Written Answers To Questions
Monday 14 December 1987
Trade And Industry
Inner Cities Unit
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what basis he estimates a 1: 1·6 public-private sector leverage ratio for his Department's inner cities unit.
My estimate of a 1: 1·6 public-private sector leverage ratio for our inner cities initiative set out in my answer of 24 November at columns 151–52 relates to those projects supported by our inner city task forces which also include a financial contribution from the private sector. In these cases we estimate that every £1 from our inner cities initiative has attracted £1·60 from the private sector.I regret that my previous answer of 24 November 1987 did not make it clear that that estimate was not an estimate of the public-private sector ratio over the inner cities initiatives as a whole.
Inner City Task Force
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, for each inner city task force, he will list (a) the recipients of grants to the voluntary sector, (b) the size of the grant (c) the purpose of the grant.
The voluntary sector recipients of task force grants, and the size and purpose of these grants, are as follows:
|Task Force Funding|
|Project and Description||£|
|ISWE Foundation—to provide consultancy support for this Afro-Caribbean organisation||3,000|
|South Highfields/Vulcan Road Boundary Wall Scheme—joint financing of construction skills training for 15 local people||4,100|
|ISWE—to support development of a low cost distribution service for ethnic food stuffs to the local community||5,900|
|Textile Arts Centre—to meet cost of new premises to allow successful community organisation to expand training operation and develop a textile cooperative||165,000|
|Highfields Workshop Centre—to buy a delivery van to provide transport for 2 Community Programme schemes providing work experience for 30 long-term unemployed local people||10,653|
|Police Foundation—to help establish a mobile crime prevention workshop||25,000|
|Leicester Bengali Language School—contribution to expansion of School, in particular to improve its textile training programme for women||15,900|
|PATH (East Midlands)—to help towards the cost of training for 15, mainly black, young people in housing management||20,730|
|Raddle Bookshop Computer Training—contribution to City and Guilds certificated computer training project for 30 trainees over two year period||108,326|
Project and Description
|Social Responsibility Centre—New Testament Church of God—contribution towards church refurbishment project which will provide on-site construction training for 26 long term unemployed local people||379,426|
|Leicester Ecology Group—to acquire a building which will house a new 23 place Community Programme scheme waste recycling operation||75,000|
|SHOP Training Development—to increase amount of textile training for local Gujurati and Bangladeshi women on an existing project in Highfields. Additional creche facilities are also being made available||4,473|
North Central Middlesbrough
|Cleveland Youth Business Centre: association with Christian Relay, Business in the Community, local businesses and local authorities to provide wide range of help to young people including training and business advice||240.265|
|Association of Marine and Related Charities (AMARC)—contribution will allow AMARC training agency to expand in Middlesbrough. Over 250 new training places will result||325,000|
|Cleveland Committee for the Employment of Disabled People (CEDEMP)—to establish 15 place Community Programme fitting conversion kits to cars so they can be used by disabled people||15,000|
|Action Resource Centre—for feasibility study into creating jobs through cooperation between private sector and local community and voluntary groups||9,000|
|Police Foundation—to help establish a mobile crime prevention workshop||25,000|
|Middlesbrough Cooperative Initiative—to meet the initial cost of a Cooperative Initiative in Middlesbrough, based on the successful Mondragon group of cooperatives in Spain||200,000|
|Cleveland Centre for the Development of Alternative Products—contribution to establishment of centre, which will act as focus for development of innovative products which are of benefit to the community||72,000|
|Local Residents Economic Initiative Survey—to enable Cleveland Council for Voluntary Service to work up 2 pilot projects||13,635|
|Ethnic Minority Day Centre for the Elderly—to meet shortfall in funding for centre which will provide day facilities for elderly people from the ethnic minorities||9,000|
|John Paul Centre Luncheon Club—to establish a luncheon club for at least 60 elderly residents of the area. Nine Community Programme participants will be given full training in catering and cooking skills||10,000|
|Care and Repair (Cleveland) Limited—contribution to innovative scheme giving disadvantged owner occupiers the opportunity, at low cost, to have detailed annual survey of their properties||27,600|
|Apex Trust Employment Projects—to help establish a centre which will design and manufacture educational equipment and other aids for the mentally handicapped||18,107|
|Project Fullemploy Study of Ethnic Minority Training Problems—to find out the kind of training problems faced by ethnic minority residents in the Task Force area||1,000|
|NACRO Community Laundry—to help set up a local community laundry service for the disabled and elderly||8,132|
|Shoe Repair/Leatherware Community Business—to help West View Residents Association set up this business||1,600|
Project and Description
|Trading Places—towards cost of a Women's Business Focus Day||500|
|All Saints Volunteers Training Project—to enable the project to provide additional training facilities for basic computer/office skills in Task Force area||19,919|
|Black Business in Birmingham—for business advice, loans and grants to small business||88,500|
|MACRO Films—YTS scheme aimed at improving the ratio of black people working in the TV and film industries||60,000 and 9,045|
|Handsworth Opportunities Programme for Employment (HOPE)—a Community Programme building refurbishment scheme||35,000|
|Opportunities Industrialisation Centre Feeder Programme—a training package to motivate young people to take advantage of training, employment and self-employment opportunities||47,000|
|Handsworth Outward Bound—in partnership with the private sector—an opportunity for young people to take part in an outdoor challenge programme||5,300|
|City and Handsworth Alternative Scheme—a locally based brance of NACRO working with offenders and seeking to place them in employment and training||20,535|
|CANDEL Potohari Project—provision of building for women's cooperative and a CP scheme aimed at raising awareness of dangers of AIDS and drugs misuse||68,000|
|Black Star Car Company—car repair Community Programme and Community Business scheme||28,535|
|Handsworth Builders' Association—to launch an association providing support and advice to small local builders||105,000|
|Police Foundation—to provide a mobile crime prevention workshop to fit locks, give advice etc., mainly to low income residents in the Task Force area||25,000|
|Federation of Black Housing Associations—support for conference||4,670|
|Rotton Park-Winson Green Employment—to set up a foundation, with the co-operation of many local voluntary organisations, aimed at launching/supporting a number of community businesses, creating employment||25,000|
|Attock Welfare Employment and Training—CP scheme to provide counselling and support to young Muslims and link them to existing training and employment opportunities||10,000|
|Guru Ravidas Association—to provide training workshops for use by the local community||18,000|
|Inner City Contracts (Handsworth) Limited—for establishment of a local non profit-making company in the building trade||58,325|
|Handsworth Employment Scheme Catering Limited —for catering training||44,000 and 9,000|
|Handsworth Churches Forum—for a package of YTS and CP schemes related to secretarial/ computer skills and for care schemes for elderly and housebound||2,500 and 100,825|
|Birmingham Young Volunteers—for sample training in various skills for young people in Lozells||8,000|
|Afro-Caribbean Resource Centre—to provide training for workers in care for the elderly, young children and catering, and to provide these facilities locally||29,000|
|Lozells Methodist Church/Task Force Undertakings —Electronics Workshop||21,864|
|Birmingham Interpretation and Translation Service—conversion of voluntary service into community business||32,269|
Project and Description
|Inner City Glass Decorating—(CP) scheme||9,400|
|Rastafarian Enterprise Initiative (Tree of Life Group)—expansion of community business||23,000|
|Positive Image—Women's Development and Nursery Enterprise Project||42,050|
|Handsworth Crime Prevention—schemes to provide a service to disabled, elderly and unemployed, including property marking service||1,648|
|Handsworth Day Care Centre—Latch Key CP scheme||5,000|
|United Youth Association—building skills training programme||71,875|
|Schools Outreach—preventative care complementing existing teaching||32,000|
Chapletown and Harehills, Leeds
|PATH—vocational training for young black people in commercial and financial services||93,349|
|Teach North Project WTOTO—nursery conversion project||35,575|
