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Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Nicholls : In 1988, a total of 829 oral questions were tabled to the Secretary of State for Employment, of which 719 received a written reply. These figures do not include oral questions which were subsequently withdrawn, unstarred or transferred to other Departments.
Mr. Lee : There are at present 318 small, part-time benefit offices which are open for between one hour and several mornings each week. In the light of falling unemployment and the smaller number of people now requiring the services of the employment service, we have been considering whether there is still a need to retain all of these. We are, as a result, proposing the closure of 43 part-time offices in areas where demand for their services is low and there is alternative provision. None of the offices concerned is open for more than eight hours a week.
The employment service is keen to offer an effective service to the public, and particularly to people who are unemployed. This can best be achieved in offices which are large enough to offer a comprehensive range of facilities and by postal signing. It is usual when we consider closure of small part- time offices to write to hon. Members in whose constituencies the offices are, to explain the proposals in detail, and I am doing so in this case.
66. Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if there is any provision in the set-aside scheme to assist farmworkers whose employment is reduced or lost as a result of the scheme.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the average time between the lodging of a plea of not guilty and the resultant trial diet in the Glasgow district court for the latest available period for which this figure is available ; and if he will give the same information for the same period for cases going for trial before a stipendiary magistrate.
Mr. Rifkind : The average time for cases dealt with in November 1988 was 14 weeks for Glasgow district court, excluding the stipendiary magistrates court, and 25 weeks for cases heard by a stipendiary magistrate.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the number of cases in which trial diets are set in Glasgow district court for the latest period for which figures are available and the percentage of those cases where a plea of guilty was presented when the trial was called.
Mr. Rifkind : Figures are not available in the precise form requested, but in 1987, 63 per cent. of the 13,368 persons called to court in Glasgow district court pled guilty at some stage in the proceedings.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the number of cases called in Glasgow district court for the latest year in which figures are available and the same figures three and five years ago.
Persons called to court: Glasgow District Court Year |Number --------------------- 1984 |16,704 1986 |14,892 1987 |13,368
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each local government area the number of council houses sold to tenants under the Housing Acts ; and if he will express this as a proportion of the total housing stock in each such area.
Local authority houses sold to sitting tenants from 1 April 1979 to 30 September 1988 Area |Houses sold to sitting |Percentage of stock sold |tenants from 1 April |to sitting tenants<1> |1979 to 30 September |1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Scotland |95,023 |10.63 Borders Berwickshire |521 |18.18 Ettrick and Lauderdale |941 |18.89 Roxburgh<2> |913 |14.57 Tweeddale<2> |270 |16.58 Central Clackmannan |1,143 |11.84 Falkirk |4,250 |12.68 Stirling |1,680 |12.79 Dumfries and Galloway Annandale and Eskdale<2> |989 |19.95 Nithsdale |1,610 |18.74 Stewartry |632 |24.83 Wigtown |879 |18.67 Fife Dunfermline |4,196 |18.09 Kirkcaldy |4,620 |17.37 North East Fife<2> |1,988 |24.85 Grampian Aberdeen |3,721 |9.72 Banff and Buchan<2> |2,158 |17.06 Gordon |1,291 |21.18 Kincardine and Deeside |666 |18.37 Moray |2,147 |20.24 Highland Badenoch and Strathspey |288 |26.89 Caithness<2> |690 |16.04 Inverness |1,107 |15.78 Lochaber |515 |15.30 Nairn |212 |19.12 Ross and Cromarty |671 |10.73 Skye and Lochalsh |140 |20.00 Sutherland |226 |13.06 Lothian East Lothian |2,621 |16.13 Edinburgh<2> |7,228 |12.71 Midlothian |2,308 |17.54 West Lothian |2,130 |9.45 Strathclyde Argyll and Bute |950 |11.45 Bearsden and Milngavie |369 |20.20 Clydebank |944 |7.98 Clydesdale |608 |6.29 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth |460 |10.49 Cumnock and Doon Valley<2> |639 |6.17 Cunninghame |2,496 |10.59 Dumbarton<2> |854 |6.51 East Kilbride |324 |19.95 Eastwood |426 |21.00 Glasgow |8,055 |4.60 Hamilton |1,991 |8.71 Inverclyde |1,543 |7.69 Kilmarnock and Loudoun |1,620 |8.91 Kyle and Carrick |2,977 |16.23 Monklands<2> |1,396 |4.89 Motherwell<2> |1,941 |4.86 Renfrew |4,076 |10.32 Strathkelvin |1,623 |14.81 Tayside Angus |2,332 |16.00 Dundee |2,668 |6.65 Perth and Kinross |2,923 |17.93 Orkney Islands<2> |243 |16.76 Shetland Islands |331 |13.66 Western Isles |483 |20.21 <1>Stock as at 30 September 1979. <2>Complete figures are not available for this period, due to outstanding returns.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in respect of the local authority areas of Tayside region, Angus district, Dundee district and Perth and Kinross district, he will list the details of the figures he used to calculate (a) the estimate of the total revenue expenditure, (b) the amount of revenue support grant, (c) the amount of non -domestic rates, (d) the amount attributable to the poll tax, (e) the amount of revenue balances he expects each to use and (f) the effective number of registerd persons for each.
