Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday 12 December 1995
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking in respect of BAA's application for an increase in the air transport movements limit at Stansted airport.
We are today beginning consultation on raising the limit on air transport movements at Stansted. This follows the application by BAA plc, the airport operator, to increase the limit to 150,000 movements each year. The Department is seeking views on this option, as well as on an alternative option of increasing the limit to 120,000 movements a year.When planning permission was granted for the development of Stansted, an upper limit was placed on the number of air transport movements each year to ensure that the local infrastructure could cope with air traffic growth. We now need to decide whether it is time to increase that upper limit, and if so by how much, taking account of local interests and without unduly restricting the airport's ability to grow.The Department will be seeking the views of airlines, local authorities and other interested parties. Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Library.
Motor Vehicle Tests (Deregulation)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the estimate saving to businesses from the Deregulation (Motor Vehicles Tests) Order 1996. 
The estimated annual potential benefit to both business and private motorists is £3 million. It is not possible to apportion that estimate between the two categories of vehicle user without disproportionate effort.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will show for all consultants and other outside organisations or individuals currently or previously employed by his Department for advice or assistance in rail privatisation (a) the name of the consultancy, organisation or individual, (b) the length of the contract offered to each consultancy, organisation or individual, (c) the total amount inclusive of VAT paid to date to each consultancy, organisation or individual and (d) the services required by his Department from each consultancy, organisation or individual; and if he will make a statement. 
[pursuant to his reply, 22 November 1995, c. 142–43]: Information about payments to individual contractors is commercially confidential.
Payments made to date to consultants currently or previously employed by the Department total £35.4 million.
Consultants currently employed by the Department on rail privatisation are:
|Linklaters and Paines||Legal advice|
|Samuel Montagu||Merchant Banking|
|SBC Warburg||Merchant Banking|
|Merrill Lynch||Merchant Banking|
|KPMG Peat Marwick||Accountancy and Taxation|
|Ernst and Young||Accountancy|
|Ernst and Young||Information Systems|
|Richard Ellis||Property matters|
|Brodies||Advice on Scots law|
|Travers Morgan||Specialist advice on BRIS contract pricing|
|Ernst and Young||Corporate finance advice on BRIS contract pricing|
|PA Consulting Group||Information Systems|
|Touche Ross||Reporting consultants|
|Solid Solutions||Retail offer advisers|
|Sherman and Sterling||US lawyers|
|Bruce Bower Assoc.||Financial adviser|
|K. Bence||Engineering adviser|
Contractors employed by the Department on rail privatisation to provide sercvices other than consultancy advice are:
|WRC (via C01)||Advertising agency|
|Sampson Tyrrell||Design company|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||Receiving/custodian bank|
|Mail Marketing (Bristol) Ltd||Mailing house|
|Database Group Ltd||Database manager|
|Royal Mail||Postal services|
|Lloyds Bank Registrars||Database provider|
|Touche Ross||Fraud audit|
Contractors employed by the Department on rail privatisation are:
|Arthur D. Little||Research|
|Coopers and Lybrand||Access and access charging|
|Putnham Hayes and Bartlett||Access and access charging|
|Debenham Tewson and Chinnocks||Property matters|
|Deloitte Haskins and Sells||Industry structure|
Contracts for consultancy advice are normally offered on an on-going basis with provision for the Department to terminate the contract.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those consultants, outside organisations and individuals employed to date by his Department to assist with the franchising of ScotRail. 
No advisers have been appointed to assist exclusively with the franchising of ScotRail, but a number of advisers have been appointed to assist on a range of issues relating to rail privatisation. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Ms Jackson) on earlier today.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has had with the Director General of the Office of Rail Franchise Regulation concerning issues of competition relevant to the preferred bidder status of the Western Region management team and First Bus for the Great Western passenger rail franchise and the dominant supplier position of First Bus in bus transport on the Cardiff-Swansea express bus route; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 11 December 1995]: Any competition issues raised by a rail franchise bid are for the franchising director, the Rail Regulator and the Director General of Fair Trading. My Department has been involved in discussions of a general nature.The Railways Act 1993 confers on the Rail Regulator the functions of the Director General of Fair Trading with respect to any monopoly situation or anti-competitive practice relating to the supply of railway services. Qualifying mergers are investigated by the Office of Fair Trading under the Fair Trading Act 1973.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list (a) in total and (b) in each region, the number of lollipop (i) men and (ii) women employed in each year since 1979, and if he will make a statement; (2) what is the average wage for lollipop
(a) men and (b) women; and if he will make a statement. 
The information is not collected centrally.
Foreign-Owned Fishing Vessels
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many foreign-owned British-registered fishing vessels are (a) demersal vessels of 10 m and (b) beamers of 10 m; and what are their engine capacities and lengths. 
[holding answer 8 December 1995]: The information requested is not available.
Traffic Regulation Orders
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance his Department gives to local authorities to determine traffic regulation orders; and what procedures are available to the public to object to such orders. 
Statutory procedures for local authorities to make traffic regulation orders in England and Wales under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 are set out in the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1120), as amended by the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/1500). These include requirements to consult parties that appear likely to he affected, to advertise the proposal and provide a general opportunity for objections to be submitted, and to give such objections due consideration before an order is made.
Airline Lost Luggage Compensation
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to uprate annually the "amount per kilo" calculation for lost baggage compensation on airlines under the Carriage By Air (Sterling Equivalents) Order 1986. 
My right hon. Friend expects to make a new Carriage by Air (Sterling Equivalents) Order early in the new year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to encourage other European partners to ratify the 1975 Montreal protocol relating to compensation levels for lost baggage so that provisions under the protocol can be brought into force. 
The Government acknowledge that liability limits established by the Warsaw convention 1929 and the Hague protocol 1955 are inadequate. Montreal additional protocol No. 3, which includes provision for updating liability limits for baggage, is unlikely to come into force in the immediate future. We have therefore been exploring within the European Civil Aviation Conference alternative means of increasing liability limits.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motor vehicles over 25 years of age are currently registered in the Sheffield area. 
An estimated 18,250 vehicles over 25 years of age are currently licensed in the Sheffield post town area. Of these, 11,550 are in private and light goods, motorcycle or tricycle taxation classes and will qualify for exemption from vehicle excise duty as a result of the vehicle taxation changes announced in the Budget on 28 November 1995.
London Regional Transport Smart Card
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with London Transport in respect of the design of the smart card currently being considered by London Regional Transport with particular reference to data protection matters. 
Data Protection Act Certificates
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what occasions certificates under section 27 of the Data Protection Act 1984 were signed by a member of his Department; for how long each certificate was valid; if he will make a statement on the other circumstances in which vehicle owner records or driver licence details can be used for the purpose of safeguarding national security; to what extent circumstances will extend to the digitised form of the photograph on the new driving licence; and if he will make a statement. 
Certificates under section 27 of the Data Protection Act 1984 must be signed by a member of the Cabinet or the Attorney-General or the Lord Advocate. The Secretary of State for Transport has not signed such a certificate. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is registered under the Act.I also refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 25 January 1995,
Official Report, column 367.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on official hospitality in 1994–95 and the financial year to date; and what is the 1995–96 projected budget for official hospitality. 
