commissioned research in 1986–87.I understand further that the director expects fully to maintain current work on hills and uplands, nitrogen fixation, nutrient cycling and basic developmental studies of grass and clover. There will however be reductions in strategic research on crop physiology and grass cytogenetics, as well as in commissioned research.The reductions are likely to cause 25 posts to be lost at the station, some of which may involve compulsory redundancy.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the level of funding of Liverpool polytechnic.
My right hon. Friend accepted the national advisory body's recommendation that £19·003 million (including £150,000 selective assistance for research) from the advanced further education (AFE) pool for 1985–86 should be allocated to Liverpool city council in respect of Liverpool polytechnic's recurrent expenditure. In addition £1·36 million for polytechnic building projects and £1·49 million for AFE equipment were included in the city's allocation of prescribed capital expenditure.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science by how much the number of secondary school and primary school places has fallen in each year since 1974; and what are his current targets for reductions in 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Latest targets for the removal of surplus places in primary and secondary schools were published in the public expenditure White Paper, Cmnd. 9428: the target for the period April 1975 to March 1985 was 790,000 places accumulating to over one million places by March 1987. A separate target for March 1986 was not published. The reduction in the numbers of primary and secondary school places in the years for which the information is available are as follows:
|April 1975 to June 1978||47·0||26·8||73·8|
|July 1978 to December 1979||47·3||18·1||139·2|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the level of funding for schools in the maintained sector in Liverpool.
As with any local education authority, it is for the city of Liverpool itself to determine the level of funding of its education service consonant with its statutory responsibilities.
Higher Education (Green Paper)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on his meeting with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals in Leicester at the end of September; and what representations were made to him during that meeting about his Green Paper on higher education.
I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the talk which my right hon. Friend gave at the meeting on 26 September and a copy has been placed in the Library. The vice-chancellors welcomed what my right hon. Friend said and then exchanged views and information with him and myself about the proposals in Cmnd. 9524 and other matters. We have a much better understanding of each other's concerns as a result.
Trade And Industry
Computers In Schools
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the uptake of his Department's schemes to put microcomputers and peripheral equipment in secondary and primary schools and what further plans he has for seeking to extend computer literacy in schools.
My Department has run three schemes over the last four years to help schools buy computers and related equipment; 6,511 secondary schools and 27,407 primary schools have received help towards the purchase of computers and related equipment under the schemes, representing over 95 per cent. of those eligible.My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry, in reply at column
453–54 to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Greenway) on 23 July, announced additional support of £3·5 million for local education authorities and independent schools to enable them to buy more educational software. That scheme will begin on 1 January and full details have been sent to those concerned. My Department will also be continuing to take a close interest in other developments in educational computing and will consider further steps as appropriate.
Intermediate Assisted Area Grants
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many west midlands firms have benefited under the intermediate assisted area grant scheme to date, how many extra employees have been taken on as a result, and what is the average cost per new employee.
Since the designation of intermediate area status on 29 November 1984, 158 applications have been approved for regional selective assistance totalling £18·020 million towards projects costing £159·271 million in the west midlands. Of these approvals, some 148, with an offer value of £12·773 million, are for projects creating 4,711 new jobs.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial, manpower and other resources are currently allocated by his Department for the detection, surveillance and prevention of pirate radio broadcasting.
I will reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
Shipbuilding And Marine Engineering Industries
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom's shipbuilding and marine engineering industries.
I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Greater London Enterprise Board
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set up an inquiry under section 14 of the Companies Act 1985 into the affairs of the Greater London Enterprise Board and the London Enterprise Property Company.
My right hon. and learned Friend has the power to investigate the affairs of companies under the provisions of section 431 and section 432 of the Companies Act 1985. He also has more limited powers under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985.The police are already making inquiries concerning the affairs of these companies and I see no reason to exercise these powers at present. I will, however, keep the situation under review and consider any further information the hon. Member has about these companies.
Iran (Car Kits)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what special support is being provided for the contract between Peugeot Talbot Motor Company and Iran for the sale of car kits.
For many years the Export Credits Guarantee Department has been insuring sales to Iran under this contract which is vital to the operation of the Peugeot Talbot plant in Coventry. Exceptionally ECGD has provided cover in advance of the issue of irrevocable letters of credit. My right hon. and learned Friend has decided that ECGD should continue such cover for a further period and for a limited amount to enable the contractors to renegotiate the terms with their buyers in such a way as to speed up the flow of letters of credit.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has received from the United States trade authorities a copy of the Singapore draft law on anti-piracy; and if he will make a statement.
We are aware that the Singapore authorities have drafted legislation and we have asked them for a copy because we would wish to make them aware of our views. Any discussions with the United States authorities on this issue are a confidential matter.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce his response to the representations from the Talking Newspaper Association to the Green Paper on the recording and rental of audio and video copyright material.
