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Written Answers

Volume 168: debated on Monday 5 March 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 5 March 1990

Education And Science

Women Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many applications from women teachers who elect to cover pre 6 April 1988 service for family benefits purposes are outstanding;(2) how many applications have been made by women teachers since the Government announced that women teachers could elect to cover, for family benefits purposes, their services prior to 6 April 1988;(3) what is the average length of time taken to process applications made by women teachers who elect to cover pre 6 April 1988 service for family benefits purposes.

About 13,000 women teachers have elected for their service before 6 April 1988 to count for family benefit purposes. Only 500 elections remain to be processed and these are mainly cases where either the teacher or employer has incorrectly completed the election

Number of boys and girls in single sex and religious schools—January 1989 Maintained primary, middle and secondary
Boys schoolsGirls schoolsMixed schools
BoysGirlsBoysGirlsBoysGirls
Church of England5,4569167,340406,484392,757
Roman Catholic25,2502071431,822304,142302,121
Methodist schools00002,4532,273
Jewish schools00004,1984,110
Other denominational schools30,114137612,02047,36345,371
Non-denominational schools98,85412678136,8182,562,0612,428,600
TOTAL ENGLAND159,674479114188,0003,326,7013,175,232

Equal Opportunities

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many and what percentage of women sit on boards awarding research grants.

My right hon. Friend sponsors the five research councils—the agricultural and food research council; the economic and special research council; the medical research council; the natural environment research council and the science and engineering research council, all of which award grants for scientific research. At present, total membership of the councils is 102 and the number of women is 7, or 6·9 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many (a) women lecturers and (b) men lecturers there are in (i) polytechnics and (ii) universities; and whether he will provide a break down of these by grade.

form or has provided insufficient information. Information on the average length of time taken to process the cases is not available.

University Of Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what, over the last five years for which figures are available, have been the proportions of University Grants Committee/Universities Funding Council grants to universities in the United Kingdom allocated to the university of Wales.

Recurrent grants to the university of Wales as announced in the University Grants Committee's allocation letters were as follows.

Academic YearWales £ millionAll Great Britain £ millionWales as per cent. of total
1985–8670·551,184·76·0
1986–8771·841,220·95·9
1987–8874·561,282·45·8
1988–8975·391,332·05·7
1989–9078·131,392·45·6

Single Sex And Religious Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many (a) boys and (b) girls there are in single sex and religious schools.

The number of boys and girls in maintained single sex and religious schools in England is as follows:

Great Britain: Full-lime university academic staff 1988–89
MenWomenTotal
Professors4,2521374,389
Readers/Senior lecturers8,3577659,122
Lecturers21,7925,76827,560
Other grades3,0892,1225,211
Total37,4908,79246,282

Source: USR staff record.

Information on the gender of polytechnic lecturers is not available centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many of his Department's management training courses include sessions on equal opportunities for women; and what proportion of managers at grade six level and above working outside headquarters has received training on equal opportunities for women.

Sessions on equal opportunities are included in all the Department's management training courses. There are two managers at grade six or above outside headquarters: both have received some equal opportunities training.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many research grants were given to (a) women and (b) men in each of the last 10 years.

This information is not available. Most Department of Education and Science research grants are placed with research institutes rather than individuals. The research councils are responsible for the allocation of research grants within their areas.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what child-care provision his Department provides for pre-school children of the employees; what child-care provision for school holidays and after school care is provided for employees' children aged five years and over; what plans he has to improve provision in the next five years; and how these will be funded.

The Department has not yet provided child-care facilities for either the pre-school or school aged children of its employees; it has however contributed to the Westminster holiday play scheme. Currently consideration is being given to the provision of creche facilities and a holiday play scheme at the Darlington office. In London the Department is participating in an interdepartmental study of the scope for providing creches centrally and in commuting areas. Provided that the schemes can be justified as good value for money the Department could contribute to both the capital and running costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what grade is his Department's equal opportunities officer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to increase the number of women in senior academic positions.

The recruitment and promotion of staff is a matter for individual institutions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of civil servants in his Department are women at each of the grades (a) seven, (b) six, (c) five, (d) four, (e) three, (f) two and (g) one.

The percentage of women in each grade requested is as follows:

GradePer cent.
725
623
521
425
1–30

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has plans to ensure that local education authorities' development programmes for further education provision will provide child-care facilities which allow (a) parents and (b) mothers to attend colleges, further education institutes, polytechnics and universities.

No. Under the arrangements for local management of colleges provision of child-care facilities will normally be a matter for the governing bodies of institutions to determine.

Disabled People (Training Courses)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many training courses are funded by his Department for the disabled.

The Department does not directly fund courses of training or education: this is for the local education authorities. The training needs of the Department's disabled staff are provided for as they arise.

Sexual Harassment

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his Department's policy on sexual harassment at work; whether guidance on reporting complaints has been issued to all staff; how many complaints have been reported in the past five years; and what disciplinary action has been taken.

This Department's policy is that sexual harassment is a form of misconduct which is unacceptable and where substantiated, will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter. Guidance about sexual harassment, reporting complaints and disciplinary procedures was issued to each member of staff last year. Over the last five years three cases have been reported each of which was investigated. In one case a formal warning was issued.

Pin-Ups

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will issue instructions for the removal of all offensive pin-ups in all his departmental premises.

The Department's policy is to encourage staff to respect the feelings of others. It has issued guidance to all staff about sexual harassment which could include offensive pin-ups. It is not considered necessary to issue specific instructions about offensive pin-ups.

Exam Results

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will provide a breakdown of GCSE and A-level results by gender and subject.

The figures in the table relate to school leavers of all ages in England in 1987–88, including their achievements at O-level and CSE gained in earlier years.

School leavers: examination attainments by selected subject

England

Leavers with graded results in the GCSE (1): as percentage all leavers

Leavers with A-level passes: as percentage all 17 year olds

Grades A-C2

Grades D-G3

All grades4

Grades A-E

Boys
Any subject53·335·088·417·4
English35·146·381·42·9
Mathematics35·840·976·77·6
Physics21·824·446·25·6
Chemistry16·513·930·44·4
Biological sciences12·812·825·72·5
Craft, design, technology and other science19·133·552·61·3
French12·014·826·81·0
History14·016·930·92·9
Geography18·625·343·83·5
Creative arts10·618·028·61·6
Commercial and domestic studies5·112·117·20·6
Girls
Any subject61·430·191·516·9
English48·339·487·76·7
Mathematics30·546·476·83·9
Physics9·89·719·51·7
Chemistry12·012·724·72·8
Biological sciences19·728·348·03·6
Craft, design, technology and other science5·916·522·40·3
French20·421·942·32·7
History16·017·533·43·3
Geography15·318·033·32·4
Creative arts17·918·236·12·7
Commercial and domestic studies22·231·653·91·3

1 Including attainments at O-level and CSE.

2 GCSE and O-level grades A-C; CSE grade 1.

3 GCSE grades D-G, O-level grades D-E; CSE grades 2–5.

4 Percentages have been calculated independently and may not equal the sum of the constituent parts owing to rounding.

Child Minders

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many training courses for child minders are funded by his Department.

Nursery Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the total public expenditure on nursery schools and classes in each year from 1975–76; and what was the total public expenditure on these services as a percentage of the gross domestic product for England and Wales for each of these years.

