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Written Answers

Volume 122: debated on Tuesday 10 November 1987

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 10 November 1987

Overseas Development

Aid To Africa

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in view of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation's report that, for survival in 1987–88, Africa will need substantially more food aid. he will ensure that the percentage of gross national product which the United Kingdom spends on overseas aid is restored to 1970 levels by the end of the current financial year.

I have seen the FAO report and agree that the problem of hunger in Africa remains. We have already provided relief assistance of over £25 million, including some £10 million of bilateral food aid to Africa. In addition, there is our substantial share of the European Community's food aid programme. The Government stand ready to respond swiftly and generously to appeals for further emergency assistance from within the substantial and growing aid programme announced last week.

Environment

Nuclear Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many sites in England, Scotland and Wales are licensed for the dumping of radioactive materials; where they are located; and which local authorities are responsible for their safety.

Green And White Papers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department uses any guidelines when issuing Green and White Papers, in deciding whether or not to invite respondents to allow their submissions to be placed in the Library.

Yes. It is the Department's policy that on all major consultation exercises on matters of general public interest respondents are explicitly asked whether they agree that copies of their responses may be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and in the departmental library.

Local Government, Planning And Land Act 1980

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the effects of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 (a) in absolute terms and (b) as a proportion of each work force on the numbers of people of the following categories: women, black and coloured, mentally disabled, physically disabled, and over 50 years of age, employed by each authority to which the provisions of that Act apply; and if he will make a statement.

Street Lighting (Luton)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to respond favourably to any requests from Bedfordshire county council for funds from the urban aid programme to improve street lighting in Luton; and if he will make a statement.

Luton district council and Bedfordshire county council are not among the authorities invited to submit proposals for urban programme funding. Street lighting expenditure would not normally be eligible for support except as part of an innovative scheme contributing to crime prevention.

Council House Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will seek to extend statutory discounts to householders who are purchasing their homes under local authority equity sharing schemes.

Secure public sector tenants who have the right to buy but cannot afford to buy outright already qualify for statutory discounts under the right to shared ownership. Local authorities may also offer substantial discounts to first-time buyers and other priority purchasers under voluntary equity-sharing schemes, but it would not seem appropriate to require a local authority to grant discount in a voluntary disposal.

Rateable Values

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the rateable value limits for the purpose of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 as a consequence of his proposals to replace domestic rates with the community charge in the light of the recent decision of the European Court.

We have no plans at this stage to extend the scope of leasehold enfranchisement for houses, but I propose to issue shortly a consultation paper on the implications for the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and other landlord and tenant legislation of the proposed abolition of domestic rates.

Rural Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's rural housing policy.

The proposals in the White Paper "Housing: the Government's Proposals" (Cm. 214) will provide opportunities for improving housing in both rural and urban areas. I have had a useful discussion with interested groups on the implications for rural areas; and will take them into account as the new approach is developed.

Rural Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all areas in England which he has designated as 'rural'.

The areas of the following district councils have been designated, in whole or part, under section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 as rural areas:

  • Alnwick District Council
  • Berwick upon Tweed Borough Council
  • Caradon District Council
  • Carrick District Council
  • East Devon District Council
  • Eden District Council
  • Kerrier District Council
  • Mid Devon District Council
  • New Forest District Council
  • North Cornwall District Council
  • North Devon District Council
  • North Norfolk District Council
  • Penwith District Council
  • Purbeck District Council
  • Restormel Borough Council
  • Scarborough Borough Council
  • South Hams District Council
  • South Lakeland District Council
  • Teignbridge District Council
  • Torridge District Council
  • West Dorset District Council
  • West Somerset District Council
The areas are specified in the following orders:

The Housing (Right to Buy) (Designated Rural Areas and Designated Regions) (England) Order 1981, S.I. 1980 No. 397;
The Housing (Right to Buy) (Designated Rural Areas and Designated Regions) (England) (No. 2) Order 1981, S.I. 1981 No. 940;
The Housing (Right to Buy) (Designated Rural Areas and Designated Regions) (England) Order 1982, S.I. 1982 No. 21;
The Housing (Right to Buy) (Designated Rural Areas and Designated Regions) (England) (No. 2) Order 1982, S.I. 1982 No. 187;
The Housing (Right to Buy) (Designated Rural Areas and Designated Regions) (England) Order 1986, S.I. 1986 No. 1695.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether there is a formal methodology for identifying and assessing deprivation as appropriate to rural situations; and if he will make a statement.

The Government do not use any specific methodology for identifying and assessing deprivation in rural areas. However, the Development Commission is required to target its activities on those areas, referred to as "rural development areas", which it regards as having the greatest concentrations of problems, and to select such areas by having regard to the following criteria:

  • (i) above average unemployment;
  • (ii) inadequate or unsatisfactory range of employment opportunities;
  • (iii) adverse effect from population decline or sparsity of population;
  • (iv) net outward migration of people of working age;
  • (v) age structure biased towards elderly people;
  • (vi) poor access to services and facilities.
  • The Housing Corporation has targeted its resources for rural housing on "rural stress areas". In identifying such areas, one of the criteria the corporation has used is location within a rural development area.A study of rural deprivation, jointly commissioned by the Department of the Environment and the Development Commission, was completed in 1986 by Brian McLaughlin (then at the Essex Institute of Higher Education), and copies are in the House of Commons Library and in the Department's library.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what criteria are employed following application from a local authority in considering an area for designation as 'rural'.

    Applications are considered on their merits, with particular regard being paid to population density and the number of second homes in the area.

    Spectrum Arena

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations have taken place between his Department and the Warrington and Runcorn development corporation concerning the Spectrum arena within the last month; and with what results.

    The Department has recently confirmed to the Development Corporation that consent would not be given under the New Towns Act for a disposal of the Spectrum building at less than the best consideration reasonably obtainable.

    Inland Waterways

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the level of Government grant in real terms to inland waterways for every year from 1979 to 1987.

    The table shows in cash terms and 1987–88 prices Government grant to the British Waterways Board in the years 1979–80 to 1987–88 together with the board's external financing limit (EFL), which comprises both the grant and an element of borrowing from the national loans fund.

    Grant (cash)Grant (1987–88 prices)EFL (cash)EFL (1987–88 prices)
    £m£m£m£m
    1979–8022·839·625·744·6
    1980–8125·637·530·043·9
    1981–8228·437·931·642·1
    1982–8337·646·839·348·9
    1983–8439·847·340·848·5
    1984–8541·847·642·848·7
    1985–8643·546·744·147·4
    1986–8743·945·845·046·9
    1987–8844·044·045·045·0
    As a result of this year's public expenditure round, BWB's EFL will be £46·8 million in 1988–89 with guideline figures of £47·9 million and £49·1 million for the following two years.

    Archaeological Heritage

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to strengthen planning powers of local councils to ensure that Britain's archaeological heritage is protected and rescued when planning permissions are granted to developers.

    No. I see no need to increase the powers of local planning authorities, which are already able to take into consideration the effect of a proposed development upon an ancient monument and its setting, and to impose appropriate conditions. Development affecting scheduled monuments also requires the consent of the Secretary of State, as well as planning permission.

