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Mr. Peter Walker : The pollution incident on 17 November affected approximately 20 km of the River Rhymney between New Tredegar and Machen. The National Rivers Authority estimates that some 20,000 fish were killed, the majority of which were brown and juvenile sea trout but some grayling and small numbers of juvenile salmon, roach, chub, rainbow trout, pike, adult salmon and sea trout were also affected. There is no discernable evidence of damage of the flora or other fauna of the river. The authority proposes to commence a restocking programme early in 1990.
The NRA will be producing a full report on the incident which will be copied to me. The Welsh region of the Authority has a formal procedure for continually reviewing the effectiveness of its communications and emergency planning systems.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is the upper limit and the lower limit, respectively, on the proportion of shares in Welsh Water which will be sold only to Welsh people in the current share flotation ;
(2) what is the upper limit and the lower limit, respectively, on the proportion of shares in Welsh Water which are being made available to foreign investors ;
(3) what is the upper limit and the lower limit, respectively, on the proportion of shares in Welsh Water which will be sold only to British people.
Mr. Peter Walker : Initially 18.5 per cent. of the total offer is being made available to overseas investors. If there is a heavy demand for shares by members of the public a clawback provision allows for 25 per cent. of the shares available under the overseas offer to be made available to the public.
Under the United Kingdom offer for sale 23.55 per cent. of the ordinary share capital is being made available to the general public (including eligible customers, employees and pensioners of the company). A further 3
Column 118per cent. is reserved to meet share bonus entitlements and applications from eligible employees under the free and matching offers. If both the overseas and the institutional clawbacks are triggered, 46.875 per cent. of the ordinary share capital is available to the general public.
Eligible customers of Welsh Water who apply for shares in the company will be able to indicate whether they wish to receive customer bonus shares or a customer discount if their application is successful. It is for individuals, including those who are Welsh, to decide for themselves whether or not to buy shares.
Mr. Peter Walker : The prospectus for the water share offers which has been placed in the Library discloses that Welsh Water estimates that the expenses attributable and incidental to the Welsh combined offer will amount to £5 million (exclusive of VAT).
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what protections are built into the flotation process for Welsh Water to guard against foreign takeover ; and what guarantees exist to ensure these protections have long-term effect.
Mr. Peter Walker : I will hold a special share in Welsh Water which will empower me to prevent anyone from owning more than 15 per cent. of the shares in Welsh Water plc in the period up to 31 December 1994. Following the redemption of the special share the 15 per cent. limitation on shareholding will remain unless it is removed by a vote of 75 per cent. of shareholders in a special resolution.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many houses in (a) Wales, (b) Gwent and (c) Newport are classified as unfit to live in at the latest available date ; (2) how many houses in (a) Wales, (b) Gwent and (c) Newport are seriously in need of repair at the latest available date ; (3) how many houses in (a) Wales, (b) Gwent and (c) Newport lack (i) an inside toilet and (ii) a fixed bath at the latest available date.
Mr. Peter Walker : Estimates from the 1986 Welsh house condition survey are given in the table together with the available comparative data on the significant improvement achieved since 1981. The data relate only to dwellings used as first homes.
Number of dwellings with certain characteristics ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unfit |90,900 |79,900 |17,000 |8,800 |1,300 Threshold repair cost<1> |243,900|123,600|30,700 |14,700 |1,700 Lacking inside wc |55,000 |19,600 |6,100 |2,100 |400 Lacking fixed bath or shower |44,300 |14,900 |4,800 |2,000 |400 <1>Threshold figures for repair costs are £2,500 and £3,000 in 1981 and 1986 respectively.
Since 1986, a substantial additional renovation has been carried out with grant assistance : the total numbers
Column 118of dwellings renovated in Wales, Gwent and Newport since October 1986 are 53,900, 8,800 and 1,500 respectively.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many housing completions there were in (a) Wales, (b) Gwent and (c) Newport in 1979 ; and what is the next recent figure ; (2) how many housing starts there were in 1979 in (a) Wales, (b) Gwent and (c) Newport ; and what is the most recent figure.
