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Written Answers

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 5 February 1987

Education And Science

Reyes Syndrome

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what requests for funding into research related to Reyes syndrome have been made to his Department; and what was the response.

The Medical Research Council, which receives its grant-in-aid through the Department, is the main Government agency for the promotion of medical research in the United Kingdom. I understand that the MRC has received two requests from the National Reyes Syndrome Foundation of the United Kingdom outlining proposed research studies. These requests were transferred to the council from the Department of Health and Social Security. The applicants have been invited to submit detailed project grant applications to the council.

Job Training Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what representation he has on each of the 14 Manpower Services Commission sector groups connected with the job training scheme;(2) what representation he has on the advisory group for the development of the job training scheme;(3) what representation he has in the modular accreditation development programme for the job training scheme;

ClassVoteDescription of ExpenditureCurrent cash limit£'000 RevisionRevised cash limit
XII1Schools, further education and other services211,094–130210,964
XII3Universities, etc.1,564,274–1,5071,562,767
XII4Central Administration53,604+1,03254,636
XII5Research Councils etc.: Agricultural and Food Research Council52,679+4,47057,149
XII8Research Councils, etc.: Science and engineering Research Council315,529+658316,187
XII9Research Councils, etc.: Economic and Social Research Council23,634+18623,820
Supplementary Estimates for Votes 4, 5, 8 and 9 will be presented for parliamentary approval.The increase on Vote 4 is required to cover the part-year costs of an increase in the Department's manpower ceiling at 31 March 1987 from 2,417 to 2,450 and to meet other increases in the level of activity. The Department's running cost target for 1986–87 has accordingly been revised from £54 million to £55 million.

(4) what representation he has on the technical control group of the job training scheme.

The Department is not represented on the groups referred to by the hon. Member. They are, I understand, informal groups involving the major examining and validating bodies. The MSC has brought them together with the immediate purpose of examining the qualifications which might most appropriately be made available for the new scheme. I understand that the MSC will be further consulting the National Council for Vocational Qualifications, on which Her Majesty's Inspectorate has an observer, on the issues relating to qualifications which arise from the job training scheme. Mr. Oscar De Ville, chairman of the NCVQ, has said that the council will work closely with the MSC to help ensure that the qualifications are of high quality and are relevant to the standards required by employers.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to involve Her Majesty's inspectorate in ensuring the quality of education and training delivery in the job training scheme.

Where Her Majesty's inspectors observe job training scheme provision in the course of their inspections of colleges they will discuss their judgments about its quality with those concerned and comment, as appropriate, in their published reports on the colleges. In addition, I understand that the MSC's training standards advisory service is likely to be involved in inspecting the quality of the new scheme.

Departmental Vote (Cash Limits)

asked the Secretary of State for education and Science if he will give details of any revised cash limits for his Department's votes for 1986–87.

Cash limits for six of the Department's Votes for 1986–87 have been revised to reflect estimated outturn. The adjustments are as follows:The increase on Vote 5 is required to assist with staff redundancy costs following the contraction of commissioned research and development work.On Vote 8 the increase is required to enable the payment by the council of contributions towards the United Kingdom subscription to the European Space Agency on behalf of the department of the Environment and the Department of Transport.

The increase on Vote 9 is required to cover costs arising from unexpectedly high transfers out of the council's superannuation scheme; and to finance 15 new studentships for whom responsibility has transferred from the Department of the Environment to the council.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Flood Defence Work

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is yet in a position to make an announcement about finance for water authorities' flood defence work in 1987–88.

Yes. The Secretary of State for Wales and I have reviewed the arrangements for grant-aid for water authorities' flood defence works. Under current arrangements the grant rates for each water authority are recalculated annually. We have decided to end these arrangements and to substitute a system under which each water authority in England and Wales, or, as appropriate, local land drainage committee, will qualify for one of four grant rates, depending on its resources and flood defence requirements. The grant rates will be 15, 35, 45 and 55 per cent. There will also continue to be a sea defence supplement of 15 per cent.; and we are increasing the maximum rate of grant for sea defence schemes from 61 to 65 per cent. The new arrangements will provide the water authorities with a firmer basis for forward planning.I am today notifying the water authorities in England of their new grant rates and of their grant earning ceilings for flood defence works for 1987–88. Most areas will qualify for higher rates of grant than in the current year. In particular, all areas with significant sea defence works will receive higher grant rates. In England as a whole this extra grant will amount to £4·5 million, making a total grant commitment of £16·6 million. Almost half the extra money will be devoted to the east coast sea defences. It has been possible to accept in full the Anglian water authority's bid for resources for 1987–88, with the result that Anglian is expected to receive over £3 million more than the sum originally allocated for 1986–87. Most of the remainder of the extra grant will be devoted to a major sea defence scheme at Seaford in Sussex.The increased grant for 1987–88 follows an increase of £1·25 million in grant-aid in the current year, most of which was spent on works on the east coast.

Monetary Compensatory Amounts

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby on 17 December 1984, Official Report, column 34, concerning monetary compensatory amounts, what effect the recent realignment of currencies within the European monetary system has had or will have on the coefficient used in calculating the monetary compensatory amounts; what effect this has on the prices paid to farmers in the United Kingdom and in other EEC countries; and if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing (a) the increase in the central rate of the European currency unit in each year since 1973, and (b) the increase in the rate for common agricultural policy prices and the corresponding increases for the United Kingdom and West Germany.

Following the EMS realignment on 12 January, the coefficient used in calculating MCAs has been increased by approximately 2·54 per cent. This has no effect on CAP support prices, expressed either in ecus or in national currencies. The ecu, which was created in 1979, has both a central rate and one or more representative rates for CAP purposes (green rates) against the national currencies of each member state. It is therefore not possible to provide the table requested.

Lyminge Forest (Land Purchase)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has regarding proposals to purchase land on the site of Lyminge forest in Kent; whether discussions have taken place with the Forestry Commission; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) on 29 October 1986, at columns 165–66.Outline planning permission for a leisure development at this site was not granted, and the land has not been placed on the market.

Toxic Waste

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if there have been any applications to the United Kingdom Government to carry out a test-burn of toxic PCB wastes at sea in 1986 or 1987.

Food Sales

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent sales of food have been negotiated in relation to the provision of butter and beef to the Soviet Union; and what is the sale price in terms of pence per pound.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 February 1987, c. 574.]: The most recent sale of butter to the USSR was in November 1986. None was sold from the United Kingdom. Had any sales taken place from the United Kingdom, the price would have been approximately 10p/lb.The regulation under which intervention beef could have been made available to traders for bulk sales to third countries including the USSR, was agreed in December 1985. No sales have taken place recently from the United Kingdom. The most recent prices (in sterling terms) at which this beef would have been made available to traders are as follows:

  • Bone-in forequarters: 32/lb.
  • Bone-in hindquarters: 49p/lb.
  • Boneless cuts: 38p to 59p/lb depending on the cut.

These prices include export refunds and United Kingdom mcas where applicable.

The prices at which sales to the USSR are concluded are a matter for the traders concerned.

Overseas Development

Aids

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list in the OfficialReport those projects supported by Her Majesty's Government which assist African countries to prevent the spread of AIDS;(2) whether he has received any representations from developing countries requesting help to combat the spread of AIDS;(3) whether he has received any representations from the World Health Organisation requesting help to combat the spread of AIDS;(4) what proportion of his Department's overall budget is spent helping African and other developing countries to tackle AIDS;(5) whether any consideration is being given to increasing resources available to African countries to combat AIDS.

