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Estimates of dwellings owned by local authorities or new towns at 1 April<1> Welsh Districts |1986 |1987 |1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Aberconwy |3,227 |3,139 |3,060 Alyn and Deeside |5,573 |5,503 |5,415 Arfon |5,304 |5,237 |5,194 Blaenau Gwent |11,012 |10,871 |10,749 Brecknock |3,095 |3,019 |2,967 Cardiff |22,551 |21,776 |21,190 Carmarthen |3,740 |3,711 |3,661 Ceredigion |3,700 |3,662 |3,631 Colwyn |2,877 |2,821 |2,746 Cynon Valley |5,699 |5,596 |5,497 Delyn |5,088 |4,992 |4,864 Dinefwr |2,795 |2,755 |2,711 Dwyfor |1,490 |1,484 |1,478 Glyndwr |3,284 |3,217 |3,154 Islwyn |6,858 |6,667 |6,470 Llanelli |7,626 |7,529 |7,360 Lliw Valley |5,547 |5,458 |5,351 Meirionnydd |2,259 |2,203 |2,153 Merthyr Tydfil |7,541 |7,357 |7,145 Monmouth |5,388 |5,351 |5,185 Montgomery<2> |4,626 |4,503 |4,435 Neath |6,190 |6,096 |5,959 Newport |14,020 |13,839 |13,699 Ogwr |10,892 |10,613 |10,333 Port Talbot |7,115 |6,834 |6,539 Preseli |6,286 |6,200 |6,117 Radnor |1,268 |1,262 |1,220 Rhondda |5,234 |5,153 |5,095 Rhuddlan |2,907 |2,905 |2,862 Rhymney Valley |10,920 |10,641 |10,460 South Pembrokeshire |3,112 |3,072 |3,005 Swansea |18,788 |18,554 |18,196 Taff-Ely |8,609 |8,356 |8,030 Torfaen |14,787 |14,519 |14,222 Vale of Glamorgan |7,105 |6,927 |6,738 Wrexham Maelor |16,857 |16,666 |16,533 Ynys Mon |6,087 |6,037 |5,994 |----- |----- |----- Wales Total |259,457 |254,525 |249,418 <1> Includes some dwellings unavailable for rent, undergoing repair or improvement, awaiting sale or demolition, etc. <2> Includes new town dwellings in Newton.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he can give for each county in Wales the number of cottage-community hospitals with fewer than 70 beds in (a) 1985 and (b) 1988, and the percentage these represented of the total number of hospitals in (i) 1985 and (ii) 1988.
Number of hospitals Percentage of all with fewer than 70 hospitals in authority beds<1> Health Authority |1985 |1988 |1985 |1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Clwyd |15 |17 |60.0 |70.8 East Dyfed |7 |7 |58.3 |58.3 Gwent |8 |8 |44.4 |44.4 Gwynedd |16 |18 |76.2 |81.8 Mid Glamorgan |13 |15 |41.9 |46.9 Pembrokeshire |1 |1 |33.3 |33.3 Powys |11 |11 |73.3 |73.3 South Glamorgan |5 |5 |31.3 |31.3 West Glamorgan |10 |8 |52.6 |50.0 <1> As at 31 December.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the average time taken to process applications for discretionary grants in respect of capital investments by small businesses ; and what action is being taken by his Department to reduce the time taken to process applications and forward grants.
Mr. Peter Walker : The main forms of discretionary grants towards capital investment by small firms are regional enterprise grants (investment) and regional selective assistance. The average times taken to process grant applications and payment claims during the period 1 January-- 31 May 1989 were as follows :
|Weeks ----------------------------------------------------------------- Regional enterprise grants (investment) applications |3.9 Regional enterprise grants (investment) payment claims 1.2 Regional selective assistance applications |7 Regional selective assistance payment claims |3.1
The Department is continuing its downward pressure on processing times consistent with the proper administration of the scheme.
Column 553Wales prior to the Government's recommendation on Monday 12 June that people should not consume hazelnut yoghurt pending the outcome of investigations into the recent incidents of botulism.
Mr. Peter Walker : My Department became aware of suspected cases of botulism associated with the consumption of hazelnut yoghurt on 12 June. Standard arrangements are that the Department of Health notifies national and regional media interests in such cases, including those in Wales. Copies of the Department of Health's press statement were subsequently sent by my Department to chief environmental health officers and medical officers for environmental health in Wales for information.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what information he has available on the cases of botulism in Clwyd referred to in the answer of his right hon. Friend to the private notice question on Tuesday 13 June.
Mr Peter Walker : My officials are in close touch with the chief administrative medical officer/director of public health medicine in Clwyd health authority regarding the four suspected cases of botulism. Investigations are continuing as to the source of the outbreak.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what research projects into food hygiene and food production are currently sponsored by his Department ; what resources are allocated to each project and what plans he has for expanding such research in Wales.