|APEX Trust—towards setting up an unemployment centre||1,000|
|Apex Trust—training officers salary||12,524|
|Apex Trust—equipment for Community Resource Centre||2,300|
|Apex Trust—Two-day event on training opportunities||200|
|Action Resource Centre—to set up a project development unit in TF area||23,241|
|Jamacia Society—Leeds/Sight and South Education Limited—for conversion of a building for YTS scheme||132,000|
|Leeds West Indian Centre Limited (CP)—Visiting service for elderly, personal advice, etc||9,100|
|Palace Youth Project—employment help centre||1,094|
|Chapletown and Harehills Enterprise Trust—towards 150 place CP project||249,000|
|Computer Assisted Learning Project (CHALCS)— training for young people up to 'O' level and beyond||68,000 and 22,147|
|Project Fullemploy—open learning centre||12,000|
|Police Foundation—crime prevention project (as for Handsworth, mobile centre||25,000|
|196 Chapeltown Road—Church of God of Prophecy —feasibility study||500|
|ACE—Catering project, run through TEAMWORK —Employment Liaison Officer||4,585 10,538|
|Harehills Lane Baptist Church—nursery/playgroup||29,500|
Foleshill and Hillfields, Coventry
|Project Fullemploy—multi-ethnic training initiative||20,000|
|Jobs for Coventry Foundation—business starter units feasibility work||2,500|
|Jobs for Coventry Foundation—improvements to workspace units||2,500|
|Jobs for Coventry Enterprise Workshops— preliminary conversion work||33,500|
|Midshire Trust Limited—feasibility and purchase of building for business starter units||4,000 and 160,000|
|Coventry Home Insulation Project (CHIP)—training scheme||10,000|
|APEX Trust—Employment and Enterprise Innovation Centre—Job search facilities for disadvantaged unemployed||27,500|
|APEX Trust—CP workshop—56 place CP scheme||13,800|
|Coventry Job Change Limited—purchase of hand tools for workshop for older, long term unemployed||1,000|
|Coventry Community Workshops—Asian-managed CP agency||40,000 and 5,000|
|Media Link—purchase of capital equipment for ML training course||5,000|
Project and Description
|Care and Repair Scheme with Orbit Housing Association—advice and guidance to elderly owner-occupied||27,200|
|Oldham & Rochdale Groundwork Trust— contribution to the establishment of a landscape design team||12,000|
Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets
|UHRU—publicity event to develop work placements and funding links with the private sector||640|
|Samuel Lewis Housing Trust—to adopt basement premises in a block of flats as workshops||47,090|
|Tower Hamlets Environment Trust—for a survey into the potential use of vacant land||2,500|
|Toynbee Housing Association—for estate improvements||5,000|
Moss Side, Manchester
|Fielden House—contribution to training potential CP managers/supervisors||1,040|
|Selcare Trust—establish new engineering workshop||25,800|
|IMPACT—capital expenditure for a bus conversion CP project||23,375|
|Prince's Youth Business Trust—for grants for young entrepreneurs||26,000|
|Northen Black Business Association—funding of coordinator cost||10,000|
|PATH—ethnic minority training in housing management||45,000|
|Community Knits—capital equipment for CP knitwear project||20,400|
|Moss Care Housing Association—training for 6 apprentices on a housing/office project||78,848|
|Intowork—interim revenue support for a young business counselling service||14,210|
|Project Fullemploy—funding for computer equipment; and a business outreach worker||55,615|
|Moss Side Youth Club—contribution to BBC-sponsored educational trip to Venice||800|
|Moss Side Boxing Club—for extension/refurbishment||7,768|
|Associaion for Educational development—funding for a book-keeper/counsellor post in the local enterprise agency||16,000|
|NIA project—contribution to establishment of an Afro-Caribbean theatre and performing arts training project||250,000|
|Carnival Industrial Project—revenue funding for a CP project||15,500|
|Portobello Trust—loans to young entrepreneurs||2,000|
|Project Fullemploy—capital equipment; and pre-recruitment training courses||59,540|
|Notting Hill Housing Trust—seminar to stimulate joint ventures in community improvement||2,000|
|Mangrove Video and Media Project—capital costs for a CP project||26,300|
|Latymer Christian Centre—to establish a training centre||111,770|
|Portobello Trust—funding for workshops for 6 new businesses, and for temporary premises and staff for the support unit||81,920|
|Moroccan Co-ordinating Committee—contribution to setting up a new voluntary body to initiate employment and training opportunities for the Moroccan community||20,242|
|Venture Centre—management study to enable a workshop scheme to be set up||518|
|New Opportunities for Voluntary Action—grant for capital equipment to enable NOVA to run training courses in new technology||6,861|
|Youth Film Foundation—contribution to establishment of the Foundation to provide training and work experience for young film and television workers||40,815|
Project and Description
|Central London Co-operative Development Agency —costs of a feasibility study, plus temporary support for running costs||21,350|
|North Kensington Amenity Trust—contribution to conversion of 3 bays under Westway to form a sports centre, and managed workshops||224,242|
|Mangrove Community Association—to refurbish a room for training courses||1,610|
|Grove Housing Association—to fund a development worker||23,000|
|Drake Fellowship—to provide outward bound training courses for deprived young people||5,568|
|NACRO—to provide laundry and repair service for the elderly||32,600|
|Newfoundland Employment Agency—to develop a training and advice cnetre in St. Pauls||20,300|
|Project Fullemploy—to provide higher education access course to aid the prospect of employment||10,000|
|St. Pauls Adventure Playground—to improve safety on the playground||22,000|
|St. Werburgh's City Farm—to build an educational and community centre||14,000|
|Stapleton Road Congregational Church—to refurbish the church to provide space for a mothers and toddlers group and other community facilities||10,000|
|Inkworks Nursery—to provide two additional full-time staff to run the nursery||22,503|
|New Trinity Community Centre—to refurbish a church to provide a music venue and cultural centre||125,000|
|East Bristol Youth Housing Association—refurbishment work to provide housing for single homeless||10,000|
|All Hallows Community Centre—to extend the range of training provision provided by this organisation||15,000|
|Project Fullemploy—to provide enterprise training to 40 local people||12,800|
|Youth Workshop Trust—to provide a translation and information service to people whose first language is not English||23,833|
|Maternity Links—to assist with the cost of running a Women's Health Care Centre||11,000|
North Peckham, Southwark
|Southwark Environment Trust|
|1. To convert premises into workshops, office and business units||60,000|
|2. To provide running costs of the organisation following withdrawal of support from the Council||25,510|
|South East Adult Training—contribution to Adult Training Couse that provides 100 training places||42,312|
|Industrial Society—course translation service for Vietnamese to increase take up of training places||15,383|
|Business in the Community—this provides for the establishment of a Directory of Black businesses in the Greater London area||16,249|
|Committee Against Drug Abuse—this provides computer equipment to assist the administration and management of this organisation||1,250|
|Prince's Youth Business Trust (PYBT)—grants to help Task Force area young people start-up in business under the rules of PYBT||10,000|
|North Peckham Baptist Church—to purchase materials for refurbishing the local church||800|
|Positive Action Training in Housing—training costs to prepare local black people for jobs in housing management||25,000|
|Caribbean Teachers Association—to provide capital equipment for an adult training scheme||7,718|
|Apex—to provide an Employment Resource Centre||26,500|
Project and Description
|Work and Schools Project—to train 10 disaffected youngsters prior to an industrial placement||24,771|
|Video Unit—to train local young people and make a video of the Task Force area in the process||1,175|
|Fullemploy—to train 10 local people to a standard suitable for employment with the BBC||14,900|
|Faith Chapel—to assist in the refurbishment of the Chapel to house a centre for the elderly and a creche||14,265|
|Church and Community Projects—community centre refurbishment costs||20,000|
|Sojourner Truth Youth Association—to fund a study to improve the managment and administration of this organisation||9,941|
|AFEME Youth Organisation—this is a Literacy and Communications Course for at least 15 young people||3,000|
|Mount Shilo Church—for renovation, equipment and staff costs of a Youth Development Centre||40,000|
|West Midlands Caribbean Parents Association—to provide a studio to enable disadvantaged young people to receive electronics and photographic training||6,000|
|Gujerati Association—for construction of an extenion to a community centre to provide space for additional training courses||49,500|
In addition some voluntary bodies are the recipients of grants to operate in more than one Task Force area. The size and purpose of these is as follows.
