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Written Answers

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 21 December 1989

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 21 December 1989

Energy

Power Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether West Burton, Rugeley, Staythorpe and Aberthow power stations are to be transferred from National Power to PowerGen.

The Government do not intend to reopen the existing non-nuclear split of assets between National Power and PowerGen.

Arts And Design

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

My Department has made no expenditure on the arts during the last financial year. However, my Department has commissioned original design and artwork for publications, exhibitions and advertisements. The amount spent on this work cannot be separately identified.

Education And Science

Capital Allocations

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he provide estimates showing for each financial year from 1978–79 to 1989–90 the capital spending allocations for (a) local education authorities and (b) voluntary aided and special schools.

Total capital allocations for LEAs, which may be topped up from capital receipts and other sources, from 1981–82 to 1989–90 were as follows, together with figures for actual gross expenditure financed by allocations, capital receipts, and other sources.

£ million£ million
AllocationsGross expenditure
1981–82355406·1
1982–83338456·1
1983–84295469·2
1984–85300501·2
1985–86315530·2
1986–87297574·9
1987–88306592·8
1988–89387702·0
1989–90352n/a
Details of initial allocations to individual LEAs for these years were provided in the reply given to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) by my right hon. Friend on 7 November 1989, at columns 588–636, and gave the information requested in respect of local education authorities from 1981–82 to 1989–90. Comparable information is not available prior to 1981–82, as local education authorities did not receive block allocations, but were notified annually in the context of a rolling programme of the limit of the value of building starts in the following year.Payments of grants to voluntary aided and special agreement schools for capital expenditure were as follows:

£ million
1978–7916·4
1979–8020·3
1980–8122·1
1981–8224·0
1982–8326·1
1983–8422·4
1984–8529·1
1985–8636·5
1986–8731·8
1987–8837·2
1988–8950·4
1989–9065·3

Notes:

1. Grant represents 85 per cent. of gross expenditure, 15 per cent. of which is met by governing bodies.

2. Capital grant figures for 1978–79 to 1981–82 are not separately identified from a single building grant figure which included repairs and maintenance. The capital figures shown for this period are based on an apportionment of the building grant figure using the average ratio between capital and repairs during 1982–83 and 1985–86.

Children (Hiv)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidelines have been issued to local education authorities about the admission to schools of children who are HIV positive.

Bulk copies of the booklet "Children at School and Problems Related to AIDS" were issued to all chief education officers in England and Wales in June 1986, sufficient in number for copies to be sent to all maintained schools. The booklet advises that the fact of HIV infection should not be a factor taken into account by LEAs, governing bodies or headteachers in discharging their duties concerning school admissions, transfer and attendance, or exclusion from school. The booklet also provides guidance on safety measures to be taken by schools to avoid any risk of transmission of HIV infection. There are no known cases in the United Kingdom of transmission of HIV infection in the school setting.

Arts And Design

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

In 1988–89 the Department made direct grants totalling some £15·7 million to individual bodies primarily concerned with the arts and design education. In addition, central grants to universities and other directly funded institutions of higher education were used to cover expenditure on arts and design education. However, information on the amounts involved is not held centrally.

Religious Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent local education authorities in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland have complied with the requirement to establish statutory advisory councils on religious education.

I understand that all local education authorities in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland have established standing advisory councils on religious education.

Research Equipment (Survey)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he will be publishing the ABRC survey of academic research equipment.

I understand that the ABRC will be publishing the report of this survey very shortly.

Teacher Shortages

To ask the Secreatry of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the likely level of teacher shortages in January 1990.

The Department carries out a survey of teacher vacancies in January each year. I will report the results in the usual way.

Teacher Vacancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he makes of the number of teacher vacancies in schools at 31 October or the latest available date.

The most recent comprehensive survey of teacher vacancies was conducted by my Department in January 1989. Numbers of vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in maintained schools in England are given in the table.

Full-time permament teacher vacancies in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools—England, January 1989
Local Education Authority/RegionNumber of vacanciesAs a percentage of teachers in post
Gateshead311·8
Newcastle upon Tyne502·3
North Tyneside00·0
South Tyneside00·0
Sunderland130·5
Cleveland120·2
Cumbria220·6
Durham150·3
Northumberland110·4
North1540·6
Barnsley50·3
Doncaster220·8
Rotherham321·4
Sheffield120·3
Bradford280·6
Calderdale201·2
Kirklees300·9
Leeds611·0
Wakefield702·6
Humberside290·4
North Yorks460·9

Local Education Authority/Region

Number of vacancies

As a percentage of teachers in post

York and Humberside3550·9
Knowsley100·6
Liverpool200·4
St. Helens90·5
Sefton30·1
Wirral190·7
Bolton110·5
Bury141·0
Manchester551·4
Oldham70·3
Rochdale331·7
Salford582·8
Stockport140·6
Tameside382·1
Trafford90·6
Wigan90·3
Cheshire240·3
Lancashire1931·8
North West5261·0
Derbyshire761·0
Leicestershire440·6
Lincolnshire521·2
Northamptonshire100·2
Nottinghamshire1081·3
East Midlands2900·9
Birmingham1882·2
Coventry;240·9
Dudley481·9
Sandwell250·9
Solihull271·6
Walsall40·2
Wolverhampton241·0
Hereford and Worcester501·0
Shropshire130·4
Staffordshire500·6
Warwickshire310·8
West Midlands4841·1
Cambridgeshire390·8
Norfolk310·6
Suffolk360·8
East Anglia1060·7
Barking514·0
Barnet853·9
Bexley311·9
Brent321·6
Bromley100·6
Croydon391·7
Ealing1165·5
Enfield723·6
Haringey1288·5
Harrow161·2
Havering512·7
Hillingdon583·5
Hounslow241·5
Kingston90·9
Merton474·1
Newham1948·2
Redbridge362·3
Richmond10·1
Sutton211·9
Waltham Forest754·2
ILEA1,0286·5
South East and Greater London 2,1244·3
Bedfordshire1172·8
Berkshire911·7
Buckinghamshire731·6
East Sussex741·9

Local Education Authority/Region

Number of vacancies

As a percentage of teachers in post

Essex1231·1
Hampshire1341·3
Hertfordshire1091·4
Isle of Wight00·0
Kent2242·1
Oxfordshire90·3
Surrey1312·2
West Sussex741·7
Other South East1,1591·6
Avon210·3
Cornwall471·4
Devon1221·9
Dorset110·3
Gloucestershire00·0
Somerset732·4
Wiltshire681·7
South West3421·1
Total England5,5401·5

Greehouse Effect

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list all projects funded by (a) the European Community and (b) Her Majesty's Government regarding global climate changes and all the environmental factors associated with the greenhouse effect.

[holding answer 13 December 1989]: The provision of information in respect of projects funded by both the European Community and Her Majesty's Government is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.Details of work relevant to global climate change undertaken by the research councils are as follows:

Natural Environment Research Council:

Application of weather radar to the alleviation of climatic hazards.
Development of deep ocean pH instrument.
Contribution to the world ocean circulation experiment.
Fine resolution Antarctic modelling.
Biogeochemical ocean flux study.
Automatic submersible development programme.
North sea project.
Marine laboratories programme.
Atmospheric sciences programme.
United Kingdom universities global atmospheric modelling programme.
Palaeoclimatology.
BGS data collection for climatology.
Pattern and change in Antarctic physical environment.
Geological evolution of west Antarctica.
Dynamics of the Antarctica terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem.
Structure and dynamics of the South ocean ecosystem.
Terrestrial and freshwater science programmes and support of research in universities and higher education
institutions.

