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Written Answers

Volume 114: debated on Monday 6 April 1987

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 6 April 1987

Attorney-General

Bail

45.

asked the Attorney-General if he has any proposals for pre-trial hail applications to be heard in open court; and if he will make a statement.

Bail Act 1976

46.

asked the Attorney-General what representations he has received concerning the operation of the Bail Act 1976 by judges in cases where the police have been known to object to bail applications.

None recently. However, my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has received a small number of letters on the subject.

Lord Rothschild

47.

asked the Attorney-General when he now expects to reach a decision about the possible prosecution of Lord Rothschild under section 2 of the Official Secrets Act.

The police investigation remains incomplete and the Director of Public Prosecutions has as yet received no report.

Wright Case (Appeal)

48.

asked the Attorney-General what information he has as to when the appeal by Her Majesty's Government in the Wright case is likely to be heard in Australia; and if he will make a statement.

Crown Prosecution Service

49.

asked the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the progress of measures to improve the efficiency of the Crown prosecution service since his reply to the hon. and learned Member for Burton on 19 February, Official Report, column 766.

The Crown prosecution service will seek constantly to achieve improvements in efficiency. Improved arrangements for management and forward planning are being introduced; staff numbers are being increased for 1987–88; and continuous programmes for recruitment training, the use of computers and other efficiency work are being carried out. Good progress is being made, but more lawyers have still to be recruited in London and some other areas.

Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster

50.

asked the Attorney-General whether he took any steps to ensure that the local authority which launched an appeal fund following the "Herald of Free Enterprise" disaster took account of his guidelines on disaster funds when framing its appeal; and if he will make a statement.

The Treasury Solicitor on my behalf was in touch with the relevant local authority shortly after the accident and satisfied himself that my guidelines were being followed and offered any further guidance that the local authority might find helpful.

Family Courts

51.

asked the Attorney-General when he anticipates announcing further progress towards family courts.

The Government are considering the responses to a consultation paper issued by the Lord Chancellor's Department in May 1986 and the resource implications of the various proposals which have come forward. Good progress is being made, but I cannot say when consideration will he complete.

Raymond Kingsland

asked the Attorney-General if papers relating to the alleged laundering of Mafia heroin profits by companies and bank accounts connected with Raymond Kingsland have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Police National Computer

asked the Attorney-General what discussions he has had with, and what advice was received from, the Data Protection Registrar in relation to his policy on taking out prosecutions under the Official Secrets Act in preference to under the Data Protection Act in cases involving abuse of the police national computer.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has had general policy discussions with the Data Protection Registrar, but none on the specific point raised by the hon. Member. The director considers each case on its own merits.

Master Bickford Smith

asked the Attorney-General if he is now in a position to reply to the letter dated 23 November 1986 which he received from the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch concerning the inquiry by the Lord Chancellor into Master Bickford Smith and others; and if he will make a statement.

Privatisation (Multiple Share Applications)

asked the Attorney-General (1) whether he will prosecute the hon. Member for Ynys Môn (Mr. Best) under section 15 of the Theft Act 1968 for obtaining property by deception by making multiple applications for British Telecom shares; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether he will prosecute the hon. Member for Ynys Môn (Mr. Best) under section 16 of the Theft Act 1968 for obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception by making a multiple application for British Telecom shares; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the police are investigating certain allegations made against the hon. Member for Ynys Môn. They will report in due course to the Crown prosecution service.

Overseas Development

Technical Assistance

58.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the role and extent of technical assistance as part of the United Kingdom overseas aid programme.

Technical co-operation is an essential element in Britain's bilateral aid programme, providing recipient countries with training and expert advice in a wide range of disciplines which contribute to their development.

Third World Debt

59.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has any further plans to assist the debt programme of the poorest developing countries.

We are already considering new initiatives and the next opportunity to take these further will be later this week at the spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

Aids

60.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further measures he has initiated to increase bilateral and multilateral assistance to combat the spread of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome in developing countries, and especially in Africa.

Subject to parliamentary approval, I have decided to give £3 million in the financial year 1987–88 to the World Health Organisation's special programme on AIDS. In addition, I have agreed to provide, over three years, about £1·6 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation to help it develop its capability to combat the disease.

Food Aid

61.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to increase bilateral aid and assistance to countries on the United Nations list facing abnormal food shortages.

I announced last week some £11·3 million of emergency assistance to Mozambique, including up to 30,000 tonnes of food aid. I shall publish details of our aid to other countries on the list in the Official Report.Following is the information:

United Kingdom emergency and food aid in 1987 to countries facing abnormal food shortages
Food aid £ million1Relief assistance £ million1
Mozambique6·73·9
Sudan2·82·0
Bangladesh9·3
Nepal0·5
1 Estimated.

Notes:

(1) This table only includes allocations (and deliveries of food aid) made in the first three months of 1987.

(2) Nepal has now been added to the FAD list of countries facing abnormal food shortages.

Africa (Insect Pests)

62.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will increase the role played by the Overseas Development Agency's scientific units in combating insect pests in Africa.

Yes. In view of the importance I attach to promoting agricultural development in Africa, I have instructed the Tropical Development and Research Institute to increase its operations in that area. Project proposals estimated at some £7 million are now being prepared to tackle crop and storage pests, on which TDRI has much valuable expertise and experience.

Nepal

63.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the level of aid given by his Department to Nepal.

As I informed my hon. Friend on 18 March, our aid disbursements to Nepal in 1986 are provisionally estimated at £9·9 million.The level of aid reflects the close and friendly relations between our two countries. Our aid is devoted to basic infrastructure, health and education, and to rural development in the hill areas of Nepal, in support of the Nepalese Government's efforts to improve the living conditions of their people.

Brazil

64.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of Brazil's suspension of debt interest payments on development programmes in that country.

Brazil has suspended payment of interest on its commercial loans. This move will have no effect on Britain's modest aid programme of technical assistance to that country. Other bilateral donors, and the international financial institutions, will be making their own assessments.

Water Aid

65.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to visit projects sponsored by Water Aid; and if he will make a statement.

I am looking forward to visiting the London office of Water Aid on 19 May. I hope to have an opportunity to visit some of its projects in the future.

Shatila And Bourj El Barajneh Refugee Camps

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what initiatives are being taken by the Overseas Development Administration both on a bilateral basis and through the European Community to provide food, medical supplies and other relief to the Palestinian refugee camps of Shatila and Bourj el Barajneh in Lebanon; and whether he will make a statement.

On 27 March 1 announced new emergency aid for the Lebanon totalling £550,000. Of this £250,000 is being channelled through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in response to its appeal for food, medical and other relief supplies for the camps. The remaining £300,000 will he used by the International Committee of the Red Cross for its relief programme in Lebanon.The European Community contributes annually— about £22 million in 1986—to the education and feeding programmes of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which mainly benefit Palestinians in Lebanon. In addition, it has allocated this year 2·7 mecu—about £2 million — to various international agencies working in the area. About 20 per cent. of the Community programme is met from the British aid budget.

Pakistan

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the level and nature of United Kingdom assistance to Pakistan.

Our gross bilateral aid to Pakistan in 1986 is povisionally estimated at £20·7 million, compared to £16·6 million in 1985. It is concentrated in the main sectors to which the Pakistan authorities give priority: irrigation and agriculture; power; education and health; and population. I shall be discussing the progress of the programme with Prime Minister Junejo tomorrow.We also provide substantial assistance to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan—over £40 million since the Soviet invasion. Following my visit to the camps last November, when I was able to see for myself the good use to which these funds are put, I plan to allocate £5 million more for support of the refugees this financial year.

