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The Attorney-General : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave on 28 November at column 179. All information concerning sums paid out in legal aid fees to solicitors and barristers is held on a Northern Ireland basis and cannot be provided in any other format.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Attorney-General, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North of 1 December, Official Report, column 451, what delay is anticipated as a result of the Director of Public Prosecutions taking over the Camelford water pollution case ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : The proceedings for public nuisance instituted by the Director of Public Prosecutions are returnable at Bodmin magistrates court on 9 January 1990 and on that date the proceedings instituted on behalf of the Bodmin Angling Association will also be before the court. Decisions about subsequent adjournments and the length thereof comprise part of the judicial functions of the magistrates and it would be inappropriate for me to speculate.
The Attorney-General : The duties of the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General require that they be members of the Bar. The only post in the Civil Service at present reserves to barristers is that of Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. However the Courts and Legal Services Bill introduced in the House of Lords on 6 December would also enable solicitors and members of the Lord Chancellor's Department of the prescribed standing to be appointed to that post.
Mr. Grist : In the advice issued to all family practitioner committees and district health authorities in September, general vaccination to control the spread of influenza was not recommended. However, it was advised that persons at special risk (for example, those with chronic pulmonary, heart or renal disease) should be considered for vaccination.
There are at present adequate supplies of the vaccine already in Wales, or available from the stocks held centrally by the manufacturers, to ensure that all individuals in the special risk category are vaccinated if they wish.
Mr. Grist : An increase in influenza reports from general practitioners was noted in the second week of November. The first practices to report large numbers of cases were in East Dyfed, Mid Glamorgan and West Glamorgan. Practices in Clwyd, Gwent, Gwynedd and South Glamorgan began to report increased numbers of cases by the beginning of December.
The pattern of reporting has been firstly an increase in cases in children followed within two weeks by an increase in adult cases. The rates in children in practices in Mid Glamorgan and West Glamorgan declined in the past week but the incidence in adults has yet to show a reduction.
If the current outbreak behaves as did the smaller outbreak which affected south Wales in 1988-89 it would be expected that the incidence in children will substantially decline by the end of December. In adults, however, the outbreak is developing more slowly and its course is therefore difficult to predict.
Data supplied from the public health laboratories at Cardiff, Swansea and Rhyl indicate the main virus responsible for this outbreak is influenza A, although there are other viruses circulating among young children. Many adults would be expected to have a degree of immunity to the strain.
Mr. Grist : Mr. D. R. Williams is the regional veterinary officer (RVO) for Wales and Mr. D. Summers is the deputy regional veterinary officer (DRVO). The Welsh Office Agriculture Department is divided into five agricultural divisions. The following is a list of divisional veterinary officers (DVOs) in Wales :
Mr. M. E. T. Watts DVO
WOAD Animal Health Division
Cardiff CF4 5ZB
Column 837Mr. G. B. Rees DVO
WOAD Animal Health Division
Clwyd LL15 1NP
Mr. E. M. Davies DVO
WOAD Animal Health Division
Dyfed SA31 3BT
Mr. H. T. Morris DVO
WOAD Animal Health Division
Gwynedd LL55 1EP
Mr. D. L. Pugh Acting DVO
WOAD Animal Health Division
Spa Road East
Powys LD1 5HA
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in the Official Report tables showing the proportion of all part- time employees who are (a) manual and (b) non-manual earning less than (i) £4.16, (ii) £4.32, (iii) £3.12 and (iv) £2.80 per hour for (1) men, (2) women and (3) all part-time employees, excluding overtime shift and payment-by-results premia, for Wales and in each county in Wales.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the proposals of the Development Board for Rural Wales to spend £12 million on developing new factories and business skills.
Mr. Peter Walker : The Development Board for Rural Wales' outline plans for 1990-91 will be announced in the public expenditure White Paper next January. Detailed final figures will be published in the Supply Estimates when they are presented to Parliament in March. The allocation of provision between individual activities is largely a matter for the board.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assistance is given to rural country authorites in the allocation of central Government grant to take account of the increased cost of providing schools in sparsely populated areas.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : Rate support grant is distributed to county and district councils in accordance with formulae which are agreed with the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government Finance. Account is taken of the additional costs associated with the provision of services in sparsely populated areas by rural local authorities. Revenue support grant will be distributed taking account of similar considerations.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received concerning additional support from central Government for rural local education authorities in the provision of school transport ; and if he will make a statement about present levels of support.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will provide statistics showing the number of (a) fatalities and (b) other accidents involving serious injury in schools in Wales in each of the years 1979 to date ; if he has any proposals to require teachers to attend first aid courses ; and if he will make a statement.
