Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday 3 March 1992
Rail Developments, London
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the total estimated full cost (a) in cash and (b) at constant 1992 prices of (i) the Jubilee line extension, (ii) east-west crossrail and (iii) other currently agreed new rail developments in London.
The information requested is as follows:
|Jubilee Line Extension||1,811||1,699|
|DLR Lewisham Extension||1—||150|
|1 Project expenditure profiles not available.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 18 February, Official Report, column 99, what are his reasons for maintaining the high-level road bridge at Portrack.
A new crossing at a lower level is not economically justified and it would be unreasonable to divert traffic via the existing Cannon Park lifting bridge.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of rail routes are electrified in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The percentage of rail routes electrified is as follows:
|Total route miles||Electrified route miles||Percentage electrified|
|Total United Kingdom||10,515||3,052||29·0|
Sources: British Rail, Northern Ireland Railways Co. Ltd, Transport Statistics Great Britain.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what rate of return on investment: he requires from projects for electrification of main railway lines in Scotland;(2) if he will take social and economic cost benefits into account in reaching his decision on the electrification of the railway line from Edinburgh to Aberdeen.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on Monday 2 March 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the results of the survey of infringements of regulated airspace in the first half of 1990.
Matters of flight safety are the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority. I have asked the chairman of the authority to write to the hon. Member.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has for the future administration of navigation and shipping on the River Thames.
There are no plans to change the existing arrangements for the administration of navigation and shipping on the River Thames.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review his policy of excluding certain tugs from regulations requiring safe manning certificates; and if he will make a statement.
The new Safe Manning Document Regulations will give effect to an amendment to the international convention for the safety of life at sea 19'74 and will require all United Kingdom sea-going ships of 500 tonnes or over to be provided with a document specifying the level of manning considered necessary to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the ship. Sea-going tugs of 500 tonnes or over will be included and the voluntary safe manning document scheme currently in place will be retained for all vessels under 500 tonnes. In addition, Department surveyors are able to assess the minimum manning requirements of a vessel during any inspection.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway engines and new or used rolling stock have been imported into the United Kingdom in the last five years; and what were the countries of origin.
This information is not collected by the Department.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether provisional certificates of training issued under EC directive 89/684 EC issued by his Department to meet the requirements of the directive will be recognised by the other EC member states.
They can only be used in the country of issue.
Dangerous Substances (Ec Directive)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take urgent action in relation to EC directive 89/684 EEC to ensure that British LGV drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous substances will not be stopped from entering other European Community states by not having in their possession the certificates and documentation required by the directive when it comes into effect on 1 July.
Administrative arrangements are in hand for training courses to run from April 1992 enabling drivers of road tankers, tank containers and vehicle carrying explosives to obtain the certificates before 1 July.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when Her Majesty's Government intend to raise the external financing limit for British Rail.
In June 1991 we raised British Rail's external financing limit for 1991–92 by £400 million, to a revised total of £1,522 million. The limit for 1992–93 was set in the autumn statement at £2,041 million, in real terms the highest ever figure and an increase of 28 per cent. over 1991–92.
Birmingham To Manchester Route
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total cost to the Exchequer of the competition for a new privately funded route from Birmingham to Manchester; how many proposals were received; and what studies have been carried out on the M6 widening scheme.
It is not possible to disaggregate departmental staff costs for this competition from those for other privately financed road schemes. The Department obtained financial advice from consultants at a cost of approximately £50,000.Four groups responded to the invitation for privately financed proposals.Since the M6 widening scheme entered the trunk road programme in 1989, a detailed study of options for widening has been undertaken by consultants commissioned by the Department. The study has included engineering, environmental, traffic and economic assessments.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those parts of his Department, including executive agencies, carrying out reviews over the last 12 months into the pay and grading of staff; and the firm of consultants engaged, where appropriate.
Pay and grading reviews have been carried out during the past 12 months in the following parts of the Department, including executive agencies: The Air Accident Inspection Branch (Inspector grades); The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency;The Driving Standards Agency (Senior Driving Examiner grades).Consultants Price Waterhouse were involved in the DVLA review. Private consultants were not used in either of the other reviews.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what figures his Department holds showing the number of people owning cars for the years 1991 and 1992.
Information on car ownership is given in "Transport Statistics Great Britain". Table 2.14 of the 1991 edition showed that, in 1989, 66 per cent. of households, or 14·3 million households, in Great Britain had the regular use of a car. Figures for 1990 will be available in mid-1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with British Rail about its investment priorities for 1992–93.
Investment priorities are regularly discussed with British Rail. BR is currently finalising its investment programme for the coming year as part of its budget, within the external finance limit of £2,041 million for 1992–93—the highest ever figure in real terms.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of successful applications for inland waterways freight facilities grants, section 36 grants, since they were set up in 1981.
The Government have awarded seven inland waterway freight facilities grants under section 36 of the Transport Act 1981. The awards have been as follows:-
|Millgate Investments Ltd, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire||369,340|
|Varma Services Ltd, Deptford, London SE||859,200|
|Sheffield Haulage and Storage Ltd, Rotherham||61,375|
|West Country Fuels Ltd, Gloucester||26,950|
|Colwick Petroleum Ltd, Nottingham||63,494|
|Sand & Gravel (Leeds) Ltd||20,640|
|Wimpey Hobbs Ltd, Greenwich, London SE||402,832|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what figures his Department holds showing the amount of money spent on building, maintaining and policing roads in 1991.
The Department of Transport's report for 1992—Cm 1907—contains outturn figures for 1990–91 and provisional outturn figures for 1991–92 for:—
Secondary Traffic Signals
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at how many road junctions secondary traffic signals have been removed, pursuant to his departmental advice note TA/18/81; what extension of this scheme is proposed; and if he will make a statement.
It is for individual highway authorities to decide on the layouts of their traffic signals. The information requested is not available centrally. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1981 define the essential requirements and these are supplemented by departmental advice. There are no plans to revise departmental advice note TA/18/81 in respect of the provision of secondary signals.
Liverpool To London Flights
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the chairman of British Midland to discuss the proposed withdrawal of the service betwen Liverpool and London.
The chairman of British Midland has not requested a meeting. The decision to suspend air services between Liverpool and London was a matter for the company to determine in the light of its commercial judgment.
Birmingham Northern Relief Road
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce an agreement for the construction of the Birmingham northern relief road; and if he will make a statement on the timetable he envisages.
