Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints he has received concerning misleading advertisements ; and if he has any plans to amend the Control of Misleading Advertisement Regulations 1988.
Mr. Forth : My Department does not keep records of such complaints. Anyone complaining to the Department about an advertisement whether in respect of misleadingness or otherwise is referred to the appropriate advertising control authority : usually the Advertising Standards Authority or local trading standards department. Complaints about misleading advertisements which cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the authorities may be referred to the Director General of Fair Trading under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988. I will ask the director general to write to the hon. Member about the number of complaints he has received. I have no plans to amend the regulations.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has had discussions concerning clocking and the possibility of requiring notification of a car's mileage to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre when relicensing, acquiring, or disposing of a car.
Mr. Forth : I have seen the recommendations to which the hon. Member refers, which were made by the working group led by the Director General of Fair Trading. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Roads and Traffic told the House on 16 March, the Government do not believe that the expensive system proposed for collecting and storing data in order to deter clocking would be sufficiently reliable to warrant the cost and bureaucracy involved. There are already mileage verification services available from private sector companies, and we believe that motor manufacturers could do much to solve the problem by developing tamper-resistant odometers.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints he has received concerning the failure of garages to carry out pre-sales inspections of second-hand cars ; and what discussions he has had concerning the improvement of consumer protection in this area.
Mr. Forth : I am not aware of any complaints from consumers received by my Department specifically about the failure of garages to carry out pre -sales inspections of second-hand cars. I receive representations from time to
Column 582time about various aspects of consumer protection in relation to used cars, but I have had no discussions specifically about pre-sales inspections.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has received any recent representations about pilot or permanent workplace creches and similar incentives further to encourage the return to employment of women in his Department ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : The Department of Trade and Industry uses the joint management and union arrangements which exist within the Whitley machinery to discuss workplace child care. The Department has received no recent representations outside this forum.
The DTI is keen both to retain female staff and to encourage women to return to its employ. With other Departments, the DTI has contributed funds to a play scheme in London for employees' children aged five to 12 years. We have also initiated a programme of action to promote part-time working, and have increased flexible working hours. We are shortly to announce details of a career break scheme.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter written to him by the European Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan on 12 July regarding NESL.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : It is not usual practice to publish correspondence of this kind between the European Commission and the Government of a member country. In the particular circumstances of this case, however, a copy of Sir Leon Brittan's letter of 12 July has, with his agreement, been placed in the Library appended to a note by the Department on exchanges between the Government and the Commission concerning NESL.
Miss Hoey : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what assessment has been made of the impact on quality of service for letter deliveries by the Post Office if there is an extra hour of winter morning darkness due to the implementation of single/double summer time ;
(2) what information he has as to what extra costs the Post Office forecasts it will incur if there is an extra hour of winter morning darkness due to the implementation of single/double summer time.
Mr. Forth : Quality of service is a matter for the Post Office Board. I understand the change would increase lighting and heating costs and require some changes in staffing arrangements at post offices.
Dr. Woodcock : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at what power levels the Astra satellite is authorised by international regulatory agreements to broadcast signals to the United Kingdom.
Column 583co-ordinated with the United Kingdom under the procedures of the ITU/IFRB (International Frequency Registration Board of the International Telecommunication Union) is 53 dBW eirp (Effective isotropic radiated power).
Dr. Woodcock : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what payments from public funds have been made in each of the last five years to British Telecom International in respect of its involvement in the Eutelsat organisation and for what purpose.
Mr. Atkins : No such payments have been made to British Telecom International (BTI). The following payments have, however, been made to EUTELSAT by the British National Space Centre in respect of United Kingdom membership of EUTELSAT :
|£ ------------------------------ 1984 |513,523 1985 |1,389,568 1986 |1,843,321 1987 |903,063 1988 |3,342,463
These payments are a contribution towards the subscription payable to EUTELSAT by BTI, as United Kingdom signatory, in recognition of the costs associated with demonstrating the commercial applications of the ECS series of experimental telecommunications satellites. The payments will cease by the end of 1994.
Mr. Michael Marshall : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is now in a position to give his Department's considered response to recommendations Nos. 24-26 of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry's report on information technology concerning the zero rating of value added tax on donations of information technology equipment made to educational institutions for research purposes.
