|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Atkins : The public service vehicle regulations apply equally to all bus operators. We will indeed propose that any new safety requirements for buses used to carry children between home and school shall also apply to school project trips.
Mr. Haselhurst : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why he decided to allow the Civil Aviation Authority to delay by one year its response to his predecessor's request for advice on airports policy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : My right hon. Friend acknowledged, when he sought advice on the adequacy of United Kingdom airport capacity through to 2005, that he had given the authority a testing undertaking. We recognise the need to carry forward airports strategy, but it is important that this is based on fully researched and considered advice. We respect the authority's judgment that it needs to carry out further work before responding.
Mr. Mans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list those sections of the relevant United Kingdom and EEC statutes which relate to the precedence of allocation of slots between charter and scheduled services at United Kingdom airports ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what examination of the validity under EEC law of his powers to make airport traffic rules has been undertaken ; what are his powers to give preference in slot allocation to scheduled carriers over competing charter carriers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : Section 31 of the Airports Act 1986 empowers my right hon. Friend to make traffic distribution rules which may, inter alia, specify classes or descriptions of air traffic that are permitted under the rules to use any of the airports concerned, and impose prohibitions or restrictions in relation to the use of any of those airports by air traffic of any class or description specified in the rules.
Section 33 of the 1986 Act empowers my right hon. Friend to require the Civil Aviation Authority to prepare for his approval a slot allocation scheme for airports at which a limit on movements has been set under section 32, or at which he judges that demand exceeds capacity, or is likely in the near future to do so. No such schemes have been made, and slot allocation at United Kingdom airports is carried out either by the airport operator or by the airport scheduling committee. Such committees are composed of representatives of airlines operating at the airport, and work in accordance with guidelines established by the International Air Transport Association.
The relevant EC legislation is Commission regulation (EEC) No. 2671/88. Article 1 exempts from article 85(1) of
Column 222the treaty of Rome agreements between undertakings in the air transport sector, decisions by associations of such undertakings and concerted practices between such undertakings which have as their purpose slot allocation and airport scheduling in so far as they concern scheduled international air services between airports in the Community. Article 5 states that this exemption applies only if any rules of priority established are neither directly nor indirectly related to carrier identity or nationality or category of service and take into account constraints or air traffic distribution rules laid down by competent national or international authorities.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will hold an inquiry into the cost of car insurance charged to disabled people ; and if he will take steps to ensure that disabled drivers are not prevented from driving their cars by high insurance.
Mr. Atkins : No. It is for insurance companies to set premiums in the light of their own underwriting experience. I welcome the initiative the Association of British Insurers have taken to make available a dossier of insurance advice for disabled drivers and their offer to look into any individual difficulties.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last discussed (a) possible expansion of the network ; (b) possible closure of passenger lines and (c) possible passenger fare increases with the chairman of British Rail.
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend discusses a wide range of railway issues at his regular meetings with the chairman of British Rail. He has recently discussed with the chairman the objectives he proposes to set for the next three years. He hopes to publish them shortly.
Mr. Parkinson : I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Bob Reid to take over the chairmanship of British Rail next year. His distinguished career as a senior manager in private industry will bring valuable experience to bear on the challenges and opportunities which British Rail will face in the next decade.
At the same time, I pay warm tribute to Sir Robert Reid's achievements as chairman over the last six years. He has led British Rail to a new, more commercial approach, with a massive investment programme and more customer- orientated structure. The Government, and the travelling public, owe him a large debt of gratitude. Mr. Reid's appointment will be for a five-year term, at a salary of £200,000 a year. Mr. Reid will join the board from 1 January as chairman-designate and for a period from 1 April until his responsibilities at Shell come to an end in October, he will be non- executive part-time chairman.
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Derek Fowler as deputy chairman for a six-month period
Column 223next year, and am grateful to him for agreeing to take on this important role. Mr. Fowler, at present vice- chairman and finance member, will become deputy chairman in April to provide continuity and to support Mr. Reid as non-executive chairman. Mr. Fowler has made a valuable contribution throughout his long service on the board, and this extension will make a fitting final stage in his career, to the benefit of British Rail.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many market research and sample surveys were carried out by or for his Department in the last 12 months ; what was the cost of each ; what was the total cost ; how many were carried out in-house ; how many were carried out for his Department by outside organisations ; and what percentage of the total expenditure was paid to outside organisations.
