|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households defaulted on mortgage repayments in the latest available month ; and if he will give the figures for the same period in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The available information about mortgage arrears relates only to mortgages advanced by building societies and local authorities. The Building Societies Association records numbers of arrears relating to building society mortgages on a half-yearly basis. The latest information is for June 1989 and is compared with the figures for earlier years in the following table.
( Building society mortgage arrears: United Kingdom Loans over 6 months in arrears June |Number |Per cent. ---------------------------------------- 1986 |66,980 |0.97 1987 |63,150 |0.88 1988 |57,880 |0.79 1989 |54,360 |0.71
My Department collects annual information on arrears in respect of mortgages made by local authorities. The information for recent years is shown in the following table.
( Local authority mortgage arrears: England Loans over 6 months in arrears March |Number |Per cent. ---------------------------------------- 1986 |15,840 |3.1 1987 |13,200 |3.1 1988 |9,040 |2.5 1989 |7,760 |2.5
Mr. Peter Morrison : My Department's most recent published figures show that the cumulative production of oil, condensate and natural gas liquids between the end of 1979 and August of this year stood at 1,069.2 million tonnes--this includes a provisional figure for the month of August.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The financial viability of new power station projects is a matter for the body concerned. The CEGB presented evidence to the Hinkley C inquiry on the comparison between the costs of a PWR and fossil-fuelled generation.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will amend the Electricity Act so as to retain the discretion of the Secretary of State to award second-tier direct-contract electricity supply licences after privatisation to premises with a load under 1 MW.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what arrangements he proposes for selling to the privatised British distribution companies electricity generated by French nuclear power stations and imported via the cross channel connectors ; what companies he proposes to establish for this purpose ; whether he has appointed any chairman- designate to such companies ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Public electricity suppliers, or any other suppliers, will be free to enter into commercial arrangements with Electricite de France for the purchase of electricity. We have no intention of establishing a company to import electricity from France.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of price per KW of the nuclear levy through which the area electricity boards will recoup the cost of meeting their non-fossil- fuel obligation after privatisation.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The fossil fuel levy will depend on the prices charged for nuclear and fossil-fuelled electricity. Contract negotiations are currently taking place. I cannot anticipate their outcome.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what was the change in internationally traded heavy fuel oil prices over the month to 25 September ; and what was the fluctuation in internationally traded coal prices over the same period.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The change in the spot price of heavy fuel oil at Rotterdam over the month to September 25, 1989 and the fluctuation in internationally traded coal prices over the same period are as follows :
|Fuel Oil |Steam Coal |Rotterdam |Amsterdam/Rotterdam |$/tonne |$/tonne -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- August 25 |87.0 |43.5 September 25 |98.0 |43.5 Percentage change |12.6 |0.0 Note: All prices are FOB spot prices for 1 per cent. Sulphur content. Sources: Petroleum Argus. Coal Week International.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Shell Chemicals UK Limited has submitted an application under the Pipelines Act 1962 for authorisation to construct a cross-country pipeline from Grangemouth to Stanlow for the conveyance of ethylene. It has been instructed to publish and serve the necessary notices under the Pipelines Act 1962, without prejudice to the right of the Secretary of State subsequently to refuse the application.
An environmental statement under the Electricity and Pipe-line Works (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1989, has been prepared by Shell.
Details of Shell's proposals and copies of the environmental statement are available for public inspection at the offices of planning authorities along the proposed pipeline route and at the offices of my Department.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list both those executive agencies for the Civil Service already set up with their start up dates and those announced as candidates with their target dates, together with the number of staff in each agency or prospective agency.
Mr. Luce : The current list of those Government activities already established as executive agencies under the Next Steps initiative, together with the number of staff employed and their start up dates is as follows :
Executive agency |Staff numbers |Start up date --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vehicle Inspectorate |1,550 |1 August 1988 Companies House |1,150 |3 October 1988 HMSO |3,200 |14 December 1988 National Weight and Measures Laboratory |50 |18 April 1989 Warren Spring Laboratory |300 |20 April 1989 Resettlement Agency |550 |24 May 1989 Civil Service College |200 |6 June 1989 Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre |50 |6 July 1989 Historic Royal Palaces |350 |1 October 1989 Laboratory of the Government Chemist |300 |30 October 1989
For the current list of candidates for executive agency status announced by Departments, together with the numbers of staff employed, I refer the hon. Member to the appendix to the Government reply to the Fifth Report from the Treasury and Civil Service Committee (CM841, published on 30 October). Target dates for individual launches are primarily a matter for the Ministers responsible.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will provide an estimate of the administrative cost per promotee in Civil Service promotions from executive officer to higher executive officer.
Mr. Brooke [holding answer 3 November 1989] : It is not possible to provide a definitive and exhaustive list of subjects within my responsibilities on which I might exceptionally decline to answer questions on grounds other than cost and commercial confidence. Each question tabled to me will continue to be considered on its merits.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The Department of Education is presently considering the results of a market testing exercise conducted by the Ulster museum into the possibility of putting a number of its services, including security, out to competitive tender.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will list major inward investment in the Northern region since 1983, giving the cost of each project, the amount of Government grant and the number of jobs involved.
