Written Answers To Questions
Monday 9 March 1992
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Syrian authorities concerning the violation of human rights of Jews in Syria.
We have made our views clear to the Syrian Government about their human rights record, including the problems of the Jewish community.
Baltic Republics (Gold)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the gold or money equivalent to be transferred to the Baltic republics has now been transferred; and which other countries in the eastern European areas have gold reserves deposited in London.
We hope to reach final agreement with each Baltic Government on the transfer of gold, or its equivalent in money, by the end of March. We hope to receive shortly formal responses from the Baltic Governments to our proposals for the transfer, which we put to them in January.Where countries choose to hold their gold and other international reserves is a matter of banking confidentiality and for them alone to disclose if they wish to. I am not in a position to do so.
International Science And Technology Centre
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statment on the role of the international science and technology centre in Russia.
We support the proposal to establish an international science and technology centre in the CIS to reduce the risk of proliferation of expertise in building weapons of mass destruction. The EC is considering a financial contribution to the initiative from its technical assistance budget.
Chief Scientific Adviser (Moscow Visit)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the visit of Professor Bill Stewart, the chief scientific adviser, to Moscow.
The chief scientific adviser proposes to make an early visit to Moscow for discussions with leading members of the scientific community. These will be directed to identifying ways in which the west can help to sustain the science base in the CIS.
Post Cold War Conference
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government have provided any financial support or other assistance to the conference of former Heads of State and Government in Europe and America on "The World after the Cold War: National Roles and Responsibilities" held in Berlin on 4 March.
The conference of European and American former Heads of State and Government on the "Post Cold War World: Roles and Responsibilities of Nations" was held in Berlin on 5 March. Her Majesty's Government did not provide any financial support. Lord Callaghan was one of the participants and a member of the British embassy in Berlin attended.
Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what negotiations on nuclear disarmament, pursuant to United Kingdom commitments under the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty article VI provisions, currently involve the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
The focus of nuclear arms control negotiations remains on the arsenals of the United States and Russia. We welcome the prospect of further reductions in their nuclear arsenals. Consistent with our nuclear non-proliferation treaty obligations, we are willing to consider involvement in strategic arms control negotiations when the time is right. But our deterrent force is a minimum only, and not comparable to those of the United States and Russia. President Yeltsin has accepted this position. We have, however, already announced substantial reductions in our sub-strategic nuclear capability, including ending our role in the deployment of the Lance missile and nuclear artillery in Europe, the withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons from Royal Navy ships in normal circumstances, and a reduction of about 50 per cent. in the number of our free-fall nuclear bombs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of the British-Argentine high-level group held in Buenos Aires.
The British and Argentine delegations exchanged information and explored ideas on the scope for co-operation on activities deriving from their respective legislative measures relating to the continental shelf in the south-west Atlantic. There will be a second meeting of the high-level group in London in late June 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the annual report on Hong Kong will be laid before Parliament.
The report is being published and laid before Parliament today. Copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain for his departmental library a copy of the report, "Waste Not Want Not—the Production and Dumping of Toxic Waste in Britain and Ireland", by R. Allen.
A copy has already been ordered.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 24 February, Official Report, column 411, to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson), if he will set out the details of his departmental publicity on the duty of care for the disposal and carriage of waste under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The duty of care on holders of waste to ensure that it is properly dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and the related provisions for the registration of carriers of controlled waste under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, come into force throughout Great Britain on 1 April.It is vital that all businesses are informed of the implications of these new laws which require them to take a fair share of the responsibility for the waste they produce or handle. A large number of people need to know about the duty; there are over 2 million business addresses in Great Britain. My Department's information campaign accordingly includes the distribution of some 6–5 million copies of a free explanatory leaflet through local authorities, trade associations and journals. So that knowledge of the new duty is widespread, we are placing advertisements in the national and provincial daily newspapers.
To ask the Secretary of State Environment if he will indicate, for each of the 10 water plcs, the cost at current market prices of purchasing a controlling interest of the companies' shares; and if he will make a statement.
At the price given in the second column of the table, the cost of purchasing a 51 per cent. stake in each of the privatised water companies would be as given in the third column.
|Company||Price per share||£ million|
Note: The share prices are those given in the Financial Times for the close of business on 3 March 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a logo to be used in connection with eco-labelling; and if he will publish a copy.
The logo for the European Community eco-labelling scheme was agreed as part of the eco-labelling regulation in December. An environmental labelling factsheet, which includes the logo, has been deposited in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many products he expects to have been awarded eco-labels by the end of 1992;(2) if he will publish a timetable for the introduction of eco-labelling.
The European Community regulation which will introduce the official eco-labelling scheme was agreed at December's Environmental Council. We expect that it will be formerly adopted at the Environment Council later this month.The Commission is aiming to launch the scheme in the autumn with 10 to 12 product categories. The number of awards of the label will depend on industry's response to the scheme.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what extent the use of minimum packaging will be a requisite of any product awarded an eco-label.
Under the European Community scheme the packaging of a product will be taken into account, together with the other impacts of the product over its lifecycle, in establishing criteria for the award of an eco-label.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what criteria are being set for awarding an eco-label to detergents, paints, carrier bags, bleaches and toilet rolls;(2) what plans he has for the award of eco-labels to services such as dry cleaning, car breakers, photographic processors or taxis.
Agreement has now been reached at European level on the first product categories that are to be developed for inclusion in the eco-labelling scheme. The United Kingdom is taking the lead in developing criteria for washing machines, dishwashers, hairsprays, soil improvers and light bulbs. Other member states have agreed to take the lead in developing criteria for photocopying paper, kitchen rolls, toilet paper, writing paper, paints, laundry detergents and other cleaning agents, insulation materials, batteries and solar heating systems. Other product groups, which could include services, will be agreed in due course.No proposals for criteria have yet been formally submitted.
Uniform Business Rate, Leeds
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals against the uniform business rate have been lodged each year since its introduction in the Leeds metropolitan district.
In Leeds, 10,289 appeals were lodged in 1990–91 and 3,497 between 1 April 1991 and the end of February 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals against the uniform business rate remain outstanding in the Leeds metropolitan district.
In Leeds, 11,307 appeals were outstanding at the end of February.
Local Authority Rate, Leeds
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals were made by local businesses against the local authority rate in 1989–90 in the Leeds metropolitan district.
In Leeds, 1,452 appeals were made by businesses in 1989–90.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the amount which will be due to be provided from RECHAR for purposes within the metropolitan borough of Rotherham.
|Authority||1991–92 community charge (£)||1992–93 community charge (£)||change in 1992–93 charge over 1991–92(per cent.)||change in 1991–92 charge over 1990–91(per cent.)|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the community charge figures for Westminster and Wandsworth in 1992–93.
The authorities mentioned have yet to make a return to the Department giving this information. Charging authorities have until 18 March to make their "Demands and Precepts Return" to the Department and they have until 1 April in which to set a charge.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total sum provided from central funds through the standard spending grant for the Westminster, Wandsworth and Rotherham local authorities, respectively, expressed on a per capita basis; and what were the community charge figures for these local authorities in 1991.
The information requested is as follows.
|1991–92 Revenue support grant£ per adult||1991–92 Community charge £ per adult|
Note: Community charge figures are after the £140 reduction made by the Community Charges (General Reduction) Act 1991, for which authorities are compensated by Exchequer grant in 1991–92. Authorities also receive £349.18 per adult from the non domestic rate pool in respect of 1991–92.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the community charge
Approval of projects within the South Yorkshire RECHAR area is the responsibility of the programme co-ordinating committee, which has not yet formally met. Consequently, no estimate can be given of the value of projects within the metropolitan borough of Rotherham which will be funded by RECHAR.