    Rating Reform

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if, pursuant to his answer of 26 October, columns 39–40, he will reproduce the table on the impact of the community charge in England using figures for 1984–85(2) if, pursuant to his answer of 26 October, columns

    37–38, he will reproduce the table on the regional impact of the community charge in England using figures for 1984–85.

    No. I have already given my latest estimates in respect of these matters based on 1985–86 information. I intend shortly to publish further and more up-to-date estimates.

    Aids

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is aware of any research associating the contamination of drinking water by the AIDS virus with the flushing of used condoms into the sewerage system; and if he will make a statement.

    I am not aware of any such research. I am advised that there is no risk of contracting AIDS from drinking water because the disease is not spread by ingestion and the virus is inactivated by chlorination and removed by water treatment.

    Used Condoms

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department has had any discussions with manufacturers of condoms concerning the possibility of including the Keep Britain Tidy symbol on the packets of those products; and if he will make a statement.

    I understand there have been discussions between the Keep Britain Tidy Group and the main manufacturers, and that the company has agreed to print the Keep Britain Tidy symbol on its packaging.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department has given any advice on the environmental aspects of suitable methods of disposal of used condoms; and if he will make a statement.

    No. The Department's advice to local authorities and other waste disposal agencies on the disposal of clinical waste is contained in waste management paper No. 25, published in 1983. This does not deal specifically with the question raised, but the general principles of safe handling will apply. The need for Government advice to the users of condoms is a policy matter for the Department of Health and Social Security.

    Hedgerows And Stone Walls

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any proposals to reduce the loss of hedgerows and stone walls; and if he will make a statement.

    Hedgerows and stone walls are a dominant feature of the landscape in most parts of the country and it is the Government's policy to encourage their retention wherever practicable. Losses do, however, occur for a variety of reasons including, for example, the recent storm damage. When losses occur, grant aid is available from the Countryside Commission for replanting or reinstatement. Grants are also available to farmers from my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, at the rate of 60 per cent. in less-favoured areas and 30 per cent. elsewhere, for hedge planting and laying and the erection of traditional stone walls.

    Portraits

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has concerning the whereabouts of the portraits of the first chair of the London county council and the last chair of the Greater London council; and if he will arrange for the portraits to be displayed within the precincts of the House.

    The portraits are in secure storage within the care of the London residuary body. Any question of displaying them within the precincts of the House of Commons would be a matter for the authorities of the House in consultation with the London residuary body.

    Mobile Homes

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he considers, within the terms of his advice in the code of guidance issued under the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977, that park (mobile) homes provide satisfactory accommodation for housing homeless families with children; and if he will make a statement.

    The improved design and construction of modern park (mobile) homes can make them suitable for the accommodation of homeless families with children. My Department intends to discuss with the local authority associations and voluntary bodies the possibility of modifying the advice in the code on this.

    Rented Housing

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied that housing associations will be able to raise sufficient private finance to make full use of the new arrangements under which they can provide housing for rent using a mixture of private and public funds.

    I believe the potential for housing associations to raise private finance will be greatly enhanced by the formation of a new body called the Housing Finance Corporation. This has been set up on the initiative of the Housing Corporation, the National Federation of Housing Associations and a number of City interests. I understand it will have as a primary object the giving of assistance in providing finance for registered housing associations. This is an objective the Government whole heartedly support as a means of bringing additional non-public sector resources into housing associations.Until the development of the Government's new private finance initiatives, registered housing associations have been very largely dependent upon finance from the Exchequer for their development and renovation work. This has been in the form of loans from the Housing Corporation and local authorities, partially refinanced by housing association grant (HAG) paid by the Exchequer. In future the Government hope that an increasing proportion of the loan finance needed by housing associations will come from the private sector. But Exchequer grant support will clearly continue to be necessary in many cases as well in order to enable registered housing associations to charge rents at a reasonably affordable level for their tenants, most of whom have low incomes. In future, therefore, a growing number of registered associations will need to look to mixed sources of finance to support their work, partly public and partly private.The Housing Corporation is a non-departmental public sector body whose members I appoint. It already carries out certain functions in connection with the payment of public sector grants to registered housing associations and I intend that this role should be expanded under provisions to be included in forthcoming legislation. I commend the initiative of the Housing Corporation in helping to promote the formation of the Housing Finance Corporation as one particular vehicle to help raise private finance for registered housing associations. I know they have been able to rely in their endeavours upon valuable advice and assistance from CIPFA Services Ltd. and James Capel and Co. I understand that it is intended that the Housing Finance Corporation will have a particular role in assisting some of the smaller associations which may initially need more help in this matter.I understand that the Housing Finance Corporation expects to operate by raising loan finance in the capital markets in substantial tranches and then lending to individual registered housing associations for identified schemes and programmes. In lending to housing associations it and other providers of loan finance will need security from the associations concerned, which will often take the form of charges upon the associations' assets, most of which are the housing they own. The Housing Corporation will need to approve the giving of such charges under its powers under section 9 of the Housing Associations Act 1985. I am asking the Housing Corporation to satisfy itself that associations do not over-commit their assets as security for private sector development loans, and to use its best endeavours to ensure that associations plan to generate sufficient income to service their loans and maintain their property adequately. On this understanding I have indicated that I am content that charges can be given by associations and approved by the Housing Corporation and that recovery of housing association grants will be subordinated to the private sector charges.The Housing Corporation has proposed that it should be a member of the Housing Finance Corporation, and that the chief executive of the Housing Corporation should be one of its directors. It has proposed this in view of the importance of developing new channels of private finance for registered housing associations, and of ensuring that these are well harmonised with the Housing Corporation's own supervisory and grant functions. The Housing Corporation has, however, made clear that its involvement with the Housing Finance Corporation in no way implies any preferential treatment by it of housing associations dealing with the Housing Finance Corporation as against any other providers of private finance to housing associations, nor any financial liability towards it other than a £1 nominal shareholding. On that understanding, and having regard to the particular attention to be given to the needs of smaller associations, I have approved Housing Corporation participation initially on the basis proposed.The Housing Finance Corporation has also asked me to approve the appointment of David Hopkinson as its first chairman. Mr. Hopkinson was formerly chief executive of the M and G Group and is currently a member of the Housing Corporation. He combines great knowledge and experience of finance and housing. I believe that he will be an excellent chairman, and I have gladly approved his appointment.The Government welcome the creation of the Housing Finance Corporation and support its objectives. I am particularly glad that the new body is being established as a purely private sector body, formally constituted as an industrial and provident society. It will make its own commercial judgments about its borrowing and lending. It will not receive any grants or subsidies from the Housing Corporation or the Government; and neither the Government nor the Housing Corporation are guaranteeing or standing behind its operations in any way. It will not distribute any profits it makes, but I understand it will aim to build up some surpluses over time to enable it to expand further its support for housing associations.I welcome this expression of confidence by the private sector interests involved in the prospects of the housing association movement and the potential for investment in it. I hope that increasingly other lenders will also come forward to support the expansion and diversification of housing associations.

    Local Authorities (Financial Management)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has for strengthening the financial management of local authorities.

