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Abattoirs

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish a list of abattoirs in Britain, indicating which were inspected by his Department or its agents ; how many times, and on what dates.


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Mr. Donald Thompson : In 1987, the most recent year for which figures are available, each exporting abattoir received an average of nine visits from officials of my Department and each non-exporting abattoir an average of two visits. Further details could be provided only at disproportionate cost to public funds.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish a list of abattoirs in Britain, indicating which are acceptable sources for meat and meat produce exports to other countries of the European Economic Community and which are not.

Mr. Donald Thompson : I am placing in the Library of the House a list of all slaughterhouses in England and Wales which identifies those approved for the production of meat for export to other member states of the European Community.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how any enforcement actions were taken in each year since 1980 to ensure that his standards for the conduct of abattoirs are met ; how many of these enforcement actions involved prosecution ; and what proportion of the total number of abattoirs were subject to such enforcement actions in each year since 1980.

Mr. Donald Thompson : Enforcement of slaughterhouse hygiene legislation is the responsibility of local authorities. No records of enforcement actions are collected.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the standards and guidance given for the running of abattoirs.

Mr. Donald Thompson : The hygiene and inspection standards applicable to abattoirs in England and Wales are set out in the Food Act 1984 and the following secondary legislation :

The Slaughterhouse Hygiene Regulations 1977 as amended SI 1977 No. 1805, SI 1987 No. 2235

The Meat Inspection Regulations 1987 SI 1987 No, 2236

The Fresh Meat Export (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1987 SI 1987 No. 2237

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many of his Department's staff, full-time equivalent, were involved in the supervision of abattoirs in each year since 1980.

Mr. Donald Thompson : Officers of my Department visit all abattoirs to advise on hygiene and welfare standards and, in relation to exporting premises, to ensure that Community requirements are observed. The manpower involved, for the years for which figures are available, was :


1984-85 |466                    

1985-86 |627                    

1986-87 |552                    

1987-88 |602                    

1988-89 |<1>593                 

<1> Estimated                   

Foxes

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research has been undertaken or commissioned by his Department relating to predation by foxes upon lambs and other farm animals ; whether any such research has been published ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Donald Thompson : My Department has not undertaken or commissioned any research relating to specifically to predation by foxes upon lambs or other farm animals as this has not been considered to be of sufficient priority compared with the other demands on our research programme.

Fish Farms

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what guidelines his Department has issued or proposes to issue concerning the siting of marine fish farms in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Donald Thompson : My Department has issued no such guidelines. However, marine fish farms require consent from the Crown Estate Commissioners. The commissioners have introduced consultation procedures for all applications which involve a range of national and local interests including conservation bodies. Discharge, navigation and planning consents may also be required from the appropriate authorities.

Salmonella

Mr. Lord : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the action he is taking on salmonella in eggs.

Mr. MacGregor : Since the summer of 1988 we have been preparing and adopting a series of measures designed to tackle the salmonella problem at each point along the chain from poultry feedingstuffs, through the breeding flocks and hatcheries to the laying houses, and then on into the home. I am now proposing a number of further measures to reinforce the action already taken.

To minimise the risk of salmonella in poultry feedingstuffs, my Department has doubled the rate of inspections in protein processing plants so that samples are now taken annually from 20 days production from each plant instead of 10 days production as previously. I propose shortly to bring in new statutory provisions requiring protein processors to take samples from each day's production, to have them tested at MAFF-listed laboratories, and to notify MAFF immediately of positive results. I also propose to take powers to stop the supply of products from processing plants where salmonella is found, until action has been taken to ensure that uncontaminated products are being produced.

New arrangements for imported animal protein are currently being introduced. These will involve a graded series of controls reflecting our previous experience of contamination levels in material from particular sources.

