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Written Answers

Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 26 November 1985

Overseas Development

Ethiopia (British Airlift)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the future of the British airlift in Ethiopia.

Since my announcement on 22 July that there was a need for the airlift to be extended until December, the outlook in Ethiopia has continued to improve. The UN co-ordinator estimates that by the end of the year sufficient trucking capacity should exist to distribute likely relief needs in 1986. Moreover, the main international airport at Addis Ababa—at which our detachment is based—will be closed to heavy aircraft for two months early in 1986 for runway maintenance. Prospects for the main harvest are also encouraging and most of the roads are now usable again after the rains. This picture was confirmed by the Ethiopian relief and rehabilitation commissioner, Major Dawit, when he called on me on 5 November. I have decided therefore that the British airlift, which has made such a magnificent contribution to relief operations in Ethiopia since November 1984, should be discontinued in the latter part of December.In other ways, however, we shall provide continuing substantial relief and rehabilitation assistance to Ethiopia during 1986, as well as food aid. As part of this, I have now decided to offer £2 million for agricultural rehabilitation, including seeds and tools, and £1 million for water provision schemes in Wollo. We shall also of course be contributing our share of European Community food aid and rehabilitation schemes in Ethiopia.

Home Department

Plastic Baton Rounds

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with arrangements for making plastic baton rounds available to police forces; and if he will make a statement.

As the House was informed at the time, plastic baton rounds and CS gas for public order use were made available to police forces in Great Britain following the riots in 1981. In response to a question by the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) on 19 November at columns 140–41 my hon. Friend the Minister of State listed those forces in England and Wales that hold such equipment.It is right that such equipment should be available, for use only in the last resort, and subject to strict conditions. As part of their efforts to learn from the recent disorders, it is also right for chief officers of police to review their public order equipment in order to ensure that they can carry out their duty of maintaining order in their force areas.

If, in pursuit of that duty, a chief officer of police concludes that he does need plastic baton rounds, this is initially a matter for him and his police authority. But I should make it clear that where a chief officer concludes that he requires plastic baton rounds, and this is endorsed by the independent professional advice of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, I shall support him. In those circumstances, I regard it as essential that plastic baton rounds should be available to the force concerned.

My department is consulting the chief officers of police and the police authorities most immediately concerned to work out how such a requirement is best met.

Public Houses (Opening Hours)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to extend the hours of opening for public houses in England and Wales to a level comparable with opening hours in Scotland.

We shall want to examine the full report of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys' study of consumption of alcohol in Scotland, together with other relevant information, before deciding whether relaxations should be introduced in the permitted opening hours of licensed premises in England and Wales. We understand that the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys' report is to be published early next year.

Metropolitan Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Metropolitan police will be expected to provide mutual aid to other police forces facing riot and civil disorder before other forces are called upon to do so because of the greater amount of riot equipment available to the Metropolitan police.

This is a matter for chief officers of police under section 14(1) of the Police Act 1964.

Immigration

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is the normal practice for immigration officers interviewing British subjects married to visitors to the United Kingdom to ask what role hon. Members have played in giving advice to their constituents in immigration cases.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information is collected by immigration officers about the advice given to their constituents by hon. Members in immigration cases; and if he will make a statement.

When a person sponsoring a visitor indicates that his Member has given him advice on the case that fact is routinely recorded by the immigration officer. Similarly, when a person is refused leave to enter, and a Member makes representations against that refusal, the points raised by the hon. Member will be recorded so that a response may be made. In addition, there may be occasions when correspondence between an hon. Member and a sponsor or passenger becomes available in the course of an examination. That information will also be collected if it is relevant to the immigration officer's decision.

Harmondsworth Detention Centre

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average daily cost of keeping a person in detention at Harmondsworth detention centre.

The latest available information is that the cost per day of detaining a person in the immigration service detention centre at Harmondsworth was estimated at £115 for the financial year 1984–85. Subject to certain exceptions, the cost of detention for passengers refused leave to enter the country falls to the relevant airline or other company.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign and Commonwealth nationals intending to visit the United Kingdom are currently in detention at Harmondsworth detention centre.

At noon on 22 November 16 foreign nationals and 27 Commonwealth citizens who had sought entry to the United Kingdom as visitors and who had either been refused entry or required to submit to further examination were detained at the Harmondsworth detention unit.

Attorney-General

Cyprus Official Secrets Act Trial

asked the Attorney-General for how long each of the seven acquitted defendants in the Cyprus Official Secrets Act trial were remanded in custody.

The details set out hereafter relate to the periods after the defendants were charged by officers of the Metropolitan police. SAC Geoffrey Jones was in custody from 13 April 1984 until he was discharged on 28 October 1985. SAC Adam Lightowler was in custody from 13 April 1984 until he was discharged on 25 October 1985. SAC Wayne Kriehn was in custody from 13 April 1984 until 6 September 1984. Thereafter he was granted bail until 20 November 1984, when it was revoked. Thereafter he was in custody until he was discharged on 25 October 1985. SAC Christopher Payne was in custody from 13 April 1984 until 20 November 1984, when he was released on bail. SAC Gwynfor Owen was in custody from 13 April 1984 until 23 August 1984, when he was released on bail. Signalman Martin Tuffy was in custody from 13 April 1984 until 26 July 1984, when he was released on bail. Lance corporal Anthony Glass was in custody from 8 June 1984 until 26 July 1984, when he was released on bail.

House Of Commons

Select Committees (Ethnic Community Reports)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if there are any plans for Select Committee reports on ethnic communities to be published in the mother tongues of those communities.

I am informed that following the publication of the report of the Home Affairs Committee on the Chinese community in Britain (HC No. 102 1984–85), the Hong Kong government London office prepared and distributed a summary of the report in Chinese at their own expense.

I am not aware of any plans to publish at public expense Select Committee reports on ethnic communities in languages other than English.

Prime Minister

Usa (President)

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister when she next expects to meet the President of the United States of America.

I met President Reagan last Thursday, 21 November, when he reported to the NATO Council on his meeting with Mr. Gorbachev. I have no immediate plans for a further meeting.

Scottish Teachers (Pay)

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister what increases in absolute and percentage terms would be necessary to restore Scottish teachers' salaries to the position established following the Houghton committee in 1974.

The average salary paid to Scottish teachers on 1 April 1985, the date from which the next settlement should run, is around £800 (8 per cent.) less than the figure obtained by increasing the average salary following the 1974 Houghton award to allow for changes in the retail price index in the intervening period.

Elizabeth Keayes (Burglary)

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister for what reasons No. 10 Downing street asked for a news blackout in relation to the police investigation into the burglary at the home of Elizabeth Keayes in Battersea in November 1983; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given to him on my behalf by the Lord Privy Seal on Thursday 21 November at column 270.

