Written Answers To Questions
Monday 28 March 1988
Education And Science
Medical Research Council (Expenditure)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much the Medical Research Council will spend on research into (a) mental health and (b) schizophrenia in the forthcoming year; what this
|Mental Health||Percentage of MRC Budget||Schizophrenia||Percentage of MRC Budget|
|£ million||£ million|
|* Figures not available|
Child Guidance Service
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he plans to take to ensure the continuation of the child guidance service in inner London after the abolition of the Inner London education authority.
My right hon. Friend will wish to discuss this matter with the inner London councils, the Inner London education authority and the relevant district health authorities, with a view to ensuring that an effective child guidance service is available to each new LEA.
Free School Meals
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children it is estimated will no longer qualify for free school meals in Bradford from April 1988; and if he will make a statement.
In October 1987, about 7,850 pupils in Bradford received free school meals, either because their families were in receipt of family income supplement, or through the operation of LEA discretion. From 11 April, the families of those in the former category will receive a cash benefit of £2·55 per week throughout the year under the new family credit scheme, which will also cover many in the latter category. Nationally, it is estimated that about 100,000 more school age children will benefit under the family credit scheme compared with those who currently receive free school meals under family income supplement and LEA discretionary schemes combined.
figure represents as a percentage of the Medical Research Council's budget; and what was the comparable percentage spent in each of the last six years.
I am advised by the Medical Research Council that expenditure on mental health (including addiction) and schizophrenia research from 1981–82 to 1986–87 was as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about the joint matriculation board's report on the number of pupils taking O and A-level examinations in French.
The 1986–87 annual report of the Joint Matriculation Board shows a decrease in the number of French A level candidates, but an increase in the proportion taking French 0-level and joint O-level/CSE. Comparable figures for all examination boards are not yet available. Under the Government's proposals for a national curriculum, a modern foreign language is a foundation subject at secondary level and will therefore form part of the curriculum for all pupils between the ages of 11 and 16. We expect the majority to want to offer it for public examination at age 16 and hope that the greater numbers studying a language to age 16 will also result in an increase in those continuing their studies to A or AS-level.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
International Atomic Energy Agency
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress on agreements to exchange and report information among member countries of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The information requested is not yet available, as the International Atomic Energy Agency has not completed drawing up a list of member states which have entered into such agreements. The United Kingdom has entered into such agreements with Norway and Denmark and is currently discussing agreements with the Soviet Union, the Netherlands and the Irish Republic. The United Kingdom also has an agreement on similar lines with France, which was signed in 1983.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he proposes to take following the European ministerial conference in Hamburg on central American affairs.
We continue to give firm support to the peace process. The commitments which the Community and its member states have entered into are recorded in the political and economic communiqués, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.
Sita Ram Maskey
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss the imprisonment of Sita Ram Maskey with the Nepal Government.
Mr. Maskey was imprisoned in May 1987 under Nepal's Public Security Act. His case is cited in the Amnesty International report on Nepal published in November last year. We have drawn the attention of the Nepalese Government to this report.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations
|Receptions (1) juveniles into prison department establishments in England and Wales: by type of reception 1982–86.|
|Type of reception||1982||1983||1984||1985||1986|
|Percentage of receptions of all ages||3||3||3||3||3|
|Percentage of receptions of all ages||9||5||2||2||3|
|Percentage of receptions of all ages3||10||9||9||8||6|
|1 Total receptions cannot be calculated by adding receptions in each category, because there is double counting.|
|2 Provisional figures.|
|3 Excluding fine defaulters and non-criminal prisoners.|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many 14-year-olds were in prison establishments on the last occasion for which figures are available; what information he has about the institutions in which they were held; how many were on remand; what information he has about the crimes for which those convicted were so convicted; how many previous convictions they had; and what information he has as to their ethnic origins.
have been made to the Government of the Soviet Union about the continued imprisonment in a mental hospital of Vasili Shipilov.
Vasili Shipilov was included on a list of human rights cases which my right hon. and learned Friend handed to Mr. Shevardnadze during his visit to the Soviet Union in February this year.
Refugees (Hong Kong)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the longest time that anyone has been in a closed camp for refugees in Hong Kong.
The longest time any refugee has been in a closed centre in Hong Kong is five years eight months.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of offenders under the age of 17 years (a) detained and (b) imprisoned for each of the last five years; and if he will express the figures as a percentage of the total number of prisoners detained and imprisoned for each of the years.
The readily available information is given in the table. It is derived from chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 of "Prison Statistics, England and Wales, 1986" (Cm. 210), copies of which are in the Library.(2) if he will show for each county or police force area
(a) the number of 14-year-olds in prison establishments and (b) that number expressed as a proportion of the relevant age group.
The home address of persons held in prison department establishments in England and Wales is not recorded centrally. The readily available information is given in the tables. There were no 14-yearold females held or males held on remand.
Sentenced mules aged 14 held in Prison Department establishments in England and Wales on 30 September 1987: by offence group, ethnic origin and establishment type
Number of persons
White Guyanese African
Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi
Chinese, Arb, mixed origin
|Violence against the person||—||3||—||—||—||—||—||1||4|
|Theft, handling, fraud and forgery||—||2||—||1||—||—||—||—||3|
1 The numbers are those recorded centrally and are approximate: detailed checking of individual cases would involve disproportionate cost.
Sentenced males aged 14 held in Prison Department establishments in England and Wales on 30 September 1967: by offence group and number of previous convictions
Number of persons
Number of previous convictions
11 and over
|Violence against the person||1||—||1||—||—||2||4|
|Theft, handling, fraud and forgery||—||1||2||—||—||—||3|
1 The numbers are those recorded centrally and are approximate: detailed checking of individual cases would involve disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on which other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or European Community countries place 14-year-olds in prison institutions.