To minimise the risk of infection through breeding stock, two codes of practice have been introduced for poultry breeders and hatcheries. I propose to introduce secondary legislation requiring the registration of breeding flocks and hatcheries, requiring breeders to arrange regular bacteriological monitoring of their birds and of the hatcheries, and requiring breeders to supply MAFF with veterinary certificates setting out the results of that monitoring. This legislation will also enable Ministry officers to restrict sales of poultry and hatching eggs when invasive salmonellae are found. For commercial laying flocks, similarly, a code of practice has been introduced. I propose now to introduce a requirement on operators to carry out regular


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bacteriological monitoring, together with strengthened statutory requirements about the control of rodents, with provision for compulsory cleansing and disinfection and requirements for the hygienic handling of eggs.

In order to underline the importance of hygienic handling of food in the home, a major education campaign will be launched early this year. This campaign is designed to reduce the incidence of food poisoning generally. Salmonella is an international problem, so I have also been consulting colleagues in Europe and the United States.

I believe that this range of measures amounts to one of the most comprehensive programmes for dealing with salmonella in any country in the world.

Tuberculosis

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much he has spent, or will spend, on research and development to improve the diagnosis and control of tuberculosis in cattle and wildlife, including badgers and deer for the years 1984-85 to 1988-89 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Donald Thompson : [holding answer 16 January 1989] : During the current financial year, and for the past four financial years, the amounts spent on research and development to improve the diagnosis and control of tuberculosis in cattle, badgers and deer have been :


1984-85 |466                    

1985-86 |627                    

1986-87 |552                    

1987-88 |602                    

1988-89 |<1>593                 

<1> Estimated                   

SCOTLAND

Public Relations Firms

Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the private sector public relations firms which are currently employed by his Department or have been in the last three years, the projects for which they were engaged and the sum paid to each firm on each of these projects.

Mr. Rifkind : PR Consultants (Scotland) Ltd. of Edinburgh were appointed for the period of 1 June, 1987 to 12 September, 1988 for the purpose of marketing and organisation of the Scottish road safety campaign road show. The total amount paid to the company in respect of that period was £20,000.

In addition, I expect shortly to be in a position to announce the appointment of public relations and marketing consultants to advise on the privatisation of the electricity supply industry in Scotland.

Health Board Membership

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give for each health board the individuals, excluding chairmen, who either are or have been elected local authority members, including their political affiliations.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information in departmental records is as follows :


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Health Board and Local                          |Political affiliation                        

Authority Members                                                                             

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Argyll and Clyde Health Board                                                                 

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mr. G. McMillan, Strathclyde Region,                                                          

   previously Argyll and Bute District          |Labour                                       

Mr. R. R. Reid, Argyll and Bute District        |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mrs. E. W. Riddell, Strathclyde Region                                                        

   until 1986                                   |Liberal/SDP                                  

Mr. L. Capaldi, Dumbarton District until                                                      

   1980                                         |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Ayrshire and Arran Health Board                                                               

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mr. R. Campbell, JP, Strathclyde Region         |Labour/Co-operative                          

Mr. T. Dickie, JP, Cunninghame District         |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Member                                                                   

Mrs. A. Dunbar, Cunninghame District until 1980 |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Borders Health Board                                                                          

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mr. A. S. Watt, Borders Region                  |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Member                                                                   

Mr. R. W. Jack, Roxburgh District until                                                       

   1984                                         |Liberal/Alliance                             

                                                                                              

Dumfries and Galloway Health Board                                                            

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mr. W. Service, Dumfries and Galloway                                                         

   Region                                       |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mrs. M. D. Dick-Smith, Dumfries and                                                           

   Galloway Region until 1986                   |Independent                                  

Mrs. A. R. Murdoch, Stewartry District                                                        

   until 1988                                   |Independent                                  

Mr. G. Willacy, Annandale and Eskdale                                                         

   District until 1988                          |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Fife Health Board                                                                             

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mr. J. McMurdo, Fife Region                     |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mr. J. S. Edmiston, Kirkcaldy District                                                        

   until 1980                                   |Conservative                                 

Mr. I. A. McCrone, Fife Region until 1982       |Conservative                                 

                                                                                              

Forth Valley Health Board                                                                     

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mr. K. Harding, Stirling District               |Conservative                                 

Mrs. E. D. Kennedy, Central Region              |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mr. A. B. Cruickshank, Clackmannan                                                            

