Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday 25 February 1992
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what increase in fire service manpower he will require to deal with the obligations of the new building regulations and the removal of Crown immunity from health service bodies for initial fire inspection and ongoing monitoring; and if he will make a statement.
The Government take account of additional burdens on local authorities in the revenue support grant settlement each year, but it is for fire authorities to determine their manpower establishments in the light of their statutory duties under the Fire Services Act 1947 and the Fire Precautions Act 1971. My Department is discussing with the local authority associations the additional resources required by fire authorities as a result of the removal of Crown immunity from health service bodies. Those associations have the opportunity to inform the Government of their views on local authority expenditure needs through the annual consultations on the local government finance settlement.
International Crime Surveys
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the position of the United Kingdom in the figures produced for European countries in the international crime surveys for rape, robberies, assaults and murder.
The 1989 international crime survey, measuring crime in 1988, suggests that the robbery rate in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland was lower than the western European average. The same was true of assaults. The survey provides no reliable figures for rape, but for sexual assaults generally the position of the United Kingdom was again low. The results of the survey are published in "Experience of Crime across the World: Key Findings from the 1989 International Crime Survey'" which is in the Library.The survey cannot by its nature cover murder, but in 1988 rates of homicide, and attempted homicide, recorded by the police were lower in England and Wales than in 10 other of the EC countries. Rates in Northern Ireland and Scotland were higher than elsewhere except Luxembourg.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what number, and by what percentage, reported (a) criminal offences and (b) crimes of violence have increased in Leicestershire since May 1979.
The available information compares the 12 months to June 1979 with the 12 months to June 1991. Between these periods, the total of notifiable offences in Leicestershire increased by 52,906—29,481 to 82,387 —offences and crimes of violence increased by 2,245 offences—1,823 to 4,068.
Safer Cities Programme
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will add Oxford to the areas covered by the safer cities programme.
There are no plans at present to extend the safer cities programme beyond the current 20 projects. The objectives of the Home Office-funded safer cities programme are to reduce crime; lessen the fear of crime and create safer cities where economic enterprise and community life can flourish. We have now reached our target of 20 projects and there are no plans or resources at present to extend the programme any further.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the criteria for areas eligible for funding for crime research under the safer cities programme.
Safer cities is a crime prevention initiative and not primarily a research programme. Areas were eligible for consideration for inclusion in the safer cities programme if they: (i) were districts, metropolitan districts or London boroughs within the urban programme; (ii) had serious crime and other social problems; (iii) were already the focus for Government action, and; (iv) were willing to participate. All 20 project areas in the current programme have been selected.
Oxfordshire Motor Project
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to take a decision on the application for funding by the Oxfordshire motor project.
We will announce a decision shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to respond to the letters of 4 November 1991 and 3 January 1992 from the hon. Member for Bradford, North concerning Mr. P. M. B. Fell of Lister Gardens, Bradford BD8 7AG.
It appears that the hon. Member's letters were not received in the Home Office. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the reply which went to Mr. Fell on 28 November 1991.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
It is the policy to install low-energy lighting and other energy-saving devices where practicable into all Home Office buildings.
Local Government Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the poll tax cases which resulted in imprisonment, where evidence had been used of the kind ruled out by the High Court on 20 February.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what authority a magistrate can adjourn a case in anticipation of Parliament amending a law; and if he will make a statement.
Magistrates courts have general powers to adjourn in both criminal and civil proceedings under the Magistrates Courts Act 1980.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to magistrates and clerks of the court regarding the use of computer evidence in poll tax cases following the High Court decision of 20 February; and if he will make a statement.
I do not think that any further guidance is necessary following this case.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated additional police expenditure associated with the War Crimes Act 1991 for each of the next three financial years.
Additional police expenditure associated with the War Crimes Act is estimated as follows:
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will ensure that quarantine will continue to be a requirement in regard to the import of those species which are vulnerable to rabies until the rest of the European Community is declared to be free of rabies.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any plans to end rabies quarantine for dogs; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Members to my reply of 24 February to my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Hill).
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
It is the existing policy of the Department to carry out in its buildings all energy-saving measures which can be shown to be worthwhile. As a result of this, a substantial investment has already been made in energy-efficient lighting; this will be extended to other buildings wherever practicable and as resources allow.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on his policy for the East Anglian farming industry in general and the livestock, dairy, cereals and poultry sectors in particular in the light of the single market opening.
The Government's policy for the United Kingdom farming industry as a whole is set out in the policy statement "Our Farming Future" launched by my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 15 November.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment his departmental plant pathologists have made of results for agriculture of changes in the ozone layer.
Against the background of the Department of the Environment's continuing programme of work on the effects of ozone depletion on plants, this Department is considering advertising for a research proposal on this matter.
Norman Shaw Buildings
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why the power failed in the Norman Shaw buildings at 2.35 pm on 13 February; and what steps will be taken to prevent a recurrence.
The power failure in the Norman Shaw buildings on 13 February which lasted for less than two seconds, was caused by a fault within the London Electricity supply network. There was insufficient time for the back-up generator system to be activated.
Business Property Values
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what mechanisms exist or are planned for review of rateable values for the uniform business rate; and if he will make a statement.
All rateable values, including those currently prescribed by my right hon. Friend, will be reassessed in 1995. We have announced that the proposed valuation date for the revaluation is 1 April 1993. In preparation, a committee is also reviewing the rating of plant and machinery.All assessments in current rating lists are based on a common valuation date of 1 April 1988. Any changes in relative values since that date will be taken into account at the next revaluation. All ratepayers had the right to challenge their individual assessments during the first six months of the current lists. They continue to have rights of challenge where there is a change of circumstances affecting a property and in certain other prescribed cases.
Local Government Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment under which Act the regulations in the poll tax reduction schemes were made.
Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, as inserted by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated revenue that will be received in 1991–92 from those who are required to pay 20 per cent. of their poll tax, in the United Kingdom.
