Written Answers To Questions
Monday 7 December 1987
Child Emigrant Scheme (Nottinghamshire)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the chairman of social services of Nottinghamshire county council regarding Mrs. Humphries and the child emigrant scheme; and if he will make a statement.
I shall write to the hon. Member.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many charities in England and Wales registered in 1986 are specifically undertaking medical research projects.
Information available centrally does not make it possible to identify which registered charities are currently undertaking medical research.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many charities in England and Wales are currently undertaking medical research projects.
This information is not available centrally for either registered or unregistered charities.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charities are currently exempt from registration under sections 4(4) and (9) of the Charities Act 1960; and if he will list the figures by class of exemption.
Information on exempt charities is not collected centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charities were registered in England and Wales in 1986.
Three thousand, nine hundred and forty-two.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charities are currently registered in England and Wales.
At the end of October 1987, this figure stood at 161,014.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the 114 additional police posts for the Nottinghamshire constabulary since May 1979 were granted since May 1981.
None of these additional police posts was approved since May 1981. One hundred and fifteen additional police posts were approved on 31 December 1979, and an application to decrease the authorised police establishment by one post of sergeant was approved on 19 February 1981.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many times section 27 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, which allows fingerprinting after conviction, has been used.
This information is not recorded centrally.
Police Stations (Lay Visitors)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many lay visitors' schemes there are for police stations; whether he will now seek to put the schemes on a statutory basis; and if he will make a statement.
Twenty six lay visitor schemes have been approved in the Metropolitan police area, 18 of which are operating. In the rest of England and Wales, 34 police authorities are either operating or have indicated an intention to operate schemes. We have no plans to put the arrangements for lay visiting schemes on a statutory basis.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what information he has as to whether the Data Protection Registrar has used his powers under section 36(5) of the Data Protection Act to report on how the personal data held by the security services affect his functions of supervising the workings of the Data Protection Act;(2) what information he has as to whether the Data Protection Registrar has used his powers under section 36(5) of the Data Protection Act to report on how the use of personal data collected for the electoral register affects his functions of supervising the workings of the Data Protection Act;(3) what information he has as to whether the Data Protection Registrar has used his powers under section 36(5) of the Data Protection Act to report on how the use of personal data collected for the community charge will affect his functions of supervising the workings of the Data Protection Act;(4) what information he has as to whether the Data Protection Registrar has used his powers under section 36(5) of the Data Protection Act to report on how the use of personal data collected in share registers affects his functions of supervising the workings of the Data Protection Act.
In his third annual report to Parliament in July 1987, made in accordance with section 36(5) of the Data Protection Act 1984, the Data Protection Registrar did not make any reference to the security services but commented, at pages 3 and 4 on electoral registers, community charge registers and share registers.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details on a monthly basis of the number of body searches, cell searches and cell changes and strip searches carried out on each of the category A prisoners being held at Her Majesty's prison, Durham, between April and November.
As the hon. Member knows, records are not kept of the occasions when rub down searching or "frisking" is carried out in prisons and it is not the practice to disclose detailed information about security arrangements such as that requested about the frequency of cell searches and cell changes.Comprehensive records of strip searches are available only in respect of category A women prisoners, of whom there were three in Durham prison during the period in question. The number of occasions on which each was strip searched in each month from April to November is shown in the table:
|Inmate A||Inmate B||Inmate C|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total time taken between announcement and completion of each of the prisons built since 1979.
The table sets out the year in which each prison was included in the building programme and the year it was completed. Projects may be admitted to this programme with a view to planning and other preparatory work starting at a later date.
|Prison||Included in Programme||Completed|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the completion of his Department's review of the specification of prison design and construction.
The review of the prison building design guides is scheduled for completion late in 1988.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to name the members of the Prisons Building Board.
We expect to announce the names of the Prison Building Board shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes involving firearms have been committed by gun clubs members in possession of a firearms certificate, in each year since 1970; and if he will make a statement.
The available information relating to notifiable offences recorded by the police in which firearms were reported to have been used is published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" at chapter 3 of the issue for 1986, (Cmnd. 233) copies of which are in the Library. Information on the suspected offender is not collected centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to require licensed gun clubs to use pattern targets rather than targets depicting a human figure; and if he will make a statement.
No. The Government's proposals for the reform of firearms legislation are set out in the White Paper "Firearms Act 1968, Proposals for Reform", (Cm. 261) published on 2 December.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are estimated to be suffering from mental illness, as defined by the Mental Health Act.
The latest returns from prison medical officers of the number of inmates considered to be suffering from mental disorder of a type or degree such that they would be detainable under the Mental Health Act 1983 show that on 31 March 1987, 95 sentenced and 145 unsentenced inmates were suffering from mental illness. These and numbers considered to be detainable in other categories defined by the Mental Health Act are given on page 69 of the "Report on the Work of the Prison Service 1986–87" (Cm. 246) a copy of which is in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are estimated to be suffering from mental disorders not falling within the terms of the Mental Health Act, for the last two years for which figures are available.
Information is not available in precisely the form requested. Two censuses have been undertaken by prison medical officers of inmates serving sentences of six months and more considered to require specialised therapeutic facilities by reason of mental disorder or abnormality. The censuses showed that on 4 December 1985, a total of 1,583 inmates and on 1 October 1986 a total of 1,340 inmates were suffering from mental disorder that was not of a type or degree such that they would be detainable under the Mental Health Act 1983.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will extend by at least six months the date of 31 December by which certain categories of applications to register as British citizens have to be made under the British Nationality Act 1981; and if he will make a statement.
No. We do not believe we would be justified in seeking the necessary powers.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if, in view of the shortage of registration forms for British citizenship and of the delays in acknowledging receipt of completed forms, he will extend the deadline for registration as a British citizen to allow for sufficient forms to be printed and distributed and then completed by those wishing to register;(2) how many forms for registration of British citizenship were printed by his Department; what has been the level of demand; and how he plans to make allowance for any shortfall;(3) why registration forms for British citizenship are being rationed and orders for forms are only being partially met after delays of several weeks.
