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Mr. Forth : We intend to improve the protection given to consumers in a number of ways, including the introduction of regulations under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 on price indications at bureaux de change and changes to other legislation affecting consumers' interests.
Mr. Newton : I last met representatives of Business in the Community at its president's committee meeting on 7 March 1989. The committee discussed how companies can contribute to community regeneration through their mainstream business activities, and what action companies can take to improve opportunities on housing estates.
Mr. Atkins : A new management structure for Airbus Industrie, broadly based on the recommendations contained in the 1988 report of the Airbus "wise men", was introduced with effect from 1 April 1989. The new structure is intended to strengthen the strategic control of Airbus projects by the four partners in the consortium while, at the same time, placing the senior managers of Airbus Industrie at the centre of all day-to -day operations of particular Airbus programmes.
Mr. Alan Clark : Licences are required for export to all destinations of military, para-military, police and security equipment which is subject to control under the Export of Goods (Control) Order, 1987, (SI 1987, No. 2070) as amended. It is not our normal practice to grant a licence for the export of equipment which is likely to be used for internal repression.
It is impractical to seek to control materials capable of being used for torture, since almost any material could be put to such use.
50. Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in which position Britain lies in an Organisation for Economic Co -operation and Development league table for manufacturing productivity.
Mr. Maude : No reliable comparisons exist for absolute levels of manufacturing productivity between different countries. But available figures do show that in the eighties the United Kingdom has had the fastest rate of growth of manufacturing productivity of all the major industrialised countries.
Mr. Newton : According to the latest figures known to the Invest in Britain Bureau, during the first three quarters of 1988, 271 inward investment decisions were made to locate in the United Kingdom. These include the establishment of a new business, expansion or acquisition of an existing business and involvement in joint venture.
52. Mr. Wilson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what matters he intends to discuss with his European Economic Community counterparts at the next meeting of the Council of Consumer Ministers.
69. Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what matters he intends to discuss with his European Economic Community counterparts at the next meeting of the Council of Consumer Ministers.
73. Mr. Turner : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what matters he intends to discuss with his European Economic Community counterparts at the next meeting of the Council of Consumer Ministers.
Mr. Forth : I plan to represent the United Kingdom at the next meeting of the Council of Consumer Ministers which the Spanish presidency has provisionally scheduled for 1 June. The presidency has yet to finalise the agenda for the Council.
53. Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what are the planned and estimated outturn expenditures on regional development grant and regional selective assistance for the year 1988-89.
Mr. Forth : The estimated 1988-89 outturn expenditure for regional development grant in England is £161.3 million, against supply estimate provision of £158.9 million. The equivalent figures for regional selective assistance are £136.1 million and £164.3 million. All figures are gross of domestic and European Community receipts. The RDG figures cover expenditure under the original and revised schemes. Those for RSA cover industrial and training grants, as well as expenditure under the business improvement services and exchange risk guarantee schemes.
55. Mr. Wallace : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations he has received on the question of publication of his inspectors' report into the acquisition of the House of Fraser.
68. Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations he has received on the matter of publication of his inspectors' report into the acquisition of the House of Fraser.
57. Mr. David Evans : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much launch aid for civil aerospace programmes was provided by his Department in 1988 ; and how much has been committed for 1989.
Mr. Atkins : For the calendar year 1988, £63 million was provided to British Aerospace in connection with the development of the Airbus A330/A340 programme and £10.3 million to Westland Helicopters in connection with the EH101. For the financial year 1988-89 the total figures were respectively £88.5 million and £9.9 million. For the financial year 1989-90 up to £154 million will be available to BAe and £12 million to Westland. The A330/340 and the EH101 are the only programmes currently receiving launch aid from the Department.
59. Mr. John Greenway : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what measures he proposes to take to monitor the growth of advertising of loan facilities offered by licensed credit brokers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : Responsibility for monitoring the day-to-day operation of the Consumer Credit Act and of the activities of licensed credit businesses are matters for local authority trading standards departments and the Office of Fair Trading. In relation to credit advertisements, I intend shortly to make new regulations under the Act governing advertisements, and my Department circulated proposals in a consultation letter dated 5 April 1989.
Mr. Forth : I met Commissioner Van Miert during his visit to London on 2 February, shortly after his appointment. The Commissioner took the opportunity to mention in general terms his views on the future direction of EC consumer policy.
Mr. Maude : I have received a number of further representations about the effects of interest rates on cash flow and investment in industry. Representations continue to give overwhelming support for firm action to control inflation and investment intentions remain strong.
Mr. Newton : Major changes in the focus of DTI's policies were made only last year. Regional policy now operates within a framework designed to encourage enterprise and economic growth in all parts of the country but with extra help available for firms in the regions.
75. Mr. Cran : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next intends to meet the chairman of the Yorkshire and Humberside Confederation of British Industry to discuss industrial trends in that region.