I am pleased to announce that we have been able to complete with Midlands Expressway Ltd. the concession agreement for the Birmingham northern relief road. This will be the first privately financed toll motorway in the United Kingdom and the first road authorised under the provisions of the New Road and Street Works Act 1991. This project has been strongly backed by Midlands Expressway Ltd.'s parent companies, Trafalgar House and Iritecna of Italy.The new road, which should be opened in the late 1990s, will provide welcome relief to the M6 and to local traffic in the A5/A38 corridor. The agreement provides for a concession of 53 years and the concessionaire envisages that, on opening, tolls will be about £1·50 for cars and £3 for lorries at 1990 prices. The cost of engineering the Birmingham northern relief road will be some £270 million, including substantial measures for the mitigation of environmental impact.
Midlands Expressway Ltd.'s latest design reflect , significant number of changes to the scheme which . accepted as a basis for public consultation in the memorandum of agreement signed on 12 August 1991. This revised scheme will, I hope, address most of the points raised in the public consultation. Towards the end of this year I hope to bring forward orders to implement the scheme.
A35 (Wilmington Bypass)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements he is making to ensure the building of a bypass for the village of Wilmington on the A35 at the earliest possible moment.
[holding answer 20 February 1992]: We shall be inviting bids from consulting engineers for the design work on this scheme soon.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the total of revenue expenditure on (a) trunk roads and (b) all other roads in (i) Greater London and (ii) England for each year from 1980–81 to 1990–91.
[holding answer 28 February 1992]: Total current expenditure by central Government and local authorities in £ million was as follows:
|(i) Greater London|
|Trunk Roads (including Motorways):|
|All Other Roads:|
|Trunk Roads (including Motorways):|
All Other Roads:
The figures are from "Transport Statistics Great Britain", an annual publication, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library.
Figures for Greater London were not held prior to 1982–83. The figure for all London boroughs' expenditure on other roads for 1990–91 is not yet available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the total of capital investment in (a) trunk roads and (b) all other roads in (i) Greater London and (ii) England for each year from 1980–81 to 1990–91.
[holding answer 28 February 1992]: Total capital investment by central Government and local authorities in £ millions was as follows:
|(i) Greater London|
|Trunk Roads (including Motorways):|
|All Other Roads|
|Trunk Roads (including Motorways):|
All Other Roads:
The figures are from "Transport Statistics Great Britain", an annual publication, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library.
Figures for Greater London were not held prior to 1982–83. The figure for all London boroughs' expenditure on other roads for 1990–91 is not yet available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the traffic generated on other roads as a result of the building of the M25 motorway.
[holding answer 28 February 1992]: It is estimated that the amount of heavy goods vehicle traffic in central London has declined by 20 per cent.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the latest figures for (a) how many and (b) what proportion of (i) new cars use unleaded fuel and (ii) car owners have converted their cars to unleaded fuel and what proportion this is of cars that can be converted, (iii) new cars have a catalytic converter, (iv) new cars made in the United Kingdom have catalytic converters and (v) car owners have had a catalytic converter fitted.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: The Information for (i) and (ii) is not available in the form requested although the hon. Gentleman may also wish to know that in December 1991, 43 per cent. of petrol sold in the United Kingdom was unleaded.According to a recent survey of barriers against further uptake of unleaded petrol, carried out by the Department of the Environment, some relevant information is as follows:
The rest of the information is as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on (a) discussions undertaken and (b) decisions agreed on toxic waste exports, at the recent European Environment Council meeting in Estoril.
The topic of toxic waste exports was not on the agenda for the recent informal meeting of EC Environment Ministers in Estoril.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the rainfall in each National Rivers Authority region during the last six month period for which figures are available; what is the normal average rainfall for each region; and if he will make a statement.
The monthly rainfall, and the monthly average over the period 1941–1970, for each region of the national Rivers Authority to October 1991 is published by the Water Services Association in "Waterfacts 1991". More recent information is available from the Meteorological Office.
National Heritage Memorial Fund
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the level of funding made from the National Heritage Memorial Fund for the purposes of safeguarding landscape features and wildlife habitats in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
Grants made available by the trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund to assist in the acquisition, maintenance or preservation of land of scenic and/or scientific interest over the last five financial years were as follows:
Local Government Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the county councils that are now free of long-term debt.
Returns to the Department indicate that at 31 March 1991, Dorset, Lincolnshire, Suffolk and West Sussex were free of long-term debt.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he received the representation from Nottinghamshire county council regarding the establishment of a permanent gipsy site at Fox Covert, Worksop; and what is the reason for the delay in announcing his decision.
Outstanding supporting information was received from Nottinghamshire county council on 3 January. The issues raised by all parties require very careful consideration, but the Secretary of State expects to issue his decision shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average cost of acquisition by a local authority of a home in (a) London, (b) metropolitan districts and (c) non-metropolitan districts.
[holding answer 27 February 1992]: Local authorities acquire relatively few dwellings for continued housing use. Reliable information from which to derive unit costs of acquisition is not available centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to ratify European conventions on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: We shall ratify this convention at the earliest opportunity.
Planning Applications (Publicity)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he intends to publish details of how local authorities are to apply the new publicity arrangements for planning applications; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he intends to issue guidelines as to the procedures to be carried out by local authorities for compulsory publicity for all planning applications; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Waveney (Mr. Porter) on 5 February 1992, Official Report, column 166.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Co-operation Council to discuss nuclear proliferation; and whether he will make a statement.
The NACC will meet on 10 March in order to admit members of the CIS. There are no other formal items on the agenda. I will represent my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.We are working closely with our allies in NATO on ways to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, materials and expertise from the former Soviet Union, some of which may be raised at the meeting.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the presidency troika under European political co-operation, the banning by the Government of Indonesia of the Portuguese ship Expresso Lucitania; and if he will deliver a protest to the Indonesian embassy in London over the banning.
We have no plans to do so.
Merseyside Fire And Civil Defence Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to answer the letter sent to him by the Merseyside fire and civil defence authority dated 10 February.
The Department replied on 25 February to Merseyside fire and civil defence authority's letter.
To ask the Attorney-General what steps are being taken to review and protect the position of those who sell commercial or private leases on property from liability if the purchaser of the lease defaults; and if he will make a statement.