Agricultural and Food Research Council:

The absorbtion or release of carbon dioxide by plants in photosynthesis and respiration and the effects of carbon dioxide on growth, production and development.
The fate of nitrogen in plants and soil and the release of gases such as nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.
Predictive mathematical modelling of the response of plants and plant communities to the interacting effects of carbon dioxide, light, photoperiod, temperature, desiccation, water logging, pH and nutrition.
Effects of temperature of growth and development and the tolerance to extremes.
Plant water relations and adaption to water shortage.
The effects of changing environmental factors on pests and diseases.
A significant part of the AFRC programme, especially in the plants and environment research area, bears on environmental aspects.

Science and Engineering Research Council:

The stratospheric and mesospheric sounder (SAMS) instrument for the NASA Nimbus 7 satellite.
The improved stratospheric and mesospheric sounder (ISAMS) and the microwave limb sounder (MLS) instruments for the NASA upper atmosphere research satellite.
The along track radiometer (ATSR) instrument for the ESA earth resources satellite (ERS-1).
The geophysical data facility at the Rutherford Appleton laboratory.
A mesosphere-stratosphere-troposphere (MST) radar facility is being constructed by University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
In addition, SERC supports some research on chemical reactions relevant to the atmosphere, on improved combustion processes, on renewable energy sources, on the effects of environmental changes on civil engineering structures, projects on lower atmosphere and climate research and provides supporting computer facilities.

In addition to the specific projects listed, other work of the councils has a relevance to factors associated with the greenhouse effect.

Student Maintenance Award

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what was the average level of net student maintenance award and parental contribution for each year since 1979, at 1990–91 prices.(2) if he will give figures for the levels of student maintenance award, loan and parental contribution for students with average levels of maintenance award and parental contribution, at 1990–91 prices, from 1989–90 to 2007–8.

[holding answer 18 December 1989]: The table shows average grant (including average supplementary allowances), contribution (including any contribution assessed against a spouse's or the student's own income), and, for the relevant years, loan, in constant 1990 prices. The figures take into account the recently announced main rates of student grant for 1990–91, and assume an inflation rate of 3 per cent. per annum from that year onwards.

Academic yearAverage main tenance payment1 2Average contributions 1 2Average loanTotal average resources
1979–802,1335482,681
1980–812,1375332,660
1981–822,0075882,595
1982–831,9066452,551
1983–841,8576472,504
1984–851,6848382,522
1985–861,5059722,477
1986–871,5159632,478
1987–881,4881,0082,496
1988–891,4639902,453
1989–901,4489742,422
1990–911,4629724202,854
1991–921,4199414942,854
1992–931,3819135592,854
1993–941,3448866232,854
1994–951,3098606852,854
1995–961,2748357452,854
1996–971,2408118032,854

Academic year

Average main tenance payment

1 2

Average contributions

1 2

Average loan

Total average resources

1997–981,2077878592,854
1998–991,1767649142,854
1999–20001,1457419682,854
2000–011,1157201,0192,854
2001–021,0866981,0702,854
2002–031,0576781,1182,854
2003–041,0306581,1662,854
2004–051,0036391,2123,854
2005–069776201,2562,854
2006–079526021,3002,854
2007–089285841,3422,854
2008–0939005711,3832,854

Notes:

1 Figures for 1987–88 and previous years are outturn recorded by local authorities; for 1988–89 estimated; and for 1990–91 and later years compatible with the latest government spending plans.

2 Assuming a cash freeze on maintenance grant rates and average contributions from 1990; and average total resources constant in real terms from 1990, at an annual inflation rate of 3 per cent.

3 If supplementary allowances are excluded the sum of the remaining maintenance element and contribution equals the average loan by 2008–09.

Northern Ireland

Estate Of Mr Freddie Andrews

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made to date by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in their investigations into the handling of the estate of Mr. Freddie Andrews (1976 No. 516); and if he will make a statement.

The Chief Constable has informed me that the RUC fraud section has carried out a thorough investigation of this complex matter. As a result one person was prosecuted and convicted for theft and deception. Any further information which may come to light will be carefully examined.

Food Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received concerning difficulties experienced by public health officers in enforcing existing regulations in relation to the display and sale of cooked and uncooked meats in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health and Social Services has from time to time received representations from organisations representing enforcement interests about difficulties in enforcing these regulations. Similar representations have been received on the Government's recently published proposals for amending the existing law on food hygiene matters generally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he proposes to strengthen the legislation governing the recommendations relating to hygiene regulations applying to the display and sale of cooked and uncooked meats in Northern Ireland.

As part of a United Kingdom exercise, the Department of Health and Social Services recently completed consultations with interested parties on proposals for new legislation to tighten food hygiene law generally. Comments are now being considered and the Government intend that new regulations should be made as soon as practicable.

Ruc

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the cost to date of the Stevens inquiry into the Royal Ulster Constabulary and security; and when the inquiry will be in a position to make its findings available.

Precise costs for the investigations now being conducted by the deputy chief constable of Cambridgeshire, Mr. John Stevens, and his inquiry team are not yet available. However, it is estimated that they will be in the region of £ 100,000 to £125,000 per month, for the duration of the inquiry team's secondment to Northern Ireland.I understand that Mr. Stevens hopes to be able to report to the Chief Constable early in the new year.

Anglo-Irish Agreement

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the expenditure of operating the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the running of the conference and the operation of the secretariat in Maryfield, Belfast, in 1989; and what was the comparable expenditure for previous years.

[holding answer 18 December 1989]: Details of expenditure are available only on a financial year basis. Between 1 April 1989 and 31 October 1989 identified expenditure by the British Government in holding meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and operating the secretariat amounted to £529,000. Comparable expenditure in previous years is as follows: Expenditure by the Irish Government on conferences and the secretariat is a matter for them.

£ million
1985–8610·53
1986–8711·09
1987–8810·96
1988–890·93
1 Includes estimated expenditure on additional policing.

Harbour

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list by category the number of (a) yachts, (b) fishing boats, (c) pleasure boats and (d) other sea-going vessels registered at Portrush, Ballycastle, Bangor, Ardglass, Donaghadee and Portstewart harbours.

[holding answer 18 December 1989]: I have been asked to reply.I regret that this information is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Transport

London Assessment Studies

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is the estimate of the number of homes likely to be lost as a result of the decisions relating to stage 2B report of the London assessment studies;

(2) what levels of public transport fares increases and fuel cost increases were assumed in assessing the options in the London assessment studies;

(3) what would be the estimated cost of implementation of each of the preferred options for each of the London assessment studies.

The consultants assumed that public transport fares would rise in line with expected growth in gross domestic product, and that fuel costs would rise midway between the Department of Transport's high and low forecast. Forecast increases for the period from 1986 until 2001 are 46·3 per cent. and 13·7 per cent., respectively.Information on the cost and effects of the consultants' options is set out in their stage two reports, which have been placed in the Library.

