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Written Answers

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1997

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 12 November 1997

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Beef Industry

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the progress in establishing a computerised cattle traceability system for Great Britain. [15849]

We are continuing to make good progress towards getting this system in place. I announced to the House on 30 July, Official Report, column 310, that the organisation responsible for administering the system, the British Cattle Movement Service, (BCMS) will be based in Workington, Cumbria. I also announced subsequently that BCMS will take over responsibility for cattle passports. There are now two further developments to report.First, the Government consider it very important for there to be as much reporting of cattle movements to the new cattle traceability database by electronic mail as possible. This should reduce the paperwork burden on businesses which move large numbers of cattle, such as livestock markets and abattoirs. To help such businesses, we are issuing a protocol today for them to follow in order to communicate with the database by e-mail. Copies are being sent to all livestock markets and abattoirs in Great Britain. I very much hope that markets and abattoirs will invest in the relatively small changes needed to their IT systems over the next few months. This work needs to start now if it is to be completed by the time the new computerised system goes live in 1998.Secondly, the Government have decided to charge for the cattle traceability system via cattle passports. Farmers applying for cattle passports will pay a fee which will cover the costs of the new computerised system. This follows consideration of a wide range of alternatives, including charging on the basis of the number of movements for which a business is responsible, charging via ear tags, charging at slaughter and charging via an annual registration fee for cattle producers. Charging via passports was chosen because it should be easy to enforce, since cattle without passports cannot go for human consumption. Because it is simple, administrative costs will be kept down so benefiting industry directly. The fee is expected to be in the range £5 to £10 per animal. The livestock industry will be involved in how this method of charging will be implemented, for example through its representatives on the Project Board which is managing the introduction of the computerised system.

Lord Chancellor's Department

Criminal Courts

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department under what statutory authority people under the age of 14 years are generally barred from the public gallery of criminal courts. [14675]

The question concerns a matter which has been assigned to the Court Service under the terms of its framework document. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Michael Huebner to Mr. Peter Bottomley, dated 12 November 1997:

EXCLUSION OF PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 14 YEARS FROM THE PUBLIC GALLERIES OF CRIMINAL COURTS.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department has asked me to reply to your Question about the exclusion of children from the public galleries of criminal courts.
The statutory authority is Sections 36 and 37 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

Environment, Transport And The Regions

M11 Link Road (East London)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many complaints have been received by his Department in respect of the building of the M11 Link Road through East London. [14480]

Since work began in 1993, my Department (including the former Department of Transport and the Highways Agency) have received 174 complaints about the construction of the scheme. There have also been about 1,200 complaints to the Link Road Offices, which were set up specifically to provide a point of contract for local people during construction.

Housing (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many (a) local authority and (b) housing association homes are in each council tax band in each of the London boroughs. [14822]

Information is available on the number of local authority and housing association properties in each borough; and on the number of all types of properties in each council tax band in each borough. However, information on tenure by council tax band on which to base a cross-analysis is not available.

Cabinet Environment Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make it his policy to publish the dates of the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on the Environment. [14731]

I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 3 November to the hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo), Official Report, column 60.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what was the total number of households (a) nationally and (b) in each London local authority area in respect of which local authorities accepted a duty in each of the last three years where the cause of homelessness was (i) the termination of a private sector assured shorthold tenancy and (ii) housing benefit restrictions. [14819]

The table below provides the available data on the numbers of households accepted as homeless and in priority need under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 and 1996 Housing Acts for the calendar years 1994, 1995, 1996 and the first 6 months of 1997. The table also shows the numbers of household where the main reason for the loss of their last settled home was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy. The data collected on the reasons for homelessness do not separately identify where the loss of previous accommodation was attributed to housing benefit restrictions.

1994
Total priority need acceptancesNumber of these where the reason was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy1
England118,49011,830
Barking and Dagenham28013
Barnet64854
Bexley15624
Brent1,162163
Bromley67197
Camden1,49618
City of London401
Croydon1,27270
Ealing1,226141
Enfield1,06965
Greenwich96048
Hackney1,741134
Hammersmith and Fulham96387
Haringey1,55193
Harrow45450
Havering32531
Hillingdon815143
Hounslow9426
IslingtonNo returnsNo returns
Kensington and Chelsea34162227
Kingston upon Thames33112
Lambeth1,6008
Lewisham3581347
Merton29115
NewhamNo returnsNo returns
Redbridge46152
Richmond upon Thames30729
Southwark1,453387
Sutton26432
Tower Hamlets3555227
Waltham Forest68641
Wandsworth761216
Westminster1,257144
1The figures for 1994 to 1996 may include a small number of households accepted for rehousing who were not in priority need.
2Data for three quarters only.
3Data for two quarters only.
1995
Total priority need acceptancesNumber of these where the reason was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy1
England117,49013,110
Barking and Dagenham17615
Barnet872138
Bexley14741
Brent1,184149
Bromley56481
Camden1,47451
City of London183
Croydon91639
Ealing1,036158
Enfield76183
Greenwich86056
Hackney1,32683
Hammersmith and Fulham80756
HaringeyNo returnsNo returns
Harrow50873
Havering35062
Hillingdon973130
Hounslow96424
Islington2926251
Kensington and Chelsea44231
Kingston upon Thames41929
Lambeth1,4397
Lewisham2805285
Merton32538
NewhamNo returnsNo returns
Redbridge43565
Richmond upon Thames36458
Southwark1,328290
Sutton30236
Tower Hamlets82117
Waltham Forest58675
Wandsworth6270
Westminster1,240171
1 The figures for 1994 to 1996 may include a small number of households accepted for re-housing who were not in priority need.
2Data for three quarters only.
1996
Total priority need acceptancesNumber of these where the reason was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy1
England113,56013,730
Barking and Dagenham1708
Barnet961148
Bexley17374
Brent1,314157
Bromley62095
Camden1,37960
City of London171
Croydon1,30575
Ealing1,368251
Enfield83373
Greenwich1,08164
Hackney2830373
Hammersmith and
Fulham63040
HaringeyNo returnsNo returns
Harrow50285
Havering2275228
Hillingdon897138
Hounslow1,08842
1996
Total priority need acceptancesNumber of these where the reason was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy1
Islington1,04271
Kensington and Chelsea61345
Kingston upon Thames2247220
Lambeth1,02210
Lewisham84674
Merton34041
Newham422441
Redbridge32472
Richmond upon Thames47271
Southwark2719322
Sutton41274
Tower Hamlets2536217
Waltham Forest61864
Wandsworth6702
Westminster1,314220
1 The figures for 1994 to 1996 may include a small number of households accepted for re-housing who were not in priority need.
2Data for three quarters only.
3Data for two quarters only.
4Data for one quarter only.
1997—first 6 months
Total priority need acceptancesNumber of these where the reason was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy1
England52,2006,760
Barking and Dagenham1177
Barnet2198231
Bexley8134
Brent726110
Bromley27649
Camden63045
City of London171
Croydon212126
Ealing35762
Enfield2163231
Greenwich50648
Hackney2129220
Hammersmith and Fulham30020
HaringeyNo returnsNo returns
Harrow28157
Havering14720
Hillingdon45061
Hounslow56448
Islington49133
Kensington and ChelseaNo returnsNo returns
Kingston upon Thames17823
LambethNo returnsNo returns
Lewisham2159216
Merton12613
NewhamNo returnsNo returns
Redbridge12627
Richmond upon Thames23641
SouthwarkNo returnsNo returns
Sutton16128
Tower HamletsNo returnsNo returns
Waltham Forest36237
Wandsworth2632
Westminster581124
1 The figures for 1994 to 1996 may include a small number of households accepted for re-housing who were not in priority need.
2 Data for one quarter only.

Sewage Flooding

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions with whom the responsibility lies for the repairing of private properties damaged by sewage flooding; and if he will take steps to ensure that there is no undue delay in long-term repair works where flooding is taking place on a regular basis. [15169]

Responsibility for repairs to properties following an incident of sewage flooding rests with the property owners but they may be able to recover the cost from sewerage undertakers who can be shown to be at fault. In other cases, the cost of repairs can sometimes be recovered under normal building insurance.In the periodic review of price limits in 1994, the Director General of Water Services allowed for sewerage undertakers to invest £590 million (at 1993–94 prices) over the following ten-year period to address sewer flooding problems. The Director General's 1996–97 report on levels of service recorded a reduction of 9 per cent. in the number of properties flooded by sewers in that year.

Planning Inspectorate

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will ask the Planning Inspectorate to maintain records about the (i) existing and (ii) previous land use, or that previously in existence, when a planning appeal is received. [15156]

The land uses Proposed in development projects being appealed are recorded by the Planning Inspectorate. It has not been considered necessary to record details of existing and previous land uses in Planning appeals cases, but a current review will indicate whether full records, including the existing and Previous land uses, would be beneficial in future.

Planning Applications

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what procedures exist for ensuring that black and Asian planning applicants are not discriminated against on grounds of race by local authorities. [15285]

Under section 19A of the Race Relations Act 1976, it is unlawful for a planning authority to discriminate against a person in carrying out their planning functions. Under the 1976 Act, complainants have a right to take their case to the county court as in instances of discrimination in the fields of education, in the provision of goods and services and the disposal and management of premises.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what types of proposed development were involved in each of the applications referred between 5 August 1996 and 3 July 1997 to the Sports Council for England as a statutory consultee under the terms of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, as amended. [15164]

Of the 288 applications referred to the Sports Council for England between 5 August 1996 and 31 July 1997, 177 involved non-sports development as follows:

  • residential (99 applications);
  • educational (36);
  • other commercial development (31); and
  • other public/community facilities (11).
One hundred and thirty applications involved the development of sports facilities, the most common of which were:

  • synthetic turf pitches (46 applications);
  • sports halls/centres (43);
  • new playing fields and pitches (25);
  • pavilions/club houses (19);
  • floodlights (18);
  • athletics tracks (13);
  • swimming pools (11).