Mr. Peter Walker : My Department has no agricultural research funds. Last year the Government funded 436 research projects on food in England and Wales. Details can be found in the draft National Programme of Food R&D 1988-89, a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House on 13 June 1989.
Future plans for Government funded research will be guided by the advice of the Research Consultative Committee on Food Safety and Applied Nutrition which is expected to report at the end of August. This Government are firmly committed to food safety research and will place the work with the most appropriate contractors.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it his policy to increase the resources available to local authorities in Wales to enable them to increase the number of environmental health officers available to inspect food producing and processing establishments in view of fresh public concern over dangers to health.
Mr. Grist : Provision for local authority spending in 1989-90 was announced in the rate support grant report published on 8 December 1988. My officials are presently discussing with the local authority associations their need to spend for 1990-91.
The bulk of resources provided to local authorities are unhypothecated : it is for the individual authority to determine its own spending priorities.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to ensure the future security of adequate funding levels with predictable continuity for S4C in the light of the statement on 13 June, by the Home Secretary on the future of commercial television.
Mr. Peter Walker : The White Paper on broadcasting made clear the Government's view that S4C has been a considerable success. At present the Independent Broadcasting Authority determines the channel's level of income. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and I envisage that the Independent Television Commission and S4C will make similar arrangements to ensure adequate funding for the channel in the future.
Mr. McLoughlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what will be the level of bursaries to be paid to nursing students undertaking the first Project 2000 training courses ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The Government have accepted the proposal of the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, made after consultation with the nursing professions, that Project 2000 students should have student, rather than employee, status and receive bursaries rather than salaries. The personal element of these bursaries will not be means-tested.
Project 2000 students in receipt of bursaries will not be liable for income tax or national insurance or superannuation contributions. All Project 2000 students will pay only 20 per cent. of the personal community charge, like other full-time students, and will have the benefit of seven weeks' holiday each year, compared with the four or five weeks for those who continue to be trained under the existing arrangements.
The following basic levels of bursary are to be offered to students undertaking Project 2000 courses. They are broadly comparable with the average net basic salary of existing student nurses.
Under 26 at start of course :
London : 4,700
Elsewhere : 4,000
Age 26 and over at start of course :
London : 5,200
Elsewhere : 4,500
In addition to the above basic/personal levels of bursary, there will be additions for dependents which will be means-tested on the basis of Department of Education and Science mandatory grant rules. Existing NHS staff who enter Project 2000 training, provided they have been employed at least one year, will retain their current salary rather than receiving a bursary.
Pre-registration nursing students who are not on Project 2000 courses will continue to receive salaries.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the revenue generated from private patients at hospitals in the Doncaster area in 1988 ; and what were the comparable figures for each of the last 10 years, at 1989 prices.
Income from private patients: Doncaster health authority ( at 1988- 89 prices) |£ ------------------------------ 1978-79 |17,141 1979-80 |19,611 1980-81 |27,382 1981-82 |50,428 1982-83 |53,757 1983-84 |46,051 1984-85 |52,258 1985-86 |71,592 1986-87 |79,595 1987-88 |<1>65,837 <1> Latest available. Notes: 1. The figures have been expressed at 1988-89 prices by the use of the gross domestic product deflator. 2. The Doncaster health authority was established on 1 April 1982. The figures used for earlier years are derived from the annual accounts of the former Doncaster area health authority which was broadly comparable to the present district health authority.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance has been given to registered medical practitioners on issuing certificates for poll tax exemption on the grounds that the individual is severely mentally impaired ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether he has issued any guidance in relation to the poll tax on the question as to whether those seeking a certificate of exemption from a registered medical practitioner will be required to undergo any examination ; who will pay for any such examination ; if there will be guidance on any standard scale of charges ; how much will be charged for such certificates ; and who will be required to make the payment.
The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax.
Guidance to registered medical practitioners on issuing certificates of severe mental impairment in connection with applications for exemption from payment of the personal community charge will be issued as soon as possible.
Mr. Ken Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the North West regional health authority since 14 April regarding provision of a maternity unit at Queen's park hospital, Blackburn ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health will be meeting the chairman of North Western regional health authority on 19 June to discuss the implications of the extension of maternity services in phase IIIA of Queen's Park hospital, Blackburn, for the region's current review of its capital programme. It is unlikely that the outcome of the review will be known before the autumn of this year.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department's superannuation branch first received a request to transfer pension rights in respect of Miss Claire Johnson from the National Health Service to the Professional Association of Teachers ; why it has failed to reply ; and when he expects the transfer to be effected.