Mr. Lang : The Secretary of State has not calculated the figures mentioned under (a) , (d) and (e) . These are matters for the local authorities concerned. Details of calculations of (b) , (c) and (f) are given in the "Report on the Revenue Support Grant (Scotland) Order 1988", a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will list the full details of how the calculations were arrived at and the assumptions which were made in calculating (a) the poll tax for Tayside region, (b) the water poll tax for Tayside region, (c) the district poll tax for Angus district, (d) the district poll tax for Dundee district and (e) the district poll tax for Perth and Kinross district ;
(2) if he will list the full details of how he calculated the total amount of poll tax payable in each district in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 288expenditure by no more than 6 per cent., plus allowances for the cost of community charge and school board administration, the amount raised in community charges need be no more than that raised in domestic rates this year. The first stage of the calculation of a community charge for each area was therefore to calculate the personal community charge for each local authority, which would raise the same amount as domestic rates did this year. It was assumed that exemptions and losses in collection for community charges would be at a level corresponding to present reliefs and losses for domestic rates.
The resulting community charge figure for each area was then adjusted to take account of the extent to which the individual authorities' grant increase was larger or smaller than the average for the class of authority.
The community water charge was calculated as the community charge equivalent to this year's domestic and public water rates, increased for inflation.
The approach was applied to all local authority areas in Scotland.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the representations he has received regarding the future of the Mylnefield research establishment ; and if he will make a statement on its future.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend has received 11 letters from growers and others, including one from my hon. Friend the Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) expressing concern about proposed reductions in Government funding of near market horticultural R and D, on the possible outcome of a review currently in hand on the organisation of horticultural R and D throughout Great Britain, and the implications for the future of the Scottish crop research institute at Mylnefield. No final decisions have been made on the future levels of public expenditure on horticultural R and D, or on the organisation of this work, but the continued existence of the Scottish crop research institute is not in question. Horticultural R and D accounts for around £820,000 out of the institute's current budget of £5,650,000.
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will detail for the 1987-88 season the total number of arrests within Scottish league grounds during league and cup matches as a percentage of total attendances.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of employment training places filled in September, October, November and December of 1988 for each regional and island council area.
However, as a result of an earlier exercise filled employment training places were calculated by region as at 25 November 1988. The results are shown in the table.
Filled places on 25 November 1988 Region |Number -------------------------------------- Borders |157 Central |1,008 Dumfries and Galloway |442 Fife |1,826 Grampian |802 Highlands and Islands |644 Lothian |3,079 Strathclyde |10,432 Tayside |1,183 |------- Total |19,573
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total number of places in employment training (a) authorised and (b) filled for each of (i) private sector, (ii) local government, (iii) public sector and local government and (iv) voluntary sector.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of motorway in (a) Scotland, (b) the United Kingdom and (c) England has central reservation crash barriers ; and if he has any plans to increase the proportion of motorway in Scotland which has such barriers.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : 28 per cent. of trunk road motorway in Scotland currently has central reserve safety fencing. I understand that the English motorway network is fully equipped with central reserve fencing, except where the carriageways are widely separated, and that the position is the same in Wales and Northern Ireland. Our policy is to achieve this position in Scotland as quickly as resources and opportunities permit.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 16 January 1989] : It is Scottish Office policy to instal central reserve safety fencing on all new sections of motorway. So far as existing motorway is concerned, central fencing will be provided as quickly as resources and opportunities permit until all sections have been completed. The work is ongoing and I would not wish to speculate over annual rates of progress.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the current arrangements in force regarding the application of funds raised by the sale by health boards of hospital buildings surplus to their requirements.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any information on the change in numbers of (a) greengrocers', (b) butchers', (c) bakers', (d) estate agents' and (e) building societies' trading premises in the Greater London area over the last 10 years.
Heading |End 1979|End 1987 ----------------------------------------------------------- Greengrocers |1,092 |1,004 Butchers |1,148 |1,073 Bakers |570 |712 Property Owning Etc.<1> |1,837 |2,575 Other Financial Institutions<2> |796 |1,256 <1> Includes estate agents. <2> Includes building societies.
Separate figures are not available for estate agents or for building societies. The figures for bakers include those classified to manufacturing and retail bread and flour confectionery.
Sir Richard Body : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what consultation he had with consumer organisations before the recent GATT mid-term review in Montreal ; and if there are to be any consultations with such groups as a result of the breakdown of the review.
