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Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends to allow new town district councils to purchase vacant houses from their respective development corporation at any point in the period prior to the dissolution of the development corporation.
Mr. Lang : The potential role which district councils play in the ultimate disposal of development corporation housing stock will be considered by the Government during the consultations with the development corporations, district councils and representative tenant groups in the course of winding up each corporation, as set out in paragraph 5.10 of the White Paper "The Scottish New Towns : The Way Ahead" (Cmnd. 711).
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the current market value of the housing stock owned by each of the Scottish new towns and the number of houses owned by each of the new towns.
Mr. Lang : It is not possible to calculate an absolute market value for the housing stock of the new town development corporations, and the Government have no plans to put it on the market. The number of houses owned by each of the Scottish new town development corporations, as at 30 November 1989, was :
|houses ---------------------------- East Kilbride |11,415 Livingston |8,475 Cumbernauld |7,159 Glenrothes |6,388 Irvine |4,003
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidance he gives to development corporations as to whether to consult sitting tenants prior to any changes in the management of the new town housing stock.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will name the county councils and district councils in Scotland which do not conform to regulations in respect of emergency control centres in accordance with the Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations 1983.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No. The progressive establishment of local authority emergency control centres features in regular discussions between the Scottish Home and Health Department and local authorities. Almost all Scottish authorities have designated emergency control premises, some of which are fully operational. Others require further work to meet the minimum standards set in departmental guidance.
Mr. Douglas : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number currently employed by (a) central Government and (b) local government, who have been directly related to the collection of (i) domestic rates and (ii) the poll tax in 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The collection of domestic rates was the responsibility of regional and islands councils as is the collection of the community charge. Figures for the numbers of local government staff involved in these functions are not held centrally. Central Government staff are not involved in the collection of the community charge any more than they were involved in the collection of domestic rates. The numbers of such staff primarily involved in policy issues affecting these matters has fluctuated within the period, generally within the range of eight to 10.
Mr. Douglas : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of poll tax payers by region, in Scotland at the latest date ; what is the number who are (a) one instalment behind, (b) two instalments behind, (c) three instalments behind, and (d) the account is statutorily in arrears.
Regional/Islands Council |Number liable |(to nearest 100) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Borders |78,000 Central |206,400 Dumfries and Galloway |111,400 Fife |269,000 Grampian |378,000 Highland |147,800 Lothian |604,700 Strathclyde |1,762,200 Tayside |295,600 Orkney |14,300 Shetland |16,000 Western Isles |22,300
The other information requested is not held centrally.
Mr. Lang : The sand eel fishery off Shetland has been closed since 1 July 1989. A licensing scheme has been introduced in the Minch to prevent fishing pressure on those sand eel stocks becoming excessive.
Officials will be discussing the latest scientific evidence on the state of sand eel stocks with the fishing industry next month. Decisions on the 1990 fishing season will then be taken.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the courses which applied for acceptance under the postgraduate students allowances scheme in 1989-90, indicating which were successful.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of students on post-graduate courses at Scottish universities and central institutions have been (a) Scottish, (b) from the the rest of the United Kingdom and (c) from overseas, in every year since 1979.
Place of domicile Session |Scotland |Rest of |Overseas |United Kingdom --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |47 |18 |35 1980-81 |52 |17 |31 1981-82 |53 |16 |30 1982-83 |51 |18 |31 1983-84 |51 |18 |31 1984-85 |50 |19 |32 1985-86 |48 |19 |33 1986-87 |45 |19 |36 1987-88 |46 |18 |36 1988-89 |44 |19 |36 Notes: 1. The figures relate to full-time courses. 2. In 1979-80 only university courses are covered. 3. The percentages may not add to 100 because of rounding.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) of 28 November, Official Report, column 188-89, if he will indicate how he has responded to requests for assurances concerning the independence, duties, funding, staffing and location of the proposed Natural Heritage Agency for Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend has stated publicly that the proposed Scottish natural heritage agency will have the same independent status as the present Nature Conservancy Council and Countryside Commission for Scotland, will have resources commensurate with the needs of conservation in Scotland, and will have similar duties to NCC and CCS. Staff in NCC and CCS have been assured by Government of an offer of employment on terms and conditions not less favourable taken as a whole than they have at present. It is too early to decide on the location of the proposed new body.
More detailed proposals on these and other issues will be included in the further consultation.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what action his Department is taking to (a) prevent further damage to water, wildlife and trees in particular caused by pollutants such as acid rain, (b) sponsor further research on this matter and (c) help in restoring water, wildlife and trees to their original healthy state.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland has today published a paper entitled "Strategy for Agricultural Research and Development". It reports on the successful implementation of the proposals in the strategy paper published by the Department in December 1985, reviews the developments which underlie the formulation of a revised strategy for the future, sets out the objectives of the Department in funding agricultural and related research and development, and explains how these objectives will be met in the years ahead.
