Mr. Chris Patten : The United Kingdom continues to be a major supporter of Ghana's economic recovery programme. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, signed a grant agreement for a further £20 million balance of payments finance when she visited Ghana at the end of June. This brings to £92.5 million the total of our balance of payments support to Ghana since its economic recovery programme began in 1983.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the visit of the right hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Patten) to Brazil to discuss rain forest problems.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of the objectives achieved by the Minister for Overseas Development on his recent visit to Brazil.
Mr. Chris Patten : The main purpose of my visit was to sign, on 5 July, a memorandum of understanding on technical co-operation on environmental matters. On that day I also met President Sarney and other leading Brazilian figures. The agreement is the first of its kind which Brazil has made with an industrialised country and will provide the framework for a significant contribution to Brazil's environmental problems, especially in forestry where we have unique expertise.
I also visited Sao Paulo and the Amazon region where I had discussions with the major research institutions. I saw our very successful Royal Geographical Society project at Maraca, visited an area reserved for the Yanomani Indians and saw a hospital provided for them.
Our additional technical co-operation programme, the details of which we will now discuss with the Brazilian authorities, is likely to cover five areas : first, urban environment, in particular sewage and water treatment ; secondly, the sustainable management of the Amazon rain forest, where we hope to be involved in establishing a new biological reserve in the Xingu river area ; thirdly, collaborative research on the relationship between the forests and climate, involving the Institute of Hydrology ; fourthly, research into the great potential of the genetic resources of the Amazon ; and we hope to begin soon with a research project into aromatic plants undertaken by the
Column 650Goeldi museum in Belem ; and, fifthly, training in the United Kingdom and in Brazil in matters related to these areas.
The visit shows that important progress is possible in these fields if the countries concerned adopt a co-operative spirit. Throughout my visit, I made it clear that we recognise Brazil's sensitiveness and sovereignty and the Brazilian Government responded in a helpful and positive way. I am sure that both countries will gain from the partnership.
Mr. Chris Patten : It cost just under £105,000 to produce 20,000 copies of the anniversary review, a unit cost of £5.23. Despite more pages, photographs and graphics this was less than the unit cost of previous annual reviews.
Mr. Forth [holding answer 13 July 1989] : Postal tariffs are a matter for the Post Office board. The Post Office announced on 3 July that it had proposed to the Post Office Users National Council that the standard charges should go to by 1p, to 20p for first class and to 15p for second class letters, from 2 October.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he first became aware of the October 1988 meeting between the chairman and chief executive of the Welsh Development Agency and the regional director and the senior investment executive of the west Wales office of the Welsh Development Agency at which management buy-out proposals were discussed.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give full details of factory building completed in west Wales by the Welsh Development Agency for each year from 1983-84 to the present, giving the location and description of each site and the area of building involved.
Column 651(a) Advance Factory Build
Cillefwr Ind Est, Carmathen 8 units totalling 9k sq ft. Whitland Ind Est, Whitland 12 units totalling 24k sq ft. Dafen Ind Park, Dafen, Llanelli 6 units totalling 80k sq ft. Thornton Ind Est, Milford Haven 1 unit totalling 10k sq ft. Salterns Ind Est, Tenby 17 units totalling 32k sq ft.
Dafen Ind Park, Dafen. Llanelli 4 units totalling 70k sq ft (iii) 1986-87
Kingswood Ind Est, Pembroke Dock 4 units totalling 5k sq fit (iv) 1988-89
London Road, Pembroke Dock 3 units totalling 20k sq ft
Cillefwr Ind Est, Carmarthen 5 units totalling 8k sq ft
(b) Bespoke Projects
Bespoke extension of 5k sq ft for Record Wire Wheels at Llandovery.
Bespoke extension of 3k sq ft for Animal Food Products at Llanybyther.
Bespoke extension of 1k sq ft for Neyland Training Initiative at Great Honyborough, Milford Haven.
Bespoke extension of 4k sq ft for Record Wire Wheels at Llandovery.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if there are proposals under consideration in any of the regional offices of the Welsh Development Agency for contracting out (a) services currently provided by the Welsh Development Agency in the investment and business advisory field or (b) work as local agents for land reclamation, urban renewal and inward investment ; (2) what consideration has been given to contracting out services currently provided by the west Wales region of the Welsh Development Agency in the fields of (a) investment and business advice, (b) land reclamation, (c) urban renewal and (d) inward investment ; and if he will provide details.
