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Written Answers

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 19 January 1990

Northern Ireland

Rural Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give details of Government plans for investment in the rural roads network of Northern Ireland.

It is planned to invest some £109 million in developing, improving and maintaining the total road network of Northern Ireland in the 1990–91 financial year. An actual breakdown of this investment between urban and rural roads could be attained only at disproportionate cost to the Department.Investment in the rural roads network will be made according to need, road safety considerations and the priorities established to make the best possible use of available resources.

Prisoners (Classification)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give details of the differences in the manner in which prisoners with different classifications are treated by the prison authorities.

The classification of prisoners by age, length of sentence, temperament and record is taken into account in deciding the allocation of prisoners to prisons in Northern Ireland, and determines the amount of pre-release home leave for which they will be eligible to apply in the final stages of their sentence.The security category allocated on committal reflects both a prisoner's escape potential and the risk he would pose to society and the security forces should he escape. Decisions on security categories are taken after a thorough examination of all the relevant information available. Reviews are conducted periodically during sentence and prisoners are often downgraded to a lower security category.The security category is also taken into account in determining the prison to which a prisoner is allocated, and it determines the degree of supervision and control that is exercised. Those in the top risk category are held in single-cell accommodation which is searched at irregular intervals, and they are subject to a higher frequency of searching and cell transfer than other prisoners. They are also assigned individual prison officer escorts during movement within the prison, which is always on a one-to-one basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give details of the systems used for classifying prisoners in Northern Ireland prisons; and how many prisoners there are within each classification.

The classification of prisoners in Northern Ireland is governed by the Prison Rules (NI) 1982 which provide that a prisoner may be classified having regard to his age, temperament and record. On committal all prisoners are in addition allocated a security category. Both a prisoner's classification and security category can be changed during his term of imprisonment.The tables provide a breakdown of the population in Northern Ireland prisons as at 15 January 1990:

ClassificationNumber
Untried342
Appellant14
Adult indeterminate386
Secretary of State's pleasure26
Short term star125
Short term ordinary131
Long term star367
Long term ordinary173
Young person164
1,728
Security categoryNumber
Low risk144
Medium risk1,259
High risk302
Top risk23
1,728

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is (a) the total number of red-book prisoners in Northern Ireland, and (b) the number of red-book prisoners who have served over 13 years in prison, and who were denied Christmas parole in 1989; and if he will make a statement.

There are currently 23 top risk (commonly known as "Red Book") prisoners in Northern Ireland, only 10 of whom are sentenced prisoners. Two such prisoners, who are serving life sentences, had spent 13 years in custody at 21 December 1989 but were excluded from applying for Christmas home leave. Home leave schemes are designed to assist prisoners to prepare for their eventual return to the community. Prisoners who are in the top risk category after 13 years in custody are not, in my view, making satisfactory progress and I am not, therefore, prepared to grant them this privilege.

Firearms

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many firearms, listed by the category under which they are identified by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, have been stolen in each Royal Ulster Constabulary division in each of the last five years from (a) civilians and (b) the security forces, or as much of such information as is available to him.

[holding answer 9 January 1990]: Information split into Royal Ulster Constabulary divisions is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Readily available information is as follows:

Firearms stolen in Northern Ireland 1984–89
YearStolen fromBullet firingShotguns1Air weapons/miscellaneous
1985Security forces16
Civilians19799
1986Security forces141

Year

Stolen from

Bullet firing

Shotguns

1

Air weapons/miscellaneous

Civilians139620
1987Security forces1894
Civilians349113
1988Security forces14
Civilians165413
1989Security forces19
Civilians17424

1 Miscellaneous includes: Blank firing weapons, muzzle loading weapons, antique weapons, tranquilliser guns and starting pistols.

Kincora Boys' Home

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on out-of-court payments made to ex-residents of the Kincora boys' home.

[holding answer 15 January 1990]: The manner in which claims for compensation are finally settled is entirely a matter for agreement between the parties. Out-of-court settlements are, however, quite usual in civil actions and are to the advantage of all parties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what compensation payments have been made to ex-residents of the Kincora boys' home; on what dates they were made; how many cases are still to be processed; and on what dates he expects further cases to be settled.

[holding answer 15 January 1990]: To date, compensation payments have been made to five ex-residents, as follows: £5,000 on 31/3/88; £10,000 on 26/5/89; £7,500 on 26/5/89; £2,500 on 19/7/89; £6,000 on 10/8/89. Eight further claims remain to be processed, but it is not possible to give any indication of when they will be settled.In my reply of 23 June 1989,

Official Report, column 265, I stated that one of the claims had been settled on 15 April 1988. This date was incorrect and should have been 23 March 1988. I regret this error. The claim settled on 23 March was paid on 31 March as indicated above.

Fire (Ruc Complex, Carrickfergus)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether any evidence gathered by the Stevens inquiry into allegations of collusion between members of the security forces and paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland was destroyed as a result of the fire in the office of the inquiry in the Royal Ulster Constabulary complex at Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

[holding answer 15 January 1990]: I understand that it has not so far been possible to assess fully the damage and loss of documents following the fire at the Seapark complex on 10 January. However, as Mr. Stevens made clear in his press statement on 11 January, duplicate files of the investigation were kept at a separate location as a matter of routine and his investigation has not been disrupted.

Benefit Claimants

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average number of claimants of (a) income support, (b) unemployment benefit and (c) family credit, at each box in each of the district offices of the Department of Health and Social Services, in each month during 1988 and 1989.

[holding answer 16 January 1990]: Information in the form requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However the most recent figures for the average numbers of unemployed claimants by box in each social security office in Northern Ireland are as follows:

Numbers of unemployed at 14 December 1989
Social Security officeAverage number of claimants per box
Andersontown169
Antrim236
Armagh216
Ballymena125
Ballymoney171
Ballynahinch49
Banbridge153
Bangor247
Carrickfergus115
Coleraine367
Cookstown229
Corporation Street209
Downpatrick189
Dungannon229
Enniskillen238
Falls234
Holywood Road237
Kilkeel92
Knockbreda213
Larne207
Limavady144
Lisburn 1168
Londonderry202
Lurgan189
Magherafelt198
Newcastle230
Newry211
Newtownabbey384
Newtownards341
Omagh345
Portadown162
Shaftesbury Square228
Shankill250
Strabane181
1 Figures at 11 January 1990.

Home Helps

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total amount spent by each area health board on the provision of home help services in each year since 1980.

[holding answer 16 January 1990]: The information following represents expenditure in cash terms on home help salaries and incidental expenses and does not include similar information on professional and clerical staff involved in the provision of the service:

Northern Board
£

Southern Board
£

Eastern Board
£

Western Board
£

Total
£

1979–801,893,3892,187,9594,771,5761,686,33810,539,262
1980–812,232,9072,586,8265,693,2871,874,05612,387,076
1981–822,938,9923,003,6966,637,0442,337,64614,917,378
1982–832,843,7033,390,5687,200,5082,554,34915,989,218
1983–843,083,5773,689,1957,349,6992,584,36716,706,838
1984–853,221,0973,757,3317,438,5222,683,43417,100,384
1985–863,466,4464,194,6968,125,4733,038,56818,825,180
1986–873,330,5844,231,4718,401,3222,881,75418,845,131
1987–883,741,5914,921,1269,877,8403,387,83521,928,392
1988–893,829,6325,186,89210,219,2353,285,99922,521,758

Livestock (Compensation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sums are payable in compensation to farmers who lose livestock as a result of action by the armed forces; and if he will give the average sum payable for the death of (i) a cow, (ii) a bull, (iii) a calf, (iv) a bullock, (v) a sheep, (vi) a ram, (vii) a lamb, (viii) a horse, (ix) a boar, (x) a sow and (xi) a piglet.