Mrs. Rumbold : A total of nine individual ad hoc surveys were carried out by outside organisations at a cost respectively of £114, 110, £10,626, £10,243, £230,630, £25,650, £33,732, £4,550, £4,300 and £100,000 making a total of £533,841 in the 12 months ending 30 November 1989. All these surveys were funded by the Department. In addition, the Department has carried out three in-house sample surveys at an estimated total cost of £45,000. The percentage of total expenditure paid to outside organisations, therefore, was 92 per cent.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list all office relocations of his Department's staff since May 1979, stating in each case the location of origin and the location of transfer, together with the numbers of staff transferred.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what relocations of his Department's staff, or agencies relating thereto, are currently being considered ; and what are the numbers of staff affected.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Department is proposing to relocate a further 50 posts from London to its Darlington office during 1990. In addition, a senior official of the Department is about to undertake a study of the long -term location requirements of the Department in the light of the Government's policy on relocation. The study will consider various possibilities, including the handling of some functions regionally. It is not at present possible to say how staff will be affected.
Column 224primarily through grant in aid from the Department of Education and Science to the research councils and the British Academy. Three thousand nine hundred and ninety six new research studentships were awarded by these bodies in 1989, an increase of 134 over 1988. The postgraduate award-making bodies are better placed than Government to assess national needs for PhDs and to determine the optimum distribution of these studentships between different departments and subjects.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what departmental representation there was at the fourth international energy conference of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, on 4 and 5 December.
Mr. Jackson : I understand that attendance at the conference was by invitation. I am not aware that the Department of Education and Science received an invitation, and therefore the Department was not represented at this conference.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many disabled children are currently in special schools within the South Yorkshire area ; and what steps he has taken to ensure that for each child, the local education authority is issuing a statement of needs in accordance with the law.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The number of children in special schools within the southern Yorkshire area in January 1989 was 2,807. LEAs have a duty under the 1981 Education Act to identify special education needs and issue a statement when appropriate. It is for each authority to decide on their own local policy.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimates he has of the true cost of supporting disabled children in main stream education ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Howarth : No information is collected centrally on the extent of awareness training on disability. The Government provide substantial support, through the local education authority training grants scheme, for training to meet special educational needs, which include certain disabilities. Five categories of training in respect of special educational needs are currently designated as national priorities, eligible for support at the higher rate of grant under the scheme. In the current financial year, grant is available to support expenditure of £6.6 million in these areas. In addition, authorities are free to draw on the grant available to them under the scheme at the lower rate, in support of further expenditure at their discretion on training on aspects of disability.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much money is currently allocated by the Government for the funding of the study at universities of the behaviour of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere ; and how much it plans to allocate for this purpose in 1990 and 1991.
Mr. Jackson : I understand that in 1989-90 the NERC has allocated £155,000 to higher education institutions for research into the chemistry and physics of greenhouse gases. This basic work is included in the £890,000 that the NERC is providing overall in 1989-90 for research in higher education institutions related to climate change and its impacts. It will be for the research councils to decide their future priorities for specific research areas, within the overall totals allocated. My right hon. Friend will shortly receive the ABRC's advice on the allocation of the science budget for 1990-91, and his decisions after receiving that advice will be announced in due course.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what funds the Government intend to allocate for the United Kingdom's participation in the WCRP's global energy and water cycles experiment to place a lidar on one of the polar platform satellites in the late 1990's.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend has requested the ABRC's advice on what further allocation is appropriate for earth observation instruments, particularly on polar platforms, in addition to the minimum £6 million recently announced for an instrument associated with the proposed earth remote sensing satellite (ERS2). His decisions after receving that advice will be announced in due course. It will be for the research councils to decide, within the overall totals allocated, their priorities for specific research areas.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what funds the Government are making available in 1990-91 to ensure the maintenance in the United Kingdom of an independent national research programme into global climate changes.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend has requested the ABRC's advice on the allocation of the science budget for 1990-91. His decisions after receiving that advice will be announced in due course. It will be for the research councils to decide, within the overall totals allocated, their priorities for specific research areas. Global climate change is necessarily a problem on an international scale, and the strength of United Kingdom research enables our scientists to make key contributions to important international collaborative programmes.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy on the treatment of local authority supplementary bids for (a) education capital expenditure in 1990, 1991 and 1992, (b) education support grant in 1990-91 in respect of training for school governors, (c) education support grant in 1990-91 and (d) local authority training grants scheme support in 1990-91
Column 226where such bids are being made to support the development of magnet schools ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend is willing to consider any bids for grants within his responsibility which are submitted by local education authorities as being consistent with the objectives of the grant and the arrangements for its allocation, and are designed to support worthwhile developments. He is currently considering the bids submitted by LEAs for education support grant funding, including those for school governor training, and for LEA training grant scheme funding in 1990-91 ; the allocations for all LEAs will be announced around the turn of the year.