Energy

British Coal

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give details of closures of British Coal workshops/ training establishments since 1979, giving in each case their geographical area.

Following are the closures of establishments since 1979:

British coal area and workshopsIndustrial training centres
Scotland
LugarFordell
British coal area and workshopsIndustrial training centres
New BattleComrie
Calder Head
North East
WhitburnVane Tempest
Tursdale
Ashington
North Yorkshire
Monk Bretton
Barnsley Main
Allerton Bywater
South Yorkshire
ElsecarBentley
BirdwellMarkham
CarcroftCarcroft
Fence
Treeton
Central
BlackwellAnnesley
AnsleySwadlincote
Bretby
Western
WalkdenValley
Kirkless
South Wales
TredegarAbernant
TonduTondu

Power Stations (Northern Ireland)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what discussions his Department is having with British Coal over the price and terms of supply of coal to power stations in Northern Ireland.

My officials have had some discussions with officials from the Department of Economic Development in Northern Ireland about future international coal prices. The price and terms of supply of coal by British Coal to power stations in Northern Ireland are, however, commercial matters for negotiation between the corporation and Northern Ireland Electricity.

Coal Industry (Pit Closures)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give details of all pit closures which have occurred since 1979, giving in each case manpower levels at each pit concerned in the previous year, and giving an indication of its coalfield area.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 12 March at columns 279–280. Since then Newstead colliery in Nottinghamshire has closed. I will ask the chairman of British Coal to write to the hon. Member about manpower levels.

Coal Industry (Accidents)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will give details of all fatal accidents which have occurred in the coal industry for the year 1986–87, broken down according to coalfield areas;(2) if he will give details of all serious accidents which have occurred in the coal industry for the full year 1986–87 broken down according to coalfield areas.

British Coal (Manpower)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will give details of current manpower levels in British Coal by area, giving indications of categories of employment;(2) if he will give details of British Coal manpower levels by coalfield area for the full year 1986–87.

British Coal manpower by area for financial year 1986–87 is given below. A breakdown of manpower by category of employment is not available.

British coal manpower on colliery books by area for financial year 1986–87
Number
Scottish4,524
North East14,444
North Yorkshire17,758
South Yorkshire15,402
North Derbyshire7,414
Nottinghamshire20,594
South Midlands inc. Kent7,431
Western12,139
South Wales10,238
Total109,944

Nuclear Power Stations

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when (a) Springfields, (b) Heysham A and B, (c) Hartlepool, (d) Wylfa, (e) Trawsfydd, (f) Oldbury, (g) Berkeley, (h) Hinkley Point A and B, (i) Winfrith, (j) Dungeness A and B, (k) Bradwell, (l) Sizewell and (m) Sellafield were connected to the national grid.

The CEGB, BNFL and the UKAEA as appropriate have advised me that the, first of the turbine generators at each station were synchronised to the grid on the following dates:

Date
Springfields1
Heysham 1July 1983
Heysham 22
HartlepoolAugust 1983
WylfaJanuary 1971
TrawsfynddJanuary 1965
OldburyNovember 1967
BerkeleyJune 1962
Hinkley Point AFebruary 1965
Hinkley Point BFebruary 1976
WinfrithDecember 1967
Dungeness ASeptember 1965
Dungeness BApril 1983
BradwellJuly 1962
SizewellJanuary 1966
Sellafield3
1 The facilities at Springfields do not provide power to the grid.
2 The reactors at Heysham 2 are undergoing engineering tests and no power has been provided to the grid.
3 The Sellafield site includes the Calder Hall reactors the first of which provided electricity supplies to the grid in October 1956.
Except for Winfrith, each of these stations has a number of turbines and these were synchronised to the grid at subsequent times.

Home Department

Police Traffic Patrols

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the average national reduction in the strength of police traffic patrols since 1985.

On 31 December 1985, 8,265 police officers were deployed on specialist traffic duties in police forces in England and Wales other than the Metropolitan police. On 31 December 1986 the equivalent figure was 8,357, an increase of just over 1 per cent. Similar figures are not yet available for the Metropolitan police.

"Fresh Start"

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the implications for the probation service of the Prison Department's "Fresh Start" project.

"Fresh Start" is a package of proposals designed to make fundamental changes in the working arrangements, organisation and pay systems for prison officers. It is too soon to say whether those proposals will have implications for the probation service but it is expected that, if there are any, they will be minor. They are, in any case, only likely to affect those probation officers working in prison service establishments. Review teams are visiting prison service establishments and will be drawing up recommendations for the operation of "Fresh Start" in each. Area chief probation officers will be given the opportunity to comment on their recommandations.

Prison Population

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the prison population of England and Wales at the latest date available.

On 27 March 1987 the total prison population in England and Wales, including Immigration Act detainees, was 49,071.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for the most recent date available, what was the certified normal accommodation and actual population of each of: Her Majesty's prison Bedford, Her Majesty's prison Birmingham, Her Majesty's prison Bristol, Her Majesty's prison Brixton, Her Majesty's prison Gloucester, Her Majesty's prison Leeds, Her Majesty's prison Lewes, Her Majesty's prison Lincoln, Her Majesty's prison Liverpool, Her Majesty's prison Manchester, Her Majesty's prison Nottingham, Her Majesty's prison Oxford, Her Majesty's prison Pentonville, Her Majesty's prison Reading and Her Majesty's prison Shrewsbury.

On 27 March 1987 the certified normal accommodation of the establishments listed was as follows:

EstablishmentCertified Normal AccommodationPopulation
Bedford176305
Birmingham5731,168
Bristol552620
EstablishmentCertified Normal AccommodationPopulation
Brixton7251,079
Gloucester193311
Leeds6421,312
Lewes361568
Lincoln359688
Liverpool8211,307
Manchcster9681,690
Nottingham202294
Oxford130253
Pentonville8341,122
Reading178332
Shrewsbury169297
On 31 DecemberAuthorised Police EstablishmentPolice StrengthCivilian Strength1Total Police and Civilian Manpower1
19791,1821,1673121,479
19801,1821,1823361,518
19811,1821,1823341,516
19821,1821,1833321,515
19831,1831,1783351,513
19841,1831,1523331,485
19851,1831,1413091,510
19861,1831,1573181,475
On 28 February 19871,1831,1723131,485

Note

1 Excluding traffic wardens and cadets.

Including part-time civilian staff on a 2 for 1 basis.

Animals (Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Departmemt (1) how many live animals were used by Oxford university for experimental purposes under licences issued by his Department in 1985;(2) how many animals were used by the department of physiology at Oxford for experimental purposes under licences issued by his Department in 1985;(3) how many and which breeds of primates have been used in licensed experiments at Oxford university since 1985;(4) how many dogs were used in licensed experiments at Oxford university in 1985;(5) how many cats were used in licensed experiments at Oxford university in 1985;(6) how many animals were used in licensed experiments by the department of psychology in Oxford university in 1985;(7) how many primates have been used, in licensed experiments, by the department of psychology at Oxford university in 1985;(8) how many primates were used by Messrs. Heddon, Sloper, Hiorns and Powell of the department of human anatomy and bio-mathematics at Oxford university in licensed experiments during 1985;(9) in what year Messrs. Heddon and Powell were first licensed to undertake animal experiments at Oxford university;(10) how many cats Messrs. Heddon and Powell of the department of human anatomy have used in licensed experiments since 1976;

Lincolnshire Police Authority

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what were the authorised establishment manpower figures for the Lincolnshire police authority for each of the years 1979 to 1987 inclusive;(2) what were the actual establishment manpower figures for the Lincolnshire police authority for each of the years 1979 to 1987 inclusive.