In 1988 the Law Commission published its report," Landlord and Tenant Law: Privity of Contract and Estate", Law Com No. 174. It recommended that all the obligations created by leases should bind the parties who for the time being are interested in the land and that those parties should cease to have any liability when they part with those interests, except in cases in which it is objectively reasonable that their liability continue. It is envisaged that in many cases a landlord consenting to an assignment by a tenant of his interest will be able to impose a condition that the tenant guarantees the performance of the lease covenants by his successor, but only until any subsequent assignment. The Lord Chancellor is actively considering the report's recommendations and hopes to be able to make an announcement about them in the near future.
Recorders And Judges
To ask the Attorney-General how many recorders and circuit judges are (a) men and (b) women.
As at 1 March there were 795 recorders in office, of whom 752 were men and 43 were women. There were also 469 circuit judges, of whom 447 were men and 22 were women.
To ask the Attorney-General how many county court judges are (a) men and (b) women.
County court judges comprise circuit judges and district judges. As at 1 March there were 469 circuit judges in office, of whom 447 were men and 22 were women. There were also 232 district judges, of whom 220 were men and 12 were women.
To ask the Minister for the Arts what was the expenditure of public libraries in Cheshire on book provision for the last 10 years at constant prices.
Statistics about the public library service are collected and published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Real terms costs in Cheshire for the 10-year period up to 1990, the latest date for which figures are available, are:
|Year||Expenditure on books per 1,000 population £|
To ask the Minister for the Arts how many librarians were employed by Cheshire county council on (a) a full-time basis and (b) a part-time basis in 1979 and 1991.
This information is not available. However, staff numbers in English library authorities as a whole have remained constant over the last 10 years.
Reviewing Committee On The Export Of Works Of Art
To ask the Minister for the Arts what proposals he has for dealing with the problems encountered in the last report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art; and when he proposes to announce his intentions.
Following the examination of the system of controls on the export of works of art by the reviewing committee, I have consulted widely on the alternative approaches which would enable pre-eminent works of art to be retained in the United Kingdom. I have asked to receive representations before the end of March. I can assure my right hon. Friend that these representations, involving difficult and complex issues, will be fully taken into account before I take any decisions.
To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list each private sector consultancy firm which has been retained by each agency within his Department, and for his Department as a whole, for the purposes of advising on the market testing programme; and whether the appointment in each case was the result of competitive tendering.
Ernst and Young have been engaged to advise on the market testing programme for my Department and its agencies. The appointment was by single tender.
To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list those parts of his Department, including executive agencies, carrying out reviews over the last 12 months into the pay and grading of staff; and the firm of consultants engaged, where appropriate.
During the last 12 months, two pay and grading reviews have been undertaken in my Department, one in the Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency, the other in the Civil Service Occupational Health Service. Outside consultants were not engaged in either case.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were recorded in Wales in 1979 and 1983 and the latest year available.
The number of notifiable offences recorded in Wales was 127,467 in 1979, 160,882 in 1983 and 229,248 in 1990 which is the latest available year.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answers of 26 February, Official Report, column 515 and 5 February, Official Report, column 163, for what reasons information about the number of officers engaged in obtaining voluntary admissions during 1990–91 is available from the Chief Constable of Northumbria, but not from other forces, where more than 20 per cent. of their clear-up rate is accounted for by this practice.
Information on the number of detectives employed in obtaining voluntary admissions in Northumbria was available because of a special study reviewing this practice which was undertaken in that force. Such studies are at the discretion of the chief officer.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the compensation for wrongful imprisonment so far paid to (a) the four people convicted of the Guildford and Woolwich bombings, (b) Mrs. Maguire and her six co-defendants and (c) the six men convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings; and when he expects to reach a final settlement in each case.
My right hon. Friend has paid interim awards of compensation to each of those concerned, on the advice of the independent assessor, but it is not our practice to publish details of individual payments to applicants for compensation. We are in touch with those representing the applicants in these cases and will make final payments as soon as possible.
Mr Ki Tang
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Islington, North dated 8 March 1989, 12 May 1989, 4 April 1990, 5 September 1990 and 17 October 1991, regarding his constituent Ki Tang and the question of rights of appeal for his family who applied to join Ki Tang under the provisions of the United Nations convention on refugees (family reunion).
I very much regret the combination of circumstances which has caused this delay and shall reply to the hon. Member very shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of overseas voters registered for each parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom.
Final figures for the electoral register for 1992–93 will be published by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in the summer; available figures will be published immediately before the general election, should it take place before then. The numbers of overseas electors included in the draft electoral register for 1992–93, together with totals for each constituent part of the United Kingdom, are set out in the table. The figures do riot include valid applications which were received too late for inclusion in the draft register, which was published on 28 November 1991.
