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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 14 March 1989

DEFENCE

Nuclear Submarines (Liverpool)

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what detailed information is available to the population of Merseyside on the consequences of an accident involving a nuclear reactor on the nuclear- powered submarines using the port of Liverpool.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Liverpool special safety scheme contains information on the possible consequences of accidents involving reactors on nuclear-powered submarines. Copies of the scheme are held by local civil authorities, and it is being distributed to public libraries in the area.

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements exist for the disposal of nuclear material arising from an accident to a nuclear submarine in or around the port of Liverpool.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The possibility of an accident involving a release of nuclear material from a submarine is extremely remote. However, our accident response plans do allow for such an occurrence, and for the controlled monitoring and decontamination of affected areas. Disposal methods would vary depending on the type and amount of materials involved.

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what incidents have been reported in the past 10 years involving nuclear submarines coming in to the port of Liverpool.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : There has never been an incident involving a Royal Navy submarine which has led to a radiological hazard to service men or members of the public. No nuclear submarines of other navies have visited Liverpool during this period.

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which countries by order of either national or local government to his Department's knowledge forbid the docking of nuclear submarines at ports near high population urban areas ; and which countries forbid completely the entry of nuclear submarines into their waters.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Ministry of Defence does not maintain a list of countries which make such prohibitions.

PRIME MINISTER

Brunton

Q76. Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to make an official visit to Brunton near Rugby.

The Prime Minister : I have at present no plans to do so.


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Mr. Hugo Young (Book)

Q173. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister if she will acquire for the Library of 10 Downing street, a copy of Mr. Hugo Young's book of the Thatcher premiership.

The Prime Minister : No.

Engagements

Mr. Holt : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 14 March.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 14 March.

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 14 March.

Mr. Stern : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 14 March.

The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.

ENERGY

Redundant Mineworkers

Mr. Andy Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the suspension of payments to redundant mineworkers under the redundant mineworkers' payments scheme arising from the tighter enforcement of the criterion of availability for work.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his answer of 14 February, Official Report, column 161, whether he will now make a statement on restart and the redundant mineworkers payments scheme.

Mr. Parkinson : I recognise that restart procedures in respect of availability-for-work have resulted in suspension of payments to former mineworkers who are beneficiaries under the redundant mineworkers' payments scheme. Following discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment, work has been put in hand on the options for modifying the link between benefits under the RMPS and unemployment benefit availability procedures, having regard to cost and consequential effects. It is very possible that as a result of this work I will need to introduce an amending order to modify the RMPS. In the meantime, I understand that the employment service is taking into account this development in its application of its procedures.

Petrol Sales

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of petrol sold is sold through outlets owned by integrated oil companies.

Mr. Peter Morrison : There are no figures available providing a breakdown of United Kingdom petrol sales by company type.

Nuclear Power

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy for what aspects of the application of Euratom safeguards to civil nuclear power plants and civil nuclear fuel cycle facilities he is responsible to Parliament to give details.


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Mr. Michael Spicer : The detailed application of safeguards procedures by Euratom and the IAEA is a matter for them. The Government's obligations arise from the Euratom treaty and our safeguards agreements with the IAEA. I am satisfied that we are fulfilling these obligations.

Plutonium

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many kilogrammes of safeguarded plutonium have been exported ; to which commercial operators in which countries on which dates, for each year since 1979 ; and which exports involved sales and which leasing arrangements.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 17 January 1989 at column 157. Detailed information relating to the quantities of plutonium exported to individual operators and countries, and the frequency and nature of shipments, cannot be revealed for reasons of security and commercial sensitivity.

Piped Gas

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he has any information as to what proportion of piped gas is presently supplied to large consumers by any company other than British Gas ;

(2) if he has any information as to what proportion of piped gas in the United Kingdom is presently supplied by British Gas.

Mr. Peter Morrison : My Department does not have reliable information available.

