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16. Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to amend the Scottish Licensing Act to alleviate the problem of alcohol abuse among young persons under the age of 18 years ; and if he will make a statement.
17. Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss central and local government co-operation in tackling Scottish housing priorities.
32. Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss central and local government co-operation in tackling Scottish housing priorities.
54. Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss central and local government co-operation in tackling Scottish housing priorities.
57. Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss central and local government co-operation in tackling Scottish housing priorities.
18. Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the current average annual administrative cost per head of (a) regional councils, (b) district councils, and (c) island councils, in Scotland ; and if he will publish in the Official Report the costs of running each individual council in Scotland.
|£ ------------------------------ Regional Councils |859 District Councils |389 Island Councils |2,106
Total figures for each authority are as follows :
Administrative costs 1987-88 |£'000 ------------------------------------------ Borders |61,381 Central |166,905 Dumfries and Galloway |93,158 Fife |229,340 Grampian |319,790 Highland |148,645 Lothian |470,412 Strathclyde |1,563,204 Tayside |255,846 |--- Total regions |3,308,681 Orkney |34,072 Shetland |44,095 Western Isles |35,515 |--- Total islands |113,683
|£'000 -------------------------------------------- Berwickshire |3,029 Ettrick and Lauderdale |5,975 Roxburgh |8,295 Tweeddale |2,126 Clackmannan |14,917 Falkirk |36,940 Stirling |23,931 Annandale and Eskdale |6,213 Nithsdale |11,134 Stewartry |3,725 Wigtown |7,119 Dunfermline |28,459 Kirkcaldy |40,235 North East Fife |14,318 Aberdeen City |64,822 Banff and Buchan |15,922 Gordon |9,303 Kincardine and Deeside |5,675 Moray |17,413 Badenoch and Strathspey |1,729 Caithness |4,392 Inverness |12,209 Lochaber |4,328 Nairn |1,546 Ross and Cromarty |10,489 Skye and Lochalsh |1,824 Sutherland |2,562 East Lothian |20,393 Edinburgh City |139,436 Midlothian |16,470 West Lothian |36,791 Argyll and Bute |19,817 Bearsden and Milngavie |5,126 Clydebank |18,043 Clydesdale |12,766 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth |8,336 Cumnock and Doon Valley |13,200 Cunninghame |34,172 Dumbarton |21,627 East Kilbride |10,356 Eastwood |6,181 Glasgow City |386,262 Hamilton |31,321 Inverclyde |34,927 Kilmarnock and Loudoun |24,204 Kyle and Carrick |28,673 Monklands |36,724 Motherwell |53,079 Renfrew |58,784 Strathkelvin |16,824 Angus |20,222 Dundee City |59,653 Perth and Kinross |24,519 |----- Total districts |1,496,536 |----- Scotland |4,918,900
23. Sir Hector Monro : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress is being made by the police with the murder inquiry following the Lockerbie air disaster ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Rifkind : My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate, to whom Dumfries and Galloway constabulary report, is satisfied that encouraging progress has been made with the Lockerbie inquiry. This has been achieved by painstaking and meticulous detective work, remarkable forensic scientific examination and unprecedented international co-operation. While no sufficient evidence is at present available to justify the commencement of criminal proceedings in Scotland against any particular person or persons, my noble and learned Friend remains confident that further progress will be made towards the goal of bringing the perpetrators of this atrocity to justice.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State will shortly be publishing a disposal programme which will set out the basis on which the subsidiaries of the Scottish Bus Group will be sold. The first companies are expected to be advertised for sale around the end of this year. It is not, however, possible at this stage to say when Kelvin Central Buses will be offered for sale.
26. Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what improvements in nurse numbers, doctors' numbers and operations completed have been made in the National Health Service in Scotland since 1979.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Since this Government came to office the whole -time equivalent number of qualified nurses in the NHS in Scotland has increased by 7,000, from 26,930 to 33,932. The whole-time equivalent number of doctors has increased by 826, from 8, 863 to 9,689, over the same period. The number of operations performed has increased by 177,400, from 315,500 to 492,900, an increase of 56 per cent.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his Department intends to recalculate poll tax rebates, in the light of entitlement to relief under the transitional poll tax scheme.
Column 353peoples' liabilities before any reduction by community charge rebate. The administrative implications of this are under discussion with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
60. Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how current payment levels under the community charge compare to payment levels under the old domestic rating system at a similar point in the last financial year.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Local authorities have reported good progress in the collection of the community charge with up to 96 per cent. of payers having paid in some areas. This is encouraging given that the community charge is a new tax and the number of people liable to pay is much larger than for domestic rates. It is of course difficult to draw precise comparisons with the collection of domestic rates, but it does appear that the pace at which community charge income is coming through to local authorities is broadly similar to the pace at which domestic rate income came through last year.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Government are currently funding extensive programmes of research into bovine spongiform encephalopathy, including studies into the epidemiology of the disease ; transmission to offspring of affected animals and to other species ; molecular biological and genetic aspects ;
clinico-pathology and embryo transfer.
The cost of the programme this year, which is being met by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, is estimated to be over £2 million and some of this work is being carried out at the neuropathogenesis unit in Edinburgh in collaboration with the Ministry's central veterinary laboratory. There is no requirement for additional moneys to be provided by Scottish Office Departments.
70. Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met with representatives from the South of Scotland electricity board and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electricity Board ; and what was discussed.