Local Government Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the district authorities in Northamptonshire setting out (a) the 1992–93 community charge and last year's community charge, (b) the percentage increase, subdividing that increase into that part accountable to the district and that part accountable to the county, (c) the percentage increase between 1990–91 and 1991–92 having made allowances for the £140 rebate and (d) identifying which party is currently in control.
Not all authorities in Northamptonshire have supplied the relevant information. Charging authorities have until 18 March to make their "Demands and Precepts Return" to the Department and they have until 1 April to set a charge. The available information is as follows:collection costs per head of relevant population for each of the west midland authorities, for each of the years available.
The information is as follows:
|Community charge collection costs per head of relevant population (£)|
Local Government Commission
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 4 February, Official Report, column 135, if he is now able to publish the draft procedural guidance for the local government commission.
The draft procedural guidance will be published for comment as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has received from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee concerning the international trade in wild caught birds.
The JNCC's report "International Trade in Wildlife: A Review of Sustainable Use", published last October, is relevant to the bird trade. Since then, I have had discussions with both the UNCC and other interested organisations about the aspects of the trade, especially in the context of proposals for discussion at the current conference of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES.
Merseyside Fire And Civil Defence Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the representations by the Merseyside fire and civil defence authority in respect of the financial difficulties facing it in carrying out its statutory duties; if he intends to meet members of the authority as requested; if he is reviewing its standard spending assessment; and if he will make a statement.
Our reply of 25 February to Merseyside fire and civil defence authority's letter made clear that we did not consider it appropriate to meet the authority to discuss its budget. We have taken our decisions on the revenue support grant settlement for 1992–93, under which the authority's standard spending assessment increases by 7·4 per cent., but we are prepared to consider any new evidence on SSAs for the future.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what calculations have been made by the Government of the revenue consequences of building a national stadium in Manchester; and what consideration has been given as to which authority would have ongoing responsibility for meeting them.
Studies indicate that a stadium in east Manchester would cover its operating costs and make a profit. The detailed calculations use material which is commercial-in-confidence and it would be prejudicial to future negotiations to make this public.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of the costs of the intended national stadium in Manchester, announced by the Minister for Sport on 3 March, it is intended should be provided from central Government funds; and if he will make a statement.
The Government are already committed to the purchase and preparation of the stadium site. The costs of this will be met from central Government funds and part of the £55 million allocated to the Manchester Olympic bid will be used for this purpose.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has considered ways in which empty Government residential properties might be brought into use to house homeless people; and if he will make a statement.
The Public Accounts Committee reporting on homelessness in June last year drew attention to the potential for using empty Government residential properties to help house the homeless. Other Government Departments, which are individually responsible for managing their own properties, have co-operated with my own in drawing up best practice guidance on the management of their empty properties.The guidance emphasises the need for Departments to have clear strategies for their stock; the role of local authorities and housing associations in alleviating homelessness, and the advantages of making maximum use of short-term lets of properties which are temporarily vacant. It explains the potential for contracting out management of such properties to housing associations and others.It also sets out simplified disposal procedures, endorsed by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury which may be used by Departments selling their properties to housing associations and others. These procedures should speed up property sales. Quicker sales should bring more of such properties into use faster, and thus contribute to relieving housing stress in pressure areas. My Department's regional controllers will play a liaison role as necessary in bringing together Departments, authorities and housing associations to help speed the process.Great strides have been made in recent years in reducing the numbers of empty properties held by Government Departments. However, further progress can be made particularly where local authorities have great difficulty in housing the homeless. I hope that all those who receive the guidance will act on the advice and to make better use of their properties in accordance with the spirit of the PAC report.The guidance is being issued today by my Department and that of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I am arranging for it to be placed in the House Libraries. Copies are being sent to all Government Departments and local authorities, and distributed to registered housing associations through the Housing Corporation.
Rural Housing Programme
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will announce the allocation of resources to local authorities under his Department's rural housing special programme for 1992–93.
Local authorities that have been successful in bidding for resources under my Department's rural housing special programme for 1992–93 are being informed today. These allocations follow the success of this programme in its first year in 1991–92 in seeking to address, at low unit costs, shortages of social housing which exist for local people in some rural areas.The £30 million of additional supplementary credit approvals are being targeted on those local authorities in rural areas with the greatest need for low-cost rented housing and where best value for money will be obtained. The programme is designed in part to take advantage of the Department's planning policies for the provision of social housing in rural areas, articulated in DOE circular 7/91. This explains that local authorities may now give planning permission for low-cost housing to meet local needs on some sites where commercial housing would not be allowed. Research carried out by the Department recently indicated that this policy was achieving positive results.
All the schemes will be undertaken by housing associations, and this programme is in addition to the Housing Corporation's own programmes for shared ownership and rented housing in rural areas. The corporation's rural programme has targets for approvals rising to 2,250 in 1993–94.
The allocations which I am announcing today should support the creation of 1,016 new units in 1992–93, from 138 schemes in 112 local authorities.
A schedule of allocations has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Coal And The Environment
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is in a position to announce his decisions on the recommendations contained in the report of the informal working group on coal and the environment published last year.
The informal working group was comprised of officials from the Departments of the Environment and of Energy and British Coal. It was set up to review progress on improving the environmental context of coal extraction, to identify where further improvements might be made and to recommend action. The group's report identified a number of options for change and was issued for public consultation in June 1991. In the light of the responses to that consultation, we propose to bring forward amendments to the General Development Order 1988 and to the Town and Country Planning (National Coal Board) Regulations 1974. The effect of these amendments would be:
To provide for British Coal's permitted development rights for underground working to continue within a sensible planning unit based on the existing infrastructure of, and capital already invested in, the particular colliery. They will not be able to work outside that unit without obtaining specific planning permission in the normal way.
To incorporate British Coal's special permitted development rights for opencast coal exploration within the general permitted development rights for minerals exploration. Those rights will be amended to provide for a six monthly indefinitely renewable permission subject to giving periodic notice to the mineral planning authority.
I believe this will provide a clear and fair planning framework for the coal industry now and in the future.That British Coal's specialised entitlements to compensation following adverse planning decisions will be fully aligned with the general planning compensation regime applying to all mineral operators.
"This Common Inheritance"
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on progress on the implementation of the commitments set out in the first anniversary report on the environment White Paper "This Common Inheritance"; and whether there will be a second progress report this year.
I am very pleased to announce further progress on the 400 commitments to action made in last September's anniversary report on "This Common Inheritance". To demonstrate our continuing commitment to environmental issues, the Government will issue a further detailed report on progress in October 1992. This will draw on the findings of the new statistical report on the environment to be produced by my Department in September this year.
Britain is a world leader in the integration of environmental issues across Government Departments. This successful integration has been assisted by the strong role now played by the "green" Ministers in every Department. These Ministers seek to ensure environmental considerations are taken into account in the work of their Departments, as recently announced in the environmental coverage in Department's 1992 reports; training to back up guidance Departments use when considering the environmental impact of their policies and programmes; advice provided by a range of new environmental advisory bodies, such as the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment.
This concerted approach has allowed the Government to make progress on its environmental commitments in all areas.
In the international arena the members of the Antarctic treaty successfully completed and, in October 1991, signed the protocol on environmental protection of the Antarctic which provides for a 50-year ban on mineral activity in the Antarctic. The British Government have also continued to prepare for the UN Conference on Environment and Development—"The Earth Summit"—which the Prime Minister will attend in Rio in June 1992. The United Kingdom has played a leading role in the negotiations for international conventions on climate change and the conservation of the world's biological diversity, both of which it is hoped will be ready for signature in Rio.
In the European Community significant progress has included agreement in December 1991 on a Community eco-labelling scheme for products which achieve a high degree of environmental performance; agreement in December 1991 on a habitats directive to protect endangered wildlife and natural habitats; agreement on a regulation to control the export of certain hazardous chemicals, mainly pesticides; adoption in December 1991 of a directive on the protection of water against nitrate pollution. The Government have also announced that the use of CFCs will be phased out by the end of 1995, two years ahead of the EC target.