The information requested is as follows:(11) how many primates have been used by the department of psychology of Oxford university in licensed experiments since 1976;(12) how many animals have been used by Professor Weiskrantz, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford university, in licensed experiments, since 1977;(13) how many animals have been used by Professor Alan Connery in licensed experiments in the Oxford experimental psychology department since 1977;(14) how many animals have been used by R. Passingham in licensed experiments in the department of experimental psychology since 1977;(15) how many animals have been used in experiments by David J. Price of the department of physiology at. Oxford university, under licence from the Home Department, since 1976;(16) how many primates have been used in animal experiments under licence by his Department by Professor Colin Blakemore since 1976.

It is not our practice to disclose the identity of establishments or departments where licensed experimentation is conducted, or to give details of such experimentation by reference to individuals, departments or establishments.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people at Oxford university currently hold licences to carry out animal experiments under certificate A.

It is not our practice to disclose information of this nature. The Certificate A was a feature of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, which was repealed on 1 January this year.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many visits were paid by his Department's inspectors to the department of physiology at Oxford university between 1980 and 1987;(2) how many visits were paid by his Department's inspectors to the departments of anatomy, psychology, the Nuffield department of anaesthetics, Nuffield orthopaedic centre, physiology and John Radcliffe hospital in 1985.

It is not our practice to disclose information of this nature. However, all establishments where licensed experimentation is carried out are visited frequently by inspectors, usually unannounced.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider suspending Professor Blakemore's current licence to carry out animal experiments until the work is examined fully by the Animal Procedures Committee.

No. We are satisfied that Professor Blakemore's work should be allowed to continue.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Professor Colin Blakemore will be required to apply for a project licence for his work on primates and cats.

Project licence applications from persons working in universities and similar institutions are likely to be invited from October 1987 onwards.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications have been received for project licences, under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, since it came into force.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licence applications have been rejected since the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 came into force.

Video Recordings

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, following the statement made in the House on 31 March by the Minister of State about video recordings, Official Report, column 965, he will make a statement on his examination of the future use of video recordings in the legal system.

As I said at column 967, my right hon. Friend proposes to make an announcement soon.

Mr Chan Hok Cheung

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will defer the deportation of Mr. Chan Hok Cheung from Belfast to Hong Kong so that he is available to give further assistance to Royal Ulster Constabulary officers making inquiries into serious allegations against a senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officer and so that Mr. Chan Hok Cheung is subject to normal procedures whereby a person is permitted to remain in the United Kingdom pending an application for judicial review of his/her case.

Following Mr. Chan's successful application to the court on 2 April for leave to move for judicial review of the decision to remove him as an illegal entrant, removal directions have been suspended pending the outcome of the proceedings.

Nurses (Visas)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visas have been granted in the past 12 months to nurses intending to work in Newham; and how many are currently outstanding.

Information on students applying for entry clearance who wish to train as nurses is not separately available. Qualified nurses need a work permit from the Department of Employment, and I understand that my right hon. and learned Friend the Paymaster General is replying to the hon. Gentleman's question about them.

Deportation

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deportation orders have been served on Iranians requiring that they be sent back to Iran in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and in how many of these cases the deportees have been deported to Iran.

Deportation orders do not specify the country to which the person deported is to be sent. The information available relates to orders made and orders enforced and to the nationality which will normally be the country of destination. The following table gives the numbers in each of the last three years.

Deportation order and trade and orders enforced against Iranian nationals, 1984–86
YearOrders madeOrders enforced1
198412311
19855610
19862211
1 Orders enforced in a particular year were not necessarily made in the same year.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances and for what reasons his Department would consult a High Court judge over an order that a judge had made on an application for care and control made by a man whom his Department was attempting to deport; and whether, in those circumstances, the man or his legal representatives would be given an opportunity to make representations.

I am aware of the particular case to which the hon. Member refers and will write to him.

Salvador Mendoza And Renaldo Blanco

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Salvador Mendoza and Renaldo Blanco, members of the El Salvador Human Rights Commission, were stopped and searched by immigration officials when they arrived from Ostend on 29 March.

The information is not readily available and I will reply as soon as possible.

Firearms

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the percentage increase in the numbers of crimes and offences involving the use of firearms in the 10-year period ended 1965, and what were the total of convictions in courts for firearms offences of crimes and offences involving the use of firearms in the years 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985 and 1986 respectively.

[pursuant to his reply, 26 March 1987, c. 229]: The number of offences recorded by the police in which firearms were reported to have been used is published annually in table 3.1 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales". Comparable figures are not available before 1969.It is not possible from central records of the results of court proceedings to identify all offences in which firearms were involved. The information available on findings of guilt for offences under the Firearms Act 1968 is shown in the table below: it relates only to cases in which this was the principal offence and excludes persons also found guilty of a more serious offence. Information on a similar basis is not available for earlier years.

Persons found guilty of offences under the Firearms Act 1968
England and Wales 1980, 1985
Offence19801985
Possession of firearm with intent lo endanger life; use of firearms in resisting arrest6542
Possession of a firearm at time of committing or with intent to commit an offence104101
Possession of firearm without a certificate; trading in firearms without being registered; conversion of firearms; carrying loaded firearm in a public place etc.1,039875
Non-possession of a certificate1 for a shotgun; trespassing with firearm on land; persons under 17 purchasing a firearm etc.5,4902,465
6,6983,483
1 Summary offences.

Trade And Industry

Gatt (Agriculture)

66.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he intends to be present at the GATT discussions relating to world agricultural problems; and if he will make a statement.

Negotiation of international trade agreements is the responsibility of the European

Net Capital Expenditure1 in manufacturing industry2 by standard region of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1985 at 1979 prices
£ million
Region1979198019811982198319841985
North613428284256279356403
Yorkshire and Humberside625484360330354413435
East Midlands478394316322323380435
East Anglia210173133161161174193
South East1,5811,3571,0771,0401,1541,3731,426
South West377319272268308369384
West Midlands705612423421425574571
North West971864609566594666700

Community as a whole, represented by the Commission. My Department co-ordinates the United Kingdom input to that process. It will play a full part in preparing the Community position for the new round of GATT negotiations. These negotiations were launched in Uruguay in September 1986 at a meeting which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and I both attended. The negotiations are to last four years. Among their most important tasks they will deal with the problems of international trade in agriculture, including the effects of all forms of direct and indirect subsidies. The negotiations are at an early stage, and no meetings in GATT at ministerial level are currently planned.

A copy of the Uruguay declaration launching the new round of GATT negotiations has been placed in the Library of the House.

Aah Holdings Plc

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the proposed merger by AAH Holdings plc of the jointly-owned company with British Coal, namely, British Fuels Ltd. and Redland's Cawoods companies; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced on 13 March that he had decided not to refer the setting up of a joint venture company— British Fuels Ltd — by Redland plc, AAH Holdings plc and British Coal to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. His decision was in accordance with the recommendation of the Director General of Fair Trading.

Manufacturing Investment

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish details of investments by manufacturing industry by regions (i) at constant prices and (ii) for each year in constant prices as a percentage of 1979 prices, for each year for 1979 using the latest estimates where appropriate.