We hope to publish soon a White Paper setting out our proposals for reform in the whole field of copyright law, taking account of the representations that we have received from the Talking Newspaper Association.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give details of the volume and value of goods entering into trade between the United Kingdom and Indonesia during the years 1982 to 1984, inclusive, and the first half of 1985.
Volume trade figures for individual countries are not available. The value of goods traded between the United Kingdom and Indonesia during the years 1982 to 1984, and the first half of 1985, is as follows.
|United Kingdom trade with Indonesia|
Source: Overseas Trade Statistics
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has now received British Shipbuilders' corporate plan; and if he will make a statement.
British Shipbuilders submitted its plan in late July. I am placing in the Library a version with commercially confidential information deleted. As last year, the Government accept the broad thrust of the proposed strategy, which is to continue to concentrate resources on a stable cost-effective mainstream merchant shipbuilding business. The pursuit of this strategy in 1984–85 enabled the corporation to reduce its trading loss on activities administered by BS during the year to £25 million and to achieve its new order target for merchant ships of some 200,000 compensated gross tonnes.The corporation accepts the importance of continuing to improve its performance in the marketplace which will determine its ability to win new orders and to operate effectively within the framework of tight and degressive levels of Government financial support. Within that framework, British Shipbuilders' original forecast contained in the plan was that its level of new orders this financial year would be similar to last year's. But conditions in the shipbuilding market have recently deteriorated and British Shipbuilders now believes that it is unlikely to be able to win this level of orders. I have asked the corporation to keep the situation under review.British Shipbuilders is continuing to privatise the warship building yards with the aim of completing all the sales by 31 March 1986.
asked the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply, 19 July, Official Report, column 285, when she expects to receive a copy of the report to be submitted to the chairman of the Natural Environment Research Council and Advisory Board for the Research Councils about geological surveying in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement.
I understand that the chairmen of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils (ABRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) expect the study group to submit its report to them about nine months after it starts work. Thereafter it will be for the ABRC and the NERC to decide what action to take on the report's recommendations; if they see fit to make a submission to the Government it would be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science. I have placed in the Library a copy of the NECR's press notice of 17 October which gives the study group's membership and terms of reference.
asked the Prime Minister whether she is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Social Security on the problems of pharmaceutical patents arising out of the Patents Act 1977; and if she will make a statement.
I am satisfied that there has been full consultation between the two departments on the questions raised by the pharmaceutical industry in connection with the Patents Act 1977. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has offered to meet representatives of the industry to discuss the matters which concern them.
asked the Prime Minister (1) what has been the total cost for Chequers in each of the past six years;(2) how much has been spent on 10 Downing street in each of the past six years in respect of
(a) total running costs, (b) staffing, (c) repairs and maintenance, (d) decoration, (e) furniture and (f) rates.
[pursuant to the Lord Privy Seal's reply, 21 October 1985, c. 11]: It is not possible without disproportionate expense to allocate costs between 10 Downing street and Chequers or to provide the historical analysis of costs other than for staff.The total costs to public funds of the Prime Minister's Office, including Chequers, in the last six years are:
|Cost at outturn prices*|
|Year (April to March)||£|
|*Includes grant-in-aid to the Chequers trust, salaries and wages, pension liability and administration costs, but excludes the salary of the Prime Minister, messengerial and cleaning services, and any allowance for accommodation until 1983–84 when the property repayment scheme was introduced.|
|‡Following the abolition of the CPRS, the policy unit in the Prime Minister"s Office was strengthened by four staff. In the last full year of its existence (1982–83) CPRS employed 35 people and cost £1,109,000. Thus, while the cost of the Prime Minister's Office increased as a result of the abolition of the CPRS, substantial net overall savings were made.|
|†The increase in cost between 1980–81 and 1981–82 reflects the change in the basis of charging by MOD for aircraft used by the Prime Minister, and the introduction of repayment for the Service staff at Chequers, previously provided as an allied service.|
|Cost at outturn prices*|
|Year (April to March)||£|
|*Includes salaries, wages, and notional superannuation costs.|
asked the Prime Minister how much has been spent by her office on foreign travel in each of the past six years.
[pursuant to the Lord Privy Seal's reply, 21 October 1985, c. 11]: The expenditure by my office on foreign travel in each of the last six years was:
|Cost at outturn prices*|
|* Because of billing delays the above figures do not necessarily reflect the costs of travel undertaken during the year against which they are shown.|
|† April to March.|
|‡ The increase in cost between 1980–81 and 1981–82 reflects the change in the basis of charging by MOD for aircraft used by the Prime Minister.|
Local Government Act 1966
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what payments have been made under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 to local authorities in Wales during the financial years 1983–84 and 1984–85, and for what specific purposes these grants were paid.