[holding answer 24 February 1992]: The potential revenue in 1991–92 in Great Britain from those on maximum community charge benefit is £200 million and from students £34 million. Whilst information is held centrally on overall rates of collection by local authorities, no separate information is held on collection from those making the 20 per cent. contribution.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made on the recommendation from the former Nature Conservancy Council that a number of non-native species should be added to schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Following recommendations made by the former Nature Conservancy Council and consultation with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and other bodies, I have decided that we should add the following species to schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981:
- Noble crayfish
- Signal crayfish
- Turkish crayfish
- Sika deer
- New Zealand flatworm
- Italian crested newt
- Aesculapian snake
- 3 species of Giant kelp
- macrocystis angustifolia
- macrocystis integrifolia
- macrocystis laevis
- Japanese kelp
- Green seafingers
- Californian red seaweed
- Hooked asparagus seaweed
- All non-native laver seaweeds
I have placed an order before Parliament today which will bring these additions into effect on 16 March.
Tyre Tread Depths
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what provision is being made in landfill sites for the tipping of extra tyres as a result of the increase in minimum legal tyre tread depth; and if he will make a statement.
We are making no specific provision although the United Kingdom is participating in an EC waste management study group which is considering means of achieving higher scrap tyre retreading and recycling rates across the community. Whole tyres are difficult to deal with on landfill sites, and an increasing number are now being shredded before disposal, but disposal in landfill is currently a matter for local authority regulators, site operators and producers of waste tyres. It would be for these parties to consider any immediate consequences of changes in tread depth requirements.
Cleaning Contract, Waveney
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce a decision on the inquiries into the way Waveney district council assigned their buildings cleaning work contract to its own direct services organisation in March 1991; and if he will make a statement.
Waveney district council's response to the notice served under section 13 of the Local Government Act 1988 is being considered. My right hon. Friend expects to announce his decision shortly.
Electronic Equipment (Recycling)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain for his departmental library a copy of the recently published report, "End-of-Life Electronic Equipment: The Case for Recycling", prepared by the Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology.
The Library has a copy on order.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
My Department's policy relating to the installation of low-energy lighting is to replace all standard luminaires, both tungsten and fluorescent, with low-energy consuming equivalents, wherever this is practicable and cost-effective. A programme of lighting replacement is in progress and low-energy lighting has already been installed in six major buildings representing about 60 per cent. of my Department's office estate.
Disabled People (Access)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if advice on access arrangements for disabled people will be included in the published version of Planning Policy Guidance Note 1; and if he will make a statement.
We want to encourage the design and construction of new buildings that provide adequately for the needs of disabled people. Development control policy note 16, published in 1985, set out the role of local planning authorities in seeking to achieve that objective. It emphasised the need for the local planning authority and the developer to discuss the arrangements proposed for meeting the needs of disabled people, as one aspect of negotiation over planning applications. It also made clear that the role of the planning system in this context is limited. This is because the internal layout and design of buildings are not normally material to planning applications.
Part M of the building regulations imposes requirements on the design and construction of new non-domestic buildings, so that reasonable access and facilities for disabled people can be secured. Where the requirements of part M apply, planning legislation should not normally be used to impose separate requirements. This is because the internal standards of building construction are best regulated by means of a national code, so that developers know what to expect irrespective of the local authority area in which they are building. The building regulations do not yet extend to internal requirements for disabled people in new buildings. My Department is currently assessing the scope and timing of such an extension, which it hopes to implement next year.
In the interim, we welcome action by local authorities to bring the needs of disabled people in new housing development to the attention of developers, but it would not be right for individual authorities to spend time designing alternative standards, and seeking to impose these through local or unitary development plans, or through planning conditions. However, where there is clear evidence of local need, a local planning authority could include in a local plan a policy indicating that it would seek to negotiate elements of housing accessible to the disabled on suitable sites.
The Government consulted on new guidance on access and the planning system in an annex to the draft Planning Policy Guidance Note 1, issued for public consultation on 1 October 1991. In view of the current work on part M of the building regulations, we have concluded that it would not be appropriate to include detailed guidance which would be soon out of date in the final version of PPG' to be published shortly. Instead, we propose to issue a circular in due course on access requirements which will take account of progress on this issue.
Revenue Support Grant
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the actual or estimated total of all debt charges by the charging authorities receiving revenue support grant; and if he will state the reasons for the difference between this sum and the sum of £2,469,200,000 ascribed to debts charges in Annex B of HC 190 of 1991–92.
[holding answer 21 February 1992]: Charging authorities budgeted for debt charges of £2,328 million in 1991–92. This is not comparable with the sum of £2,469,200,000 shown in annex B of HC 190, which relates to both charging and precepting authorities, and represents the net provision for debt charges in 1992–93 after capital financing grants have been taken into account.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps have been taken to monitor the ecological suspension of plutonium in the environment arising from the atmospheric distribution of plutonium in the accident at Sellafield on 19 June 1961.
[holding answer 24 February 1992]: Details of this incident were provided to the Windscale inquiry in 1977 and in information supplied to Sir Douglas Black's independent advisory group's investigations in 1984 into the incident of leukaemias. Monitoring of radionuclides in the environment was initiated in 1952 and their transfer from one environmental medium to another has been the subject of detailed investigation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what financial support he is providing to child refugees in Cardiff.
Refugee matters are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. Services provided by health and local authorities are not in general differentiated by status of user and it is not possible separately to identify funding provided by the Department for services to child refugees from wider support for services for children. Urban programme funding of some £394,000 has however been approved in South Glamorgan since 1989–90 for projects directed towards the needs of refugees; it is likely that children will have benefited.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what level of resources have been allocated for speech therapy for children in Wales and in Gwent with a formal statement of needs; and if he will make a statement.