Housing StartsHousing Completions |1979 |1988 |1979 |1988 ------------------------------------------- Newport |432 |456 |594 |646 Gwent |1,485 |1,589 |1,575 |1,601 WALES |11,426|13,037|11,265|11,037
Mr. Luce : Management development programmes are available to all levels of managers in the Civil Service. The top management programme, a six-week course with equal numbers of civil servants and non-civil servants, caters for all those newly promoted to grade 3 (under-secretary). The senior management development programme, a scheme involving a wide range of developmental opportunities, provides a framework for the systematic development of managers at grades 4 to 7 (broadly, assistant secretary to principal). A wide range of other opportunities is available to more junior managers. The Civil Service College provides high quality management training for senior and developmental grades.
In their response to the first report of the Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee on Next Steps, the Government announced an incentive funding scheme designed to encourage Departments to increase their investment in training and development carried out as part of the senior mangement development programme. I am pleased to say that Departments and agencies have risen to the challenge, and this scheme has been responsible for considerable additional investment in these key management grades. I am delighted to announce that £1 million has been made available for continuing the challenge funding scheme in 1990-91.
132. Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Civil Service jobs have been moved from London to other areas in each of the past three years ; what steps have been taken to ensure that these operations have given satisfactory results to the public ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : Comprehensive data for the period in question is not held centrally. However, we can confirm that since April 1986 more than 4,000 Civil Service posts have been located or relocated away from London. The relocation guidelines (copy available in the Library of the House) require relocating departments to ensure that operational efficiency and overall cost effectiveness are taken into proper account in their decisions, which are announced by the relevant departmental Minister.
Column 121Employment Department, the net increase in the number of businesses registered for VAT was 64,000, an average of over 1,200 a week, the highest recorded level. This compares with an average weekly increase of around 800 a week in 1987.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The latest information on the level of direct investment in the United Kingdom by overseas residents was published in British Business of 29 September 1989. Table 9.1 of the 1989 United Kingdom balance of payments (Pink Book) contains the latest information on the level of portfolio investment in the United Kingdom by overseas residents.
Mr. Ryder : The Government are fully committed to the European single market after 1992. Financial services legislation will form a major part of the measures introduced to secure the single market and many of these have already been agreed or are under active consideration. In the banking field, the Council agreed a common position text for the second banking co-ordination directive and the associated solvency ratios directive in July. These directives, together with the own funds directive, which was formally adopted in April 1989, make up a package of measures which are intended to secure a single market in banking. Briefly, these measures will provide credit institutions (largely banks and building societies in the United Kingdom) which are authorised in one member state with a "passport" to offer banking services throughout the Community without the need of further authorisation. Further information can be obtained from the DTI booklet "The Single Market : Financial Services" published in September 1989, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
The Council adopted the capital liberalisation directive on 24 June 1988 which provides for the free movement of capital across the Community. Remaining exchange controls in most member states are due to be abolished from 1 July 1990 ; but Spain, Ireland, Greece and Portugal have until the end of 1992 to comply with all its terms (with the possibility of a further extension for three years in Greece and Portugal). The Government strongly support the removal of exchange controls in the community : this is essential for the development of a single market. The United Kingdom abolished all exchange controls in 1979.
Column 122The United Kingdom's response to the Delors report "An Evolutionary Approach to Economic and Monetary Union", also proposes lifting further restrictions on the use of Community currencies and removing barriers to the use of cheaper and more efficient means of payment.
Mr. Prescott : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out general Government expenditure by his Department for the years 1974-75 to 1983-84, in cash and real terms, consistent with the figures for 1984-85 to 1992-93 that are set out in tables 3 and 4 of the 1989 Autumn Statement.
