Written Answers Toquestions
Friday 13 July 1990
Education And Science
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will provide details of the number of places for those seeking to train as physical education teachers following the major planning exercise announced in December 1989; and whether he has any plans to increase the number of places further.
My right hon. Friend announced aggregate intake numbers for initial teacher training for the three-year period 1991–92 to 1993–94 in April this year. Aggregate intake numbers have been increased for physical education for the triennium and have been set at 750 for each year. There are no plans further to increase the number of places available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects the school meals census for autumn 1989 to be published.
Information on school meal arrangements is now collected with the annual schools census each January. Information for January 1989 was published in "Statistics of Education Schools 1989", a copy of which is available in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what provision is made to cover the overheads of academic research projects funded by the research councils; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of these provisions in covering real overhead costs.
Under the dual support system, the overhead costs of projects funded by the research councils at universities are met from the universities' general funds.It is for the Universities Funding Council to advise Government on the adequacy of the public funding it receives and distributes to the universities in the form of block grants in support of research and teaching.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to recruit and train more staff for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board; and if he will make a statement.
Most of the 60 extra staff requested by the chairman of the board and recommended by the Home Affairs Select Committee in January (Second Report: Session 1989–90—HC92) are in post and have completed their basic training. The rest are expected to be in post by the end of July.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when working conditions and staff accommodation in the offices of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board are to be reviewed and modernised.
I understand that the office in Glasgow, where most of the board's staff are based, is already decorated and furnished to a good standard. The board's London offices, which are modern and suit the board's needs, are to be redecorated shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from organisations concerning the figures used to assess new allocations of staff to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
We have received no outside representations, but officials have discussed with the Home Office trade union side concerns about the level of output expected now that the board has been given more staff.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to allocate a larger percentage of the staff of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to London.
The relocation of posts from London to Glasgow was based on our assessment that the board could work more economically and efficiently if as much of its administrative work was transferred to Glasgow as could practically and conveniently be done there. This remains our approach, which is why the 60 new staff have been recruited predominantly in Glasgow. The board, which is responsible for managing its own operations, keeps check of the balance of staff and work between the two offices.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what has been the trend in the number of reported rape cases in the last 10 years;(2) what is his estimate of the number of rapes each year which are not reported.
The numbers of offences of rape recorded by the police in England and Wales in the years 1979 to 1988 are published in table 2.9 of the "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1988" (Cm 847); the figure for 1989 is published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/90.Information on reporting and recording of sexual offences is published in table A.2 of "The 1988 British Crime Survey" (Home Office research study 111) and on rape in Table 2 of "Concerns about rape" (Home Office research study 106). Copies of all these publications are available in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to introduce legislation to protect the rights of the victim in rape cases in order to achieve a decrease in the number of unreported rape cases.
We have already strengthened and extended the law against public identification of complainants in rape cases; and we have changed the rules of court to stop routine disclosure of the addresses of witnesses on their statements. We are considering with the Law Society what more can be done to prevent misuse of certain witness statements which must be given to the defendant.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the minimum sentence for rape at present; and whether there are any plans to change this.
The maximum penalty for rape is life imprisonment. The Court of Appeal has given detailed guidance on sentencing for rape, which indicates that a sentence of five years imprisonment should be the starting point for an adult found guilty of rape, without any aggravating or mitigating features. We have no plans to introduce a minimum penalty.
To ask the Attorney-General if, following the referral of the death of Paul Elvin at Euston station in 1988 to the Crown prosecution service, he will make a statement about his intentions with regard to other cases of industrial death where there is an alleged element of criminal negligence.
It is the responsibility of the investigating authority to determine whether the alleged element of criminal negligence is so serious that the Crown Prosecution Service should be invited to consider the eveidence. In the case of Paul Elvin no new inquiry was began but, exceptionally, I asked the Director of Public Prosecutions himself to consider the evidence that was prepared for the purposes of a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to change current usage of Northolt airport; and if he will make a statement.
RAF Northolt is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. The airfield is also used by business aircraft, and the 1985 airports policy White Paper identified Northolt as having an important role to play in helping to meet demand for business aviation facilities in the London area. In line with that, we are seeking to establish a civil aviation enclave at Northolt, to serve the needs of the business aviation user more effectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in the Official Report a summary of the results of the seven prosecutions initiated by his Department's marine surveyors, referred to in his reply to the hon. Member for Harborough on 26 April, Official Report, column 264.
The results of the seven prosecutions referred to in my reply to the hon. Member for Harborough on 26 April, Official Report, column 264, were as follows:
United Kingdom Shipping
To ask the Secretary of Transport, pursuant to his replies of 18 April, Official Report, columns 914–15, what factors account for the reduction in the British fleet and in employment in the United Kingdom shipping industry being greater than the world average.
The oversupply of ships on a world scale reduced the financial returns available from shipping, and British operators withdrew from the unprofitable sectors more rapidly than some of their foreign counterparts. Some other British operators have seen commercial advantage in flagging out to other registers. Changes in trading patterns have also had a particular effect on the British shipping industry, firstly because the availability of North sea oil reduced the need for imports from further afield, and secondly because a drop in oil prices resulted in a reduction in exploration related shipping activity from 1984–85.The joint working party with the General Council of British Shipping announced by my right hon. Friend on 24 May at column 288 is including in its work an assessment of the competitive position of the British shipping industry and factors which may currently deter owners from placing their ships on the British register.
