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The Attorney-General : My consent to the institution of criminal proceedings is required only when the statute creating an offence so stipulates. I have not refused any request from a prosecuting authority or any other source for such consent.


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House of Fraser

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Attorney-General if the serious fraud squad was able to secure in Egypt the papers it sought in connection with its inquiries into the House of Fraser report ; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : The Egyptian authorities have recently informed the Crown prosecution service that their inquiries are continuing into the matters in respect of which assistance was sought.

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Attorney-General if the serious fraud squad has yet completed its inquiries into the issues raised by the House of Fraser reports ; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : The inquiries have necessarily been protracted on account of the nature of the matters under investigation and the need for a substantial proportion of the relevant evidence to be gathered from overseas. I am satisfied that these inquiries, with which I personally keep in touch, are being conducted with all proper expedition. I hope that a decision about this case will be taken shortly.

WALES

Far East (Visit)

14. Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his visit to the Far East.

Mr. Peter Walker : In Korea I had talks with 19 top companies and in Japan with 27. As a result I expect a good number of positive decisions to invest in Wales to be made over the next 12 months.

Overseas Investment

15. Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the amount of overseas investment in Wales for the period 1979-88.

Mr. Peter Walker : The available figures show that, between 1979 and 1988 inclusive, 360 individual inward investment projects have been secured in Wales, promising over 43,000 jobs. 1988 was a record year in which Wales secured 22 per cent. of the new jobs associated with inward investment to the United Kingdom. The associated capital investment for that year was over £1 billion.

Elderly Patients

16. Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has any plans to provide the area health authorities with additional resources to enable them to improve hospital facilities for the long stay elderly.

Mr. Grist : Funding of long-stay hospital facilities for the elderly is a matter for district health authorities, using their discretionary resources. In 1989-90 total resources available to district health authorities, the bulk of which will be available for their discretionary use, will amount to over £961 million--an increase of £72 million over 1988-89.


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NHS Reform

17. Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that no doctor in Wales will be unable to prescribe for his or her patients the medication or drugs most appropriate to their condition if the Government's plans for the Health Service are implemented in Wales.

Mr. Peter Walker : The Government's White Paper proposals relating to general practitioners' prescribing will not in any way prevent people getting the medicines they need. Our policy is to implement these proposals in Wales.

Regional Development Fund

18. Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the total value of grants which Wales has received from the European regional development fund in the past 10 years.

Mr. Peter Walker : European regional development fund commitments to Wales since 1979 have amounted to £460 million.

CBI

19. Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he last met representatives of Wales Confederation of British Industry ; and what issues were discussed.

Mr. Peter Walker : I last met members of CBI Wales on 12 June during a seminar to consider information technology and the single European market (1992).

National Curriculum (Teachers)

20. Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to ensure that there will be sufficient teachers qualified in all the necessary subjects to teach the national curriculum in its further stages from September 1990.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The requirements of the national curriculum are being taken fully into account in setting the intakes to initial teacher training, in revising the criteria for initial teacher training courses and in planning the LEA in-service training grant scheme and education support grants.

Puppy Farming

21. Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many planning appeals he has dealt with relating to puppy farming in Wales in the last 12 months.

Mr. Grist : None.

Welsh Language Board

22. Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the progress of the work of the Welsh Language Board.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The Welsh Language Board has made encouraging progress in its first year of operation. It has issued voluntary guidelines governing the use of Welsh in both the public and private sectors. It has been instrumental in finding practical solutions to problems


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encountered by Welsh speakers. I am now discussing with the board next steps in relation to its strategy for the future.

Labour Statistics

23. Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people are employed in the Principality, at the latest available date, by employers who had no place of business in the Principality 10 years earlier.

Mr. Peter Walker : This information is not available in the form requested. However, on the basis of VAT returns, the stock of businesses in Wales rose by some 11,300 between 1979 and 1988. In addition, the Department's regional data system indicates that manufacturing units employing 10 or more and which have opened since 1979 currently provide 44,500 jobs.

25. Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the latest unadjusted figures for unemployment in (a) Newport, (b) Gwent and (c) Wales ; and if he will give the equivalent figures for 1979 on the most nearly comparable basis.

Mr. Peter Walker : On 14 September 1989 the numbers of unemployment claimants in the Newport district, Gwent and Wales were 4,893, 14,970 and 90,594 respectively. Unadjusted figures for 1979 are not available on a basis that enables a valid comparison to be made. Unemployment in the hon. Gentleman's constituency was 87 per cent. higher when the Government was re -elected in June 1987 than it is today.