On policies affecting the countryside, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has continued to press for the inclusion of environmental considerations in negotiations on the reform of the common agricultural policy. Other policies on the countryside include: the launch of "Action for the Countryside", a statement of the Government's policies to enhance the conservation, development and enjoyment of the English countryside, introducing a number of new initiatives to fund and encourage such action; increased protection for sites of special scientific interest; publication of a revised planning policy guidance note on the countryside and the rual economy, setting out a balanced approach to rural development and conservation; publication of "Our Farming Future" setting out the Government's policies for reconciling agricultural and environmental objectives; measures to improve the environment of the farmed uplands, particularly moorland.
In addition, the Employment department has continued to develop policies to encourage environmentally sustainable tourism, with the publication by the English tourist board of the "Green Light: a guide to sustainable tourism" in December 1991.
As far as the marine environment is concerned my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has secured agreement in the EC restricting the length of drift nets to be used by all EC vessels wherever they fish in the world.
Measures which affect the local environment include: the introduction in Britain of the first phase of a system of integrated pollution control, which brings together the regulation of pollution of air, land and water. This has attracted considerable interest in the EC, and may form the basis for Community-wide action; implementation of the majority of the provisions of the Planning and Compensation Act including a development plan-led system which pays close attention to environmental factors, supported by strengthened planning guidance; introduction, in January 1992, of the first phase of a new urban air quality monitoring network, which will provide more information for the public on a wide range of air pollutants; the launch in November 1991 of a major national publicity campaign "Helping the Earth Begins at Home" to raise householders' awareness of the link between home energy use and global warming, and to encourage greater energy efficiency.
At the Department of Transport, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State has also been making progress on our commitments to make transport more sensitive to the environment by: the introduction of MoT emissions checking to reduce vehicle pollution; publication of "Keeping Buses Moving", a guide to bus priority in urban areas, allocation of £10 million for local bus schemes, and approval of further work in developing the Midland metro light rail scheme.
At the Department of Health work has continued to develop the strategy for "greening the NHS", encouraging the use of environmentally sensitive products, and making more effective use of resources.
Many other Departments are developing their own environmental initiatives. At the Department of Education and Science, the expert committee appointed to consider environmental higher and further education is making good progress; the Ministry of Defence has launched a thorough environmental review of its work; and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Offices all have environmental programmes to meet their particular needs.
Charterhouse Estates Ltd
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much his Department has given in grants to Charterhouse Estates Ltd. for its involvement in the Liverpool 1 area; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 3 March 1992]: A city grant of £196,000 was awarded to Charterhouse Estates Ltd. on 6 March 1992 for the conversion of 14–16 Fleet street, Liverpool to a studio-business complex. This was the first and only grant offered so far by the Department to the company for its involvement in the Liverpool 1 area.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many residential properties owned by his Department are (a) empty, (b) for sale on the open market, (c) intended for sale on the open market and (d) for sale to housing associations, in terms of numbers and percentage of stock.
[holding answer 5 March 1992]: The Department of the Environment manages 52 residential properties, as distinct from those held and managed by other Departments as part of their departmental estate. Of this total, 7—13·5 per cent.—are (a) empty, none are (b) for sale on the open market, 12—23 per cent.—are (c) intended for sale on the open market and none are (d) for sale to housing associations.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from national showmen in respect of winter quarters.
[holding answer 5 March 1992]: We have recently received a number of representations on behalf of the National Showmen Fight for Rights about the advice given in circular 22/91—"Travelling Showpeople".
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will put forward proposals requiring local authorities to include within their local plans their policies on the provision of facilities for travelling showpeople.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: My Department has recently issued guidance to local planning authorities in circular 22/91, "Travelling Showpeople" which, among other things, emphasises that local planning authorities should consider the needs of travelling showpeople when preparing local plans and unitary development plans.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what steps he is taking to establish an inspection and enforcement service fully to enforce international wildlife controls as recommended in the report on international trade in wildlife;(2) what is his estimate of the cost of implementing all the recommendations in the recent Joint Nature Conservation Committee report on international trade in wildlife as they apply to the trade in wild birds; and if he will make a statement;(3) if he will introduce import taxes or charges for licence applications for traders of wild birds.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: Implementation of many of the JNCC's recommendations, including those relating to inspection and enforcement and import taxes and charges, needs to be considered by the European Community as a whole. The European Commission's proposals for changes in the relevant Community legislation were published last month and we shall be consulting widely on them. Until agreement has been reached within the Community on the precise changes to be introduced, it will not be possible to estimate the total costs of implementation.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what additional funding he will make available to implement the new measures to protect wild birds in trade that were announced by him on 27 February; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: The Department has made provision for staff to analyse and take follow-up action on the checklists completed in relation to imports of live animals. We shall make additional funding available for other measures as and when necessary.
Special Protection Areas
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to issue revised guidance to local planning authorities on the treatment of designated and candidate special protection areas in the light of the Leybucht Dyke case heard in the European Court of Justice.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for Housing and Planning to my hon. Friend the member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) on 27 February 1992, Official Report column 562. We published draft guidance on that day, and will issue it in final form later this year in a new planning policy guidance note on nature conservation.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when officials from his Department last met staff of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to discuss future special protection area designations; and what was agreed.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: My officials last met staff of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and English Nature on 13 February to discuss special protection area designations. Progress on sites already submitted to the Department was discussed and the Government expect to announce a number of further designations shortly. Discussions are continuing on the future work programme. It was agreed to maintain the momentum through 1992–93 and beyond.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list where nuclear waste from power stations, all other nuclear installations, and imported waste, are stored in Britain.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: Low-level radioactive waste is disposed of at British Nuclear Fuels' shallow disposal facility at Drigg. Intermediate-level radioactive waste is currently stored on site awaiting deep disposal. High-level or heat-generating radioacative waste is stored at Sellafield and Dounreay. No radioactive waste is imported into the country.
Local Government Services
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he provides county councils on the supply of disaggregated information about the cost of provision of the local government services to district councils.
[holding answer 6 March 1992]: Each year the Department of the Environment publishes a document "Standard Spending Assessment Handbook" which sets out underlying information about the service elements of standard spending assessments for each English local authority. A copy is sent to each authority and copies of the 1990–91 and 1991–92 editions are available in the House Library. In addition, every local authority is obliged to publish its accounts annually.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes in ultraviolet radiation levels have been revealed by the continuous monitoring by the National Radiological Protection Board in the last three months; if he will publish the relevant data; and if he will make a statement.
I have been asked to reply.A preliminary analysis of results obtained at Chilton, Oxfordshire, as part of the National Radiological Protection Board's programme of development for solar radiation measurement, for the months December 1991 to February 1992, does not indicate any signficant differences in mean levels from those expected. Temporal variations in levels appear to be within the range of variations expected from variability in local weather conditions.
Business Property Values
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the change in average business property values since April 1988.
I have been asked to reply.There are no statistics available in relation to average business property values which would enable information to be supplied in the form requested.
Nuclear Reprocessing Plant
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will next meet the European Commissioner for Environmental Matters to discuss the impact of the Dounreay reprocessing plant on the Irish sea and the surrounding environment.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has no such plans.
Rent Arrears Scheme, Hackney
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his decision to end Hackney council's arrears-to-rents scheme.
I have been asked to reply.I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon Friend the Member for Waveney (Mr. Porter) on 7 February at column
324. We do not have the information to provide an estimate of the amount of housing benefit that may have already been paid.
Duchy Of Lancaster
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next intends to visit the Duchy.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next plans to visit the Duchy.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next plans to visit the Duchy.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any plans to visit the Duchy in April.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next intends to visit the Duchy.
I refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. Enright) earlier today.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many legal advisers there are in the Duchy office.
There are two legal executives employed by the Duchy in the Duchy office. The Duchy solicitor is a partner in a firm of solicitors and he regularly visits the Duchy office but is not a member of the staff.
Trade And Industry
External Trade Statistics
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the significance of the figures in the final column of table F2 of the monthly review of external trade statistics.
The series referred to is a measure of changes in the prices of exports of manufactured goods from the United Kingdom's 11 main competitors.
Export Credits Guarantee Department
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the outcome of his annual review of Export Credits Guarantee Department premium rates.
Experience of the use of the portfolio management system indicates that it provides a sound basis for helping to determine the appropriate level of premiums. We continue to press ahead with our international initiative to encourage the use of systems which more closely match premiums to risk. Meanwhile, I have now completed the first annual review of Export Credits Guarantee Department's rates taking account of experience of the practical operation of the system, the latest forecasts of economic prospects in all the main markets, and the competitive position of British exporters. It is clear from this review that in the event current premium rates need adjusting to reflect changes both in trading patterns and in the creditworthiness of various markets so as to achieve our planned likelihood of avoiding underwriting losses. I am happy to say that we have therefore been able to make substantial reductions for many markets, though there will be some increases in others, notably those whose prospects have significantly weakened. The new rates will come into effect from 6 April. The Export Credits Guarantee Department will be in touch with exporters, and their representative associations, to inform them of the changes.
Renewable Energy Sources
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a further statement on the role of renewables within the Government's overall energy strategy.
The Government's renewable energy policy is to stimulate the development and deployment of all technologies with prospects of commercial viability and environmental acceptability. This is being implemented by supporting a collaborative research, development and demonstration programme with industry, providing an appropriate institutional framework, and utilising the non-fossil fuel obligation which has resulted in contracts being placed for more than 600 MW of electricity from renewable sources. Moreover an independent advisory group, which I chair, is currently reviewing renewable energy strategy. I expect the group to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy in the spring.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to undertake an environmental assessment of the current 100 MW target for renewables.
For renewables projects which require planning permission, the likely environmental impact will need to be taken into account when the application is determined. In some cases, there will be a requirement for environmental assessment. Environmental assessment will also need to be undertaken for those projects promoted by means of a private Bill.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what would be the cost of transferring the burden of the nuclear levy from industry to the Exchequer.
Fossil fuel levy receipts in 1990–91 were £1,175 million, of which an estimated £300 million derived from sales to industry. The terms of the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation contracts ensure that the levy revenues needed to finance nuclear-sourced electricity will decline substantially, in real terms, by 1997–98.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received concerning the burning of orimulsion, and to which power stations they relate.
My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations mostly relating to National Power plc's application to fit electrostatic precipitators in order to use orimulsion as a fuel at its Pembroke power station, and also in relation to the burning of orimulsion at Grain, Richborough and Ince power stations. My right hon. Friend has decided not to proceed further with National Power plc's application until he has received the considered views of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what weights of plutonium arising from foreign nuclear fuel reprocessed at Sellafield were returned to the respective countries of origin in (a) 1990 and (b) 1991; and if he will specify which countries were involved and under which safeguards arrangements.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list (a) all measures taken by his Department in the last 12 months to prevent nuclear proliferation, (b) the number of personnel in his Department working to prevent nuclear proliferation and (c) his Department's total expenditure on control of nuclear proliferation in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
My Department has been involved in several important initiatives in the last 12 months, aimed at strengthening nuclear non-proliferation controls.As the lead Department on safeguards issues and provider of the United Kingdom representation on the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors, we have been developing policy on measures to strengthen IAEA safeguards, in consultation with other Departments and our international partners. My Department has supported the IAEA and its role in the United Nations special commission's activities in Iraq, in facilitating the availability of technical advice and assistance from United Kingdom nuclear experts.My officials continued to advise DTI on export licence applications for nuclear related materials and equipment. They provide technical advice to other Departments and take part in United Kingdom delegations to international export control organisations such as the European Community political co-operation group on nuclear non-proliferation, the nuclear suppliers group, and the Zangger committee.Nine administrative and technical staff from the Department's atomic energy division, are directly involved to some degree on nuclear non-proliferation issues. Figures arc not readily available on expenditure specifically related to this work.
Gas-Fired Power Stations
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the permissions granted for the construction of new gas-fired power stations by company and planned generating capacity.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) on 24 February at columns 397–400.The hon. Member will, however, wish to know that my right hon. Friend has now given consent to the application by Citigen Ltd to construct a 90 MW station fuelled by gas and fuel oil at Charterhouse street, London ECI.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy 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.
No consultancy firm has been appointed so far.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the energy intensity figure, in tonnes coal equivalent per $1,000 gross domestic product, for each of the European Community and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries in (a) 1973 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available in each case.
Figures for energy intensity in member countries, on the basis of tonnes of coal equivalent per $1,000 of GDP—at 1985 prices and exchange rates—are as follows:
Sources: Energy Balances of OECD Countries 1987–1988 (OECD, 1990) and Energy Balances of OECD Countries 1980–1989 (OECD, 1991).
Figures for energy intensity in member countries are published by the OECD, on the basis of tonnes of oil equivalent per $1,000 of GDP. The figures have been converted to the basis of tonnes of coal equivalent per $1,000 of GDP, using the standard conversion factor of 1.7.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are Her Majesty's Government's latest forecasts of levels of United Kingdom petroleum production.
The latest forecasts for the United Kingdom petroleum production in the years 1992 to 1996 are as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what response he has given to representations from high-energy-using industry, including the engineering steel industry, about proposed increases in electricity prices.
My right hon. Friend asked major energy users, including the engineering and steel industries, to provide detailed information on electricity prices so that the Government may better understand their position. This work has made good progress.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on issues discussed, proposals rejected and decisions taken at the most recent special meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency that focused upon international nuclear safeguards.
A report on the issues discussed at the February board of governors has been made by the International Atomic Energy Agency in the form of a press release, No. PR 92/12, dated 26 February. A copy of the press release has been deposited in the Library of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether the United Kingdom ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna has made any additional pledge of resources, scientific expertise or technology for safeguards at the IAEA board of governors special meeting on improving international nuclear safeguards that opened in Vienna on 24 February.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he intends to meet the National Union of Mineworkers to discuss the future of coal mining in Britain; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend and I have no plans at present to meet the National Union of Mineworkers to discuss the future of coal mining in Britain.
Nuclear Transport Ships
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the liability coverage (a) currently in place or (b) planned, for (i) Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd. ships and (ii) Nuclear Transport Ltd. ships registered in the United Kingdom.
As the licensed operator of the Sellafield site, British Nuclear Fuels plc is responsible for complying with the provisions of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, as amended, with regard to insurance for the transport of nuclear materials to or from the site. The insurance arrangements for meeting these requirements in respect of ships registered in the United Kingdom and owned by Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited—PNTL—are a commercial matter for BNFL and PNTL. Nuclear Transport Limited owns no such ships.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will tabulate the number of craft apprentices as defined by legal indentures currently attending either day release or sandwich courses at colleges of higher or further education, showing the number by convenient classes or categories of craft, trade, or future occupation;(2) if he will tabulate the number of craft apprenticeships entered into in each year since 1980 in convenient classes or categories of craft, trade, or future occupation.
The information is not available in the precise form requested. Estimates for Great Britain from the labour force survey of the number of people undertaking craft apprenticeships at the time of the survey are given in the table.
|Spring each Year||Thousands|
Note: Information for 1981 from the Labour Force Survey is not comparable with that for other years. There was no Labour Force Survey in 1980 or 1982.
Of the 201,000 craft apprentices in the spring of 1990, around 90,000 were attending day release or sandwich courses.
