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Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the recent inspection of abattoirs was completed ; when he expects to receive a report on the condition of abattoirs in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : EC Commission veterinary inspectors visited a sample of export-approved premises in Great Britain between 6 and 16 March. In Northern Ireland they visited premises between 3 and 6 July and will visit again between 17 and 20 July.
The confidential technical reports on the individual premises visited in Great Britain have been received from Brussels and passed to the managements of those premises and the appropriate local authorities. A formal EC Commission report on the visit as a whole is still awaited.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the implications for rod and line fishing licences in (a) England and Wales and (b) Scotland of the establishment of the National Rivers Authority as proposed in the Water Bill ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In England and Wales the requirement to hold appropriate fishing licences will remain under the National Rivers Authority. The procedures with regard to changing fishing licence duties will be slightly modified by the Water Act. The NRA will be required to publish the full scale of any new licence duties that it proposes. Where there are objections the changes may not take effect without the approval of the relevant Minister. We have removed an outmoded provision which prevented new licence duties from taking effect before the start of the next calendar year. We are, however, retaining the principle that not more than one increase in licence duties will be permitted in any 12-month period.
Fishing licences are not required in Scotland, and this remains unchanged by the Water Act.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list the published price totals of Her Majesty's Stationery Office publications ordered by hon. Members for the latest available period, tabulated per Member.
Mr. Coleman : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make arrangements to make the statement of President Gorbachev to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 6 July available to hon. and right hon. Members.
96. Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the total tonnage of merchant shipping which could be requisitioned for supplying reinforcements during a war.
Mr. Portillo : At the end of April 1989, 71 British flag dry cargo vessels, totalling 1.8 million deadweight tonnes, were earmarked for carrying transatlantic reinforcement equipment and supplies to Europe. All this tonnage could be requisitioned.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidelines his Department issues to local authorities as to (a) road surface condition and (b) standards of road repair ; and how these are enforced.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Local highway authorities determine standards for their roads. Advice on standards for local roads is contained in the local authority associations' code of good practice for highway maintenance. We understand that a revised edition of that code will be published later this year. The standing committee on highway maintenance is planning to monitor the introduction of the code, and the application of certain key standards relating to road surface condition.
For trunk roads, where local highway authorities act as the Department's agents for maintenance, authorities receive instructions on the standards to be applied. The Department works closely with local highway authorities in developing these standards, many of which are helpful to local authorities in setting standards for their own roads.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any proposals to introduce regulations covering the carriage of immersion suits on United Kingdom registered fishing vessels over 10 metres in overall length as part of their life-saving equipment ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : The carriage of life-saving appliances, including immersion suits, on fishing vessels is under examination by the Department in consultation with the fishing industry as part of the review of the Fishing Vessel (Safety Provisions) Rules 1975.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in the Official Report the names, number of fatalities and port of registration of United Kingdom registered fishing vessels which have been lost in each of the past five years.
It is not possible in all cases to give the port of registry for vessels for the years 1984-86 as this information is not readily available.