|Overseas electors included in the draft electoral register published on 28 November 1991 by parliamentary constituency|
|Altrincham and Sale||64|
|Barnsley, West and Penistone||14|
|Barrow and Furness||28|
|Batley and Spen||27|
|Bethnal Green and Stepney||27|
|Bexhill and Battle||92|
|Birmingham, Hall Green||12|
|Birmingham, Hodge Hill||4|
|Birmingham, Perry Barr||14|
|Birmingham, Selly Oak||79|
|Birmingham, Small Heath||7|
|Bolton North East||20|
|Bolton South East||9|
|Bow and Poplar||24|
|Brentford and Isleworth||114|
|Brentwood and Ongar||94|
|Brigg and Cleethorpes||61|
|Bristol North West||40|
|Bury St. Edmunds||62|
|Cannock and Burntwood||24|
|Carshalton and Wallington||53|
|Chertsey and Walton||137|
|Chesham and Amersham||129|
|Cirencester and Tewkesbury||77|
|City of Chester||78|
|City of Durham||37|
|City of London and Westminster South||174|
|Coventry North East||11|
|Coventry North West||21|
|Coventry South East||16|
|Coventry South West||47|
|Crewe and Nantwich||33|
|Croydon North East||51|
|Croydon North West||31|
|Denton and Reddish||13|
|Ellesmere Port and Neston||60|
|Epsom and Ewell||93|
|Erith and Crayford||18|
|Falmouth and Camborne||51|
|Feltham and Heston||43|
|Folkestone and Hythe||54|
|Gainsborough and Horncastle||44|
|Glanford and Scunthorpe||44|
|Hackney North and Stoke Newington||49|
|Hackney South and Shoreditch||36|
|Halesowen and Stourbridge||32|
|Hampstead and Highgate||225|
|Hastings and Rye||64|
|Hayes and Harlington||28|
|Hertford and Stortford||110|
|Heywood and Middleton||4|
|Holborn and St. Pancras||97|
|Holland with Boston||20|
|Hornsey and Woodgreen||192|
|Houghton and Washington||11|
|Isle of Wight||55|
|Islington South and Finsbury||98|
|Kingston upon Hull East||11|
|Kingston upon Hull North||31|
|Kingston upon Hull West||8|
|Kingston upon Thames||138|
|Leeds North East||46|
|Leeds North West||49|
|Littleborough and Saddleworth||26|
|Liverpool, Mossley Hill||27|
|Liverpool, West Derby||5|
|Mitcham and Morden||39|
|Morecambe and Lunesdale||44|
|Morley and Leeds South||4|
|Newcastle upon Tyne Central||83|
|Newcastle upon Tyne East||16|
|Newcastle upon Tyne North||23|
|Newham North East||11|
|Newham North West||20|
|North East Cambridgeshire||38|
|North East Derbyshire||23|
|North West Durham||17|
|North West Hampshire||94|
|North West Leicestershire||24|
|North West Norfolk||56|
|North West Surrey||141|
|Old Bexley and Sidcup||44|
|Oldham Central and Royton||18|
|Oxford West and Abingdon||199|
|Penrith and The Border||32|
|Pontefract and Castleford||4|
|Richmond and Barnes||222|
|Romsey and Waterside||84|
|Rossendale and Darwen||45|
|Rugby and Kenilworth||102|
|Rutland and Melton||76|
|St. Helens North||23|
|St. Helens South||13|
|Shrewsbury and Atcham||31|
|Skipton and Ripon||43|
|Somerton and Frome||71|
|South Colchester and Maldon||71|
|South East Cambridgeshire||84|
|South East Cornwall||76|
|South East Staffordshire||16|
|South West Bedfordshire||83|
|South West Cambridgeshire||115|
|South West Hertfordshire||113|
|South West Norfolk||49|
|South West Surrey||120|
|Southwark and Bermondsey||23|
|Stalybridge and Hyde||31|
|Stamford and Spalding||58|
|Sutton and Cheam||81|
|Tonbridge and Malling||84|
|Torridge and West Devon||63|
|Wanstead and Woodford||51|
|Warwick and Leamington||90|
|West Bromwich East||8|
|West Bromwich West||5|
|Westmoreland and Lonsdale||58|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||112|
|Wolverhampton North East||11|
|Wolverhampton South East||4|
|Wolverhampton South West||14|
|Alyn and Deeside||13|
|Brecon and Radnor||27|
|Cardiff South and Penarth||20|
|Ceredigion and Pembroke North||39|
|Clwyd North West||33|
|Clwyd South West||26|
|Meirrionnydd Nant Conwy||8|
|Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney||0|
|Vale of Glamorgan||64|
|Argyll and Bute||14|
|Banff and Buchan||9|
|Caithness and Sutherland||8|
|Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley||14|
|Clydebank and Milngavie||13|
|Cumbernauld and Kilsyth||17|
|Galloway and Upper Nithsdale||28|
|Greenock and Port Glasgow||3|
|Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber||33|
|Kilmarnock and Loudoun||11|
|Kincardine and Deeside||55|
|North East Fife||44|
|Orkney and Shetland||9|
|Perth and Kinross||28|
|Renfrew West and Inverclyde||30|
|Ross, Cromarty and Sky||25|
|Roxburgh and Berwickshire||12|
|Strathkelvin and Bearsden||45|
|Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale||30|
|Fermanagh and South Tyrone||8|
|Newry and Armagh||3|
|United Kingdom Total||30,899|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many inquests were held into deaths which involved allegations of medical or social service negligence in the last five years;(2) how many inquests were held into deaths which entailed potential collective or corporate responsibility in the last five years.
These figures are not collected centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the director general of the Prison Service next intends to visit Her Majesty's prison, Leeds.
The director general last visited the prison on 25 February and has not yet fixed a date for a further visit.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he intends to consult the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds concerning proposals for a national lottery; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) on 13 February, Official Report, column 582.
Obscene Publications Squad
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the total cost from 1987 to 1990 of the Operation Spanner investigation by the obscene publications squad;(2) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the number of occasions on which police forces other than the Metropolitan police consulted or liaised with the obscene publications squad in each year from 1987 to 1991;(3) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the total running costs of the obscene publications squad in 1990 and 1991, and the projected cost in 1992;(4) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the cost of the installation of the obscene publications squad's paedophile database, the number of officers that are employed to maintain it, the number of names of persons currently listed on the database and the nature of other databases maintained by the obscene publications squad.
The total and projected manpower costs of the obscene publications squad are as follows:
|1 These costs cover salaries for police and civilian staff and a personnel administration charge for recruitment, training and the pay roll function. Other costs are not recorded separately.|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Metropolitan Police of the Metropolis officers appointed to the obscene publications squad, the method of application or secondments used in selecting the officers appointed, the length of time for which officers are appointed to the squad and the considerations used in determining the time limit.
There are currently 18 officers, including the superintendent and detective inspector, working in the obscene publications branch. Vacancies in the branch are advertised in Metropolitan police notices.The criteria for selection are that applicants should be mature and well balanced, and able to carry out sensitive investigation in a professional manner with a minimum of supervision.Three years is the normal period for which Metropolitan police officers are attached to specialist units, but this is not an inflexible rule and it can be varied with an individual's suitability for the work.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the Home Office's guidelines on the use of informants.
General guidance about the use of informants by the police is included in the consolidated circular to the police on crime and kindred matters, at paragraph 1.92. Similar guidance about the use of resident informants is contained in Home Office circular 9/92. Copies of these circulars are in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in rank order the number of offences committed per head of population in the most recent year available for each police authority in England and Wales.
The available information is given in the table:
|Notifiable offences recorded by the police per 100,000 population England and Wales 1990|
|Police force area||Offences per 100,000 population|
|Metropolitan Police District||11,642|
|Avon and Somerset||8,987|
|Devon and Cornwall||6,167|
|1 Including City of London.|
Television Licence Fees
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will announce the television licence fees which will take effect from 1 April 1992.