We believe that support for programmes co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation is the most effective way of assisting developing countries to cope with AIDS. We have recently given £250,000 to the WHO's global AIDS programme for work in such countries; this represents about 0·02 per cent. of the estimated net aid programme for 1986–87. The WHO is planning expansion of its work as a matter of urgency. When we have details, we expect to provide some additional support.In response to a few direct requests for assistance from aid recipient countries, we are providing specialist advice, training and some small items of medical equipment.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made by his Department on the long-term effect of AIDS on the economic position of eastern and central African countries.

Our assessment is that the spread of AIDS, if unchecked, would have a serious detrimental effect on the economic and social development of any country. ODA officials, in consultation with other concerned organisations, are considering what analytical work is needled to determine the relationship between AIDS and economic and social change in developing countries.

Attorney-General

Zircon Satellite

asked the Attorney-General on what date he became aware of the involvement of Duncan Campbell in a proposed BBC television programme on the Zircon satellite.

I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's answer to him on 26 January 1987.

asked the Attorney-General on what date he consulted Treasury Counsel, as referred to by the Solicitor-General on 27 January, Official Report, column 274, about the possibility of obtaining an injunction against the New Statesman in connection with publication of material about the Zircon satellite.

asked the Attorney-General if he will place in the Library a record of discussions between his office and Mr. Duncan Campbell in 1986 concerning publication of material about the Zircon project.

Mr Duncan Campbell

asked the Attorney-General how many written communications passed between himself and Mr. Duncan Campbell in 1986; and if he will place copies in the Library.

Three written communications passed between my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General and Mr. Duncan Campbell in 1986, one from Mr. Campbell and two from the Attorney-General. None of them contained any reference to satellites, intelligence gathering or GCHQ.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Falklands Fisheries

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications he has received for fishing licences in the Falkland Islands exclusive fisheries zone; from which countries these applications have been made; and how many from each country.

A total of 532 applications for licences to fish in the Falkland Islands interim conservation and management zone (FICZ) from 1 February until 30 June 1987 were received by the Falkland Islands Government. The table gives a breakdown by country and fishery. A number of these applications applied to both of the two fishing grounds for which licences have been granted.

CountryArea A (Illex squid fishery) North of 51°20'Area B (Loligo squid fishery) South of 51°20'
Japan14619
Republic of Korea1179
Taiwan1160
United Kingdom34
Spain2965
Poland4227
Netherlands99
France11
Federal Republic of Germany22
Italy99
Greece01
Chile12
(Flags of Convenience)159
Total490157

Immigration

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many settlement applications at the post in Dhaka were (a) received, (b) granted, (c) refused, (d) deferred at first interview, (e) lapsed, (f) outstanding and (g) outstanding and awaiting first interview for each quarter since the beginning of 1985.

I have been asked to reply.The information requested is given in the following table.

Applications in Dhaka for entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom1

Number of persons2

1985

1986

Applications

1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

4th quarter

Year

1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

Newly received1,7801,8802,3901,9808,0301,6301,5701,520
Granted31,2601,3001,7601,6806,0001,3209001,050
Refused initially1,1409001,0801,1404,2601,170820430
Deferred47307501,0009903,4701,4301,3001,320
Lapsed or withdrawn5120120160210610560990870
Outstanding at end of period12,60012,50012,50011,90011,90010,8009,8009,300
Of which: Awaiting first interview10,50010,40010,4009,5009,5007,7006,5005,500

1 Excluding applications for a certificate of entitlement or a confirmation of the right of abode.

2 Wives, children, persons for immediate settlement, husbands, male fiancees, and female fiancees since 26 August 1985 (when the entry clearance requirement for female fiancees was introduced).

3 Including applications granted on appeal.

4 Including applications referred to the Home Office for decision.

5 The increase in 1986 reflects applicants for entry clearance who had a claim to the right of abode being considered instead for a certificate of settlement or a confirmation of the right of abode.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the maximum, minimum and average times taken between the deferral of a decision on a settlement application made at the post in Dhaka and the interviewing of the sponsor in the United Kingdom.

I have been asked to reply.I regret that the information requested is not readily available.

House Of Commons

Select Committee Reports

asked the Lord Privy Seal when Her Majesty's Government expect to reply to the first report of Session 1986–87 from the Treasury and Civil Service Committee on Ministers and Civil Servants, and to the first report of Session 1986–87 from the Liaison Committee on Accountability of Ministers and Civil Servants to Select Committees of the House of Commons.

The Government's response to both reports is published today as a Command Paper (Cmnd. 78). Copies of the response have been placed in the Library.

Prime Minister

Terrorism (Syrian Involvement)

Q40.

asked the Prime Minister if any evidence was provided to the police by Nezar Hindawi regarding Syrian involvement in terrorist activities in Europe; and if she will make a statement.

It would not be in the public interest, nor would it assist our efforts to counter terrorism, to confirm or deny the precise source of evidence in a particular case.The evidence produced at Nezar Hindawi's trial is, of course, now a matter of public record.

Football Supporters (Card Scheme)

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her correspondence with the Today newspaper about its proposal for a 100 per cent. membership card scheme for football supporters.

Today newspaper, and a number of other organisations and individuals, have written to me in support of membership schemes. I have welcomed the support for such schemes which the Government believe will assist in identifying, isolating and deterring troublemakers.

"The Secret Society"

asked the Prime Minister (1) if, pursuant to her answer of 26 January, Official Report, column 18, she will give details of the sense in which the Government became aware of the British Broadcasting Corporation's plan for one or more programmes entitled "The Secret Society";(2) what was the nature of the information available to Her Majesty's Government before the week beginning 6 October about the British Broadcasting Corporation's intentions to make one or more programmes on the Zircon satellite.

I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Gentleman on 26 January, at column 18, or to the reply of my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the hon. Gentleman on 29 January, at column 335.

Engagements

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 5 February.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 5 February.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 5 February.

This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, including one with the President of the Commission of the European Communities. In addition to my duties in this House I shall be having further meetings later today.

Scotland

Caterpillar Tractor Company

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions his Department has had with the Caterpillar Tractor Company about its future plans in the light of the redundancies announced at its Uddingston plant; and if he will make a statement.

At a meeting on 20 January my right hon. and learned Friend conveyed to senior representatives of the company the Government's concern at the announcement of its intention to close the Uddingston plant. This development was in strong contrast with the company's statement last September that the plant was a "Plant with a Future" and would be the subject of a £62·5 million investment programme. My right hon. and learned Friend formally asked that the closure decision should be reconsidered. A meeting with my officials took place on 2 February at which the company gave further details of the background to the closure decision. A telex from the company president reconfirming the closure decision was received on 3 February. My right Hon. and learned Friend has made clear his disappointment at this news but has also underlined his continuing readiness to consider any proposal to retain viable manufacturing and employment at the Uddingston facility.

Highlands And Islands Development Board

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what level of funding was given by the Scottish Office to the Highlands and Islands Development Board in 1985–86, and 1986–87; and what is the proposed level for the financial year 1987–88.

the information is contained in table 3.16 of the "Government's Expenditure Plans 1987–88 to 1989–90" (Volume II, Cmnd. 56-II).The HIDB's gross expenditure comprises not only the amounts shown above, but income generated from receipts. The expected level of receipts in 1987–88 will enable the gross expenditure to exceed that in 1986–87 in real terms.

Nhs Hospitals

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many National Health Service hospitals have been opened in Scotland; and what is the bed gain as a result of these openings, for each year since 1979.