Mr. Forth : The issues governing the zero rating of value added tax and taxation matters generally are complex and range beyond my Department. I can, however, state that I have taken note of the Select Committee's recommendation and can confirm that my Department remains committed to maintaining and improving the climate for investment for research and technology within the existing legislative framework. It is within this context that my officials have been liaising with the Treasury, but the policy regarding all fiscal matters is determined by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
(2) how many county court actions for mortgage repossession occurred in the Coventry county court ; how
Column 584many of these actions resulted in an order for possession of the property ; how many of these orders for possession were suspended ; and how many warrants for eviction were issued, in each year since 1979.
The Attorney-General : The number of mortgage actions for possession entered and orders made for possession in Coventry county court in each year since 1983 (the first year for which figures are available) are as follows. No information is collected on how many of these orders were suspended nor how many resulted in evictions.
\ Year |Number of mortgage |Number of mortgage |possession actions |possession orders made |entered -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1983 |550 |476 1984 |545 |446 1985 |471 |404 1986 |505 |497 1987 |560 |385 1988 |454 |536
Mr. Jackson : Few adults are totally unable to write, but a substantial number have some problems with reading, writing and spelling. Research sponsored by the adult literacy and basic skills unit (ALBSU) and the Training Agency suggests that of the cohort of 23-year-olds who were interviewed in 1981 as part of the national child development study survey, 13 per cent. said that they had some problems with reading, writing or numeracy, and 3 per cent. said that their problems caused difficulty in everyday life. If this were typical of all adults in England and Wales, an estimated 5.5 million people could have some difficulties with literacy and numeracy, of whom about 300,000 might experience serious difficulties with reading and writing.
Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many letters were received from, and sent to, hon. Members by his Department in (a) January and (b) the whole of this Session up to 1 July.
Mrs. Rumbold : This information is not readily available in the form requested. Between 1 December 1988 and 30 June 1989 the Department received 9,985 letters designated for ministerial reply, and 9,385 replies were issued. During January 1989, 1,352 letters for ministerial reply were received, and 1,041 replies issued. Approximately two thirds of this correspondence was from hon. Members.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many hours the subjects of personal and social education will occupy in the national curriculum ; and what will be the format for teaching these studies ;
Column 585(2) how many hours the subject of alcohol education is to occupy in the national curriculum.
Mrs. Rumbold : Under section 4(3) of the Education Reform Act, national curriculum orders may not prescribe the time to be allocated to teaching any subject or topic. How the different programmes of study are taught will be a matter for each school to determine.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what recommendations he intends to make on alcohol education in the draft orders to be laid before Parliament on that subject ;
(2) when the draft orders on the study and attainment targets for alcohol education to be contained in the national curriculum will be laid before Parliament.
Mrs. Rumbold : The order for science education within the national curriculum was laid before Parliament in March 1989. This includes attainment targets and programmes of study concerning the effects of alcohol on the way in which the human body functions.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to encourage education authorities and school governing bodies to establish work place or shared facility creches and similar incentives further to encourage the return of mothers to teaching.
Mrs. Rumbold : Under the education support grant programme for 1990- 91, support is available for up to £2 million to boost the local recruitment of former teachers and mature entrants. Provision of creche and other child care facilities will be relevant expenditure for this activity.
Column 586instituting from September 1990 a national scheme for the collection of ethnically based statistics on school pupils. I shall be placing copies of the circular in the Library.
The scheme's objective is to assist schools, parents, LEAs, the Department and others in ensuring that education meets the needs of all pupils, thereby helping to secure equality of opportunity. The great majority of those who commented on an earlier consultative circular welcomed the principle of collection of ethnically based data. The national scheme has been designed in the light of experience of pilot schemes in four LEAs.
LEA maintained and grant-maintained schools will be expected to collect ethnically based information on pupils entering either the primary or secondary phase of schooling in September 1990, and thereafter. Parents will be asked to provide, on a voluntary basis, information on their children's ethnic origin, religion and the language spoken in their home. The circular emphasises the need for care and sensitivity in the collection and handling of this information. Information supplied to the DES will be aggregated and will not permit the identification of individual pupils.