Comprehensive reliable information is not readily available. From such information as we have, some form of custodial sanction appears to be available for 14-year-old offenders in the following member countries of the OECD or the European Community: Canada, France, the German Federal Republic, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United States. The member countries where such sanctions appear not to be available are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Spain and Sweden. We have no information about the remaining countries.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what inquiries have taken place into possible contacts between the Economic League and police forces in regions other than North Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement.
We are not aware of any such inquiries.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have received custodial sentences for non-payment of rates for each of the last five years.
Information on the number of persons received on committal by magistrates' courts in default of payment of rates in each of the last 11 years is published annually in "Prison Statistics England and Wales" (table 6.2 of the latest volume, for 1986, Cm. 210) copies of which are in the Library. The following table gives corresponding details of those received in 1982 to 1986 following committal by county courts.Persons received into prison department establishments in England and Wales on committal by county courts for non-payment of rates: by sex, 1982–86.
|Number of persons1|
|1 Based on information recorded centrally which is approximate. Checking of individual cases would involve disproportionate cost.|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities exist for recreation and exercise, and how many square feet of exercise space are available, at each of Her Majesty's prisons at Birmingham, Leeds, Pentonville, Manchester, Wandsworth, Wormwood Scrubs and Holloway.
The information is as follows:
|Facilities||Approximate outside exercise space square feet|
|Birmingham||gymnasium, multi-gymnasium, fitness/weight-lifting room, recreation room||65,000|
|Leeds||gymnasium, weight-training room||32,900|
|Pentonville||gymnasium, weight training room, remedial exercise room||87,800|
|Manchester||gymnasium, sports hall, weight-training room||30,900|
|Wandsworth||gymnasium, multi-purpose room||62,000|
|Wormwood Scrubs||gymnasium, multi-gymnasium, sports hall||72,600|
|Holloway||gymnasium, sports hall, swimming pool||27,000|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hours' exercise per week prisoners receive at each of Her Majesty's prisons at Birmingham, Leeds, Pentonville, Manchester, Wandsworth, Wormwood Scrubs and Holloway.
Seven hours, weather permitting. In addition, there are varied opportunities for physical training.
Video Recordings Act 1984
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought under the provisions of the Video Recordings Act 1984; and with what result.
The Video Recordings Act 1984 is being introduced in stages, the first of which came into effect on 1 September 1985. The data held centrally, which may be incomplete, show no record of any prosecutions under the Act in 1985 and two in 1986. I would also refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) on 27 November at columns 365–66.
To ask the Attorney-General on how many nights in each of the past five years juries in criminal trials have been sent to an hotel whilst considering a verdict; and what has been the total cost in each of those years.
This information is not readily available. It can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Prime Minister if she will set the precise responsibility which the Secretary of State for the Environment has in relation to forestry.
The Secretary of State for the Environment is responsible for environmental matters in England, and has an overall responsibility for nature conservation in the United Kingdom. He is therefore consulted by the Ministers with direct responsibility for forestry about the environmental implications of forestry policies. He is also consulted about those applications for planting grant on which the Forestry Commission has sought the views of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as Forestry Minister for England, because there is an unresolved objection on environmental grounds from the relevant body or local authority.
Plo (Military Equipment)
To ask the Prime Minister what procedures exist within the appropriate Departments to prevent the export of British military equipment to the Palestine Liberation Organisation; and whether she is satisfied that they are effective.
Export control procedures for military equipment seek to take account of all relevant factors, including the type of equipment, its proposed destination and its end use. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to disclose the nature of the checks made.I am satisfied with the general effectiveness of the controls.
To ask the Prime Minister by which Department information was possessed that the Lebanese company engaged in the transaction with Racal-Tacticom in 1982 had links with the Palestine Liberation Organisation; and when it was made known to that Department.
I have nothing to add to the reply given to my hon. Friend on 18 March, at column 688, by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Litter Collection (St James' Park)
To ask the Prime Minister what was the purpose of the exercise involving the deposit and subsequent collection of litter in St. James' park on 22 March; what was the cost; and if she will make a statement.
I attended the launch on 22 March of the Tidy Britain Group's series of projects designed to deal more effectively with the litter problem. The cost of the launch was less than £60.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what private hospitals are being paid to perform the heart operations necessary to enable the South Glamorgan health authority to meet his target of 600 heart operations per year; and how much each hospital has charged per operation done to meet this target.
South Glamorgan health authority is funded by the Department to provide an agreed level of open heart operations. The involvement of the private sector by the health authority in order to meet the agreed target is a matter for the authority. As a consequence, the information requested is not held centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if the cardiac surgeons employed by the South Glamorgan health authority are fulfilling their contracted National Health Service sessions to meet his target of 600 operations per year.
The consultant contracts are held by South Glamorgan health authority. The information requested is not available centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many farmers in Wales have received fee-paying service from the Agricultural Development Advisory Service during the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement;(2) how many farmers in Wales have applied during the last 12 months for the fee paying service given by the Agricultural Development Advisory Service; and if he will make a statement.
It is no) possible to distinguish between those who apply for, and those who receive, chargeable non-statutory advice: ADAS would seldom be unable to provide a service sought by a potential customer. In the first 11 months of the scheme, chargeable advice was provided to 4,731 customers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much revenue has been received by the Agricultural Development Advisory Service for fee-paying service to farmers in Wales during the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
In the 11 months to 29 February 1988, receipts for advisory services totalled £502,258.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service staff in Wales are fluent Welsh speakers; and if he will make a statement.
The number of fluent Welsh speakers employed by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service in Wales is 133.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people are employed by the Agricultural Development Advisory Service in Wales; what were the corresponding figures for the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
The number of people currently employed by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service in Wales is 354.The information for 1 April (the nearest available date) in earlier years is as follows:
Since ADAS reorganised in 1987 the figures include ADAS staff in Wales employed on the experimental husbandry farm and as national (United Kingdom) specialists. These officers were not included in the staffing figures to 1986 and the totals for 1983 to 1986 would need to be increased by about 40 to reflect the change in 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to review the service given by members of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
Services provided by ADAS are kept under continued review to ensure that the best possible advice is always available.