Details of all hospital developments are not held centrally as minor capital projects are delegated to health boards. The information for major capital projects is as follows. The total planned bed complement is shown for each year, but it should be noted that many of the beds provided are replacements for outdated facilities elsewhere and are not additions to overall complement:

YearNumber of hospitalsNumber of beds
1979290
198010372
198161,022 (+95 day places)
19825210 (+46 day places)
YearNumber of hospitalsNumber of beds
198310912 (+95 day places)
19846510 (+30 day places)
198541,220 (+180 day places)
198641,115 (+10 day places)

Lord-Lieutenancies

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any plans to review the present boundaries of the lord-lieutenancies within Grampian region.

The areas in which lord-lieutenants in Scotland discharge their functions are determined by Order in Council. I do not propose to advise Her Majesty to adjust the boundaries within Grampian region as assigned under the Lord-Lieutenants Order 1975 (1975 No. 428).

Homelessness

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his latest estimate for the number of homeless people in Scotland; and if he will make a statemem.

For the number of homeless persons in Scotland, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall) on 23 January, at column 759.The very difficult problems which can arise in dealing with homeless people call for the exercise of good housing management and close co-operation between all the agencies involved. The Government have offered practical guidance on meeting the housing needs of single people in part 7 of the "Scottish Housing Handbook" and provide funding to several voluntary organisations concerned with the homeless nationally. My right hon. and learned Friend believes that housing authorities are now adopting a more flexible approach to homeless persons in their allocation policies and in the use of their existing stock. The 12·5 per cent, increase in capital investment on the housing revenue account provisionally announced for 1987–88 will enable authorities which have this as a priority to do more for the homeless.

Crime Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of crimes of violence against the person in Scotland (a) in the 12 months ended April 1979 and (b) in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available.

For the purpose of this reply, the term "violence against the person" is taken to include all non-sexual crimes of violence (group 1 of the standard classification) apart from robbery, those crimes of indecency (group 2) which contain a violent element, and certain crimes involving malicious and reckless conduct.Following the revision, with effect from 1980, of the classification of crimes and offences, recorded crime figures for earlier years are available on a calendar year basis only. For this reason, figures for the 12 months to April 1979 are not available. However, in 1978 there were 7,466 crimes of violence against the person recorded in Scotland. In the period December 1985 to November 1986, 13,091 crimes of violence against the person were recorded in Scotland.

The figure for 1985–86 is not precisely comparable with published figures for calendar years as the latter incorporate amendments that arise in the course of the year, including the deletion of incidents found on investigation not to be crimes.

Alcohol Addiction

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how much money was spent in Scotland on research into cures for alcohol addiction in each of the past five years;(2) how much money was spent in Scotland on research programmes on alcohol addiction in each of the past five years.

The information is not available in the form requested. The figures for research projects on alcohol addiction funded by the Scottish Home and Health Department are as follows:

£
1981–8242,064
1982–8348,099
1983–8441,952
1984–8569,648
1985–8681,160

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many deaths were recorded as due to diseases normally associated with alcohol addiction in Scotland in each of the last five years;(2) how many deaths were recorded in Scotland in each of the past five years from diseases normally associated with alcohol addiction.

The figures are as follows for deaths from selected causes, in Scotland, in the years 1981–1985.

Deaths From Selected Causes—Scotland, 1981–1985
International Classification of Diseases Codes*
Year291303305·0425·5571·0–3Total
19812130238167330
19821123449163340
19836112359177339
198421064011193352
198521244414193377
* ICD 291 — Alcoholic psychosis.
ICD 303 — Alcoholic dependence syndrome.
ICD 305·0 — Non-dependent abuse of alcohol.
ICD 425·5 — Alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
ICD 571·0 — Alcoholic fatty liver.
·1 — Acute alcoholic hepatitis.
·2 — Alcoholic cirrhosis of liver.
·3 — Alcoholic liver damage unspecified.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money was spent in Scotland in each of the past five years on curing people addicted to or misusing alcohol.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many hospital beds in Scotland were taken up in each of the past five years by patients suffering from physical and psychiatric ailments normally associated with alcohol addiction or alcohol misuse.

The average daily number of beds in NHS hospitals in Scotland in the last five years for which information is available, occupied by patients for whom the principal diagnosis is alcoholic psychosis, alcohol dependence syndrome, non-dependent abuse of alcohol, alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver ad other chronic liver disease without mention of alcohol was as follows:

Number
1980693
1981651
1982624
1983654
1984640

Community Halls Advisory Service

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide grant-aid under the Further Education (Scotland) Regulations to the Scottish community halls advisory service following the representations made to him by that organisation.

I shall consider this proposal against competing applications for grant from other voluntary organisations. Those concerned will be advised of the outcome early in the new financial year.

Buses

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many notifications have been given of new services, alterations to services or withdrawal of services, respectively, by bus operators in each region and islands area since 26 January.

Registrations of bus services in Scotland are the responsibility of the traffic commissioner for the Scottish traffic area. However, I understand that in Scotland there have been 57 new services registered to operate from 26 January 1987, 220 variations to existing services and 69 withdrawals of previously registered services. These figures are still provisional and are not available broken down by region and islands area.

Job Training

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what representation there is from his Department on the modular accreditation development programme for the job training scheme;(2) what representation there is from his Department on the technical group of the job training scheme;(3) what representation there is from his Department on the advisory group for the development of the job training scheme;(4) what representation there is from his Department on each of the 14 Manpower Services Commission sector groups connected with the job training scheme.

The Scottish Office is not directly represented on any of the groups established under the modular accreditation development programme, that is, the advisory group, the technical control group, or the 14 sector working groups. However, one of Her Majesty's inspectors of schools in Scotland, seconded from the Scottish Education Department to the Manpower Services Commission, is the chairman of the technical control group. Also, the Scottish Vocational Education Council is represented on all these groups as one of the four accreditation bodies.

Free School Transport

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide details of the number of pupils for whom education authorities in Scotland provide free school transport.

Pupils Attending Primary SchoolsPupils Attending Secondary SchoolsPupils Attending Special Schools or ClassesTotal Pupils
Free transport provided under section 50 of the Education (Scotland) Act 198037,91599,0619,456146,432
Free transport provided in spare seats under section 51(2) of the Education (Scotland) Act 19802,7361,0723,808
Scotland Total40,651100,1339,456150,240
I have arranged for a copy of the return from each authority to be placed in the Library.

Trade And Industry

Telephone Equipment

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has completed his review of the regulations affecting the installation, pre-connection, inspection and designation of maintenance contractors of single line call routeing apparatus; and if he will make a statement.

Not yet, hut I expect that the Director General OFTEL will shortly give advice on these matters to the Secretary of State.

Merchant Shipping

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out in the Official Report the tonnage of merchant ships ordered by United Kingdom companies for registration outside the United Kingdom in each year since 1983, together with the latest available figure for 1986.

Records do not allow us to identify the tonnage of merchant ships ordered by United Kingdom companies for registration outside this country, since such tonnage is accounted to the country of registration. We can, however, identify the gross tonnage under construction abroad which was intended for United Kingdom registration when first ordered, but was subsequently registered outside the United Kingdom. This information is as follows:

'000 gross tonnes
1983147
1984306
198563
January-September 198635

Motor Components Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what efforts he is making to improve the performance of British motor components manufacturers.

The information taken from the survey of school transport undertaken in September 1986 is as follows:

The Government have created a climate in which industry, including motor components manufacturers, can prosper. It is for the components manufacturers, as for industry generally, to take advantage of this climate. Through their national quality campaign the Government have sought to encourage industry to raise the quality of products made in the United Kingdom. Industry, too, can play its part, as illustrated by Jaguar's "Pursuit of Excellence" awards, recognising the achievements of its best component suppliers, which the Government warmly welcome.