Mr. Lang : My right hon. and learned Friend last met the chairmen of the Scottish electricity boards on 8 November when a number of issues relating to privatisation of the industry were discussed, including the matters referred to in his statement to the House the following day.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Eligibility to purchase under the new rents to mortgages scheme is dependent upon a number of factors, specific to the individual concerned, details of which are not held centrally. However, from the information which is available, I estimate presently that up to 50,000 people could be eligible.
33. Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what future provision is planned for maternity services for people living in the east end of Glasgow for the 1990s ; which hospital it is proposed that they attend ; where the expert medical advisers recommended ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Greater Glasgow health board has issued a consultation document following a review of its maternity services strategy. The review involved a range of professional staff and the board stated its preferred option for the future, taking account of a range of factors, including the views of the staff, as the provision of two new units at Yorkhill and Stobhill. The board will take a final decision following the consultation period and then submit its proposals to the Secretary of State for approval. In reaching a decision as to the best provision of maternity services for the women of Glasgow my right hon. and learned Friend will carefully consider all views, including medical ones.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : On 3 November Lanarkshire health board issued a consultative document on its acute services strategy. The options include establishing a new district general hospital in the Motherwell district. The board will not finally decide before the end of the consultation period on its preferred option, which will then be submitted to my right hon. and learned Friend for consideration.
Mr. Lang : Groups of business people are coming forward in all parts of Scotland with the support of their local communities, and I am very encouraged by their enthusiasm. Six applications for funding to meet the costs of developing local enterprise companies have now been received, and more are in preparation.
Mr. Rifkind : No such representations have been received recently. I am aware, however, of the concern expressed by top companies in Scotland that the introduction of a Scottish Assembly would inevitably result in higher taxes, which would not be to Scotland's benefit.
39. Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide projections for employment prospects in the fishing and agriculture sectors of the Scottish economy from the present time until 1999.
Mr. Lang : Projections are not made for either the agriculture or fishing sectors. Continuing the contraction which has persisted throughout the post-war period, the number of workers, excluding occupiers and spouses, employed on agricultural holdings as recorded in the main June agricultural census has fallen by about 3 per cent. per year over the past 10 years to 28,000 in 1989. Employment in sea fishing has remained broadly steady at about 8,000 over the period.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I am not aware of any proposals to privatise laboratory services, but health boards are encouraged to strive to ensure the highest quality of services in the interests of patient care.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Health boards have made significant progress. By the end of October 140 contracts, largely for domestic and catering services, had been awarded and these are expected to release savings of more than £53 million over the periods of the contracts for reinvestment in direct patient care. Of the 140 contracts awarded, 110 (nearly 80 per cent.) have been won by the in-house teams. These account for more than £36 million (nearly 68 per cent.) of the savings released. The total savings released could buy over 8,400 kidney dialysis machines or pay for 18,000 hip replacement operations or about 4,750 heart by-pass operations.
61. Mr. David Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what extra resources will be available as a result of competitive tendering in the Scottish Health Service over the next three to four years.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The contracts awarded before the end of October are expected to release savings of more than £53 million over the periods of the contracts for reinvestment in direct patient care. These savings could buy over 8,400 kidney dialysis machines or pay for 18,000 hip replacement operations or about 4,750 heart by-pass operations.
Mr. Lang : Since 1979 the numbers of children under five attending local authority nursery schools or classes have increased by 28 per cent. to 41,000 and child care places have increased by 32 per cent. to 63,600.
In addition to providing revenue support grant for local authority nursery education and child care facilities, the Government assist voluntary organisations and local groups concerned with child care through the urban programme and through grants provided under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.
Employers are showing increasing interest in providing child care facilities and the Government are strongly encouraging them to make use of available tax reliefs.
44. Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will convene a meeting with health councils in Scotland and the British Medical Association to discuss the reasons which have led his Department to impose a contract on Scottish general practitioners.
46. Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the recent survey carried out by the Scottish Education Department into parental views on schools' education in Scotland.
Mr. Lang : The survey was carried out by the MVA Consultancy and Jordanhill college of education. The main findings of the survey are summarised in the report "Talking about Schools" which was published on 16 October. A copy has been lodged in the House of Commons Library.
The survey was commissioned to support policy-making, policy evaluation and development.
The findings indicate that parents were supportive of schools ; welcomed the opportunity to be involved ; were in favour of testing in key subjects in primary schools ; and that the vast majority of parents thought that it is a good thing to have a choice of school for their children.
The summary report should be of particular interest to school boards.
In the year 1981-82, companies committed to 32 inward investment projects associated with the expected safeguarding or creation of 7, 000 jobs and involving planned capital expenditure of £234 million. During 1988-89, companies committed to 55 projects, associated with the expected creation and safeguarding of 7,089 jobs and involving planned capital expenditure of £437 million.
48. Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of the total number of properties in Glasgow owned by the local authority or by Scottish Homes have been bought by their tenants.
53. Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his officials have held any recent discussions with Mr. Colin Paterson, chief executive of Caledonian MacBrayne, concerning passenger ferry services ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Regular and frequent discussions take place between officials of the Scottish Development Department and the chief executive of Caledonian MacBrayne reflecting the Government's commitment to the provision of the ferry services which are so vital to island communities.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Scottish Development Department has been aware for some time now of the increasing volume of traffic using the existing Forth bridge. Consequently the need for a second estuarial crossing of the River Forth will be addressed in the trunk and key principal road network review study.
The commission for the study will be awarded this month and the final report will be required in 18 months time.
59. Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if health boards in Scotland have any plans to build developments in partnership with the private sector of the kind already established in certain English health authorities.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Greater Glasgow health board has submitted proposals to provide health care for the elderly in partnership with the private sector and a number of other health boards are considering this type of partnership development.