[pursuant to my reply of 22 October 1991, column Nos. 536–637]: On 22 October 1991, at column 537, I announced that from 1 April the fee for a colour licence would be £80 and the fee for a monochrome licence £26·50. My right hon. Friend has today laid before the House the regulations necessary to bring these fees into force. The regulations also increase the fee for a duplicate licence to £3·25 and for a dealer demonstration licence to £3·50.
Education And Science
Ethnic Minority Teaching
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science for what reasons he has not replied to letters to him dated 19 November, 20 December 1991 and 22 January 1992 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to courses for teachers of ethnic minority children; and if he will now reply as a matter of urgency.
The Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, CATE, submitted advice to my right hon. and learned Friend last year, following a review it conducted on teaching English as a foreign language, teaching English as a second language, and teaching English to speakers of other languages as specialisms in courses of initial teacher training.My right hon. and learned Friend has recently decided to accept CATE's advice and is writing to the right hon. Member to confirm his decision.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, if he will publish the test results of seven-year-olds for Lambeth and Tower Hamlets; and if he will make a statement.
I undertook on 19 December that I would publish the test results from Lambeth and Tower Hamlets as soon as I had them. Parents and community charge payers have every right to know how their schools are performing. My Department had to press these two LEAs to get their results out.The results demonstrate that both Lambeth and Tower Hamlets need to give urgent attention to raising standards in their schools. In every single table both authorities are in the bottom quarter of LEAs. In the fundamental skill of reading, Lambeth succeeds in getting only 66 per cent. of its seven-year-olds to the level 2 targets for the age group and Tower Hamlets only 53 per cent. This must be a cause for immediate concern.The table sets out those results which were missing from the report on the national and local results published on 19 December. Copies of the tables published on 19 December, revised to take in the results from Lambeth and Tower Hamlets, have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
|Percentage of pupils at level 2 and above||Percentage of pupils at level 3|
Percentage of pupils at level 2 and above
Percentage of pupils at level 3
English Mathematics and Science
The results are based on returns from 83 per cent. of relevant primary schools in Lambeth and from 74 per cent. of relevant primary schools in Tower Hamlets.
This summer I will require all local education authorities to send me the results of the tests of seven-year-olds from all of their schools. I do not expect the delays that occurred in last year's exercise to happen again.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list each private sector consultancy firm which has been retained by each agency within his Department, and for his Department as a whole, for the purposes of advising on the market testing programme; and whether the appointment in each case was the result of competitive tendering.
Following competitive tendering, the Department has appointed KPMG Management Consulting to advise on its market testing programme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the expenditure on school libraries in the county of Cheshire in the last ten years.
This information is not collected centrally.
Schools (Commercial Products)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidelines he issues to local education authorities about the free distribution in schools of commercial products; and what actions he intends to take with regard to the distribution of the product of which details have been sent to him.
This Department does not issue guidelines to local education authorities about the free distribution in schools of commercial products. The distribution of particular free products is a matter for headteachers and their governing bodies to agree.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will state the amount of the increase in the central Government contribution to the cost of education in Cambridgeshire in 1991–92 over (a) 1990–91 and (b) 1978–79; and if he will make a statement.
Local authorities are free to determine their own spending priorities between services within the framework of the annual local authority finance settlement. The overall amount of RSG which Cambridgeshire receives and its share of payments from the national non-domestic rate pool is based on its standard spending assessment, SSA, the Government's assessment of the expenditure which the authority would need to incur to provide a standard level of service. The education component for Cambridgeshire's SSA for 1991–92 was £225 million; and for 1990–91 it was £193·4 million—cash figures. There was no equivalent of SSAs in 1978–79. Cambridgeshire's outturn recurrent expenditure on education in 1978–79 represented some £191 million at 1991–92 prices. That figure includes the cost of higher education which in 1989–90 became the responsibility of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council, PCFC.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those changes in education and to schools in Bournemouth since 1987 and those currently under way or approved; and if he will make a statement.
In common with other parts of the country, schools in Bournemouth will have benefited from the reforms introduced by the Education Reform Act 1988.Statutory proposals have been approved for the enlargement of five voluntary aided primary schools, and for a new county primary school, providing additional places. Approval has been given for one secondary school to change its age range from 11 to 16 to 11 to 18.My right hon. and learned Friend has approved the applications for grant-maintained status from two local secondary schools, one of which has been operating since September 1990. He is currently considering an application from one other secondary school.I understand that the local education authority have plans to transfer one county secondary school to new premises and to make improvements at one voluntary aided primary school.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what Government grants have been paid to the cities of Edinburgh, Sheffield and Birmingham in the last 10 years in order to provide sports facilities of international standards; and if he will pay grants to cities providing facilities in connection with the Manchester Olympic bid.
All Government funds for sport in England and Scotland are channeled through the respective sports councils which allocate them according to their policies and priorities. Cities are eligible to apply for grant from existing Government programmes provided normal grant criteria are met.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Foot And Mouth Disease
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the number of outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, and the county in which the outbreaks took place, in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years, and to date in 1992; and if he will make a statement.
There have been none.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 5 February, Official Report, columns 187–88, if he will list the amount of payments recovered or withheld under the set-aside scheme in England for each year since 1988; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 13 February 1992]: This information is set out in the table. It takes account of developments since my earlier answer of 5 February and this has resulted in some very minor discrepancies between the two sets of figures.
|Set-aside scheme: England: Payments recovered/withheld|
|County||1988–89 £||1989–90 £||1990–91 £|
|Hereford and Worcester||—||—||—|
|Isle of Wight||—||—||—|
|Tyne and Wear||—||—||—|
Group Marketing Grant
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the group marketing grant.
The scheme will fall into two phases. In the first, farmers, growers and other producers will be able to carry out a feasibility study, which will need to demonstrate that the proposal has long-term benefits to producers, and is a viable proposition.With the aid of the feasibility study applicants will be able to apply for the second phase, of grant for developing existing groups or starting up new ones. Under this second phase aid is available for legal costs, salaries of key staff, training and expenses of outside directors. The maximum grant per group will be £107,000.This scheme has been designed expressly to help producers respond to the shortcomings perceived by supermarkets and other big buyers. It will encourage producers to come together in large professionally managed groups, so that they have the confidence and the clout to deal with retailers on equal terms. Producers will be able to choose the format which suits their enterprise—the scheme will not be limited to cooperatives.The scheme has been drawn up by MAFF after full consultation with the industry. It will be administered by MAFF with the advice of "Food from Britain."