Brewers And Distillers (Assistance)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much financial assistance was given to brewing and distilling companies under the various industry acts in England, Wales and Scotland, respectively, in each of the past five years.

Timeshare Developments

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will propose to timeshare developers the inclusion with their sales literature of his Department's recently published consumer leaflet, entitled "Your Place in the Sun, or is it, The Time Share Buyer's Check List"; and if he will make a statement.

I have no plans at present to make such a proposal. But several timeshare developers have already requested and been sent supplies of the leaflet, which I understand they will be issuing to their customers.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what investigation his Department has made of the practice of time share developers offering unsolicited gifts to potential customers apparently picked at random and approached directly; and if he will make a statement.

The offering of "gifts" in return for viewing a time share development or attending a presentation is a form of sales promotion and as such is controlled by means of the British code of sales promotion practice. The code is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority.My Department has referred a number of such cases to the authority for investigation and the authority has secured changes in the wording of promotional literature of certain companies operating in this way.

Taxis

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the firm that was building the CR6 taxi will repay some of the moneys received for the development of the vehicle from the Government; and if he will make a statement on the latest position with regard to the company's proposal to introduce a new taxi capable of carrying wheelchair-bound passengers based on the FX4.

Following negotiations with my Department last year, Manganese Bronze Holdings plc agreed to repay a significant proportion of the grant for the CR6 taxi project made under the support for innovation scheme. The company is already providing to order a version of the FX4, the FX4W, which can carry wheelchair-bound passengers.

Eurofer Plan

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will instruct the British Steel Corporation to make public any proposals which it is submitting under the Eurofer plan to the EEC;(2) if the British Steel Corporation's Eurofer proposals contain any further cuts in steel-making in Scotland.

The Eurofer plan is a matter for the European steel producers, and potential contributions by BSC and other United Kingdom and European steel producers to remove excess steel capacity are necessarily confidential at this stage. BSC accepts that any contribution it makes must be consistent with the strategy announced in August 1985, and must not prejudice strategy decisions thereafter. This position was reaffirmed in the answer my right hon. Friend gave to the right hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Williams), on 28 January 1987, at column 326.

Northern Ireland

Mobile Support Units

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what training and instructions are given to Royal Ulster Constabulary headquarters mobile support units on how to shoot at targets.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1987, c. 301]: The training and instructions to all member of the RUC on the use of firearms are in accordance with the "Manual of Guidance on Police use of Firearms" issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers joint standing committee on the police use of firearms. Officers allocated to duties with HMSU receive additional training commensurate with the duties they perform.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what training is received by headquarters mobile support units in the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1987, c 301]: Officers attached to headquarters mobile support units are regular members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. They receive additional in-force training to enable them to carry out the duties assigned to the units.

Informers

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will make a statement on his policy concerning the use of informers and their application by the Northern Ireland special branch;(2) what instructions have been given to Royal Ulster Constabulary officers concerning the use of informers; and to whom the Home Office guidelines have been circulated in the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1987, c. 301]: Instructions to RUC officers on the use of informers are in accordance with the Home Office guidelines on the subject which have been promulgated to the force, and which are also an integral part of detective training. It would not he in the public interest to make them publicly available.

Transport

Radioactive Material

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what regulations govern the transport of nuclear fuel and fuel flasks; if he has any plans to review these regulations; and if he will make a statement.

The regulations and conditions for the transport in this country of all radioactive materials (including nuclear fuel) are based on the internationally accepted standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety series No. 6. A copy is held in the Library. For United Kingdom road consignments these are given effect by the following:

The Radioactive Substances (Carriage by Road) Great Britain Regulations 1974 (S.I. 1974 No. 1735) and Amendment Regulations 1985 (S.I. 1985 No. 1729).
The Radioactive Substances (Carriage by Road) Northern Ireland Regulations 1983 (S.R. 1983 No. 344) and Amendment Regulations 1986 (S.R. 1986 No. 61).
For rail consignments:

British Rail List of Dangerous Goods (LDG) and Conditions of acceptance by Freight train and Passenger Train or Similar Service (1977 Edition).

For Sea:

The Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 1981 (S.1. 1981 No. 1747).

For Air:

The Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 1985 (S.1. 1985 No. 1939).
The above regulations are currently being revised to take account of the 1985 edition of IAEA regulations. In addition, the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1985 (S.I. 1985 No. 1333) apply to all modes of transport.

Fishing Industry (Safety)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to amend the regulations relating to safety matters on the carrying of immersion suits on United Kingdom registered fishing vessels; and if he will make a statement.

The carriage of life-saving appliances on fishing vessels is currently under examination by the Department in consultation with the fishing industry as part of the review of the Fishing Vessel (Safety Provisions) Rules 1975.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in the Official Report the number of fishermen who were (a) drowned, (b) killed in accidents on board and (c) injured in accidents on board whilst working on United Kingdom registered fishing vessels in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986.

The numbers of deaths and of accidents to fishermen reported to the Department are

Number of deaths and accidents
19821983198419851986
Drownings1
Fishing vessels 24 m and over1
Fishing vessels under 24 m4121120
Fishing vessels 40 m and over
Fishing vessels between 24·4 m and 40 m8
Fishing vessels between 10 m and 24·4 m8
Deaths due to other accidents
Fishing vessels 24 m and over3211
Fishinc vessels under 24 m1071
Fishing vessels 40 m and over
Fishing vessels between 24·4 m and 40 m
Fishing vessels between 10 m and 24·4 m1
Non-fatal accidents
Fishing vessels 24 m and over90647337
Fishing vessels under 24 mn/an/an/an/a
Fishing vessels 40 m and over2 14
Fishing vessels between 24·4 m and 40 m36
Fishing vessels between 10 m and 24·4 m37
1 Drownings include recorded as missing at sea
2 One non crew member is excluded
n/a = not available

Note: The total number of deaths in 1984 (13) amends by one the deaths (12) shown in Hansard, Vol. 90, columns 611–612.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to change the Fishing Vessel (Safety Provisions) Rules 1975; and if he will make a statement.

My Department is reviewing the Fishing Vessel (Safety Provisions) Rules 1975 in consultation with the fishing industry.

London Road Assessment Studies

asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will state the closing date for submissions on the first stage reports of the London road assessment studies;(2) what public involvement there will be in drawing up the terms of reference for the next stage of the London road assessment studies.

We have not set any deadline and will take account of comments and suggestions at any stage. We will be discussing the terms of reference for the next stage of the studies with the local authorities concerned.

published annually in the Department's booklet "Casualties to Vessels and Accidents to Men". The figures shown for 1986 will be published later this year.

Up to and including 1985, figures for non-fatal accidents on vessels under 24·4 m in length are not available; and those figures for vessels greater than 24·4 m include all accidents reported, however minor the injury.

From and including 1986, the published statistics will show separate figures for three sizes of vessel; but in line with those for other industries, only those non-fatal accidents which caused an incapacity lasting for more than three days after the day of the accident are now rquired to be reported.

Trams (London)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals have been made to his Department in the past year regarding the re-introduction of tram services in London.

Seat Belts

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the proportion of cars and car-derived vans on the road, manufactured after October 1981, which are not fitted with rear restraints.

We think that from 90 to 95 per cent. are not fitted with rear adult belts. Some of these vehicles will have one or more child restraints.

Road Accident Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish details of road casualties and casualty rates in 1985 for Great Britain by parliamentary constituency.

Road accident data are not coded to parliamentary constituencies. I regret that this information is not available.

Wales

Labour Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the latest unadjusted figures for unemployment in (a) Newport, (b) Gwent and (c) Wales; and if he will give the equivalent figures for 1979 on the most nearly comparable basis.