Figures for expenditure on nursery schools and classes alone are not available. Figures for current expenditure on all pupils aged under 5 in England are given in the table.

Current Spending Under-5sMoney GDPSpending as per cent, of GDP
Year£ million£ billion
1975–761081110·10
1976–771271300·10
1977–781281510·08
1978–791461730·08
1979–801772080·09
1980–812222370·09
1981–822412600·09
1982–832742850·10
Current Spending Under-SsMoney GDPSpending as per cent, of GDP
Year£ million£ billion
1983–842963090·10
1984–853313310·10
1985–863503620·10
1986–873973880·10
1987–884474300·10
1988–895104760·11
1989–905615170·1l

Notes to table:

1. Under-5s include those in nursery schools, nursery classes in primary schools, and other classes in primary schools.

2. The current spending figures are taken from successive DES Chapters of the Public Expenditure White Paper. The figure for 1975–76 is an estimate derived by applying to the White Paper figure given at 1980 survey prices a conversion factor calculated from local authority returns of price changes. The figures for 1988–89 and 1989–90 are provisional.

3. The money Gross Domestic Product figures are taken from Table 21·2·1 of Chapter 21 of the 1990 Public Expenditure White Paper (Cm 1021). The GDP covers the whole of the United Kingdom; a GDP for England and Wales is not available.

Teacher Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish (a) the target intake figures for each polytechnic or college education department of faculty for 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990, and (b) the actual intake in each case for 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Initial teacher training target and intake figures for public sector institutions are as follows:

TargetIntake
Institution1987198819891990198719881989
Polytechnics
Birmingham237237247298268287313
Brighton337352377370341339408
Bristol302337378423365359406
Hatfield18516221224396178218
Huddersfield13030354020JJ
Kingston190188207218181176203
Leeds334356342346320343333
Leicester50505052514654
Liverpool269284279251274233264
Manchester526526536598519577577
Middlesex248248228304231188225
Newcastle216243220273217228225
Oxford156166186217167206186
North London120175157186101198179
Sheffield404431443506407450423
South Bank188168158159132133105
Sunderland218250248268193212272
Thames402442482504435373420
Trent321341346367269258371
Wolverhampton361366391432344358438
Colleges and institutes
Bath247262237258242260278
Bradford222223242236207243254
Bradford and Ilkley172158172188127172168
Bretton Hall205215225250222276158
Bulmershe2217236215195
Charlotte Mason175185185201183201199
Crewe and Alsager337347367394344354354
Derbyshire167173187203166147211
Edge hill281291301319287303334
Essex142147147189143151162
Nene161166179195164188215
North Riding135180200216161149243
Rolle3170205220236206207235
West London212217227231213210214
Worcester252280281287221245268
Bishop Grosseteste150175200220135210232
Chester142153163182171173237
Christ Church256297300338292321328
Homerton266300292325285283319
King Alfred's226242252286237277308
La Sainte Union201219229233182234287
Liverpool334351356393349394407
Newham and Westhill240236228247260238272
Ripon and York262257272295231261273
Roehampton526501533544434460582
St. Mark and St. John167209235256173251237
St. Martin's297316307344327312315
St. Mary's208227229259220200250
St. Paul and St. Mary's217227242259228237261
Trinity and All Saints254260284306229267263
West Sussex242267276292256258281
Westminster195210230264194231261
Welsh institutions
Bangor (Normal)135135135144119135177
Gwent135135135175154128154
North East Wales95959594115104111
South Glamorgan250250250262272268272
West Glamorgan95959510582107136
Trinity155155155171134174175
1 Data on intakes to courses with January start dates are not collected centrally (indicated within tables by notation 'J').
2 Bulmershe College target and intake figures are included with Reading University figures from 1989.
3 Rolle College is now the Polytechnic of the South West.

Replan

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to announce his decision about the future of Replan.

My right hon. Friend will announce his decision on the future of the Replan programme when he has considered the issues fully.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will publish the evaluation undertaken by his Department of the Replan project; and if he will make a statement.

The Replan programme was introduced in 1984 with the aim of creating better opportunities for unemployed adults. It was initially funded to run up to 1987, but was subsequently extended on four occasions and will continue in its present form up to October 1991. The Government are currently undertaking a policy review of the programme, and have commissioned the preparation of an evaluation study as part of that review. The final report of the study is expected shortly. My right hon. Friend will consider whether the findings of the evaluation study should be more widely available when the policy review is completed.

School Playing Fields

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to his reply on 26 February, Official Report, column 3, whether he will carry out a survey of the current availability of land for use as school playing fields; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend has no present plans to do so. The provision of school playing fields is a matter for LEAs and others responsible for the schools.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will seek a report from the London borough of Enfield about the position of school playing fields for the proposed Southgate school consolidation; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has received a submission from Enfield LEA seeking formal approval to a building project associated with the proposed consolidation of Southgate school. The submission includes a certificate confirming that the proposals will comply with the statutory standards. These include playing field requirements. The proposal will be considered by the Department in accordance with normal procedures.

Bronchitis And Emphysema

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will ask the medical research council to undertake research concerning the relationship between the development of chronic bronchitis or emphysema and exposure to substances associated with the processing, smelting, working or production of steel.

No; it is for the council to determine its own priorities for funding from its grant in aid.

Human Infertility

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will list the research the Government are currently funding into the causes of human infertility; and what is the cost to the Government of this research.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) on 30 October 1989, Official Report, columns 11–13. The cost of research into the causes of human infertility has not been separated out from the overall cost of research into human infertility.

Prime Minister

Security Services

To ask the Prime Minister if she will give the terms of reference of the Sir Anthony Duff inquiry of 1987 into the security services.

I have nothing to add to my statement in the House of 6 May 1987.

Sea Dumping

To ask the Prime Minister if she will make it her policy to transfer responsibility for regulating sea dumping from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the Department of the Environment.

Deforestation

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 28 February, what she is doing to implement Dr. Holdgate's suggestion that the priority for western Governments is to steer deforestation practices in the direction of sustainable cropping systems.

Helping developing countries with sustainable forest management is the key objective of the British aid programme's increasing support for tropical forestry activities.

National Health Service Reform

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her oral reply to the hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Hinchliffe) on Tuesday 27 February, what sums have been expended by Her Majesty's Government in preparation or advocacy of self-governing status of hospitals within the National Health Service.

Over £80 million has been made available this year for preparation for the implementation of the National Health Service review proposals as a whole. Resources have not been specifically allocated from within this sum for the preparation of National Health Service trusts.

Mr Colin Wallace

To ask the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her reply to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, Official Report, 26 February, column 8, she will set out the policy considerations involved in her decision not to place in the Library the letter to Mr. Colin Wallace to which the hon. Member made reference.

Press Briefings

To ask the Prime Minister if she will give details of the contents of the press briefings by her press secretary in relation to the Leader of the Opposition in the week beginning 12 February.

House Of Commons

Private Notice Questions

To ask the Lord President of the Council how many private notice questions were answered (a) from Back Bench Members and (b) from Opposition Front Bench Members in the sessions of 1977–78, 1978–79 and 1988–89.

