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Written Answers

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 23 June 2003

International Development

African Aid (Drugs)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what actions the Government is taking to assist African nations to produce their own generic pharmaceutical drugs. [119192]

The UK Government are committed to significantly improving access to medicines, both branded and generic, in developing countries. We need to work with others, including our G8 partners, to tackle the issues affecting access if we are to make lasting improvements.The factors recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that can improve poor peoples' access to medicines are: affordable pricing, sustainable financing, reliable health and supply systems, and the rational selection and use of existing drugs.In line with this, since May 1997, DFID has committed over £1.5 billion since 1997 to support the strengthening of health and supply systems in developing countries, which will help to build capacity to deliver medicines to the poor and to make effective choices about the selection of drugs. The UK has also pledged $280 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). This will help pay for increased access to medicines for the three diseases and some associated health systems strengthening.My predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Clare Short) chaired a High Level Working Group on Increasing Access to Essential Medicines in the Developing World, which examined the key factors above in detail. The Working Group made a series of recommendations for action, which are being taking forward by a number of other stakeholders.The recent G8 Summit at Evian also secured commitment to action on these issues in line with the Working Group's recommendations.With regard to generic production in particular the UK is also engaged in seeking a solution to the outstanding mandate from the Doha Declaration on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health—the issue of how countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector can make effective use of compulsory licensing procedures within the TRIPS Agreement. It is important to find a solution to this issue, both for its own sake and in order to allow the international community to focus on the many other issues affecting access to medicines.

On the wider question of trade and transfer of technology, within the WTO, the Doha Declaration mandated a new WTO Working Group to examine the relationship between trade and transfer of technology, including possible recommendations on steps that might be taken within the mandate of the WTO to increase flows of technology to developing countries. The UK Government takes the view that as a general rule, the transfer of technology is most effectively facilitated through the provision of open markets and good regulation.

Air Traffic Control System (Tanzania)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what reports he has received on whether (a) the military air traffic control system sold by BAe Systems to the Tanzanian Government is in use and (b) a civilian air traffic control system supplied subsequently to Tanzania is now in use. [121015]

DFID has received information from the Government of Tanzania and the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority that the air traffic control system sold by BAe Systems to them is in use. They have reported that it has dual military and civilian use.

India

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development how many (a) small, (b) medium and (c) shared loans were provided to poor people in Andhra Pradesh as a result of Departmental programmes in each year since the project began; what the target was for these years; and if he will make a statement. [120484]

Access to credit is a critical issue for many poor people in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere in India, with indebtedness being a major cause and symptom of poverty. Over the last few years, the state government has strongly supported activities in this area, particularly the formation of women's self-help groups. More than 450,000 groups (with membership of around 6 million women) have been established in Andhra Pradesh—the largest number in any state in India. These groups are centred on savings and credit, enabling the members to build up their own savings and to borrow from group funds to cover unexpected expenses eg illness, or as start-up capital for income-earning activities eg purchasing livestock. DFID is supporting this work under the Credit and Small Household Enterprise (CASHE) project, which provides funding to local organisations. The project operates in five of the poorest districts in Andhra Pradesh, and also districts in Orissa and West Bengal. The CASHE project works with around 250,000 groups in Andhra Pradesh, helping to facilitate their establishment and providing training to enable them to operate effectively. The group members keep their own records and make the decisions on the amount and number of loans that will be made from their group savings. No targets are set and no central records are kept of the transactions.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development how many children have been taken out of labour in Andhra Pradesh as a result of Departmental programmes in each year since the project began; what the targets were for these years; and if he will make a statement. [120485]

Andhra Pradesh has one of the highest incidences of child labour in India. Since 2000, DFID has been supporting the International Labour Organisation's Integrated Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) in the state. This programme works with trades' unions, parents, employers, and non-governmental organisations to build support for eradicating child labour. It works in parallel and as a support to the state government's own efforts to eliminate child labour and to ensure that all children attend school; the government has set universal primary education as a target to be reached by 2005. It is not possible to determine how many children have been taken out of child labour by the ILO-IPEC project and how many from government's own efforts. The government has estimated that combined effect of these actions in 2002 was that almost 500,000 children were taken out of child labour.In Andhra Pradesh, the Government of India's District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) includes establishing "bridge" schools for former child labourers. Children attend these schools for around four months with the aim of moving into mainstream schools at the end of the period. DFID is one of the donors supporting DPEP in Andhra Pradesh, providing up to £46.5 million over 9 years.

Sewel Motions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development if he will list Sewel motions passed by the Scottish Parliament since May 1999 that apply to his Department's responsibilities and Government Bills he has sponsored. [120698]

Of the Bills sponsored by DFID, the International Development Act 2002 was the subject of an International Development Sewel motion in the Scottish Parliament. This Sewel motion received approval on 8 March 2001.

Environment, Food And Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to (a) limit the distances that stock can travel without rest periods and (b) prevent animals from staying overnight at livestock markets; and if she will make a statement. [120535]

[holding answer 20 June 2003]: The Government would prefer animals to be slaughtered near to the point of production and for long distance transport for slaughter to be replaced by a carcase trade. EU Commissioner David Byrne has said that he will shortly bring forward proposals to amend the current rules on animal welfare in transport including maximum permitted journey times and rest periods. Between March and May we consulted on a package of biosecurity measures for the livestock industry including a proposal to prevent animals from staying overnight at livestock markets in England and Wales. We expect to make an announcement shortly.

Varroa

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what aid, including financial assistance, has been provided to bee farmers by her Department to help combat the threat of varroa in each of the last five years. [119971]

[holding answer 18 June 2003]: Combating varroa as been the greatest single challenge to UK beekeeping since the mite was first detected in Devon in 1992. Defra funds a range of bee health measures to assist bee farmers and the beekeeping sector generally, the cost of which has been around £1.3 million in each of the last five years. Under these measures, the National Bee Unit (NBU), part of the Central Science Laboratory, provides a free diagnostic and inspection service to beekeepers in England as well as training and technical advice to help them become more self-reliant through improved bee husbandry. In addition, the NBU has been carrying out routine screening throughout England and Wales for varroa mites that are resistant to authorised treatments, having first detected them in August 2001.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of varroa mite infestation there have been in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the past five years. [119970]

[holding answer 18 June 2003]: The number of new varroa infestations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in each of the last five years is set out in the following table:

Numbers of new cases of varroa mite infestation: 1999–2003
19992000200120022003 (to date)
England261286385831
Wales4715131
Scotland1910213931
Northern Ireland000282

Dartmoor Ponies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans there are (a) to mark and register Dartmoor ponies and (b) to prosecute owners of such ponies who neglect their herds; and if she will make a statement. [120506]

There are no plans to introduce a statutory requirement to mark Dartmoor ponies. However, the Government is planning to introduce legislation by the end of 2003 which will require all equines to have an identity passport. Dartmoor ponies, the owners of which hold grazing rights on Dartmoor, will not be required to have a passport until they leave Dartmoor for the purposes of sale, slaughter or veterinary treatment. These animals will be recorded in a list held by the Dartmoor Commoners' Council. The list will record all the details which would be contained in a full passport. We also understand that the Dartmoor Commoners Council will require that each animal is freezebranded.The Dartmoor Commoners' Council is responsible for the husbandry and welfare of farm animals and ponies grazing common land in the Dartmoor National Park and for enforcement under the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985.

Energy Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the detailed returns received from English energy conservation authorities concerning their performance under the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 during financial year 2000–02; and if she will make a statement on the reasons for the delay in publication. [119058]

Under Section 3 (4) of the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (HECA) the Secretary of State is required from time to time to prepare a report on the progress made by English energy conservation authorities in implementing the measures set out in the reports they are required to prepare under Section 2 of the Act. A report on the improvements reported by authorities for the period 1 April 2001–31 March 2002 was published on 1 April 2003 and copies were made

Table 1
£
Value1975198019851990199520002002(p)Indication of further processing
Cherries1Farmgate2330.771.221.842.572.25
Retail3333333
Tomatoes1Farmgate20.290.490.490.700.600.750.82
Retail430.991.061.431.151.501.40Packing and grading off farm
Cucumbers1Farmgate2330.380.550.770.543
Retail3333333
Cheese1Farmgate3333333
Retail4,51.012.092.733.314.565.055.24
Strawberries1Farmgate2331.151.361.582.252.65
Retail3333333
Raspberries1Farmgate2330.720.842.562.734.16
Retail3333333
Blackcurrants1Farmgate2330.380.731.641.110.80
Retail3333333
Butter1Farmgate3333333
Retail4,631.892.272.483.123.283.08
Chicken1Farmgate2330.900.870.840.710.68
Retail4,731.471.772.162.032.232.24Slaughtered
Potatoes1,8Farmgate2330.070.080.160.130.11
Retail430.260.420.400.600.700.87Packing and grading off farm
Eggs9,10Farmgate230.440.480.540.530.530.56
Size 210Retail40.430.720.991.211.381.681.72Packing and grading off farm

1 £/kg

2 Source: Defra

available in the House Libraries. Under Section 3 (2) of HECA authorities are required to publish their progress reports.

Food Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average (a) farmgate and (b) retail price was of (i) one kilogramme of (A) cherries, (B) tomatoes, (C) cucumbers, (D) cheese, (E) strawberries, (F) raspberries, (G) blackberries, (H) blackcurrants, (I) redcurrants, (J) butter, (K) pork pies, (L) chicken, (M) smoked salmon and (N) new potatoes, (ii) one pint of (1) cider, (2) English wine, (3) Pimms and (4) yoghurt and (iii) one dozen eggs was in (t) 1975, (u) 1980, (v) 1985, (w) 1990, (x) 1995, (y) 2000 and (z) in 2002 figures. [119157]

Farmgate and retail prices of these foodstuffs, where available, are shown in table 1. Neither farmgate nor retail prices are available for redcurrants, pork pies, smoked salmon, cider, English wine, Pimms or yogurt. Small quantities of butter, cheese and yogurt are sold at the farm gate direct to consumers at retail prices.The amount of processing taking place between farmgate and retail varies from commodity to commodity; an indication is given in the table. Farmgate prices include produce destined for highly processed food, which is normally lower quality and sells at a lower price. Changes to the level of processing over time will impact on the trends shown within the table.