United Kingdom Shipping
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 18 April, Official Report, columns 914–15, if he will take steps to reduce the cost disadvantages facing United Kingdom shipping operators.
My right hon. Friend announced, on 24 May, Official Report, column 288, the setting up of a joint working party with the General Council of British Shipping to take a wide look at the circumstances in which the British shipping industry operates, including the main obstacles to the use of the British flag.When the working party has reported we will consider what action, if any, should be taken.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any plans to authorise mixed mode runway use at Heathrow airport; and whether he has commissioned any research or computer modelling on this matter.
I have no plans to do so, but this is one of a number of issues that my officials are discussing with the CAA.
Per Capita Income
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the average per capita income of the low-income countries, excluding China and India, has been for each of the last 10 years; and what are the corresponding figures for the industrialised market economy countries.
The average gnp per capita for the years 1979–88 of (1) the countries classified by OECD as low-income countries (excluding China and India) and (2)the 17 members of the OECD's development assistance committee was:
|Year||Low income countries (excluding China and India) GNP per capita US dollars||Development Assistance Committee member countries GNP per capita US dollars|
OECD—DAC Chairman's Report, 1981–89.
World Bank Atlas 1989.
The low-income group has included different countries during the 10 years, both because of changes in individual countries' economic performance and because of revaluations in the per capita GNP threshhold for classification as a low-income country.
World Heritage Sites
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he is giving to the designation as World Heritage sites of (a) the Cairngorms area, and (b) other areas.
It is in the first instance for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland to consider whether application should be made for World Heritage listing for the Cairngorms area.
The Lake District has been nominated for inclusion on the list this year and will be considered by the World Heritage Committee in December. Other possible future nominations are currently being reviewed by a group of experts chaired by English Heritage.
National Rivers Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the authorised staff establishment of the National Rivers Authority headquarters (a) at its formation, (b) currently and (c) projected.
The Government's view was originally that, at least for an initial period, the National Rivers Authority head office should not exceed 60 staff. Following further consideration we agreed that a study by consultants should be commissioned to review the optimum size of the head office, and that meanwhile an additional 21 staff could be recruited to meet particularly urgent needs. The authority is in the process of filling these additional posts, and the study is under way.
Commissioners For Local Administration
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he gives any guidance to commissioners for local adminstration about holding meetings at the request of a local authority, pursuant to a report into its activities.
No. Commissioners for Local Administration (local ombudsman) are entirely independent of Government in their handling of individual case.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what services are provided on behalf of the Government by local authorties at Heathrow airport.
No local authority acts as agent for the Government in providing services at Heathrow airport; such functions as they discharge there are their own responsibility.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will review the procedure for registering housing associations and particularly those that are friendly societies and have links with the development industry.
The registration of housing associations is the statutory responsibility of the Housing Corporation. Under the statute, the corporation has power to register only those associations, including those which are friendly societies, which do not trade for profit.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list all construction agreements and contracts entered into by his Department in the years 1985, 1986 and 1987.
No. In the period referred to, my department placed in excess of 50,000 contracts for building and construction work.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a statement on the problems arising in textile finishers' effluent from the presence of pentacholorophenol or its salts in imported grey fabric which is processed in the United Kingdom;(2) if he will take steps to ensure that his pollution inspectorate applies the same regulations on textile finishers' effluent as in other European Economic Community countries.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has asked me to reply.The EC Dangerous Substances Directive 86/280/EEC has, since 1 January 1988, required all surface waters to meet a quality standard in respect of pentachlorophenol (PCP) of 2 microgrammes per litre. The Commission will require uniform compliance with the directive across the Community.Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, on behalf of the Secretary of State, is currently reviewing a number of trade effluent consents granted to companies where PCP may be present in their effluent. In reviewing these discharges, the Department is obliged to consider the representations of both the discharger and the statutory sewage undertaker as well as having regard to the need to ensure that the quality standard is met in the eventual receiving water before reaching his decision.However, many existing waters already contain traces of PCP and this constrains further discharges, in some cases ruling out any further discharges from existing or proposed processes. Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution will therefore ensure that, as required by article 3 of the directive, the best technical means available are applied to the treatment of any discharge. For both existing and new discharges there are a number of practical measures and options available to enable the required discharge condition and therefore the quality standard in the relevant receiving water to be achieved.
Local Authorities (Accountability)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to introduce any proposals to allow local councils to be more accountable to the local people other than by local elections; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer, 9 July 1990]: One of the principal aims of the changes in local government finance introduced in April was to increase local accountability.
To ask the Prime Minister which Government Departments made allocations for child care facilities in their 1989–90 public expenditure bids; and what proportion of each Department's bid this constituted.
Information on the extent to which departments made public expenditure provision in 1989–90 for child care facilities for their staff is not held centrally.
There are already four nurseries in operation in Departments and agencies with a further three planned to open later this year.
To ask the Prime Minister if she will list those occasions since 1979 on which a Minister has refused to give evidence to departmental or other parliamentary committees.
This information is not held centrally.
To ask the Prime Minister how many of her advisers paid from public funds who are not career civil servants were appointed following employment in the public relations field immediately before their employment in her office.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last discussed the question of the Birmingham Six with the Irish Government.