About 850,000 Forms R and W (the two main forms for those eligible to apply before 31 December 1987), have been printed. Nearly 810,000 have been distributed. Stocks are closely monitored. Although on occasions some orders were partially met pending delivery of reprinted supplies, the position now is that adequate stocks are available. We accept that the large number of applications has inevitably led to some delay in acknowledging receipt of completed forms, but the deadline of 31 December 1987 refers to applications, with fees, being lodged by then, not to their acknowledgement.I see no need to seek powers to extend the deadline.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received seeking action against Mr. A. Gecas, a resident of Edinburgh, in relation to alleged war crimes; and if he will make a statement.
Around 2,000, mostly in the form of pre-printed postcards. We are now considering the policy and legal implications of the documents provided by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a list of the names of the officers of his Department based in London who have current responsibilities for each country in Africa; and if he will detail those responsibilities.
The Library already contains Her Majesty's Stationery Office publications "The Diplomatic Service List (1987)" and the "Civil Service Yearbook (1987)". These list senior and middle-ranking officers of the diplomatic and aid wings of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibilities for Africa.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department holds of the number of British subjects currently employed in (i) Benin, (ii) Togo, (iii) Mali, (iv) Niger and (v) Burkina Faso.
We do not have separate figures for those British nationals currently employed in Benin, Togo, Mali, Niger or Burkina Faso, but the following indicate the approximate size of the respective British expatriate adult (over 18) communities in these countries: 20, 45, 62, 44, 41.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will place in the Library a list of the maps of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and Niger currently held by his Department that are available for reference purposes to right hon. and hon. Members; and if he will indicate the scales on which the maps are available;(2) if he will place in the Library a list of the maps of Benin held by his Department that are available for reference by right hon. and hon. Members.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office holds the following published single sheet maps of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and Niger, available for reference purposes to right hon. and hon. Members, at the scales indicated.
- Benin: I.G.N. (Paris) scale 1: 600,000 (1984)
- Burkina Faso: L.G.N. (Paris) scale 1: 1,000,000 (1968)
- Cote d'Ivoire: Michelin scale 1:800,000 (1982)
- Mali: MOD Series 2201 scale 1: 2,000,000 sheets 11, 12, 16 and 17 (1969)
- Niger: I.G.N. (Paris) scale 1:2,500,000 (19691
- Togo: I.G.N. (Paris) 1:500,000 (1960)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the nuclear weapons capability of Argentina.
We have no evidence to confirm that Argentina has a nuclear weapon capability. We remain, however, concerned that Argentina has neither signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty nor ratified the treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Latin America.
Mr J A Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the British high commission in Harare has yet received the doctor's certificate sent to them by Mr. J. A. Smith of Newmarket in connection with the disablement pension to which he is entitled in Zimbabwe.
Yes. The medical certificate dated 22 September was forwarded by the British High Commission in Zimbabwe to the Zimbabwe social welfare pensions office on 15 October.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute.
The territorial dispute is a matter for bilateral settlement between Belize and Guatemala. We should like to see the problem resolved at an early date and are willing to assist the parties directly involved by being present as observers at negotiations if both sides so wish.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present state of relations between the United Kingdom and Guatemala.
We have normal diplomatic relations with Guatemala, whose return to democracy in late 1985 we warmly welcomed.
Falkland Islands (Fishing)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received about the criteria used in awarding fishing licences in the Falkland Islands conservation zone.
Representations have been received from a number of governments and commercial organisations requesting clarification of the licence allocations for 1988. Licences are allocated by the Falkland Islands Government in accordance with the conservation requirements of the fishery.
Rms St Helena
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements he has made to ensure that no further expense is incurred by Her Majesty's Government after the handing over of the recently ordered vessel to replace the RMS St. Helena, in the event of Hall Russell of Aberdeen going into liquidation; and if he will make a statement.
The contract for this ship has not yet been finalised, but will require Hall Russell to provide a post-delivery guarantee backed by a bond equivalent to some 2 per cent. of the contract price. Manufacturers of major items of equipment, such as engines, will provide separate warranty cover in accordance with normal commercial arrangements.
To ask the Attorney-General how many cases there have been of legal aid money being recovered from law firms acting without a certificated solicitor since 1979.
The information requested is not available, but the legal aid head office's practice is to recover all legal aid moneys paid in respect of a solicitor who at the relevant time did not hold a current practising certificate.
To ask the Attorney-General how many firms of solicitors have been proved to have been practising uncertificated in the years 1985, 1986 and 1987.
This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
International Atomic Energy Agency
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what encouragement of, and support for, the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency is being given by Her Majesty's Government.
In his address to the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in September, my right hon. Friend stated that the agency's work was of vital importance for world peace and international nuclear safety. The Government contribute both to the agency's regular budget and to its technical assistance and co-operation fund. Support is also given in a number of practical ways including the participation of experts in meetings of technical and other groups.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what information he has on talks the Central Electricity Generating Board has had with entrepreneurs concerning the reopening of electricity generation of Connahs Quay power station, Deeside, Clwyd; what is his estimate of the cash value of Connahs Quay power station as an energy producing unit; if he will direct the Central Electricity Generating Board to discuss the implications of renewed energy production at Connahs Quay with the Alyn-Deeside and Clwyd county council; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will list the United Kingdom coal-fired power stations which are currently closed but which could be refurbished to begin production of electricity again in
(a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) England; and what is his estimate of the total capital value of such power stations with a capability to produce energy;
(3) what information he has on the current estimated cash value of the Central Electricity Generating Board's Connahs Quay power station site.
This is a matter which falls within the management responsibilities of the Central Electricity Generating Board. I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.
Connahs Quay Power Station
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will meet the leaders of Alyn-Deeside district council to consider the future of the Connahs Quay power station site; and if he will make a statement.
I shall be meeting the hon. Member and a delegation from the local authority on 16 December 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when, pursuant to his answer of 30 October, Official Report columns 447–48, he now expects to publish the information on plutonium production in civil reactors referred to therein.
