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Column 522Our White Paper "Releasing Enterprise" lists nearly 120 deregulation achievements across all Departments, with around 80 new proposals in the coming year. Although not targeted specifically at small businesses, these matters will be of particular benefit to them.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the impact of urban development corporations on the regeneration of inner cities, indicating inter alia (a) the amount of grants made, (b) the amount of private investment attracted, (c) the number of acres retained and (d) other benefits achieved in each of the urban district councils in England and Wales.
Urban development corporations are making a significant impact on the problems of dereliction and decay at the heart of several of our inner cities. The specific figures for each English urban development council, up to 31 March 1989, are as follows :
|(a) |(b) |(c) |Grants received (external|Estimated private |Land reclaimed |financing limits) |investment attracted<1> |(£ million) |(£ million) |(Acres) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Black Country development corporation |25.4 |99.0 |104.0 Bristol development corporation |0.3 |- |- Central Manchester development corporation |2.5 |35.0 |2.5 Leeds development corporation |2.7 |0.2 |- London Docklands development corporation |512.4 |6,857.0 |1,571.0 Merseyside development corporation |189.0 |44.0 |704.0 Sheffield development corporation |8.0 |0.4 |5.0 Teesside development corporation |26.0 |39.0 |84.0 Trafford Park development corporation |25.5 |201.0 |44.0 Tyne and Wear development corporation |28.0 |45.0 |54.0 <1> In addition to the figures quoted, there are various major investments currently in the pipeline.
Mr. Newton : In his statement of 27 July 1988, my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State set out a new strategy for English Estates' operations in the assisted areas. The statement recognised that English Estates would continue to be an important instrument of Government regional policy, but that the significant improvement in the property market in some parts of the assisted areas meant that a major change of emphasis in the corporation's role was necessary in order to encourage the emerging private sector interest in providing industrial and commercial floor space in those areas. In particular it was envisaged that English Estates' role as a facilitator would assume much greater significance through the marketing of development opportunities, the preparation and disposal of serviced sites, and joint ventures ; and that English Estates would itself only provide premises in the areas and of a type where private sector provision remained inadequate and was likely to remain so in the foreseeable future.
The property market in the assisted areas has continued to improve, with rental levels rising strongly in many parts of the country. English Estates will shortly be publishing
Column 522brochures setting out its future development strategy region by region, with emphasis on proposals to be started during 1989-90. For the current financial year, I have asked the corporation to aim for an assisted areas programme of up to £44 million. In addition, English Estates has started work on a special programme for the provision in Sunderland of some £7.5 million for factory space over and above its existing commitment in the north-east. We expect £4 million of that special programme to fall within 1989-90, producing a total capital expenditure programme in the assisted areas this year of up to £48 million, compared to £45 million in 1988-89. Our intention is to give a clear signal to the private sector of the opportunities that exist or are becoming available for private investment in parts of the country which have previously been served by direct provision by public sector agencies, while at the same time reaffirming the Government's commitment to areas where, for the time being, the private sector is not providing the new industrial and commercial floor space needed for the promotion of viable new economic activity and employment opportunities.
In addition to the assisted areas programme, English Estates has reached an agreement with a private sector company, London Industrial, to co-operate in a joint venture for a substantial programme to provide managed
Column 523work space in inner city areas of London. Other managed work space projects will be undertaken within the assisted areas in Manchester and Rochdale and there is a further project in Derby.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what form of monitoring is under way on the net job changes which have arisen or which are projected to arise as a result of the impact of the Channel tunnel and 1992 on industrial location ;
(2) what form of monitoring is under way on the relocation of investment by British-based companies in mainland Europe arising out of the impact of the Channel tunnel and 1992.
Mr. Newton [holding answer 11 July 1989] : Changes in unemployment between and within regions are regularly monitored. Information about direct investment by United Kingdom companies overseas is collected annually as part of the overseas transactions inquiry and published in the Business Monitor (MA4 overseas transactions). The latest information available relates to 1987. Information on cross-border acquisitions and mergers is published quarterly by my Department. Figures for the first quarter of 1989 were published on 15 July.