Urban Renewal

Q46.

asked the Prime Minister what responsibilities she has given to the members of the Government with regard to integrating different Departments' action on urban renewal in inner city areas.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has responsibility for the inter-departmental urban programme which targets specific grant resources on urban areas to support a range of initiatives to stimulate enterprise, improve the environment and encourage self-help. My noble Friend the Secretary of State for Employment oversees the work of the five city action teams in the inner city partnership areas to improve the contribution of the programmes of his department and the Manpower Services Commission, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment towards meeting the needs of those areas. Other Government Departments are also involved in the work of the city action teams.

Engagements

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 26 November.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 26 November.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her engagements for Tuesday 26 November.

This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I hope to have an audience of Her Majesty the Queen.

Falkland Islands (Government Support)

asked the Prime Minister if she will give a detailed breakdown of expenditure in support of the Falkland Islands in the last year for which information is available; and if she will give the figures separately for (a) defence and (b) other areas of expenditure, indicating in each case the Departments responsible and the amounts of expenditure attributable to each.

Expenditure in support of the Falkland Islands in 1984–85 (the last full year for which information is available) was some £640 million. The total is made up as follows:

£ million
(a) Ministry of Defence*
Residual campaign costs241
Garrison costs (including works)391
(b) Foreign and Commonwealth Office
War damage compensation0·21
Diplomatic personnel0·25
(c) Overseas Development Administration
Development aid6·3
Rehabilitation aid0·7

* Estimated outturn met from the addition to the defence budget for Falklands costs.

South Africa (Commonwealth Commission)

asked the Prime Minister whether financial institutions were among those consulted concerning the nomination of a British representative for the Commonwealth Commission which is to visit South Africa.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Countryside Commission

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what response he has given to the Countryside Commission about its proposals to designate 46 sites where landowners should be paid to improve the environment; and if he will make a statement.

The list of 46 sites which the Countryside Commission has sent me represents only its preliminary view of the sites that might be considered for designation as environmentally sensitive. It is now considering with the Nature Conservancy Council to which of these sites we might give priority if the Agriculture Bill which is currently before Parliament becomes law.

Contaminated Wine

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the steps taken by his Department to warn the public of the dangers of contaminated wine; and if he is satisfied that the action so far taken against vendors has provided effective protection to the public.

Yes. Both the trade and the public would seem to have taken notice of the advice issued by myself and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services. The wine trade has co-operated fully with us in this matter and I have had no reports of any proceedings being taken by local authorities against traders for offering contaminated wine for sale for human consumption.

Irradiated Foods

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if Her Majesty's Government have yet received the report of the advisory committee on irradiated and novel foods; and when he expects this report to be published;(2) what advice has been given to ports and customs authorities regarding possible attempts at importation of irradiated foodstuffs into the United Kingdom;(3) what cases of alleged irradiated foodstuffs have been detected by port authorities and by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise; and what action has been taken;(4) if it is permitted to offer for sale imported foods which have been treated with ionising radiation; and what measures are taken to control such imports.

I have been asked to reply.I understand that the advisory committee's report on food irradiation will soon be presented to my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Social Services and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. We expect to publish the report early in 1986.In the United Kingdom, the importation and marketing of irradiated foods are at present prohibited by regulations, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of the port health and local authorities. No advice on enforcement has been issued by the Department and no information is held centrally about the activities of enforcement authorities.

Wales

Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the criteria for establishing an area of outstanding natural beauty; what restrictions are imposed on development and caravan sites in such areas; what resources are available for their enforcement; and whether he plans to make any changes in the current criteria.

Section 87 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 provides that the Countryside Commission may, by order subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State, designate as areas of outstanding natural beauty such areas as appear to the commission to be of such outstanding natural beauty that it is desirable that the provisions of an Act should apply to them. AONB designation does not of itself impose restrictions on development, but in determining planning applications the local planning authority would need to have regard to the provisions of structure and local plans and any other material considerations including AONB designation. Structure plans which include AONBs normally contain restrictive land use policies to protect such areas. In addition, the Town and Country Planning (National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas etc.) Special Development Order 1985 imposes restrictions in areas of outstanding natural beauty on certain permitted development rights. The resources devoted to planning control and enforcement are a matter for individual planning authorities. I have no plans to change current criteria.

Welsh Language

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how responsibility for the Welsh Language is allocated within his Department; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on Monday 25 November.

Plant Breeding Station (Aberystwyth)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to take over the Welsh plant breeding station, Gogerddan, Aberystwyth; and if he will make a statement.

I have no plans to take over the Welsh plant breeding station. I do not consider that there would be any advantage in isolating agricultural research undertaken in Wales and I am convinced that the future of the station can best be secured within the framework of the Agricultural and Food Research Council.

Education And Science

Gcse Examination

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will consider postponing the introduction of the new general certificate of secondary education examination until such time as further resources may be available and students suitably prepared for it.

No. This reform of the examination system has been long awaited, and its announcement last year was widely welcomed. The Government's expenditure plans for 1986–87 provide scope for authorities to redeploy their resources towards policies to which they wish to give priority, including the GCSE, provided that they contain costs and take advantage of opportunities for efficiency savings.

Maintained Schools (Parental Contributions)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards parental financial contributions to the purchase of books and equipment in maintained schools in the light of the report of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations of October 1985, a copy of which has been sent to him.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 22 November to the hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden) at column 342.

Anglo-Australian Telescope

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he has taken on Professor Don Matthewson's proposals for co-operation on the use of the Anglo-Australian telescope.

No proposals regarding the use of United Kingdom time on the Anglo-Australian telescope have been received from the Australian National University, in which Professor Don Mathewson holds a chair.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has for financial reasons to curtail the access of British astronomers to the Anglo-Australian telescope.

Ocean Drilling Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on British participation in the ocean drilling programme.

I understand that the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) sees United Kingdom participation in the ocean drilling programme (ODP) as an important aspect of the council's support for the environmental sciences. It will also provide information and experience valuable to wider United Kingdom interests, including industry. The annual subscription for the ODP is $2·5 million. NERC, in discussion with major British oil companies and the Departments of Energy, Environment and Trade and Industry, is attempting to find sufficient resources for full United Kingdom membership.

Undergraduates (Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to the numbers of persons aged 18 years who were admitted as full-time first year undergraduates at universities in England and Wales in 1979 and each of the following years whose homes were in (a) England and Wales, (b)

Place of domicile (awarding local education authority)1979–801980–811981–821982–831983–84
England and Wales
Number of new awards67,63468,94567,94765,69763,983
Per 1,000 of relevant population*8684837977
Tyne and Wear
Number of new awards1,2661,3401,2391,0871,100
Per 1,000 of relevant population*6667645759
Newcastle upon Tyne
Number of new awards410397416393367
Per 1,000 of relevant population*8177878277
Surrey
Number of new awards2,4622,5062,4692,4412,396
Per 1,000 of relevant population*161155142139137
* Per thousand of the average of the 18 and 19 population.

National Finance

Inland Revenue Records

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how long the central repository for Inland Revenue records at Bradford has not been able to process requests to see documents; and how long this is likely to continue.

It has not been possible to obtain files and records from the Inland Revenue repository at Bradford for 12 months because of the presence of a dangerously high level of asbestos particles. This is likely to continue for another 11 months.