Value Added Tax
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the benefits to importers from the postponed accounting system for value added tax from 1 January 1993; and what is the additional cost to the large domestic businesses which will be required to account for value added tax on a monthly basis from the autumn of 1992.
I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to the hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed (Mr. Beith), Official Report 25 November 1991, column 375. A new forecast will be available with the Budget statement.Some 90,000 businesses will make a cash flow saving in 1992–93 from the postponed accounting system equivalent to deferring payment for six weeks.Some 1,600 of the largest businesses will also experience a reduction in cash flow in 1992–93 as a result of the introduction of accounting for VAT on a monthly basis. They will still have the cash flow benefit of VAT paid by customers before it is paid to the Exchequer, albeit for a shorter period.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the revenue yield, in the latest year for which information is available, from VAT on (a) hot takeway food and drink, (b) alterations to residential buildings, (c) alterations to non-residential buildings and civil engineering works, (d) newspaper advertising, (e) cereal bars, (f) non-residential construction and property development, (g) news services, (h) protective boots and helmets supplied by employers, (i) fuel and power supplied to businesses, and (j) water and sewerage services supplied to industry.
Detail about the revenue yield from VAT on specific items of expenditure is not collected on VAT returns. Estimated receipts for 1991–92 are as follows:
(a) Hot takeaway food and drink
(b) & (c) Alterations to residential & non-residential buildings and civil engineering works
(d) Newspaper advertising
(e) Cereal bars
(f) Non-residential construction and property development
(g) News services
(h) Protective boots and helmets supplied by employers
(i) Fuel and power supplied to businesses
(j) Water and sewerage services supplied to industry
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revenue was generated in 1991–92 by the increase in VAT to 17·5 per cent.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) on 13 February, Official Report, column 595.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the implementation of EC single market legislation associated with value added tax.
The Commissioners of Customs and Excise have issued draft Finance Bill clauses relating to the VAT treatment of goods (and associated services), to relevant trade representative bodies for consultation. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the average gain per taxpayer in 1992–93 from a one penny reduction in the basic rate of income tax for those with incomes (a) below £5,000, (b) between £5,000 and £10,000, (c) between £10,000 and £20,000, (d) between £20,000 and £30,000 and (e) over £30,000, giving in each case the average gain if the same money were instead spent on increasing the single person's tax allowance, in the United Kingdom.
At 1992–93 levels a one penny reduction in the basic rate of income tax would cost about £1·95 billion in a full year. Increasing the personal allowance for taxpayers of all ages by £300 would also cost about £1·95 billion in a full year in 1992–93 compared with statutory indexation.
|Average reduction in income tax (£ per year)|
|Annual income (£)||One penny reduction in basic rate||Increase in personal allowance of (£)300|
Child Care Tax Allowance
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the effect on Treasury revenues in 1992–93 of introducing an allowance against income tax of (a) £1,000 and (b) £2,000 for all working mothers, giving both full and first year costs;(2) if he will estimate the effect on Treasury revenues in 1992–93 of introducing an allowance against income tax of
(a) £1,000 and (b) £2,000 for all working mothers, with at least one child under age five years, giving both full and first year costs.
Estimates of the cost of introducing allowances against taxable incomes for working mothers and lone parents at 1992–93 levels are set out in the table:
|Cost (£ billion) allowance of|
|(a) £1,000 per year||(b) £2,000 per year|
|All working mothers1||0·6||1·2|
|All working mothers with a child under five1||0·2||0·3|
|1 Including lone parents who are working.|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect on Treasury revenues in 1992–93 and in a full year of allowing the cost of child care against the income tax of (a) working mothers and (b) either partner in a two-earner couple, giving figures separately for children under five and those aged five to 16 years.
Information on child care costs paid by working mothers and by two-earner couples with different levels of income is not available. It is therefore not possible to estimate the cost of such a measure.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect on Treasury revenues in 1992–93 and in a full year of introducing a child care tax allowance of £50 a week for (a) working women and (b) either partner in a two-earner couple, assuming that relief is available at the basic rate only, giving figures separately for (i) all families with dependent children and (ii) families with at least one child under five years.
Estimates of the full year cost of introducing such an allowance in 1992–93 are set out in the table:
|Cost (£ billion) Allowance of £50 per week restricted to basic rate relief and given to|
|(a) working mothers and lone parents||(a) the higher earner in a twoearner couple|
|All families with dependent children1||1·4||2·2|
|Family with at least one child under the age of 5||0·4||0·8|
|1 Includes dependent children aged 16 to 18.|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect on Treasury revenues in 1992–93 and in a full year of introducing a child care tax allowance of £50 a week for (a) working mothers and (b) either partner in a two-earner couple, giving figures separately for (i) all families with dependent children and (ii) families with at least one child under five years.
Estimates for 1992–93 are in the table:
|Cost (£ billion) allowance of £50 per week given to|
|working mothers and lone parents||the higher earner in a twoearner couple|
|All families with dependent children1||1·4||2·3|
|Family with at least one child under the age of five||0·4||0·8|
|1 Includes dependent children aged 16 to 18.|
|Quantile group of taxpayers||Total income (£ million)||Average income (£ million)||Total earned income (£ million)||Average earned income (£ million)|
|Top 1 per cent.||28||107,400||20||78,000|
|Top 5 per cent.||68||53,000||54||42,200|
|Top 10 per cent.||101||39,600||84||32,800|
|Bottom 70 per cent.||160||8,900||145||8,100|
|Bottom 50 per cent.||95||7,400||86||6,700|
|Bottom 10 per cent.||12||4,700||11||4,200|
|Top 1 per cent.||28||113,000||22||88,400|
|Top 5 per cent.||71||56,300||59||47,200|
|Top 10 per cent.||106||42,000||91||36,200|
|Bottom 70 per cent.||166||9,400||152||8,700|
|Bottom 50 per cent.||98||7,800||89||7,200|
|Bottom 10 per cent.||12||4,900||11||4,400|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the value of invisible exports to the United Kingdom economy in each year since 1980.
