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Mr. Gill : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Agriculture Council which commenced on 17 April in Brussels ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. MacGregor : I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made earlier today.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress his Department has made in the reduction and elimination of food contamination ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : We are making good progress in implementing the wide range of measures which we are taking with the aim of continuing to ensure that food is safe.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will report on the progress made in establishing water management trials at Southlake Moor, King's Sedgemoor and West Sedgemoor to monitor the benefit of wetland wildlife ; and whether the trials will provide information on water pump level variations.
Mr. Ryder : Two water management trials are proceeding on West Sedgemoor and South Lake Moor. Further possible trial sites, including King's Sedgemoor, are still under investigation. The trials will provide information on water pump level variations to help assess the benefit to wetland wildlife.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total number of ESA agreements reached with owners and occupiers within the area known as the Somerset Levels and Moors, the area of land involved and the total cost of payments made to the end of January 1989 in 1989 prices.
Mr. Ryder : The total number of agreements reached within the Somerset Levels and Moors ESA by the end of 1988 is 642 covering an area of 8,877 hectares. These agreements have resulted in payments which in total cost £1.458 million in 1989 prices, to the end of the 1988-89 financial year.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce a new provision in the Water Bill which would enable internal drainage boards to adopt water management regimes for the purpose of enhancing nature conservation.
Mr. Ryder : Internal drainage boards are already required by section 48 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to further the interests of conservation consistent with their land drainage responsibilities. This duty is carried forward under clause 8 of the Water Bill. Specific advice on water level management is included in our guidelines to drainage authorities on their section 48 responsibilities which was issued last year.
Mr. Mudd : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will defer the closure of Rosewarne experimental horticulture establishment until 31 October to enable current research programmes to be completed and to facilitate negotiations for its future.
Mr. Ryder : It is not proposed to close Rosewarne before 31 October. Final decisions on the closure will not be taken until my noble Friend the Baroness Trumpington has completed her consultations with interested bodies on the industry funding of near-market research.
Mr John Evans : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on environmental damage in relation to discharge of nuclear waste products in the sea around the Cornish coastline.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The effects of liquid radioactive waste discharged by major nuclear sites to the marine environment around the United Kingdom coastline are monitored by my Department as part of its regular programme of aquatic environmental monitoring. The results of this monitoring, which are published annually, demonstrate that radioactivity around the Cornish coastline and elsewhere does not occur at levels likely to result in damage to either the marine environment or the living resources which it supports.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to license manufacturing, distribution, catering and retail premises in order to reduce food poisoning ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : A proposal that all food businesses should be registered is being considered as part of the review of the Food Act 1984.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what month he expects to make comparisons between the number of dental and eye tests before and after the introduction of charges.
Mr. Mellor : Demand for dental treatment is subject to short-term fluctuation irrespective of changes made to charges. The Department monitors the number of courses scheduled for payment each month. It is unlikely that an assessment of whether there has been an effect on demand following the introduction of the examination charge can be made until figures are available for the quarter July-September 1989. On sight tests, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to him of 17 April, at column 47.
Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the level of capital expenditure in the National Health Service, at constant prices, in each year since 1959.
Mr. Freeman : The table shows capital expenditure on the NHS in each year between 1959 and 1988 in 1988 prices. The figure for 1988 reflects the latest available estimate of receipts from land sales and so on, in 1988. The figures have been derived from the United Kingdom national accounts prepared by the Central Statistical Office.
|c|NHS capital expenditure 1988 prices|c| |£ million ------------------------------ 1959 |309 1960 |334 1961 |382 1962 |461 1963 |492 1964 |602 1965 |657 1966 |715 1967 |862 1968 |927 1969 |843 1970 |871 1971 |961 1972 |1,086 1973 |1,250 1974 |1,136 1975 |1,156 1976 |1,136 1977 |1,033 1978 |1,030 1979 |1,088 1980 |1,019 1981 |1,034 1982 |1,125 1983 |1,132 1984 |1,211 1985 |1,243 1986 |1,334 1987 |1,238 1988 |<1>1,110 <1> Estimate
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to announce the names of the health districts which are to get extra consultants ; what criteria are being used for the allocation of the 100 posts ; which authorities have applied for extra consultants ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : We wrote to health authorities on 13 April inviting them to submit bids for the 100 extra consultant posts announced in "Working for Patients" by 31 July 1989. We expect to notify authorities of successful bids in October. I refer the right hon. Member to my right hon. and learned Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) on 7 March, at column 487 , for the criteria which will be used in allocating the posts.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if there has been any increase in the incidence of asthma, stomach ulcers, arthritis or ear infection in areas which neighbour or are close to opencast sites.
