Written Answers To Questions
Friday 21 October 1994
Lord Chancellor's Department
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the value of legal aid made available to Kevin and Ian Maxwell for the engagement of lawyers to represent and prepare their appearance before Select Committees of the House.
Legal aid is not available for legal representation before Select Committees of the House of Commons. Therefore, no payment was made from the legal aid fund to the lawyers acting on behalf of Kevin and Ian Maxwell regarding their appearance before the Social Services Select Committee in 1992.
War Memorial, County Hall
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why members of the Royal British Legion are being denied access to the war memorial in County hall, London SE1; and if he will make a statement.
My understanding is that the war memorial is located in the ambulatory that surrounds the former council chamber in County hall. The chamber and ambulatory are within the most historically sensitive area of County hall and will form part of the proposed conference centre which should be accessible to the public as development is completed over the coming year or two.Replicas of the commemorative tablets to the London county council's dead of the two world wars have been installed in the London Fire Brigade headquarters on the Albert embankment, where, I understand, commemorative services to the fallen continue to be held.However, as the riverside block of County hall is now privately owned by the Shirayama Corporation, I suggest that if any further information is required, it is in the best position to reassure the hon. Gentleman on the question of public access to the war memorial.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's estimate of the population of African elephants prior to the world ban on the trade in elephant products and the current population.
The latest update of figures, prepared by the African Elephant database for the eighth meeting of the conference of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Kyoto in 1992, reported an African elephant population of approximately 609,000 across the continent, with a range between 549,000 and 652,000. However, according to the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources African elephant specialist group which now manage the AED, the quality of origin of those data is so varied that it would not be possible to establish population trends from comparisons with more up-to-date population estimates which it is preparing for the forthcoming CITES meeting in Florida. It also advises that due to the imprecision of current survey techniques, the true impacts of the ivory ban on elephant numbers might not be expected to show significant trends for a decade or more.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who organised the recent meeting in Botswana to consider the situation where trade in elephant products could be resumed; which countries attended the meeting; what was the agenda; who represented Her Majesty's Government; and what was the outcome.
The United Kingdom organised the meeting on behalf of the European Union. Details of participants and the purpose of meeting were given in the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Environment and Countryside to the Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale) on 20 July 1994 Official Report, columns 314–15.All the countries listed in that reply were represented with the exception of Congo, Gabon, Uganda and Zambia. The detailed agenda is included in a report of the meeting which is expected to be available shortly. The British high commissioner for Botswana and two officials from my Department represented the United Kingdom at the meeting, which succeeded in terms of improving dialogue between African elephant range states. A statement, agreed by the participants and issued at the close of the meeting, describes the outcome and a copy has been placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if Her Majesty's Government will oppose the moves by the South African Government to downlist their elephant population from appendix I to appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; and if he will make a statement.
The Government have not yet decided their position on South Africa's proposal to be allowed to trade in elephant meat and hides but not ivory. We wish to take account of the views of range states and the report of the panel of experts established by CITES before reaching a conclusion. Maintaining the conservation status of the African elephant is our overriding concern and we will not therefore support any outcome which in our judgment puts this at risk.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimates he has made of the revival of illegal trade in elephant ivory should South Africa succeed in downlisting its elephant population from appendix I to appendix II of CITES.
South Africa's proposal to CITES relates only to the possibility of international trade in elephant hide and meat, not ivory. Unfortunately an illegal trade in ivory continues, but there is no evidence currently available to my right hon. Friend to show that allowing a trade in hides from South Africa would affect the ivory position one way or the other. We are anxious, however, to learn the view of other Africa range states. The United Kingdom has tabled a resolution for the CITES meeting calling for greater effort and more international co-operation on the enforcement of wildlife sale controls. If, as we hope, this resolution leads to action, it should have a real impact on the illegal ivory trade.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the report released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in September on the dangers posed by dioxins; and what effect the findings of the report will have on his Department's policy on the incineration of (a) polychlorinated biphenyls and (b) other dioxin—contaminated wastes.
The Government welcome the EPA's action in preparing this report, a substantial document of over 2,000 pages. It is still a preliminary draft, on which the EPA is inviting comments, and it will not be finalised until autumn 1995. We are considering all the implications of the report including any that there may be for the incineration of waste.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the statement made on 19 September to the 38th annual conference of the International Atomic Energy agencies, by the International Atomic Energy Agency's director-general, Dr. Blix, on the health risks of sea disposal of low level radioactive waste, is fully in accordance with the policy of Her Majesty's Government.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many pollution warnings his Department has issued, broken down by category of pollutant and showing how many were incorrect, for each of the last three years for which figures are available.
The Department provides regionalised air pollution level forecasts for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide each day. The Department issues pollution warnings when the level of ozone, nitrogen dioxide or sulphur dioxide is forecast to be "very poor". For the breakdown of these figures, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on Wednesday 19 October, Official Report, column 248.Before and during the episode this July, when ozone levels became "poor", the Department issued three press releases.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects bylaws made under the powers contained in the London Docklands Development Corporation Act 1994 to be brought into effect.
The London Docklands development corporation has submitted to the Department proposed byelaws to be made under the 1994 Act. Following final agreement on the wording of the laws, necessary statutory procedures, including public consultation, will have to be undertaken. I expect those procedures to be completed by the turn of the year and the byelaws to come into effect early next year.
Environmental Protection Act
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to implement the enhanced controls of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in respect of scrapyards and vehicle dismantlers.
[holding answer Thursday, 20 October 1994]: The effect of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (commencement No.15) (Amendment) Order 1994 (S.I. 1994 No. 2487 (C.49) is to apply the waste management licensing provisions of part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to the recovery of scrap metal and the dismantling of waste motor vehicles on 1 January 1995.Article 11 of the amended EC framework directive on waste provides that member states may exempt recovery activities from licensing where certain conditions are fulfilled. We intend to issue shortly a consultation paper on the provision of exemptions from licensing for the recovery of scrap metal and the dismantling of waste motor vehicles where these can be justified under the terms of article 11 of the directive.
House Of Commons
European Community Papers
To ask the Lord President of the Council what consideration he has given to the House of Commons yellow demand form for printed papers of the European Community being made available to the public either in its existing form or a comparable one.
I have no plans to adopt the hon. Gentleman's suggestion, which would duplicate a number of existing channels through which members of the public may obtain information of European Community documents, and the documents themselves.
Red Deer Commission
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to reach a decision on the Red Deer Commission's proposed amendments to the Deer (Scotland) Act 1959; and if he will make a statement.
My Department has consulted a number of organisations about the Red Deer Commission's proposals for amendments to the Deer (Scotland) Act 1959 and is now considering their responses. A decision on those legislative proposals will be made in due course.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the prevalence and use of mobile abattoirs.
While there was a trial operation of a mobile slaughtering facility on Skye in September 1993, no formal application for the appropriate licence under the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992 has been submitted for such a facility.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many licensed (a) red meat and (b) poultry abattoirs there were in each of the last five years.
The information requested is given in the table.
|1Year||2Number of Red Meat Abattoirs||Number of Poultry Abattoirs|
|1 Prior to 1993, red meat slaughterhouses were registered with local authorities.|
|2 Excludes abattoirs on the remote Scottish islands which operate for a short season each year and have a very low throughput when open. In 1993 there were 10 licensed abattoirs in this category.|
Overseas Development Administration
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he has had with the Director-General of the British Council in relation to the cessation of Overseas Development Administration funding for the postgraduate English language diploma/MA programme funding at Sana'a university in the Yemen.