This information is not available centrally. The provision of speech therapy services is primarily a matter for the individual health authority to deliver in light of competing demands on available resources.A predicted national shortage of trained speech therapists has been identified for which the Department has made funding of £62,000 available to the health authorities to sponsor ten speech therapy students placements. In addition, the Scientific Staffs Whitley Council has introduced a more flexible pay and grading structure to help overcome local problems of recruitment and retention.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to make an announcement regarding his proposals to introduce a crawler lane for the A48 at Hardwick hill, Chepstow; and if he will make a statement.
Gwent county council, as agent, is currently considering several options for the improvement of Hardwick Hill on its existing alignment. To confirm the feasibility of each of these options further studies have to be carried out. It is not possible to predict when an announcement will be made until the results of these studies are evaluated.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many livestock exporters have been prosecuted in 1991 for breach of the welfare code for export of live animals to the EC; and what were the corresponding figures for the last five years.
This information is not available centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many school buildings were assessed as being in need of fundamental repair in the years 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
Local education authorities are responsible for the repair and maintenance of their school buildings and this information is not held centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evaluation he has carried out of the (a) Swansea bay initiative, (b) valleys initiative, (c) information technology initiative, (d) financial services initiative and (e) road to opportunity initiative; and if he will make a statement.
The information is as follows.The valleys initiative launched in 1986 by Mr. Nicholas Edwards, now Lord Crickhowell, was evaluated in 1988 by the department of town planning, UWIST, Cardiff. Progress on the programme for the valleys, launched by my predecessor in 1988, is monitored at six-monthly intervals. Reports are published regularly; the most recent was on 19 February 1992. I will consider the most appropriate form of evaluation when the programme ends in March 1993.The financial services initiative, the Swansea Bay partnership and IT Wales are initiatives organised by local authorities, the private sector and the Welsh Development Agency, which are intended to help promote inward investment. It is primarily for the partners concerned to evaluate progress. Based on information provided by companies at the time of their decision to invest, 151 inward investment projects have been recorded for Wales so far this financial year. These projects promise more than 14,000 new and safeguarded jobs and include eight projects in financial services, 12 in information technology and 19 in Swansea bay.My right hon. Friend the Minister of State, announced on 11 December 1991 his intention to launch a review of the "A55—Road of Opportunity". The review is proceeding.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
It is already my Department's policy to introduce low-energy lighting where it is feasible and economic to do so.
Cardiff Royal Infirmary
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the future of the Cardiff royal infirmary following the rejection of the application to pursue trust status.
The future of the hospital is a matter initially for the South Glamorgan health authority. No application for NHS trust status has been made. The position is that following the expression of interest submitted by the Cardiff Royal group of hospitals, the decision whether to invite a formal application was deferred pending the outcome of the strategic review announced by the South and Mid Glamorgan health authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those decisions already made on hospital reorganisation or closures which have been deferred from being announced in February, March or April (a) by his Department and (b) by each district health authority in Wales.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much secure accommodation is available in Wales for persistent young offenders; and what representations he has received about his current proposals on the subject.
No secure accommodation is available in Wales for persistent young offenders. The three existing small secure units are suitable for short-term use only.On 14 August 1991, I published proposals for a comprehensive strategy to tackle this problem emphasising the development of alternatives to secure accommodation as well as proposing a new all-Wales facility. There has been a general endorsement of the report and its recommendations and responses have included additional comments and suggestions which will now be taken forward for discussion with a consortium of relevant authorities. Some of the recommendations contained in the report for Welsh Office action are already in hand or have been actioned, for example a review of conditions of use of the existing secure units in Wales. I have also considered applications for funding special initiatives aimed at avoiding the need for young people to be placed in secure accommodation. Two successful applications have already been announced and I hope to announce a third later in the year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many adult students have been, or are at present on access courses leading to higher education during the years 1989–90, 1990–91, and 1991–92 in Wales.
The number of students aged 19 and over, recorded by colleges of higher and further education as being on access courses, was 123 in 1989–90 and 503 in 1990–91. Information for 1991–92 is not yet available.
Health Promotion Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the budget for the Health Promotion Authority for Wales in 1992–93.
Subject to parliamentary approval, in 1992–93 a total of £2,830,000 will be made available for the authority's core allocation, and a further £355,000 will be allocated for new projects. An additional £29,000 will be available as a further earmarked reserve to meet the cost of the authority's contribution to the family planning information service, and in addition £20,000 will be available to fund the authority's capital expenditure. Finally, for 1992–93 only, the Department will make a further £126,000 available for the authority's life education centres project. The allocation will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of annual performance review. It represents a further and substantial commitment of resources to the authority.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the level of self-sufficiency of Wales in (a) fish, (b) mutton and lamb, (c) poultrymeat, (d) beef, (e) oats, (f) cheese, (g) liquid milk, (h) barley, (i) potatoes, (j) pigmeat, (k) eggs, (l) wheat and (m) butter and what were the equivalent figures for 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
[holding answer 13 February 1992]: Estimates of the level of self sufficiency, defined as the ratio of production to consumption, are given in the table. The consumption figures, which are taken from the results of the national food survey, are based on a sample size of 480 households in Wales. The self-sufficiency ratios will therefore be subject to significant estimation errors. Information is not yet available in respect of 1991.
|(b) mutton and lamb||4·9||1—||4·4|
|(g) liquid milk||3·5||3·4||3·3|
|1 Self-sufficiency ratios for mutton and lamb and beef have not been calculated for 1989 as the relevant per capita consumption data for Wales are not regarded as reliable.|
|2 Not available.|
Empty Council Houses
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of unoccupied council houses in Wales in the years 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
[holding answer 24 February 1992]: The information requested is given in the table:
Local authority vacant dwellings
Available for letting
Undergoing repair or improvement
Awaiting repair or improvement
Total vacant dwellings
Vacant for more than 6 months
Local authority stock
1 At 1 April.
2 Includes 42 dwellings from transferred Cwmbran stock.
3 Prior to 1986 this figure includes vacant dwellings awaiting repair or improvements prior to 1986. The figure for 1986 includes 82 dwellings in the transferred Cwmbran stock for which no breakdown between dwellings undergoing or awaiting repair or improvement is available. Figures after 1990 represent the total number of dwellings to be let after repairs.