Wales And Marches Postal Board
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to meet the chairman of the Wales and Marches Postal Board to discuss proposals to improve postal services in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
No. My hon. Friend met the chairman of the Post Office Board, Wales and the Marches, on 17 February. They discussed a wide range of issues related to the provision of postal services in Wales.
Private Health Service Contractors
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has as to how many people are employed by private health service contractors in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
Information on the number of people employed by private firms providing services to the NHS is not held centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has as to how many people are employed in the brick industry in Wales; and how many were employed in 1979.
Up-to-date information is not available, but census of employment data show there to have been 1,300 people employed in the manufacture of bricks, fireclay and refractory goods in 1978; and about 800 in the nearest comparable categories, structural clay products and refractory goods, in 1984.
Council House Rents
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average rent per council house in Wales in (a) 1979 and (b) 1987; and if he will make a statement.
The average weekly net unrebated rent of local authority dwellings in Wales was £6·32 in April 1979 and £17·91 in April 1987.
Government Employment And Training Measures
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people are engaged in Government employment and training measures in Wales; what was the figure for expenditure on the YTS in 1986 and 1987; and if he will make a statement.
The number of people engaged in the following programmes in Wales at 31 January 1988 is as follows:
|New Job Training Scheme||1,241|
|Youth Training Scheme||23,691|
|Enterprise Allowance Scheme||5,289|
|Job Release Scheme||712|
|Job Share Scheme||85|
|New Workers Scheme||1,930|
Local Authorities Staff
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of full-time staff employed by Welsh local authorities in 1979 and 1987; and if he will make a statement.
The number of full-time staff employed by Welsh local authorities in December 1979 was 108,388. The corresponding figure for December 1987 was 98,123.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy towards home confinement in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
District health authorities were given appropriate guidance in WHC(86) 69 issued in December 1986. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Electricity Industry (Privatisation)
To ask the Secretary for State of Wales if he will make a statement on the implications of the privatisation of the electricity industry for employment in Wales.
Employment in the privatised electricity industry in Wales will, as at present, be a matter for the industry itself. Electricity privatisation will bring new opportunities for the industry, for its employees and for the economy as a whole.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from the local authority associations in Wales about the poll tax; and if he will make a statement.
We have received a number of written and oral representations from the Welsh local authority associations about the community charge.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made on the implementation of breast screening in Wales.
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Deidre Hine has been appointed as director of the breast screening service in Wales. She is taking up her post, which is on the staff of the university of Wales college of medicine, today Premises have been acquired at 18, Cathedral road, Cardiff to house the Welsh breast screening centre. Screening should start at the centre later this year and the service will spread to the rest of Wales as quickly as possible. Our aim is for all parts of the Principality to be covered by a high-quality service by 1990.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the cost of his two Welsh export breakfasts; and how many (a) business men and (b) officials he expects to attend.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: The catering costs, the hire of the venues, the costs associated with the presenter, the speakers, the equipment and the road crews came to £29,488·94 inclusive of VAT. The audiovisual element will be used generally by Welsh Office export staff and will feature in other presentations. Together, the two breakfasts stimulated a terrific turnout of almost 1,200 business men and women. Sixteen of my officials attended the Cardiff event, and 10 were at Rhyl. The breakfasts have already resulted in a considerable increase in inquiries for export services and have been widely praised by those who attended.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons were employed in the tourist industry in (a) the Bradford and (b) the Keighley travel-to-work areas at the latest convenient date.
The latest estimates of employees in employment in tourism-related industries, which relate to September 1984, are 8,200 for Bradford and 1,200 for Keighley. These estimates do not include the self-employed, for whom considerable estimates are not available.
Enterprise Allowance Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many people were on the enterprise allowance scheme in the London borough of Lewisham in 1986 and 1987, respectively; what proportion of these small businesses employed more than 25 people (a) in the first year of trading and (b) in the second year of trading; and what proportion failed in the first year of trading;(2) if he will bring forward proposals to monitor the success rate of businesses started under the enterprise allowance scheme.
The information is not available in the form requested. In the wider (inner London south) area, comprising Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich, Bromley and Bexley, 1,506 people entered the enterprise allowance scheme in the 1986–87 financial year and 2,337 have joined so far in the 1987–88 financial year. Nationally, the rate of drop out during the allowance year has fluctuated within the range 11 to 16 per cent. since the scheme began.The success rate of businesses started under the enterprise allowance scheme is already monitored though a programme of national surveys which was established when the scheme began. Latest evidence shows that 74 per cent. of those who complete a full year on the scheme are still trading six months after the allowance has ended, and 65 per cent. two years after the allowance has ceased.The surveys also show that for every 100 businesses continuing six months after the allowance has ended, 71 people, in addition to the recipient of the allowance and any business partner, are employed at that time. Two years after the allowance has ceased, the number of additional people employed rises to 114 per 100 firms surviving.Of those businesses which are employing others, at the 18-month point less than 1 per cent. are employing more than 20 people; the corresponding figure at the three-year point is around 3 per cent.
Training Project Programmes
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the companies and organisations that have been invited to tender for Manpower Services Commission training project programmes in the last two years.
The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many training project programmes were put to tender in 1985, 1986 and the latest figure for 1987 by the Manpower Services Commission; and what was the average value of the tenders.
The Manpower Services Commission did not keep a computerised central record of projects put out to tender until April 1987. From 1 April 1987 to 24 March 1988, 131 projects supporting the Manpower Service Commission's training programmes were tendered. The average contracted cost of these projects was £68,000. Information on the average value of individual tenders is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Restrictive Labour Practices
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any plans to look into restrictive labour practices.