As I said in my answer of 30 October 1987 to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) at columns 447–48, I shall publish the information as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what progress has been made on the implementation of each of the 13 recommendations made in the report of the Sizewell B public inquiry by Sir Frank Layfield.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker) dealt with the recommendations contained in Sir Frank Layfield's report in his letter to the chairman of the CEGB of 12 March 1987. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House. Further action was relevant to only some of the recommendations:
Recommendations 2 and 3: The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate advises me that these have been implemented through appropriate conditions attached to the nuclear site licence.
Recommendations 4 and 7(b): The HSE advises me that it plans to publish in the new year a discussion document on tolerable levels of risk. Work is also in hand on the other items covered by these recommendations.
Recommendation 6: The Government's thorough review of nuclear emergency planning, being carried out in the light of the Chernobyl accident, has taken full account of this recommendation. In relation to paragraph (f) of this recommendation, the CEGB advises me that it has recently revised its local consultative arrangements for all nuclear power stations. Parish councils adjacent to the site arc now invited to nominate representatives to attend the newly established local community liaison councils. In addition, these liaison councils may agree to appoint additional members, being local representatives of other organisations who, in the opinion of the liaison council, may be able to contribute to its deliberations.
Recommendation 7(a): The CEGB advises me that the version of the pre-construction safety report on which the NII issued the site licence for Sizewell B will (apart from matters of commercial sensitivity) be made publicly available before the end of the year.
Recommendation 10: This is a matter for Suffolk county council in consultation with the CEGB. I am informed that a study of alternative routes for heavy goods vehicle traffic has been carried out and is under consideration by both parties.
Recommendation 13: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) on 30 October at columns 447–48.
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the oral answer of 1 December, Official Report, column 761, if she will give a detailed breakdown of the statistical evidence on which she based her statement about the comparison between Trident, Polaris and the Soviet Union's nuclear forces; why she chose 1970 as the baseline; and if she will make a statement.
The answer I gave referred to strategic nuclear warheads. The first part of the comparison assumed 192 United Kingdom Polaris warheads and approximately 1,800 Soviet strategic warheads. The Trident part of the comparison assumed a maximum of 512 United Kingdom Trident warheads and 6,000 Soviet strategic warheads. The figures give ratios of 11 per cent. and 9 per cent. respectively. 1970 was used as a convenient baseline because this was the year in which the fourth United Kingdom Polaris submarine first became operational.
To ask the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her answer of I December, she will make it her policy to notify the House when any new contract for the export of equipment or know-how to make weapons-grade plutonium is approved by Her Majesty's Government; and if she will make a statement.
No. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the replies I gave him on 27 October 1987 and 6 November 1987 at columns 217 and 903, respectively.
Sir Philip Woodfield
To ask the Prime Minister how she intends that Sir Philip Woodfield will be able to make known to right hon. and hon. Members the scope and nature of his work as staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services.
The staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services will report to me, and to my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary as appropriate. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment publicly on security and intelligence matters.
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply of 1 December, if she will place in the Library or otherwise identify the financial rules which led the Commission of the European Economic Community to the view that the declaration of the European Court of Auditors on the legality of the transfer of responsibilities for the cost of the subsidised export of butter surplus to member states could be set aside; and if she will make a statement.
In its opinion, the Court of Auditors expressed the view that deferred reimbursement for the programme of butter stock disposal conflicted with the principal of the annuality of the budget, as laid down in article 199 of the treaty and articles 4 and 5 of the financial regulation. The Commission explained its reasons for considering that there was no breach of this principle in its report to the Council of 15 June 1987 on the financial impact of this measure on Spain and Portugal (document 7124/87). A copy of this document is in the Library of the House.
:: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if she will specify the criteria and considerations which have led Her Majesty's Government, in the latest guidance on the duties and responsibilities of civil servants in relation to Ministers, to place greater emphasis as specified in paragraph 8, on the possible use of civil legal action to enforce the duty of confidentiality owed by officials; and if she will make a statement;(2) if, for each difference of
(a) substance and (b) emphasis as between the latest guidance on I he duties and responsibilities of civil servants in relation to Ministers and the last such guidance issued, she will specify the reasons for making the change; and if she will make a statement.
The only change of substance is the inclusion of a provision for appeal to the Head of the Home Civil Service on fundamental issues of conscience, which the Government accepted in principle in their response (Cmnd. 9841) to the Treasury and Civil Service Committee's seventh report of 1985–86. Other changes are for the sake of clarification or completeness.
European Council, Copenhagen
To ask the Prime Minister if she will place in the Library details of the proposals made by Mr. Pohl Schlueter, Prime Minister of Denmark, concerning the proposals to be discussed at Copenhagen on 4 and 5 December, and her response thereto.
The working papers circulated by the presidency as the basis for discussions between the member states are confidential. I shall be making a statement on the outcome of the Copenhagen European Council shortly.
House Of Commons
To ask the Lord Privy Seal if, for each of the last five years, he will give the total number of questions tabled for oral answer.
The total number of questions tabled for oral reply during each of the last five sessions and for the present session to week ending 27 November 1987 is as follows:
|1 To 27 November 1987.|
To ask the Lord Privy Seal which English, Welsh and Scottish still and carbonated mineral waters have been selected for consumption in parliamentary refreshment facilities; how much of each he estimates will be consumed during the coming year, based on last year's consumption figures; and if he will make a statement.
A decision on the selection of mineral waters has not yet been taken by the Catering Sub-Committee of the Services Committee, since it has not had an opportunity to meet. The estimated consumption of still and carbonated mineral waters during the coming year is expected to be between 10,000 and 11,000 litres.
Education And Science
Primary Schools (Technology)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to technology in primary schools to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 14 December to Friday 18 December.
Foreign Language Teachers
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many native Spanish speakers are currently teaching Spanish in maintained schools;(2) how many teachers of French nationality are currently teaching French in maintained schools;(3) how many teachers of German nationality are currently teaching German in maintained schools.
