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Mr. Ryder : The provisional figures for the six-month period comencing 1 April 1989, uniformed officers on preventive duties (formerly known as the Waterguard) seized 13,385 kilos of Cannabis, mostly cannabis resin, out of a total of 18,951 kilos seized by Customs.
The cutter service was involved in three large seizures of cannabis, one of 1,200 kilos and two of 100 kilos each.
"Crack" is a compound of cocaine hydrochloride mixed with baking soda/ammonia/amphetamine, and although Customs made no commercial quantity seizures of it, they did seize 118 kilos of the main ingredient Cocaine.
All figures are provisional.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to relocate any executive agencies or parts of Government Departments in the north-west of England ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 207agencies, are required to review the location of their work in accordance with clear guidelines, with a view to finding locations offering easier labour markets, value for money and increased operational efficiency. It is for departmental Ministers to announce their own decisions on significant relocations on completion of the essential processes of assessment and consultation. So far this year, decisions have been taken to relocate around 775 Department of Employment posts to Runcorn ; 260 Department of Social Security posts to Wigan ; 250 Office of Population Censuses and Surveys posts to Southport ; 200 Customs and Excise posts to Liverpool and around 80 Inland Revenue posts to Bootle.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials in his Department at grade 3 and above have, since promotion to the level of grade 3, attended a course (a) specifically on information technology and (b) containing an element of information technology ; and what percentage each represents of all the staff in those grades in his Department.
Mr. Freeman : Twenty-seven (55 per cent.) of the 49 officials at grade 3 or above have attended courses specifically on information technology since their promotion to the level of grade 3. Of the remaining 22 officials, three (6 per cent.) have attended courses with an element of information technology.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many work stations excluding stand-alone word processors are currently installed in his Department ; and what is the ratio of such work stations to civil servants.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Minister in his Department is responsible for day-to-day management of his Department's information technology strategy ; and what proportion of his time was spent on this matter in the month up to Friday 13 October.
Mr. Freeman : The day-to-day management of the Department of Health's information technology (IT) strategy is the responsibility of officials. I am responsible for oversight of IT matters in the Department of Health. IT is in general so integrated into the Department's business functions that to attempt to apportion specific intervals of my time to its consideration would involve a disproportionate effort to obtain.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the amount of moneys available to health authorities specifically for the development of services for those experiencing problems with drugs, including prescribed drugs such as tranquillisers.
Column 208for drug misusers including those dependent on prescribed tranquillisers have increased each year since the initial allocation of £5 million in 1986-87.
Regional allocations in 1989-90 for this purpose totalled £14.8 million, an increase of £5.3 million over the sum allocated in 1988- 89.
Decisions on allocations to health authorities for 1990-91 have yet to be taken.
Mr. Freeman : We are aware of the report on benzodiazepines produced by the association. The report succinctly and usefully summarises the problems associated with tranquilliser dependence and suggests some solutions.
The Department shares the association's concern about long-term benzodiazepine dependence. It is tackling the problem both by ensuring doctors have all the guidance they need for careful prescribing of these drugs and by allocating additional resources for the expansion of services for drug misusers including those dependent on prescribed tranquillisers.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the costs of London area teaching hospitals have been excluded from the normal financing of their health authorities ; if the costs of teaching hospitals outside London have been included ; and what is the comparative value of this arrangement to the London authorities.
Mr. Freeman : A contribution to the costs of teaching hospitals is provided in addition to main allocations, to all regional health authorities with teaching hospitals. This contribution is enhanced for the four Thames regions to take account of the costs of London weighting and other additional London costs. The total sum protected in 1989-90 in respect of the excess costs of teaching hospitals was £316.4 million of which £11.7 million was for additional London areas costs.
It is a matter for regional health authorities to decide how to allocate these protected sums to districts with teaching hospitals.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional funding will be given to health authorities to ensure that the national growth range of between 1.25 and 1.75 per cent. is maintained in view of the higher level of inflation than that forecast at the time of this commitment.
Mr. Freeman : The range of 1.25 per cent. to 1.75 per cent. to be assumed for real terms growth nationally in 1990-91, published in "Resource Assumptions and Planning Guidelines" (HC(89) 24), was provided to assist authorities in their short-term planning ; the figures form a largely technical part of the planning process and are to be used as a basis for cautious and prudent planning. Actual allocations for 1990-91 have yet to be decided and are dependent on the outcome of this year's public expenditure survey.
Mr. Freeman : Following advice from the conference of medical colleges, in December 1988 we issued guidance to health authorities on the provision of donor organs for transplantation ; this is contained in health circular HC(88) 63. We have also substantially increased the proportion of the Department's publicity budget which is devoted to organ donation.
In November I will be hosting a seminar at which an invited group of experts and interested parties will discuss what further action may be needed.
Mr. Freeman : The expenses of community health councils are met by and form part of the total expenditure of the health authorities concerned. The latest information available derived from health authorities' annual accounts is shown in the table.
