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London Regional Transport

Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what objectives he has given Mr. Newton on taking up his post as chairman of London Regional Transport.

Mr. Paul Channon : I have today sent the following letter to Mr. Newton setting his initial remit.

You take up your position at a time when London Regional Transport faces a number of major challenges.

First, and the highest priority, is to carry through the actions needed following Mr. Fennell's report on the King's Cross tragedy. A vigorous start has already been made on this vital task.

Second, there is a need to provide for the projected continuing increase in traffic particularly on the Underground, and for the growing public transport needs of Docklands.

Third, there is the need to improve the quality of services and the security afforded to the traveller.

Fourth, it is necessary to complete the effective restructuring of London Buses in order to improve performance and prepare for deregulation in the early 1990s.

The Board under your chairmanship will tackle these tasks in the light of LRT's general statutory and financial duties, which include the duty to have due regard to efficiency, economy and safety of operation.

We need a clear long term strategy and a framework of medium term objectives that I would settle with you. For this, I should like you to review LRT's plans in all areas, and put to me by the end of June 1989 your proposals for a management, investment and financial strategy which aims to give London safe and reliable rail and bus services ; provides good value for money ; and, so far as possible, transfers costs from the taxpayer to the passenger and other beneficiaries. As part of establishing the objectives I would like to agree with you a set of quality of service targets for the Underground.

You should know that the present provision for LRT in the Government's expenditure plans is for external finance of £287 million in 1989-90 and for the following levels of investment :


          |£ million          

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

1989-90   |486                

1990-91   |540                

1991-92   |461                

I understand that the London Regional Transport board has today appointed Mr. Newton as chairman of London Underground Limited and Mr. Telford Beasley as deputy chief executive of London Regional Transport. I welcome these appointments.

Vehicle Movements (Monitoring)

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to introduce legislation to prohibit the collection of data in a form that can trace or monitor the movements of a particular vehicle ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 20 March 1989] : Surveys of vehicle movements provide useful statistical data for transport planning and analysis. No such data on individual vehicle movements collected by the Department are divulged to third parties. Computerised data would be subject to the Data Protection Act and all statistical data are dealt with under the Government statistical service code of practice published as Command Paper 9270 in June 1984.

The Road Traffic (Driver Licensing and Information Systems) Bill would provide that the Secretary of State could not require information to be furnished to him in a way which enabled him to identify individual drivers of motor vehicles equipped to receive driver information.

Severn Bridge

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what procedures are operational to provide ministerial permission at short notice to waive the collection of tolls at the Severn bridge when requested in the interests of road safety ;

(2) what procedures are available to waive the collection of tolls at the Severn bridge in order speedily to reduce tailbacks of traffic.

Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 21 March 1989] : Under section 6(4) of the Severn Bridge Act 1965 the Secretary of State may direct the suspension of toll collection by reason of any accident or other emergency if it appears to him necessary to do so and without making an order or giving notice. Under these powers a procedure has been established for the rapid waiving of tolls when necessary. The use of this procedure would not be justified solely by large volumes of traffic.

Motorway Accidents

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the totals and percentages of motorway fatal and other serious accidents, recorded in tailbacks that are (a) predicted and (b) unexpected in each of the last 10 years ;

(2) how many fatal and other serious accidents on motorways occurred in tailbacks of stationary or slow-moving traffic in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 21 March 1989] : The stats19 road accident report form does not record whether there was a tailback at the scene of a road accident.

Civil Servants (Air Travel)

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what criteria airlines are selected for purchase of tickets


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for civil servants travelling on official duties (a) within the United Kingdom, (b) in Europe and (c) elsewhere ; whether travel agents are used ; and whether block bookings are made.

Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 21 March 1989] : The overall objective in organising travel for civil servants is to obtain best value for money and airlines are selected on this basis. If British airlines can match others in terms of cost and convenience they would normally be used.

Each Government Department makes its own booking arrangements.

