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(i) a new Constitution would be introduced as soon as possible by Order in Council, along the lines of that presented to the Government of Montserrat on 5 November, but with amendments agreed between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Montserrat including a provision recognising Montserrat's right to self-determination. The main change to the existing constitution would be the transfer of responsibility for the offshore finance sector to the governor. (
(ii) the Government of Montserrat would enact at the earliest possible date the legislation relating to the offshore finance sector recommended by the
Column 500Coopers and Lybrand report. Thus, we felt that we could withdraw our earlier insistence that the governor be given powers to promote and pass legislation.
(iii) Her Majesty's Government would provide the necessary technical assistance to enable the Government of Montserrat to set up the necessary regulatory structure for the Montserrat finance sector, as recommended by the Coopers and Lybrand report.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will raise the economic problems of Latin American countries and international aid and debt with his European counterparts at the Foreign Affairs Council on 19 December. Mr. Maude : The full agenda for the 19 December Foreign Affairs Council does not at present include the economic problems of Latin America. There is unlikely to be opportunity to raise these issues.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will calculate the total collective loss by mothers in Birkenhead resulting from the Government's decision not to uprate child benefit in line with inflation since 1979.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate has been made of the number of pre-1973 war widows who are in receipt of (a) income support, (b) housing benefit and (c) rate relief.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : It is estimated that about 1 per cent. of pre-1973 war widows are in receipt of income support and that about 20 per cent. receive housing benefit which includes help with rates.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what amount would be recouped by Government via lost or reduced entitlement for (a) housing benefit, (b) income support, (c) rate relief until April 1990 and (d) lower rates of community charge after April 1990, as a result of giving post-1973 war widow rates of pension to pre-1973 war widows ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 501Mr. Kenneth Clarke : Decisions about the priority and resources to be given to infertility services are for individual health authorities to determine within their overall allocations and in the light of local circumstances. I understand that problems have arisen in Nottingham because of the demand of local consultants for extra payments for family planning and sterilisation procedures which the DHA is unwilling to pay as the work is within the doctors' contractual commitment to the National Health Service.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Practices already offering comprehensive services will need to do no more than at present in order to meet the requirements of the GPs' new contract. Others will need to review their practice policies. A central objective of the new contract is greater attention to health promotion and the prevention of disease. Expansion of practice teams to include more practice nurses is a favoured option for meeting this new requirement on the evidence of the current recruitment patterns.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he has any plans to meet the leaders of the Health Service unions to discuss the exposure to competitive tender of the non-emergency aspects of ambulance journeys ;
(2) if he will make it his policy to refer the ambulance dispute to arbitration in exchange for an undertaking from the unions involved to allow the exposure of the non-emergency ambulance service to competitive tender.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is the responsibility of health authorities to provide the most appropriate and cost-effective means of transport for their patients. Health authority managers must also retain control of the amounts they pay for salaries and wages in order that resources are not diverted away from patient care. This does not happen if responsibility for pay awards is given to an outside arbitrator.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the book on child migrants, a copy of which has been sent to him by Nottinghamshire county councillor, the hon. Joan Taylor.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Child migration has not been seen as a valid response to the needs of children in care for over two decades. The emigration of children in care occurs only rarely nowadays, with the Secretary of State's consent, when it is clearly in the best interests of the child and the emigration plan has been rigorously scrutinised.
Column 502opt-out proposals for hospitals for an integrated health provision in district health authority areas in the United Kingdom.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received representations on this subject from a number of organisations and individuals. DHAs will be responsible for planning and securing a comprehensive range of services to meet the health care needs of their population. In doing this they will contract with a range of service providers, including NHS trusts which will remain an integral part of the NHS.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make a statement on the current state of scientific knowledge on the efficiency of transmission of HIV in the heterosexual population.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is well established that HIV infection can be and is transmitted by heterosexual intercourse, though research into the efficiency of this mode of transmission is difficult to conduct in such a way as to produce conclusive and reliable results. Transmission through heterosexual intercourse is the most common mode of transmission worldwide.
However, most studies of long-term partnerships carried out in Europe and north America have reported that 10 to 30 per cent. of female partners of known infected males have themsleves become infected, and 4 to 15 per cent. of male partners of infected females.
This was one of the issues discussed at the expert epidemiological symposium organised by the Department of Health and the Health Education authority on 24 November this year, the proceedings of which will be published in the new year.
Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what role he proposes for the National Health Service Training Agency in the provision of postgraduate education for the professions allied to medicine ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what was the cost of the National Health Service Training Agency for 1986-87 and 1987-88 and the staffing of it for the same years ;
(3) if he will set out the current terms of reference of the National Health Service Training Agency ; whether he has any plans to alter them in the light of the recent White Papers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The National Health Service training authority (NHSTA) is a special health authority covering England and Wales directly accountable to the Secretary of State for Health. Its function is to promote training in the National Health Service other than professional education for which statutory bodies, such as those for nursing and medicine are responsible. Its terms of reference, as set out in the National Health Service Training Authority (Establishment and Constitution) Order 1983, are :
to identify training needs ;
to formulate, co-ordinate and develop national policy and standards ;
to provide, or make arrangements for the provision of, training programmes, courses and research ;
to stimulate, monitor and review training activity ;
to advise the Secretary of State and health authorities on all matters relating to training.
Column 503We have no plans at present to alter the NHSTA's general terms of reference. The authority is itself considering its future role and mode of operation in the light of the White Papers, and developments in Government policy on vocational training.
The responsibilities of the Council for the Professions Supplementary to Medicine extends only to pre-qualifying training. Although theoretically post-graduate education is within the remit of the NHSTA, in practice, most development work on clinical education is carried out by the professional bodies themselves, while the NHSTA concentrates on multi-disciplinary training frameworks such as Health PICKUP.
The cash limits for the NHSTA for 1986-87 and 1987-88 were : 1986-87 : £5.756 million.
1987-88 : £5.769 million.
Staffing costs for the same year were :
1986-87 : £2.042 million.
1987-88 : £2.397 million.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which establishments provide, or research into, in vitro fertilisation for childless couples, indicating which are National Health Service facilities and which not ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Interim Licensing Authority, which is jointly sponsored by the Medical Research Council and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaeocologists, has since 1985 approved a number of centres to provide in vitro fertilisation, or to conduct specific research projects, or both. Details of these centres are given in the authority's annual report, copies of which are in the Library.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Section 33 of the general Whitley council handbook outlines principles for dealing with local disputes on matters not arising from national Whitley agreements. We expect employing authorities and their staff to take account of these principles in determining the content of their local disputes procedures.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in arriving at a contract between his Department and dentists ; and if copies of any documents relating to this matter are generally available.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Following negotiations during the summer, proposals for a new contract for general dental practitioners were approved in principle by the General Dental Services Committee on 16 October as a basis for submissions to the doctors and dentists review body. The committee commended the proposals to the profession as "better for patients, dentists and dentistry". Detailed discussions are still in progress, and a formal response to the proposals from the dental profession is expected in July 1990.
Column 504The proposals are summarised in the edition of "BDA News" dated 21 October 1989. A copy of the relevant article will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the existing regional health authorities will comment to him on the expressions of interest in National Health Service trust status submitted by the required date, before any change is made to the form of the regional health authorities in 1990.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Expressions of interest in National Health Service trust status can be made at any time. The Department welcomes comments from regional health authorities and is working closely with regional health authority officers.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information on the ethnic origins of health authority members is not recorded centrally. The Department invites the Commission on Racial Equality to send us nominations when we are considering the appointment of RHA members and we encourage regional health authorities to seek nominations from local community relations groups when they are considering the appointment of members of district health authorities.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is set out in the table. The decrease in the number of cots is the result of action taken to bring provision into line with actual need. An expert working group recently estimated that in Scotland as a whole provision still exceeds reasonable requirements. Rates of admission to special neonatal care vary greatly between boards, reaching 35 per cent. or more of all deliveries in some places.
Year |Number<1> ------------------------------ 1981 |622 1982 |619 1983 |617 1984 |603 1985 |585 1986 |575 1987 |563 1988 |552 1989 |543 <1> Average available staffed cots in special care baby units.
Column 505what 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.
Mr. Rifkind : In the last 12 months 37 surveys have been conducted by or on behalf of my Department, 33 of them by outside organisations. They vary greatly in size and significance, but the total expenditure was £1,115,000, 81 per cent. of which was paid to outside organisations.
Mr. Lang : It is the responsibility of each development corporation to own and manage its housing stock in accordance with its own priorities. A possible role for district councils in the future of development corporation housing is outlined in paragraph 5.10 of the new towns White Paper. The White Paper commits the Government to formal consultations on the position in each town once an order for dissolution has been made and those consultations will be held with development corporations, district councils and representative tenant groups.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he proposes to advise or instruct development corporations to consult sitting tenants prior to any changes in the management of the housing stock within the new towns.
Mr. Lang : No. I am confident the development corporations can be relied on to use acceptable housimg management practices when preparing management agency agreements such as those set out in paragraph 5.11 of the White Paper "The Scottish New Towns : The Way Ahead" (Command 711).