|Industrial Society—'Headstart' project providing enterprise information, advice and training for at least 6,000 people in inner city areas (cost shared equally with the MSC)||293,365|
|Action Resource Centre (ARC)—support for 2 project development posts to arrange private sector support for voluntary projects in inner city areas||41,295|
|Urban Trust—support for an Employment Initiatives Unit to link private sector support in multi-racial inner city areas with projects meeting the employment, enterprise and social needs of the ethnic minorities||35,380|
Form of contribution
|North Peckham||Lloyds Bank||£100,000||Loans fund with repayments returning to the fund, for loans at preferential rates of interest. Full time secondee to administer fund from January 1988.|
|Manchester/Moss Side||Barclays Bank||£50,000||Loans fund with repayments returning to the fund, for loans at preferential rates of interest.|
|Bristol/St. Paul's||National Westminster Bank||…||Concessionary offers on finance and administrative charges. Staff secondment to assist management of fund.|
|Wolverhampton||Co-operative Bank||…||Loans available to grant recipients at preferential rates of interest, plus free banking for one year.|
|Middlesbrough||Barclays Bank||£50,000||Loans fund with repayments returning to the fund, for loans at preferential rates of interest. Staffing and administrative support.|
|Handsworth||National Westminster Bank||…||Services of business development manager to administer development fund.|
|Leeds/Chapeltown||Yorkshire Bank||…||Accountant's services to administer fund. Loans/overdrafts at lower rate for applicants referred through the fund.|
|North Kensington||Midland Bank||…||Still under consideration.|
The support of the banks for the task force development funds marks a very significant contribution to tackling the problems of the inner cities, and in particular the need by small business there for loan finance
|National Association for the Care of Offenders Resettlement (NACRO)—establishment of Inner City Community Safety Unit to work in Task Force areas||214,194|
|Also: support for a Development Unit to establish MSC's Job Training Scheme in Task Force areas and develop the scheme in line with future adult training provision||223,971|
|Evangelical Enterprise—linking Task Force areas with local church network to provide jobs, training, enterprise opportunities and community service for Task Force residents||150,000|
|Police Foundation—Mobile Crime Prevention Workshop in 3 Task Force areas||75,000|
|Business in the Community (BIC)—support for the establishment of Neighbourhood Development Partnerships in Task Force areas||265,000|
|Apex Trust, National Youth Bureau (NYB), Intermediate Treatment Fund (ITF)—Inner Cities Youth Initiative to provide field staff in 2 Task Force areas to develop projects geared to the needs of young ex-offenders and those at risk of offending||99,450|
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will colsider publishing an annual report and annual accounts for each inner city task force.
No. The inner cities initiative is aimed at improving the targetting of the money channelled through all existing Government programmes, and receives only a modest top-up budget. I announced the setting up of the initiative to the House in February 1986, and made a statement on its expansion in April of this year. I shall continue to report progress and developments to the House as suitable occasions arise.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of 293,365 Lancaster if, for each inner city task force that has established a development fund, he will list (a) the size and (b) the source of private sector contributions; and whether these contribution are in the form of grants of loans.
The size, source and form of private sector contributions (including advice and administration) to task force development funds is currently as follows:which would not otherwise be available. Discussions are continuing with other banks, in respect of other task force areas.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement for each inner city task force on the level of co-operation with the relevant local authority.
We regard the co-operation and support of the local authority as helpful to the success of the work of our inner-city task forces. I am glad to say that co-operation is generally either good or improving. Where this is not the case we are nevertheless determined to press ahead vigorously with the work of the task forces to achieve our policy objectives and thereby benefit the communities concerned.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list, for each inner city task force, the recipients, size and purpose of grants or loans from their development fund.
The task force development funds are administered by local enterprise agencies and not directly by the task forces. Individual applications are assessed by the agency concerned and the clearing bank supporting the relevant fund. The full details of every grant that the hon. Member requests could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will publish a table for each inner city task force area, drawn from 1981 census figures, showing the total population broken down by the usual census categories for age, social class, employment, housing, tenure, socio-economic group, together with a statement of any estimates of change since 1981 made by his Department.
The information is not available in the form requested. I will give the hon. Member a full reply as soon as possible.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next expects that the FIMBRA organisation, established under the Financial Services Act, will be formally incorporated by the Securities and Investments Board, and if he will make a statement.
The Financial Services Act provides that the Securities and Investments Board may not recognise a self-regulating organisation without the consent of the Secretary of State. The Act also requires the Secretary of State to refuse his consent if he considers, after receiving and considering a report on the matter from the Director General of Fair Trading, that the rules of the organisation have, or are intended or likely to have to any significant extent. the effect of restricting, distorting or preventing competition or, if they have or are intended or likely to have that effect to any significant extent, then the effect is no greater than is necessary for the protection of investors.My right hon. and noble Friend has considered the rules submitted by FIMBRA to the board, and has received and considered a report on them by the Director General of Fair Trading. He has concluded that on the basis of the information presently available to him he does not consider that the rules have or are intended or likely to have, to any significant extent the effect described above. He has therefore today given his consent to the board for the recognition of FIMBRA.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many applications for membership have been made to the FIMBRA organisation, established under the Financial Services Act; how many have been approved; how many have been rejected; and how many are still being processed.
That is a matter for FIMBRA.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he intends to extend the final date for application to join the FIMBRA organisation, established under the Financial Services Act; and what provision he will make for firms which have been unable to apply before the current final date for application through circumstances beyond their control.