Roads

Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give for 1989-90, 1990-91, and 1991-92, the provision for value added tax liability on new construction within the budgets given for local authority capital spending on roads and transport in table 8-1 of "the Government's Expenditure Plans 1989-90 to 1991-92" chapter 8.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Local authorities have always been able to reclaim VAT paid on any expenditure not for a business activity. This rule now automatically extends to their road construction programme. VAT paid by their business activities, such as their airport companies, is covered by the normal reclaim procedure applicable to the private sector. Extra provision is not needed.

Nuclear Materials

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make it his policy to re-evaluate the suitability of the HS 748 Andover aircraft for the air freighting of plutonium to European destinations ;

(2) what studies have been made by his Department of the suitability and safety of (a) Prestwick, (b) Carlisle, (c) Bournemouth Hurn, (d) Dounreay and (e) Wick airports for the air freighting of commercial plutonium from the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : All movements of radioactive materials by air must comply with national and international regulations which require safety to be built into the package design and do not depend for their effectiveness on the use of a particular type of aircraft or choice of airport.

Nuclear Materials

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the agreement made on 20 December 1988 between the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Japan Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation for the development of criteria for certification of a plutonium air transport cask ; whether British Nuclear Fuels plc has been involved with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the JPNC in criteria development ; and if he will request the United Kingdom advisory committee on the safe transport of radioactive materials, ACTRAM, to evaluate the developments arising from the agreement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Negotiations between the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Japan Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development


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Corporation are a matter for the parties concerned. British Nuclear Fuels plc has not been involved in those negotiations.

It would not be appropriate to refer these matters to the advisory committee on the safe transport of radioactive materials which has completed its programme of work.

Commuter Services (North London)

Mrs. Roe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to authorise any application for additional investment to relieve overcrowding on British Rail's commuter services north of the Thames.

Mr. Channon : In response to a request from the Government early last year, British Rail submitted proposals for additional vehicles for these services. I approved a first tranche of 200 vehicles last October and have today approved a further 124 class 321 vehicles at a cost of £43.4 million to cater for expected future growth in demand. The total of 324 additional vehicles will enable rolling stock north of the Thames to be redeployed in a way which will bring significant relief from overcrowding on commuter services into Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, King's Cross and Euston.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Drunkenness

Mr. John Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide figures of the number of arrests and subsequent convictions for drunkenness in England and Wales for each of the last three years.

Mr. John Patten : Information on the number of convictions for drunkenness was published in "Offences of drunkenness, England and Wales, 1987" (Home Office statistical bulletin 31/88), a copy of which is in the Library. No information is collected centrally on arrests for drunkenness.

Private Investigators

Mr. Ashdown : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration his Department is giving to the statutory registration of private security companies and private investigators ; what mechanisms he has for ensuring that the views of private investigators are taken into account ; what consultations his Department has had with the Institute of Professional Investigators ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : The Government have made it clear that they look to the private security industry to provide self-regulation. Following publication of the report on the industry by the Association of Chief Police Officers, my right hon. Friend asked officials to consider with the police and the industry ways in which self-regulation might be improved and a working group has been set up for this purpose. The Home Office has been in touch with the Institute of Professional Investigators and the institute's views which have been submitted to the Home Office will be brought to the attention of the working group.


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National Pet Week

Dame Janet Fookes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to offer support to National Pet Week.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No. This does not fall into the Home Secretary's responsibilities.

Broadcasting in the 90s"

Mr. Buchanan-Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many responses he has received during the consultation period in relation to the White Paper "Broadcasting in the 90s" ; and if he will give the number for each ITV region.

Mr. Renton : We have received over 2,900 responses, and a few late submissions are still coming in. A breakdown by ITV region of those responses which could be attributed to a single region could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We have it in mind in due course to place in the Library a list of the main organisations which have submitted comments.

Steel-cored Bullets

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of the tests carried out by Thomas Alfred Warlow of his Department's forensic laboratory at Huntingdon into the special properties of steel-cored bullets in the penetration of laminated windscreens of vehicles.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Mr. Warlow examined 12 of the vehicles hit by bullets during the Hungerford shooting incident. Using unfired ammunition recovered from the scene, he measured the velocities of the bullets discharged from the firearms, calculated the kinetic energies and also made micro sections of different bullets and examined their construction. He did not conduct tests of the kind referred to in the question.