For sessions 1977–78 and 1978–79 it is not possible accurately to identify whether private notice questions were asked by Back Bench Members or Opposition Front-Bench Members. However, of the 20 questions asked in Session 1977–78 my best assessment is that six were asked by Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen and for Session 1978–79 the numbers were 29 and 13 respectively. In Session 1988–89, a total of 35 private notice questions were asked; of these, 21 were asked by Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Baltic Gold

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the Baltic gold; and what is its current value.

When the Baltic states were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940, the property of a number of British nationals was seized without compensation. The Soviet authorities also did not accept responsibility for the external debts of the Baltic states, including three external loans which had been placed in London. To safeguard British interests, the British Government responded by freezing the gold reserves of the three Baltic central banks which were deposited in London, and which were claimed by the Soviet authorities.Negotiations between the British and Soviet Governments culminated in an agreement which was signed on 5 January 1968. This provided that the British and Soviet Governments would not pursue their respective claims. It thus enabled the British Government to use most of the money realised from the sale in 1967 of the Baltic gold reserves (in addition to certain other assets of the Baltic States and ceded territories) to meet in part the claims of British creditors who had lost assets in the former Baltic states and in certain other territories incorporated into the Soviet Union. The judicial determination of these claims was carried out by the Foreign Compensation Commission in accordance with the Foreign Compensation (Union of Soviet Socialists Republics) Order 1969; claimants eventually receiving 42·6 per cent. of the assessed value of their claims.The Baltic gold (weighing 460,220 fine ounces) realised £5·8 million when sold in 1967. Its value would be approximately £112·17 million at current prices.

East European Foreign Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met his Polish, Hungarian and Czechoslovakian counterparts; and what matters were discussed.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs met his Polish and Czechoslovak counterparts at the open skies conference in Ottawa on 12 to 14 February. They discussed various issues of bilateral relations, internal developments in Poland and Czechoslovakia, and German reunification. My right hon. Friend met the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Dr. Horn, on 28 February. They discussed a number of bilateral issues including the know-how fund for Hungary, and other questions relating to the future of Europe.

Vietnamese Boat People

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Vietnamese boat people in Hong Kong detention camps have injured themselves in protest at the British Government's screening policy; and if he will make a statement.

Since 16 June, 12 people have injured themselves in Hong Kong detention centres.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information is given generally to Vietnamese boat women in Hong Kong detention camps as to the health attributes of the contraceptive drug Depo Provera and its consequences; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on this question on 14 February at column 235.

Eastern Europe

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to improve trade and consular facilities in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union; and if he will make a statement.

Increased resources are being directed to United Kingdom official representation, including trade and consular facilities, in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to enable our diplomatic missions there to meet new demands arising from the dramatic changes in these countries. Staffing has already been strengthened at several posts to deal with increased visa demand and with work connected with the know-how funds. Further reinforcement to meet these and other tasks will be made in the next few months.

Tunisia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring of the monument at Tabrouna, Tunisia, has been undertaken by Her Majesty's embassy in Tunis, in order to ensure its protection and preservation.

The embassy is continuing to monitor the condition of the monument at Takrouna. A member of the embassy visited the site on 21 February.

Vietnam

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent visit to Vietnam by the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Warwickshire, North (Mr. Maude).

I visited the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 18 to 21 February for talks with the Vietnamese Government. There were wide-ranging and useful discussions. I signed an agreement to speed up the voluntary return of boat people from Hong Kong, in which connection the Vietnamese Government will, with British financial assistance, construct a new transit centre so that by 1 May 1990 around 1,000 returnees a month can return. I explained that the continued failure of the Vietnamese Government to accept their international obligations notably towards their own citizens could not avoid being an obstacle to the development of bilateral relationships. The Vietnamese assured me of their concern to settle the boat people issue. Her Majesty's ambassador in Hanoi is continuing the discussions.

Rain Forests

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his discussions with Senor Diego Cordouey, Foreign Minister of Ecuador, on rain forest problems during his recent visit to London.

We have discussed this matter with the Government of Ecuador on a number of occasions. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I discussed a wide range of other issues with Dr. Cordovez during his recent visit to London.

Coto Donana National Park

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Spain about the conservation of the Coto Donana national park.

We recognise the international importance of the Coto Donana national park, and the concern shown by conservation bodies within Spain and more widely about its future. The European Commission is aware of possible breaches of the wild birds directive, and has begun infraction proceedings against Spain.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what initiatives Her Majesty's Government intend to put forward at the third preparatory committee meeting in Geneva on 24 April to 4 May, for the fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; and whether any financial support has been made available to non-governmental organisations to attend this final preparatory meeting.

The third preparatory committee will be devoted largely to administrative aspects of the review conference. As convenor of the western group of non-proliferation treaty parties in Geneva, the United Kingdom has been active in the preparations. No financial support has been made available to non-governmental organisations to attend the meeting.

Ivory

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide a breakdown of the current ivory stocks in Hong Kong according to weight and origin; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 15 February 1990]: The Hong Kong Government's records do not provide a breakdown of the current ivory stocks according to weight and country of origin. However, CITES certificates show that stocks originated from the following countries:

  • Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The total weight of these stocks is 254 tonnes of raw ivory and 104 tonnes of worked ivory.

Wales

Housing Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has any plans to revise the administrative structure of the housing grant system due to be introduced in Wales in April; and if he will make a statement.

The day-to-day administration of the new home renovation grant system will be the responsibility of local housing authorities. My hon. Friend., the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, announced on 22 February that implementation of the major provisions of part VIII of the 1989 Act in England and Wales will be deferred to 1 July 1990. This will allow local authorities to prepare for a smooth transition to the new system and maintain the momentum on renovation activity.

Toxic Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what volumes of toxic wastes and contaminated landfill rubble has been deposited in the Cwmrhydyceirw quarry in Morriston (West Glamorgan); and whether this site is licensed for receipt of polychlorinated biphenyl contaminated waste materials.

Information on deposits at licensed disposal sites is not held centrally; it is for the licensing authority to specify the types and quantities of waste which may be deposited. I understand that the Cwmrhydyceirw quarry site is not specifically licensed by Swansea city council to accept PCB contaminated waste.

Water Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what water supply tests for bacterial and other infections have been carried out in Mid Glamorgan health district buildings in the past two years.

Mid Glamorgan health authority has a policy for the regular testing of water. Sampling is undertaken every three months at every hospital with testing undertaken at the University hospital of Wales.

M4, Earlswood-Lôn Las

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has made plans relating to the first stage of construction for the M4 missing link between Earlswood and Lôn Las to ensure that additional traffic lanes can be constructed with ease if traffic flows exceed predicted forecasts.

The design of this section of the M4 would permit an additional lane to be added in each direction with minimal disruption should future traffic levels justify it.

Equal Opportunities

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he has implemented to ensure that recruitment and promotion policy in his Department does not directly or indirectly discriminate against applicants who were mature students or women returning to work following a career break due to child care.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Barking (Ms. Richardson) in July 1988.In addition, my Department has recently introduced a holiday play scheme for the children of members of staff. The provision of nursery facilities is being considered.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many of his Department's management training courses include sessions on equal opportunities for women; and what proportion of managers at grade six level and above working outside headquarters has received training on equal opportunities for women.