Year |£ ------------------------------ 1983-84 |6,098,626 1984-85 |6,341,305 1985-86 |6,784,064 1986-87 |7,164,552 1987-88 |7,506,998
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, further to his reply of 25 May, Official Report, column 744, concerning the cost of the common agricultural policy, whether he will publish in the Official Report his estimate of the increase in the cost of agricultural support to the average consumer in 1988 compared with the year taken by the National Consumer Council in "Consumers and the Common Agricultural Policy" published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1988.
Mr. Curry : The National Consumer Council report referred to several assessments of consumer costs of the common agricultural policy undertaken by different researchers. As far as I am aware, only OECD has
Column 210published estimates for 1988. Provisional estimates for Consumer Subsidy Equivalent's (CSE) for the European Community are shown up on pages 96 and 161 of "Agricultural Policies, Markets and Trade : Monitoring and Outlook" (OECD, 1989), available in the Library of the House. The consumer cost, as measured by the CSE for the European Community, fell by around one fifth between 1986 and 1988. The OECD estimates take no account of the possible increases in world prices if agricultural support in the European Community, and throughout the world, were dismantled : to this extent they are likely significantly to overstate consumer costs.
The Government's aim is to achieve lower levels of agricultural support worldwide, thereby reducing the costs borne by consumers and taxpayers and establishing fair competition between producers.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for 1970, 1979 and 1988, United Kingdom production of each of the principal common agricultural policy products, including bacon, rice and cotton, together with the quantities imported from and exported to (a) the European Economic Community and (b) the rest of the world ; and if he will include the average 1988 price of the imports and exports in each case together with the common agriculture policy price.
Mr. Curry : Information on production and trade for the earlier years is shown in the "Annual Review of Agriculture" White Papers (the 1981 review, Cmnd 8132, provides averaged data for the years 1969-71 and the 1984 review, Cmnd 9137, covers 1979). Forecasts for 1988 were published in "Agriculture in the United Kingdom 1988", ISBN 011 242 8665. Production estimates for 1988 will be available in the 1989 edition (to be published early in the new year). Provisional data on overseas trade in 1988 is to be found in the December 1988 edition of the "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom", ISBN 011 728 2642.
EC institutional prices, together with their sterling equivalents, are given each year in the note on the annual price fixing deposited in the Library of the House.
Mr. Gummer : The Council of Agriculture Ministers met on 25 and 26 September 1989. Together with my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, the hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Curry), I represented the United Kingdom at this meeting.
The Council adopted the legal text confirming its provisional agreement in July to a revised sheepmeat regime, including arrangements for phasing out variable premium in Great Britain between 1990 and 1992.
The Council also agreed new arrangements for New Zealand butter and lamb imports. Imports of New Zealand butter will be set at 64,500 tonnes in 1989, falling to 55,000 tonnes in 1992, with a substantial reduction in the import levy. With the agreement of the New Zealand
Column 211Government imports of New Zealand lamb have been set at 205,000 tonnes ; this includes a maximum of 6,000 tonnes of chilled meat in 1989 rising to 10,500 tonnes by 1992. The import duty will be reduced from 10 per cent. to 0. These arrangements follow the terms negotiated some months ago between the Commission and New Zealand. The Council agreed to changes in the system for reimbursement from the Community budget of national expenditure on set-aside. Under these, the Community will fund 60 per cent. of payments up to 300 ecus (£212) and 25 per cent. of payments between 300 and 600 ecus (£424) per hectare. The overall level of set-aside payment in the United Kingdom is not affected.
The Council discussed again the Commission proposal to permit all member states to issue an extra 1 per cent. of national quota to certain categories of producers and to make other changes to the milk quota system, designed to bring down the volume of production in excess of quota. No decisions were reached, and the Council will return to this subject on 23 and 24 October.
The Commission again came under strong pressure to make a determination of the Community cereals harvest so that the definitive level of the additional co-responsibility levy for the current marketing year could be set. The Commission indicated that it intended to make such a determination in the course of October. The Commission presented to the Council a proposal that would permit any inaccurate provisional determination of the Community harvest to be corrected ; any error in the rate of the additional co-responsibility levy arising from an inaccurate provisional determination would be corrected in the following year. This proposal will be considered further on 23 and 24 October.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which Minister in his Department is responsible for day-to-day management of his Department's information technology strategy ; and what proportion of his time was spent on this matter in the month up to Friday 13 October.
Mr. Curry : The day-to-day management of the Ministry's information technology (IT) strategy is the responsibility of officials. I am the Minister responsible for oversight of IT matters in the Department. IT is in general so integrated into the Department's business functions that to attempt to apportion specific intervals of a Minister's time to its consideration would involve a disproportionate effort to obtain.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many officials in his Department at grade 3 and above have, since promotion to the level of grade 3, attended a course (a) specifically on information technology and (b) containing an element of information technology ; and what percentage each represents of all the staff in those grades in his Department.
Mr. Curry : Our formal records show that two officials in this Department at grade 3 and above have, since promotion to the level of grade 3, attended courses specifically on information technology. Thirteen have attended courses containing an element of information technology. This represents 6 per cent. and 38 per cent. of all the staff in those grades in the Department. In addition a number of senior officials have attended a selection of
Column 212seminars/training sessions specifically on information technology, if appropriate to the area of work on which they are engaged. Attendances at these sessions is not formally recorded.