In December 1986 the numbers unemployed in Newport TTWA, Gwent and Wales were 12,558, 27,923 and 173,546 respectively. Precise comparisons with the position in 1979, however, cannot be made as methods of compilation and collection have altered, and there have been some boundary changes in the intervening period. On the basis of the definitions then in use, the figures for Newport TTWA, Gwent and Wales in December 1979 were 6,274, 14,734 and 85,177 respectively.

Council House Sales

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the average net receipt to public funds per unit of public sector housing sold; and what is the average cost of replacing that unit, both figures at the latest available date.

The average net selling price and the average cost of providing new local authority dwellings during 1985 were £8,800 and £26,800 respectively. Similar information relating to Housing Association dwellings is not collected centrally.

Welsh College Of Music And Drama

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the date of the last inspection of the Welsh College of Music and Drama by Her Majesty's inspectors of education; and if he will make a statement.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate undertook a formal inspection of certain aspects of provision at the Welsh College of Music and Drama between 17 and 21 November 1986. The inspectorate's findings will be submitted to me as part of its report about initial teaching training provision in the public sector institutions in South Glamorgan.

One-Parent Families

asked the Secretary of' State for Wales what information he has as to the number of households in (a) Clwyd and (h) Wales which are one-parent families; and how many of them are (i) divorced mothers, (ii) separated mothers, (iii) unmarried mothers, (iv) divorced fathers and (v) widowed mothers.

Estimates based upon information from the 1984 and 1985 labour force surveys in which some 3,000 households in Wales were sampled each year, are as follows. The samples are too small to provide reliable estimates of numbers of lone fathers in Wales or of lone parents in Clwyd.

Estimated lone mothers1 in Wales, 1984 and 1985

Number

Divorced mothers22,000
Single mothers9,000
Separated/Widowed mothers12,000

1 Excludes households where cohabiting couples declared themselves to be "common-law married". Dependent children are denned as aged under 16 or never married and 16 to 18 and in full-time education.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many one-parent families in (a) Clwyd and (b) Wales in each year from 1981 to 1985, inclusive, included a head of the household who was unemployed.

The information requested is not available. However, the 1981 census of population recorded 1,528 unemployed heads of lone adult households with children in Wales, of whom 195 lived in Clwyd.

Hospital Beds

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the numbers of available beds in National Health Service hospitals in Wales for each year since 1979 expressed as totals and by specialties.

Information on numbers of available beds is given in the regular publication "Bed Use Statistics", copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many National Health Service hospitals have been opened in Wales; and what is the bed gain as a result of these openings for each year since 1979.

The information is given in the following table:

HospitalOpening DateBed Gains
Ysbyty Glan ClwydMay 1980Reduction of 67
Mold Community HospitalApril 198419
Ysbyty GwyneddJuly 198471
Princess of Wales District General HospitalOctober 198513
Morriston District General HospitalOctober 198566
Ystradgynlais Community HospitalMarch 1986Reduction of 19
Wrexham Maelor District General HospitalJune 198629

Nhs Staff

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the numbers of staff employed by the National Health Service in Wales expressed as whole-time equivalents as well as actual full-time and part-time numbers.

At 30 September 1985, the latest date for which the required information is available, the National Health Service in Wales (including the Welsh Health Common Services Authority) employed the equivalent of 55,321 whole-time staff. This comprised 41,087 full-time staff and 23,832 part-time staff.

1 Including the Welsh Health Common Services Authority.

Lumi-Low

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will expedite consideration of the application by Lumi-Low for selective financial assistance and regional aid; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will explain the delay in processing the application by Lumi-Low for regional aid; and if he will make a statement.

The company is aware that further consideration of its application for regional selective assistance depended on its providing essential supporting information, which it did not supply until 4 February 1987.

Spectrum Packaging

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what action he proposes to take to enable Spectrum Packaging to remain at Deeside industrial park; and if he will make a statement.

I am well aware of the background to this case. The Welsh Development Agency has worked hard to encourage Spectrum Packaging to continue production at Deeside industrial park. The decision on where to locate rests with the company.

Re-Chem International, Torfaen

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the alleged pollution from polychlorinated biphenyls caused by Re-chem International in Torfaen, near Pontypool.

There is no evidence that the operations of the Re-chem International plant near Pontypool result in the presence of PCBs or other toxic substances in the local environment at levels significantly different from those in areas remote from chemical incineration or other industrial operations.

Radioactive Waste

asked the Secretary of State for Wales, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Merionnydd Nant Conwy on 15 January, Official Report, column 283, concerning reports received from the radioactive waste management advisory committee, what is the title of the relevant paper mentioned in his reply; and if he will place a copy of this paper in the Library.

It is not the practice to make publicly available individual papers submitted to the radioactive waste management advisory committee.

National Finance

Tobacco

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much duty was collected on (a) domestically produced cigarettes and (b) imported cigarettes in 1985–86; what are his estimates for the current financial year; what representations he has received regarding the respective treatment as regards duty of imported and domestically produced cigarettes; and if he will make a statement.

It is estimated that the tobacco products duty collected in 1985–86 on domestically produced and imported cigarettes was £3,660 million and £391 million respectively. Forecasts of receipts are not made at this level of detail.Several representations about the duty on imported and domestically produced cigarettes have been received.

Registration Fees

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that registration fees to a self regulating organisation are an allowable deduction from the income arising out of such registration.

I take it that the question refers to self-regulating organisations for investment businesses under the Financial Services Act.The tax deductibility of initial and periodic registration fees to these organisations will depend on the precise nature and purpose of the payments. It will not be possible to determine their tax treatment until the SROs have been established and their rules have been formulated.

Ec Budget

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest figure for the proportion of the European Commission budget spent on (a) all fisheries support, (b) the social fund and (c) the regional fund.

The figures in the 1986 budget as adopted, the latest available, are:

per cent.
(a) Fisheries support (title 4)0·5
(b) Social fund (chapters 60 and 61)7·2
(c) Regional fund (chapters 50 and 51)6·7
The Community has not yet adopted a budget for 1987.

Alcohol

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was raised from taxes on alcohol in the last financial year for which figures are available.

It is estimated that the revenue raised from taxes on alcohol in the financial year 1985⁃86 is as follows:

£ million
Excise dutyVAT1Total
4,1972,0606,257
1 Estimate based on consumers' expenditure data.

Company Cars

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the percentage of total mileage of company cars spent on private motoring.

Social Security Benefits

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer which social security benefits, including pensions, are subject to taxation; and which are not subject to taxation.

The following social security benefits are taxable: retirement pension, widow's pensions, widowed mother's allowance, widow's allowance, industrial death benefit, invalid care allowance, unemployment benefit, and supplementary benefit paid to the unemployed and to strikers.The remaining social security benefits (including any child additions to the benefits listed above) are not taxable.Payments made by employers under the statutory sick pay scheme are taxable.

Customs And Excise

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any changes are proposed in the cash limit and running costs limit for Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class XIX vote 2 will be increased by £1,971,000, from £393,768,000 to £395,739,000. This is primarily to cover the cost of increased legal charges falling on the department, and other additional costs associated with drugs investigation work; £161,000 is for work carried out for the Department of Transport whose running costs limit is being reduced by the same amount as announced by the Secretary of State for Transport on 2 February (Official Report, c. 531); £60,000 is for charges raised by the Scottish courts administration whose original estimate incorporated a reduction of that amount; and £1,750,000 will be charged to the reserve. The department's gross running costs limit will be increased by £1,971,000 from £384,123,000 to £386,094,000.