Value Added Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has made any assessment of the effects of imposing value added tax on building alterations for the purpose of helping disabled people; and if he has any plans for removing value added tax on these building alterations and on charities.

When building alterations were brought into the tax last year I thought it right to relieve some building alterations to suit the needs of the disabled. These limited reliefs related to access and toilets and bathrooms and were widely welcomed. I know there is pressure to go much further, but the cost of extending these limited reliefs to cover all building alterations for the disabled would be prohibitive. Accordingly, I have no plans to allow such a wide relief, nor to remove VAT on expenditure by charities.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total value added tax bill on charities in 1984; how much of this was attributable to the imposition of value added tax on building alterations; and how much in total was raised in value added tax from organisations of and for disabled people.

Tyne and Wear, (c) Newcastle upon Tyne and (d) Surrey: (i) in total and (ii) as a percentage of all persons aged 18 years living in each of the respective areas.

The readily available information is based on the number of new award-holders at United Kingdom universities. It is not possible to distinguish those who are aged 18 from this source.

Information about the amounts of value added tax borne by charities is not available from official records and could only be collected at disproportionate cost.

Systime Plc

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has examined complaints into the alleged detention and threatening of staff at Systime plc during a visit by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in July 1984; and if he will make a statement.

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost in the 1986–87 financial year of introducing a reduced rate band of 25p of income tax on (i) the first £750 of taxable income, (ii) the first £1,000 of taxable income and (iii) the first £1,500 of taxable income; and in each case, what would be the impact on the net income of a married man on half average earnings, three-quarters average earnings, average earnings, twice average earnings, five times average earnings and 10 times average earnings.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 November 1985, c. 333.]: The direct revenue costs are estimated to be about £850 million, £1,100 million, and £1,600 million, respectively, in a full year at 1986–87 levels of income, compared with the illustrative income tax regime resulting from 5½ per cent. indexation of 1985–86 allowances, thresholds and bands published in the autumn statement 1985. At each of the levels of gross income specified, the gain in net income from introduction of the reduced rate bands would be (i) 72p, (ii) 96p and (iii) £1·44 per week respectively. The estimates of Revenue cost assume that a separate lower rate band would also be available to a married couple against the wife's earned income; and that the thresholds for higher rates of tax would be unaffected by the introduction of the lower rate band.

Transport

A11 (Tuddenham Road)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what assumptions were made in deciding on a 10-metres central reserve for the A11 dual carriageway at the junction with Tuddenham road as to the normal statutory maximum lengths of heavy goods vehicles with trailers, articulated vehicles and rigid lorries; and if he will make a statement.

The standard width of central reservation provided when a side road is linked to a dual carriageway is 10 metres. Exceptionally the width can be increased where high usage by long HGVs is expected. Such usage was not expected at the Tuddenham road junction and as indicated in the answer to my hon. Friend on 15 November, the Department will be discussing with Suffolk county council the possibility of measures to restrain the use of Tuddenham road by non-local heavy goods traffic.

Accident Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the figures of those killed and injured in road traffic accidents involving alcohol during 1984.

Detailed figures are included in "Road Accidents in Great Britain 1984" pages 25 to 29 published today. A copy is being placed in the Library.

Pelican Crossings

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when the experiments into directional audible units and special push button units for pelican crossings will be completed; and when the units will be available for general use.

The experiments using both directional audible units and tactile push button units include an evaluation phase of the production equipment which should be completed by late 1986. Subject to successful evaluation the units should be available for general use during 1987.

Blisworth Bypass

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is his latest estimate of the timing of Blisworth, Northamptonshire, bypass.

Allowing for the completion of statutory procedures and anticipated public inquiry, the A43 Blisworth bypass construction is programmed to start in 1988.

Portsmouth Driving Test Centre

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many people are to be recruited to the Portsmounth driving test centre.

Two examiners have been posted into the Portsmouth centre in September and November. This has brought the total strength to seven sufficient, we consider, to reduce the present waiting period and meet current demand.

Scotland

Undergraduates

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) mature and (b) other undergraduate students attending full-time courses at colleges and universities in Scotland have not yet received payment of their Scottish Education Department awards for the current year; and if he will make a statement.

By mid-October approximately 64,000 applications for students' awards had been received by the Scottish Education Department, of which fewer than 30 are still awaiting final assessments. Since the middle of October more than 1,000 late applications have been received, the majority of which have now been passed for payment. Late applications continue to be received daily, but the Department has standing arrangements with educational establishments to identify students who may suffer hardship as a result of consequential delays. Separate information for mature and other undergraduate students is not available.

Police Establishment

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the actual and establishment level of police in Scotland; and how the figures compare with 1979.

The information is set out in the following table:

Police establishment and strength: Scotland
YearAuthorised establishment at 30 SeptemberActual strength at 30 September
197913,27613,023
198513,46513,273
The figures include officers who are employed at ports, airports and oil-related industrial sites and whose costs are not borne entirely by police authorities. Also included are officers on national training courses and those seconded to central service posts.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give actual and establishment level figures for police based in the Strathclyde police authority area from 1979 to date; and if he will make a statement.

The information is set out in the following table:

Strathclyde police
YearAuthorised police establishment at 30 SeptemberActual strength at 30 September
19796,9776,785
19806,9556,936
19816,9556,832
19826,9546,811
19836,9546,781
19846,9546,785
19856,9546,790

Manning levels in the force are determined by the police authority within the establishment figure authorised by my right hon. Friend.

Council Houses

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each Scottish housing authority the number of council houses which, at the latest convenient date, were empty and had been unlet for more than eight weeks; and if he will express that number in each case as a percentage of the total housing stock.

Paisley (Labour Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish unemployment figures for the Paisley area separately from those for greater Glasgow.

Unemployment figures for districts and parliamentary constituencies are published monthly in the Employment Gazette, available in the House of Commons Library.

Northern Ireland

Hospital Closures

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what implications the possible closure of Crawfordsburn hospital has for patients waiting for admission to geriatric medicine in the North Down district of the Eastern board;(2) what implications the closure of Haypark hospital, Belfast, has for patients waiting for admission to geriatric medicine in the Belfast district of the Eastern board, north and west; and if he will make a statement;(3) what implications the closure of Templemore and Haypark hospitals, and the possible closure of Crawfordsburn hospital, has for patients awaiting geriatric outpatient treatment in

(a) the east and north Belfast, (b) the North Down and (c) the Bangor districts of the Eastern health and social services boards;

(4) what implications the closure of Templemore Avenue hospital has for patients waiting for admission to geriatric medicine in the east Belfast district of the Eastern board.

The Department of Health and Social Services is currently considering proposals made by the Eastern health and social services board for the rationalisation of hospital services. The proposals involve a substantial realignment of beds, but in so far as geriatric bed provision is concerned the proposed closures of Haypark and Templemore Avenue hospitals would be offset by an equivalent expansion in the number of geriatric beds in other hospitals. The Department has not received proposals for the closure of Crawfordsburn hospital.