Some applications contained proposals for more than one new facility.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the outcome has been of each of the planning applications referred to the Sports Council for England as a statutory consultee under the terms of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) order 1995, as amended with effect from 5 August 1996. [15162]

Of the 288 applications referred to the Sports Council for England between 5 August 1996 and 31 July 1997, the Council has been notified of 110 local planning authority decisions. Eighty-seven applications were approved including 20 to which they had objected; 16 were refused including nine with Sports Council for England objections; three were withdrawn; and four were called in.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what sports were concerned in respect of each of the 288 planning applications referred between 5 August 1996 and 31 July 1997 to the Sports Council for England. [15163]

Under the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order, the Sports Council for England is now a statutory consultee in relation to applications for development which affect the use of playing fields. Most playing fields are used for a range of team sports. The Council does not, therefore, have a detailed breakdown of the particular sports affected by the applications referred to them.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which bodies were consulted about the terms of the Town and Country Planning (Demolition—Description of Buildings) Direction 1995. [15158]

In 1991, the Department issued a consultation paper on proposed controls over the demolition of dwellinghouses. This was circulated to a wide range of organisations including the local authority associations, individual local planning authorities, the main planning bodies, builders' organisations and conservation bodies. Two hundred and one responses were received including one from the Sports Council. This resulted in the Town and Country Planning (Demolition—Description of Buildings) Direction 1992 contained in Circular 16/92. Some amendments were introduced in the 1995 Direction following a 1994 consultation exercise with a similar range of bodies on the demolition of walls, fences and gates in conservation areas.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what procedures exist to monitor the processing of planning applications by local authorities to prevent discrimination on racial grounds. [15284]

The Government recognises the value of ethnic monitoring and we encourage its use where appropriate. Local planning authorities may wish to request information relating to ethnic origin so that they can monitor the handling of applications. The ethnic origin of an applicant is not a relevant planning consideration and there is no obligation for an applicant to provide this information in order to have a planning application decided.

Road Hauliers (French Dispute)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will introduce interest free bridging finance for road hauliers affected by the dispute in France, pending receipt of compensation from the French Government. [15204]

The Government was pleased to note the promise made by M. Jospin, the French Prime Minister, last week that claimants affected by the blockades in France a year ago will know within three months whether their claims will be met. The Government will be pressing the French Government to ensure that all claims arising from the recent blockades are dealt with sympathetically and promptly.Compensation claims against the French Government must be made under French Law and by those affected; the UK Government is not directly involved. Unfortunately, many of those adversely affected by the dispute are unlikely to be eligible under French law for compensation. In the circumstances the approach suggested by the hon. Member would not be appropriate.

Wyre Piddle Bypass

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects to reach a decision on the application by Hereford and Worcester county council for transport supplementary grant to build the Wyre Piddle bypass; and if he will make a statement. [15595]

We expect to announce our decision on Hereford and Worcester County Council's bid for transport supplementary grant for the Wyre Piddle bypass in December as part of the Local Transport Capital Settlement for 1998–99.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list (a) his Department's policies and initiatives designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and (b) the departmental policies and initiatives designed to reduce other greenhouse gases; if he will estimate for each the annual reduction in tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions achieved in the most recent year for which figures are available compared to those for 1990; and what estimate he has made of further reductions, or increases, predicted for 2000 and 2010, assuming continuation of current policies. [15544]

I refer the hon. Member to the United Kingdom's Second Report under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which was published in February 1997. It reports the UK's progress in implementing its programme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gives a projection of what the programme is expected to deliver by 2000. The report projects forward what the current programme is expected to achieve to 2020.

Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what data he has collated in respect of the average distances between waste collection points and landfill disposal sites. [14529]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: There are no such data currently available.

Overseas Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is his estimate of the expenditure by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on overseas travel for (i) 1980–81, (ii) 1987–88, (iii) 1990–91, (iv) 1991–92, (v) 1992–93, (vi) 1993–94, (vii) 1994–95, (viii) 1995–96, (ix) 1996–97 and (x) 1 May to 30 September 1997; and if he will provide a breakdown to show (1) air fares and (2) other expenditure relating to overseas travel. [15231]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: Figures for years (i) and (ii) are not available. Figures for the Department and its Agencies, where these are available, for years (iii) to (x) are listed below. This information is not held centrally for Non Departmental Public Bodies and the information could only be gathered at disproportionate cost. A breakdown to show air fares and other expenditure is not available.

£000
Department1Agencies1
(iii) 1990–911,400232
(iv) 1991–921,707296
(v) 1992–932,3902
(vi) 1993–942,1562
(vii) 1994–951,888476
(viii) 1995–961,807494
(ix) 1996–971,601419
(x) 1 May to 30 September 1997568201
1Figures include overseas subsistence as well as travel costs.
2Figures are not held separately from other travel costs.

Not all the Department's Agencies hold the information in a way that enables the elements requested to be identified separately. We have, therefore, been able to provide information only where it is available. It should also be noted that because of changes in Departmental structure and accountancy practice over the years the year to year costs are not readily comparable.

House Building (Essex)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is his estimate of the number of new homes that need to be built in (a) the county of Essex; (b) the northern part of Essex; (c) the Borough of Colchester and (d) the District of Tendring. [15350]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG9) was issued by the Secretary of State for the Environment in 1994. It was based on advice provided by the regional conference of local authorities (SERPLAN). The Guidance sets out the additional dwellings required in Essex for the period 1991–2006 as 80,000. Guidance does not give a distribution between districts—this is decided in the Essex structure plan, prepared and adopted by the county council. In accordance with the 1994 Guidance, the pre-deposit consultation draft of the replacement Essex County Structure Plan provides for 84,600 new dwellings in Essex in the period 1995–2011, of which 12,650 would be in the borough of Colchester and 6,500 in the District of Tendring.SERPLAN is currently preparing advice on the revision of RPG9, including the updating of housing requirements to take into account the latest household projections, economic and environmental factors.

Genetically Modified Maize

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on (a) the position taken by his officials and (b) the outcome of proceedings at the meeting of the Article 21 Committee, in Brussels, on 5 November, with respect to Austria' a prohibition of genetically modified maize under Article 16 of Directive 90/220 EEC. [15473]

I refer the hon. Member to my response to the hon. Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson) on 6 November 1997, Official Report, column 281.

Food And Drink Outlets

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will issue new guidancee on the A3 Use Class (Food and Drink) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as amended, in order to differentiate between larger and smaller outlets; and if he will make a statement. [14825]

The Use Classes Order 1987 groups together various types of land use because, in planning terms, they have a similar impact on a neighbourhood. As public houses, wine bars, restaurants and hot food takeaway premises tend to raise the same land use issues, they are all included within Use Class A3. There are no plans to amend or to issue new guidance on this Class, although we keep the arrangements under review.

European Spatial Development Perspective

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to (a) take forward the European Spatial Development Perspective and (b) obtain European Minister's views on urban issues. [15912]

Our aim under the UK Presidency is to complete, in co-operation with other Member States, the draft European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP). The intention is for this to be agreed by EU Ministers at their informal meeting to be held during our Presidency, in June 1998.The ESDP is the result of collaboration between Member States and the European Commission to promote an integrated approach to spatial development through partnership, co-operation and sharing expertise. A partially completed draft was agreed by Ministers at Noordwijk in June 1997 as a basis for consultations now taking place within each country. This is now on the Internet. In the UK we have invited interested bodies to take part in a series of seminars to discuss the draft document with others and to send us their written views by 31 December.During December and January, I will undertake a series of bilateral meetings with other European planning ministers and with the Commission and other European institutions, to discuss with them the results of their national consultations. These meetings will seek to ensure that Member States will be in a position to agree the draft ESDP at their meeting in June. Some of these bilateral meetings will be handled by my hon. Friend the Scottish Office Minister with responsibility for local government, housing and transport, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North and Leith (Mr. Chisholm).The UK is also planning a European initiative on urban issues based on good practice experience. We will prepare the initial phase of a possible guidance framework on selected aspects of urban policy in consultation with other Member States. This will form the basis for discussion at the EU ministerial meeting in June.

Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representation he has received regarding the implementation of Directive 97/11/EC on the assessment of certain public and private projects on the environment; and if he will make a statement. [16029]

A consultation paper was issued on 30 July setting out in broad terms the Government's proposals for implementing the amended Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (97/11/EC). To date, 170 responses have been received from business, government and environmental organizations in the UK, as well as members of the public. A list of the responses has been placed in the Library of the House. Copies of all the responses have also been placed in my Department's library.

Education And Employment

Adapt Training Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many bids were made in 1997 in the United Kingdom under the ADAPT training programme to run from 1997 to 1999; how many bids were successful; and what proportion of the United Kingdom allocated budget has been committed to United Kingdom projects. [14264]

In the United Kingdom, 344 bids were assessed in 1997 under the ADAPT Programme. Of these, 185 were successful. The Programme budget for ADAPT for the period 1995 to 1999 is 316,812,000 Million ECU of which 192,174,790 Million ECU—670.7 per cent.—has been committed to projects. 12,508,706 Million ECU has been allocated to Technical Assistance.