Mr. Freeman : Information of this type is not available centrally.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will detail the National Health Service provision for those addicted to the benzodiazepine drugs who are trying to end their dependency.
Mr. Mellor : We do not hold this information centrally. Services for those dependent on benzodiazepines are provided by general practitioners, general psychiatric services, community drug teams, and specialist services for those experiencing problems with illicit or prescribed drugs.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the annual number of prescriptions for the five most common benzodiazepine drugs.
Mr. Mellor : The number of prescriptions for the five benzodiazepines most commonly dispensed by community pharmacists in Great Britain in 1987 was as follows :
Thousands Drug |Number of prescriptions ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Temazepam |7,752 Nitrazepam |5,227 Diazepam |5,078 Lorazepam |2,902 Triazolam |2,226
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence he has as to the frequency with which general practitioners prescribe benzodiazepine drugs for periods longer than that recommended by the Committee on Safety of Medicines.
Mr. Mellor : We do not collect centrally any information about the length of time for which GPs prescribe drugs for patients.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list in the Official Report the names of groups known to be working with benzodiazepine sufferers ; if he will give the funds allocated to each by his Department ; and if he will consider providing core funding for all such groups.
Mr. Mellor : We do not hold centrally a list of groups working with those dependent on benzodiazepines. The Department is, however, funding the National Association for Mental Health (MIND) to produce a national directory of services for this group.
The provision and funding of direct client services for this group is the responsibility of the local statutory authorities. In order to pump-prime the development of local services for those experiencing problems with illicit or prescribed drugs, the Government established a central funding initiative, under which £17.5 million was allocated to 188 local projects. In addition, since 1986 the Government have allocated funds to regional health authorities specifically for the development of drug misuse services, including services for those dependent on benzodiazepines. This funding totals almost £15 million in 1989-90.
Core funding under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 is awarded primarily to national organisations. Under this scheme in 1988-89 the Department gave a grant of £10,000 to TRANX (UK) Ltd. The Department's grant to MIND also covers the production of public information material on benzodiazepines.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consult pharmaceutical companies producing benzodiazepines about ways in which they could help those who have become addicted to these drugs.
Mr. Freeman : Those who have become dependent on benzodiazepines can obtain help from their general practitioner, the general psychiatric services, community drug teams, specialist drug dependency services, and voluntary agencies.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will detail the action he has taken to encourage general practitioners not normally to prescribe the benzodiazepine drugs for periods longer than those recommended by the Committee on Safety of Medicines ; and if he will take further action.
Mr. Mellor : General practitioners now have all the information and advice, including that from the Committee on Safety of Medicines, that they need to prescribe benzodiazepines. It is up to doctors to take heed of this advice and to exercise their clinical judgment when prescribing in each case.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will allocate funds for research into the damage to various organs of the body that can arise from the use of the benzodiazepine drugs.
Mr. Mellor : I have no plans to do so.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to require general practitioners to record in their patients' medical records full details of all prescriptions.
Mr. Mellor : No. Under his terms of service a general practitioner is already required to keep adequate records of the illnesses and treatment of his patients.
Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to make extended ambulance training compulsory for all ambulance service personnel in England ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : No. At the discretion of employing authorities, extended training can be made available to qualified and leading ambulance personnel, but on a voluntary basis.
Mr. Wall : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures he is taking to obtain an accurate account of teacher shortages in secondary education.
Mrs. Rumbold : My Department collects information from local education authorities each year on the number of vacant posts by secondary subject. The results of the secondary staffing survey, conducted last year, will be available shortly.