Responsibility for approval and payment of grants under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 lies with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. In 1984–85 the Home Office made provisional payments of £57,657·75p in respect of 1983–84 and £99,281 in respect of 1984–85 towards the establishment of 28 posts in South Glamorgan county council — (16 English second language teachers, 1 community tutor, 3 part-time adult instructors, 3 social workers, 2 social worker assistants, 1 cleric/typist, 1 ethnic minority librarian, 1 senior administrative assistant.) A further three posts (2 senior personal assistants and 1 higher clerical assistant) were approved in July 1985. Approval was also given to Cardiff city council in May 1985 for the appointment of a race and housing advisor, and a clerk/typist. No grant has been paid to date towards these appointments.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether, pursuant to his announcement of an internal investigation into the Welsh Development Agency's handling of its investment in the Parrot Corporation, he is yet in a position to give further details of that investigation.
The investigation will be carried out by Mr. Douglas Baker, chairman of Touche Ross & Co. Mr. Baker's terms of reference are:
The investigation will begin immediately and I will report further to the House in due course."to examine the Welsh Development Agency's handling of its investment in the Parrot Corporation and the Agency's supervision of its investment having special regard to the provisions of the WDA Act 1975, the investment guidelines laid down by the Welsh Office and the WDA's own investment manual; and to report to the Secretary of State"
House Of Commons
Secretarial And Research Allowances
asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent representations he has received about secretarial and research allowances; and if he will make a statement.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent representations he has received about secretarial and research allowances; and if he will make a statement.
I have answered a number of parliamentary questions and have discussed the matter with an all-party delegation.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent change has been recorded in the number of research assistants employed in the House.
Since 1 May the number of photo-identity passes on issue to Members' research assistants has fallen from 469 to 466.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent change has been recorded in the numbers of early-day motions tabled.
The numbers of early-day motions tabled over the last five Sessions have been as follows:
|* Short session.|
|† Long session.|
|‡ Up to summer recess.|
asked the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed as representing the House of Commons Commission how many of the officers and staff of the House have been positively vetted; and if he will state the number vetted in each grade of employment.
No officers or staff of the House have been positively vetted for the purposes of their employment in the service of the House.
asked the Lord Privy Seal if any of the privileges of membership of the Lobby are dependent on the journalists concerned of (a) the broadcasting media or (b) the press having been positively vetted.
International Fund For Agricultural Development
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the most recent discussions which have taken place with the United States of America in relation to present and future funding of the international fund for agricultural development.
The United States took part in the last formal discussion in IFAD on funding the organisation which took place from 16 to 18 May. No agreement was then reached on the second replenishment. We are, of course, in regular touch with the United States on this problem.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government propose regarding the special programme of aid for sub-Saharan Africa.
I have nothing to add to the answer given on 24 June at column 273 to the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Dr. Thomas).
asked the Minister for the Arts if he will list in the Official Report(a) the overall levels of support from the Arts Council to publishers and (b) the amounts given to each grant-aided publisher in each of the last three years and the projected grants for the forthcoming year; and what is the percentage change in each case.
asked the Minister for the Arts if he will outline the provision for the funding of the arts in the county of Merseyside from 1 April 1986; and if he will make a statement.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the proposal for an independent body to investigate complaints by serving civil servants about alleged politicisation of the Civil Service put forward by Sir Douglas Wass.
Sir Douglas Wass's article does not appear to make a proposal along the lines suggested by the hon. Member.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will detail, for each year since the inception of the EEC code of conduct for European firms operating in South Africa, how many companies in which the Church has investments were shown by the returns to the Department of Trade and Industry not to have fully complied with the code; and what action was taken.
Detailed information is not available for the whole eight-year period. In the last three years all United Kingdom companies have satisfied the commissioners either that they have complied with the code, or are making progress in that direction; although in four cases correspondence is continuing.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, how many companies in which the Church has investments have been approached by the commissioners in each year since the inception of the EEC code of conduct for European firms operating in South Africa in respect of their returns to the Department of Trade and Industry on non-compliance with the code.
Detailed information is not available for the whole eight-year period, but since 1983 the following initial approaches have been made to companies:
- 1985:12 (to date)
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will name the persons on the commission staff who have the responsibility of monitoring the Church's portfolio to ensure that companies abide by the EEC code of conduct.
The responsibility for this matter, as with all matters relating to the commissioners' business, rests with their secretary, Mr. J. E. Shelley.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if, in the light of the House of Lords judgment on the Gillick case, he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the prescribing by doctors in Northern Ireland of contraceptive devices or drugs to girls below the age of consent.
In its 1975 memorandum of guidance on family planning services the Department of Health and Social Services advised that, in the case of young persons, consideration be given to the desirability of seeking parental consent to any proposed contraceptive treatment having regard to the Age of Majority Act (Northern Ireland) 1969. This advice is still in effect and there are no plans at present to change it. It is, however, intended to review all the advice on contraception issued in Northern Ireland taking account of the House of Lords' judgment and the views expressed on this matter.