Graduates

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people graduated from universities in England and Wales in (a) arts and humanities, (b) science and engineering, (c) medicine and (d) law in (i) 1967, (ii) 1977, (iii) 1987 and (iv) the most recent available year. [14503]

The available data covering all higher education institutions in 1996 and former University Funding Council Universities and former polytechnics for earlier years are given in the following table.

First degree graduates1in England and Wales
Thousands
Year of graduation
Subject21967197719871996
Arts/humanities3n/a14·120·652·7
Science and technologyn/a25·236·264·6
Medicne4n/a4·66·915·1
Social, administrative and business studies5n/a17·420·854·8
n/a = not available.
1 In 1977 and 1987 full-time only for former polytechnics, full and part-time for former UFC universities; full and part-time for all establishments in 1996.
2The definitions of the subject groups were revised in 1985 for former UFC establishments, in 1987 for former polytechnics and for all establishments in 1996.
3Including education.
4 Including subjects allied to medicine.
5Including law which cannot be separately identified in all years. In 1996 there were 9.3 thousand graduates in law.

Students (Fees)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to provide financial support for the tuition fee contributions of part-time students in higher education. [14804]

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 6 November 1997, Official Report, column 309.

Charity Collectors

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will instruct jobcentres to require organisations seeking charity collectors to provide references from reputable source; and if he will make a statement. [15055]

Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Adrian Sanders, dated 12 November 1997:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning your request that he instructs Jobcentres to require organisations seeking charity collectors to provide references from a reputable source. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.
Jobcentres do, in fact, already have instructions not to accept fund-raising vacancies from or on behalf of charities that are not registered with the Charity Commission or, in Scotland, recognised by the Financial Intermediary Claims Office. In addition the Employment Service accepts vacancies which involve street or house to house collections or sales only where the relevant licence or exemptions have been obtained from the appropriate authority. Our current instructions to Jobcentres require these points to be checked whenever there is doubt about an employer seeking to recruit through the Jobcentre.
I hope this is helpful. I would be happy to look into any particular instance which has given cause for concern.

Home Department

Mr Jonathan Aitken

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many person hours have been logged in the police investigation into the alleged perjury by Mr. Jonathan Aitken. [15194]

The Commissioner tells me that 35 man days have been expended so far in the inquiry. The Commissioner informs me that the investigation is continuing and is being pursued as expeditiously as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent to date by the Metropolitan police on their investigation into the alleged perjury by Mr. Jonathan Aitken. [15193]

The Commissioner informs me that approximately 35 man days have been expended so far. The nature of the inquiry has meant that it has not been possible to cost the police time accurately. The Commissioner also tells me that the investigation is continuing and is being pursued as expeditiously as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 5 November, Official Report, column 211, how many police officers, and of which rank, have been assigned to the investigation into the alleged perjury of Mr. Jonathan Aitken. [15195]

The Commissioner informs me that the number of officers deployed on the investigation into Mr. Aitken has varied according to the needs of the inquiry. The officers on the inquiry are selected on the basis of the skills they bring to the task, and not according to their rank.

Europol

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if proposals have been put forward through European Union or intergovernmental channels to provide legal immunity for police officers who are working or have worked for Europol; and if he will make a statement. [15190]

The privileges and immunities of Europol staff are set out in a Protocol to the Europol Convention, which was signed on 19 June 1997. The Protocol needs to be ratified in each member state before Europol can take up its activities. For the United Kingdom to ratify the Protocol, an Order in Council under the International Organisations Act 1968 will need to be made. We hope to present a draft Order to the House shortly.The terms of the legal immunity for Europol staff are outlined in Article 8 of the Protocol, which states that members of the organs of Europol and staff members of Europol shall enjoy "immunity form the legal process of any kind in respect of words spoken or written, or of acts performed by them, in the exercise of their official functions". Article 12 of the Protocol states that the Director of Europol shall be required to waive the immunity "in cases where the immunity would impede the course of justice".It is important to bear in mind that Europol will not have executive powers. Its role is confined to supporting national investigations through facilitating the exchange of information and offering analytical expertise. Responsibility for subsequent executive action rests with the relevant national bodies which do not enjoy such privileges and immunities.The Protocol will be evaluated by the Management Board of Europol two years after the Protocol enters into force. It will be reviewed following any amendment to the tasks of Europol as set out in the Europol Convention.

Charities

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will issue a practice direction to owners of premises to encourage the reference checking of organisations seeking permission to make charitable collections; [15056](2) if he will arrange for local authority licensing departments to be given information on the relevant activities of registered charities; and if he will make a statement. [15054]

The Charity Commission meets licensing authorities regularly and seeks to co-operate with any requests for information about charities or fundraising organisations. There are no plans to issue a practice note to owners of premises. The Commission already encourages owners of premises, such as supermarkets, to check with the Commission if they have any doubts about an organisation seeking permission to carry out a charitable collection. With effect from 29 October this year, basic details of all registered charities can also be checked on the Commission's website at htpp://www.charity-commission.gov.uk.

Gas Appliances (Safety)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for causing death due to poorly maintained gas appliances in each year since 1990. [15159]

The following table gives the information requested. The figures relate to instances where the offence concerned had been recorded by the police as homicide. Figures for similar offences where poor installation rather than poor maintenance was involved are also shown.

Number of prosecutions for offences of homicide arising from poor maintenance or installation of gas appliances—England and Wales
Poor maintenancePoor installation
1990
1991
19921
19932
1994
19951
19963
1997 (to 1 August)3

Perjury

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average length of time between the commission of a perjury and charges being brought by the CPS. [15192]

The relevant information is not available. The decision whether to lay a charge of perjury, as of any other offence, is taken by the police in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, if they are satisfied that they have enough evidence to do so. The time taken will depend on a variety of factors, including the complexity of any case and the extent to which the necessary evidence is obtainable. In reaching that decision, the police may seek the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service as to whether a prosecution should be brought against a suspect.

Chief Constables (Efficiency)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means the efficiency of chief constables is measured. [15008]

The efficiency of a chief constable, and the means by which it is measured, is a matter for the local police authority.Police authorities have an obligation under the Police Act 1996 to issue a local policing plan before the start of a financial year, setting out the proposed arrangements for the policing of the authority's area. This plan is produced in conjunction with the chief constable and takes into account objectives determined by the Home Secretary and any objectives and performance targets determined by the police authority.As soon as possible after the end of the financial year, the authority is required to issue a further report, including, an assessment of the extent to which the local policing plan for that year has been carried out.At a national level, Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary advise the Secretary of State on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces.

Police Central Support Department

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the ASTRA clause will be included in any contracts put out to tender for the police central support department. [14697]

The Home Office has no plans to use the particular clause referred to, but Home Office policy, when putting services out to competitive tender, is to include a clause in the contract which covers the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (known as TUPE), as amended by the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Sudan

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that the NIF regime in Sudan forces school leavers to join the PDF; and if he will make a statement. [15323]

These reports are accurate. The Sudanese authorities are conscripting secondary school graduates. Some have been sent to the south against their will and without their relatives being informed of their whereabouts. We have expressed our concern about this practice to the Sudanese authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures Her Majesty's Government will take to support the Sudanese peace process. [14832]

We welcomed the resumption of talks between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army on 29 October under the sponsorship of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The UK has supported and will continue to support the IGAD peace process through the Friends of IGAD and latterly through the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF). Both the EU and the IPF have offered material assistance to the IGAD process. We are in regular contact with all parties to the conflict and will continue to stress the need to resolve the civil war through a comprehensive negotiated settlement.

Eu Council Of Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what circumstances it is the practice to permit officials to deputise for Ministers in meetings of the Council of Ministers of the European Union; and if he will list those Council meetings since 1 May when officials represented their Ministers, naming the Minister in each instance. [15611]

Representation by a senior official on occasions when a Minister is unable to be present for all or part of a Council meeting is normal practice for all member states. British Ministers have attended every Council meeting since 1 May, with the exception of the Consumer Affairs Council on 3 November when my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths) was prevented by fog from reaching Brussels.

Eu Standing Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what standing orders have been (a) agreed and (b) published concerning the procedures to be adopted at (i) Councils of Ministers of the European Community, (ii) the European Council and (iii) intergovernmental conferences of member states; and what are the distinctive functions of European Council and intergovernmental conferences. [15610]

Rules of procedure governing the Council of Ministers are set out in a Council Decision of 6 December 1993 (93/662/EC). This was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 10 December 1993 (0J]993, No. L304/1).There are no formal rules of procedure for European Councils and Intergovernmental Conferences. It is for the incumbent Presidency to decide, with the agreement of the Member States, how to conduct them.The functions of European Councils and Intergovernmental Conferences are set out in Articles D and N respectively of the Treaty on European Union.

European Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Ministers of the Crown and (b) officials of Her Majesty's Government were present at the meetings of (i) the European Council and (ii) the intergovernmental conference at Amsterdam. [15612]

The Amsterdam Summit comprised (a) the conclusion of the negotiations for the intergovernmental conference and (b) normal European Council business. The UK delegation for the Summit consisted of four Ministers of the Crown and, including support staff, 66 Government officials.

Eu General Affairs Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will report on the outcome of the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 10 November. [15910]

At the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 10 November the nine A points in document 11996/97 were approved, and the EP resolutions of 20–24 October in document 11109/97 were noted. The texts will be placed in the House as soon as they become available.