4 Excludes New Towns. Cwmbran ceased to be designated as a New Town on 1 April 1986 at which date its stock was transferred to Torfaen and is included in local authority stock since 1986.
This information was published in "Welsh Housing Statistics No. 11, 1991", a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many homeless people there were in Wales by district council area in the years, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
[holding answer 24 February 1992]: This information is given in the table.
|Number of persons in households accepted as homeless under Part III of the Housing Act 1985, by district|
|Alyn and Deeside||330||485||528||474||499|
|Vale of Glamorgan||293||755||1,042||1,160||1,184|
1 Excludes those persons in the 2,000 estimated households made homeless as a result of the major flooding incident in February 1990.
2 Information for 1991 is provisional.
3 It is known that the figure for Swansea prior to 1991 was was under-recorded by the authority.
Source: Welsh Office local authority returns.
To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the total number of employees in the Office of Arts and Libraries; and how many are (a) black and (b) disabled.
The Office of Arts and Libraries has currently 59 members of staff. Equal opportunities policy is monitored on an on-going basis in the Department.All staff are asked to complete a questionnaire on their ethnic origins but individuals are not obliged to return them. Currently, three respondents to the questionnaire have declared they are members of the ethnic minorities. One member of staff in the Department is currently registered as disabled, but there may be others with disabilities who have chosen not to register.
To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will publish a table showing the number of (a) men and (b) women in his office in each of grades (i) 1, (ii) 2, (iii) 3, (iv) 4, (v) 5, (vi) 6, (vii) 7, (viii) SEO, (ix) HEO, (x) administrative trainee, (xi) EO, (xii) CO and (xiii) CA.
The current number of men and women in the Office of Arts and Libraries in grades 2, 5, 6, 7, SEO, HEO, HEO(D), EO, AO and AA is as follows. The Department does not employ anyone at grades 1, 3 and 4.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
Low-energy lighting is installed in major areas of the Department's headquarters building, 1 Palace street, which accounts for some 85 per cent. of its energy use. Further installations are under active consideration.
Stock Exchange Investment
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the yield from capital gains on the sale of stock exchange investment by individuals (a) cashing in and (b) reinvesting, in 1988–89 and 1990–91.
Total net capital gains tax liabilities of individuals and trusts are estimated to be:
- 1988–89 liabilities—£2,000 million
- 1990–91 liabilities—£1,150 million.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the reduction in annual liability to capital gains tax, in 1991–92 and 1992–93 as against the 1978–79 indexed regime specifying in each case the total and average reduction per taxpayer as well as the number of taxpayers in each year, in the United Kingdom.
Estimates of the difference between the CGT liability on the current regime and on the 1978–79 indexed regime are not available, as indicated in my reply to the hon. Member on 15 March 1991, Official Report, columns 704–5.
Latest available estimates of taxpayer numbers for capital gains tax for 1991–92 and 1992–93, assuming statutory indexation of the annual exempt amount, excluding gains realised by companies, which are included in assessments to corporation tax, are:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government will encourage commercial banks to make a response to debtor countries comparable with that of Governments through the Trinidad terms.
The Government's position is that whenever the Paris club grants Trinidad arrangements, it should insist that the debtor seeks similar treatment from other creditors. The Government have also supported proposals for limited use of IMF and World bank resources to support voluntary agreements on debt relief between debtors and banks. But the final decisions on relief concerning these commercial debts must be made by the banks and is a matter for their commercial judgment.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanners
To ask the Prime Minister what discussions have been held to seek joint purchases of MRI scanners by the Northern Ireland health authorities with the Departments of Health in Scotland and England.
No approaches have been made to health authorities in England about the purchase of MRI scanners. However, the Northern Ireland health and personal social services management executive is shortly to establish a new regionally managed supplies organisation which will be expected to seek opportunities for greater savings by co-operating with other supplies agencies in the United Kingdom.The Scottish Health Common Services Agency has already placed an order for a number of MRIs—and it is therefore not possible for the Northern Ireland authorities to join with Scotland at this stage.
Exchange Rate Policy
To ask the Prime Minister, further to his letter dated 13 February to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby on the effect of exchange rate policy, what assessment has been made of the effect on pricing out of overseas markets of United Kingdom exports, and the pricing into domestic markets of imports, of increases in the real value of the pound sterling; and if he will publish a table showing the changes in the indices of import and export values of manufactures as a consequence of each quinquennial change in the statistical base.
The Government cannot determine the real exchange rate over the medium term. The crucial factor determining competitiveness is the effectiveness of United Kingdom producers in controlling their costs. Value indices of trade in manufacturing are not published.
To ask the Prime Minister (1) further to his letter dated 13 February to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby, whether he will distinguish those periods in the last 25 years in which Her Majesty's Government assess the pound sterling to have been (a) overvalued and (b) undervalued;(2) if he will give the figures underlying the statement in his letter to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 13 February that the central rate at which the pound sterling entered the ERM was close to the pound sterling's average real rate over the previous 25 years.
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Treasury bulletin for winter 1990–91 volume 2, issue 1, pages 25–32 which analyses
in particular chart 4 on page 31 shows the real sterling exchange rate against other ERM countries and the long run average 1966 to 1990."measures of real exchange rates and competitiveness",
To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish a table showing, for each of the years 1965 to 1991, the Department of Trade and Industry and the International Monetary Fund indices of trade-weighted relative export unit values base on the second half of 1973 = 100, estimated where necessary on the basis of movements in the rate of exchange since the quarter in which the figures for other countries were last made available.