The Welsh Office runs three mandatory management courses which include sessions on equal opportunities for women. In addition, and as part of its equal opportunities policy, my Department provides four women-only management courses.Only two officers at grade six and above are employed outside Cardiff; as yet, neither has attended a training course with equal opportunities content.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what action he has taken, and what action he intends taking, to implement the recommendations within his area of responsibility of the European Commission's child care network report "Caring for Children—Services and Policies for Childcare and Equal Opportunities in the United Kingdom".

The report was prepared for the European Commission which has not yet developed any proposals. The Government believe that policy on child care is a matter of member states. The United Kingdom's policy is that it is for families themselves to determine how their children are to be brought up and how parents who wish to do so, can best combine paid work and family responsibilities. The Government, through the Department of Health, the Welsh Office and the ministerial group on women's issues, on which the Department is represented, has encouraged the development of a range of high quality child care options for both employers and parents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what child care provision his Department provides for pre-school age children of employees; what child care provision for school holidays or after-school care is provided for employees' children aged five years or over; what plans there are for increasing provision in the next five years; and how these are to be funded.

The Department ran a holiday play scheme for school-age children of staff in Cardiff last summer and plans to do so again for the Easter and summer school holidays this year. The scheme is substantially self-financing, but it receives some financial support from the Welsh Office and the other Government Departments that make use of it.The Welsh Office is looking into the possibility of providing nursery facilities for its Cardiff staff in conjunction with other Government Departments.The Department does not arrange after-school care for the children of staff and has no immediate plans to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what grade is his Department's equal opportunities officer.

My Department's equal opportunities officer is a senior executive officer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of civil servants in his Department are women at each of the grades (a) seven, (b) six, (c) five, (d) four, (e) three, (f) two and (g) one.

The information is as follows:

GradePercentage of Women
1
2
3
433
515
624
712
1. As at 1 January 19902. The grade categories shown include equivalent professional grades.

Sexual Harassment

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his Department's policy on sexual harassment at work; whether guidance on reporting complaints has been issued to all staff; how many complaints have been reported in the past five years; and what disciplinary action has been taken.

My Department's policy on sexual harassment is that it will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary proceedings. Written guidance on the complaints procedure to follow in cases of sexual harassment has been made available to all staff. Two complaints have been reported in the last five years, both of which were settled to the satisfaction of the individuals concerned without the need for disciplinary action.

Pin-Ups

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will issue instructions for the removal of all offensive pin-ups in all his departmental premises.

A new equal opportunities policy statement is planned to issue to all staff this year to encourage further good equal opportunity practice within the Department. It will remind staff that they should not display posters or pictures which might cause offence to others.

Cancer

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will provide figures for the incidence of (a) leukaemia, (b) lung cancer, (c) colon cancer and (d) stomach cancer in each district in Wales for each of the last 10 years;(2) if he will publish up-to-date figures on the incidence of leukaemia in each district of Wales, together with the figures for each of the previous 10 years.

Data for recent years are not yet available, and earlier years' figures are not readily available in the form requested. I therefore refer the hon. Gentleman to the figures given in the Welsh Office publication "Cancer Registration in Wales 1974–1984".

Llanelli General Hospital

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many new junior doctors are intended to be recruited for the new Llanelli general hospital.

The staffing levels of the new Llanelli general hospital are primarily a matter for the health authority to decide within the resources available to it, subject to the normal arrangements for the appointment of junior staff within the framework of the "Achieving A Balance" agreement between the Health Departments, the professional and the NHS for the reform of the hospital medical staffing structure.

Junior Doctors

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of all junior hospital doctors in the National Health Service in the whole of Wales work within the South Glamorgan health authority area.

As at 30 September 1988, a total of 30 per cent. of junior hospital doctors (whole-time equivalents) in post in the NHS in Wales were employed by South Glamorgan health authority. Junior hospital doctors includes the grades of house officer, senior house officer, registrar, senior registrar, associate specialist and senior hospital medical officer.

Bryntirion Hospital, Llanelli

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether the soil sample collection procedures used in the recent tests of PCB levels carried out by the pollution inspectorate in an area adjacent to Bryntirion hospital, Llanelli, were identical to the procedures used by the university of East Anglia while carrying out the original tests in the same area, as reported in the HMSO publication ISBN 0 11 7522686.

Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution took the samples on both occasions and the procedures were identical.

Old People's Homes

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many local authority old people's homes there were in Wales in (a) 1979 and (b) 1989; and if he will make a statement.

The number of local authority old people's homes in Wales at 31 March 1979 was 200 and at 31 March 1989 it was 192.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many privately owned old people's homes there were in Wales in (a) 1979 and (b) 1989; and if he will make a statement.

The number of privately owned old people's homes in Wales at 31 March 1979 is not separately identifiable from available sources. However, the number of private and voluntary homes combined was 80. As at 31 March 1989 there were 461 private homes and 23 voluntary homes for elderly people.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to enable elderly people in Wales to meet the fees of privately owned homes; and if he will make a statement.

At present public support for elderly people in independent sector residential care and nursing homes is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services. The proposals for the new arrangements for 1 April 1991 are set out in chapter 3 (paragraphs 3.7.6. and 3.8.2) and chapter 9 of the "Caring for People" White Paper (Cm 849).

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it his policy to encourage local authorities to open more publicly funded elderly people's homes in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

The "Caring for People" White Paper (Cm 849) makes it clear that local authorities will need to review the level of provision in their own homes in the light of the new community care proposals.

Tyre Dump Fire (Powys)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the environmental impact of the recent three-month long fire at a tyre dump in Powys.

The company is seeking to bring the fire under control and the position is being monitored by Radnor district council which is under a duty to supervise the waste disposal sites it licenses under the Control of Pollution Act 1974.When Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution last visited the site there was no emission of smoke and only a slight localised odour problem. Subject to a satisfactory surface seal being maintained, the situation will be contained.I am advised that monitoring at the public water supply intake 85 km downstream by the National Rivers Authority has shown that phenol concentrations are within drinking water standards. Although there is some pollution of streams in the immediate vicinity of the fire, action on site has prevented the spread of pollution downstream.

Litter

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the maximum fine for improperly disposing of litter in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Littering as an offence under the Litter Act 1983 attracts a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, currently £400. There are proposals in the Environmental Protection Bill to increase this to level 4 on the standard scale, currently £1,000.

Planning Aid Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has proposals to renew funding for Planning Aid Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Planning Aid Wales has submitted an application for funding under the Department's 1990–91 special grants—Environmental—programme. This is currently being considered together with other applications for funding from the limited resources available through this programme. Planning Aid Wales has already benefited from this programme, receiving over £53,000 since 1985.

Toolsheds

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether rates are charged in Wales for toolsheds used only to store tools for growing vegetables on allotments; and if he will make a statement.

The decision whether any particular property is non-domestic, and therefore rateable after April 1990, is a matter for the valuation officer. In reaching decisions on rateability with respect to toolsheds, the valuation officer will have regard to section 66(1)(d) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which provides that property is domestic—and so not rateable—if it is private storage premises used wholly or mainly for the storage of articles of domestic use.

Imported Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received with regard to the importation of contaminated rubble from West Germany via Max Recovery's transfer station in Swansea to direct landfill in Cwmrhydceirw quarry.

My right hon. Friend has received representations from an hon. Member on behalf of constituents expressing concern about the proposed importation. Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has received a letter from Swansea city council seeking advice.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he intends to publish amended versions of Department of the Environment pamphlets on community charge reductions and the uniform business rate in Wales.