Copies of the paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Lord President of the Council what steps he has taken to ensure that strict health and safety standards are observed in respect of all microwave ovens located in the Palace of Westminster.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : All microwave ovens provided in the House for approved purposes are supplied with full operating instructions and are checked annually. Those under the control of the Refreshment Department are operated by staff who are aware of the correct procedures. In the light of current concern I shall, however, refer this matter to the relevant House authorities for further consideration.
Column 55increase by 34 per cent. to some £64 million in 1992-93. This will bring the total provision for building and maintenance over the next three years to over £180 million.
Mr. Luce : This information is not kept centrally, but I understand that recent research suggests that between January 1987 and December 1989, over 75 new library buildings or substantial extensions to buildings were completed. Capital expenditure on libraries by local authorities in England, which includes spending on new buildings, has increased from £23 million to over £41 million in the three years to 1988-89.
Mr. Luce : As I announced last December, I have given £150,000 to the Carnegie Trust ADAPT fund to improve the accessibility of arts venues to the disabled. I am pleased to report that the question of accessibility is receiving much attention from arts orgsnisations. Additionally, I am aware that the Arts Council and the Museums and Galleries Commission both have disability officers to ensure that the needs of the disabled are fully considered.
Mr. Luce : I am pleased to say that I have received a number of letters of appreciation from chairmen and directors of institutions which have benefited from the revised allocations I was able to announce on 16 November.
93. Mr. Colvin : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the breakdown between the public and private sector of funding of the arts in the last financial year of which records are available and 1978-79.
Mr. Luce : Central Government expenditure on the arts has increased from £129 million in 1978-79 to £439 million in 1989-90 (a growth of 240 per cent.). There are no comprehensive figures for private funding of Arts activities but I welcome the evidence that it has been expanding, particularly in the areas of sponsorship and of sales.
95. Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will estimate the number of staff in post at museums now ; and what was the figure 10 years ago ; what has been the average real increase in rates of pay since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Luce : The most recent available figures for museum employment in the United Kingdom are for 1984 when the census of employment showed some 28,000 people employed in museums and galleries. Numbers of staff in post at the national museums and galleries which I sponsor are currently 5,413, compared with some 4,200 in 1979, at which time the national museums and galleries on Merseyside were not include in the figures.
Estimates of average real pay increases for museum staff are not available. However, for all non-industrial grades in the Civil Service, with which staff in the national museums and galleries are analogous for pay and grading purposes, real salaries have increased by around 20 per cent. since 1979.
Mr. Luce : Through the funding of the Arts Council, it remains the Government's policy to ensure that as many people as possible have access to performances of live music, of a high standard of quality.
Mr. Luce : The Secretary of State for Education and Science and I are jointly funding a booklet about ways in which the arts can stimulate a child's imagination and widen the boundaries of classroom learning. It will be circulated free to all supported schools in England, Scotland and Wales in the new year. In addition, within my area of my responsibility, the Arts Council, the regional arts associations and the national museums and galleries fund a range of schemes aimed at introducing children and young people to the arts.
Mr. Luce : Over the three years 1987-88 to 1989-90, the Arts Council's grant will have increased by 14.5 per cent. During the same period, inflation, as measured by the GDP deflator, will have increased by an estimated 20.8 per cent. I have taken these figures into account in deciding the Arts Council's grant for the next three years when it will increase by a further 22 per cent.
102. Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Minister for the Arts what consideration he has given to the survey conducted by Touche Ross management consultants on the impact of tax incentives on arts and museum fund raising ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Luce : A variety of suggestions have been put to me on taxation incentives for the arts and the Touche Ross report has been an informative contribution. The introduction of new taxation incentives is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many contracts over £92,500 have been let by his Department in the 1988-89 financial year and in the present financial year to date ; and how many of these were (a) automatically reviewed and (b) open to competition by advertisement throughout the European Community.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many outside accountancy firms are employed by his Department ; whether such employment is subject to any guidelines ; and whether he takes steps before employing an accountancy firm to discover whether that firm has been censured by the Department of Trade and Industry in their inquiries under the Companies Acts.
Mr. Peter Walker : At the present time six accountancy firms are employed either solely or jointly by my Department. Firms are invited to tender for the provision of advisory services on the basis of their suitability to provide the relevant advice. In making appointments, consultations and enquiries are undertaken as necessary and where appropriate in the light of advice given by Treasury on consultancy appointments. The figures do not include accountancy firms that I have appointed to act as auditors to non-departmental public bodies sponsored by my Department.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy, on making appointments to the chairmanship of quangos in Wales, to ensure that such appointments are not used as stepping stones for potential parliamentary candidates.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Caerphilly on 11 December, what is his estimate of the additional cost falling on county councils in Wales in respect of their enforcement of the new Testing of Poultry Flocks Order.