Customs Clearance Agents
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what compensation or redundancy arrangements will be available for customs clearance agents and their employees after 1 January 1993.
Statutory entitlements to redundancy payments, based on age and length of service, are provided for in part VI of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, and, in Northern Ireland, the Contracts of Employment and Redundancy Payments Act (Northern Ireland) 1965.
Employers (Disability Adaptations)
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on levies on employers in other EC countries who do not adapt premises or equipment for employees with disabilities.
We have no information to suggest that any EC country places a levy on employers in this way.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make it his policy to place a levy on employers who do not adapt premises or equipment for employees with disabilities in order to subsidise other employers to carry out such works; and if he will make a statement.
We have no intention of adopting such a policy.Under the aids to premises and equipment—APE—scheme, the Employment Service currently makes grants available to employers towards the cost of adapting premises or equipment for an existing disabled employee or a new recruit who is disabled to enable them to work more effectively and productively.In the summary paper published in 1990 "Evaluation of special schemes for people with disabilities" the large majority of employers interviewed who had benefited from the APE scheme said they would have been prepared to pay more towards the costs of an adaptation. Nevertheless, there was no call either from those employers or from individual beneficiaries for a levy of employers who did not adapt premises or equipment. There is no evidence that such a levy would improve the employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he has had with his EC counterparts on harmonising duties of employers to provide facilities for employees with disabilities; and if he will make a statement.
We have had no such discussions. EC countries provide for the employment and training needs of people with disabilities in a variety of ways, according to the circumstances which exist in the country concerned. We are in the process of improving the effectiveness of our employment and training services for people with disabilities, following extensive consultations. We take the experience of other countries, including EC countries, into account as appropriate. We also take opportunities to inform representatives from other member states about developments in the United Kingdom.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the date of, cause of and compensation paid in each fatality on a youth training scheme since 1979, or latest convenient date.
The information on dates and causes of fatalities is in the table.The Employment Department does not pay damages in compensation to families of trainees fatally injured on YT, or the former YTS. However, training providers are contractually obliged to obtain insurance to cover any claims to compensation or damages. Payments made by either insurance companies or YT training providers are a private matter between them and the trainees' families. The Employment Department is not informed of these settlements.
|Cause of fatality||Date|
|Lorry hit horse, trainee run over||27 June 1983|
|Trainee fell down disused mine shaft||7 September 1983|
|Trapped under fork lift truck||12 October 1983|
|Crushed by reversing tractor||1 February 1984|
Cause of fatality
|Road Traffic Accident||27 July 1984|
|Motorcycle accident||22 August 1984|
|Dumper truck overturned into stream||24 September 1984|
|Shock to lungs caused by burning||28 January 1985|
|Traumatic asphyxiation||26 February 1985|
|Electrocution||29 July 1985|
|Road Traffic Accident||20 August 1985|
|Road Traffic Accident||7 May 1986|
|Fall from ladder||12 May 1986|
|Road Traffic Accident||30 June 1986|
|Trapped whilst loading lorry||3 October 1986|
|Trapped whilst directing vehicle||11 November 1986|
|Electrocution||26 November 1986|
|Road Traffic Accident||22 December 1986|
|Trapped in farm silo||4 March 1987|
|Hit by girder carried on fork lift truck||18 March 1987|
|Road Traffic Accident||13 April 1987|
|Trapped under wheels of tractor||17 August 1987|
|Trapped under worktops||23 October 1987|
|Trapped between tractor and building||16 November 1987|
|Trapped in silage machine||14 December 1987|
|Knocked down by motorcycle||12 January 1988|
|Drowned at sea||14 January 1988|
|Killed in explosion||5 August 1988|
|Fall from ladder||15 August 1988|
|Digger bucket collapsed on trainee||18 August 1988|
|Road Traffic Accident||14 September 1988|
|Road Traffic Accident||5 October 1988|
|Road Traffic Accident||2 November 1988|
|Acetate caught fire||2 November 1988|
|Electrocution||3 March 1989|
|Fell through roof opening||19 April 1989|
|Trapped in fire||18 May 1989|
|Road Traffic Accident||1 December 1989|
|Crushed by dumper truck||17 January 1990|
|Decapitation at sea||1 October 1990|
|Caught in explosion||18 January 1991|
|Hit by car||21 March 1991|
|Found in building on fire||21 March 1991|
|Hit by speeding motorcycle||19 September 1991|
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many unemployment benefit claimants there were in Coventry, in December 1978 and December 1991.
In December 1991, there were 18,520 people claiming unemployment-related benefits in the Coventry local authority district. Information on the numbers claiming unemployment related benefits for local areas such as local authority districts has been available only since June 1983.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the proportion of the populations of Wandsworth, Westminster and Rotherham which are currently unemployed.
The latest total population estimates available from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys are for mid-year 1990. The latest available numbers of unemployed claimants relate to January 1992. These data have been used for all three areas in the following reply.In the local authority district of Wandsworth the total population estimates is 256,200 and the number of unemployed claimants is 15,863. On this basis, approximately one person in 16 is claimant unemployed.
In the local authority district of Westminster the total population estimate is 179,200 and the number of unemployed claimants is 9,470. On this basis, approximately one person in 19 is claimant unemployed.
In the local authority district of Rotherham the total population estimate is 254,500 and the number of unemployed claimants is 14,115. On this basis, approximately one person in 18 is claimant unemployed.
Central And Eastern Europe
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what way his Department has supported the activities of the legal profession in England and Wales in giving legal technical assistance for central and eastern Europe with particular reference to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Armenia; and if he will make a statement as to the extent to which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assistance unit has been involved in supporting these activities.
We consider the evolving legal professions in eastern and central European countries and those of the former Soviet Union to be an integral part in the process of democratisation. The know-how fund has, to help in this process, worked closely with the various bilateral legal associations, the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Law Society and the Bar Council. The Scottish legal profession is also involved in projects, particularly in the Baltic republics.The following activities have been supported:
Security Law and Banking Supervision Law—The provision of British legal advisers to the Government of Poland to complete work on drafting a Security Law and to discuss a draft law on Banking Supervision.
Lawyer Placement Scheme—To enable ten lawyers from Lodz to come to the United Kingdom to learn about the structure and operation of the legal profession.
Reform of Land Valuation and Property Registration—Advice from British experts on how to secure title to land, and advice on valuation procedures for foreign and Polish investments consistent with Polish political constraints.
Management of a Law Practice—A seminar held in Poland, on the management of a lawyer's office.
Assistance to the Czech Bar Association—To advise on the establishment of a specialist legal publishing house.
Commercial Law Seminar—Two day seminar in Prague to familiarize Czechoslovak lawyers with United Kingdom commercial law, organised by the British-Czechoslovak Law Association.
Placement Scheme for Officials from the Czech and Slovak Ministries of Justice—A one-month long placement scheme on commercial law organised by Queen Mary and Westfield College.
Bar Council/Law Society Visit—Joint mission by the Bar Council and Law Society to identify possible areas of assistance.
Environmental Law—Commentary on the Draft Bulgarian Environmental Protection Law.
Legal Workshop—A legal workshop by the British-Bulgarian Legal Association in Bankya.
Placement Scheme for Hungarian Lawyers—Placement scheme to give young Hungarian lawyers direct experience of United Kingdom commercial law practices.
Anglo-Hungarian Legal Seminar—Seminar on the practical negotiations of a joint venture including dealing with financing documents and intellectual property matters.
Anglo/Hungarian Legal Seminar—Seminar on Criminal Justice and the administration of the probation service.
Un Conference On Environment And Development
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals are being developed by his Department's Overseas Development Administration for submission to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June.