The Department of Trade and Industry does not produce a relative export unit value series. The information from the International Monetary Fund series is in the table. Data for 1991 are not available.
|United Kingdom relative1export unit value index—UVI— for manufactured goods|
|1 United Kingdom's UVI of manufactured goods compared with an export·weighted average of 16 major competitors, in common currency.|
To ask the Prime Minister, further to his letter dated 13 February to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby, what criteria he uses in judging whether United Kingdom manufactures are fully competitive at home and overseas.
A number of indicators of competitiveness are readily available in, for example, the "Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics". But the underlying competitiveness of United Kingdom manufacturers is best demonstrated by the United Kingdom's rising share of world trade over the last three years, as shown by the chart on page 62 of the Autumn Statement.
To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will make an assessment of the implications for the pelagic fishing industry of the collapse of markets in eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will make a statement on the discussions held with President Yeltsin concerning supplies of pelagic fish to Russian and other Commonwealth of Independent States markets;(3) what progress he has made following his discussions with President Yeltsin in establishing pelagic fish as part of the European Community food aid programme to eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States; and if he will make a statement.
Disruption of the long-established trade with Russia and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States could have serious implications for the Scottish pelagic fishing industry, even though they have been making commendable efforts to find other market outlets. The possibility that pelagic fish might be included in the EC's food aid programme or credit guarantee scheme is being explored by Departments, including in contacts with the Russian authorities. So far, no request for assistance of this type has been received from Russia.
To ask the Prime Minister whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the offices used in connection with his offices of state.
Following an energy audit of 10 to 12 Downing street, high-efficiency, low-energy lamps have been installed where appropriate. Low-energy luminaires and krypton tubes have also been installed.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 25 February.
This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the requirements of article 8 of the European convention on human rights apply to homosexual acts between consenting adults in Gibraltar.
The European convention on human rights applies in Gibraltar and its laws must, therefore, comply with the convention's provisions. To meet the particular requirement of article 8 of the convention, the Gibraltar Government have drafted an amendment to their criminal offences ordinance. We are considering this.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the United Kingdom, as a depositary state for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, received a copy of the safeguards agreement deposited with the International Atomic Energy Agency on 30 January by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, pursuant to North Korea's obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
The United Kingdom's status as a depositary power for the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons—NPT—does not of itself entitle us to receive copies of safeguards agreements negotiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency with states parties to the NPT. However, as a member of the IAEA board of governors the United Kingdom has received a copy of the minor amendments to the standard full scope safeguards text agreed between the IAEA and the North Koreans.
Bbc World Service
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessments he has made of the quality of the BBC World Service broadcasts; and if he will make a statement.
The BBC World Service's reputation for the high quality, accuracy and impartiality of its broadcasts is well established and fully merited. The World Service attracts the largest audience of any international broadcaster, estimated at more than 120 million regular listeners.We continue to place great value on the World Service and the benefits it brings to Britain's international reputation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to restore diplomatic relations with Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement.
Diplomatic relations with Afghanistan have not been broken. The Afghan embassy in London continues to function under a charge d'affaires. British diplomats were withdrawn from Kabul in February 1989 because of the uncertain security situation. We have no present plans to reopen the embassy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) of 5 February, Official Report, columns 190–91, if he will list the undertakings given by the Croatian Government on minorities legislation; and what plans he has to monitor their implementation.
The Croatian Government have stated their full acceptance of the provisions in the draft treaty prepared by Lord Carrington on the rights of national minorities and an autonomy for areas in which persons belonging to a national or ethnic group form a majority. We are pressing for the implementation of these provisions in Croatian legislation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment Her Majesty's Government have undertaken of the extent to which each of the Baltic states is respecting the rights of all residents in full accordance with international requirements of respect for human rights, without regard to race, religion and colour.
The Baltic States are members of the conference on security and co-operation in Europe and have therefore undertaken to abide by the human rights provisions of that agreement. In our political dialogue with the Baltic states, we make clear whenever appropriate the importance we attach to human rights.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the borders of Lithuania as currently recognised by Her Majesty's Government; and what is the historical basis for that recognition.
The borders of Lithuania are those within which the former Soviet Republic of Lithuania existed de facto at the time of our recognition of the Republic of Lithuania as an independent state, in August 1991.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
It is already the policy of both diplomatic and aid wings of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office progressively to install energy-efficient lighting in their buildings.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will urge the Government of Ireland to change the anti-abortion provision in its constitution; and if he will make a statement.
The Irish Supreme Court is considering how article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution should be applied. It would not be right for the British Government to intervene.
Commonwealth Of Independent States
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the estimated cost of the airlift of food to the Commonwealth of Independent States to (a) Britain and (b) all donors.
British beef flown to St. Petersburg at the turn of the year formed part of the European Community's 200 mecu food aid package. All transportation costs are being met from this allocation. No other significant airlifts of food from Britain have taken place.
The British Government have no figures for costs incurred by other countries in airlifting food to the former Soviet Union.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the amounts of official development assistance allocated as bilateral aid in the sectors of primary health, primary education, rural water supply and family planning in the years 1974 to the present, including financial aid and technical co-operation.
Figures prior to 1980 are not available. Bilateral aid expenditure for the period 1980 to 1990 was as follows:
|United Kingdom bilateral aid expenditure on primary health, primary education, rural water supply and family planning 1980–1990 (cash prices)1 2|
|Primary education||Primary health3||Family planning||Rural water supply|
|1 Figures refer to the primary sector which benefits from any expenditure. They exclude expenditure classified to other sectors which may also benefit the primary sector (e.g. expenditure on primary teacher training may be classified under teacher training, not primary education).|
|2 Technical cooperation expenditure is not included for 1980–87.|
|3 Includes family planning.|
Note: Figures include Project Aid provided by the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
Health Care Projects
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the amounts of official development assistance allocated as bilateral project aid in the primary health care sector for the years 1974 to the present.