This is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and is not within the ambit of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, but the matter was referred to during a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference on 30 November 1989.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of and how many documents in 1989 he estimates were (a) passed on to the Public Record Office intact, (b) passed on to the Public Record Office in censored form, (c) retained by his Department in full, (d) retained by his Department in part, (e) destroyed, (f) otherwise disposed of and (g) otherwise unaccounted for.
[holding answer 2 July 1990]: A total of 11,149 documents, in the form of individual files, was passed to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in 1989 by Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office. The censoring of files is not permitted and they must be transferred in their entirety since it is not permitted to retain files in part. Files not passed to PRONI are retained by the Departments and filed judged by PRONI not to merit permanent preservation are destroyed. While our procedures provide that all records are accounted for, the percentage of documents retained or destroyed could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many plastic bullets were fired in Northern Ireland in 1989; in what circumstances and in what location the bullets were fired; and how many persons were injured as a result.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: A total of 937 plastic baton rounds were fired in 1989. I shall write to the hon. Member giving the detail requested and place a copy of my letter in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary as to what inquiries have been made into the suicides of two men in late 1989 following their arrest on charges related to their homosexual activities.
[holding answer 6 July 1990]: The Chief Constable has advised me that in July 1989 two men committed suicide following police investigations into their involvement in offences of gross indecency. Inquiries were made by the police into the circumstances of these deaths and full reports were made to the appropriate coroner who at the inquest into each death concluded that death was by drowning.
To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list those recommendations of the review report on the forms Government send to business which have now been implemented; and if he will make a statement.
Departments have been encouraged to implement those recommendations of the review which apply to them and a full report on achievements will be included in the next progress report on forms to the Prime Minister in autumn 1991. More generally, since 1982, 171,309 forms have been reviewed of which 36,004 have been scrapped and 57,785 redesigned. This has resulted in savings of approximately £15 million.
Energy Bills (Vat)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the expected yield from the imposition of value added tax on (a) gas and (b) electricity bills where supplies are made to domestic premises for business purposes.
The revenue yield will be negligible. This is because many businesses operating from domestic premises will continue to receive zero-rated supplies under arrangements designed to simplify the administration of taxing fuel and power. VAT-registered businesses which are charged tax will be able to reclaim it under the input tax credit mechanism.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants in his Department of the rank of principal or equivalent and above are graduates of Oxford and Cambridge; and how many are graduates of other universities.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: The Treasury has 130 graduates of Oxford or Cambridge and 103 from other universities or polytechnics.
Inland Revenue (Relocation)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the decision to relocate 1,800 Inland Revenue jobs from London and the south-east in 1992, what information he has regarding the projected number of vacancies in the network in London and the south-east at the time of the main move; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: It was announced on 24 July, at column 542, and 22 November 1989 at columns 1–2, that the work of 1,600 PAYE staff in London and the south-east would be moved gradually to other parts of the United Kingdom over the period November 1989 to mid-1992.The programme was undertaken, in part, to tackle the effects of staff turnover rather than the level of vacancies, which in 1989 was low.
To ask the Minister of the Arts whether he intends to meet the Merseyside Arts Association and the Arts Council to discuss the future funding of professional theatre in Liverpool.
This is a matter for the Arts Council and Merseyside Arts.
Regional Arts Associations
To ask the Minister for the Arts what information he has on the percentage by which grants from the Arts Council to the regional arts associations have increased since 1979.
Between 1979–80 and 1990–91 the Arts Council's grant to the regional arts associations increased from £6,362,017 to £33,146,000. This represents a cash increase of 521 per cent. and a real terms increase of 244 per cent.
To ask the Minister for the Arts what representations he has received about his proposals to enlarge the role of the regional arts associations.
My announcement on 13 March was welcomed by the House, the Arts Council and the regional arts associations. I have also received a number of other messages of support.
"Percent For Art" Schemes
To ask the Minister for the Arts (1) what sums the Arts Council has invested in "Percent for Art" schemes in each of the last three years; and how much is budgeted for each of the next three years;
(2) what sums the Arts Council has invested in the infrastructure necessary to develop "Percent for Art" schemes.
[holding answer 11 July 1990]: The Arts Council does not invest directly in individual "Percent for Art" schemes but encourages developers through education and example. It estimates that it has spent some £32,000 in this way since 1988. The success of its campaigning has created an increased demand for expertise and the council is now considering how best to meet this demand. It is already committed to spending £30,000 over the next three years to support the creation of new posts in four local authorities aimed at introducing the "Percent for Art" policy within the planning system. The council is meeting half the cost of these posts.
To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the value of the land to be sold on the north side of the new British library site at St. Pancras.
[holding answer 11 July 1990]: The final value will depend on how much is surplus and the use to which the land can be put. A 5 acre area of land at the north end of the site was estimated in 1989 to be worth between £4.5 million and £6 million.
To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the estimated value of the Somers Town goods yard site at St. Pancras.
[holding answer 11 July 1990]: It has not been necessary to obtain a valuation for the whole site.
To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the cost of site preparation of the land on the north side of the new British Library site at St. Pancras and its area in relation to the area to be occupied by the British Library.