None, but there is regular contact between the ODA and British Council officials, who were in close touch when it became necessary to withdraw the two advisers from Sana'a university.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received in relation to the termination of United Kingdom Government funding to the Sana'a university professional English training programme to provide a postgraduate diploma/MA in English language studies.
Several letters have been received on this matter. We withdrew our two advisers from Sana'a university, along with other aid personnel, at the outbreak of the civil war for security reasons. We continue to support the Sana'a university programme through our assistance to two Sana'a university lecturers currently studying in the UK.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for each European country the levels of minimum pay and of unemployment for people (a) under 21 and (b) under 25 years.
It is not possible to give details of the minimum pay of young people for each European country as the information is not held centrally. Equivalent information for people under 21 is unavailable. However, the following table shows the unemployment rates for people under 25 in European Union countries, with or without statutory minimum wages:
|Countries with a statutory minimum wage||Countries without a statutory minimum wage|
|ILO under-25 year-old unemployment rate (August1994) Per cent.||ILO under-25 year-old unemployment rate (August 1994)Per cent.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what valuation his Department placed on each of the four bus garages at Catford, Plumstead, Orpington and Bromley in the Selkent area before their sale to Stagecoach Ltd; what safeguards exists to prevent these facilities being sold by the new owner; and what additional return the public can expect if any future sale price exceeds the Government's valuation; and if he will make a statement.
London Transport arranged for independent advisers to value the properties before privatisation for the statutory accounts of Selkent. Individual property valuations are commercially confidential, and were made available in the privatisation information memorandum to interested parties who had signed a confidentiality agreement with London Transport.The sale of Selkent included the freehold of Catford and Bromley garages and the lease of Plumstead and Orpington garages. Clawback arrangements were put in place for the two freehold properties and apply for a 10-year period from 1 April 1994. These enable the public sector to benefit from any gain arising from the sale of a freehold.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) to which company each component part of London Country Buses was sold in 1986; and what changes in ownership have occurred since;(2) what considerations underlie the decision to divide London Country Bus Services Ltd. into four parts; what review of that policy has taken place since 1986; and if he will make a statement.
London Country Bus Services Ltd. was split into four separate operating companies by the National Bus Company following the direction of the Secretary of State for Transport on 13 February 1986. The main policy objective was to promote competition within a deregulated bus industry. The competition authorities have a duty to keep markets, including the bus market, under review and to consider any qualifying mergers under the Fair Trading Act 1973. Information about the original sale of the companies and details of present ownership is shown in the table.
|Original purchaser||Present fleetname and ownership|
|London Country Bus (South East) Ltd Renamed Kentish Bus and Coach Ltd||Proudmutual Ltd||Kentish Bus—British Bus Ltd|
|London Country Bus (South West) Ltd||Drawline Ltd||London & Country—British Bus Ltd|
|Speyhawk Land & Estates Ltd (Properties only)|
|London Country Bus (North East) Ltd||Management||Luton & District—British Bus Ltd The Bee Line—Q Drive Buses|
|London Country (North East) Ltd||London Country Travel Ltd||County Bus and Coach—West Midlands Travel Ltd Sovereign Bus & Coach—Blazefield Holdings|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safeguards exist to prevent the emergence of a private bus monopoly in London as a result of takeovers and mergers.
The competition authorities have a duty to keep markets, including the bus industry, under review and to consider any qualifying mergers under the Fair Trading Act 1973. In addition, London Transport will offer all its bus routes for competitive tender on a regular basis.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) British Rail and (b) the three new rolling stock leasing companies will invest in new rolling stock in 1994–95.
British Rail expects to spend £90 million and the three rolling stock leasing companies £129 million on new rolling stock in 1994–95. In addition, BR has authority to lease £150 million of new Networker trains from 1994–95.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is now (a) Railtrack's and (b) British Rail's external financing limit for 1994–95; and what plans he has to change these figures.
The provisional external financing limits for 1994–95 for Railtrack and British Rail are, respectively, minus £280 million and minus £348 million. They will continue to be kept under review during the course of the year, and adjusted as appropriate.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the public appointments for which he is responsible (a) in the west midlands region and (b) in Shropshire, indicating in each case the duration of the appointment, the date when a new appointment is due, and the salary.
My right hon. Friend is responsible for the appointments of:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money has been raised so far by privatisation of London Buses; and what was the forecast made in the 1993 autumn statement.
Six companies have so far been privatised, realising proceeds of approximately £140 million. Under arrangements agreed at the time of the unified budget, provision was made for London Transport to retain all proceeds up to £100 million and 25 per cent. of receipts above that level.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much fare income was lost by British Rail as a result of the signal staff strike; and how much compensation will be paid to British Rail by Railtrack in respect of this lost revenue.
British Rail estimates that its net revenue loss—passenger and freight—as a result of the signal staff strike was £154 million. Questions of compensation as a result of strike action are a matter for British Rail and Railtrack.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport wht is the British Rail's public service obligation grant for 1994–95; and what plans he has to change it.
Provision of £1,675 million is made for 1994–95 in class VI, vote 7 for compensation to British Rail for public service obligations imposed by the Secretary of State or the franchising director under EC regulation 1191/69.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff are employed by his Department; and what proportion of them are employed in each of the standard regions.
According to the Department's personnel information system, there were 13,697 employees on the payroll of the Department, including its eight agencies, as at 1 October 1994. The regional breakdown is:
|Yorks & Humberside||662||4·83|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all the non-departmental public bodies to which his Department makes appointments in the Greater London area, with the total annual budget for each body and the number of appointments made or renewed for each body in each of the last five years.
The information requested is as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of trees which have been cut down during the construction of the M11 extension.
This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
|Table 1, British Rail investment, £ million cash.|
Letter from Laurie Haynes to Mr. Neil Gerrard, dated 21 October 1994:
The Minister for Transport in London has asked me to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question about the A12 Hackney Wick to M11 Link Road since it is an operational matter for the Highways Agency.
To date 208 mature trees have been cut down in connection with work to build the Link Road.
British Rail Signalling (Productivity Gains)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what productivity gains in respect of signalling have been made on British Railways over the past decade; how they have been achieved; and what assessment he has made of consequential remuneration.
Between 1980 and 1993 the number of signalling staff, including relief grades, declined from 7,599 to 4,941, a reduction of 35 per cent. For the same period there was a 46 per cent. reduction in total railway staff.Over the same period, productivity gains in signalling have largely arisen from investment of the order of £1 billion, especially in new technology in track and signalling projects, and changes in service patterns. This has led to a decline in the number of signal boxes from 1,855 to 1,033, a drop of 44 per cent.Job changes arising from this investment have been reflected in regrading of signalling staff and higher allowances. In 1980, 22 per cent. were at the lowest grade: in 1993 it was 9 per cent. Similarly, the highest grade increased from 6 per cent. to 15 per cent. Those trends have continued in 1994. In addition, signalling staff have benefited from the creation of new allowances. As a result, signalling staff have had significant real increases in pay: since 1979 their real earnings growth has been 47 per cent., compared with 14 per cent. for manual workers and 37 per cent. for the whole economy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out the total investment by British Rail and the amount invested in Network SouthEast in (a) track, (b) signalling, (c) rolling stock and (d) other in each year since 1978 at both cash and at 1993–94 prices.
The information is not available in the form requested. The tables attached show British Rail investment in infrastructure, rolling stock and other, and Network SouthEast investment in rolling stock and infrastructure.In the tables:
Infrastructure includes signalling, new track, track renewals, new routes and electrification.