Departmental Anniversary

24. Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to mark the 25th anniversary of the setting up of his Department.

Mr. Peter Walker : The 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Welsh Office falls on 1 April 1990. I intend to mark the anniversary in an appropriate manner and will announce my plans in due course.

National Museum

26. Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends to meet the president and director of the National Museum of Wales to discuss the museum's strategy plan and future funding.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : My right hon. Friend meets the president and director of the National Museum of Wales to discuss matters of mutual interest as occasion demands. Decisions on the need for a meeting to discuss the museum's next strategy plan will be taken when it is received early next year.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the change in the number of people visiting the National museum in Cardiff since the introduction of entrance charges.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the totals of visitors to the National museum of Wales, Cathays Park, since admission charges were introduced and for the previous comparable period.

Mr. Peter Walker : Recorded visitor numbers were :


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December 1988-September 1989 (inclusive) 62,583

December 1987-September 1988 (inclusive) 329,949

The National museum issued a statement on 24 October explaining the reason for these differentials. Comparisons are difficult because in the earlier period both the Chinese Dinosaurs exhibition and the Gerald of Wales exhibition were taking place. Subsequently major building works at the museum have prevented the staging of major exhibitions. During the current financial year the attendance at Cathays park is 3,000 below budget--a shortfall of 8 per cent. Conversely the number of visitors attending the Welsh folk museum is 39,000 above budget--an increase of 20 per cent. The museum believes that these differences were accounted for by the exceptional summer weather and that its experience is in line with other indoor and outdoor attractions in Wales. The museum holds the view that with the reopening of the east wing in March 1990, refurbishment of the major temporary exhibition gallery which is now complete and the sound financial position, the museum could attract major temporary exhibitions which in turn would substantially improve visitor numbers.

Nature Conservancy Council

27. Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the implications for Welsh conservation of the proposed merger of the Nature Conservancy Council and the Countryside Commission in Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The proposed new arrangements will mean clearer lines of responsibility and facilitate the development of conservation policies fully sensitive to the needs of Wales.

Welsh Water

28. Mr. John P. Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he last met the chairman of Welsh Water plc ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Peter Walker : I am in regular contact with the chairman and discuss with him a wide range of issues related to the business of Welsh Water.

29. Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will seek to stop Welsh Water from proceeding with a long sewage outfall from Swansea where this conflicts with any European Community directive.

Mr. Grist : The design and construction of a long sea outfall at Swansea bay is a matter for Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig. The company will, no doubt, have full regard to all existing statutory requirements in the preparation of its detailed proposals.

Hospital Waiting Lists

30. Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the waiting lists and the numbers of patients treated for 1979 and for the latest available corresponding period for (a) in-patients, (b) out-patients and (c) day patients.

Mr. Grist : The information requested is as follows :


                   |1978-79      |1988-89                    

-------------------------------------------------------------

Patients treated:                                            

  In-patient cases |345,305      |456,378                    

  New out-patients |425,927      |524,113                    

  Day cases        |26,456       |84,758                     

                   |31 March 1979|31 March 1989              

Waiting lists:                                               

  In-patients      |39,527       |41,964                     

  Out-patients     |57,832       |90,745                     

  Day cases        |3,397        |6,914                      

Fishguard Harbour

31. Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy towards the development of Fishguard harbour, and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : This is a matter for Sealink, the port's operators.

Ministerial Visit

32. Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his latest visit to mid-Wales.

Mr. Peter Walker : My most recent visit was to Builth Wells on 17 October, when I addressed the 1989 Welsh agricultural outlook conference.

Egg Industry

33. Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the present state of the egg industry in Wales.

Mr. Peter Walker : The egg laying flock in Wales is relatively small. The market for eggs is very buoyant and prices are stable.

Heartbeat Wales

Mr. Simon Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the level and sources of funding of the campaign Heartbeat Wales in each year since 1985.

Mr. Grist : Central contributions to Heartbeat Wales, the Welsh heart programme, were identifiable in the programme's first two years of operation, are shown as follows :


                         |1985-86|1986-87        

                         |£      |£              

-------------------------------------------------

Health Education Council |365,000|350,000        

Welsh Office             |130,000|215,000        

From 1 April 1987 responsibility for Heartbeat Wales was assumed by the Health Promotion Authority for Wales, a Welsh Office-funded special health authority, which receives an unhypothecated allocation for its range of activities and expenditure. Funding for the authority in 1987-88 was £1.218 million ; and £1.838 million in 1988-89 ; the allocation for 1989-90 is £2.057 million. In addition to central contributions, Heartbeat Wales has attracted income from sponsorship and other sources.