3 Data not available

4 Source: ONS

5 Cheddar cheese

6 Home produced butter; excludes butter imported from Denmark, New Zealand and other countries.

7 Fresh chicken; excludes frozen chickens.

8 Farmgate values are for earliest potatoes; retail values are for new potatoes.

9 Farmgate values are averages values for all eggs; retail values are for size 2 eggs.

10 £/dozen

Livestock Farmers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she proposes to take if livestock farmers do not agree to contribute to a national disposal scheme. [120265]

There was a low response rate of 30 per cent. from livestock farmers to the letter inviting interest in a national scheme. In the light of this disappointing response the Government is now considering whether the scheme should go ahead, and if so in what form.

Market Towns Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she estimates the market towns initiative has benefited (a) towns in Lancashire and (b) Carnforth. [120459]

All five towns included in the Market Towns Initiative in Lancashire, including Carnforth, have now completed the Healthcheck process, drawn up action plans, and appointed project managers to take the plans forward. Progress with delivery of outputs varies from town to town. In Carnforth it remains at an early stage.

Rare Animals

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on protecting and promoting rare (a) equine species and (b) farm animals. [119972]

[holding answer 19 June 2003]: Defra produced a comprehensive report on the conservation and sustainable use of the UK's Farm Animal Genetic Resources (FAnGR), including equine species, during 2002 for the FAO.This UK Country Report on FAnGR contained a number of recommendations for the protection and promotion of British breeds at risk, which were accepted by the Government and the Devolved Administrations.

Common Agricultural Policy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with representatives of unsupported sectors in the run-up to the mid-term review. [117550]

My noble Friend Lord Whitty has had regular discussions on the CAP reform proposals with a range of bodies who represent both supported and unsupported sectors. Officials have also had a number of meetings with those specifically representing unsupported sector interests.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the Government's strategy is with regard to its unsupported sectors in the mid-term review; [117551](2) what action she will take to ensure that existing farmers of unsupported crops will not be disadvantaged in relation to farmers of supported crops in the forthcoming CAP mid-term review. [118061]

The Government has explored the implications of the Commission's CAP reform proposals and the desirability of potential amendments with representatives of the unsupported sector. Once the detail of the final agreement is known, we will review the position and consult all sectors of the industry on if and how any national discretion should be exercised.

Renewable Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in the development of renewable energy technologies, including CHP on brownfield sites. [119881]

I have been asked to reply.The Government set out their energy policy, including action to encourage renewable energy and CHP, in their Energy White Paper, "Our energy future—creating a low carbon economy", which we published in February.The land use planning system promotes the use of brownfield over greenfield sites whenever possible and appropriate, but makes no distinction as to the type of development which should take place. Decisions to proceed with renewable energy or CHP developments would be made on a commercial basis, and would be subject to the local planning process. Each case should be considered on its merits taking full account of the views of the local population and the various planning and environmental considerations.Developers wishing to develop in brownfield areas may be eligible to benefit from the framework of measures already in place to support renewables and CHP. Developers may, depending on the technology in question, apply for funding from our Renewable Energy R&D programme or from capital grants such as the Clear Skies Programme which is specifically targeted at smaller community-based schemes. Once operational, if the installation is using an eligible renewable source, their electrical output will be eligible for inclusion under the Renewables Obligation. The £50 million Community Energy capital grant programme is another incentive for development. This three-year programme aims to increase the development and installation of community heating schemes, mainly based on CHP, across the UK.

Defence

Iraq

2.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the UK armed forces serving in Iraq are attached to the Iraq Survey Group. [120542]

There are some 54 United Kingdom service men and women attached to the Iraq Survey Group. Over the next few weeks the UK contribution of military and civilian personnel will increase to between 90 and 100.Investigation into Iraq's programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction remains a high priority for all coalition forces in Iraq. Elements of British forces are committed to this task as part of the Iraq Survey Group. Their priority will be the search for weapons of mass destruction.

21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the call-up of members of the reserve forces for the conflict in Iraq. [120563]

The Government are very grateful to the members of the Reserve Forces who provided support to the military action against Iraq. The use of Reservists to support such operations is fully in line with the Strategic Defence Review, namely having more capable, usable, integrated and relevant reserve forces that support their regular counterparts on operations overseas.As previously reported to the House, a call-out order was made on 7 January in support of Operation TELIC. Over 5,000 reservists were accepted into service in sufficient time to be deployed to the region of Iraq before the start of hostilities on 19 March. This was by far the biggest call-out since the 1950s. The call-out procedures worked well. The Reserve Forces produced the necessary manpower and skills. Some served with regular units, helping to bring units from peacetime to war fighting complements, while others served with reserve units.Now that the period of combat operations is over, we are withdrawing assets and personnel where possible. However, there is still a need to maintain an appropriate military presence for as long as necessary. Thus, reservists who have a role to play in the stabilisation and rebuilding of Iraq will remain there to complete a six month deployment. In addition, others will continue to be called-out to support these activities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many interviews with Iraqi personnel thought to have information about weapons of mass destruction have been conducted by coalition forces; and if he will make a statement. [119591]

Coalition forces are currently investigating Iraq's programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction, including by debriefing Iraqi prisoners of war, interviews with senior regime figures, and information from other Iraqi military and civilian sources. The breadth of such contacts means that it is not possible to quantify the number of interviews on this subject to date.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many samples of suspected chemical and biological agents have been (a) found and (b) confirmed by coalition forces in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [119592]

The coalition's extensive investigations into Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are at an early stage. But we are committed to what may be a long process. At the present time, samples of suspected chemical and biological agents are taken by a range of coalition units with data logged by the unit concerned in-theatre. At the appropriate time we will make the evidence public.

International Peacekeeping

16.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role of British forces in international peacekeeping. [120557]

The United Kingdom Government remain committed to making the world a safer place. This means maintaining a strong and authoritative United Nations and doing all that is practicable to promote peace, democracy and good governance. Our armed forces are involved in peacekeeping operations throughout the world, for example in the Balkans, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia/Eritrea and Sierra Leone. Acting as a force for good around the world, the UK participates both in peacekeeping operations as formally defined and contributes to other multinational operations that help maintain peace and security.

Army Strength

18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regiments are under strength; and how many vacancies there are. [120560]

As at 1 May 2003 whole Army strength (which comprises of United Kingdom trained Army personnel, Gurkhas and full-time reserve staff) stood at 102,430, which represents a shortfall of 4,550 against the current requirement. Recruiting and retention performance during the last 12 months has been particularly encouraging with whole Army strength increasing by over 1,600 personnel.Precise information on the details relating to individual regiments is not readily available, however I shall ensure the hon. Member receives the details when the information is available.

19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on proposals for future numbers of infantry soldiers. [120561]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on proposals to reduce the battalion strength of (a) the Royal Irish Regiment and (b) the Royal Anglians. [120644]

The Government do not have plans to reduce the battalion strength of the Royal Irish Regiment or the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Gulf Deployment

22.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are deployed in the Gulf region. [120564]

As at 20 June, there were 15,598 United Kingdom Servicemen and women deployed in the Gulf region.We will continue to review our force levels in the region in the light of the evolving strategic environment to ensure that we maintain an appropriate presence.

Democratic Republic Of The Congo

23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a further statement about the deployment of British troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [120565]

I refer the hon. Member to the oral answer I gave today to the hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Wiggin), at column 702.

Appointments

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the people appointed to ad hoc posts within his Department bearing the titles of advocate, tsar, adviser, champion and comparable titles since May 1997; what their job title is or was; what their role is or was; whether they were or are being paid; what the total cost of each such person was in each financial year, including expenses and benefits; what the expected cost of each such person is in 2003–04; to whom they are accountable; and if he will make a statement. [112460]

Since May 1997 the Secretary of State for Defence has appointed the following special advisers:

NameDate
Alisdair McGowanfrom May 1997 to October 2000
Bernard Grayfrom July 1997 to September 1999
Andrew Hoodfrom December 1999 to May 2001 and, following the General Election, from June 2001 to May 2002
Richard Taylorfrom January 2001 to May 2001 and, following the General Election, from June 2001 to date
Michael Dugherfrom September 2002 to date
All of the above are paid appointments. Under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, details of individual salaries are not disclosed in order to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned. All the appointees listed above are accountable to Ministers for their decisions and actions.

Biological And Chemical Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what capability in respect of (a) biological and (b) chemical weapons the UK retains. [120558]

The United Kingdom abandoned its offensive biological and chemical warfare programmes in the late 1950s. However, a number of states and terrorist groups have, or want to acquire, such weapons. The UK therefore maintains defensive capabilities against biological and chemical weapons. The UK is fully compliant with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

Boer War Graves

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 14 May 2003, Official Report, column 673W, on the Boer War, on what basis the annual contribution was calculated; and what proportion of the total annual spending on the sites this sum represents. [119375]

The maintenance of Boer War graves has been the responsibility of the South African Government since 1957. Since that time, the United Kingdom Government have supported the South African authorities in this task through an annual financial contribution. The basis upon which this contribution was originally calculated is not known, although it is clear that it was never intended that it should cover the full cost of maintenance. In recent years, the annual contribution has increased substantially—from £3,100 in 1992 to the current £15,000. The Ministry of Defence holds no information on the total annual spending by the South African authorities on the sites concerned.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Woking of 21 May 2003, regarding Mr. Paul Connolly, a Gulf War veteran. [121067]

Missile Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding on missile defence signed between the US and United Kingdom on 12 June 2003. [121274]

I refer the hon. Member to my written statement of 12 June 2003, Official Report, column 57WS. The details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) remain confidential between the respective Governments and I am therefore withholding the information in accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Nanotechnology

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research his Department has commissioned in the field of nanotechnology. [117011]

There is no universally agreed definition of nanotechnology. The term is used to cover a group of sciences and technologies where the dimensions of component parts can be measured in millionths of millimetres. Elements of nanotechnology may be present in many parts of the research programmes.We expect nanotechnology will help enhance or improve capabilities such as:

Chemical and biological agent detection and protective clothing;
Precision munitions;
Secure communications; and
Improved energy efficiency and waste reduction.