Mr. Freeman : National Health Service superannuation branch first received a request to transfer Miss Johnson's pension rights on 30 August 1988 when the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) wrote. They enclosed a copy of correspondence they had sent to Central Nottinghamshire health authority about the same subject. No reply, apart from an inquiry of the PAT about their scheme and routine acknowledgements, has yet been sent because the transfer value of the service was not apparently available. The health authority had exceptionally given details of Miss Johnson's final year's salary on 28 April 1988 when giving details about the cessation of her employment. This information was overlooked when the transfer request was received. A standard inquiry was therefore sent to the authority on 23 September 1988. Only when a belated reply was received on 8 May 1989 was attention drawn to the previous information.
Urgent action is being taken to give details of a pension transfer value. Miss Johnson will then have the option of transferring the pension value or leaving it in the National Health Service scheme.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 19 May to the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Anderson) setting out the amount due to pharmacists from 1978 to 1988, if he will specify the amounts included which are in respect of drug and container cost reimbursement ; whether the amounts due for profit are stated on a pre -interest basis ; if he will express these as a percentage of turnover ; and if he will give estimates of the amount due for costs in £m and the profit in £m and percentage of turnover for 1988-89 and 1989-90.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 15 June 1989] : The figures given in my reply to the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Anderson) on 18 May at column 284, excluded the payments made as reimbursement of expenditure on drugs and containers. The amounts due for profit included interest on capital employed. Amounts due for profit expressed as a percentage of amounts paid as reimbursement of expenditure on drugs and containers in England and Wales were as follows :
Year |Percentage --------------------------------- 1978 |3.57 1979 |3.52 1980 |4.78 1981 |5.48 1982 |5.10 1983 |4.67 1984 |4.62 <1>1985 |5.28 1985-86 |5.19 1986-87 |4.79 1987-88 |4.58 <1> 1 January 1985 to 31 March 1985.
Current estimates for 1988-89 are : amount due for costs £437.2 million amount due for profit £70.7 million, profit as a percentage of drug and container costs 3.68 per cent. As from 1 April 1989 amounts due for costs and profit are no longer calculated as separate items of remuneration.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of a portable oxygen cylinder ; and what guidance he issues to doctors on the provision of portable oxygen cylinders for use in the home and elsewhere by patients with chronic lung disease.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 15 June 1989] : The basic cost of a portable oxygen cylinder is at least £157.00. Such equipment for use in the home and elsewhere may be provided through the hospital service on the prescription of a hospital consultant if he considers it clinically necessary for the treatment of his patient. Guidance on the provision of oxygen and other specialised equipment is contained in the booklet MHM50, "Provision of Medical and Surgical Appliances". A copy is in the Library.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will ensure that compressor-driven nebuliser systems are made available to patients when so advised by a consultant with specialist knowledge in thoracic medicine.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 15 June 1989] : It is for health authorities to decide whether to issue compressor-driven nebuliser systems (either permanently or on loan) to patients for whom they are prescribed by hospital consultants. In making these decisions, health authorities will have regard to the costs of the equipment and its potential benefit to patients and the competing claims on available resources.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions, and by what means, his Department has drawn the attention of the medical profession to the dangers of represcribing benzodiazepine drugs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 15 June 1989] : The Department issues regular advice to doctors on a wide range of topics which from time to time include guidance on the prescribing of benzodiazepines. Exampls include :
(i) Guidance on Good Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Drug Misuse, issued free in 1984 and 1985 to all doctors, includes advice on withdrawal from benzodiazepines. This publication is also issued annually to medical schools for distribution to final year medical students.
(ii) The Committee on Safety of Medicines reinforced prescribing advice on benzodiazepines in "Current Problems No. 21" issued in January 1988.
(iii) Up-to-date information on benzodiazepine prescribing is included in the British National Formulary, which is issued twice a year free to all doctors, pharmacists and to all first and final year medical students.
(iv) The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, issued fortnightly and distributed free by the Department has, on occasions, published articles on benzodiazepines.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice he has received from the Committee on the Safety of Medicines on the use and prescribing of benzodiazepine drugs ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 558use and prescribing of these drugs remains as published in its bulletin "Current Problems No. 21" issued in January 1988. A copy is in the Library.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. and learned Friend's latest meeting with the Chinese charge d'affaires was on 5 June. He reported this meeting to the House on 6 June. A senior official had a meeting with the Chinese charge d'affaires on 12 June, at which he further clarified our view of events in Peking, particularly with respect to the prospects and procedures for the implimentation of the joint declarations on Hong Kong. He also raised reports of Chinese embassy harassment of Chinese students here and the case of the Hong Kong resident detained in Shanghai.