Armed Police

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Avon and Somerset police as to what measures have been taken to improve the training and competence with guns and marksmanship of armed officers in the Avon and Somerset police following reports at the inquest of Glyn Davis, at Cullompton, Devon, in November 1988, that a police officer fired two revolver rounds at the deceased at a range of 9-10 yards, and missed.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : After every armed operation in which shots are fired by police officers the incident is carefully examined to identify the lessons to be drawn. Where necessary these are incorporated into firearms training programmes.

An independent inquiry into this incident, which took place in darkness, was carried out under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority and no criticism was made of selection, training and safety standards. Avon and Somerset constabulary has carried out its own review and is satisfied that its measures are effective and comply with the national standards.


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Warning and Monitoring Trials

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the dates, locations and purpose of United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation trials in 1989.

Mr. John Patten : The 1989 exercise dates for the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation are 15 to 16 April, 18 June and 29 October. These exercises, which are designed to practise operational procedures, will involve UKWMO operational controls and monitoring posts throughout the country.

Drink-driving

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the decision to review 742 drink- driving convictions in Greater Manchester after the use there of alcohol- impregnated swabs in taking blood tests and the possible review of 1,117 further cases.

Mr. John Patten : Between March 1987 and December 1988, police stations in the Greater Manchester police area were issued with blood sampling kits in which the alcohol-free swabs had been replaced by the stores department of the force with swabs acquired from an independent source. It was later found that these locally substituted swabs contained a solution with a very small percentage of alcohol. The blood analysis results in a number of these cases may therefore have been affected. At present, there are known to be a total of 742 cases in which prosecution was based on the results of the blood sample ; together with a total of 729 cases in which prosecution was based solely on breath test evidence. In addition, there are a further 388 cases where it is not yet possible to say into which category they fall.

I am arranging to review as quickly as possible the convictions in all those cases in which prosecution was based on the results of the blood sample, and I will also consider representations from individuals who believe that they were wrongly convicted. Each case will be considered on its merits.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his estimates of the costs to public funds of (a) reviewing 742 drink-driving convictions after use by Greater Manchester police of alcohol-impregnated swabs in taking blood tests and (b) the possible review of 1,117 further cases arising from the mistake.

Mr. John Patten : Our present estimate is that the cost to the Home Office is likely to be of the order of £36,000. This figure may be subject to revision when fuller details of the cases are available.

Police Manpower

Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people there are to every police officer in (a) the north-west and (b) nationally ; and what were the comparable figures for 1979.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information requested is set out as follows :


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|c|<1>Police/population ratio|c|                                            

                         |31 December 1988|31 December 1979                 

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

(a) North-West                                                              

      Cheshire           |512             |510                              

      Cumbria            |426             |424                              

      Greater Manchester |372             |394                              

      Lancashire         |437             |437                              

      Merseyside         |311             |347                              

                                                                            

(b) England and Wales    |407             |414                              

<1> Population per officer is calculated on the basis of the authorised     

establishment of each force at 31 December.                                 

Betting

Mr. Holt : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce his determination under section 1 of the Horserace Betting Levy Act 1969 of the horserace betting levy scheme beginning 1 April.

Mr. Hurd : I have today sent the following letter to the chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board and written similarly to the chairman of the Bookmakers' Committee. A copy of the scheme has been placed in the Library.

"In your letter of 1 November 1988 you reported to me that the Board and the Bookmakers' Committee has failed to agree the Scheme to have effect for the 28th levy period and that the Scheme accordingly fell to be determined by me. I have now reached my decision and enclose a copy of the Scheme which I have determined.

In reaching my decision I have taken into account all the submissions on the issue made to me by the Government-appointed members of the Levy Board and by the Bookmakers' Committee, together with other submissions and representations, including from the Jockey Club and the Horseracing Advisory Council, on which the Board members and the Committee were afforded the opportunity to comment to me. As recommended to me both by the Board members and by the Committee, the Scheme is shop based', that is to say, levy on the cash horserace betting turnover of betting offices is to be calculated by the reference to the turnover of each individual office, not the turnover of bookmaking companies. Levy on credit betting turnover necessarily has to be fixed on a different basis and is, therefore, to be calculated by reference to a scale which as nearly as practicable equates with the levy rates on cash betting. The cash yield from the Scheme will depend upon the level of leviable betting turnover. Assuming a turnover of £4,000 million, the total estimated yield will be about £34.5 million. In their final negotiations with the Bookmakers' Committee, the Levy Board sought some £34 million from the scheme, albeit assuming at that time a somewhat lower turnover. Equally, the Committee subsequently indicated that it was prepared for the scheme to produce some £34 million.