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his answer of 1 March, Official Report, column 210, if he has any information about how British Gas will determine in the future the actual level of prices of firm gas for large industrial consumers ; and whether a competitive market for the supply of piped gas currently exists in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Morrison : I have nothing precise to add to my answer of 1 March 1989 at column 210 about the actual level of prices of firm gas. However, the measures taken following the MMC report are intended to encourage the development of competition in gas supply to customers over 25,000 therms.

Gas Prices

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what policy considerations underlie his decision to subject to control prices for domestic gas consumers but not prices for large industrial consumers.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The distinction was established by the Gas Act 1986, which subjected prices for large industrial consumers to competition law. The recent MMC report has justified that approach.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Inflation

Mr. Eastham : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations he has received on the effects of the level of inflation on industry.


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Mr. Atkins : A number of those who make representations to my Department refer to the need to contain inflation. The great majority recognise that this must remain a top priority both for Government and for business itself.

Chlorofluorocarbons

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has made any study of opportunities existing for United Kingdom companies to provide dismantlement, storage and sealed-disposal services for refrigeration units containing chlorofluorocarbons in industrial developing Third world countries.

Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 7 March 1989 at column 461 to the hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, North (Ms. Walley). The parties to the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer have yet to approve procedures for the destruction of chlorofluorocarbons and other chemicals that are controlled under the protocol.

Radioactive Waste Disposal

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, during his recent meeting with Soviet Trade Minister Kamentsev in London the prospects for the sale of British radioactive waste disposal technology and expertise were discussed.

Mr. Forth : No.

European Regional Development Fund

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he will be in a position to announce the areas in the United Kingdom which the Economic Community have decided will be eligible for support under the European regional development fund ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : Areas to be eligible for support from the European regional development fund will be those selected for assistance from the reformed European structural funds under their new objectives 1, 2 and 5(b).

The objective 1 areas were listed in Council regulation (EEC) No. 2052/88 of 24 June 1988. They include Northern Ireland.

Objective 2 and 5(b) areas are to be determined by the European Commission. It announced a provisional list of objective 2 (industrial) areas on 8 March 1989. This contains nearly all the industrial assisted areas, including the hon. Member's constituency, and also a number of other areas. Following consultation of an advisory committee of national officials, this list is expected to be finalised during March 1989.

The Commission is expected to decide within a few weeks on a first list of objective 5(b) (rural) areas. It assured us in May 1988 that the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, rural Wales and the assisted areas of Devon and Cornwall would be eligible under objective 5(b).

Regional Aid

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what limits he proposes to set upon the charities component of European regional development aid to the United Kingdom ; if he will break down the figure by economic region ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The composition of future applications to the European regional development fund is under consideration.

Research and Development

Mr. Blair : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what are the latest figures on the regional distribution of his Department's budget for research and development.

Mr. Forth : This information is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Arms Sales (Iran and Iraq)

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if United Kingdom arms manufacturers will be granted export licences for sales to Iran or Iraq in the near future.

Mr. Forth [holding answer 13 March 1989] : I refer the hon. Lady to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade on 18 January 1989 at column 241 , to my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor).

Satellite Broadcasting

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps his Department is taking, in conjunction with the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the European Space Agency, to resolve potential problems of signal interference between BSB and the Olympus satellite ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 March 1989] : We are currently negotiating with the European Space Agency and other interested parties an arrangement which will ensure that reception of the United Kingdom's fifth direct broadcasting satellite channel will not suffer unacceptable signal interference from the Olympus experimental satellite. This arrangement is based on internationally agreed criteria (as prescribed in the final acts of the world broadcasting satellite administrative radio conference, Geneva, 1977--the 77 plan--and incorporated in appendix 30 of the International Telecommunications Union radio regulations) : It also takes account of the possibility that the operator of the fifth United Kingdom DBS channel may wish to operate at only one half of the satellite power prescribed in the 77 plan.

Radio Communications (Central London)

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many operating licences have been issued by his Department's radio communications division in central London to users operating on base transmission of 442.97500 mHz and mobile transmission of 428.47500 mHz ; and how many users have complained about overcrowding of the frequency.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 March 1989] : There are six licensed operators on these frequencies within the M25, and one licensed operator in the west midlands area.