   District until 1977                          |Unknown                                      

Mrs. J. I. D. Isbister, Stirling District until                                               

   1984                                         |Conservative                                 

                                                                                              

Grampian Health Board                                                                         

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mrs. R. Kemp, Grampian Region                   |Liberal/Alliance                             

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mr. N. Donald, Gordon District until 1988       |Independent                                  

Mr. J. Sorrie, Grampian Region until 1986       |Conservative                                 

                                                                                              

Greater Glasgow Health Board                                                                  

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mrs. J. E. Cameron, JP, Bearsden and                                                          

   Milngavie District                           |Conservative                                 

Mrs. A. Jarvis, Strathkelvin District           |Conservative                                 

Mrs. M. McGarry, Clydebank District             |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Member                                                                   

Mr. B. A. Maan, Glasgow District until 1984     |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Highland Health Board                                                                         

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mrs. V. MacIver, Ross and Cromarty                                                            

   District                                     |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Rt. Hon. Lord G. J. Macdonald of Sleat,                                                       

   Skye and Lochalsh District until 1984        |Independent                                  

Mr. A. I. MacDonald, Caithness District                                                       

   until 1988                                   |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Lanarkshire Health Board                                                                      

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mr. J. P. Robinson, Strathclyde Region          |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Member                                                                   

Mr. W. J. O'Brien, JP, Cumbernauld and                                                        

   Kilsyth District until 1984                  |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Lothian Health Board                                                                          

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mr. W. B. Herald, Lothian Region                |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mrs. G. Barton, Edinburgh District until                                                      

   1984                                         |Labour                                       

Dr. M. McGregor, Grampian Region until                                                        

   1986                                         |Conservative                                 

Mrs. W. E. Donaldson, Lothian Region                                                          

   until 1986                                   |Conservative                                 

                                                                                              

Orkney Health Board                                                                           

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mrs. M. J. B. Crichton, Orkney                  |Independent                                  

Mrs. J. Marwick, Orkney                         |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Shetland Health Board                                                                         

Current Local Authority Member                                                                

Mr. W. A. Smith, BEM, Shetland                  |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Member                                                                   

Mr. R. R. Bentley, until 1986                   |Independent                                  

                                                                                              

Tayside Health Board                                                                          

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mr. E. W. Cameron, OBE, Perth and                                                             

  Kinross District                              |Conservative                                 

Mr. A. H. Lynch, Dundee District                |Labour                                       

                                                                                              

Past Local Authority Members                                                                  

Mr. J. Campbell-Smith, Perth and                                                              

   Kinross until 1980                           |Independent                                  

Mrs. S. D. R. Kydd, Tayside Region until                                                      

   1986                                         |Conservative                                 

Mr. I. W. Stevenson, Tayside Region until                                                     

   1986                                         |Conservative                                 

                                                                                              

Western Isles Health Board                                                                    

Current Local Authority Members                                                               

Mr. A. A. Macdonald                             |Independent                                  

Captain J. MacIntyre                            |Independent                                  

Mr. A. Matheson                                 |Independent                                  

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the current employment or, if retired, previous employment of all health board chairmen.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is as follows :


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Health board                                        |Present chairman                                   |Occupation                                                                                             

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Argyll and Clyde                                    |Mr. J. D. Ryan CBE                                 |Dental Surgeon                                                                                         

Ayrshire and Arran                                  |Mr. W. S. Fyfe OBE                                 |Company Chairman and Business Consultant                                                               

Borders                                             |Mr. J. Gibb CBE                                    |Retired Solicitor                                                                                      

Dumfries and Galloway                               |Mr. J. A. McIntyre JP                              |Farmer                                                                                                 

Fife                                                |Mrs. A. H. Ferguson                                |Engineer and Company Director                                                                          

Forth Valley                                        |Mr. L. J. M. Hynd OBE                              |Retired Director and Company Secretary                                                                 

Grampian                                            |Mr. C. W. Ellis OBE                                |Retired Senior Lecturer/Head of School of Social                                                       