Learner Drivers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list those European Community countries in which it is unlawful to give private driving tuition to learner drivers;(2) what studies have been undertaken by his Department of the practices employed in other European Community countries in the supervision of learner drivers.

The Department is a member of the Commission Internationale Des Examens de Conduite Automobile (CIECA) which exists to exchange information and experience about driver testing and training throughout Europe. We are participating in its latest update of national requirements. The value of these requirements needs to be assessed in the context of the accident records and problems of the countries concerned. CIECA data at present available indicate that Denmark, West Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal do not allow learners to obtain practical driving experience other than through paid professional tuition.

Aircraft Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he intends to implement the aircraft safety recommendations set out in the Civil Aviation Authority's report on aircraft evacuations; and if he will make a statement.

The Civil Aviation Authority has the statutory responsibility for regulating safety in civil aviation. Consequently it is for the CAA to consider the results of the Cranfield trials, which were commissioned, funded and published by the CAA.

British Rail (Investment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward an amendment to the Railways Act 1968 to permit British Rail to invest speculatively; and if he will make a statement.

British Rail's duties and powers, which are defined mainly by the Transport Act 1962, enable British Rail to carry out any investment required for the purpose of its business. If my hon. Friend has a particular point in mind, I should be grateful if he would write to me.

Penalty Points

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will report the results of the monitoring by his Department of the effects of the Penalty Points (Alteration) Order 1988;(2) what consultation he has had with the Magistrates Association concerning the effects of the Penalty Points (Alteration) Order 1988.

We have invited the Magistrates Association to participate in monitoring the effects of the penalty points alterations which came into force on 1 March this year. No problems have been drawn to our attention so far.

Traffic Area Organisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he has taken on the Palmer report on traffic area organisation; and if he will make a statement.

A number of interested organisations were invited to comment on the recommendations contained in the Palmer report. These are being considered. I expect to reach decisions on the main recommendations early in the new year.

Gatwick Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to when the TNA security equipment being installed at Gatwick airport will become operational.

The machine, which will be only the third of six production machines to be installed, will be loaned by the FAA for a 12-month trial and evaluation in a United Kingdom airport. We are in close touch with the FAA and Gatwick Airport Ltd. about the arrangements for its installation and operation. Many questions have had to be resolved and other agencies have had to be consulted. Negotiations and consultations are nearing completion. Before the machine can be delivered modifications requested by Gatwick Airport Ltd. will need to be completed by the American manufacturer. It will not become operational as part of the national aviation security programme until initial tests have been satisfactorily carried out.

Lowlands Airports Policy

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce his decision on the Scottish lowland airports policy review.

My right hon. Friend expects to be in a position to announce his decision in the new year.

British Rail

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss the disposal of British Rail land in Nottingham;(2) what rate of return he requires from British Rail on the sale of derelict land holdings;(3) what rules apply to the sale of British Rail land and the putting out to tender of such land.

The disposal of British Rail land is the responsibility of the British Rail Property Board (BRPB). The board's objectives require it to manage its operational property in accordance with best commercial practice, and to identify and divest itself of all underused or surplus land and property as rapidly as possible, at a proper commercial price.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss the electrification of the midlands main line.

My right hon. Friend meets the chairman of British Rail regularly. We welcome worthwhile proposals for electrification schemes. I understand that British Rail has no plans to electrify the midland main lines at present.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what correspondence he has had with British Rail regarding the sale of land in Nottingham;(2) what fiduciary duties apply to the sale of British Rail land.

My right hon. Friend has had no such correspondence. The objectives for the British Rail Property Board require it to secure a proper commercial price when disposing of underused or surplus land.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will place in the Library a copy of the exchange of letters between British Rail and Eurorail referred to in his reply to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailing of 27 November, Official Report, column 81.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what points he will require to be satisfied before giving his approval to the detailed shareholders' agreement for the joint venture between British Rail and Eurorail.

I shall wish to be satisfied that the proposed joint venture offers value for money for British Rail, for the public and for the taxpayer. The details will depend on the ground to be covered by the agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much direct funding has been provided by Her Majesty's Government to British Rail for (a) capital investment and (b) revenue subsidy in each year from 1980–81 to 1989–90 and projected for 1990–91, all expressed at constant prices.

Her Majesty's Government do not usually provide direct funding for British Rail's capital investment programme, but the public service obligation grants meets the difference between costs and revenues for grant supported services. Eligible costs include depreciation, a supplement to fund capital renewals, and interest. Grant therefore provides support for capital investment, but grant is not allocated to particular categories of expenditure. The figures for "rail" investment and for revenue subsidy (PSO and level crossings grants paid in each financial year) are as follows, in £ million and at constant 1989–90 prices:

Year

Rail investment

Revenue subsidy

19795261,040
19805371,035
19814391,262
19823571,222
19833521,202
1984

1374

1,110
1985–864981,060
1986–87482912
1987–88604915
1988–89609

2590

1989–90

2691

3517

41990–91

962462

1 1984–85 was a 15 month financial period. The figure shown for 1984 is the 12 month equivalent.

2 Current forecast.

3 PSO cash ceiling plus estimate for level crossings grant.

4 Estimates.

Arts And Design

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

In the last financial year the Department made no expenditure on the arts. The Department is involved in many aspects of design across a wide range of activities, with work undertaken both in-house and commissioned from outside bodies. It is not possible to establish the level of expenditure on design, except at disproportionate cost.

C Maine Company

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement concerning his Department's inspection of the C. Maine Company, Milford Haven, under the terms of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988; in the light of the European Court judgment in the Jaderow case delivered on 13 December.

This judgment has no bearing on the registration of fishing vessels under the Merchant Shipping Act 1988.

Pacer 142 Trains

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will call for a report from the chairman of British Rail on the safety of doors on Pacer 142 trains; and if he will make a statement.

British Rail is required under the statutory accident reporting procedure to notify the Department of a failure on any part of a train which causes, or is likely to cause, an accident. The railway inspectorate is discussing the problems with power doors with the British Railways Board.

Oil Discharges

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the flag states of eight non-United Kingdom ships alleged to have been responsible for illegal oil discharges in United Kingdom waters since 1984; and when were these cases passed on the competent authorities in the relevant flag states for investigation.

Flag stale

Date case passed to competent authority

Liberia13 August 1986
Liberia7 April 1988
Liberia27 July 1988
Bahamas10 December 1988
Turkey27 June 1989
Cyprus3 November 1989
Brazil9 November 1989
Antigua11 December 1989

Stratford Station

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if there have been any changes in the plans to refurbish Stratford station, London E.15.

The planning of station improvements is entirely a matter for the British Railways Board.

Traffic, (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has regarding the total cost per annum arising from traffic congestion in London; and if he will make a statement.

The Department does not make estimates of the annual cost of traffic congestion in London. Congestion causes major problems and the Government have just announced further proposals for dealing with them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he takes to consider the implications for London traffic flows arising from various building developments in the capital.

The traffic implications of most new development in London is for the boroughs to consider as part of their development control and planning responsibilities under the Town and Country Planning Acts. The Government consider the traffic implications of new development affecting trunk roads on a case-by-case basis. It has established special liaison arrangements with the boroughs and the London Docklands development corporation over developments in docklands.