Tourism

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the earnings from tourism in the Province in each of the years 1968 to 1984, inclusive.

Following is the information:

£ million
Earnings from staying visitorsEarnings from home holiday-makersEarnings from day excursionists
196817.655*11.555
196914.545*10.700
197016.039*8.620
197112.836*7.780
19728.6407.0407.438
197312.2297.1408.387
197413.1357.9108.847
197514.84810.50010.696
197615.70912.19012.402
197723.66915.18012.578
197830.57814.21013.260
197942.64022.80014.560
198054.05018.10017.860
198142.26218.50017.800
198248.00116.80020.000
198372.18933.400120.000
198477.75129.600130.000
* Separate records for this category were not maintained during this period

Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland where he expects to acquire premises for the secretariat of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council; and how much he expects to spend on (a) acquisition, (b) refurbishment and (c) providing the level of security which will be necessary to protect those working in or with the secretariat.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 November 1985]: Consideration is being given to possible premises but no firm decisions can be taken until the two Governments have notified each other of their acceptance of the agreement.

Environment

Derelict Land

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the acreage of derelict land in (a) the London borough of Ealing and (b) the constituency of Ealing, North; and if he will make a statement.

The 1982 survey of derelict land in England, the latest information available, showed that at 1 April 1982 there were 190 acres of derelict land in the London borough of Ealing. The data in the survey are not broken down by parliamentary constituency.

Acid Rain

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what interim guidance for action on the effects of acid rain on stone he has received from Mr. Roy Butlin and the committee considering damage to medieval buildings.

Systems-Built Homes (Defects)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many systems-built homes have been found to be defective; how many have been demolished; and how many remain in an unsatisfactory condition, in Yorkshire and Humberside.

According to the responses by local authorities to the Department's stock condition inquiry earlier this year, there are 80,572 local authority owned non-traditional dwellings in Yorkshire and Humberside. On the basis of responses from local authorities which were able to make estimates, approximately 67 per cent. required work of a structural nature at 1 April 1985. The Department has no similar estimates of non-traditional dwellings in the rest of the public sector and in the private sector, but HIP forms submitted by local authorities this year show that there are at least 2,639 prefabricated reinforced concrete dwellings in Yorkshire and Humberside in the rest of the public sector and in the private sector. The Department has no estimate of the number of these dwellings that require structural work. The Department does not collect information on the numbers of non-traditional dwellings that are demolished.

Sewerage

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of miles

Housing Investment Programmes

Total Payments 1978–79 to 1984–85

21 November 1985
Region—Yorks and HumbersideThousands
Local authority1978–791979–801980–811981–821982–831983–841984–85
Beverley1,5062,3451,9912,0232,3192,8394,578
Boothferry1,1749391,5271,4741,3652,1892,138
Cleethorpes2,0361,8942,0281,7412,1213,2192,613
East Yorkshire1,8372,8202,1501,6191,5392,2321,264
Glanford1,4712,3011,5871,4401,6972,6552,440
Great Grimsby4,0373,8543,6083,565*4,4304,3394,373
Holderness1,0591,3719711,0441,2542,3791,230
Kingston upon Hull17,38618,01116,89314,87219,32921,95724,389
Scunthorpe5,0625,6624,3992,2992,9343,0132,714
Craven1,0888361,1521,8121,6002,0571,194
Hambleton1,4841,3741,7561,5062,0703,8262,042
Harrogate1,9161,9252,8951,8612,2363,0833,430
Richmondshire9049549379061,0861,7781,646
Ryedale1,5531,2481,2181,3841,6004,3481,902
Scarborough1,3041,0471,5121,3001,8693,4852,518
Selby1,5902,7272,9054,1886,7254,8052,637
York2,6753,3493,0222,8644,4586,4316,428
Barnsley10,44811,6258,0437,6539,14110,77417,230
Doncaster14,08918,49613,7968,96613,52323,78912,353
Rotherham12,87615,86113,47610,62012,30114,65915,806
Sheffield23,28126,08523,47319,91529,41736,67931,742
Bradford20,12424,62722,51021,46720,43330,32721,138
Calderdale6,4835,5366,1464,3337,28415,39410,339
Kirklees11,16814,14911,6309,78916,19119,92215,566
Leeds29,10331,97429,20224,21241,33737,02329,903
Wakefield16,39916,58613,62410,96817,35717,13115,051
192,053217,596192,451163,821*225,616280,333236,584
* Incomplete figure.

Council Houses (Purchase Terms)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what would be the weekly payment, at current interest rates but not including rent or rates, required to service purchase of a council flat or house valued at £20,000, £25,000, £30,000, £35,000, £40,000,

of public sewers in the Yorkshire and Humberside region which are in poor condition; and what proportion of the total this represents.

Yorkshire water authority has tentatively estimated that 200 out of the 2,400 miles forming the critical parts of its sewer network, and 1,150 of the remaining 12,400 miles, may be in poor structural condition. Information is not available for the Yorkshire and Humberside region as the economic region and the water authority areas differ. Investment in sewers has risen from £161 million in 1978–79 to around £290 million this year. Overall investment by water authorities (DOE services) will rise from around £818 million this year to £900 million next year.

Housing Investment Programme

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what sums have been spent within the housing investment programme by each local authority in the Yorkshire and Humberside region in each of the years from and including 1979.

Housing investment programme expenditure by each local authority in the Yorkshire and Humberside region in each of the financial years between 1978–79 and 1984–85 is as follows:£45,000 and £50,000, for tenants of two, five, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years' standing

(a) by outright purchase and (b) by purchase of 25 per cent., 50 per cent., and 75 per cent. shared ownership.

Using a typical building society mortgage interest rate of 12·75 per cent. per year, and assuming a 100 per cent. mortgage for a term of 25 years, the weekly mortgage repayments, net of tax relief, would be as follows:

Net weekly mortgage repayments A. Outright purchase
Value (£000's)
Discount percentage20253035404550
3226·4033·0039·6046·2052·80*56·80*64·55
3525·2431·5437·8544·1650·4756·78*61·70
4023·2929·1234·9440·7746·5952·4158·24
4521·3526·6932·0337·3742·7148·0453·38
5019·4124·2729·1133·9738·8243·6848·53
6015·5319·4123·2927·1831·0634·9438·82
* These mortgage loans exceed the tax relief threshold of £30,000 and payments are therefore calculated in a slightly different way from the other figures. The payments shown here are for the first year of the loan and would rise slightly in each subsequent year.
B. Purchase of 25 per cent. share
Value (£000's)
Discount percentage20253035404550
326·608·259·9011·5513·2014·8516·50
356·317·899·4611·0412·6214·2015·77
405·827·288·7410·1911·6513·1014·56
455·346·678·019·3410·6812·0113·35
504·856·077·288·499·7110·9212·13
603·884·855·826·797·768·749·71
C. Purchase of 50 per cent. share
Value (£000's)
Discount percentage20253035404550
3213·2016·5019·8023·1026·4029·7033·00
3512·6215·7718·9322·0825·2428·3931·54
4011·6514·5617·4720·3823·2926·2129·12
4510·6813·3516·0118·6821·3524·0226·69
509·7112·1314·5616·9919·4121·8424·27
607·769·7111·6513·5915·5317·4719·41
D. Purchase of 75 per cent. share
Value (£000's)
Discount percentage20253035404550
3219·8024·7529·7034·6539·6044·5549·50
3518·9323·6628·3933·1237·8542·5947·32
4017·4721·8426·2130·5734·9439·3143·68
4516·0120·0224·0228·0332·0336·0340·04
5014·5618·2021·8425·4829·1232·7636·40
6011·6514·5617·4720·3823·2926·2129·12

Housing Starts

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate the number of new housing construction starts that are necessary each year to maintain the housing stock at existing levels of quality and quantity; and if he will estimate the percentage of this figure which was achieved in the last year for which figures are available.