As part of their general concern to see the elimination of restrictive practices in all areas the Government have today referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) certain questions as to possible restrictive labour practices in television and film production, tinder the terms of section 79 of the Fair Trading Act 1973.The reference has been made jointly by my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department and myself, in exercise of the powers conferred by the Act.The practices specified in the reference are those of
(a) restricting the extent to which work is performed by workers who are not members of a particular trade union; and (b) requiring that minimum numbers of workers (whether or not of specified descriptions) be engaged on particular productions or tasks.
The questions referred are whether each practice exists; if so, whether it is a restrictive labour practice within the meaning of the Act; and what public interest effects there may be.
This reference is the first to be made under the provisions of section 79. It forms part of the initiatives which the Government have in hand following the report of the Peacock committee to promote efficiency and competitiveness in the industry. The Government believe that it will inform the steps now being taken within the industry in relation to changes in working practices to secure the future of all who work in it.
We anticipate that the MMC will be able to make its report by the end of this year.
To ask the Secretry of State for Employment what change there has been in the numbers earning double, treble and quadruple national average earnings since 1978–79; and what regional breakdown is available.
[holding answer 24 March 1988] The numbers in the United Kingdom earning double, treble and quadruple national average earnings are estimated to have increased between 1978–79 and 1986–87 by 150,000, 90,000 and 50,000 respectively. These numbers include the self-employed. Regional data are not available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people aged 16 to 17 years completed a YTS training course in the London borough of Lewisham in 1987.
[holding answer 23 March 1988]:Forty-nine young people completed a YTS training course in the London borough of Lewisham in 1987.Two-year YTS commenced in April 1986 and young people who started a YTS course since then are not due to complete their training until 1988. Some 468 young people started YTS courses in Lewisham in 1987.
Mentally Ill People
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many patients with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia psychosis have been discharged from mental hospitals in Scotland in each of the last 10 years.
The information is as follows:
Number of Discharges with primary diagnosis of schizophrenia
Information is not yet available for 1987.
Rural Infrastructure (Plantation Timber)
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has on the estimated cost to each of the regional authorities of Dumfries and Galloway, Highland and Border, of upgrading rural roads, bridges and other infrastructure to facilitate the extraction of plantation timber from remote hill and upland areas; and if he intends to lay business rates on such plantations in order to contribute towards the cost of such infrastructure.
The only information available is estimates prepared by the local authorities. Dumfries and Galloway regional council has prepared a programme totalling £13·3 million of road schemes to assist in the extraction of timber up to 1995. Highland regional council has included in its financial plan a total of £3·7 million for this purpose for the period up to 1992–93. Borders regional council is at present in discussion with the Forestry Commission in order to update its programme of schemes.It is not intended to change the existing arrangements for the application of agricultural derating to woodlands.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish for each regional procurator fiscal jurisdiction (a) the number of pathologists employed, part-time or full-time, on sudden death procedure and (b) the number of police surgeons accredited to deal with sudden death procedures.
Pathologists are not employed by procurators fiscal but are instructed to perform autopsies in individual cases. It is only possible to provide the numbers of pathologists who are regularly instructed by procurators fiscal in each regional fiscaldom and these are as follows:
|Glasgow and Strathkelvin||10|
|Grampian, Highlands and islands||5|
|Tayside, Central and Fife||3|
|Lothian and Borders||12|
|South Strathclyde, dumfries and Galloway||16|
|Dumfries and Galloway||1|
|Lothian and borders||10|
Forestry Grant Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will state the total hectareage for which moneys have been paid out under the forestry grant scheme from its inception in October 1981;(2) if he will state the total amount paid out under the forestry grant scheme from its inception in October 1981.
The total amount paid out in grants to February 1988, the latest date for which information is available, was £23 million. This related to applications concerning 110,000 hectares of land.
Iceland (Electricity Imports)
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has now received any proposals concerning the possible importation of electricity from Iceland; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) on 23 March 1988 at column 140.
Uist And Galloway (Aerial Survey)
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has concerning the results of the aerial survey of Uist and Galloway undertaken by the Scottish universities research and reactor centre; what action he proposes to take as a result; and if he will make a statement.
The results of the survey were presented to Scottish Office officials on 25 March and they are currently being assessed.The survey was part of a research programme initiated by the Scottish universities research and reactor centre and was one in which the Scottish Office had expressed an interest. Preliminary examination of the result indicates that they are not greatly different from what would be expected for the areas concerned from a knowledge of the rainfall during the passage of the cloud and of other factors.
Radioactivity (Aerial Surveys)
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider commissioning the Scottish universities research and reactor centre to undertake a full aerial survey of radioactivity in Scotland to determine the residual post-Chernobyl effects and other concentrations of radioactivity.
Aerial surveying for deposited radioactivity is still at the development stage and is not yet proven or available for wider use. The widespread monitoring which was undertaken following the Chernobyl accident identified the areas of highest deposition and more detailed monitoring of the environment, livestock, crops and foodstuffs has been concentrated in those areas. The work is still continuing, and has shown that, except as regards sheep, radioactivity values, including those in soils, are well below levels at which action would be necessary.
Scottish Office (Permanent Under-Secretary)
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the posts previously held by the recently appointed permanent under-secretary to the Scottish Office, giving for each post the date appointed and the grades at which the post was held.