Mr. Newton : We made it clear on 17 May that, following advice from Touche Ross management consultants and the NEL supervisory board, successful privatisation of NEL required restructuring and a new commercially oriented approach to business. Privatisation of NEL remains the Government's objective so that it can best respond to the needs of its customers in industry.
It is vitally important that a stable management framework be put in place so that the necessary changes to the laboratory can be introduced. To do this as quickly as possible we have decided that the laboratory should become a next steps agency with the objective of achieving commercial viability prior to privatisation.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will refer the recent bid for BAT to the Director General of the Office of Fair Trading with a view to an inquiry by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude [holding answer 19 July 1989] : The bid by Hoylake for BAT is currently under consideration by the Director General of Fair Trading who will advise my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the normal way on whether the proposed acquisition should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It would not be appropriate to comment in detail on this case in advance of the director general's advice.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what dates the last two water quality or pollution checks were made in the Bristol channel ; at which locations these were made ; and what were the results.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The two most recent shipboard surveys in the Bristol channel carried out by my Department were conducted in October 1987 from the research vessel Clione. On the first of these, 65 stations were occupied over the length of the Bristol channel. The objectives were to study the distribution of trace elements in the waters of the channel and to recover a number of fish from the area for trace metal analysis. The second cruise focused on a grid of 75 stations around the sewage sludge disposal ground. Sediment samples were recovered for trace metal and microbiological analysis as well as investigations of sediment-dwelling organisms.
In addition to shipboard study, my scientists also collected samples of mussels from Minehead, Porthcawl and Lynmouth in 1988 for cadmium analysis.
The results of these surveys wil be published as soon as possible.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had on the issue of access as part of the conditions for farmers receiving grants for designated environmentally sensitive areas.
Mr. Ryder : I have had no discussions on the matter because access is not a condition for farmers receiving environmentally sensitive area payments. These are paid to encourage the adoption of environmentally beneficial agricultural practices.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement giving details of the operation of the cereals co-responsibility levy for the current year, including the total cost of administration of the scheme and the average length of time taken to make repayments of the levy.
Mr. Ryder : The cereals co-responsibility levy is collected from first buyers of grain, who are required to register with the intervention board for agriculture produce. The first buyers collect the levy from growers and submit it with their returns to the Home Grown Cereal Authority who act as the board's agents for this purpose. All registered first buyers are given full details of the operation of the scheme by the intervention board.
Column 525The total intervention board costs of collecting the levy in 1988-89, including £105,000 for the development of a computer system, were £430,000. Administration costs connected with the levy were also incurred by the four United Kingdom Agriculture Departments but these are not identifiable separately from other costs incurred in implementing policy in the cereals sector.
The necessary information is not collected to produce an average period for the time taken to make repayments of part of the additional levy in 1988- 89. However, distribution of repayment claims started in mid-December 1988 and the deadline laid down in Community legislation for the repayments to be made is 31 July 1989.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recommendations he has received from the veterinary products committee on Elancom's application for a product licence for bovine somatotropin following its April and May meetings.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I have received no such recommendations. At these two meetings the Committee considered that it needed further information and the company has been afforded the opportunity to provide it.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what statutory authority anthrax vaccine being produced at his Department's central veterinary laboratory is to be used ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The use of this vaccine would be subject to the terms of an animal test certificate or a product licence issued under the Medicines Act 1968, and to the agreement of the farmer concerned.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South Shields of 18 July on monitoring procedures for anthrax, how he identifies suspect and non-suspect animals under the Anthrax Order 1938 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The Anthrax Order 1938 requires anyone who suspects the presence of anthrax in a carcase or live animal to notify that fact to the Ministry. If, after initial veterinary investigation, anthrax cannot be
Column 526ruled out, the carcase is destroyed and blood or tissue samples are sent to the central veterinary laboratory for final diagnosis.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields of 18 July, whether the anthrax vaccine to be manufactured at his central veterinary laboratory is an autogenous one ; and if he will make a statement.