Security Forces (Co-Operation)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether, in the light of the recent statement of the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, that the Gardai in the Republic of Ireland had had to reduce its resources for the penetration and monitoring of terrorist groups, he remains satisfied with the co-operation between the security forces of the Irish Republic and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the apprehension and conviction of members of the Irish Republican Army and the Irish National Liberation Army; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether the recent statement by the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary on security accurately represents
(a) Her Majesty's Government's policy towards cross-border co-operation between the British and Irish security forces and (b) Her Majesty's Government's assessment of the effectiveness of that cooperation; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 25 October 1985, c. 282]: It is now clear that the Chief Constable's recent lecture to a gathering of professional police officers in the United States on the subject of border terrorism in an international context was seriously misrepresented in the media. While the Chief Constable expressed concern at the scale of resources available to the Gardai, he paid tribute to the Gardai, saying specifically that it was an excellent force of fine men; that the Royal Ulster Costabulary and the Gardai had a good relationship along the border at working level; and that there was no lack of will by the Gardai to combat terrorism. It is regrettable that an unreliable report should have led to so much unnecessary controversy.We appreciate the co-operation which already takes place between the security forces on both sides of the border, and the Government intend to take every opportunity to improve it still further.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out the acreages used for the growing of sugar beet within the European Economic Community for each of the last 10 years and the tonnage of sugar produced for the same periods.
The information available is as follows:
|Year (October— September)||Area of sugar beet in the European Community ('000 Hectares)||Beet sugar production in the European Community ('000 tonnes white sugar)*|
Source: EC Commission.
* Includes non-quota sugar production which must be exported outside the EC without export refunds or carried forward to count towards the following year's quota production.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the effect on university funding of his expressed hope that the reductions in the agricultural research budget in each of the next two years will be replaced by funds from industry and private research funding bodies; what response he has made; and if he will make a statement.
I have received no such representations.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the reduction in the agricultural research Vote of £10 million for 1986–87 and £20 million for 1987–88 he estimates will be replaced by industry and private research funding bodies, respectively.
Consultations are in progress with all sectors on the arrangements by which the industry might contribute to the future funding of research and development from which it benefits. At this stage it is not possible to indicate what the proportion of funds coming from different sources will be.
Severe Weather Aid
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is yet in a position to respond, in a practical manner, to the representations which have been made to him by the National Farmers Union for financial aid to the farming industry in the light of the winter weather crisis in certain areas of Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on Thursday 24 October 1985, at column 258, to the hon.
Top Management Information Systems
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is now able to make available the 1985 returns of his top management information systems.
I am pleased to say that a copy of the 1985 MINIM returns, which cover the objectives and resources used by the Ministry's programmes, has today been placed in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the average increase in (a) domestic and (b) industrial electricity prices over the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
Electricity tariffs increased on 1 April 1985 by an average of 4·3 and 4·9 per cent. for domestic and industrial consumers, respectively. For four years electricity prices have risen less than the rate of inflation.
"New Community Energy Objectives"
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what response he has made to the European Commission document COM(85)245 entitled "New Community Energy Objectives."
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State welcomed the Commission's draft paper at the Energy Council on 20 June, but emphasised the need for further careful consideration.
British Gas Corporation
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, when he next meets the chairman of the National Gas Consumers Council, he will discuss with her the proposed privatisation of the British Gas Corporation.
I meet the chairman of the National Gas Consumers Council from time to time and discuss with her matters of current interest.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he next proposes to meet the chairman of the National Coal Board to discuss the future of the coal industry.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of the National Coal Board; and what subjects were discussed.
I meet the chairman of the National Coal Board frequently to discuss all aspects of the industry, including future strategy.
Energy Conservation Year
asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many staff in the energy efficiency office are employed directly on preparations for Energy Conservation Year in 1986.
The entire staff of the energy efficiency office will, of course, be involved in Energy Efficiency Year 1986. However, within the office a special team has been created to ensure that planning of the year is co-ordinated and that information about events and initiatives in the year is properly disseminated. In addition, the team is supported by regional energy efficiency officers.
Nuclear Power Stations
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, when he next meets the chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board, he will raise with him the building of further nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement.
The CEGB has stated that it does not intend to make any application for new power stations (nuclear or otherwise) until the outcome of the Sizewell inquiry is known.
National Coal Board (Enterprise) Ltd
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the achievements to date of National Coal Board (Enterprise) Ltd.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the progress of National Coal Board (Enterprise) Ltd. in providing alternative jobs in mining areas affected by pit closures.
I refer to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Houghton and Washington (Mr. Boyes).
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he is taking to counteract the anti-nuclear campaign related to energy from nuclear power.