At 1984 rates of removal of dwellings from the housing stock, 22,000 new houses would be required annually to maintain the housing stock in England at the same size as at the end of 1984, that is to say 13 per cent. of the number started. Maintaining the quality of the stock depends far more on upkeep and renovation than on new building, hence there is no unique number of dwellings to be demolished and replaced to maintain the existing level of quality of the housing stock.

Local Government Bill

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will place in the Library examples of literature produced by local authorities which led him to propose the introduction of the Local Government Bill.

The publicity provisions in the Local Government Bill were introduced on the basis of the recommendations of the Widdicombe inquiry's interim report on local authority publicity. The wide range of publicity material considered by the committee of inquiry in the course of its work was sent to it direct by the local authorities concerned.

Toxteth Riots (Compensation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many claims have been made for compensation following the Toxteth disturbances in 1985.

Five claims have been made for compensation following the Toxteth disturbances in the current year. The Merseyside county council, as statutory compensating authority, is investigating these claims.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many claims for compensation have now been settled following the Toxteth riots in 1981.

The Merseyside county council has now settled 440 of the 723 claims received for riot damage compensation arising from the disturbances in Toxteth and other areas of Merseyside in 1981. Of those remaining, 276 claims were either withdrawn or rejected as not being eligible.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the lowest settlement agreed for compensation to date following the Toxteth riots in 1981; and what was the highest.

Merseyside county council was responsible under the Riot Damages Act 1886 for settling compensation claims following the disturbances in Toxteth. Details of individual settlements are confidential to the county council and the claimants. I am not in a position therefore to state the highest or lowest settlements agreed for compensation.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many claims for compensation are still outstanding arising from the Toxteth riots in 1981.

Following the Toxteth disturbances in 1981, the Merseyside county council, as statutory compensating authority, received 723 claims for compensation. Of those received, seven remain to be settled including cases where the claimants have not pursued their claims either following an offer by the county council or where contact has been lost with the claimant.

Home Improvement Grants

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take into consideration the rise in costs of building materials when deciding the amount available for home improvement grants.

My right hon. Friend announced on 20 November the totals available for capital expenditure allocations to local authorities on the housing and other services blocks for 1986–87. Local authorities will be notified of their individual allocations before Christmas and it will then be for them to decide how much of their resources to make available for home improvement grants.

Silentnight Beds

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from the directors of Silentnight Beds concerning rollout mattresses for military use.

In February 1985, Silentnight was invited by the Ministry of Defence and the Crown Suppliers jointly to demonstrate a rollout mattress.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether Silentnight Beds is involved in research work for his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Although Silentnight was informed that additional development work would be necessary before the rollout mattress could be considered for purchase, I am not aware that it is undertaking any research work at present for either the Department of the Environment or for the Ministry of Defence.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what contracts have been awarded to Silentnight Beds by his Department.

No record exists of any contracts having been awarded to Silentnight by the Department of the Environment.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which companies have been involved in research work for his Department into rollout mattresses.

Hampstead Heath

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements he proposes for the future of Hampstead heath after the abolition of the Greater London council.

I have considered very carefully the responses to our proposal announced on 4 October that the Corporation of the City of London should own and manage Hampstead heath, apart from the land going to the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission together with Kenwood house. The responses make it clear that views continue to vary about the future of the heath and to favour more than one option. In particular, the London borough of Camden has submitted substantive alternative proposals. I need to examine its proposal closely and to review it among other options. As Camden did not submit its proposals until October, despite first being asked to do so in January, it may be that final decisions on ownership and management cannot be reached in time to enable transfer to take place on abolition day. In that case responsibility for the heath will be passed to the London residuary body while permanent arrangements are being finalised. I remain firmly committed to the concept of unified management for the heath.My noble friend the Minister of State is today inviting the leaders of the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden and Haringey to meet him to review the position.

Employment

Small Companies (Profitability)

asked the Paymaster General if he will extend the scope of his inquiry into the effect of late payment of accounts by large companies on the profitability of small companies to include the payment practices of Government Departments; and if he will make a statement.

I assume my hon. Friend's question relates to discussions with representative organisations of the scope for reducing the problem of late payment of bills. The possibility of issuing guidance for customers and suppliers is under consideration. Government Departments already have standing instructions to pay bills promptly. Their practices will be taken into account in preparing guidance.

Information Technology

asked the Paymaster General what level of financial support for information technology centres he proposes for 1985–86 and 1986–87.

In the financial year 1985–86 the Manpower Services Commission has made provision amounting to £24 million towards the cost of the information technology centre programme. The level of financial support in 1986–87 will be dependent on the outcome of a detailed review of the programme which is currently in progress.

asked the Paymaster General if he will take steps to safeguard the training capacity of information technology centres.

A comprehensive review of the information technology centre programme is nearing completion. I cannot anticipate what conclusions will be reached. However, ITeCs have been invited to plan for 1986–87 on the assumption that the Manpower Services Commission will offer, nationally at least, the same number of youth training scheme places as at present.

Job Creation And Redundancy Payments

asked the Paymaster General if he will list the number of people in the west midlands who have subscribed to the enterprise allowance scheme and loan guarantee scheme and the number of redundancy payments to which his Department has contributed in the same region within the framework of the redundancy fund.

Since the enterprise allowance scheme began nationally on 1 August 1983, 12,215 people have joined in the west midlands region as at 31 October 1985. Between June 1981 and September 1981, 1,435 loans were granted under the loan guarantee scheme to firms in the west midlands, covering a loan value of £45·6 million. No redundancy payments figures are available separately for the west midlands.

Tourism

asked the Paymaster General what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to develop the tourism industry in their area.

We have drawn attention to the important role of local authorities in fostering tourism in our recent report "Pleasure Leisure and Jobs—The Business of Tourism". We have circulated copies of this report to all local authorities and asked them to consider whether they could be doing more, through their existing powers and resources, to encourage the development of tourism and reap its benefits.

Health And Safety

asked the Paymaster General how many youth training scheme placements were (a) closed down and (b) not accepted on health and safety grounds in 1984.