Newbury Bypass

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce his decision about the proposed route for the Newbury bypass; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Transport are carefully considering all the objections and representations made together with the report and recommendations of the independent inspector who held the public inquiry. They hope to be able to announce their joint decisions very early in the new year.

Road Excavations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all those authorities and organisations, both public and private, having a statutory right to dig up roads in London in (a) 1980 and (b) the current year.

Information is not available in the form requested. All highway authorities have statutory rights to carry out roadworks. The main public utilities have statutory rights of long standing to place and maintain their apparatus in the public highway. In addition various organisations have powers under public and private legislation or specific authority under licence to carry out excavation in the highway.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what efforts are made to co-ordinate road repairs and road excavation in London; and if he will make a statement.

Individual highway authorities co-ordinate those roadworks in London for which they are responsible. The Department attaches particular importance to the careful programming and traffic management arrangements of works on its own roads. The Department also encourages highway authorities to promote cooperation between organisations having statutory rights to excavate roads and to co-ordinate these works with their own. The Goverment have proposed, as part of the legislation they intend to bring forward to implement the recommendations of the Horne report, that in future highway authorities will be given a positive duty to co-ordinate all excavations in the highway with a view to minimising the disruption to road users.

Greater Manchester Northern Relief Road

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who were the consulting engineers for the centre section of the Greater Manchester northern relief road M6 to M66.

Allot and Lomax with G. Maunsell and Partners (in consortium) are looking at options for the M56-M62 section of the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road.

Planning, (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what organisation he has established in his Department to deal with the strategic planning of London's transport; what is its name; what is its staffing; and at what ranks and grades.

Work on the strategic planning of London's transport is undertaken by a number of directorates within the Department, in particular highways, railways, public transport. The heads of these directorates, and colleagues from the Department of the Environment's London regional office, meet regularly to discuss London's transport problems and to co-ordinate action. In this they are supported by a secretariat from the transport policy unit. The unit is headed by a grade 5 and is at present made up of four grade 7s, a senior economic assistant and a personal secretary.

Driver Testing And Training Division

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the annual report and accounts for driver testing and training division are available.

The driver testing and training division's annual report and accounts for 1988–89 have now been issued. I am placing copies in the Library.

Accounting Procedures

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether in the last 10 years he or his predecessors, either by direction or informally, secured changes in the accounting conventions followed by the British Transport Docks Board, Associated British Ports, the British Airports Authority or British Airways, respectively; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 18 December 1989]: British Transport Docks Board accounts were prepared under the historic cost convention during the period up to privatisation, adding current cost accounts as supplementary from 1980. British Airways accounts were produced under the historic cost convention with current cost accounts as supplementary for the whole period up to privatisation. British Airports Authority accounts were changed from modified historic cost convention to current cost convention in 1980–81 and produced on that basis up to privatisation. The change of convention was decided by the authority and agreed by the Government.

Prime Minister

Homelessness

To ask the Prime Minister what plans she has to visit a shelter for the homeless in London or other major city in the United Kingdom during the Christmas period.

Meetings (Mr David Hart)

To ask the Prime Minister (1) when Mr. David Hart last met Mr. Charles Powell; in what capacity; and for what purpose;(2) when Mr. David Hart last met Sir Percy Cradock; and for what purpose;(3) when Mr. David Hart last visited Downing street; in what capacity; and for what purpose;(4) when Mr. David Hart last visited the Cabinet Office; in what capacity; and for what purpose;(5) when she or her officials last met Mr. David Hart; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) at column 1169. Mr. Hart is not employed by me or by 10 Downing street in any capacity.My normal practice is and will continue to be neither to confirm nor deny that meetings with private individuals have taken place even in those cases where no such meeting has occurred.

Inland Revenue

To ask the Prime Minister if she will visit the proposed relocation site for the Inland Revenue in Nottingham.

Relocation

To ask the Prime Minister what co-ordination exists between the Treasury and the Department of Transport on the use of British Rail land for the relocation of Government Departments.

The use of British Rail land is a matter for the British Railways Board, which is free to deal with Government Departments.

Official Historian

To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to establish an official historian's office for the Prime Minister.

Arts And Design

To ask the Prime Minister what expenditure was made by her office on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

The total expenditure incurred by my office on the arts and design in 1988–89 was £9,794.

Methodist Church

To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received in the last two years asking her to meet leaders of the Methodist Church; when she last met them; and when she next proposes to meet them.

I receive a considerable number of requests for official meetings each year. I have at present no plans to meet leaders of the Methodist Church.

Lord President Of The Council

Select Committees

To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will bring forward a substantive motion to give effect to the recommendations of the Liaison Committee report of Session 1984–85, HC 363, in respect of the automatic nomination of Select Committees after a general election.

The Government's view of the recommendations of the 1984–85 Liaison Committee was given on 23 November 1987 by my right hon. Friend the Member for Colchester, South and Maldon (Mr. Wakeham) who stated that he did not consider that the existence of a Standing Order providing for nominations for these Committees to be put forward within a prescribed period would necessarily have expedited their establishment in this Parliament.

To ask the Lord President of the Council what was the expenditure on full-time specialist staff appointed to service departmental Select Committees in each year since 1979.

The grade of temporary assistant (later to become specialist assistant) to Select Committees was introduced to the Clerk's Department in October 1980. The table sets out the numbers of specialist assistants in post at 1 April 1981 to 1 April 1989 and their total annual gross salaries payable at that date. All specialist assistants work for departmental Committees.

1 AprilNumbers in postTotal annual gross salary (£)
1981549,730
1982666,168
1983672,646

1 April

Numbers in post

Total annual gross salary(£)

1984564,892
1985453,756
1986569,909
1987575,862
1988461,128
19897117,691

Voting Records (Press Fee)

To ask the Lord President of the Council under what arrangements newspapers and broadcasting stations are being asked to pay a fee to publish details of the Division voting records of hon. Members; and if he will make a statement.

Civil Service

Staff (Pay Scheme)

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement about the discretionary pay scheme for grades 2 and 3 staff in the home Civil Service.

In the third round of awards made under the arrangements announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 23 April 1987, awards have been made to 18 grade 2s and 77 grade 3s. The total number of staff currently granted awards following the first three rounds of the scheme is 36 grade 2s and 149 grade 3s, respectively 26 per cent. and 30 per cent. of each grade. This is within the ceiling of 35 per cent. of each grade recommended by the Top Salaries Review Body earlier this year.The full year cost of these awards is £463,400 or about 1·8 per cent. of the annual pay bill for the grades concerned.

Next Steps

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will set out in the Official Report a table of bodies announced as candidates for Next Steps executive agency status, showing the date of announcement of candidature, date of establishment as agency (where appropriate) and the number of staff and expenditure-turnover for each candidate-agency at latest convenient date.