My Department contributes to the Government's preparations for UNCED, which are led by the Department of the Environment. Proposals to be discussed by world leaders at the UNCED are the subject of intergovernmental negotiations in the UNCED preparatory committee, which is meeting in New York from 2 March to 3 April. ODA officials are included in the United Kingdom delegation, and the ODA has contributed to submissions made by the United Kingdom to earlier meetings of the preparatory committee, including on population and the environment, and technology transfer. The Secretary of State for the Environment spoke to the preparatory committee on 2 March setting out the United Kingdom's views. A copy of his speech is in the Library.
Education And Science
Dorset Lea (Funding)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the percentage change in real terms in funding to the Dorset local education authority since 1979.
Local authorities are free to determine their own spending priorities between education and other services within the framework of the annual local authority finance settlement. Dorset local education authority's outturn expenditure in 1979–80, including the cost of higher education which in 1989–90 became the responsibility of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council was some £74 million. Its expenditure in 1989–90, the latest year for which actual spending information is available, was some £169 million. The real terms percentage change between these figures is 14 per cent.
Walsall Council (Budget)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the position of Walsall metropolitan borough council in his Department's list of levels of overheads for education authorities in England; what percentage of the council's education budget is spent on administration costs and the average administrative costs per pupil; and if he will give the comparable figures for each of the education authorities in the west midlands.
The information is set out in the table.
Expenditure on central administration relating to primary and secondary schools, 1991–92
As percentage of PSB2 Per cent
Ranking by percentage3 Number
As expenditure per pupil£
|Hereford and Worcester||3·18||38||50|
1 The figures are derived from local education authorities' budget statements prepared under Section 42 of the Education Reform Act.
2 The potential schools budget (PSB) consists of all spending on schools other than capital expenditure, expenditure supported by Government specific grants, and expenditure on school meals, home to school transport and transitional exceptions from delegation such as grounds maintenance.
3 The ranking is according to the percentage of PSB spent on central administration by each of the 97 LEAs (excluding most inner London LEAs) which currently have local management of schools schemes in operation. The lowest percentage is ranked as 1.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations his Department has had from the North West Regional Association of Education Authorities in regard to the Further and Higher Education Bill [Lords] and the Education (Schools) Bill; what replies he is sending; and if he will make a statement.
Representations about a number of aspects of the Further and Higher Education Bill and the Education (Schools) Bill were received in letters from the association in late February. Replies to those letters were sent on 6 March.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give the proportion of the population attending local authority schools and the proportion of the population aged over 75 years in the areas of the Wandsworth. Westminster and Rotherham local authorities.
The proportions for 1991 are set out in the table:
|Percentage of the population|
|Attending schools maintained by local education authority||Aged 75 years or over|
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what support will be given from public funds towards students' maintenance in the academic year 1992–93.
We propose the following increases in student support. They are subject, in each case, to parliamentary approval of the necessary regulations.The maximum rates of loan in the United Kingdom will be as follows:
|Loan rates 1992–93||Full year rate (£)||Final year rate (£)|
|Students living away from home:|
|Students living at home||570||415|
|Main grant rates 1992–93||(£)|
|Students living away from home:|
|Students living at home||1,795|
|Resources from main grant and loan, 1992–93||Full year(£)||Final year(£)|
|Students living away from home:|
|Students living at home||2,365||2,210|
I am placing in the Library details of all the rates of grant and loan and of the parental and spouse contribution rules.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make funds available to secure the future of the Hancock museum, Newcastle and the Sunderland museum.
Funding these museums is not a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend.The Hancock museum is owned by the Natural History Society of Northumberland. Its running costs are provided by Newcastle university. Like all universities, Newcastle is an autonomous institution responsible for managing its own financial affairs. It is for the university to decide the level of funding for this facility in the light of other priorities.The Sunderland museum is the responsibility of the Tyne and Wear museums service.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are his plans for capital expenditure for grant-maintained schools for the financial year 1992–93.
[pursuant to his reply, 23 January 1991, c. 3 10–14]: In my earlier reply I said that I would announce in due course further capital allocations to grant-maintained schools for named projects to start in 1992–93. We have agreed allocations with a total value of £8·8 million. Some projects are phased over two years.Of the 60 schools that submitted bids for consideration in the second round, 38 have received an allocation for a named project. Having now seen all the bids together I have also decided to make allocations to four schools who submitted technology-related bids last year which were unsuccessful in the first round. Together with the announcement I made on Thursday about technology schools initiative allocations we now have 101 schools which have benefited from the TSI.The grant-maintained schools will make good use of the funds allocated to them which will enable them to improve the facilities and working environments for their pupils.The following is a list of the named project allocations.
|Second tranche of Named Project Capital allocations for grant-maintained schools in 1992–93|
|School and Project||Total Project Allocation|
|Technology Schools Initiative|
|Adams' Grammar School Technology building||470|
|Aylesford School Phase I of new technology building||380|
|Burntwood School Upgrading of technology facilities||553|
|Claremont High School Technology facilities||250|
|Cranbrook School Design and technology centre||438|
|The Crypt School Information Technology development||151|
|Desborough Comprehensive School Technology and design facilities||465|
School and Project
Total Project Allocation
|The Glyn School Technology block||350|
|La Retraite High School Technology block||750|
|Moseley Park School Technology suite||730|
|Netherthorpe School Extension to existing technology building||300|
|Northampton School for Boys Technology provision||250|
|TOTAL FOR TECHNOLOGY||5,087|
|Ash Green School Roof and structural work||100|
|Baines School Phase I: 2 storey classroom block||750|
|Belmont Primary School Health and safety (kitchen)||25|
|Brookmead School Extend, refurbish and equip science and technology||85|
|Copland Community School Window replacement||75|
|Elmwood Primary School Boilers||54|
|Fulston Manor School Rural science block extension to form laboratory||48|
|Gartree School Re-roofing of science and mathematics block||75|
|Hayes Manor School Fire protection||114|
|Hayes School Science refurbishment||280|
|Kelsey Park School Science refurbishment||300|
|King John Middle School, Northants Refurbish HORSA huts||250|
|Langley Grammar School Health and safety||150|
|Loddon Middle School Technology room||73|
|Magdalen CE/Methodist Primary School Health and safety (playground)||15|
|Mellow Lane School Fire protection, under pinning and repairs||120|
|Myton School Health and safety (kitchen refurbishment)||28|
|Newlands Spring Primary School Permanent replacement of 1 temporary classroom||55|
|Norwich Road School Sanitary facilities||93|
|Oldborough Manor High School Lower School rewiring||91|
|Parkstone Grammar School Renewal of curtain walling||116|
|The Plume School Business studies suite||58|
|Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith Roof and structural repairs||102|
|Riddlesdown High School Health and safety improvements||107|
|Ringwood Comprehensive School Science laboratory refurbishment||85|
|Salterlee Primary School Essential health and safety||18|
|St. Mary's RC Primary School, Hertfordshire Roof renewal||108|
|Thomas Whitehead CE School Erection of Elliot relocatable classroom||25|
|Wrotham School Roofing and associated repairs||100|
|Yarborough High School Science block||200|
School and Project
Total Project Allocation
|TOTAL FOR OTHER PROJECTS||3,700|
East Dorset Health Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the expenditure of the East Dorset health authority in 1979 and for the current year; what percentage change in real terms this represents; and if he will make a statement on health services in the Bournemouth area.
