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Column 469maintenance and the difficulties faced by forest nurseries. None of the representations referred specifically to a decline in commercial forestry planting levels in England.
The situation in Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he is able to estimate how many fishing vessels registered in English ports deploy monofilament gill nets, where they normally fish and for which species ;
(2) if he is able to estimate the number of fishing vessels registered at ports in Wales which deploy monofilament gill nets, where they normally fish and for which species.
Mr. Donald Thompson [holding answer 15 June 1989] : Data collected by my Department in 1988 of the landings of seafish made by registered vessels over 10 metres show that 251 vessels in England and six vessels in Wales used gill or enmeshing nets, the majority of which would have been of monofilament construction. Comparable data are not collected for landings made by vessels under 10 metres, but we estimate that some 1,000 craft under 10 metres in England and 200 craft in Wales would have used gill or enmeshing nets. some of these boats will also be licensed to fish salmon and sea trout. An illustrative map showing the location of the main gill net fisheries off England and Wales and the principal species caught has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the implications for the food consumer of vitamin losses which occur during the cook-chill process ; (2) what evaluation of the nutritional content of cook-chill food has been undertaken in the United Kingdom ;
(3) what information his Department has collected on whether foods which are high in polyunsaturated acids are suitable for use in the cook-chill process.
Mr. Freeman : After a thorough review of the available data the working group of independent experts concluded that wherever food is heated and/or stored there will be nutrient losses. Where food is to be stored, consideration at the menu planning stage should be given to the reduction in the amount of foods with high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids as they are particularly prone to rancidity during storage.
The expert group considered that the nutritional loss in a properly managed cook-chill catering system were no more than in any other large-scale catering system.
(2) what involvement his Department has with the certification scheme for dental laboratories ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : At present there is no certification scheme for dental laboratories. The Dental Laboratories Association (DLA) has taken the initiative in the formation of an independent body known as the Certification Authority for Dental Laboratories and Suppliers (CADLAS), which plans to commence operation from October 1989. The Department's NHS procurement directorate was approached by the DLA on this matter in November 1987. Since then the directorate's technical staff have encouraged, advised and held discussions with the DLA about CADLAS, in terms of participating in a series of seminars arranged by the DLA throughout the United Kingdom, sending an observer to the first two meetings of the CADLAS council and advising CADLAS on quality assurance requirements and the draft good manufacturing practice (GMP) standard.
The Department accepts the need for a recognised system of quality assurance in this field and is confident that CADLAS is equipped to fulfil this role. Its ultimate success will, however, depend on its acceptance and recognition by dental practitioners who have the prime responsibility for the quality of dental prosthetics.
Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will lay before the House the Government's response to the fourth report of the Select Committee on Social Services, HC 289, Session 1988-89, on midwives' regrading.
Mr. Mellor : My right hon and learned Friend has done so today. The Government welcome the Committee's interest in this matter, and have carefully studied its report and recommendations. The Government wish to take this opportunity of emphasising the importance that they attach to the role of the midwifery profession within the National Health Service and their recognition of the skilful and dedicated contribution that midwives make to the welfare of mothers and babies.
The Government followed the principle set out in the Committee's fourth recommendation--that future regrading exercises for NHS staff be separated from assimilation to the new pay scales--when implementing the new grading structure for nursing and midwifery educational staff, but for the reasons given in their response are unable to accept the remaining recommendations.
In the Government's view, it is important that the Committee's report should be considered in the wider context. Since March 1988 alone, midwives' pay has increased by over 28 per cent. on average, and the pay of midwives, like that of nurses and health visitors, is now at its highest- ever level in real terms. For the nine out of 10 staff midwives graded E or above in the new clinical grading structure, and the three out of four midwifery
Column 471sisters graded G, pay levels are now 50 per cent. higher in real terms than they were in 1979. Moreover, the new structure gives midwives, like nurses and health visitors, better clinical career prospects than ever before.