Rolling stock includes prepayments.
Other is mostly plant, buildings and equipment.
There are no figures for Network SouthEast before 1985–86, when the division was created.
Table 1, British Rail investment, £ million cash.
112 month equivalent of 15 month year
Table 2, British Rail investment, £ million 1993–94 prices.
1 12 month equivalent of 15 month year
Table 3. Network South East investment, £ million cash.
Network South East
Table 4. Network South East investment, £ million 1993–94 prices.
Network South East
To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many dental schools have shut since 1985;(2) if she will provide details on the closure of dental schools since 1985 and the rationale behind their closure.
Since 1985, one dental school has closed in England. This school—part of University college London—closed following a review carried out by the former University Grants Committee in the light of the Government's decision to reduce the overall United Kingdom dental intake in line with manpower requirements. Information for other parts of the UK is the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland, for Wales and for Northern Ireland.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many dental schools provide training for dentists in England and Wales; and if she will give details on the number of places offered by each dental school for each year since 1985.
The number of places offered by dental schools are determined by reference to a recommended national intake set by the Department of Health. Recommended intake targets for individual dental schools are allocated by the Higher Education Funding Councils.The recommended intake target for home, EC and overseas students for dental schools in England from the academic year 1985–86 onwards is set out in the table. Information for Wales is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Wales.
|1985 to 1991||1991 to date|
|Kings College London||57||57|
|London Hospital Medical College||55||55|
|United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals||88||88|
|University College London||50||—|
The recommended intake target for University College London applies up to 1988–89 only, when the school closed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will provide figures on the number of applicants wishing to enter dental school for training for each year since 1985, the number of applicants who have successfully secured a training place at dental school for each year since 1985, and the number of dental students who have qualified to practice as dentist for each year since 1985.
The information requested for home, EC and overseas students for each year from the 1985–86 academic year for dental schools in the United Kingdom is set out as follows:
|Grant-maintained schools in Nottinghamshire|
|School name||GM Start Date||Number on roll in January in School year in which GM start date fell||Number on roll in January 1994|
|Greenwood Dale GM School||1/4/93||567||560|
|Ravensdale Grant Maintained Middle School||1/9/92||328||319|
|The George Spencer School||1/4/93||936||958|
The numbers on roll shown in this table are derived from the Department for Education's annual Schools Census.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the numbers on the roll of each grant-maintained school in Derbyshire when it became grant-maintained; and what are the latest numbers on roll in each case.
UCCA Report Table 7 (applications and acceptances) USR Vol 2 Table 3 (qualifications).
Figures prior to 1988–89 are based on applicants' preferred subjects. Those from 1989 onwards are based on the total number of applications.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proposals she has made for reducing the number of statistical bulletins issued by her analytical services branch on the contracting out of their publications; and what charge will be made, other than postage, for any bulletins so published.
Statistical bulletins will be produced only where the information to be published is not appropriate to either a statistical press notice or a statistical volume. It is planned that there will be three regular bulletins and a small number of ad-hoc bulletins reporting the results of occasional surveys and analyses. HMSO submitted the successful bid for the publishing work and it is proposed that bulletins be priced at £3.50.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the numbers on the rolls of each grant-maintained schools in Nottinghamshire when it became grant-maintained; and what are the latest numbers on the roll in each case.
The information requested is set out in the table. This shows numbers on roll in the school year in which schools became grant-maintained and in January 1994, the latest data available.
The information requested is set out in the table. This shows numbers on roll in the school year in which schools became grant-maintained and in January 1994, the latest data available.
Grant-maintained school in Derbyshire
GM Start Date
Number on roll in January in School year in which GM start date fell
Number on roll in January 1994
|Belmont Primary School||1/4/92||354||364|
|Belper Grant-Maintained School||1/4/93||1,009||999|
|Borrow Wood Junior School||1/4/92||227||233|
|Chellaston Junior Grant Maintained School||1/9/93||323||323|
|Fairmeadows Primary School||1/9/94|
|Heanor Gate School||1/4/93||968||1,040|
|John Port School||1/4/93||1,660||1,635|
|Lady Manners School||1/9/93||1,440||1,440|
|Linton Primary School||1/9/93||275||275|
|Murray Park Community School||1/4/93||896||891|
|Noel-Baker Community School (GM)||1/4/93||1,147||1,153|
|Redhill Primary School||1/1/94||183||183|
|Repton Primary School||1/4/93||188||187|
|St. John Houghton RC School||1/9/94|
|St. Mary's Catholic High School||1/1/94||1,104||1,104|
|The Curzon CE Primary School||1/9/94|
|The Ecclesbourne School||1/9/93||1,196||1,290|
|The Merrill Community School||1/9/93||744||746|
|The Pingle School||1/9/93||1,184||1,184|
|West Park Community School||1/9/93||1,396||1,396|
|William Gilbert Endowed (A) Primary School||1/9/93||222||222|
|Woodlands Community School||1/9/94|
The numbers on roll shown in this table are derived from the Department for Education's annual Schools Census.
1 These six schools became grant-maintained in the current school year, for which number on roll data is not yet available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the numbers on the roll of each grant-maintained school in Staffordshire when it became grant-maintained; and what are the latest numbers on the roll in each case.
|Grant-maintained school in Derbyshire|
|School name||GM Start Date||Number on roll in January in School year in which GM start date fell||Number on roll in January 1994|
|Cannock Chase High School (GM)||1/4/93||1,021||1,077|
|Cardinal Griffin RC Comprehensive||1/9/93||849||849|
|Chasetown High School||1/9/93||869||869|
|Hollinsclough CE Primary School||1/9/93||28||28|
|Rising Brook Grant-Maintained School||1/6/93||658||654|
|St. Mildred's GM CE Primary School, Whiston||1/4/93||27||27|
|St. Thomas More RC High School||1/1/93||954||993|
|The Corbett CE Primary School||1/9/94||1—||63|
The numbers on roll shown in this table are derived from the Department for Education's annual Schools Census.
1 These two schools became grant-maintained in the current school year, for which number on roll data is not yet available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues about educational impact of changes in the balance of funding between section 11 and the single regeneration budget for the teaching of ethnic minorities.
My right hon. Friend keeps these matters regularly under review with ministerial colleagues, and is a member of the cabinet committee which will consider SRB bids.
The information requested is set out in the table. This shows numbers on roll in the school year in which schools became grant-maintained and in January 1994, the latest data available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will ensure that choice and diversity will be maintained under any expansion of pre-school provision.
Parents already choose a variety of forms of pre-school education. I recognise the valuable contribution made by the private and voluntary sectors. I am determined that they should play their part in any expansion.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) when she will make a response to the second report from the Education Select Committee on the disparity in funding between primary and secondary schools—HC, 1993–94, No. 45;(2) what assessment she has made of the reasons for the disparity of funding between primary and secondary schools;(3) what steps she is taking to reduce disparity in funding between secondary and primary schools;(4) what is her assessment of the roles of standard spending assessments and local management of schools leading to the present disparity of funding between primary and secondary schools;
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proposals she has to increase the number of teachers in primary schools; and if she will increase the funds available for such schools.
The Government's formal response has been set to the Chairman of the Committee today; copies have been placed in the Library. The above matters are covered in the response.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps she is taking to replace the historical basis of the funding formula for schools with a formula based upon educational needs.