No. Welsh Office leaflets on community charge benefit were distributed to all households in Wales late in 1989. There is no need to produce a separate publicity leaflet on community charge transitional relief, because the Welsh scheme does not require applications to be made in order that relief can be awarded. On business rates, I have made available since March 1989 a pamphlet, "The New Business Rating System in Wales". This has been regularly updated. The latest revision, dated January 1990, is in the Library. Copies have been made available through Welsh business organisations, district valuation offices and from the Welsh Office in response to enquiries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) part-time and (b) full-time staff have been brought in to each district, borough and city council in Wales to deal specifically with the community charge or poll tax.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much extra expenditure has been incurred by each district, borough and city council in Wales on (a) the adaptation of current information systems and (b) purchasing of new technology, as a direct result of implementing the poll tax.

The current and capital expenditure incurred by each district council in Wales on the implementation costs of the community charge in 1989–90 are shown in the table:

Community charge preparation costs 1989–90
Local authorityCurrent budget £000Capital forecast £000
Alyn and Deeside328173
Colwyn124149
Delyn2030
Glyndwr1680
Rhuddlan207274
Wrexham Maelor377724
Carmarthen1840
Ceredigion307112
Dinefwr182188
Llanelli1760
Preseli Pembrokeshire317193
South Pembrokeshire13876
Blaenau Gwent305100
Islwyn213169
Monmouth167166
Newport355425
Torfaen290198
Aberconwy193215
Arfon3100
Dwyfor194142
Meirionnydd282670
Ynys Môn176274
Cynon Valley103928
Merthyr Tydfil256844
Ogwr6420
Rhondda19630
Rhymney Valley381580
Taff Ely433414
Brecknock1730
Montgomeryshire23763
Radnorshire9540
Cardiff1,090953
Vale of Glamorgan392150
Port Talbot18950
Lliw Valley2390
Neath218142
Swansea934630
Total Wales10,7749,072

Family Practitioner Committees

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of the new general managers of family practitioner committees in Wales have had previous careers in the armed forces.

Competitive Tendering

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what were (a) the target totals and (b) actual expenditure for each district, borough and city council in Wales for expenditure on the implementation and administration of competitive tendering exercises during 1989.

This information is not held centrally. Quantification of these items in budgets and accounts is a matter for individual local authorities.

Trade And Industry

Auditing

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has taken any steps to prevent individuals from the auditing firms criticised by his inspectors for audits of investment companies from participating in development of auditing policy in relation to investment business.

If, by referring to audit policy, the hon. Member has in mind the work of the Auditing Practices Committee then I have taken no steps to influence which individuals are appointed to that committee by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies.

Company Audits

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek to legislate to require auditors of companies actively to evaluate and seek evidence relating to the post balance sheet events occurring between the date of the audit report and the following annual general meeting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will seek to legislate to require company auditors to alert the users of financial statements of the likelihood of financial insolvency;(2) whether he will seek to legislate to require auditors to report on the financial soundness of companies.

No. The auditors' duty is to report to members of the company. There is a presumption under the accounting principles set out in the Companies Act 1985 that the company is carrying on a business as going concern. Auditing standards already prescribe that where there are doubts about the company's ability to continue as a going concern auditors should qualify their report appropriately.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek to amend schedule 12 to the Companies Act 1989 so as to discourage organisations seeking recognition as qualifying bodies from using objective tests to further theoretical knowledge.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek to amend the Companies Act 1989 so as to require the supervisory bodies to provide tangible proof to any member of the public showing that they have taken active steps to monitor compliance with the rules on auditor independence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek to legislate to require auditors of all large companies to report on the effectiveness with which a company utilises its assets.

No. It is the auditors' function to report on the company's annual accounts. It is for others to judge from those statements the performance of the company.

To ask the Secretary of State For Trade and Industry whether he will seek to legislate to require company auditors to report all departures from the Companies Acts.

No. It is already a requirement of the Companies Act 1985 that the auditors' report shall state whether in the auditor's opinion the annual accounts have been properly prepared in accordance with the Act. There is professional guidance on how the auditor should report departures from statutory requirements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will provide a list of the organisations which have written to him either supporting or opposing the implementation of section 15 of the Companies Act 1989.

A number of detailed comments were received in response to my Department's recent consultative document on a draft of the regulations to implement section 15 of the Companies Act 1989. None, however, raised the question whether or not the provision should be implemented.

Gec

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to meet the chairman of GEC-Alsthom-General Electric European Gas Turbine Company to discuss investment in the United Kingdom.

Not at present. The company will, I have no doubt, keep us advised of its plans for any new investment in the United Kingdom as its predecessor did.

Global Warming

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to put forward proposals at the next Council of Industry Ministers to initiate industrial developments and changes in industrial design and practice to reduce discharges of gases presently causing global warming.

The agenda for Council of Ministers meetings is determined by the presidency, which is currently held by the Republic of Ireland. Environmental issues such as those cited by the hon. Gentleman have important implications for business and may well be considered by the Industry Council in due course. However, there are no present plans for such discussion. In the meantime, the Department of Trade and Industry environmental programme already contains a range of measures designed to help and encourage firms to respond positively to the challenges and opportunities presented by environmental issues such as global warming.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, at the last meeting of the European Ministers Research Council, held in Brussels on 26 February, he put forward any proposals for (a) European Community collaboration on research to combat the greenhouse effect and global warming climate change and (b) intergovernmental and inter-institutional collaboration on environmental improvement research.

I attended the Research Council on 26 February. This included an exchange with a delegation of Members of the European Parliament on the overall 1990–94 EC R and D framework programme.The 1990–94 framework programme includes a programme of environmental research (414 mecu or £298 million) which is 59 per cent. larger than the previous EC programme and includes research on the subjects raised by the hon. Member.An agricultural research programme and a cooperation agreement with EFTA countries on the medical and health research programme were also adopted.

Investment (North-West)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to improve investment in the north-west.

All Department of Trade and Industry policies are aimed at encouraging investment in the north-west and throughout the United Kingdom.

Rechar

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how much money is available to the United Kingdom through the RECHAR scheme for the schemes he recently submitted for each of the years 1990 to 1994;(2) what criteria qualified wards in Nottingham, North constituency for submission for RECHAR assistance; and which bodies were consulted before the decision was made;(3) whether Nottinghamshire county council and Nottingham city council were consulted before he submitted the RECHAR list to the European Commission.

My Department drew the attention of county, city and district authorities to the notice published by the European Commission about the RECHAR initiative and invited representations. Representations were received from Nottinghamshire county council, among others. Among other bodies consulted was the Coalfield Communities Campaign.Wards were considered for inclusion in the list of Government's proposals for RECHAR where they were part of a coal-mining area that had suffered sufficient coal-mining job losses to meet the criteria of the Commission's notice.

It is not yet known how much money will be available to the United Kingdom from RECHAR. I hope that the Commission's decision will be reached before the end of this year.

Investors (Protection)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to introduce an order under section 203(3) of the Companies Act 1989, standard of protection for investors, specifying when the transitional period is to end.

As soon as it becomes clear that the transitional provisions are no longer necessary.