Mr. Cope : Apart from the special circumstances of privatisation work, the consistent practice of successive Governments has been to avoid the use of public relations firms or other firms outside government for public relations work. The Department has not employed any.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much his Department paid out in advance funding to employment training agents and managers ; how much has been recouped ; and if he will make a statement.
All employment training (ET) training agents and training managers other than local authorities were entitled to 100 per cent. advance funding in the first three months of ET. Advances will be recouped where appropriate up to August 1989.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will state (a) the production cost, (b) the amount spent on television advertising so far and (c) the projected campaign budget, in respect of the current commercial for employment training.
(b) The amount spent on television advertising up to 21 June 1989 is £2,024,000 excluding production costs.
(c) The projected budget for the current TV campaign excluding production costs is £3,795,000.
All figures are inclusive of value added tax.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment to what extent extended introduction is being made available to people with disabilities on employment training ; and whether its uptake is monitored by training agents, training managers and the employment rehabilitation service.
Mr. Nicholls : Disabled people form part of the client group which extended introduction is designed to help. Opportunities to join extended introduction are available in all the Department's Training Agency's areas. Statistics are not available on the number of disabled people entering extended introduction. However, training managers work to remove any obstacles such as premises constraints which could make it difficult for disabled people to take advantage of extended introduction.
Column 472disablement resettlement officers of the residential training provision available to disabled people wishing to take part in the employment training programme.
Mr. Lee : The initial training of disablement resettlement officers includes information about residential training provision and incorporates a visit to a residential training college. While in post, they receive further information through written instructions and guidance, as well as through newsletters and information packs which detail the residential training available. Disablement resettlement officers have also taken part in Training Agency workshops about employment training, including residential provision for trainees.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of trainees currently taking part in the employment training programme are registered as disabled under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944.
Mr. Nicholls : Information is not presently available in the form requested. However, people who identified themselves as having a disability or long-term health problem which affects the work they can do make up 12 per cent. of entrants to employment training.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of the disabled trainees who entered the employment training programme by the end of February, are currently training with an employer on a work placement.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement about his future policy on paying training bonuses in 1991 -92, and when employment training is run by training and enterprise councils.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications for the business on own account scheme were received for each of the last five years for which figures are available ; how many were approved ; and what were the total grants made in each year.
|Number of applications|Number of approvals |Expenditure on grants |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |15 |7 |26,272 1985-86 |14 |5 |42,506 1986-87 |12 |1 |4,211 1987-88 |9 |6 |22,012 1988-89 |16 |8 |30,454
The future development of my Department's special schemes for people with disabilities, including the business on own account scheme is being considered as part of our internal review of services for people with disabilities.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the messages he has received from pensioner organisations (a) agreeing and (b) disagreeing with the sentiments of his recent speech to Age Concern.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the recent speech of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State at the sheltered housing conference on 5 June. We have received no messages from pensioner organisations relating to the speech made on that occasion.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much his Department's Woolwich office have been allocated for (a) social fund loans and (b) social fund grants in 1989-90 ; and what were the comparable figures in the preceding year.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will brief local social security offices about the independent living fund ; and if he will make appropriate forms available at those offices.
Mr. Scott : Guidance on the independent living fund has been issued to all local offices. Posters and explanatory leaflets publicising the fund, and explaining how an application form may be obtained, have also been issued.
Mr. Scott : Up to £5 million was made available for the first year of the independent living fund. A further £5 million has been made available for the current year, but this figure is under continuous review.
Mr. Scott : The director of the independent living fund is writing to all local authority directors of social services, bringing the fund to their attention, and explaining what help it can give to severely disabled people.