During 1984, 169 youth training scheme work placements were closed down and 61 were not accepted for the scheme primarily on health and safety grounds. In addition to these placements, one mode B1 scheme was closed in 1984 on grounds of health and safety.

asked the Paymaster General how many engineering apprenticeships were available in the east midlands in 1979 and 1984; and what was the comparable national figure for those years.

The information is not available in the precise form requested. However, figures provided by the engineering industry training board show that the number of craft and technician trainees registered as commencing training in 1979–80 was 2,359 in the east midlands, and 26,202 nationally; the corresponding numbers for 1983–84 were 1,059 and 12,040.The numbers entering traditional apprenticeships are becoming increasingly irrelevant as a measure of the real level of skills training being undertaken as industry's skill needs change. For many industries including the expanding new technology sector, apprenticeship is not the usual means of achieving full skills status. The youth training scheme already enables a substantial amount of initial skills training to be carried out, and the expanded two year scheme will provide increased opportunity for flexible skills training relevant to employers' needs.

Adult Training

asked the Paymaster General what are the most recent figures for the number of adult workers who receive training in the United Kingdom; and what information he has on comparable figures for West Germany.

Information from the labour force survey carried out in the spring of 1984 indicates that about 2 million adults in employment had received some training during the four weeks before the survey interview. I regret that a comparable figure for West Germany is not available.

Hotel Classification

asked the Paymaster General when he expects to introduce the new hotel classification system in England.

The English Tourist Board announced the introduction in England of the new voluntary classification system for tourist accommodation on 14 October. The new arrangements, which will also operate in Scotland and Wales, are being introduced immediately but will not fully supersede the existing scheme until 1 January 1987. Details of the new system are currently being circulated to the industry by the English Tourist Board. The Government fully support the new arrangements, which we believe will provide a better guarantee of standards without the need for statutory regulation and we hope that the scheme will be widely supported by the tourist industry.

Gchq (Ilo Conventions)

asked the Paymaster General what recent representations he has received from the International Labour Organisation regarding Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the applicability of International Labour Organisation conventions to Government communications headquarters.

There have been no such representations from the International Labour Organisation since my reply to the hon. Member on 11 June at column 413. The comments relating to the GCHQ made by the committee of experts on the application of conventions and recommendations mentioned in that reply were discussed by the applications committee of the International Labour Conference on 18 June.

Labour Statistics

asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on the latest unemployment figures.

The following information is in the Library. On 10 October 1985 the number of unemployed claimants in the United Kingdom was 3,276,861.

asked the Paymaster General how many people are (a) employed and (b) unemployed in the Rotherham and Mexborough travel-to-work area; and what were the corresponding figures one year ago.

Comprehensive employment statistics for travel-to-work areas are not available except for dates when censuses of employment are taken. Censuses have been taken triennially since 1978 and the latest results are for September 1981. At that time, there were 90,400 employees in employment in the Rotherham and Mexborough travel-to-work area. More up to date employment figures for travel-to-work areas will become available following the publication of the 1984 census of employment in the spring of 1986.On 10 October 1985 the number of unemployed claimants in the Rotherham and Mexborough travel-to-work area was 22,700. The corresponding figure for October 1984 was 21,503.

Technical And Vocational Education Initiative

asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on the technical and vocational education initiative and its future expansion.

The initiative is now in its third year. In 1983 14 Local education authorities in England and Wales mounted the first TVEI projects, involving 144 schools and colleges. Last year the Government asked the Manpower Services Commission to extend the initiative and currently 74 projects in England, Scotland and Wales, with 500 schools and colleges are participating. Projects have proved to be popular and many have been oversubscribed. A further 28 proposals are currently being considered for a 1986 start.In the White Papers "Better Schools" (Cmnd 9469) and "Education and Training for Young People" (Cmnd 9482), published earlier this year, the Government indicated their view that the TVEI projects were laying a foundation which must be built on. The Government have introduced a scheme of TVEI related in-service training for teachers and are considering the wider application of the lessons emerging from the initiative.

Enterprise Allowance Scheme

asked the Paymaster General how many people have now benefited from the enterprise allowance scheme.

Up to 31 October 1985, the latest date for which figures are available, 112,191 people have joined the enterprise allowance scheme.

Community Programme

asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on progress in expanding the community programme.

At the end of October 1985 there were some 194,000 authorised places on the community programme projects of which 159,000 were filled. Steady progress is being made towards meeting the target of 230,000 filled places by the end of May 1986.

Systime Plc

asked the Paymaster General what measures he is taking to assist future employment for those now threatened with redundancy at Systime plc.

I understand that no announcement of redundancies has been made by Systime. If such an announcement is made, all the facilities of the Manpower Services Commission will be made available to help those made redundant find alternative employment or train for new jobs.

Mogul Foods Ltd

asked the Paymaster General what were the circumstances that led to the claim on the small firms loan guarantee scheme by the lender with respect to a loan to Mogul Foods Ltd. in 1982.

I am satisfied that a valid claim was made on this guarantee following a default by the borrower, Mogul Foods Ltd. I understand that there is a dispute about the circumstances which led to a default. This dispute is not a matter for my Department.

Jobcentres

asked the Paymaster General if he will make it his policy that the provision of assistance by the staff of jobcentres to unemployed persons is not refused on the ground of their ineligibility for supplementary benefit because they have cash assets in excess of £3,000; and if he will make a statement.

Assistance from jobcentre staff has always been available to anybody actively seeking a job. There are no plans to change this policy.

Wages

asked the Paymaster General what percentage of the working population earns less than 90 per cent. of the average wage.

For full-time adult employees in Great Britain in April 1985, 50 per cent. earned less than 90 per cent. of average gross weekly earnings.

Youth Training

asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on the standard of employment status and protection afforded to those on youth training scheme schemes.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 November]: The youth training scheme is open to eligible young people who are employed as well as those who are unemployed. Young people who are on the scheme as employees will have a contract of employment and will be subject to all the normal terms and conditions applicable to comparable employees and will have the same statutory protection afforded to employees generally.Providers of training and work experience are under a contractual obligation to treat unemployed young people who are on the scheme in the same way as if they were employees in respect of health and safety and race and sex discrimination. That obligation is reinforced by legislation.

Social Services

Blood Stocks

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) for what length of time blood stocks may be banked without detriment;(2) what percentage of blood taken from donors is stored at very low temperatures; and whether the vectors of venereal diseases and AIDS are eliminated under these storage conditions.

The length of time for which fresh blood and red cell components may be kept for transfusion purposes depends upon the type of anti-coagulant additive used; this can extend shelf life up to 35 days.Red cell components of blood may be frozen and stored at very low temperatures, with a shelf life of several years. This procedure is very expensive and is used by the national blood transfusion service only in respect of very rare blood groups. Stocks kept represent less than 0·1 per cent. of the 2·5 million donations collected each year.Very low temperature storage is employed only to ensure the availability of sufficient stocks of very rare blood groups: it will not prevent transmission of infection. All donations are routinely screened for HTLV III antibody and syphilis.

Board And Lodging

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has as to the effects which the board and lodgings regulations have had on the level of charges made by landlords.