Annual capital guidelines are assessed in accordance with well-established criteria which are familiar to local education authorities. My right hon. Friend expects to make an announcement about annual capital guidelines for LEAs in 1990-91 shortly before Christmas.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what the minute of the meeting between his Minister of State and members of Bradford council on 28 September records as the statement of the policy which his Department would operate in relation to a supplementary bid for local authority training grants scheme support in 1990-91 in relation to magnet schools ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what view was expressed in the letter from J. W. Whitaker of his Department, to Mr. Nils Purser, assistant director 13-plus, Bradford education directorate, dated 19 October, following a meeting between the Minister of State and elected members at Bradford council, about the availability of resources under the local authority training grants scheme support in 1990-91.
Mrs. Rumbold : The letter said that the Department could not offer any prospect of making available the significant additional funds the authority was seeking for 1990-91 from within the LEA training grant scheme, since the grant is allocated to LEAs on a formula basis and it was likely that resources would be fully committed on the lines indicated by the indicative allocations, which had been set out in DES circular 20/89. The letter went on to say that LEAs' expenditure is monitored at the end of each calendar year and spare resources resulting from projected underspending are reallocated for use in the final quarter of the financial year.
Column 227Mr. MacGregor : The annual report of the Medical Research Council for 1988-89 has been submitted to me under the requirements of the Science and Technology Act 1965. A copy has been laid before the House, and the report is being published today. I was most interested to study the report and, in an eventful year for the Council, I was particularly encouraged to note :
(i) Exciting fundamental research in such fields as neurobiology and molecular, cell and developmental biology offering the prospect of practical advances in diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and of commercially important developments. Examples include the work on protein function and design, on antibody engineering, on pre-implantation diagnosis of genetic disease, and on the role of neurotransmitters in the brain.
(ii) The establishment of the Council's human genome mapping project.
(iii) Promising research on the factors that influence susceptibility to coronary heart disease, and the trial of anti-coagulants in reducing the risk of thrombosis following myocardial infarction.
(iv) The continued build-up of the Council's broad programme of research on AIDS which includes work on vaccines and drugs, epidemiological studies, and a new joint Anglo-French clinical trail of zidovudine for patients who are infected with HIV but have not yet become ill.
(v) A major programme of breast cancer screening trials to determine : the optimum frequency of screening ; the proportion of deaths which could be prevented by mammographic screening of women under 50 ; and the best way of detecting cancers by mammography. This is being funded jointly by the Medical Research Council, the Department of Health and the Cancer Research Campaign.
(vi) A wide range of work of direct relevance to the health services, particularly studies : of vision screening in infancy ; of the care of asthma patients ; of determinants of re-attendance at accident and emergency departments ; of procedures for identifying elderly people at risk of hip fracture ; of cervical screening procedures ; and of the care of terminally ill cancer patients.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has received the annual report of the Economic and Social Research Council for 1988-89 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Macgregor : The annual report of the Economic and Social Research Council has been submitted to me under the requirements of the Science and Technology Act 1965, and a copy is being laid before the House today.
I was most interested to read about the council's achievements in a challenging year in which its headquarters moved to Swindon. I was particularly interested to note :
(a) the continued good progress in improving the communication of its research to a wider audience ;
(b) the establishment of interdisciplinary research centres in micro social change at the university of Essex and in human communication at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow ; and (
(c) the priority given by the council to improved training in research methods.
I congratulate the council on these and its many other achievements and anticipate reading of further progress in next year's report.
The Attorney-General : No. I frequently discuss the investigation with both the Director of Public Prosecutions and the director of the Serious Fraud Office. It is our joint intention that it should continue to be pressed forward with all dispatch and speedily concluded. The remaining inquiries, which are current, relate to matters outside the United Kingdom's jurisdiction.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Attorney-General whether criminal proceedings are to be brought against Westway Locksmiths Limited relating to the sale and fraudulent advertising for sale of skeleton car keys ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : The Crown prosecution service has received no reports from the police concerning Westway Locksmiths. However, I understand that criminal proceedings brought by Tameside trading standards department are pending before Manchester Crown court. In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to comment further.
The Attorney-General : The great majority of urgent pre-contract and pre-completion applications are now completed within four days. The percentages of such applications taking longer than that are set out in the table.
|(a) |(b) |November 1989|November 1988 |Percentage |Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Searches of the whole of a registered title |0 |1 Searches of part of a registered title |1 |8 Searches of the index map |6 |16 Office copies (register and filed plan only) |3 |12 Note: Overall averages for the time taken to deal with such applications are not available.