The latest estimates of the value of invisible exports were published in the balance of payments quarterly press notice of 11 December 1991. They are as follows:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update, to take account of the 1991 Budget, the information on tax changes contained in his answer to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total and average income and earned income in 1990–91 and 1991–92 of (a) the top one per cent., (b) the top five per cent., (c) the top 10 per cent., (d) the bottome 70 per cent., (e) the bottom 50 per cent., (f) the bottom 10 per cent. of taxpayers and (g) all taxpayers.
Estimates are given in the table:Kirkwood) on 3 April 1990,
Official Report, columns 525–26, and including two additional ranges of income, those from £70,000 to £100,000 and those over £100,000.
Latest estimates of the reduction in tax liability resulting from the changes in tax rates, allowances and thresholds are in the following table. The 1978–79 income tax regime has been indexed to 1991–92 levels by reference to the statutory formula, and allowing for independent taxation. A reliable analysis of taxpayers with incomes over £80,000 is not available.For the purposes of these calculations the indexed regime of 1978–79 is applied directly to the income base of 1991–92. In practice, retention of the regime, indexed as appropriate for the intervening years would have led to changes in the income base.
|Reduction in income tax compared with 1978–79 indexed regime|
|Range of individual's income in 1991–92||Number of individuals 1991–921(million)||Total reduction in (£ million)||Average gain per individual (£)|
1 Individuals who would he liable to tax under the indexed 1978–79 regime.
Return On Capital
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the average real rate of return on capital invested in British industry over the following periods: (a) 1964–1973, (b) 1973–1979 and (c) 1979–1989.
The average net real rates of return on capital employed by United Kingdom industrial and commercial companies are estimated as follows:
|Debt written oft prior to privatization|
|Privatisation||Amount £||Type of debt|
|British Aerospace||60,000,000||Public Dividend Capital|
|National Freight Corporation1||100,000,000||National Loans Fund|
|British Transport Docks Board2||81,293,616||National Loans Fund|
|British Telecommunications||2,789,865,772||National Loans Fund|
|British Airways||160,000,000||Fund Public Dividend Capital|
|BAA||43,503,340||National Loans Fund|
|British Steel||500,000,000||Public Dividend Capital|
|British Steel||3,480,000,000||Borrowing under Iron and Steel Act 1982|
|Water Holding Companies||4,973,332,672||National Loans Fund|
|Water Holding Companies||55,013,916||Public Works Loan Board|
|Scottish Electricity Companies3||1,043,573,600||National Loans Fund|
|1 Privatised as National Freight Consortium (now NFC).|
|2 Privatised as Associated British Ports.|
|3 Prior to privatisation, National Loans Fund debt due to the South of Scotland Electricity Board nuclear programme of £1,368,390,398 was transferred to Scottish Nuclear Ltd. and subsequently written off.|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list each social security benefit which is currently taxable indicating the numbers affected and the revenue obtained for the latest available tax year.
[holding answer 27 February 1992]: The table lists the benefits liable to tax together with provisional estimates, where available, of the number of people liable to income tax in receipt of each benefit for the whole or part of 1991–92. Table 9.6 of the 1991 edition of the United Kingdom National Accounts (the CSO Blue Book) provides an estimate of income tax attributable in total to these benefits, applying the recipients' average rate of income tax on the whole of their income to the amount of benefit received.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans the Government have to introduce contract compliance for firms employed on Government contracts and for organisations receiving Government funding.
None. All parties to a contract are expected to abide by its terms, which are legally enforceable.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the value of debt to Government written off in each privatisation.
The table shows, by privatisation, debt written off and the type of debt concerned. This includes both debt written off as part of the privatisation process and debt written off in a company which was subsequently privatised.
|Taxpayers receiving in 1991–92|
|Industrial death benefit||n.a.|
|Old person's pension||n.a.|
|Invalid care allowance||n.a.|
|Statutory sick pay||3,000|
|Statutory maternity pay||n.a.|
Mortgage Tax Relief
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the cost of increasing mortgage tax relief for first-time buyers to (i) 40 per cent. and (ii) 50 per cent.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: On the basis that such a relief would apply only to those buying for the first time after the relief was introduced, the cost of increasing mortgage interest tax relief from 25 per cent. to 40 per cent. for every 100,000 first-time buyers would be about £45 million in a full year. Increasing the relief to 50 per cent. would cost about £75 million for every 100,000 first time buyers.
Retail Prices Index
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the impact in 1992–93 on the retail prices index of raising £1 billion from (a) tobacco products, (b) beer, (c) wine and spirits, (d) petrol, (e) VAT and (f) vehicle excise duty.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]:
|(a) Tobacco products||0·4|
|(c) Wine and spirits||0·7|
|(f) Vehicle Excise Duty||0·2|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the most recent figures for the number of non-taxpayers who are claiming mortgage interest relief at source, in the United Kingdom.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: MIRAS is available on all qualifying mortgages regardless of the tax status of the mortgagor. A very approximate estimate, based on household survey information, is that there are about 1 million non-taxpayers with MIRAS.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will seek to arrange a meeting with Colonel Gadaffi to discuss a solution to the Libyan incident.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will appoint a specific Minister for the Disabled.
Since 1975, beginning with the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) there has been a Minister for Disabled People with specific responsibility for disability issues and coordinating Government policies for disabled people.
To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has for improving open government.
The Government will continue to review all areas of policy with a view to increasing transparency and enhancing accountability for the delivery of public services, and will announce future advances as and when they are made.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 3 March.
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.
To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made by the United Nations in creating a mechanism to allow the trial by a neutral body of the Libyans alleged to be responsible for the Lockerbie bombing; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: UN Security Council resolution 731 makes no provision for any such mechanism. We now await a report from the UN Secretary-General about his recent efforts under that resolution to secure Libyan compliance with it.
Trade And Industry
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what evidence has been made available to his Department concerning the dumping on the United Kingdom market of blood plasma products such as 8SM high purity factor 8.
My Department is aware of this and other complaints about the working of the market in blood products. These complaints are being pursued with the Department of Health and the Office of Fair Trading.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many representations he has received proposing that post offices, (a) in rural areas and (b) elsewhere, should handle applications for a national lottery.
I have received no representations in respect of post offices in any part of the country handling applications for a national lottery.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals he has to regulate the activities of network marketing companies; and what estimate he has of the expansion of this type of selling in the United Kingdom.
Network marketing is already regulated under part XI of the Fair Trading Act 1973. Statistics are not collected on selling methods.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his estimate of the effect the implementation of section 43 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 will have on the use of traditional hand pumps in dispensing draught beer.