I have been asked to reply.It is not possible to provide details of average sums payable in compensation for the loss of various types of livestock as the amount awarded will vary according to the age, pedigree etc. of the animal concerned. However, each claim is dealt with on its own merits, and compensation awards are assessed by reference to current market prices and professional veterinary advice. The Ministry of Defence paid during 1989 in the order of £400,000 by way of compensation to farmers in Northern Ireland in respect of the loss of livestock arising from activities by the armed forces.

Overseas Development

Bangladesh

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to extend programmes of development assistance to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is, and has long been, one of the largest recipients of British development assistance. The programme concentrates on the energy, natural resources, infrastructure and health-population sectors. Among planned activities for United Kingdom support are more help on the exploitation of gas reserves, further rural development work through local NGOs, and studies directed at mitigating the effects of the frequent and severe flooding to which the country is subject.

Gibraltar

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his planned expenditure in Gibraltar in the current financial year.

Expenditure on aid to Gibraltar in the current financial year is expected to be about £0·5 million.

Holiday Visit Passages

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the approximate cost of holiday visit passages paid in respect of (a) children of

Overseas Development Administration personnel and (b) children of technical co-operation officers in receipt of education allowances for the latest available year.

The latest year for which figures are available is 1988–89. In that year, the cost of holiday visit passages for children of staff of the Overseas Development Administration was £22,900. For children of all personnel financed from technical co-operation funds, including technical co-operation officers and supplementees, the cost was £1,089,218.

Tropical Rain Forests

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will outline the initiatives that are being taken in relation to the management, utilisation and conservation of tropical rain forests, particularly in the field of species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity; and if he will make a statement.

The Overseas Development Administration is currently implementing a forestry initiative with some 165 projects ongoing or in preparation, with a total value of £150 million. The aims include helping developing countries maximise the economic and social benefits they enjoy from their forests in a sustainable way, and conserving the planet's variety of plant and animal species, many of which are unique to tropical forests.In the field of species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity the ODA supports the research work of the Oxford Forestry Institute and other British institutes and universities. We are currently funding 23 projects worth some £4 million in these areas. We also finance such projects under our bilateral country programmes. Examples include the Limbe gardens conservation of genetic resources project in Cameroon; assistance to forestry conservation research in Nepal; assistance for the conservation of the forest genetic resources of Honduras; help with a project in Ghana to bring tropical moist forest under sustained yield management; assisting with forestry inventory and management work in the Oban hills of Nigeria. Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Government last year we hope to assist with the establishment of a biological reserve in the Caxiuna national forest. Internationally we are collaborating with other donors in the tropical forestry action plan and we support the work of the International Tropical Timber Organisation.

Attorney-General

Solicitors (Remuneration)

To ask the Attorney-General if he has any proposals to increase the remuneration of duty solicitors; and if he will make a statement.

Legal aid rates are reviewed each year in accordance with the Legal Aid Act 1988. The Lord Chancellor has not yet decided by how much any legal aid rates should be increased this year.

Paul Malone And Thomas Ryder

To ask the Attorney-General what progress has been made by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case of Paul Malone and Thomas Ryder; and if he will make a statement.

Between November 1988 and May 1989 the West Yorkshire police forwarded six reports to the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning their investigations into allegations by a number of persons, including Paul Malone and Thomas Ryder, of criminal misconduct by officers of the Merseyside police. The director has briefed counsel to advise and has so far received his advice upon five of the reports. The sixth advice from counsel is awaited. The evidence and advices received so far are being considered by the director's office and a decision on whether any criminal proceedings should be instituted as a result of the investigations will be taken in due course.

Trade And Industry

Comecon

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what advice the Government are giving to businesses considering investment projects in COMECON countries.

Companies considering investment in eastern Europe are welcome to consult my Department. We point out that in all COMECON countries except Hungary the scope for investment is at present limited to participation in joint ventures with local enterprises and that the rules and regulations for these ventures vary from country to country. Direct investment is possible in Hungary and is made more attractive by the existence of an increasingly coherent legal framework and by the availability of British accountants and lawyers based in Budapest. Other countries in this area, such as Poland, offer some similar attractions and are working hard to offer more. Throughout eastern Europe prospects are, perhaps, particularly good in food (production, processing and packaging) and health care (pharmaceuticals and medical equipment), but the risks of investment and the provisions for repatriating profits are changing. We therefore encourage companies to consult the commercial sections of our embassies as well as local representatives of British banks and their usual advisers.

Motor Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the increase in productivity in the motor vehicle industry since 1972 and 1979 together with the number of employees, the number of cars produced, and the trading profit.

Productivity, production and trading profit statistics are matters for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Employment statistics are a matter for the Secretary of State for Employment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the Government's estimate of the proportion of the output of motor vehicles produced in the United Kingdom in terms of the shareholding by foreign vehicle producers together with (a) the percentage increase in real hourly earnings of adult male manual workers in the motor vehicle industry since (i) 1972 and (ii) 1979 and of all non-manual employees in the rest of the private sector and (b) the increase in output per head in the motor vehicle industry and the rest of the private sector.

An estimate of the proportion of the output of motor vehicles produced in the United Kingdom in terms of the shareholding by foreign vehicle producers is not available. Earnings figures are a matter for the Secretary of State for Employment. Output per head figures are a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Consumer Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many representations he has received from hon. and right hon. Members, and members of the public concerning the need for legislation to protect the consumer when purchasing goods; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has had regarding inadequacies in consumer protection in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

I and my officials receive numerous communications dealing with a wide range of subjects. Consumers in this country are protected by a substantial body of existing legislation.

Unpublished Inspectors' Reports

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will place in the Library copies of his Department's unpublished inspectors' reports which have been given to professional bodies.

Dixons (Takeover Bid)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to announce whether he intends to refer the takeover bid by Kingfisher of Dixons plc to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission; and if he will make a statement.

On 16 January my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that he had decided, in accordance with the recommendation of the Director General of Fair Trading, to refer the proposed acquisition by Kingfisher plc of Dixons Group plc to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

It would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the proposed acquisition in advance of the commission's report. The commission has been asked to submit its report to the Secretary of State by 27 April 1990.

Trade Marks

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the average waiting time before his Department deals with applicaptions for new trade marks.

The average time from filing to issue of an examination report is nine months. The average time from filing to registration of unopposed applications is 24 months.

Patent Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he proposes to take to enable the Patent Office to deal promptly with its duties and to minimise delay to investors and exporters.

An increase of 50 staff has been approved for the trade marks registry to deal with a backlog of cases which has built up since service marks were introduced in 1986. These staff are currently being recruited and trained.The Patent Office, which is in the course of relocating to Newport (Gwent), is due to become an executive agency of the Department of Trade and Industry in the course of this year. This is expected to result in substantial improvements in efficiency and quality of service, in particular when the relocation is complete in the autumn of 1991.

Knitwear And Textiles

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Government in assisting the knitwear and textile industries will offer special financing arrangements for these industries to re-equip with British-made machinery.

[holding answer 15 January]: No. Such arrangements would conflict with the European Commission ban on sectoral aid schemes for the textile and clothing industry. The provision of finance to domestic producers on condition that they buy British goods would in addition be in breach of our GATT and Community obligations. The greatest encouragement to buy British is the availability of competitive British goods and services. My Department's policies are geared to helping business to achieve this.

Manufacturing Productivity

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the Government's policy on increases in productivity in manufacturing industry, and what advice is given to employers seeking to achieve such increases.

The most important spur to the significant productivity growth by British manufacturing since 1980 has come from the competitive pressures of more open markets. Government policies to promote this objective have included privatisation, deregulation, elimination of restrictive practices and international negotiations to reduce trade barriers through the GATT and in the European Community. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry's enterprise initiative enables businesses to receive various forms of help which develop management skills and promote best practice and so further improve productivity.

Education And Science

Research Councils

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he will respond to the advice he has received from the Advisory Board for the Research Councils on the future structure of the research council system; and if he will make a statement.