[holding answer 11 July 1990]: The cost of removing the existing railway structures from the 2.7 acre strip at the northern end of the site totals £300,000. The remainder of the site, including the area to be occupied by the British library, comprises 9.8 acres.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on the extent to which employers are currently complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations in relation to control of cobalt exposure and provision of medical facilities to employees exposed to cobalt in the manufacture and use of tungsten carbide, and on the extent to which conditions have improved since the last Health and Safety Executive internal report on the matter.
Data available within the Health and Safety cover a special project national exercise on cobalt exposure in the hard metal industry for the period 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1990; it is not possible without disproportionate cost to give data covering just the second year.During the overall period, 122 premises were visited where cobalt was used; some more than once. By the end of the two-year period, HSE inspectors considered control to be satisfactory and in full compliance with the COSHH Regulations at 106 premises. For seven premises results of atmospheric monitoring are not yet available. At nine premises, exposure was judged to be inadequately controlled; enforcement action is continuing at these premises to ensure compliance with COSHH.HSE does not have comprehensive information on the provision of medical facilities at these premises.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the workplaces known to his Department with sprayed asbestos on the structural steelwork.
The information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many unemployed claimants in each month since 9 October 1989 have (a) been issued with warning letters for not actively seeking work, (b) had their claims referred to an adjudication officer for not actively seeking work and (c) had their claims (i) allowed and (ii) disallowed; where the claim has been disallowed, how many were (A) successful and (B) unsuccessful in claiming reduced income support; where an adjudication decision is pending, how many have been (1) successful and (2) unsuccessful in claiming reduced income support; how many have been referred to an adjudication officer for refusing employment; how many of those so referred had their benefit disqualified; and if he will provide the figures for Great Britain, each region and area adjudication sections in London.
The employment service became an executive agency on 2 April 1990. Mr. Mike Fogden, the Employment Service Agency's chief executive, will be replying in writing to the hon. Gentleman regarding the number of claimants issued with warning letters for not actively seeking work. That part of the question asking for numbers of claimants who were successful/unsuccessful in claiming reduced income support should be directed to the Secretary of State for Social Security.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of unemployed claimants in Great Britain, each region and the London employment service Areas, who were referred to an adjudication officer on grounds of voluntary unemployment, in the quarters ended December 1988, March 1989 and September 1989, categorised according to each reason for disqualification; and how many in each case have (a) been disqualified and (b) not been disqualified.
The Employment Service became an executive agency on 2 April 1990. Mr. Mike Fogden, the Employment Service Agency's chief executive, will be replying in writing to the hon. Gentleman.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the level of integration of computers on to the school timetable in Wales.
This information is not available. The level of integration of information technology across the curriculum varies with such factors as the age of pupils, the
|Hospital||Obstetric||GP Maternity||Obstetric||GP Maternity|
|Colwyn Bay Community||—||—||—||3·0|
|Colwyn Bay Maternity||—||13·1||—||—|
|West Wales General||32·0||—||32·0||—|
|Dolgellau and Barmouth||—||10·0||—||7·0|
|Princess of Wales||—||—||51·0||—|
|Brecon War Memorial||—||6·0||—||6·0|
|Machynlleth and District||—||2·0||—||2·0|
|University Hospital of Wales||71·0||—||70·7||—|
phase of education, and subjects timetabled as well as access to computer equipment, and is not statistically quantifiable.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Wales if he will list the hospitals in Wals which had consultant obstetric and/or general practitioner maternity beds in 1980, 1985 or the most recent year for which information is available and the numbers of beds of each type in each hospital in each year.
The information is given in the table:
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evidence collected and used by his Department underlay the decision to locate the specialist centre for the treatment of cataracts in Wales in Gwynedd health authority.
The ophthalmology treatment centre, while open to patients from the whole of Wales, is intended primarily to solve a particular waiting times problem in north Wales.The decision to locate the treatment centre in Gwynedd was made on the basis of proposals received from health authorities and on the results of a special survey conducted in July 1989, which estimated that over 500 patients had been waiting more than four months for treatment for cataracts in Gwynedd and Clwyd at that date.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for the financial years 1985–86 to 1989–90 the inflation figure his Department advised (a) district councils, (b) county councils and (c) health authorities in Wales to use in their advance planning and estimate making for each specific financial year.
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave him on 9 July 1990.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he intends to take to improve the classifications achieved by rivers in Wales in accordance with the National Water Council grading system.
We will be setting statutory water quality objectives for all rivers and estuaries in Wales in the light of the findings of the river quality survey presently being carried out by the National Rivers Authority and its subsequent advice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what criteria he uses for considering appeals from the decisions of local planning authorities where the proposals concern defence installations.
Each case is considered on its merits, having regard to the development plan and all other material considerations. All factors are carefully weighted before reaching a decision.
Community Health Councils
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is now in a position to announce his decision on the future structure of community health councils in Wales.