Three users, from within the M25 area, have complained about overcrowding of these frequencies. These complaints are being investigated.


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Gas Prices

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he now expects British Gas to publish its schedule of prices to large industrial consumers following the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission ; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the delay in implementing the recommendation in the report.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 March 1989] : I hope that British Gas will be able to publish in the very near future its schedule of prices for large consumers, together with details of how it will be implemented. Many of the large customers of British Gas have asked for a delay in the implementation of the new schedule beyond 1 April to enable them to consider the implications for themselves.

Steel Industry (Gas)

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 1 March, Official Report, column 190, what information he has as to what proportion of production costs firm gas accounts for in (a) the steel forgings industry and (b) the steel castings industry.

Mr. Atkins : According to the latest five-yearly inquiry, gas purchasing amounted to just under 2 per cent. of the production costs of the forging, pressing and stamping industry (including steel forging) and the ferrous metal foundries industry (including steel castings) in 1984. Data for firm gas alone, or for all gas to the specific industry sectors, are not available to me.

Imitation Food

Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has reached a decision on whether imitation foods for dolls' houses and collectors of miniatures should be covered by the proposed Food Imitations (Safety) Regulations 1989 ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth : In the course of consultation on the regulations to implement the European Community directive on dangerous imitations a large number of representations have been made for the regulations not to apply to imitation food supplied for use in dolls' houses or model scenes or settings. These items are exempt from the Food Imitations (Safety) Regulations 1985 but are subject to the general safety requirement under section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and where appropriate to the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1974. After careful consideration of these representations, I have concluded that these items should be excluded from the new regulations.

Computer Hacking

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, following the recent cases of unauthorised electronic penetration of computerised information, when he intends to bring forward a Bill to outlaw computer hacking.

Mr. John Patten : I have been asked to reply. We are awaiting the final report of the Law Commission, which is looking at the matter as part of a review of the law on computer misuse.


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WALES

Urban Programme

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what was the value of urban programme moneys for each year since 1979 (a) for Wales, and (b) for district councils in the valleys initiative area, at constant prices.


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Mr. Peter Walker [holding answer 9 March 1989] : (a) The main urban programme and special and supplementary allocations in cash and real terms for all Wales for each of the years since 1979-80 is shown in the following tables :


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£ million                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                           Cash allocations                                                              Real terms                                                                                             

Year                      |Main allocations         |Special and supplementary|Total                    |Main allocations         |Special and supplementary|Total                                              

                                                    |allocations                                                                  |allocations                                                                  

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

1979-80                   |5.5                      |0.6                      |7.1                      |12.1                     |1.1                      |13.2                                               

1980-81                   |8.4                      |0.7                      |9.1                      |13.2                     |1.1                      |14.3                                               

1981-82                   |10.0                     |0.9                      |10.9                     |14.3                     |1.3                      |15.6                                               

1982-83                   |15.3                     |3.3                      |18.6                     |20.5                     |4.4                      |24.9                                               

1983-84                   |17.7                     |-                        |17.7                     |22.7                     |-                        |22.7                                               

1984-85                   |17.6                     |4.45                     |22.05                    |21.4                     |5.4                      |26.9                                               

1985-86                   |15.7                     |3.5                      |19.2                     |18.1                     |4.1                      |22.2                                               

1986-87                   |18.75                    |4.95                     |23.7                     |21.0                     |5.5                      |26.5                                               

1987-88                   |20.05                    |3.0                      |23.05                    |21.3                     |3.2                      |24.5                                               

1988-89                   |17.8                     |6.7                      |24.5                     |17.8                     |6.7                      |24.5                                               

1989-90                   |27.6                     |-                        |27.6                     |26.3                     |-                        |26.3                                               

(b) The total urban programme allocations in cash and real terms for the district councils which have all or part of their areas within the Programme for the Valleys area are as follow :