Major Inward Investments in the Northern Region since 1983 Company |Jobs |Project Costs|RSA Grant |£,000 |£,000 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hamilton Ltd |217 |1,106 |225 Tolaram Polymers Ltd |61 |14,377 |350 Brandtex Ltd |127 |347 |25 Electrolux Ltd |101 |4,060 |611 S P Tyres Ltd |450 |2,132 |Nil Nissan UK Manufacturing Ltd |2,700 |349,900 |35,000 NSK Bearings Europe Ltd |108 |15,093 |450 Black and Decker |500 |9,760 |1,000 Draeger Ltd |128 |2,385 |266 TC Industries of Europe Ltd |108 |5,970 |1,295 Tabuchi Electric (UK) Ltd |185 |2,983 |300 Superbadge Ltd |116 |1,402 |383 Stewart-Warner Ltd |100 |2,470 |350 Black and Decker |409 |22,000 |2,450 British Alcan Aluminium Ltd |367 |5,165 |1,500 Komatsu Ltd |262 |16,500 |1,200 Liner Manufacturing Ltd |202 |616 |200 NSK Bearings Europe Ltd |230 |32,000 |1,600 THC Fabricators UK Ltd |170 |6,151 |575 Philips Components Ltd |150 |9,909 |900 Kodak Ectona Fibres Ltd |237 |57,800 |2,000 Grove Coles Ltd |294 |4,395 |800 House of Mayfair |162 |6,500 |700 Black & Decker |665 |9,910 |2,000 Key Tech Europe Ltd |260 |11,288 |1,200 Philips Components |419 |4,279 |500 F Hills & Sons Ltd |377 |820 |80 Transfer All Purpose Foils Ltd |130 |5,344 |819 Swaddlers Ltd |135 |8,780 |950 Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd |250 |5,372 |700 Mitsumi Electric |400 |2,500 |Nil TRW Repa Ltd |250 |900 |<1>Nil Northern Contractors Ltd |250 |<1>- |Nil Winchmore Knitting Factory Ltd |285 |2,600 |Nil Goldstar Electric Ltd |330 |8,000 |Nil Basf Chemicals Ltd |100 |6,000 |Nil Swilynn (UK) Ltd |505 |14,145 |2,950 Nissan UK Manufacturing Ltd |1,060 |216,000 |14,400 Millicom Info Systems Ltd |180 |3,047 |450 Cookson Fukuda Ltd |79 |24,318 |650 Millicom Cellular UK Ltd |300 |3,558 |450 Hashimoto Forming Industry Co Ltd |135 |9,850 |1,500 Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd |500 |400,000 |30,000 3M UK Ltd |112 |11,882 |1,700 <1> Not published. 1. Major inward investment projects have been defined as those first time investments, or expansions of existing investment, by foreign owned companies which involve capital costs of over £5 million and/or the creation or safeguarding of 100 or more jobs. 2. Figures supplied for government grant are for offers of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) accepted by foreign-owned companies since 1 January 1983. Comparable information on other forms of assistance is not readily available. (Not all inward investments receive RSA). 3. In accordance with usual practice the inclusion of individual cases has been restricted to those already announced or published. Details of nine further inward investment projects involving capital spend of £170.4 million and jobs of 3,132 have yet to be published. 4. The Northern Region is the North East Region plus Cumbria.
Mr. Redwood : Insider dealing did not become a criminal offence until 23 June 1980. Since then the number of cases of suspected insider dealing referred to the Department of Trade and Industry by the Stock Exchange each year is as follows :
|Number ------------------------ January |1 February |1 March |1 April |1 May |1 June |2 July |2 August |2 September |1 October |2 November |9 December |2
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many preliminary reports on suspected cases on insider dealing were sent by the Stock Exchange insider dealing unit in each month in 1988.
Mr. Redwood : The number of reports on suspected cases of insider dealing sent by the Stock Exchange insider dealing group to the Department of Trade and Industry in each month in 1988 was as follows :
|Number ------------------------ January |1 February |1 March |1 April |1 May |1 June |2 July |2 August |2 September |1 October |2 November |9 December |2
Mr. Redwood : The EC Council of Ministers unanimously agreed a common position on the draft directive on co-ordinating regulations on insider dealing on 18 July 1989. This common position has now been
Column 516considered by the European Parliament and the directive is likely to be adopted by the Council of Ministers on13 November. Member states will be required to implement it by 1 June 1992.
On 13 September the United Kingdom became the first country to sign the Council of Europe convention on insider trading. Like the directive, the convention provides for co-operation between states that have ratified it but differs from the directive in not setting minimum standards for national regulations.
All cases are considered on their merits. If significant new evidence of a possible offence came to light my right hon. Friend would be prepared to reconsider a case where it had earlier been decided that no further action was appropriate.