Like the schemes recommended to me both by the Board members and by the Committee, the Scheme which I have determined is "leveraged", that is to say, should turnover in the 28th levy period increase beyond £4,000 million, for each 1 per cent. such increase the levy yield would be more than 1 per cent. This means that racing as well as bookmaking would benefit from higher turnover. It is, therefore, all the more important to re- emphasise my expectation that the Levy Board as a whole will continue to aim to achieve value for money in its expenditure, continuing and if necessary building upon the arrangements for that which were introduced following the last determination, of the 23rd levy scheme. It is equally important to put on record my confidence that the bookmakers will be able to make their contributions to the levy at the rates in the Scheme without making any increase in their deductions from the punters. The rates of levy in the Scheme, whilst in some respects higher than those recommended by the Bookmakers'


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Committee, are overall lower than those sought by the Board. It has not been possible for me to accept the contention of some in the racing industry, to which the Board members have referred, that the target levy yield from this scheme should be set by reference to comparisons with the rates of return from betting to racing in other countries. The facts on this point are disputed and remain unclear. I also believe it to be right, under the current levy arrangements, for the needs of racing to be met by the levy to be quantified annually in cash terms, rather than assuming that what is required is a fixed percentage of turnover. Under the levy legislation the rates of levy are to be settled annually. Both the needs of racing and the capacity of bookmakers to make contributions can increase or decrease as a proportion of leviable turnover ; they are not necessarily in a precise relationship to one another.

My statutory duty is to determine a scheme for one year only, and it would not be right for me to say that the rates for the 28th levy period should or should not remain the same in successive schemes. In that it is shop- based, the Scheme represents a novelty. The Levy Board and the Bookmakers' Committee will no doubt wish to monitor its operation as closely and quickly as possible, and to take the results into account in their negotiations on successive schemes. I understand the arguments for the recommendation from the Government-appointed members of the Board that there should be an inquiry into the long term funding of racing. The possible privatisation of the Horserace Totalisator Board is a relevant factor for me to have in mind in reaching my conclusion on the need for, and scope of, an independent and objective assessment of the issues within that recommendation. I will announce that conclusion when I have received and considered advice of Lloyds Merchant Bank as to the feasibility of that privatisation. That advice is expected soon. My hope is that the negotiations for the 29th levy scheme will be conducted constructively and in a spirit of co-operation."

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Cordless Telephones

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many prosecutions for breach of the Wireless Telegraphy (Cordless Telephone Apparatus) (Restriction) Order (SI, No. 774) have been made in (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) England in each of the last three years for which records are available.

Mr. Atkins : The Wireless Telegraphy (Cordless Telephone Apparatus) (Restriction) Order 1987 (SI, No. 774) came into force on 21 May 1987. Persons contravening the order can be prosecuted under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. They can also be prosecuted for the unlicensed use of cordless telephone apparatus under the 1949 Act. My Department can also apply to a court under section 80 (section 81 in Scotland) of the Telecommunications Act 1984 for cordless telephones held in breach of the order to be forfeited, thereby avoiding criminal prosecutions. Finally, members of the public may decide voluntarily to surrender illegal apparatus to my Department, thereby avoiding all court proceedings. The relevant number of cases is as follows :


                    |Northern Ireland|Scotland        |Wales           |England                          

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

Prosecutions                                                                                             

1987                |-               |1               |-               |16                               

1988                |-               |1               |-               |3                                

1989 (to 20 March)  |-               |-               |-               |-                                

                                                                                                         

Forfeiture orders                                                                                        

1987                |-               |-               |2               |4                                

1988                |-               |1               |-               |13                               

1989 (to 20 March)  |-               |-               |-               |1                                

                                                                                                         

Voluntary surrender                                                                                      

1987                |4               |-               |2               |71                               

1988                |6               |9               |2               |141                              

1989 (to 20 March)  |-               |-               |1               |17                               

INWARD

Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster by how much his Department's support for INWARD has increased in the last three years ; how much investment has been secured thereby ; and how many jobs have been created or safeguarded.