£ million                                                       

Year            |Cash allocation|Real terms                     

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

1979-80         |2.1            |3.9                            

1980-81         |3.3            |5.2                            

1981-82         |3.5            |5.0                            

1982-83         |7.1            |9.5                            

1983-84         |6.7            |8.5                            

1984-85         |8.5            |10.4                           

1985-86         |6.4            |7.4                            

1986-87         |10.0           |11.1                           

1987-88         |10.5           |11.1                           

1988-89         |13.3           |13.3                           

1989-90         |13.4           |12.8                           

Notes:                                                          

1. The allocations in real terms have been derived by the       

application of the GDP deflator at market prices with 1988-89   

as base year.                                                   

2. Boundaries for district councils do not correspond to        

boundary of Valleys Programme area and the figures in table b   

above do not include allocations for county councils.           

Home Improvement Grants

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of applications for home improvement grants and the number accepted for each year since 1979, by district and at constant prices.

Mr. Ian Grist [holding answer 9 March 1989] : The information available is shown in the following tables :


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|c|(a) Number of Renovation Grant applications<1>|c|                                             

                    |1982-83<2>|1984      |1985      |1986      |1987      |1988                 

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

Alyn and Deeside    |973       |705       |189       |220       |223       |197                  

Colwyn              |598       |183       |161       |342       |366       |455                  

Delyn               |785       |390       |82        |123       |187       |172                  

Glyndwr             |1,042     |649       |90        |131       |195       |274                  

Rhuddlan            |244       |122       |87        |114       |107       |98                   

Wrexham Maelor      |719       |183       |104       |134       |130       |110                  

Carmarthen          |2,766     |765       |480       |546       |614       |460                  

Ceredigion          |1,525     |336       |127       |110       |127       |336                  

Dinefwr             |2,552     |611       |103       |107       |134       |121                  

Llanelli            |2,441     |131       |128       |683       |680       |654                  

Preseli             |1,368     |220       |1,148     |731       |686       |844                  

South Pembrokeshire |1,499     |679       |278       |711       |640       |495                  

Blaenau Gwent       |11,176    |702       |400       |791       |941       |677                  

Islwyn              |2,687     |1,354     |1,178     |785       |1,312     |1,221                

Monmouth            |2,520     |187       |440       |653       |661       |89                   

Newport             |6,071     |827       |910       |1,227     |889       |770                  

Torfaen             |1,467     |3,226     |253       |849       |465       |265                  

Aberconwy           |664       |199       |204       |199       |199       |245                  

Arfon               |1,613     |797       |212       |317       |592       |533                  

Dwyfor              |1,816     |600       |77        |128       |183       |153                  

Meirionnydd         |1,559     |575       |68        |67        |56        |120                  

Ynys Mon            |1,652     |942       |101       |119       |115       |131                  

Cynon Valley        |5,206     |408       |560       |1,119     |2,029     |1,989                

Merthyr Tydfil      |4,950     |172       |187       |244       |268       |388                  

Ogwr                |3,350     |1,342     |562       |1,140     |966       |1,089                

Rhondda             |15,800    |2,731     |1,771     |2,118     |1,578     |1,813                

Rhymney Valley      |5,641     |1,165     |496       |778       |974       |1,103                

Taff-Ely            |5,411     |1,336     |649       |266       |513       |587                  

Brecknock           |2,046     |419       |83        |120       |165       |231                  

Montgomery          |2,294     |464       |95        |103       |77        |118                  

Radnor              |530       |222       |92        |97        |123       |104                  

Cardiff             |11,521    |5,364     |2,060     |3,608     |4,053     |4,296                

Vale of Glamorgan   |4,075     |578       |249       |450       |452       |391                  

Port Talbot (Afan)  |660       |1,131     |100       |114       |184       |1,233                

Lliw Valley         |972       |468       |340       |377       |506       |610                  

Neath               |2,551     |259       |283       |258       |491       |498                  

Swansea             |8,357     |2,331     |1,617     |1,909     |1,594     |1,767                

                                                                                                 

Wales               |121,101   |32,773    |15,964    |21,788    |23,475    |24,637               

<1> Number of renovation grant applications are not available prior to 9 March 1982.             