I have today written to Sir David Phillips, chairman of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils, accepting the recommendation made to me by the board that it should be reconstituted this spring.The text of my letter is as follows:

"Dear Sir David
Future structure of the research council system
Thank you for your letter of 15 November conveying the Board's advice about the future structure of the Research Council system.
The case which you put forward for reconstitution of the ABRC—as a smaller body with a more explicit remit to improve co-ordination and joint working among the Research Councils—is strong and convincing. The Government therefore intends to implement this recommendation with effect from 1 April. The terms of reference for the new ABRC will be those proposed in the annex to your advice. I am very pleased that you have accepted my invitation to become the first chairman of the new Board, and I hope to be able to announce its full membership within a few weeks.
I and my colleagues are considering the Board's subsequent advice about improving co-ordination between the Agricultural and Food Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council. I shall let you know our conclusions as soon as possible.
I shall, naturally, be informing Parliament about the Government's decision on the reconstitution of the ABRC and, given the wide interest in the scientific community, I am arranging for this letter and the Board's advice to be published."

I am arranging for copies of this letter and of the board's advice to be placed in the Library.

Peer Review System

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will list the membership of the ABRC working group investigating reforms of the peer review system under the chairmanship of Margaret Boden; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will outline the scope and remit of the ABRC working group investigating reforms of the peer review system; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the membership and terms of reference of the ABRC's working group on peer review are as follows:

Membership

Professor Margaret Boden, FBA (Chairman)—Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Sussex; and ABRC Member.
Professor Sir Eric Ash, FRS FEng.—Rector, Imperial College of Science and Technology, and ABRC Member.
Sir Charles Reece—former Research and Technology Director, ICI; and ABRC Member.
Dr. David Edge—Science Studies Unit, Edinburgh University.
Dr. John Skehel, FRS—Director, National Institute for Medical Research.
Dr. Peter Williams—Chief Executive, Oxford Instruments plc.

Terms of Reference

  • 1. To describe the present practices of the Research Councils in using peer review for the appraisal of proposals for research projects, programmes, centres and facilities; and for the monitoring and evaluation of output and performance.
  • 2. To estimate the costs of peer review in terms of the resources and time committed by the Councils, their staff and committee members, and by applicants and referees.
  • 3. To evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the peer review systems operated by Councils; and to assess their efficiency and effectiveness for the appraisal of different types of research support, including for expenditure on and access to large facilities.
  • 4. To review studies of peer review undertaken in the United States and elsewhere, and to draw appropriate lessons for the United Kingdom.
  • 5. To make recommendations concerning:
    • the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the Council's arrangements for peer review;
    • peer review mechanisms as regards support for young researchers and new research fields;
    • the use of peer review, and any alternatives, in relation to investment and time allocation decisions for large experimental facilities.
  • 6. Throughout, to construe "peer review" broadly—encompassing also, for instance, "merit review".
  • My right hon. Friend and I will be interested to hear in due course of the ABRC's conclusions arising from this work.

    Subatomic Particles Research Project

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will outline British involvement and funding proposals for participation in the subatomic particles research project at the Sudbury neutrino observatory; and if he will make a statement.

    The Sudbury neutrino observatory project is a collaboration involving Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom's involvement is through a group at Oxford university's nuclear physics laboratory which is developing a water purification and testing system for the large heavy water detector being built in northern Ontario.The group is supported by means of a research grant of £276,000 over three years (1989–92) from the science and engineering research council (SERC) and a contribution from Oxford university of about £120,000 over the same period.Any application for further funding for the project would be considered by SERC against other calls on its budget.

    Bradford City Technical College

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what right of appeal parents have whose children are refused a place at Bradford city technology college; and if he will make a statement.

    CTCs are independent schools and parents will have no automatic right of appeal if their children fail to achieve one of the limited number of places available. However, my right hon. Friend will expect colleges to look at individual cases on their merits.

    National Finance

    Local Government Finance

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the impact the introduction of the poll tax will have on the retail prices index in April.

    The Autumn Statement forecast is for RPI annual inflation to fall to 5¾ per cent. by the fourth quarter of 1990. It is not the practice to provide more detail than published in table 2.7 of the Autumn Statement.

    Public Expenditure White Paper

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to publish the 1990 public expenditure White Paper.

    The 1990 public expenditure White Paper will be published at 3.30 pm on Tuesday 30 January, and copies will be available in the Vote Office.

    Premium Bonds

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total number of premium bond purchases for each of the last five annual periods for which figures are kept.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The number of purchases for each of the last five calendar years has been as follows:

    000's
    19852,530·0
    19861,949·8
    19871,962·0
    19882,036·7
    19891 1,416·0
    1 provisional

    National Savings

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total number of new National Savings bank customers for the investment account for the last five annual periods for which figures are kept.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The number of new customers opening investment accounts is not available. The number of new investment accounts opened during each of the last five calendar years was as follows:

    000's
    1985544·8
    1986519·9
    1987697·3
    1988605·3
    1989515·9

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the total number of new ordinary accounts opened, under the national savings scheme for each of the last five annual periods for which figures are kept.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The number of new national savings ordinary accounts opened in each of the last five calendar years is as follows:

    000's

    1985528·2
    1986506·0
    1987502·6
    1988471·1
    1989343·3

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any additional plans to further increase the minimum deposit level for National Savings bank ordinary accounts.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: My right hon. Friend has no present plans to increase the minimum deposit for national savings ordinary accounts.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any plans to cause the Department for National Savings to issue any further guidelines to retirement pensioners on savings and personal security, either on its own or in conjuction with police authorities.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: For some years the Department for National Savings has responded to requests to assist local crime prevention campaigns by providing specially prepared leaflets which remind pensioners that their money is safer kept in a savings account than at home. I understand that the department will continue to offer such assistance where it is practicable to do so.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received any representations about the future of the Department for National Savings; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations. Our objectives for national savings are to encourage more long-term committed savings and less liquid debt; to make available through the national savings system products gross of tax for the non-taxpayer; and to continue to manage efficiently the investments of many millions of personal savers.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Treasury intends to review its policy on the Department for National Savings.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: Policy on national savings products and their terms is always kept under review.

    Taxation

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much taxation was raised from persons and organisations resident within, or operating within, Scotland during the financial year 1988–89; and if he will list the yield under the heading of each tax.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: Information is available only in respect of income tax, inheritance-capital transfer tax, and local authority rates. In the case of income tax and inheritance-capital transfer tax, the information is available only in terms of tax liabilities.The latest estimates available are that the income tax liabilities of residents of Scotland in 1987–88, the latest available year, were £3·4 billion, the capital transfer tax liabilities in 1985–86 on Scottish death estates and lifetime transfers were about £70 million, and local authority rates were £1,955 million in 1988–89. Capital transfer tax on lifetime transfers has since been abolished.

    Overseas Investment

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of (a) portfolio and (b) direct investment overseas each year since 1979, both at current prices and at constant 1989 prices; and what has been the percentage change each year.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The estimates of United Kingdom investment overseas at current prices, distinguishing direct and portfolio investment, since 1979 are published in "Economic Trends" for December 1989 (table A8). An assessment of investment at constant prices can be made using the implied gross domestic product price deflators published in "Economic Trends" (table 2) and in the CSO databank. These publications are available in the Library.

    Bank Lending

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of bank lending to each main sector of United Kingdom residents each year since 1979 at constant 1989 prices; and what was the percentage change each year in each case.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: Details on the level of lending to the main United Kingdom sectors is published for recent years in "Financial Statistics" (table 6.2) and for earlier years on the CSO databank. An assessment at constant prices can be made using the implied gross domestic product price deflators published in "Economic Trends" (table 2) and in the CSO databank. These publications are available in the Library.

    Foreign Earnings

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of foreign earnings of each category of financial institution in the City of London in 1979, 1984 and 1989 or the latest date for which information is available, at current prices and at constant 1989 prices.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The available information at current prices up to and including 1988 is given in the published annual Pink Books on the United Kingdom balance of payments (table 6.1) and on the CSO databank. An assessment at constant prices can be made using the implied gross domestic product price deflators published in "Economic Trends" (table 2) which is also available on the CSO databank. These publications are available in the Library.