Central Government grant in support of local authority spending on education is allocated through the education standard spending assessment, which distributes funds according to the relevant populations, adjusted to reflect factors that cause the cost of providing education to vary between authorities.
|Members||Length of Appointment||Date when next appointment is due||Salary|
|a. West Midlands|
|Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) (Coventry)|
|Chief Executive||4 years 10 months||November 1996||£91,107 Full-time|
|Chairman||No fixed term||January 1996 (expected)||£34,975 Part-time (2 days per week)|
|12 members||3 years||July 1995||Honorarium of £4000 per annum|
|FEFC West Midlands Regional Committee (Coventry)|
|12 members||3 years||November 1996||No honorarium. Travelling and subsistence allowances are paid by the FEFC|
|FEFC East Midlands Regional Committee (Coventry)|
|11 members||3 years||September 1996||No honorarium. Travelling and subsistence allowances are paid by the FEFC|
|National Council for Education and Training (NCET) (Coventry)|
|Chairman||Normally 3 years||September 1995||Some expenses are paid for attendance at Council at meetings|
|7 members||Normally 3 years||April 1995|
|1 member||Normally 3 years||April 1996|
|7 members||Normally 3 years||April 1997|
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions she has had with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, with regard to future policy on student financial support.
My right hon. Friend and I have had a number of meetings with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, at which a range of issues were discussed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what consultation she proposed to undertake about the effects on primary and secondary schools of the proposed alterations to county boundaries and the creation of unitary authorities.
The Local Government Commission is pursuing extensive consultations within each area for which reorganisation might be in prospect, giving full opportunity for schools and their representatives to express their views. Moreover, ministerial colleagues and I, and Department officials, are in frequent contact with chief education officers and their associations, and I have been keen to hear their views on the commission's proposals.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will list the public appointments for which she is responsible (a) in the west midlands region and (b) in Shropshire, indicating in each case the duration of the appointment, the date when a new appointment is due, and the salary.
The information requested is as follows:
Length of Appointment
Date when next appointment is due
|My right hon. Friend is not responsible for any public appointments in Shropshire|
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 17 October, Official Report, column 24, what was the total cost of preparing, printing and distributing the parents charter to homes and schools in Hampshire.
The cost of preparing, printing and distributing the parents charter to homes in Hampshire was approximately £53,000.The charter was posted to all schools in England. It is not possible to disaggregate the cost of sending copies to schools in Hampshire.
Duchy Of Lancaster
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many schools are eligible to receive a chartermark award; how many applied for the mark this year; how many schools were awarded the chartermark on 17 October; and what the cost has been of promoting the chartermark and inviting applications from schools;(2) how many hospitals and ambulance authorities are eligible to receive a chartermark award; how many applied for the mark this year; how many were awarded on 17 October; and what was the cost been of promoting the chartermark and inviting applications from hospitals and ambulance authorities.
Any public sector organisation is eligible for the chartermark subject to the guidelines set out in the annual application booklet.Some 101 hospitals, including NHS trusts and individual units within hospitals, two ambulance services and 37 schools applied for the chartermark in 1994. Of those, 13 hospitals, 10 schools and one ambulance service won chartermarks and eight hospitals and five schools were unsuccessful but received commendations.There is no specific budget for promoting the chartermark scheme and inviting applications from schools or hospitals and ambulance services. The overall cost of advertising the 1994 scheme has been £370,000.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what costs were involved in the hire of the Royal Festival hall for the chartermark awards on 17 October; and what were the costs of advertising and associated publicity and the travel costs for those invited to attend.
The cost of hiring the Royal Festival hall for the chartermark awards on 17 October was £12,500. The cost of the advertising campaign to publicise the presentation of the awards was £320,000. There were no travel costs paid for those invited to attend.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade under what circumstances papers examined by his Department's inspectors and their file notes of interviews in the case of Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare and the purchase of shares in Anglia Television may be made available to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Information obtained by inspectors exercising powers under section 177 of the Financial Services Act 1986 could be passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions where the purpose of the disclosure is,"with a view to the institution of or otherwise for the purpose of criminal proceedings" that is in section 180 (1)
(a) of the Financial Services Act 1986.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether all the independent legal experts he consulted were agreed as to whether a prosecution should be brought in the case of Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare and the purchase of shares in Anglia Television.
The decision to take no further action under the insider dealing legislation against any of the parties concerned in the investigation into alleged insider dealing in the shares of Anglia Television Group plc was wholly consistent with the advice of independent counsel following their consideration of the inspectors' report and other information available to the inspectors.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the bidders for British Coal's mining assets; which were successful; and if he will make a statement on the criteria adopted in choosing the preferred bidders.
The names of the bidders for the five regional coal companies and the care and maintenance collieries are commercially confidential. Preferred bidders were announced on Wednesday 12 October. They are:
- R J B Mining plc for Central North, Central South and North
- East Regional Coal Companies and Thorne and Ellington Care
- and Maintenance Collieries;
- Celtic Energy Limited for South Wales;
- Mining (Scotland) Limited for Scotland;
- Coal Investment plc for Annesley Bentinck Colliery; and
- Tower Employee Buyout Team for Tower Colliery.
Solar Electric Cells
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment his Department has made of the development of a new design of solar electric cells by Professor Green of the university of New South Wales, in so far as it is applicable to British weather conditions.
The new design of photovoltaic cells by Professor Green is an incremental development of current silicon PV cells. BP Solar, a major photovoltaic manufacturer in the United Kingdom, has a license to manufacture advanced PV cells based on Professor Green's earlier developments.The DTI new and renewable energy programme is assessing PV technology for its future potential in the United Kingdom and also as an export opportunity for United Kingdom industry. This involves BP Solar and other United Kingdom manufacturers, and a continuing awareness of developments such as those by Professor Green.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter from PC Robert Jackson about the respective powers of various parks police constabularies and individual police officers.
We have no record of having received such a letter. If the hon. Member would care to send a copy, we shall reply to it as soon as we reasonably can.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evaluation he has made of the results of the drug prevention initiative in West Glamorgan, relative to the DPI projects in England and Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
The drugs prevention team in West Glamorgan has implemented programmes of work which has been closely monitored both locally and by the central drugs prevention unit of the Home Office. No specific evaluation relative to other teams has been conducted.
Overseas Domestic Workers
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the new screening procedures introduced in May 1991 for overseas domestic workers on the number of such workers who experience physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
None. But we keep the general arrangements for the overseas domestic workers scheme under review.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to include in the notice to employers of domestic servants travelling to the United Kingdom a statement that it is a criminal offence to withhold another person's passport.
We are considering the inclusion in the leaflet for domestic servants of further advice about passports.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were granted entry clearance at posts abroad to come in to the United Kingdom as overseas domestic workers under the 1980 concession (a) between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 1991 and (b) since 31 August 1993.
The information requested is not available.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to monitor the screening procedures introduced in May 1991 for overseas domestic workers.
We are currently reviewing those procedures in consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is responsible for the entry clearance system abroad.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas domestic workers have initiated legal challenges against their former employers since 24 July 1990 on grounds of (a) sexual offences, (b) violent offences, (c) false imprisonment, (d) assault and battery, (e) intimidation, (f) breach of contract and (g) slavery; and how many employers in each category were found guilty.
The information requested is not available as statistics of the results of court proceedings do not distinguish the occupation or nationality of victims or defendants.
Pc Rhys Trigg
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 17 October, Official Report, column 84, what was the composition of the tribunal set up to consider the appeal of PC Rhys Trigg after his dismissal by the Police Commissioner.