Mr. Lamont : Figures for central Government's own expenditure by my Departments in the years 1978-79 to 1983-84 consistent with those given in tables 3 and 4 of the 1989 Autumn Statement public expenditure press notice are as follows :
£ billion |Cash figures |Real terms figures |(1988-89 prices) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1978-79 |1.5 |3.2 1979-80 |1.7 |3.3 1980-81 |2.0 |3.2 1981-82 |2.5 |3.6 1982-83 |2.7 |3.6 1983-84 |2.5 |3.3
Corresponding figures for earlier years are not readily available.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the annual balance of trade deficit or surplus for each of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries in each year of the 1980s.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the rate of inflation at the end of March in each year of the 1980s in each of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Mr. Ryder : Monthly figures for the 12-month growth in consumer price inflation for each OECD country have been published by the OECD throughout the 1980s in the monthly publication "Main Economic Indicators".
Column 12396. Mr. Jessel : To ask the Minister for the Arts by what percentage the funding of his Department will increase in 1990 -91 over 1989-90.
97. Mr. Michael : To ask the Minister for the Arts what information he has as to what proportion of money for the arts announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement will be applied to (a) arts for the disabled, (b) arts for young people and (c) arts in the community.
Mr. Luce : The proportion of my Office's expenditure programme which are devoted to the causes described are not determined centrally. However, the institutions funded from the arts programme are aware of the needs of the disabled, etc and are free to give such support within their individual priorities. I was pleased to be able to announce a grant of £150,000 to the Carnegie trust ADAPT fund to improve the accessibility of arts venues to the disabled.
Mr. Luce : I am pleased to say that I have received a number of letters of appreciation from chairmen and directors of institutions which have benefited from the revised allocations I was able to announce on 16 November.
104. Mr. Bowis : To ask the Minister for the Arts what representations he has received following his statement of support for the Arts Council and other arts funding bodies for 1990-91 and subsequent years.
Mr. Luce : My aim in introducing three-year funding has been to give arts bodies a firm basis for their future planning and to encourage greater self-reliance and diversification of funding. This has involved the introduction of new measures, notably incentive funding for the performing arts and for libraries, and major increases in funding for the buildings and maintenance programme of the museums and galleries. I am very pleased at the success of the three-year strategy and congratulate arts and organisations on their achievements in diversifying and increasing their sources of funding from the private sector, and on becoming more professional in their management in recent years.
On 16 November I announced that following a review of the provisions made in last year's three-year settlement for 1990-91 and 1991-92, in the light of price movements
Column 124and other developments. I was increasing those provisions by £33 million in each year. I was also pleased to announce an extension of the three-year funding programme to 1992-93, with an increase of 24 per cent. over that period.
Mr. Luce : My Office's total central Government programme of expenditure on the arts, including provision for the heritage and for the British Library St. Pancras project, will rise from £439 million in the current year to £544 million in 1992-93, an increase of 24 per cent.
115. Miss Widdecombe : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether the priority requests from the directors of the national museums and galleries have been met in his allocation of funds over the coming three years.
Mr. Luce : In the funding announcement that I made on 16 November I have taken account of the priorities detailed in the corporate plans of the national museums and galleries submitted to us earlier this year, especially on running costs, buildings, and maintenance and the conservation of collections. Over the period 1990-91 to 1992-93 expenditure on national museums and galleries will rise by 25 per cent. overall, and there will be an extra 34 per cent. for building and maintenance in the same period.
114. Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he intends to meet the chairman and director of the Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts Association to discuss the implications of the Wilding report.
Mr. Luce : I announced on 16 November that the provision for the building and maintenance programme at the national museums and galleries which I sponsor will increase by 34 per cent. to some £64 million in 1992-93. This will bring the total provision for building and maintenance over the next three years to over £180 million.
Mr. Luce : It is for the Arts Council to determine the level of its grant to the 12 regional arts associations. In 1990-91 these will increase by 10 per cent. in total. I am confident that this will enable all the RAAs to build on their excellent achievements of recent years.
Mr. Luce : I refer my hon. Friend to my announcement on 16 November about the new three-year arts programme, which followed directly on the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Autumn Statement and the public expenditure programmes it contained. My new programme allows for growth on 24 per cent. over the years to 1992-93.