Mr. Atkins : Department of Industry support for INWARD was £263,000 in 1986-87, £380,000 in 1987-88 and £450,000 in 1988-89. During the period INWARD has been involved in securing 40 projects which have resulted in known investment in excess of £94 million and the creation/safeguarding of approximately 1,700 jobs.

Overseas Companies (North-West)

Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many overseas owner companies are located in the north-west ; and what was the comparable figure in 1979.

Mr. Atkins : There are over 600 foreign-owned companies operating in the north-west. No comparable statistics are available for 1979.

Foreign Investment (North-West)

Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many jobs have been created or safeguarded by foreign investment in the north-west since 1979.

Mr. Atkins : There are no comprehensive figures but developments known to the Invest in Britain Bureau indicate that over 11,000 new jobs have been created and approximately 9,300 safeguarded by foreign investment in the north-west since 1979.

South Africa

Mr. Hanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will report on how British companies have complied with the European Community code of conduct for companies with interests in South Africa during the 12-month period to 30 June 1988.

Mr. Alan Clark : By 8 March 1989, 120 companies had submitted reports to the DTI under the code of conduct. Copies of the reports and of the Department's analysis and summary have, as in previous years, been placed in the Library of each House. These documents may also be inspected at the Department's export market information centre, at the British embassy in Pretoria, at the British consulate-general in Johannesburg, and at the British consulates in Cape Town and Durban.

The analysis and summary is the third since the adoption of the revised code of conduct by EC Foreign Ministers in November 1985.


Column 603

The period under review has seen a further reduction in the number of black employees of British subsidiaries being paid below the code's recommended minimum level, with companies' reports indicating that again over 97 per cent. were paid above this level. In addition, companies continued to report impressive levels of involvement in projects benefiting not only their employees and their families but also the wider communities from which their work forces were drawn. Companies also continued to encourage the growth of black businesses, a new element introduced to the code in 1985.

The Government are once more grateful to companies for their continued co- operation in providing reports, and urge them to maintain this performance and to comply fully with the code.

National Engineering Laboratory

Mr. Ingram : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the individual payments to be made to the members of the national engineering laboratory supervisory board ; and what is the projected total cost of the board's activities.

Mr. Newton [holding answer 20 March 1989] : some of the board's members are civil servants and Scottish Development Agency employees and these members will not receive any membership fee. The five members who are neither civil servants nor employed by the Scottish


Column 604

Development Agency will each be paid a fee of £5,000 per year (plus VAT if the member is registered for VAT purposes). In addition, such members will be entitled to the reimbursement of any travel and subsistence expenses incurred on account of board membership. Because the total cost of meeting expenses claims in a full year cannot be accurately estimated at present, we are unable to give a projected total cost of the board's activities.

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Natural Environment Research Council

113. Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give the location of each natural environment research council establishment in England, showing whether there are any plans to close any of them or to curtail their work in any way.

Mr. Jackson : The table shows the location of each natural environment research council establishment in England indicating where one or more areas of scientific research is to be reduced in 1989. None of the establishments listed are to be closed. In some cases resources from lower priority areas of scientific research are to be redeployed to support new opportunities or expansion in areas of high priority.