Channel Tunnel

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what circumstances there will be mutual inspection of passenger luggage by United Kingdom Customs and Excise officials at Frethun and by French customs officials at Ashford.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 February 1987, c. 539]: None. The treaty provides for the juxtaposition of frontier controls in respect of shuttle train services. Inward and outward inspection checks on luggage by United Kingdom and French customs officials will be undertaken on a consecutive basis at the Frethum and Cheriton terminals. It is proposed that there will be clearance arrangements at Ashford by United Kingdom customs for passengers joining or leaving through rail services at British Rail's proposed international station.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether French Customs and Excise officials will examine passenger luggage on trains using the Channel fixed link on the train; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 February 1987, c. 539]: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to his questions on 23 January, Official Report column 783–84.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many meetings have taken place between the French and United Kingdom authorities responsible for Customs and Excise examination on future Channel tunnel traffic.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 February 1987, c. 539]: Customs officials take part in all meetings of the frontier control working groups, which have been held at approximately monthly intervals since last June.

Employment

Jobcentres

asked the Paymaster General how many staff are currently employed by jobcentres, for each Manpower Services Commission region; and how many staff, by region, are planned for 1987–88, 1988–89 and 1989–90.

The information is not available in the precise form requested. Statistics on the allocation of staff are maintained by programme other than location. In March 1987 there will be 9,835 people employed, nationally, mainly in jobcentres, on programmes which cover the principal jobcentre activities, including helping long-term unemployed people through job clubs and the restart programme. The comparable planning figure for 1988 and 1989 is 10,318 in each year.Figures for the total number of staff allocated, by programme, to individual regions of Manpower Services Commission employment and enterprise group are available for 1987 and 1988 but will take some time to extract. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as I have the information and will place a copy of my letter in the Library.

Community Programme (Member's Correspondence)

asked the Paymaster General, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow on 17 November 1986, Official Report, column 68, when the hon. Member can expect to receive the promised letter about the Manpower Services Commission's inquiry into the funding of certain community programme projects; and if he will make a statement.

I shall write to the hon. Member shortly about the outcome of the Manpower Services Commission inquiry.

Restart Scheme

asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on the progress to date of the job restart scheme; and if he will indicate the number and types of work mainly involved.

The restart programme has been making good progress. By 8 January 1987, 779,051 people had been interviewed. A worthwile offer that might lead to employment had been made to around nine out of 10 of those interviewed. The restart programme offers counselling interviews at which long term unemployed people are helped to identify and find possible ways of getting back to work. These include job interviews (including those where the jobstart allowance may be payable), opportunities for further training or for places on the community programme, the chance to join a jobclub, take up a place on a restart course or develop an idea about self employment with the help of the enterprise allowance scheme.We have no means of knowing exactly how many people have found work after taking part in the programme. Some people have been placed in jobs as a direct result of their restart interview. Many others have found jobs because they are given information, advice and other help at the interview or in one or other of the opportunities offered at the interview. We do not follow up each individual and are unable to give details of the types of work which people enter.

Job Clubs (Lancashire)

asked the Paymaster General if he will give the figures for the latest date available for the Burnley job club of (a) total participants to date, (b) how many are currently in employment and (c) how many are employed through the community programme.

A total of 136 people joined Burnley job club between 27 May 1986 and 9 January 1987. Of the 103 who left, 66 (64 per cent.) went into jobs and 9 (9 per cent.) into the community programme. It is not known how many are currently in employment.

asked the Paymaster General if he will list in the Official Report the job clubs in Lancashire and indicate the number of members at each club at the latest date for which figures are available.

The number of members in each Lancashire job club, on 2 February, was as follows:

Number
Accrington19
Blackburn26
Blackpool South (1)27
Blackpool South (2)28
Burnley32
Chorley25
Fleetwood20
Lancaster17
Nelson24
Preston (1)32
Preston (2)24
Skelmersdale23

Apprenticeships

asked the Paymaster General what was the total number of apprentices in the north-west region in 1978 and each subsequent year.

Unemployment by age analysis—Exeter parliamentary constituency
October 1983October 1984October 1985October 1986
MalesFemalesMalesFemalesMalesFemalesMalesFemales
Under 25 years1,1606951,2928331,2138881,104772
25— 49 years1,3004581,3996061,4646261,498663
Over 50 years549162619204592214634203
TOTAL UNEMPLOYED3,0091,3153,3101,6433,2691,7283,2361,638

asked the Paymaster General what is the number of (a) men and (b) women who were registered as unemployed in the London borough of Wandsworth on 31 January.

The information is not available. The January 1987 unemployment count date was the 8 January and these figures will be released at 11.30 am on 12 February 1987.

asked the Paymaster General what has been the period of time broken down into categories of (a)

Estimates of the numbers of persons undertaking an apprenticeship in the north-west region are available from the labour force survey as follows:

Year

(Spring)
Number of apprentices

(thousands)
197939
198341
198437
198543
Separate information relating to apprenticeships included in the regular employees in employment estimates for manufacturing industries in the north-west region is available as follows:

Year

(March)
1 Number of apprentices

(thousands)
198118·6
198215·4
198312·7
198411·2
19859·3
19867·7
1 Many of those receiving apprenticeship training under YTS (since 1983), specifically those without a contract of employment, are not counted as employees and are therefore not included in these figures. With the move away from traditional apprentice training in many industries some long duration schemes of a type which previously could have involved apprenticeships may not now be so classified.

Labour Statistics

asked the Paymaster General what are the unemployment figures broken down by male, female and under 25 years, 25 to 50 years of age and over 50 years of age for each of the past four years, in the parliamentary division of Exeter.

The table gives the numbers of unemployed male and female claimants in the age groups requested for October of each year since 1983 in the Exeter parliamentary constituency. The comparison is affected by the change in the compilation of unemployment statistics in March 1986.The information is available in the Library.three months,

(b) six months, (c) nine months, (d) one year, (e) two years, (f) three years and over that period of time that (i) men and (ii) women registered as unemployed in the London borough of Wandswort have been unemployed.

The following information is in the Library. The table shows the numbers of unemployed male and female claimants who had been unemployed for the durations requested at 9 October 1986, the latest date for which such an analysis is available, in the London borough of Wandsworth.

Unemployed claimants in the London Borough of Wandsworth at 9 October 1986
MaleFemale
Under 3 months2,7141,707
3 to 6 months1,442848
6 to 9 months1,163564
9 months to 1 year739347
1 to 2 years1,952689
2 to 3 years1,082333
Over 3 years2,020461
Total unemployed11,1124,949

asked the Paymaster General how many people were employed in the brewing and distilling industry in the United Kingdom in the last year for which figures are available.

The Department's employment statistics are produced on a quarterly basis and cannot be expressed in precisely the manner requested.In September 1986 (the latest date for which figures are available) there were 19,000 employees in employment in the spirit distilling and compounding industry in Great Britain. A further 52,000 were employed in brewing and malting and the production of wines, cider and perry.Estimates for the brewing and malting industry are not separately available.These estimates are subject to considerable potential estimation error due to the relatively small number of employees in the industry.Figures for the United Kingdom are not available.

Training

asked the Paymaster General (1) if he will publish in the Official Report details of the divergence between predicted and actual expenditure in 1986 on each Manpower Services Commission programme area within the vocational educational and training group and the employment and enterprise group;(2) what plans he has to seek the views and advice of the area manpower boards on his proposed extension of the job training scheme;(3) if the eligibility rules for the job training scheme will allow women who are unemployed, but not in receipt of benefit, to participate in the scheme and receive a training allowance.

Job Training Scheme

asked the Paymaster General which industry-led bodies have been organised to set the standards of competence for the job training scheme.