<2> Total grant applications between 9 March 1982 and 31 December 1983.                          


|c|(b) Number of renovation grant approvals|c|                                                              

                    |1979   |1980   |1981   |1982   |1983   |1984   |1985   |1986   |1987   |1988           

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

Alyn and Deeside    |109    |125    |153    |397    |428    |154    |86     |242    |226    |243            

Colwyn              |156    |135    |76     |182    |328    |60     |213    |274    |278    |341            

Delyn               |133    |69     |153    |259    |328    |160    |150    |195    |266    |152            

Glyndwr             |78     |68     |78     |330    |500    |230    |95     |106    |206    |180            

Rhuddlan            |32     |16     |22     |54     |94     |68     |52     |84     |83     |63             

Wrexham Maelor      |72     |88     |25     |170    |140    |94     |85     |115    |71     |96             

Carmarthen          |298    |244    |180    |633    |1,790  |424    |617    |445    |468    |465            

Ceredigion          |176    |165    |130    |365    |999    |68     |337    |316    |108    |291            

Dinefwr             |181    |49     |45     |160    |461    |171    |130    |150    |125    |165            

Llanelli            |338    |123    |132    |323    |1,523  |258    |484    |515    |461    |853            

Preseli             |187    |177    |188    |373    |902    |196    |423    |397    |427    |443            

South Pembrokeshire |131    |95     |162    |483    |682    |605    |286    |555    |440    |447            

Blaenau Gwent       |275    |220    |169    |928    |2,325  |319    |225    |776    |907    |345            

Islwyn              |286    |176    |214    |528    |997    |978    |1,447  |1,186  |1,419  |1,582          

Monmouth            |115    |116    |100    |364    |912    |196    |335    |237    |413    |89             

Newport             |240    |160    |288    |1,147  |1,108  |413    |1,021  |55     |517    |874            

Torfaen             |98     |47     |87     |414    |773    |404    |286    |370    |433    |444            

Aberconwy           |117    |104    |127    |168    |301    |220    |209    |155    |195    |203            

Arfon               |279    |275    |269    |412    |698    |465    |562    |553    |468    |437            

Dwyfor              |101    |50     |141    |528    |758    |289    |79     |194    |132    |154            

Meirionnydd         |120    |104    |69     |353    |1,208  |861    |68     |223    |61     |116            

Ynys Mon            |114    |84     |75     |264    |1,271  |198    |162    |196    |232    |303            

Cynon Valley        |225    |171    |158    |422    |677    |221    |348    |1,263  |1,518  |1,430          

Merthyr Tydfil      |202    |81     |225    |705    |2,068  |377    |420    |547    |606    |1,036          

Ogwr                |493    |329    |455    |700    |1,418  |1,125  |574    |1,120  |904    |1,267          

Rhondda             |514    |415    |782    |1,723  |3,570  |5,068  |579    |2,329  |1,332  |1,642          

Rhymney Valley      |331    |207    |355    |953    |1,192  |944    |393    |739    |952    |954            

Taff-Ely            |320    |291    |854    |1,432  |2,205  |557    |677    |742    |256    |587            

Brecknock           |124    |127    |141    |296    |776    |111    |62     |202    |331    |236            

Montgomery          |69     |59     |63     |471    |733    |139    |167    |228    |116    |279            

Radnor              |72     |58     |31     |204    |372    |82     |181    |127    |101    |92             

Cardiff             |497    |457    |698    |1,425  |4,031  |1,821  |2,866  |3,122  |3,051  |3,107          

Vale of Glamorgan   |228    |207    |316    |788    |1,101  |402    |205    |590    |452    |386            

Port Talbot (Afan)  |202    |157    |163    |225    |204    |68     |186    |403    |609    |451            

Lliw Valley         |301    |283    |222    |402    |261    |315    |339    |535    |484    |574            

Neath               |394    |141    |235    |884    |1,727  |259    |304    |656    |774    |493            