[holding answer 20 December 1989]: The information requested is as follows:

AgencyDate announced as candidateEstablished
Vehicle Inspectorate18 February 19881 August 1988
Companies House18 February 19883 October 1988
HMSO18 February 198814 December 1988
National Weights and7 June 198818 April 1989
Measures Laboratory
Warren Spring7 June 198820 April 1989
Laboratory
Resettlement Agency18 February 198824 May 1989
Civil Service College9 May 19886 June 1989
QE11 Conference Centre18 February 19886 July 1989
Historic Royal Palaces18 February 19881 October 1989
Laboratory of the7 June 198830 October 1989
Government Chemist
Total 10 Agencies

Announced Candidates for Executive Agency Status

Dates

Building Research Establishment24 October 1988
Cadw23 October 1989
Central Office of Information9 February 1989
Central Statistical Office5 April 1989
Central Veterinary Office20 April 1989
Civil Service Commission13 April 1989
Civil Service Occupational Health Service9 May 1988
Defence Accounts Organisation18 October 1989
Defence Research Agency18 February 1988
Department of Registers of Scotland29 April 1988
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Directorate18 February 1988
Driving Standards Agency25 July 1988
Employment Service18 February 1988
Forensic Science Service23 May 1989
Fuel Suppliers Branch28 July 1988
Historic Buildings and Monuments29 April 1988
Hydrographic Office18 October 1989
Insolvency Service13 July 1988
Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce11 January 1989
Land Registry26 October 1988
Meteorological Office18 February 1988
Military Survey18 October 1989
National Engineering Laboratory24 July 1989
National Physical Laboratory7 June 1988
Ordnance Survey14 December 1989
Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute19 December 1989
Passport Office18 February 1988
Patent Office13 July 1988
Planning Inspectorate21 December 1988
Property Holdings27 September 1989
Radiocommunications Division13 July 1988
RAF Training18 October 1989
Royal Mint23 November 1989
Royal Parks18 February 1988
Service Childrens Schools 18 October 1989
Social Security IT Services17 May 1989
Social Security Benefits17 May 1989
Training Agency5 December 1988
Vehicles Certification Agency25 July 1988
Veterinary Medicines Directorate20 April 1989
Total 43 Agencies (This includes three in Northern Ireland that are not listed here)

The numbers of staff and expenditure/turnover for each agency and candidate are contained in annex A of the White Paper "The Finance and Accountability of Next Steps Agencies" (Cm. 914, published on 14 December 1989), except in the case of the Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute (ODNRI) which employs 453 staff and has an annual expenditure of £16·4 million.

National Finance

Mortgage Tax Relief

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the number of tax units receiving mortgage interest with investment income; and if he will provided a forecast for 1989–90.

The information requested is in the tables. These estimates are subject to revision.

Tax units receiving mortgage interest relief by range of total income 1988–89

(Thousands)

Range of total income

With no investment income

With investment income

Total

Up to £5,000240280520
£5,000-£ 10,0005901,3801,970
£10,000-£15,0005901,9702,560
£15,000-£20,0003101,5101,820
£20,000-£30,0001601,3501,510
£30,000 +50670720
Total1,9407,1609,100

Tax units receiving mortgage interest relief by range of total income 1989–90

(Thousands)

Range of total income

With no investment income

With investment income

Total

Up to £5,000210240450
£5,000-£10,0004901,1601,650
£10,000-£15,0005301,7902,320
£15,OOO-£2O,O0O3401,6902,030
£20,000-£30,0001901,6801,870
£30,000 +50930980
Total1,8107,4909,300

Estimates of the numbers of tax units receiving mortgage interest relief are based on information from the 1987–88 survey of personal incomes. In the projections to 1988–89 and 1989–90, it is assumed that the proportions of mortgagors in each income range with investment income are the same as those for 1988–89 provided in previous reply to the hon. Member on 29 July 1988 at columns 732–34.

Exchange Rate Mechanism

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has on the next revaluation of the exchange rate mechanism; and whether he will be making representations to that revaluation meeting.

Any future realignment of the currencies in the exchange rate mechanism will take place in accordance with the resolution of the European Council of 5 December 1978 on the establishment of the European monetary system and related matters.

Tax Evasion

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list each type of tax currently levied on companies and the number of prosecutions for tax evasion in each category for the latest year in which figures are available.

The four main taxes on companies and the number of completed prosecutions for evasion involving these taxes in the year to 31 March 1989 are:

TaxProsecutions
Corporation Tax6
Petroleum Revenue Tax0
VAT33
Rates1

1 Being a tax on property rates cannot be "evaded" in the sense that the term is normally understood. It follows there can be no prosecution in respect of rates although there are many civil actions for non-payment.

Retail Prices Index

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the change in retail prices over the period June 1979 to October 1989, or the most recent month for which figures are available, measured against the retail prices index, of gas, electricity, bread, beer, four star/premium (97–99 RON) petrol net of duty and taxes and of four star/premium (97–99 RON) petrol including duty and taxes.

The following table shows the percentage increase in the retail prices index (RPI) between June 1979 and November 1989, together with the equivalent increases for gas, electricity, bread, beer and petrol and oil (inclusive of duty and taxes).

Percentage increase in the RPI between June 1979 and November 1989
All items112·9
Gas144·2
Electricity122·3
Bread86·7
Beer176·7
Petrol and oil88·8
The RPI does not measure net prices; nor is a comparison for four-star petrol available separately from the RPI. However, using other sources, it is estimated that the price of four-star petrol increased by some 25 per cent. over approximately the same period net of duty and taxes, and by some 95 per cent. including duty and taxes.

Value Added Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revenues he receives from the value added tax levied upon the sale of insulation, double glazing and heating control equipment; and whether he will make an estimate regarding the proportion of that tax which is reclaimed by value added tax registered traders.

Details of the VAT charged on the supply of insulation, double glazing and heating control equipment are not available separately from other VAT revenue. Neither is it possible to determine the amount of such tax which is recovered by registered traders as part of their normal input tax deductions. When these products are incorporated in new domestic dwellings there is no burden of tax because the supply of new housing is zero rated to the consumer.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the conditions under which value added tax may be recovered from privatised contracts for ancillary services within the National Health Service; and when these conditions were first made known.

The conditions under which VAT may be recovered in respect of these contracted out services are set out in the Treasury directions made under the provisions of section 11 of the Finance Act 1984. The first such direction was made in 1984 and the latest direction was published in the Edinburgh Gazette in the issue dated 7 April 1989. A copy is in the House Library.

Tobacco

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would have been the effect on the retail prices index had tobacco excise duty, inclusive of value added tax, been index linked for 1989–90.

It is estimated that the impact effect on the retail prices index of an indexation of tobacco excise duty in 1989–90 would have been to increase the index by 0·15 per cent.

Cash Limits

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it Government policy to increase the appropriate cash limits in the Autumn Statement in line with inflation.

Exchange Rates

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the exchange rate of the pound on the date of the publication of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement in terms of (a) the dollar, (b) the deutschmark, (c) the Japanese yen and (d) the sterling index; what are the latest available exchange rates for these categories; and if he will make a statement.

At the close of business on 15 November and 19 December, the exchange rates against sterling for the specified currencies were as follows:

$/£DM/£Yen/££ERI
15 November1·58252·9113227·288·7
19 December1·60302·7764230·486·6

Green Pound

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from the National Farmers Union concerning a realignment of the green pound and other proposals; and what response he has made.

My right hon. Friend receives a large number of representations on a wide variety of subjects.

Inland Revenue

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure the successful relocation of the Inland Revenue in Nottingham.