Many staff are, of course, already trained on information technology before achieving promotion to grade 3.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many work stations excluding stand-alone word processors are currently installed in his Department ; and what is the ratio of such work stations to civil servants.
Mr. Curry : The International Whaling Commission will review the moratorium next year in the light of the comprehensive scientific review of whale stocks which it is undertaking at present. The moratorium will continue indefinitely unless there is a three quarters majority decision to revoke it. We will need to see what the scientists say before taking a firm view on this matter. In line with our general policy if there are doubts we will err on the side of conservation.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if Her Majesty's Government intend to endorse the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to seek an extension of the powers of the International Whaling Commission to small cetaceans.
Mr. Curry : We have consistently argued that the International Whaling Commission should be regarded as having the power to regulate catches of all species of cetacea, from whales to dolphins and porpoises.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to adopt economic sanctions against those countries which undermine international fisheries conservation agreements ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : The Government do not consider that they should promote the idea of economic sanctions. Rather we shall continue to work vigorously through the relevant forum of the International Whaling Commission to ensure that whales are properly conserved. It is widely recognised that we have had much success with this policy.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is yet in a position to publish the findings of the review of the effects of the offshore driftnet salmon fishing on stocks ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : Work on the statutory review of the salmon net fisheries off the north-east of England and eastern Scotland is under way. Scientists from both my Department and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland are currently collecting and co-ordinating a wide range of scientific information.
Ministers are required by section 39 of the Salmon Act 1986 to lay a report on the review before Parliament as soon as practicable after 6 November this year. Once completed, we will clearly need time to consider this extensive review carefully before we are in a position to present a full report to Parliament. I can confirm that it is our intention to do so as soon as possible.
Mr. Howard : It is too early to say what the costs of underwriting will be, but these and the other costs of privatising the water industry will be reported to Parliament in due course in the normal way.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will (a) give details of overseas marketing and advertising campaigns paid for by his Department and organised by overseas advisers on water privatisation to attract investment in the flotation of the water industry and (b) state how much money has been spent and is proposed to be spent in each case.
Column 214countries in Europe through presentations made to institutional investors by representatives of the water companies. In Japan only, factual information about the offers will be placed in a limited number of newspapers and there will be a mail shot of information about the offer to a number of private investors. The cost of all marketing, both United Kingdom and overseas, will be presented to Parliament in the usual way after flotation.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by water holding company area the number of sewage outfalls to the sea ; and, of those, how many include primary treatment works.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the composition of (a) each regional rivers advisory committee, (b) each regional flood defence committee and (c) each regional fisheries advisory committee, showing for each member their age, sex and background leading to their being appointed to the committee ; and which interests they represent.
Mr. Patten : The regional rivers advisory committees and the regional fisheries advisory committees are committees of the National Rivers Authority, and appointment to them are not made by Ministers but by the National Rivers Authority. I shall write to the hon. Member with information about the appointments that have been made so far.
The regional flood defence committees in England are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, who appoints the chairman and some members of the committees ; the majority of appointments are made by the local authorities in the regions, and two members of each committee are appointed by the National Rivers Authority.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the numbers of staff and their grades so far appointed to the technical assessors of water quality within his Department ; and what proportion this represents of the final number to be appointed.
Mr. Patten : No appointments have been made yet, but the nucleus of a new inspectorate should be in place by 1 January 1990 when the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 come fully into force.
Mr. Patten : My hon. Friend the Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside announced on 2 October that significant progress has been made in reorganising Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to integrate its regulatory activities. The inspectorate will now operate on a regionalised basis. Full details are available in the Library. I am delighted with the progress made to date. This will ensure that we can secure the benefits of integrated pollution control as quickly as possible.
(2) if he will list the number of vacancies for professionals within the pollution inspectorate, showing in each case the grade and salary scale.
Mr. Chris Patten : HMIP employs 103 professional staff ; an additional 28 professional posts are currently vacant. We shall shortly be advertising vacancies at a new grade of pollution inspector. A new salary scale has been proposed to staff representatives ranging from £20,238 to £26,910 (including London weighting). At the minimum of the scale this represents an increase of the 17.3 per cent. against current rates and of 28.5 per cent. against rates offered at the last recruitment exercise.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what mechanism has been set up within his Department for liaison between the National Rivers Authority and Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.
Mr. Chris Patten : A series of discussions has been held by my Department, involving both organisations, to define the basis of their future working relationship. Both the inspectorate and the National Rivers Authority recognise the need for close co-ordination at the interface between their respective responsibilities and will be drawing up a memorandum of understanding to cover these matters.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many officials in his Department at grade 3 and above have, since promotion to the level of grade 3, attended a course (a) specifically on information technology and (b) containing an element of information technology ; and what percentage each represents of all the staff in those grades in his Department.
Mr. Chris Patten : Ten officials in the Department at grade 3 and above have attended a course specifically on information technology ; and a further seven have attended a course containing an element of information technology. This represents respectively 18 per cent. and 12 per cent. of all staff in those grades in the Department.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many work stations excluding stand-alone word processors are currently installed in his Department ; and what is the ratio of such work stations to civil servants.