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Establishment                                     |Location                         |Curtailment of work                                                

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

NERC Headquarters                                 |Swindon, Wiltshire               |No                                                                 

                                                  |London                           |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

British Geological Survey                         |Keyworth, Nottingham             |No                                                                 

                                                  |London                           |<1>No                                                              

                                                  |Exeter, Devon                    |No                                                                 

                                                  |Newcastle-upon-Tyne              |No                                                                 

                                                  |Wallingford, Oxfordshire         |No                                                                 

  (London Information Office)                     |Geological Museum, London        |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Institute of Oceanographic Science                                                                                                                      

  Deacon Laboratory                               |Wormley, Surrey                  |Yes                                                                

                                                                                                                                                        

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory                 |Birkenhead, Merseyside           |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Plymouth Marine Laboratory                        |Plymouth, Devon                  |Yes                                                                

                                                                                                                                                        

Sea Mammal Research Unit                          |Cambridge                        |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Robert Hooke Institute                            |Oxford                           |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Institute of Terrestrial Ecology                                                                                                                        

  (Merlewood Research Station)                    |Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria       |No                                                                 

  (Monks Wood Experimental Station)               |Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire       |No                                                                 

  (Furzebrook Research Station)                   |Wareham, Dorset                  |Yes                                                                

                                                                                                                                                        

Institute of Hydrology                            |Wallingford, Oxfordshire         |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Institute of Virology                             |Oxford                           |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Freshwater Biological Association (until 1 April                                                                                                        

  1989 when these Institutes become the Institute                                                                                                       

  of Freshwater Ecology)                                                                                                                                

  (The Ferry House)                               |Ambleside, Cumbria               |Yes                                                                

  (The River Laboratory)                          |East Stoke, Dorset               |Yes                                                                

  (Eastern Rivers Unit)                           |Huntingdon, Cambridge            |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Unit of Comparative Plant Ecology                 |University of Sheffield          |Yes                                                                

                                                                                                                                                        

Water Resource Systems Research Unit              |University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne|No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

British Antarctic Survey                          |Cambridge                        |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Isotope Geology Centre                            |London                           |<1>No                                                              

                                                                                                                                                        

Remote Sensing Applications Development Unit      |Farnborough, Hampshire           |No                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

Unit for Thematic Information Systems             |University of Reading            |No                                                                 

<1> Relocating to Keyworth 1989.                                                                                                                        

Student Loans

Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received opposing the introduction of the student loans scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : Since the publication of the White Paper on top-up loans for students we have received about 3,000 letters, expressing a variety of views. These included 29 petitions against student loans, with about 14,000 signatures, and about 170 formal responses to the White Paper from organisations with a special concern for student support. The responses have given us no reason to doubt that our plans are well judged. We shall take constructive criticisms into account as we proceed to develop a scheme for introduction in the autumn of 1990.

Private Medical School

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, what is his policy on setting up a medical school using private finance.

Mr. Jackson : Any proposal to alter the present arrangements whereby medical schools receive public funds via the University Grants Committee (or, from 1 April, the Universities Funding Council) would need to be considered on its merits by my right hon. Friend together with the Secretary of State for Health. Important factors would include the demand for trained doctors, and the General Medical Council's involvement in setting and maintaining standards.


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Medical Schools

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many medical schools there are in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland ; and whether there is any plans to change these numbers.

Mr. Jackson : There are no plans to change the numbers of medical schools, which are 21 in England, one in Wales, five in Scotland (including one which offers pre-clinical studies only) and one in Northern Ireland.

Medical Students

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the present cost of training medical students in (a) the pre- clinical part and (b) the clinical part.

Mr. Jackson : Based on the latest available figures, for the academic year 1987-88, the cost per student charged to the appropriate university cost centre is £9,470 for the two-year pre-clinical part of the course and £23,058 for the three-year clinical part. These figures exclude universities' central costs, associated National Health Service costs and the cost of student support.

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many of the medical students presently in universities and hospitals in the United Kingdom originate from Wales ;

(2) how many medical students there are in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland.

Mr. Jackson : The information is shown in the table :


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|c|Undergraduates on pre-clinical and clinical medicine courses 1987-88|c|                                                        

                             Universities in:                                                                                     

                            |England         |Wales           |Scotland        |Northern Ireland|United Kingdom                   

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

Full-time                   |14,791          |754             |3,498           |724             |19,767                           

Part-time                   |20              |-               |48              |30              |98                               

                                                                                                                                  

Of which domiciled in Wales                                                                                                       

Full-time                   |649             |304             |28              |4               |985                              

Part-time                   |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

Most students following clinical medicine courses are in hospitals for much of their courses.


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