Ministers have frequently indicated the importance we attach to the safe and economic development of nuclear power; and will continue to do so.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what plans or financial incentives he has to encourage the changeover from district heating systems to individual heating systems.
I have no plans to encourage changing from district heating to individual heating systems.
Offshore Oil And Gas Construction Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action he proposes to take to stimulate the growth and export potential of the offshore oil and gas construction industry.
Since 1980 the United Kingdom offshore oil and gas construction industry has won an average 82 per cent. share of a domestic market now worth nearly £650 million a year. This year I have approved 16 new oil and gas projects, and there has been a record response from the oil and gas companies in the ninth round of licensing.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what consideration he is giving to assist those mineworkers who are being declared redundant, yet, because they have not paid their national insurance contributions for 12 months, are likely to lose unemployment benefits and entitlements from the redundant mineworkers' pension scheme; if he will liaise with the National Coal Board to find a solution to this problem; whether he will consider introducing a buy-back benefits scheme; and if he will make a statement.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans to introduce amendments to the mineworkers' redundancy payment scheme to cover payments to miners who are made redundant in 1986.
I am considering whether changes to the present legislation governing the redundant mineworkers payments scheme would be appropriate given the failure of some mineworkers to pay sufficient national insurance contributions during the strike to qualify for unemployment benefit during benefit year 1986.
Gas And Electricity (Standing Charges)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of the revenues of the gas and electricity industries, respectively, is derived from standing charges on domestic consumers.
It is estimated that in 1984–85 standing charges represented about 9 per cent. of the total revenue of the British Gas Corporation and about 6 per cent. of the total revenue of the electricity supply industry.
Ncb Works, Tredomen
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has received or is aware of any proposals for new investment in, or further development of, the National Coal Board engineering works at Tredomen, Ystrad Mynach.
Tredomen Engineering Ltd. is a company owned by the NCB's wholly owned subsidiary NCB (Ancillaries). The NCB tells me that since 1982, some £700,000 has been invested in modern production facilities at Tredomen, including robotic welding equipment and computer controlled machine tools. It is for the board or its subsidiaries to decide on further investment.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the results of his study of the West Lothian district council evidence to the Cooper committee on the non-recovery of Polkemmet colliery.
I wrote to the hon. Member on 31 July about the evidence submitted by West Lothian district council. The council subequently sent my right hon. Friend a copy of the inquiry's report and he wrote to it on 16 September.Decisions on the future of individual pits are central to the management of the coal industry and must be for the National Coal Board in consultation with the unions. The unions have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed closure of Polkemmet through the colliery review procedure.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to make temporary speed limits on motorways mandatory.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to make the temporary advisory speed limits on motorways mandatory; and if he will make a statement.
No. There is no evidence that mandatory speed limits are any more effective than temporary advisory speed limits even where these are used in circumstances where the need for reduced speeds is immediately apparent. My hon. Friend the Minister of State has written to my right hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins).
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is intending to issue new guidelines regarding speed and driving attitudes to users of the fast lane on motorways.
Full guidance already exists in the highway code and the Department's manual "Driving"; it is regularly supported by widespread publicity. The messages are simple: "keep to the speed limits; use the correct lane; keep your distance". Drivers are advised that the third lane is for overtaking only and should be referred to as the overtaking lane and not by any other name.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information is available about him to the relative cost of transporting one tonne of freight by road and rail in (i) 1966, and (ii) 1983, expressed as user expenditure per tonne at 1983 prices.
The only available estimates are for total users' expenditure on road and rail freight and for tonnes moved by each mode. The table shows estimated average costs per tonne and per tonne-kilometre at 1983 prices, but such simple expenditure comparisons between road and rail give a misleading picture of the comparable costs of the two modes because of the different types of freight covered and services provided. Rail freight consists mainly of bulk commodities: full train loads accounting for over 90 per cent. of tonnage in 1983. By comparison road freight is largely concerned with individual loads often of several different commodities for several destinations—bulk commodities accounting for only 30 per cent. of tonnage in 1983.Comparisons between 1966 and 1983 are also effected by changes in the rail freight operation. In 1966 about 70 per cent. of freight was wagon-load traffic, by 1983 it had fallen to less than 10 per cent. The figures include the effects of taxes and grants.
Estimates of expenditure on road and rail freight: United Kingdom
Users' Expenditure at 1983 prices (£m)
Tonnes carried (m)
Users expenditure per tonne (£)
per tonne-km (pence)
* Inflated using implicit GDP estimates of inflation.
Note: All freight figures include parcels traffic.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when contracts will be placed for the M1-A1 link road and when such work is likely to be started.
Placing contracts for the scheme depends on the outcome of the nine-month public inquiries which ended in June. The Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Transport will announce their decision as soon as possible after receiving the inspector's report, which is expected to be submitted in the first half of 1986. On present programmes, work could start during 1987.