Region

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

Wales471330295252251321360
Scotland589568491404348425554
Northern Ireland12712510692104126129
United Kingdom6,7505,6554,3674,1124,2995,1765,590

Net Capital Expenditure1 in manufacturing industry2 for each standard region of the United Kingdom as a percentage of net capital expenditure in the same region in 1979

Percentage

Region

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

North100704642455866
Yorkshire and Humberside100775853576670
East Midlands100826667677991
East Anglia100826377768392
South East100866866738790
South West1008572718298102
West Midlands100876060608181
North West100896358616972
Wales100706253536876
Scotland100968369597294
Northern Ireland1009884738299102
United Kingdom100846561647783

1 Excluding expenditure on assets leased from the financial industries.

2 Divisions 2–4, Standard Industrial Classification, Revised 1980.

Sources: Annual Census of Production and United Kingdom National Accounts.

Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions have taken place in the European Community Council of Ministers concerning reductions in steelmaking capacity in the independent sector.

None—beyond those upon which I reported in the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Teignbridge (Mr. Nicholls) on 23 March 1987, at column 23.

British Medical Data Systems Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what approval has been given to British Medical Data Systems Ltd. for tendering for public sector contracts.

The Department of Trade and Industry does not keep a list of approved suppliers of services or goods. Suppliers are chosen from firms and organisations known to have appropriate capabilities.

Rolls-Royce Plc

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, further to his answer to the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan on 16 February, Official Report, column 438, he will now state the total cost to the Government of the RB211–22B programme of Rolls-Royce plc and the total Government receipts from that programme.

The total cost of the RB211–22B programme to Government was £537 million. Under the arrangements applying to the programme, the Government took all receipts for the first 555 engines, totalling £334 million. Commercial exploitation levies are payable on subsequent sales of engines and sales of spares. Total receipts to date are approximately £340 million.

London Greek Radio

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times London Greek Radio has been the subject of raids by officers of his Department since 1983; and how many other stations have been raided over the same period, and how often.

The unlicensed broadcasting station London Greek Radio first came to the attention of my Department's Radio Investigation Service in March 1984. Since that time the RIS has taken action against the station on 80 occasions. During the same period the RIS acted 563 times against 171 other unlicensed stations.

Airbus

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any proposals to increase the sum offered to British Aerospace for the A330-A340 Airbus Industries aircraft in view of the implications for jobs in Wolverhampton and elsewhere of the current level of finance offered.

Discussions with British Aerospace about the question of launch aid for the Airbus A330-A340 project are continuing, and I am not able to comment at present on the proposals under discussion.

Privatisation (Multiple Share Applications)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when his Department first became aware of the multiple applications for BT shares in the names of the hon. Member for Ynys Môn (Mr. Best); and if he will make a statement.

On Wednesday of last week. The relevant papers have since been passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider.

South Africa

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, in the light of the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 591 of 1986, Her Majesty's Government will review their decision to license the export to South Africa of the Plessey AR3D military radar system; and if he will make a statement.

Wales

Milk Quotas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales from where the extra 20 million litres of milk quota allocated to Northern Ireland have come; and if he will make a statement.

Number of People Unemployed for every Parliamentary constituency in Wales
At January 1987
(a)(b)(c)(d)
Up to six monthsOver six months and up to one yearOver one year and up to two yearsOver two yearsTotal number of people unemployed
Alyn and Deeside1,9887555841,0694,396
Clwyd North West2,6099309131,2335,675
Clwyd South West1,9766685498514,044
Delyn2,2167918511,3575,215
Wrexham2,2318706301,2444,975
Carmarthen2,0627885978374,284
Ceredigion and Pembroke North2,1437286508464,367
Llanelli2,1198466841,1544,803
Pembroke4,3228948401,3257,381
Blaenau Gwent2,1688018791,6175,465
Islwyn1,7196397118893,958
Monmouth1,4566134578183,344
Newport East2,0258778181,3805,100
Newport West2,1219269611,5705,578
Torfaen2,2817657681,4135,227
Caernarfon2,0865635849524,185
Conwy2,0986825618164,157
Meirionnydd Nant Conwy1,3013732823602,316
Ynys Mon2,0378308631,2785,008
Bridgend1,8036996048323,938
Caerphilly2,1498909241,8035,766
Cynon Valley1,7945997241,2994,416
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney1,8987026911,7515,042
Ogmore1,8737358571,2404,705
Pontypridd1,9617346971,3234,715
Rhondda2,0737377881,5925,190
Brecon and Radnor1,3414644035182,726
Montgomery1,1213773063862,190
Cardiff Central2,5171,1401,0161,7096,382
Cardiff North1,1985053616032,667
Cardiff South and Penarth2,0638728911,7045,530
Cardiff West2,1619529361,8875,930
Vale of Glamorgan2,4298607401,1595,188
Aberavon1,9396096279354,110
Gower1,5766504818073,514
Neath1,8327596048544,049
Swansea East1,9688398071,8955,509
Swansea West2,0988818781,9645,821

Source: NOMIS.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Thurnham) on 31 March by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, at columns 445–446.

Labour Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will state the numbers of those people unemployed for (a) less than six months, (b) between six months and one year, (c) between one year and two years and (d) over two years, and the total number of people unemployed, for every parliamentary constituency in Wales.

Further Education

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what change there has been in the staff-student ratio in further education in Wales since 1979; and if he will make a statement.

The student-staff ratio on maintained establishments of further and higher education is as follows:

Student-staff ratio
1979–807·6:1
1985–868·8:1
Percentage change+15·8

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what change there has been in the subjects studied by students in advanced and non-advanced further education in Wales since 1979;

Number of student enrolments outside the university sector
Advanced Full-time equivalent
Subject of study1979–801985–86Percentage change
Education12,5572,686+5·0
Medical, Health and Welfare410487+18·8
Engineering and technology1,7883,074+71·9
Agriculture, forestry, veterinary studies141117-17·0
Science6971,415+103·0
Social, administrative and business studies1,7123,009+75·8
Professional and vocational subjects762700-8·1
Language, literature and area studies6180+31·1
Arts other than languages239999+318·0
Music, drama, art and design6511,460+124·3
1 Includes teacher training.
Number of students enrolments outside the university sector
Non-advanced Full-lime equivalent
Subject of study1979–801985–86Percentage change
Education1190501+163·7
Medical, Health and Welfare1,0131.118+10·4
Engineering and technology6,9205,412-21·8
Agriculture, forestry, veterinary studies868968+11·5
Science373757+102·9
Social, administrative and business studies3,0714,726+53·9
Professional and vocational subjects2,7233,585+31·7
Language, literature and area studies2351+121·7
Music, drama, art and design912970+6·4
Other8,70710,408+19·5
1 Includes teacher training.

Welsh Language

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of primary school children in each of the local education authority areas speak Welsh as their principal language.

The percentages of pupils, aged five and over, in maintained primary schools and whose principal language is Welsh are given in the table. The figures as at September 1985 exclude pupils who are fluent in Welsh but whose home language is not Welsh.

(2) what change there has been in the numbers of students enrolled in part-time and full-time advanced and non-advanced further education courses in Wales since 1979.

The information is given in the following tables:

Number of students enrolments outside the university sector
AdvancedNon-advanced
Part-time1Full-time2Part-time1Full-time2
1979–805,6447,49846,01716,190
1985–867,04812,19245,64520,225
Percentage change%+24·9+62·6-0·8+24·9
1Including evening only modes of attendance.
2Full-time, short full-time and sandwich modes of attendance.
Per cent.
Clwyd4·9
Dyfed20·6
Gwent0·1
Gwynedd41·4
Mid Glamorgan0·6
Powys5·7
South Glamorgan1·0
West Glamorgan2·7

Food Aid

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the operation in Wales of the European Community food aid scheme for the needy and the elderly.