The Inland Revenue remains committed to its plans to relocate some 2,000 headquarters posts to Nottingham. However, it has always made it clear that its decision is conditional on obtaining a suitable site reasonably quickly on satisactory terms. I very much hope that, with the continuing support of the city and county councils, the department will be able to obtain a site in the near future.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last discussed the relocation of the Inland Revenue.

I keep fully up to date with developments, on the Inland Revenue's proposals to relocate some 2,000 headquarters posts to Nottingham.

Hmso

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial target he has set Her Majesty's Stationery Office for 1990.

I have today laid a further Treasury minute setting HMSO the financial target for 1990 of achieving a profit after interest in current cost accounting terms of ·2.9 million. This compares with the target for 1989 of a profit after interest in current cost accounting terms of £1·7 million.

Public Servants

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about the Government's policy of abating the pensions of retired public servants who are re-employed in the public service.

The Government have been reviewing the current abatement policy and has decided upon a change. In future, the pay or pension of retired public servants will no longer generally be subject to abatement if they are re-employed in a different public service after retirement. However, those who retire early may continue to be subject to abatement until they reach the normal retirement age in the public service from which they first retired. The administrative arrangements to give effect to the change will be made as soon as possible.Abatement will continue to apply for those who are re-employed in the same public service from which they draw pension. The review of this arrangement is not yet complete. I will make a further statement in due course.

Departmental Staff

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the number of staff in post in central Government Departments at 1 October.

On 1 October 1989 there were 565,075 staff in post in central Government Departments. Of these 497,294 were non-industrials and 67,781 were industrials. The figures for 1 April 1990 will be published next, when available.

Non-Domestic Construction (Vat)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue has been raised to date due to the ending of zero-rating on non-domestic construction.

Details of the revenue raised in the year to date as a result of the ending of zero rating on non-domestic construction are not available.

Charities

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to legislate for the removal of taxation on charitable fund raising by appeals like that for Children In Need or to make compensatory ex-gratia payments to such appeals of equivalent amounts to any taxation deducted.

[holding answer 20 December 1989]: Donations to charitable appeals are not liable to income tax, corporation tax or VAT, provided the donors receive no benefit in return. One-off fund-raising events held by charities are exempt from VAT, and non-charitable bodies can also obtain VAT exemption when organising one-off events as agents of an appeal fund which has charitable status. Income tax or corporation tax may be payable where the fund-raising activities amount to trading but, by concession, the Inland Revenue does not charge tax on the profits where certain conditions are satisfied. Full details of the concession (C4) are contained in the Inland Revenue leaflet IR1 1988.

Building Societies

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what action the Building Societies Commission has taken with regard to full distribution by the Guardian building society to its members;(2) what advice the Building Societies Commission gave to the Guardian building society and the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society in respect of prudential matters relating to the proposed merger of the two societies;(3) why the Building Societies Commission's advice to the Guardian building society in regard to the proposed merger with the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society had excluded the need for the Guardian building society to obtain an up-to-date valuation of its gross assets, including freehold property.

[holding answer 19 December 1989]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply to two previous questions on this matter on 11 December 1989 at column 448.

Distribution of £73 million available to the Hospital and Community Health Services to implement the proposals in the While Paper Working for Patients in 1989–90
£ million
Personnel functionFinance functionAsset registersMedical auditResource management initiative (RMI)1RMI(capital)Hospital information systems strategy (HISS) revenueTraining2NHS While Paper development projects100 consultantsTotal allocated
StaffTraining initiativesBasicMethodology developmentLocal projects
Northern0·3660·6340·0150·8650·0510·0531·4720·0800·2550·0720·0250·3974·255
Yorkshire0·4110·7110·0420·9200·0530·0161·7940·1130·0000·0540·0250·3074·446
Trent0·5120·8870·0280·9460·0640·0431·2600·4100·2250·0540·0500·1244·603
East Anglian0·2200·3810·0320·4600·0310·0200·3000·0000·0000·0540·9940·1122·604
North West Thames0·4270·7390·0210·8650·0510·1070·0270·0000·0000·0720·0500·1192·478
North East Thames0·5260·9100·0301·0620·0630·0300·0000·0000·0000·0360·0000·1712·828
South East Thames0·4630·8010·0300·9590·0600·0841·4550·3920·2250·0540·0850·2004·808
South West Thames0·3740·6480·0180·8000·0440·0700·0000·0000·0000·0360·0250·1622·177
Wessex0·3070·5320·0060·6430·0420·0320·3320·0500·0000·0360·0620·3332·375
Oxford0·2470·4270·1120·5180·0480·0900·0400·9600·0600·0000·0360·0000·1002·638
South Western0·3640·6310·0330·7380·0440·0540·0050·0000·0000·0540·3020·2652·490
West Midlands0·5871·0160·0291·2880·0770·0170·6860·0500·0000·0720·0400·1624·024
Mersey0·2940·5090·0410·6010·0360·0591·1150·0600·0000·0360·0250·1382·914
North Western0·5020·8690·0451·1080·0670·0261·0440·0700·0000·0540·0000·3484·133
RHAs Total5·6009·6950·48211·7730·7310·0900·65110·4501·2850·6750·7201·6832·93846·773
Others20·1000·1740·1000·2270·0190·1200·0650·4530·0000·6500·5000·0000·1002·508
Grant Total5·7009·8690·58212·0000·7500·2100·71610·9031·2851·3251·2201·6833·038249·281
1 Includes RMI training.
2 Excludes RMI training.
3 Includes London post-graduate SHAs and NHSTA.
4 A further £23·757 remains to be allocated.

The discussions between the building societies concerned and the Building Societies Commission are confidential. Interested parties will have an opportunity to put their representations to the hearing now scheduled by the Commission for 15 February 1990, if the special investors' and borrowers' resolutions are passed.

Cigarettes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much the burden of excise duty and value-added tax on cigarettes has outstripped the all items retail prices index since 1979.

[holding answer 20 December 1989]: The combined excise duty and value added tax levied on a typical packet of 20 king-size cigarettes increased by 32 per cent. more than the retail prices index in the 10 years between October 1979 and October 1989.

Health

"Working For Patients"

To ask the Secretary of State for Heath (1) what is the distribution by National Health Service region, by spending head, and by spending head within each National Health Service region of the sums so far announced for the implementation of the proposals in "Working for Patients" for the financial year 1989–90;(2) if he will publish a table showing the distribution between functions and National Health Service regions of the extra resources to implement "Working for Patients" including sums available for medical audit and information technology training.

The £73 million available to the hospital and community health services in 1989–90 has been distributed as shown in the table.

Sight Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the Durham area have had eye tests since April 1989; and what was the figure for the same period in 1988.

Statistics relating to private sight tests have not been gathered since April 1989. It is not therefore possible to supply directly comparable figures for the periods in question.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to monitor the volume of private sight tests.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State is instituting a survey covering Great Britain which will begin next month. The results should be available in the early spring.

Miscarriages

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has concerning the number of miscarriages caused by pregnant women coming into contact with chlorydiosis infected sheep.