    Invisible Earnings

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of invisible earnings each year since 1970 and for each month since January 1989 both at current prices and at constant 1989 prices.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The latest estimates of invisibles at current prices and of trade in services at constant prices are given in "Economic Trends" for December 1989 (tables A1 and A3) and on the CSO databank. An assessment of all invisibles at constant prices can be made using the implied gross domestic product price deflators published in "Economic Trends" (table 2) and on the CSO databank. These publications are available in the Library.

    Money Supply

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the percentage change each year since 1970 in each main measure of the money supply.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: Details on the level of five money supply measures are published for recent years in "Financial Statistics" (table 11.10) and for earlier years on the CSO databank both of which are available in the Library.

    Financial Assets

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the current value of the total assets of (a) pension funds, (b) insurance companies, (c) building societies, (d) commercial banks, (e) merchant banks, (f) United States banks in London, (g) Japanese banks in London, (h) other foreign banks in London, and (i) other major categories of dealers in the City of London.

    [holding answer 18 January 1990]: The latest estimates are given in the following publications, which are available in the Library:"Financial Statistics"

    Non-bank credit companies (table 7.4); Unit trusts (tables 7.6 and 7.8); Investment trusts (table 7.9); Insurance companies (table 7.10); and Pension funds (table 7.11).
    "Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin"
    Banks, distinguishing United Kingdom retail, merchant and other banks, and United States, Japanese and other overseas banks (tables 3.1 to 3.8); Building Societies (table 6.2).

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    British Council

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the level of Government grants to the British Council for each year since 1978–79, including the grant allocation for the year 1990–91.

    The table shows the level of Government grants to the British Council:

    (£'000)
    YearTotal
    1978–7945,891
    1979–8050,447
    1980–8156,165
    1981–8263,496
    1982–8368,608
    1983–8473,291
    1984–8581,513
    1985–8686,344
    1986–8791,990
    1987–88100,825
    1988–89101,059
    1989–90110,863
    1 1990–91121,159
    1 Estimate.

    Czechoslovakia

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the average time taken to process visa applications for citizens of Czechoslovakia wishing to visit the United Kingdom.

    Information about the average length of time taken to process visa applications is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, under a visa understanding with Czechoslovakia in 1980, each Government have undertaken to process visa applications for stays of up to three months within 14 working days. Most are issued well inside this time frame.

    Prime Minister

    Environment

    English Heritage

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what extra financial provision has been made to English Heritage in each financial year since it assumed responsibility for the relevant duties of the Greater London council; and what was the consequent increase in total expenditure, total grant offers made, total grants paid and total section 3A repair grant offers made since that date.

    The Greater London council's historic buildings division and historic house museums transferred to English Heritage in 1986. Additional grant-in-aid of £7·75 million was allocated to English Heritage in 1986–87 to cover the resulting extra costs. Since then the former Greater London council functions have ceased to be identified as a separate entity for the purposes of grant-in-aid but have become an integral part of English Heritage's national organisation and operation. In seeking extra resources each year English Heritage presents its bids on the basis of its work programmes (for example properties-in-care and conservation including building repair and archaeology grants) rather than on a regional basis. Allocation of existing and any additional resources among the regions is entirely a matter for English Heritage. Expenditure on grants in Greater London is as follows:

    £ million (cash)
    1986–871987–881988–891989–901
    Section 3A repair grant offers0·741·461·321·58
    Total grant offers for the 4 years£19·457 million
    Total grants paid2·844·304·814·82
    (Total £16·77 million)
    1 Planned.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the total expenditure by English Heritage and its predecessor, respectively, the total grant offers made and the total of grants paid, for each year 1981–82 to 1990–91;(2) what was the total income and the income from grant-in-aid, respectively, of English Heritage and its predecessor, for each year 1981–82 to 1990–91.

    Prior to the setting up of English Heritage in 1983, the Department of the Environment was directly responsible for historic building grants, archaeology grants and the portfolio of properties-in-care. In 1986

    1982–831983–841984–851985–861986–871987–881988–891989–901990–91 (planned)
    Total provision36·345·9
    Grant in aid (English Heritage)49·952·260·165·366·272·478·0
    Total Income (English Heritage)52·855·865·172·475·581·288·0
    Total gross expenditure34·843·552·155·062·871·078·484·790·0
    Total grants paid18·419·524·124·828·627·529·530·930·4
    Total grants offered27·728·229·834·233·033·736·4

    Chatham And Medway Docks

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money the Government have committed to the redevelopment of Chatham and Medway docks; to whom it is intended to distribute the money; and whether any consultancy agencies are involved.

    Following the closure of the royal naval dockyard at Chatham, the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust was established in April 1984 to take responsibility for some 80 acres of the dockyard area, containing about 50 buildings or sites scheduled as ancient monuments. The trust was financed by a Government endowment of £ 11·35 million to assist it in repairing and maintaining the historic structures and in promoting the site as a "living dockyard". The Department of the Environment and the Ministry of Defence commissioned a consultancy report on the future of the historic dockyard prior to the establishment of the trust and the trust itself has employed consultants for a number of studies since 1984.The redevelopment of the remainder of the former royal naval dockyard is being managed by the English Industrial Estates Corporation which is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. I understand that English Estates will have committed about £26 million to the project by the end of the current financial year and that consultants have been employed to assist with the project.Part of the dockyard was designated an enterprise zone in October 1986, which entitles it to full relief from payment of rates for a 10-year period. Figures for rates forgone are available only for the north-west Kent enterprise zone as a whole, and not for the Chatham maritime enterprise zone as a separate entity.

    Tyneside Enterprise Zone

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the extent of retail floorspace in the Tyneside enterprise zone in each year since E2 status was declared distinguishing between floorspace in Newcastle and Gateshead.

    English Heritage also took over responsibility for the Greater London council's historic buildings division and historic house museums; this is reflected in the total 1986–87 figures below. Accounting procedures within the Department during 1981–1984 differed from those subsequently adopted for and by English Heritage. As a result comparable information for 1981–82 and total grant "offers" for 1981–82, 1982–83 and 1983–84 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The table reflects voted provision for expenditure (rather than grant-in-aid which did not apply) by the Department in 1982–83 and 1983–84 on the activities later transferred to English Heritage.

    The table shows the amount of retail floorspace in the enterprise zone for each year for which information by type of use has been available. The year 1987 is the latest for which such information has been published. There is no breakdown for individual parts of the zone. As the hon. Member will be aware, however, the large majority of the increase in retail floorspace has taken place in the Gateshead area.

    Retail floorspace in Tyneside enterprise zone
    Year'000 sq m
    19840·2
    19854
    198620
    1987129

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the sums paid by Government to (a) Newcastle and (b) Gateshead council in 1989–90 in substitution of rates due from properties in the Tyneside enterprise zone, distinguishing between industrial and commercial property.

    Claims made by local authorities in respect of rate revenue forgone in enterprise zones do not distinguish between industrial and commercial property. Payments made so far in 1989–90 to Gateshead metropolitan borough council and Newcastle city council amount to £10,835,487 and £1,518,385 respectively. The authorities' final claims are likely to add a further 10 per cent. to these figures.

    Toxic Waste

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the full report of the United States Environment Protection Agency into the toxic waste held in Wath upon Dearne concludes that the material must be handled with great care.

    In sending forward a summary report and supporting analytical data, the Environment Protection Agency draws attention to the need to handle the material with care because of the presence of volatile organic compounds. The presence of such compounds was one of the reasons for transferring the waste into sealed drums—a task undertaken well before the Environment Protection Agency report became available.