Mr. Luce : During this period, the performing arts in East Anglia have expanded as in the country as a whole. Audience attendance figures and levels of self-generated income have generally increased. Particular successes have included the Cambridge festival, Wingfield arts and music, and the Norfolk and Norwich triennial festival. For more detailed information, the hon. Member may care to write to David Cargill, the Chairman of Eastern Arts, which is the regional arts association with responsibility for East Anglia. The RAA's address is : Eastern Arts, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, CB1 4DW.
Year |Number --------------------- 1981 |649 1982 |622 1983 |650 1984 |719 1985 |664 1986 |705 1987 |684
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will publish the research funded by his Department and carried out by Dr. Carol Jones of the centre for criminology and the social and philosophical study of law at Edinburgh university, which was undertaken in 1987 into the study of the sheriff courts in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Dr. Carol Jones's report on contested cases in the Scottish sheriff courts has not yet been submitted in final form. The question of publication will be considered after it has been received.
Column 230columns 188-89, how many of the 179 respondents expressed (a) an unconditional welcome for the proposed NCC-CCS merger and (b) the need for a strong science base or co-ordination of standards, research and matters of British or international significance, and (c) the need for sufficient resources.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Scottish Development Department's consultation paper invited comments on the Government's proposals to bring forward legislation to merge the Countryside Commission for Scotland and the proposed Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland to form a natural heritage agency for Scotland. Of the 179 respondents, 159 expressed a view on his proposal and, of these, 98 in principle supported it. Almost all respondents commented on a range of issues including science and resources, or sought assurances that the Government would address particular issues before finalising their proposals. As a result, the responses are not capable of analysis in terms of the questions posed.
In connection with co-ordination on science issues, I refer to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment on 23 November, at columns 16-17.
A file containing a copy of all the responses, except the few which were submitted in confidence, is available for inspection in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received in response to consultation on draft regulations on playground supervision ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : Sixty-four representations have been received from education authorities, teachers' associations and a wide range of other organisations and individuals representing parental and other educational interests.
There has been widespread support for the proposals in the draft regulations which would (a) put a statutory duty on education authorities to take reasonable care for the safety of pupils under their charge ; and (b) introduce a specific statutory duty to provide adult supervision of primary school playgrounds in breaktimes.
Respondents also made a number of specific suggestions for improvement of the regulations, and the Government will be taking account of these in bringing revised regulations before Parliament. The revised regulations will require that the duty to provide playground supervision should extend to special schools as well as to primary schools. We will also provide for primary schools with fewer than 50 pupils to be exempt from the duty to have an adult supervisor in the playground except where circumstances require it. And we will require a clear definition to be made locally of what area is covered by the term "playground".
We regret that education authorities felt unable to meet the proposed timetable for implementation in January 1990. In the interests of smooth introduction of the new arrangements we now intend that the regulations should come into force in April 1990, although I will be encouraging local authorities to provide playground supervision before then if possible.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the projects concerning the rehabilitation of people with disabilities which his Department is currently funding in developing countries ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what action he takes to consult organisations of people with disabilities in the countries concerned before making grants for projects concerning rehabilitation of people with disabilities in developing countries ; and if he will make a statement.
Country and Project Bangladesh --Rehabilitation Institute and Hospital for the Disabled : Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Fiji --Disabled Children in the Community
Speech Therapist, Bailey Clinic.
India --Assistance to Spastic Societies in Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi.
Consultancies to Formulate Projects to Assist Various Disabled Groups.
Sri Lanka --Cleft Lips and Palates.
Zimbabwe : provision of orthopaedic technicians, equipment and training for a hospital in Harare (recently completed). These Government-to-Government programmes result from official requests received by Her Majesty's Government ; consultation with local groups is usually a matter for the recipient countries' authorities though in some cases officials, including specialist health advisers in ODA will have direct contact with beneficiary groups at an early stage. Under the joint funding scheme, ODA also provides grants to United Kingdom non-governmental organisations operating in developing projects for the partial funding of their countries. JFS projects are normally executed by local organisations working with the United Kingdom NGOs. ODA is currently financing the following JFS projects :
Agency/Country and Project Action on Disability and Development Africa
Employment of Development Officer
Development and Training Group of People with Disability Orthopaedic Workshop, Bangalore
Training Course and Extended Orthopaedic Workshop
Orthopaedic Workshop, Nyala Society for Disabled
Development Programme for Disabled People
Regionalise Management/Support, National UnionDisabled People Zimbabwe
Income Generation for Disabled People
British Red Cross Society Papua New Guinea
Special Education Centre
Mulago Hospital Orthopaedic Project
Help the Aged India
Rehabilitation of Handicapped in Rural Areas