Yes. Over 200 responses were received to the consultation paper which outlined our proposals for the reduction in the number of community health councils (CHCs) in Wales and other issues.I have now completed my consideration of those responses and whilst recognising that support is evident for certain of the proposals I have taken full cognisance of the fact that the majority of those who replied were not in favour of the reduction in the number of CHCs to one per district health authority (DHA). In most cases it was felt that many DHAs in Wales covered too large an area, or had too large a population, to be adequately serviced by a single CHC.I have therefore decided to retain 22 CHCs in Wales, comprised as they are at present. Nevertheless, I still feel that there are considerable advantages in CHCs coming together at times when dealing with DHAs on district-wide issues and will be suggesting that councils consider setting up joint committee systems such as that which is employed in Mid Glamorgan. It is also my intention to pursue certain of the other measures which were outlined in the paper and which I consider will be of benefit to the way in which CHCs operate. These measures will include the transfer of responsibility for the employment of all CHC staff from DHAs to the Welsh Health Common Services Authority and consideration of improved staff training; greater involvement in consumer attitudes and quality of care issues generally; production of forward plans of action; and the possible involvement of CHCs in the DHA and practitioner committee annual review procedures.
Trade And Industry
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many regulations his Department has introduced in each of the last three years.
The number of statutory instruments (including regulations, rules and orders) made by my Department in each of the last three years was as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what new initiatives he plans to encourage the growth of markets for British hi-tech industries.
My Department encourages growth in all markets by promoting enterprise and by creating a climate in which industry can flourish. There are no plans at present for any specific new initiatives.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much of the money allocated to the Link research funding programme has had to be returned to the Exchequer due to lack of demand.
No money allocated to the Link research programme has had to be returned to the Exchequer. Once funding is committed to a Link project it will be made available as necessary.
The actual spend on Link projects lags significantly behind commitment. This is due to the time involved in industry and science based institutes concluding formal agreements to collaborate, together with the fact that industrial grants are paid in arrears. This situation is made worse by industry frequently taking up to 12 months after the work has taken place to submit claims.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criticisms of the Link funding rules have been received by his Department.
Comments on Link, including its funding rules, have been made by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, the Confederation of British Industry, the Engineering Council, and others. Their observations are currently being studied.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what changes are planned in the Link research funding rules.
None at present, although as with all such schemes, the rules are reviewed from time to time.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the money allocated to the Link research funding research programme has been (a) spent and (b) committed, to date.
A total of 24 programmes have been approved under the Link scheme targeting priority areas of research. £160 million has been committed by government to finance the research in these programmes providing industry comes forward with a matching £160 million for individual projects. To date 65 individual collaborative research projects have been agreed and are under way with a total commitment from government and industry of £37 million. Due to the time taken to establish collaborative projects and the delay in industry submitting claims for work undertaken the spend for the financial year 1989–90 was only around £7 million but this is expected to increase significantly during the course of the current financial year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what factors account for the low take-up of the money allocated to the Link research funding project.
Whilst 24 Link programmes have been announced, most of the 65 current research projects under way have only become active within the last 12 months. For example, on 6 April 1989 there were only 12 active research projects, whereas by 29 May 1990 the number has risen to 65. In addition, on 29 May 1990 a further 57 were through all stages of technical approval and were awaiting final financial clearance or the Department was waiting for the industrial partners to satisfactorily conclude crucial collaborative agreements. The time delay between the approval of research programmes targeting a particular area and the conclusion of collaborative agreements between individual science based institutes and industry to proceed on a particular project is reflected in the actual Link spend being significantly behind the commitment. This is exacerbated by the fact that industrial grants are paid in arrears, that is after costs have been incurred and particularly in the early days of a project, claims may not be submitted for up to 12 months after the work has taken place. As a result the actual spend to date has been low but is expected to increase significantly during the course of this financial year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what proportion of projects funded under the European framework programme there is a United Kingdom academic partner and no United Kingdom industrial partner; and what are the reasons for this.
A fundamental objective of EC research and development collaboration is to encourage greater interaction between academic and industrial research in order to increase European competitiveness in world markets.In general, United Kingdom industry has made considerable progress in participation in international collaboration and in winning funds from the EC research and development budget. With the greater emphasis in the 1990–94 framework programme on basic science, for example in biomedicine, health and the environment, United Kingdom universities and research establishments should be able to increase their already significant involvement in EC collaborative activities.The split between United Kingdom industrial and academic involvement varies according to the content of individual research programmes and disproportionate effort would be required to extract this information on the 32 specific programmes under the 1987–91 framework programme.
To ask the Secretary of State For Trade and Industry what information he has on the number of United Kingdom academics transferring their research ideas to the United Kingdom's competitors; and what factors account for this transfer.
My Department makes no provision for the collection of information on the number of United Kingdom academics transferring their research ideas to the United Kingdom's competitors.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what conclusions he has drawn about the quality of the flow of information between regulators and his Department in the light of the failure of Dunsdale Securities.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: Since the Securities and Investments Board and the self-regulating organisations took over responsibility for the regulation of investment businesses on 29 April 1988, there has been no requirement for them to keep the Department informed of their day-to-day dealings with particular firms. In cases where significant problems emerge, the regulators directly concerned of course keep my Department in close touch with developments, as has happened over Dunsdale Securities since 6 June 1990.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how his Department is monitoring the extension of mobility allowance, on 9 April, to deaf-blind people; and if he will make a statement.
Apart from normal arrangements for monitoring mobility allowance claims, separate records are kept of the number of claims from people who are both deaf and blind, and of the outcome of these claims.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what instructions, guidance and training has been given to examining doctors, members of medical boards and members of medical appeal tribunals on how to apply new regulations introduced on 9 April extending mobility allowance to deaf-blind people; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 19 April at columns 1012–13.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many autistic children have been granted mobility allowance.