Local Authority Associations (Consultations)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in the Official Report the ground rules circulated within his Department to ensure adequate consultation with the local authority associations in the light of the judgment in R v. Secretary of State for Social Services ex pane the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to the amount spent by Staffordshire county council in each of the last 12 years on (a) maintenance and repair of roads and (b) new road building, expressed at constant prices.
I could only provide the answer at disproportionate cost. My Department does not hold such collated information for individual local authorities. However, expenditure on maintenance (including lighting) and capital (mostly roads) accepted for transport supplementary grant for Staffordshire county council since 1975–76 at constant prices is:
|* Not available at constant prices.|
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the policy of his Department as to the introduction of road humps and if he will list his powers to agree to such schemes.
Road humps are one of a number of measures available to highway authorities for moderating the speed of traffic. Provisions allowing their installation were inserted into the Highways Act 1980 by schedule 10 of the Transport Act 1981. Regulations governing the form and siting of road humps are:
- —The Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1983 SI 1087
- —The Traffic Signs General (Amendment) Directions 1983 SI 1086
- —The Traffic Signs (Amendment) Regulations 1983 SI 1088.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on progress being made towards the construction of the M40 extension.
Work on the Warwick to Wendlebury section of the M40, a substantial pan of which is subject to proceedings in the Appeal Court, has been suspended pending the outcome of these proceedings. A draft side roads order for the section between Warwick and M42 at Umberslade, which is not affected by the Appeal Court hearing, was published last March and a draft compulsory purchase order for this stretch is being published on 25 October, with the closing date for objections of 15 November.The Appeal Court hearing is due to be held on 21 November. Depending on the outcome, arrangements will then be made for a public inquiry into objections to the published orders on the Warwick to Umberslade section, and preparation work on the Warwick to Wendlebury section will resume with a view to publishing the necessary side roads orders and CPOs as soon as possible.It is hoped to make a further announcement on the remaining section of the M40 between Wendlebury and Waterstock shortly.Subject to the legal proceedings, and to the subsequent satisfactory progress of the outstanding statutory procedures, work on building the M40 extension could start by around the middle of 1987.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the estimated cost for the proposed (a) grade-separated junction and (b) temporary splash island on the A303 cross roads at Stoke Sub Hamdon and Martock.
The proposed road widening incorporating a ghost island would cost about £50,000. It is difficult to isolate the cost of a grade separated junction from the associated costs of improving the present main road to dual carriageway standard, which we are planning as part of a major reconstruction of this stretch of the A303, but the junction and slip roads are likely to account for at least £1 million in this proposed £9 million scheme.
Transport Staff (Assaults)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information and statistics he collects from public transport operators as to the incidence of assaults on members of their staff in the course of their duty and on any subsequent criminal proceedings taken against the alleged assailants.
The Bus and Coach Council keeps records relating to bus operators outside London and London Regional Transport does the same for its operations, and have made them available to my Department. The British Railways Board provides me with information on the number of assaults on its employees and individual cases on request.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will consider the need to widen the M6 between junctions 30 and 31 in order to avoid congestion.
I have engaged consultants to study present conditions on this stretch of the M6 and to consider the likely traffic needs now and up to the turn of the century. I expect to receive their report shortly and to announce my decision on what improvement measures need to he taken early next year.
Road Accidents (Fire Hazards)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if the inquiry into the recent accident on the M6 will look into ways of reducing fire hazards in road accidents.
As I have assured the House, when all the evidence is available I shall be looking at every aspect of the accident on the M6 on 21 October to see what lessons may be learnt for the future. We are already looking into the general subject of fire risk in road accidents and, in the case of coaches, we are seeking advice from the fire research station on our proposals that new coaches should meet specified standards for fire retardant material.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any proposals to amend existing regulations to permit animal ambulances or veterinary surgeons attending the scenes of accidents to use emergency flashing lights; and if he will make a statement.
I have no plans to do so. I shall be sending my hon. Friend very shortly a full reply to his recent letter.
Domestic Air Routes (Competition)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to satisfy himself that the conditions prevailing on domestic air routes are such as to make competition possible with those airlines currently serving them; and if he will make a statement.
I will answer this question shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will call for the chairman of the Council of Transport Ministers' meeting on 14 November to strike the drivers' hours regulations from the agenda.
Heavy Goods Vehicles
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will print a list of accident rates per mile of long distance heavy goods vehicle drivers for the five years prior to 1968 and the most recent five-year period for which figures are available, including the total number of accidents in each case, and showing such information as he has as to what proportion were caused by driver error.
