Previous Section Home Page

El Salvador

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has any plans to increase direct humanitarian aid to El Salvador during the present emergency ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development gave on 24 November to the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn). Since then, Britain's share of emergency aid provided so far by the European Community has risen to £200,000.

Nicaragua

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has any plans to resume direct aid to Nicaragua following the conduct of free and fair national elections ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if United Kingdom development aid will be made available to meet the needs of the Nicaraguan people after the February 1990 elections are held, regardless of which party or parties form the next Government.

Mr. Sainsbury : As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told President Ortega in May, we will judge Nicaragua's performance on the facts. As regards aid, we have to set priorities and we focus mainly on Commonwealth countries, with which we have close ties, and on the poorest countries. We do, of course, take into account changes in circumstances.

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria Nicaragua is required to meet before Her Majesty's Government will provide bilateral development aid to meet the needs of the Nicaraguan people.

Mr. Sainsbury : Our aid priorities concentrate on the developing Commonwealth countries and on the poorest countries. We recognise, nevertheless, the case for helping other developing countries also. The most recent figures published by the World Bank indicate that there are 60 countries with per capita incomes lower than Nicaragua's. Nevertheless, we are contributing, through the European Community aid programme, to Nicaragua. Our share of


Column 200

EC commitments in 1988 totalled £3.3 million. We also provided bilateral emergency aid of over £260,000 in 1988 to assist following Hurricane Joan. In addition, since 1985-86, we have supported from our aid programme 42 projects in Nicaragua jointly funded with Oxfam, CAFOD and Christian Aid at a total cost to the aid programme of £247, 000.

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings Violeta Chamoro had with Ministers or officials during her visit to the United Kingdom ; and under what terms United Kingdom development aid was offered to Nicaragua.

Mr. Sainsbury : Senora Chamoro was received by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and by officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The subject of bilateral development aid was not raised from either side.

Gibraltar

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if any progress has been made in increasing scheduled air services to and from Gibraltar.

Mr. Maude : No. Progress is unlikely until the Gibraltar Government take steps to implement the 1987 airport agreement.

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the gardens adjoining the governor's residence, Gibraltar, are now being tended.

Mr. Maude : The Gibraltar Government assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the gardens from 1 April 1989.

Southern Africa

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what is the amount of bilateral debt owed by each member of the Southern African development co-ordination conference ; to which countries, including the United Kingdom, the debt is owed ; and what provision for debt relief for Southern African development co-ordination conference countries has been agreed ;

(2) what is the amount of multilateral debt owed by each member of Southern African development co-ordination conference ; to which institutions the debt is owed ; and what provisions for debt relief for Southern African development co-ordination conference countries have been agreed ;

(3) what is the total debt for each member of the Southern African development co-ordination conference.

Mr. Waldegrave : The following table sets out the amounts of bilateral, multilateral and total external debt


Column 201

owed by each member of the southern African development co-ordination conference at end December 1988 (the latest figures available). The table shows bilateral debt owed to all OECD countries. Details of the individual claims of bilateral creditors other than the United Kingdom are not available.

The United Kingdom has outstanding aid loans to Swaziland and Zambia only, of £10.9 million and £56 million respectively. The details of the United Kingdom's trade credit claim to individual countries are matters of commercial confidence, but the combined total for all SADCC countries is £493,095,000.


Column 202

One SADCC country (Tanzania) has already obtained concessional rescheduling of its official debts in the Paris Club on "Toronto Terms".

Malawi and Tanzania are also benefiting from a World Bank initiative to offer supplementary concessional IDA credits to compensate borrowers whose per capita income is now below the IDA-only threshold, but who are still repaying old IBRD non-concessional loans, for part of the interest payments due. The United Kingdom has cancelled its old aid loans to all SADCC countries except for Swaziland (whose GNP per capita is too high for it to be eligible for this relief) and Zambia. The possibility of comparable treatment for Zambia will be kept under review.