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide details of any request made by Scottish Homes to dispose of land under the terms of section 2(3A) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if Scottish Homes has notified him of its intention to dispose of blocks of vacant houses to private landlords or any other non-public sector housing agency.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Prior to the introduction of section 2(3A) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 which came into force on 1 December 1989 Scottish Homes exercised its powers, under section 2(2)(h) of that Act, to dispose of land in accordance with arrangements made with the Secretary of State.
Such arrangements did not require Scottish Homes to notify the Secretary of State of particular disposals, provided that the sale was in the exercise of its general functions and the selling price was not less than the market value of the land, as determined by the district valuer.
Column 506Under these arrangements Scottish Homes agreed to sell six groups of new untenanted houses, totalling 203 dwellings, mainly sheltered or amenity, to registered housing associations.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what valuation he will place upon the sale of vacant houses by new town development corporations to private landlords or any other housing agency.
Mr. Lang : My right hon. and learned Friend last met the chairmen and managing directors of the Scottish new town development corporations on 1 December, when a wide range of matters concerning the corporations was discussed.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which Scottish new towns have informed him of plans to sell off vacant houses to private landlords or to any other housing agency ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : Cumbernauld development corporation has recently concluded the disposal of 64 houses in the Balloch area of the town to the Bield housing association. I understand that further schemes for disposal to private landlords including housing associations are under consideration in a number of towns, but no further proposals have yet been submitted for my approval.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which Scottish new towns have informed him of plans to transfer the management of development corporation houses to private housing agencies ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : No development corporation has put proposals to me for my consideration, although I am aware that there may be interest in forming such agencies in East Kilbride, Glenrothes and Livingston.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what response he has given to the request from Ettrick and Lauderdale district council for £0.5 million to fund an urgent house building programme.
Mr. Rifkind : Next year's capital allocations, which we hope to announce before Christmas, will be determined, as in previous years, in the light of the aggregate resources available and the competing requirements of all 56 housing authorities. It is then for councils themselves to decide how to target the resources made available, based on their own assessment of housing needs in their districts, and to programme expenditure to reflect these needs, including the demand for new housing for rent if this is seen as a priority.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many representations were made during the consultative period on the primary road study south of Edinburgh ; if he will list all bodies and individuals who submitted opinions ; and if he will publish the submissions received ;
Column 507(2) if he will place copies of all the submissions received in the consultative study on primary road routes south of Edinburgh in the Library ;
(3) when he expects to announce an official response to the study of primary road routes south of Edinburgh.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : To date representations have been received from some 200 individuals and organisations. As is normal practice, I have arranged that from 18 December a copy of all those which were not submitted in confidence will be placed in the Scottish Office Library in St. Andrew's house where they can be consulted by members of the public and copies obtained if that is desired. In response to the hon. Member's interest I am now arranging that a copy of these replies should also be made available in the Library. I expect to be able to make a statement on the outcome of the consultation early in the new year.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what sums will be made available to each islands and regional council in Scotland so that they may progress towards compliance with the European Community directive regarding the quality of bathing waters.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Allocations for water and sewerage programmes for the current year were set at the high level of £126 million, 14 per cent. above planned provision, and were recently increased by £4.6 million. Further, my right hon. and learned Friend announced to the House on 6 December a major increase in investment in Scotland. The additional resources announced will mean a programme of £500 million over the next three years for water and sewerage services. This will allow regional and islands councils, which determine their own priorities in the light of local needs, to make faster progress in further improving the quality of the environment including any improvements related to the quality of bathing waters. The allocations to be made to each authority will be announced early next year.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : In terms of the National Health Service (Professions Supplementary to Medicine) (Scotland) Regulations 1974, no health board can employ a person as radiographer unless that person is state registered under the provisions of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960. That is the only statutory provision relating specifically to radiographers.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, under any proposed tendering legislation, health boards will be required to stipulate in the specifications for contract that all radiographers employed must be state registered.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many travel-to-work areas in Scotland the level of unemployment is higher than the British national average ; and what is his estimate of current unemployment in the City of Glasgow.
There were 52,352 persons unemployed in Glasgow city local authority area in October 1989.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : It is already open to health boards to consider appointing helpers to radiographers. As such staff are not recognised under the Whitley system, all appointments require the approval of the Scottish Home and Health Department. The mix of qualified radiography staff and helpers is a matter for the health board concerned.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make available to hon. Members the contents of the De Ville report which relates to the question of helpers being used to assist chiropodists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has made, and will make, to try and reverse the recent decision by the European Community that the Borders region was not eligible for assistance under objective 5(b) of the European structural fund.