I will answer this question shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is his policy with regard to Air Lanka flying between Manchester international airport and Colombo;(2) what is his policy with regard to determining the number of seats which Air Lanka is allowed to fill on its aircraft flying between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka; and if he will agree to an increase in this number:(3) if he will make a statement about the forthcoming talks between his Department and the Sri Lankan aviation authorities;(4) if representatives of British Airways will be present at the forthcoming talks between his Department and the Sri Lankan aviation authorities; whether representatives of other British airlines will be present at these talks; and if he will make a statement;(5) if he will undertake to place in the Library an account of the forthcoming talks between his Department and the Sri Lankan aviation authorities as soon as those discussions have been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the prospects of Air Lanka flying direct between Manchester and Colombo.
The Sri Lankan authorities have asked for consultations about services on the route between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka. The British delegation therefore will include representatives of British Airways as the designated British airline.We shall consider any Sri Lankan proposals for changes in the present arrangements in accordance with the policy set out in two White Papers — "Airline Competition policy" (Cmnd. 9366) and "Airports Policy" (Cmnd. 9542)— recently presented to Parliament by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. The discussions themselves will, of course, be confidential. I will, however, place in the Library a copy of any public statement which may be agreed between the delegations and of any statement which I may make about the results of the discussions. I can say that traffic between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom fell sharply between the years ending 31 March 1984 and 1985 and that this decline is continuing.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will assess the impact of changes in the price of platinum upon the economics of catalytic converters designed for the removal of hydrocarbons and NOx from vehicle exhausts.
I understand that the cost of the platinum group metals that would be used in a three-way catalyst on a typical European mid-sized car is around £25 at current prices. Thus a doubling in the price of these metals would add about £25 to the cost of each catalyst.
British Rail Engineering Ltd
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library copies of the feasibility studies on the future of BREL which have been submitted to him; and if he will make a statement.
The BR chairman is keeping us informed of progress on his review of options for the future of British Rail Engineering Ltd. but no feasibility studies on this subject have been submitted to my right hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the feasibility study on the future of Scotrail which has been submitted to him; and if he will make a statement.
No feasibility study on the future of Scotrail has been submitted to my right hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the criteria by which he intends to judge submissions on the Channel fixed link; and if he will make a statement.
The proposals by promoters of a Channel fixed link, which my right hon. Friend must receive by 31 October, will be assessed in accordance with the invitation to promoters issued by the British and French Governments on 2 April, a copy of which was placed in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many visits have been made by representatives of the traffic commissioners or his Department to local long-distance coach operators to check bus tachographs; and what action has been subsequently taken.
[pursuant to the reply, 25 October 1985, c. 272]: Separate figures are not kept for checks on tachograph charts for drivers of vehicles operated by local long distance coach operators. My Department's traffic examiners make regular visits to all bus operators to check vehicle and driver records including tachograph charts. Passenger vehicle and driver records are also checked at the roadside and at the ferry ports. In 1984 some 20,747 charts were checked for drivers of passenger vehicles from which 2,224 (10·7 per cent.) offences were reported for further action.
asked the Paymaster General (1) how many unmarried mothers are classified as unemployed; how many unmarried mothers are registered at job centres; and what these figures represent as a percentage of the total of unmarried mothers;(2) how many unmarried mothers are in receipt of unemployment benefit; how many are in receipt of supplementary benefit; and what these figures represent as a percentage of the total number of unmarried mothers.
According to the labour force survey, in Great Britain in the spring of 1984, there were about 190,000 women who were single, widowed, divorced or separated with dependent children aged under 16 who said they were claiming benefits and therefore included in the unemployment count. This represents about 11·5 per cent. of all such women. Corresponding figures are not available for those registered at jobcentres. About 65,000 of these women— about 4 per cent.—were claiming unemployment benefit while some 120,000—about 7 per cent.—were claiming supplementary benefit only.
Youth Training Scheme
asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on progress being made towards the implementation of a two-year youth training scheme.
Following consultations with interested parties, the Manpower Services Commission has recently finalised and published details of the main funding and administrative arrangements for the two-year youth training scheme, including transitional provision for ex-mode B1 schemes. During the next few months guidance about the design and content and other aspects of two-year training courses will be issued; and staff in the Manpower Services Commission's area offices will be discussing with potential training providers how they might be involved in the two-year scheme.
asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement about the proposed funding arrangements for youth training schemes which hitherto have been designated as mode B training schemes.
Under the new two-year youth training scheme, existing mode B1 providers will generally be eligible for the premium rate of funding and so receive £270 per trainee per month, in addition to the managing agent's fee. The provider will continue to get this higher level of funding for as long as the young person remains on his scheme, including those periods when the young person is receiving work experience on an employer's premises. Many current mode B1 providers will also receive transitional funding for 1986–87 and 1987–88.
asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on jobclubs, with particular reference to their funding and terms of reference.
The purpose of jobclubs is to coach groups of long-term unemployed people in job finding techniques, provide them with facilities for intensive job hunting, and motivate and support them in looking for work.The Manpower Services Commission is currently operating 29 jobclubs and I have asked it to expand rapidly, should evaluation confirm the very encouraging results so far, to around 200 by the end of 1986.Jobclubs are being funded out of existing MSC resources. The majority of jobclubs are housed in jobcentres, and all are run by jobcentre staff.
asked the Paymaster General if he will give a breakdown by age and sex of the long-term unemployed.