    My Department has today written to the local authority associations, the Audit Commission and the relevant accountancy bodies, explaining the action the Government propose to take on two related measures to extend the powers and duties of local authority treasurers and auditors.Following the proposals in the Green Paper "Paying for Local Government", we propose that the local authority treasurer should be required by law to hold a specified professional qualification, and that he should have a duty to report to his council if in his opinion it is proposing to make an unlawful payment or incur an unlawful loss or deficiency, or if its proposed expenditure is likely to exceed its available resources for the year in question. The council will be obliged to consider this report at a meeting held within 21 days of the sending of the report, and determine what action it proposes to take. It will be prohibited from proceeding with the actions which are the subject of a report, or from incurring new contractual commitments if the report concerns prospective overspending, until it has held such a meeting.My Department has also issued a consultation document on proposals to enable auditors of local authorities to take early action to secure compliance by authorities with the law governing their financial affairs. Copies of this document have been placed in the Library. These proposals are based on recommendations made by the Widdicombe committee and on proposals for changes in audit legislation submitted by the Audit Commission.I believe these proposals will strengthen the position of the treasurer and the auditor, and thereby discourage imprudent behaviour and prevent the erosion of sound financial management practices in local government. It is our intention to introduce provisions to this effect during the present Session of Parliament.

    London Docklands Development Corporation

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the date of expiration of the terms of office of the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the London Docklands development corporation, respectively, the dates when he expects reappointments to he completed in each case and the expected dates when they will be in post.

    [holding answer, 9 November 1987]: The chief executive's term of office expires formally on 1 January 1988. The deputy chief executive's departure date is to be in February next year.I am advised that the dates on which successors will be appointed and take up post are not yet fixed.

    Education And Science

    Modern Language Teaching

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his Department's policy on the use of satellites in the teaching of modern languages.

    We encourage school teachers to make creative use of authentic foreign language materials, including sound recordings and broadcasts. The Council for Educational Technology is also currently examining the potential of satellite broadcasting for enhancing the primary and secondary curriculum, including the teaching of modern languages.

    Universities (Funding)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in the light of the increased university funding forecast in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, he will indicate what increase in funding will be proposed by the University Grants Committee for the University of East Anglia for 1988–89 and 1989–90; and what have been the reductions in funding received by this university in the last three years.

    Provisional allocations of basic recurrent grant to universities for the academic years 1988–89 and 1989–90 were announced on 19 February 1987. The University Grants Committee will be considering over the next few months the development of a targeted restructuring programme to meet the Government's objectives as set out by my right hon. Friend on 3 November, at columns 798–99 and the adjustments to be made to the recurrent grant allocations of individual universities. Recurrent grant allocated to the University of East Anglia over the last three years is as follows:

    £ million

    1984–8515·0
    1985–8614·7
    1986–8715·0

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Norwich, South on 3 November at columns 798–99, what will be the real percentage increase in university funding in 1988–89 and 1989–90; and what have been the reductions in this funding since 1981.

    Provision is being made to increase recurrent grant paid to universities on the advice of the University Grants Committee by 8 per cent. in cash terms or 3·5 per cent. in real terms taking account of the GDP deflator between the financial years 1987–88 and 1988–89, and to remain about level in real terms for 1989–90. Recurrent grant to the universities increased by 5 per cent. in real terms between 1980–81 and 1987–88. Such grant amounts to just over half universities' total recurrent income which, from the latest figures available, increased by 7·7 per cent. in real terms between the academic years 1980–81 ad 1985–86.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Norwich, South on 3 November at columns 798–99, what procedures he has in mind to establish whether or not universities are run properly.

    My right hon. Friend agreed an appropriate programme of action with the University Grants Committee and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals in November 1986. This makes provision for regular reports on post-Jarratt efficiency gains, and other steps to encourage better management, including improved accounting procedures. In addition, the UGC now has each university's financial forecasts and academic plans, which enable the committee to take a view on institutions' financial prospects and the realism of their plans.

    Access Courses

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to increase the funding available for access courses to higher education; and if he will make a statement.

    The Government attach importance to the broadening of access to higher education. The White Paper "Higher Education: Meeting the Challenge" (Cm. 114) set out the Government's approach, which was reflected in the Government's expenditure plans announced by my right hon. Friend on 3 November. My right hon. Friend looks to local education authorities and institutions of higher education to take action within the resources available.

    Financial Management Skills

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, when he will publish proposals for the training of head teachers in financial management skills; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. Friend is considering the most useful way forward having regard in particular to the provision available for management training under the LEA training grant scheme, for which he announced in August an increase in funding.

    Capital Allocations

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the capital allocation to each local education authority for each of the past eight years, in real and in cash terms.

    Higher Education Institutions

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to grant charitable status to these higher education institutions due to be taken out of local education authority control.

    We intend that the forthcoming legislation transferring the polytechnics and other major colleges of higher education from LEA control should enable them to acquire charitable status.

    Polytechnics

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will place in the Library those responses received from polytechnic directors to his proposals to change polytechnics' control and organisation.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mrs. Rumbold) gave the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on 21 October 1987, at column 736.

    Books And Equipment

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) on 3 November, at column 645, if he will set out the planned expenditure for pupils in books and equipment for 1988–89, and the planned figure for 1987–88.

    Planned expenditure on school books and equipment for 1988–89 takes account of the actual outturn for expenditure in 1985–86 and, in accordance with the local authorities' forecasts, allows for real increases in spending per pupil of 10 per cent. in 1986–87 and a further 5 per cent. in each of the years 1987–88 and 1988–89. Allowing for reducing pupil numbers, cash provision in 1988–89 in each of the primary and secondary sectors is some 37 per cent. higher than actual spending in 1985–86.

    Secondary School Libraries

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) of 3 November, at column 645, if he will set out the details of the additional sum which has been provided for secondary school libraries.

    We have provided £10 million within the 1988–89 plans to cover the costs of additional librarians and new stock for secondary school libraries.

    General Certificate Of Secondary Education

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) of 3 November, at column 645, if he will indicate the amount of money which will be provided in 1988–89 for equipping schools for the new general certificate of secondary education courses; and what was the equivalent figure for 1987–88.

    The plans for 1988–89 allow for £87 million to be spent on non-teaching costs associated with the introduction of the GCSE. The equivalent figure for 1987–88 was £100 million. In both years the provision is in line with what local authorities collectively forecast would be needed.

    Prime Minister

    Basingstoke

    Q66.

    To ask the Prime Minister when she next intends to make an official visit to Basingstoke.

    Ec (Internal Market)

    Q87.

    To ask the Prime Minister when she next expects to discuss the European Economic Community internal market with the Council of Ministers.

    The European Council regularly reviews progress on the internal market at its six-monthly meeting. No decisions have yet been taken on the agenda of the next meeting in Copenhagen on 3–4 December.

    South Africa

    To ask the Prime Minister if, in the light of her statement at the Commonwealth conference in Vancouver on 17 October that she would not invest in South Africa, she proposes to give the same advice to British companies and citizens; and if she will make a statement.

    In the interview to which the hon. Member refers I distinguished between acts of Government and the judgment of the market place. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade explained in answer to the hon. Member's question on 23 July 1987, at columns 305–7, the Government have fulfilled their commitment on new investment in South Africa by the introduction of a voluntary ban.

    Government Purchasing

    To ask the Prime Minister what progress is being made on implementing the report on Government purchasing of December 1984.