An understanding of nanotechnology is also essential in enabling us to develop effective countermeasures to the application of nanotechnology.

The following programmes relating to nanotechnology are funded in the Corporate Research Programme (CRP):

  • Semi-Conductor Wires and Dots;
  • Quantum Coherent Electronic devices;
  • Molecular electronics;
  • Single Photon sources;
  • Nanophotonics;
  • Dendritic polymers as Chemical Warfare Agent Protective materials;
  • Development of nano-scale metallic materials;
  • Hydrogen storage in Carbon nano stacks; and
  • Carbon nano-tubes for military applications.

To help us maintain an awareness of the overall field of nanotechnology, the MOD has jointly funded, with the Department of Trade and Industry and three of the UK Research Councils (the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), the establishment of two Interdisciplinary Research Centres in nanotechnology. These are being led from the Oxford and Cambridge Universities and are Biological and Physical science-based respectively.

Nanotechnology is also a major element of around 10 per cent. of the Joint Grant scheme projects, which are jointly funded by MOD and the Research Councils. Projects are currently under way at a wide range of universities and include Cambridge, Exeter, Imperial College London, Loughborough, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Salford, Sheffield and Surrey.

Naval Gunfire Support Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what locations naval gunfire support training takes place. [120499]

Shore-based, simulated training for the Royal Navy is undertaken at the Maritime Warfare School, based at HMS Collingwood and HMS Dryad, both near Portsmouth. In addition, there are four United Kingdom-based sea ranges as follows:

  • Cape Wrath (north Scotland)—sea to land range firings;
  • Dodman Point (off Plymouth)—buoy firing;
  • Wembury Point (off Plymouth)—buoy firing; and
  • St. Alban's Head (off Dorset coast)—buoy firing.

There are also a number of Notified Danger Sea Areas around the UK (mostly in the English Channel), within which non-explosive firings take place against a floating target which is recovered on completion.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the occasions on which his Department has held discussions with US officials about nuclear weapons during the last two years; and what aspects of nuclear weaponry were discussed on each occasion. [119593]

A wide range of officials in the Ministry of Defence have discussions with United States officials on nuclear weapon related subjects under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement. Information on the number of occasions when such discussions have taken place during the last two years, and the subjects discussed, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Royal Irish Regiment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 5 June 2003, Official Report, column 509W, on the Royal Irish Regiment, if he will make it his policy not to set a timetable for the disbandment of the Home Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment until the terrorist threat has been completely removed from Northern Ireland. [120135]

Until significant progress has been made towards normalisation as described in the Joint Declaration, it would be premature to come to any conclusions on the final composition of the Northern Ireland garrison.

Defence Equipment Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (1) how many (a) requests have been received by DESO from UK companies for special commissions to be paid on sale of defence equipment since 1990 and (b) special commissions that DESO has approved since 1990; and if he will list (i) the countries in which these special commissions were to be paid and (ii) the amount to be paid; [108991](2) in which year the requirement was introduced for UK companies to seek permission from DESO in order to make special commissions on defence equipment sales. [108990]

I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

War Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the savings to public funds that would flow from his proposed change to the burden of proof for the war pensions scheme. [120005]

If Ministers were to accept the proposals arising from the reviews, it is expected that the new scheme would be broadly cost-neutral. However, there would be a better focus of resources on the more severely disabled whose earning capacity had been significantly affected. Those whose conditions were not expected to affect significantly their earnings capacity would receive a lump sum payment rather than a pension, but their cases would be reviewed if, exceptionally, there was a significant and unexpected level of deterioration that affected this judgment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what kinds of illnesses, at present accepted under the burden of proof for the war pensions scheme, would cease to be accepted under his proposed changes; and if he will make a statement. [120012]

The proposals arising from the reviews of the Armed Forces Pension and Compensation arrangements are currently under consideration by Ministers. Illnesses or injuries would only fail to be accepted under the new scheme proposals where, on a balance of probabilities standard of proof, they were considered not to be caused or significantly aggravated by Service. The Department's decisions on claims would be subject to appeal to an independent tribunal.

Culture, Media And Sport

Arts Funding (Liverpool)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding has been made available for arts in Liverpool in each of the last three years; and what it is expected to receive in the current year. [119809]

[holding answer 17 June 2003]: The following table, supplied by Arts Council England contains the detail for revenue and lottery funding for regularly funded arts organisations (RFOs) in Liverpool. It does not include one-off and project funds. The figures for 2004–05 and 2005–06 are projected figures taken from the allocations announced for RFOs in March this year.

YearGrant-in-aid (£s)Lottery (£s)
2000–014,297,936558,130
2001–024,885,3421,014,156
2002–034,452,667544,679
2003–045,088,9901
2004–05 projected5,755,739
2005–06 projected6,290,511
1 Not applicable

Royal Household

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps are in place to ensure that the taxpayer receives good value for money from the sum allocated to the grant-in-aid. [115796]

The amount of the grant-in-aid has reduced from £23.9 million to £15.4 million over the past 12 years, a reduction in real terms of 60 per cent. This indicates the Royal Household's overall aim of achieving best value for money.

As part of the Department's agreement with the Royal Household they are required to provide regular reports on grant-in-aid expenditure on the Royal Palaces; these include a 5-year plan and an annual plan. Quarterly update reports are issued by the Household to the Department commenting on expenditure against the annual plan. These are subject to review by the Department's officials and an independent auditor commissioned by the Department.

A11 major building contracts are let by competitive tender.

Seaside Regeneration

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact of delays in the introduction of new gambling legislation on the regeneration of seaside resorts in the North West. [120468]

We have made no such assessment and remain committed to bringing legislative proposals forward as soon as Parliamentary time permits.

Sustainable Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what remit relating to sustainable development is required by her Department's (a) executive agencies, (b) advisory non-departmental bodies, (c) executive non-departmental bodies, (d) tribunals, (e) public corporations and (f) other bodies. [116670]

DCMS has over 60 sponsored bodies including one executive agency (Royal Parks) and two public corporations (BBC and Channel Four). The role of the Department in respect of all environmental matters is to ensure that Government targets are made known to autonomous sponsored bodies and to offer guidance and encouragement towards achievement of agreed targets. It is not the Department's role to direct the way in which sponsored bodies are managed but many, such as the Royal Parks Agency and the National Science Museum, are proactive and take a leading role in sustainability and biodiversity. In the Greening Government First Annual Report a commitment was made to have Cabinet Office NDPB guidance revised to include the requirement for departments to encompass Sustainable Development into the remit of any newly created NDPB. This was done and reported in the Greening Government Second Annual Report.

York Minster

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the Heritage Lottery Fund has contributed to York Minster Library; for what purpose this grant was made; and if she will place in the Library a copy of (a) the Minster's grant application and (b) the Lottery Fund's decision on it. [118761]

In 1996 the HLF awarded a grant of £967,000 to the Dean and Chapter of York Minster to extend the library to balance the 13th century chapel. The application form and supporting papers contain information that would be considered exempt from disclosure under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information and therefore it would not be appropriate to place these in the House of Commons Library. The Heritage Lottery fund is writing to the hon. Member in more detail regarding this award. I will place in the Library of the House a copy of the minute detailing the Heritage Lottery Fund's decision.

Education And Skills

Advertising Campaigns

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost is of the advertising campaign "Those Who Can, Teach". [119985]

The cost of the Teacher Training Agency's advertising campaign "Those Who Can, Teach" was about £5.6 million in 2001–02 and about £8 million in 2002–03. It has contributed to a 13 per cent. rise in recruitment to initial teacher training over the last two years and record numbers of applications from graduates for teacher training next year.The campaign has been successful in achieving a high level of awareness among the target audience of students (71 per cent.) and career changers (61 per cent.). In each year of the campaign, calls to the Teaching Information Line (TIL) have numbered around 300,000, with half of these registering their interest in becoming a teacher at some point.

School Budget Deficit (Suffolk)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the budget deficit is for schools in Suffolk in the current financial year. [120424]

Information on school balances is published annually by local education authorities. Data for balances carried forward into the year beginning 1 April 2003 are due to be published by 9 October 2003. As at 31 March 2002, schools in Suffolk had collective surplus balances of £17.799 million.

Child Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the average cost of full-time child care in Buckingham; and if he will make a statement. [109242]

The cost of child care reported in the Department for Education and Skills 2001–02 audit shows average costs for Buckinghamshire, the LEA within which Buckingham falls, of £146 per week for full day care. The audits were completed for each local authority by their respective Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships. The audits do not give a further breakdown by constituency.Working parents, subject to the level of their income, may receive support through the child care element of the working tax credit. Tax credits are targeted at lower and middle income families who may use a range of types of child care. The child care element of the working tax credit provides for up to 70 per cent. of costs of eligible child care. It can pay up to £94.50 a week for one child (where the child care cost is £135 or above), and up to £140 a week for two or more children (where the cost is £200).No Government has provided the kind of direct support for the costs of child care that is delivered by the child care element of the working tax credit. £1 million a day is now spent on supporting parents with child care costs.The DfES and the Inland Revenue will continue to monitor the cost of child care to ensure good quality, affordable and accessible child care is available for all those who need it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, how many (a) nurseries, (b) playgroups, (c) childminders, (d) out of school clubs and (e) holiday schemes there were in (i) Leeds metropolitan district and (ii) the Leeds West constituency for each year since 1990. [116020]

The information is not available in the form requested. The available information for Leeds local authority is shown in the tables.Figures for 2001 and earlier years for England and Government Office regions were published in DfES Statistical Bulletin 08/01 "Children's Day Care Facilities at 31 March 2001", which is available in the Library and on the DfES website, www.dfes.gov.uk/ statistics. Figures for 2001 for out of school clubs and holiday schemes have recently been revised and are shown in the tables.