Swansea             |977    |937    |444    |1,501  |1,987  |1,546  |2,046  |1,219  |1,276  |1,279          

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

Wales               |8,585  |6,610  |8,025  |20,966 |40,848 |19,866 |16,699 |21,661 |20,698 |22,099         


|c|(c) Value of Renovation Grant approvals (£000) at 1988 prices<1><2>|c|                                   

                    |1979   |1980   |1981   |1982   |1983   |1984   |1985   |1986   |1987   |1988           

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

Alyn and Deeside    |-      |-      |-      |1,033  |1,484  |636    |285    |937    |788    |871            

Colwyn              |-      |-      |-      |1,020  |1,817  |203    |751    |1,050  |1,102  |1,088          

Delyn               |-      |-      |-      |999    |1,108  |660    |422    |487    |695    |391            

Glyndwr             |-      |-      |-      |1,261  |2,496  |1,486  |423    |454    |757    |664            

Rhuddlan            |-      |-      |-      |57     |213    |135    |83     |161    |218    |170            

Wrexham Maelor      |-      |-      |-      |586    |572    |408    |316    |413    |231    |313            

Carmarthen          |-      |-      |-      |3,250  |8,623  |2,052  |2,728  |2,144  |2,028  |1,772          

Ceredigion          |-      |-      |-      |1,987  |5,876  |302    |1,624  |1,555  |421    |1,083          

Dinefwr             |-      |-      |-      |805    |2,159  |580    |378    |439    |381    |519            

Llanelli            |-      |-      |-      |1,136  |4,371  |797    |1,819  |1,323  |1,252  |2,235          

Preseli             |-      |-      |-      |2,074  |5,598  |976    |2,138  |1,669  |1,792  |1,537          

South Pembrokeshire |-      |-      |-      |2,518  |3,503  |3,047  |1,300  |2,610  |2,258  |2,189          

Blaenau Gwent       |-      |-      |-      |4,332  |9,705  |1,038  |1,028  |3,202  |3,295  |1,153          

Islwyn              |-      |-      |-      |2,061  |3,639  |2,780  |3,656  |3,698  |4,343  |4,230          

Monmouth            |-      |-      |-      |1,505  |4,024  |977    |1,068  |767    |1,265  |173            

Newport             |-      |-      |-      |5,086  |6,313  |1,846  |3,321  |1,917  |2,127  |3,287          

Torfaen             |-      |-      |-      |1,410  |2,658  |1,716  |998    |1,014  |1,610  |1,837          

Aberconwy           |-      |-      |-      |752    |1,159  |707    |679    |473    |579    |654            

Arfon               |-      |-      |-      |1,588  |3,112  |2,275  |2,442  |2,278  |1,735  |1,567          

Dwyfor              |-      |-      |-      |2,305  |3,327  |1,252  |333    |877    |523    |648            

Meirionnydd         |-      |-      |-      |1,407  |5,152  |3,893  |236    |881    |211    |402            

Ynys Mon            |-      |-      |-      |1,336  |6,581  |833    |627    |750    |890    |1,078          

Cynon Valley        |-      |-      |-      |2,443  |3,837  |843    |1,363  |4,098  |5,562  |2,979          

Merthyr Tydfil      |-      |-      |-      |2,167  |5,245  |1,211  |1,233  |1,515  |1,532  |2,539          

Ogwr                |-      |-      |-      |3,276  |4,696  |3,384  |1,322  |3,855  |2,851  |3,490          

Rhondda             |-      |-      |-      |6,165  |12,540 |17,854 |1,883  |7,493  |4,605  |5,561          

Rhymney Valley      |-      |-      |-      |2,769  |4,848  |3,900  |1,298  |2,704  |3,639  |3,396          

Taff-Ely            |-      |-      |-      |4,576  |8,202  |2,273  |2,601  |3,377  |641    |1,508          

Brecknock           |-      |-      |-      |1,155  |3,165  |479    |235    |499    |753    |599            