The Commission presented a Communication on the future of ACP—EU relations which formed the basis for an orientation debate. This will help inform Commission drafting of an EU mandate for the renegotiation of the Lomé Convention. There was a general welcome for the way ahead set out by the Commission and in particular for the emphasis on poverty, enhanced political dialogue and integration of ACP economies into the world trading environment.

The Council took stock of discussions on enlargement and Agenda 2000. In particular, it considered the role of the Council in the Accession Partnerships of the reinforced pre-accession strategy. The Committee of Permanent Representatives will continue discussion this week.

The Council Secretariat introduced a paper on the incorporation of the Schengen Secretariat into the General Secretariat of the Council. It was agreed that the Schengen Secretariat would be invited to give its opinion on the matter, which will then be discussed further in the Committee of Permanent representatives, before returning to Council.

The Council held a preliminary discussion on the Council Secretary General's paper on implementation of the Declaration annexed to the Amsterdam Treaty on the creation of a Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit. There was wide support for the new CFSPD High Representative taking up his duties as soon as the Amsterdam Treaty is ratified; and for the new Unit to become operational at the same time. The Political Committee and Committee of Permanent Representatives were tasked to take forward detailed work on the Unit and to report back to the Council.

The Council discussed EU relations with Turkey. The Presidency announced its intention to arrange an informal ministerial meeting with Turkey on 24 November.

The Council discussed preparations for the forthcoming visit to the Middle East by the Presidency of the Council and Vice President Mann of the European Commission. The Council agreed on the importance of close co-ordination with the US Administration in support of US efforts to bring about a full resumption of negotiations in the Middle East Peace Process. It also agreed on the need for the Presidency to emphasise EU concerns about the effects of continuing Israeli settlement activity on the prospects for progress and about the postponement of the further redeployments of Israeli troops from Palestinian areas foreseen in the Hebron Agreement.

The Council considered a report from EU Special Envoy Moratinos on ways in which the EU might support agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the opening of Gaza Airport, the construction of Gaza seaport and the establishment of the "safe passage" arrangements for Palestinians travelling between the West Bank and Gaza. The Council agreed that the report should be considered further at technical level.

The Council discussed negotiations between the EU and Switzerland in the light of new Swiss proposals on the question of land transport through the Alps. It was decided that the Committee of Permanent Representatives should report back to the Council on how the negotiations might be brought to a successful conclusion.

The Presidency reported on preparations and arrangements for the Employment Summit on 21 November.

The Council discussed EU/Albania relations. Ministers agreed that the 1992 Trade and Cooperation Agreement between Albania and the EC should be reactivated to help with the process of economic and political development. A Ministerial level Political Dialogue and official level Joint Committee under the Agreement might be held early in 1998.

The Council adopted a review of the situation in former Yugoslavia in the context of the conditionality in the EU regional approach; and a message to the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia setting out the EU' s policy. On Bosnia the Council supported the conclusions of the 6 November Steering Board and the High Representative's efforts to reform the Republika Srpska media.

Under any other business, the Council discussed ways of promoting observance by EU Member States of the eight common criteria on arms export agreed by the Council in 1991 and 1992. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs drew partners attention to our intention to work during our Presidency for an EU Code of Conduct of Arms sales.

Sweden highlighted the opportunity presented by the entry into force 1 December 1997 of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) to tackle some of the irritants in the EU/Russia relationship. Ministers confirmed that a full discussion of the relationship would take place at the 24 November General Affairs Council in preparation for the inaugural Co-operation Council, to be held during the 8-9 December General Affairs Council.

United Nations Register Of Conventional Arms

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make available a copy of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms; and if he will make a statement. [15911]

A copy of the UN Secretary-General's report has been placed in the Libraries of the House. We are disappointed that the 1997 Group of Experts reviewing the operation and development of the UN Arms Register was unable to agree any substantive measures to expand or strengthen the Register. Our aims remain clear: to encourage increased participation by UN member states; to broaden the scope of the Register by including military holdings and procurement from national production on the same basis as imports and exports; to expand current categories of equipment to include weapons of lesser capability; and to encourage the provision of details of the type of equipment transferred. We shall continue to use both bilateral and multilateral contacts to encourage States to work towards these goals. We welcome the Group of Experts' agreement on recommendations for several technical adjustments. We fully endorse these recommendations and urge other States to do the same.

Commonwealth Centre Event

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the Commonwealth Centre event held in Edinburgh during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. [15961]

The first ever "Commonwealth Centre" highlighted the importance of the role of non-governmental organisations in the Commonwealth. With our full support, the Commonwealth Centre—led by the Royal Commonwealth Society and supported by the Commonwealth Foundation, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the British Council and the Prince' s Trust—hosted a full programme of conferences, discussions, workshops and exhibitions by over 100 organisations. It was a tremendous success. Over 25,00 members of the public and 20 Heads of Government, led by my right honourable Friend the Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Secretary General, visited the Centre.

Assisted Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the Government's strategy for maintaining the maximum number of objective 1 and 2 assisted areas in the United Kingdom after 1999. [15030]

I have been asked to reply.The European Commission published its suggestions for the future of the Structural and Cohesion Funds on 16 July as part of its communication "Agenda 2000". In discussions with the Commission and other Member States, the Government are pressing for future arrangements which are affordable, durable and fair to the United Kingdom as well as to other Member States.

Treasury

Correspondence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the average time taken by his Department to give full answers to letters received from hon. Members. [13959]

[holding answer 4 November 1997]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) on 3 November 1997, Official Report, column 5. The 1997 figures will be published in due course.

Taxation (Marginal Rates) Deduction

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people of working age currently face combined marginal rates of withdrawal of tax, national insurance contributions and means-tested benefits of (a) under 50 per cent., (b) 50–69 per cent., (c) 60–69 per cent., (d) 70–79 per cent., (e) 80–89 per cent. and (f) 90 per cent. or above. [14022]

Figures for the number of families estimated to be facing high marginal deduction rates, for 1996–97 are contained in the following table:

Marginal deduction rate (per cent.)Number at or above the rate (thousands)
100+5
90+105
80+360
70+645
60+655
50+660

Source:

Based on Family Resources Survey, uprated to 1996–97 levels, adjusted to benefit caseloads using Housing Benefit Management Statistics and the Family Credit Statistical Sample. Figures are calculated for benefit units in receipt of income-related benefits where at least one partner works 16 hours a week or more.

National Audit Office

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to extend the powers of the National Audit Office to enable it to have access to the financial records of any organisation which has received public money; and if he will make a statement. [14476]

Taxation Changes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the income which would have accrued to the Treasury in each year if income tax rates had remained unchanged after the 1979 general election; [14706](2) if he will estimate the additional income, which would have accrued to the Treasury in each year if the four top rates of income tax had not been abolished in March 1988. [14705]

Taxation (Married Couples)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is the Government's policy to retain the independent taxation of husband and wife. [14941]

All aspects of the tax system are kept under review to ensure it achieves the Government's objectives.

Monitor Consultancy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list (a) the nature and value of contracts his Department has entered into and (b) discussions ministers or officials have held with the Monitor Consultancy since 1990. [14955]

[holding answer 7 November 1997]: Since April 1991, when the Treasury installed a central, computerised procurement system, no contract has been let to the Monitor Consultancy. A check of all file titles since 1990 has yielded no record of any contract between 1990 and April 1991 or of any discussions between Ministers, Officials and the Monitor Consultancy since 1990. An exhaustive check of relevant files could only be undertaken at disproportionate cost.

Intelligence Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who was responsible for drawing up the terms of reference for the comprehensive spending review of the intelligence agencies. [14514]

[holding answer 10 November 1997]: The Terms of Reference were approved by Ministers after inter-departmental consultation including the Security and Intelligence Agencies.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the individuals who will undertake the comprehensive spending review of the Intelligence Services announced on 30 October; what arrangements have been made to make public the outcome; and when the review will be complete. [14512]

Staff from the Cabinet Office, the Security and Intelligence Agencies and the Efficiency Unit will undertake the review. Ministers will decide if the outcome of the review should be published. The review will follow the comprehensive spending review timetable and will be completed by summer 1998.

Competition Legislation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral statement of 27 October, Official Report, column 587, what will be the scope of the new competition legislation; and with which bodies he (a) has consulted and (b) proposes to consult. [15357]

The Chancellor of the Exchequer was referring to the Competition Bill, which was introduced in the Hose of Lords on 15 October. A consultation document on the Bill was published in August by the President of the Board of Trade.

Energy-Saving Materials

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reduce VAT on energy-saving materials. [15465]

Customs have completed their review on this subject and are now preparing a report for publication.

Official Reserves (Reports)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the publication arrangements will be for the new quarterly report on the official reserves, and if he will make a statement. [16117]

A report on the reserves in July—September 1997 will be published by the Treasury on Tuesday 2 December. Subsequent quarterly reports will be published two months after the end of the quarter concerned. The report will include data on any holdings by the Bank of England. This follows the Chancellor's statement on 6 May that the Bank will have its own separate pool of foreign exchange reserves which it may use at its discretion to intervene in support of its monetary policy objective.

Monetary Policy Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment of Scotland's current economic conditions was taken into account by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee in reaching its recent decision to raise interest rates. [15519]

In reaching its decision to raise interest rates on 6 November, the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was able to draw on the information gained from business surveys and from the Bank's network of 12 regional agents which cover the whole of the United Kingdom. The Bank has an agency in Glasgow, which is able to obtain a first-hand account of economic conditions in Scotland. Detailed reasons for the interest rate change will be made clear in the MPC minutes, which will be published on 10 December.