Numbers of day care providers1by type of provider: Leeds local authority area: 1998–2001
Position at 31 March each year1998199920002001
Day Nurseries90100120110
Childminders1,4001,2001,2001,200
Playgroups and pre-schools240190130120
Out of school clubs100110120120
Holiday schemes140400200510
1 Figures have been rounded.
2 Includes those schemes exempt from registration.
Numbers of day care places1by type of provider: Leeds local authority area: 1998–2001
Position at 31 March each year1998199920002001
Day Nurseries3,5003,9005,1004,400
Childminders5,4004,7005,3004,700
Playgroups and pre-schools4,9004,2003,2003,000
Out of school clubs2,8002,3002,7002,600
Holiday schemes3,80012,4005,5008,400
1 Figures have been rounded.
2 Includes those schemes exempt from registration.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local authorities (a) have and (b) do not have reciprocal arrangements with other local authorities to pay for (i) nursery and (ii) child care facilities. [119694]

This information is not collected centrally.Although the Department actively encourages reciprocal arrangements, decisions about cross-border funding can realistically be taken only at local level so that proper account can be taken of local needs and circumstances. By April 2004, six months ahead of schedule, all three-year-olds will have access to a free early education place irrespective of where they live.

Children's Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many children's centres have opened in each year since 1997; where they are located; what links they have with pre-school learning in disadvantaged areas; and if he will make a statement; [110774](2) what funding and technical support has been made available for establishing and running children's centres; and what plans he has to improve co-operation with local Sure Start programme plans. [110775]

In the 2002 Spending Review Settlement the Government announced plans to reach, by March 2006, at least 650,000 pre-school children living in the 20 per cent. most disadvantaged wards in England through integrated children's centres. We are making available £435 million over the next three years to achieve this. The children's centres will provide integrated care and early education for young children together with health and family support services.These centres are intended to bring together and build on the practice learned from other initiatives. This means that, where possible, they will develop from Sure Start local programmes and other existing services such as Early Excellence Centres and Neighbourhood Nurseries.Guidance was issued to eligible local authorities in February 2003 on developing strategic plans for developing their children's centres. Since then, regional Sure Start teams based in the Government Offices have been providing support and advice on how to put these plans together.The first centres to be named children's centres will be announced in June 2003. These early designations will be existing settings that already meet the core offer for children's centres now. They will provide models to guide the development of new services. Local authorities are due to submit their strategic plans by 15 October 2003 and we expect further announcements to follow throughout the autumn.

Criminal Records Bureau

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the letters his Department has received from Essex County Council regarding the Criminal Records Bureau over the last six months, and the dates of his replies. [118754]

The Chair of Essex's Education Committee raised issues about the Criminal Records Bureau at the North of England Education Conference in January. I wrote to the Leader of the Council about those on 21 January and, subsequently, to the Chair of the Education Committee in response to an enquiry from her dated 29 January. The Leader of the Council acknowledged my letter on 18 February.

Early Years Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what percentage of three-year-olds have access to early years education in (a) rural areas and (b) urban areas; [116338](2) what percentage of three-year-olds have access to early years education in north Shropshire. [116339]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: The information is not available in the form requested.In January 2002, 98 per cent. of three-year-old children in Shropshire received early years education in a private, voluntary, independent, special or maintained establishment.In every local education authority area, there is an early education place for every four-year-old whose parents want one in either the maintained, private or voluntary sector. We have made the commitment that by April 2004, six months ahead of our original target, all three-year-olds whose parents want one, will have access to a free, part-time early education place.The latest local authority figures on early year's education in England were published in the Departments Statistical Bulletin 08/2002 "Provision for children under five years of age in England: January 2002" in December 2002. An electronic copy of which is available in the Library and on the DfES website, www.dfes. gov.uk/statistics.

Further Education Funding Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the Further Education Funding Council published its final accounts; from where copies can be obtained; and if he will make a statement. [120016]

The Further Education Funding Council's accounts for 2000–01, its final year of operation, were laid before Parliament on 24 July 2002 and published by the Stationery Office on 10 April 2003. Copies are available from the Stationery Office.The delay in finalising the FEFC's accounts was due to the complexities of winding up a large NDPB and arranging for the redeployment of the organisation's assets.

Independent Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of children of compulsory school age in each local education authority area attended independent schools in each of the last five years. [118853]

The information requested has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Learning And Skills Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the Learning and Skills Council published their Annual Accounts; whether these were published on schedule; and if he will make a statement. [120018]

The first Annual Report and Accounts of the Learning and Skills Council, to 31 March 2002, were laid before Parliament on 8 April 2003 and were subsequently published by The Stationery Office. This timetable was in accordance with the Learning and Skills Act 2000.The Act also requires that the LSC send copies of its statement of accounts to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and the Comptroller and Auditor General before the end of August following the financial year to which the statement relates. The LSC's statement of accounts was delivered on 29 November 2002.The LSC agreed with the Comptroller and Auditor General that they would deliver their accounts to a revised timetable to provide time for FE colleges to deliver assurances on the proper use of LSC funds.

Minister For Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the responsibilities of the Minister for Children which have been transferred from the Department of Health; and what matters concerning child protection have not been transferred. [120384]

[holding answer 19 June 2003]: Responsibility has been transferred from the Department of Health for social services policy for children, and for policy relating to teenage pregnancy. The transfer of social services policy responsibilities includes child protection policy. However all staff working with children have a role in keeping children safe, including staff in the NHS. The Department of Health will have responsibility for child protection matters in so far as they relate specifically to health services, working in close co-operation with the Department for Education and Skills.

National Agreement On Raising Standards And Tackling Workload

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how much revenue funding will be allocated to support implementation of the National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload in (a) 2003–04, (b) 2004–05 and (c) 2005–06; [120395](2) how much each

(a) secondary school and (b) primary school in the country will receive as a result of extra revenue funding to support implementation of the National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload in (i) 2003–04, (ii) 2004–05 and (iii) 2005–06; [120396]

(3) how the extra revenue funding for supporting implementation of the National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload will be distributed to schools; [120397]

(4) what support will be given to those schools with a deficit budget in their implementation of the National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload. [120398]

The agreement is about making better use of the existing £25 billion which is spent each year on schools as well as deploying extra resources cost effectively. The overall increase in funding for schools and local education authorities is £2.7 billion in 2003–04. Our plans allow for a further increase of £1.4 billion between this year and 2004–05 and a subsequent increase of £2.1 billion in 2005–06. The amounts available to individual primary and secondary schools up and down the country to support the agreement will inevitably vary according to a number of factors, including pupil numbers, teachers' pay and the way in which school budgets are determined. For 2004–05, we are working with representatives of schools and local education authorities (which will consider the position of schools with licensed deficit budgets) to ensure that every school receives a reasonable per pupil settlement.

Online Information Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what online information services for young people receive funding from his Department; and what the level of funding is for each service. [120527]

The Department for Education and Skills funds Connexions Direct, a telephone helpline and internet service for 13–19 year olds at a cost of £2.2 million in 2003–04. Connexions Direct complements the face to face delivery of services provided by local Connexions partnerships by offering remote information, advice and support to young people on a wide range of issues that constitute barriers to learning.The Connexions Direct website currently provides a range of information for young people. To enhance this, the Department has commissioned Uf1 to produce a single national course database covering post 16 learning opportunities. The funding for this is £100,000 in 2003–04.The Department is also leading on the development of a customer-focused, cross-Government young people's internet portal, which aims to provide easy access to everything young people want and need to know on the web, from Government and non-Government sources. The portal is due to be launched in September 2003, and the budget for 2003£04 is £163,000.In addition, the Department supports websites providing targeted information for young people. The Children and Young People's Unit (CYPU) website provides information for 0–19 year olds on various aspects of the Unit's work ranging from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child to the Youth Advisory Forum. The budget for 2003–04 is £600,000. CYPU is also contributing to the development of the Youth Portal. The Connexions Card website provides information for young people aged 16–19 on the benefits of using the card. The budget for 2003–04 is £200,000.

Pr Campaigns

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 12 June to the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale West, what individual public relations campaigns his Department undertook in 2002–03 with a cost of more than £100,000; and what the actual cost was of each of those campaigns. [120593]

[holding answer 20 June 2003]: The information requested is as follows:

CampaignCost (£)
Foundation Degrees240,000
Connexions336,000
Aimhigher186,400
UK Online Centres131,274
Adult Basic Skills 'Get On'222,580
Dads and Sons120,637
£
Total budget share including standards fund devolvedTotal budget1 share per pupil
Primary Schools
Barons Court Infant School and Nursery419,8873,043
Blenheim Primary School1,102,4472,412
Bournemouth Park Infant School and Nursery317,5652,656
Bournemouth Park Junior School247,7082,844
Bournes Green Infant School438,5112,436
Bournes Green Junior School632,4912,144
Chalkwell Hall Infant School720,1862,294
Chalkwell Hall Junior School870,3722,102
Darlinghurst Primary and Nursery School839,4482,351
Earls Hall Infant School622,0222,304
Earls Hall Junior School763,8032,140
Eastwood Infant and Nursery Foundation School489,9182,707
Eastwood Junior School533,0962,380
Edwards Hall Infant School478,4812,441
Edwards Hall Junior School610,6472,173
Fairways Primary School1,298,8443,035
Friars Infant School and Nursery713,8222,714
Friars Junior School695,1012,348
Hamstel Infant School956,7862,447
Hamstel Junior School1,092,8532,267
Heycroft Primary School934,8462,101
Hinguar Community Primary School682,1342,266
Leigh Infant School623,4772,301
Leigh North Street Junior School767,8662,169
Located at Bournemouth Park Road Southends on Sea772,0942,669
Located at Richmond Avenue Shoeburyness Essex584,1222,542
Milton Hall Primary School1,250,8442,507
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School892,5912,066
Porters Grange Primary School and Nursery1,585,6612,792
Prince Avenue Primary Foundation School and Nursery965,6012,327
Richmond Avenue Junior School207,0572,460
Richmond Infants' and Nursery School212,2032,653
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Nursery545,2122,381
St.George's Catholic Primary School459,9692,300
St. Helen's Catholic Primary School539,3702,366
St. Mary"s, Prittlewell, CofE Primary School893,1682,142
Temple Sutton Primary School1,701,3962,290
The Westborough Primary School and Nursery1,622,3502,304
Thorpe Greenways Infant School820,6482,318
Thorpe Greenways Junior School1,004,0562,155
Thorpedene Infants' School711,0612,504
Thorpedene Junior School820,3222,254
West Leigh Infant School783,2812,182
West Leigh Junior School1,048,2402,047
Secondary Schools
Belfairs High School4,036,4673,790
Cecil Jones High School4,833,6183,656
Prittlewell Technology College3,240,1803,418
Shoeburyness High School4,706,3493,683
Southend High School for Boys2,779,8504,257

School Budgets (Leicestershire)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money each (a) secondary and (b) primary school in Southend West has been given for financial year 2003–04; and what each school originally budgeted. [118513]

My Department collects information according to local education authority areas. Information provided by the authority on how much each primary and secondary school in Southend-on-Sea LEA has been given is contained in the table.