The producer has accepted my offer of compensation for the slaughter of the whole herd.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the product licences for animal medicines which have been granted without reference to the veterinary products committee in each of the last three years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Each year a number of licences (174 in 1986, 99 in 1987 and 198 in 1988) are issued for new products. All applications relating to previously unlicensed ingredients, or to ingredients which though previously licensed are proposed for new routes of administration or to treat additional diseases, or which otherwise raise problems of assessment are reported to the veterinary products committee. Others, including applications for licences for products identical to other products already licensed, are assessed by officials. In addition several hundred licences are issued each year to renew expiring licences, without reference to the VPC. A record of licences issued without reference to the VPC is not maintained separately and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the total number of (a) cows, (b) pigs and (c) sheep which received post-mortem inspections to investigate the cause of death for each year since 1982 ; and if he will make a statement.
|Cattle|Sheep |Pigs ----------------------------------- 1982 |3,044 |6,366 |3,992 1983 |3,376 |7,052 |3,868 1984 |3,253 |7,413 |3,578 1985 |3,404 |7,141 |3,272 1986 |3,264 |7,568 |3,014 1987 |2,871 |6,293 |2,417 1988 |2,891 |6,057 |2,107
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce a requirement to record the deaths of farm animals and the movement thereof, in the animal movement book ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many members there are on his veterinary products committee ; and if he will give the numbers attending each of its last 12 meetings.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The numbers of VPC members fluctuates as appointments are made and resignations occur. Including the chairman, the numbers of members at the times of each of the last 12 meetings and the members which attended are as follows :
|Number of members|Number attending ------------------------------------------------------------------------ June 1988 |21 |14 July 1988 |21 |14 September 1988 |14 |14 October 1988 |14 |9 November 1988 |14 |11 December 1988 |14 |9 January 1989 |17 |14 February 1989 |17 |16 March 1989 |17 |15 April 1989 |17 |15 May 1989 |16 |13 June 1989 |16 |11
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the number of plant trials and tests carried out in each year since 1982 into the colour and solidity of cauliflower florets.
Year |Autumn harvest|Spring harvest ------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |2 |1 1985 |2 |<1>0 1986 |2 |2 1987 |1 |2 1988 |1 |1 1989 |1 |1 <1> Trial failure.
The colour, as such, of florets is not recorded, only off-colours.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what are the sources of funds for plant variety testing and seed certification in each year since 1982 both gross and net of fee income, and in both current and standard prices ;
(2) if he will list the sources of finance for the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in current and standard prices for each year from 1982 to 1988-89 distinguishing between Government grants for statutory work and grant-in-aid.
Mr. Ryder : Details of public funding for the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and other bodies engaged in plant variety testing and certification work are published in the appropriation accounts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Final outturn figures for 1988-89 are not yet available--provisional figures are given in supply estimates. The relevant references are : 1982-83 Vol III Class III Agriculture Fish & Forestry 88-III 1983-84 Vol III Class III Agriculture Fish & Forestry 614-III 1984-85 Vol III Class III Agriculture Fish & Forestry 592-III 1985-86 Vol III Class III Agriculture Fish & Forestry 586- III 1986-87 Vol III Class IV Agriculture Fish & Forestry
including IBAP and FC107-III
1987-88 Vol III Class IV Agriculture Fish & Forestry
including IBAP and FC7-7-III
1988-89 Supply Estimates Class IV MAFF including IBAP and FC339-IV
Details of NIAB private funding are published in the Institute's annual reports, copies of which are also available in the Library of the House.
(2) what is the number of tests carried out on pre-prepared packs of crisp salad, together with the numbers of test failures in each year since 1983.
Mr. Ryder : Charges for microbiological and other laboratory tests undertaken by ADAS farm and countryside service were introduced in 1972. The results of such tests and the testing criteria are confidential to the customer paying for such work. There are no specific composition standards or definitions of "pre-packed crisp salad material". It is for the customer therefore to specify the material he wishes to be tested under this description and the tests to be applied. Information on the number of tests and the income from them cannot be reliably estimated in view of the range of materials and tests which could be involved.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at what date Britain became the technical co-ordinator for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development work on seed standards ; and at which agency this work is carried out.