We have assumed that the question was intended to refer to sheep infected with chlamydia psittaci. The information available for the years since 1984 is shown in the table:

Chlamydia B/Chlamydia Psittaci 1984–88
Laboratory reports to PHLS CDSC of miscarriage/abortions in cases of known contact with aborting sheep or who had ovine infections.
YearTotal lab reports2Miscarriage/Abortions
19844101
19863262
119895682
Total2,51625
1Provisional.
2 Evidence for ovine origin is difficult to determine.

Hiv-Positive Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines have been issued to establishments under his control about the admission of children who are HIV positive.

The Department manages two youth treatment centres which look after adolescent boys and girls. Testing for HIV antibodies is not carried out routinely.The centres have been advised that a young person infected with HIV antibodies could be managed satisfactorily and in the normal way until or unless the need for specialised medical treatment or nursing care became necessary. They have been further advised that the best protection for people working and living there is to adhere scrupulously to sensible and basic standards of hygiene, to ensure the close supervision of the young residents and to provide them with planned sex education curricula within their broader health education. In addition, the centres have been asked to provide staff training directed towards the understanding of infections such as AIDS and hepatitis B and their prevention.

Adoptions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children from overseas countries have been adopted by British citizens during each of the last five years; and, of this number, how many were from countries which do not operate similar adoption procedures to the United Kingdom.

Airports (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Heath what steps are being taken to strengthen public health regulations at Britain's international airports to reduce the risk of diseases being brought into the United Kingdom on aircraft; and if he will make a statement.

The Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations 1979 relate to incoming and outgoing aircraft and authorise measures to be taken to prevent danger to public health and the spread of infection. They are being considered within the review of the law on infectious disease control in England and Wales currently being conducted by the Department as I announced on 24 October 1989 in a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) at columns 411–12.

Doctors

To ask the Secretary of State for Heath if he will give for each year since 1959 the number of doctors employed by the National Health Service, with each year also expressed as a percentage change of the previous year.

Comparable data are not available prior to 1971. Informtion from 1971 is as shown in the table. Prior to 1975 comparable community health service medical staff figures are not available and are therefore not included.

YearAll doctors1Percentage change
197144,950
197246,4983·4
197348,1103·5
197449,1072·1
197555,629
197657,1672·8
197758,5022·3
197860,0012·6
197961,5542·6
198063,1302·6
198164,6122·3
198265,5911·5
198366,9102·0
198467,2820·6
198568,1941·4
198668,8390·9
198769,5321·0
1988270,9952·1
1Includes permanent paid and honorary staff; excludes locum staff, hospital practitioners and clinical assistants in the hospital and community health services. Includes general medical practitioners
2 Includes 129 additional posts not shown in the main census, which have been returned late by regions.

Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations he has received from (a) men and (b) women regarding abortion, in the past six months; how many of each of those categories were (i) for and (ii) against; and if he will make a statement.

It is not always possible to tell from a signature who wrote the letters or to distinguish between those in favour of a lower time limit or against abortion.

Research Data

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will make an assessment as to the ownership of anonymised data for research purposes produced by general practitioners on computers provided by third parties.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Torridge and Devon, West (Miss Nicholson) on 13 December at column 681.

Amniocentesis Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to the rate of miscarriage in pregnant women as a result of receiving an amniocentesis; and if he will give the source of his information.

A recent report from the Royal College of Physicians states that the best studies suggest a 1 per cent. excess risk of spontaneous abortion following amniocentesis. (Source: Prenatal diagnosis and genetic screening. Royal College of Physicians, September 1989, paragraphs 2·33–2·35.)

Conductive Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money the Government have put into Peto clinic-style rehabilitation in each of the years since 1979 at constant prices; and what additional funding his Department has put aside for local authorities to assist such treatment over the same period.

Information is not available in the form requested. Health authorities provide a wide range of treatment and rehabilitation services for disabled children. It is for individual authorities to allocate resources to these services in the light of their own circumstances.

Hospices

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will obtain a copy of the proceedings of the annual conference of "Help the Hospices" regarding current funding for his departmental library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department gives to the Nottingham hospice of 384 Woodborough road, Nottingham NG3 4JF.

None. I understand that the project is funded by a trust and a contribution from local finance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to bring funding arrangements for hospices in England into line with those in Scotland.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry) on 15 December at columns 846–47.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has had from (a) the Nottingham hospice and (b) the Nottingham district health authority regarding the funding of the hospice; and if he will make a statement.

We have received no representations from the Nottingham hospice and the district health authority regarding funding of the hospice. I understand that the health authority provides some 25 hospice beds and has given the Nottinghamshire hospice some funds until April 1990.

Midwives

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about the grading of those post-registration midwives whose courses began prior to 1 April 1988; and if he will make a statement.

We have received a number of representations since the staff and management sides of the Nursing and Midwifery Staffs Negotiating Council agreed in October 1988 on a new provision for staff who entered training after 1 April 1988.The Government have made their position clear in their response to the fourth report from the Social Services Committee 1988–89 "Resourcing the National Health Service: Midwives' Regrading 1988–89".

Elderly People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information is available to him on services currently being provided under section 45 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 which could not be provided under other legislation; and if he will make a statement.

Ambulance Dispute

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of (a) board and lodgings for military personnel, (b) use of military petrol and vehicles, (c) police overtime, (d) payments to St. John Ambulance and (e) payments to the Red Cross Society so far incurred in the ambulance dispute.

Information is not available centrally of the costs of police overtime or of payments to St. John Ambulance and the Red Cross Society incurred so far in the ambulance dispute. It is understood that extra costs have been incurred by the armed forces of £0·792 million up to 30 November 1989.

Arts And Design

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

Emergency Calls

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulance personnel have been (a) killed, (b) seriously injured and (c) slightly injured in each of the past 10 years (i) in accidents while proceeding to an emergency call and (ii) while at the scene of an emergency call.

Vaccination Leaflet

To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the Health Education Authority has withdrawn the leaflet MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination reference 1D19 ISBNI 85448 050 2 printed by Graphoprint 8/88 and replaced it with an edition which is identical save for the photograph of the child on the cover; how many copies were printed of the 1988 edition; how many remained in stock at the time of its replacement by the 1989 edition; how many copies of the 1989 edition have been printed; what was the reason for the replacement of the original photograph by the new one on the front of the 1989 edition; what was the cost of the 1988 and 1989 editions; and what was the cost of changing the photograph.

A new edition of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination leaflet (ID19) was produced only after all stocks of the original leaflet were used. A new photograph was used after Health Education Authority research indicated that the original had limited appeal.The original leaflet cost £16,198 for 1.279,000 copies, and a reprint cost £6,095 for a further 400,000 leaflets. The new printing cost £9.785 for 850,000 leaflets, plus £400 for the new photograph.

RegionAllHaemophiliacsNon-Haemophiliac Recipients of blood or blood products
HIV+ (i)AIDS cases (ii)AIDS deaths (iii)HIV+ (iv)AIDS cases (v)AIDS deaths (vi)HIV+ (vii)AIDS cases (viii)AIDS deaths (ix)
Northern3055433891713***
Yorkshire3236637651910***
Trent283512763****0
East Anglia171321839***00
North West Thames3,0891,06349933**17**
North East Thames2,048497265163271829**
South East Thames97927115411319****
South West Thames303925422**10**
Wessex251573227****0
Oxford349523011514****
South Western259553136*****
West Midlands3755627147***00
Mersey162342446*****
North Western388935928*****
Channel Islands20***00000
Wales144432918*****
Northern Ireland6213*1600000
Scotland1,7071185876**12**
Total11,2182,6491,3881,0971611021104432

Self-Governing Hospitals

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what central funding is being made available for feasibility studies by hospitals considering self-governing status.