Acting on the recommendations of the White Paper "Working Together—Education and Training" (Cmnd. 9823), the Manpower Services Commission has set in hand a programme involving industry bodies, examining and validating bodies and officials from the National Council for Vocational Qualifications to accelerate work to provide accreditation based on standards of competence for training programmes. The programme will begin by identifying existing vocational qualifications suitable for JTS.

  • Many industry bodies are involved, including:
  • National Retail Training Consortium
  • Institute of Grocery Distribution
  • Administrative Business and Commercial Training Group
  • National Computing Centre
  • Computing Services Industry Training Council
  • Hairdressing Training Board
  • Hotel and Catering Training Board
  • Hotel and Catering Institutional Management Association
  • Agricultural Training Board
  • Knitting and Lace Training Board
  • Clothing and Allied Products Industry Training Board
  • Construction Industry Training Board
  • Road Transport Industry Training Board
  • Engineering Industry Training Board

asked the Paymaster General in what proportion of the schemes in the job training scheme pilot areas managing agents have sought the support and involvement of trades unions prior to making job placements.

asked the Paymaster General what plans he has to review, monitor and evaluate the job training scheme in its 10 pilot areas.

An interim evaluation is underway. The sub-group of the Manpower Services Commission which is overseeing the design, monitoring and evaluation of the new job training scheme will be considering longer term evaluation arrangements.

asked the Paymaster General if he will specify, for each of the job training scheme pilot areas (a) the number of trainees involved, (b) the number of hours of training received, (c) the location of the training and the occupational areas involved, (d) the range in the size of the firms providing job placements, (e) the qualifications being sought by trainees and (f) the dropout rate of trainees.

The job training scheme pilots involve a variety of individual training programmes tailored to the needs of the people concerned based on an individual assessment of the training needs of each trainee, and the qualifications which are to be sought. The programme provided is a combination of directed training and practical experience, organised to produce the most effective results. Information about the number of hours of training received, the location of training provided, the range in the size of firms providing practical experience placements and qualifications being sought by trainees will be evaluated regularly by independent researchers. A first report is expected in the spring.The following table shows, for each of the pilot areas, the number of entrants since the pilot programme began and the numbers in training in the week ending 30 January. A total of 15·5 per cent. left before the end of the scheme but this figure includes a number of people who left because they had found a job.

Pilot areaCumulative number of startsNumber in-training
Dundee124114
Billingham8667
Huddersfield10085

Pilot area

Cumulative number of starts

Number in-training

Preston160128
Stoke141128
Leicester5352
Port Talbot160130
Plymouth218172
Crawley9483
Ealing5749
Total1,1931,008

asked the Paymaster General how many entrants and filled places there were to the new job training scheme in each of the nine pilot areas at 6 January and the most recently available date.

[pursuant to his reply, 4 February 1987]: I regret that my previous reply did not include the figures for Preston which is one of the nine original pilot areas. They are as follows:

Preston
Number
9 January
Entrants104
on Scheme81
23 January
Entrants138
On Scheme106

Dangerous Substances

asked the Paymaster General, further to the answer of 16 December 1986, Official Report, column 528, about dangerous substances, whether all 118 sites notified to the Health and Safety Executive were included in the list of sites published by the Health and Safety Executive in its news bulletin 1986–972 on 28 March 1986.

None of these sites were included in the list published on 28 March 1986. The extent to which such sites are capable of presenting a major accident hazard is still being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Industrial Tribunals (Birmingham)

asked the Paymaster General whether everyone who sits as a part-time chairman of industrial tribunals in Birmingham is legally qualified.

Yes. Chairmen of industrial tribunals must be barristers of solicitors of not less than seven years' standing.

Youth Training Schemes

asked the Paymaster General how many people are currently on youth training schemes in Leicester and in the east midlands.

At 31 December 1986, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 2,379 young people in training on YTS in Leicester and 39,502 young people in training on YTS in the east midlands and eastern region of the Manpower Services Commission.

asked the Paymaster General how many people have completed youth training schemes in Leicester and the east midlands to date; how many left before completing their full entitlement to training; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Paymaster General whether he has any information as to the number or percentage of young people who have found work following the successful completion of youth training schemes in Leicester and in the east midlands; and if he will make a statement.

The Manpower Services Commission conducts a regular follow-up survey of YTS leavers three months after young people leave the programme. The latest full year's results, covering leavers between 1 April 1985 and 31 March 1986, show that of those young people who completed their programmes in the Leicester local authority district, 78 per cent. were in employment three months after leaving YTS.The corresponding figures for the Manpower Services Commission's east midlands and eastern region is 73 per cent.These figures are very encouraging and reflect great credit on industry, commerce and all those providing training opportunities on YTS.

Employment Measures (Statistics)

asked the Paymaster General if he will estimate the numbers of unemployed people who have benefited from the Government's employment measures since May 1979; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 February 1987, c. 480]: It is not possible to give a precise number. Certain of the schemes benefit both the employed and the unemployed. However, since May 1979, almost 6.5 million people have benefited from the employment, training and enterprise measures run by my Department and the Manpower Services Commission.

Environment

Departmental Cash Limits

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any changes to announce to his Department's cash limits.

The non-voted net cash limit for new towns (DOE/NT 1) has been reduced by £3·;94 million from minus £95·74 million to minus £99·68 million to take account of receipts from disposals of property, which were higher than forecast, to provide for a transfer of £0·5 million to DOE/LA1 and to provide for a transfer of £0·94 million to the Housing Corporation's approved development programme. This last provides for the purchase by Redditch YMCA housing association of 77 flats in Redditch formerly owned by the Commission for the New Towns.
The Housing Corportion's cash limit (DOE/HC 1) is correspondingly increased by £0·94 million from £586·49 million to £587·43 million.
The cash limit for Class X, Vote 2 has been reduced by £1·45 million from £181·09 million to £179·64 million. Of this, £1·15 million will be borne in the Development Commission's grant-in-aid subhead. This will not affect gross spending by the commission in 1986–87 as it expects to realise and retain an equivalent sum in extra receipts from its factory building programme. The remaining £0·3 million reflects a lower than anticipated payment to the Zoological Society of London in respect of its private sector capital matching grants regime.
The cash limit for Class X, Vote 4 has been reduced by £1 million, from £83·0 million to £82·0 million. This decrease reflcts an expected shortfall in the original Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission expenditure programme.
Finally, the non-voted cash limit for local authorities' capital expenditure (DOE/LA 1) has been increased by £1·5 million, from £2,366·62 million to £2,368·12 million in respect of additional spending on the homes insulation scheme. £1 million of this is being transferred from other Departments, and £0·5 million is being found from the reduction in the DOE/NT 1 cash limit.
The above net reductions totalling £4·95 million partially offset an increase in provision being sought in a Spring Supplementary Estimate for the non-cash limited Class IX.1 Vote which is to be presented to Parliament shortly.
Property Services Agency
The cash limit for Class XX, Vote 18 relating to Civil Accommodation Services has been increased by £0·8 million from £150·129 million to £150·929 million to meet increased expenditure as a result of the fire at Hampton Court.

Environment

Television Sets

Q.188

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many television sets are provided in Government offices in London; and how many of these are available for the use of Ministers.

Council Housing

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the number of council houses sold in each of the metropolitan boroughs which comprise the former Greater Manchester council for each year from 1980 to 1986.