I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. In maintained schools in England in 1984 there were 1,834, 19,694 and 5,890 teachers of, respectively, Spanish, French and German. It is not known how many of these were of Spanish, French or German nationality or were native speakers of those languages. There are also 163 Spanish, 1,760 French and 481 German language assistants currently in England and Wales, most of whom are teaching in maintained schools and are native speakers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of school pupils in (a) England, (b) the shire counties and (c) Essex, respectively, succeeded in securing five or more O-levels passes at the higher grades in the most recent year for which figures are available.
The percentages of pupils in 1985–86 leaving maintained schools in Essex, the shire counties and England respectively with five or more higher grades at O level/CSE (O level grades A-C/CSE grade 1) were 26.0, 25.4 and 23.6.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice he has received from Her Majesty's Inspectorate about the standard of secondary education in Essex; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has not received advice about the general standard of secondary education in Essex. Reports of inspections of a number of individual schools have been published in the usual way.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action the National Environmental Research Council is taking to study the natural development of mature British woods in southeast England in the circumstances created by the hurricane of 16 October.
The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council, undertakes research on the ecology of woodlands, including work on natural regeneration and conservation. The institute has not instigated new work since 16 October. It has, however, a wide knowledge of developments following natural disturbances to woodlands, and this is available to authorities concerned with the replanting and natural restoration of woodlands, including those damaged recently in south-east England.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from local education authorities from the south and east of England about storm damage to education buildings; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has received no written representations. In his statement on 21 October, at column 731, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced limited additional allocations for capital expenditure incurred in the current year by authorities restoring buildings damaged by storm. His Department wrote on 23 October to the chief executive of a number of authorities inviting applications for all services direct to that Department.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many students entered courses of initial teacher training in England and Wales in 1987; and if he will make a statement.
About 19,160 students entered courses of initial teacher training in 1987, an increase of some 2,271 over 1986. Recruitment to primary training has exceeded target by 3 per cent; and intakes to secondary training are 14 per cent. higher than last year.I particularly welcome the major increases in recruitment to courses in the key subjects of mathematics, craft, design and technology, and physics. Intakes to mathematics and CDT courses are some 33 per cent. higher than last year; recruitment to physics courses has increased by some 50 per cent; and in all these subjects recruitment is much closer to targets, which themselves have increased.I am placing in the Library the principal findings of my Department's survey of this year's recruitment.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many trees were destroyed in (a) Essex and (b) the Basildon area as a result of the storms in October; and how the figures were calculated.
|Sales of dwellings by London Boroughs|
|1All sales April 1979 to June 1987||Right to buy applications: October 1980 to June 1987|
|Number||of which||Total||of which, in quarters ending:|
|RTB per cent.||Vacant per cent.||Number||September||December||March||June|
|City of London||1,091||65||8||3,035||52||86||229||190|
|Barking and Dagenham||6,245||100||0||11,143||ֵ||ֵ||ֵ||ֵ|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||2,029||59||25||4,025||231||158||335||35|
Essex county council estimates that 72,000 isolated trees were destroyed by the hurricane force winds, and a further 750,000 badly damaged. They have not provided separate estimates for the Basildon area. The Department has commissioned an aerial photographic survey in the affected area by Hunting Technical Surveys Ltd. The sample areas being photographed include 20 in Essex and one in the Basildon area. However the survey is being delayed by adverse weather conditions.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from environmentalist groups in the Essex region in connection with the damage caused by the storm of October; and if he will make a statement.
The Department has received no such representations. However, I understand that the Essex Naturalist Trust and a number of national conservation bodies have been in touch with Task force Trees a unit of the Countryside Commission, about funding for various projects in the Essex region relating to storm damage to the landscape. The Task force expects to announce its decisions on these applications very shortly.
Council House Sales
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many council houses, flats and maisonnettes have been sold by each London borough between May 1979 and November 1987;(2) what percentage of council houses sold in each London borough between May 1979 and November 1987 were sold
(a) under the right-to-buy legislation and (b) as vacant possession sales;
(3) how many applications to exercise the right-to-buy have been received by each London borough between (a) May 1979 and March 1987 and (b) for each month from November 1986 to November 1987.
Information on council house sales and right to buy applications has been collected almost wholly in regular quarterly returns and the figures in the table are those reported for the period from 1 April 1979 to 30 June 1987:
|1All sales April 1979 to June 1987||Right to buy applications: October 1980 to June 1987|
|Number||of which||Total||of which, in quarters ending:|
|RTB per cent.||Vacant per cent.||Number||September||December||March||June|
|Kensington and Chelsea||780||54||39||1,653||101||65||197||233|
|ֵ Not available.|
|1 All sales include voluntary sales to sitting tenants.|
Waste (Public Houses)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his proposals for new regulations for imposing charges for the removal of waste in so far as these affect public houses.
Our proposals included the classification of waste from properties which cover both household and commercial interests (such as many public houses) as commercial waste, for which collection authorities would have a duty to recover a reasonable charge, unless they considered it inappropriate to do so. Collection authorities would be able to take account of the proportion of household waste in setting the level of charges.An announcement about the outcome of consultation on our proposals will be made shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about the rules relating to the need to advertise planning applications.
My right hon. Friend receives representations from time to time advocating that a wider range of planning applications should be subject to statutory advertisement. I believe that the best approach is that the local planning authority should continue to have discretion to decide, for the great majority of applications, the extent of advertisement which is desirable in the individual case.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the Government's latest assessment of the effect of acid rain on Britain's trees.
We have just received the results of the Forestry Commission's 1987 tree health survey and are studying its results. I will answer the hon. Member's question shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will be making an announcement following the recommendations submitted to him by the Nature Conservancy Council under section 24 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 about the protection of United Kingdom native species.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry) on Tuesday 1 December at column 552–3.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to include the Glanville fritillary and the common dog whelk for protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The Nature Conservancy Council, the Government's statutory adviser on wildlife matters, recommended further protection for the Glanville fritillary along with a number of other United Kingdom butterflies, through the sale licensing provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A decision on these species has been deferred pending a review of sale licensing procedures in the light of the changes to the protected lists of plants and animals announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment on 1 December. A further announcement will be made in due course.The common dog whelk was not included in the NCC's recommendations for protection under the Act. Since it is hoped that the decline of this species will be arrested following the regulations of Tri-butyl tin anti-fouling paint.