Takeovers

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of European Economic Community takeovers of companies occurred in each member state over the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 26 February 1990]: Figures are not compiled within the Government of all takeovers of companies in each country throughout the European Economic Community. Information is cornpiledd for United Kingdom takeover activity and published quarterly by the Central Statistical Office in Business Bulletin "Cross Border Acquisitions and Mergers". The latest publication includes information to the third quarter of 1989 and is available in the Library.The report on barriers to takeovers in the European Community prepared for the Department of Trade and Industry and published recently indicates that in 1988 73 per cent. of acquisitions in the European Community took place in the United Kingdom.

North-East Shipbuilders Ltd

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Gateshead, East (Ms. Quin) of 20 February, Official Report, column 780, he will list any changes in the proposals for the acquisition of NESL facilities by the Anglo-Greek consortium which were not made as a result of guidance from either his Department or the Tyne and Wear development corporation.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: Following the rejection of the shipbuilding bids for the NESL yards in July 1989 for reasons explained by my right hon. Friend the Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton), the Anglo-Greek consortium made an informal proposal which simply foresaw a return to new shipbuilding at North Sands in the longer term, depending on market conditions. A formal proposal on 30 October 1989 was more specific, and explicitly made reference to the development of a modern shipbuilding facility.The business plan dated 21 December 1989 made it apparent that the scale of investment was based on future shipbuilding requirements. An additional, parallel idea to use the Southwick site for steel work was raised in January 1990. None of these changes was made at the suggestion of my Department, which has always made it clear that any proposals would need to be assessed against any alternative plans for the sites in question, and would need formal clearance by the Commission of the European Communities.

Shipbuilding

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on which dates his Department became aware that the following definitions of a permanent and irreversible closure in the European Commission sixth directive on shipbuilding of (a) a withdrawal of intervention fund by the relevant member state for a period of five years, (b) the cessation of vessel construction for a period of five years and (c) plans predicted on a resumption of vessel construction after a period of five years were not shared by the European Commission.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: Sir Leon Brittan's letter of 12 July 1989 to my right hon. Friend the Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) made clear that the Commission required yards which have been closed as counterpart for aid to remain closed to the building of ships for five years, irrespective of the provision or otherwise of intervention fund grant subsidy. Sir Leon's letter to me of 15 February 1990 made it plain that he would not approve now a notification where the proposal was predicated on a return to shipbuilding after the expiry of the five-year period.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) of 20 February, Official Report, column 783, if he will list how many jobs he expects will have been created in the Southwick area of the proposed Sunderland enterprise zone by (a) 31 December 1990, (b) 30 June 1991, (c) 31 December 1991, (d) 30 June 1992, (e) 31 December 1992, (f) 30 June 1993 and (g) 31 December 1993.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: It is not practicable to give a detailed breakdown of the timing of the jobs expected to be created within the Sunderland enterprise zone. This will depend on, among other things, the timetable on progress on the clearance, reclamation, and development of the sites concerned and on the plans and decisions of individual firms setting up within the zone.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what advice was given by officials of his Department to directors of NESL who wished to know, in May 1988, whether his Department might be sympathetic to a management buy-out of NESL.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: As a general principle, the Government would certainly not have been averse to any proposals for a management buy-out of North-East Shipbuilders Ltd. A number of other British Shipbuilders' facilities have indeed been sold on this basis. I am, however, not aware that any formal proposals were actually made by the management of NESL for such a buy-out in respect of that company.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions his Department held with Mr. John Parker following the receipt of information that Mr. Parker was interested in assisting North South Bridge Consortium's proposals to acquire NESL in November 1988.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to whether the letter of advice sent by the previous chairman to the right hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) on 3 July 1989 was read and agreed by the other executive board members of British Shipbuilders.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: That is a matter for British Shipbuilders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) whether all relevant and significant matters discussed between officials of his Department and officials of the European Commission concerning the future of NESL between the statement to the House by the right hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) on 7 December and the right hon. Member for Braintree's meeting with Sir Leon Brittan on 27 June 1989 were drawn to the attention of Ministers of his Department;(2) whether all relevant and significant matters discussed between officials of his Department and officials of the European Commission prior to the December 1988 agreement to close North East Shipbuilders Ltd were drawn to the attention of ministers of his Department prior to the finalisation of that agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek an assurance from Sir Leon Brittan that the interpretation which Sir Leon places on a declaration to the minutes of the Industry Council referred to in Sir Leon Brittan's letter to the hon. Member far Grantham (Mr. Hogg) of 15 February 1990 will be applied to any other member state of the European Community who contemplate the reopening of shipbuilding facilities.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: The EC's sixth directive on aid to shipbuilding is designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment throughout the Community in all aspects of shipbuilding support. I am sure, therefore, that the Commission will seek uniformity of treatment in respect of closed shipbuilding facilities within EC member states. We will certainly encourage it to do so.

Space

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the expenditure, actual and planned, on civil space related activities paid for from public funds in each of the years 1987–88, 1988–89 and 1989–90; and for each of the years to give a breakdown as between expenditure on European Space Agency programmes and expenditure on domestic United Kingdom programmes.

[holding answer 2 March 1990]: The figures are as follows:

£ million
1987–881988–891989–90
European Space Agency programmes80·890·287·2
National programmes42·848·151·1
Total123·6138·3138·3

Attorney-General

Equal Opportunities

To ask the Attorney-General how many of his Department's management training courses include sessions on equal opportunities for women; and what proportion of managers at grade six level and above working outside headquarters has received training on equal opportunities for women.

Neither the legal secretariat to the Law Officers nor the Treasury Solicitor's Department undertakes its own management training. In the Treasury Solicitor's Department, staff at grade six level and above who are working outside headquarters receive management training at the Civil Service College. In the Crown prosecution service training on equal opportunities for women is integrated into management training and is not dealt with as a separate issue. In the period from September 1988 to January 1989 a series of industrial relations courses, which included a specific session on equal opportunities, was run for grade six officers and above. In the Serious Fraud Office, departmental training courses do not include sessions on equal opportunities for women, but members of staff may attend courses at the Civil Service College, where such sessions are a feature of the course work.

To ask the Attorney-General what action he has taken, and what action he intends taking, to implement the recommendations within his area of responsibility of the European Commission's childcare network report "Caring for Children—Services and Policies for Childcare and Equal Opportunities in the United Kingdom".

The report was prepared for the European Commission which has not yet developed any proposals. The Government believe that policy on child care is a matter for member states. The United Kingdom's policy is that it is for families themselves to determine how their children are to be brought up and how parents, who wish to do so, can best combine paid work and family responsibilities. The Government, through the Department of Health and the ministerial group on women's issues, has encouraged the development of a range of high quality child care options for both parents and employers.

To ask the Attorney-General what childcare provision his Department provides for preschool age children of employees: what childcare provision for school holidays or after-school care is provided for employees' children aged five years or over; what plans there are for increasing provision in the next five years; and how these are to be funded.