Column 201


$ million                                                                                                                            

                                       Multilateral debt                                                                             

Country            |Official bilateral|IMF               |World bank        |African develop-  |Total external                       

                   |debt to OECD                                            |ment bank         |debt                                 

                   |countries                                                                                                        

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

Angola             |1,506             |-                 |-                 |135.15            |2,121                                

Botswana           |513               |-                 |161               |316.49            |707                                  

Lesotho            |65                |4                 |096               |200.15            |298                                  

Malawi             |419               |95                |643               |-                 |1,421                                

Mozambique         |1,764             |42                |138               |271.04            |2,476                                

Swaziland          |133               |-                 |059               |119.52            |310                                  

Tanzania           |3,346             |133               |199               |78.09             |5,291                                

Zambia             |3,496             |908               |703               |427.92            |6,232                                

Zimbabwe           |1,317             |70                |374               |209.06            |2,617                                

Source: OECD.                                                                                                                        

OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,  

Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.    

WALES

A487 (Porthmadog Bypass)

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether officials in the highways section of his Department, or of the Gwynedd county council, have drawn up alternative outline routes for a bypass for Porthmadog for the A487 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : As indicated in "Roads in Wales--Progress and Plans for the 1990s", the A487 between Maentwrog and Caernarfon is the subject of a study. The consultant's report on the Porthmadog section will identify possible routes for a bypass.

Housing Associations

Mr. Murphy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what extra resources he proposes to give to Welsh housing associations.

Mr. Grist : We shall be making an announcement on this shortly.

Schools

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will outline the role of his Department following proposals by a local authority to close a primary school in Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The statutory process to be followed by local authorities proposing a school closure is set out in section 12 of the Education Act 1980. Welsh Office circular 20/88, a copy of which is in the Library, stresses the importance of consultation with appropriate bodies well


Column 202

before the publication of a statutory notice. Once a section 12 notice has been published there is a period of two months to allow for objections. If there are statutory objections, that is, by any 10 or more local government electors for the area, the closure proposal is referred to my right hon. Friend for determination.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if his Department has identified those primary schools in Wales that do not satisfy the physical requirements necessary for their pupils and teachers to cope with the demands of the national curriculum.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : No. The suitability of school premises for delivery of the national curriculum is the responsibility of local education authorities.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information his Department holds on the percentage of secondary school children in Wales who take part in linking activities with companies.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : A survey of links between schools and industry will be undertaken early in the new year to cover the academic year 1989- 90. The technical and vocational education initiative now available throughout the Principality places importance on work experience and shadowing for pupils. The enterprise and education initiative aims to provide two or more weeks of work experience for every young person in the final year of schooling. As part of my right hon. Friend's programme for the valleys, we are discussing with the five local education authorities concerned ways of further improving links between valley schools and industry. Our objective is to ensure that young people have the opportunity to learn about the wide range of career choices available and that business has a work force better


Column 203

prepared and equipped to meet its needs. As a result of these and the many other link activities, the majority of pupils in their final year of schooling are involved with business.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the pupil number capacity of the following primary schools in the county of West Glamorgan(i) Crwys, (ii) Dyfnant, (iii) Penclawdd, (iv) Llanforlais,(v) Garnswllt, (vi) Dunvant and (vii) Bishopston.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Information on the capacity of primary schools is not collected centrally. However, the total number of full-time and part- time pupils on roll in January 1989 is shown in the table :



                |Number on roll               

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

Crwys           |194                          

Dyfnant         |177                          

Penclawdd       |104                          

Llanforlais     |109                          

Garnswllt       |28                           

Dunvant Infants |266                          

Dunvant Junior  |308                          

Bishopston      |298                          

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number of Betios county primary school in the county of Dyfed.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The total number of full-time and part-time pupils on roll in January 1989 at Betws county primary school was 105.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he has taken to ensure children with special educational needs receive a broad and balanced curriculum appropriate to their ability under the national curriculum.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The Education Reform Act 1988 requires maintained schools to provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum for all pupils. Pupils with special educational needs are required to follow the national curriculum as far as practicable. The attainment targets so far defined enable pupils of different abilities to demonstrate progress in relation to the same curriculum. The Curriculum Council for Wales is preparing guidance on the national curriculum and pupils with special educational needs.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has any plans to allocate resources to assist the county of West Glamorgan to build a new school at (a) Penyrheol, Gorseinon, (b) Llangyfelach, Swansea and (c) Three Crosses, Swansea.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : It is for West Glamorgan county council to determine its own priorities for spending the capital resources available to it.