This information is not available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the level of support for pensioners in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, taking into account other benefits which are applicable to pensioners.
I refer my hon. Friend to the Department's publication, "Tables of Social Benefit Systems in the European Communities (position at 1 January 1989)", a copy of which is in the Library. These tables set out the levels of benefit in the national currencies together with the sterling equivalent converted according to the OECD's purchasing power parity figure as explained in the introduction to the tables.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what arrangements have been made for an adjudication officer from his Department to assess whether an income support claimant should receive reduced income support under the hardship rules following a doubt over actively seeking work or availability on the basis of papers received from the employment service.
A hardship claim is automatically considered by an adjudication officer of the Department of Social Security when income support is suspended because of doubts as to whether a claimant is available for and actively seeking work. Such a claim is assessed on the individual's circumstances at the time, taking into account any other income and capital he has and any other relevant factors.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether an income support claimant appealing against a decision to suspend, disallow or disqualify on grounds of actively seeking work, refusal of employment or restricted availability, will have his or her case reviewed by his Department's or the Department of Employment's adjudication officers before submission to a social security appeals tribunal.
Any appeal received against an income support decision will lead to the case being re-examined by the income support adjudication officer before a submission is made to the social security appeals tribunal. However, a formal review will only be instigated if new information is provided which gives sufficient grounds for this course of action.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether income support claimants whose benefit has been suspended for two or more weeks as a result of actively seeking work or availability doubts who are in receipt of housing benefits are required to make a fresh claim for housing benefit.
Where benefit is suspended and the local adjudication officer decides that hardship payments of income support are not appropriate, the claimant would be invited to make a fresh claim for housing benefit in order that entitlement can be determined in the light of the new circumstances.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has received any information on the operation of the rent officer arrangements within the housing benefit scheme; and if he will make a statement.
I have today arranged for information on the operation of the rent officer procedures for housing benefit purposes to be made available in the Library. This information, which was produced by the Department of the Environment and covers England and Wales, is based on the period April 1989 (when the procedures were introduced) to December 1989 inclusive.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether youth training is a training scheme approved by him for the purposes of section 20(1)(e) to (g) of the Social Security Act 1975.
[holding answer 29 June 1990]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment has approved youth training, like its predecessor the youth training scheme, for the purposes of section 20(1)(e)-(g) of the Social Security Act 1975.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Assam Frontier Tea Ltd
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of India regarding the murder in Assam on 9 April of the chairman of the British-owned company, Assam Frontier Tea Ltd.
We were saddened by the murder of Mr. Surendra Paul. British-owned tea companies have made their concerns about security in Assam known to us, and we have put these to the Indian Government. The Indian Government have confirmed publicly that they have asked the Assam authorities to take action.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to the response by the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities to United Nations Security Council resolution 649 on the Cyprus problem; and whether he will urge both sides to resume intercommunal talks.
We will continue to give active support to the United Nations Secretary-General's efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem. We believe that the United Nations Security Council resolution 649 clearly maps out the way forward, and we maintain diplomatic contact with all parties in order to assist the United Nations' effort.
Lord President Of The Council
To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make available a newspaper rack and daily newspapers for use of the staff and hon. Members on the Upper Committee Corridors.
As the hon. Member knows newspapers are already provided in a number of general areas such as the Members' Tea Room, the Members' Smoking Room and the Library where Members can collectively make use of them. I will arrange for the hon. Member's suggestion to be considered.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to increase inspection of shop premises; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: The food Safety Act 1990, which received Royal Assent on 29 June provides the necessary framework to enable inspections to be undertaken by local authority (district and islands councils) enforcement officials. The authorities will be required to have regard to codes of recommended practice issued by the Secretary of State for the execution and enforcement of the Act and of regulations and orders made under it.Present measures will be further augmented and formalised next year by the EC Council directive on the official control of foodstuffs. Member states will require to operate a formal programme of inspections at all stages of food production, manufacture, processing, storage, transport, distribution and trade.
Strathclyde Police Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many civilian employees are employed by Strathclyde police authority.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: There were 1,941 civilians in post as at 1 April 1990 in Strathclyde police authority. This number includes nine and 63 civilians employed by the Scottish crime squad and the Scottish Criminal Record Office respectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the salaries of each police officer grade from constable to chief constable, giving details of incremental payments where applicable.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: The following tables provide the current salary details of all police officer grades from constable to chief constable inclusive:
|Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1988 £||Annual salary for new appointments between 1 September 1988 and 31 August 1989 £||Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1989 £|
|After 1 year||29,690||—||10,587|
|1 Entry point for those aged 22 or over, who will move to the next point after three years' service.|
|2 Only payable to those appointed prior to 1 September 1988—see next col. for rate payable to those appointed on or after 1 September 1988.|
|3 Rate will cease to apply from 1 September 1989 when recipients will move to the appropriate main scale point in accordance with their length of service.|
|Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1988||Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1989|
|After 1 year||—||15,123||—||16,521|
|Inspector(London salaries in brackets)|
|After 1 year||17,112||(17,973)||18,696||(19,635)|
|Chief Inspector(London salaries in brackets)|
|After 1 year||19,368||(20,229)||21,159||(22,101)|
Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1988
Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1989
Superintendent(London salaries in brackets)
|After 1 year||26,283||(26,799)||28,713||(29,277)|
|After 1 year||—||28,902||—||31,575|
Assistant Chief Constables
Deputy Chief Constable
|Population band—up to 400,000||—||35,271||—||38,535|
Ratio of officers to population
|Dumfries and Galloway||319||29||348||1:425|
|Lothian and Borders||2,249||233||2,482||1:341|
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has on the number of police officers employed within the Hamilton division of Strathclyde police authority.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: The total uniformed strength of Q division of Strathclyde police, within which Hamilton lies, is 413 officers. The number of officers on duty in particular areas at particular times varies according to the policing requirements.