Total budget share including standards fund devolved

Total budget

1

share per pupil

Southend High School for Girls2,899,8174,033
St. Bernard's High School2,465,9583,444
St. Thomas More High School for Boys2,741,1563,781
The Eastwood School (11–18)2,471,3043,409
The Thorpe Bay School2,292,8363.809
Westcliff High School for Boys3,149,9914,123
Westcliff High School for Girls3,153,8434,205

1 Per capita share or pupil unit cost for each school is calculated by dividing the actual budget share by the number of pupils or places for the school (adjusted for schools open for part of the year only).

Notes:

1. The data was drawn from section 52(Table 1) budget statements for 2003–04 which LEAs submit to the DfES.

2. The data is provisional as at 9 June 2003 and is subject to basic validation and is likely to change.

School Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much additional capital funding will be allocated to support the changes to school buildings which may be needed to provide facilities for the additional support staff needed to implement the National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload in (a) 2003–04, (b) 2004–05 and (c) 2005–06. [120400]

Overall capital investment is set to rise from £3.8 billion this year to over £5 billion in 2005–06. Much of this capital investment is delivered to local authorities by formula and in accordance with their local asset management processes. It is, therefore, up to local authorities to decide on their priorities in consultation with local schools. In addition, from 2005–06, we will be rolling out the proposed Building Schools for the Future programme, details of which will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we have also invested £50 million over the two years 2002–03 and 2003–04, specifically to address school workforce issues. This funding was allocated by formula to all local education authorities for them to address their priority needs in accommodating Schools' Workforce.

School Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how schools who have been allowed to use devolved capital for revenue purposes in order to set a balanced budget for 2003–04 will be compensated by his Department in subsequent years. [120399]

[holding answer 19 June 2003]: On 15 May 2003, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced that in response to exceptional

Lancashire Local Education Authority
£ million
1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–03
ESSA405445468493510516
Recurrent Grant181021497095
Capital Funding131735383044
Total436472524580610655

pressures this year on some school budgets he has decided to help schools manage their budgets by allowing them, in discussion with their Local Education Authorities (LEAs), to use their devolved capital funding to support their day-to-day running costs. This is to be for this year only and must be a decision taken by the school with the agreement of the LEA.

On 16 May 2003, my Department made detailed guidance available to schools and to LEAs to enable them immediately to discuss locally where this capital flexibility can be used. This guidance makes clear that schools which seek to use this flexibility would irrevocably forego their capital allocation. They would, therefore, lose the benefits over the longer term of the capital investment in their school buildings to pupil standards. This flexibility has an opportunity cost, and should only be used where failure to do so would lead to excessive instability within the school. We did not intend to increase the total funding available to any school.

My Department is working with representatives of local government and schools to consider what changes to the schools funding system are needed from 2004–05 to ensure that every school receives a reasonable per pupil settlement next year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total central Government funding for schools in Lancashire was in each year since 1995. [120469]

The following table shows the total education standard spending assessment (ESSA), recurrent and capital funding allocated to Lancashire Local Education Authority between 1997–98 and 2002–03, the years for which data is available on a likefor-like basis. The Department allocates funding for schools at local education authority level without specifying separate amounts for schools.

School Technicians

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans he has to introduce a career structure for school technicians in (a) secondary and (b) further education recognised throughout England; [119804](2) if he will introduce a national pay scale for school technicians to over-ride local education authority restrictions, and be recognised as a minimum standard by establishment heads; 119805](3) what representations he has received on introducing national levels of pay commensurate with experience, qualifications and responsibilities for school technicians; and from whom.[119807]

[holding answer 17 June 2003]: My Department has received a number of representations which propose the introduction of a career structure and national pay scales for school support staff, including science technicians.Since the Royal Society (RS) and Association for Science Education (ASE) published their report on January 2002 we have been working closely with them and with the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services (CLEAPSS) to develop a career structure for science technicians. The work is being taken forward in consultation with the wider scientific community and will take account also of broader advice on school support staff roles being produced by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services. We are aiming to publish guidance this autumn.As part the Government's investment and reform strategy for further education and training, the new DIES Standards Unit will be trialling best-practice teaching and learning materials and teacher training in Level 3 biology, chemistry and physics this summer. The trials will lead to larger scale pilots from September and will give a real boost to science teaching and to the vital support work by science technicians.The Government's position on pay remains that the terms and conditions of employment of school support staff including science technicians are best determined locally, in light of local needs and circumstances. This means that local arrangements cart reflect the fact that, for example, the duties and responsibilities of technicians vary widely between schools. The National Agreement on Raising Standards on Tackling Workload, signed by the Government, local authority employers and school workforce unions on 15 January this year, will improve training and career progression opportunities for support staff and makes clear that we expect their pay to reflect their level of training, skills and responsibilities.

Schools (Service Personnel)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what representations he has received about (a) falling rolls and (b) shortfall in funding to schools attended by children of Service personnel, caused by delays in transferring regiments; and if he will make a statement; [120351]

(2)if he will make specific funding available to schools attended by children of Service personnel whose rolls have been reduced because of delays in transferring regiments; and if he will make a statement;[120352]

(3) if he will provide additional core funding for schools attended by children of Service personnel to assist with (a) turbulence and (b) other factors; and if he will make a statement.[120353]

Two schools in Colchester wrote to the Secretary of State in March 2003 about funding issues for schools with a large proportion of pupils who are children of Service personnel. There is no need for specific or additional funding from central Government for such schools. The Regulations which govern local education authority funding formulae for schools permit the use of factors which give extra funding for high turbulence levels, or compensation for significant falls in numbers on roll. The Essex formula for school funding already has a turbulence factor. If the schools believe this to be inadequate, they should seek reconsideration at local level, perhaps through the Essex schools forum.

Specialist Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 10 June 2003, Official Report, column 784W, on specialist status schools, if he will make a statement on the variation in the average capped GCSE/GNVQ point scores among pupils attending (a) languages colleges, (b) sports colleges, (c) arts colleges and (d) technology colleges. [119793]

In 2002, specialist schools outperformed non-specialist schools where the GCSE capped average point score was considered. When considering the individual specialist subjects, technology colleges had the highest average point score of the four specialisms. Technology, language and arts colleges all performed above the non-specialist average. The performance of sports colleges was slightly below the non-specialist average.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his Answer of 11 June 2003, Official Report, column 885W, on education initiatives, if he will list those non-selective specialist schools that are not defined as mainstream. [119886]

The list of non-selective, non-mainstream specialist schools (ie special schools) is as follows.

Special schoolsAreaSubject
Fox Hollies SchoolBirminghamArts
Arbour Vale Special SchoolSloughSports
Calthorpe Special SchoolBirminghamSports
Westcroft Special SchoolWolverhamptonSports
Abbey Hill SchoolStockton on TeesTechnology
Alder Grange High SchoolLancashireTechnology1
Beaumont Hill SchoolDarlingtonTechnology
Blackfriars Special SchoolStaffordshireTechnology
Crosshill Special SchoolBlackburn with DarwenTechnology
Marshfields SchoolCity of PeterboroughTechnology1
West Oaks SchoolLeedsTechnology
Westfield Technology CollegeDorsetTechnology
1 From September 2003

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many secondary schools in North East Lincolnshire have applied for specialist status; and how many have been successful in their applications. [120059]

There have been seven applications for specialist school status received from seven schools in North East Lincolnshire LEA since the programme started in 1994. Four schools currently have specialist status: The Lindsey School, Toll Bar School and the Hereford School, which has joint specialist status with Western School.

Student Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate outstanding student loan liabilities (a) currently and (b) in each of the next five calendar years, on the assumption of (i) current participation and policies and (ii) expansion of numbers at one per cent. per annum and introduction of top-up fees at (A) 50 per cent. and (B) 100 per cent. of potential total income. [119790]

The total amount of debt outstanding at the end of financial year 2001–02 was £10,015 million. Of this total debt, £1,621 million was privately owned mortgage style debt. £8,394 million of the debt was publicly owned, and includes both mortgage style and income contingent loans. The debt outstanding includes loans issued but not yet due for repayment.The information on future estimates is not available without disproportionate cost. Future loan liabilities will depend on a wide range of factors, including: the number and composition of students who enter higher education; the proportion of students who take up a loan; the amount of loan they take out; subsequent graduate earnings and hence future repayments; and the rate of inflation (which affects the nominal value of outstanding debt). After 2006–07, loan liabilities will also depend on the fee levels charged by universities of their full time undergraduates, and the extent to which those students exercise the new option to defer those.

Sure Start

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to extend the number of deprived wards eligible to receive sure start financial support. [115109]

[holding answer22 May2003]: The Sure Start Unit was allocated funding in the 2002 spending review to establish children's centres to serve 650,000 children living in the most disadvantaged wards in the country. The Government's longer term aim is to establish children's centres services for all children living in the 20 per cent. most disadvantaged wards. Sure Start also funds local authorities, in all areas, to create, support and sustain good quality childcare provision through the Early Years and Childcare Grant.