Mr. Flannery : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on restoration of the negotiating rights of teachers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has received approximately 120 letters on this issue since 1 January 1989 both directly and through hon. Members.
Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in the recruitment of teachers of shortage subjects ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Butcher : The Department launched its action programme on teacher shortages in 1986. Recruitment to initial teacher training last year showed an increase in
Column 552mathematics by 27 per cent., in science by 9 per cent. and in technology by 39 per cent. over the levels in 1986. The Government will develop their action programme as necessary to ensure a sufficient supply of qualified teachers in these subjects to meet the needs of schools.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is proposing any steps to encourage Saturday participation in sport by schoolchildren.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has no specific plans at present to encourage Saturday participation in sport by schoolchildren. We hope, however, that the inclusion of physical education, of which sport is a component, as a foundation subject in the national curriculum for all pupils aged five to 16 will encourage those who wish to do so both to participate in sport outside school hours and to continue with sport after they leave school.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in the work of the working party to investigate nursery education.
Mrs. Rumbold : The committee of inquiry on the quality of the educational experience offered to the under-fives will hold its first meeting on 25 May when I expect it to settle its programme of work.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has had regarding the inclusion of English grammar and the learning of verse by heart within the national curriculum.
Mrs. Rumbold : Responses to the consultations on the draft order for English for pupils in the first key stage of the national curriculum have included various comments on the place of grammar and verse learning. These are being considered.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will place a copy in the Library of the guidance he has issued to local education authorities and schools on the compilation of parent registers for opt-out ballot purposes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Pupils' Registration (Amendment) Regulations 1988 require every school to maintain an admissions register which includes the name and address of each peson known to the governing body to be a parent of a registered pupil at the school. Sections 60 and 61 of the Education Reform Act 1988 provide for the use of this information where a ballot of parents on grant-maintained status is contemplated or under way. The Department's circular 10/88, and booklet "School Governors : How To Become A Grant-Maintained School", offer guidance on these provisions. Copies of the regulations, the relevant Administrative memorandum, the circular and booklet were sent to every LEA and school last year. The Department also wrote to all chief education officers on 13 February this year, in part about allegations that some
Column 553LEAs were abusing this information. Copies of each of these documents were placed in the Library of the House on publication.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside, of 12 April, Official Report, column 526 , whether he has any plans to issue guidance to local education authorities and schools on the information to be made available from parent registers to community charge registration officers.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Department will shortly be writing to the local authority associations on this subject.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent discussions he has held on the rights of access to parent registers.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has held no recent discussions on this topic.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on, and what consideration he has given to, the inclusion of Indic languages as modern foreign languages in the national curriculum ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr.
Column 554Madden) on 23 March, at columns 683-84. Since then, my right hon. Friend has received a number of other representations from hon. Members--including one from the hon. Member-- local education authorities, organisations, parents and teachers about the inclusion of Indic languages as modern foreign languages in the national curriculum. We are at present considering the responses received about the proposals during the consultation period.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the October 1988 census figures for each local education authority for the number of (a) pupils present, (b) pupils taking paid meals, (c) pupils taking free meals, and (d) pupils taking meals in total.
Mr. Butcher : The figures are given in the table. They relate to maintained primary, secondary and special schools and are based on the number of pupils present in schools on the day in October 1988 on which the survey was carried out. As explained in my reply of 14 April, the full results of the survey are contained in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy publication "School Meals Statistics at October 1988" which will shortly be available in the Library.