Correspondence

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information his Department has on the length of time taken to respond to letters from hon. Members.


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Mr. Peter Walker : My Department holds information on the date of letters, the date they are received in the Department and the date a reply issues for all correspondence from hon. Members since 1984. This enables aggregate information to be produced on the length of time taken to respond to Members' letters.

Electricity Privatisation

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the likely effects on employment in the Welsh coal industry of the privatisation of the electricity industry.

Mr. Peter Walker : This will depend on a number of factors which cannot now be predicted. Among them will be the terms eventually agreed between British Coal, National Power and PowerGen on the future of coal supplies and the competitiveness of mines in Wales.

Channel Tunnel

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the negotiations currently under way between his office and British Rail concerning the nature of the rail links between south Wales and the Channel tunnel.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Officials took part in British Rail's consultations on the plan of services they are required to present to the Government by the end of this year under S40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987. That report is now awaited.

East Glamorgan General Hospital

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make a statement on the progress achieved to date in bringing to fruition the planned replacement hospital for the existing East Glamorgan general hospital ;

(2) where the planned replacement hospital for East Glamorgan general hospital will be sited.

Mr. Grist : Though a number of planning approval and funding issues remain to be resolved we understand that Mid Glamorgan health authority continues to focus its management effort on securing an area of land at Ynys-y-Plwm for the proposed new district general hospital covering Taff- Ely and Rhondda.

Sewage Disposal

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if, when he next meets the Welsh regional chairman of the National Rivers Authority, he will request him to address as a priority, stopping the Welsh water authority from depositing raw sewage from its treatment plants into the rivers, estuaries and bays of Wales.

Mr. Ian Grist : All of Dwr Cymru's sewage treatment plants have consents. It is for the National Rivers Authority to determine what to do if the consents are breached.

The NRA has already been asked to set in hand an urgent review of the way in which discharge consents are set and the way in which compliance with these consents is assessed.


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Ynysplwm (Investment)

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to encourage inward industrial investment located at the Ynysplwm site at Clantrisant, Mid Glamorgan.

Mr. Peter Walker : I am determined to continue to encourage inward investment into Wales and to this end I am actively involved in promoting all areas of the Principality. The Welsh Development Agency is responsible for identifying and promoting individual sites for inward investment and I am advised that it believes that there may be some land available at Ynysplwm which is suitable for one or more such projects.

Schools (Local Management)

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the criteria which will be taken into account in the needs-related component of the formula funding under local management of schools.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Each LEA was required to devise its own formula having regard to local needs and circumstances and after consultation with its schools. The formula must be based on an assessment of school's objective needs and conform to the requirements of the Education Reform Act and the guidance in circular 36/88. The central determinant of a school's needs should be the number of pupils weighted for age differences.

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the implications of local management of schools in Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Local management will enable governors and headteachers of all county and voluntary secondary schools, and of larger primary schools, to target funds on their own educational needs and priorities by giving them control over their running costs. It will make schools more responsive to the clients--parents, the local community, and employers--by relating the funding that schools receive mainly to the numbers of pupils. Local management gives the local education authority the lead function in deciding the basis for allocating funds to schools and in supporting them in the efficient and effective provision of education.

The Department is currently considering the LEAs' schemes for the local management of schools.

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment his Department has made of the implications of local management of schools on (a) administrative costs at school levels, (b) responsibilities and workloads of head teachers and (c) information technology requirements at school level.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Over time the administrative costs associated with the introduction of local management of schools should be offset by the more effective use of resources. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and Science, has asked the interim advisory committee on school teachers' pay and conditions to advise on the implications of local management for the workload of headteachers when reporting to him on school teachers' pay and conditions for 1990-91.

Up to £1 million has been made available to LEAs in Wales in 1989-90 for the introduction of local


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management. Of this £500,000 has been earmarked for the introduction of management information systems into schools.

NHS Reform

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer to the Member for Alyn and Deeside of 30 October, when he expects to be in a position to make a statement on staffing requirements under the proposals of the White Paper, "Working for Patients".

