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Column 200(2) if he will take action to permit the modernisation of the language required to be used on petitions in order to assist potential petitioners.
Mr. Wakeham : I have no plans to do so. If the hon. Member can demonstrate that the language required to be used on petitions has caused widespread difficulty for petitioners he should bring the matter to the attention of the Select Committee on Procedure for its consideration. The growth in the number of public petitions presented over the last decade, from 42 in 1979-80 to 356 in 1987-88, suggests that there is no problem and hon. Members may consult the Clerk of Public Petitions when necessary.
Mr. Mellor : The estimated cost of the staff communications pack of self-governing hospitals which included "Self-Governing Hospitals--An Initial Guide", "Self-Governing Hospital--Briefing for NHS Managers" and a video, was £300,000.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will instigate a study to establish whether extending the range of people who are exempt from eye test charges could reduce hospital referrals.
Mr. Mellor : No. We have no reason to believe such a study is necessary. GPs are well aware that only those patients who require diagnosis and treatment of a suspected eye condition should be referred to hospital eye departments.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average cost to (a) a hospital and (b) an ophthalmic medical practitioner to give an eye test ; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for any differences.
Mr. Mellor : We do not have centrally information on the average cost of providing sight tests in hospitals. However, the current fee of £8.69 paid to an ophthalmic medical practitioner (OMP) for conducting an NHS sight test includes an expenses element of £2.13 based on the recommendation of the doctors and dentists review body. In framing its recommendation the review body took note of the results of an inquiry, which reported in 1988, into the expenses of OMPs. No comparison between the costs of undertaking sight tests in hospitals and by OMPs has been made.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide for each of the last three available years a breakdown of the number of prescriptions issued by community pharmacists for the following benzodiazepines (a) diazepam, (b) temazepam, (c) lorazepam, (d) nitrazepam and (e) oxazepam.
Number of prescriptions dispensed Millions England |1985 |1986 |1987 ------------------------------------------- Diazepam |4.4 |4.2 |4.1 Temazepam |5.1 |5.8 |6.2 Lorazepam |2.6 |2.6 |2.4 Nitrazepam |5.0 |4.7 |4.4 Oxazepam |0.6 |0.6 |0.6 The above data are estimates based on a sample of approximately one in 200 prescriptions dispensed by retail pharmacists and drug stores.
|Gateshead DHA|Newcastle DHA ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Enrolled nursing and midwifery staff per 100,000 resident population |146.4 |359.0 2. Registered nursing and midwifery staff per 100,000 resident population |273.9 |734.7 3. In-patients treated in year ending 31 March 1988 |21,729 |92,352 Items 1 and 2-Source-Department of Health Annual Census of non-medical manpower (September 1987). Item 3-Source-Department of Health returns from Health Authorities on number of patient stays year ending 31 March 1988. Form SH3A.
Mr. Freeman : The centre for applied microbiology and research (CAMR) is a public body managed by the public health laboratory service (PHLS). As with any body spending public funds, reviews are carried out from time to time on how effectively those funds are being used and whether they are being spent on activities which properly
Column 203belong within the public sector. The Department and the PHLS are currently carrying out such a review of the arrangements for the management of CAMR. No decisions have yet been made, but we will ensure that the centre's essential public health work continues.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will give such details as can be released without breach of confidentiality of any cases in which National Health Service injury benefits compensation has been paid to a worker who had acquired the HIV infection ;
(2) how many cases of HIV infection alleged to be acquired at work have been, and are currently being investigated to date for National Health Service injury benefit compensation ; and how many of these have been accepted.
Mr. Mellor : No benefits have been paid under the National Health Service (Injury Benefits) Regulations in respect of HIV infections. There has been only one occasion where a claim has been made under the injury benefit regulations alleging that a HIV infection was attributable to National Health Service employment. That claim was subsequently withdrawn while still under consideration when the source of the infection was traced to a previous employment.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list in the Official Report the amounts of (a) Government and (b) non- Government investment in AIDS research over the latest period for which figures are available.
|£ million ------------------------------ 1984-85 |0.17 1985-86 |0.66 1986-87 |2.46 1987-88 |10.36 1988-89 |13.95
We do not hold information about non-Government investment in AIDS research.
