|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 9 March 1989] : With effect from 1 April 1989 there will be separate administration votes for the two Departments details of which have already been published in this year's public expenditure White Paper. Each Department will employ its own staff, but a few internal management services will be administered by one Department on behalf of the other on a common service basis where this is cost effective.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the names, locations and areas of woodland grant scheme applications in excess of 100 hectares submitted since the start of the scheme in England, showing those for which an environmental assessment has been requested by the Forestry Commission ; and if he will give the reasons why environmental assessment has not been requested in other cases.
Mr. Ryder : The welfare of badgers as a protected species is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, while the Badgers Act is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department. However, I am required under section 9 of the Badgers Act (as amended by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981) to deal with applications to take badgers which are causing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or other forms of property. The Government's policy for dealing with badgers to control tuberculosis in cattle is that recommended by Professor Dunnet following his review in 1986. Action taken against badgers is limited to those farms where badgers have been implicated in a tuberculosis breakdown in cattle and consists of trapping and humanely killing the badgers, except those identified as lactating sows, which are released unharmed. In both such cases damage to agriculture has to be demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt before action is authorised.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what administrative arrangements will be applied in connection with the payment of the Community special beef premium at livestock markets for slaughter and at slaughterhouses to comply with the condition that the premium may not be paid on more than 90 male animals from any farm ; and if he will take any steps to ensure that cattle breeders in the less favoured areas will benefit from this scheme.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) my right hon. Friend announced on 6 March that the Community special premium for beef would in the first instance be applied in Great Britain when cattle are sold at live markets for slaughter and at slaughterhouses. Each beef producer may apply for premium on up to 90 head of male animals per year ; this condition will be controlled centrally through computer systems on which the scheme will be run. Farming and trade interests see advantage in applying the premium on-farm, which would help to ensure that breeders in the less favoured areas would benefit directly from the scheme. Agriculture Ministers will review the practicability and cost effectiveness of moving in due course to an on-farm basis.
Mr. Donald Thompson : My right hon. Friend laid before Parliament today the Dairy Produce Regulations 1989, which replace similar regulations made in 1986 and amended in 1988 and earlier this year. The new regulations introduce changes to the quota transfer rules, including new procedures for the appointment of arbitrators in cases of dispute. They take into account changes in European Community legislation
Column 723which affect the calculation of liability to supplementary levy. A number of redundant provisions, most of them relating to the allocation of new quota rights, have not been re-enacted. Other changes have been made to clarify the meaning of certain provisions in the light of experience.
Mr. Cope : The five recommendations made about this Department contained in the reports of the Select Committee on Employment issued since June 1987, to which Government responses have been published, have been accepted in whole or in part by the Government, or have covered ground where the Government are already taking action.
Mr. Cope : My Department maintains close contact with its clients. In the course of evaluating departmental programmes and activities surveys are undertaken of scheme participants and, where relevant, their employers or other intermediaries. The employment service collects information about customer attitudes through a wide range of surveys and due account is taken of their findings in planning future developments. Our proposals for training and enterprise councils will pass responsibility to employer-led groups at a local level. Our measures for assisting small firms and encouraging enterprise reflect demand from the small business sector and the views of participants in departmental schemes and representative organisations. All our health and safety proposals are subject to extensive public consultation and are submitted by the tripartite Health and Safety Commission. My Department also has regular discussions with business and client groups at regional and area level.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of the people who obtained career development loans since the scheme was launched in 1986 were women ; and how many of these women had children (a) in the under-fives age group and (b) in the five to 16 age group.
Mr. Cope : Since career development loans were launched in 1986, a total of 2,431 loans have been approved, of which 949, or approximately two out of every five loans, have been taken out by women. At the time of application, 35 of these women had children only in the under-five age group, 103 had children only in the five to 16 age group and a further 20 had children in both age groups.
The total expenditure on training schemes by the Manpower Services Commission, and the Training Commission at 1988 prices was as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1974-75 |318.5 1975-76 |468.2 1976-77 |598.1 1977-78 |625.3 1978-79 |728.6 1979-80 |735.1 1980-81 |810.4 1981-82 |981.7 1982-83 |1,087.8 1983-84 |1,249.0 1984-85 |1,283.5 1985-86 |1,352.7 1986-87 |1,491.5 1987-88 |1,613.1
Mr. Cope : All YTS and employment training follows a laid-down design framework ; trainees are wherever possible offered the opportunity to obtain recognised vocational qualifications ; and staff of my Department's Training Agency, including the training standards advisory service, oversee the provision.
Mr. Cope At present in Glasgow there are 146 training opportunities available in landscape gardening under YTS and 393 under employment training.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of workplaces and workers' terms and conditions of employment were inspected by the wages inspectorate divisions covering (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Nicholls : Wages inspectorate statistics are not compiled for areas smaller than the inspectorate's nine divisions. Scotland is one division. The percentage of workplaces checked in Scotland in 1988 is included in a reply given in the Official Report of 1 March at columns 201- 6.
No information is available on the percentage of workers whose pay was checked in individual wages inspectorate divisions. Terms and conditions of employment, other than statutory requirements on minimum pay, are not a matter for the wages inspectorate.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many and what percentage of full-time female workers earned less than the Council of Europe's decency threshold at the latest available date in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ;
(2) how many and what percentage of the full-time male work force earned less than the Council of Europe's decency threshold at the latest available date in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole.