In Wales, as elsewhere in the United Kingdom, procurement of products and distribution to individuals was carried out under the auspices of certain recognised charitable organisations. The scheme, which ended in the United Kingdom on 31 March 1987, had to be introduced quickly and I appreciate the work done by the charities concerned in discharging this very considerable task for the benefit of the needy in Wales.

Margam Mine

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give regional aid to the Margam new mine project; and if he will make a statement.

The Government consider that on the basis of six-day working the Margam project is sufficiently attractive to go ahead without Government grant. British Coal is aware that a coal mining project such as Margam would not be a qualifying process for the purpose of regional development grant. British Coal is also fully aware that under successive Governments regional selective assistance has not been available towards the mainstream activities of nationalised industries.

Urban Aid

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he proposes to introduce the new urban regeneration grant scheme in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

I am pleased to say that we have today launched the urban regeneration grant scheme in Wales. This new grant mechanism is available to help bring forward significant new developments by the private sector on large sites in inner urban areas. The mechanism will work in broadly the same way as urban development grant, although URG does not need to be submitted through a local authority. Although approved URG projects may be relatively few in number, they will be an important adjunct to those existing funding sources which already contribute to the rejuvenation of the inner urban environment in Wales.

Prime Minister

Official Publications

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's practice with regard to the balance between the provision of Government information and the presentation of party policy in official publications.

The conventions which successive Governments have applied to the use of public funds for publicity and advertising were set out in a note provided to the Widdicombe committee in April 1985. A copy of that note was placed in the Library of the House at the time.

Green Pound

asked the Prime Minister if the remarks of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Calder Valley (Mr. Thompson) in Exeter on 12 March, concerning Government moves for a 16 per cent. devaluation in the green pound represent the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Government's reaction to the Commission's proposal for a four percentage point devaluation of the green pound will be decided in the light of developments on the price fixing negotiations as a whole. We shall weigh carefully all the relevant considerations.

Land Drainage

asked the Prime Minister when Her Majesty's Government intend to issue the revised Department of the Environment/Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Welsh Office Agricultural Department land drainage and conservation guidance notes for water authorities, internal drainage boards, the Nature Conservancy Council and the Countryside Commission; and whether the revised guidelines will be addressed to local authorities in respect of their land drainage responsibilities under the Land Drainage Act 1976.

We plan to issue the revised guidelines in the summer. 'They will apply to local authorities, which are subject to the same restrictions and liabilities as a drainage authority in carrying out their functions under the Land Drainage Act 1976. Local authorities have been informed through their representative associations.

Colonel Oliver North

asked the Prime Minister if she or any Ministers had any postal, telephone, videolink or other written or verbal contact with Colonel Oliver North during (a) 1985 or (b) 1986.

I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave the hon. Member on Monday 30 March at column 340.

Mr William Casey (Meetings)

asked the Prime Minister what was discussed at her meetings with William Casey in London and Washington during 1986.

In the course of my official duties I meet senior members of the United States Administration from time to time to discuss matters of common concern. It is not my practice, any more than that of previous Governments, to disclose the details of any such discussions.

Ministerial Speeches

asked the Prime Minister how much it cost to central funds to have copies of the Secretary of State for Social Services' speech to the 1986 Conservative party conference printed and circulated to administrators of family practitioner committees.

asked the Prime Minister if she will make it her policy that civil servants should not circulate within or outside their Departments copies of speeches made by Ministers to party conferences, following the circulation to administrators of family practitioner committees of the speech by the Secretary of State for Social Services to the 1986 Conservative party conference.

It is a standing instruction that press releases of speeches made by Ministers in a party political context should be distributed to the media through the party machinery only. Any distribution of such speeches to other recipients is for decision having regard to the particular circumstances of the case. There could well be circumstances in which it was appropriate for a Department to make sure that officials concerned with a particular activity or service were informed of policy statements about that activity or service made by their Minister, even in the case of a statement made in a political context.

Test Ban Treaty

asked the Prime Minister what discussions she has had with Mr. Gorbachev on her recent visits to the Soviet Union on a comprehensive test ban treaty and verification procedures; and if she will make a statement.

The matter was touched on only briefly. Verification procedures were not discussed in detail.

Scottish And Border Television Companies

asked the Prime Minister for what purpose she proposes to meet producers and executives from Scottish and Border television companies.

I have invited news and current affairs executives from a number of broadcasting and newspaper interests in Scotland for a discussion about Scottish affairs as they see them.

Soviet Union (Visit)

asked the Prime Minister what facilities were provided by Her Majesty's Government and the British embassy in Moscow to the British press and media party who travelled with her on her aircraft on her recent visit to the Soviet Union; what payment those journalists were expected to make; what facilities were provided to those British journalists who were excluded from the party travelling with her; what criteria were used in determining which members of the press and other media should accompany her on her aircraft; and if she will make a statement.

The facilities provided for the media covering my visit to the Soviet Union were similar to those made for earlier official tours. All journalists, British and foreign, had equal access to briefing, telephone and telex facilities which were laid on by the Soviet authorities at the instigation of the British embassy in Moscow. Arrangements were similarly made for road and air travel inside the Soviet Union for all journalists who sought visas and accreditation with the Soviet Government through No. 10 Press Office. Limitations on seats restricted the number of media seats available on my plane to 24. In addition to the two still photographers selected by the Newspaper Publishers Association to provide a pool picture service to the press generally, seats were allocated to the first 22 members of the Parliamentary Lobby to apply for them. All journalists were responsible for their own transport, hotel, telephone and other communications and incidental costs.

Central Scrutiny Programme

asked the Prime Minister what topics were covered in the efficiency unit's central scrutiny programme in 1986–87.

A strong programme of efficiency scrutinies was carried out in association with Sir Robin Ibbs and the efficiency unit in the year ended 31 March 1987. Scrutinies in the programme were as follows:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    • Meat and Livestock Commission
  • Her Majesty's Customs and Excise
    • Patterns of Attendance
    • VAT Control Officers' Skills
  • Ministry of Defence
    • Administrative Movement in British Forces Germany
    • Project Management
  • Department of Education and Science
    • Procedures under the Education Act for the
    • Reorganisation of Schools in England
  • Department of Energy
    • Publications
  • Department of the Environment
    • Planning Enforcement Appeals
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    • Overseas Information Services Funded by the FCO
  • Department of Health and Social Security
    • Liable Relative Procedures
    • Competitive Tendering
  • Home Office
    • Probation Inspectorate
    • Supervision of Charities
  • Inland Revenue
    • Leaflets and Booklets
    • Taxation of Unemployment Benefit
  • Northern Ireland
    • Prison Maintenance
  • Overseas Development Administration
    • Identification, Design, Appraisal and Approval of Bi-lateral Aid Projects and Programmes
  • Property Services Agency
    • Professional Services in the PSA
    • Project Management
  • Scottish Office
    • Sea Fisheries Protection
  • Department of Trade and Industry
    • National Measurement System
    • Dissemination of Patent Information (jointly with Office of Arts and Libraries)
  • Department of Transport
    • Marine Survey Service
    • Chief Highway Engineer's Directorate
  • Welsh Office
    • Community Care
The scrutiny programme is a continuous one—some of the above scrutinies began late in the period and are still in progress.In addition the efficiency unit itself conducted a wide ranging scrutiny on improving management in the Civil Service.A number of other scrutinies were also conducted according to full scrutiny disciplines and with guidance from the efficiency unit. These were:Metropolitan Police Force

  • The Metropolitan Police Band
  • Police Overtime

In addition, the programme of second round scrutinies in the National Health Service is now nearing completion.