Mr. Hillhouse joined the Civil Service in 1960. He first entered the Government communications headquarters and then transferred in 1962 to the Scottish Office, where he was assigned as an assistant principal to the Scottish Education Department, spending his first four years on a variety of short-term assignments. His career subsequent to his promotion to principal in 1966 is outlined below:—
|3 October 1966||SED—Finance—Principal|
|20 September 1971||Treasury, on secondment—Principal|
|26 August 1974||Scottish Office—Management group support staff—Assistant secretary|
|20 May 1975||Scottish office—Finance co-ordination Assistant secretary|
|3 October 1977||Scottish home and health department—Police services—Assistant secretary|
|1 August 1980||Scottish office—Principal finance officer—Under secretary|
|1 August 1985||SED—Under secretary|
|1 December 1987||SED—Secretary grade 2|
Ford Plant, Dundee
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what direct personal contact he had with the Ford Motor company in the two weeks immediately preceding the announcement that the company would not be locating an electrical and electronic manufacturing plant in Dundee.
None. During that period all contacts with the company were being maintained through my officials in Locate in Scotland.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow on Monday, 21 March, Official Report, column 15, he will estimate the number of jobs created by the Inverclyde initiative; of these, how many are full-time, and how many are part-time; and how many have been filled by (a) males and (b) females.
|Eye Tests||58·7||58·5||59·2||61·1||63·7||66·2||69·4||71·5||Not yet available|
The Inverclyde initiative aims to stimulate local economic activity and create opportunities for employment. It does not in itself directly create new jobs. Information in the form requested is not therefore available.Between March 1985, when the Inverclyde initiative was launched, and March 1988, 11,661 new permanent jobs and approximately 1,300 new temporary jobs have been created in Inverclyde district. A breakdown between full and part-time, male and female, is not available.
Major Trunk Road Projects
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the major trunk road projects which have been started during 1987–88 and those which lie expects to start in 1988–89.
The information is as follows:
Schemes with estimated cost over £1 million started since 1 April 1987
- A75 Castle Douglas bypass A75 Glenluce bypass
- M8 Starlaw junction, Livingston
- M80 Stepps bypass (advance works)
- A82 Auchendennan to Arden (Loch Lomond)
- A82 Luss to Camus Nan Clais (Loch Lomond)
- A830 Polnish to Lochailort
- A9 Dornoch Firth approach roads (south)
- A9 Dornoch Firth approach roads (north)
- A9 Dunbeath bridge
- A92 East Fife regional road, stages III and IV1
- A92 Ellon bypass Tipperty1
- A94 Candy to Stonehaven1
1 Contract awarded March 1988: possible works in April 1988.
Schemes with estimated cost over £1 million expected to start by 31 March 1989
- A7 North Middleton
- A75 Dumfries bypass
- A77 Balsalloch-Balcreuchan
- A835 Garve railway bridge
- A87 Dornie bridge
- A9 Dunblane bypass
- A9 Dornoch Firth bridge
- A94 Parkford-Balnabrcich
- A94 Upper Northwater bridge—Oatyhill
- A94 Stracathro junction
- A96 Inverurie bypass
Eye Tests And Dental Examinations
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) eye tests and (b) dental examinations took place in the Tayside health board area broken down into districts in each year since 1979.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: The information for Tayside health board area is set out in the table. Disaggregated information is not available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he will next be meeting the chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board; and what subjects he expects to discuss.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of the Central Electricity Board; and what matters were discussed.
I refer my hon. Friend and the hon. Gentleman to the answer given earlier today to the hon. Member for Motherwell, North, (Dr. Reid).
Nuclear Power Stations (Insurance)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what provision he anticipates being made to ensure that nuclear power stations have full insurance cover after privatisation.
There are established arrangements under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 to provide compensation for claims for injury or damage arising from a nuclear incident. These arrangements satisfy our obligations under the relevant international conventions and are in line with the arrangements in force in most other western European countries.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the Gas Consumers Council document entitled "An analysis of Gas Disconnections."
I welcome the Gas Consumers' Council's report on disconnections. The council has found no evidence of a harder attitude on disconnections by British Gas since privatisation, but its report does recommend a number of important improvements to British Gas procedures.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps his Department takes to monitor the operation of the voluntary code of practice on gas disconnections; and if he will make a statement.
The code of practice on gas disconnections is not voluntary; it is required under condition 12 of British Gas authorisation. Under the condition, it is the responsibility of the Gas Consumers' Council and the Director General of Gas Supply to monitor the operation of the code.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what organisations he has consulted since the publication of his White Paper on electricity privatisation.
I am now discussing detailed arrangements with a wide range of parties, including the management, the unions and consumer bodies.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what requirement he has placed upon the Central Electricity Generating Board to ensure that any coal-fired power stations sold by it to other generators maintain the highest standards of pollution control of gas and particulate emission, noise and wind-borne dust.
It is the responsibility of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution to determine whether and to what extent pollution control equipment is required at such stations. The level of noise generated is a matter for the appropriate local authority.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many organisations have written to him as a result of the publication of his White Paper on electricity privatisation.
I have received representations from electricity consumers, unions, other interested bodies and nationalised industries and members of the public both before and since the publication of the White Paper.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list his official outside advisers, including City institutions and others, who are being consulted on future plans for electricity privatisation.
My official outside advisers on electricity privatisation are Kleinwort Benson Limited, Touche Ross and Co., Slaughter and May, Merz and McLellan, and Professor Stephen Littlechild of Birmingham university.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received in connection with the powers of the regulator proposed by him for the electricity supply industry after privatisation.
I have received a number of representations on the proposed powers of the regulator.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met representatives of (a) the Confederation of British Industry and (b) pensioners' organisations to discuss the proposed 9 per cent. increase in electricity charges; what is his latest estimate of the effects upon (i) the average costs of industry and (ii) the average costs of a pensioner couple living on the minimum state pension and supplementary benefit; and if he will make a statement.
I last met representatives from the CBI on 8 March and a pensioners' organisation on 15 December last year. The effect of the electricity tariff rises this April will be to increase industry's average costs by between one fifth and one eighth of 1 per cent; and to increase the average pensioner couple's household expenditure by about 35p a week.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what quantity of unprocessed uranium was purchased from South Africa by British Nuclear Fuels during the last year; and if he will make a statement.