Police discipline appeals tribunals are appointed on an ad hoc basis under paragraph 3 of schedule 5 of the Police Act 1964, as substituted by section 103 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Paragraph 3 requires that the three members comprise a barrister or solicitor, who shall be the chairman, a serving or retired inspector of constabulary or a retired chief officer and a retired officer of appropriate rank to the appellant.The chairman of the tribunal considering PC Trigg's appeal was Mr. T. M. E. Nash. The second member was Sir James Anderton CBE QPM DL. The third member was Mr. P. Astles.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what areas the responsibilities of (a) the Probation Service and (b) the Prison Service cover in relation to the welfare of prisoners' families;(2) how much public money is spent on the welfare of prisoners' families;(3) what liaison there is between the Probation Service, the Prison Service and the Benefits Agency in relation to the welfare of prisoners' families.
Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Miss Joan Lestor, dated 21 October 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about the welfare of prisoners' families.
The welfare of prisoners' families is not the direct responsibility of either Service, although both recognise the importance of prisoners' family ties. I understand that the Probation Service offers help to families when this assists the rehabilitation of the prisoner. The Prison Service seeks to help prisoners maintain their family ties, including the establishment of a Family Ties Consultative Group, and the provision of better visiting facilities. This year funding was increased to help low-income families visit relatives in prison on a fortnightly, rather than monthly, basis.
Information about how much public money is spent on the welfare of prisoners' families is not available centrally. Prison Service spending on the assisted prison visits scheme is likely to be in the region of £3.5 million this year.
The Prison Service and the probation services liaise closely on a prisoner's release, and the prisoner's family is involved where appropriate. Probation staff are seconded to all prison establishments in England and Wales and provide an important link with probation staff in the community, who make contact with prisoners' families as appropriate.
A number of Benefits agency districts provide advice services for prisons within their areas and pre-release talks for prisoners about benefit entitlements. The Prison Service is also actively involved in a forthcoming project by the Benefits agency and the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO), which is specifically directed at the benefit information needs of prisoners and their families.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current level of defence expenditure in Gibraltar; and what was the comparable level of expenditure on a real and comparable expenditure basis in (a) 1980 and (b) 1984.
The level of defence expenditure in Gibraltar for the current financial year–1994–95—is approximately £59 million.Before the financial year 1991–92, financial information was not collected in a way which attributed costs to any particular location, and comparable figures are not therefore available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what facilities are available to the inhabitants of Gibraltar for the protection of territorial waters and of the local fishing industry; and if he will make a statement.
A seaborne patrol of Gibraltar's territorial waters is regularly conducted by the Gibraltar Squadron. The Gibraltar Squadron will call upon the services of the local police should it encounter a potential or actual offence at sea being committed. The Gibraltar guard ship, normally a frigate or a destroyer, is maintained within a few days steaming of Gibraltar. Other defence assets could be deployed to Gibraltar if necessary.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's commitment to the airport in Gibraltar with particular reference to RAF participation.
The airport remains under MOD ownership for the time being. While certain support services will be contractorised, an RAF element will remain to deal with the regular scheduled Hercules flights and also the occasional Nimrod or fast jet detachment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the provision of forces' manpower to ensure that internal security can be maintained in pursuance of the constitutional responsibilities of the Governor of Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement.
There are two police forces in Gibraltar, the Royal Gibraltar police and the Gibraltar Service police. In assessing the future size of the garrison and arrangements for reinforcing it if necessary, we have taken full account of all potential calls on service personnel, including the possibility of supporting the police.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is his intention to retain the two Royal Naval vessels based at Gibraltar charged with responsibilities for rescue and sea patrol.
As the then Minister of State for the Armed Forces said in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes North-East (Mr. Butler) on 7 July, Official Report, column 262, we intend to retain the Gibraltar Squadron, which consists of two patrol craft and two search and rescue rigid inflatable boats.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will arrange for an emergency inspection of Lawley's mink farm, Brooksbank avenue, Scolemoor, Bradford by the State Veterinary Service.
Welfare conditions on all fur farms are monitored regularly by the State Veterinary Service.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what action he proposes to take on mineral hydrocarbons in food.
My predecessor announced last year his intention of making regulations to allow the direct food use of two mineral hydrocarbon waxes to continue for certain purposes, but otherwise to prohibit the use of mineral hydrocarbon oils and waxes. Uses as a glazing agent will be prohibited when we implement the EC directives on additives. However we have reviewed other uses in the light of further work which has shown that one of the two waxes cannot be adequately specified and that both are unsuitable for the intended purposes. We have also taken account of action by the European Commission to evaluate these products, which is likely in due course to lead to action at Community level.In general the food industry has ended the use of mineral hydrocarbons except where there are not satisfactory alternatives, and consumer intakes are low. I welcome this response the advice that we have had from our independent advisory committees about the risk from mineral hydrocarbons in food. We have therefore decided not to take a separate initiative to amend the United Kingdom regulations as previously proposed, but to await Community action.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the implications for rural water contamination and sewage pollution in Wales of the proposals made in the review of rural water and sewage issued by the Department of the Environment in July.
Consultations are presently taking place in Wales on the implications of the proposals contained in the review of rural water supply and sewerage. The comments received will assist my right hon. Friend in assessing the impact of those proposals in Wales and the conclusions will be announced in due course.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what support his Department is giving to farmers in Wales to develop environmentally safe waste management policies.
It is a special priority of the farm and conservation grant scheme to help farmers install and improve waste handling facilities so as to meet their obligations to minimise pollution risks. Under this scheme, grant is available at the rate of 25 per cent. of eligible expenditure. Since the beginning of the scheme in 1989, over £18.5 million has been paid to fanners in Wales toward such facilities.
To ask the Secretary of Stale for Wales (1) what proposals he has to secure the future of existing drug prevention initiatives in Wales;(2) what proposals he has to fund the continuation and improvement of drug prevention projects in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
Drug prevention work is undertaken by a number of agencies form both the statutory and voluntary sectors, which receive funds from various sources. The Government have reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the problems of drug misuse. I have in the past made funds available in Wales for a range of initiatives, and will continue to do so in future.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what provision he has made for extending the work and funding of the drugs prevention initiative.
|Year||Number of companies relocated with compensation||Number of companies relocated with compensation and grant aid||Total|
The drugs prevention initiative team in Swansea is part of a Home Office-funded pilot project.I announced on 19 October that I am establishing a Welsh drug and alcohol unit based within the Welsh Office. This will be a small team composed mainly of professionally qualified staff with experience of treatment and prevention work. The task will be to raise the standards of services throughout Wales by investigating the effectiveness of treatments and initiatives, and publishing the results; by developing programmes of prevention for use at national and local level; and by helping train those involved in prevention and treatment.I have already made available substantial funds for drug and alcohol prevention work and I will consider the need for any change in the level of support in the light of advice from the unit.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many applications for allocation of sheep quota are currently being processed by his Department.
The Welsh Office is processing 2,197 applications received from Welsh producers in respect of categories 3 to 7 of the 1993 sheep national reserve. We have also received 784 applications to the 1994 national reserve.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust and the Cardiff Bay development corporation in relation to the choice of architectural design of the proposed Cardiff Bay opera house; and if he will make a statement.
I have spoken to the chairman of Cardiff Bay development corporation about the consultation arrangements for the design of the proposed opera house. I have been to see the designs. The choice of design is a matter in the first instance for the Cardiff Bay Opera House Trust, which is now consulting widely before making a final decision.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many companies were compensated and grant-aided by Cardiff Bay development corporation for the purposes of relocation from Cardiff bay for each six months or other convenient time period since 1 April 1988; what is the current estimate for the numbers of firms to be relocated with grant aid from 1 October 1994 to 1 April 1995; and if he will make a statement.