The Department of Transport, excluding its agencies, spent £127,247 on official hospitality in 1994–95. The overall budget for 1995–96, which now also includes some non-entertainment costs such as those for eyesight test for VDU users, is £202,524, of which £84,351 has so far been spent.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on furnishing and decorating ministerial offices in his Department in each of the last three years. 
The annual costs for the Department of Transport are as follows:
1 To date. The Department moved to new premises in 1995.
Education And Employment
Special Educational Needs Tribunal
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the first annual report of the president of the special educational needs tribunal will be published; and if she will make a statement. 
The report has been published today, and copies have been placed in the Library.
I very much welcome the report which shows that, during its first year of operation, the special educational needs tribunal has met the targets it was set for dealing with appeals. This is an excellent start.
The SEN tribunal president, staff and members have worked very hard and have achieved a great deal during the year. This has been achieved despite extreme and unexpected pressure—the tribunal has done well to adapt to meet this. The report is a tribute to their hard work.
The tribunal has been very well received by both parents and local education authorities. It has gained a deserved reputation for impartiality, informality and, above all, fairness. This is something which I applaud.
This is an excellent base on which to build. I hope the tribunal will continue the excellent work it has begun.
Supported Employment (Disabled People)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what studies her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated of the net Exchequer costs of moving disabled persons off benefits and on to supported placement schemes; if she will list the (a) calculations and (b) conclusions contained in these studies; and if she will estimate the costs involved in respect of Remploy's employees. 
A 1989 study "The Net Exchequer Costs of Sheltered Employment" examined these issues. It is available in the Library. More recently, the Department has commissioned a study by the Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities to look at the effectiveness of supported employment agencies, which among other things will revisit some of the issues of the earlier study. This study has not yet been completed, and we will consider its findings in due course.
Standard Spending Assessments
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the average standard spending assessment provision for (a) primary pupils and (b) secondary pupils in each English county in 1995–96 and 1996–97, in current prices. 
The table sets out each English shire authority's education standard spending assessment per five to 10-year-old and per 11 to 15-year-old for the relevant years in cash terms. The figures for 1996–97 are provisional.
|SSA per pupil (5–10)||SSA per pupil (11–15)|
|LEA name||1995–96 £||1996–97 £||1995–96 £||1996–97 £|
SSA per pupil (5–10)
SSA per pupil (11–15)
|Hereford and Worcester||1,827||1,914||2,439||2,558|
|Isle of Wight Council||2,016||2,070||2,696||2,757|
1 LEAs that ceases to exist on 1 April 1996 as a result of Local Government Reorganisation.
Discretionary Awards (Dance And Drama Students)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is her most recent estimate of the number of local education authorities that do not make discretionary awards to students of dance and drama. 
Discretionary awards are a matter for local education authorities. The Department does not collect data on the discretionary awards policies of individual authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what consideration has been given to health and safety issues in the context of increases in class size. 
Local education authorities and school governors have a general duty to ensure that school premises are safe. They will obviously want to bear that duty in mind in considering how to accommodate any increase in pupil numbers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement on the application of the Government's policy on age discrimination in respect of the training and enterprise council operating agreement with regard to priority for training for work for particular age groups. 
No one has priority for entry to training for work solely on the grounds of age. Priority for entry to training for work is given to people who are regarded as being seriously disadvantaged in the labour market. This includes 18 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for two years or more. Priority comes into effect only when there is a waiting list for entry. It is unlikely that this has occurred in practice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement on the function of classroom assistants; what is her policy on the extent to which they are expected to engage in formal class teaching; and what guidance her Department issues regarding their engagement and use. 
Decisions on the engagement and deployment of classroom assistants are for headteachers and governors in consultation with the teaching staff whose work is to be supported. The Department is currently funding a pilot programme of training for specialist teacher assistants, and has defined the competences that this group of assistants will need to offer effective support to classroom teachers, principally at key stage 1, in the teaching of the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate she has made of the number of staff within jobcentres who are in receipt of family credit. 
This information is not available from the Department for Education and Employment as individuals are required to contact social security (income support) directly if they wish to apply for family credit.
Job Creation (Construction Industry)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate she has made of the number of jobs in the construction industry which would be created by a building programme of 35,000 homes in one year. 
The Department has made no such assessment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment she has made of the performance of the Quantock school, Somerset to establish if it meets the standards required by her Department. 
Standards at independent schools are monitored through educational inspection by Ofsted and, in the case of boarding schools, by local services departments for child welfare provision. Inspectors from Ofsted and Somerset social services department have visited Quantock school this year and reported that provision meets the minimum standards required by the Education Act 1944, as amended.
Vat Debt (Bankruptcies)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of firms closed down in each year as a consequence of the actions of VAT inspectors for each year since 1979 by county. 
[holding answer 11 December 1995]: Figures are not available prior to 1986 and are not available at all by county.The number of bankruptcy and winding-up orders made by the courts following petitions laid by Customs and Excise in respect of VAT debts was:
|Year to||Bankruptcy orders||winding-up orders|
|31 March 1987||1,147||938|
|31 March 1988||778||690|
|31 March 1989||1,010||552|
|31 March 1990||1,047||1,172|
|31 March 1991||1,394||1,649|
|31 March 1992||3,025||2,098|
|31 March 1993||4,006||3,537|
|31 March 1994||4,970||3,668|
|31 March 1995||2,270||2,409|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the value of the United Kingdom equity market was (a) in the hands of private shareholders and (b) held by pension funds for each year since 1979. 
The information requested is available for the years 1981, and 1989 to 1993 only. Details are in the table.
|Beneficial ownership 1981–1993|
|Percentage of total equity owned, 31 December|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the change in take-home pay after tax and inflation for a one-earner couple on average male earnings with two children for the years (a) 1978–79 and 1996–97 (b) 1991–92 and 1996–97 and (c) 1995–96 and 1996–97. 
The estimates are as follows:
|Growth in take-home pay after tax and inflation|
|One earner couple on average male earnings with two children|
|£ per week (1995–96 prices)||£ per week (1995–96 prices)|
|1978–79 to 1996–97||88.20||4,590|
|1991–92 to 1996–97||13.20||690|
|1995–96 to 1996–97||8.60||450|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was (a) consumption as a proportion of gross domestic product and (b) consumer credit per capita in 1979, 1985, 1988 and 1994. 
The information requested for 1990 onwards, for consumption as a proportion of gross domestic product, can be derived from table 2.2 of "Economic Trends", November 1995 edition, No. 505, which is available in the House of Commons Library. Figures for earlier years are available in "Economic Trends" annual supplement, 1996 edition. They are also held on the Central Statistical Office database which can be accessed by the Library. The CSO database identifiers are:
- Consumers expenditure: CCBH
- Gross domestic product: CAOP.
The level of consumer credit for 1990 onwards can be obtained from table 3.4 of "Financial Statistics", November 1995 edition, No. 403, and the total population from 1984 onwards can be obtained from table 17.1 of "United Kingdom National Accounts 1995". Previous years will be available in earlier copies of these publications, all available in the House of Commons Library. They are also held on the Central Statistical Office database which can be accessed by the Library. The CSO database identifiers are:
- Consumer Credit: AILA prior to 1987. VZRD 1987 onwards.