    Following "Government Purchasing" a central unit on purchasing was established. The Treasury is publishing tomorrow the unit's report on 1986–87, its first full year of operation. A copy of the report will be placed in the Library of the House.The unit's roles is to provide advice and assistance to Departments in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of their purchasing and supply activities. Mr. Michael Willacy is director of the unit on secondment from Shell UK. About half its small staff are similarly on secondment from private sector companies.A target was set to achieve value-for-money improvements of £400 million a year from Government Departments' purchasing and stockholding by April 1987. The unit records that in 1986–87 central Government Departments (excluding the Ministry of Defence, which is not covered by this report) achieved value for money improvements totalling £286 million, equivalent to 4·7 per cent. of total expenditure on purchases of goods and services of some £6 billion in that year. The report also notes that Departments are becoming more aware of the potential of small firms to provide value for money in purchasing and supply, and that some Departments have taken worthwhile initiatives to encourage small firms.For 1987–88 Departments (again excluding Ministry of Defence) have set targets for value-for-money improvements totalling £388 million, and for 1988–89 targets totalling £447 million, equivalent to some 7 per cent. of forecast expenditure on goods and services in that year. The report emphasises that a great deal remains to be done, including taking better advantage of the potential of small firms to provide value for money. But the achievements to date and the more ambitious targets Departments are now setting themselves for the future are encouraging.

    Engagements

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    1986–871987–88
    1Salaries2AccommodationOther expensesTotalEstimated costs
    £'000£'000£'000£'000£'000
    Paris including Cherbourg, Le Harvre, Nantes and St. Malo4,4982,1819427,6217,744
    Lyon3638247492498
    Marseilles including Nice and Perpignan3269263481487
    Strasbourg24113750428437
    Lille including Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk26910146416420
    Bordeaux including Toulouse2545738349353
    1 Salaries and allowances for United Kingdom staff and locally-engaged staff.
    2 Accommodation includes office and residential costs.

    Nato Meeting (Moscow)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting following the meeting in Moscow between Mr. Shultz and Mr. Shevardnadze.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

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

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Embassies And Consulates

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the total expenditure in the past financial year for Her Majesty's Government' sembassy in Paris, and for each consulate and honorary consulate in France, broken down by salaries, accommodation and other expenses; and what is the budgeted total expenditure for each in the current year.

    The running costs for 1986–87 for the FCO posts in France are as follows, together with the estimated total costs for 1987–88. The costs of honorary consulates cannot be identified separately, but are included in the cost of relevant supervising posts.

    Mr. Shultz briefed the North Atlantic Council on 24 October on his discussions in Moscow as part of the process of regular and close consultations between the United States and its allies. He focused particularly on developments in the United States/Soviet arms control talks.

    Unesco

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if in the light of the election of Professor Mayor, as director general, he will make a futher statement about Her Majesty's Government's policy towards membership of UNESCO.

    As I told the House on 21 October, we welcome the election of Professor Mayor, whose appointment was confirmed by the General Conference of UNESCO on 7 November.Professor Mayor's experience in the field of education, science and culture, and his detailed knowledge of UNESCO, equip him well for his new responsibilities. We wish him well. But we have made clear that we would need clear evidence that substantial reform had been achieved in UNESCO before we could reconsider our membership of the organisation. We will be watching developments closely and keeping an open mind.

    Energy

    Coal Reserves

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is British Coal's assessment of coal reserves at (a) Munton mine, (b) Dawden mine, (c) Vane Tempest mine and (d) Easington mine.

    That is a matter for the British Coal Corporation. I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

    Select Committee Reports (Government's Response)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether he will publish the Government's response to the Energy Committee's report on the effect of oil and gas prices on activity in the North sea, HC 175, Session 1986–87;(2) whether he will make a statement on Magnox decommissioning costs in response to the recommendation in paragraph 34 of the second report from the Energy Committee, Session 1986–87, HC 88.

    I have placed copies of the Government's responses to the previous Energy Select Committee's reports on Magnox decommissioning costs and the effects of oil and gas prices on the level of North sea activity in the Library of the House.

    Employment

    Health And Safety Executive

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why Mr. John Rimington, Director General of the Health and Safety Executive, sent out a letter dated 17 September to staff warning them not to talk to hon. Members or journalists about the crises facing the Health and Safety Executive if it did not secure the level of funding for 1988–89.

    I understand that Mr. Rimington took the view that the interview to an MP and journalist given by one of his staff on a matter currently under discussion between the Health and Safety Commission and Ministers breached the normal rules of discretion to which civil servants are subject.

    British Shipbuilders

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to holding answer of 26 October to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow, if he is yet in a position to provide a substantive answer concerning the test case involving former employees of British Shipbuilders Ltd.

    Home Department

    Civil Defence

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects his working party's report with guidelines on public protection against chemical attack; if such guidelines will be made available to authorities charged with a duty to plan for the protection of the public in war; and if such guidelines will form the basis of advice for distribution to the general public.

    In the absence of a ban on chemical weapons, the Government are conducting a variety of studies into their effects and protective measures against them. This work is continuing and consideration of guidance must await its outcome.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when authorities charged with a duty to plan for the protection of the public in war may expect guidance on the identification of suitable public places for shelter in war.

    "Emergency Planning Guidance Handbook 2: Communal Shelters" was issued to local authorities in 1985. A pilot communal shelter survey has been undertaken in selected areas, and supplementary advice on survey methods will be issued in the new year.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the annual throughput of students at the Civil Defence College for each of the last five years.

    The following numbers of persons attended courses and seminars at the Civil Defence College:

    Number
    19822,140
    19832,710
    19842,896
    19852,868
    19862,892

    Scientific Advisers Training Manual

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will revise his Department's 1977 scientific advisers training manual to include new data from his Department's scientific research and development branch which predicts increased deaths and injuries from nuclear blast.

    Advice on blast casualty calculation taking account of the review of the blast casualty rules applicable to United Kingdom houses was issued to local authorities in October 1986 and forms the basis for training scientific advisers; it will be incorporated in a revised training manual for scientific advisers in due course.

    Prisoners (Police Cells)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are currently held in (a) police cells and (b) magistrates' court cells in the London area; and what is his estimate of these figures in the event of normal working by all prison officers in the London area.

    On 4 November the numbers of prisoners held in police cells and magistrates' court cells in the Metropolitan police area were 161 and 82, respectively. Now that industrial action at the prisons involved has been suspended, we aim to move them all into prison.

    Nationality Registration

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce a reduced concessionary rate, together with payment by instalments, for supplementary benefit claimants applying for nationality registration; and if he will make a statement.

    No. The Government believe that it is right that those who wish to become British citizens should meet the cost of processing their applications, and concessions to one group would only increase the cost to others.

    Information Services

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by grade the personnel currently employed in the public relations branch within his Department.

    The complement for the public relations branch of the Home Office, listed by grade, is as follows:

    GradeNumber
    Grade 41
    Grade 61
    Grade 72
    Senior Information Officer9
    Information Officer14
    Assistant Information Officer3
    Executive Officer1
    Personal Secretary3
    Administrative Officer2
    Administrative Assistant5

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost of maintaining the public relations branch within his Department in each year since 1979.

    The annual budget for the Home Office public relations branch since 1979 has been as follows:

    £000
    1979–80374
    1980–81478
    1981–82448

    £000

    1982–83429
    1983–84545
    1984–85569
    1985–86646
    1986–87704

    These figures include salary, accommodation and service costs.