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply on 29 October to the hon. Members for Burnley (Mr. Pike), for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood) and for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) at columns 439–442.

Health Authorities (Land And Property Sales)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much land and property has been sold by health authorities since 1979; how much money has been raised; and how that money has been used.

The information for health authorities in England is as follows:

Year ending 31 MarchAcres soldReceipts £ million
19796277·5
19803759·9
19811,03115·2
19821,19919·4
198355118·0
198485831·5
19851,017*49·0
* Provisional figure.
The proceeds of all sales are retained by health authorities and used for the further development of health services.

Legionnaire's Disease

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what studies his Department has undertaken, in the light of recent outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease, into the efficacy of biocides as a means of eliminating Legionella bacteria in water cooling systems.

None.Reports on the investigation of the recent outbreaks of the disease in Stafford and Scotland have not yet been completed. I am advised that none of the reported outbreaks of the disease world wide has been associated with a water cooling system that has received regular conventional treatment with chlorine. However, my Department's officials are looking at the possibilities for developing a protocol for manufacturers on the in vitro testing of biocides.

War Widows (Pensions)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider reviewing the financial arrangements for war widows' pensions.

War widows pensions are kept under regular review. They were increased on 25 November by seven per cent. The age allowances which are payable with war widows pensions, and which were improved significantly last year, were also increased by seven per cent. from 25 November.

Nurses And Midwives

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement about the changes that have been made in the payment of overtime for unsocial hours worked by nurses and midwives.

The 1985–86 report of the independent pay review for nursing staff, midwives and health visitors recommended that special duty payments for working unsocial hours (that is, percentage additions to basic pay rates for night and weekend working) should, for qualified nursing staff, be calculated on 1984–85 pay scales, whilst for unqualified staff 1985–86 pay scales should be used. The review body said that the purpose of this recommendation was to prevent any significant increase in the substantial amount of money being paid under this heading whilst the nursing and midwifery staffs negotiating council considered what is the right balance between basic pay and additional payments for a profession such as nursing. The review body took account of this adjustment in judging levels of basic pay and recommended higher increases for qualified than for unqualified staff.The Government are implementing the review body's recommendations in two stages: five per cent. on the paybill from 1 April 1985 and the balance, giving total rises of up to 14·3 per cent. in the main clinical grades, from 1 February 1986. The recommendations in respect of special duty payments took effect from April.The review body did not recommend any change in the basis for calculating overtime payments (that is, for hours worked in excess of 371½ per week). No change, therefore, has been made.

Physically And Sexually-Abused Children

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what special funds are available to local authorities for the improvement of services dealing with the detection, treatment and rehabilitation of physically and sexually abused children.

No special funds have been allocated to local authorities for services related to child abuse. The determination of priorities and allocation of resources for particular local services is for local authorities to decide within the resources available to them.

Smoking

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will place in the Library a copy of the National Opinion Poll survey by the Health Education Council on the effectiveness of national no smoking day 1985.

An evaluation of the 1985 national no smoking day, which will include data from the National Opinion Poll survey, will be published shortly. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

North West Thames Regional Health Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report a table showing the hospitals in the North West Thames region which now have contract cleaning instead of in-house organisation and the number of employees made redundant; and if he will make a statement.

The following cleaning contracts have been awarded to private contractors in the North West Thames region:

Health authorityHospital/unit
EalingAcute unit
EalingCommunity unit
Hounslow/SpelthorneAshford hospital
Hounslow/SpelthorneSouth Middlesex small hospitals and community unit
PaddingtonSt. Mary's hospital
South BedfordshireSt. Mary's hospital
RiversideSt. Mary Abbot hospital
RiversideWestminster hospital
I regret that the other information requested is not available centrally.

Brent District Health Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report the number of senior administrators employed by the Brent district health authority together with designated post and salary before the implementation of the Griffiths report and the number now in post or to be appointed together with designations and salaries.

I regret that this information is not available centrally. I suggest the hon. Member contacts the district health authority to obtain the information he seeks.

Lipotriad

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what alternative or equivalent medicine there is on the restricted drugs list to Lipotriad.

Lipotriad is a multivitamin preparation and an adequate range of vitamins are available on National Health Service prescription.

Benefit Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing for 1971, 1981 and the latest date for which estimates are available the number of households in the United Kingdom, with the figures broken down to distinguish between no family, one family and two or more family households, as in Social Trends No. 15 table 2·5 for Great Britain, but also showing whether the married couples and lone parents have one, two, three or more dependent children, with the latter defined as children aged under 16 years or 16 to 18 years in full-time education.

Information on the number of dependent children in families is only readily available for Great Britain in 1981 and 1983 as follows.I shall let my hon. Friend have further information as soon as it is available.Following is the information:

Households*

1981 census

Numbers (thousands)

Percentages

1983 general household survey† Percentages

One family households

Married couple only4,9892627
Married couple with one dependent child2,2511211
Married couple with two dependent children2,6001313
Married couple with three or more dependent children1,10066
Married couple with non-dependent child(ren) only1,58688
Lone parent with one dependent child47122
Lone parent with two dependent children30222
Lone parent with three or more dependent children14311
Lone parent with non-dependent child(ren) only72044
Two or more family households17011
No family households5,1262626
Total households19,493100

*100

* Households may contain other persons in addition to a family. A family is defined as a married couple with or without dependent children or a lone parent with children. Dependent children are those aged under 16 or 16–18 and in full-time education.

† The relatively small sample size of the General Household Survey—in 1983 it covered 10,000 households—means that results cannot be up-rated to give reliable estimates of actual numbers comparable in detail to those given by the Census.
Percentages may not total 100 because of rounding.

Organ Transplants

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will now consider augmenting his donor card scheme by initiating a contracting in scheme for organ transplant provision; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will review the ways in which organs are obtained for transplants; and if he will make a statement on the current position.

Under the provisions of the Human Tissue Act 1961, organs may be removed for transplantation either if the deceased person has previously indicated in writing his willingness to be a donor, for example by signing an organ donor card, or if after reasonable inquiry there are no grounds for believing that his relatives have any objection. Successive Governments have undertaken a series of intitiatives to increase the numbers of organs becoming available for transplantation, in particular through encouraging people to carry a signed donor card.Donor organs are still urgently needed and we are constantly seeking new ways of increasing public awareness of the benefits of organ transplantation and promoting the donor card scheme, but we see no need at present for a review of the ways in which organs are obtained. The largest computer register of people who are willing to donate their organs after their death in the United Kingdom is in Manchester, and we are watching its progress. We are considering ways in which a computer register might be provided on a national basis, if experience with the local schemes appears to justify this, but we do not expect to be able to make any announcement in the immediate future.

Renal Failure

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what change there has been in the resources devoted to end-stage renal failure over the past five years; if he will indicate statistically the growth or decline in such provision; and if he will make a statement.