None. British Nuclear Fuels plc does not purchase unprocessed uranium from South Africa or anywhere else.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next expects to meet the chairman of the Electricity Council, and what subjects he proposes to discuss.
I meet the chairman of the Electricity Council, Sir Philip Jones, regularly to discuss various matters, including the privatisation of the electricity supply industry.
Coal Industry (Productivity)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the latest figures for productivity in the coal mining industry.
Deep-mined revenue output per man shift was 3·90 tonnes for the week ended 12 March.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the latest figures for productivity in the coal mining industry.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give the latest production figures for output per manshift in British Coal; and what were the comparable figures three years ago.
Deep-mined revenue output per man shift was 3·90 tonnes for the week ended 12 march. The average for 1984–85 was 2·08 tonnes.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the tonnage expected to be produced by deep-mined and opencast operations in Scotland in 1988.
Output forecasts are a matter for British Coal.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of Nirex; and what subjects he discussed.
I last met the chairman of UK Nirex on 1 December 1987. We discussed a number of issues.
Energy Efficiency Office
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what measures are currently being considered by his Department's Energy Efficiency Office; and if he will make a statement.
My Department's Energy Efficiency Office continues to study a wide range of measures to help in improving efficiency in the use of energy. It is currently consulting with outside bodies about the possible development of schemes designed to recover the EEO's costs. I hope to announce the outcome of this work before the summer recess.
Coal Industry Dispute
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what recent representations he has received seeking reconsideration of his decision not to raise with the chairman of British Coal the reinstatement of miners sacked during the 1984–85 coal strike; and if he will make a statement.
None, apart from those of the hon. Member.
Power Station, Kingsnorth
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to receive an application from the Central Electricity Generating Board for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth on the Medway.
The timing of an application for Kingsnorth, if made, will be a matter for the CEGB.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the type of sites viable for giant windmills; and what representations he has received about the extent of visual intrusion consequent upon any projected building of such windmills.
The types of site considered to be viable for medium and large-scale wind turbine generators are those having medium to high wind speeds, in open terrain and which are located sufficiently far from the nearest habitation.I have received a small number of representations from members of the public on experimental medium-sized machines currently under test.An assessment of the environmental implications and public acceptability of renewable energy sources is a key element of my Department's current research and development programme. The programme is also examining constraints on the United Kingdom's total wind energy resource that would be imposed by such environmental factors as national parks, areas designated as being of outstanding natural beauty and urban land.
Electricity Area Board Chairmen
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to meet electricity area board chairmen; and what subjects he proposes to discuss.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to meet electricity area board chairmen; and what subjects he proposes to discuss.
I meet the area board chairmen from time to time to discuss various matters including the privatisation of the electricity supply industry.
Offshore Oil Licensing
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to announce the next offshore oil licensing round.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) on 24 March 1988, at columns 179–80.
Heat And Power Schemes
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on his policy regarding public funding of combined heat and power schemes.
My Department encourages the evaluation of CHP schemes by assisting some feasibility studies by industry and commerce to establish whether CHP is the most energy efficient and economic option. If these studies show the developer that CHP is economically viable and affordable, then there is no need for public subsidy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next intends to meet the chairman of British Coal to discuss the long-term future of the coal industry.
Coal Industry (Financial Support)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received on the proposed level of financial support for the coal mining industry in 1988–89 and 1989–90; and if he will make a statement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received about the level of financial support planned for the coal mining industry in 1988–89 and 1989–90.
I have noted the representations made in the House about the future level of financial support for the coal mining industry.British Coal's external financing limit for 1988–89 has been set at £670 million. It is envisaged that this will be financed as follows:
|Other non-deficit grants||273·5|
British Coal Enterprise Ltd
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many jobs have been created by British Coal Enterprise Ltd. since its formation.
This is a matter for British Coal Enterprise Ltd. and I am asking the chairman to write to the hon. Member.
Renewable Energy Sources
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received on the projected expenditure levels of research and development of renewable sources of energy by his Department over the next five years; and if he will make a statement.
I have received a number of representations in relation to future expenditure levels for research into the renewable sources of energy, the most recent of which have come from Members of this House.Over £124 million has already been invested by my Department in developing and promoting the renewable technologies and strong support will continue to be provided to ensure their full economic potential is realised. The public expenditure White Paper (Cm. 288, published in January 1988) envisages around £50 million will be spent on research into these technologies over the next three years. Information for subsequent years is not available.An energy paper setting out the Government's strategy in relation to renewable sources of energy will be published in June.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of the minimum non-fossil fuel generated electricity in the privately owned electricity industry structure which he proposes for England and Wales he envisages will be generated from nuclear stations.
This will depend on a number of factors, such as relative fuel prices and the development of fuel technologies. But I would expect that in the early years after privatisation the major proportion will come from nuclear power stations.
Hinkley Point C Power Station
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to be in a position to announce the starting date for the public inquiry into the Central Electricity Generating Board application to build Hinkley Point C power station.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 21 March 1988 at columns 21–22.
Cbi (Energy Costs)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he proposes to have any further discussions at an early date with the Confederation of British Industry regarding energy costs; and if he will make a statement.
I discussed electricity prices at a recent meeting with the CBI. I have agreed to speak to the CBI council on 12 May.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of British Coal; and what issues were discussed.
South African Coal
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many tonnes of South African coal were imported into the United Kingdom in each year since 1980.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what was the amount of coal mined in South Africa imported into the United Kingdom in each year since 1980.
The following is the amount of coal imported into the United Kingdom from South Africa for each year since 1980:
Quantity '000 tonnes
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) who will bear, following the privatisation of the electricity supply industry, the total costs and full responsibility for the safe disposal of nuclear waste;(2) who will be responsible, following the privatisation of the Central Electricity Generating Board, for the decommissioning of nuclear power stations; and who will bear the cost for the decommissioning.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Blyth Valley (Mr. Campbell) on 22 March 1988 at column 68.