Mr. Sims : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has concerning allegations that Chinese students in this country have received threatening telephone calls from officials at the Chinese embassy ; whether he has made representations to the Chinese charge d'affaires on the matter ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : We have noted press reports that the Chinese embassy has been harassing Chinese students in this country. A senior official raised this matter with the Chinese charge d'affaires on 12 June and reminded him that we expected the Chinese embassy to act in accordance with British law. The Chinese charge d'affaires said that the reports were a complete fabrication.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will grant to Chinese students studying in the United Kingdom, on completion of their courses, extension of stay until their safety can be guaranteed.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I have given today to questions from the hon. Members for Leyton (Mr. Cohen), for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle) and for Tooting (Mr. Cox).
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to amend the treaty with China to exclude the stationing of the Chinese army in Hong Kong after 1997.
Mr. Eggar : The prospect of the stationing of Chinese troops in Hong Kong after 1997 has always been a matter of concern in the territory. Recent events have increased this. We shall be considering how best to meet this concern when we resume our discussions with the Chinese authorities about the future of Hong Kong. But we have no plans to seek to amend the joint declaration, which is a solemn international agreement equally binding both Governments.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had seeking to ensure that a democratic Government are fully in place in Hong Kong before 1997.
Mr. Eggar : In the light of recent events in China, and evidence of a change of opinion in Hong Kong, we and the Hong Kong Government are considering carefully suggestions for advancing and consolidating effective democracy in Hong Kong. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State discussed this question with the Governor of Hong Kong on his visit to London last week and will be having further discussions with a broad range of Hong Kong opinion when he visits the territory early next month.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Mr. Wajid Mahmood, whose date of birth is 19 July 1971 and whose reference is IMM/92276, first applied to the post in Islamabad for permission to enter the United Kingdom ; and when a decision is to be taken on his application.
Mr. Eggar : In accordance with the recent guidelines on the handling of representations by Members of Parliament in immigration cases, issued to Members on 14 December 1988, I have referred the question to the correspondence unit of migration and visa department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The hon. Member will receive a reply from the unit in due course.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has regarding the execution without trial in Iran of Mr. Abbass Tabbakhi of Forest Gate, London E7 ; when Mr Tabbakhi was arrested ; when he was executed ; and if he will make the stongest representation to the Iranian Government about the execution of Mr. Tabbakhi.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have no information about the case of Mr. Tabbakhi. It is usually impossible to verify reports of individual executions in Iran, given the absence of information about the situation there. We have consistently expressed concern about Iran's human rights record and have taken vigorous action at the UN to try to persuade Iran to allow the UN special rapporteur to visit that country.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Governments of Japan and South Korea regarding the slaughter of sharks in the waters around the Galapagos Islands ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : We have asked the Japanese and South Korean Governments for assurances that their fishing fleets around the Galapagos Islands are acting in accordance with their obligations on the protection of endangered species. Sharks are not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the sons and daughters of Foreign Office personnel can receive grants towards the cost of private education ; and whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office keeps a list of schools approved for the education of such young people.
Mr. Eggar : All members of the Diplomatic Service who have an obligation to serve overseas are eligible to apply for an allowance towards the costs of their children's boarding school education. The allowance is paid in order that children may be guaranteed continuity of education in the British system. In certain cases, provided the paramount principle of continuity is observed, it may be possible for an officer to be refunded the cost of private day school fees at a boarding school where the child will be educated when his/her parents are abroad.
The allowance is based on an average of the fees of schools on the Headmasters Conference list, but attendance is not limited to those schools. Any United Kingdom boarding school can be approved, provided that it offers the full range of subjects normally offered by a state day school and in a form generally available in the state system. No attempt is made to keep a comprehensive list of schools which meet those criteria.
Staff whose children are resident with them overseas may reclaim the cost of local private education in countries where the state education system is inadequate or unsuitable. Refunds in such cases are limited to tuition or scholastic activities of a kind which would be provided without cost under the United Kingdom state education services. Each overseas post maintains its own list of authorised schools.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current checks and controls for salmonella enteritidis undertaken by continental egg producers who export their produce to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to differentiate between eggs being sold in retail outlets for tested flocks as opposed to untested laying flocks.
Mr. Donald Thompson : It is a legal requirement that all UK flocks selling eggs should be tested. As for imports, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) on 20 April at column 280.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations he has received for and against the continued sale of untreated green top milk ; and whether he is now in a position to make a statement on such sales.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about seasonal variations in the price of beef and consequent shortages ; and if he will make a statement about any proposals to alter support arrangements in order to ensure that there is a more even supply of beef throughout the year.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The ending of the beef variable premium has removed from the support regime an element which included seasonal variation. However, in practice the rate of premium remained fixed at its maximum rate for extended periods which limited its impact. Under the present arrangements the EC Commission has at its disposal measures designed to moderate fluctuations in beef supply. It can release beef from intervention stocks onto the market when supplies are short or introduce aids to private storage to hold beef off the market in times of over supply. We and other member states encourage the Commission to make use of these provisions as appropriate to market circumstances.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about possible retrospective payments being made to French early potato growers in Brittany ; and if he will make a statement.