Mr. Ryder : The National Institute of Agricultural Botany has acted since 1954 as co-ordinating centre for the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development seed certification schemes. The service is provided under direct contract.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list all the animals, farmed, domestic and wild on which his veterinary investigation centre will carry out post-mortem examinations, giving for each type of animal the current cost of each examination and whether the cost is borne by (a) farmers, (b) the Ministry or (c) some other party ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson [holding answer 21 July 1989] : The Ministry's veterinary investigation service carries out post-mortem examinations for a range of animals for different purposes. The cost of examining a particular carcase varies according to its size and the detail of the examination required. Indicative costs, however, can be taken as those shown in the table for chargeable laboratory diagnosis.
(a) Chargeable Laboratory Diagnosis
A diagnosis service is provided for veterinary surgeons in private practice. Species covered include any farmed species of bird, fish or mammal. Charges are made to the veterinary surgeon or, in the case of fish or birds, the owner. Current charges, based on average costs and excluding VAT, are :
|Per carcase|Per batch |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------ Birds, small mammals and fish |10.00 |15.00 Calves, sheep, goats and pigs |17.00 |25.00 Yearling and adult cattle |30.00 |- Other animals would be charged according to size.
(b) Statutory measures to protect the health of livestock This covers the Ministry's work in preventing and controlling disease. Species examined could include any bird, fish or mammal except man. Costs are borne by the Ministry.
(c) Measures to protect public health
As part of our work in protecting public health from zoonoses, examinations may be carried out on any kind of mammal (except man), any four-footed beast which is not a mammal or birds of any species. Costs are borne by the Ministry.
(d) Post registration surveillance of agricultural chemicals Under the wildlife incident investigation scheme any free living bird, mammal (except man) or companion animal (that is, dogs, cats etc.) may be submitted for examination for the presence of chemical residues. Costs are borne initially by the Ministry and recovered from chemical manufacturers from fees paid for pesticide registration.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to make it clear to the Chinese ambassador that citizens of China now in the United Kingdom are not to be subject to any pressure or threats to return to China.
Mr. Eggar : As I informed the House on 16 June, we have already raised with the Chinese charge d'affaires press reports of harassment of Chinese students in this country. The charge assured us that these reports were a complete fabrication. We would be concerned at any evidence of attempts to induce Chinese citizens here to return to China against their own free will. If such evidence is available, we would of course raise the matter with the Chinese authorities.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will issue instructions to all British posts overseas that no questions concerning Mr. Salman Rushdie or "The Satanic Verses" should be put at interviews with those, including priests, applying for visas to visit the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months ; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
Mr. Eggar : In 1988-89, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continued to place a part of its requirements for goods and services with small businesses. The value of this business over the last two financial years was :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1987-88 |15.06 1988-89 |16.38
These figures represent 15.9 per cent. of the total expenditure in the last financial year compared to 12.5 per cent. the previous year.
A number of FCO departments are involved in the purchasing function. Each department monitors and records its own expenditure with small firms. New systems are being introduced into the main purchasing centres to enable the information to be recorded by computer.
The FCO director of purchasing disseminates to purchasing departments information and guidance on procurement from small firms. He ensures that, whenever possible, such firms are included in invitations to tender and that they are awarded contracts if their offer is the best on a value-for- money basis.
The FCO also provides assistance to small firms through the export promotion services available at posts overseas.
Mr. Freeman : Two studies have been published which looked at leukaemia and cancer rates in the vicinity of nuclear power stations (as well as other nuclear installations) in England and Wales. The first study was published in 1987 by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. The second study was published earlier this year. Copies of this material are in the Library.
Column 531Both studies have been referred to the independent committee on medical aspects of radiation in the environment (COMARE), which provided a preliminary assessment of this work in its third report to Government published last month, a copy of which is in the Library. For a summary of COMARE's findings, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Sir M. McNair-Wilson) on 21 June 1989 at column 151-52.
Cancer incidence and mortality in the vicinity of nuclear installations. England and Wales, 1959-80'. Office Population Censuses and Surveys. Studies on Medical and Population Subjects No. 51. (HMSO 1987).
Geographical variation in mortality from leukaemia and other cancers in England and Wales in relation to proximity to nuclear installations, 1969- 78'. British Journal of Cancer 59 476-485. Report on the incidence of Childhood Cancer in the West Berkshire and North Hampshire area, in which are situated the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston and the Royal Ordnance Factory, Burghfield'. (HMSO 1989).