London Docklands Development Corporation
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the previous financial experience of those appointed to the board of the London Docklands Development Corporation; what investigations he made before he made the appointments; and what qualifications or expertise he considers necessary for appointment.
Current board members and their relevant background are as follows:
Mr. Christopher Benson, JP, FRICS (Chairman)—Vice Chairman and Managing Director MEPC plc—property development.
Mrs. Jennifer d'Abo—Former Chairman Ryman Group—retailing.
Mr. Alan Benjamin, OBE—Director CAP Group plc—chartered accountant, advanced technology and computing.
Sir Andrew Derbyshire, FRIBA, FSIAD—Chairman of Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall London Ltd — architects and planning consultants.
Sir John Garlick, KCB — Former Permanent Secretary and Accounting Officer of Departments of Environment and Transport.
Cllr. Jonathan Mathews—Councillor and architectural tutor.
Mr. Lewis Moss, DBE, DL—Senior partner Moss & Partners—property surveying.
Mr. Dennis Stevenson, DBE—SRU Ltd—Ex-Chairman Aycliffe and Peterlee New Town.
Inquiries were made of available information.The general qualifications for appointment are that members should have relevant experience to the regeneration of urban areas, and the board must include some members with special knowledge of the locality.Mr. Windham Thomas—Chairman and Chief Executive, Inner City Enterprises—former general manager, Peterborough New Town.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the dismissal of Mr. John Mills as deputy chairman of the London Docklands Development Corporation; what financial arrangements have been made following the dismissal; and if he has any plans to continue Mr. Mills' connection with the London Docklands Development Corporation in any form.
Mr. Mills was removed from office on 30 November. The Secretary of State considered him unsuitable to remain a member of the LDDC board. He has not been reinstated. No financial arrangements have been made. The appointment of Mr. Mills as a special consultant to the LDDC would be a matter for the chairman and the board.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list each member of the London Docklands Development Corporation; how much they are paid; and what is the time of their working week.
The details requested are currently as follows:
|Remuneration £||Days per week|
|Mr. Christopher Benson (Chairman)||27,226||2|
|Mr. Alan Benjamin||4,535||½|
|Sir Andrew Derbyshire||4,535||½|
|Mrs. Jennifer d'Abo||4,535||½|
|Sir John Garlick||4,535||½|
|Councillor Jonathan Mathews||4,535||½|
|Mr. Lewis Moss||4,535||½|
|Mr. Dennis Stevenson||4,535||½|
|Mr. Wyndham Thomas||4,535||½|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) over what time scale he now plans to implement the European Commission drinking water directive;
(2) if he will consult the water authorities before he determines the timetable for implementing the European Commission drinking water directive;
(3) what will be the estimated capital cost of the applications to water authorities of the maximum admissible concentration measurement in the implementation of the European Commission drinking water directive.
The drinking water directive was implemented throughout the United Kingdom in July 1985. In view of the recent change in interpretation of the directive which my right hon. Friend stated in his reply to the hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Roberts) on 2 December at column 915, I am not able to provide costs or time scales. However, I can confirm that all public supplies are perfectly safe to drink; improvements being made to comply with the directive will now principally relate to matters such as the appearance of the water. The Department is consulting the water authorities on these matters.
Footpaths, Bridleways And Byways
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made by local highways authorities in complying with the duty to erect and maintain a signpost on all footpaths, bridleways and byways at every point where they leave a metal road; and if he will make a statement.
Circular 32/81 emphasised the benefits of sign posting and waymarking and encourages highway authorities to make greater progress in fulfilling their statutory obligations. But, apart from some estimates recently presented to the rights of way review committee, we have at the moment no overall information about progress made since that was issued.
Nuclear Waste (Drigg)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the low-level nuclear waste disposal facility at Drigg to be full.
With improved methods of waste management and at planned disposal rates, Drigg is not expected to be full until about 2016. BNFL is considering further options for development of the site that could extend the lifetime still further.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce his decision on the successor landlords of new town housing in Runcorn.
I cannot add to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 2 December at column 629.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will meet a delegation from the Runcorn Residents Federation to discuss the future of new town housing in Runcorn.
My officials met representatives of the federation on 3 December. I am receiving a full report of that meeting.
Housing Projects (Finance)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate in the Official Report, following the announcement on 30 November of extra finances for housing projects to help the homeless, the amount (a) numerically and (b) as a percentage of the total allocation that has been awarded to each of Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Sutton and Richmond.
The information is as follows:
|Allocation £||Percentage of total allocation|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how often it is intended to update the poll tax register; and what forecast he has made of the number of register changes in the course of a year.
The community charges registration officer for each area will compile and maintain an up-to-date register. He will update it continuously to reflect changes of address and circumstances within his area as they are notified to him. We have made no forecast of the number of changes in the course of a year.
Urban Development Corporations
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has decided where to locate the next generation of urban development corporations; and if he will make a statement.