Mr. Grist : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave him on Monday 30 October at col. 34. The manpower implications of the proposals contained in the White Paper "Working for Patients" are being considered as part of the ongoing manpower planning and management process within the NHS in Wales alongside a number of other initiatives. A number of these initiatives naturally interrelate and to some degree overlap for example, it is likely that the White Paper proposals will require a further strengthening of the personnel, finance and information technology functions within the NHS in Wales, in addition to the work that is already being undertaken in these areas as part of the continuing development of the management of the service.

Similarly, the proposals contained in a review of the Combined Training Institute at Cardiff and in an option appraisal of nurse education arrangements in Wales as part of the wider task of implementing Project 2000 are being considered alongside the outcome of the manpower resource planning exercise. The proposals contained in the White Paper overlay such initiatives to some extent and will be taken into account in that context. The annual manpower resource planning exercise will enable the NHS in Wales to take stock of the manpower requirements over the next decade.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are his plans for a scheme of transitional relief to help community chargepayers in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker : In July I announced that the average community charge in Wales for 1990-91 would be £175, provided that Welsh local authorities budgeted in line with my plans. This will benefit all Welsh community chargepayers. In addition to this a three-year scheme of community charge transitional relief is to be introduced which will provide further assistance to personal chargepayers in Wales. The cost of the scheme will be £17.5 million in 1990-91.

I am placing in the Library copies of a paper setting out my proposals, which have been the subject of consultation with the Welsh local authority associations. The scheme gives protection to those facing significant increases over their 1989-90 domestic rates bills. It will provide broadly the same protection as that provided by a district safety net but without the need for contributions from chargepayers.

The scheme I am announcing today will mean that in 1990-91 personal chargepayers in communities where domestic ratable values are low will face an increase of no more than £25 per year--less than 50p a week--over the average 1989-90 domestic rates bill for each adult in their community area, provided that local authorities spend in


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line with my plans. Residents of many communities and some inner city communities will be protected from large increases as we introduce the new system.

In bringing forward these proposals, I must emphasise the important responsibility which now falls upon Welsh local authorities in their budget -making for 1990-91. The announcement I have made must not be taken by authorities as a signal to increase spending ; rather, I look to Welsh local authorities to ensure, in setting their budgets for 1990-91, that the full benefits of these new arrangements flow through to chargepayers.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales at what level he proposes to set the total of revenue support grant, the national non-domestic rate multiplier and the distributable amount of national non- domestic rate for Wales ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker : I announced on 20 July that I proposed to set the total of aggregate external finance (the level of central Government support for local authority revenue spending) at £1,733 million, an increase of 8.6 per cent. over the comparable level for 1989-90. This support comprises three component elements : revenue support grant, the national non-domestic rates distributable amount, and relevant specific grants.

I now estimate that the amount of business rates to be distributed in 1990- 91 (the distributable amount) will be £454 million. This is the amount (adjusted to allow for certain technical factors) which I expect charging authorities to receive in respect of rates paid by private businesses, nationalised industries, and local authorities themselves, together with a contribution in respect of Crown property. This amount includes an element from the business sector which is broadly the same in real terms as the equivalent amount for 1989-90. In arriving at the distributable amount I have estimated that the national non-domestic rating multiplier for 1990-91 will be 38p ; but this figure will be provisional until I have final information about the effects of the revaluation and other relevant factors.

I estimate that relevant specific grants towards local authority revenue expenditure will total £154.2 million. Further details will be available at the time of the Autumn Statement.

I propose that the total of revenue support grant should be £1, 124.8 million. I am today consulting Welsh local authorities and their associations on this amount.

I will also shortly be notifying the associations of my proposals for the distribution and population reports, together with exemplifications of the likely effect of my proposals on individual authorities. These will be based on provisional population figures from community charge registers. The Welsh local authority associations share the view that it would not be helpful to publish exemplifications at this stage.

HEALTH

Haemophiliacs

Mr. Butcher : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will implement a scheme of compensation over and above the £10 million granted in November 1987, for haemophilia HIV positive people who have contracted the virus from infected imported blood products during National Health Service treatment.


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Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The £10 million that the Government provided to set up the Macfarlane Trust was an ex-gratia payment and not compensation. I understand that the trust funds are not yet fully committed, but, as we made clear when the £10 million grant was announced, we shall not be closed to any representations about further funding which may be made at a later date.

Some haemophiliacs who are HIV positive are now pursuing compensation through the courts and I am advised that this matter is now sub judice.


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