Coal (Sulphur Content)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will tabulate information available to him on the sulphur content of coal used (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in each other European Economic Community country for the purpose of power generation.
The average sulphur content of United Kingdom power station coal was 1·6 per cent. in 1986–87.Information on the sulphur content of coal used in other EEC countries, for power generation alone, is not readily available. The following table, however, gives independent estimates of the average sulphur content of coals used for all purposes in each of the member states in 1983.
|The average sulphur content of coals used in EEC countries in 1983|
|Country||Hard coal per cent.||Brown coal per cent.|
|Federal Republic of Germany||1·1||0·4|
Source: Laikin, R. E. and others (1987). Energy based emission inventories for modelling cost-effective SO2 and NOX abatement strategies in Europe. Paper presented at the International Workshop on Methodologies for Air Pollutant Emission Inventories, Paris, 29 June-2 July 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the average cost per kilowatt hour of electricity generation from the Central Electricity Generating Board.
The CEGB annual report for 1986–87 gives a figure of 3–365 p/kWh.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department has received any proposals concerning the possible importation of electricity from Iceland; and if he will make a statement.
National Nuclear Corporation
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the National Nuclear Corporation 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 25 July to 29 July 1988.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if the plutonium exported to Belgium under the Euratom-UKAEA agreement of 3 May 1968 is currently still in the ownership of Belgonucléaire; if the safeguards provisions agreed to cover the export of this 180 kg consignment still exist; and what knowledge Her Majesty's Government possess regarding the current location of this plutonium;(2) if 200 kg of plutonium exported under bilateral safeguards to the Federal Republic of Germany, for use in the NUKEM facility in Hanau, covered by all agreement between the UKAEA and Euratom dated 4 August 1969, is still owned and used by NUKEM; if any subsequent exports of safeguarded plutonium have taken place between United Kingdom companies and NUKEM; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 4 March 1988]: Deliveries of plutonium under these agreements were made under Euratom safeguards. The current location of the plutonium is a matter for the state concerned.
House Of Commons
To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make a statement on the sums received from the Press Gallery in respect of accommodation and other services provided in the House; and when the sums concerned were reviewed.
No such payment has been received from the Press Gallery. Any review of this arrangement would be a matter for the Services Committee.
Line Of Route (Refreshments)
To ask the President of the Council if he will give consideration to making facilities available for refreshments for visitors on the Line of Route in the Palace of Westminster.
Existing refreshment facilities in the Palace of Westminster are already at full capacity and no other accommodation suitable for conversion to the use suggested is available. This situation is unlikely to change until after extra catering accommodation becomes available in the New Building. At that time, the Catering Sub-Committee of the Services Committee may wish to give the matter further consideration.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by Civil Service grade the number of officials in his Department located outside London; and what proportion they represent of all officials employed by his Department.
The table shows the latest numbers of officials, by grade, in my Department (including PSA) located outside London and the percentage which those numbers represent of my total staff.
|81 (Senior Executive Officer)||1,262||3·90|
|91 (Higher Executive Officer)||2,049||6·33|
|101 (Executive Officer)||3,703||11·45|
|111 (Administrative Officer)||2,234||6·91|
|121 (Administrative Assistant)||1,960||6·06|
|1 Civil Service grades 3 to 7 are unified. In the non-industrial grades below grade 7 different occupational groups exist; for convenience these have been grouped in bands numbered 8 to 12 which are broadly equivalent to the general grades shown in parentheses.|
Tree Preservation Orders
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, following the loss of trees through the hurricane, he has any plans to review tree preservation orders in the south of England.
Reviewing, and where appropriate varying, individual tree preservation orders is the responsibility of the local planning authority. The Department is undertaking a wide-ranging review of tree preservation legislation and procedures, and this will take into account the implications of the losses of trees in last autumn's storm. In addition, as I said in the Adjournment debate on March 22, our intention is to take prompt action to remedy the specific problem that now exists following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case of Bell v. Canterbury city council.
Warrington-Runcorn New Town
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give for each year since the inception of Warrington-Runcorn new town the square footage of factory space (a) allocated and (b) filled; and if he will give an estimate of the number of jobs created and safeguarded in so doing.
Since 1981, when the Warrington and Runcorn development corporation was formed, the annual completions, and occupations of factory space, and the numbers of industrial jobs resulting are as follows:
Factory floor space (sq ft)
Note 1. Completed factory floor space relates to the Corporation's advance factory units and to leasehold and freehold disposals of land for private development.
Note 2. Occupied factory floor space includes re-lets and stock-in-hand from previous years.
Note 3. The figures for jobs created relate to industrial development as a whole and include an element of jobs "safeguarded"; but disaggregated figures are not readily available.
Local Authority Housing
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the cost of his Department's research project on tenants' views on the future of certain estates in Nottingham.
My Department is not carrying out any research on the future of any housing estates in Nottingham. A small sample of tenants in the city are, however, along with others in other places, being asked to identify the factors which are important in their choice of landlord. The cost of the interviews in Nottingham is approximately £1,550.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those local authorities which have informed his Department during the last six months of the possible transfer of their housing stock (i) to a newly created company, (ii) to a housing association, (iii) to a friendly society or (iv) to a private trust; which local authorities have informed his Department that they firmly intend to make such transfers of their stock; and which local authorities have so far submitted outline or detailed proposals of this kind for approval by his Department.