Solicitor-General For Scotland

Road Accidents (Statistics)

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many fatal accident inquiries there have been in each of the last 10 years into deaths caused by road accidents.

Figures are not available for each of the last 10 years. However, as far as can be ascertained, the figures for the years 1985 and 1986 are 27 and 13 respectively. These figures include inquiries which were mandatory under the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976.

Children (Summary Prosecution)

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if the Lord Advocate has issued directions to procurators fiscal regarding the summary prosecution of children under 16 years of age; and if he will make a statement.

Procurators fiscal have been issued with detailed directions from the Lord Advocate about the prosecution of children under 16 years of age, and these include directions about summary prosecution. They were issued most recently in 1984 but are currently under review.

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many children under 16 years of age were prosecuted under summary procedure in 1986.

The provisional figure for the number of children under 16 years of age who were proceeded against in summary prosecutions in Scotland in 1986 is 443.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Ec (Developments)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Government intend to publish the White Paper on developments in the European Community July-December 1986.

A White Paper — Cm. No. 122 — covering the period of the United Kingdom's presidency of the Council was published on 6 April 1987 in accordance with normal Government practice. The White Paper highlights the many achievements of the Community during the United Kingdom presidency including substantial progress towards the completion of the Common Market and the removal of barriers to trade in goods and services; radical decisions on reform of the milk and beef sectors constituting the single largest measure of reform so far achieved of the CAP; a wide ranging action programme to help stimulate employment; and intensified co-operation against terrorism, drugs and illegal immigration; in external relations the maintenance and strengthening of the open trading system reflected in the launching of the new GATT round, implementaion of a new multi-fibre arrangement and the settlement of disputes with the United States; an agreement over continued access for New Zealand dairy products; progress in normalisation of Community relations with Turkey; agreement to make food aid policy more responsive to the needs of recipient countries; and, in political co-operation, common positions vis-à-vis South Africa and Syria.

Team Spirit Manoeuvres

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will have any representatives at the United States of America —South Korean Team Spirit manoeuvres; and if he will make a statement.

As I told the hon. Member on 14 April 1986, at column 245, our defence attaché at Seoul observes the team spirit exercises as part of his normal duties.

South Korea (Military Observers)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if there are any plans to withdraw the British military observers from South Korea; and if he will make a statement.

There are no British military observers in Korea. Her Majesty's ambassador has a defence attaché, who is also Commander of the Commonwealth Liaison Mission to the United Nations; Command and Permanent Commonwealth member of the Military Armstice Commission. In addition to his staff, the United Kingdom provides a platoon on rotation from Hong Kong for the United Nations Honour Guard.

Syria

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether King Fahd brought with him any specific proposals from President Assad aimed at renewing or improving diplomatic ties with Syria.

Overseas Missions (Communications Officers)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Hamilton of 18 March, Official Report, column 551, if he has any plans to reduce the number of communications officers in missions overseas; and if he will make a statement.

The staffing levels at all diplomatic service missions overseas are reviewed regularly by the diplomatic service inspectors. Decisions on the number of staff employed on communications duties are taken as part of that process taking all factors, including cost, workloads and changes in communications techniques into account.

Environment

Unleaded Petrol

67.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to encourage the establishment of a reasonable network of supplies of unleaded petrol.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what further measures he will take to stimulate greater use of lead-free petrol.

The Department continues to promote unleaded petrol by measures designed to increase public awareness, to stimulate demand, and to ensure general availability by 1988. Unleaded petrol is already sold at over 200 stations throughout the United Kingdom. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget has now removed the price barrier for the motorist. I expect this to stimulate both the use and the availability of unleaded petrol.

Docklands Urban Development Area

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many firms have moved out of the docklands urban development area or have closed down since 1981; and how many people were employed in these firms.

LDDC's records, based on statutorily recorded redundancies, show that 28 firms providing 1,783 jobs closed down between 1 April 1981 and 31 March 1987.An estimated 85 docklands firms have been relocated outside their area by the LDDC, generally within reasonable travel to work distance.Details of firms which have otherwise moved out of the area will be available after a further survey in the course of this year. This will, however, only cover the period between 1985 and 1987.

Water Safety (Cheshire)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to whether the North West water authority has sufficient equipment to monitor the radioactivity level of water supplies from Wales being used by people in Cheshire.

The North West water authority has sufficient monitoring equipment to measure the gross beta activity of the water supplied by the Huntington water treatment plant to Cheshire. The authority advises me that equipment to measure gamma activity is on order.Her Majesty's radiochemical inspectorate also carries out a national programme of radiochemical monitoring of drinking water sources. The Dee is one of the sources monitored.

London Docklands Development Corporation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what percentage of the houses and flats on London Docklands Development Corporation land which were sold between July and December 1986 were sold for more than £70,000;(2) what percentage of the houses and flats on London Docklands Development Corporation land which were sold between July and December 1986 were sold for more than £40,000;(3) whether he will take steps to ensure that the auditor's reports on the London Docklands Development Corporation of 1985–86 and for 1986–87 will be published;(4) what is the present average value of land held by the London Docklands Development Corporation for

purposes of

(a) housing, (b) offices and (c) industry in each of (i) the enterprise zone, (ii) the Isle of Dogs outside the enterprise zone, (iii) Southwark and (iv) Newham.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) on 30 March 1987 at column 414.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which organisations and individuals were consulted by the London Docklands Development Corporation in drawing up its proposals for the redevelopment of the Royal docks.

The list of consultees is a lengthy one, and I will arrange for it to be placed in the House of Commons Library.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his reply of 31 March to the hon. Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown), he will state how the London Docklands Development Corporation arrived at the figures of 48,000 jobs arising from the redevelopment of the Royal docks; and if he will provide an analysis by occupation of the 48,000 jobs.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 31 March concerning development strategy for the Royal docks, he will state the assumptions and calculations on which he expects 48,000 jobs to be located in the Royal docks area, together with his, or other, estimates of the broad categories of employment.

The estimate of jobs provided in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's answer to his hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown) was indicative of the scale of development likely to result from LDDC's broad development strategy. It is based upon the quantity of land available, its suitability for various types and densities of development, and the interest already shown by the private sector. The range of occupations represented in this total will depend upon the nature of the specific developments which eventually take place.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 31 March to the hon. Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown), regarding 7,000 homes in the London Docklands Development Corporation area, how many of the homes will be (a) for rent and (b) for sale; and what estimate he has made of the average sale price.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if, pursuant to his answer of 31 March concerning development strategy for the Royal docks, he will give an estimate of the breakdown of the 7,000 dwellings into (i) freehold, (ii) private rented, (iii) housing association rented, (iv) housing association, low rent, (v) public rented and (vi) other tenures;(2) what investment in transport infrastructure other than the Beckton extension of the dockland light railway he expects to be necessary to serve the 7,000 additional dwellings and 48,000 jobs which he expects to see in the Royal docks development area;(3) what estimate he has made, pursuant to his answer of 31 March,

Official Report, concerning development strategy for the Royal docks, of the effects of new retail facilities now authorised in the area of the Royal docks on the existing retail centres in east London and south Essex;

(4) what consideration he has given to the implications of, and what conclusion he has reached on, the location of his planned 7,000 additional dwellings and 48,000 jobs near the flightpath of the London city airport in the Royal docks; what consultations he or the London Docklands Development Corporation has had with the Civil Aviation Authority concerning safety aspects of these proposals; and what limitation, he expects to make on the height of buildings in the redevelopment area;