Prime Minister

Engagements

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 12 November. [14220]

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 12 November. [15184]

This morning I had meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others. I shall have further meetings later today.

Culture, Media And Sport

Hms Cavalier

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will take steps to ensure the retention and display in the United Kingdom of HMS Cavalier. [15040]

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to ensure that HMS Cavalier is retained in the United Kingdom. [15518]

The sale of HMS Cavalier has been agreed between South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council and Star Cruises of Malaysia. South Tyneside MBC has maintained the ship for 10 years, but now considers the costs too great to continue. The agreement secured with the purchasers means that the ship will be maintained in a good state of repair.It is not yet clear whether HMS Cavalier requires an export licence on heritage grounds from my Department since there is as yet no firm valuation for the ship. If it is decided that a licence is required, HMS Cavalier will be subject to the normal considerations as to whether a licence should be granted or the decision deferred.We owe a great debt to those who served in the Navy and I appreciate that the future of HMS Cavalier is a matter of importance to them.

Tourism (Hotels)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, media and Sport how many hotels offered accommodation in the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years. [14565]

[holding answer 10 November 1997]: The table shows the number of establishments listed as hotels' by the English, Scottish, Wales and Northern Ireland tourist boards for each year from 1987 to 1996 inclusive. Figures are not available in the form requested for 1989 in Scotland and for 1993 in England and Wales.

1 The term hotels is defined in a generic sense in England, Scotland and Wales, as it has not proved possible to disaggregate hotels from other types of serviced accommodation.
YearEngland1Scotland2Wales2Northern Ireland
198724,2182,9691,462130
198823,6922,9971,589125
198922,936n/a1,456120
199022,5473,2851,620122
199122,2932,8851,512126
199222,0072,8851,744126
1993n/a2,927n/a122
199419,0732,8761,438122
199518,8382,8411,415126
199618,7092,0801,397129
1In England, the figures include hotels, motels, inns and guesthouses.
2 In Scotland and Wales the figures include motels and inns but not guesthouses.

Communications Sector Regulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures he is taking to provide a single independent body to regulate the communications sector. [14575]

The Government are considering the policy implications of convergence between broadcasting, telecommunications and computing. As part of this work, we will be considering whether and how we might make the structure of regulation more appropriate to any new market structures which might emerge.

Trade And Industry

Export Licences

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will list the export licences revoked by her Department since 1990; and what is the practice of her Department regarding the payment of compensation to the licensees. [13322]

Over the years, a large number of standard individual export licences have been revoked for a range of reasons; for instance, because of the introduction of UN trade sanctions or arms embargos or in response to wrongdoing. It would entail disproportionate cost to provide details of all these licences.

The practice of this Department is to pay compensation for revocation of export licences only where the Department incurs a legal liability as a result of the revocation.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the original cost of the Export Licence Information Processing System; and how much it will cost to develop a new database. [15302]

[holding answer 10 November 1997]: The cost of developing the Export Control Licensing Information Processing System (ECLIPS), up to point of implementation in March 1995, is put at £4,447,600.Development of a new database of export licence applications and establishing a system to enable such applications to be submitted in electronic form is expected to cost £424,000.

Computers (Century Date Change)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions she has had or plans to have with her World Trade Organisation counterparts on the problems facing computer systems through the century date change; and if she will make a statement. [13149]

I have no plans to raise this at the WTO, but I will look to raise the issue in more appropriate international fora.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions she has had or plans to have with her EU counterparts on the problems facing computer systems through the century date change; and if she will make a statement. [13154]

I plan to raise this at the Telecommunications Council on 1 December and in bilateral meetings with other Member States.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if it is her policy to adopt the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment in its current form; and if she will make a statement. [15168]

The Government support the general aims of the proposed MAI. Many issues remain to be resolved. We are working hard to achieve a successful outcome to the negotiations by April 1998.

Yemen

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will estimate the number of British firms which have offices in Yemen. [14975]

According to the latest information I have there are 20 British firms with offices in Yemen.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action she is taking to promote trade and investment in Yemen. [14977]

In partnership with the private sector, other Government departments and the British Embassy, the Department of Trade and Industry supports a full programme of activities to promote trade and investment in Yemen.

Recent activities include: an inward mission of Yemeni business women in May, the Committee for Middle East Trade Round Table meeting between the private sectors of Yemen and Britain in September, an Invest in Yemen seminar in London in September, a DTI supported trade mission to Yemen in September led by HRH the Duke of Gloucester; a DTI seminar addressed by the Yemeni Minister of Health in October, a joint DTI and British Council workshop and forum in October at the House of Commons on Women and Economic Development in Yemen.

Planned future activities include: the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister for Trade the President of Yemen during his visit to Britain in November; the Minister for Trade's visit to Yemen in November; catalogue exhibitions featuring British companies' goods and services Aden, Taiz and Sana'a in November; at least four DTI supported trade missions to Yemen in the first half of 1998, including one on the oil and gas sector and another on tourism, and a further inward mission of Yemeni businesswomen. In conjunction with the British Council the DTI will facilitate the setting-up in Sana'a of a training and advice centre for businesswomen in Yemen.

DTI has also initiated a twinning arrangement between the Chambers of Commerce of Sana'a and London.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what estimate she has made of the typical quantities of carbon dioxide emitted at each stage of processing in the nuclear fuel cycle for each tonne of nuclear fuel fabricated and used to generate electricity. [14717]

It is estimated that nuclear electricity generation leads to emission of about 4 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour of electricity delivered to the final user. Of theses 4 grams, 3.2 grams are emitted in the process of uranium extraction and the remainder during fuel processing.Carbon dioxide emissions from nuclear generation are less than 1 per cent. of equivalent figures for any of the major fossil fuelled electricity generation technologies.

Low Pay Commission

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will make a statement on the progress made by the Low Pay Commission; and if it will publish an interim report. [15035]

The Low Pay Commission is well advanced on its programme of consultation to obtain views of employers, employees and other interested organisations and individuals on the National Minimum Wage through written evidence and by holding meetings. It has already visited Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will be visiting the North-East in early December and the other English regions and Wales in the near future. The Government have asked the Commission to produce its recommendations by the end of May 1998 and there are no plans for it to publish an interim report.

Copyright

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to bring forward legislation to amend copyright law to take account of the proposals and recommendations set out in the Dearing report; and if she will make a statement. [15622]

I have no plans at present to bring forward legislation to amend copyright law in the light of this report. Copyright law allows limited use of material without permission for education, private study and research. Moreover, the draft regulations, which have recently been laid before the House, to implement the UK and EC legislation on databases, also contain exceptions for the purposes of teaching and non-commercial research with regard to databases protected by copyright and/or the new database right. Where copyright clearance is needed for uses of any material, digital or otherwise, I believe that copyright owners are entitled to obtain a suitable reward on their investment. However, I understand that there are discussions between the Publishers Association and the Joint Information Systems Committee on a licensing scheme covering digital material and specifically designed to meet the needs of teachers and researchers. I very much hope that a successful scheme can be devised.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will list (a) her Department's policies and initiatives designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and (b) the departmental policies and initiatives designed to reduce other greenhouse gases; if she will estimate for each the annual reduction in tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions achieved in the most recent year for which figures are available compared to those for 1990; and what estimate she has made of further reductions, or increases, predicted for 2000 and 21010, assuming continuation of current policies. [15550]

I refer the hon. Member to the United Kingdom's Second Report under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which was published in February 1997. It reports the UK's progresss in implementing its programme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gives a projection of what the programme is expected to deliver by 2000. The report projects forward what the current Programme is expected to achieve to 2020.

Film Industry

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is her Department's estimate of the number of people working in the United Kingdom film industry. [15449]

The number of people working in the United Kingdom film industry in the spring of 1997 is estimated to be 40,000, of whom about 20,000 were involved in film production activities. The remainder were involved in film distribution and projection activities.

Biotechnology

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if the Government will ensure that full consultation on the EC directive on legal protection of biotechnological inventions takes place before it agrees to a decision at the Council of Ministers meeting on 27 November. [15340]

The Commission's proposals for a Directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions was circulated for comment in February 1996 to some 50 organisations and interests groups representing the professions, industry, consumers, the research community, groups concerned with the social and environmental impact of biotechnology, and including members organisations of the Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property, a body set up to advise Ministers on all aspects of industrial property.Interest in the Commission's proposals has increased since the European Parliament adopted its first Opinion in July of this year. To date, more that 150 organisations have received copies of the Commission's revised draft of the proposal which was produced in September in response to the Parliament's first Opinion. Comments have been received from these organisations, and we will take them all into account in determining the United Kingdom's position when this proposal is considered at the Internal Market Council on 27 November.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated to determine the impact of the Bio-technology Patent directive on (i) research in the medical field, (ii) world food supplies, (iii) conservation of biological diversity and (iv) agriculture in the developing world. [15343]

No specific research has been done to determine the impact of the Directive since the European Commission's proposal for legal protection of bio-technological inventions, apart from certain exclusions from patentability for ethical reasons, is substantially consistent with current United Kingdom legislation (the Patents Act 1997).Moreover, United Kingdom legislation provides for exceptions to patent rights to permit research in all technical areas, including the medical field. The Commission's proposal will permit individual member States, including the United Kingdom, to retain provisions which address the needs of those wishing to carry out research relating to patented inventions.Patent rights are created under national legislation. The proposed Directive will harmonise certain aspects of the national laws of the member States of the European Union, but rights will continue to be available only on a national basis. It is for other countries, including those in the developing world, and subject to minimum standards required from members of the World Trade Organisation, to provide patent regimes which meet their own needs and objectives. There is, therefore, no direct relationship between the Commission's proposal and matters outside Europe.The Commission's proposal makes it clear that the Directive is without prejudice to member States' obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Post Office (Scottish Powercards)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will make representations to the managements of Post Office Counters and Scottish Power about the case for reinstating the supply of Scottish Powercards through post offices. [15356]

No. I regard this as a commercial matter for Post Office Counters Ltd. and Scottish Power.