Mr. Alan Clark : My officials regularly consult consumer organisations about the GATT round of trade negotiations. Such a meeting was held shortly before the Montreal mid-term ministerial meeting and another will take place next week.
Mr. Forth : Information from most but not all hospitals has now been received, and the usual reminders are being sent. Busy hospitals are of course doing us a favour in providing the figures. We hope to announce the firework injury statistics, as usual, some time in March.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many Japanese-owned businesses have located in (a) the south east, (b) the north east, (c) the north west, (d) the south west, (e) Scotland and (f) south Wales, for the most recent year period for which figures are available.
Mr. Forth : Comprehensive statistics on foreign-owned businesses are not available, but the numbers of Japanese-owned manufacturing companies known to have located between January 1979 and December 1988, in the stated regions, are as follows :
|Number ------------------------------ (a) South East |14 (b) North East |10 (c) North West |4 (d) South West |2 (e) Scotland |11 (f) South Wales |9
Mr. Forth : Comprehensive statistics on foreign-owned businesses are not available, but the DTI is aware of 79 Japanese manufacturing companies that have set up in the United Kingdom between January 1979 and December 1988.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what other information, other than that contained in the Water Bill and the forthcoming amendments, notice of which was given on 11 January, he will be sending to, or he expects to be requested by, the Commission of the European Economic Community in respect of prospective legislation relating to take over bids and golden shares in the water industry.
Mr. Alan Clark : We are continuing to make rapid progress towards the goal of completing the single market by the 1992 target date. This was emphasised in the report produced by the European Commission in November, assessing the position at the half-way point in the single market programme.
Over 50 separate measures aimed at removing barriers to trade in Europe were agreed during the Greek Presidency which ended in December. This brings the total number of single market measures agreed to date to some 275, including 128 from the Commission's White Paper programme.
The Government are strongly committed to the completion of the single market : it will provide major opportunities for business and benefits for consumers.
Column 292out by his Department's engineers on heavy goods vehicles specifying where and when these tests occurred ; and what were the results.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Information on the results of roadside spot checks is contained in the vehicle inspectorate's annual report and accounts 1987-88. Specific information on the results of roadside checks in each traffic area is contained in the annual reports of the licensing authorities for the five years up to 1987-88. Copies of these reports are in the House Library. Information on the results of individual checks could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking with British Rail in respect of the Borough junction which serves the London termini of Cannon street, Charing Cross and London bridge, to ensure that there will be no repeat at this junction of the recent incident at Clapham junction.
Mr. Portillo : Statutory responsibility for the safe operation of its services rests with British Rail. I know, however, that in the light of the findings of its internal inquiry into the Clapham accident, it initiated urgent investigations to confirm that signalling systems elsewhere on its lines are in order. I understand that London bridge signal box, which controls operations at Borough junction, has been checked as part of this exercise.
Mr. Batiste : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to update and amend the Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950 in line with the recommendations of the Horne committee.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We have accepted most of the recommendations in the Horne report. Work is progessing well, in collaboration with the highway authorities and utilities, to produce specifications for reinstatements, a code of practice for diversionary works, arrangements for training and certification of workmen and a computerised street works register. Proposals for legislation are being drawn up with the benefit of advice from the street works advisory committee. A Bill will be introduced as soon as a suitable opportunity can be found.
Mr. Portillo : Samples of beached oil and contaminated bird feathers have been obtained from various locations along the south coast. These are being analysed by the Laboratory of the Government chemist to try to determine in the first instance whether the pollution stemmed from a single incident or a series of incidents, and the precise nature of the oil involved. Whether or not further action will be possible will depend on the results obtained.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Contrary to recent erroneous press reports, the A38 Saltash tunnel will be closed from 0001 hours to 12 noon on Sunday 22 January 1989 only, for the first of its planned regular maintenance services. This comprises washing the tunnel walls and lighting, changing lighting tubes and bulbs and minor routine maintenance. We expect to close the tunnel overnight at three-monthly intervals to undertake this regular maintenance.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 10 January, Official Report, column 624, if he will state the form in which information of incidents reported to British Transport police is kept.
Mr. Portillo : Information is held by the British Transport police on its central computer on a police divisional basis. Information by individual railway stations is not readily available. The hon. Member should approach the BTP for further information.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ask British Rail to make available to right hon. and hon. Members their assessment of Stratford as a possible location for the second London terminal of the Channel tunnel.
Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list the road traffic accidents involving death or serious injury which have taken place on the A1 in Northumberland in the past three years.