A number of authorities have contacted the Department over the past six months to discuss the possible transfer of their council housing to other bodies. With the two exceptions stated later, those discussions have been informal. If a local authority decides that it wishes to transfer its housing, it will need to consult tenants fully before applying to the Secretary of State for consent to the transfer. No authority has yet submitted an application.The Department has received outline proposals from Bournemouth borough council and Rochford district council.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury, Official Report, 20 January, columns 749–52, how many additional units of (a) ordinary housing accommodation, provided by local authorities by refurbishing their empty dwellings, (b) hostel accommodation, provided by local authorities by buying and converting empty private dwellings, (c) hostel accommodition, provided by housing associations by buying and converting empty private dwellings and (d) other forms of accommodation are expected to be provided in (a) Greater London, (b) the south-east, and (c) the south-west giving this information: (i)for each of these regions and (ii) for each local authority in these regions, which has received an additional housing capital allocation.
|Local Authority||(a) Local authority dwellings refurbished||(b) Hostel places provided by local authorities||(c) Hostel places provided by housing associations||(d) Other dwellings/ places provided|
|Isles of Scilly||—||—||—||2|
|Weymouth and Portland||—||10||—||—|
Policies (Market Research)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what market research on policies has been funded by his Department before such policies have been agreed to by the House.
The Department carries out no market research. Research is carried out to assist in the development and evaluation of policies but not to obtain information for the purpose of "marketing" them.
Crown Premises (Valuation)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1), pursuant to his answer of 14 March, Official Report, column 461, why the Property Services
The information requested, based on estimates by the authorities concerned, is given in the following table:Agency was not felt to be capable of establishing the true commercial rent for the Crown premises at Richmond yard;(2) whether the contract to value the Crown premises at Richmond yard was subject to tender or was a single source contract.(3) how much money is set aside by the London region of the Property Services Agency for funding private sector valuations of Crown premises.(4) what are the criteria for deciding whether or not to have a private sector valuation of Crown premises.
It is the Government's policy that Departments should be charged a full market rent for the accommodation they occupy. As the first new freehold office to have been built in Whitehall for many years, it was especially important to obtain an entirely independent assessment of the market rental value of Richmond house to ensure that the full costs of occupation were borne by the Department concerned.The normal procedures for seeking independent professional advice were followed by the Property Services Agency in this case, taking into account the known experience and suitability of consultancy firms for the particular task. A tender was not considered appropriate in this case, the fees being settled by negotiation with the selected firm in accordance with commercial practice.It is the Government's policy that Departments should place work in the private sector wherever appropriate and a substantial proportion of the Property Services Agency's work is undertaken by private consultants. The agency's London region make provision in their annual estimates for such work in the estates field, including valuations. Specific requirements for the latter are not always known at estimates time, and no specific sum is set aside in the estimates for this latter purpose.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the procedure for the payment for water consumed through an underground leak during the trial period of metering; and how the sewerage return rate will be calculated.
As with existing metered supplies, customers in the trial areas will be charged on the basis of the amount of water which passes through the meter, including any water that leaks from supply pipes on the customer's side of the meter. However, provided that there has been no obvious negligence or deliberate abuse by the customer, most water undertakers will adjust abnormally high metered consumption due to a leak back to a typical figure for measured consumption, on condition that the customer repairs the leak where it is the legal responsibility of the customer. This would apply both to the measured water supply charge and to the sewerage charge, which will be assesed on the usual fixed percentage of clean water supplied. The water industry is considering issuing a code of practice which would make a clear statement about the adjustment of bills in cases of leakage.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish the code of practice for the water metering trial areas; and when the contractors for the Isle of Wight installation will be announced.
We do not intend to publish a code of practice for the water metering trial areas. Subject to the enactment of the Public Utility Transfers and Water Charges Bill, each metering trial scheme will have to be approved under clause 4 by my right hon. Friend the Secretry of State, who may make his approval subject to conditions. Water undertakers are already required to make such schemes available to the public. In addition, schedule 1 to the Bill and regulations to be made under clause 5, will form a water metering code, which will apply to metering generally, as well as to the trials. The choice and timing of appointment of contractors to install meters during the course of the proposed trial on the Isle of Wight is a matter for Southern Water, although my right hon. Friend will need to be satisfied that all undertakers involved in the trials have made satisfactory arrangements to ensure that contractors who need to enter people's homes to carry out installation work are properly vetted.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households have had their water supplies disconnected in each year between 1982–83 and 1987–88.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: The number of households disconnected by water authorities in England and Wales was as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what publicity has been produced by his Department to announce the new financial arrangements for customers of water authorities in the light of the Social Security Act 1986.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: I understand that, as part of the publicity arrangements for the social security reforms, the Department of Health and Social Security is sending a leaflet explaining income support to all existing supplementary benefit claimants. This leaflet includes advice on paying water charges. Other explanatory leaflets available to the general public also include advice on the new benefit provisions.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what arrangements he has made with local authority environmental health officers for the monitoring of water disconnections to domestic users by (a) the water authorities and (b) the private water companies after 11 April; and if he will make a statement;(2) what arrangements he has made with the private water companies for them to publicise to consumers the new financial arrangements that will be in force on 11 April;(3) what arrangements he has made with the private water companies about monitoring the effects of the new financial arrangements for water supplies after the enforcement of the Social Security Act 1986.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: None. Disconnections are the responsibility of individual water undertakers. The water industry operates a strict code of practice on disconnections which is explained in its leaflet "Water Services Bills—How to get help if you can't pay your bill". It advises people who have difficulty paying their water charges to get in touch with their water supplier. It also explains that advice can be obtained from the citizens advice bureau or consumer advice bureau, and that people on supplementary benefit should contact their local social security office. These arrangements have worked well in the past, and I am confident that they will continue to do so.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans his Department has to monitor the disconnections of water supply to domestic users after 11 April.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: Information on the number of disconnections for non-payment is collected annually by the Department from each water authority. We have no plans to change this arrangement.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of water disconnections that occurred for each of the last 12 months for which figures are available.
[holding answer 24 March 1988]: Figures are collected by the Department on an annual, not a monthly, basis.