Mr. Mellor : The nurse member will be a full member of the newly constituted family practitioner committee in England, contributing to all its intended functions and activities and will bring to the committee special skills and experience bearing on the increasingly important part which nursing plays in modern general practice.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial support Her Majesty's Government are giving to the activities of the British Council of Organisations of Disabled People ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what legislation he plans to bring forward, in the light of the National Radiological Protection Board's recommendations in their recently published "Guidance to Restrictions on Exposure to Time-varying Electromagnetic Fields," and the 1988 recommendations of the International Non-ionising Radiation Committee.
Mr. Nicholls : The Health and Safety Commission is not planning to propose new legislation on non-ionising electromagnetic fields. However, the Health and Safety Executive will take account of the National Radiological Protection Board's recommendations in any further guidance it issues, but does not expect that any major revision of current guidance will be needed.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Western Isles on 30 June, Official Report, column 585, how many individual farmers as landowners will receive livestock compensatory allowance payments annually ; what information he has in respect of how much is paid out in total and how much to individual farmers and landowners in hill livestock compensatory allowance payments ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : We estimate that about 65,000 producers in the United Kingdom's less-favoured areas will receive hill livestock compensatory allowances this year, and that total expenditure will be of the order of £120 million. We do not have a breakdown of these figures between landowners and other claimants.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many whole farms have been set aside from agricultural production under the European Community scheme in each county in England and Wales.
Mr. Ryder : Following are the numbers of participants who have set aside in the crop year 1988-89 the whole area used in the base year 1987-88 for relevant arable crops. This area is not necessarily the whole of the farm concerned.
|Number of participants --------------------------------------------------------------------- England Avon |6 Bedfordshire |9 Berkshire |5 Buckinghamshire |20 Cambridgeshire |16 Cheshire |5 Cleveland |1 Cornwall |13 Cumbria |1 Derbyshire |7 Devon |20 Dorset |5 Durham |4 Essex |32 Gloucestershire |18 Hampshire |12 Hereford and Worcester |4 Hertfordshire |14 Humberside |11 Isle of Wight |- Kent |22 Lancashire |- Leicestershire |8 Lincolnshire |4 Greater London |2 Greater Manchester |- Merseyside |- West Midlands |1 Norfolk |23 Northamptonshire |14 Northumberland |6 Nottinghamshire |7 Oxfordshire |11 Shropshire |- Somerset |10 Staffordshire |6 Suffolk |36 Surrey |13 East Sussex |18 West Sussex |29 Tyne and Wear |- Warwickshire |13 Wiltshire |9 North Yorkshire |21 South Yorkshire |2 West Yorkshire |3 |------- Total |461 Wales Gwent |3 Dyfed |7 |------- Total |10
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate how many full-time and part-time jobs have been lost as a consequence of the set aside scheme for agricultural land in England and Wales ; and if he will estimate how many of those job losses are attributable to whole farm set aside.
Mr. Ryder : Losses of agricultural jobs are to be expected as farming adjusts to a more rigorous price policy, but alternative non- agricultural activities on farms will generate new jobs. Set-aside is designed both to work with stabilisers to achieve the adjustment of agricultural production and to provide new opportunities for farmers to use their land for non-agricultural purposes. I will be in a position to form a judgment on the employment effects of set-aside when I have the results of the evaluation of the scheme commissioned by my Department.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, for each of the last three White Papers issued by his Department, for which legislation has been started, he will state the time elapsed between their
Column 206publication and the First Readings of any Bills connected with them ; and if he will do the same for the last three White Papers issued by his Department prior to May 1979.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In recent years it has not been usual practice for my Department to issue White Papers in advance of the publication of bills. Information for the period prior to May 1979 is not readily available.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report the declared purpose of funds generated by the cereals co-responsibility levy ; and how have they actually been spent.
Mr. Ryder : When the Commission of the European Communities proposed the introduction of the cereals co-responsibility levy in 1986 it declared that the objective of the levy was to make producers more aware of market realities and to make them contribute to financing the burden placed on the European Community budget by surplus production. Income from the levy has been used to offset expenditure in the cereals sector.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations he has received over the new arrangements for the testing of imported eggs for salmonella which (a) allege that the safeguards are inadequate or (b) propose that the importer, rather than the taxpayer should pay the cost of testing ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I have received a considerable number of representations about the arrangemens for testing imported eggs for salmonella. However, I am advised that the sampling rate of 60 eggs per lorry load is adequate to enable the risk of infection from imports to be established. There are no powers to charge importers for testing under the Imported Food Regulations 1984.