Community Care

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which organisations he will be consulting regarding the issue of quality assurance in community care provision ; and when he will announce the results of his deliberations.

Mr. Grist : The Government's approach to quality assurance in the provision of community care services in


Column 204

Wales is set out in paragraphs 11.42 to 11.44 inclusive, of the White Paper "Caring for People : Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond" (Cm 849).

A comprehensive range of interested bodies, including representatives of the independent sector and of users of services are being consulted about a proposed strategy for quality assurance throughout the National Health Service in Wales, and also on all aspects of the independent review of community care services in the light of the recently published report of the all-Wales advisory panel on services for people with mental handicaps. Consultation on the former has ended and we intend to issue the strategy for the NHS before the end of the year. Consultation on the all-Wales panel's report runs until 16 February, and we will announce our conclusions as soon as possible thereafter.

M4

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales by how long expenditure on road schemes in north Wales has delayed the start of the missing gap on the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Priorities for road improvement schemes are set out in successive editions of "Roads in Wales". Start dates for individual schemes are affected by a range of factors and it is not possible to say how they might have progressed given different priorities.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many journeys he has made in his official capacity along the missing link on the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas since his appointment ; what were the dates and times of those journeys ; and what was the length of any delays he experienced.

Mr. Peter Walker : I have travelled regularly along this stretch of road since my appointment as Secretary of State for Wales.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give for each of the last 10 years the number of serious and fatal accidents on the missing link of the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Fatal and serious accidents on the A48 between Baglan and Lonlas, including roundabouts, junctions and slip roads, are shown in the table :


Accidents     

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

1979 |0 |1    

1980 |1 |6    

1981 |0 |5    

1982 |1 |6    

1983 |0 |5    

1984 |0 |4    

1985 |1 |10   

1986 |0 |6    

1987 |1 |5    

1988 |1 |6    

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if his Department has financed any studies which have examined the time delays for road traffic using the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The cost benefit analysis carried out for the scheme includes an assessment of delays to traffic using the existing road system.


Column 205

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has on inward investment projects that have not been proceeded with because of the road transport bottleneck on the missing link of the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : I am unaware of any projects that have not been proceeded with because of the missing link.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to allocate extra resources to speed up the start of the missing link on the M4 motorway.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Work is expected to start in the current financial year as announced in the Welsh Office commentary on the 1988 public expenditure White Paper.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received on the problems associated with the missing link on the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations about completion of the motorway between Baglan and Lonlas. Tenders for the first stage, between Earlswood and Lonlas, are due back shortly and it is intended that construction will begin in the spring. The whole scheme is expected to be completed by mid 1994.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has any plans to allocate resources to assist the West Glamorgan health authority and West Glamorgan county council to improve the road access to Morriston hospital from the Llangyfelach junction of the M4 motorway.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Resources for expenditure on local authority capital projects are distributed on an annual basis to county and district councils. Allocation of funding for individual schemes, including local road improvements, is a matter for them.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his department has financed any studies to examine the economic consequences of the road transport bottleneck on the missing link of the M4 motorway between Baglan and Lonlas.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The cost benefit analysis carried out for the improvement scheme is an economic assessment of its benefits to the road user.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people will be exempt from paying the poll tax in Wales, separately distinguishing the figures by category.

Mr. Peter Walker : This information is not yet available.