|c|Number of Pupils|c| LEA |Present |Taking paid meals |Taking free meals |Total taking meals ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ILEA |240,360 |94,519 |68,845 |163,364 Barking and Dagenham |19,488 |5,635 |1,979 |7,614 Barnet |35,691 |18,212 |2,858 |11,413 Bexley |28,259 |7,238 |1,671 |8,909 Brent |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. Bromley |31,506 |10,475 |1,794 |12,269 Croydon |39,676 |14,623 |3,332 |17,955 Ealing |32,658 |10,561 |4,162 |14,723 Enfield |33,592 |10,749 |2,770 |13,519 Haringey |24,628 |8,269 |4,800 |13,069 Harrow |24,709 |11,085 |1,156 |12,241 Havering |30,913 |9,177 |1,435 |10,562 Hillingdon |26,389 |9,776 |1,698 |11,474 Hounslow |26,741 |13,631 |2,761 |16,392 Kingston-upon-Thames |14,796 |5,827 |724 |6,551 Merton |18,032 |4,438 |1,208 |5,646 Newham |35,185 |7,973 |6,022 |13,995 Redbridge |26,790 |10,339 |1,576 |11,915 Richmond-upon-Thames |14,263 |3,548 |825 |4,373 Sutton |19,896 |9,303 |906 |10,209 Waltham Forest |26,254 |8,773 |4,266 |13,039 Bolton |38,311 |14,571 |5,870 |20,441 Bury |23,935 |8,600 |2,701 |11,301 Manchester |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. Oldham |34,557 |11,786 |6,614 |18,400 Rochdale |32,691 |11,931 |6,110 |18,041 Salford |32,190 |11,887 |7,749 |19,636 Stockport |40,727 |13,462 |4,089 |17,551 Tameside |31,118 |12,024 |4,697 |16,721 Trafford |26,047 |9,792 |3,382 |13,174 Wigan |46,618 |15,812 |6,243 |22,055 Knowsley |22,776 |3,113 |8,827 |11,940 Liverpool |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. St. Helens |27,505 |11,198 |4,561 |15,759 Sefton |38,620 |11,184 |6,739 |17,923 Wirral |49,117 |15,360 |10,515 |25,875 Barnsley |28,872 |13,761 |4,673 |18,434 Doncaster |42,525 |21,473 |7,735 |29,208 Rotherham |37,337 |12,757 |6,260 |19,017 Sheffield |60,406 |20,784 |11,719 |32,503 Gateshead |25,147 |9,186 |5,121 |14,307 Newcastle-upon-Tyne |34,794 |10,550 |10,579 |21,129 North Tyneside |27,094 |12,157 |4,833 |16,990 South Tyneside |22,709 |8,052 |4,900 |12,952 Sunderland |44,228 |15,434 |9,981 |25,415 Birmingham |149,126 |41,522 |39,275 |80,797 Coventry |42,158 |9,832 |8,371 |18,203 Dudley |37,636 |10,059 |4,748 |14,807 Sandwell |43,209 |12,665 |8,274 |20,939 Solihull |29,563 |10,157 |2,857 |13,014 Walsall |40,391 |15,437 |7,402 |22,839 Wolverhampton |36,008 |6,075 |6,534 |12,609 Bradford |72,930 |25,277 |15,334 |40,611 Calderdale |28,729 |11,763 |3,718 |15,481 Kirklees |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. Leeds |92,660 |37,662 |13,648 |51,310 Wakefield |42,612 |20,657 |5,886 |26,543 Avon |121,886 |35,946 |12,886 |48,832 Bedfordshire |74,096 |28,678 |6,929 |35,607 Berkshire |92,750 |33,407 |4,532 |37,939 Buckinghamshire |80,945 |6,087 |3,160 |9,247 Cambridgeshire |89,079 |23,717 |5,659 |29,376 Cheshire |133,800 |49,470 |14,880 |64,350 Cleveland |84,265 |35,839 |21,012 |56,851 Cornwall |60,076 |24,791 |5,508 |30,299 Cumbria |66,533 |32,432 |6,225 |38,657 Derbyshire |128,699 |80,429 |13,574 |94,003 Devon |108,956 |44,464 |11,959 |56,423 Dorset |71,944 |12,475 |3,180 |15,655 Durham |82,556 |37,914 |13,349 |51,263 East Sussex |74,451 |25,354 |5,961 |31,315 Essex |198,213 |58,693 |12,959 |71,652 Gloucestershire |67,305 |15,483 |4,625 |20,108 Hampshire |188,331 |45,895 |12,434 |58,329 Hereford and Worcester |87,442 |16,942 |5,797 |22,739 Hertfordshire |129,066 |57,789 |6,533 |64,322 Humberside |121,489 |43,609 |17,518 |61,127 Isle of Wight |15,147 |5,305 |1,582 |6,887 Kent |188,044 |66,023 |13,099 |79,122 Lancashire |193,585 |70,966 |26,946 |97,912 Leicestershire |124,901 |39,564 |11,146 |50,710 Lincolnshire |75,177 |12,857 |4,521 |17,378 Norfolk |91,732 |24,505 |8,590 |33,095 Northamptonshire |86,097 |22,895 |6,221 |29,116 Northumberland |44,561 |19,914 |4,322 |24,236 North Yorkshire |87,435 |38,181 |5,521 |43,702 Nottinghamshire |131,941 |44,888 |18,419 |63,307 Oxfordshire |64,445 |24,327 |3,108 |27,435 Shropshire |54,985 |22,721 |5,787 |28,508 Somerset |57,623 |19,777 |3,269 |23,046 Staffordshire |141,700 |43,729 |13,834 |57,563 Suffolk |79,147 |31,618 |5,335 |36,953 Surrey |105,386 |43,443 |3,855 |47,298 Warwickshire |65,021 |18,552 |4,732 |23,284 West Sussex |81,365 |33,067 |3,347 |36,414 Wiltshire |70,895 |22,456 |3,878 |26,334 Isles of Scilly |110 |6 |1 |7