I have today made an order specifying 27 February 1988 as the day appointed for the purposes of paragraph 1(1) of schedule 15 to the Financial Services Act. This has the effect that any person who has applied for membership of a recognised self-regulating organisation or for authorisation by the Securities and Investments Board by that date, and whose application has not been determined before the date on which section 3 of the Act comes into force, will until such time as his application is determined be treated as though authorised by the board. A person who applies for membership of a recognised self-regulating organisation after this date will receive authorisation only when he is admitted to membership of the authorisation. I have no powers under the Act to provide additional transitional provisions for late applicants, but the Department will be continuing its campaign to alert all involved in good time to the requirement to be authorised.
Financial Services Act
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the operation of the Financial Services Act.
I have today made an order bringing into force sections 26 to 30 of the Financial Services Act on 1 January 1988. These provisions empower the Securities and Investments Board to receive and consider applications for direct authorisation. The order also commences certain related provisions concerned with fees (section 112), the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (section 189 and schedule 14) and the penalties for making untrue or misleading statements in connection with an application.The order also brings into force paragraphs 25(2) and (3) of schedule 1 on 18 January 1988. This will enable the board to issue certificates to the effect that a periodical publication is of the kind specified in paragraph 25(1) of the schedule, and hence outside the scope of the Act.The order also brings into force most of paragraph 1 of schedule 15 from 27 February 1988. This paragraph makes certain transitional provisions. In particular, by virtue of sub-paragraph (5), any licence issued under section 3 of the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act which is in effect on 27 February shall, unless revoked under section 6 of that Act, continue in force until the day on which section 3 of the Financial Services Act comes into force.I refer my hon. Friend also to the other replies I am making to him today.
Unfair Trade Unit
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what action the unfair trade unit has taken concerning the reported requirement of the Japanese Government that the typeface used to mark vehicle identification numbers remains unchanged for all cars imported into Japan of a particular model.
The European Commission is negotiating with the relevant Japanese authorities for the removal of non-tariff barriers to the export of cars to Japan. I understand that vehicle identification numbers have not been raised with my Department during discussion of such barriers with the United Kingdom industry.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has had any discussions with, or representations from, the Director General of OFTEL about any reference to the Monopolies and Merger Commission in respect of British Telecom.
The Director General of Telecommunications has told my right hon. and noble Friend, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what he has also publicly indicated — that he is considering licence modifications with BT. The Director General has publicly stated that he may need to make a licence modification reference to MMC.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what he estimates to be the cost of the loyalty bonus for British Telecom shareholders; and whether he now has a figure for the numbers who received it.
Arrangements are in hand to transfer bonus shares of a market value on 30 November 1987 of nearly £90 million to almost 920,000 British Telecom shareholders on the United Kingdom register.Due to different administrative arrangements, the numbers of qualifying shareholders in Japan and North America are not likely to be known until late January.
Post Office (Sale)
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he expects to raise any money from the sale of any part of the Post Office in any of the next three financial years.
It is our policy to transfer activities from the public to the private sector wherever this is practicable and makes commercial sense, but we have no firm plans at present for the sale of any part of the Post Office.
Scientific Research And Development
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he now expects to publish the survey of scientific research and development within the United Kingdom.
I expect to publish in January 1988 the results of the survey of expenditure and employment on research and development performed in industry in the United Kingdom during 1986.
Customs Duties (Standing Committee)
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what criteria he used in deciding how many officials from his Department attended the Sixth Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments &c. on Wednesday 2 December on the Customs Duties (ECSC) (No. 2) (Amendment No. 11) Order 1987.
The officials present represented the divisions concerned with the subject matter covered by the instrument.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the percentage increase in the number of unemployed people in the United Kingdom since May 1979, using the same method of calculation as in May 1979.
The information requested is not available. It is not possible to give a reliable estimate of unemployment now on the method used in 1979.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what controls affecting small businesses he proposes to abolish within the next 12 months.
The White Papers on deregulation contained proposals on a number of industrial relations and other issues, but it is too early to say whether legislation to implement them will be brought forward within the specified period.
Voluntary Part-Time Work
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make it his policy to support the adoption of the EEC draft directive on voluntary part-time work.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Barnsley, West and Penistone (Mr. McKay) on Monday 7 December, at column 31.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many job vacancies were registered with jobcentres in the Castleford travel-to-work area in November.
The information is not available. The number of vacancies notified to jobcentres between 7 November 1987 and 4 December 1987 will be available on 14 January 1988.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what action he is taking to improve job prospects in the Castleford travel-to-work area.
All my Department's employment, training and enterprise measures are available in the Castleford and Pontefract travel-to-work area. Unemployment has fallen by 1,146 in the area in the last year.
Job Release Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people he estimates will have retired under the job release scheme in 1987.
From January to November 1987 inclusive, 10,155 people have retired under the job release scheme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received regarding the proposed ending of the job release scheme in January 1988.
My hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) and the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) have both raised questions on this subject. I refer the hon. Member to my replies on 4 November, at column 726, and on 2 December, at column 601. To date, 24 hon. Members have written with representations from their constituents.
Technical And Vocational Education Initiative
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the total expenditure under the technical and vocational education initiative for each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement on its future funding.
Expenditure to date on the pilot project phase is as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what arrangements currently exist for establishing whether claimants to unemployment benefits are available for work; and if he will make a statement.
We introduced in October last year a new procedure to ensure that claimants to unemployment benefits are available for work. The procedure, which followed criticisms by the Public Accounts Committee of the effectiveness of the previous arrangements, consists of a questionnaire to all new claimants about the work they are looking for and the steps they are taking to find it.The questionnaire has clearly enabled a better assessment to be made by the independent adjudicating authorities of claimants' entitlement to benefit. However, experience has also shown some changes to be desirable. First, it is clear that the existing questionnaire needs to seek more information in certain respects, such as on the qualifications and experience of claimants for the jobs they are seeking. Second, the current procedure does not pay sufficient regard to the fact that the circumstances of claimants can change considerably over time.Accordingly, I am introducing two changes to existing procedures. The first is a revised questionnaire for use as from 1 February next year when a claim is first made. The new form seeks more information on such subjects as the claimant's qualifications and experience and on the type of work which is being sought. A copy of the revised questionnaire has been placed in the Library. It will he supplemented as soon after 1 February as possible by providing new claimants to benefit in areas of buoyant labour demand with information on occupations in which there are jobs immediately available.The second change is to issue a questionnaire from the end of April next year to all those claimants being invited to a restart interview. This will seek information about qualifications, training and recent job-seeking efforts in order that the restart interviewer can identify more accurately the most appropriate help that can be offered. The questionnaire will also seek information about any restrictions which claimants are placing on the jobs they will take so that a check can be made that they continue to be available for work. The new procedure will be introduced in a small number of offices as from 1 February next year in order to gain practical experience of its use prior to its national introduction at the end of April. A copy of the questionnaire for use in the initial offices has been placed in the Library.Neither of these measures affects the law on availability for work which was last re-enacted in the Social Security Act, 1975. They are intended solely to ensure that the law is administered effectively.