Teacher Redundancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of the total number of teachers were made redundant in each of the last 10 years in England. [120010]

Teachers' Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average teacher's salary in each local education authority in England was in the most recent year for which figures are available. [119050]

The table shows the average annual salary of full-time regular qualified teachers in the maintained sector in England by LEA at 31/3/2001. This is the latest information available. Figures cover all grades and include any allowances paid. The figures are provisional.The average salary figures include some threshold payments that were made before March 2001, following the introduction of the threshold in September 2000. Some threshold assessments were not made in time for the associated payments to be reflected in the March 2001 data, but these were ultimately backdated to September 2000. As a result the figures in the table will be an under estimate of the actual average salary in March 2001.

Average salary (£s)
City of London28,260
Camden31,140
Greenwich29,270
Hackney27,890
Hammersmith30,560
Islington29,630
Kensington and Chelsea1
Lambeth1
Lewisham30,400
Southwark30,320
Tower Hamlets30,260
Wandsworth28,950
Westminster28,860
Barking29,210
Barnet28,540
Bexley27,760
Brent30,160
Bromley28,530
Croydon32,930
Ealing28,940
Enfield28,340
Haringey29,850
Harrow28,700
Havering29,020
Hillingdon28,190
Hounslow28,250
Kingston upon Thames1
Merton29,560
Newham29,050
Redbridge29,690
Richmond upon Thames28,100
Sutton1
Waltham Forest29,080
Birmingham27,260
Coventry27,670
Dudley26,940
Sandwell26,990
Solihull25,130
Walsall26,640
Wolverhampton27,370
Knowsley26,820
Liverpool26,270
St Helens27,490
Sefton27,030
Average salary(£s)
Wirral27,610
Bolton27,060
Bury27,500
Manchester27,200
Oldham26,900
Rochdale27,090
Salford25,280
Stockport27,180
Tameside27,070
Trafford27,270
Wigan27,470
Barnsley26,690
Doncaster27,350
Rotherham27,270
Sheffield1
Bradford27,000
Calderdale26,970
Kirklees27,400
Leeds27,400
Wakefield26,740
Gateshead26,750
Newcastle upon Tyne26,830
North Tyneside27,020
South Tyneside27,150
Sunderland27,100
Isles of Scilly27,000
Bath and NE Somerset1
City of Bristol26,500
North Somerset26,930
South Gloucestershire26,540
Hartlepool26,780
Middlesbrough27,230
Redcar and Cleveland26,930
Stockton on Tees26,960
City of Kingston-Upon-Hull27,240
East Riding of Yorkshire27,210
North East Lincolnshire27,230
North Lincolnshire27,160
North Yorkshire26,470
York26,960
Bedfordshire27,000
Luton26,980
Buckinghamshire27,080
Milton Keynes26,720
Derbyshire27,370
City of Derby26,570
Dorset27,010
Poole26,840
Bournemouth27,210
Durham26,740
Darlington25,350
East Sussex27,030
Brighton and Hove27,020
Hampshire26,810
Portsmouth26,730
Southampton26,260
Leicestershire27,040
Leicester City1
Rutland27,380
Staffordshire26,740
Stoke-on-Trent26,640
Wiltshire25,740
Swindon26,020
Bracknell Forest27,790
Windsor and Maidenhead27,800
West Berkshire26,280
Reading1
Slough25,650
Wokingham26,870
Cambridgeshire26,340
City of Peterborough26,420
Cheshire26,850
Halton27,080
Warrington26,780
Average salary (£s)
Devon27,140
City of Plymouth27,250
Torbay1
Essex27,600
Southend27,540
Thurrock27,240
Herefordshire26,980
Worcestershire27,010
Kent27,150
Medway1
Lancashire27,340
Blackburn and Darwen26,240
Blackpool26,670
Nottinghamshire27,500
City of Nottingham26,920
Shropshire27,430
Telford and Wrekin27,400
Cornwall27,120
Cumbria27,130
Gloucestershire26,710
Hertfordshire25,340
Isle of Wight26,560
Lincolnshire26,930
Norfolk27,250
Northamptonshire26,670
Northumberland26,800
Oxfordshire27,100
Somerset27,400
Suffolk26,590
Surrey25,740
Warwickshire27,030
West Sussex26,860

Source:

Database of Teacher Records

1 —not available

LEAs are shown as not available where more than 30 per cent. of teacher records are not available.

Transport

A49 Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fatal and (b) non-fatal road accidents there have been on the A49 between Ludlow and Shrewsbury in each year since 1992. [1201001

The following table provides the figures provided by West Mercia police.

FatalSeriousSlightTotal
19925153555
19934102943
19944163050
19953122540
1996373545
1997452736
19980112536
1999053540
2000182231
2001243137
2002482335
2003 (To date)011819

Mail Transport (Rail)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions have taken place with Royal Mail regarding use of rail to transport mail; and what plans he has to encourage the use of trains for this purpose. [121095]

The Department has had no discussions with Royal Mail about its decision to withdraw from rail.It is the Government's policy to promote a competitive and efficient distribution industry that supports economic growth while bringing benefits to society and the environment. Transferring more freight from the roads on to more sustainable modes is a key component of the Government's long term vision for transport.The Strategic Rail Authority published its first Freight Progress Report on 8 May, explaining achievements to date in facilitating more freight by rail. Copies of the report are available in the Libraries of the House.

Mot Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he next expects to vary the maximum fees charged by garages for an annual MOT test. [120609]

We are currently consulting on revised maximum MOT test fees and our intention is to introduce them on 1 August 2003.

Number Plate Cloning

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 16 June 2003, Official Report, column 21W, on number plate cloning, on how many occasions during the last 12 months Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority Intelligence Officers passed information on cloned number plates to the police. [121261]

Each week DVLA refers around 80 cases of suspected cloned vehicles to the police. Approximately 60 per month require detailed investigation.

Private Ambulances

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what statutory powers provide for the exemption of private ambulances from elements of (a) the Highway Code and (b) road traffic regulations. [120927]

[holding answer 20 June 2003]: The rules of the Highway Code apply to all road users and many are legal requirements. Those that are not may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts in order to help establish liability.However, Section 87 of the road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 exempts drivers of vehicles used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes from speed limits in an emergency. The Zebra, Pelican and Puffin Pedestrian Crossings Regulations 1997 give qualified exemptions from signals at Pelican and Puffin crossings to vehicles being used for fire brigade, ambulance, national blood service and police purposes, and The Traffic Signs Regulations 2002 give similar qualified exemptions from other red light signals and keep right/ left arrows to vehicles being used for fire brigade, ambulance, bomb or explosive disposal, national blood service or police purposes.Traffic regulation orders made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 may include such exemptions as determined by the order making traffic authority. Where appropriate it is usual to include an exemption for vehicles being used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes.In no case is any distinction made as to whether a vehicle being used for ambulance purposes is private or not.

Rail Passenger Committees

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the names and addresses of the members of each rail passengers' committee, stating in each case whether they were (a) elected, (b) nominated and (c) appointed, and by whom. [121243]

Appointments to the Rail Passengers' Committees (RPCs) are subject to open competition and are carried out in accordance with the Office of the Commission for Public Appointments (OCPA) guidance. The members of the RPCs are appointed by the Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) after consultation with the Secretary of State for Transport, the Scottish Ministers and the National Assembly for Wales, as appropriate, and the Chairman of the Committee in question. The Committee Chairmen are appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with the SRA and in the case of the Welsh RPC, the National Assembly for Wales. The Scottish Ministers appoint the Chairman of the Scottish RPC after consultation with the SRA. The London Assembly appoints the members and the Chairman of the London Transport Users' committee after consultation with the SRA.The names of the members and the addresses of each RPC are set out in their annual reports. Copies of the annual reports are available in the Libraries of the House.

Road Building

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 16 June 2003, Official Report, column 23W, on road building, what estimates he has made of the level of Government funding necessary for the completion of the proposed road schemes. [120583]

In taking forward the detailed development of the road schemes, the local authorities will determine the cost of each scheme. The estimated costs for each of the road schemes detailed in the Final Report of the South East Manchester Multi Modal Study will need to be reviewed in the light of any changes to their design and to include preparation costs and provision for risk assessment in accordance with HM Treasury Guidance.

Train Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each year since 1997 the figures for (a) reliability and (b) punctuality of train journeys between (i) Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton and (ii) Wolverhampton and London. [121110]

The Strategic Rail Authority publish performance statistics for all train operating companies in their quarterly "National Rail Trends" publication and their six-monthly "On Track" publication. The figures for each operator are not broken down to route level, but reflect the performance of their services in aggregate. The most recent editions of these publications were published on 16 June. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average annual number of passengers travelling by train between (a) Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton and (b) Wolverhampton and London was in the last three years. [121111]

The information is not available in the form requested. The Strategic Rail Authority publishes annual passenger journey figures for each Train Operating Company in its Annual Report, a copy of which is placed in the Library of the House.

Voluntary Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding programmes are operated by his Department to support voluntary organisations working with young people; and what the level of support has been in each of the last three years. [120513]

The Department operates a number of funding programmes to support a wide range of voluntary organisations which include, but are not exclusive to, young people as a target group. We do not hold centrally information on the level of support to voluntary organisations working with young people. However, the Department is committed to working with and giving young people a real say in shaping transport policy and influencing decisions for the future. The Department is due to publish an Action Plan, setting out how it intends to work better with young people to achieve this.