Montgomery          |-      |-      |-      |2,032  |3,290  |547    |619    |758    |369    |877            

Radnor              |-      |-      |-      |694    |1,398  |409    |530    |333    |352    |248            

Cardiff             |-      |-      |-      |5,080  |16,228 |6,959  |10,158 |12,250 |11,735 |10,622         

Vale of Glamorgan   |-      |-      |-      |3,027  |4,553  |1,769  |859    |2,321  |1,554  |1,351          

Port Talbot (Afan)  |-      |-      |-      |534    |636    |250    |392    |965    |590    |1,268          

Lliw Valley         |-      |-      |-      |1,806  |1,096  |1,413  |1,299  |2,093  |1,520  |1,612          

Neath               |-      |-      |-      |2,093  |4,884  |604    |841    |1,236  |1,824  |962            

Swansea             |-      |-      |-      |6,510  |8,396  |6,937  |7,947  |5,194  |5,640  |5,770          

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

Wales               |31,265 |21,324 |30,520 |82,476 |166,503|77,428 |59,233 |77,791 |71,665 |70,643         

<1> Information by district is not readily available prior to 1982.                                         

<2> Value of approvals has been expressed at 1988 prices using GDP deflators.                               

This does not include allocations for area based renovations for which the totals are as follows :


1986-87   |1987-88  |1988-89            

£ million |£ million|£ million          

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

11        |20       |24                 


Column 136

Urban Development Grants

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the value of urban development grants by district council for each year since 1979 at constant prices.

Mr. Ian Grist [holding answer 9 March 1989] : Urban development grant was introduced in 1982. The following table represents the value of capital allocations made in each year are expressed in real terms and have been devised by excluding the effect of general inflation as measured by the latest GDP deflators. 1988-89 is the base year for the calculations.


Column 135


£ million                                                                                                                                              

                                        Capital allocations:                                                                                           

                                        UDG                                                                                                            

Local authority                        |1983-84        |1984-85        |1985-86        |1986-87        |1987-88        |1988-89                        

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

Alyn and Deeside District Council      |-              |0.062          |0.012          |0.008          |0.694          |-                              

Colwyn Borough Council                 |-              |-              |0.092          |0.229          |0.114          |-                              

Delyn District Council                 |-              |-              |-              |-              |0.060          |0.042                          

Wrexham Maelor Borough Council         |-              |1.205          |-              |-              |-              |-                              

Preseli Pembrokeshire District Council |-              |-              |-              |-              |0.170          |0.008                          

South Pembrokeshire District Council   |-              |-              |-              |-              |0.213          |0.068                          

Blaenau Gwent Borough Council          |0.220          |0.284          |0.353          |0.234          |0.027          |-                              

Islwyn Borough Council                 |-              |-              |-              |0.262          |0.058          |0.376                          

Newport Borough Council                |0.013          |0.024          |0.821          |0.783          |-              |-                              

Torfaen Borough Council                |-              |-              |-              |-              |-              |0.090                          

Cynon Valley Borough Council           |-              |-              |-              |0.065          |0.345          |0.141                          

Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council         |-              |-              |0.101          |0.010          |0.106          |0.201                          

Rhondda Borough Council                |0.038          |0.451          |0.959          |0.318          |0.171          |0.897                          

Rhymney Valley District Council        |-              |-              |0.129          |-              |0.018          |-                              

Cardiff City Council                   |0.640          |1.473          |1.289          |0.210          |0.244          |0.636                          

Vale of Glamorgan District Council     |-              |-              |-              |0.744          |0.594          |0.022                          

Neath Borough Council                  |-              |0.061          |0.058          |-              |-              |0.435                          

Port Talbot Borough Council            |-              |-              |-              |-              |0.090          |0.186                          

Swansea City Council                   |0.640          |0.249          |0.058          |0.023          |0.327          |1.717                          

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has received any representations concerning the payment under the environmentally sensitive areas scheme of money to landlords ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker [holding answer 9 March 1989] : In addition to the letter that I have received from the hon.