Milk Development Council Tax

To ask the President of the Board of Trade, what representations her Department has received from the dairy industry regarding the tax treatment of the Milk Development Council under section 508 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988. [15551]

I have received representations from the National Farmers Union, the Tenant Farmers Association and the Milk Development Council itself regarding the Council's eligibility for approval under the provision.

Cabinet Office

Millennium Dome

To ask the Minister without Portfolio, what is his estimate of the total cost of completing the Millennium Dome at Greenwich; what are the sources of finance for the project; and if he will make a statement. [13273]

[holding answer 6 November 1997]: The overall budget for the Experience and the associated national programme is £758 million. The Millennium Commission have approved grant of up to £399 million (net) and revenue forecast from sponsorship, commercial activities, visitor receipts and disposal proceeds are £359 million (net).

Millennium Experience Company

To ask the Minister without Portfolio when he intends to reply to the questions from the hon. and learned Member for Medway which appeared on the Order Paper on 27 October relating to the new Millennium Experience Company. [15689]

The questions referred to by my hon. and learned Friend were answered yesterday.

Wales

Fair Trade (Coffee And Tea)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to the oral statement by the Secretary of State for International Development, Official Report, 5 November, column 332, if he will instruct officials in his Department to serve coffee and tea furnished by suppliers who adhere to fair trade standards. [15501]

I refer to the answer which the Prime Minister has given today. All procurement decisions in the Welsh Office are based on the Government's policy of value for money.

Scotland

Electorate

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the electorate of each parliamentary constituency in Scotland (a) for parliamentary elections, (b) for local government elections and (c) the referendum on establishment of a Scottish Parliament. [12698]

The information for parliamentary elections is set out in the table. Statistics for local government elections and the referendum by parliamentary constituency are not held centrally. Inquiries are currently being made to see if this information can be obtained and I will write to the hon. Member.

Electorate
Aberdeen Central54,548
Aberdeen North54,895
Aberdeen South60,982
Airdrie and Shotts58,255
Angus60,359
Argyll and Bute49,982
Ayr56,455
Banff and Buchan59,189
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross41,953
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley66,392
Central Fife58,884
Clydebank and Milngavie52,643
Clydesdale64,048
Coatbridge and Chryston52,547
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth48,590
Cunninghame North56,147
Cunninghame South50,234
Dumbarton56,875
Dumfries63,360
Dundee East58,790
Dundee West57,809
Dunfermline East52,530
Dumfermline West53,005
East Kilbride65,915
East Lothian57,988
Eastwood67,525
Edinburgh Central63,969
Edinburgh East and Musselburgh60,097
Edinburgh North and Leith61,962
Edinburgh Pentlands60,338
Edinburgh South62,949
Edinburgh West61,715
Falkirk East57,331
Falkirk West53,308
Galloway and Upper Nithsdale53,273
Glasgow Anniesland53,324
Glasgow Baillieston51,589
Glasgow Cathcart49,765
Glasgow Govan50,150
Glasgow Kelvin57,695
Glasgow Maryhill52,854
Glasgow Pollok49,693
Glasgow Rutherglen51,106
Glasgow Shettleston48,270
Glasgow Springburn53,814
Gordon59,503
Greenock and Inverclyde49,364
Electorate
Hamilton North and Belshill54,158
Hamilton South47,023
Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber66,278
Kilmarnock and Loudoun62,091
Kirkcaldy52,618
Linlithgow54,258
Livingston60,944
Midlothian48,045
Moray58,957
Motherwell and Wishaw52,702
North East Fife59,532
North Tayside62,007
Ochil57,170
Orkney and Shetland32,621
Paisley North50,261
Paisley South54,573
Perth60,887
Ross, Skye and Inverness West56,141
Roxburgh and Berwickshire47,739
Stirling53,069
Strathkelvin and Bearsden63,822
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale51,448
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine59,884
West Renfewshire53,096
Western Isles23,293

Community Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations contained in the second report of Session 1996–97 (HC 35) of the Scottish Affairs Committee relating to community care. [13967]

We welcomed the Scottish Affairs Committee report on community care and our response to the recommendations was published in July. The Government is setting up a Royal Commission on the funding of long-term care for the elderly. We are reviewing the various elements of community care funding and preparing improved guidance on procedures for assessment of older people's needs. We will consult later this year on how best to promote and improve joint working. These measures should maximise quality, choice and value for money in the delivery of community care services.

Local Authority Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list (a) total outturn capital receipts generated for each service, (b) total capital receipts generated by way of long leases and (c) the net capital allocations originally granted for each service for each local authority in Scotland in 1994–95. [14932]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: As the information requested is rather lengthy, I have arranged for it to be placed in the House libraries. Information on notional capital receipts is not held separately in respect of the housing revenue account and non-housing revenue account capital programmes.

School Buildings (East Lothian)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the cost to public funds of the current investigation by the Accounts Commission into the investment of £7 million for repairs and improvements to schools by the former East Lothian district council; and if he will make a statement. [14933]

[holding answer 11 November1997]: The preparation and consideration of the report by the Accounts Commission for Scotland fall within the statutory duties of the Controller of Audit and have not involved any additional expenditure. It would be inappropriate to comment on the matter under consideration as my right hon. Friend may have to consider the matter if it is referred to him by the Commission.

Defence

Military Training And Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are used to determine which requests for military training by overseas security forces should be granted. [15198]

Requests for training are considered in the light of the Government's ethical foreign policy. Training would not be provided where we considered that it would risk contributing to human rights violations or aggression. Other criteria used to determine which requests for military training by overseas security forces should be granted include: the availability of resources to carry out the training; security considerations; and the defence and foreign policy benefits of providing the training. The defence policy benefits taken into account include in particular whether the provision of military assistance would:

bring direct benefit to the United Kingdom by (for example by providing access to training areas);
represent an investment to avoid later expense (for example by averting a conflict in an area where there would be a high likelihood to British forces being committed);
help to build military interoperability with key potential partners; maintain existing close defence links;
support defence sales.

Fleet Air Arm (826 Squadron)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the 826 Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm was established; what has been its role since it was established; with what aircraft it has been equipped since it was established; what is its current role and strength; and where it has been based. [15616]

Number 826 Squadron was originally to have formed at Lee-on-Solent on 1 January 1940 as a spare squadron, but instead came into existence at Ford on 15 March 1940. The role of the squadron was originally torpedo spotter reconnaissance but became strike and anti-submarine in 1951 and finally anti-submarine in 1955.The squadron has been equipped with the following aircraft types (in chronological order):

  • Albacore I
  • Swordfish I
  • Barracuda II (ASH)
  • Firefly FR1
  • Firefly T1
  • Avenger TBM-3E
  • Firefly AS6
  • Gannet AS1
  • Wessex HAS1
  • Wessex HAS3
  • Seaking HAS1
  • Seaking HAS2/2a
  • Seaking HAS56

The squadron has been based at the following locations:

  • Ford
  • Bircham Newton
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Western Desert
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Algeria
  • East Haven
  • Fearn
  • Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (Royal Canadian Navy)
  • RNAS Culdrose, Helston, Cornwall

826 Naval Air Squadron was disbanded at Culdrose in July 1993.

Merchant Vessels

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the importance his Department attaches to the role of British merchant vessels and merchant seafarers during (a) peacetime exercises, (b) support and re-supply operations and (c) times of crisis and war. [15434]

The Government fully recognise the importance of British merchant shipping and seafarers in the defence context. Indeed, the Department maintains one of the largest civilian fleets in Europe in the form of the specialist ships and civilian crews of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service.We must acknowledge, however, that in today's security environment, a substantial element of any logistic shipping requirement can be satisfied through the international market, where vessels need not necessarily have to be British flagged or crewed as demonstrated during the Gulf War, and in subsequent operations and exercises. The Ministry of Defence is always eager to charter British flagged and crewed ships where they offer best value for money, but we have found that, in general, they are normally fully committed to regular trading activities. Nevertheless, so far during 1997, 24 British registered merchant ships have been on charter to the Ministry of Defence.While we would plan in any serious crisis or war to charter shipping on the worldwide market, we are very conscious that a core of suitable British flagged or owned ships, which could be used under compulsory measures and manned by UK seafarers, is important.My Department's future requirements for merchant shipping will, of course, follow on from the conclusions of the Strategic Defence Review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the name of each merchant vessel, and its country of registration, chartered by his Department for (a) exercises and (b) military support and re-supply operations since 1 January. [15435]

The names of merchant vessels and their country of registration for (a) exercises (including training) and (b) military support and resupply operations since 1 January 1997 are as follows:

NamesCountry of registration
Vessels chartered for exercises (including training)
Cap AfriqueFrance
Dana MaximaDenmark
Danica RedDenmark
GuyaneSt. Vincent and Grenadines
JenkaDenmark
King of ScandinaviaDenmark
NorbayGreat Britain
NorkingFinland
NorcapeGreat Britain
Pride of FlandersGreat Britain
Pride of SuffolkGreat Britain
Prince of ScandinaviaDenmark
RoseanneSwitzerland
Vega (x 2)Antigua
VillarsSwitzerland
Vessels chartered for military support and resupply operations
Afon CefniGreat Britain
Arktis CarrierDenmark
Ben EllenGreat Britain
Ben MayeGreat Britain
Bergen VikingBahamas
BostonianGreat Britain
CameronGreat Britain
Cap Afrique (x 3)France
CardissaIsle of Man
EurograchtGermany
Fleur de LyseSpain
Indomitable*Great Britain
Jolly IndacoItaly
Julia MGreat Britain
Karin CatDenmark
Katherine LucyGreat Britain
LlandoveryGreat Britain
Loyal MediatorGreat Britain
Marine Explorer*Great Britain
Maersk Ascension*Isle of Man
Maersk BothniaNorway
Maersk Gannet*Isle of Man
NavigoSweden
Northella*Great Britain
Oil Mariner*Great Britain
Proud Seahorse*Great Britain
RundaleLiberia
San VincenteGermany
Saint Brandan*Great Britain
Sea MaidGreat Britain
SirenGreat Britain
UllaCyprus
VegaAntigua
Villars (x 2)Switzerland
VirgoCyprus
ZeranMalta
Some vessels were chartered on more than one occasion and those indicated with an asterisk are on long term charter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of United Kingdom merchant vessels available to meet defence needs; and if he will make a statement. [15433]

The availability of militarily useful British merchant ships which might be used for defence purposes is kept under regular review as part of our normal planning process. Current figures indicate there are generally enough militarily useful ships for perceived defence needs. My Department, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, regularly monitors the position. The hon. Member will understand that our future requirements for merchant shipping will, of course, follow on from the conclusions of the Strategic Defence Review.

Bosnia

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he is taking to compensate those Territorial Army personnel deployed in Bosnia to whom backpay is still owed. [15332]

Contrary to recent media reports, there is no endemic or general problem affecting the pay of mobilised TA personnel serving in Bosnia. Mobilised TA personnel are treated as Regular Army for pay purposes and as such were not affected by the separate problems unfortunately experienced by their non-mobilised TA colleagues, which arose from an unforeseen backlog caused by the transfer of work to the Army Personnel Centre (APC) in Glasgow.I regret that isolated problems have, however, affected the pay and allowances of a limited number of mobilised TA personnel. These stemmed mainly from incomplete or incorrect mobilisation documentation, particularly during early mobilisation exercises. Individual cases have been dealt with as they have arisen, and the Army very much regrets any difficulty caused to affected personnel or their families. I can assure the hon. Gentlemen that affected individuals have had access, as a temporary measure, to financial assistance from their Units until the underlying problems could be resolved.Because such problems affect individuals in different ways, there can be no automatic mechanisms or all-embracing compensation package. But any individual who has incurred additional expense, such as bank overdraft charges, as a result of pay problems not of their making may apply for reimbursement, subject to the provision of supporting documentary evidence. Claims should be sent to the Pay Division of the APC through the appropriate Regimental Administrative Office.As a result of the experience gained and lessons learned from these cases, such problems have been largely overcome. Also in the light of this experience, active consideration is being given by the APC—in conjunction with other parties involved in the mobilisation process—to the formation of a permanent mobilisation centre manned with staff experienced in such procedures. The aim is to ensure that there is a more focused approach in order to minimise the occurrence of initial errors which can have serious implications for pay and other matters.

Mod Police

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to outresource the duties now undertaken by the MOD police. [15329]

The Strategic Defence Review (SDR) is looking at all aspects of defence capability. Whilst I have no plans to outresource any of the duties of the Ministry of Defence Police, it is too early to assess the potential impact of the SDR on the Force.

Territorial Army

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice he has received from the Territorial Army brigadiers concerning the size, shape and future role of the Territorial Army. [15334]

The future size, shape and role of the Territorial Army will be determined by the Strategic Defence Review. We are consulting very widely in the course of this work. In particular I expect to have discussions shortly with Brigadier Holmes, who took up his responsibilities as Director of Reserve Forces and Cadets this month. Other members of the TA, like all Service personnel, are welcome to make submissions direct to the Review Team.

Departmental Open Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to hold a departmental open day. [15337]

There are no plans at present for a central departmental open day. Considerable effort is put into publicising the work of the Department and the individual Services. My Department has an annual touring exhibition, the Services Presentation Teams provide information on MOD and the Services, and many individual units and bases hold local open days.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 31 July, Official Report, column 470, what was the aim of Exercise Senator 97; what was the scenario of the exercise; and what were the results of the exercise. [15608]

The aim of Exercise Senator 97 was to test procedures in the event of an accident involving nuclear weapons on British territory. The scenario postulated an accident involving a nuclear weapons convoy in transit through Lincolnshire. There has been unanimous agreement from participants that the exercise was a success, and a number of observations are being followed up with appropriate agencies. A copy of the summary report from all participating agencies will be placed in the Library of the House in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where are the headquarters of the RAF Nuclear Accident Response Organisation. [15559]

The Headquarters of the RAF Nuclear Accident Response Organisation is based at the Headquarters of the RAF Logistics Command at RAF Brampton, Huntingdon.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many editions of the local authority and emergency service information on nuclear weapon transport contingency plans have been produced since 1967; and on what dates. [15617]

Two editions of the Local Authority and Emergency Service Information on Nuclear Weapon Transport Contingency Plans (LAESI) document have been produced by the Ministry of Defence. The first edition was issued in January 1993 and the second edition in March 1996.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from other Government Departments concerning the Strategic Defence Review; and whether he intends publishing them. [15594]

Other Government Departments have been, and will continue to be, consulted throughout the Strategic Defence Review process. Their inputs represent internal Government advice and opinion and are therefore covered by exemption 2 (Internal discussion and advice) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. We have no plans to publish them.

Strategic Defence Review

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he plans to publish the Strategic Defence Review in association with 1998–99 Defence Estimates; and if he will make a statement. [15336]

The 1998–99 estimates for defence votes will be published as part of the Main Supply Estimates in March 1998. The results of the Strategic Defence Review will be published separately at the conclusion of the Review.

We-177 Bomb

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 31 July, Official Report, column 473, in what ways the three types of WE-177 bomb are different from each other. [15602]

The three types of WE-177 bomb differed in terms of weight, size and yield. I am withholding detailed information about these weapons as it is covered under exemption 1 of the code of practice on access to Government information relating to defence security and international relations.

Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list by appointment the selection committee for nominating the 4 star general for the post of Deputy SACEUR. [15331]

A candidate for the 4 star NATO post of Deputy SACEUR is nominated by the Senior Appointments Committee, which comprises the Chief and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, and the Chiefs of the Naval, General and Air Staffs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will name those British officers who have held the post of Deputy SACEUR and who have (a) subsequently served on the Army Board and (b) become Chief of the General Staff. [15330]

Hms Tiger

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 31 July, Official Report column 469, when the HMS Tiger cruiser was decommissioned. [15609]

Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which NATO countries separate the command, control and ownership of attack and support helicopters between the army and air force. [15328]

Among NATO countries only the United Kingdom separates the ownership of anti-tank and support helicopters, between the Army and Royal Air Force respectively. The Strategic Defence Review is examining a range of options for the structure and management of the three Services' helicopter forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the cost benefits to his Departmental budget of combining attack and support helicopters under one service. [15327]

The Strategic Defence Review is examining a range of options for the structure and management of the three Services' helicopter forces, which will be costed as appropriate. It would be premature to discuss particular options at this stage in the Review process.

Ministry Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of his Department' s plans for modernisation of the MoD Main Building in Whitehall. [16062]

My Department continues to examine options, under the Public-Private Partnership scheme, for the long overdue modernisation of the Main Building and its subsequent support. The building was constructed in the 1950s and does not meet today's needs. A major programme of work is required to correct the many current deficiencies and to provide a modern working environment, flexibility for the future and more cost effective use of space.Following the recently completed evaluation of outline proposals, I have approved the next stage of the project which involves the issue of an Invitation to Negotiate to a shortlist of three consortia: Amey/Kvaerner, MoDeM (led by the Bucknall Group) and Mapeley Defence (led by the Nations Bank).I am keen to see the project proceed, and I am encouraged by the outline proposals put forward by the three selected consortia. The next stage challenges the consortia to work closely with my Department to demonstrate their ability to come up with a winning and good-value-for-money scheme.Detailed responses from the consortia will be closely reviewed in the course of the next year as the competition proceeds. Final approval to sign a contract for the scheme will, of course, depend on satisfactory evidence that overall value for money can be achieved.

Northern Ireland

Tourism

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make a statement on each (a) grant and (b) loan made by the Northern Ireland tourist board to private sector projects for the provision of (a) small hotels, (b) guest inns, (c) self catering facilities and (d) bed-and-breakfast facilities in each year since 1993 indicating the schemes involved and the source of the tourist board's budget. [14495]

Since 1993, the Northern Ireland tourist board has made grants to the projects listed in the tables. Small hotels have been defined as those with fewer than 20 bedrooms at the time the offer was made. During the period no loans were made. Redeemable Preference Shares of £330,000 were issued by the promoters in the case of the Manor House Hotel, Killadeas, Co. Fermanagh.