I propose to set up "mini" urban development corporations in Bristol, Leeds and Central Manchester. I also propose to extend the area of the existing Black Country development corporation to take in parts of Wolverhampton.I have placed maps in the Library today showing the areas which the UDCs are likely to cover. I will be appointing consultants shortly to advise on the development potential of the areas and on the boundaries of the UDCs. Final decisions on the boundaries will be taken in the light of the results of these studies and of the views of the local interests.I have chosen these areas because they all have significant amounts of derelict and disused land and vacant buildings. It will be the job of each UDC to bring about the regeneration of its area by bringing sites and buildings back into productive use, to encourage the development of existing and new industry and commerce, to create an attractive environment and ensure that housing and social facilities are available to encourage people to live and work in the area. Each corporation will attract considerable private investment to its area.These new UDCs will be modelled on the six urban development corporations already established in England which are already clearly demonstrating the rapid progress which can be achieved with a single minded approach to urban regeneration. These new corporations, however, will be based on smaller areas than their predecessors, varying in size from 250 acres to 1,600 acres. Each UDC could spend about£15 million over four to five years. They will also be responsible for co-ordinating expenditure in their areas on urban regeneration grant, urban development grant and derelict land grant paid to the private sector. In some areas this could be considerable.I am greatly encouraged by the achievements of the first two development corporations in London Docklands and Merseyside and also by the enthusiastic progress already being made by the four corporations I set up earlier this year on Tyneside, Teeside, Trafford Park and the Black Country. I have every confidence that the proposals I have announced today will lead to similar achievements in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Wolverhampton.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the outcome of the Environment Council on 3 December.
My noble Friend the Minister for Environment, Countryside and Water represented the United Kingdom at this meeting. I am delighted to report that the Council finally adopted the directive (known as the "Luxembourg Package") concerning exhaust emission standards for cars. We have already announced our intention to require cars to be able to run on unleaded petrol from the earliest dates permitted by the directive. We are in active discussion with other member states with the intention of harmonising, as far as possible, the dates of mandatory application of the exhaust emission standards for small and medium cars. We also intend to apply the large car standard as soon as practicable, probably in the early 1990s. The Council also adopted a directive dealing with gaseous emissions from heavy vehicles. We believe that these measures will make a significant contribution to environmental improvement.The Council reached a common position by a qualified majority on a directive setting limits applicable in 1989–90 for emissions of particulates from diesel cars. The latter directive, which requires the Council to decide in 1989 on a further stage of tighter controls, will now be referred to the European Parliament under the cooperation procedure. Provided the European Parliament agrees, the directive is likely to be adopted next year.Agreement was reached on a regulation concerning export from and import into the Community of certain dangerous chemicals. The regulation will ensure that when specified chemicals are exported from the Community the authorities in the importing countries are notified. The regulation requires member states to inform the Commission of notifications from third countries concerning the import into the Community of dangerous chemicals. This measure represents a useful and practical step forward in protecting importing countries from the risks of certain dangerous substances.The Council reached agreement on a proposal for limit values and quality objectives for discharges of hexachlorobenzene and hexachlorobutadiene both by-products of the chemical industry and on the list I of most dangerous substances under directive 76/464/EEC, but has to await the opinion of the European Parliament before formal adoption.The Council had a general discussion of the presidency's proposed guidelines for future work on the proposed directive on large combustion plants. The Council took note of several positive elements and looked to the German presidency to take the ideas further.A resolution outlining future Community action to combat environmental pollution by cadium was agreed.There was a first exchange of views on a proposal to establish a five-year Communitywide programme of projects illustrating how actions in the environment field might also contribute to employment creation. The Council agreed to discuss this again once the Community's budgetary situation had been clarified.The Council also discussed the extension to inland waterways of the Community's marine pollution system as well as a proposed directive for quality objectives for chromium in water.
270–272 Heathway, Dagenham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to receive a recommendation from the Property Services Agency in respect of the application by the London borough of Barking and Dagenham to purchase the leasehold interest in 270–272 Heathway, Dagenham.
[holding answer 3 December 1987]: I am currently considering the application by the London borough of Barking and Dagenham to purchase 270–272 Heathway, Dagenham. I shall write to the hon. Lady shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects work to start on realignment of the A55 expressway at Rhuallt Hill.
The Rhuallt Hill improvement was included in "Roads in Wales 1985" for a start of work in the period January 1988 to December 1990. This is still my expectation, subject to the satisfactory completion of statutory procedures and availability of resources.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for the next financial year to improve the road infrastructure in Wales.
Local authority capital allocations for 1988–89 were announced on 30 November. They will enable a start to be made on four major new schemes. Details of central Government expenditure will be announced in the new year. I expect it to enable us to continue with a substantial programme of new work.
Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many groups of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin his Department helped to fund in (a) 1979 and (b) the latest available year.
Financial support to Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin under S26 of the Development of Rural Wales Act is provided on an all-Wales basis. It is allocated by Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin centrally to its county committees for distribution, according to local need, to individual groups, of which there were 280 in 1979 and 720 in 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many patients in (a) South Glamorgan and (b) Wales have had their operation cancelled due to lack of theatre nurses; and how many have had their operations cancelled twice for this reason since 1979.
This information is not available centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total amount of regional assistance funds to industry allocated through his Department during the last year for which full figures are available.
During 1986–87, a total of £123 million in regional assistance was paid to industry in Wales through my Department.
Anglesey Coast (Sewage Sludge)
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his response to proposals by the North-West water authority to dump sewage sludge off the Anglesey coast.
I have received no application from the North West water authority for a licence to dump sewage sludge off the Anglesey coast.
Hospital Waiting Lists
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he will take to cut hospital waiting lists in the Rhondda, in Mid-Glamorgan and in Wales.
The prime responsibility for cutting waiting times in Wales rests with district health authorities, and I have asked each of them to submit plans for doing so. The Welsh Office is supporting these efforts in Mid Glamorgan and throughout Wales by improved funding of the NHS, by £1 million of specific funding of local initiatives and by the work of its waiting list catalyst team.
European Development Fund
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list, by county, how much money Wales has received from the European regional development fund since 1 January 1985.
European regional development fund commitments to Wales since January 1985 have amounted to £131 million. With permission, I will circulate the county breakdown in the Official Report.
Education Reform Bill
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received in support of the Education Reform Bill, as it relates to Wales.
Many representations I have received have given support to proposals incorporated in the Education Reform Bill. Copies of the principal responses from organisations in Wales to the consultation exercise are being placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales for how long he will receive representations relating to the Education Reform Bill; and if he will make a statement.
I am taking account of representations received since the formal deadline for responses to the consultation papers, and I will continue to do so.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what figures he has for the relative take-up rates between advance factories in development areas and those in areas without development status.