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, with respect to the support grades in his Department (a) what is the number of staff employed, (b) how many vacancies there are and how many of these have existed for over one month and over three months, (c) how many temporary and casual appointments there are and (d) how much overtime was worked by them in London and elsewhere.
Mr. Peter Walker : The details are as follows :
(a) Total number in support grades : 111 .
(b) Two vacancies--both in London and vacant for over three months. However, following recent selection interviews it is hoped to fill these shortly.
Column 556(c) 7 casual appointments.
(d) The average number of hours overtime worked each week by each member of the Support Grade structure in the Welsh Office :-- London 6 hours
Elsewhere 0.5 hours
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has had any discussions with, or representations from, county councils in Wales, or other interested bodies, concerning the future of the national parks in Wales.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : None ; but matters relating to future developments and to the planning system within national parks are frequently the subject of representations to Ministers by a variety of bodies.
Mr. Allen : To ask the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed answering on behalf of the House of Commons Commission, what staff of the House are employed in the House when sittings go beyond 10 pm.
Mr. Beith : 128 staff from various Departments are on duty on any one night as a direct consequence of the House sitting after 10 pm.
95. Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider introducing a system of proportional representation for elections to those directly elected bodies for which he is responsible.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have no plans to introduce a system of proportional representation for elections to local government councils.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library copies of all circulars he has issued about the operation of section 37 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, within the last six months.
Mr. John Patten : Copies of Home Office circular number 86/88 and the second commencement order have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many jockeys have been injured while riding a horse in the Grand National at Aintree racecourse in the last nine years ;
(2) how many jockeys have been permanently maimed after sustaining injuries while riding a horse in the Grand National at Aintree racecourse since 1959 ;
(3) how many jockeys have been killed during, or as a result of riding a horse, in the Grand National at the Aintree racecourse since 1959 ;
(4) how many horses have been killed during, or as a result of running in, the Grand National at Aintree racecouse since 1980.
Mr. John Patten : The Home Office does not obtain or record information about injuries incurred in horseracing. But the Jockey Club has kindly provided the four numbers requested, as follows : 5 ; 0 ; 0 ; 4.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement as to the most recent inquiry carried out in the case of former Chief Superintendent Kenneth Etheridge ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand that the most recent inquiry was in 1977, when an investigation was carried out
Column 558into allegations against a number of officers, including Mr. Etheridge. No formal disciplinary proceedings were taken against any officer as a result of that inquiry.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if legal proceedings will be taken against any seller or promoter of West German lottery tickets in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if the Government propose to introduce legislation to clarify the legal position with regard to the selling of non-British lottery tickets within the United Kingdom prior to 31 December 1992 ; and if he will make a statement.