|Central||Dumfries and Galloway||Fife||Grampian||Lothian and Borders||Northern||Strathclyde||Tayside||All Scotland|
|1979–80 (1) £000||5,600||3,465||7,320||10,684||24,945||7,530||78,182||11,587||149,313|
|1980–81 (1) £000||6,889||3,973||8,770||12,582||31,558||8,974||92,981||13,836||179,563|
|1981–82 (1) £000||7,993||4,582||9,854||14,908||37,278||10,484||108,326||16,379||209,804|
|1982–83 (1) £000||8,879||5,176||10,984||16,573||40,134||11,738||118,232||18,483||230,199|
|1983–84 (1) £000||9,350||5,909||11,650||18,316||43,997||13,228||128,474||19,404||250,508|
Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1988
Annual salary with effect from 1 September 1989
|Population band—up to 400,000||—||40,044||—||43,749|
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will list the number of police employed in each Scottish police authority and the ratio of officers per head of population within each authority;(2) if he will list the manpower strength in each police authority with a breakdown of male and female officers.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: As at 31 March 1990 the figures were as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the total expenditure for each police authority in Scotland for each year since 1979, giving the ratio of expenditure per head of population.
[holding answer 12 July 1990]: The information is given in the table:
Dumfries and Galloway
Lothian and Borders
|1984–85 (1) £000||10,668||6,108||13,709||19,521||49,243||13,826||138,631||21,178||272,884|
|1985–86 (1) £000||10,686||6,810||13,602||21,467||50,208||14,041||140,161||22,025||279,000|
|1986–87 (1) £000||11,775||7,320||15,657||23,385||54,106||15,444||150,319||24,520||302,526|
|1987–88 (1) £000||13,486||8,344||16,784||25,865||56,230||16,936||168,722||26,273||332,640|
|1988–89 (1) £000||15,459||9,377||18,728||28,865||61,996||18,406||177,442||28,169||358,442|
|1989–901 (1) £000||17,314||10,101||20,795||32,686||72,564||21,338||200,604||31,070||406,472|
Row (1) = Net police grant earning expenditure—£000.
Row (2) = Net police grant earning expenditure per head of population—£.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what instructions he has given to the Non-Fossil Fuel Purchasing Agency on the authorisation of contracts signed by public electricity suppliers with non-fossil non-nuclear generators at above pool price.
My right hon. Friend has given no such instructions. The commercial terms offered by the public electricity suppliers to generators seeking to contract within the non-fossil fuel obligation are a matter for the suppliers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received from potential producers of non-fossil non-nuclear electricity regarding the maximum length of power supply contract and price of electricity to be produced from those sources.
My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations. However, the legislation permits a fair degree of flexibility which can be used to secure bankable contracts and the public electricity suppliers have been able to take account of this in their negotiations with renewables generators.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consultations he has had with the European Commission regarding the length of contract and premium price above pool to be paid for electricity generating from renewable sources (a) before and (b) after 1 April 1998.
I refer the hon. Member to the "Note by the Department of Energy on the undertakings given by the Government in relation to the future of the fossil fuel levy", which has now been published as appendix 11 to volume 2 of the report by the Select Committee on Energy on "The cost of nuclear power".
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consultations he has had with (a) producers of renewable electricity and (b) the Non-Fossil Fuel Purchasing Agency regarding (i) intermittent renewables and (ii) continuous renewable electricity sources on the length of contracts and price to be paid by the public electricity suppliers.
The commercial terms offered to projects seeking to contract within the non-fossil fuel obligation are a matter for the public electricity suppliers. The legislation provides them with the flexibilities they need in order to be able to offer bankable contracts, and I understand that they have taken account of those flexibilities where appropriate.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will place in the Library a copy of the Secretary of State's letter of July 1986 recommending to Departments that they appoint energy managers on the basis of one per £1 million energy spend.
It is not customary to publish such inter-departmental correspondence. However, all Government Departments have now appointed energy managers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has any plans to review the timetable for the Trident programme.
It remains our intention to deploy the Trident system in the mid-1990s.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution his Department is making to conferences on disarmament.
The United Kingdom has a substantial arms control agenda. The Ministry of Defence makes a major contribution to all the current arms control negotiations which have a direct effect on British interests, and has permanent representatives in Geneva at the conference on disarmament and in Vienna, at the CFE talks.
Tornado And Hawk
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his intention that British Aerospace will remain a major contractor for future developments of role and capability of the Tornado and that his Department will continue to pursue export opportunities for the Hawk.