    Housing, Bradford

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to approve city grant and estate action applications in respect of homes for rent and sale on the Lower Grange estate in Bradford; how quickly, after decisions on these applications are announced, he expects a start to new building; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State responsible for housing on 13 December, Official Report, Volume 163; column 727. The Department is continuing to appraise the applications for both city grant and estate action support and I hope it will be possible to reach decisions on both cases in the near future.

    Sport And Active Recreation

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is (a) the estimated total cost and (b) the estimated cost to public funds of publishing the report of the review of sport and active recreation in the inner cities.

    The estimated total cost of publishing the report of the review of sport and active recreation provision in the inner cities is £19,900, of which £7,900 will be met from public funds and £12,000 from private sector sponsorship.

    Drinking Water

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the percentage of drinking water, by volume, in England that is treated by the addition of (a) chlorine and (b) ozone.

    [holding answer 15 January 1990]: Precise information is not available. However, I understand that more than 99 per cent. of water supplies in England are treated by the addition of chlorine as a disinfectant. At only six sites, which produce less than 1 per cent. of water supplies, is water treated by the addition of ozone. It is important to note that even when ozone is used in the treatment of drinking water, chlorine is normally added at the final treatment stage to provide for residual disinfection.

    Batteries And Accumulators

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps his Department has taken to reduce the volume of spent batteries and accumulators in household waste.

    I have been asked to reply.The Government have long encouraged recycling wherever economically and technically feasible, and the United Kingdom has an excellent record of reclaiming lead-acid and larger nickel-cadmium batteries, and mercuric oxide and silver oxide button cells. Recycling of smaller, consumer-type batteries has not yet proved commercially viable. Reductions in the volume of certain spent batteries and accumulators in household waste is one objective of a modified draft directive recently published by the European Commission. Negotiations have yet to begin on the final form of the directive, and it would not be sensible for the Government to act independently in advance of their completion.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps his Department has taken to promote research aimed at reducing the dangerous substance content and increasing the use of less-polluting substitute substances in batteries and accumulators, and into methods of recycling.

    I have been asked to reply.The Department's Warren Spring laboratory has in the past undertaken research into methods of battery reclamation and recycling, and is currently collaborating on a project aimed at recovering consumer-type alkaline manganese and nickel-cadmium batteries from the domestic waste stream. An examination is also under way of the environment, economic and technical issues which recovery involves. The promotion of research is one aspect of a modified draft directive on batteries and accumulators containing dangerous substances recently published by the European Commission. The Government will await finalisation of the directive before deciding upon measures for its implementation.

    Fa Cup Final

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to receive the report of the Director General of Fair Trading concerning ticket allocation at the Football Association cup finals in 1988 and 1989.

    I have been asked to reply.The chief trading standards officer for the city of Liverpool asked the Director General of Fair Trading to look into the arrangements for the allocation of tickets at the Football Association cup finals in 1988 and 1989, under his duty at section 2 of the Fair Trading Act 1973. I understand that the director general hopes to be able to respond in the near future.

    Ivory

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy that Her Majesty's Government will not enter a reservation on behalf of Hong Kong with respect to the recent listing of the African elephant in appendix I of CITES.

    I have been asked to reply.I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the House on 17 January at column 300.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to enter a reservation to CITES on behalf of Hong Kong to allow the current ivory stockpile in the Crown colony to be placed on the market.

    I have been asked to reply.I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the House on 17 January.

    Transport

    Motorways

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those lengths of motorway exceeding 35 miles in extent which are not provided with immediately adjoining service facilities.

    MotorwayMileageComment
    M4159MSA proposed for Reading area
    M6238
    Member 1154MSA Proposed for Birchanger (Junction 8)
    M25117MSA open at South Mimms, under construction at Thurrock, and proposed at Clacket Lane (Westerham) and in the western quadrant of the motorway
    M4240MSAs under construction at Tamworth and proposed for the Solihull area
    1 Heston MSA to Membury MSA.
    2 South bound, Southwaite MSA to Killington Lake MSA.
    Certain other journeys involving distances of more than 35 miles between MSAs are possible using more than one motorway. It is intended that almost all of the gaps will be filled by the MSAs in the Government's strategic programme which, in addition to those already referred to, comprises sites on:

    • M18 (Hadfield)
    • M20 (Hollingbourne and Westernhanger)
    • M27 (Meon)
    • M40 (Tetsworth, Ardley and Barn Hill)
    • M54 (Telford)
    • M56 (Hapsford)
    Birmingham Northern Relief Road; Birmingham Western Orbital; and Blackburn Southern bypass (sites to be selected).

    I am writing to my hon. Friend enclosing a map showing existing and proposed MSAs and the motorway network. I have arranged for copies of the map to be placed in the Library.

    Marchioness Disaster

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has considered a public inquiry following the Marchioness disaster; and if he will make a statement.

    Under the new regulations governing the work of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, provision is made for investigations into serious marine accidents to take the form of an inspector's inquiry with a subsequent report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State by the chief inspector of marine accidents. This is considered to be the appropriate form of investigation for this accident.It is expected that the inspector leading the inquiry will be in a position to submit his findings to the chief inspector very soon. The report of the chief inspector will then be published at the earliest practicable date.

    British Rail

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much land is due to be sold off by British Rail in the next three years by region; if he will list the estimated value of that land; and if he will make a statement.

    These are commercial matters for the British Rail Property Board and I do not have the information in the forms requested. British Rail's published corporate plan 1989 contains the following forecasts for property-asset sales:

    The Government's general policy is to provide motorway service areas (MSAs) at intervals of roughly 30 miles on English motorways. MSAs in Wales and Scotland are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland respectively. Lengths of motorway in England exceeding 35 miles and currently without MSAs are as follows:

    Financial years£ million
    1990–91293
    1991–92248
    1992–93261

    Cyclists

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to how many local authorities have active cyclists' consultative committees; if he will list them; and if he will make a further statement.

    This information is not collected centrally. A number of local authorities are known to have developed good working relationships with local cycling groups.Our latest local transport note on cycling "Making Way for Cyclists" (published by HMSO) contains several references to the benefits of good consultation with local cycling interests. A copy has been placed in the Library.

    River And Port Pilots

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to the river and port pilot manning requirements and costs in the United Kingdom and on the continent; and if he will make a statement.

    Pilot manning levels and costs in the United Kingdom are matters for the competent harbour authorities. I understand however that since the implementation of the Pilotage Act 1987 on 1 October 1988 pilotage charges have in general been held steady, with reductions being achieved in some cases. As regards manning, there were 1,225 licensed pilots immediately before the implementation of the 1987 Act and 229 pilots have since been made surplus.The Department holds no up-to-date information regarding pilot manning levels or costs on the continent.

    Household Refuse Tips

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what guidelines he has issued providing for the safe and harmless transport by lorry on public highways of rotting refuse from controlled household refuse tips of five to 20 years' vintage; when they were last renewed; and what proposals he has to revise them;(2) what guidelines he has issued to local authorities on the transportation of putrescent household refuse of five to 20 years' vintage by lorry; and what proposals he has to revise them.

    I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 18 January, Official Report, Vol. 165, column 330.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidelines he has issued to provide for the safe, odour-free and pollution-free transportation by rail of rotting refuse of five to 20 years' vintage from controlled household refuse tips; and what proposals he has to revise them.

    There are no specific guidelines on the rail transport of putrescent waste. British Rail standards for the transport of dangerous goods generally reflect international requirements. Noxious goods which are not dangerous would be subject to British Rail's conditions of carriage and conditions of acceptance.

    Channel Tunnel

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what alternatives to the Channel tunnel project's safety committee requirement for video surveillance in respect of last resort use of halons are currently under consideration; and if he will make a statement.