Mr. Jackson : The Department and the Welsh Office issued a consultation document raising the issues and options involved in the collection of ethnically based statistics for students in further and higher education last March. Comments were received from 100 bodies. There was general support for the proposal that the national data collection on ethnicity for each and every student/enrolment should be obtained via the incorporation of a question in the further education statistical record. Accordingly, we have agreed that a question to elicit this information using the agreed OPCS classification of ethnic groups will be included in the November 1990 FESR return.
With regard to the collection of data on applications for higher education, both the University Central Council on Admissions and the Polytechnic Central Admissions Systems have agreed to include an ethnicity question in their admission material for full-time first degree courses relating to the academic year 1990-91 and subsequently. UCCA data will then be transferred to the university statistical record in respect of those students enrolled at university.
The collection of these data will provide a valuable measure to inform forward planning and provision and alert decision-makers to issues and areas requiring further investigation.
Investigator |Department |Project title ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr. C. R. Slater |Neurology, University of Newcastle- |Structure and function of motor innervation in mice with an inherited | upon-Tyne | disease of the motor neurones Dr. P. J. Harrison |Physiology, University College and |The segmental and functional connectivity of group 1B muscle afferents | Middlesex School of Medicine, | London Dr. F. S. Walsh |Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology, |Molecular recognition events in nerve-muscle co-cultures | London Prof. M. F. Scanlon |College of Medicine, University of |Investigation of the serum factor(s) in motor neurone disease which | Wales, Cardiff | increase TRH production by rat brain stem cells Dr. K. R. Mills |Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford |Mechanisms of muscle weakness in central nervous system disease: a | study using magnetic brain stimulation Prof. T. A. Sears |Sobell Department of Neurophysiology, |Tropic regulation of protein synthesis in motorneurones | Institute of Neurology, London Dr. R. Navarrette |Anatomy and Developmental Biology, |The role of nerve-muscle interaction in motorneurone functional | University College, London | development Prof. G. Vrobova |Anatomy and Embryology, University |Restoration of muscle function by regenerated embryonic | College, London | motorneurones
The Medical Research Council also supports a range of basic research which may be of relevance to motor neurone disease. In addition, university departments and medical schools support research from block grants from the Universities Funding Council, some of which may also be of relevance.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all the measures that he has taken since April, together with dates of implementation, to protect people from infection from anthrax ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker : Restrictions made under the Anthrax Order 1938 prohibiting the movement of animals and carcases to and from the premises, and of other potentially infected materials from the premises, were imposed by the local authority.
The community health physician, Wrexham, was notified on 19 April 1989. Where pigs had been licensed to be moved they had been inspected by a veterinary officer prior to leaving the farm ; by a veterinary officer at the point of slaughter ; and again by a qualified meat inspector after slaughter. Animals dying from anthrax were cremated and their surroundings cleansed and disinfected. Clwyd county council made appropriate arrangements to disinfect and dispose of the slurry.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when officers of his Department last met representatives of local authorities in Gwynedd concerning the establishment of an opera venue at Llandudno ; and what is the latest position with regard to this project.
Column 588the scheme to be considered as a project of regional or national importance has since been received from Aberconwy borough council and is being considered.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the figures by which an individual would be protected by the safety net against the full effects of the poll tax in each local authority area in Wales, showing against each the equivalent figure based on his written answer on 12 June, Official Report, columns 304-6 ;
(2) whether, further to his written answer on 12 June, Official Report, columns 304-6, he will list the community charge he estimates will apply to each local authority area in Wales (a) without safety net and (b) with safety net.
Mr. Peter Walker : No. The review of standard spending assessments has yet to be completed and the precise details of the safety net have yet to be settled. I agree with the Welsh local authority associations that it would be misleading to produce illustrative figures until consultation on these matters has been concluded.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) whether his Department has submitted to the European Commission any plan, project or programme in respect of aid from the European regional development fund for any project within the Cardiff bay development corporation area ;
(2) whether his Department has conducted any negotiations with the European Commission or others on any plan, project or programme in respect of aid from the European regional development fund for any project within the Cardiff bay development corporation area.