Education And Science
Rate Support Grant (Bolton)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will recalculate the education component of the 1988–89 rate support grant settlement for Bolton to take account of errors discovered and acknowledged by his Department; what steps he has taken to ensure that further errors have not been made; and if he will make a statement.
My Department provides the information on pupil and student numbers which is used in calculating the education component of each authority's grant-related expenditure assessment. This year for the first time students attending TVEI courses at local authority colleges were separately classified, but were inadvertently omitted from the student number count supplied to the Department of the Environment. As is usual, all the student data were sent to authorities for checking in August, but the error did not come to light until November, after the completion of calculations for the settlement. I have asked for procedures to be reviewed within my Department. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment said in reply to my hon. Friend on 10 December, at column 261, the error will be corrected in a supplementary report for 1988–89.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the cost of producing, printing and distributing his Department's booklet "Education Reform: The Government's Proposals for Schools".
I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) on 10 December, at column 222.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to the numbers of children of compulsory school age entering the maintained sector from the private sector of education over the most recent period for which figures are available.
This information is not collected centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has received regarding the making of nursery education a statutory obligation for local authorities.
My right hon. Friend has received no such representations.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will list, by local education authority, the schools where the capitation allowance is exceeded by parental donation.
|Maintained school leavers: England|
|With one or more GCE A level passes||With one or more higher1 grades at GCE O level or CSE|
|Academic year||Numbers (000s)||As a percentage of the 17 year old population2||Numbers (000s)||As a percentage of all maintained school leavers|
|Source: School leavers survey. Data subject to sampling error. The data exclude CSE/GCE achievements gained by young people from maintained schools at tertiary and other FE colleges.|
|1 In 1969–70 to 1973–74, O level pass and CSE grade 1; for later years. 0 level grades A-C, CSE grade 1.|
|2 GAD estimates of the population.|
|3 Owing to the raising of the school leaving age, the total numbers of school leavers was unusually low, and percentages based on this figure would be unrepresentative.|
The latest available information is contained in paragraph 7(ix) and paragraphs 39–41 of the 1986 annual report by Her Majesty's inspectorate and is based on school visits. A copy of the report is in the Library of the House. The Department does not hold detailed systematic information for individual schools across LEAs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he plans to publish the interim report of the science working group in relation to the national curriculum; and if he will make a statement.
I am publishing the interim report of the national curriculum science working group today. I am grateful to the chairman and members of the working group for their report, which is a substantial and imaginative document. I believe it provides a sound basis for the group's further work on attainment targets and programmes of study for science. Copies of the report and of my response will be lodged in the Libraries of both Houses.
A-Level And O-Level Examinations
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many boys and girls passed one or more A-level subjects for each year from 1970; and how many pupils gained one or more O-levels from 1970 both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the age group in state secondary schools.
The information is shown in the table.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing the subjects taught in (a) state schools and (b) independent schools for the most recent period for which information is available.
The information is not available in precisely the form in which the hon. Member asks. But examinations attempted by fifth formers in secondary schools give an indication of the breadth and balance of the curriculum pursued by individual pupils. The following figures show the examinations attempted within the areas of the proposed national curriculum foundation subjects, for pupils at maintained and independent schools:
|School Leavers 1985–86, England|
|Percentage attempting O Level/CSE in the curriculum area|
|Curriculum areas studied||Maintained schools||Independent schools|
|E M S||60||81|
|E M S T||23||14|
|E M S ML||31||68|
|E M S HG||47||68|
|E M S CA||22||26|
|E M S T ML||8||10|
|E M S T HG||17||12|
|E M S T CA||7||4|
|E M S ML HG||25||58|
|E M S ML CA||11||21|
|E M S HG CA||17||21|
|E M S T ML HG||6||9|
|E M S T ML CA||2||2|
|E M S ML HG CA||8||17|
|Source: School leavers survey.|
|1 Science includes physics, chemistry and biology.|
|2Technology includes craft, design and technology and other sciences.|
|3 Creative arts includes art and music.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy to ensure that universities do not enter into major contracts with foreign high technology companies without first alerting British-owned companies; what information he has on such contracts under consideration by British universities; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend is advised on major contracts for the supply of computer or communications equipment to British universities by the Computer Board for Universities and Research Councils. The board normally recommends a process of open competitive tender whereby interested British and foreign companies are invited to bid against an operational requirement and a fixed cash limit. Exceptionally, single tender action involving a British or a foreign supplier is allowed where there are strong grounds for ensuring technical compatibility with existing equipment or for establishing a lead site to demonstrate a novel type of application that only one supplier can support. In cases where a British or a foreign company offers a study contract including a capital gift of high technology equipment to a university, it is a matter for the university to decide whether or not to accept the contract, taking into account the recurrent costs associated with the gift of the equipment.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on any assessments made as to the extent of the availability of illegal drugs in Her Majesty's prisons, and the action taken to prevent their importation and use.
The following information relates to prison department establishments in England and Wales. Responsibility for establishments in Scotland and Northern Ireland rests with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.The best evidence available by which to assess the scale and nature of the smuggling, trafficking and misuse of drugs in establishments is the number of finds of substances or implements. In 1986, there were some 2,300 reports of such finds, the great majority of which were of cannabis or of implements for smoking cannabis. In the first 10 months of this year, 1,126 reports were received, of which the great majority again concerned finds of cannabis and related implements.Measures to prevent and detect illicit drugs are kept continuously under review. Regular and special searches are conducted, including the use of dogs specially trained in drug detection work. The number of trained dogs has been increased. Dogs have been trained to detect heroin and cocaine as well as cannabis. The police investigate cases where there is reason to believe that a visitor intends to smuggle drugs into an establishment. Staff training on drugs has been improved. A new training package aimed specifically at the problems and needs of the prison service was issued to all establishments in 1985. In September 1987 further guidance and instructions were issued to all establishments, a major theme of which was the prevention of smuggling by visitors and by inmates returning from home leave. The abolition of the privilege whereby unconvicted prisoners can have food and drink sent in for them will remove a significant avenue into certain prisons for drugs.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on current advice and treatment provided for prisoners either charged with offences relating to drugs or found to be dependent on narcotics.
The possibility of a history of drugs misuse is one of the factors medical officers inquire into during the course of their examination of inmates being received into prison custody. Where indicated medical help in withdrawing is offered, its nature and extent are determined by the medical officer's clinical assessment of the individual case. Additionally at a number of establishments personal support continuing after withdrawal is provided by members of staff or drug counselling agencies from the community.Guidelines prepared in discussion between the prison department and probation service for the introduction at all establishments of a more co-ordinated response to drug misusers were issued on 25 September. These describe the responsibility of the governor to ensure the development of a coherent system and the complementary roles of medical and probation officers in the provision of care and support. The use of suitable drug counselling agencies from the community is encouraged. The particular advice offered an inmate prior to discharge will depend upon individual circumstances but progressively as the system is introduced will include the issue of a brief advisory card with which all establishments have been supplied. I am arranging for a copy of the guidelines and card to be placed in the Library.
Police Officers (Dismissals)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officers have been dismissed from each constabulary over the last five years in each year.
The following table shows numbers of officers punished in disciplinary proceedings by dismissal from their force.
|Avon and Somerset||—||2||—||2||3|
|City of London||—||—||—||—||—|
|Devon and Cornwall||—||—||1||—||—|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the percentage wastage as a proportion of the total number of officers employed by each constabulary for each of the last five years in each constabulary.