Mr. Ryder : My Department is planning to commission research in 1990 -91 on the impact of climate change in agriculture ; on the effects of climatic change on crop responses, pests and diseases ; quantification of methane emissions by ruminants on farms and the reduction of such emissions ; and desk studies to estimate the possible impact of climatic change on land drainage.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if he will arrange for an EWP licence to export meat products within the European Community to be issued to Trade Routes in Ivybridge, Devon, to enable them to export pasties to Spain.
Mr. Donald Thompson : An EWP approval number is issued to a plant operator rather than an export agent, such as Trade Routes, for a meat product plant which satisfies the hygiene standards of production required for intra-Community trade.
Pasties, however, are regarded as meat preparations for intra-Community trade purposes and are the subject of bilateral agreements between member states. Negotiations are in progress with the Spanish authorities intended to secure their agreement to British exports of these preparations.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list all the appointments he has made to quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations together with the salary payable since January 1989.
Mr. Donald Thompson [holding reply 13 July 1989] : The following list shows appointments and re-appointments that I have made either alone or jointly since 1 January 1989 to the Executive etc, Bodies and Public Corporations set out under my Department in "Public Bodies 1988" of which a copy is in the Library. It also shows current remuneration.
|Appointment |Remuneration ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Meat and Livestock Commission R. W. Mattes |Deputy Chairman|£21,293 p.a. Mrs. E. Rose |Independent | Member and | Chairman of | Consumers | Committee |£10,225 p.a. J. G. Steer |Member |£5,030 p.a. C. G. Smith |Member |£5,030 p.a. R. E. Meuric Rees CBE |Member |£5,030 p.a. H. G. Marshall |Member |£5,030 p.a. J. F. Royan OBE |Member |£5,030 p.a. Agricultural Training Board J. E. Smith |Chairman |£6,216 p.a. M. J. Curtis |Deputy Chairman|£5,699 p.a. N. J. Mallett |Member |Expenses only J. S. Burnett |Member |Expenses only D. H. Roberts |Member |Expenses only A. Fooks MBE |Member |Expenses only J. A. Kilgour |Member |Expenses only I. Monckton |Member |Expenses only M. D. Pollard |Member |Expenses only G. J. Baird |Member |Expenses only Dr. Kathleen Anderson |Member |Expenses only Apple and Pear Development Council B. J. Collingridge |Member |£25 per day S. F. Hay |Member |£25 per day C. Graham |Member |£25 per day N. Longe |Member |£25 per day P. R. D. Tippett |Member |£25 per day Mrs. T. Wickham |Member |£25 per day Covent Garden Market Authority R. Smith OBE |Member |£4,790 p.a. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Mrs. A. Lennox-Boyd |Trustee |Expenses only Home-Grown Cereals Authority G. B. Nelson |Chairman |£14,567 p.a. Mrs. V. Boakes Independent Member £2,510 p.a. M. Garrod |Member |£2,510 p.a. D. Walton |Member |£2,510 p.a. J. Dillon-Robinson |Member |£2,510 p.a. D. George |Member |£2,510 p.a. R. Pirie |Member |£2,510 p.a. K. Hairs |Member |£2,510 p.a.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mrs. Taylor), Official Report, 28 June, column 955, he will set out the basis for his statement that incineration of sewage sludge may be the worst environmental option.
Mr. Howard : Incineration of sewage sludge needs a significant input of energy in the form of oil or gas to achieve the necessary combustion efficiency. The ash which sludge incinerators produce contains relatively high concentrations of heavy metals, up to 50 times the levels in sludges disposed of in liquid form to agricultural land or to sea. Therefore, special protective measures must be taken at the landfill sites where it is deposited to ensure long-term environmental safety. Unlike other sludge treatment processes, incineration carries a risk of
Column 209uncontrolled discharge of contaminants to the atmosphere if operational breakdown causes faulty combustion or inefficient cleansing of exhaust gases.