                                                                                                        |   Studies, Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology                                                    

Greater Glasgow                                     |Dr. T. J. Thomson CBE                              |Retired Consultant Physician                                                                           

Highland                                            |Mr. J. McWilliam OBE                               |Retired Rector, Lochaber High School                                                                   

Lanarkshire                                         |Mrs. B. M. Gunn OBE JP                             |Housewife                                                                                              

Lothian                                             |Mr. R. B. Weatherstone TD                          |Formerly Company Director now Non-Executive                                                            

                                                                                                        |   Director                                                                                            

Orkney                                              |Mr. J. D. M. Robertson OBE                         |Company Director                                                                                       

Shetland                                            |Mrs. F. B. Grains JP                               |Housewife/Part-time National Farmers' Union                                                            

                                                                                                        |   Branch Secretary                                                                                    

Tayside                                             |Mr. D. B. Grant TD                                 |Retired Chartered Accountant                                                                           

Western Isles                                       |Mrs. M. A. MacMillan                               |Housewife                                                                                              

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give any local government elected positions held by the person who will be health board chairmen as from 1 April, including their political affiliations.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Mrs. F. B. Grains, chairman of Shetland health board, is a member (Independent) of Shetland islands council. No other chairman holds elected office in a local authority.

Health Care International Hospital, Clydebank

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects Health Care International to secure funding for its hospital at Clydebank ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 218

Mr. Lang : Health Care International has secured financial backing to take the project to its present stage. I understand that the company's financial advisers are currently structuring finance for the next stage of the development.

Retirement Homes

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list, by local authority area, the number of approved places in (a) private, (b) voluntary and (c) local authority nursing homes for the elderly, for each year since 1980.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Nursing homes are registered by health boards. Information is therefore only readily


Column 219

available by health board area. The information available centrally is given in the table. Information for years before 1986 was not collected centrally.


Number of beds in private nursing homes and hospitals<1> admitting        

elderly patients, by Health Board at 31 March.                            

Health Board          |1986        |1987        |1988                     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Argyll and Clyde      |508         |633         |<2>749                   

Ayrshire and Arran    |450         |670         |939                      

Borders               |81          |82          |254                      

Dumfries and Galloway |63          |66          |127                      

Fife                  |38          |45          |137                      

                                                                          

Forth Valley          |165         |207         |351                      

Grampian              |183         |360         |544                      

Greater Glasgow       |478         |452         |537                      

Highland              |216         |259         |365                      

Lanarkshire           |231         |541         |832                      

                                                                          

Lothian               |758         |920         |1,008                    

Orkney                |-           |-           |-                        

Shetland              |-           |-           |-                        

Tayside               |132         |166         |307                      

Western Isles         |-           |-           |-                        

                      |---         |---         |---                      

Scotland              |3,303       |4,401       |6,230                    

<1>Private nursing homes and hospitals subject to the Nursing Homes       

Registration (Scotland) Act 1938 or the Mental Health Acts 1960/1984.     

<2>Data for the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital and Sir Gabriel Wood's  

Mariners' Home relate to 1987.                                            

Rent Arrears

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing the levels of rent arrears for each month in 1987 and for each month in 1988.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 16 January 1989] : Information on local authority, new town development corporation and SSHA rents and rent arrears is collected centrally on an annual basis at 30 September each year. Total rent arrears at 30 September 1987 amounted to £26,658,649. Information on the position at 30 September 1988 is incomplete, but returns submitted to date indicate that total rent arrears will be higher than in 1987. No information is available on rent arrears in the private sector.

Education Reform

Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when was the last time a Scottish Education Minister met the chairman of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities education committee.

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 17 January 1989] : I met the chairman and the vice-chairman of the convention's education committee in February 1988.

SSHA

Mr. Ron Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will name the private landlords expressing an interest in ownership of houses currently controlled by the Scottish Special Housing Association ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 January 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Sillars) on 10 January at columns 558-60.