    Mr Ahmad Babolhavaeji

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office Department if he is yet in a position to finalise the case of Mr. Ahmad Babolhavaeji, details of which were sent to him by the hon. Member for Plymouth, Drake on 30 September 1986.

    Murder Statistics

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, pursuant to the answer or 5 November, he is now in a position to say how many persons have been convicted of homicide in the period since 1965 who had previously been convicted and sentenced for homicide; and if he will make a statement.

    Since 1965, 49 people originally convicted of homicide have been subsequently reconvicted of homicide. Thirty-six of them, 11 of whom were murderers released on life licence, committed the subsequent offence after release from prison in England and Wales. Of the remaining 13, seven committed the subsequent offence while in prison or mental hospital; one while on bail for the first offence; and five had been originally convicted outside England and Wales.

    Child Abuse

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to provide that all courts take all necessary measures to protect children giving evidence in sex abuse cases from seeing the defendants and from experiencing the formalities of the court.

    In England and Wales, clause 30 of the Criminal Justice Bill will permit a child to give evidence at the Crown court by closed circuit television in sex abuse cases. The position in Scotland is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate; but. I understand that the Scottish Law Commission is considering the law of evidence in criminal proceedings, and that the Lord Advocate has asked it to look at the giving of evidence by children in sex abuse cases, including the possible use of closed circuit television.

    Earl William (Detention Centre)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he proposes to renew the charter of the Earl William at Harwich as an immigration detention centre; and if he will make a statement.

    The lease for the charter of the Earl William at Harwich as an immigration detention centre was initially for a period of three months from early May. It was extended in July for a further period of three months, which expires on 30 November. I have decided not to exercise the options in the contract for further possible extensions beyond that date.

    Social Workers (Criminal Records)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to how many officers form the present complement of that section in the Metropolitan police checking the existence and content of any criminal record of applicants for posts with social services departments with access to children in accordance with Home Office circular HOC(86)44; what was the complement of this section in 1985 and in 1986; what is the average length of time currently taken in responding to a request for a check from a social services department; and how many boroughs in London are currently operating the terms of the circular and requesting checks.

    I am informed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the staff complement for the section within the Metropolitan police charged with checking the existence and content of any criminal record of applicants for posts with substantial access to children was as follows:

    Number
    19854
    19866
    19878
    Until July 1986, the scope of such checks was limited to those seeking specific posts within the probation and social services. The arrangements announced in the Home Office circular 44/1986 widened the scope of these checks to include all those seeking local authority posts which involve substantial access to children, and the complement of the section has been increased to reflect the additional work load. The complement will be increased to 12 from January 1988.The average time taken to process checks of this kind is six weeks, although this should be reduced when the additional staff are in post. Twenty London boroughs currently make use of the arrangements.

    Transport

    Pedal Cyclists (Helmets)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in the Official Report the types of helmets for child pedal cyclists which comply with the British Standard and are currently available in the United Kingdom.

    There is no formal record of helmet types complying with the standard. We are taking steps to ensure road safety officers and others engaged in road safety work bring the new standard to the attention of schools, parents and children.

    Tourism

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the progress of tourism signposting.

    The new system of white on brown traffic signs for tourist attractions in England was announced in April 1986 following successful experiments in Kent and Nottinghamshire. The English tourist board has publicised the scheme with the tourist industry. We have produced an explanatory leaflet which is being distributed to the public by the motoring organisations and tourist information centres.More than 2,000 attractions have now had signs approved under the new arrangements. Many local authorities have prepared comprehensive tourist signing plans for their areas; other authorities are dealing with signing requests as they arise.The new signs have now appeared on the roads in many parts of the country and I expect even more to be in place before next summer's tourist season. The signs have been well received by both the public and the tourist industry.

    M1 Motorway

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions have taken place between officials of his Department and officials of Bedfordshire county council regarding the signposting of an alternative route for traffic prevented from entering the closed southbound slipway on junction 10 of the M1.

    There have been regular and frequent meetings to discuss traffic management, including the signing of diversionary routes.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects work to be completed between junctions 9 and 10 on the M1.

    The contractor hopes to complete the work within the next few days.

    Transport Developments

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his Department's involvement in developments in the United Kingdom in recent years with respect to trolleybuses, tramways, rapid transit and light railways.

    My Department has been involved in the approval and financing of the Docklands light railway and the Tyne and Wear metro. The Department is also closely involved in studies of further light rail proposals for London and is in touch with a number of authorities which are proposing such systems elsewhere. I shall write to my hon. Friend with further details.

    British Airways

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has yet made his decision on whether to approve British Airways' recent application for fare increases on its European routes.

    I understand that British Airways recently applied for increased fares to almost all of its European destinations. Applications are considered by the Civil Aviation Authority in relation to data about the airline's costs on the routes in question. The authority has disapproved the increased fares to Greece and Spain as being unjustified in relation to costs. It is still considering proposals affecting club and Eurobudget fares to Denmark, Finland. Italy, Norway and Sweden and to southern France, and economy fares to Nice. It has approved the increases proposed on the airline's other routes to Europe.

    Travellers Fare

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any information on the employment implications of the privatisation of Travellers Fare station catering.

    The British Railways Board is currently undertaking a competitive tender exercise for station catering sites operated by Travellers Fare. Any employment implications would be matters for the board.

    British Rail

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to ask the chairman of British Rail for an annual report showing for each region the number of instances of engine failure.

    We monitor the general reliability of British Rail's passenger services. But the particular causes of cancellation or late running are operational matters for the board.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each year since 1970, at 1970 prices (a) total capital expenditure approved for British Rail and (b) total capital expenditure for electrification of British Rail services.

    Figures for investment (on revenue and capital account) in the railway are not readily available before 1974. Corporate investment includes investment in the subsidiary businesses at the time: ownership of these businesses has changed in some cases. Figures for investment in electrification exclude rolling stock. The figures are:

    Capital and revenue account corporate investment by the British Railways Board is as follows:
    (£ million at 1970 prices)
    YearTotal BRB investmentRailway investmentInvestment in electrification
    1970792·5
    1971857·8
    19729210·8
    1973976·4
    197486762·2
    197593815·0
    197694763·2
    197789751·9
    197891723·1
    197998743·5
    198091773·1
    198175642·6
    198261531·8
    198360522·0
    11984–8583773·6
    1985–86807311·8
    1986–87777112·8
    1 15-month accounting period.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the annual central Government subsidy to British Rail in each of the past 15 years; and if he will express these figures as a percentage of the total expenditure of British Rail in each year.

    Figures for Government support for British Rail since 1972, in cash and expressed as a percentage of rail operating expenditure, are as follows.The present grant system began in 1975, and figures for earlier years are not comparable. Figures for 1972 to 1974 include grants for unremunerative passenger services under section 39 of the Transport Act 1968, surplus track grants under section 40 of the 1968 Act, and revenue deficit grants. From 1975 they include grant in compensation for the public service obligation under EEC regulation 1191/69 and section 3 of the Railways Act 1974, level crossings grant under EC regulation 1192/69, and grants in respect of the non-passenger railway from 1975 to 1978.Figures are taken from final grant claims and from the BRB annual report and accounts. 1984/85 is a 15-month period reflecting a change in the British Railways Board's financial year. The figures for 1985/86 and 1986/87 remain provisional; final claims have not yet been agreed. All figures are cash.