(5) what consultations he has had with local authorities concerning additional health facilities in Newham consequent to his strategy to build a further 7,000 dwellings and locate 48,000 jobs in the redevelopment area of the Royal docks;

(6) if he will tabulate in the Official Report the approximate areas of floor space he expects to be built in the Royal docks, Newham for each of (a) housing, (b) exhibition and sports, (c) commercial, (d) industrial and (e) retail purposes.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's answer to his hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown) indicated the type of development which would be carried out under the approved strategy. It is too early for detailed decisions.They will be taken in the light of the actual private sector development proposals which come forward.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what bodies or persons were invited to the presentation or press conference arranged by his Department to announce his approval for, and details of, the London Docklands Development Corporation's strategy of development for the Royal docks; and what steps he took to inform elected public representatives of his decisions.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made his approval of the strategy known to the House in answer to a question from his hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown) on 31 March. A press briefing was held subsequently.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library all information, including maps and diagrams, on his proposals and those of the London Docklands Development Corporation for his approved strategy for redevelopment of the Royal docks in Newham.

Appropriate documents are being assembled and will be placed in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what decisions were taken by the board of the London Docklands Development Corporation at its meeting on Thursday 26 March; and what opportunity will be given by them for applications to purchase land by developers who wish to implement the strategy he has recently approved for the Royal docks redevelopment area.

The proceedings of the board of the London Docklands Development Corporation are confidential.No commitments for the sale of land in the Royal docks have been entered into for major sites and the LDDC can consider applications for purchase.

Inner City Lighting (Exhibition)

Young asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to inner city lighting to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from 29 June to 3 July.

Public Water Supplies (Nitrate Content)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) on 4 March, Official Report, column 639, if he will now make a further statement on his talks with the water authorities on reducing nitrate content in public water supplies.

Progress is being made, but I am not yet in a position to make a further statement.

Nuclear Waste

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list by name and location in the west midlands those sites considered for the storage of low-level nuclear waste by means of shallow burial repository but not selected for geological drilling by UK NIREX Ltd.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many of the original 1,500 sites considered by his Department and by NIREX to be potentially suitable for shallow burial of low level waste were in Coventry and Warwickshire; and if he will list their locations.

The selection of sites for geological investigation as a possible shallow burial repository for the disposal of low-level nuclear waste was a matter for UK NIREX Ltd. Neither the Government nor NIREX considers it would be appropriate to release details of all the sites considered before the four sites currently under investigation were selected.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether any sites within the Sheffield, Brightside constituency and the adjoining constituencies are being considered as a possible repository for intermediate level nuclear waste; and if he will make a statement.

This is a matter for UK NIREX Ltd. It is currently considering possible options for the disposal of intermediate level wastes, including deep burial in a repository on land, tunnelling beneath the seabed from the shore, and disposal into the seabed from a sea-based rig.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if any of the 1,500 sites investigated for low-level radioactive waste or for intermediate-level waste repositories are sited within Sandwell; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers give today to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Corbett) and the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard).

"Rural Enterprise And Development"

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much it cost his Department to produce the pamphlet, "Rural Enterprise and Development"; how many copies have been printed and what were their production costs; and if he will make a statement.

It is not possible to identify, separately from their other work, the time spent by officials in preparing the pamphlet "Rural Enterprise and Development". Eight thousand copies were printed at an estimated total production cost of £25,853. The pamphlet was produced for sale to the public through Her Majesty's Stationery Office at a cost of £3·95 per copy.

Thamesmead

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what steps he has taken to ascertain if there have been any changes in the value of Thamesmead since the district valuer's valuation on 31 March 1986;(2) what is the value placed on fixed plant, machinery and equipment. vehicles and mobile plant, stocks and stores and other corporeal moveable property held by the London residuary body for the purpose of Thamesmead.

We intend to publish an explanatory paper in due course showing how the financial terms for the transfer of Thamesmead have been arrived at.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if tenants and other residents of Thamesmead were told of the need for sales of properties at vacant possession during the consultation organised by his Department in September and October 1985; and if he will make a statement.

Residents of Thamesmead were told that tenants would retain security of tenure and the right to buy. The question of sales of vacant dwellings is a matter for management decision by Thamesmead Town Ltd.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how he arrived at the sum of £2·5 million payable for Thamesmead Town Ltd. to the London residuary body; and how many vacant possession sales of property at Thamesmead it assumes.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope) today.

Docklands Light Railway

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 31 March concerning development strategy for the Royal docks, he will set out the calculations on which Her Majesty's Government based their judgment that the cost of £140 million of the Beckton extension of the docklands light railway can be funded from the sale of land currently owned by the London Dockland Development Corporation.

The financial appraisals carried out by LDDC are subject to commercial confidentiality. They examine different options, assessing expected receipts from the sale of LDDC's land against the phased payments which would be required for the construction of the eastern extension. They demonstrate that the increased land values which should result from the proposed extension and other infrastructure works generate sufficient funds for the construction of the extension.

Royal Docks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 31 March concerning development strategy for the Royal docks, he will state the total cost to the London Docklands Development Corporation of land acquired for development in the Royal docks strategy area and the expected future sale value of such land on completion of his announced redevelopment and the purposes to which he expects the surplus funds to be devoted, other than the estimated £140 million cost of the Beckton extension of the docklands light railway.

By 28 February 1987 the LDDC had paid out £18·7 million for land acquired in the Royals area. Final payments for some acquisitions have yet to be made. Payments have also been made for land statutorily vested in the corporation throughout its area, but these are not specifically attributed to particular areas. The expected future sale value of land is a matter of commercial confidentiality.To the extent that further surplus funds are available, while precise purposes have not been decided, they will include other infrastructure.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the total investment out of public funds in the Royal docks redevelopment area since the creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation; for what major purposes; at what sum for each such purpose; and what further sums of public money, together with the principal items, he expects to be invested in order to achieve his recently announced planning strategy for the area.

The total LDDC investment in the Royal docks area, including Beckton, between 1 July 1981 and 28 February 1987, excluding acquisition of land, is as follows:

£ million
Environmental improvement10·8
Land reclamation and relocations3·8
Roads and utilities21·5
Other expenditure4·7
40·8
LDDC's strategy for the regeneration of the Royals area is estimated to cost £446 million at 1986–87 prices, including funding on the proposed eastern extension of the docklands light railway, new roads, utilities, reclamation and environment works.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made, in addition to the 48,000 jobs he envisages in the Royal docks redevelopment area, of additional jobs indirectly attributable to the scheme; and if he will state what occupations he expects them to be.

An estimated 14,000 jobs will be indrectly attributable to the scheme in the wider economy. It is not possible to state the likely range of occupations that they might include with any certainty.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, following his recently announced strategy for the London docklands from Brunswick wharf to the proposed east London river crossing, he will now publish the report of his inspectors following the public inquiries into the compulsory purchase orders for the Royal docks and adjacent areas and the Leamouth area, respectively.

No. The inspector's report following the public inquiry into the London Docklands Development Corporation's east docklands compulsory purchase order will be published when the Secretary of State issues his decision on the order.

Public Expenditure (Departmental Publications)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to make available his Department's publications, "Grant Related Expenditure 1987–88" and "The Technical Handbook of Grant Related Expenditure 1987–88."

My right hon. Friend has today placed copies of these documents in the Library of the House. Copies have also been sent to every local authority in England, and to the local authority associations.