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Rural Areas

Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the outcome of the discussions between his officials and the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the Scottish Development Agency initiated in 1984, with a view to working out practical measures of encouragement and support for rural retailers, following the report and recommendations submitted by the Scottish Consumer Council in July 1983 on consumer problems in rural areas ; and what further steps he now proposes to take to ensure that some such scheme is introduced.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 13 January 1989] : Following consideration of the Scottish Consumer Council report by the Scottish Office, Scottish Development Agency and Highlands and Islands Development Board, the Scottish Development Agency introduced a scheme to assist single shops serving rural areas. This scheme offers specialist counselling services in conjunction with small local authority grants and operates in Tayside region, Dumfries and Galloway region and East Lothian district. Its extension to other areas is currently being considered. In addition to this scheme and its normal advisory services to small businesses, the agency is assisting two village projects (at Creetown and Newcastleton) aimed at attracting additional visitors. These projects, undertaken in partnership with local trade groups, involve shop front renovations and promotional activity.

The Highlands and Islands Development Board is also willing to give assistance in the form of grants and loans and advisory and training support to shops in remote rural areas, where these meet an important community need, and provides advisory services for retail businesses in its area.

The SDA, HIDB and SCC have recently commissioned consultants to investigate the changes in the provision of services in the parishes previously studied. It will be for the agency and the board to determine any action to be taken following completion of this study.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Strangford (New Industries)

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new industries were announced by the industrial development boards in the constituency of Strangford during 1988 ; how many new jobs they are expected to provide ; and what is the present availability of advance factory space in the constituency.

Mr. Viggers : While no new companies were established with the assistance of the IDB during 1988 in the constituency of Strangford, the board supported expansion plans by eight existing companies which are intended to provide 294 new jobs. The local enterprise development unit does not maintain job statistics on the basis of parliamentary constituencies ; however, in 1988 it assisted 20 entrepreneurs to establish new businesses in the Castlereagh and Ards borough council areas. These together with expansion projects supported by LEDU have promoted 96 new jobs in these areas in 1988. There are no vacant advance factories at present in the constituency, but a small refurbished factory is available in Newtownards.


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Orlit Houses

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his reply on 22 December, Official Report, column 459, in which newspapers and on which dates advertisements, inviting contractors to tender for the replacement of Orlit houses at Darragh road, Comber, were published.

Mr. Needham : This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The chief executive has advised me that advertisements were placed in the Belfast Telegraph, News Letter and Irish News on 26 July 1988.

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his reply on 22 December, Official Report, column 459, in which newspapers and on which dates advertisements inviting contractors to tender for the replacement of Orlit houses at Barnagh park, Donaghadee, were published.

Mr. Needham : This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The chief executive has advised me that advertisements were placed in the Belfast Telegraph, News Letter and Irish News on 13 October 1987.

ACE

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has budgeted for the replacement of the ACE workers who will resign from the employment of Donaghadee Community Association before 1 April ; what is the budget for ACE employment in Donaghadee for the next 12 months ; whether he proposes to reduce ACE funding in any district during the next 12 months ; and if he will make a statement on the future of the ACE scheme.

Mr. Viggers : The budget for the Donaghadee community work force ACE project for the current agreement year is £365,388. A new budget will be agreed prior to renewal of the agreement from 1 April 1989. I have no plans to reduce ACE funding in any district during the next 12 months. Indeed, I have recently announced additional funding of £10.274 million to allow the ACE programme to be increased to 10, 000 places during the 1989-90 financial year.

Fair Employment Act

Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what statistics the Fair Employment Agency has gathered or been provided with on employment in the Post Office in Northern Ireland ; and if he will place any information he has in the Library.

Mr. Viggers : The Fair Employment Agency is currently investigating the religious composition of the work force and the employment practices of the Post Office in Northern Ireland under section 12 of the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976. Any relevant employment statistics obtained for this purpose will eventually form part of a report of the investigation, when completed, but it is not the agency's practice to disclose such information beforehand in public.

When the report is published a copy will be placed in the Library.

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff are presently provided


Column 222

by the Department of Economic Development to service (a) the industrial tribunals board and (b) the fair employment appeals board.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 12 January 1989] : There is no industrial tribunals board. However, the Department provides 15 staff to service industrial tribunals. These staff also service the fair employment appeals board.