Figures prior to 1980 are not available. Bilateral project aid expenditure, excluding technical co-operation, for the period 1980 to 1990 was as follows:
|Year||Expenditure (£ thousands)|
Note: Includes expenditure on family planning.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many projects involving the development of workers' co-operatives in the third world have commenced since 1988, by year;(2) what is the total amount of money invested in the development and setting up of workers' co-operatives in the third world since 1988, by year.
Comprehensive statistics on aid to workers' co-operatives are not separately maintained and cannot readily or accurately be extracted. A number of projects financed under country programmes have, during the period, included significant elements supporting workers' co-operatives, for example the rural development project in Bangladesh, the co-operatives and rural business development training project in Vanuatu and the handicraft marketing project in Zimbabwe. Other projects will have include smaller components for workers' co-operatives.Assistance has also been provided under the joint funding scheme. The number and cost of projects approved since 1988 which were primarily concerned with workers' co-operatives were:
Nhs Overseas Ltd
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when NHS Overseas Services Ltd. was set up; what its objectives are; whether its mission statement and business plan have been placed in the Library; how many staff it employs and at what grade; and what its cost in 1992–93 is expected to be.
I have arranged for the Chairman of NHS Overseas Enterprises to write to the hon. Member; a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to speed up the family practitioner committee complaints system; and if he will make a statement.
On 2 April 1990 the Government introduced changes to speed up and simplify the family health services complaints system. We are presently considering the scope for Family Health Services Authorities to improve the administration of the complaints procedures.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to publicise statistics of complaints received by family practitioner committees and the General Medical Council; and if he will make a statement.
Statistics on the number of formal investigations into complaints by Family Health Services Authorities are published annually in "Health and Personal Social Services Statistics", copies of which are available in the Library.The General Medical Council is an independent statutory body whose procedures are governed by the 1983 Medical Act. A summary of complaints received and considered by the council is published by it annually.
King's College Hospital (Death)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will institute an inquiry into the death of Frederick Seymour at King's college hospital, London SE5, at the accident and emergency department, following the remarks of the coroner at the inquest on the deceased.
The regional health authority has set up an external inquiry to investigate this tragic incident.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines are issued to health authorities regarding the imposition of car parking charges for patients, visitors or staff at national health service hospitals.
No such guidance has been issued, as this is a matter for local determination.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the working of no-fault compensation schemes; and if he will make a statement.
|Total Prescriptions Dispensed by Chemist and Appliance Contractors|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||2,551,553||326,188||12·8||2,585,659||312,000||12·1|
No full assessment has been made of the working of no-fault compensation schemes, although the Department has noted developments in Scandinavian countries and New Zealand. The question of no-fault compensation was fully debated last year during the NHS (Compensation) Bill. The House decided on a free vote against the measure and the Bill did not receive a Second Reading.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department of the December High Court ruling in respect of the Joint Committee on Higher Medical Training; if he has any plans to revise the arrangements by which the General Medical Council delegates to the medical royal colleges the regulation of post graduate medical training leading to United Kingdom accreditation; and if he will make a statement.
An appeal has been lodged against the High Court ruling and we would not wish to comment until the outcome of the appeal is known.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health for each NHS region and health district what was (a) the total number of prescriptions and (b) the total number of prescriptions that incurred charges in 1988 and 1991; and if he will express the latter as a percentage of the former.
Information for 1988–89 is not available. Information for the financial years 1989–90 and 1990–91 is in the table.
|Brent and Harrow||3,245,635||612,335||18·9||3,287,635||576,916||17·5|
|Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow||4,693,664||896,906||19·1||4,741,660||841,151||17·7|
|Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster||2,358,714||655,211||27·8||2,361,988||623,929||26·4|
|North West Thames||23,709,629||5,091,481||21·5||24,027,490||4,847,797||20·2|
|Barking and Havering||2,801,735||537,117||19·2||2,807,571||499,236||17·8|
|Camden and Islington||2,555,908||485,247||19·0||2,570,372||451,263||17·6|
|City, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets||5,116,857||698,195||13·6||5,203,786||643,292||12·4|
|Enfield and Haringey||3,151,598||592,033||18·8||3,253,609||555,331||17·1|
|Redbridge and Waltham Forest||3,566,650||645,390||18·1||3,604,724||604,857||16·8|
|North East Thames||27,067,151||5,001,203||18·5||27,572,854||4,715,044||17·1|
|Bexley and Greenwich||3,090,571||579,471||18·7||3,122,385||539,132||17·3|
|Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark||5,171,672||832,863||16·1||5,269,598||780,601||14·8|
|South East Thames||26,661,082||4,836,169||18·1||27,116,208||4,603,688||17·0|
|Kingston and Richmond||2,076,122||475,683||22·9||2,079,613||459,077||22·1|
|Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth||4,146,503||800,263||19·3||4,221,855||774,851||18·4|
|South West Thames||19,614,351||4,161,444||21·2||19,889,200||4,012,190||20·2|
|Isle of Wight||1,003,261||162,154||16·2||1,027,719||157,997||15·4|
|Hereford and Worcestershire||4,113,740||812,683||19·8||4,203,161||793,452||18·9|
|St. Helens and Knowsley||3,517,069||393,842||11·2||3,628,178||371,783||10·2|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a chronic asthmatic on invalidity benefit and in receipt of housing benefits and poll tax benefit but below pensionable age is entitled to free prescriptions.
Since 1968, when medical exemptions from prescription charges were first introduced, asthma has not been a condition which of itself attracts free prescriptions. The NHS low income scheme underpins wide-ranging exemption arrangements on grounds of health or status, thus ensuring that no one need be deterred from obtaining any necessary medication for financial reasons.As a result of the exemption and charge remission arrangements, coupled with the prescription prepayment certificate scheme, less than one item in six dispensed in the NHS attracts a charge. In 1991 100 million more items were dispensed free than in 1979, when one in three attracted a charge.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the total number of employees in his Department; and how many are (a) black and (b) disabled.