There is no provision of child care for pre-school age children of employees in any of the Departments for which I am responsible. No child care provision is provided in the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, Crown prosecution service or the Serious Fraud Office for employees' children aged five years or over, but for the Treasury Solicitor's Department there is a holiday play scheme for 32 children which is run during half-term holidays and between terms by the Cabinet Office in conjunction with the Westminster Play Association, but there is no provision for after-school care. The holiday play scheme will continue while there is space available.There are no plans to increase provision in the next five years in the legal secretariat to the Law Officers or the Serious Fraud Office. In the Treasury Solicitor's Department it is proposed to introduce a pre-school age nursery subject to there being space available. No decision has been made on how the nursery is to be funded. The Crown prosecution service has agreed to participate in and make a financial contribution towards a study of the feasibility of establishing a number of interdepartmental nurseries in and around central London. As part of this study, the Crown prosecution service has distributed questionnaires to all staff in the London area to find the numbers of employees who would wish to use child care facilities in the future. The service will consider shared funding of child care facilities in those areas where its provision is feasible.

To ask the Attorney-General what grade is his Department's equal opportunities officer.

The equal opportunities officer in the legal secretariat to the Law Officers is a grade four, in the Treasury Solicitor's Department a grade six, in the Crown prosecution service a grade seven and in the Serious Fraud Office a higher executive officer.

To ask the Attorney-General what measures he has implemented to ensure that recruitment and promotion policy in his Department does not directly or indirectly discriminate against applicants who were mature students or women returning to work following a career-break due to child care.

In the legal secretariat to the Law Officers and the Treasury Solicitor's Department the recruitment of all staff above the grade of executive officer is undertaken by the Civil Service Commission. Officers appointed to recruitment boards for administrative officer and below and promotion boards are reminded of the policy of equal opportunities in the department. In the Crown prosecution service a departmental career break scheme is being developed to ensure that those members of staff who have a break in their career for domestic reasons have the opportunity to maintain their career momentum via a departmental "keeping in touch" scheme.The Crown prosecution service has also targeted recruitment publications aimed at mature students and women returning to work following a career break. It has provided working arrangements to suit staff with domestic commitments and has introduced flexible working terms, part-time working, and enhanced arrangements for sabattical leave. All established staff compete equally for promotion opportunities in the service.The Serious Fraud Office has recently launched an advertising campaign to attract part-time staff with family commitments. A person would not be subject to discrimination in either recruitment to the Serious Fraud Office or promotion therein on account of their age, providing they are below the normal Civil Service retiring age.

To ask the Attorney-General what proportion of civil servants in his Department are women at each of the grades (a) seven, (b) six, (c) five, (d) four, (e) three, (f) two and (g) one.

proportions in each of the Departments for which I am responsible are as follows:

Legal Secretariat to the Law OfficersTreasury Solicitor's DepartmentCrown Prosecution ServiceSerious Fraud Ofice
A. Grade 70/011/49164/6030/4
B. Grade 60/314/5816/1523/14
C. Grade 52/44/392/542/10
D. Grade 40/20/00/90/0
E. Grade 31/10/100/40/2
F. Grade 20/00/00/10/1
G. Grade 10/00/10/10/0

Divorce Notifications (Newspapers)

To ask the Attorney-General if he intends to take any action to prevent divorce notifications in newspapers containing the reasons for a divorce; and if he will make a statement.

There is no present intention to change the law relating to the content of divorce notifications in newspapers, but the matter has been referred to the Law Commission who are considering it along with the law of divorce on which they are expected to report later this year. Under the present divorce law, to provide protection against divorces being granted where the facts required do not exist, Parliament provided in section 9 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 that any person may show cause why a decree nisi of divorce should not be made absolute. The decree nisi is therefore declared in open court and any member of the public may examine the certificate of the decree and the filed evidence for this purpose. The Judicial Proceedings (Regulation of Reports) Act 1926 aligns with this policy by allowing the press to report, amongst other things, the names and addresses of the parties to a divorce, together with the statutory facts on which the petition relies. Any further restriction would conflict with the present policy of section 9.

Sexual Harassment

To ask the Attorney-General what is his Department's policy on sexual harassment at work; whether guidance on reporting complaints has been issued to all staff; how many complaints have been reported in the past five years; and what disciplinary action has been taken.

The policy in each of the Departments for which I am responsible is that sexual harassment at work would not be tolerated and, if appropriate, would be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.No specific guidance on reporting complaints has been issued to staff in the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, the Treasury Solicitor's Department or in the Serious Fraud Office. In the Crown prosecution service, the issue of sexual harassment at work is addressed directly in the CPS equal opportunities policy statement which is held by every local office for consultation by any member of staff.No complaints have been reported in the legal secretariat to the Law Officers or the Serious Fraud Office. In the Treasury Solicitor's Department one complaint has been made in the last five years but has subsequently been withdrawn. In the Crown prosecution service one complaint has been reported and disciplinary action is under consideration.

Crown Court Hearings

To ask the Attorney-General what is the average period between a committal and full hearing for (a) all crimes and (b) rape.

The average period between a committal and start of hearing for all defendants whose cases were completed in the Crown Court in 1989 was 12·5 weeks. This compares with 14·3 weeks in 1984 and 17·6 weeks in 1979. Information is not available for individual offences.

Pin-Ups

To ask the Attorney-General whether he will issue instructions for the removal of all offensive pin-ups in all his departmental premises.

Any complaint about material of this sort in any of the Departments for which I am responsible would be considered and appropriate instructions would be given.

Leasehold Reform

To ask the Attorney-General if the Government have any plans to introduce leasehold reform—commonhold—legislation.

The Lord Chancellor announced in June 1988 that the Government had arranged for draft legislation to be prepared at the Law Commission to give effect to the proposals contained in the report of the working group on commonhold (Cm 179) under the chairmanship of Mr. T. M. Aldridge. That work is still in progress. No final decision has yet been taken about the implementation of the report, nor can I give any indication of when legislation on commonhold may be introduced.

Northern Ireland

Strip Searches

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many women have been strip searched in each of the last 10 years in Northern Ireland.

The strip-searching procedures for female prisoners were introduced at Armagh prison in November 1982. Yearly figures for the number of women strip searched are only available from 1985 onwards. The details for 1985 to 1989 are as follows:

No.
1985144
1986162
1987149
1988145
1989145

Police Accommodation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what response he is giving to the Northern Ireland police federation's representations concerning (a) the introduction of a provided accommodation allowance and (b) updating of the force rent allowance; and when he expects to lay regulations giving effect to any changes which may take effect from 1 April.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has not made representations to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland concerning the introduction of a provided accommodation allowance for the RUC. Provided accommodation will continue to be free of rent and rates. The rent allowance for the RUC, which would have been due for updating at 1 April 1990, will not now be updated due to its replacement by the new housing allowance. The RUC (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1990 which will give effect to the change from rent allowance to housing allowance, will be laid before Parliament not later than 9 March 1990.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the loss of revenue to Northern Ireland railways as a result of terrorist activity in each of the last five calendar or financial years for which figures are available.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: Northern Ireland Railways Co. Ltd. has informed me that because of the infrequency of incidents before 1989–90 no figures are available. The loss of revenue for 1989–90 is £581,000 to date. In addition to the security implications, there is a significant environmental impact, especially as the relative advantage of the rail service is reduced and more people switch to the road.

Youth Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has any plans to extend youth training programme allowances to all those participating in 16 to 19 education.

Health

Hospital Laundering

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those health authorities which awarded laundry contracts inhouse and externally during 1987 and 1988.