Cow Pasture Mine

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has completed his consideration of the Black Country Limestone Advisory Panel's report on the Cow Pasture mine; and if he will make a statement.

I have given careful consideration to the report of the Black Country Limestone Advisory Panel on Cow Pasture mine. I have also taken careful account of the views expressed by Sandwell MBC and other local authorities in the west midlands and of the representations made to me by hon. Members.Whilst I can understand Sandwell MBC's continuing desire for an engineering solution to remove the risk of subsidence from the Cow Pasture mine, I do not think that this would he an appropriate use of Government funds because of the uncertainty as to the extent and effects of any subsidence that may arise and the doubts expressed by the panel about the technical feasibility of the solutions considered, together with the high costs involved. I therefore accept the report's conclusions that the most sensible and cost-effective approach is a programme of monitoring and repair as and when necessary. Whilst this will not prevent subsidence occurring at the Cow Pasture mine, it will provide advance warning of the possibility of damage to property and of any necessary precautions to minmise the very small risk of personal injury. The Government will continue to fund the monitoring programme.Should subsidence occur damaged property will need to be repaired. I have given very careful consideration to how the costs of such damage might be met, particularly in view of the wider implications for other areas of limestone mines in the Black Country.I am not persuaded that a publicly-funded damage repair scheme is justified. The insurance industry already provides protection in respect of subsidence damage under normal household building insurance contracts. It would be inappropriate for central Government to fund any such scheme. Government are already making a proper and significant contribution towards the solution of the problems arising from abandoned limestone mines in the Black Country by providing substantial resources for investigation, monitoring and remedial action where appropriate. The Government will continue to provide financial support for that work. £11·9 million has been allocated to date and a further £5·0 million earmarked for the 1987–88 financial year. A large number of mines have already been investigated in all four Black Country boroughs as well as in the Wrekin district of Shropshire. As a result of these investigations, important progress has been made. Substantial areas.—some 61 hectares—have now been removed from the consideration zones for limestone mines, either because the mines have been found to be totally collapsed and therefore not liable to further subsidence or because the limits of mining have been more accurately defined than was possible on the limited information available when the zones were established. Infilling operations have already been carried out on a trial basis at the Castlefields mine, Dudley, and are about to commence at the Littleton Street mine, Walsall. Infilling of part of the Castlefields mine underlying Birmingham road and the Dudley Town football club, and of part of the Lincoln Hill mine, Ironbridge will also commence shortly. Thus engineering solutions have been adopted where appropriate and this will continue to be the case. Additionally, some £1·7 million has been spent so far by the Government on related research to evaluate surface land use in the general economic and planning context of the Black Country, to develop new techniques of monitoring the mines and the ground movements arising from them, and to develop new methods of analysis to aid decision making.Private sector financial institutions have an essential role in ensuring that people living within the limestone consideration zones are not disadvantaged. To this end, the Government have consulted the Association of British Insurers, the Building Societies Association and the National House Building Council. Insurance companies, representing the bulk of the household insurance market, have stated that they cannot give an unconditional guarantee that insurance cover will be provided or renewed because this depends on the circumstances of individual applications. However, they have confirmed that they will not discriminate solely on the grounds that property is in a limestone area. Insurers will continue to accept household business, including limestone subsidence, in affected areas provided there is no evidence of existing damage to the property involved. This means that each risk will be considered on its merits and that subsidence cover will be available at standard terms and conditions subject to normal underwriting considerations. These assurances should provide the necessary confidence to owner-occupiers and property investors within the Cow Pasture mine area and other consideration zones in the Black Country.Following on from this understanding with insurers. the Building Societies Association has stated, on the basis of its contacts with building societies operating in the limestone area, that it is not aware of any general bar against lending on properties in the area. Societies will consider mortgage applications on their merits in the same way as they would for other areas. As far as new building is concerned, the NHBC has stated that, provided its normal requirements for mining areas are met, it will issue its normal 10-year warranty for major structural damage to houses erected by registered builders. These requirements would include the provision of a mining/geology report which establishes the design critieria for subsidence and the foundation details, with calculations and details of any specialist works necessary to cater for the subsidence levels predicted.These positive assurances are an indication of the responsible attitude being taken by the private sector and will do much to bolster confidence in the property market in the limestone areas. For their part, local authorities and statutory undertakers will need to act promptly and take any action necessary to maintain roads, public services and facilities in the event of any subsidence damage arising. They will also need to carry out any necessary environmental improvements and repairs to their own housing stock.In addition to the Government's existing commitments, there are other important Government measures which will assist in alleviating the situation in the Black Country limestone mines area generally. These are:

  • i. The use of HIP resources to enable local authorities to carry out any repairs necessary following subsidence damage to their own housing stock. HIP allocations for 1987–88 have already been made; in making allocations for subsequent years, the Department will take into account any additional expenditure which may arise on essential remedial work on the local authority owned housing situated over these old mines.
  • ii. Where owner-occupiers of houses suffer hardship because they cannot sell by reason of the risk of subsidence I will consider, in exceptional cases, granting consent to enable local authorities to acquire the property.
  • iii. Continuing expert advice. I have asked the Black Country Limestone Advisory Panel to examine carefully the overall strategy for dealing with the limestone problem and, in particular, to devise a programme for the completion of investigatory works and the identification of necessary remedial action in the remaining areas affected.
  • iv. The Black Country is one of the areas where the local authorities have been invited to put forward projects for urban development grant and the new urban regeneration grant introduced under part III of the Housing and Planning Act 1986 is also available there. These grants may be relevant where development is proposed on sites affected by limestone working.
  • The limestone problem is a complex one and there is no single easy solution to it. We have developed the package of measures outlined above in response to the various elements of the problem. Continuing Government action, coupled with the assurances given by the insurance industry, building societies and the NH BC, and the local authorities' commitments, should go a long way towards restoring confidence in the local property market and to relieving the concern that has arisen due to a greater appreciation of the problems which might develop in areas affected by abandoned limestone mines.

    Dartmoor (Ring Road)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in the light of the current transport difficulties experienced by rescue teams on Dartmoor, he will take steps to repair the ring road on Dartmoor near Okehampton; and if he will make a statement.

    This road is understood to be a private road and is not the responsibility of the Department.

    Trees (Mechanical Flails)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about the environmental implications of the use of mechanical flails to cut down trees on railway embankments; and if he will make a statement.

    I have been asked to reply.One, in the last year, which I have drawn to the attention of British Rail.

    Employment

    Labour Statistics

    asked the Paymaster General if he will provide for each year since 1979 the numbers of people being unemployed on Merseyside, and the number of vacancies available at job centres.

    The following is the available information. Unemployment on-flow statistics—which are also in the Library—are available only from October 1982.

    Numbers of people becoming unemployed claimants in the Merseyside Metropolitan Area
    Number
    1983147,277
    1984138,929
    1985144,326
    1986145,855

    Note:

    Figures only include computerised claims. The 1983 figure relates to jobcentres closely corresponding to the Merseyside Metropolitan area.

    Average numbers of unfilled vacancies at jobcentres covering the Merseyside Metropolitan Area

    Number

    19792,937
    19801,834
    19812,203
    19821,833
    19832,499
    19842,741
    19852,836
    19863,345

    Note:

    Figures for 1979–81 include a small number of vacancies for the Special Temporary Employment Programme, and from 1981 to 1983 vacancies on the Community Enterprise Programme. The 1981 figure includes temporary vacancies for work on the 1981 census.

    asked the Paymaster General if he will publish the total effect on the numbers on the unemployment register of those working in special employment and training measures, for each month from February 1986.