Mr. Kevin McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the annual cost over the last 10 years of (a) the Industrial Appeals Tribunal and (b) the Fair Employment Appeal Boards in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 12 January 1989] : There is no industrial appeals tribunal. However, the annual cost over the last 10 years of (a) industrial tribunals is as follows :


Year                     |Fees and expenses of    |Departmental staff costs|Totals                                           

                         |president, chairman and                                                                            

                         |panel members                                                                                      

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1979-80                  |64,000                  |n.a.                                                                      

1980-81                  |110,000                 |n.a.                                                                      

1981-82                  |165,000                 |n.a.                                                                      

1982-83                  |189,000                 |n.a.                                                                      

1983-84                  |203,000                 |n.a.                                                                      

1984-85                  |202,000                 |n.a.                                                                      

1985-86                  |243,000                 |n.a.                                                                      

1986-87                  |276,000                 |129,000                 |405,000                                          

1987-88                  |273,000                 |143,000                 |416,000                                          

1988-89                  |<1>282,000              |<1>170,000              |452,000                                          

<1>Estimate.                                                                                                                 

The figures for departmental staff costs for the years 1979-80 to 1985-86 are not readily available.

The total cost of (b) the fair employment appeals tribunal since its establishment is £500.

Farmers

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table in the Official Report to show his estimate of the (a) net income and (b) gross income of farmers in Northern Ireland in cash and in real terms for each year or, if more convenient, financial year since 1977.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 17 January 1989] : Information is not available in the form requested but details of a pre-tax net farm income series and of gross output are given in current prices and in real terms :


                     Net farm income<1>                      Gross output<2>                                            

                    |At current prices  |Index in real terms|At current prices  |Index in real terms                    

Calendar year       |£ million          |(Base 1985=100)    |£ million          |(Base 1985=100)                        

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1977                |64.4               |177                |443.0              |121                                    

1978                |61.1               |155                |496.1              |125                                    

1979                |33.5               |75                 |526.4              |117                                    

1980                |14.3               |28                 |544.6              |103                                    

1981                |58.0               |98                 |601.2              |101                                    

1982                |87.8               |137                |662.7              |103                                    

1983                |91.2               |136                |730.9              |108                                    

1984                |132.7              |189                |774.5              |109                                    

1985                |74.5               |100                |750.4              |100                                    

1986                |60.9               |79                 |751.8              |97                                     

1987                |113.8              |142                |779.3              |96                                     

<1>Net farm income measures the returns to farmers and their spouses for their own labour and management effort and on  

their own capital investments. It is the residual after deducting from gross output variable input costs, depreciation, 

interest on borrowed capital and labour costs.                                                                          

<2>Gross output is the value of sales of farm produce outside the agricultural sector i.e. it excludes inter-farm       

sales. Production grants and subsidies paid on sale are included. Also, an adjustment is made for changes in stocks of  

livestock and crops on farms between the beginning and the end of the year.                                             

A forecast net farm income figure for 1988 will be published by the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland at the beginning of February 1989.

Apprenticeships

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many individuals are currently employed under a contract of service or of apprenticeship in Northern Ireland ; and of these how many are employed under a contract which normally involves employment for less than 16 hours weekly.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 12 January 1989] : The total number of employees in employment in Northern Ireland at September 1988 was 497,550. Information on the number of hous worked by these employees is not available.

HEALTH

Radiotherapy

Miss Widdecombe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made a decision about South East Thames regional health authority's proposals for radiotherapy in mid-Kent ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have today announced my decision to approve South East Thames regional health authority's proposal to build a new radiotherapy unit at Maidstone district hospital, costing nearly £11 million. The development of the new unit will involve the closure of two smaller units at St. William's hospital, Rochester and Pembury hospital, near Tunbridge Wells.