Name of Vessel |Port of Registry|Deaths ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984 Navena |Fleetwood |- Cato |Brixham |- Big John |Brixham |- Idavale |Fraserburgh |- Vertrouwen |- Ocean Herald II |Buckie |- Cawsand Bay |Peterhead |- Tribute |Newry |- Sundari |Peterhead |1 Wavell |Grimsby |- Sunrise |- Star of Promise |Peterhead |- Searcher |- Margarita |Tarbert |- Fertile |Peterhead |- Sanoy Bay |Stornoway |- Whyalla |Inverness |- Dalch Mad |Llanelli-Wales |- May queen II |Leith |- Leon Jeannine |Brixham |- Concord |Montrose |- Brussina |- Shearwater |3 Michelle |Poole |2 Sea Falcon |- Carol Sandra |4 North Wind III |3 South Stack |Beaumaris |3 Dominator |- Orion |Stornoway |- Dawn Marie |- Juniper 2 |Poole |- Janie B |Rye |- Helen R |Oban |- Rampager |- Sea Gypsy |Fleetwood |- Heather Valley |Newry |- Intrepid |- Cordoba |Montrose |- Channel Avenger |Weymouth |- Rolyn |- 1985 Pescoso 2 |- Ship Burton |Hull |- Boston Stirling |Fleetwood |- Meva |Shoreham |- Golden Strand |Oban |- Our Catherine |Scarborough |- Mhari-L |Hull |5 Clarion |Fraserburgh |- Ocean Dawn |- Thalassa |Brixham |- Ardgour II |Kirkcaldy |- Lady Dahra |- Fearnot |Stornoway |- Kelly M |Scarborough |- Waldrian |Grimsby |1 Ocean Harvest |Banff |4 Sea Hunter |Fraserburgh |- Aurora |Peterhead |- Lisa Olesen |Grimsby |- Kingfisher |Fleetwood |- Bon Ami |Banff |6 Rolyn |- Newcomen |- Dorothy E |- My Emma |2 Provide Us |- Supreme |Peterhead |- Rachel |- Redemption |Whitby |- Minerva |Fraserburgh |- Northern Star |- Valhalla |Lerwick |- Kate Violet |- Pearl |- Fisherman 1 |- Tiercel |Broadford |1 Colleen |Bideford |- Lorna Ann |Barrow |- Lady Kingswood |- Tina Ann |1 1986 Contessa Viv |Lowestoft |5 Pride of Redcar |Hartlepool |- La Morlaye |Leith |- Foxglove |Wick |- Amoria |Fraserburgh |- Pescado |Teignmouth |3 LBP |Salcombe |- Avondale |Leith |- Sonia Jane |Grimsby |- Connaught |Fraserburgh |- Happy Hooker |- Danny Boy |Rye |- Sea Cat |- A Salmon Cobble |- Jake II |Campbeltown |- My Boy |Berwick on Tweed|- End of the World |- Sir Percival |Weymouth |- Rosnuala |Campbeltown |- 1987 Loch Kildovan |Peterhead |- Freemantle |Peterhead |- Guide Onwards |Inverness |- Constant Star |Peterhead |- Stella Marie |Peterhead |- Dayspring |Scarborough |- Anmara |Hull |3 Grateful |Fowey |- Angela |Peterhead |1 Onward Fisher |Fleetwood |- Galilean |Penzance |- KMB |Dartmouth |- Ptarmigan |Buckie |- Girl Maureen |Portsmouth |- 1988 Laura Jane |Padstow |2 Gillian Claire |Penzance |3 Southern Enterprise |Southampton |3 Ocean Gain |Stornoway |- Albert II |Broadford |2 Frey I |Campbeltown |- Couldn't Help It |Cowes I.O.W. |- Emma Jane |Poole |- Budding Rose |Peterhead |- Choice |Buckie |- Inspire |Cardigan |3 Guldborg |Hull |- Our Tracey Jane |Hartlepool |- Jeremy Gordon |Scarborough |2 Tarka |Ramsgate |1 Mayford |Lowestoft |2 Utopia |Fraserburgh |- Kingfisher |Stornoway |- Silver Crest |Lowestoft |- Internos |Campbeltown |- Fortitude |Banff |-
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to increase the penalty for abuse of the orange badge scheme for severely disabled people ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Misuse of an orange badge already carries a maximum fine of £400. The level of penalty is kept under review. Badges can be withdrawn by local authorities in cases of persistent misuse.
We must make it easier for the police and traffic wardens to spot abuse of the scheme. We have proposed that the orange badge should be redesigned in the form of a more robust personal passport-type of document. There would be space for a photograph of the holder. We shall be looking at ways in which the badge could be displayed which would avoid fixing it permanently to the windscreen, thereby making it difficult to remove. This approach has been widely welcomed by people with disabilities and their representative organisations and by other groups.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what constraints his Department sets on financial investment in new infrastructure by British Rail, with particular reference to the required rate of return from investment : if these constraints apply to the British Rail proposals to build a Channel tunnel rail link through Kent and south east London ; what is the present projected cost of the Channel tunnel rail link project ; at what rate of return the line will operate under the present plans ; and at what projected date the CTRL line is expected to make a return on the investment.