No estimate is available.It will be possible to use hand-pumps. Whether or not to do so in any particular case will be a matter for the trade, as it is now.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what effect he estimates that the implementation of section 43 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 will have on the price of a pint of beer.
The effect of implementing section 43 will be to increase the transparency of the price because it will then relate to a full pint of liquid, which it seldom does at present.
British Technology Group
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultations he has held with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals on the privatisation of the British Technology Group.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Motherwell, South (Dr. Bray) on 25 February 1992, Official Report, columns 472–73.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list those parts of his Department, including executive agencies, carrying out reviews over the last 12 months into the pay and grading of staff and the firm of consultants engaged where appropriate.
No parts of the DTI, including its executive agencies, have carried out a review of pay and grading of staff in the last 12 months.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce regulations to require all appeals against termination of sub-postmasters' contracts to be heard by an independent person or tribunal; and if he will make a statement.
The conduct of appeals procedures, in common with all other employment issues, is an operational matter and therefore the responsibility of the Post Office. It would not be consistent with Government policy to seek to make regulations on such matters. All appeals against termination of subpostmasters' contracts are heard by an appeals authority of Post Office managers not connected with the case in question. This arrangement has been agreed with the National Federation of Subpostmasters.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy that the proposal that all new electrical appliances can be sold only with a pre-fitted plug will be implemented in such a way as to ensure that all pre-fitted plugs meet the requirements of disabled people, including people with wasting of the muscles and other difficulties in manipulating appliances.
The proposed regulations will allow suppliers of domestic electrical appliances to fit plugs that are suitable for use by the disabled.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to consult interested parties on his proposals for implementing article 7 of the EC package travel directive.
My Department has today issued a consultation letter on proposals to implement article 7 of the directive. This article requires the organiser and/or retailer parties to the contract to provide sufficient evidence of security for the refund of money paid over and for the repatriation of the consumer in the event of insolvency.In our consultation document issued on 24 July 1991, we proposed the establishment of a licensing authority which would require all operators of packages, other than those already licensed through the air transport organisers licence system, to be licensed and bonded to a prescribed percentage of turnover. The outcome of this consultation has caused the Department to reconsider this proposal.The Government's objective in implementing the directive has been to do so in a way which would provide full implementation and proper protection for consumers, but would impose the minimum burdens on industry. It is now clear that the numbers of licensable operators would be large, but their average size would be likely to be small. A licensing system would thus be expensive and would conflict with the Government's objective.We now propose that it will be for organisers to have their own security for refunds in the event of insolvency. Failure to have adequate security will he a criminal offence, punishable by fines and personal liability, both criminal and civil, for any director or manager who has connived at the commission of the offence. Within the bounds of the implementing regulations, it will be for the individual operator to decide what form of security to adopt.It is envisaged that three broad possibilities will be offered in the regulations:
organisers may be bonded, in a sum equal to the maximum amount they hold by way of pre-payments during the period of the bond, to an approved organisation;
organisers may arrange insurance against insolvency, again in the sum equal to the maximum amount they hold by way of pre-payments;
organisers may place pre-payments in a designated account from which they should only be withdrawn when the service against which the pre-payment has been made has been performed.
In the case of packages abroad, organisers will be required to have security also against the cost of repatriation in the event of no longer being able to meet their obligations to customers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list any areas within his Department that have been identified since 18 November (a) by private individuals or organisations from the private sector or (b) otherwise as possibly suitable for market testing and contracting out; and what steps are being taken to prevent any non-governmental organisations successfully tendering to carry out work currently undertaken by civil servants facing a conflict of interest between the public interest requirement of this work and other commercial activities they are involved in or other clients they represent.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: Studies to determine the most promising areas for market testing within the Department are not yet complete. Guidance on the ethics of conducting business with the private sector is contained in the Treasury's public competition and purchasing units guidance—CUP No. 16—and the Department's own procurement and supply manual, which have been circulated to all purchasing units within the Department.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the individuals or organisations from the private sector who have been involved since 18 November 1991 (a) in determining areas within his Department for market testing or contracting out or (b) who have advised him of areas that should be market tested or contracted out to market consultants and the total fees or other costs to date charged to his Department by them and the full costs likely to be charged.
[holding answer 2 March 1992]: The Department is establishing a review panel, including officials and representatives of the private sector, to identify the most promising areas for market testing in the Department. The first meeting of the panel will be held in the near future.
Local Authority Land Sales
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is the total amount of land sold by each local authority in Wales at less than market value to (a) housing associations and (b) private developers for low-cost housing development in each year from 1988;(2) what was
(a) the total original market value and (b) the total actual sale price of land sold by each local authority in Wales at less than market value to (i) housing associations and (ii) private developers for low cost housing development in Wales in each year from 1988.
I will write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all the sites in Wales currently utilised in order to monitor levels of (a) sulphur emission and (b) acid rain; and how much money has been allocated by his Department in order to undertake such work.
The information is as follows:
The monitoring network to which these sites belong are funded on a United Kingdom basis by the Department of the Environment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment has been made by his Department of the use of fuel orimulsion to increase the output of power stations in Wales and the consequent effect of this action on acidification in upland areas and the level of sulphur emissions.
One application to burn orimulsion fuel at a power station in Wales has been made by National Power, in respect of its plant at Pembroke. As required, National Power has made separate applications to the Department of Energy and to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution under the Electricity Act 1989 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 respectively. The Department is being consulted about both applications. In advance of decisions by the relevant bodies, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the proposals, or on the Department's assessment of them, particularly in view of Ministers statutory appellate role under the Environmental Protection Act.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list by county areas how many tonnes of (a) sulphur dioxide, (b) nitrogen oxide and (c) particulate carbon were discharged into the atmosphere in Wales during the latest year for which figures are available.
This information is not available on a county level basis. However, information on United Kingdom estimated emission levels, by emission source and type of fuel, can be found in the Department of the Environment's publication "Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics" No. 13 1990.For emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate carbon, the latest available United Kingdom figures are for 1989—and are 3·67 million, 2·69 million and 0·15 million tonnes respectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the progress of Tai Cymru's scheme to encourage the development of affordable housing for young people in the rural areas of Wales.
The village initiative, which was launched in 1989, has resulted in the provision of 160 additional homes—seven more than expected.Housing for Wales is also finalising ar