I considered the proposal and two counter proposals very carefully and Ministers received three deputations as well as representations from Members of Parliament, community leaders and members of the public. I paid particular attention to concerns about standards of service, about accessibility, about the continuity of existing services and the strong local support for existing units. However, I was also guided by the recommendations of a review by my expert advisers on cancer, announced last year, on 24 February 1988 at column 251 , on the organisation of radiotherapy services and the importance of having units of a sufficient size, whenever possible. In this case, I have concluded that the catchment area would best be served by a central unit at Maidstone. A central unit will bring together expertise and high technology equipment which should ensure the pest possible standard of care and this was strongly supported by the professional advice I received. Its location at Maidstone will minimise travelling time for the greatest number of people and will take full advantage of the possibilities of integrating the service with the full range of facilities available at the new DGH in Maidstone.


Column 224

Community Care

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he has taken to ensure that adequate funds are being made available to ensure that a sufficiently high level of community care exists to cater for those patients being discharged from mental hospitals ;

(2) whether he has any proposals to monitor the level of funding being made available for community care catering for those patients being discharged from mental hospitals.

Mr. Mellor : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad) on 28 November 1988 at columns 143-44. We have no plans to monitor the level of funding being made available for community care.

Sexually Related Diseases

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by sex and by age the number of children 16 years and under who have been examined and diagnosed for a sexually related disease in the county of South Yorkshire during the last year, showing the type of disease ; what are the comparable national figures ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : We do not hold information in the form requested. The latest available data are for Yorkshire regional health authority in 1986 for syphilis and gonorrhoea only, as in the table, with England figures for comparison.


New cases seen at genito-urinary medicine clinics-1986          

                                    |Male  |Female|Total        

----------------------------------------------------------------

Yorkshire Regional Health Authority                             

Primary and secondary syphilis                                  

        under 16                    |1     |0     |1            

Post pubertal gonorrhoea                                        

        under 16                    |8     |34    |42           

                                                                

England                                                         

Primary and secondary syphilis                                  

        under 16                    |2     |1     |3            

Post pubertal gonorrhoea                                        

        under 16                    |83    |227   |310          

Source: Department of Health form SBH60                         

Salmonella

Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, pursuant to his reply of 10 January to the hon. Member for East Lothian, he will list the locations of the outbreaks of salmonella food poisoning connected with eggs referred to in that answer.

Mr. Freeman : The following table gives a breakdown by NHS region of the reported outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with eggs to the end of October 1988. The outbreaks involved those cases listed in my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State's reply to him on 10 January at columns 612-13.


Regional health authority |Number of outbreaks                                

(RHA)                     |reported                                           

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Northern                  |4                                                  

Yorkshire                 |5                                                  

Trent                     |4                                                  

Thames Regions            |14                                                 

Wessex                    |4                                                  

South Western             |4                                                  

West Midlands             |2                                                  

North Western             |4                                                  

Wales                     |5                                                  

Management Bulletin

Mr. Ted Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of publishing the NHS Management Bulletin ; and how many have been printed.

Mr. Mellor : The cost of each issue is currently £3,094 for printing and £1,247 for distribution, including postage. Since the bulletin was launched in July 1986, 17 issues have been published. Approximately 12,000 copies of each issue are printed.

Cervical Cancer (Liverpool)

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes in cervical cancer screening procedures have taken place since the cervical cancer smear mistake at the Women's hospital, Liverpool, in 1987.

Mr. Freeman : Various changes took effect following an inquiry held by Liverpool health authority and the procedures are now in line with the national guidance in health circular (88)1, which was issued in January 1988. A copy of this circular has been placed in the Library.

Hearing Therapists

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the number of hearing therapists employed by each health authority in each year since 1980 and the proportion per 100,000 population ; what is his estimate of the optimum number of hearing therapists per 100,000 population ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : We do not hold centrally information in regard to hearing therapists employed by particular health authorities in specific years but I understand that 55 are now in post. The total number required will depend on needs perceived by health authorities and the way in which they organise their audiology services.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have completed training as hearing therapists in each year since 1980 ; what steps he has taken to ensure that the provision of trained hearing therapists is adequate to meet the demand ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : The following numbers of people have successfully completed training as hearing therapists since 1980 :


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