Cabinet Office

Public Appointments

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to his oral answer of 17 June 2003, Official Report, column 210, when the guidance was introduced that the composition of the bench should broadly reflect the voting pattern of the area, as evidenced by the last two general elections. [121098]

The Directions for Advisory Committees on Justices of the Peace were introduced during September 1998 by the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the right hon. Dr. Jack Cunningham MP.These followed the directions prepared and issued at the same time by the former Lord Chancellor's Department, now the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will list for each bench in the Duchy of Lancaster (a) the political balance of the bench and (b) the voting pattern for the area. [121099]

The overriding criteria when appointing magistrates are the suitability for appointment and the ability of the benches to continue to efficiently handle the case load in their area. Although the voting pattern of the area is taken into consideration, other factors such as age, gender, occupation, ethnic origin and area of residence are also taken into account.There are approximately 3,900 magistrates serving on the 26 benches in the Duchy of Lancaster area of Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Voting patterns of these benches and the area they serve are listed in tables that have today been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Trade And Industry

Envirowise

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the European Commission confirmed to her Department that Envirowise operates in full compliance with EU state aid laws; and if she will make a statement on the basis of such compliance. [120520]

The Envirowise Scheme was not formally notified to the Commission for state aid approval. The Department considered that the programme was designed in such a manner that it should not require such approval.

Eu Programmes And Initiatives

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money from mainstream EU programmes and special EU initiatives has been allocated to (a) Cleethorpes, (b) Great Grimsby, (c) Scunthorpe and (d) Brigg and Goole in each year since 1997. [119112]

The information is as follows.

Goole/BriggCleethorpesGrimsbyScunthorpeTotal
1997105,34804,893,81511,2015,010,364
1998412,32901,778,439167,6792,358,447
19991,093,623347,2513,598,9651,863,1686,903,007
2000574,030477,8193,572,0453,900,0218,523,915
2001416,822319,9124,159,965541,8265,438,525
2002182,08137,5002,778,180474,4063,472,167
200388,97050,0003,129,706843,7734,112,449
2004050,0001,346,565387,5301,784,095
20050054,3392,00056,339
Total2,873,2031,282,48225,312,0198,191,60437,659,308

Note:

The amounts include funds from Objective 2 ERDF and ESF, Objective 3 ESF, PESCA (community initiative to assist the fishing industry 1997 to 2000) and RESIDER (community initiative to help steel industry 1997 to 2000).

Gdp (North-East)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what contribution the north-east economy made to the UK GDP in percentage terms in each of the last two financial years. [120734]

Provisional estimates have been released for the UK GDP up to Quarter 1 of 2003, but no regional GDP figures have been released since 1999. Figures for 1998 and 1999 where regional data have been published are:

North-east contribution (percentage)
19983.5
19993.4

Post Office Card Account

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to simplify the application process for Post Office card accounts; and what representations she has received from postmasters about the administrative process. [119723]

[holding answer 18 June 2003]: DTI Ministers and officials regularly receive representations from postmasters on a range of issues, including many aspects of universal banking. The Government are keen to ensure that customers receive a good service and would be willing to consider changes to the present arrangement should that prove to be necessary. At the present time, however, we are satisfied that the application process for a Post Office card account is operating satisfactorily in the interests of customers.

Waste Electrical And Electronic Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the prospects for the remanufacture of laser and inkjet printer cartridges industry, with special reference to changes in European law. [121014]

Contrary to some recent newspaper reporting, there have been no changes in European law aimed at this sector. Data provided by the refill and remanufacture industry suggest there are over 100 refill business in the UK and that business is growing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans she has to prevent manufacturers from inhibiting recycling of computer parts, with particular reference to ink and toner cartridges; [120965](2) what plans she has to re-classify ink and toner printer cartridges as printer parts; [120966](3) what action she proposes to take to support the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive concerning the recycling of computer parts, including ink and toner cartridges; and if she will make a statement. [120967]

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive must be transposed into UK law by summer 2004. This will require higher treatment standards and greater recycling levels to be achieved from the summer of 2005. Computers, printers and a wide range of other products fall within the scope.The UK considers ink and toner printer cartridges to be consumables for the purposes of the WEEE Directive, as does the European Commission. The Directive's recovery requirements therefore only apply to these goods when discarded as part of a printer.Contrary to some recent newspaper reports, the WEEE Directive in no-way prevents the refilling and recycling of ink and toner cartridges which the Government are keen to see continue.

Regeneration Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the regeneration funding that has been granted by the Government and regional development agencies for projects, partnerships and investments involving the supermarket chains (a) Asda and (b) Tesco over the last five years, including for each one the (i) funding stream, (ii) the type of funding, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount, (v) the location and (vi) the title. [119074]

As far as I am aware, neither the DTI nor the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have awarded any regeneration funding to Asda or Tesco over the last five years. Specifically, neither firm has received any regeneration funding support from the DTI in the form of Regional Selective Assistance, and neither firm has received any support from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the form of grant aid. My officials have consulted with the Regional Development Agencies and the LDA and have been advised that none of these agencies has awarded any funding to the two retailers during the last five years.

Renewable Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on (a) wind farms and (b) single windmills adjacent to residential areas. [120736]

Chapter 4 of the Energy White Paper sets out the Government's policy for the promotion of renewable energy, including wind energy, as part of a move towards a low carbon economy.The annex to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Policy Planning Guidance Note 22 (PPG22) contains guidelines on various factors to be taken into consideration in relation to wind turbine location, including suggestions about turbine separation distances from residential dwellings. PPG22 is currently being reviewed, and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister plans to consult on draft revised guidance later this year.

Rural Post Offices (Morecambe And Lunesdale)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding has been made available to protect rural post offices in the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency. [120458]

A number of measures are in place to maintain the network of rural post offices. These include the formal requirement placed on the Post Office in November 2000 to prevent any avoidable closures. We also have a £2 million rural post office capital start up fund to support volunteer and community initiatives to maintain or re-establish a rural post office facility where the traditional post office is under threat of closure or has recently closed. Under this scheme, grants of up to £20,000 are available to support the costs of relocating or refurbishing alternative premises. At the end of May 180 grants had been approved, totalling £1,335,173, and payments of £1,073,067 had been made nationally. I understand from Post Office Ltd. that the company is yet to receive any applications under this scheme from sub-postmasters in Morecambe and Lunesdale.Rural post offices will also benefit from the £450 million package of financial support for the rural post office network that I announced on 2 December 2002. And the rural network also benefits from investment in the network generally. For example, the rural network benefits from the considerable investment in the network's IT, and in new products, including universal banking services. On automation alone the Government has made the largest ever investment in the Post Office network—£480 million—much of it on the rural network. There is no breakdown of the proportion of this funding that has been spent on supporting rural sub-post offices in the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency.

Standards For Promotions Inspectorate Ltd

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) when the first complaint was made to the Department concerning SFT; [120068](2) when departmental officials questioned the Directors of SFT. [120069]

A Winding-up Order was made against Standards for Promotions Inspectorate Ltd. ("SPI") (which the hon. Member refers to as SFT) on 14 May 2003. This Order was made on a petition that was presented to the court by the Secretary of State on 2 April 2003 and followed an investigation under S447 of the Companies Act 1985 by the Department of Trade and Industry's Companies Investigations Branch.Complaints made to the Department of Trade and Industry about limited companies, and any statutory inquiries that follow, are confidential. Those taking part in the process do so on the understanding that this confidence will be respected and criminal sanctions apply to the unauthorised release of any information so gathered.

Health

Accident And Emergency Staff Assaults

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS staff have been assaulted in hospital casualty departments in each of the last five years; how many of these assaults have been alcohol related; and how many cases have resulted in prosecutions (a) in England and (b) in the City of Durham. [119092]

The figures of reported violent or abusive incidents involving staff in National Health Service trust and health authorities, in England for 2000–01 were 1101,000 and for 2001–02 were 112,000. These are the only national figures collected by the Department using a common definition of violence for reporting purposes.Information on the level of assaults by type of incident and individual staff groups is not collected centrally, but may be held at a local level of NHS employers.Data on prosecution brought against individuals who assault NHS staff is not currently collected by NHS employing organisations. From 1 April 2003, the new Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) special health authority took over lead responsibility for tackling violence against NHS staff. The programme of work they will be taking forward includes introducing a strengthened national reporting system to record incident of violence and aggression against staff using a common definition with the ability to track cases through to conclusion. This is intended to give the NHS hard and accurate information around incidents and outcomes, particularly where a criminal or civil sanction is pursed to deal with offenders.A snapshot survey undertaken in March 2003 found that 51 prosecutions had been brought directly by NHS trusts since updated guidance was issued to NHS employing organisations in June 2002. The guidance states that NHS trusts should consider with their lawyers the need, where appropriate, to support a prosecution against an individual in cases where the Crown Prosecution Service decides not to do so.

1The 20001–01 and 2001–02 totals have been estimated to include organisations which did not provide figures and the results are based on surveys by the Department of Health and the National Audit Office.

Aneurysm Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to set up an aneurysm screening programme that avoids the need for those with abdominal aortic aneurysm to wait for action that may result from consideration by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. [119774]

The United Kingdom national screening committee (NSC) makes recommendations to Ministers on all aspects of screening programmes. It is currently considering the resource costs and workforce implications of implementing a screening programme following the publication of a multi-centre study funded by the Medical Research Council last year. Until these recommendations are received, screening should not be started. There are no plans at present to refer this topic to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

Care Homes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many care home beds were (a) available and (b) in use in (i) Bury St. Edmunds. (ii) Suffolk, (iii) Essex, (iv) Cambridgeshire and (v) Norfolk in the last quarter for which figures are available; and how many were available in the preceding eight quarters. [120413]

The latest available information on the number of care home places in Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk at 31 March each year is shown in the table. Information is centrally collected annually, not on a quarterly basis. The number of care home places in Bury St. Edmunds is not centrally available, however the figures for Suffolk include care home places in Bury St. Edmunds.Information on the number of care home places in use is not centrally available.

Care home places in Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk 1999–2001
Total number of care home places1
As at 31 March199920002001
Suffolk area2,36,5806,5406,600
Essex area414,73014,20014,230
Cambridgeshire area54,4605,5805,620
Norfolk area69,68010,35010,440
1 Total includes places in residential LA staffed, independent and dual registered homes, and beds in general and mental nursing homes, private hospitals and clinics.
2 Care home places in nursing homes in Suffolk health authority and residential homes in Suffolk shire county.
3 Includes care home places in Bury St. Edmunds.
4 Care home places in nursing homes in North and South Essex health authorities and residential homes in Essex shire county and Southend and Thurrock unitary authorities.
5 Care home places in nursing homes in Cambridge health authority and residential homes in Cambridgeshire shire county and Peterborough unitary authority.
6 Care home places in nursing homes in Norfolk health authority and residential homes in Norfolk shire county.