The available information is as follows. Separate information on each force outside the Metropolitan police could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The number of police officers employed is calculated on the mean average of actual strength at the beginning and end of each year.
|Year||Average police strength||Wastage (including transfers and secondments)||Percentage of wastage over average police strength|
|Police forces in England and Wales (excluding Metropolitan police)|
Lorry Ban (London)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what degree of effort goes into the enforcement of the lorry ban in the former Greater London council area; and whether that effort has diminished or increased since the Greater London council's abolition.
The Greater London (Restriction of Goods Vehicles) Traffic Order 1985 came into force on 31 January 1986. Its enforcement is a matter for the commissioner, and has to take its place with other demands on police resources. I understand that effective enforcement is hindered by the large number of roads excluded from the ban and the legally inadequate state of the signing.The commissioner informs me that enforcement has neither increased nor diminished since the abolition of the Greater London council.
Gartree Prison (Escapes)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up an inquiry into the circumstances of the escape of two prisoners from Her Majesty's prison Gartree on 10 December; and if he will make a statement.
I have asked the deputy director-general of the prison service, Mr. G. H. Lakes CB, MC, to conduct an immediate investigation into the circumstances and I will inform the House of his findings as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of the rule 43 prisoners presently being held on F wing, Brixton prison, are there for medical reasons;(2) how many rule 43 prisoners are currently being held on F wing, Brixton prison; and if he will make a statement.
On 7 December, 62 rule 43 prisoners were held on landing 4 of F wing, part of which has recently been taken into use for such prisoners. In addition, there were 15 prisoners elsewhere in F wing who were on rule 43 before being moved there for medical reasons.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the planned use of F wing, Brixton prison, in (a) the short term and (b) the long term.
The use of prison accommodation is constantly under review, but there are no firm plans at present for further changes in the use of F wing at Brixton.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people currently being held on remand in police cells (a) nationally and (b) in London, require psychiatric assessment of treatment; and if he will make a statement.
On the night of 6/7 December—the most recent date for which information is available—51 remand prisoners awaiting state of health or psychiatric reports were held in police cells in England and Wales. All were awaiting transfer to Brixton prison. Thirty-five were held in London and 16 elsewhere. Information on prisoners requiring psychiatric treatment is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands as to whether the local police had been advised or were aware prior to the recent shooting of a court bailiff and a solicitor's clerk at Wolverhampton that the occupier of the house from which he was being evicted was in possession of a shotgun and—or had threatened violence against anyone attempting to dispossess him prior to the date on which the shootings took place.
I understand from the chief constable of the West Midlands police that his officers were not consulted before this eviction took place; and that they were not asked to attend it. They were therefore unaware of any threat of violence. It was established, after the tragedy, that the occupier had been lawfully in possession of a shotgun.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the bodies which he consulted before publishing the White Paper on firearms.
The following organisations were consulted and a number of others volunteered their views:
- Arms and Armour Society
- Association of Chief Police Officers
- Association of County Councils
- Association of District Councils
- Association of Metropolitan Authorities
- British Deer Society
- British Medical Association
- British Shooting Sports Council and Constituent Bodies
- Council for the Protection of Rural England
- County Landowners' Association
- Countryside Commission
- Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
- Forestry Commission
- Historical Breech Loading and Small Arms Association
- Imperial War Museum
- National Farmers' Union
- Nature Conservancy Council
- Red Deer Commission
- Royal Armouries
- Scottish Shooting Council
- Scottish Sports Council
- Shooters' Rights Association
- Shooting Sportspersons' Liaison Committee
- Sports Council
- Sports Council for Wales
- Welsh Shooting Council
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, he will call for a report from the chief constable of Kent as to why the firearms referred to therein were destroyed;(2) if, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, he will call for a report from the chief constable of Kent as to the year in which the anti-terrorist operation referred to therein took place; and at what location;(3) if, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, he will call for a report from the chief constable of Kent as to the date on which the weapons referred to therein were destroyed;(4) if, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, he will call for a report from the chief constable of Kent as to the cost to the police authority of the weapons referred to therein;(5) if, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, he will call for a report from the chief constable of Kent as to whether all members of the police authority were informed of the purchase by the Kent police of the weapons referred to therein.
As I stated in my reply to the hon. Member on 8 December, at column 133, the firearms referred to were acquired for a specific anti-terrorist operation. This was conducted in 1978 at Leeds castle, Maidstone, Kent.As part of the nationally agreed policy not to dispose of surplus firearms on the open market or to sell them off to firearms dealers, the weapons were destroyed on 7 February 1983. The chief constable was entitled to act on his own authority in this matter. The financial records for the period in question have not been retained.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what information he has for England and Wales, and for each year from 1976 to 1986, from the number of rifles, shotguns and pistols recovered by the police from armed criminals, as to how many firearms had been acquired by the criminal from sources other than loss by or theft from licensed firearms and shotgun certificate holders; and what those sources were for each category of firearm;(2) what information he has for England and Wales, and for each year from 1976 to 1986 inclusive, as to how many rifles, pistols and shotguns lost by or stolen from licensed firearms certificate holders or shotgun certificate holders were subsequently used in any type of violence against the person, particularly homicide, serious injury and armed robbery;(3) what information he has, for England and Wales, and for each year from 1976 to 1986 inclusive, by type of offence and type of firearm, rifle, pistol or shotgun, as to how many firearm offences were committed by licensed firearms certificate holders or shotgun certificate holders which resulted in death or injury to a person other than the holder.
I would refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave to questions from my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) on 30 November and from the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) on 7 December, at columns 3–4.
Mr Frank Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, the complaint against the Kent police by Mr. Frank Turner referred to therein was first made.
I understand from the chief constable of Kent that the complaint made by Mr. Turner was lodged on 27 August 1986.
Police (West Yorkshire)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the latest available figures for uniformed police officers in the West Yorkshire metropolitan police force; and what is the current establishment figure.
On 30 November 1987 the strength of the West Yorkshire police was 5,209. The authorised police establishment is 5,204, and there is approval for 17 supernumerary police posts.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will lay before the House the statement of changes to the immigration rules announced on 16 November, Official Report, column 788; and if he will make a statement.
I am laying before Parliament today for publication tomorrow a statement of changes in the immigration rules to introduce the changes which I announced on 16 November. The effect of these changes will be to provide for (1) leave to enter or remain for up to four years to be granted to persons of independent means, sole representatives, writers and artists; (2) leave to remain for up to four years to be granted to business men and self-employed persons; (3) leave to enter for up to two years to be granted to au pairs; and (4) a reduction to six months in the maximum period of a visit.As I indicated to the House on 16 November, people in the categories affected by the changes will no longer need to apply for merely routine extensions of leave in order to remain for the maximum allowed in that category. The effect of the changes will be to reduce unnecessary bureacracy, improve the overall level of the service which the Department offers to the genuine applicant and enable efforts to be concentrated more effectively and speedily on those cases where important decisions have to be made. These changes will become effective on 1 February 1988. I hope that the House will before then have an opportunity to consider these changes.