    The Channel tunnel intergovernmental commission, in giving its decision that Eurotunnel may continue development of its transport system on the basis of the principle of non-segregation of passengers from cars and coaches, laid down a number of binding requirements.One of these is that a video surveillance system should be provided to monitor the interior of the shuttle wagons. Another is that fire extinction measures in the shuttle trains should include a Halon 1301 system or other agent with the same extinguishing capabilities. Halon may only be used either when passengers have been evacuated or as a last resort when the lives of passengers are endangered in spite of the use of other means of extinction.It is for Eurotunnel to consider how to give effect to these requirements when bringing forward for approval design proposals for further development of its system.

    Mitchell Bypass

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what stage plans have reached to begin work on the Mitchell bypass on the A30 in Cornwall;(2) when he expects the A30 Mitchell bypass to be opened;(3) when he intends the documentation regarding the building of the A30 Mitchell bypass in Cornwall to be issued to possible contractors.

    All the statutory procedures have been completed for the A30 Penhale-Carland Cross scheme which includes a bypass for Mitchell. Tender documents are in preparation and a contract is expected to be awarded later in the year. Construction should take about 18 months.

    Zelah Bypass

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the A30 Zelah bypass to be opened.

    A contract is expected to be awarded later in the year and construction should take about 12 months.

    British Rail (Investment)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make it his policy for new investment in British Rail to be judged on the basis of cost-benefit analysis.

    The new objectives for British Rail, announced by my right hon. Friend last month, allow for the use of cost-benefit analysis where exceptionally investment which increases the asset base of the Network SouthEast and provincial sectors cannot meet the required rate of return of 8 per cent. This will enable the Government to decide whether capital grants would be justified on wider social and economic grounds. For BR's commercial sectors the Government see no case for subsidy and financial appraisal continues to be appropriate.

    Mr Mark Woodward

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will arrange for Mr. A. J. Woodward and his solicitor to have access to the tape recordings referred to by the solicitors acting for Her Majesty's Coastguard in the case of Mark Woodward in their letter of 12 January to Noel Horner, solicitor, of Truro.

    Yes. Arrangements are already in hand for Mr. Woodward and his solicitor to hear the tapes on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

    Cars (Carbon Dioxide Emissions)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he proposes to take to control the level of carbon dioxide emissions from motor cars.

    I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) on 7 December 1989. (Official Report, 7 December, column 347.)

    Wales

    Local Government Finance

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Caenarfon of 8 January, Official Report, column 502, on local government finance in Wales, what allowance he has made, in calculating the income from the standard community charge for each district in Wales, for owners of holiday homes who previously paid domestic rates, changing to the uniform business rate for such properties, where they are let out for a proportion of each year.

    The assumptions I have made for standard charge multipliers for each district in Wales for 1990–91 are set out in paragraph 3 of the Welsh revenue support grant distribution report.

    Regulations will shortly be laid before the House defining the boundary between domestic and non-domestic property and bringing into non-domestic rating those individual units of self-catering accommodation which are available for letting for 140 or more days each year. On the basis of those regulations, account can be taken in future local government finance settlements of the non-domestic rate income collectable in respect of these properties. It will be pooled and distributed on a per capita basis to all Welsh districts.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what percentage he based his inflation forecast in determining the Welsh local government expenditure settlement for the years 1988–89 and 1989–90.

    The local authority settlements for 1988–89 and 1989–90 represented the Government's view of what it would be appropriate for local government to spend. Like all public expenditure plans they were set in cash terms.

    Batteries And Accumulators

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what steps he has taken to promote the marketing of batteries and accumulators containing smaller quantities of dangerous substances or less-polluting substances;(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that consumers are fully informed about the dangers of uncontrolled disposal of spent batteries and accumulators;(3) what steps he is taking to inform consumers of the method of moving batteries and accumulators which are built into appliances;(4) what steps he is taking to set up a deposit system for batteries and accumulators;(5) what steps his Department has taken to reduce the heavy metal content in batteries and accumulators.

    I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Consumer Affairs on Thursday 18 January 1990 at columns 356–58.

    Farm Incomes

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now publish his assessment of the level of farm incomes in Wales for 1989; and what were the corresponding figures for 1988.

    Information on the level of farm incomes in Wales in 1989 is due to be published in June in the Welsh Office publication "Farm Incomes in Wales" No. 4, 1990. Some limited information, on average net incomes in Wales for the pair of years 1987–88 and 1988–89 will also be included in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food publication "Agriculture in the United Kingdom" to be published early next month.

    Bypass (A487)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the target commencement date for construction of the Penygroes and Llanllyfni bypass scheme on the A487 trunk road in Gwynedd.

    Plans announced in "Roads in Wales: 1989" do not include a bypass for Penygroes and Llanllyfni. This section of the A487 is the subject of a feasibility study but it is too soon to speculate on its conclusions.

    Grant-Aided Schools

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the independent or direct grant schools in Wales that are grant-aided directly by the Welsh Office, noting the amount of aid to be paid in the current financial year.

    The only direct grant school in Wales, TS Indefatigable, Anglesey, will receive grant totalling £15,750 in the current financial year. Payments to meet the costs of tuition fee remissions at independent schools participating in the assisted places scheme are shown in the table:

    SchoolPayment— 1989–90 (estimate)

    £
    Howells School, Llandaff338,380
    Howells School, Denbigh236,811
    Christ College, Brecon186,547
    Rydal School, Colwyn Bay128,121
    Penrhos College, Colwyn Bay163,726
    Llandovery College, Dyfed92,025
    Monmouth School for Boys320,596
    Monmouth School for Girls127,302

    Rural Unemployment

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West of 30 November 1989, Official Report, column 339, whether he makes any general estimates on a regular basis of figures for rural unemployment.

    Hospital Building

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the five largest hospital building projects in Wales currently under construction; and what is the projected cost of each.

    The five largest hospital building projects currently under construction in Wales are shown in the table:

    ProjectProjected Cost £ million
    New Llanelli Hospital26·9
    Singleton Hospital West Ward Block12·3
    Royal Gwent Hospital Development Scheme 610·7
    North Rhondda Community Hospital8·0
    Prince Charles Hospital Development Scheme 25·2

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what have been the five largest hospital building projects completed in Wales since 1979; and what is the cost of each.

    The five largest hospital building projects completed in Wales since 1979 are shown in the table:

    Project

    Cost £ million

    Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor36·9
    Princess of Wales hospital, Bridgend25·5
    Morriston hospital development scheme I20·4
    Wrexham Maelor DGH17·4
    Ysbyty Glan Clwyd12·5

    Housing (Ceredigion)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the latest estimate of the number of additional houses likely to be needed in Ceredigion over the next five years.

    The statutory responsibility for assessing housing need in any particular area rests with the local authority concerned.

    A487 Lower Fishguard

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to improve the trunk road A487 at Lower Fishguard, Pembrokeshire during the next five years; and if he will make a statement in the light of the latest serious accident.

    A scheme for a relief road was considered but deferred because of local objections to its effect on the environment. It will be re-examined and discussed with local authorities.

    Household Refuse Tips

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will lay down guidelines to local authorities on the planning, environmental health and waste disposal criteria for granting permission for tipping partly rotted household refuse removed from one controlled refuse tip to another.

    Guidance on the disposal of household refuse is contained in the series of waste management papers published by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, and in Welsh Office circulars 76/76 and 38/89. My right hon. Friend has no proposals to issue further guidance.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what licences he has issued for the tipping of transported partly rotted household refuse from controlled local authority tips of five to 20 years' vintage.

    The responsibility for issuing waste disposal licences rests with district councils in Wales as waste disposal authorities.

    Road Improvements

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which trunk road improvement schemes in Wales are expected to start in the financial year 1990–91.

    An announcement will be made in the Welsh Office commentary on the public expenditure White Paper due to be published in March.

    Forestry

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales where in Wales the Forestry Commission proposes to sell off forests and woods giving the size in acres, the nature of the woodland and the estimated cost of the forests and woods in question; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 16 January 1990]: The Forestry Commission's current disposals programme will extend over the next 10 years and the selection of properties for sale will accordingly be staged over that period. Advance notification of properties to be placed on the market is given in the Estates Gazette when firm decisions to sell are taken by the commission.The following forest areas are at present being offered for sale on the open market. These areas are all predominantly coniferous.