Responsibility for the selection of contractors for the Tornado programme rests with NAMMA, the contracting authority. However, British Aerospace has played a central role in the programme in the past and will, I trust, continue to do so.We will continue to support the export prospects of the Hawk and the other products of the military and civil aircraft divisions of British Aerospace.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department still sees a requirement for a mix of nuclear and conventional forces for NATO's strategy.
Yes. As alliance heads of state and Government made clear in their declaration issued after the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in London last week to keep the peace, the alliance must maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces, based in Europe, and kept up to date where necessary.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel were involved on official duties at the fete organised by the West of Scotland Conservative and Unionist Association on 9 June; and if he will list them by rank.
Four Royal Navy personnel were involved: three lieutenants and one petty officer aircrewman.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many times in the last five years a naval helicopter has been used at fetes organised by the West of Scotland Conservative and Unionist Association; if he will list the events and times when they were used; and at what level the decision to allow the helicopter to be used was taken;(2) how many times in the last five years a military helicopter has been used at fetes organised by political parties in the United Kingdom; and if he will list the events, the dates and the political parties involved.
Records are not maintained but the Department has no recollection of any instances of participation in such events other than that to which the hon. Gentleman has already referred.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidelines are followed in considering requests from political parties for the services of armed forces personnel and equipment at fetes organised by them to raise charitable funds.
Queen's regulations prohibit service participation in events whose purpose is to further the interests of political organisations. There is, however, no prohibition of service participation in events the purpose of which is to raise funds for local charities, where this can be done at no additional cost to the defence budget. In the instance to which the hon. Gentleman has drawn attention, Royal Navy participation was both beneficial to helicopter training and designed to assist in fund raising for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Erskine hospital. A total of £12,000 was raised for these charities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much fuel was used at the fete organised by the West of Scotland Conservative and Unionist Association to fly the naval helicopter at the White House, Renfrewshire on 9 June; and how much it costs to run a helicopter of that type, including crew, for one day.
Approximately 10 gallons of fuel were used while the helicopter was at the fete. The full operating cost of a Sea King helicopter, including fuel, crew and wear and tear, is some £4,800 per flying hour. In this instance, however, the helicopter was carrying out a routine training mission that would have been undertaken even if the fete had not been held. No additional costs were therefore incurred.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will list all construction agreements and contracts entered into by his Department in the years 1987, 1988 and 1989, respectively.
No. In the period referred to all construction agreements and contracts relating to defence requirements, with the exception of a very small number concerned with nuclear work, were entered into on the Ministry of Defence's behalf by the Department of the Environment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has as to the distance between ROTHR installations in Virginia and in the Aleutians; and if he will make a statement.
The transmit and receive facilities of the ROTHR installation in Virginia (which is not currently operational) are separated by 71 nautical miles; and those of the installation in the Aleutians are separated by 23 nautical miles. This distance is well below the theoretical minimum in open country, and operation of the Aleutians system is effective only because there exists a high mountain range between the transmit and receive sites.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the proposed over-the-horizon radar installation at St. David's airfield, Pembrokeshire is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation project or a US/UK project.
The proposed two-year trial of an over-the-horizon radar in the United Kingdom is a joint US/UK project.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the environmental impact assessments being undertaken as part of the planning application for an over-the-horizon radar installation at St. David's airfield will be published in their entirety when completed; and how much time will be available for consultation before the national park planning committee considers the planning applications.
Copies of the environmental impact assessment to be submitted to the Pembrokeshire coast national park authority in support of our formal notice of proposed development will be made generally available. In accordance with the procedures set out in Welsh Office circular 23/88, the authority will have 16 weeks in which to consider the proposals, in consultation with all interested parties.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what experiments he proposes to conduct in order to verify the survivability of the proposed over-the-horizon radar installation at St. David's airfield, Pembrokeshire against electromagnetic interference, nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.
We will be studying the design of the system and the detailed specifications of its hardware in order to determine the feasibility of introducing measures that may be needed to improve its survivability.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the terms of reference of the environmental impact assessments being undertaken by W. S. Atkins and the Robens institute on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in connection with proposed over-the-horizon radar at St. David's airfield, Pembrokeshire.
There are no such specific terms of reference, but W. S. Atkins has been commissioned to prepare an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the guidelines set out in Welsh Office circular 23/88.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of the United Kindom's total dairy herd is comprised of (a) Friesian cattle and (b) Holstein cattle.
Friesian and Holstein cattle together constitute 90 per cent. of the United Kingdom's total dairy herd. It is not possible to determine separate figures for each breed. Many dairy herds contain both breeds together with Friesian/Holstein crossbreeds.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what resources he is making available to port health authorities in order to help them meet extra obligations imposed by the Food Safety Bill.
We have agreed to provide an extra £30 million through the Revenue Support Grant to meet the costs falling to local authorities in Great Britain as a whole as a result of new food legislation. This sum was calculated following discussions with local authority associations including representatives of port health authorities.The money will be distributed among port health authorities, along with other local authorities, in the usual way.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether quota entitlement will be transferred from any Scottish vessel found guilty of falsely declaring catches from area VII to that area's entitlement.
Fisheries Departments will seek to apply appropriate penalties and compensation in the event of any successful prosecutions being brought for misreporting.