- Total UK population: DYAY.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to tables 1.3, 7.1 and 10.4 in the latest report on the family expenditure survey, what was the average weekly expenditure in 1994–95 of all non-retired households on (i) contributions to pension and superannuation funds deducted by employees, (ii) personal pensions and (iii) national insurance contributions paid by employees, by gross income decile or quintile group. 
Estimates of the average weekly expenditure on these items by households where the head of household is non-retired are given below. The figures are estimates from the FES, and are subject to sampling variations. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 10p.
Average weekly gross income (£)
|Contributions to pension and superannuation funds deducted by employers||0.0||1.60||5.40||8.60||18.80||6.90|
|National insurance contributions paid by employees||0.60||8.00||17.90||26.30||37.70||18.10|
Ec Convergence Criteria
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will raise the subject of the consequences of EU member states' attempts to meet the Maastricht convergence criteria at the EU Finance Council in Brussels on 11 December. 
The ECOFIN Council provisionally scheduled for 11 December was cancelled as work on preparation for the Madrid Council had been satisfactorily completed.
Tax Simplification Report
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to publish and lay before Parliament the Inland Revenue's report on tax simplification. 
The Inland Revenue report, entitled "The Path to Tax Simplification", has today been laid before Parliament in accordance with section 160 of the Finance Act 1995.I warmly welcome this report. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his Budget statement that tax law has become too long and complicated and that he proposed that the Revenue tax code be rewritten in plain language.This report suggests a practical way forward to deal with this issue. Its central proposal is a major project to rewrite tax law in clearer and simpler language. This would reduce the compliance costs which the tax system imposes, in one way or another, on every taxpayer in the country. It would also support the Government's deregulation initiative, the system of self-assessment we are introducing, and the Revenue's continuing efforts to improve customer service, quality and cost-efficiency in all its work.A number of practical issues need further consideration including the parliamentary implications for dealing with the rewritten tax legislation. Meanwhile, the Chancellor has asked the Inland Revenue to proceed with preparatory work.In addition to the report, the Inland Revenue has today issued "The Path to Tax Simplification—a background paper", which contains further material on tax simplification. This document has been placed in the Libraries of the House. Both documents will be on sale to the public from today.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will visit the Campbell Soups Homepride plant in Mary port. 
I have at present no plans to do so.
To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 12 December. 
To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 12 December 1995. 
This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
To ask the Prime Minister (1) what public records exist covering the purchase and early history of (a) the imperial state crown of George I, (b) the coronation crown of George IV and (c) the crown of Queen Adelaide; (2) what representations he has received about the ownership and future of the imperial crown of George I, the coronation crown of George IV and the crown of Queen Adelaide; (3) what is his policy on the future of the imperial crown of George I, the imperial state crown of George IV and the crown of Queen Adelaide. 
So far as I am aware, I have received no representations about the ownership and future of these crown frames. I understand that the crown frames have been acquired by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei and that the prince has most generously decided to present them to the nation. The applications for licences to export the frames have accordingly been withdrawn. A public record concerning the crown frames is in the annual report of the reviewing committee on the export of works of art, 1994–95, which was placed in the Library of the House on 24 October 1995.
Security Services Act
To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made to appoint a commissioner under the Security Services Act 1989 when Lord Justice Stuart-Smith's appointment expires on 17 December 1995. 
Lord Justice Stuart-Smith has accepted re-appointment for a further two years until 14 December 1997.
To ask the Prime Minister how much has been spent on furnishing and decorating ministerial offices in his Department in each of the last three years. 
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service.
Digital Terrestrial Television
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if she will impose a universal service obligation on broadcasters on the introduction of digital terrestrial television. 
The term "universal service obligation" is used in telecommunications to mean a requirement on a provider to enable consumers, regardless of where they live, to be connected to networks at an affordable price. There is no exact parallel with digital terrestrial television, where constraints on frequency availability mean that it will not be possible in the short-term for all new services to be made available to all consumers in the United Kingdom.The Government's policy document, "Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting", Cm 2946, published on 10 August, made clear that two of the key criteria on which applications from prospective multiplex providers would be judged would be their proposals to maximise the number of viewers who can be reached by digital terrestrial television, and their proposals to promote the take-up of digital receiving equipment, including through ensuring that it is made available at an affordable price. Analogue television transmissions will be maintained until a broadly similar proportion of the population as is now able to receive them can receive digital broadcast. No one will lose services that they are currently able to receive.
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how much has been spent to date on the national lottery in each region of England and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 
This is an operational matter for Camelot Group plc. The director general of the national lottery, Peter Davies has licensed Camelot to run the national lottery and he regulates its operations. I have therefore asked the director general to write to the hon. Member, placing copies of his response in the Libraries of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many cable licences have not been acted upon and have lapsed. 
Eight licences have been revoked because of the failure of the licensee to implement his proposals. In six of these cases, the area has been readvertised and new licences awarded in respect of five; an application for the sixth is currently under consideration by the Independent Television Commission. The remaining two licences have not yet been readvertised.
House Of Commons
Visits To Brussels
To ask the Lord President of the Council how many hon. Members have used the facility for visiting Brussels in each year since its inception.