Column 136

Gentleman the president of the Farmers Union of Wales has written to me about problems which his members are facing in reaching agreement with the Crown Estate and the water authority about the apportionment of grant that would be paid under the ESA scheme. I have arranged for my officials to meet the union to discuss the problem.


Column 137

Press and Public Relations

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff including vacant posts, in the press and the public relations office of the Welsh Office ; and what is the proposed complement for 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Walker [holding answer 13 March 1989] : There are 22 staff in the information division which has a notional complement of 28 . Under delegated budgets staffing levels for 1989-90 will be determined by the resources made available to line managers and decisions on budget allocations for 1989-90 have yet to be finalised.

Bed and Breakfast

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what is the number of people for whom


Column 138

bed-and-breakfast payments are being made ; and whether they are single, single with children, a couple or a couple with children for each year since 1979.

Mr. Grist [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The available information is set out in the following tables :


|c|Households           

accommodated in bed and 

breakfast               

accommodation<1>|c|     

        |Numbers        

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

1979    |22             

1980    |67             

1981    |63             

1982    |21             

1983    |17             

1984    |31             

1985    |20             

1986    |35             

1987    |45             

<1>On 31 December,      

under Part III of the   

Housing Act 1985.       

Source: Welsh Office.   


Column 137


|c|Households placed in bed and breakfast accommodation, by type of           

household<1>|c|                                                               

                            |1979|1980|1981|1982|1983|1984|1985|1986|1987     

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

Single persons              |n/a |n/a |83  |74  |44  |54  |113 |56  |74       

Lone parents with children  |n/a |n/a |165 |160 |108 |148 |268 |211 |248      

Married couple with/without                                                   

 children                   |n/a |n/a |168 |160 |106 |117 |225 |147 |177      

Other                       |n/a |n/a      |1   |3        |2   |4   |6        

                                                                              

Total                       |133 |348 |416 |395 |261 |319 |608 |418 |505      

<1>During the year as a whole, under Part III of the Housing Act 1985.        

Source: Welsh Office.                                                         

Neath-Port Talbot Hospital

Mr. John Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether in the consideration he is now giving to the proposals of the health authority for the building of a new hospital in the Neath-Port Talbot area he is still on target so far as the intended commencement of work is concerned.

Mr. Peter Walker : I am at present examining the proposals from West Glamorgan Health Authority. The scheme is currently on target to start in 1991-92.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Plastic Bullets

Mr. Ashdown : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will now make it his policy to answer detailed questions on the rules governing the use of plastic bullets.

Mr. Ian Stewart : I have nothing further to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short) on 15 December 1988, at column 677.

Information Technology

Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement of progress on the introduction of information technologies to facilitate internal communications in his Department and the provision of information to the public concerning those areas for which he is responsible ; and if he has any further plans to apply the newest technologies in these fields.


Column 138

Mr. Ian Stewart : All Northern Ireland Departments have prepared, and are implementing, information technology strategies geared to their individual business objectives with the aim of increasing efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring value for money in the purchases of systems. The Northern Ireland Office is in the process of preparing its own strategy. Each strategy includes provision for improving internal communications through the use of voice and data transmission facilities, office automation and management information systems. Fax and telex facilities are also available in Departments and local offices dealing with matters such as social security. In particular, the Northern Ireland Office has recently introduced a secure inter-communicating word processing system and a secure video conferencing system linking its Belfast and London offices. A telecommunications strategy has also been drawn up, and plans are being prepared to provide a modern, fully integrated, digital network.

The departmental information technology strategies address the provision of information to the public where this is appropriate and a number of computer systems providing this facility are operational in areas such as social security benefits, economic development and agriculture. In addition a free telephone service, freeline DHSS, is provided to anyone in Northern Ireland linking inquirers directly to a centre where full-time staff provide information and advice on all social security benefits and related services.

Departmental information technology strategies are continually reviewed to ensure that they match administrative and policy objectives. Departments also endeavour to keep abreast of the latest developments in technology and seek to apply these where they fit into their strategies.


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