The Health and Safety Executive has since then received reports under statutory regulations which indicate that in the period covered there have been four fatal incidents--one to an employee in 1984 and three to pupils, one in each of 1981, 1984 and in 1986-87. Changes in the regulations in 1985 resulted in data becoming available in respect of major incidents not involving death and they indicate that in 1986-87 and 1987-88 some 31 and 59 employees and 195 and 318 pupils in those years respectively were involved in reportable incidents. The increase resulted from declarations following the issue of guidance on uniform reporting standards issued to all local education authorities by the education services advisory committee. The guidance note "Arrangements for First Aid Provision in Schools and Colleges" prepared by the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office in consultation with interested bodies was issued to chief education officers in England and Wales in September 1987. This gave guidance to establish information reporting standards. First aid facilities are looked at by Her Majesty's inspectorate of schools as part of its normal process of inspection of schools, and I know that it will have regard to the findings of a recent report on this matter.
All LEAs offer first aid training. The great majority of teachers have some basic knowledge of first aid. Specialist teachers of all practical subjects will have received first aid training and physical education teachers in particular will have received substantial training.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the information he has on the dates of free general elections currently agreed or expected in the Warsaw pact countries.
Column 839Soviet Union held multi-candidate elections in March 1989. In Poland semi-democratic elections were held in June 1989. The round table agreements provide for full democratic elections in four years' time.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration he has given to the recent application to his Department by the European proliferation information centre for financial support.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Department has recently written to the European proliferation information centre (EPIC) agreeing to a meeting to discuss financial support and suggesting that EPIC prepare a detailed funding application.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to encourage additional countries to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty ; and what information he has concerning attempts by the United States of America and the Soviet Union to convince additional states to join the treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : We regularly raise the question of accession to the treaty with non-parties at various levels. The three depositary powers of the treaty, (the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union) attach importance to the widest possible adherence to the treaty, and frequently discuss with each other their efforts towards this end.
Mr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has formed any policy in response to the call by the parliamentary assembly of the Western European Union on 7 December to reduce restrictions on high-technology exports to Comecon countries.
Mr. Maude : COCOM's role is the protection of the strategic interests of the members of the broader Western alliance. It is not an economic embargo. With our COCOM partners, Her Majesty's Government will continue to base export licensing decisions on strategic assessments which take account of geo-political and technological realities. This means assessing whether a potential export could make a significant contribution to the military capability of the proscribed destinations and their production of modern armaments.
We will also fully contribute to the continuous review of the COCOM export control lists to ensure that items of genuine relevance to Western security are controlled (not necessarily prevented from export) and those that are not are amended or deleted from the lists.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government are taking to assist in resolving the ongoing military conflict in Ethiopia between the Addis Ababa regime and its opposition ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have been in contact with the parties to the conflict to urge them to negotiate a peaceful settlement. We have also taken diplomatic action with our EC partners, the USA and the USSR.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what diplomatic representations Her Majesty's Government are making to the Chinese Government about granting fair trials to those jailed for their political ideology ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : At the Madrid European Council we and our EC partners called on the Chinese authorities to admit independent observers to attend the trials of those arrested for their part in the democracy movement. The Presidency, on behalf of the Twelve, has made subsequent representations to the Chinese authorities.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning the release of political prisoners in China ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : Since the events of June, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has received 19 letters from hon. Members and 69 letters from the public about the release of political prisoners in China. Of these, 12 letters from hon. Members and 50 letters from the public were related to a specific detainee in Tibet.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is (a) the cost to date to the Revenue of the forced removal of the Vietnamese boat people from Hong Kong and (b) the estimated cost of removal of all the boat people.
Mr. Maude : There has been no forced removal of any boat people from Hong Kong. The cost to Her Majesty's Government of the first repatriation operation was approximately £30,000. It is impossible at this stage to estimate the cost of removing from Hong Kong all boat people screened out as non-refugees.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the terms of any motion of the House, together with its date and context, which contained words giving specific assent to the principle of economic and monetary union within the European Community.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has undertaken, funded or is aware of any research to discover if human breast milk has been effected by radioactive contamination in the United Kingdom following the Chernobyl accident.