    County and NameArea (acres)Guide Price1

    £
    Dyfed
    The Goginal Woodlands Alit Goch72135,000
    The Ty Cerrig Woodlands
    Ty Cerrig Wood11495,000
    Bylchau-Duon153125,000
    Talley Woodlands
    Allt y Goitre7185,000
    Maestwynog2823,000
    Tanyrallt1611,500
    Powys
    Three Woodlands
    New Pieces and Old Wood118,000
    Cae Mawr Coppice1216,000
    The Linger and Maes-y-Mwm1110,000
    Dyfed
    Synod Inn Woodlands
    Ffynnon Le Frith6260,000
    Hafod Iwan8073,000
    Croes Heddyg Newydd3435,000
    Penrhiwgaled1212,500
    Cnwc yr Ehedydd57,000
    Esgair Onen810,000
    West Glamorgan
    Craig Ynysgollen2420,000
    Dyfed
    Carmarthen Woods
    Allt Werncorgam2825,000
    College Wood3025,000
    1 The guide price is the figure given by the agents to interested parties.

    Health

    National Health Service Spending

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out in the Official Report a table showing, for the years 1987–88 and 1988–89 (estimated), the average cost per head of spending in the National Health Service by health authorities, broken down into groups as follows: births, ages up to four years, five to 15 years, 16 to 64 years, 65 to 74 years and 75 plus years.

    District-based figures of average total revenue expenditure per head of resident population for 1987–88 and 1988–89 are shown in the table. (The figures for 1988–89 are provisional in that they are as yet subject to audit.)

    Although the greatest use of health care facilities tends to be the very young and the elderly it is not practicable centrally specifically to assign district health authorities' total expenditure to particular age groups.

    Total revenue expenditure per resident

    1988–89 (cash)
    £

    1987–88(cash)
    £

    Northern Region

    Hartlepool266233
    North Tees194181
    South Tees285253
    East Cumbria252229
    South Cumbria185169
    West Cumbria215195
    Darlington278253
    Durham162149
    North West Durham244215
    South West Durham250223
    Northumberland243220
    Gateshead183168
    Newcastle upon Tyne575514
    North Tyneside152134
    South Tyneside178161
    Sunderland248223
    Districts Total254229

    Yorkshire Region

    Hull265236
    East Yorkshire223212
    Grimsby227207
    Scunthorpe171151
    Northallerton145139
    York242225
    Scarborough185167
    Harrogate230211
    Bradford237214
    Airedale209191
    Calderdale208187
    Huddersfield248224
    Dewsbury181162
    Leeds Western301275
    Leeds Eastern301263
    Wakefield368339
    Pontefract187172
    Districts Total240218

    Trent Region

    North Derbyshire163143
    Southern Derbyshire216201
    Leicestershire221196
    North Lincolnshire247228
    South Lincolnshire190172
    Bassetlaw184167
    Central Nottinghamshire216196
    Nottingham282254
    Barnsley199178
    Doncaster215191
    Rotherham188170
    Sheffield357322
    Districts Total234212

    East Anglian Region

    Cambridge313282
    Peterborough240202
    West Suffolk197177
    East Suffolk226206
    Norwich243219
    Great Yarmouth and Waveney202184
    West Norfolk and Wisbech186166
    Huntingdon219189
    Districts Total233209

    North-West Thames Region

    North Bedfordshire173159
    South Bedfordshire186171
    North Hertfordshire173149
    East Hertfordshire135118

    1988–89 (cash)
    £

    1987–88 (cash)
    £

    North-West Hertfordshire320283
    South-West Hertfordshire146126
    Barnet299263
    Harrow246218
    Hillingdon321282
    Hounslow and Spelthorne243211
    Ealing179158
    Riverside601514
    Parkside394341
    Districts Total269236

    North-East Thames Region

    Basildon and Thurrock210185
    Mid-Essex219199
    North-East Essex220202
    West Essex200175
    Southend180161
    Barking/Havering/Brentwood207188
    Hampstead688592
    Bloomsbury1,2261,076
    Islington372334
    City and Hackney543483
    Newham253227
    Tower Hamlets542485
    Enfield187166
    Haringey293270
    Redbridge219193
    Waltham Forest328288
    Districts Total307273

    South-East Thames Region

    Brighton240218
    Eastbourne221203
    Hastings217202
    South-East Kent175158
    Canterbury and Thanet234217
    Dartford and Gravesham246229
    Maidstone226208
    Medway185164
    Tunbridge Wells283260
    Bexley212190
    Greenwich342300
    Bromley233205
    West Lambeth640568
    Camberwell438374
    Lewisham and North Southwark437386
    Districts Total279251

    South-West Thames Region

    North-West Surrey235217
    West Surrey and North East Hampshire151134
    South-West Surrey305271
    Mid Surrey305276
    East Surrey318288
    Chichester216199
    Mid Downs201179
    Worthing182162
    Croydon237209
    Kingston and Esher283258
    Richmond, Twickenham, Roehampton195176
    Wandsworth620543
    Merton and Sutton256227
    Districts Total259231

    Wessex Region

    East Dorset206183
    West Dorset216199
    Portsmouth and South East Hampshire194172
    Southampton and South West Hampshire290262
    Winchester223198
    Basingstoke and North Hampshire217199

    1988–89 (cash)
    £

    1987–88 (Cash)
    £

    Salisbury312278
    Swindon225201
    Bath207190
    Isle of Wight229207
    Districts Total226203

    Oxford Region

    East Berkshire189171
    West Berkshire195173
    Aylesbury Vale349315
    Wycombe143126
    Milton Keynes161143
    Kettering165148
    Northampton222205
    Oxfordshire255229
    Districts Total209187

    South Western Region

    Bristol and Weston310279
    Frenchay282255
    Southmead246221
    Cornwall/Isles of Scilly195181
    Exeter280254
    North Devon218199
    Plymouth268241
    Torbay210190
    Cheltenham186165
    Gloucester224208
    Somerset210192
    Districts Total240218

    West Midlands Region

    Bromsgrove and Redditch188177
    Herefordshire203192
    Kidderminster293273
    Worcester211195
    Shropshire201185
    Mid Staffordshire171153
    North Staffordshire244223
    South-East Staffordshire196178
    Rugby170160
    North Warwickshire239213
    South Warwickshire236215
    Central Birmingham580521
    East Birmingham232211
    North Birmingham245223
    South Birmingham323283
    West Birmingham355322
    Coventry247220
    Dudley210190
    Sandwell153136
    Solihull170155
    Walsall196174
    Wolverhampton250228
    Districts Total236214

    Mersey Region

    Chester300283
    Crewe185171
    Halton142128
    Macclesfield226208
    Warrington287265
    Liverpool365325
    St. Helens and Knowsley197182
    Southport and Formby268234
    South Sefton416321
    Wirral217196
    Districts Total265237

    North Western Region

    Lancaster385353
    Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde206186
    Preston616582
    Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley200181
    Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale327300

    1988–89 (cash)
    £

    1987–88 (cash)
    £

    West Lancashire252228
    Chorley and South Ribble8879
    Bolton201181
    Bury173152
    North Manchester499434
    Central Manchester633562
    South Manchester571518
    Oldham189165
    Rochdale160143
    Salford400363
    Stockport194176
    Tameside and Glossop172148
    Trafford162146
    Wigan191172
    Districts Total267241

    Sources:

  • (a) 1987-88 and 1988-89 annual accounts of district health authorities.
  • (b) Mid-year estimates of resident population—1987 and 1988 respectively (Office of Population Censuses and Surveys).
  • Notes:

  • 1. District capital expenditure and all expenditure incurred by regional health authorities on behalf of their regions as a whole is excluded.
  • 2. Expenditure on family practitioner services is excluded: such expenditure is accounted for by family practitioner committees (FPCs) and cannot strictly be attributed to particular districts.
  • 3. Significant variations in per capita expenditure figures at district level arise principally because:
  • (i) people travel across district boundaries for treatment and sub-regional resource allocations reflect the pattern of service provision locally;
  • (ii) the population figures used make no allowance for people resident in one district who receive treatment in another or for the difference in morbidity and age/sex structure of particular populations.
  • Expenditure, North-West

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the percentage of capital spending as a proportion of total spending by regional health authorities in the north-west; and what was the comparable figure 10 years ago.