Dwelling sales reported by each metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester for the financial years 1980–81 to 1985–86 appear in the following issues of "Local Housing Statistics" which are available in the Library:

YearIssue Number
1980–8162
1981–8263
1982–8367
1983–8475
1984–8579
1985–8679
Figures for the first half of 1986–87 have been provided by the boroughs, except Manchester and Salford, and are as follows:

Number
Bolton43
Bury43
Oldham97
Rochdale134
Stockport135
Tameside0
Trafford110
Wigan122

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the comparative figures for arrears in England and Wales of (a) council house rents and (b) local authority mortgage repayments, showing (i) the global sum, (ii) the number of cases and (iii) the relationship of these figures to the total numbers of lettings and mortgages, respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the total rent roll for local authority dwellings in 1985–86 in each local authority in England;(2) what arrears were owed to each of the local authorities in 1985–86 by

(a) current tenants and (b) former tenants.

Tables placed in the Library in response to the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Heddle) on 10 December 1986, at column 188, set out the accumulated rent arrears owed by current and former tenants to local authorities in England at 1 April 1986 together with their annual rent rolls.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of the total rent roll in each local authority in England in 1985–86 was (a) owed in arrears, (b) written off and (c) collected.

Falkland Islands

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the estimated annual costs to his Department of works in the Falkland Islands.

The total estimated cost of works for the Ministry of Defence in the Falklands to date is £309 million for the Mount Pleasant airport complex and £132 million for the Army garrison, the port facility and other works. Now that the major building programme is virtually complete the Property Services Agency's involvement in the Falklands will be mainly concerned with maintenance. The costs will be in the order of £7 million to £8 million per annum, but will vary from year to year in accordance with needs and will all be borne on the Defence Accommodation Services Vote, Class I, Vote 4.

Toxic Waste Dumps

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he maintains a central register of toxic waste dumps; whether the drainage waters from such dumps are subjected to routine monitoring by his Department or any other agency; and to what extent the implications of drainage on the water table in the vicinity of each dump are taken into account.

My Department does not keep a central register of specifically toxic waste dumps, although such sites will be included in the Hazardous Waste Inspectorate's record of licensed disposal sites. The monitoring of drainage waters from such sites is carried out, where specified as a site licence condition, either by the relevant regional water authority or by the relevant waste disposal authority on their behalf; the implications of site drainage on the water table are taken into account when both planning and site licensing are determined. The waste disposal authority has a duty to refuse an application for a waste disposal licence for the purpose of preventing pollution of water.

Drains And Sewers

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many miles of drains and sewers in the north-west were built (a) in the 19th century and (b) before 1914 and as to how many are in need of repair and replacement; and what percentage of the total mileage this represents in each case.

North-west water estimates the total length of sewers in the region to be approximately 30,000 km. The proportion of these built before 1900 or before 1914 is not known; the authority estimated in 1978 that some 5,000 km, or 17 per cent. of its sewers were built before 1880.It should be stressed that the age of a particular sewer has been found, in most cases, to provide little guidance as to its condition or to the likelihood of its failure within any given period. Information on the condition of sewers is a matter for the authority and is not kept centrally.The authority has provisionally identified some 570 km (about 2 per cent.) of sewers as requiring replacement, renovation or reinforcement within the next three years.

Design Services

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will set out in tabular form for 1 April 1985 and 1 April 1986 the total number of staff in post in the Directorate General of Design Services; and whether he will break those figures down into Civil Service grades, indicating also the number of persons trained in relevant professional disciplines.

The number of staff in post in the Directorate General of Design Services on 1 April 1985 and 1 April 1986 was as follows:

1 April 19851 April 1986
Grade 211
Grade 31
Grade 434
Grade 566
Grade 61519
Grade 76979
Professional and Technology Group299308
Science Group21
Administrative Group94107
Secretarial and other staff2625
514550
Professionally qualified staff comprised:
Architects and Landscape Architects4554
Civil Engineers5659
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers5549
Quantity Surveyors4050
Building Surveyors1117
Land Surveyors44
Other staff with scientific or technical qualifications183184
The figures for 1 April 1986 include 23 staff in the students training office transferred from the Directorate of Civil Accommodation to the design office in 1985–86.

Property Services Agency

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the value of the work, identified separately as new construction and maintenance, carried out by the Property Services Agency in 1984, 1985 and 1986; and how much of it was outside the United Kingdom.

The value of work carried out by F'SA in the three financial years from 1983 to 1986 was as follows:

New ConstructionMaintenance
United Kingdom

£ million
Overseas

£ million
United Kingdom

£ million
Overseas

£ million
1983–84648145566127
1984–85733235554128
1985–86796255584138
These figures are on a cash basis and are net of fees paid to consultants and the resource costs of PSA staff engaged on the work.

Radiation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 20 areas in England and Wales with the highest levels of naturally occurring radioactivity and the reasons why these levels occur in the areas concerned.

The largest source of exposure to naturally occuring radioactivity in England and Wales is from the build-up of radon gas in houses. For the country as a whole, the mean annual dose is 1 milliSievert per year (mSv/y). Higher than average doses arise because of geological factors, particularly the natural uranium content of the ground, and the permeability of the rock and soil to radon. The National Radiological Protection Board has been carrying out national and regional studies to identify houses where radon gives rise to high annual doses of radioactivity. The results are not necessarily representative of the housing stock as a whole in the area, as they represented a deliberate attempt to identify houses with high radon concentrations. But the areas identified by the NRPB with the highest mean indoor exposure to radon products are:

Location and CountyGrid SquareNumber of dwellings surveyedMean annual dose (mSv/y)
Eastern part of Sedgemoor, SomersetST 43156
North-eastern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 88441
Coast area of Mount's Bay, CornwallSW 52240
North-eastern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 781138
Coas area near Tintagel Head, CornwallSX 09137
West of St. Austell, CornwallSW 952135
Northern part of Dartmoor, DevonSX 68131
Northern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 79228
West of Truro, CornwallSW 74627
South of Camborne, CornwallSW 631327
Eastern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 771125

Location and County

Grid Square

Number of dwellings surveyed

Mean annual dose (mSv/y)

Northen part of Bodmin Moor, CornwallSX 18623
Southern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 651022
Central part of Dartmoor, DevonSX 67622
South-western edge of Dartmoor, Devon and CornwallSX 46221
Northern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 69520
Coast area north of St. Agnes Head, DevonSW 751419
Eastern edge of Dartmoor, Devon and CornwallSX 47618
North of Penzance, CornwallSW 43617
South-eastern edge of Dartmoor, DevonSX 761016

The fewer the number of dwellings surveyed, the less reliance should be given to the result.

Radon gives rise to doses of alpha radiation. The presence in the ground of minerals with radioactive content can also give rise to naturally occurring gamma radiation, but the doses received are much lower: the highest in England and Wales being less than 1 mSv/y.

Resource Allocations

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what account is taken of the needs of women, ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities in the distribution of rate support grant, housing investment programme authorisation and urban programme and community refurbishment scheme funds.

The distribution of these resources depends on a wide range of factors. Allocations are made in the light of consultations with the local authority associations, or in response to bids submitted by individual local authorities, or both.In many cases it would be very difficult to specify that part of the resources which was being allocated solely for the benefit of the particular groups of people to which the hon. Member refers. However, substantial resources are directed through the urban programme to help local authorities meet the special needs of inner city residents. In 1986–87, for example, some £9 million will he directed to victim support schemes, over £35 million will support nearly 1,300 projects specifically for the benefit of ethnic minority communities. In addition, many of the 1,400 or so community and welfare projects supported through the urban programees will be of direct benefit to the elderly, disabled and other disadvantaged groups.

London Research Centre

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements he intends to make to ensure the continuation of the London Research Centre together with the Acompline and Urbaline databases after 31 March 1987; and if he will make a statement.

Arrangements for the future of the London Research Centre, including the Acompline and Urbaline databases, are under discussion between the London Residuary body, and the London boroughs.

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