    Grant (£ million)Per cent. of Rail expenditure
    1972127·020
    1973136·420
    1974354·740
    1975369·732
    1976348·528
    1977397·828
    1978410·225
    1979498·126
    1980591·426
    1981766·631
    1982835·633
    1983873·032
    1984–851,088·931
    1985–86839·729
    1986–87733·426

    Second-Hand Tyres

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations he has received from trading standards departments and other interested organisations on the sale of second-hand tyres; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he has any plans to seek to introduce legislation governing the sale of second-hand tyres; and if he will make a statement.

    Trading standards authorities in West Yorkshire and Warwickshire have suggested that their officers need more powers to control effectively the sale of second-hand tyres. We are considering what might be done.

    Taxis And Private Hire Vehicles

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each year since 1970 the estimated number of taxis or private hire vehicles in the United Kingdom.

    Figures for taxis in England and Wales are set out in the table

    Licensed Taxis

    Thousands

    London

    England and Wales outside London

    19708·7n/a
    19719·6n/a
    197210·1n/a
    197310·4n/a
    197411·0n/a
    197511·3n/a
    197611·815·2
    197712·515·5
    197812·516·0
    197912·316·7
    198012·417·0
    198112·617·4
    198212·817·7
    198313·118·1
    198413·618·4
    198513·818·9
    198614·221·1

    In Scotland, there were 5,188 licensed taxis in 1984 and 6,360 in 1985.

    It is estimated that there were 20,000 hire cars in London in 1969, 27,000 in 1975 and about 35,000 in 1985. There were 19,300 licensed hire cars in England and Wales outside London in 1980 and 25,780 in 1985. This increase was, however, largely explained by the extension of licensing. There were 2,960 licensed hire cars in Scotland in 1985.

    Minibuses

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the total number of minibuses registered for public service operation in each of the years from 1982 to 1986 and for the latest available date in 1987.

    The available information is as follows:

    Hackney vehicles with 9 to 16 passenger seats: stock end of year Great Britain
    Number
    19826,305
    19836,176
    19846,313
    19856,766
    19867,854

    Source: DVLC

    Information for 1987 is not yet available.

    Stage Carriage Services

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the total number of operators of stage carriage services in the United Kingdom in each year since 1965.

    In each of the years 1982 to the financial year 1985–86 there were about 1,300 operators of stage services in Great Britain. Results for earlier years are not available. Comparable results for 1986–87 have not been finalised, but the available evidence suggests that there has been a substantial rise in the number of operators of local services since deregulation.

    Railway Line Closures

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the total number of miles of (a) passenger line and (b) freight line closed by British Rail in each year since 1970.

    The total number of miles of passenger line closed by British Rail in each year since 1970 is as follows:

    YearMiles closed
    1970290·5
    197123
    197251
    197356·25
    1974
    197515
    1976
    197724
    1978
    1979
    1980
    19810·75
    19821·25
    198341·5
    1984
    19854
    19862·5
    Similar figures for freight lines closures are not readily available.

    Bus Statistics

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has of (a) bus route miles operated and (b) bus passengers carried in the United Kingdom in each year since 1970.

    Information on bus vehicle miles and bus passengers carried for the years 1970 to 1985–86 is published in "Transport Statistics Great Britain: 1976–1986"; (tables 2.33 and 2.37). Results for 1986–87 are to be published in a statistical bulletin later this year. Results for bus route miles are not available.

    Subsidies

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list for each year since 1970 (a) the profit or loss, (b) central Government subsidy and (c) local authority subsidy of the former London Transport Executive and of London Regional Transport;(2) if he will list, for each year since inception, until privatisation

    (a) the profit or loss, (b) the control Government subsidy and (c) central authority subsidy of each National Bus Company subsidiary.

    A6121 (Speed Limit)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will request a senior representative of the East Midland regional office to visit Essendine, Leicestershire, to observe traffic conditions there and advise them on the desirability of introducing a 40 mph speed limit on the A6121 road.

    A senior representative of the East Midlands regional office has already visited Essendine and given advice. It is still clear that a 40 mph speed limit would not contribute to road safety.

    Lorries (Regulation)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the regulations which apply to United Kingdom-based lorries and drivers which do not apply to lorries and drivers travelling to the United Kingdom from other countries.

    [holding answer, 6 November 1987]: Foreign lorries and drivers coming into the United Kingdom for a period of more than three months must comply with all relevant United Kingdom legislation. Vehicles brought into Great Britain for a period of less than three months are exempted from customs duties, and from certain of the vehicle lighting and the construction and use regulations.Foreign vehicles carrying dangerous goods must comply with United Kingdom regulations on the carriage of such goods, unless they meet the provisions of the UN agreement on the carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR).

    Wales

    School Meals

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many children in Wales are in receipt of free school meals, by district authority; what percentage of the total number of children in each group this represents; and what are the comparable figures for each year since 1979.

    Careers Advice

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to encourage the improvement of careers advice offered by schools in Wales.

    The Government recognise that it is of vital importance that the best and most up-to-date guidance on careers is brought to young people. That is why, last April, my right hon. Friend, in conjunction with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Employment, issued a document entitled "Working Together for a Better Future" to local education authorities, educational institutions and careers officers in England and Wales. Its aim is to raise the effectiveness of work in the careers education and guidance field generally.Authorities have been asked to review their current arrangements and policies for careers education, and to make an interim report to the Secretaries of State by 31 December 1987, and a written policy statement by 31 October 1988.

    School Rolls

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list in the Official Report, by education authority, those primary schools in Wales having fewer than 100 pupils, showing the school roll in each case.

    The information is not readily available in the form requested. Summary information showing the total number of primary schools with 100 pupils or fewer and the number of pupils in those schools, for each county as at January 1987, is given in the following table.

    Welsh countiesNumber of primary schools with 100 pupils or lessNumber of pupils on roll
    Clwyd944,912
    Dyfed1999,511
    Gwent573,446
    Gwynedd1256,623
    Mid Glamorgan563,854
    Powys823,979
    South Glamorgan151,154
    West Glamorgan241,703

    Child Abuse

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what extra resources his Department is making available to deal with the problem of child abuse.

    Expenditure on services for children, including child abuse work, is discussed each year in the social services expenditure sub-group. The sub-group's report is taken into account in the annual rate support grant settlement. Expenditure on these services is, however, a matter for local authority decision in the light of local needs and priorities. The Department will shortly be discussing with directors of social services in Wales the extent of training needs for staff dealing with child abuse.

    Mental Illness

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many women patients were resident in mental illness hospitals in Wales in each year from 1980.

    A census of the residents of mental illness hospitals and units is undertaken only every second year. The available information is as follows:

    Number of female residents in mental illness hospitals and units on 5 April
    Number
    19812,542
    19832,405
    19852,363
    19872,272

    Nhs (Ward Closures)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many National Health Service hospital wards have been closed either permanently or temporarily in Wales in each of the years since 1979; and whether these closures were due to (a) shortages of medical staff, (b) shortages of equipment or (c) lack of funds.