The facility for hon. Members to visit institutions of the European Community in Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg was introduced on 1 January 1992. For the purposes of the Resolution, the year begins on 1 April.The number of visits by hon. Members to Brussels, for each year since the inception of the facility, is as follows:
- 1991–92: 29
- 1992–93: 64
- 1993–94: 60
- 1994–95: 49
- 1995–96 (part): 24.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish information on the management costs of NHS trusts in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
NHS trusts are now required to publish their management costs in their audited annual accounts. The accounts most recently published are for the financial year 1994–95. The following table shows the management costs of NHS trusts in Wales for that year, as audited and reported in their accounts, in cash terms and as a percentage of each trust's income.The definition of management used is the M1 figure devised by the Audit Commission. It includes the salaries of all managers—except those who are primarily clinicians—who earn more than £20,000 per year, and of managers in a few other specified posts regardless of salary, and the costs of management consultancy.Hospitals and other services which are not part of a trust or did not become trusts until April 1995 are not included in the table.Alongside ever-improving health, service and choice, first-class stewardship of resources is a key task for the health service. That is why, in "Caring for the Future", we set the target of transferring £12.5 million per year from management to patient care in the period from 1994–95 to 1996–97. Trusts in Wales are playing an essential part in this, and with the publication of trust management costs this year we can see the first fruits of that policy.The figures are lower than they would otherwise be because of the transfers that have already been made. I expect next year's figures to be lower still, as they will reflect some of the transfers being made in the present
|Management costs of NHS trusts in Wales, 1994–95|
|Income||Management costs (MI)|
|Name of trust||Type of trust||£000s||£000s||Percentage of income|
|Glan Clwyd NHS Trust||Acute||57,924||1,702||2.94|
|Wrexham Maelor NHS Trust||Acute||53,103||1,881||3.54|
|Clwydian Community NHS Trust||Community/Mental Health||64,164||2,385||3.72|
|North Wales Ambulance NHS Trust||Ambulance||12,225||516||4.22|
|Carmarthen and District NHS Trust||Acute/Community||38,416||1,207||3.14|
|Llanelli Dinefwr NHS Trust||Acute/Community||31,037||812||2.62|
|Ceredigion NHS Trust||Acute/Community||23,116||831||3.59|
|Derwen NHS Trust||Mental Health/Illness||22,443||954||4.25|
|Glan Hafren NHS Trust||Acute||93,222||2,633||2.82|
|Neville Hall NHS Trust||Acute||40,707||1,463||3.59|
|Gwent Community NHS Trust||Community/Mental Health||57,340||2,699||4.71|
|Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust||Acute||60,476||1,982||3.28|
|Gwynedd Community NHS Trust||Community/Mental Health||47,819||1,636||3.42|
|Bridgend and District NHS Trust||Acute/Mental Health||64,002||1,558||2.43|
|Rhondda NHS Trust||Acute/Community||29,190||993||3.40|
|East Glamorgan NHS Trust||Acute/Community||47,445||1,678||3.54|
|Mid Glamorgan Ambulance NHS Trust||Ambulance||7,793||1,002||12.86|
|Pembrokeshire NHS Trust||Acute/Community||41,986||1,873||4.46|
|Powys Healthcare NHS Trust||Acute/Community||41,887||1,882||4.49|
|Llandough NHS Trust||Acute/Community||50,400||2,268||4.50|
|Velindre NHS Trust||Acute||10,579||619||5.85|
|South and East Wales Ambulance Trust||Ambulance||17,571||1,119||6.37|
|Swansea NHS Trust||Acute||54,264||1,233||2.27|
|Morriston NHS Trust||Acute||62,146||1,609||2.59|
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of workers on adult rates currently earn less than (a) £2.50, (b) £3, (c) £3.50, (d) £4, (e) £4.50, (f) £5, (g) £5.50, (h) £6.50, per hour, including and excluding overtime distinguishing between manual and non-manual, male and female and part-time workers. 
The information is shown in the table.
|Full time employees on adult rates, pay not affected by absence: April 1995, Wales|
|Non-manual males||Manual males|
|Percentage with hourly earnings less than:||Including overtime||Excluding overtime||Including overtime||Excluding overtime|
financial year. Beyond that, we are about to set targets for transfers in 1996–97, so the cost figures to be published in two years' time should be lower again.
There are several reasons why trusts can have different management costs, so comparison should be approached carefully, but I hope that trusts themselves will find the figures useful in their efforts to contain and reduce costs further.
Percentage with hourly earning less than:
All part-time adults1(a)
Percentage with hourly earnings less than:
1 The New Earnings Survey only covers those earning above the income tax threshold. As a result a significant number of part-time employees are excluded.
New Earnings Survey.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of full-time workers on adult rates currently earn less than (a) £100, (b) £150, (c)£200, and (d) £250 per week, (i) including and (ii) excluding overtime. 
The information requested is shown in the table.
|Full time employees on adult rates, pay not affected by absence: April 1995, Wales|
|Percentage with weekly earnings less than:||Excluding overtime||Including overtime|
New Earnings Survey.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Newport, East (Mr. Flynn) of 4 December, Official Report, columns 7–8, if he will make a statement on the criteria he used to calculate levels of employment and unemployment. 
The figures used are from the claimant unemployment count as published monthly by the Central Statistical Office. For Wales as a whole, seasonally adjusted figures are available and used for month-to-month comparisons because they avoid the distortion of seasonal variation. Below this geographical level only unadjusted figures are published by the CSO, so where individual counties and parliamentary constituencies are compared with Wales, unadjusted figures are used.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effect of the increase in diesel fuel duty in his Budget statement on the operation of bus services.
This increase is very small in terms of the overall operational costs of bus services. There is, therefore, no reason for it to have significant impact on the levels of services. It should encourage the operators to be more efficient in their use of fuel, and reduce emissions from public service vehicles.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to maintain the frequency of local bus services. 
Bus operators must be free to respond to changes in the market. It is for county councils to ensure that essential public transport services are provided where these cannot be provided commercially.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make a statement on the National Rivers Authority's proposed amendment to change the finish of the salmon and sea trout fishing season to 7 October, and its impact on fishing tourism in south-west Wales; (2) what assessments he has made of the impact of the National Rivers Authority's proposed amendment to the rod and line byelaws on fishing tourism in south-west Wales. 
I understand that the NRA is intending to amend its byelaws to conserve fish stocks. It has not yet submitted the byelaws for confirmation, but when it does so I shall consider the case for the amendments along with the comments of all objectors.
Welsh Health Common Services Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh health common services authority concerning the effects on charges to NHS trusts in Wales for the authority's services of the authority reducing its occupancy of Crickhowell house to (a) less than 75 per cent. (b) less than 50 per cent. (c) less than 25 per cent. of the office space; and if the charges will reflect the rent paid by the authority for the whole building; (2) what agreement he has reached with the prescription pricing division of the health common services authority in relation to its relocation from Crickhowell house, Cardiff bay; and what agreement he has made with the chairman of the Welsh health common services authority in respect of the market rent for the prescription pricing division in
(a) its present location and (b) elsewhere; 
(3) what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh health common services authority in relation to (a) relocations of parts of the authority outside Crickhowell house following market testing exercises and (b) the sub-letting of consequently vacated office space at Crickhowell house; what obligations his Department has in respect of rental guarantees at Crickhowell house regarding vacated space; and if he will make a statement. 
My Department is discussing these matters with the authority. The whole of the building has been leased for 25 years from 31 August but there is provision for sub-letting.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh health common services authority concerning special redundancy terms for current employees of the authority over 50 years of age. 
None. Following discussions with my Department the authority will be introducing a voluntary redundancy scheme in due course in line with criteria which it will he establishing.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time employees giving their full-time equivalents, there were in his Department on 31 December in each year since 1993; and what are the planned figures for 31 December 1996. 
The information is as follows:
Full-time equivalent or part-time staff
|31 December 1993||2,439||202|
|31 December 1994||2,357||199|
|1 December 1995||2,222||184|
It is expected that staff numbers—full-time equivalent—will be reduced to 2,100 during 1996–97.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with trade unions regarding compliance with European Union directives on large-scale redundancies in respect of his Department's current staff reductions and redundancies programme. 
Consultation on the current staff reductions has taken place with the trade unions in my Department on the basis of the appropriate departmental Whitely Council agreements. The consultations comply with the provisions of the relevant European directives.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many medical and nursing staff were working in occupational health within the national health service in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and if he will list the grades of those employees.
Information on nursing staff working in occupational health is not available centrally. Information on the whole-time equivalent number of medical staff whose main specialty was occupational health is given in the table.
|Staff in post at 30 September|
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Iran And Saudi Arabia (Unpaid Debts)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia in respect of the problem of non-payment and late payment for medical products exported to these countries by Smith and Nephew. 