Mr. Portillo : The Government's required rate of return for commercial public sector programme is 8 per cent. If the Channel tunnel rail link were to be financed by British Rail, it would be appraised using a discount rate reflecting this rate of return. British Rail is currently discussing its proposals with the private sector with a view to securing private investment in the scheme. The cost of the high-speed link is estimated at about £1.7 billion. Appraisal of the scheme to estimate a rate of return is not yet complete.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many persons in London have been reported for offences of (a) having no current excise licence, (b) no insurance, (c) no Ministry of Transport certificate, (d) having vehicle in unroadworthy condition and (e) driving whilst disqualified since 16 May.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many (a) police officers and (b) Department of Transport officials have been engaged in the campaign to identify motorists without tax discs announced for Greater London on 3 May ; (2) how many motorists have so far been stopped in the road-side checks announced on 3 May for Greater London ;
(3) what has been the cost to public funds so far of the campaign in London to identify tax disc dodgers announced by his Department on 3 May ;
(4) what results have been obtained so far in the campaign against motor tax dodgers in London announced on 3 May.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : As part of their continuing enforcement duties, the Department's officials spent 1,600 man hours during the recent campaign in London in detecting vehicle excise evaders. The estimated manpower cost was £7,000. I understand that the Metropolitan and City police devoted a similar effort to the task. Only vehicles whose tax discs were not clearly visible or appeared to be out of date were stopped. Of these, 3,800 are being investigated with a view to prosecution where an excise offence has been committed. The Department's publicity costs totalled £145,000.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were killed on roads in (a) Merseyside and (b) St. Helens for each of the last five years ; how many of those killed were children or pedestrians or both ; how many were sitting in the rear seats of motor vehicles and unstrapped ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 10 July 1989] : The following table show the number of deaths in road accidents for each of the last five years for which complete information is available, broken down as requested, for (a) Merseyside and (b) St. Helens.
|Total |Children Killed |Pedestrians |Child Pedestrians |Rear seat strapped|Rear seat |unstrapped/unknown -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Road deaths in Merseyside: 1983-87 1983 |95 |20 |56 |16 |0 |8 1984 |128 |25 |80 |21 |0 |4 1985 |109 |11 |62 |8 |0 |6 1986 |102 |10 |59 |9 |1 |5 1987 |105 |9 |61 |7 |0 |3 Road deaths in St. Helens: 1983-87 1983 |14 |4 |7 |2 |0 |1 1984 |15 |1 |8 |0 |0 |1 1985 |12 |0 |4 |0 |0 |2 1986 |12 |0 |7 |0 |0 |0 1987 |4 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0
The use of seat belts saves lives. We should continue to take every opportunity to get that message across.
In April this year we published a major package of measures aimed at improving pedestrian safety, which we intend to implement as quickly as possible.
Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what are the results of his monitoring of the disqualification periods imposed on people deemed to have left work without good cause, since the increase in maximum disqualification period from 13 to 26 weeks ;
(2) in how many cases, where a claimant for unemployment benefit has been disqualified on the ground of leaving employment without good cause, the disqualification period has been 26 weeks.
Column 464taken during the first three months of this year indicates that disqualification for unemployment benefit in circumstances generally known as "voluntary unemployment" was imposed for the full 26-week period in less than two-thirds of the cases. The sample included those disqualified for leaving employment without just cause. The full information obtained from the monitoring exercises is currently being analysed and the results will be published shortly.
The Government have no plans to implement the Employment of Children Act 1973. All local authorities (except Isles of Scilly) have byelaws which regulate the hours and conditions of children's employment. The
Column 465majority of byelaws follow departmental guidance of 1976 which is based on the proposed content of regulations under the 1973 Act.
Mr. Nicholls : In the 12 months ending March 1989, 2,858,000 working days were lost through stoppages of work due to industrial disputes. This figure is about one quarter of the average for the previous 10 years.
Mr. Lee : In December 1988 the work force in employment in the United Kingdom stood at 26,510,000, the highest level on record. This represents an increase of 2,948,000 or 12.5 per cent. since March 1983. The rising trend has now continued for more than five years. The figures have been adjusted for the effects of seasonal variations. The work force in employment is the sum of employees in employment, the self-employed, Her Majesty's forces and participants on work-related Government training programmes.
Mr. Lee : The information is available from the Library. In April 1989, the latest available date, the number of unemployed claimants in the City of Durham parliamentary constituency who had been unemployed for over 12 months was 1,109.