Mr. Redwood : Clause 195 of the Companies Bill provides for the Secretary of State to consent to the bringing of prosecutions in respect of insider dealing offences by persons or bodies other than himself. It is intended to use this power to consent to such prosecutions by the International Stock Exchange in suitable cases.
Mr. Redwood : Most investigations into possible insider dealing offences are undertaken by inspectors appointed under section 177 of the Financial Services Act. There are currently 32 such inspectors, of whom one is an official of the Department. There is in my Department a unit of six staff, whose main task is to consider possible insider dealing cases for investigation by inspectors, to liaise with such inspectors and to follow up inspectors' reports. In addition, lawyers from solicitors branch give advice and conduct prosecutions as necessary. They are supported by professional investigation officers who are involved as needed.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the number of cases of suspected insider dealing where proceedings for prosecution were instituted by his Department in each year since 1979.
Mr. Redwood : Insider dealing did not become a criminal offence until 23 June 1980. Since then the number of cases of suspected insider dealing offences where proceedings for prosecutions were instituted by the Department of Trade and Industry in each year is as follows :
|Number ---------------------- <1>1980 |0 1981 |1 1982 |1 1983 |1 1984 |0 1985 |0 1986 |2 1987 |3 1988 |3 <2>1989 |7 <1>From 23 June 1980. <2>To date.
Prosecutions for insider dealing offences have also been instituted by other prosecuting authorities.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of insider dealing referred by the Stock Exchange to his Department have been reopened since the passage of the Financial Services Act 1986.
No. This is a matter for the Ferranti board which commissioned the report.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make it his policy that paragraph 4 of the model byelaws for library authorities issued by his Department will not be used as justification for excluding people with physical disabilities, mental handicaps or AIDS from entering and using libraries.
Mr. Luce : Model byelaw 4 was intended to give library authorities the power to exclude from public libraries persons who are offensively unclean or suffering from infectious or contagious diseases. Application of the byelaw is at the discretion of library officers and they, I believe, in exercising their power, act reasonably and with justification in the interests of all the users of the library.
Mr. Luce : Within the last two years the only representation I have received has been from the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation about the public libraries' discretion to admit powered wheelchairs and library users with infectious or contagious diseases.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether the model byelaws issued by his Department for use by library authorities permit libraries to refuse admission to disabled people using powered wheelchairs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Luce : Model byelaws allow local authorities, in framing their own byelaws, to regulate the use of their facilities and the conduct of persons in premises where these facilities are provided. Model byelaw 5 specifies that the consent of a library officer is required before a wheeled vehicle, other than an invalid chair, can be brought into a library. The model byelaw allows library authorities to limit the exception to hand-propelled invalid chairs. I believe that, where library authorities have chosen to give the library officers the power to exclude powered wheelchairs, this is done reasonably and with due consideration to the circumstances that prevail in the library at that time.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The Office of Arts and Libraries does not fund arts organisations directly : that is the responsibility of the Arts Council and the Regional Arts Associations. The council's policy is not to fund amateur activities which, by their nature, are largely self-supporting. It does provide professional support to some amateur activity, as well as funding festivals and other events which may include some amateur work, but it is not possible to cost this accurately.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The Treaty of Rome makes no specific provision regarding culture as such, although there is a reference in article 36 to the protection of national treasures.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The meetings of the European Ministers responsible for cultural matters provide a useful opportunity to work together and exchange information on matters of mutual interest.
Column 519organisations have encountered as a result of price movements and other developments. The Arts Council expects those organisations to take account of these factors in setting their budgets for the coming year.
|Percentage increase ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Old Master Paintings |266 19th Century European Paintings |254 Impressionist Paintings |974 Modern Paintings |880 Continental Ceramics |138 Chinese Ceramics |204 English Silver |188 Continental Silver |165 French and Continental Furniture |169 English Furniture |314 Aggregate |396
Mr. Luce [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The development of the Tate gallery, Liverpool was planned in two phases. The second phase, which includes the conversion of a fourth floor, is estimated to cost £3 million at 1988 prices. The Tate gallery is raising these funds from the private sector.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will list the meetings of the European Ministers of Culture that (a) he and (b) his predecessor Ministers have attended to represent officially Her Majesty's Government since 1979.
(a) I have attended the following meetings as Minister for the Arts :
EC Ministers of Culture Brussels -20 December 1985
EC Ministers of Culture Amsterdam -13 June 1986
EC Ministers of Culture Brussels -12-14 November 1986
Council of Europe 5th Conference of -15-17 September 1987 European Culture Ministers, Sintra
EC Ministers of Culture Copenhagen -10-11 December 1987 EC Ministers of Culture Brussels -27 May 1988
EC Ministers of Culture Athens 28-30 November 1988
EC Ministers of Culture Santiago de -30-31 March 1989
EC Ministers of Culture Brussels -17-18 May 1989
EC Ministers of Culture Blois -2 November 1989
(b) I regret that full information concerning my predecessors' attendances at the meetings concerned is not readily available.