Smith and Nephew has not approached us about their payment problems with Iran. But the ECGD are dealing with both pre and post-revolutionary insured debt repayment matters in Iran. Current commercial debt claims by United Kingdom creditors are being administered through Credit Suisse in London.Our embassy in Riyadh has addressed with the Saudi Government the question of payment arrears, particularly for medical supplies, including payments owed for deliveries from Smith and Nephew. A number of outstanding payments have issued in 1995, but considerable sums remain outstanding and our embassy continues to seek early payment of the remainder.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from (a) Smith and Nephew and (b) other United Kingdom manufacturers about the difficulty of securing payments for goods exported to Iran and Saudi Arabia. 
We have not received any representations from Smith and Nephew or other manufacturers about securing payment from Iran.We have not had any approaches from Smith and Nephew about Saudi Arabia, but the company informed my right hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Needham), the then Minister of Trade, in June of its debt problem with Saudi Arabia. We have also had approaches from a number of other United Kingdom manufacturers. Some have been paid; most, like pharmaceutical companies, which supply on a regular basis, have been paid some of their older outstanding debts but one is still about a year in arrears.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil service personnel in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are located in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. 
At 1 April 1995, the latest date for which data are available, the figures were:
Diplomatic Missions, Scotland
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) nationality and (b) location of each diplomatic mission located in Scotland; and what representations he has received regarding the closure of these missions.
There are no diplomatic missions located in Scotland; there are, however, 84 consular posts representing 37 countries.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of his immigration appeal in Leeds on 16 August 1995; and when Mohammed Rafiq will be allowed to enter the United Kingdom to join his wife. 
Mr. Rafiq's appeal was successful and he has now been medically cleared. Entry clearance will be granted on application to the high commission at Islamabad.
Russian Visitors' Visas
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what quota system the British embassy in Moscow applies for the approval of visitors' visas for Russian applicants hoping to come to Britain. 
There is no quota system. Each application is considered on its merits by an entry clearance officer and in accordance with the requirements of the immigration rules.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total number of Russian visitors' visas granted in the current year to date. 
In the first 11 months of 1995, the British embassy in Moscow issued 86,085 United Kingdom and Commonwealth-dependent territory visas, of which 84,315 were UK visa issues for Russians. During that same period, the British consulate general in St. Petersburg issued 15,164 UK and Commonwealth-dependent territory visas, of which 15,147 were UK visa issues for Russians.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria are used by the British embassy in Moscow to determine which visitors' visa applications from Russian citizens are approved. 
Entry clearance officers at the British embassy in Moscow consider all visa applications in accordance with the requirements of the immigration rules, as is the case at all our entry clearance issuing posts overseas.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total cost to date of consultancy payments made to firms in relation to work carried out to develop his Department's plans for the proposed sell-off its housing stock. 
No payments have been made to date in relation to such work.
High Commission Buildings
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent on the residence of the former British high commissioner in Kiribati on (a) the sub-lease, (b) ground rent and (c) fixtures, fittings and furnishings since the property was acquired on 31 March 1984. 
The information is as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the residence of the former British high commissioner in Kiribati is to be handed over with fixtures, fittings and furnishings still in place; and if he will make a statement. 
All fixtures, fittings and furnishings of any value have been removed for use elsewhere.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what use the former British high commissioner's residence in Kiribati is to be put after handover to the Kiribati Government; and if he will make a statement. 
This will be for the Government of Kiribati to decide.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the locations of British high commissioners' residences overseas; which buildings are sited on foreign Government-owned land and sub-leased to the British Government on terms similar to the Kiribati property; and if he will make a statement. 
A list of the locations of British high commissioners' residences is given in "A". A list of those sited on foreign Government-owned land and sub-leased on terms similar to those for the high commissioner's residence in Kiribati is in list "B".
Location of High Commission Residences.
- Bandar Seri Begawan
- Dar es Salaam
- Kuala Lumpur
- New Delhi
- Port Louis
- Port Moresby
- Port of Spain
- St. Georges
Location of residences sited on foreign Government-owned land and sub-leased on terms similar to those for the High Commissioner's residence in Kiribati.
- Port Moresby
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the British high commissions that have closed in the last five years; how each property has been disposed of; what was the original purchase price and the sale price obtained for each property where appropriate; and if he will make a statement. 
The only high commission to have closed in the last five years is that in Kiribati. The high commission offices have been transferred to the Overseas Development Administration. It is intended that the former high commissioner's residence should be handed over to the Government of Kiribati. Details of the cost of sub-lease purchase and ground rent are in my earlier answer.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) general practitioner, (b) consultant (c) junior doctor and (d) nursing midwifery posts were vacant in each of the last five years. 
The available information is shown in the table. Information on vacancies for general practitioners is not centrally available. Figures on nursing and midwifery vacancies collected by the Office of Manpower and Economics are available in the annual report of the Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine. Copies of the review body's report are placed in the Library each year.The process of appointment of a doctor typically involves advertising the post and the selection of the most suitable candidate to fill it. The numbers of vacancies on 30 September will include many posts which happen to be vacant on that day but are in process of being filled.
Consultant vacant posts as at 30 September each year in England (whole-time equivalent)
- 1990: 700
- 1991: 470
- 1992: 540
- 1993: 480
- 1994: 570.
Whole-time equivalent of junior doctor vacant posts as at 30 September each year in England
|Total junior doctors2||530||—||580||640||640|
|Senior house officer||70||—||120||130||170|
1Data on junior doctors for 1991 are available only at disproportionate cost.
2Vacant post figures for house officers are not collected.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10, therefore individual grades may not add up to the total.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what new campaigns his Department intends to introduce to alert children to the dangers of smoking. 
A new three-year programme aimed at 11 to 15-year olds will he launched next year when the present Health Education Authority campaign comes to an end. Additionally, the current national smoking education campaign is particularly aimed at parents, who are a key influence on children's smoking behaviour.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the average length of time it takes for the national health service to reimburse pharmacists for the cost of medicines dispensed by them; (2) what plans he has to take steps to speed the process whereby pharmacists are reimbursed for medicines that they have prescribed; (3) what is his target length of time for the period between a claim for reimbursement by a pharmacist who has dispensed medicine and the payment therefor. 
A payment representing approximately 80 per cent. of the amount due is paid on the first day of the month following that in which the prescription is submitted for pricing. The remainder is paid on the first day of the following month.Pharmacists are currently paid on time, to a timetable originally agreed with the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee. There are no plans to change the arrangement.
Leg Ulcer Bandages
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the expenditure on general practitioner prescribed leg ulcer bandages via the PACT—prescribing analyses and costs—system in 1994 by nation, region and health authority; and what this expenditure is as an expenditure per head of population for each of the regions and health authorities. 
It is not possible to identify reliably expenditure on leg ulcer bandages because the bandages used for the treatment of leg ulcers may also be used for other purposes.
Work Experience Trainees
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent guidances he has issued to the NHS on the involvement of work experience trainees in medical procedures. 
None. This is a matter for local national health service employers. I understand that the General Medical Council has provided guidance to doctors about delegating care to non-medical staff and students in its booklet, "Good medical practice", which was issued to all doctors this autumn.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of food poisoning from the consumption of food on non-domestic premises have been notified in each year since 1985.
This information is not available centrally. Formal notifications of the total number of cases of food poisoning are published annually in the MB2 series, "Communicable Disease Statistics", copies of which are available in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase public awareness about the causes of food poisoning. 
The Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have a continuing programme of food hygiene publicity which includes promoting public awareness of the causes of food poisoning.Advisory material is kept under regular review in the light of developments, including information from research and surveillance, and independent expert advice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many successful prosecutions for food poisoning against (a) individuals and (b) companies there have been in each of the last five years. 
This information is not available centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many cases of (a) cholera, (b) typhoid fever, (c) paratyphoid fever, (d) dysentery and (e) food poisoning were notified in each year from 1985 to 1992; (2) if he will make a statement on the incidence of
(a) typhoid fever, (b) cholera, (c) paratyphoid fever, (d) dysentery and (e) food poisoning in England since 1985; 
(3) what is his estimate of the costs to the NHS resulting from incidents of food poisoning in each year from 1985 to 1995. 
The requested information on cholera is shown in the table.
1 Includes cases and symptomless excreters.
Vibrio Cholera 01 Faecal Isolates England and Wales 1985–1992 DEP LEP confirmed laboratory reports to CDSC.
Information on paratyphoid fever, dysentery and food poisoning are available in OPCS's MB2 "Series Communicable Disease Statistics", copies of which are available in the Library. The latest available publication is series MB2 No. 20 (1993).
The great majority of cases of cholera, typhoid and paratyphoid fever are due to infections acquired abroad.
The rise in dysentery notifications in 1992 was consistent with the secular pattern of upsurges in incidence every seven to eight years, although the number of cases reported in 1992 was much greater than that reported during the previous upsurge.
No such estimate has been made of the costs to the NHS resulting from incidents of food poisoning.
There is no clear explanation for the increase in food poisoning notifications. On 22 October 1993 my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State announced the start of a major study of infectious intestinal diseases in England. The purpose of the study is to establish the incidence, sources, causes and socio-economic costs of infectious intestinal disease. This is the most comprehensive study of its type ever attempted. It will involve 70 general practices and more than 20,000 volunteers. The study will be completed in 1996 with results available in 1997.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the statement of the Secretary of State for the Environment of 21 November 1995, Official Report, column 454, if he will make it his policy to review past legislation in respect of additional burdens imposed by regulations implementing European directives. 
[holding answer 1I December 1995]: It is the policy in the Department to ensure that we do not gold-plate European directives by the addition of unnecessary burdens when implementing them in the United Kingdom. We will take every opportunity to look at existing legislation in the light of this policy.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research he (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into food treatment methods for destroying the infective agent of BSE prior to consumption. 
[holding answer 11 December 1995]: The Government's policy on BSE is to ensure that all cattle suspected of suffering from BSE, and specified bovine offals from all cattle which might or might not be incubating the disease, are removed from the human and animal feed chain.The United Kingdom and European Commission jointly funded an experiment to assess the effectiveness of various rendering systems used within the EU in deactivating the BSE and scrapie agents. The scrapie experiment is still in progress, although the BSE experiment has been completed. It found that some systems failed to inactivate the BSE agent, whereas others did so to a significant extent. The results formed the basis for Commission decision 94/382, which sets standards for rendering ruminant material and prohibits the use of systems which fail significantly to inactivate the BSE agent. These standards are being met by rendering plants in the UK.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to ban the herbicide bentazole; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 11 December 1995]: There is no pesticide or pesticide active ingredient by the name of bentazole approved in the United Kingdom. The Government have no plans to ban the approved herbicide active ingredient bentazone.
Local Government Reorganisation
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what resources he will make available to authorities that have been or are to be reorganised on 1 April 1995, 1996 or 1997 for reorganisation costs incurred by them in 1995–96, and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 29 November 1995, c. 733–34: An error occurred in the figures given in the answer. The maximum amounts that it would be appropriate to allocate towards the amount of expenditure by local authorities on transitional costs of reorganisation in 1995–96 are:
|Maximum amounts: £000 rounded|
|Authority||1995–96||Total 1994–95 and 1995–96|
|Isle of Wight|
|Isle of Wight Council||1,750||3,937|
Maximum amounts: £000 rounded
Total 1994–95 and 1995–96
|Cleveland Council council||2,500||—|
|Hartlepool Borough Council||3,200||3,748|
|Langbaurgh on Tees Borough Council||2,550||2,637|
|Middlesborough Borough Council||2,160||2,354|
|Stockton on Tees Borough Council||2,930||3,428|
|Avon County Council||2,500||—|
|Bristol City Council||3,000||—|
|Woodspring District Council||3,250||—|
|In Bath and North-east Somerset, of which:||3,000||—|
|Bath and North-east Somerset council||1,810||—|
|Bath City Counsil||600||—|
|Wandsdyde District Council||590||—|
|In South Glocestershire of which:||3,000||—|
|South Gloucestershire Council||1,800||—|
|Kingswood Borough Council||650||—|
|Northavon District Council||550||—|
|Humberside County Council||2,500||—|
|Hull City Council||3,000||—|
|In the East Riding of Yorkshire, of which:||3,200||—|
|East Riding of Yorkshire Council||1,200||—|
|Beverley Borough Council||650||—|
|Boothferry Borough Council||300||—|
|East Yorkshire Borough Council||550||—|
|Holderness Borough Council||500||—|
|In North Lincolnshire, of which:||2,900||—|
|North Lincolnshire Council||1,800||—|
|Glanford Borough Council||550||—|
|Scunthrope Borough Council||550||—|
|In North-east Lincolnshire, of which:||2,950||—|
|North-east Lincolnshire Mr. Curry||1,900||—|
|Cleethorpes Borough Council||550||—|
|North Yorkshire County Council||1,000||—|
|Rydedale District Council||410||—|
|Selby District Council||510||—|
|In York, of which:||3,000||—|
|York District Council||2,550||—|
|York City Council||450||—|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to eliminate the threat to indigenous wildlife of the American bullfrog. 
The north American bullfrog is covered by the provisions of section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to release, or allow to escape into the wild, any animal which is not ordinarily resident in, and is not a regular visitor to Great Britain.As a result of a small number of sightings in the wild this summer we are consulting English Nature, our statutory scientific advisers, to identify the scale of any threat. Where sales outlets have been identified, the Department has made known the potential threat of such illegal releases.
Home Improvement Agencies
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans his Department has to increase support for home improvement agencies. 
We are increasing support for home improvement agencies from £4.25 million in 1995–96 to £4.8 million from 1996–97. This will enable grant support to be extended to more agencies across the country and ensure that the advice and help provided by agencies is available to more elderly and disabled people, and people on low incomes.
Sites Of Special Scientific Interest
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to introduce more severe penalties for the destruction of sites of special scientific interest. 
None, although we have agreed in principle to consider further powers for requiring the restoration of a site's special interest. The level of fines is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary.
Pensioners (Central Heating)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of pensioner households lack central heating. 
An estimated 19 per cent. of households headed by a person over retirement age lacked central heating in England in 1994–95.This estimate is from the 1994–95 survey of English housing. Like all estimates from surveys it is liable to sampling variability.
Housing (Elderly And Disabled People)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, what measures he proposes to ensure that private sector building companies provide housing that meets the specific needs of people (a) over the age of 65 years and (b) the disabled.