As at 3 February 1992, there were 4,5111 people employed by the Department of Health of whom 5392 were of ethnic minority origin. As at January 1992, 853 members of staff were registered disabled. A survey early in 1991 identified a further 61 additional members of staff with a disability who were not registered disabled.
1 Figure obtained from the Department's payroll held by the Information and Technology Systems Agency.
2 Figure based on questionnaires voluntarily completed by staff.
3 Figure obtained from the Personnel Computer System which does not include four people on the sheltered placement scheme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish a table showing the number of (a) men and (b) women in his Department in each of the grades (i) 1, (ii) 2, (iii) 3, (iv) 4, (v) 5, (vi) 6, (vii) 7, (viii) SEO, (ix) HEO, (x) administrative trainee, (xi) EO, (xii) CO and (xiii) CA.
The information requested is set out in the table:
Figures obtained from the Department's payroll held by the Information and Technology Systems Agency on 3 February 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to increase the statutory protection for the title "doctor" as applied in the medical field.
Statutory protection already exists. Any person who wilfully and falsely uses any title, including that of "doctor of medicine", implying that he is registered as a medical practitioner under the Medical Act 1983 is guilty of an offence under section 49 of that Act.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the estimated population of (a) the United Kingdom, (b) England, (c) Greater London, (d) outer London, (e) inner London, (f) Manchester, (g) Liverpool, (h) Birmingham, (i) Leeds, (j) Sheffield, (k) Bristol and (l) Glasgow in 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1991.
The information requested is as follows:
|Estimated resident population||(Thousands)|
|Local Government areas|
|1 The latest estimates available relate to mid-1990. They are based upon 1981 Census data, with allowance for subsequent births, deaths, and migration. Estimates for mid-1991 based upon results of the 1991 Census will become available in Autumn this year.|
|2 There is no estimate available for 1961 comparable with the figures presented for 1971, 1981, and 1990 relating to the present Glasgow city authority area.|
"Confronting Elder Abuse"
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he proposes to take on the report of the social services inspectorate "Confronting Elder Abuse".
The report is the result of the first phase of a project being undertaken by the social services inspectorate. It describes how staff in two social services authorities responded to referrals about elder abuse in domestic settings. The inspectorate is now working to produce guidance on standards as part of our work programme implementing care in the community and improving standards in service provision for the elderly.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
It is already the policy and practice of the Department to introduce low-energy lighting as part of its pursuit of improved energy efficiency.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has discussed with his EC counterparts for the harmonisation of provision for abortion within the Community; and if he will make a statement.
No such proposals have come forward. Arrangements in respect of abortion are the responsibility of each member state.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library statistical information about the radiation doses received by (a) service personnel and (b) civilian workers during refits of the Resolution class submarines.
Radiation dose information is not available in the form requested.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in how many Army regiments there were no suicides in the years 1987 to 1991; and in how many there were more than one suicide.
In the five years 1987–1991 there were no suicides in 33 regiments and six corps of the Regular Army. In the same period there has been more than one suicide in nine corps and eight regiments.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make it his policy that all reports of investigations into suicides are examined centrally, that all regiments where there are more than two suicides a year are visited by an independent investigator and that an annual report is made to Parliament on forces' suicides;(2) if he will investigate whether bullying was a factor in any suicide in the armed forces.
All suicides in the armed forces are thoroughly investigated and there are no plans to change present procedures. Investigations completed into suicides committed since 1987 do not show bullying to have been a factor. Statistical information on suicides is contained in the report on "Annual Health Tables: Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force". Arrangements have been made to place the reports for 1990 and future years in the Library of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give for the (a) Royal Navy and Royal Marines, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Air Force for each of the years 1987 to 1991 (i) the number of suicides and (ii) the number of personnel; and if he will express the suicides as the number per 100,000 personnel.
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces will write to the right hon. Member.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will detail the investigatory procedure that is carried out when a suicide occurs in the Army.
The suspected suicide of a member of the Army in the United Kingdom would be the subject of a coroner's inquest. The coroner would expect to receive a report on an investigation of the case by the civil police assisted where appropriate by the special investigation branch—SIB—of the Royal Military police. Suspected suicides of military personnel overseas are investigated by the SIB. A copy of any SIB report is invariably given to the commanding officer of the unit concerned.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 27 January, Official Report, columns 454–56, if he will investigate the reasons for the level of suicides in the Royal Engineers and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
No. The level of suicides in the Royal Engineers and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers is not significantly higher than in other parts of the Army.
Search And Rescue
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will complete his review of search and rescue facilities prior to 9 April.
It is not yet possible to say when the review will be completed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make it his policy progressively to introduce low-energy lighting in all the buildings operated by his Department.
This is already the policy of the Ministry of Defence, where it is practical to do so.
Russian Defence System
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's latest assessment of the operational effectiveness of Russia's anti-ballistic missile defences.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 November 1991, Official Report, columns 613–14.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with members of the Russian Government concerning (a) the future deployment of additional Russian anti-ballistic missiles and (b) the enhancement of existing Russian anti-ballistic missiles.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the number of the former Soviet Union's early warning radars sited outside Russian territory.
There are six ballistic missile early warning sites located outside Russian territory. One of these is in the independent republic of Latvia; there are two sites in the Ukraine and one each in Azerbaijan, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures his Department is taking to prevent the proliferation and deployment of anti-ballistic missiles around the world.
Transfers of anti-missile missiles and related technology from the United Kingdom are subject to rigorous national export controls. Such systems or elements of them may also be subject to the international missile technology control regime. United States and Russian ABM deployments are subject to the 1972 ABM treaty.
Range Facilities, Benbecula
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has any plans either to develop or to reduce the range facilities at Balivanich, Benbecula.