Schools

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library a copy of the formula his Department uses for the calculation of the pupil number capacity of primary schools in Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The method of assessing the capacity of existing primary schools was set out in an appendix to


Column 206

Welsh Office Circular 20/88 "Educational Quality in Wales : The Response to Falling School Rolls", copies of which were placed in the Library in June 1988.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in the Official Report those local authorities in Wales that are not involved with the school curriculum industry partnership strategy.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : I understand that those local authorities in Wales that are not involved in the partnership are Gwynedd, Clwyd, Dyfed and West Glamorgan.

Rechem

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if his Department has now completed the analysis of PCB incidents in the area surrounding the Rechem chemical incinerator.

Mr. Grist : The Department has received the results of the analyses of a number of samples of materials from the area surrounding the incinerator. The landowners and the local environmental health authority have been informed of the results, and I shall write to the hon. Gentleman.

Teachers

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of teachers in Wales were provided with a work experience placement in industry of not less than two weeks during the academic year 1988-89.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The information is not available in the form requested. However, I understand that so far this calendar year there have been 286 teacher placements in business with a further 19 programmed for this year. It is a prime aim of the Government's enterprise and education initiative that every year 10 per cent. of teachers should have the opportunity to gain personal experience in business.

CFCs

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which local authorities in Wales are making arrangements for the recycling of CFC gases from freezers and refrigerators before being landfilled.

Mr. Grist : Two local authorities are known to the Department to make such arrangements--Preseli Pembrokeshire and Montgomery.

Welsh Development Agency

Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next expects to meet the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency to discuss the north Pembroke economy ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker : I frequently discuss matters affecting all parts of the Welsh economy with the chairman of the WDA.

British Coal

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will indicate on a county-by-county basis the land area in Wales acquired by British Coal in each of the last five years, separately distinguishing the land (a) bought and (b) leased ;


Column 207

(2) if he will indicate on a county-by- county basis the land area in Wales (i) owned and (ii) leased by British Coal.

Mr. Peter Walker : The information is not available in the form requested.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the sites in Wales where British Coal is currently engaged in drilling exploratory boreholes as part of its programme to assess the viability of opencast coal mining.

Mr. Peter Walker : British Coal Opencast Executive is currently drilling exploratory boreholes at the following three sites in Wales :--

i. Land south of Glynneath, West Glamorgan

ii. Helid Colliery (near Rhymney), Mid Glamorgan

iii. East Merthyr Reclamation Scheme, Mid Glamorgan

Aberystwyth Harbour

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

Mr. Peter Walker : Ceredigion district council has submitted a scheme in respect of the development of Aberystwyth harbour as a project of regional or national importance. My decision on this scheme will be announced shortly.

EMPLOYMENT

Small Firms Service

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many requests for advice have been received by the small firms service in the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : In 1988-89 the small firms service in England handled 281,459 inquiries and provided 43,029 counselling sessions.

Unofficial Action and the Law"

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to meet the chairman of the Trades Union Congress to discuss his Green Paper, "Unofficial Action and the Law".

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend regularly meets representatives of the Trades Union Congress to discuss a wide range of employment issues. He has no plans to meet the chairman of the TUC to discuss the Green Paper.

Unemployment Benefit (Childbirth)

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women have been deprived of unemployment benefit due to a refusal to return to a former employer after childbirth at the latest convenient date.

Mr. Eggar : The information requested is not available and could be collected only at disproportionate cost.


Column 208

Warrington-Runcorn NTDC

Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he proposes to give any extra incentives to increase employment in Cheshire in the light of the demise of the Warrington-Runcorn new town development corporation.

Mr. Eggar : The Warrington and Runcorn development corporation was wound up by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment because he was satisfied that it had substantially completed the purposes for which it was established.

The Widnes and Runcorn travel-to-work area has assisted area status. This Department operates a wide range of employment, enterprise and training measures, which are available in Cheshire as well as elsewhere. I do not believe that the winding up of the corporation is a reason to introduce further measures to create employment opportunities in this area. In the year to October 1989, unemployment in the county of Cheshire fell by 8,656 (26.6 per cent.) and the rate of unemployment is currently 5.3 per cent. of the total work force.


Next Section

  Home Page