The Government consulted earlier this year on proposals to extend the requirements of the building regulations to help disabled people in new dwellings in England and Wales. The proposals are intended to identify a range of reasonable provisions which could be incorporated into new dwellings in order to allow future occupiers:
Over 1,000 responses have been received to that consultation, and these are at present being analysed.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the permitted levels for the occupational exposure level of trichloroethylene following the decision of the Swedish Government to reduce permitted exposure levels. 
Trichloroethylene is one of the priority substances being reviewed under the European Union's existing substances regulation. The United Kingdom, through the Health and Safety Executive and the Department of the Environment, leads on this review, which will include a comprehensive risk review of all available scientific data on the human health and environmental effects of trichloroethylene. The conclusion of the review at EU level will help determine whether there is a need to revise occupational exposure limits. Trichloroethylene currently has a maximum exposure limit set under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further steps he is taking to promote energy efficiency in industry. 
My right hon. Friend has plans further to encourage the efficient use of energy in the industrial sector through new initiatives such as a strategy for small and medium enterprises which is currently being developed under the energy efficiency best practice programme—EEBPP—and projects planned by the energy saving trust aimed at small businesses. These complement measures aimed at the industrial sector through the EEBPP and the making a corporate commitment campaign.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent estimates his Department has made of the cost of wasted energy through energy inefficient homes, offices and industrial buildings in the United Kingdom. 
In 1994, the last year for which figures are available, energy consumption in the United Kingdom housing, offices and industrial buildings sectors was worth about £17.5 billion. It has been estimated that around 20 per cent. of energy could be saved through investment in cost-effective energy efficiency measures.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposal he has to prevent further erosion of the red squirrel population in north-east England. 
Measures to safeguard the red squirrel population include full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and a prohibition on the release of grey squirrels to restrict their spread. English Nature's species recovery programme, which aims to achieve long-term sustainable survival of endangered species, includes the red squirrel. The programme features the restocking of small populations.The Red Alert North-East partnership, which English Nature has part funded, is taking steps to improve status and general awareness of the red squirrel. They are also carrying out research into the sorts of conifer preferred by red squirrels.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he plans to put to the EU Environment Council in Brussels on 18 to 19 December on the harmonisation of EU policies of self-sufficiency for the management and disposal of toxic and radioactive waste.
There are no plans to discuss EU waste policies at the December Environment Council.
Areas Of Tranquillity
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce a definition of areas of tranquillity. 
Ministers have looked with interest at the recent work by the Council for the Protection of Rural England which aims to define tranquil areas. The Government have no plans to introduce such a definition.
Accomodation (Tourist Areas)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment his Department has made of the extent to which business organisations advertise the availability of residential vacancies in hotels, hostels and houses in multiple occupation in tourist areas to attract unemployment benefit claimants; what is the nature of such organisations; and if he will make a statement. 
My Department has not commissioned any research into this topic, but we have received evidence, both from right hon. and hon. Members, and the public, of this practice. The Government have already taken measures to tighten the planning controls on the switch of hotels into hostel use and have announced that we will shortly he bringing forward legislation to improve conditions and management standards in this type of accommodation.
|New housebuilding: Kirklees local authority area|
|Number of dwellings|
|Private sector||Local authority and housing association sectors1||Total||Private sector||Local authority and housing association sectors1||Total|
County Hall, London
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the financial arrangements between Whitbread plc and Shirayama Shokusan Ltd. in respect of county hall, London SE1; and if payment of the deferred element of the original purchase price will now be made to the London residuary body. 
The arrangements between Shirayama Shokusan and Whitbread are a matter for those two parties. Under the terms of its purchase of the riverside building, Shirayama is required from April 1997 to pay the deferred £10 million at the rate of 50 per cent. of the annual net profit of the hotel and other business activities in the riverside building, and in any event to pay the full sum by 2012, irrespective of any profits.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what leakage reduction targets each water company set out in their submissions to the Director General of Water Services at his five-year price review; (2) if he will publish, company by company, the leakage reduction target plans submitted in their asset management plans at privatisation. 
[holding answer 11 December 1995]: Projections for national reductions in leakage were contained in Ofwat's occasional paper 1, "Future levels of demand and supply for water", published in November 1994. Individual company projections of water balances provided for the periodic review were not necessarily on a consistent basis and are commercially confidential.The Office of Water Services is currently assessing trends in leakage since privatisation on a comparative basis, as part of its contribution to the report for my right hon. Friend on the lessons to be learnt from the drought.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of new (a) private and (b) social houses commenced in Kirklees for each year since 1974. 
The table shows figures as reported to the Department by Kirklees borough council and the National House Building Council:
New housebuilding: Kirklees local authority area
Number of dwellings
Local authority and housing association sectors1
Local authority and housing association sectors1
1 Local authority and housing association new build only.
Department of the Environment.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on (a) the funding of the seabirds and cetaceans branch of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and (b) its role in promoting off-shore conservation. 
The seabirds and cetaceans branch of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee is responsible for carrying out the special nature conservation functions of the three country conservation agencies—English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales—in off-shore areas, and provides advice on the animal species which live there. The budget for the seabirds and cetaceans branch in 1995–96 is £416,000.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of income (a) the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and (b) its seabirds and cetaceans branch, receive from the oil industry. 
In 1995–96 contributions from the oil industry represent 3.2 per cent. of the overall budget of the JNCC and 28 per cent. of the seabirds and cetacean branch budget.
Housing Association Homes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what estimate he has made, on the basis of the level of the housing association expenditure announced in the 1995 financial statement, of the number of housing association homes for rent which will be constructed in 1996–97; and what was his estimate of funding levels for 1996–97 on the basis of the 1992 financial statement; (2) if he will estimate the funding available for new rented housing association homes in 1996–97 if the expenditure levels in the 1992 autumn statement had been maintained for each local authority in Yorkshire and Humberside; (3) what estimate he has of the number of housing association homes for rent which will be built in 1996–97 in each local authority in Yorkshire and Humberside; 
(4) what is the total central Government funding for new rented housing association homes for 1996–97, excluding tenant incentive schemes, do-it-yourself share ownership and major repairs of sales programmes for each local authority in Yorkshire and Humberside. 
The 1992 autumn statement provided indicative funding levels for 1993–94 to 1995–96, and not 1996–97. In 1996–97, funding for the Housing Corporation's approved development programme will be over £1 billion. Together with homes provided from local authority funding for housing associations and other sources, this is expected to provide around 60,600 homes for rent or shared ownership in 1996–97.Separate figures for rent and the sale and incentive programmes will be available when the Housing Corporation has assessed housing associations' bids for 1996–97 projects and finalised the approved development programme, in late January. The corporation will thereafter publish details of ADP funding allocations in each local authority area.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the current housing need for under 25-year-olds; what plans he has to meet that need; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government estimate that newly arising need for subsidised housing for all age groups for England lies within a range of 60,000 to 100,000 units a year between 1991 and 2001.We estimate that Housing Corporation funding over the next three years—1996–97–1998–99—together with homes being provided from other resources, are intended to provide an average of around 60,000 new social lettings a year.The estimates of newly arising need and the planned new lettings are not subdivided by age group.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the Government's response to the consultation on the review of the effectiveness of neighbour noise controls. 