The following information is in the Library. The table gives the available analysis of those unemployed claimants in the United Kingdom who had been unemployed for over one year as at 11 July 1985, the latest date for which an analysis of unemployment by age and duration is available.
|Long term unemployment—United Kingdom—11 July 1985—Age analysis|
|Under 17 years||0||0|
|60 and over||16,632||1,054|
asked the Paymaster General how many persons who have been made redundant are included in the latest unemployment figures; and what criteria are used to determine which redundant persons are included.
Separate figures for those made redundant are not available. But according to the labour force survey, in Great Britain in the spring of 1984, about 26 per cent. of the claimant unemployed had had a job within the previous three years and had left their last job because of redundancy or dismissal.All people made redundant and making claims at unemployment benefit offices are included in the unemployment count while they are signing on, although the payments received may affect their entitlement to unemployment benefit or supplementary benefit.
asked the Paymaster General why persons in receipt of paid holiday are included in the unemployment figures for the weeks in which they are in receipt of holiday pay; and how many such persons were included in the latest unemployment figures.
There should be no such persons in receipt of holiday pay included in the monthly unemployment figures.
asked the Paymaster General how many employed persons who were also classified as sick were included in the latest unemployment figures; how many sick, self-employed persons were included; and in each case, why.
According to results of the 1984 labour force survey, there were about 15,000 people who said they were claiming benefits and had a job but were away from it for at last part of the reference week because of sickness or injury.The number of self-employed people in this category was insignificant. Some people with jobs—for example, those with low paid part-time jobs— may legitimately claim benefit and some may sign on but later have their claim disallowedThe survey results may also be subject to some respondent errors.
asked the Paymaster General (1) what is the definition of unemployment used in compiling the monthly unemployment figures;(2) if he will list
(a) all the separate categories of persons who are included in the unemployment figures and (b) all the various claim forms which, if completed, result in a person being included in the unemployment figures.
The monthly unemployment count relates to all unemployed people signing on at unemployment benefit offices to claim unemployment benefit, supplementary benefit or national insurance credits.The main claim forms which result in a person being included in the unemployment figures are the initial claim form (UB461) and the fortnightly declaration of unemployment (UB 25). In addition, the following forms are used in particular circumstances:
|UB 20||Weekly claiming|
|UB88 (Qtrly)||Quarterly claiming|
|PF||Postal claiming book|
|PQF||Postal claiming book|
|PQW||Postal claiming book|
|UB 88P||Weekly postal claiming|
|UB 88P(AE)||Part-time worker postal Claiming.|
|UB 20(SF)||Share fishermen's claims|
|UB 118 (AE)||Share fishermen's claims with other part-time work|
|UB90||Seeking work away from home|
|UB88X||Confirmation of past unemployment|
|UB 26T/V||Fortnightly claiming with weekly cheques by personal issue.|
|UB591||Delayed claim for benefit|
|CR2||Weekly application for NI credits|
|CR 2 (Quarterly)||Quarterly application for NI credits|
|CR5||Postal application for NI credits|
|UB 40 (Part 2)||Signing-on card|
|UB43||Final days of claim|
|UB44||Failed to sign cases|
|UB71||Final claim by a personal issue|
|CR4||Final days-NI credits only|
asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on the latest unemployment figures for Liverpool.
The level of unemployment in Liverpool is too high. That is why there is an extensive range of Government assistance to attract new investment and therefore new jobs. The area will also benefit from the expansion of three of our special employment and training measures—the youth training scheme, the community programme and the enterprise allowance scheme. But the creation of jobs in Liverpool and elsewhere depends primarily on the efforts of entrepreneurs and the competitiveness of industry.
asked the Paymaster General how many of those who left school in 1985 in the Leeds travel-to-work area were in full-time employment on the latest available figures; and what is that figure as a percentage of school leavers.
Information from the Leeds careers service indicates that of 6,802 young people who left school this year in the Leeds travel-to-work area 1,832, or 26·9 per cent., went into employment. In addition, 2,783, some of whom will be employees, entered the youth training scheme.
asked the Paymaster General what were the levels of unemployment for each month of 1985 in Peacehaven and Dorking.
The following information is in the Library. The table shows the number of unemployed claimants for the Lewes No. 9 ward which relates to Peacehaven, and the Dorking north-east, Dorking northwest, Dorking south-east, Dorking south-west and north Holmwood wards which relate to Dorking.
asked the Paymaster General how many disabled persons were included in the latest unemployment figures.
According to the 1984 labour force survey, approximately 16 per cent. of claimants included in the unemployment count had health problems or disabilities that would limit the kind of work they could do.