Police, Fire And Civil Defence Authorities
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has reached a decision on the applications from the joint police and fire and civil defence authorities for redetermination of their expenditure levels for 1988–89; what maximum precepts he proposes to set in consequence; and if he will make a statement.
All six joint police authorities and six of the seven joint fire and civil defence authorities sought redetermination of the expenditure levels I announced on 24 July and I am today notifying them of my decisions. On police, I have decided not to increase the expenditure levels for South Yorkshire, Northumbria and West Yorkshire, but have redetermined the expenditure levels for the other forces as follows:
|Fire and Civil Defence|
|Tyne and Wear||11·04|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, further to his answer of 30 October, he will give a functional and geographical breakdown of United Kingdom programmed civil defence expenditure in 1987–88.
[holding answer 4 December 1987]: Information is not available in the form requested, but programmed expenditure for United Kingdom Departments in 1987–88 is as follows:
|Central Office of Information||0·05|
|Department of Energy||0·25|
|Department of the Environment||2·20|
|Department of Health and Social Security||2·00|
|Department of Trade and Industry||0·10|
|Department of Transport||4·90|
|Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||20·80|
|Department of Employment||0·10|
|Scottish Home and Health Department||7·95|
|Northern Ireland Office||2·00|
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the anticipated production outturn for the Scottish coalfield in 1987.
Production in the Scottish coalfield over the 12 months to September 1987 was approximately 6 million tonnes. I do not expect the figure for the calendar year 1987 to be greatly different.
North Sea Oil
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are his latest estimates of the projected output of oil from the North sea over the next five years; and how these figures compare with the projected level of demand for oil in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
On current estimates of future production and demand the United Kingdom is likely to remain self-sufficient in oil well into the 1990s.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps the Government are taking to encourage energy efficiency in domestic households.
My Department's Energy Efficiency Office is working closely with the insulation, heating, and fuel industries to encourage householders and landlords to invest in cost-effective measures to reduce fuel bills.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what proposals he has to influence developers and the building professions to improve energy efficiency in rehabilitation work.
The Energy Efficiency Office is spending £0.5 million this year on research and development and through the demonstration scheme to promote the energy efficient renovation of buildings. Future programmes are subject to the outcome of the EEO review.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what proposals he has to provide advice to householders on energy efficiency.
I refer my hon. Friend to my answer today to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands).
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next proposes to meet the chairman of British Coal.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to meet the chairman of British Coal; and what matters will be discussed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans to meet the deputy chairman of British Coal to discuss the sale of British Coal housing.
My right hon. Friend and I have regular meetings with the deputy chairman of British Coal to discuss a wide variety of issues concerning the coal industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of British Coal; and what was discussed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next proposes to have discussions with the chairman of British Coal regarding the financial structure of the industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on his Department's research into refuse combustion as a source of power generation.
Municipal and industrial refuse, surplus straw and forestry wastes are major potential sources of energy. My Department is undertaking a substantial programme of R and D aimed at overcoming the difficulties of handling and burning these materials. In the current financial year over £700,000 is expected to be spent on the work.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received about the level of his Department's research into renewable forms of energy.
I regularly receive representations about the Department's involvement in research into renewable forms of energy.
Fast Breeder Nuclear Technology
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the progress towards commercial viability of fast breeder nuclear technology.
Electricity utilities from France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Britain have recently agreed to work together towards a common conceptual fast reactor design. The aim is to produce an improved design of demonstration reactor.
Coal Industry (Productivity)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what changes have occurred in the productivity per manshift in the coal industry since 1979.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what improvements have occurred in output per man shift in the coal industry since 1979.
For the week ending 5 December, average deep mined revenue output per man shift was 4·07 tonnes, a new weekly record level of productivity. This represents an increase of over 80 per cent. on the average of 2·24 tonnes for 1978–79.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has received any application from the Central Electricity Generating Board for authorisation for any new projects on the lines of the Dinorwig plant in North Wales.
I have not received any applications for projects of this type.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many staff are currently employed by the Electricity Council.
As at 30 September 1987 the Electricity Council employed 1,252 staff.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of the Electricity Council; and what matters they discussed.
I meet Sir Philip Jones regularly to discuss a range of topics.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what recent information he has received from the chairman of British Coal on the number of proposed colliery closures.
I understand from the chairman of the British Coal Corporation that at present there are five collieries proposed for closure.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to which fuel is currently the most popular form of domestic heating; and if he will make a statement.
Gas is the most popular fuel for domestic heating. Competition and consumer choice determine the market share of each fuel.
Electricity (Production Costs)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the cost, in terms of pence per kilowatt hour, of the electricity output of (a) new coal-fired power stations, (b) new nuclear power stations, (c) new combined heat and power stations, and (d) the Severn barrage.
The latest analysis of comparative generating costs showed that the average lifetime costs per KWh adjusted to April 1987 prices was 2·82p/KWh for Hinkley Point B and 3·03 p/KWh for the first stage of the coal-fired station at Drax. The Severn Tidal Power Group indicated in a study published in July 1986 that the cost of electricity produced from a barrage would be 3·45 p/KWh, adjusted to April 1987 prices. It is not possible to estimate the cost of electricity output from CHP stations because of the wide variation in design options.
Energy Savings (Industry)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what proposals he has to achieve further energy savings in industry.
It is for industry to seize the opportunity offered by improvements in energy efficiency. My Department provides help and advice; we have recently launched a new campaign aimed at the most energy-intensive industrial sectors.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the implications for his support for community programme insulation projects of the Energy Efficiency Office review.
Support for community insulation projects will continue as planned. About 500,000 homes, mostly those of pensioners, will have been draughtproofed by the end of 1987/88, and over 300,000 more will be treated in 1988–89.
Electricity Demand Forecasts
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy in which years since 1967 the Central Electricity Generating Board's electricity demand forecasts for four or five years ahead have subsequently proved to be accurate; and if he will make a statement.
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.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what further measures he intends to introduce to assist and promote greater conservation of energy for domestic consumers.
I will consider whether any further measures should be taken following the review of the Energy Efficiency Office.
Generating Stations (Closures)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many electricity generating stations have been closed by the Central Electricity Generating Board since 1979; and what total of generating capacity this represents.
Since 1979 the CEGB has closed 66 small power stations with a total generating capacity of 12,378 MW.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many opencast coal sites there are in operation in the United Kingdom; to how many of these he has paid an official visit in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
I understand from the British Coal Corporation that there are currently 49 opencast mine sites coaling in the United Kingdom. I have visited one coaling site and one reclaimed site. I plan to visit more sites in the future.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his current estimate of the length of time for which Britain will he self-sufficient in oil; and if he will make a statement.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave earlier today in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford (Dr. Clark). Current estimates lead my Department to believe that the United Kingdom's self-sufficiency in oil could last well into the 1990s.
Electricity Industry (Privatisation)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what further advice he has received from Lord Marshall and the Central Electricity Generating Board on proposals for the privatisation of the electricity supply industry; and if he intends to act upon them.
I regularly meet Lord Marshall to discuss a range of issues concerning the privatisation of the electricity supply industry. I shall of course take into account his advice when developing proposals for the future of the industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairmen of the area electricity boards to discuss privatisation of the industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairmen of the area electricity boards to discuss privatisation of the industry.