Mr. Newton Major changes in the focus of DTI's policies were made only last year. Regional policy now operates within a framework designed to encourage enterprise and economic growth in all parts of the country but with extra help available for firms in the regions.
Column 187Warrington, North of 12 April, Official Report, column 545, if he will make it his policy that in the next discussion between his Department and Ford about that company's manufacturing strategy, Ministers or officials will seek to encourage Ford to publish its own estimate of the net effect on the United Kingdom balance of payments of the transfer of the manufacture of Sierras.
Mr. Maude The transfer of Sierra manufacture from Dagenham to Genk is only one element in Ford's reorganisation which also includes expansion of Fiesta manufacture at Dagenham, of Escort manufacture at Halewood and Transit van manufacture at Southampton. The overall effect of these changes on the balance of payments is dependent on so many variables as to be impossible to estimate with any accuracy and I see no value in encouraging Ford to attempt to make such an estimate.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what trade is carried on between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Bophuthatswana ; and what outward trade missions there have been. Mr. Alan Clark Since Her Majesty's Government do not recognise the independent status of Bophuthatswana, UK trade statistics do not disaggregate trade figures for it or other regions within South Africa.
UK trade missions to South Africa may have visited Bophuthatswana but I am not aware of their precise itinerary.
Professor Sue Birley --Philip and Pauline Harris Professor of Entrepreneurship, Cranfield School of Management, Bedford. Mr. John Lawrence --Chief Executive, Thorn Security Ltd., Feltham. Mr. Brian Prime - -Proprietor, Northbay House Residential Care Home, Lowestoft.
Mr. Brian Wicks --Deputy Director General, National Farmers Union, London.
The advisory panel makes an important contribution to the enterprise and deregulation unit's work by advising them on the impact of regulatory requirements on business and enterprise development. I should like to express my gratitude to them and particularly to the four retiring members, Mr. Colin Dauris, Mr. George Gray, Mr. Damon de Laszlo and Mr. Phillip White.
These new appointments will help to ensure the panel's continuing effectiveness as a source of valuable advice.
The existing membership of the advisory panel on deregulation is as follows :
Sir Nigel Mobbs DL, Chairman --Chairman and Chief Executive, Slough Estates plc, Slough.
Mr. Mike Fisher --Managing Director, Whale Tankers Ltd., Solihull, West Midlands.
Mrs. Teresa Graham --Senior Manager, Price Waterhouse, Newcastle. Mr. Neil McArthur --Chairman, Thurnall Engineering Ltd., Manchester.
Column 188Mr. Stephen Moss --Managing Director, BCP Parking, and Director, Grosvenor Securities Ltd., London.
Mr. Tom O'Connor --Chairman and Managing Director, Elta Plastics, Stockton- on-Tees.
Mrs. Jenifer Rosenberg --Managing Director J and J Fashions Ltd., London.
Mrs. Celia Urquhart --Managing Director, CU Data Ltd., Glasgow.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he now has any plans to meet the serious fraud office to discuss the publication of his Department's inspectors' report into the sale of Harrods ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : I have nothing to add to the statement made on 3 April by my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in another place and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy's reply to a Private Notice Question by the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould) on 4 April ( Official Report, cols. 19-20).
Mr. Newton : Pursuant to my answer to the hon. Member of 16 March at column 282 , I am pleased to report that William Steward and Company, Ltd. has now acquired British Shipbuilders' pipe work and electrical contracting subsidiary Sunderland Forge Services Ltd. This will become the centre for the Steward group's expansion into building services contracting in the north-east. The whole of William Steward's subsidiary, Durham Switch Gear Ltd., will shortly be moving its switch gear manufacturing activities, together with 135 employees, from nearby Washington into the factory previously owned by Sunderland Forge Services. William Steward's has in addition taken on nearly 200 of the previous 254 employees of Sunderland Forge Services and believes there is a good prospect of more jobs to come. On 16 March I also told the House of my agreement to the disposal of British Shipbuilders Training Ltd. at Govan to a management team. This sale has now also been successfully completed, thereby maintaining an important training resource in Govan and south of the Clyde providing employment for 28 people in the area of training and management consultancy.
Finally, I can report that British Shipbuilders has now received a number of new bids for its design and computing subsidiary, Marine Design Consultants Ltd., based at Sunderland and Dundee. As with the new bids
Column 189that have been received for Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd., these are now being assessed by the corporation and its advisers.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to begin improvements to meet traffic requirements between Woodbank junction and Shotwick, as referred to in his Department's publication, "Roads in Wales" 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : The section of trunk road between Woodbank and Shotwick is to be improved as an extension of the Department of Transport scheme for improvement between Woodbank and Ledsham, a start of works on which is envisaged in the financial year 1993-94 subject to satisfactory completion of statutory procedures and the availability of funds. Work in Wales will also be subject to the findings of a study that I am commissioning to determine the need and timing of improvements to the trunk road network in north east Clwyd.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will indicate the extra resources he intends to make available to the valley councils concerning trunk road maintenance and local authority highways maintenance ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : Allocations for trunk road maintenance are made annually on a county area basis. Allocations for 1989-90 will be announced shortly. Provision for county councils for maintenance of their roads in 1989-90 formed part of rate support grant settlement. Grant is allocated according to need on the basis of arrangements agreed by the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government Finance.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all current publicity campaigns being conducted by or for his Department or one planned for the first three months of 1989-90, indicating those which involve television advertising and the starting and finishing dates of each campaign.