Source:

RA Form A and RH(N) forms, Department of Health.

Clinical Negligence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the Chief Medical Officer's Review of Clinical Negligence. [119340]

The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, has reviewed a wide range of options to tackle the complex issues involved in improving the present system for handling clinical negligence claims, including no fault compensation. We hope to publish his proposals for reform as a consultation document soon.

Consultants Contract

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the rejection of the proposed new consultants contract; and what action his Department plans to take as a result of this. [119673]

The Department was disappointed that a majority of consultants voted against the new contract, agreed with the British Medical Association in June 2002. We remain committed to rewarding those consultants who achieve the most for the national health service, as well as offering a more flexible approach to working patterns, better opportunities to control consultant workload and improvements in the way consultant time is managed.To achieve these aims we announced on 17 April 2003 a new framework for rewarding those consultants who do the most for the NHS. The new framework provides flexibility to NHS trusts locally in choosing how best to use extra resources to reward consultants, reform working practices and improve patient services. There is a national framework within which local health services have a choice of:

Investing in local implementation of the new contract where there is significant consultant support for doing so; and
Investing in new annual incentives for consultants who make the biggest contribution to improving patient care.

Diagnostic And Treatment Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Health where diagnostic and treatment centres (DTCs) will be located; what the status will be of NHS consultants employed on a sessional basis by DTCs; what formal arrangements will be concluded for aftercare; and what the budget for DTCs will be. [119486]

A list of the locations of the 46 national health service-run diagnosis and treatment centres (DTCs) open or in development is shown in the table. The location of the independent DTC chain units, for which a procurement process is currently underway, will depend on the response of the independent sector to the clinical requirements of the NHS and the value for money for NHS commissioners offered by the different solutions.

Strategic health authorityDTC scheme
Avon, Gloucs and WiltsSwindon
Weston
Birmingham and the Black CountryBirmingham City Hospital
Dudley
Good Hope
Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham
Cheshire and MerseysideAintree
Clatterbridge
Crewe
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen
Southport and Ormskirk
County Durham and Tees ValleyBishop Auckland
EssexPrincess Alexandra
Greater ManchesterWithington
Wrightington
Hampshire and Isle of WightChase, Bordon
North Hampshire, Basingstoke
Royal Haslar Hospital
Southampton and Winchester
Kent and MedwayDartford
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and RutlandKettering General
LondonRavenscourt Park
North and East Yorkshire and LincsGoole
North Central LondonMoorfields UCLH
Strategic health authorityDTC scheme
Norfolk, Suffolk and CambridgeBury St. Edmunds
Hinchingbrooke
North West LondonChelsea and Westminster
South East LondonBromley Hospitals
Kings College Hospital
Shropshire and StaffordshireCannock
South West PeninsulaRoyal Cornwall (Truro)
Torbay
Surrey and SussexChichester
Frimley Park
South West LondonNewham Acute
Newham PCT
SW London Orthopaedic
Thames ValleyMilton Keynes
Nuffield Orthopaedic
Royal Berkshire and Battle
TrentErewash
West Midlands SouthKidderminster
West YorkshirePontefract
The status of NHS consultants employed on a sessional basis by NHS DTCs will depend on local circumstances. Where consultants work in an NHS DTC as part of their contract with an NHS trust, their current terms and conditions of service will apply. But alternative arrangements can be agreed locally. Independent sector DTC providers will take clinical and managerial responsibility for any work carried out by NHS staff in their units.For both NHS and independent sector DTCs, arrangements for aftercare will be agreed locally between NHS commissioners and the providers concerned.£350 million capital has been invested in NHS DTCs. The cost of services delivered by NHS DTCs is for local agreement between the NHS provider and local NHS commissioners. The cost of services delivered through independent sector DTCs will be determined as part of the current procurement exercise.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diagnostic and treatment centres will be (a) NHS units and (b) private hospitals; and how the decision will be taken on the criteria to be used to determine whether private bidders should be awarded contracts. [119487]

There will be 46 NHS-run diagnosis and treatment centre (DTC) units: 15 of these are already open.In December 2002, a procurement process for a set of DTCs run by the independent sector was launched. 11 of these schemes are being procured under locally-managed competitions by national health service commissioners; these supplement a national procurement process for seven chains of independent sector DTCs. The exact number of independent sector DTC units will be determined as part of the negotiations, in the light of the responses to the clinical requirements of the NHS and a determination of the value for money offered to NHS commissioners.Preferred bidders for independent sector DTCs will be selected through a bid evaluation process. Bids will be evaluated according to clinical competence, governance and quality; fit with the overarching aims of the DTC programme, such as providing extra staff for the benefit of NHS patients; the legal and financial standing of the bidder; and good value for money.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the (a) names and (b) qualifications of the National Implementation Team who will manage the procurement process for diagnostic and treatment centres; and what arrangements for after-care will be provided by NHS local hospitals. [119570]

The National Implementation Team is part of the new Commercial Directorate of the Department of Health. Answering to the new Commercial Director, Ken Anderson, the team is headed by a clinician, Dr. Tom Mann, and brings together staff with a range of clinical, financial and commercial skills relevant to the procurement of clinical services.The diagnosis and treatment centre programme, in both the national health service and the independent sector, aims to provide patients with a clearly-structured, patient-focused care pathway. Where this involves different providers taking responsibility for different parts of the care pathway, these arrangements will be agreed locally between NHS commissioners and independent sector providers.

Private Sector Providers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the rate of return applicable to the contracts offered to private sector providers of diagnosis and treatment centres will be; how the cost of private provision to NHS patients will be calculated; and how staff employed by the private sector units will be offered re-employment in the NHS. [119483]

Independent sector diagnosis and treatment centres (DTCs) contracts will be service-based contracts and not subject to rate of return regulation: bids have been invited for given volumes of clinical activity needed by National Health Service commissioners to met 2005 waiting times targets. In the medium-term, as et out in Delivering the NHS Plan, the intention is that independent sector DTCs will practice under a dingle system of regulation, inspection and tariff, across public and private sectors.Staffing policies for independent sector DTCs will be the responsibility of the independent sector DTC provider, although they will be required, as part of the tendering process, to demonstrate that their staffing policies will not be disruptive to the local health economy. Where these units use NHS staff, the requirement will be that this is in a structured projects explicitly agreed between the provider and the local health economy: it is expected that NHS staff working in this way will remains NHS employees.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private hospitals and clinics provided services to the NHS in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03; what the cost was of such provision; and what rate of return was (i) calculated and (ii) awarded in such private health care. [119488]

The Department does not hold information on the total number of private hospitals and clinics providing services to the national health service, nor on their profit margins. Prices are a matter for negotiation between providers and the NHS organisations commissioning their services.

Dental Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for an NHS dental appointment was in (a) Suffolk, (b) Norfolk, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Bury St. Edmunds and (f) England in the last year for which figures are available. [120414]

Dentists working in the general dental service (GDS) are independent contractors and, as such, information is not held centrally on waiting times for GDS dental appointments.

Doctors (Home Visits)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many home visits there were out of hours by doctors in (a) 1973, (b) 1980, (c) 1990, (d) 2000 and (e) 2002. [121072]

Full data are not held centrally on the number of home visits made during the out-of-hours period, by doctors.

Electronic Prescribing

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to develop electronic prescribing. [119962]

[holding answer 17 June 2003]: To take forward the commitments to electronic transmission of prescriptions (ETP) made in "Information for Health, Pharmacy in the Future—Implementing the NHS Plan and Delivering 21st Century IT Support for the NHS", the Department of Health commissioned three pilots in June 2002. The Pilots have been exploring options for linking computerised general practitioner practices to local community pharmacies and the Prescription Pricing Authority using the NHSnet.Responsibility for the development and implementation of ETP has recently passed to the National Programme for National Health Service information technology. The national programme is reviewing the evaluation reports from the pilots, with a view to putting together a range of options for delivering a robust national model to deliver ETP. The national programme will shortly be making an announcement on how this work will be taken forward.

Emergency Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received regarding (a) targets for emergency care in hospitals and (b) the attainment of such targets. [120909]

I have received two letters from professional bodies; one letter from an hon. Member; and four letters from members of the public on the subjects of targets for emergency care in hospitals, and the attainment of such targets, over the past eight weeks.

School Vision Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking in response to the recommendations of the National Screening Committee regarding eye screening for children in schools. [119702]

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (NSC) is currently considering the role of routine vision screening in schools. We will be considering the proposals of the NSC as part of the ongoing work of the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services.

Foundation Hospitals

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his Answer of 9 June, ref.116290, if he will make a statement on the difference in the cost to a foundation hospital accessing an amount of capital via loans they will be expected to repay as compared to the charge another health organisation accessing capital through the Department of Health and strategic health authorities would have to meet for borrowing the same amount. [118856]

The principal way national health service foundation trusts will access capital will be through borrowing from private or public lenders. The difference in cost to the NHS foundation trust of this borrowing, compared to the charges they would pay as a NHS trust accessing capital through a strategic health authority, will depend upon the interest rate at which they borrow. I anticipate that the financing facility, which the Department of Health will make available, will lend at rates not dissimilar to the prevailing rate for the National Loans Fund.

Free Nhs Treatment

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people not ordinarily resident in the UK received free NHS treatment in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [118343]

The fact that someone is deemed not ordinarily resident does not mean that they should automatically be charged for their treatment. It is for individual national health service trusts to establish whether a patient is ordinarily resident, and if not, whether they are nevertheless exempt from paying charges under the provisions of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989. Trusts are not required to submit returns to the Department of Health specifically on the numbers of patients who are treated free of charge under those Regulations.

Commission For Social Care Inspection