The information is as follows:
Number of companies relocated with compensation
Number of companies relocated with compensation and grant aid
|Oct—mar 95 (expected)||4||1||5|
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation in relation to the corporation's moratorium on grant aid to companies required to relocate from the Cardiff bay area due to redevelopment.
None. Cardiff Bay development corporation has not declared a moratorium on any part of its grant scheme. Grant applications are currently being appraised against the same criteria as in previous years.
National Health Service Trusts
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the South Glamorgan health authority in relation to the appointment of a chief executive for the University Hospital of Wales—cardiff Royal Group NHS hospital trust—designate.
Hip Protector Pads
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what provisions he has made for the funding and supply of hip protector pads for the infirm of frail elderly in (a) NHS long-stay geriatric wards or hospitals, (b) private nursing or residential homes for the elderly and (c) elderly persons assisted by domiciliary services via care in the community; and if he will make a statement.
District health authorities have a discretion to provide hip protector pads to infirm or elderly people living in their own homes, residential care homes, and NHS patients in nursing homes.Where a district health authority agrees to supply this service, it should be equally available to all. District health authorities have the power to charge nursing homes for the supply of such aids to non-NHS patients.Whether or not such a service is provided is a matter for a district health authority to determine in the light of its local priorities.
Private Health Insurance
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many elderly people claimed tax relief for private health insurance premiums; and what was the aggregate value of this tax relief in each year since tax relief for such premiums were introduced.
The information is given in the table.
|Tax relief on private medical insurance contracts for individuals aged 60 or over|
|Year||Approximate Number of contracts||Approximate Numbers of individuals covered||Cost of tax relief (£million)|
Gaming Machine Licences
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors have led to the delay in issuing ordinary gaming machine licences to applicants who have paid appropriate duty.
The delay in issuing some licences has been caused by two reasons. The first is an increase in the number of traders making errors on their applications, following the change in the law which resulted in more flexible licensing periods and start dates. The second is a fault in a computer program in the new system at the licensing centre which caused rejection of some batches of applications. A revised program is currently under going test.
Tobacco (Illegal Imports)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his Department's latest estimate for the losses to the Revenue from illegal imports of tobacco products.
Forecasting levels of smuggling is extremely difficult. A broad estimate derived from amounts seized has been made of £35 million on revenue loss from all smuggling of excise goods. Work is continuing to improve estimation in this sector.
Economic And Finance Ministers Meeting
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a statement on the most recent Council meeting of the Economic and Finance Ministers of the European Union.
I represented the United Kingdom at the Economic and Finance Council of the European Union in Luxembourg on 10 October.The Council reviewed progress on the employment aspects of the Commission's White Paper, on growth, competitiveness and employment and is likely to agree formal conclusions on this subject at the next meeting on 7 November in preparation for the European Council at Essen in December.The Council asked the Commission for a study of the fiscal policies of member states and their effects on saving rates, for consideration by the spring of 1995.The Council reached political agreement on the recommendations to 10 member states with a view to bringing excessive deficits to an end within a given period.The Council welcomed the revised Spanish convergence programme and encouraged the Spanish authorities to reduce the deficit faster.The Council briefly discussed the Italian reserve on the own-resources decision.No formal notes were taken at the council meeting.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff are employed by his Department; and what proportion of them are employed in each of the standard regions.
There are 1,374 staff in post in the Treasury, as at October 1994, of whom 1,255 are located in London and 119 in the south-east region, Basingstoke.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years (a) to produce public information in alternative formats for visually impaired people and (b) to publicise the availability of accessible information among visually impaired people.
The Department has spent the following amounts over the last three years:
Although no precise figure can be identified for publicising accessible information, the needs of visually impaired people are taken into account when publicity strategies are developed and would therefore be included in our overall publicity plans. Intermediaries and advisers are alerted to the availability of suitable formats.b) Although no precise figure can be identified for publicising accessible information, the needs of visually impaired people are taken into account when publicity strategies are developed and would therefore be included in our overall publicity plans. Intermediaries and advisers are alerted to the availability of suitable formats.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will say which departmental publications are currently available (a) in Braille, (b) in large print and (c) on tape; and if he will show what efforts have been made by his Department to inform visually impaired people about the availability of publications in alternative formats to normal print.
The tables show publications and documents available in alternative formats. A catalogue of all publicity material available from the Benefits Agency and a guide to social security for blind and partially sighted people have been placed in the Library.The consultation document on Government measures to tackle discrimination against disabled people, published on 15 July, made clear the Government's intention to seek to increase the range of information provided in these formats, and the Department will be taking an active role in progressing this work.The Department automatically considers all alternative formats when preparing new or updated publicity material and now has its own Braillemaster, which is used to provide quantities of documents in Braille whenever possible. The Child Support Agency also has access to this facility.Every DSS agency follows RNIB guidelines when producing forms and leaflets with regard to type and size. The War Pensions Agency has facilities for producing letters and leaflets in Braille but has not been requested to do so as yet. It is also considering the possibility of "talking" newspapers.The Benefits Agency has a contract with the RNIB, which produces materials in Braille on its behalf. The RNIB advertises the availability of alternative formats of publications in its magazines. The Benefits Agency also runs the benefit enquiry line, which gives free advice to people with disabilities and to their carers. The service extends to a textphone line and a forms completion service.In April 1994, the Benefits Agency ran a nationally co-ordinated programme of local information activities aimed at raising the awareness of the services and information it provides for people with disabilities, including the visually impaired. The initiative also sought to increase the awareness among staff of the needs of their customers in this sector. The period of activities ran for two weeks and included radio phone-ins, local exhibitions and a mailing to intermediaries.An information pack, DIS 10 "Information and services for people with disabilities" was produced, part of which focused on services and material for blind and partially sighted people. The pack was used by the district information officers at local exhibitions, events and benefit surgeries. It was also mailed to appropriate disability groups and intermediaries. The Benefits Agency and DSS headquarters took part in the NAIDEX exhibition on the interdepartmental Government stand. The exhibition runs over three days and attracts approximately 10,000 people.The Benefits Agency used a series of panels to present information about the services it provides and materials it has produced in alternative formats. A range of leaflets were available with some in large print and audio cassette format.The Benefits Agency has planned to produce another 12 leaflets in Braille, production will be completed by April 1995.
The Child Support Agency has recently published an ASCII computer disk version of "for parents who live apart". This allows the visually impaired who have access to a computer to read in the disk and display it in a format which suits their visual impairment. The Child Support Agency has had contact with the RNIB regarding the advertising the ASCII computer disk and the other materials in its magazine. The agency's own publicity literature is constantly being updated to alert people to this material for the visually impaired.