Mr. Cope : We recently received proposals from the Health and Safety Commission for regulations to require head protection to be worn by persons in construction work. These are being given careful consideration, together with the question whether an exemption should be allowed for turban-wearing Sikhs.
Mr. Cope : Two women have agreed to serve on the national training task force. They are Sophie Mirman, chairman and joint managing director of Sockshop International plc and Prudence Leith, managing director of Prudence Leith Ltd. Members have been appointed in an individual capacity because of their personal commitment to training.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has received any representations about the 1989-90 level of funding for the work-related further education programme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 9 March 1989] : The Association of Metropolitan Authorities has written to the Secretary of State about the funding for work-related further education shown in the recent public expenditure White Paper.
Column 726A decrease in allocations to local education authorities is partially offset by an increase in the work-related further education development fund.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I am informed by the Common Services Agency, of which the Scottish national blood transfusion service is a division, that its policy is that invoices should be paid by the end of the month following the month of issue. As at 8 March 1989, three invoices, the largest being for £2,225, were outstanding beyond that period. The Common Services Agency is pursuing prompt payment of the outstanding accounts.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether Her Majesty's Government have completed the new building works required to ensure that the protein fractionation centre of the Scottish national blood transfusion service meets the standards of good manufacturing practice proposed by the medicines inspectorate in 1980-81.
Mr. Rifkind : The medicines inspectorate visited the protein fractionation centre in June 1988 and made recommendations in October 1988, including one relating to the expansion of storage areas. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Health gave approval in principle last month for new building works at the protein fractionation centre. The Common Services Agency will arrange for the building works to be carried out as quickly as practicable.
Mr. Rifkind : The Agriculture and Energy Select Committees have each completed reports since June 1987 involving 12 recommendations falling within my field of responsibility. Eight of these have been accepted in whole or in part, or noted where no further action by Government was sought.
Mr. Rifkind : In the Scottish Office there are extensive formal and informal arrangements to ensure that the views of interested parties including consumers are known and taken fully into account both in relation to existing work and the development and implementation of new initiatives. In particular, views on new initiatives are
Column 727canvassed widely through consultation documents. In response to a recommendation by the Scottish Consumer Council, comments received are placed on a public file (unless respondents request confidentiality) for the benefit of interested parties.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland under what circumstances the Forestry Commission requires an environmental assessment of a forestry proposal to convert native woodland or scrub into plantations of non-native trees.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Environmental Assessment (Afforestation) Regulations 1988 apply only to new planting. Proposals to convert existing woodland or scrub would therefore not require an environmental assessment.
Under the Government's broadleaved policy, woodland which is now broadleaved is expected to remain so, and special attention is given to ancient semi-natural broadleaved woodlands to ensure continuance of their special features.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the rates of return on investment achieved by each conservancy of the Forestry Commission for its commercial forestry holdings at the time of the last quinquennial review ; what was the date of that review ; and if he will explain the costing depreciation and accounting proceedures used in making his assessment of return.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The last quinquennial review was undertaken by the Forestry Commission as at 31 March 1987. The rates of return on new planting and restocking for each conservancy are listed in special note 3 of the financial statements and accounts published in the Forestry Commission's 67th annual report and accounts 1986-87, copies of which are in the Library. The Forestry Commission's accounting policies are explained in note 1 to these accounts.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the number of people who were classified as long-term unemployed in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole in December 1979, December 1982 and December 1988.
Mr. Lang : As the duration analysis of unemployed claimants is calculated quarterly, the information in the table relates to January in each of the years 1980, 1983 and 1989 ; due to changes in the coverage of the statistics
Column 728during the period the figures are not directly comparable. (Parliamentary constituency figures were not compiled before June 1983.)
|c|Claimants unemployed for over one year|c| |January 1980|January 1983|January 1989 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Greenock and Port Glasgow Parliamentary constituency |n.a. |n.a. |3,123 Strathclyde Region |29,393 |75,242 |63,515 Scotland |46,915 |119,874 |106,190
This information is available in the Library.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of unemployment, expressed as a percentage, according to the latest available figures for (a) the Greenock travel-to-work area, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ; and what were the comparable figures 10 years ago.
Mr. Lang : The unemployment rates for these areas on 12 January 1989 (the latest date for which information is available) are provided in the table, together with the data available for January 1979. Due to changes in the coverage and compilation of the count the latest unemployment figures and those available for 1979 are not directly comparable.
Unemployment percentages |January 1979|January 1989 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Greenock travel-to-work area |12.0 |16.5 Strathclyde region |9.8 |14.4 Scotland |8.4 |12.1
This information is available in the Library.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what administrative arrangements will be applied in connection with the payment of the Community special beef premium at livestock markets for slaughter and at slaughterhouses to comply with the condition that the premium may not be paid on more than 90 male animals from any farm ; and if he will take any steps to ensure that cattle breeders in the less favoured areas will benefit from this scheme.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in his answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) on 6 March at column 433, announced that the Community special premium for beef would in the first instance be applied in Great Britain when cattle are sold at live markets for slaughter and at slaughterhouses. Each beef producer may apply for premium on up to 90 head of male animals per year ; this condition will be controlled centrally through the computer systems on which the scheme will be run. Farming and trade interests see advantage in applying the premium on-farm, which would help to ensure that breeders in the less-favoured areas would benefit directly from the scheme. Agriculture Ministers will review the practicability and cost effectiveness of moving in due course to an on-farm basis.