Mr. Peter Walker : Projects in the Cardiff bay area have been submitted individually for ERDF assistance in the past. Developments in the Cardiff bay area are included in a proposal for an integrated development operation for industrial south Wales submitted to the European Commission in May last year. A linked reconversion plan for industrial south Wales, submitted to the European
Column 589Commission earlier this year also referred to developments in Cardiff bay. Discussions are currently under way between officials of my Department and of the European Commission.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the properties and facilities and their cash values of the Welsh Development Agency and facilities that have been sold in each of the years since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker [holding answer 5 July 1989] : Details of industrial property sales in 1987-88 and 1988-89 are shown in the tables. Similar information for other years since 1979 is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Location Unit Reference |£ thousand ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Year 1987-88 Amlwch |Amlwch No. 1 |187 Maesteg |Revlon factory |360 Pyle |Northgate factory |145 Blackmill |G Q Parachutes factory |105 Maesteg |British Vita factory |140 Merthyr Tydfil |Ex-Hoover factory |3,000 Bridgend |Unit B15 Bridgend IE |60 Barry |Unit 1Ty Verlon |300 Tenby |A/F 16 and 17 Salterns IE |40 Burry Port |Units 4, 5, 6, and 7 Pembrey IE |115 Aberdare |A/F 1 Robertstown |206 Hirwaun |A/F 10 Hirwaun |350 Newport |Maesglas IE (26 factory units) |2,225 Swansea |Ex-Northgate premises |111 Kenfig |A/F 4 Kenfig IE |295 Pontardawe |A/F 1 Pontardawe IE |75 Cwmgors |A/F 1 Cwmgors IE |55 Ynyshir |A/F 7 and 8 Ynyshir IE |73 Porth |Remploy factory |98 Llwynypia |Glampak factory |85 Llwynypia |Unit A B 11 Llwynypia |45 Treforest |Commercial Unit, Treforest IE |13 Wrexham |Unit A, Redwither Road, |205 | Wrexham IE Wrexham |Ex-Dunlop factory |725 Year 1988-89 Cwmbran |Units B1 and B3 Ty Coch IE |228 Cwmbran |Units 1, 2 and 3 Caldicot Way, |465 | Avondale IE Blaenavon |Andrew Russell factory |98 Penyfan |A/F 5 Penyfan IE |278 Tafarnaubach |Unit 4, Tafarnaubach IE |555 Merthyr Tydfil |Unit 1, Goat Mill road, Dowlais |238 Merthyr Tydfil |Unit 2, Goat Mill road, Dowlais |200 Treorchy |Polikoff Universal factory |100 Cwmtillery |Unit 1, Cwmtillery IE |260 Merthyr Tydfil |Ex-Triang factory |41 Maesteg |A/F 3 Forge IE |235 Treforest |Units A16 and A17 Treforest IE |527 Hirwaun |Unit L2 Hirwaun IE |11 Cwmfelinfach |A/F 1 Nine Mile Point IE |364 Hirwaun |Unit L21, Hirwaun IE |65 Hirwaun |Unit B55, Hirwaun IE |20 Kenfig |A/F 3 Kenfig IE |465 Kenfig |A/F 4 Kenfig IE |295 Dafen |A/F 10 Dafen industrial park |275 Dafen |Unit 1, Dafen industrial park |350 Llanelli |A/F 1 North Dock |69 Morriston |A/F 3 St. Davids IE |225 Bridgend |James Walker factory |22 Ammanford |Unit 2, Park street |125 Llandeilo |Units B, C and D Beechwood IE |95 Milford Haven |Unit 5, Gt. Honeyborough IE |65 Pembroke Dock |Units 2 and 3 Ferry lane |375 Milford Haven |A/F 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 Great Honeyborough IE|210
Up to now, some 60 DRIVE contracts have been awarded : 27 British organisations are involved in 42 of them and are taking the lead in 19. Bearing in mind the EC has had 189 DRIVE proposals, this is an impressive hit rate and illustrates the depth of technology available in Britain.
The Government's transport and road research laboratory has been awarded 12 contracts and is lead contractor in one. The local value of these contracts is £12.7 million, of which the TRRL share is £870, 000. Work on most of these projects has started and will take two or three years.
With a budget of 50 million ecu (£32 million), DRIVE aims to create an integrated pan-European road transport environment, mainly using electronic systems to convey information to drivers and for controlling traffic.
Mr. David Harris : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the latest statistics he has available on the death rate of motor cyclists in relation to the overall population in (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) the United States of America, (iii) France, (iv) the Federal Republic of Germany and (v) Japan ; and what were the comparable figures 10 years ago.