For these reasons, incineration is used only where the sludge producer has no practicable alternative available. Only about 10 per cent. of the sludge produced in other EC member states is dealt with by incineration.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue guidance to new town development corporations that they should, when issuing press releases about intended 7(1) submissions, issue them also to hon. Members whose constituencies are affected by such submissions.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines and safeguards exist to control the disposal of radioactive wastes together with domestic wastes on local authority landfill sites.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Small amounts of low-level solid radioactive wastes are authorised under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 for disposal with ordinary domestic refuse. Strict limits and conditions are contained in certificates of authorisation issued under the Act to ensure that such disposals present no hazard to the public, to the refuse collectors or at the disposal site.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the availability of anti-static devices containing polonium 210 in the United Kingdom in the light of their withdrawal in the United States of America because of radioactive contamination.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Anti-static devices containing polonium 210 imported from the United States have been withdrawn in the United Kingdom. A United Kingdom manufacturer currently supplies most devices now used in this country. These devices are robust and there is no evidence of radioactive contamination.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total area of areas of outstanding natural beauty in England ; and what proportion of this total lies within each of the standard planning regions.
Standard<1> region |Per cent. of total --------------------------------------------------------------- North |12 Yorkshire and Humberside |2 East Midlands |3 East Anglia |5 South East |34 South West |34 West Midlands |6 North West |4 England |100 |18,455 sq km <1> These coincide with the economic planning regions.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his policy on housing and homelessness in the light of the resolution of the Assembly of the Baptist Union of Great Britain passed in April on housing and homelessness, a copy of which has been sent to him.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to make all local authorities follow the same criteria for the definition of homelessness ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give figures for the first quarter of 1988 to the first quarter of 1989 and for five years and 10 years, previously, on a yearly basis, for (a) lettings to homeless households, (b) expenditure on homeless households, (c) numbers in bed and breakfast accommodation and other forms of temporary accommodation, (d) the level of homelessness identified, (e) the average cost per family per week in bed and breakfast, (f) the total number of children and total of under-fives in bed and breakfast and (g) the average length of stay in temporary accommodation for each local authority in England and Wales.
Information on lettings to homeless households as reported by local authorities in England in their housing investment programme returns (HIP1) is available in the "HIP1 All Items Print" for 1988 (columns E5b, E9b and E10b), for 1984 (columns D5a, D9b and D10a) and for 1979 (column J3b13).
Information on net expenditure on homeless households by local authorities in England and Wales is given in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy publication "Homelessness Statistics Actuals" for 1987-88 and 1983-84 (column 22) and for 1978-79 (column 20).
The number of households in temporary accommodation for each local authority in England and Wales at the end of 1988 is available in table 9 of edition No. 89 of "Local Housing Statistics". For the end of 1983 and 1978 the information is in table 12 of editions Nos. 70 and 52 respectively of the same publication.
Annual figures for the number of households accepted as homeless for each authority are also given in "Local Housing Statistics". The latest available are for 1987 (table 9(b) of edition no. 86). For 1983 the information is given in a table placed in the Library in answer to a question by the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Cartwright), on 15 May 1987. For 1978 the information is available only for half-years and is given in edition 52.
The latest information on homelessness (Q1 1989 figures) is available in table 7 of "Local authorities' action under the homeless provisions of the 1985 Housing Act : England. Results for the first quarter 1989. Supplementary Tables".
Column 211Total expenditure by local authorities in England and Wales on bed and breakfast accommodation together with the number of household days placed in bed and breakfast as reported to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) are given in "Homelessness Statistics Actuals" for 1987-88 and 1983-84 (columns 14 and 17) and for 1978-79 (columns 12 and 15).
Information on the total number of children and under-fives in bed and breakfast accommodation and the average length of stay in temporary accommodation is not available centrally.
Copies of all the documents and publications referred to are in the Library. For further information about Welsh authorities I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department has not carried out specific work on this subject, but in 1984 the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology published a report noting that in many areas of Britain there was evidence of significant increases in the spread of rhododendron. The Forestry Commission controls rhododendron on its own land where it is affecting tree growth and gives advice as appropriate to owners of private woodlands. In addition the commission is undertaking research on alternative means of control, including methods of limiting regrowth after cutting.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the information currently held by local authorities on domestic property price movement ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : Information held on domestic house price movements is a matter for individual local authorities and no record of practice is kept centrally. The Department itself obtains informatiom from building societies and banks ; and regional and national analyses of house price movements from these sources are published regularly.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has a record of some 32 waste disposal facilities licensed to deposit asbestos waste in the London area. Further details of these sites will be available on the public register of licensed sites maintained by the London waste regulation authority.