The information requested, based on reports received from regional health authorities, is shown in the tables.LAUNDRY CONTRACTS AWARDED DURING 1987Health Authority and Hospital/Unit

  • Northern Region
    • Northumberland, Prudhoe, In-house
    • South Tees, District, In-house
    • South West Durham, Sedgefield, In-house
    • Sunderland, DGH, In-house
    • West Cumbria, District, In-house
  • Yorkshire Region
    • Bradford, District, External
    • Harrogate, District, In-house
  • East Anglia Region
    • Cambridge, District, In-house
    • Peterborough, District, In-house
  • South East Thames Region
    • Dartford, District, In-house
    • Hastings, St. Helens, In-house
    • Medway, District, In-house
  • South West Thames Region
    • Merton and Sutton, District, External
    • Richmond, Queen Mary's/Putney, External
    • Worthing, Southlands, In-house
  • Wessex Region
    • Salisbury, District, In-house
    • Southampton, SGH, In-house
    • West Dorset, Herrison, In-house
  • Oxford Region
    • West Berkshire, Fairmile, In-house
  • South Western Region
    • Cornwall, West Cornwall, In-house
    • Frenchay, Glenside, In-house
  • West Midlands Region
    • Coventry, Whitley, In-house
    • Dudley, District, In-house
    • Hereford, St. Mary's, In-house
    • Mid-Staffordshire, District, In-house
    • North Birmingham, Highcroft, In-house
    • Rugby, District, In-house
    • Sandwell, District, In-house
    • South East Staffordshire, St. Matthews, In-house
    • Wolverhampton, District, In-house
  • North Western region
    • Blackburn, Queens Park, In-house
    • Bolton, District, In-house
    • Burnley, District, In-house
    • Lancaster, District, In-house
    • North Manchester, District, In-house
    • Oldham, District, In-house
    • Preston, Whittingham, In-house
    • Rochdale, District, In-house
    • Tameside, District, In-house
    • Wigan, District, External
  • Special Health Authorities
    • Eastman Dental Hospital, In-house
  • Laundry contracts awarded during 1988 Health Authority and hospital/unit
  • Northern region
    • South Cumbria, District, External
  • Yorkshire region
    • Airedale, District, In-house
    • Calderdale, District, External
    • Northallerton, District, In-house
    • Pontefract, Southmoor, In-house
    • Scarborough, St. Mary's, In-house
    • Wakefield, District, External
  • Trent region
    • Nottingham, District, In-house
  • North West Thames region
    • North Bedfordshire, District, In-house
  • North East Thames region
    • Hampstead, Friern, In-house
  • South East Thames region
    • Camberwell, In-house
    • Lewisham, District, In-house
    • Maidstone, External
    • South East Kent, District, In-house
    • West Lambeth, District, In-house
  • South West Thames region
    • East Surrey, District, In-house
    • Mid-Surrey, District, In-house
  • West Midlands region
    • Shropshire, District, In-house
    • North Staffordshire, RI/St. Edwards, In-house
  • North Western region
    • Bury, District, External
    • South Manchester, District, In-house

Table 1: Hospital medical and dental consultants1 3: analysis by region at 30 September each year

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

England212,36112,60912,88213,08913,37613,68813,96914,29614,51414,950
Northern8358448678869089229549731,0001,003
Yorkshire8468528989099269119529791,0031,037
Trent9811,0171,0471,0781,0961,1281,1541,2121,2691,318
East Anglian469484498508515538554563575608
North West Thames1,2881,2841,2871,1191,1541,1591,1561,1511,1581,187
North East Thames1,2931,3051,3201,5111,5461,5351,5841,5471,4781,486
South East Thames1,1451,1471,1541,1701,1931,2421,2201,2471,2581,271
South West Thames881898929897904920920933939942
Wessex685701689699728741760768831846
Oxford545568585610620653686706722741
South Western745769781802808826846874888904
West Midlands1,1841,2011,2261,2501,2761,3211,3641,4211,4511,480
Mersey644652649656666683701721722737
North Western1,0781,0951,1301,1731,2071,2261,2941,2841,2841,284
SHAs631631634607624655654653596617

1 Figures include permanent paid and honorary staff.

2 Staff holding two or more appointments whether with the same or different regions are counted only once. Differences in the sum of numbers of staff for all regions are due to the duplication of staff holding appointments in more than one region. Such staff are included separately in each region.

3 Prior to 1987 figures include staff in the grade of senior hospital medical-dental officer with allowance.

Table 2: In-patient cases treated, NHS hospitals by region1, 1979–1988/892

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987–88

1988–89

England5,400·15,670·05,759·95,719·66,018·66,177·56,353·86,413·86,619·46,586·0
Northern368·6393·8395·7376·1409·1420·1433·1441·1462·8461·0
Yorkshire433·8456·9465·5454·0490·6499·9517·5525·3549·8551·5
Trent464·9497·3511·9505·2543·2557·9578·4592·4612·9626·1
East Anglian201·9216·9219·6213·3229·6238·3250·3253·5264·1269·6
North West Thames403·3412·7418·1394·4408·5415·6418·8419·0421·6416·2
North East Thames455·9473·5474·8512·7526·4534·8541·1530·4527·6521·3
South East Thames438·9453·1462·2461·4477·3487·8501·6495·2504·7487·8
South West Thames312·3320·1324·7315·2329·3338·6344·4347·1351·9344·3
Wessex302·8318·5322·0320·9332·4345·5357·3366·4389·5391·4
Oxford251·9265·0269·7266·3276·5284·6297·5299·3300·4296·4
South Western338·9358·0365·8370·3385·3399·0408·0417·4443·2451·6
West Midlands547·8575·1582·9591·1619·7644·2666·2673·4708·2689·5
Mersey282·6297·5299·3293·9312·6322·1331·0336·9345·7347·9
North Western509·0541·8555·0553·7585·7597·8617·6624·7644·5640·5
SHAs87·789·892·691·092·391·490·991·792·590·9

1 Due to NHS restructuring in 1982, figures for the four Thames regions and SHAs are not strictly comparable over the whole period.

2 The data for in-patient cases were collected at the end of each calendar year up to 1986; from 1987–88 the data are collected at the end of each financial year.

  • Special Health Authorities
    • Hospital for Sick Children, In-house
    • National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, In-house

Consultant-Patient Ratios

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish a table showing the number of consultants, (b) National Health Service patients and(c) patients per consultant in each year since 1979 (i) nationally and (ii) for each National Health Service region.

The information for (a) and (b) is given in the tables.The information requested in

(c) cannot be given in the form requested, because: (i) manpower figures represent a "snapshot" of staff in post on a particular day. Patient figures are aggregates over a calendar-financial year; (ii) the patient figures do not take account of the contribution given by other medical staff who may be engaged in providing treatment to in-patients, out-patients or accident and emergency patients.

National Health Service Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what, over the last five years for which figures are available, have been the proportions of United Kingdom National Health Service expenditure spent on the National Health Service in Wales.

The information requested is as follows:

Percentage of United Kingdom gross National Health Service expenditure spent on health services in Wales
per cent.
1985–865·2
1986–875·2
1987–885·2
1988–895·2
11989–905·3
1 Estimate.
Cash savings from competitive tendering: East Anglian region
1986–871987–881988–89
Cash Savings £000sCash Savings Per Head of Population £Cash Savings £000sCash Savings Per Head of Population £Cash Savings £000sCash Savings Per Head of Population £
Cambridge0·000·000·00·00105·00·38
East Suffolk332·101·04