    This information is not available centrally. I must point out, however, that the growth in the recurrent revenue resources available to health authorities in the period 1978–79 to 1987–88 is over £172 million after adjustment for inflation and this represents a growth rate of almost 32 per cent. in the period. In addition, there are 13.3 per cent. more doctors and dentists and 10·7 per cent. more nurses than there were in 1979.

    There has also been a substantive investment in new and updated equipment. Throughout this period there has also been a very substantial programme of new hospital building.

    Aids

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what funds are being made available to meet the costs of services for people with AIDS or HIV infection.

    Since 1 April 1985, the Welsh Office has spent £920,000 on AIDS-related activities, mostly in the blood transfusion service. In addition, £300,000 is being provided on a recurrent basis to support district health authorities' efforts in prevention, testing and counselling. So far, the incidence of AIDS in Wales has been relatively low and DHAs have been meeting the costs of treatment. The implications of AIDS and of HIV infection for service provision will be kept under close examination in the light of the specific operational plans that DHAs are currently preparing.

    Primary Education

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the organisations which have so far commented on the consultative document regarding primary education in Wales.

    Consultation documents were issued on the following proposals, all of which affect primary as well as secondary education in Wales:

    • Grant Maintained Schools
    • Admission of Pupils to Maintained Schools
    • Financial Delegation to Schools
    • Collective Worship
    • National Curriculum 5–16
    • Charges for School Activities
    My right hon. Friend has discussed the proposals with representatives of the Welsh Joint Education Committee and with the Welsh Consultative Council on local government finance. A number of organisations which were consulted were invited to discuss the schools proposals at the Welsh Office and 14 organisations had meetings with Welsh Office officials as a result:

    • National Association of Headteachers (Wales)
    • Parent Teacher Association of Wales
    • Professional Association of Teachers (Wales)
    • National Union of Teachers (Wales)
    • Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association (Wales)
    • National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (Wales)
    • Welsh Secondary Schools Association
    • Welsh Language Education Development Committee
    • Secondary Heads Association (Wales)
    • Society of Education Officers (Wales)
    • Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru
    • Parents for Welsh Medium Education (PWE)
    • Welsh Joint Education Committee/Directors of Education
    • Welsh Counties Committee

    Written responses were received from the following organisations:

    • Archdiocese of Cardiff
    • Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association
    • Association of History Teachers (Wales)
    • Bangor Diocesan Council for Education
    • BBC Education Department
    • Church in Wales — Education and Communications Centre
    • Christian Movement in Wales
    • Clwyd Area Teachers' Association
    • Cymdeithas Ymgynghorwyr Cymraeg Cymru
    • Farmers Union of Wales
    • Gwent Health Authority
    • Gwynedd Health Education Department
    • Llandaff Diocesan Council for Education
    • Manpower Services Commission
    • Merched y Wawr
    • Methodist Church North and South Wales
    • Methodist Church, South West District
    • Monmouth Diocesan Council for Education
    • Museums and Galleries Commission
    • National Advisory Panel for Religious Education (Wales)
    • National and Local Government Officers Association
    • Socialist Educational Association
    • Society of Education Officers (Wales)
    • Sports Council for Wales
    • Tabernacle Congregational Church (Haverfordwest)
    • Trinity College (Lampeter)
    • Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru
    • Union of Welsh Independents
    • Urdd Gobaith Cymru
    • Voluntary Organisations Liaison Council for Under Fives
    • Wales Assembly of Women
    • Wales Association for Teachers of the Deaf
    • Wales Association of Community and Town Councils
    • Welsh Trade Union Congress
    • Welsh Counties Committee
    • Welsh Language Education Development Committee
    • Welsh Language Society
    • Welsh National Centre for Religious Education
    • Welsh Secondary Schools Association
    • National Association of Headteachers (Wales)
    • National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (Wales)
    • National Consumer Council
    • National Federation for Education and Research
    • National Federation of Women's Institutes
    • National Union of Teachers
    • North Wales Arts Association
    • Oxfam Education
    • Parents Teachers Associations of Wales
    • Plaid Cymru (Bro Maelog)
    • Pontypridd Family Protection Group
    • Porth Resources Centre
    • Professional Association of Teachers—Wales Committee
    • Rhieni Dros Addysg Gymraeg
    • School Curriculum Development Committee (Wales)
    • Secondary Heads Assocation (Wales)
    • West Carmarthen Association of Congregational Churches
    • West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education
    • Yr Academi Gymreig Clwyd County Council
    • Dyfed County Council
    • Gwent County Council
    • Gwynedd County Council
    • Mid Glamorgan County Council
    • Powys County Council
    • South Glamorgan County Council
    • West Glamorgan County Council
    • Numerous School Governing Bodies

    Health Statistics

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department has made an assessment of the high rate of bronchitis and high blood pressure in Wales as reflected in the health and lifestyle survey published in April of the current year; and what steps they are taking to reduce them.

    The Department is aware of the assessments made in this survey and in others not only of the incidence of bronchitis and high blood pressure but also of other diseases where an individual's lifestyle can play a part. The Welsh Health Promotion Authority was established earlier this year with a general remit to complement efforts to promote good health and prevent ill health in Wales. The authority is currently preparing a strategic plan designed to help in targeting its contributions most effectively.

    Cancer Screening

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many laboratories test for cervical cancer in Wales.

    Family Planning

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total annual cost of National Health Service family planning services for each of the years 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85 and 1985–86 in Wales.

    The information is not available in the form requested. The following table sets out the information currently held by the Department.

    NHS Family planning services: Wales1
    £thousands
    1982–831983–841984–851985–86
    District Health Authority Community Services21,0521,1161,2781,308
    Family Practitioner Services32,1872,2632,4782,463
    Total3,2393,3793,7563,771
    1 The costs of family planning in respect of hospital services are not included as they cannot be separately identified in the annual accounts.
    2 District health authorities community services exclude Gwynedd health authority whose community services expenditure is only available in total for all services.
    3 The figures included in family practitioner services consist of general practitioners" fees for contraceptive services and the costs to the pharmaceutical services in respect of contraceptive substances and appliances issued free to women. The latter is based on a 2 per cent, sample of the chemist accounts in Wales.

    Sources:

    Health Authorities Annual Accounts.

    Family Practitioner Welsh Pricing Committee.

    Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give a list of the annual Government contributions to Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin.

    The information is as follows:

    £
    1979–8095,000
    1980–81117,000
    1981–82259,000
    1982–83278,000
    1983–84292,000
    1984–85310,350
    1985–86326,400
    1986–87363,800
    1987–88383,700

    Roads (North Wales)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made as to the relative long-term consequences for the future development of Clwyd, South-West and north Wales generally of (a) improvement of the A5 and (b) completion of the A55.

    The A55 is of considerable importance to the whole economy of north Wales. Its improvement will provide added incentives to tourism and industry and bring substantial traffic relief benefits to communities on the existing road. The A5 will also continue to have an important role. But bearing in mind that it passes through the Snowdonia national park and that traffic patterns may well be modified when work on the A55 is complete, our present policy for it is to limit improvement to relieving pressure points.

    Women (Public Appointments)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all women who have been appointed to public bodies for which he has responsibility since 1979.

    Connahs Quay High School

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will increase the funding of Clwyd local education authority with a view to keeping open the Connahs Quay high school; and if he will make a statement.