8·5 per cent. of Welsh Development Agency and Mid-Wales Development factory floor space in the assisted areas was vacant and available for letting as at 31 October 1987, compared with 15 per cent. in the non-assisted areas. Separate figures for advance factory units alone are not readily available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he proposes to allocate more advance factories in (a) Wales and (b) Clwyd.
I announced in the House on 2 December that the Welsh Development Agency had been given approval to make an early start on a further package of schemes comprising advance factory units with a total floor space of 100,000 sq. ft., including some in Clwyd.
|Speech therapists||Occupational therapists||Physiotherapists1|
|1 Includes remedial gymnasts.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the direct cost to his Department of forestry grants in Wales during the current year; and if he will make a statement.
In the period from 1 April 1987 to 1 November 1987, the Forestry Commission's grant payments to private woodland owners in Wales totalled £395, 583.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy with regard to privatising the Forestry Commission, or any part of its activities in Wales.
The Government has no plans at present to privatise the Forestry Commission or any part of its activities in Wales, but looks to the Commission to continue to rationalise its estate by selling properties that are surplus to its needs or are difficult and expensive to manage.
When decisions on the aggregate funding for 1988–89 for the Welsh Development Agency and Mid Wales Development have been made, I will give priority to considering their related property development proposals.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many notified job vacancies there were in Wales, in South Glamorgan and in the area of the Vale of Glamorgan borough council at the latest convenient date; and if he will make a statement regarding job opportunities in Wales.
The number of vacancies notified to Jobcentres and careers offices in Wales on 2 October 1987 were 15,640 and 342 respectively. Figures are not available at district local authority area level, but the corresponding figures for South Glamorgan are 1,888 and 67 respectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list, by each Welsh health district, the numbers of (a) speech therapists, (b) occupational therapists and (c) physiotherapists employed; and what were the comparable figures in 1979.
Information on the number of whole-time equivalents as at 30 September is given in the following table:
Further And Higher Education Trades Unions
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next proposes meeting representatives of further and higher education trades unions to discuss the proposals for reform of the further education and higher education structure in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has received the views of the further and higher education trades unions in response to the consultation paper on maintained further and higher education in Wales; and these have been fully considered.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many miles of motorway and major roads within the responsibility of his Department were completed during each of the past five years.
The information is as follows:
|1 To 30 November.|
|Clwyd||East Dyfed||Gwent||Gwynedd||Mid Glamorgan||Pembrokeshire||Powys||South Glamorgan||West Glamorgan|
|Other non-psychiatric acute||928·1||439·6||957·1||388·1||1,175·0||137·7||241·5||1,351·0||952·6|
|Other non-psychiatric acute||891·0||361·3||850·2||398·6||1,110·6||129·5||220·9||1,273·2||937·0|
|1 Includes Obstetrics and General Practitioner Maternity.|
|2 Includes Mental Illness, Mentall Illness Children, Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychogeriatric and Elderly Mentally Infirm.|
Nhs (Agency Staff)
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give, for each year since 1983 and for the latest available financial year, for each district health authority, regional health authority and special health authority the
|Revenue expenditure on non-NHS staff (agency etc.)|
|Clwyd||East Dyfed||Gwent||Gwynedd||Mid Glamorgan||Pembrokeshire||Powys||South Glamorgan||West Glamorgan||WHCSA||All-Wales|
|Expenditure at constant prices£'000s1|
|Expenditure as a percentage of total revenue expenditure2|
|1 Actual expenditure expressed at constant prices by revaluation to 1986–87 levels by use of the GDP deflator.|
|2 Rounded to two decimal places.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give for 1983 and for the latest year available the total number of hospital beds for each of the following services, broken down by district health authorities (a) general medical, (b) general surgical, (c) non-psychiatric acute, (d) geriatric, (e) maternity, (f) mental illness, (g) mentally handicapped and (h) total.
Information for the average daily available number of beds, is given in the table:total expenditure on agency staff, expressed at current prices, constant prices and as a percentage of health authority's budget.
The following tables set out the information requested.
Expenditure on agency staff charged to capital—WHCSA only
Expenditure at constant prices
Expenditure as a percentage of total capital expenditure
Medical and Dental
Nursing and Midwifery
Administrative and Clerical
Total non-medical Staff
1 Medical and dental staff who work in more than one authority are included in the numbers of staff for each of those authorities.
2 Excluding works staff.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the annual rate of loss of nurses from National Health Service hospitals in Wales; in which categories of nurses have these occurred; and how this rate of loss compares with five years and 10 years ago.
A special study was carried out in 1986 to obtain the estimated nurse wastage rates given below. Information in not available for detailed categories of nurses or for earlier years.
|Leavers from the NHS in Wales1|
|1 Excluding South Glamorgan.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many operations in Welsh hospitals were
1 Figures relate to the Welsh Health Common Services Agency only—information is not available centrally on any agency staff employed by the works departments of District Health Authorities in Wales.
2 Actual expenditure expressed at constant prices by revaluation to 1986–87 levels by use of the GDP deflator.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give for each district health authority and special health authority for 1986 the total number of staff expressed as the total number of staff and as whole-time equivalents in the following categories: (a) medical and dental, (b) nursing and midwifery, (c) professional and technical, (d) administrative and clerical, (e) ancillary and (f) total non-medical staff.
The requested information, which relates to 30 September 1986, is given in the following table:cancelled in the most recently available 12-month period for which information is available; and in which medical categories.
The information is not available centrally.
Education Policy (Official's Address)
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if the address on education policy in Wales, given to the St. David's Forum on the weekend of 28–29 November by an official of his Department, represents official Government policy.
The official said nothing which departs from Government policy.
St David's Forum
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if his Department is officially represented on the St. David's Forum.
The St. David's Forum is not a representative body.
To ask the Secretary of State of Wales when, pursuant to his answer of 16 November, Official Report, column 758, he will publish his statement on his response to the consultation exercise on the national curriculum.