Small hotels
Project titleLocationGrant £Fund
1993
Manor House HotelKilladeas430,000TDS
Manor House HotelKilladeas200,000ERDF
Total630,000
1994
Causeway HotelGiant's Causeway150,000TDS
Total150,000
1995
Tullyglass House HotelBallymena235,000TDS
Total235,000
1996
Highways HotelLame226,301IFI
Hotel CarltonBelleek160,000IFI
Lodge HotelColeraine82,200IFI
Bushmills InnBushmills400,000SSPPR
Total868,501
1997
Millbrook Lodge HotelBallynahinch57,000IFI
Donard HotelNewcastle68,265IFI
Charlemont Arms HotelArmagh200,00IFI
Beech Hill County HouseLondonderry136,740SSPPR
Total462,005
Grand total2,345,506
IFI—International Fund For Ireland.ERDF—European Regional Development Fund.TDS—Tourism Development Scheme.SSPPR-Special Support Programme For Peace and Reconciliation.

Licensed guest inns
Project titleLocationGrant (£)Fund
1993
Creeve HouseRandalstown35,950TDS
Total35,950
1995
Old SchoolhouseComber51,732IFI
Moy InnMoy92,000IFI
Total143,732
1996
Kelly's InnBallygawley90,000IFI
Denvir's InnDownpatrick68,085IFI
Station BarEglinton85,238IFI
Total243,323
Grand total423,005
IFI—International Fund For Ireland. TDS—Tourism Development Scheme.

Self-catering
Project titleLocationGrant £Fund
1993
Rathmore CottagesBelleek214,440IFI
National Trust CottagesCrom, Florencecourt114,650IFI
Lough Beg MewsBellaghy145,000TDS
Lecale CottagesRostrevor100,000TDS
Lusty Beg—Pleasure CruiserBoa Island16,300ERDF
Marine Hotel ApartmentsBallycastle139,850ERDF
Total730,240
1994
Tory Bush CottagesKilcoo110,800IFI
Killyleagh Castle ApartmentsKillyleagh68,700TDS
Maddybenny Holiday CottagesPortrush79,000TDS
Total258,500
1995
Fermanagh Lakeland LodgesKesh48,015IFI
Ballylinny Holiday CottagesBushmills89,700TDS
Lusty Beg Island Ph2Boa Island535,084TDS
Lusty Beg Island Ph2Boa Island283,008ERDF
Total955,807
1996
Belle Isle Ph2Lisbellaw24,505TDS
Tybann HouseCushendun35,467TDS
Rathmore Cottages CruisersBelleek17,852TDS
Mourne CottagesMaghera, Co. Down61,140TDS
Ballygally Self-Catering CottageBallygally79,230TDS
Belle Isle Ph3Lisbellaw174,600TDS
Drumcovitt Bam Self-CateringFeeny25,965TDS
O'Harabrook Self-CateringBallymoney36,846TDS
Total455,605
Grand total2,400,152
IFI—International Fund For Ireland.ERDF—European Regional Development Fund.TDS—Tourism Development Scheme.

B&B and guesthouse improvements
Project titleLocationGrant (£)Fund
1993
HillhouseDownpatrick7,780IFI
Grange LodgeDungannon15,984IFI
Riverside HouseBelleek12,723IFI
RockhavenPortstewart12,420IFI
Mullynaval LodgeBoa Island27,230IFI
Beresford HouseBangor12,938IFI
Brook LodgeLisburn7,522IFI
FernHill HouseWarrenpoint5,160IFI
Trosben VillaCushendall9,361IFI
Ashton HouseNewry6,110IFI
Robin HillLondonderry15,651IFI
Castle ErinPortrush66,580IFI
RockedenPortadown48,000TDS
Colebrooke HouseBrookeborough75,500TDS
Total322,959
1994
InvershielPortrush5,661IFI
ArdtaraMaghera115,000TDS
Total120,661
1995
The NarrowsPortaferry168,771IFI
Total168,771
1996
Corick HouseClogher93,000TDS
Keef HallaNutts Corner13,050ERDF
Roseleigh HouseBelfast11,250ERDF
Greenmount LodgeOmagh4,884ERDF
Rockbank B&BBallynure1,716ERDF
Bellevue Country HouseBlackhill, coleraine3,372ERDF
GlendaleCushendale6,480ERDF
AkaroaPortstewart2,340ERDF
AbocurraghLetterbreen5,925ERDF
Fullerton ArmsBallintoy27,108ERDF
OakdeneBelfast77,640ERDF
GlenhavenBallycastle2,107ERDF
Afton HouseOmagh3,448ERDF
The StablesAntrim32,675ERDF
Ard-Na-TraPortstewart12,000ERDF
Rua Wai FarmBallyclare4,104ERDF
Quarrytown LodgeBroughshane1,561ERDF
Total302,660
1997
Caldhame LodgeCrumlin34,087ERDF
Greenhill HouseAghadowey1,409ERDF
BarnageehaKillinchy4,635ERDF
Glenmore HouseBallycastle20,164ERDF
Loguestown FarmhousePortrush6,084ERDF
Number TenNewcastle4,132ERDF
Total70,511
Grand total985,562
IFI—International Fund For Ireland.ERDF—European Regional Development Fund.TDS—Tourism Development Scheme.

NITB grants made 1993–97
19931994199519961997
£££££
Small hotels
TDS430,000150,000235,00000
ERDF200,0000000
IFI000468,501325,265
SSPPR000400,000136,740
Total630,000150,000235,000868,501462,005
NITB grants made 1993–97
19931994199519961997
£££££
Licensed guest inns
TDS35,9500000
ERDF00000
IFI00143,732243,3230
SSPPR00000
Total35,9500143,732243,3230
Self-catering
TDS245,000147,700624,784455,6050
ERDF156,1500283,00800
IFI329,090110,80048,01500
SSPPR00000
Total730,240258,500955,807455,6050
B and B
TDS123,500115,000093,0000
ERDF000209,66070,511
IFI199,4595,661168,77100
SSPPR00000
Total322,959120,661168,771302,66070,511
TDS—Tourism Development Scheme. ERDF—European Regional Development Fund.IFI—International Fund For Ireland.SSPPR—Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.

Health And Social Services Boards

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations she has received in relation to the decision not to re-appoint Ms Geraldine Donaghy to the Southern Health and Social Services Board; and if she will make a statement. [14538]

There have been a number of representations in relation to the decision not to re-appoint Ms Donaghy to the Southern Health and Social Services Board. These include three from Members of this House—Mr. Seamus Mallon, Mr. Roger Stott and Mr. Harry Barnes, two from District Councils in Northern Ireland, the Chairperson of the Southern Health and Social Services Council, the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition and 14 from other individuals and community groups.Ms Donaghy' s re-appointment has been handled in accordance with the Code of Practice and Guidelines issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. However, she remains dissatisfied with the outcome and has exercised her right of appeal to the Commissioner for Public Appointments and lodged a complaint with the Fair Employment Tribunal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many out-going non-executive members of each health board in Northern Ireland were (a) re-appointed, without undergoing formal interview, (b) re-appointed after undergoing formal interview, (c) not re-appointed and not offered a formal interview and (d) not re-appointed after undergoing formal interview when the existing boards were constituted. [14539]

Of the appointments to Health and Social Service Boards which expired on 31 March 1997, the following were re-appointed without undergoing formal interview:

Number
Northern Health and Social Service BoardNil
Southern Health and Social Services Board1
Eastern Health and Social Services Board1
Western Health and Social Services Board2
Of the appointments to Health and Social Services Boards which expired on 31 March 1997, the following were re-appointed after undergoing formal interview:

Number
Northern Health and Social Services BoardNil
Southern Health and Social Services BoardNil
Eastern Health and Social Services BoardNil
Western Health and Social Services BoardNil
Of the appointments to Health and Social Services Boards which expried on 31 March 1997,the following were not re-appointed and not offered a formal interview.

Number
Northern Health and Social Services Board1
Southern Health and Social Services Board1
Eastern Health and Social Services Board1
Western Health and Social Services BoardNil
Of the appointments to Health and Social Services Boards which expried on 31 March 1997,the following were not re-appointed after undergoing a formal interview:

Number
Northern Health and Social Services Board1
Southern Health and Social Services Board1
Eastern Health and Social Services BoardNil
Western Health and Social Services BoardNil

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make a statement on the procedures and criteria employed by the Department of Health and Social Services for the recruitment of non-executive directors of each health and social services board in Northern Ireland. [14540]

Appointments to Health and Social Services Boards in Northern Ireland are made by the Department of Health and Social Services, subject to the approval of the Minister. When an initial term of office expires, there is no automatic right to re-appointment.Non-executive members are not appointed as representatives of any specific group or organisation but in a personal capacity for the skills and experience they can bring to the Board. These may include relevant professional skills, management skills gained in the public, private or voluntary sectors or an ability to bring a user perspective to the Board.

The DHSS Appointment Procedures are governed by the Code of Practice and Guidelines issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments who monitors, regulates and approves their application. The main elements of the Procedures are:-

  • advertising of appointment opportunities;
  • job descriptions and person specifications for all posts;
  • a formal and open selection process based on merit;
  • an independent member of all interview panels; and
  • a formal complaints procedure.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many non-executive directors of each health board in Northern Ireland had completed their first period of office by 31 March; and how many of these indicated their willingness to serve a further term of office. [14541]