Motor cyclist deaths per million head of population |1977|1987 ------------------------------ United Kingdom |21.6|13.0 USA |19.3|18.6 France |53.0|29.1 FRG |35.0|17.8 Japan |16.7|25.5
The figures are published in the transport statistics report entitled "International comparisons of transport statistics ; Part 2". They do not give an indication of the size of the motor cycle population in each country. The trend in the United Kingdom towards reduced casualties among motor cyclists is a heartening one.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will report on progress in implementing the recommendations of the interdepartmental review on road safety ; and if he will indicate his future priorities for work on reducing road casualties.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Good progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the road safety review. I have placed a full progress report in the Library of the House. This includes a summary of the areas of work on which we shall be concentrating for the next 18 months. Casualty figures suggest that we are making reasonable progress towards the target of reducing casualties by one third by the year 2000. It is also clear that there is no room for complacency and that we shall have to step up our efforts even more in the future.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers involved in accidents were found to have been drinking over the limit in 1988 ; how this number has changed over the past 10 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Drivers involved in accidents who are not seriously injured may be breath-tested following the accident. In 1988, it is estimated that 75,000 drivers were so tested, of whom nearly 14 per cent., or just over 10,000, failed. In addition, coroners' reports on drivers who die in road accidents show that about 20 per cent. in 1988, or about 400, had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.
The following tables show (a) the numbers tested following injury accidents each year since 1979 and the numbers failing ; and (b) the percentages of drivers killed in accidents who had a high blood alcohol content.
Table A Drivers and riders in accidents Numbers breath tested, and failing |Numbers tested |Numbers failing ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |41,000 |14,100 1980 |41,600 |13,400 1981 |41,000 |12,300 1982 |43,300 |13,500 1983 |42,300 |12,400 1984 |43,500 |12,600 1985 |44,700 |12,600 1986 |61,200 |11,900 1987 |65,000 |11,000 <1>1988 |75,000 |10,200
Table B Percentage of drivers or riders killed in road accidents, whose blood alcohol level is above the legal limit |Killed |Per cent. over limit ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |2,700 |32 1980 |2,500 |31 1981 |2,500 |30 1982 |2,500 |33 1983 |2,200 |28 1984 |2,200 |26 1985 |2,100 |26 1986 |2,200 |24 1987 |2,100 |23 <1>1988 |2,100 |21 <1>Provisional.
As the figures show, both the numbers of drivers failing the breath test, and the proportion killed who have a high blood alcohol content have been falling. This indicates a real fall in the amount of drinking and driving that occurs, although the levels are still too high.
We must continue our efforts to change public attitudes so as to accelerate this fall in drink-drive levels, and so reduce the number of accidents on our roads.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list in the Official Report the numbers of passenger aircraft, in service with United Kingdom operators, which exceed 75 per cent. of their economic design life objectives according to model type and as defined by (a) total number of flights, (b) total number of flying hours and (c) age ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will list in the Official Report the numbers of passenger aircraft in service with United Kingdom operators, by airplane model type, showing how many of each model type have exceeded their economic design life objectives in terms of (a) total number of flights or (b) total number of flying hours or (c) age ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : These data are not held by the Department though some may be available to the Civil Aviation Authority, which has the statutory responsibility for the safety regulation of civil aviation.
I shall ask the chairman of the authority to respond direct to the hon. Member.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many licences for passenger aircraft were issued to United Kingdom operators by his Department under arrangements known as wet leasing ; if he will list, according to each model type, the numbers of such aircraft which have (a) exceeded their economical design life objectives in terms of either (i) total number of flights, (ii) total number of flying hours and (iii) age, or (b) reached 75 per cent. or more of their economic design life objectives in terms of either (i) total number of flights, (ii) total number of flying hours and (iii) age ; if he is satisfied with the safety standards of aircraft which are wet leased ; and if he will make a statement.
Type |Number ----------------------------- BAC 1-11 (500) |1 B727-100 |1 B727-200 |4 B737-200 |5 B737-300 |4 Convair CV-580 |3 DC10 |1 |- Total |19
The other statistics requested in relation to these aircraft are not kept.
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 cargo vessels and passenger ferries lost in each of the past five years ; if each loss was the subject of an inquiry ; how many masters of such vessels were held responsible ; what was the range of sanctions imposed upon them ; and to which regulations do these penalties refer.