Mr. Lee : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave on 6 July at column 287 to a question from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan). The changes to the operation of both the British Tourist Authority (BTA) and the English tourist board (ETB) set out in that statement are intended to result in even more effective support by these boards and by the East Anglia tourist board for the growth of tourism in East Anglia now and after 1992.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what recent representations he has received on the proposals of section 4 grants for tourism development ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lee : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received representations expressing a variety of views about the section 4 scheme. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend on 6 July to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan) concerning the future of the scheme.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has had recently from operators of the touring caravan sites section of the tourist industry ; and what advice his Department will be giving them further to develop their job-creating potential.
Mr. Lee : The caravan sector is an important part of the tourism industry, providing a large number of jobs, both in caravan manufacture, and in servicing caravan sites. The quality of both has improved substantially in recent years, and I am keen to see the caravan industry continue to develop its potential. I welcome the industry's initiative in marketing itself through a national promotional campaign, in introducing a grading scheme for parks, and in bringing the industry's potential to the notice of planning officials to encourage positive attitudes towards planning applications. I also welcome the substantial capital investment that is currently taking place in this sector.
Mr. Tredinnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list information available to him on the top 10 national visitor- paying tourist attractions by (a) number of visitors, (b) revenue received and (c) where appropriate, profit made during 1988, and the top 10 in the East Midlands tourist board area according to the same criteria.
Mr. Lee : The financial information requested could be made available only at disproportionate cost. The national tourist boards' annual surveys of numbers of visits to paying attractions give the following figures for Britain and for the East Midlands tourist board area :
|Number of visits |Thousands ------------------------------------------------------------------ Britain Madame Tussaud's, London |2,705 Alton Towers, Staffordshire |2,510 Tower of London |2,182 Blackpool Tower |1,478 Natural History Museum |1,367 London Zoo |1,326 Kew Gardens |1,181 Chessington World of Adventures |1,151 Magnum Leisure Centre, Irvine |1,080 Thorpe Park, Surrey |1,028 East Midlands The American Adventure |660 Twycross Zoo |470 Sundown Pets Garden, Rampton |230 Heights of Abraham, Matlock |206 Riber Castle Wildlife Centre |170 Lincoln Castle |165 Battlefield of Bosworth |150 National Tramway Museum |150 Belvoir Castle, Grantham |117 Poole's Cavern, Buxton |100
Mr. Lee : The available information for Leicestershire is shown in table 1 and relates to expenditure by overseas visitors to the United Kingdom who made a trip of at least one night to Leicestershire. Information about spending by domestic residents is available only for the whole of the East Midlands tourist board region, and is shown in table 2 together with the equivalent information for overseas visitors. Figures for tourist expenditure by United Kingdom residents on day trips to Leicestershire or the east midlands are not available.
Table 1 Estimated spending in Leicestershire by overseas residents<1> |£ million ------------------------------ 1979 |9 1980 |12 1981 |11 1982 |13 1983 |14 1984 |17 1985 |20 1986 |17 1987 |17 1988 |25 <1> Source: International Passenger Survey.
Table 2 Estimated spending in east midlands<3> £ million |By overseas residents<1>|By British residents<2> |Total ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |37 |132 |169 1980 |43 |154 |197 1981 |21 |170 |191 1982 |53 |175 |228 1983 |62 |196 |258 1984 |79 |<4>230 |309 1985 |85 |234 |319 1986 |80 |305 |385 1987 |89 |290 |379 1988 |94 |365 |459 <1> Source: International Passenger Survey. <2> Source: British Tourist Authority. <3> East Midlands Regional Tourist Board comprising: Leicestershire together with Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire. <4> From 1984 an improved method of estimating expenditure was introduced for domestic spending. Figures for 1984 and later years are, therefore not, strictly comparable with those for earlier years.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps his Department has taken to congratulate those responsible and to promote the winners of this year's European Community blue flag award for beaches and bathing waters.
Mr. Lee : Today I took part in flag-raising ceremonies at two of the 1989 award-winning beaches, namely Bournemouth and Poole, as part of national Blue Flag Day. I would like to congratulate this year's 22 winners, including Lowestoft South beach in my hon. Friend's constituency, and the Tidy Britain Group, the Water Authorities Association, and the English Tourist Board, who support the awards in this country.
Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply of 26 June, Official Report, column 350, on the extent of the cost to public funds of the Hinkley Point C inquiry, if he will state (a) the best estimate given to him to date by the Central Electricity Generating Board of the costs of the inquiry borne or to be borne by it and (b) his assessment of the costs so far incurred by local authorities.
Mr. Michael Spicer : All civil nuclear material at Harwell is subject to Euratom safeguards and to the terms of the UK/IAEA/Euratom safeguards agreement. The IAEA has not chosen to designate facilities at Harwell for inspection.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the current and past contribution of the energy technology support unit to the United Kingdom energy programme.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Since 1974, the energy technology support unit has provided, and continues to provide, project management services for the Department's renewables and energy efficiency research, development, and demonstration programmes. Through the chief scientist's group, it also provides technical and analytical support for the Department.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has had recently on the case for a public inquiry into the Central Electricity Generating Board proposal to build Sizewell C in Suffolk ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : My right hon. Friend has directed the CEGB to advertise its application for his consent to construct a second PWR nuclear power station at Sizewell and has allowed a period up to 30 September in which objections can be made to him.
Until he has seen all such objections and has received the views of the relevant local planning authorities, it is too early to say whether a public inquiry will be necessary.
To date, my Department has registered some 700 objections to the application.
Mr. Parkinson : My Department's headquarters is being fitted out to normal Government standards, including those covering fire and security, set by the Property Services Agency and the Treasury. The cost is borne on the PSA's vote. My Department will be paying a rent to the PSA reflecting the full opportunity cost of the building.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will extend the time for submitting objections and making representations to the inquiry into the Central Electricity Generating Board's application for a pressurised water reactor at Wylfa to 31 October 1989.
Mr. Michael Spicer : No. I believe that the period of three months that my right hon. Friend has allowed for objections is ample time for anyone wishing to object to the CEGB's application to do so. The requirements for publicity to be given to power station applications are set out in the Electricity (Publication of Applications) Regulations 1957. These regulations state that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State must give a period of not less than 21 days in which objections can be made to him. The period of three months that my right hon. Friend has allowed is simply for objections to be registered pursuant to section 34 of the Electricity Act of 1957. If he calls for an inquiry to be held, all registered objectors will be sent details of the inquiry including the procedures to be followed if the objector wishes to give evidence.
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, by district health authority (a) the current nursing staff establishment, (b) the number in post at the latest available date and (c) the number who have left the National Health Service in the preceding year.
We do not collect information on nursing staff establishments centrally. We expect to have some information on the number leaving the NHS later this year.
Mr. Janman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether decisions have been made on proposals made by health authorities under the pilot scheme for flexible pay supplements for nursing and midwifery staff in 1989-90 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : Yes. Regional health authorities are being notified today of the decisions which have been taken on their bids and of their additional financial allocations. Copies of the notifications will be placed in the Library.
District health authorities were invited to bid, through their region, against the sum--not exceeding £5 million--which the Government have made available in 1989-90 for a pilot scheme on flexible pay supplements for nursing and midwifery staff. I received a very positive response. Many authorities welcomed the opportunity to use this scheme to meet particular recruitment and retention difficulties for such staff. In total, I received 157 bids from 10 regions, covering 7,792 posts.
Decisions on the bids were taken by Ministers, following detailed analysis by a small panel of departmental and NHS officials. The main criteria used in assessing the bids were vacancy rates ; turnover rates ; degree of use of agency/bank staff and of overtime ; the impact of these factors on service delivery ; non-pay initiatives taken by authorities ; and local labour market issues.
Altogether, 116 bids (covering 5,804 posts) were accepted as they stood ; 19 bids (1,235 posts) were accepted but reduced in coverage to 963 posts ; 9 bids (281 posts) accepted but extended in coverage to 397 posts ; and 13 bids (472 posts) were rejected.
The supplements which cover all grades in the clinical structure and which range from £200 to £1,000, are payable from 1 July 1989. Our evidence to the nurses' pay review body on the future of the scheme will take account of our experience of this first round of bids and of the close monitoring of the effects of the supplements that we are undertaking.
A summary of the bids approved, and their cost, is set out in the table.