Mr. Peter Walker : I would expect the Welsh Development Agency to keep under continuing review opportunities for private sector involvement. I would naturally consider any proposal put to me by the agency for contracting out services where this would guarantee an equivalent or better level of service and a lesser cost to the taxpayer. There are, however, no such proposals before me at present.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his reply of 5 July, Official Report, column 181, how much of the 62,000 sq ft of factory building in west Wales referred to has been completed to date.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many National Health Service hospitals in use today in Wales were built (a) before 1914 and (b) before 1939 ; and how many National Health Service hospitals have been started since 1979.
Mr. Peter Walker : Information on the number of hospitals built before 1939 is not available centrally. Since 1979, seven new hospitals have been built and one is due for completion at the end of this year. Major developments have been started at three existing hospitals. Many other smaller developments have been built since 1979 or are in the process of construction throughout Wales. Since 1979, £700 million (at 1989-90 prices) will have been invested in the capital estates of hospital and community health services in Wales.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what directions are given to Cadw to resolve planning applications by negotiation rather than by public inquiry ; and if he will investigate the relative cost to his Department of resolving queries on applications by (a) negotiation and (b) by public inquiry under section 33 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.
Mr. Peter Walker : In additon to its functions in relation to listed buildings, Cadw's role as a branch of my Department is to advise both myself and local authorities, as planning authorities, on the effect of development proposals on ancient monuments. While Cadw is willing to discuss proposals and alternative schemes with developers before a planning application is made, it will also in appropriate cases maintain objections to development for which an application has been made and ask me to consider calling it in for my own determination. Where I agree, the public inquiry that follows ensures compliance with the principles of openness, fairness and impartiality and serves to maintain public confidence in the quality of decisions and the process by which they are reached. Negotiation on alternative proposals is not possible once the application is called in and is thus not an alternative to negotiation before the application ; nor can costs be usefully compared.
(2) whether he will list the members of his working party on the Football Spectators Bill, and their status and qualifications.
Mr. Richard Wallace (Chairman), Under Secretary, Welsh Office. Mr. Robin Baker, Superintendent, North Wales Police.
Mr. Haydn Davies, Assistant Chief Constable, South Wales Constabulary.
Mr. Chris Whalley, Community Affairs Officer, The Football League Ltd.
Mr. Alan Evans, Secretary, Football Association of Wales. Mr. Tony Clemo, Chairman, Cardiff City AFC.
Mr. Tony Rance, General Manager, Wrexham AFC.
Mr. George Taylor, Company Secretary, Swansea City AFC. Mr. Linford Tatham, Director, Sports Council for Wales. Mr. David Powell (Secretary), Senior Executive Officer, Welsh Office.
The Football Association of Wales represents the interests of football at all levels, and the Sports Council for Wales is concerned with sport as a whole, including football.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if any categories of person will be exempt from security searches when moving between the air and land sides at Britain's 19 principal airports, when he introduces new security regulations in October ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The requirements for certain airports to search personnel working at the airport before they enter restricted areas was promulgated in directions under the Aviation Security Act issued by the Department on 5 April. The search requirements come into force on 1 October. The only people who will be exempt are staff engaged on certain aviation security duties and persons (such as police officers, Customs and immigration officials) acting in the course of statutory duties which give them a right of entry to such areas in order to carry out those duties. The directions require airport managers to endeavour to persuade persons with statutory rights of entry to consent to being searched, and the Department has reached agreement with the police, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and the immigration service on the regime which will apply to their staff.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre inspectors are reclassifying vehicles used in dial-a-ride and similar schemes for elderly and disabled people in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will publish what information he has on the effect of removing vehicle excise duty exemption from ambulance class vehicles used in dial-a- ride schemes for elderly and disabled people.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many flights in and out of United Kingdom airports had to be cancelled as a result of staffing shortages at West Drayton on each day of the week commencing 1 July ; and if he will make a statement on the extent of and reasons for the shortages.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ask the Director General of Fair Trading to investigate the British Airways shuttle service between Manchester and London to see if they have sufficient staff, planes, equipment and air traffic slots to provide the service as advertised.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : No. We are not aware of any evidence to suggest that British Airways lacks sufficient staff, aircraft, or equipment to operate the service adequately. Air traffic control slots can be requested only by the operator up to 2 hours before take-off, and the timing of the slots allocated depend on the traffic conditions prevailing at the time.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has had with British Rail in producing a business plan for the Channel tunnel rail link ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice has been given to date by the independent Safety Authority to the Intergovernmental Commission on the Channel tunnel on whether people should remain in their own road vehicles whilst in transit through the Channel tunnel ; and what further advice is expected from the commission and on what time scale.