    Information for the Mersey and North Western regions together with aggregated figures for all regions in England is shown in the table.Capital expenditure figures for individual regions fluctuate from year to year mainly reflecting changes in the pattern of capital investment throughout the country.

    Hospital and community health services (HCHS) capital expenditure as a proportion of total expenditure
    1978–79 Per cent.1988–89 Per cent.
    Mersey Region9·86·1
    North Western Region9·16·5
    All Regions7·77·9
    1 Based on provisional expenditure figures (as yet subject to audit)

    Notes:

  • 1. The figures, derived from annual accounts, include expenditure incurred by regional health authorities and the district (formerly area) health authorities comprising those regions.
  • 2. HCHS includes hospital, community health, patient transport (ie ambulance), blood transfusion and other services.
  • 3. The table excludes expenditure on family practitioner services.
  • Over-Prescribing

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what sanctions are available currently against general practitioners who, after professional assessment, are considered to be over-prescribing; what changes will be introduced under the new general practitioners contract; and if he will make a statement.

    At present, action can be taken under regulation 16 of the NHS (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations 1974 against general practitioners who are considered to be prescribing excessively. Regulation 16 provides for the Secretary of State to refer cases to local medical committees (LMCs) for investigation. LMCs may recommend a withholding of remuneration against GPs who prescribe excessively. There have been no referrals under regulation 16 since 1974. The Department is currently discussing with representatives of the medical profession, in the light of the Government's plans to introduce indicative prescribing budgets, how the existing sanctions process should be modified to provide a more effective procedure. GPs who exceed their indicative prescribing budget will not face sanctions on that fact alone. Only where there is clear evidence of excessive prescribing will the FPC refer the matter for consideration by a professional committee. We expect that the application of sanctions will be a process of last resort.

    Health Authority Budgets

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what statutory powers regional health authorities have to ensure that district health authorities do not exceed their budgets; and whether it is his intention to extend this power to FPSA spending as well.

    Under section 97 of the National Health Service Act 1977, as amended, it is the duty of each regional health authority to allocate money to its districts and under section 97A each district health authority has a duty to ensure that its expenditure does not exceed its allocation.The Secretary of State makes allocations to family practitioner committees for their administrative expenditure and, from 1 April 1990, will make allocations for cash-limited expenditure on direct reimbursement of part of general medical practitioners' practice expenses. The National Health Service and Community Care Bill presently before Parliament contains provisions to transfer this task to regional health authorities. As with district health authorities, it is the duty of each family practitioner committee to ensure that its expenditure does not exceed the amount allocated.

    East Cleveland Hospital

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects work to begin on the new hospital in east Cleveland.

    No firm decisions have been taken yet about the timing, size and content of the new development. My hon. Friend may care to contact the chairman of the Northern regional health authority if he would like more information.

    Paramedics

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many qualified paramedics are employed by Durham area health authority; how many are in training; and what is the total number of paramedics to be trained.

    We do not hold information centrally about paramedics. The hon. Member may care to contact the chairman of the Durham health authority for the information.

    Nhs

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he has taken to rebut allegations that he has plans to privatise aspects of the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.

    The White Paper "Working for Patients" clearly states that the Government have no plans to privatise the National Health Service. We support a Health Service which is open to all, regardless of income, and financed mainly from general taxation. The aim of all our reforms is to raise the performance of all parts of the NHS nearer to that of the best.

    Vaccination Leaflet

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Pembroke of 21 December 1989, Official Report, column 379, he will place in the Library the research which indicated that the original version of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination leaflet ID19 ISBN1 85448 050 2 had limited appeal.

    The assessment of the MMR leaflet ID19 is still in draft format. A copy of the final report will be placed in the Library on its completion.

    Tuberculosis Vaccinations

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of stocks of tuberculosis vaccinations held nationally.

    Temporary supply difficulties arose last year whilst our source of supply moved production facilities to a new site. This necessitated conserving remaining stocks by restricting vaccination to those at particular risk of exposure to tuberculosis. Adequate stocks remain for that purpose and I am glad to say that fresh supplies should be available by April 1990 to enable routine school vaccination to recommence later this year.

    National Fitness Survey

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any proposals to back up current epidemiological studies, known as the national fitness survey, to allow calibration of the survey tools, such as more accurate energy cost estimates; and if he will make a statement.

    Some calibration of the survey tools is built into the national fitness survey proposals: for example repeatability studies will help to indentify errors associated with the physical tests. On the specified point about energy cost estimates, estimates are already published which will be applied to the survey data collected, and while some of these figures are in need of revision they will nevertheless enable reasonable estimates to be made. Producing more accurate energy cost estimates would require small intensive studies which could be undertaken at any time, the results of which could be applied retrospectively to the national fitness survey data. The Department has no plans at the moment to commission such work, but the national fitness survey team hopes that the survey itself will inspire such studies.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the level of industrial and commercial sponsorship of the national fitness survey; and if he will make a statement.

    The national fitness survey is being financed jointly by the Department of Health, the Health Education Authority and the Sports Council. Negotiations are continuing with potential commercial sponsors in order to extend the size of the survey to provide accurate analyses of data to regional level.

    Health

    Air Ambulances

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many successful missions have been carried out by the London Air Ambulance.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if any of his Department's Ministers have met representatives of the Daily Express concerning the London Air Ambulance;(2) what representations his Department has received from the

    Daily Express and its management concerning the London Air Ambulance.

    My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State met representatives of Express Newspapers plc in February 1988 to discuss the helicopter emergency medical service.The Department has met regularly with representatives of Express Newspapers plc and all other parties involved in the helicopter emergency medical service since March 1988.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if Ministers will now arrange a visit to the Cornwall First Air Ambulance.

    There are no present plans to do so, but we will bear in mind the hon. Gentleman's suggestion should a suitable opportunity arise.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the total monthly running costs for the London Air Ambulance.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial contribution the Daily Express has committed to the London Air Ambulance; and over what period.

    Express Newspapers plc has agreed to meet all costs directly associated with the aircraft used by the helicopter emergency medical service, including purchase, maintenance and salaries, for the period 1 January 1989 to 31 December 1991.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been provided through his Department's capital support for the London Air Ambulance.

    Capital funding in respect of the helicopter emergency medical service is to provide a helipad and lift at the London hospital, Whitechapel and to contribute towards the cost of resuscitation bays at the same hospital.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the breakdown of the cost supported through the Department's revenue funding of the London Air Ambulance.

    Central funding has been agreed as follows in respect of day-to-day revenue costs of the helicopter emergency medical service:

    £ 000s

    1989–90

    ITU beds46
    Medical salaries11

    1990–91

    ITU beds274
    Medical salaries63

    1991–92

    ITU beds205·5
    Medical salaries47·25

    The figures are at 1989–90 prices.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to review the resources committed to the London Air Ambulance for the three years from January 1989 before the funding is exhausted.

    The helicopter emergency medical service is to be independently academically evaluated during the period of the agreed funding.

    Welfare Milk

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received concerning his proposal to reduce the value of welfare milk tokens; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the proposal.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the replies I gave the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms. Walley) on 8 January at column 505 and to the hon. Member for St. Helens, South (Mr. Bermingham) on 16 January at columns 201–202.

    Ambulance Dispute

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the number of (a) Army, (b) St. John Ambulance and (c) Red Cross vehicles deployed in (i) each health authority and (ii) in total.