Documents available in Braille
|Consultation Document (Complete)||Disability on the Agenda|
|Consultation Document (Summary)||Disability on the Agenda|
|DSS 722||Taking the Plunge|
|SEC 1(B)||Summary of Pensions White Paper|
|CSA||For People who Live Apart|
|DIS 10||Information and Services for People with Disabilities|
|CTB 1||Help with Council Tax|
|DS 702||Attendance Allowance|
|DS 703||Disability Working Allowance|
|DS 704||Disability Living Allowance|
|FB 2||Which Benefit|
|FB 4||Cash Help while you're Working|
|FB 8||Babies and Benefits|
|FB 19||Social Security Benefits—A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted People|
|FB 23||Young People's Guide to Social Security|
|FB 26||Voluntary and Part-time Workers|
|FB 27||Bringing up children?|
|FB 28||Sick or Disabled|
|FB 31||Caring for Someone?|
|FB 32||Benefits after Retirement|
|IS 1||Income Support|
|IS 26||Income Support if you are 16 or 17|
|NI 6||Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit|
|NI 16A||Invalidity Benefit|
|NI 196||Social Security Benefit Rates|
|NI 246||How to Appeal|
|NI 252||Severe Disablement Allowance|
|RR 1||Housing Benefit—Help with Your Rent|
|CSA 2020||For Parents who Live Apart|
|SFL 2||How the Social Fund can Help You|
|Z 3||Your Social Security Benefits and Compensation|
Documents Available in Large Print
Social Security Benefits - A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted People
|CSA 2049||For Parents who Live Apart|
Documents available as Audio Cassettes
|DS 712||New benefits for Disabled People, including People with Learning Difficulties. (Various Languages)|
|DS 706||New Benefits for Disabled People. (Various Languages)|
|DS 721||Taking the Plunge|
|DSS||Working with Benefits (Various Languages)|
|Community Care Charges||Caring for People (Various Languages)|
|CSA||For Parents who Live Apart|
|New Start Newspaper Issue 1||Working for People with Disabilities|
|New Start Newspaper Issue 2||Working for People with Disabilities|
|New Start Newspaper Issue 3||Working for People with Disabilities|
|New Start Newspaper Issue 4||Working for People with Disabilities|
|New Start Newspaper Issue 5||Working for People with Disabilities|
|Jobhunters Guide to In-Work Benefits|
|Incapacity Benefit||Summary Leaflet|
|Consultation Document (Complete and Summary)||Disability on the Agenda|
|PP 1||Thinking about a Personal Pension|
|Sec 1 (A)||Summary of Pensions White Paper|
|Incapacity Benefit||Medical Assessment|
|Incapacity Benefit||Consultation on the Medical Assessment|
|DWA||What's it About—Guide to DWA|
|DS 722||Taking the Plunge|
|FB 19||Social Security Benefits—A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted People|
|TA 1||Out of Work|
|TA 2||Benefits for Working People|
|CSA 2029||For Parents who Live Apart|
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps have been taken to amend the proposed mental health impairment score in respect of the medical test to determine eligibility for incapacity benefit to assess eligibility for those persons suffering from mental health disorders.
The proposed new medical test for incapacity benefit contains special procedures for assessing the effects of mental health problems. Those procedures were drawn up in the light of the responses to a consultation document published in December 1993 and the work of a group of experts drawn from a panel appointed to help with the design of the medical test. Detailed information on the proposed test and the development work leading up to it is given in the report published in September 1994 entitled "The medical assessment for Incapacity Benefit", copies of which have been placed in the Library.
National Insurance Contributions
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women aged 60 years are currently not eligible for state pension as a result of an insufficient national insurance contributions record.
It is estimated that approximately 110,000 women aged 60 at 5 April 1993 in the United Kingdom would not be eligible for a basic state pension on their own national insurance contributions, either because they had not paid sufficient national insurance contributions, or because they had opted to pay at the married woman's reduced rate. This figure includes women who would be eligible for a basic pension derived wholly or partially from their spouse's or former spouse's national insurance contributions.
Source: 1 per cent. sample of national insurance records and Government Actuary's Department population projections.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women in the United Kingdom were paying the reduced married woman's national insurance contributions in 1993–94.
In 1992–93—the latest year for which information is available—some 614,000 women in the United Kingdom paid employees' national insurance contributions at the reduced rate.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish the responses to his consultation paper "Disability—On the Agenda".
We have no plans to do so. We have received more than 1,000 responses to the consultation document "Disability—On the Agenda". It is open to organisations and individuals to publish their own replies should they so wish.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for the past five years the percentage of gross domestic product spent by the United Kingdom on the payment of state pensions.
The information is in the table.
|Year||£million GDP||£million Pension||Percentage|
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the income support live E, A and P and total cases for each of the district and branch offices in Great Britain for the first quarter of 1991 and the first quarter of 1994 and the percentage change over that period.
The administration of Income Support is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Henry McLeish, dated 20 October 1994:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question requesting various statistical data concerning Income Support cases in Great Britain for the first quarters of 1991 and 1994.
The information is not available in the exact format requested. This is because statistics are not readily available for each of the Agency's Branch Offices and to obtain them for the whole of Great Britain would incur disproportionate cost. However, I have provided the data requested broken down for the 159 Benefits Agency Districts. You should note that some Districts have had boundary changes which may have had some impact upon the percentage changes.
I have enclosed the information and a copy has been placed in the Library.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in respect of how many of the sites identified by the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq as being part of Iraq's nuclear weapons programme her Majesty's Government have been informed by the United Nations special envoy that technology and material originating in the United Kingdom has been found; and what is his policy on publishing such information.
International Atomic Energy Agency and UNSCOM inspectors have investigated a wide range of sites in Iraq known to have been part of, or connected to, the nuclear programme where British equipment has been found. It is not our practice to comment on information given to us in confidence by UNSCOM and the IAEA, nor to publish the names of companies which delivered goods to Iraq. Any evidence of wrong-doing will be investigated and, if appropriate, will be a matter for the courts.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's assessment of the degree to which Iraq has complied with each of United Nations Security Council resolutions 687, 712 and 715.
At its last review of the sanctions on Iraq on 14 September, the Security Council decided that Iraq had not complied with resolutions 687 and 715. The next is scheduled for mid-November.Regrettably, Iraq has not implemented resolutions 706 and 712 under which Iraq would be permitted to sell $1.6 billion of oil, the proceeds of the sale to be used for humanitarian aid and compensating victims of the Gulf war.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he raised the matter of financial commissions paid in connection with military equipment sales from the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia during his recent meeting with the Saudi Arabian leadership.
No. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary did not raise that matter.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the names of the persons, together with details of their past and current responsibilities, who have been appointed to the reflections group preparing for the 1996 revision of the treaty of European Union as agreed by the European Council meeting in Corfu.
The only member state whose representative has so far been appointed is Portugal. The Portuguese representative will be Professor André Gonclaves Pereira. He is a former Portuguese Foreign Minister. He now holds a chair in law at Lisbon university.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters in regard to internal democratisation in Kuwait were discussed with the Al-Sabah leadership during his visit to Kuwait on 12 October.
During his recent visit to Kuwait, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's discussions focused on Iraq and the actions of Saddam Hussein. We fully support measures to broaden participation in the process of government. We welcome the Kuwaiti decision taken in June this year to extend the franchise to the sons of naturalised Kuwaitis born after their father's naturalisation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he discussed with Saudi defence officials or Ministers the Al-Yamamah defence agreement during his recent visit to Kuwait.
During his recent visits to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's discussion with the Saudi Government focused on Iraq and the actions of Saddam Hussein. Al-Yamamah is a major success story for British industry.
Israel (Trade Boycott)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will next be holding discussions with other European Union ministers to discuss the implication for Community policy of the decision of the Gulf Co-operation Council to stop boycotting companies that trade with Israel.
There are no plans at present for a discussion on this subject with other European Union Ministers. We welcome this move by the Gulf Co-operation Council. The European Union and the United Kingdom would like to see the boycott on trade with Israel lifted completely.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the total amount spent on official hospitality by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies for each year since 1990.