The East Dorset health authority was established on 1 April 1982. The annual accounts of the authority show total revenue expenditure of £54·5 million, cash, for 1982–83 and 114·7 million, cash, for 1990–91, the latest year available. These figures represent an increase in real terms of 34·6 per cent. measured at 1991–92 prices.For 1979–80 the annual accounts of the former Dorset area health authority record total revenue expenditure of £54·1 million, cash, compared with £165·9 million, cash, by the successor East and West Dorset health authorities in the financial year 1990–91—an increase in real terms of 41·2 per cent. measured at 1991–92 prices.East Dorset health authority is to be congratulated on its achievements since the commencement of the Government's NHS reforms and I expect the services provided to residents to continue to improve.A major landmark within the Bournemouth area is the opening, in February, of phase II of the new Royal Bournemouth hospital. Phase I, opened in 1989, provided general medical and general surgical beds and enabled the centralisation of vascular surgery and urology services to take place at a later date.Phase II will include a 24-hour accident and emergency service which will be operational by August 1992 and will be additional to the similar service already provided at Poole. This will mean that East Dorset will have two 24-hour accident and emergency services. Increased orthopaedic services together with the existing orthopaedic in-patient facilities transferred from Christchurch hospital and a trauma service for fractured necks will all improve the local services for elderly people.The 24-hour accident and emergency service and the introduction of a low-risk obstetric unit which the authority plan to develop into the first midwife-led maternity unit in the United Kingdom have both been included as a direct response to consumer representations.The extra capacity at the Royal Bournemouth hospital is allowing the authority to offer many added benefits to local residents including reduced waiting times for out-patients. Since April 1991, the total number of people in East Dorset waiting for more than one year for in-patient treatment has reduced by over 50 per cent. and by 31 March 1992 is expected to represent only 6 per cent. of all people waiting.The number of people awaiting treatment for more than two years has reduced by 90 per cent. and there will be no people waiting for more than two years by the end of March 1992.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost of the merger of the Mersey ambulance service and the Cheshire county ambulance service.
This information is not held centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact Sir Donald Wilson, the chairman of the Mersey regional health authority, for details.
Bio Products Laboratory
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what activities of the Bio Products Laboratory were deemed to be activities as defined under schedule 8 to the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 in relation to the transitional arrangements on licensing applying to loss of Crown immunity status on 1 April 1991.
Activities related to the sale, supply, manufacture and wholesale dealing of medicinal products which are licensable activities by virtue of sections 7 and 8 of the Medicines Act 1968.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the total number of nurses employed in the county of Cheshire; and if he will give the totals for 1970, 1980 and 1990.
This information is available only for health service regions and districts.
Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the criteria by which a company is assessed for inclusion within the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme.
The pharmaceutical price regulation scheme is a voluntary agreement between the Health Departments and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical industry. It is intended to apply to all companies supplying national health service medicines which are prescribed by medical or dental practitioners.The term "national health service medicines" refers to any human pharmaceutical product which is marketed under a specific brand name. The agreement therefore does not cover pharmaceutical products which are sold under their generic title, nor packs which are predominately intended for sale to the public without a prescription.
Gp Budget Holders
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department gives to hospitals on the procedures concerning the relative priority with which patients of budget holders may be seen compared to non-budget holder patients; what representations he has received on this matter; and if he will make a statement.
Following representations made by the BMA we discussed this issue with the Joint Consultants Committee; and issued joint guidance to hospital consultants in June 1991 in executive letter (91)84. The guidance clearly states that
Copies of the executive letter are available in the Library."provider units will not offer contracts to one purchaser which would disadvantage the patients of another purchaser".
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether female transplant patients may receive free cosmetic treatment from the national health service for such things as hair growth caused by anti-rejection pills.
The treatment of such a patient under the NHS is a matter for the clinical judgment of the doctor responsible for her care.
Rehabilitation Medicine Consultants
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the number of consultants in rehabilitation medicine in post at 31 December 1990, 31 March 1991, 30 June 1991, 30 September 1991 and 31 December 1991, respectively.
Information on the number of hospital medical staff is collected on an annual basis by census as at 30 September each year. The latest information available is for 30 September 1990 and this shows that there were 11 consultants in rehabilitation medicine in England at that date.Census data for 30 September 1991 will be available later this year, a copy of which will be placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the number of people within Trent regional health authority who failed to attend national health service hospitals after being granted firm appointments in the year to March 1991; and how many of these obtained private treatment instead.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary gave my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest (Sir Patrick McNair-Wilson) on 19 November 1991 at column 130. The total number of patients on the waiting list at 31 March 1991 in Trent for ordinary or day case admission who had deferred admission at their own request was 4,417. Information is not collected centrally on numbers who failed to attend for in-patient and day case treatment or who obtained private treatment instead.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent on information campaigns about meningitis in each of the last three years; and what plans his Department has for future campaigns.
Health education campaigns are conducted on behalf of the Government by the Health Education Authority which is funded by the Department. During the coming year, as part of its promotion of immunisation, the HEA will provide information on the new vaccine to be introduced against haemophilus influenzae b, a major cause of bacterial meningitis in young children; it is not possible to break-down this expenditure. In addition the Department makes an annual grant of £15,000 per annum to the National Meningitis Trust to help fund its information campaigns for both members of the public and professionals, and the HEA has assisted the trust with production of an information pack for GPs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what governmental initiatives have been taken in the last five years as to research into meningitis; what financial assistance has been given, and to which bodies, to organisations involved either in research into the disease or support to families affected; and whether such assistance is able to be separately identified as to amounts spent on research, administration and salaries of those working for organisations receiving Government support.
The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council which receives its grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science. Figures for the last five years for MRC research into meningitis are as follows:
Direct support (through MRC's own Units):
Clinical Research Centre, Division of Communicable Diseases, Harrow, Middlesex.
Pathogenesis and immunobiology of meningococcal infection.
MRC Laboratories, The Gambia, West Africa.
Serological studies with Haemophilus Influenzae Type B polysaccharide/protein conjugate vaccines.
Indirect support (through grants to University departments):
Professor E. R. Moxon, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford.
Molecular basis of Haemophilus Influenzae pathogenicity.
Dr. G. J. Boulnois, Department of Microbiology, University of Leicester.
Genetic engineering of Polysaccharides.
Professor T. H. Pennington, Department of Bacteriology, University of Aberdeen.
Studies on the population genetics and typing of Neisseria Meningitidis.
Dr. J. E. Heckels, Department of Microbiology, University of Southampton.
Immunobiology of meningococcal outer membrane proteins.
Dr. D. M. Jones, Manchester Public Health Laboratory,
Public Health Laboratory Service Board, London.
To investigate Neisseria Meningitidis surface antigens for induction of protective antibody after disease/ carriage.
Dr. J. J. McFadden, Department of Microbiology, University of Surrey, Guildford.
DNA probes to study epidemiology and virulence of Neisseria Meningitidis infections.
Dr. B. G. Spratt, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton.
Molecular basis and molecular epidemiology of the emergence of penicillin resistance in Neisseria Meningitidis.
Dr. Rosalyn A. Davies, Department of Neuro-otology, Institute of Neurology, London.
The use of brain-stem acoustically evoked responses to predict permanent hearing loss following bacterial meningitis.
Dr. A. Robinson, Bacterial Antigens Group, Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Porton.
A preliminary investigation into the mechanisms of meningococcal meningitis.
In the last five years the Department of Health has commissioned the following meningitis related research projects:
It is not possible to break down this expenditure into amounts spent on research, administration and salaries. Money given to the National Meningitis Trust is not intended for research purposes.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each years since 1979 the number of community nursing staff employed and the number of visits undertaken to patients over retirement age.
[holding answer 6 February 1992]: The information is not available in the form requested. Also, definitional changes between 1979 and 1990 and differences in definition between manpower and activity statistics make detailed comparisons difficult.Table 1 shows the number of community health care nursing staff between 1979 and 1990. Included in the figures are all primary health care staff, except school nurses, agency staff and midwifery staff: community psychiatric nurses and community mental handicap nurses are included from 1981, the first year for which data were available.Table 2 shows the number of people aged 65 and over who were seen by a home nurse or health visitor between 1979 and 1987–88, and by a district nurse, health visitor, community psychiatric nurse, community mental handicap nurse or other community nurse in 1988–89 and 1989–90, following the introduction of a new data collection system. Figures are not collected centrally on the total number of contacts with community nurses by age.
|Primary Health Care (Community) Nursing1Staff at 30 September Each Year England|
|Department of Health (SMI3) annual census of NHS non-medical manpower.|
1 Excludes school nursing, midwifery and agency staff, but includes community psychiatric and community mental handicap nursing staff.