The review of the effectiveness of neighbour noise controls made recommendations relating to the management of local authority noise services; liaison between local authorities and the police; powers of confiscation; and the introduction of a night-time noise offence.On 27 March this year, we consulted on these recommendations and we received 354 responses. A list of the responses has been placed in the Library of the House: copies of individual responses may be obtained through the Department of the Environment's library.We have carefully considered the recommendations made by the working party, together with the responses to the consultation exercise and the results of initial trails of the proposed night-time noise offence. The recommendations represent a package of proposals which have a great deal of support and we propose to accept them in full. We believe that they will bring substantial improvements in the four areas identified in the review.First, as the working party recognised, there is a wide variation in the type of noise complaint service provided by individual authorities. Some authorities provide excellent and very effective services and, of course, the level of service is a matter to be decided locally in terms of what is appropriate for the area taking account of local circumstances and resources. However, many people are concerned by the disparity between levels of service provided by neighbouring authorities with similar levels of problem and uncertainty as to the responsiveness and effectiveness of the service being offered. We therefore propose to encourage local authorities, largely through the dissemination of best practice and professional guidance, to adopt a graduated service standard which will clearly identify the type of noise service which is being offered.The second area studied by the working party was the role of the police in dealing with noise complaints. There are many examples of excellent liaison locally between environmental health officers and the police. We want to encourage these informal arrangements by supporting the representative bodies in drawing up a code of practice on effective liaison between the agencies.The police will, of course, continue to have responsibility to support local authority staff where there is a threat to public order, though the judgment about the support required remains an operational matter for the police.There is overwhelming support for clarification of the current powers under which some authorities temporarily confiscate noise-making equipment. Many respondents to the consultation paper take the view that confiscation has a significant deterrent effect.The fourth area is the creation of a new offence to deal with excessive noise from domestic premises during the night-time period. Noise makers would be given a warning by a local authority officer to reduce the noise below a measured standard, based on the World Health Organisation guidelines of 35dB(A) as necessary for the restorative process of sleep. Failure to comply with this warning would be a criminal offence. There would be a fixed penalty set initially at £40; alternatively the offender could be prosecuted by the local authority. This new offence would supplement the existing statutory nuisance regime and local authorities would have a choice as to whether to adopt it for their area.The third and fourth elements of the package will require new legislative powers and we will look for an early opportunity to introduce these. We will also wish to consult further with local authorities on the detailed definition and operation of the new powers and what supporting guidance on their use may be appropriate.We believe that this package of measures represents a major step forward in tackling the problems of noise nuisance from domestic premises.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to become involved in renewable energy projects. 
I have been asked to reply.I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 11 December 1995,
Official Report, column 467.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made towards cutting energy consumption in Government buildings for which he has responsibility in each year since 1990. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for State for the Environment on 17 May 1995, Official Report, columns 259–62. The figures for 1994–95, currently being compiled, are not expected to differ significantly from the achievement over the previous three financial years.
Departmental Efficiency Savings
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total efficiency saving implied by his Department's public expenditure settlement. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 4 December, Official Report, column 3.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply of 4 December, Official Report, column 3, if he will provide a breakdown of the £3 billion-worth of savings as a result of his Department's efficiency programme. 
A year-by-year breakdown of MOD's efficiency gains since 1988 is set out in figure 6 of the Ministry of Defence departmental report 1995, Cm 2801. Taken together with our current estimate of efficiency gains in 1995–96, the total exceeds £3 billion. Analyses of these efficiency gains have been published in successive departmental reports.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates, locations and circumstances of each of the incidents since 1992 which have led to his Department paying compensation for personal injury involving low-flying aircraft; what is the statutory basis for such payments; and what is his policy on the payment of compensation for personal injury in respect of low-flying incidents. 
It would not be appropriate to publish details of individuals' claims, but from the beginning of financial year 1991–92 to the end of 1994–95, a total of £268,000 compensation has been paid in respect of 72 personal injury claims arising from military low-flying activity in the United Kingdom.The basis on which the Ministry of Defence pays compensation in respect of loss or damage sustained as a result of military low flying was set out in Lord Drumalbyn's statement on 22 November 1971,
Official Report, column 838, in another place.
Compensation paid as a result of loss or damage arising from military low-flying activity is calculated on the basis of normal common law principles.
Raf Fast Jet Aircraft
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those manoeuvres in respect of each RAF fast jet aircraft type for which standard operating procedures require the use of reheat. 
The manoeuvres for which the Tornado GR 1, F3 and Jaguar aircraft require reheat are:
- Take Off
- Single Engine Overshoot
- Low level Abort
- Maximum rate turns
- Maximum performance climb
- Acrobatic manoeuvres in the vertical.
Reheat may also be required during air combat manoeuvring—above 5,000 ft—and in the interests of flight safety.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which weapons ranges will be used for test, practice and exercise firing of the Royal Navy's Tomahawk missiles. 
Due to the long range of Tomahawk and the infrastructure required to support Tomahawk missiles firings, the current intention is that test, practice and exercise firings of the Royal Navy's Tomahawk missiles will be conducted on US Tomahawk ranges. The US has ranges on both the west and east coasts of the USA.
Highlands Restricted Area
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft are permitted to operate in the highlands restricted area at any one time (a) in formation with each other and (b) independently of each other; and what changes have been made to these limits since the establishment of the highlands restricted area. 
Regulations do not specify a maximum number of aircraft which are permitted to operate in the highlands restricted area. However, the area is allocated to a single squadron at a time, with that squadron then responsible for ensuring the safe deconfliction of its aircraft. There have been no changes to these regulations since the establishment of the highlands restricted area.
Raf (Overseas Training)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on how many occasions in (a) 1994 and (b) 1995 Ministry of Defence personnel have visited facilities in Romania to assess their suitability for training use by the Royal Air Force; (2) on how many occasions in
(a) 1994 and (b) 1995 Ministry of Defence personnel have visited facilities in the Czech Republic to assess their suitability for training use by the Royal Air Force. 
Extensive military co-operation now exists with both countries. As yet, there have been no visits to either to assess training opportunities for the Royal Air Force.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Royal Air Force Hercules squadrons have sent aircrew to Goose Bay for training in each year since 1992. 
No. 47 Squadron sent aircrew to train at Goose Bay in 1994 and 1995.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates of deployments to and from Goose Bay of aircrew from each Tornado squadron during 1994 and 1995. 
The information is as follows:
|14 April–2 May||12|
|2 May –16 May||9|
|16 May–30 May||14|
|30 May–12 June||2|
|12 June–27 June||13|
|7 August–22 August||17|
|22 August–5 September||617|
|5 September–19 September||31|
|3 July–28 July||31|
|28 July–11 August||13|
|11 August–25 August||14|
|25 August–8 September||9|
|8 September–22 September||12|
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the minimum altitude flown by Royal Air Force Hercules aircraft during training at Goose Bay in each year since 1993. 
RAF Hercules aircraft have flown at a minimum separation distance of 250 ft, during training at Goose Bay, in each year since 1993.