The following has been spent on official hospitality by the FCO and ODA, in the United Kingdom and overseas.
|1994–95 (to date)||3,592,503|
|1994–95 (to date)||938|
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the international organisations of which Britain is a member, showing in each case the date of joining.
A list of international organisations for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office makes provision is published in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Departmental Report 1994, Cm 2502, pages 85-6, 93-4.Details of membership of other international organisations will be found in the appropriate supply estimates, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.It is not possible to compile a full list of commencement dates without disproportionate expense, but the generally accepted dates for the major international institutions may be seen in the United Nations Handbook 1994.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the member states of the United Nations Organisation with which the United Kingdom does not have diplomatic relations.
The countries are Bhutan, Iraq, North Korea and Libya.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the public appointments for which he is responsible (a) in the west midlands region and (b) in Shropshire, indicating in each case the duration of the appointment, the date when a new appointment is due, and the salary.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff are employed by his Department; and what proportion of them are employed by each of the standard regions.
At 1 April 1994, the latest date for which data are available, the FCO employed 7,907 people, of whom 30.9 per cent. worked overseas. The percentages employed in the standard regions were:South East–63.0 per cent, of which:
|Rest of South East||23·5|
International Atomic Energy Agency
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what specific actions have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to implement the resolutions to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, agreed to by the International Atomic Energy Agency's 38th general conference.
That matter was discussed shortly before the IAEA general conference at the informal plutonium users group, which meets in Vienna under the chairmanship of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom raised the issue of the physical security of nuclear installations in the light of the recent reports of smuggling of nuclear materials. The group is now considering specific proposals as to the role it might take, alongside the Interactional Atomic Energy Agency, to help improve security measures.There are a number of projects already under way. Through the Overseas Development Administration, the United Kingdom contributes towards the International Science and Technology Centre in Moscow which is designed to provide work for Russian scientists, including those in the Russian nuclear industry.We are also actively engaged in discussions with partners both in the European Union and the G7/G8 to ensure a co-ordinated international response to this problem.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of the people granted entry clearance at posts abroad to come into the United Kingdom as overseas domestic workers since I May 1991 have (a) been interviewed by an entry officer and (b) received a copy of "Information for Domestic Servants Travelling to the United Kingdom"; and what proportion each of these is of the whole.
Information on the number of overseas domestic workers granted entry clearance since May 1991, and the proportion of those who were interviewed by an entry clearance officer, is available only at a disproportionate cost. Since 20 May 1991, all overseas domestic workers granted entry clearance have been issued with a copy of the leaflet "Information for Domestic Servants Travelling to the United Kingdom".
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list all the trusts, health authorities and other public bodies to which her Department makes appointments in the Greater London area, together with the total annual budget for each body and the number of appointments made or renewed for each body in each of the last five years.
A full answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health makes the following appointments to national health service bodies in the Greater London area:
|Regional Health Authorities||Chairman and five non-executives per board|
|District Health Authorities||Chairman|
|Family Health Services Authorities||Chairman|
|NHS Trusts||Chairmen and up to three non-executives per board|
|Special Health Authorities for London Post Graduate Teaching Hospitals||Chairman and five non-executives per board|
|Special Trustees||Up to six Special Trustees per body|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what priority is given to the NHS over the private sector for obtaining blood; and if she will publish guidance on this.
It has always been the policy of the national health service to meet non-NHS hospitals' reasonable requests for blood on the basis of availability and clinical need. Private hospitals in this country, and private patients in NHS hospitals, use blood in very small quantities. NHS hospitals are constrained in that treatment for private patients must not be given to the detriment of NHS contracts. We see no need to issue further guidance.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure self-sufficiency in both blood and blood products for England.
In general, England has been self-sufficient in blood.The EC directive which harmonises the licensing requirements for blood products promotes a policy of Community self-sufficiency in such products derived from the donations of voluntary and unpaid donors but does not forbid importation. This is consistent with our long-standing policy of seeking self-sufficiency in blood products sourced from our own volunteer donors. Nevertheless, whilst promoting self-sufficiency we also recognise the clinical freedom of doctors to choose the product most suitable for an individual patient.Some patients are receiving imported blood products where the clinician feels this is appropriate. The Bio Products Laboratory continues to make efforts to increase its share of the blood products market but the choice of product for the individual patient remains with the clinician.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of chief executives of national health service trusts in each of the last four years have been paid on a performance-related pay basis.
The information is not available centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff are employed by her Department; and what proportion of them are employed in each of the standard regions.
The latest staff in post information at 1 July 1994 gives a total of 4,715 staff in the Department of Health. The proportions in each of the standard regions are shown in the table.
|Yorks and Humberside||19·2|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what will be the cost of the proposed mass measles immunisation programme; which pharmaceutical company will be awarded the contract to provide the amounts of vaccine needed; on what medical, social and public health grounds the decision to provide a mass measles immunisation programme was taken; if the proposed programme is separate from current vaccination arrangements; who will be targeted; and how the programme will be delivered.
The cost of the measles immunisation programme has been estimated at about £20 million. The contract for measles/rubella vaccine for the campaign has been awarded to two companies: SmithKline Beecham and Merieux.The decision to undertake a comprehensive immunisation campaign against measles was based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation following analysis by two independent groups of data on serosurveillance of measles antibodies by age group, measles notifications to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and age-related case confirmation. The results indicated that an epidemic of measles was likely involving 150,000 cases—range 100,000 to 200,000—in England and Wales, mostly affecting children aged five up to 16. Two-thirds of the cases would be in secondary school aged children. This is confirmed by experience in other European countries. Trends in measles notifications in 1994, the usual seasonality of measles and a marked increase in cases experienced in Scotland show that the epidemic is likely to occur in early 1995.Measles can lead to pneumonia, blindness, deafness, brain damage and even death. Measles is likely to be more serious in older children and we would expect many to be admitted to hospital and about 50 deaths to occur. As well as the morbidity and mortality associated with an epidemic, there would be considerable disruption to children's education. An estimated 300,000 working days would also be lost through parents needing to stay at home with sick children. The cost to the health service of treating a measles epidemic would be up to £30 million.The main childhood immunisation campaign is separate from the measles campaign, and it will be continuing as usual.Each district has an immunisation co-ordinator who will also be responsible for organising this campaign. This will be a school-based campaign. District health authorities have been charged with offering immunisation to all children in school forms where most children are aged five up to 16. This will include four-year-olds and 16-year-olds in those school years. Parent information leaflets and consent forms have been distributed through schools and most children will be immunised in school.As the campaign is on a greater scale than other immunisations carried out in schools, additional staff may be contracted by the health authority to work with the existing school health service during the campaign or to immunise any children missed by the main campaign in November. This may include health visitors, practice nurses or general practitioners. Staffing arrangements will be a matter for local decision according to local circumstances.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she intends to take to improve the control of cross-infection in dental practice; what measures are intended to improve both the opportunity for and take-up of postgraduate education in the clinical management of cross-infection by dentists and their teams; and how she will monitor the control of cross-infection in dental surgery and practice.
The maintenance of clinical standards is primarily a matter for the dental profession. The Department, however, issues guidance which covers the control of cross-infection in dental practice. The latest advice from the Department is contained in a letter from the Chief Dental Officer in July 1993, copies of which are available in the Library.Central funds are provided to postgraduate deans to provide those postgraduate and continuing education courses that are necessary. That includes the control of cross-infection.Dentists have a responsibility in their terms of service to observe appropriate cross-infection control procedures. Inspection of practices is undertaken by family health services authorities.