|Duration of campaign --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- General Celebration of British food and farming |4-9 May National curriculum and its |On-running through year implementation Education Reform bill |On-running through year School governors' guide to the law |May/June Careers services in Wales |No date decided Community charge |8-31 May WOAD/ADAS publicity for: Research and development } ADAS divisional funds } ESA open days } |On-running Welsh outlook conference for farmers} |through year Trawsgoed open day } ESA parliamentary report |June/July Road safety drink/drive |Awaiting decision | from Department | of Transport Child rear seat belt restraints |May/June Child pedestrians and cyclists |May/June Priority estates project final report |September Tenants choice |Awaiting decision | from Department | of Health TASC publicity |May/October Various housing publications covering |No date decided compulsory purchase, public development, business development, farming, traffic noise and road developments History of education in Wales centenary |October/November document A55 publicity |On-running through year StreetSense |April Industry Various initiatives planned in conjunction |On-running through year with Department of Transport covering exports, grants, marketing etc. Programme for the valleys-printed |May/June publicity material Health Anti-smoking campaign |October/November Keep well keep warm |November 1989/February 1990 Donor cards |On-running through year Breast cancer screening |On-running through year Hospital complaints procedure |October/December Mental illness strategy report |February/March 1990 Nursing recruitment literature from |On-running through year Department of Health Midwifery |On-running through year Your health abroad |On-running through year Contagious diseases |On-running through year Rabies |On-running through year Drug abuse and AIDS |September onwards Nursing recruitment campaign |September onwards (Welsh Office) Health care Wales |On-running through year
Television was not involved in any of these campaigns either last year or in the current financial year.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all the projects in the Cynon valley which are currently receiving funding under the valleys initiative ; and from which budget or funds they are being supported.
The following projects and activities in the Cynon valley have benefited in 1988-89 or will benefit under the key programmes and initiatives identified in "The Valleys : A Progamme for the People" :
Welsh Development Agency (WDA) Programmes
Five Cynon valley projects have been supported to date under the new valleys small loan scheme and valleys
Column 191enterprise loan scheme. Current WDA research on component supply includes a pilot project involving a Cynon valley based company. Nine potential Cynon valley small businesses registered for a "Be Your Own Boss" course held in September 1988.
The advance factory and workshop programme includes the following projects which are currently under way :
Four 5,000 sq ft factories currently under construction at Aberaman
Site redevelopment at Hirwaun
Landscaping schemes at the Hirwaun industrial estate.
Discussions are taking place with Cynon valley borough council on providing additional small factories and valley workshops. Projects expected to go ahead in 1989-90 are 20,000 sq ft of small units at Hirwaun and sewer replacement in the same location.
The land reclamation programme includes schemes currently under way at :
Cwmcynon/Deep Duffryn (95 acres)
Graig y Dyffryn Tip (70 acres)
Abercwmboi tip (4 acres)
A further six schemes involving 300 acres are planned for future years.
The agency is supporting environmental improvement schemes at : Bryntirion
Mount Pleasant street
Bryn Cynon club
Railway link--Monk street to Brynmawr
Victoria hall, Aberdare
Gap site, Abercwmboi
Riverside walk, Hirwaun
The Welsh Development Agency's renewal unit carried out a development study of Mountain Ash in 1988-89 jointly with the relevant local authorities. Following this the Welsh Development Agency's urban renewal programme includes support for :
Mountain Ash town square improvements
Landscaping on southern approach to Mountain Ash town centre Feasibility study of a proposal to build 35,000 sq ft industrial workshop space at Mountain Ash
New footbridge construction at Mountain Ash
With the assistance of increased Welsh Development Agency funding in 1989- 90 the Prince of Wales Committee is supporting :
Restoration of Tyle Morgug farmhouse Rhigos for use as activity centre
Restoration of Darwonno farm--phase II
Welsh Office support for industry and enterprise
During 1988-89, 69 projects in the Cynon Valley received offers of assistance under the regional selective assistance, regional development grant and regional enterprise grant schemes.
Local enterprise agency services were strengthened in 1988-89 by the establishment with Welsh Office support of a "One Stop Shop" scheme to be run by MADE and a new computer data base for MADE. Export clinics will be held in the Cynon Valley area 1989-90. Approximately 50 companies will be invited to attend.
Training Agency programmes