Year |Fatal |Serious|Total ---------------------------------------- 1986 |5 |24 |29 1987 |5 |29 |34 1988 |5 |24 |29 |- |- |- |15 |77 |92
Results on wet cornering done in 1985 ;
Supplementary report 672 published in 1981 on straight line grip ; Leaflet 593 published in 1979--Vehicle Defects and their Contribution to Accidents.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 17 January 1989] : Well- maintained and properly inflated tyres are important for road safety. Our standards for tyre-tread depth were drawn up with particular regard to necessary adhesion and safety. Accident surveys have shown that although vehicle defects were a main cause in under 10 per cent. of accidents, faulty tyres featured in nearly a third of these. The main problems were blow-outs and wrong pressures. Inadequate tyre depth was a factor in less than 0.8 per cent. of the cases.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations for direct services between North America and Manchester International airport.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 16 January 1989] : At the most recent negotiations on greater access for US carriers to serve Manchester airport, held in London between 4 and 6 January 1989, the two sides could not reach a mutually acceptable conclusion. The Government recognise the importance of these additional services into Manchester airport and are therefore seeking further discussions.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what moneys have been received from the European Community specifically for transport infrastructure investment since 1980 ; and what projects such moneys have been used to finance.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 17 January 1989] : About £930 million is expected to have been received by the Department from the European Community between 1980-81 and 1988-89 to finance transport infrastructure investment, as follows :
Recent major projects |£ million included in totals ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- National roads Newcastle Western bypass, A38 Manadon-Tamar Bridge, A30 Marsh Mills-Manadon |430 Rail East coast main line electrification, Windsor rail link in Manchester |220 Local roads Manchester/Salford inner relief route, Bradford City ring road, A456 Bewdley bypass, A30 Penzance primary distributor road |180 Ports |50 Bus stations, airports etc. |50
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much rental is being paid annually for the office accommodation in Randolph house, Wellesley road, Croydon ; if he will break the figure down into rental per square foot ; to whom the rent is being paid ; and when was the last time that the area rented was (a) used by any South East Thames regional health authority staff and (b) fully used by South East Thames regional health authority staff.
Mr. Freeman : South East Thames regional health authority pays a gross rent of £525,000 annually for office accommodation in Randolph house. The net rent, after taking into account accommodation which has been sub-let, is £304,400. This equates to just under £7 per square foot. Rent is paid to Sun Life Properties Ltd. as required by the terms of the lease, which expires on 16 August 1990, and the terms of the lease do not allow sub-letting at a lower rent. The accommodation was fully utilised by regional health authority staff until April 1984 and vacated by them in July 1984.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by year for the last five years by district health authority the number of cases of leptospirosis, Weil's disease, that have been reported ; how many were fatal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : Cases of infectious diseases are notified by the doctor in attendance to the proper officer for each local authority area. Notifications of leptospirosis are therefore not generally available at the district health authority level. However, the table shows the number of notifications of leptospirosis (including Weil's disease) for regional health authorities for the latest five years available. Evidence from the identifications of the disease by the public health laboratory service indicates that there is undernotification and that perhaps only about one in three cases is formally notified. Also given are the number of deaths registered with underlying cause of death assigned as leptospirosis for RHA of usual residence. From the registration of the death alone, it is not possible to determine whether the case had been formally notified.
Numbers of (a) notifications of and (b) deaths registered with underlying cause as: Leptospirosis (including Weil's disease) ICD (9)<1> 100 Regional Health Authority 1983-1987 |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |<2>1987 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Notifications RHA Area of notification Northern |- |- |3 |1 |2 Yorkshire |1 |- |2 |1 |2 Trent |4 |3 |2 |1 |3 East Anglian |1 |2 |2 |- |1 North West Thames |2 |- |3 |2 |2 North East Thames |- |- |1 |2 |1 South East Thames |2 |- |- |- |- South West Thames |2 |1 |- |1 |1 Wessex |1 |2 |1 |2 |5 Oxford |2 |1 |1 |1 |- South Western |2 |5 |5 |8 |2 West Midlands |1 |2 |2 |1 |2 Mersey |- |- |1 |- |2 North Western |2 |2 |3 |1 |2 (b) Deaths RHA of usual residence Northern |- |- |- |- |- Yorkshire |- |- |- |- |- Trent |- |- |- |1 |- East Anglian |- |- |- |- |- North West Thames |- |- |- |- |- North East Thames |1 |- |- |- |1 South East Thames |- |- |- |- |- South West Thames |- |- |- |- |- Wessex |- |- |- |- |- Oxford |- |- |- |- |- South Western |- |- |1 |- |- West Midlands |- |- |1 |- |- Mersey |- |- |- |- |- North Western |- |- |- |- |- <1>International Classification of Diseases 9th Revision. <2>Provisional. Note: Figures for deaths from 1986 exclude those at age under 28 days.
Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish comparable figures on (a) the United Kingdom's heart transplant programme and (b) that in other countries in the European Community.