Mr. Portillo : In 1988, the Safety Authority recommended to the Intergovernmental Commission that design work for the Channel tunnel project could continue on the assumption that passengers in private cars would be allowed to remain in their vehicles in shuttle trains. A final decision on this was subject to Eurotunnel producing further evidence about the procedures and arrangements required to ensure the safety of passengers (for example, dealing with emergencies, fire detection and extinction etc.). A substantial amount of further work has been carried out by Eurotunnel, in particular tests on vehicle fires and procedures for the evacuation of passengers in emergencies. The Safety Authority is currently evaluating this and other relevant evidence as a basis for its eventual advice to the Intergovernmental Commission on the principle of the non- segregation of passengers and their vehicles. Decisions are likely to be reached by the commission before the end of the year and will be made public.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the debt outstanding on the Severn bridge for each year since the bridge opened and the toll revenue collected each year since it opened.
|Income |Debt |£ million|£ million ---------------------------------------- 1966-67 |0.33 |13.62 1967-68 |0.74 |14.55 1968-69 |0.81 |14.97 1969-70 |0.87 |15.29 1970-71 |0.93 |15.62 1971-72 |1.00 |15.91 1972-73 |1.19 |16.17 1973-74 |1.21 |16.92 1974-75 |1.21 |17.94 1975-76 |1.22 |19.66 1976-77 |1.25 |21.13 1977-78 |1.24 |23.70 1978-79 |1.33 |25.93 1979-80 |2.13 |27.54 1980-81 |2.76 |28.91 1981-82 |2.75 |30.97 1982-83 |2.85 |36.79 1983-84 |2.84 |46.07 1984-85 |2.98 |56.03 1985-86 |5.31 |65.07 1986-87 |4.40 |76.77 1987-88 |9.07 |85.23
Mr. Hague : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects his Department's consideration of converting the whole of the A1 from London to the North East to motorway status to be completed.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 10 July 1989] : We will be commissioning studies by consultants shortly. They will involve a good deal of work. The aim is to complete these and other studies announced in the White Paper "Roads for Prosperity" in time for the next regular road programme review.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much in total grant aid has been made available under the following schemes for each of the last five years (a) assistance with fares to work scheme, (b) adaptation to premises and equipment scheme and (c) personal reader service scheme.
Mr. Lee : The information requested on (a) the assistance with fares to work (FTW) scheme, (b) the adaptation to premises and equipment (APE) scheme and (c) the personal reader service (PRS) scheme is as follows :
Year |FTW |APE |PRS |£ |£ |£ ---------------------------------------- 1984-85 |397,000|244,000|119,000 1985-86 |460,000|295,000|210,000 1986-87 |589,000|256,000|329,000 1987-88 |694,000|404,000|325,000 1988-89 |853,000|423,000|387,000
Year |Cost |£ ------------------------------ 1984-85 |927,000 1985-86 |1,094,000 1986-87 |1,700,000 1987-88 |2,319,000 1988-89 |3,361,000
Mr. Lee [holding answer 20 June 1989] : The job interview guarantee will link the assistance already available through jobclubs and the employment service with new measures to enable longer term unemployed people to take job vacancies.
These will include a job preparation course, tailored to meet employers' specific needs and "work trials", which offer short periods of work experience with potential employers to unemployed people while they remain on benefit. Where people need training for the vacancies on offer, training under employment training tailored to the employer's needs may be made available.
In return, employers will enter into agreements with the employment service under which they guarantee to interview unemployed people who have taken one of these options for the vacancies they have available.
The cities in which the job interview guarantee scheme will be piloted have now been chosen. They are :
Lower Don Valley (Sheffield/Rotherham)
The scheme will be targeted on selected disadvantaged areas within these cities.
Preparatory work in these locations is under way, and it is hoped that the first agreements will be made within the next few weeks.