I am today publishing a policy statement, "The National Curriculum in Wales", which sets out my policy on the implementation of the national curriculumin schools in Wales. The statement is intended to inform debate on the Education Reform Bill, now before the House, and to provide greater detail for teachers, parents and others about the Government's proposals as they affect Wales.Copies of the statement have been placed in the Library.
District Health Authorities (Patient Treatment)
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each district health authority (a) the total numbers of people waiting for treatment in September 1982, (b) the total numbers of people waiting for treatment in March 1987 and (c) the percentage change represented by (b) over (a), ordering the list so that a district with the biggest increase is first and that the largest decrease is last.
[holding answer 3 December 1987]: The information is given in the following table:
|Health authority||1Waiting list||2Waiting list||Percentage change|
|Waiting for in-patient admission|
|West Glamorgan||4,294||5,521||+ 28·6|
|South Glamorgan||6,184||7,876||+ 27·4|
|East Dyfed||1,965||2,335||+ 18·8|
|Wailing for first out-patient consultation|
|1 As at 30 September 1982.|
|2 As at 31 March 1987.|
|In-patient cases||1982||1986||Percentage change|
New Out-Patient attendances
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment to what extent his Department uses recycled paper or provides paper for recycling.
The majority of printed material used by the Department is printed on general purpose paper, which may include an element of recycled waste.Supplies of British recycled paper suitable for general stationery purposes are limited and prices are uncompetitive when compared with a suitable general purpose woodfree printing paper. Currently, prices are approximately 100 per cent. more expensive.Waste paper acceptable for recycling purposes is collected by an authorised contractor for reprocessing.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of unemployed people in the Nottingham travel-to-work area at the latest available date.
The following information is in the Library. On 8 October 1987, the number of unemployed claimants in the Nottingham travel-to-work area was 38,048.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what he is doing to stimulate rural tourism.
The English tourist board is encouraging the provision and improvement of rural tourist attractions and accommodation through its section 4 scheme of financial assistance. Further schemes of support for rural enterprise, including tourism, have also been introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Development Commission. The ETB is consulting these and other interested organisations on the preparation of a rural tourism strategy for England. This is intended to provide a framework to assist effective co-operation between the main public agencies concerned with rural tourism and to stimulate joint tourism initiatives.
New Workers Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why he is withdrawing the new workers scheme from the end of January 1988.
Resources devoted to the new workers scheme, which does not specifically help the long-term unemployed, can be better used on other programmes provided for this priority group.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were unemployed in May 1979; and what is the number currently unemployed.
The following information is in the Library. On 8 October 1987, the number of unemployed claimants in the United Kingdom, excluding school leavers and adjusted for seasonality was 2,714,900. The corresponding figure for May 1979 was 1,152,000.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what evidence he has on the effect of employment rights for part-time workers on the economic conditions for the creation of part-time jobs.
Evidence from a number of surveys indicates that some employers are reluctant to recruit additional staff because of the employment protection legislation. Although the proportions are small, they represent a significant number of employers and missed employment opportunities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the number of part-time workers who currently qualify for employment rights but who would be excluded from these if the proposals in the White Paper "Building Businesses … Not Barriers" are implemented; and how many of these would be women.
It is not our intention to take away employment protection rights from those who currently qualify for them. Estimates of the numbers excluded in the future depend on factors such as the state of the labour market at the time. However, the latest figures available indicate that in March 1986, 313,300 people were in jobs in the categories which would be affected by the proposal to increase the part-time hours thresholds in employment protection legislation. Of these some 93 per cent. were jobs occupied by women.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will now support the adoption of the European Economic Community directive on voluntary part-time work, in respect of non-discrimination between part-time and full-time employees.
No. This directive would limit the flexibility which is a major attraction of part-time work for both employers and employees. It would increase employers' costs and have an adverse effect on employment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have been interviewed in Avon for the restart scheme in 1987.
Up until the end of September, 19,593 people have been interviewed in Avon under the restart programme in 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of fatal and other accidents in farming in each category of adults and children for each year since 1985.
The number of fatal and other accidents in farming in each category of adults and children for each year since 1985 is given in the table:
|1985||First quarter 1986||11986–87|
|1 Fiscal Year: Provisional.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the effect on the retail prices index of the average 8·5 per cent. electricity price increase assumed by Her Majesty's Government for 1988–89; and what is his estimate of the effect on the cost of living of low-income households, in particular.
An average increase of 8·5 per cent. in the price of electricity would currently increase the Retail Price Idex by about 0·25 per cent.I have no estimate of the effect on the cost of living for low-income households.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report(a) the number and (b) the percentage of YTS trainees, in each London borough, for each year since the YTS began, who have obtained full-time jobs during or at the end of this period on that scheme.
The information is not available in the form requested. The Manpower Services Commission has conducted regular follow-up surveys of all YTS leavers since April 1985. The table shows the number and percentage of those who responded to the surveys and were in full-time jobs at the time of the surveys, for each London local authority district:
|Leavers from YTS Schemes during the periods:|
|April 1985-March 1986||April 1986-June 1987|
|Number of leavers in full-time jobs||Percentage of leavers in full-time jobs||Number of leavers in full-time jobs||Percentage of leavers in full-time jobs|
|City of London||303||77||197||77|
|Kensington and Chelsea||50||53||40||63|
|Richmond upon Thames||99||79||58||81|
|Kingston upon Thames||106||75||150||75|
Trade And Industry
British Caledonian (Proposed Sas Purchase)
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make it his policy to refer any proposed purchase of shares by SAS in British Caledonian to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State announced on 3 December that he had decided not to refer this proposal to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. His decision was in accordance with the recommendation of the Director General of Fair Trading.
Electronic Rentals (Granada Television Takeover)
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will refer the proposed takeover by Granada Television of Electronic Rentals to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
The proposed ac quisition of Electronic Rentals Group plc by Granada plc is being considered by the Director General of Fair Trading. My right hon. and noble Friend will make his decision whether to refer the proposed acquisition to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in the light of the Director General's advice.