No central funds have been allocated specifically for work on feasibility studies by hospitals which have expressed an interest in NHS trust status.

Aids

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (i) the numbers of HIV positive persons. (ii) the numbers of AIDS patients and (iii) the number of deaths from AIDS, in each standard region and in the United Kingdom since the AIDS epidemic began; and if he will show (a) the numbers of haemophiliacs so affected and (b) the numbers of non-haemophiliacs so affected as a consequence of infected blood products.

[holding answer 29 November 1989]: The table shows the total numbers of HIV positive reports, AIDS cases and deaths of people with AIDS reported to the communicable disease surveillance centre and the communicable diseases (Scotland) unit to the end of September 1989, the numbers of those who were haemophiliacs, and the numbers of non-haemophiliacs thought to have been infected through receipt of blood or blood products in the United Kingdom or abroad.The regional breakdown is by regional health authority rather than standard regions as requested. All numbers in the tables which are fewer than 10 are represented by an asterisk to safeguard confidentiality, in line with the procedure followed in reports under the AIDS (Control) Act.

Speech Therapists

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the independent experts which have been called in to advise at the Department of Health—National Health Service manpower planning advisory group on the recruitment and retention of speech therapists;(2) on what dates discussions have taken place on recruitment and retention rates of speech therapists at the Department of Health—National Health Service manpower planning advisory group;(3) over what period and in which authorities area data collection took place to inform the Department of Health —National Health Service manpower planning advisory group on recruitment and retention rates of speech therapists;(4) when the Department of Health—National Health Service manpower planning advisory group decided to study recruitment and retention rates of speech therapists;(5) which areas of speech therapy have been examined in the Department of Health—National Health Service manpower planning advisory group on recruitment and retention patterns of speech therapists.

[holding answer 29 November 1989]: Work on the recruitment and retention of speech therapists is being undertaken as part of the national professional manpower initiative. This is a joint initiative launched in December 1987 between the Departments of Health, the manpower planning advisory group and the professional bodies concerned. The aim is to improve the quality and flow of information between the service, the professions and the Health Departments. This will enable the more informed analysis of, for example, recruitment and retention issues. For those staff groups covered by the pay review body for the professions allied to medicine, the aim is also to provide improved manpower information for the review body. The initiative covers all health authorities.The initiative has been discussed with representatives of speech therapy including a nominee from the College of Speech Therapists acting as the formal link between the college and the Department.

Benzodiazepines

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to promote alternatives to treatment by benzodiazepine drugs in future.

[holding answer 19 December 1989]: That some patients can become addicted to benzodiazepine drugs is well known in the medical profession. This is one of the factors that doctors bear in mind when considering alternative treatment possibilities for their patients, such as counselling. What form of treatment will be more effective for particular patients is a matter for the clinical judgment of their doctors. Ministers would not wish to seek to promote particular forms of treatment, either generally or for particular groups of patients.

Defence

Nuclear Test Veterans

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received about providing compensation for ex-service personnel who took part in the nuclear testing programme.

A number of representations have been made by right hon. and hon. Members and by others regarding compensation for participants in the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons test programme. As the Government have made clear on many occasions, we would be ready to pay compensation wherever the Crown's legal liability was established and where there was firm evidence to show that, on a balance of probabilities, ex-service personnel had suffered ill health as a result of exposure to radiation during the course of their duties as members of the armed forces.

British Forces, Germany

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are any proposals to change the level of British armed forces based in Germany.

Conventional arms control discussions underway in Vienna concern certain categories of equipment held by the British armed forces. It is too early, however, to assess the impact of a CFE agreement on British forces in the Federal Republic of Germany.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current manpower of (a) the Berlin Brigade, (b) the Royal Air Force in Germany and (c) the British Army of the Rhine.

The current peacetime establishment figures are as follows:

  • (a) Berlin Brigade—a little under 3.000
  • (b) the Royal Air Force in Germany—12,182 and
  • (c) the British Army of the Rhine—55,200.
  • Low Flying

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the amount of low flying carried out by the Royal Air Force.

    Defence Establishments (Security)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he is taking to improve security at his Department's establishments in West Germany; and if he will make a statement.

    It would not be appropriate to comment on individual security measures. However, a wide range of new security measures have been implemented recently in West Germany and further major measures are in prospect. Close liaison is also maintained with the Federal Republic of Germany authorities, which have primary responsibility for the prevention of terrorist crimes outside United Kingdom bases.

    Raf Installation (Aird Uig)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the former Royal Air Force installation at Aird Uig, Isle of Lewis, was disposed of and to whom; and what was the price paid.

    The NATO communications installation at Aird Uig, which is operated by the RAF, remains in use. Only the adjoining domestic accommodation area amounting to some 12 acres was sold to a private individual in March 1973, but it is known that the site has been resold several times since then. It is not our practice to disclose details of commercial transactions.

    Amphibious Warfare

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to implement the Royal Navy's requirement for vessels to maintain its amphibian warfare capability.

    The Government are committed to maintaining the Royal Navy amphibious capability in the longer term. To this end, we are currently examing the results of studies into replacing the capability offered by HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid, either by extending their planned lives or by new build. A decision will be made in good time before these ships reach the end of their current useful lives. We are also evaluating the tenders we received earlier this year for the aviation support ship. We hope to be in a position to place an order during 1990. We will continue to maintain our force of landing ships logistic.

    Crown Immunity

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many section 10 certificates have been issued since 1979 in respect of members of the services, excluding those who were nuclear test veterans.

    My right hon. Friend's responsibilities are limited to issuing certificates, under section 10(3) of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, confirming the duty status of a member of the armed forces on any particular occasion. It is not possible to provide full details of all section 10(3) certificates issued since 1979, as these have not been kept. However, our records show that 11 such certificates have been issued in the four years from 1986 to date; of these, one related to a nuclear test veteran.

    Pirbright Ranges

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why it is proposed to extend the danger area at Pirbright ranges; what land clearance has been undertaken in preparation; whether the Nature Conservancy Council has been consulted; why Pirbright parish council has not been notified of these proposals; and if he will now take steps to ensure that local residents are fully informed.

    There are no plans to extend the danger area of the Pirbright ranges in the foreseeable future.

    Armed Forces (Fatalities)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of Her Majesty's forces have been killed in each of the past five calendar years (a) as a result of terrorist action and (b) in other ways in the course of their duty; and what would have been the cost to the Exchequer if those killed, in each category, had been guaranteed a mimimum payment to their next of kin by the Ministry of Defence equivalent to one year's salary.

    My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces will write to my hon. Friend.

    Tanks

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to his answer to the hon. Member for Leeds, Central of 14 December, Official Report, column 822, if he will list the matters relating to tanks discussed between General Dynamics and his officials.

    The details of meetings between General Dynamics and my officials to discuss possible future orders for tanks for the British Army are commercially confidential.

    Arts And Design

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.