Column 841Mr. Freeman : The continuing precautionary measures taken by the Department and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food following the Chernobyl reactor accident are designed to ensure that radioactively contaminated food does not enter the food chain. In additiona, a programme of whole-body monitoring tests commissioned by Government has shown that the levels of radioactivity taken up by people in the areas most affected by fallout from Chernobyl were very low and of minimal radiological significance.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) at what stage there will be consultation with (a) staff, (b) users and (c) the wider community regarding his decision to allow the North Middlesex hospital to opt out of the National Health Service ; (2) if he will take steps to ensure that residents of Tottenham will continue to get a service from the North Middlesex hospital after it has opted out ;
(3) what estimate he has made of the knock-on effect when the North Middlesex hospital opts out of the National Health Service on the resources to be allocated to St. Ann's hospital ;
(4) what information he has as to the policy of Haringey health authority on self-governing status for its hospitals ;
(5) what is his policy with regard to the entertaining of applications for self-governing status from hospitals within district health authorities which have voted against the promotion of such applications ;
(6) whether he has received any indications of interest in self-governing status for the North Middlesex hospital.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : One hundred and eighty-eight units, including North Middlesex hospital, have expressed interest in National Health Service trust status. There is no question of any hospital "opting out" of the National Health Service. Haringey health authority will be responsible for planning and securing a comprehensive range of services to meet the health care needs of its resident population. In doing this it will contract with a range of service providers, including National Health Service trusts. The revenue funding of individual hospitals such as North Middlesex and St. Ann's will be determined in the main by the service contracts they secure with health authorities.
The decision on whether to submit a formal application for National Health Service trust status, when Parliament has approved the necessary legislation, is a matter for the sponsors of the expression of interest in the unit concerned. We have had no representations from Haringey health authority. When formal applications are prepared, regional health authorities will ensure that they are given local publicity and will seek the views of all those with an interest, including health authorities, staff, patients, general practitioners, community health councils and the local community. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State will consider these views alongside the application, before deciding whether to approve it.
Column 842(2) how many midwives are currently practising who are qualified at grade level E and at level G as sisters ;
(3) how many midwives first qualified in each of the last five years ;
(4) how may vacant posts for midwives there are in each of the regions.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : At 30 September 1988 there were 19,600 wholetime equivalent qualified midwives employed in the National Health Service in England. Information for September 1989 is not yet available, therefore it is not possible to give the number of midwives in post paid on grade E and G. The numbers of newlyqualified midwives in England added to the register held by the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting in each of the last five years are :
Year ended |Number 31 March --------------------------------- 1985 |2,106 1986 |2,599 1987 |3,820 1988 |2,523 1989 |2,432
The figure for 1987 includes some midwives who registered their midwifery qualification for the first time in 1987 although they obtained it in a previous year. The figure is not therefore comparable with those for the other years.
Information on vacancy levels is not collected centrally.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give for each year since 1980 the total number of doctors employed by the National Health Service and express this as a percentage of the 1980 figure.
|Total Doctors|Expressed as |a percentage |of base year: |1980 -------------------------------------------------------- 1980 |63,130 |- 1981 |64,612 |102.3 1982 |65,591 |103.9 1983 |66,910 |106.0 1984 |67,282 |106.6 1985 |68,194 |108.0 1986 |68,839 |109.0 1987 |69,532 |110.10 1988 |70,866 |112.3 Notes: Includes permanent paid and honorary staff; excludes locum staff, hospital practitioners and clinical assistants in the hospital and community health services. Includes general medical practitioners.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners were practising on the Isle of Wight in 1979 and 1989 ; and what was the ratio of patients to doctors in 1979 and 1989.
Column 843date for which information is available). The respective ratios of patients to doctors were 2,134 : 1 in 1979 and 1,889 : 1 in 1988.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the resident population of a health district is assessed ; and whether the student population, where substantial, is included in the resident population.
Mr. Freeman : The estimated population of a health district includes all those usually resident there, whatever their nationality ; students are taken to be resident at their term-time address and members of Her Majesty's and non-United Kingdom armed forces in England and Wales are included at their station. The current series of estimates is derived from the 1981 census of population and then updated annually to allow for subsequent births, deaths, and migration (including students). In addition, annual adjustments are also made for changes in the numbers of stationed armed forces and their dependents, and boarding school children.