There are currently no plans to develop or to reduce the range facilities at the Royal Artillery ranges, Hebrides. Range requirements are, however, kept under review.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria his Department will apply in determining the level at which the United Kingdom's strategic nuclear warheads will be deployed on the Trident fleet.
Trident will deploy the minimum number of warheads necessary to provide effective deterrence, presenting the prospect of damage that no aggressor could find acceptable.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the latest statistics for unemployment in the Durham area for those aged (a) under 18, (b) 18 to 40 and (c) over 40 years.
The information, for the City of Durham parliamentary constituency, is contained in the table and can also be obtained from the NOMIS database system in the Library.
|Unemployed Claimants in the City of Durham January 1992|
|18 to 39||2,360|
|40 and over||1,028|
|1 The figures are on the unadjusted basis.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the number of persons employed (a) in manufacturing industry and (b) in service industries for each year since 1981.
The information relating to employees in employment is shown in the table:
|United Kingdom (Thousands) Seasonally Adjusted|
|September each year||Manufacturing||Services|
September each year
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate he makes for each year since 1979 of (a) the total available work force, namely all those of working age regardless of whether they were in work or not, and (b) the percentage of the population which was not in work regardless of whether they were looking for work.
The available estimates from the labour force survey are given in the following table.
|Population of working age and percentage not in Employment 1979–90|
|Population of working age1Thousands||Percentage not in employment2|
|1 Men aged 16–64 and women aged 16–59.|
|2 Unemployed (on ILO definition) plus economically inactive as a percentage of population of working age.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the number of (a) men and (b) women registered as unemployed in the Tooting constituency on 18 February.
In January 1992, the latest available date, there were 4,325 men and 1,636 women claimant unemployed in the Tooting parliamentary constituency, on the unadjusted basis. Figures for February 1992 will be released on 19 March 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the number of (a) men and (b) women under the age of 21 years who were registered as unemployed in the London borough of Wandsworth on 18 February.
Unemployment figures by age are only available on a quarterly basis and are based on particular age bands. In January 1992, the latest available date, there were 561 male and 301 female unemployed claimants aged under 20 years in the London borough of Wandsworth.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs were on offer at each jobcentre in the Leeds metropolitan district in each month since January 1990 showing totals (a) for the Leeds metropolitan district as a whole and (b) for each jobcentre.
The information requested can be obtained from the NOMIS database in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the numbers of people now registered as unemployed in the Greater London area who have been out of work for periods of up to three months, six months, nine months, one year, two years, three years or longer.
The latest available information, relating to January 1992, is contained in the following table and can also be obtained from the NOMIS database system in the Library.
|Claimant unemployment by duration in Greater London January 19921|
|Duration of unemployment||Number of unemployed|
|Up to 3 months||108,949|
|3 to 6 months||78,186|
|6 to 9 months||54,548|
|9 to 12 months||44,000|
|1 to 2 years||68,019|
|2 to 3 years||17,054|
|Over 3 years||23,288|
|1 Unemployment figures by duration are produced quarterly and are on the unadjusted basis.|
Sheltered Placement Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the review of the payment arrangements for the sheltered placement scheme.
The Employment Service is conducting a review into the arrangements for current and capital funding for both the sheltered placement scheme and sheltered workshops. The review was proposed in the consultative document "Employment and Training for People with Disabilities" and received widespread support. Proposals for new arrangements will be put for consultation as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the best information he has, for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, separately for male and female, showing how many people have entered employment action and how many were participating in employment action in December 1991 and in January and February 1992.
The tables show the number of people receiving employment action allowances as at each count date, plus the number starting to receive an allowance in the month ending at each count date. Information is not yet available for February. The figure for allowance starts is not available separately for men and women.
|Employment action: allowance starts in month|
|Period ending on|
|Employment service region||12 December 1991||9 January 1992|
|Total men and women||Total men and women|
|London and South East||380||318|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||352||137|
Period ending on
Employment service region
12 December 1991
9 January 1992
Total men and women
Total men and women
|England and Wales||2,483||1,223|
Employment action: Receiving allowances on count dale
12 December 1991
9 January 1992
Employment service region
|London and South East||626||493||133||962||763||199|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||710||599||111||792||669||123|
|England and Wales||4,447||3,845||602||5,416||4,653||763|
Source: Employment service.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, how many unemployed people have been referred to restart courses by employment service counsellors since June 1991; how many of them were unemployed for over two years; how many attended and completed the course; what were the outcomes of the participants; how many had benefit penalties imposed for not attending or failing to complete their attendance at the restart course; and if he will make a statement;(2) for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, how many unemployed people have taken part in the job interview guarantee scheme since September 1991; and how many participants have secured full-time employment with their sponsoring employer;(3) how many people, for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, have attended a restart interview since 1 April 1991; and what were the results of those interviews, broken down in the same way as the reply given in his answer to the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Lee) of 18 December 1990,
Official Report, column 148;
(4) for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, since September 1991, how many people have joined job clubs; how many have left; how many leavers got jobs; how many entered another positive outcome; and if he will give the information broken down by the ethnic origin and gender of participants;
(5) for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, how many unemployed people have participated in job interview guarantee work trials since September 1991; and how many participants have got full-time employment with their work trial employer.
Questions on operational matters in the Employment Service executive agency are the responsibility of Mike Fogden, the agency's chief executive, to whom I have referred this question for reply.
Period ending on
Employment service region
12 December 1991
9 January 1992
Total men and women
Total men and women
Source: Employment Service.
Lone Parents (Training)
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his best estimate, for Great Britain, for each region and for each TEC or LEC, of the number of employment training trainees who are lone parents and have entered the scheme under the lone parent eligibility route; how many are receiving child care allowances; and if he will make a statement.
This information is not held centrally. Training and enterprise councils and local enterprise companies are required to deliver programmes that meet the needs of all their client groups. It is for the training and enterprise councils and local enterprise companies to determine which trainee groups, such as lone parents, they support with child care.