Mr. Scott : Publicity for the independent living fund has been mainly through the specialist press and organisations representing disabled people. The trustees are responsible for publicity and are continuing to use various methods to make the fund even more widely known.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the estimated cost per successful application for housing benefit transitional payments made by the Glasgow unit of his Department.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 12 June 1989] : The work of the transitional payments unit (TPU) involves the processing of applications and correspondence from applicants and local authorities, making awards and payments to successful applicants, liaising with local authorities, producing leaflets and claim forms, and maintaining a free advice line. Both capital and manpower costs were heavily concentrated in the unit's first year of operation ; administrative costs have fluctuated according to the level of activity in the unit and will decline significantly in future years. It is not possible to apportion the costs of the TPU between the activities undertaken, nor to produce a cost per claim. However, the full administrative costs of the unit in 1988-89 amounted to 21p in every pound of expenditure on the transitional payments scheme in that year.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will publish his Department instructions issued to the transitional protection unit and place a copy in the Library ; (2) whether the instructions issued by his Department to the transitional protection unit includes a restriction on the amount of housing benefit transitional protection which can be paid because a local authority is rate-capped ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 19 June 1989] : The housing benefit transitional payments scheme is intended to provide help to vulnerable groups of claimants who experienced reductions in their housing benefit as a result of changes introduced by the Government in April 1988. Because the method of calculating transitional payments involves a comparison between housing benefit in payment before and after 4 April 1988, some applicants who lived in an area whose local authority was rate- capped and which reduced its domestic rates and who were therefore entitled to a lesser amount of housing benefit may well have received a transitional payment for this reason and
Column 475not because of the Government's changes to the housing benefit scheme. The procedural instructions to the transitional payments unit (TPU) do not provide for a different assessment in these cases, but some cases (less than 100) were incorrectly assessed and transitional payment was reduced on account of rate capping. If the hon. Member is aware of any such cases and will supply the Department with details, the transitional payment will be reassessed and arrears paid. In view of the proximity of the closing date for applications (30 June) and the transitory nature of the scheme there are no current plans to publish the TPU instruction manual.
Mr. Portillo : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) on 16 February at column 285. The general lighthouse authorities have now received some £191,000 in light dues paid for United Kingdom-registered fishing vessels for the financial year 1987-88. A similar sum is estimated to have been received in light dues paid by non-United Kingdom registered fishing vessels, but disproportionate effort would be required to establish a precise figure.
Mr. Portillo : The only grants that the Government make to British ports are for fishing harbour projects and severance payments to surplus registered dock workers. A few local authorities fund the losses of ports which they own. In some other member states public funds meet a large proportion of the cost of port infrastructure developments. Certain ports in all parts of the Community may also receive grants from the European regional development fund.
Mr. Portillo : Her Majesty's Customs and Excise data on the volume and value of imports and exports through the seaports of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1988 (excluding imports of oil and gas by pipeline from the Norwegian sector of the North sea) are as follows :
Trade through United Kingdom sea ports Volume (million Value (billion pounds) tonnes) |Imports|Exports|Imports|Exports ------------------------------------------------ 1979 |156.0 |89.3 |38.1 |31.7 1980 |130.9 |93.0 |38.1 |37.0 1981 |121.0 |116.5 |40.7 |40.4 1982 |120.8 |115.7 |45.7 |43.9 1983 |117.6 |121.5 |51.8 |47.2 1984 |137.7 |127.2 |61.3 |53.8 1985 |142.3 |133.1 |66.9 |59.7 1986 |147.9 |137.6 |67.8 |53.6 1987 |149.9 |136.0 |74.5 |58.3 <1>1988 |160.6 |123.1 |82.7 |59.0 <1> Provisional.
Mr. Portillo : Information on car, coach and international passenger movements through the seaports of Great Britain, up to 1987, is published in "Transport Statistics Great Britain 1977-1987" (tables 1.9 and 4.11) copies of which are in the Library. Car and coach figures include domestic movements except those to the Isle of Wight. Corresponding figures for 1988 are 4,234,000 cars, including 262,000 by hovercraft services, 170,000 buses and coaches, and 24,867,000 passengers.
Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether those undertaking the London assessment studies have been asked to include consideration of road pricing, area licensing and other methods of road traffic restraint in arriving at their conclusions and recommendations.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The consultants will carry out sensitivity tests on a range of options within the study areas. These tests will assess the effects of road traffic restraint measures on the options.
Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received any representations from individuals or organisations in the Chiswick area in favour of the new road proposals through Chiswick and Grove Park contained in the west London assessment study published in 1988 ; and whether he will give summary details of such representations.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We have received a large number of representations from individuals and organisations in the Chiswick area on different aspects of the west London assessment study. It would not be practicable to analyse them in the way requested.
Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the results of stage 2B of the west London assessment study ; and whether he proposes a period of public consultation before the announcement of the Government's response.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We expect to receive the consultants report on their assessment of options later in the summer. They will be published as soon as possible thereafter. There will be an opportunity for public comment before decisions are taken.
Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, following the report of the inter-departmental land compensation working party, he will state the Government's policy in regard to insulation and compensation for injurious affection of schools and hospitals that are subjected to military aircraft noise exceeding 70 dba.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The general position is that compensation for injurious affection arising from the use of public works including airfields is limited to owners and owner-occupiers of residential property, owner-occupiers of agricultural property and owner occupiers of hereditaments not exceeding a rateable value of £2,250. There are no proposals to extend this eligibility.
The land compensation working party set up a sub-group to look at the Noise Insulation Regulations 1975 and regulations governing certain civil airports with a view to their possible extension to buildings other than dwellings. It is expected that the sub-group's report will be submitted in July.
Buildings near military airfields are not covered by these statutory provisions. However, the Ministry of
Column 478Defence deals with them on analogous basis. Their noise compensation scheme would reflect any change to the statutory provisions.
Mr. Portillo : I know of no recent specific studies of public transport demand in south-east London, but the consultants working on the south London and south circular assessment studies are considering whether public transport options might help to solve the problems which those studies are addressing.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many night flights have (a) been authorised and (b) taken place in the current year and last year at (i) Gatwick, (ii) Heathrow and (iii) Manchester airports.
Gatwick Heathrow Manchester |Quota |Actual |Quota |Actual |Quota |Actual -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1988 Summer |4,430 (60)|4,430 (57)|2,750 (60)|1,830 |6,760 |6,723 1988-89 Winter |2,025 (30)|2,040 (11)|2,982 (30)|3,002 (30)|- |1,464 1989 Summer |4,580 (60)|1,281 ( 5)|2,750 (60)|802 (39) |7,098 |2,179 Notes: 1. 1989 summer actual' figures are given to 17 June. 2. Figures in brackets are delayed noisy movements subject to special quota. 3. Figures for Manchester airport provided by Manchester Airport plc who are responsible for setting the monitoring quotas at that airport. Winter night jet operations at Manchester are not subject to quota restrictions. 4. The current summer season does not end until 24.00 hours on 28 October. 5. At Gatwick and Heathrow the night noise restrictions permit the airport manager to disregard flights from the restrictions if they are delayed by widespread and prolonged disruption of air traffic or in other exceptional circumstances. In the summer season of 1988 Gatwick Airport Limited disregarded for quota purposes 1,598 movements and Heathrow Airport Limited disregarded 97. In the winter season 1988-89 Gatwick disregarded 95 movements while Heathrow disregarded 56 movements. At Manchester whilst restrictions were temporarily suspended for the same reason there were 961 night flights. All these flights are additional to the figures already mentioned. 6. The quota of 3,000 movements for winter 1988-89 at Heathrow was reduced to 2,982 because 18 infringements of the maximum permitted noise level were recorded prior to 31 January.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress he has made in international negotiations towards the phasing out of noisy aircraft including the BAC 1-11 and the B727 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what progress he has made internationally in developing controls over aeroplanes certificated to ICAO's annex 16, volume 1, chapter 2 standards ; and if he will make a statement.