I refer my hon. Friends to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire, North-East (Mr. Moss) earlier today.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what recent representations he has received regarding the proposed privatisation of the electricity industry.
I have received representations from electricity consumers, unions, other nationalised industries and other interested parties and will take these into account when considering proposals for the privatisation of the industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consideration he will give, in the course of preparation for the privatisation of the electricity supply industry, to the specific requirements of final consumers and the case for rationalisation in electricity distribution.
We are currently developing our proposals for the privatisation of the electricity supply industry. The protection of consumers' interests is being given a top priority. No decisions have yet been taken on the future structure of the industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of the Electricity Council to discuss privatisation of the industry.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Martin) today.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the current scope and status of passive solar energy design research by his Department.
The Department's programme on passive solar design covers both domestic and non-domestic buildings and comprises design studies, field trials, supporting research and development and information dissemination. Nearly £1 million has recently been committed to the second phase of the design studies.
Electricity Supply Industry
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what response he has made to the recent views expressed to him about the future of the electricity supply industry by representatives of employers and trades unions.
I hold regular discussions both with the industry's senior management and representatives of the trade unions. I am giving full consideration to their views in drawing up proposals for the privatisation of the electricity supply industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what advance estimate he has made of the eventual cost of any promotional and advertising campaign accompanying the selling-off of the electricity supply industry.
It would be premature to make such an estimate.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what cost savings have been achieved in the electricity supply industry in each of the last five years; and what cost saving target has now been set for the next financial year.
The electricity supply industry was set a performance aim of a reduction of 4·25 per cent. in controllable costs—fuel, salaries and most other goods and services — per unit sold in real terms between 1982–83 and 1984–85. The industry estimates that had it not been for the effects on its operations of the miners' strike in 1984–85 controllable cost savings would have been close to target. Between 1983–84 and 1986–87 it achieved a further reduction of 4·6 per cent. as compared with the aim for the period 1983–84 to 1987–88 of a reduction of 6·1 per cent. The performance aim for the next financial year is under discussion.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what the rate of return on investment for the electricity supply industry has been in each of the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement.
It is not possible to measure the rate of return on investment in an individual year. The Government expect the electricity supply industry to achieve a 5 per cent. real rate of return on its new investment as a whole.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, how many people are employed in the electricity supply industry; and what is his estimate of future employment.
The average number of employees in the industry in 1986–87 was 132,000. The level of employment is a matter for the industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, how many homes have been given financial assistance for insulation since 1983 for (a) pensioners and (b) other high-risk groups.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Pike) on 9 December 1987, at column 189.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the total number of households supplied with electricity in each year since 1975.
The electricity boards record the number of domestic customers, supplied in Great Britain as:
Source: Handbook of Electricity Supply Statistics SSEB and NOSHEB report and accounts.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the current level of oil exploration on the United Kingdom continental shelf.
At the end of November, the total number of offshore exploration and appraisal wells commenced this year was 113.
Fast Reactor Programme
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to discuss the future of the European collaboration programme on fast reactor technology.
I have discussed fast reactor matters in various meetings with Mr. Collier since I took on my present responsibilities.
Power Station, Hinkley Point
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many representations he has received opposing the Central Electricity Generating Board's proposals for a pressurised water reactor at Hinkley Point.
To date my Department has received more than 950 representations following publicity which I required the board to give to its application. In addition, I understand the local planning authorities have received representations direct.
Nuclear Power Industry
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he is taking to safeguard the future of the nuclear power industry.
Nuclear power makes a vital contribution to diversity in electricity generation and the Government are committed to ensuring that diversity is maintained when the electricity supply industry is privatised.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he will next meet the chairman of British Gas: and what subjects he proposes to discuss.
I have no current plans to meet the chairman of British Gas. When I do, I will discuss a wide range of issues related to the gas industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy who is specified as the owner of the eventual separated plutonium, in contracts for the reprocessing of nuclear wastes from foreign countries at Sellafield.
Contracts for the reprocessing at Sellafield of foreign irradiated nuclear fuel normally provide that the plutonium and uranium products separated by reprocessing shall remain the property of the owner of such fuel. The separated plutonium is returned to its country of origin or to any other destination only on receipt of assurances covering peaceful use, application safeguards, physical protection and controls on retransfer.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what statistics he has on the uptake of economy tariffs offered by area electricity boards.
The Electricity Council estimates that just over 2 million domestic customers in England and Wales are on Economy 7 and a further 1 million customers are on other types of economy tariff.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give his latest estimates of gas reserves on the United Kingdom continental shelf.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) on 23 November 1987, at columns 3–4.
Cegb (Ministerial Meeting)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next intends to meet the chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board; and what matters will be discussed.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Darling).
Coalfield Communities Campaign (Exhibition)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the coalfield communities campaign to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall; and if he will make a statement.
I am pleased to have offered my support for an exhibition relating to the activities of the coalfield communities campaign. This will take place in the Upper Waiting Hall from 14 to 18 March 1988.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has on the cost of promoting Sellafield for visitors in 1986–87.
I am asking the chairman of BNFL to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if Her Majesty's Government will give further consideration to the recommendations of the Select Committee on Energy that a Cabinet Committee be appointed to examine the problems of coalfield communities; and if he will make a statement.
The Government made clear, in their response to the Select Committee, that a number of Government programmes provide help, and that no additional useful function would be served by discussions in a committee.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many integrated schools in Northern Ireland receive grants from his Department.
Three schools, established as independent integrated schools, are now recognised by my Department as grant-aided maintained schools.
Royal Ulster Constabulary
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the rebuilt Lisburn road Royal Ulster Constabulary station is to be on the proposed Cadogan park site; and if he will make a statement.
The Police Authority has applied for planning permission to build a new police station on the proposed Cadogan park site and the Department of the Environment has decided to hold a public inquiry under article 22 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 into the application. The matter has been referred to the Planning Appeals Commission and it is due to be heard early in 1988.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy to make the milk quotas allocated to dairy farmers in Northern Ireland available for public inspection.
[holding answer 10 December 1987]: No. Under the United Kingdom quota regulations, access to a quota register entry in relation to a holding is restricted to the owner or a person with an interest in that holding.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officials are employed in artificial insemination centres in Northern Ireland.
[holding answer 10 December 1987]: The total staff complement for the centres is 111, although numbers actually engaged on the work vary from time to time according to season.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by what agency he intends to replace artificial insemination centres.
[holding answer 10 December 1987]: The Department will be inviting formal declarations of interest in undertaking this work from the private sector. It is not possible to say which bodies will respond.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many artificial insemination centres are organised by the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland.
[holding answer 10 December 1987]: The Department provides the artificial insemination service in Northern Ireland through one main centre and 10 sub-centres.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the annual cost to his Department of each of the artificial insemination centres in Northern Ireland.
[holding answer 10 December 1987]: The specific cost of running each artificial insemination sub-centre is not readily available. The total cost of providing the artificial insemination service was almost £2·1 million in 1986–87.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will keep the cost of artificial insemination replacement services at the present level.
[holding answer 10 December 1987]: It is not possible to guarantee that the cost of the artificial insemination services will remain unchanged for the future, or that present levels of subsidy to the services will continue indefinitely.