    I am aware that Clwyd education authority is considering a reorganisation of its secondary school provision but no statutory proposals have yet been published by the authority. It will be for the authority to determine its own priorities within the resources available to it.

    Coal Mining, Cheapside, Clwyd

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will refuse planning permission to the Open Cast Coal Executive to mine coal at Cheapside. Clwyd; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. Friend cannot give any such assurance. He will make his decision on the planning appeal following a public local inquiry and a report to him by the inspector.

    Schools (Statistics)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the names of all schools in the Alyn and Deeside constituency which have closed or are proposed for closure or change of description since 1979; and if he will make a statement.

    Schools in the constituency which have closed since 1979 are Bistre county infants' school and Shotton nursery school. There are currently no published notices proposing closure or change of description in that area.

    Clwyd (Teachers)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many teachers are employed by Clwyd local education authority (i) full-time and (ii) part-time in (a) nursery, (b) primary and (c) secondary schools.

    The information for teachers in service, in January 1987, is as follows:

    Maintained schools

    Nursery

    Primary

    Secondary

    Full-time teachers101,4671,859
    Part time teachers1228104

    1 Part time teachers are expressed in terms of whole numbers and not in full-time equivalent terms.

    Deeside Community Hospital

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his earliest estimated date for the start and completion of the proposed Deeside community hospital; what is its estimated cost; what are the estimated number of beds; and if he will make a statement.

    I understand that the current plans of Clwyd health authority, in respect of the proposal to provide a community hospital in Deeside, are to commence construction in September 1989 and to complete it by April 1991, at a total estimated cost of £2·98 million. The development currently envisaged by the health authority makes provision for 28 beds.The Department is awaiting receipt of a final revised capital programme from Clwyd health authority, which I understand will include the above development.

    Welsh Development Agency

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the amount of public moneys spent under separate headings by the Welsh Development Agency since 1980 on (a) Deeside industrial park, (b) Engineer park, Sandycroft, (c) Clay industrial estate and (d) Pinfold lane, Buckley, and if he will make a statement.

    I will write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my answer in the Library of the House.

    Alyn And Deeside (Grants)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the amount of urban aid and similar grants under separate headings Her Majesty's Government have made available to Alyn and Deeside council in each of the years since 1980; and if he will make a statement.

    The allocations made by the Department each year since 1979–80 are as follows:

    £000's
    Urban programmeUrban development grantTotal
    1980–81
    1981–82130130
    1982–83430430
    1983–84410410
    1984–8559062652
    1985–86550550
    1986–878206531,473
    1987–88400400
    Total3,3307154,045
    We are currently considering the district council's urban programme applications for 1988–89 and will be announcing our decisions in due course. At present there are no urban development grant applications before us from Alyn and Deeside district council.

    Dee Road Crossing

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with Clwyd county council and Alyn and Deeside council concerning their objective of a new road crossing of the River Dee in Alyn and Deeside; what his estimate is of the earliest date when a new Dee road crossing may be started; and if he will make a statement.

    I met a deputation of local authorities led by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Alyn and Deeside in February of this year. However, any proposals for a new road crossing of the Dee estuary is the responsibility of Clwyd county as the local highway authority. All matters concerning its preparation and timing are for it.

    Abortion

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the names and addresses of all those clinics which are currently licensed for the performing of abortions in Wales, giving in the case of each clinic the number of licensed beds.

    Termination of pregnancy in private nursing homes, hospitals and clinics may be carried out only if the premises have been approved by the Secretary of State for that purpose. My right hon. Friend has approved the BUPA hospital, Croescadarn road, Pentwyn, Cardiff, in respect of six beds.

    Care In The Community

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he has made with local authorities and area health authorities to promote care in the community; and if he will make a statement.

    All local authorities and health authorities are required by statute to form joint consultative committees whose role is to advise their respective authorities on the joint planning and operation of community care services. In addition to the generality of moneys made available to local authorities through rate support grant and to the health authorities, my right hon. Friend supports care in the community developments with earmarked central funds and will continue to do so.

    Euston-Holyhead Rail Service

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if, when he next meets the chairman of British Rail, he will discuss with him the board's initiatives to improve the Euston to Holyhead rail service; and if he will make a statement.

    When my right hon. Friend meets the chairman of British Rail he would, of course, wish to discuss with him all major rail issues of concern to Wales.

    Crew-Holyhead Line

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if Her Majesty's Government are currently considering any proposal to electrify the Crewe to Holyhead railway line; and if he will make a statement.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Farming Subsidies

    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the overall amount of annual subsidy made available by the Exchequer to the British farming industry.

    Latest available figures for public expenditure under the CAP and on national grants and subsidies in the United Kingdom for the last three years, (as shown in the 1987 annual review) were:

    £ million
    1984–851,706
    1985–862,160
    1986–8711,577
    1 Estimate.

    Pesticides

    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to introduce a centralised system for co-ordinating the reports on pesticides poisoning; and if he will make a statement.

    A number of recording systems exist which include reports of pesticide poisoning within their terms of reference. This reflects the different objectives of arrangements concerned with, for example, employment-related incidents, hospital admissions, and the advisory work of specialised poisons units. I am asking the advisory committee on pesticides to consider whether any improvements need to be made to such arrangements.

    Farm Waste Unit

    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the level of staffing at the Ministry's farm waste unit; and if he intends to maintain in post the workforce presently employed at the farm waste unit.

    I attach high importance to my Department's advisory work on farm waste which I am anxious should be carried out as effectively as possible. The current balance between central and local advisory resources is being reviewed to make ADAS' expertise as accessible as possible to the farming industry and this will have implications for the size and role of the farm waste unit itself. However, there will be no reduction in overall effort.

    Animal Welfare

    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what response his Department has made to the representations by the National Farmers Union, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Veterinary Association, for steps to be taken to limit the risk to animals posed by used condoms being left in fields.

    The Arts

    Office Of Arts And Libraries

    To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will publish in the Official Report the total Office of Arts and Libraries' expenditure for every year from 1977–78 to 1987–88, showing within that total Office of Arts and Libraries' expenditure on capital projects and Office of Arts and Libraries expenditure on revenue grants, respectively.

    The Office of Arts and Libraries' expenditure since 1983–84 when the OAL was established as a separate Department, has been as follows:

    £ million
    1983–84210·3
    1984–85228·5
    1985–86236·0
    1986–87285·7
    11987–88292·7
    1 Estimate
    The bulk of this represented the OAL's grants to its sponsored bodies for revenue purposes.Expenditure on the building programme of the national museums and galleries and the British Library St. Pancras project has been met from the Votes of the Property Services Agency during this period.

    Civil Service

    Women

    To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will give (a) the total number of Government committees currently chaired by women, (b) the percentage of Government committees currently chaired by women, (c) the total number of women currently on boards of directors of nationalised industries, and (d) the number of women currently on boards of directors of nationalised industries as a percentage of the total number of members of boards of directors of nationalised industries.

    On 1 April 1986, women chaired 58 of the committees and other advisory bodies appointed by Ministers and listed in "Public Bodies 1986". This represented 5 per cent. of the advisory bodies listed. On the same date 33 women were members of the boards of directors of nationalised industries, representing 9 per cent. of board members.Figures for 1987 will be published later this year.

    Scotland

    Forestry