2 All figures are independently rounded to the nearest one hundred (100) whole-time equivalents.
3 Not adjusted for reduction in nurses working hours during 1980–81 (from 40 to 37·5 hours per week).
4 Understated figure due to errors in occupation coding at South East Thames Region.
First contacts Home/Community nursing (thousands)
First contacts with 65s and over
Sources: LHS 27/3, KC56–59
1 For 1988–89 and 1989–90, there was a change in the method of data collection, and therefore the figures are not comparable to past years.
2 This estimate was based on incomplete age data for the first year of a new data collection system and appears to over estimate the true figure.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what percentage the levels of notifiable criminal offences and crimes of violence, respectively, changed in Leicestershire during the last 12 months for which records are available.
In the 12 months to September 1991, recorded crime in Leicestershire increased by 29·5 per cent. over the previous 12 months and crimes of violence increased by 9·8 per cent.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what number and what percentage reported (a) criminal offences and (b) crimes of violence have altered in Leicestershire during the last six months for which records are available.
In the six months to September 1991, recorded crime in Leicestershire increased by 29·6 per cent. over the corresponding six months of 1990. Crimes of violence increased by 14·6 per cent. over the same period.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) notifiable criminal offences and (b) crimes of violence were notified to the police during the last six months of 1979 and of 1991, respectively.
In the last six months of 1979 there were 1,296,570 notifiable offences recorded in England and Wales of which 69,023 were crimes of violence. Information for the last six months of 1991 is not yet available.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what number and by what percentage the number of police officers in Leicestershire has altered since May 1979.
At the end of December 1991 police strength in Leicestershire constabulary was 1,808. This is an increase of 107, or 6·3 per cent., since the Government first took office in May 1979.
Press Code Of Practice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to consult the chairman of the Press Complaints Committee on strengthening the code of practice of national newspapers to protect mentally disordered persons from intrusion by the presss; and if he will make a statement.
None. Changes to the code of practice are matters for the newspaper industry to consider. The Government have, however, made it clear that they will review the effectiveness of press self-regulation in the middle of this year.
Poll-Tax (Liability Hearings)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many liability hearings for outstanding poll tax have so far taken place with the defendant present; of these how many (a) orders were made or (b) no order were made; and what is the status of those not falling into either categories (a) or (b).
Information on liability hearings for non-payment of community charge where the defendant was present is available for the period 1 April 1991 to 31 December 1991. During that period the total number of liability hearings conducted where the defendant was present was about 129,000. Liability orders were made in about 107,000 of these hearings. Other information about liability hearings with the defendant present is not collected.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many motor vehicles were (a) broken into and (b) stolen, during the latest year for which figures are available in England and Wales.
The available information relates to thefts of and from motor vehicles recorded by the police in England and Wales. Provisional figures for 1991 show that there were 582,267 thefts of a motor vehicle and 913,706 thefts from a motor vehicle. These figures were released earlier today in Home Office statistical bulletin 2/92, a copy of which will be available in the Library shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the total cost of establishing and publishing the system of overseas voter registrations.
Advertising campaigns to inform British citizens living abroad of their voting rights were undertaken in 1986, when the overseas franchise was introduced by the Representation of the People Act 1985; and in 1990, upon the extension of the qualifying period from five to 20 years, under the Representation of the People Act 1989. The total costs involved were £279,000 and £705,000 respectively. In 1991 a total of £1,400 was spent on updating the posters used in British diplomatic posts abroad.The costs of the passage of the 1985 and 1989 Acts were largely absorbed within existing provision. Estimates of any additional costs involved could be provided only at disproportionate cost.The cost to local authorities of registering overseas electors under the 1989 Act in 1990 and 1991 is estimated to be £172,000. Estimates for the years 1986 to 1989 are not available.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list, in rank order, for each (i) police authority and (ii) county police authority in England, including average figures (a) the number of police offices in 1979, (b) the number of police offices for the latest year for which figures are available and (c) the difference between the two ranking by (c);(2) if he will list, in rank order, for each
(a) police authority and (b) county police authority in England, including average figures (i) the number of police officers in 1981, (ii) the number of police officers for the latest year for which figures are available and (iii) the difference between the two, ranking by (iii).
I will write to my hon. Friend.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what initiative on drugs is being planned to coincide with the United Kingdom presidency of the European Council in the second half of 1992.
European drug prevention week will take place on 16 to 22 November, and we shall be playing a full and active part. This initiative was proposed by the United Kingdom, and has been taken up by all our EC partners. In the United Kingdom, a wide range of national, regional and local events is being planned with the overall objective of raising awareness of the dangers of drug and solvent misuse, especially among young people.
Life Sentence Prisoners
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has established the order in which existing discretionary life sentence prisoners, who are eligible for consideration under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, will have their cases considered by the Parole Board; and where the hearings will be held.
The hearings will be held in the establishments in which the prisoners concerned are located. It will be for the Parole Board to decide the order in which cases are heard. To assist it in this task, I will provide the board with a list of those eligible in each establishment in suggested order of priority for hearing. The lists will be prepared on the following basis.Prisoners due for a review under existing arrangements between now and 1 October, when the new provisions come into force, will be offered the opportunity to defer their reviews so that they can benefit from the new arrangements. Those who opt to defer will be at the top of the list, in original date order.Next will be any prisoner for whom the Parole Board has previously made a release recommendation which was not accepted. Thereafter, prisoners will be ranked in order of the month in which, under existing procedures, their next Parole Board review would have been due to commence. Where a number of cases rank equally in the same month, account will then be taken of the length of time served past expiry of the tariff period of sentence, with priority being give to those who have been detained longest. If further fine tuning within the same month is necessary, any prisoner who has previously been released on licence, but recalled to prison, will be placed below others who have previously been detained for the same length of time past tariff. Account will also be taken of any compassionate considerations indicating that an early hearing is appropriate.
Police Complaints Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has made to appoint a successor to Judge Francis Petre as chairman of the Police Complaints Authority.
Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of Sir Leonard Peach as chairman of the Police Complaints Authority with effect from 1 August 1992 when the current chairman, Judge Francis Petre, retires on 31 July 1992. I welcome this appointment. Sir Leonard Peach, who served from 1986–89 as chief executive of the NHS management board, is shortly to retire from IBM (UK) Ltd. after a distinguished career.
To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to alter the present departmental structure for consideration of women's issues.
I am currently examining existing departmental responsibilities for women's issues.
Value Added Tax
To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy not to widen the scope of VAT by introducing a positive rate on those items that are presently zero-rated.
The Government have no plans to extend the scope of VAT to any items which are currently zero-rated, and no need to do so.
To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to meet with non-governmental organisations which specialise in non-proliferation issues to discuss the outcome of the special session of the United Nations Security Council decisions on nuclear non-proliferation agreed in New York on 31 January.
I have no specific plans to do so. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is in close touch with non-governmental organisations in this field.
To ask the Prime Minister whether the library at 10 Downing street contains a copy of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish the main points of the agreed United Nations Security Council special session policy to control nuclear proliferation held in New York on 31 January; indicating what plans he has to publicise the strategy agreed on nuclear non-proliferation.
The agreed conclusions of the high-level meeting of the Security Council on 31 January are set out in the statement which I made at the time on behalf of all members of the Security Council, and on which I reported to the House on 3 February at columns 21–35. The statement has been published as Security Council document S/23500, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions on which he has officially visited Scotland since he assumed his present office, and the engagements he undertook during those visits.
I have made five official visits to Scotland, when I undertook a number of different engagements.