The provision of services for adult renal patients is a health authority responsibility, and information on the resources devoted to renal services is not collected centrally. Each regional health authority has agreed to accept new renal patients for treatment at an annual rate of at least 40 per million population by 1987, and we are monitoring their progress. The annual take-on rate in England rose from 21·0 per million in 1979 to 35·7 per million in 1984, and in a number of regions the 40 per million target has already been exceeded. The treatment of renal patients under the age of 16 was designated as a supra regional service from April 1984, and the funds allocated for its provision since then were £2,808,000 in 1984–85 and £3,343,000 in 1985–86 (both at 1985–86 cash levels). We expect to announce the 1986–87 allocation within the next few weeks.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people died of kidney failure over the past five years; if he will estimate what proportion of these people could have been saved if suitable kidney and transplant facilities had been available; and if he will make a statement.

This information is not collectd centrally in the form requested. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys figures for England and Wales, given below, show the total number of cases where nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, chronic renal failure, and renal failure, unspecified, were recorded as the primary cause of death.

Number
19807,986
19818,573
19828,951
19838,498
1984*7,914
* 1984 figures are not compatible with those for earlier years because of a change in data coding.
These totals exclude cases, such as diabetic nephropathy, where the data coding classifies the death under the primary disease causing renal failure.

It is impossible to estimate the proportion of people who might not have died if more treatment facilities had been available. Some of those who died would have been receiving treatment and the majority of cases recorded would not be regarded as treatable because of the presence of other diseases.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the growth or decline in care of end-stage renal failure patients in terms of home dialysis, hospital dialysis continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and transplants over the past five years; and if he will make a statement.

According to data provided by the European Dialysis and Transplant Association, the numbers of renal patients on treatment at 31 December during each of the years shown were as follows:

Home dialysisHospital dialysisCAPD*With functioning transplant
19802,0641,2415203,111
19812,1621,3739073,532
19822,2181,4901,2253,994
19832,1351,5361,4854,360
19842.0951,6581,9085,574
* Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.

Vaccination

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children in each year since 1981 completed courses of vaccination with the following vaccines or combination of vaccines: (a) pertussis/diphtheria/tetanus (triple), (b) triple/polio, (c) triple/smallpox, (d) triple/measles, (e) triple/polio/smallpox, (f) pertussis, (g) pertussis/polio, (h) pertussis/diphtheria/polio, (i) pertussis/polio/tetanus, (j) pertussis/diphtheria/rubella and (k) pertussis/diphtheria.

The information available is as follows:

Number of children under 16 completing primary courses of immunisation (England)
1981198219831984
Pertussis/Diphtheria/Tetanus (triple)318,452358,064382,182387,659
Number of cases on in-patient waiting list for admission to NHS hospitals at 31 March—Portsmouth and South East Hampshire district health authority
Specialty197919801981198219831984
General medicine1014101239
Dermatology183332302622
Rheumatology1213178166
Geriatrics574432393510
General surgery1,2729241,3111,3221,4121,771
Ear, nose and throat1,5821,7681,6801,4831,5511,314
Trau. and orth.1,5171,1691,1931,1309921,157
Ophthalmology635474463446428363
Radiotherapy3710512
Urology1,0421,058688968952992
Thoracic surgery2
Oral surgery149160170188376472
Gynaecology1,0966057051,1461,0931,030
Mental handicap5957
Total7,4526,3266,3136,7776,8817,188

1981

1982

1983

1984

Pertussis1,77526,60323,1823,744
Pertussis/Diphtheria260155167216

Information is not held centrally on the other combinations quoted. It is recommended that children receive oral polio vaccine at the same time as the triple vaccine. Numbers for oral polio were:

1981

1982

1983

1984

554,342559,782526,407526,092

Smallpox vaccination has not formed part of the United Kingdom immunisation recommendations since 1981.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many vaccine-damage payments have been awarded for damage from a vaccine which according to the parents' recollection included a pertussis element in each year since 1981; and if he will give the total number of payments in each of these years.

The information, up to 8 November 1985, the latest date for which figures are available, is as follows:

Number of awards made in which vaccination was stated by claimant to include a pertussis element
YearNumberTotal awards
19816274
19823043
19833142
19842429
19851923
Total166211

Hospital Waiting Lists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of people on hospital waiting lists in the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire health district for the years 1979 to 1984, on 31 March and by specialty.

Mental Illness (Hospital Provision)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with provision for the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill in the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire health district with the reorganisation of hospitals in that area.

The Portsmouth and South East Hampshire health authority is responsible for the provision of health services in its area. The authority's plans for the reorganisation and development of its services for mentally handicapped and mentally ill people have been widely consulted upon. The plans accord with national and local policies of developing community-based care for these patients.

St James's Hospital, Portsmouth

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received about the proposed closure of St. James's hospital, Portsmouth.

Whooping Cough

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many children were vaccinated against whooping cough in each year since 1974 and to date; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will launch a publicity campaign on whooping cough and the case for vaccination.

The information requested is given in the table:

Children under age 16 completing primary courses of immunisation against whooping cough: England
YearNumber of children
1974*428,300
1975*247,900
1976*240,600
1977191,899
1978250,250
1980285,561
1981320,496
1982384,827
1983405,744
1984391,699
*Includes estimated numbers for one Area Health Authority.
The Department has provided additional funding of £483,000 to the Health Education Council to allow it to co-ordinate a national campaign. The campaign was launched in September and will run for the expected period of the whooping cough epidemic.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children have contracted whooping cough in each year since 1974 and to date.

The latest available figures on notifications of whooping cough are shown in the table.

Corrected number of notifications of whooping cough in 0–14 age-group 1974–1985 England and Wales
YearNumber
197415,677
19758,514
19763,750

Year

Number

197716,857
197862,881
197929,512
198020,301
198118,728
198263,093
198318,466
19845,263
1985*15,261

* 1 January to 15 November (provisional).

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the contraction rate of whooping cough.

Notification rates for whooping cough for 1974–1984 are given in the table.

Corrected number of notifications of whooping cough per 100,000

population, 1974–1984, all ages

England and Wales
YearRate
197432·8
197518·0
19767·9
197735·3
1978133·4
197962·2
198042·6
198139·1
1982132·7
198338·9
198411·1

Child Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the number of single mothers who have withdrawn claims for child benefit in each single year since 1979, the number of case papers which have been requested from benefit officers' staff by social security fraud squad officers in each single year since 1979; and if he will list the total number of officers who have been employed by his Department as fraud squad investigators during the same period giving a breakdown of the regions of the country to which they have been assigned.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 November 1985, c. 285]: I regret that the information requested concerning withdrawn claims for child benefit is not available. If the hon. Member has in mind the Department's special claims control teams which were set up in 1981 and are the only fraud staff working in groups, the following table sets out a region by region breakdown of staff numbers for the last two years and a national total for the preceding two years. The number of case papers referred by benefit officers to the teams is not available.

Region1984–851983–841982–831981–82
North East3228
Midlands3322
London North2721
London South2320
Wales and South West2233
North West3037
Scotland2214
National Total189175141147

Children At Risk

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what training residential social workers receive in the identification of non-accidental injuries and the protection of children at risk of such injuries.