Mr. Peter Walker : Information is not available on the resources that county councils in Wales are allocating to work in connection with the two new orders requiring registration and testing of poultry flocks.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussion he has had with north Wales health authorities concerning the payment to Mersey regional health authority of money for cancer treatment for north Wales patients ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker : None. The funding of English health authorities, including Mersey region, to provide treatment to patients from Wales under the arrangements introduced in the White Paper "Working for Patients" is presently the subject of discussions between officials of the Welsh Office and the Department of Health.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of deaths where hypothermia was mentioned as a cause ; and what is his estimate of the total number of deaths where hypothermia was the underlying cause of death in Wales in each year from 1978 to 1988.
Deaths where hypothermia was: Year |Mentioned on |recorded as |the death |the underlying |certificate |cause of |death ------------------------------------------------------------ 1978 |46 |n/a 1979 |73 |31 1980 |41 |16 1981 |57 |n/a 1982 |53 |25 1983 |29 |12 1984 |37 |17 1985 |60 |33 1986 |49 |24 1987 |41 |19 1988 |36 |12 Note: For 1979 onward based on 9th Revision ICD Codes 991.6 and 778.3.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) pursuant to his answer of 29 November, Official Report, column 259, whether he will provide comparable figures on intensive care baby cots for 1983-84 and 1979-80 ;
(2) pursuant to his answer of 7 December, Official Report, column 358, whether he will provide comparable figures on intensive care baby cots for 1979-80 and for the latest available year.
Mr. Peter Walker : The answer of 29 November, Official Report column 259, was based on information derived from a one-off enquiry undertaken to inform the advisory group on perinatal intensive care services in Wales. As a consequence comparable figures for earlier years are not available. The more general quarterly bed-use inquiry provides comparable statistics relating to special care baby cots for the years requested, and these are shown in the table :
Special Care Baby Unit Cots (average daily available) |1979-80|1983-84|1988-89 --------------------------------------------------- Clwyd HM Stanley |19.0 |19.0 |15.0 Ysbyty Maelor |24.0 |24.0 |22.0 East Dyfed Bronglais |2.0 |2.0 |2.0 West Wales General |8.18 |8.0 |11.0 Gwent Nevill Hall |15.0 |15.0 |15.0 Royal Gwent |25.0 |25.0 |20.0 County |18.0 |- |- Gwynedd St. Davids |21.0 |21.0 |21.0 Mid Glamorgan Bridgend General |15.0 |15.0 |- Princess of Wales |- |- |15.0 East Glamorgan |10.04 |10.0 |10.0 St. Tydfils |8.0 |- |- Merthyr General |- |8.0 |8.0 South Glamorgan UHW |25.0 |24.38 |24.84 St. Davids |16.0 |16.05 |16.0 West Glamorgan Morriston |16.0 |14.67 |15.97 Neath General |15.0 |15.0 |10.0 Pembrokeshire Withybush |- |13.0 |13.0
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the staying-on rate in full-time education in each of the counties of Wales in 1987-88 and 1983-84 of those aged (a) 16 years, (b) 17 years, (c) 18 years and (d) all ages.
Mr. Peter Walker : The percentage of 16, 17 and 18-year-olds and all ages staying on in full-time education at schools, tertiary and further education colleges, and universities for the academic years 1987-88 and 1983-84 are shown in the table :
|16 |17 |18 |16-18 ---------------------------------------------- 1987-88<1> Clwyd |49 |32 |21 |34 Dyfed |54 |40 |25 |40 Gwent |49 |33 |18 |33 Gwynedd |52 |37 |23 |38 Mid Glamorgan |47 |31 |16 |31 Powys |57 |39 |21 |39 South Glamorgan |53 |35 |22 |36 West Glamorgan |52 |35 |22 |36 1983-84<1> Clwyd |52 |34 |19 |35 Dyfed |53 |39 |23 |38 Gwent |49 |31 |17 |32 Gwynedd |51 |34 |22 |35 Mid Glamorgan |49 |26 |14 |29 Powys |55 |41 |19 |38 South Glamorgan |46 |31 |18 |32 West Glamorgan |51 |33 |18 |34 <1>Pupils aged 16, 17 and 18 as a percentage of 15 year old pupils one, two and three years earlier.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) whether he has assessed the public radiation exposure of people who live close to the area immediately around the Trawsfynydd nuclear power station ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether he will conduct an aerial radioactivity survey of the whole of north Wales ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) whether he will undertake a detailed radiological assessment of public exposure to radioactivity in the area immediately around Trawsfynydd nuclear power station ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker : Earlier this year, as part of a research project for the Welsh Office, whole body monitoring of volunteers from north Wales (including some from the vicinity of Trawsfynydd) took place at Ysbyty Gwynedd. This was a follow up to an exercise which took place in October 1987.
The preliminary results of this monitoring have shown the levels of radioactivity present in the body to be low and in fact, to have fallen significantly in comparison with the earlier measurements. As such they present no cause for concern. The individuals who took part in this survey have been made aware of the results of the tests.
Column 61Additionally, the aquatic environment monitoring report No. 21 prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, a copy of which is in the Library of the House, showed that in 1988 the most highly exposed group around the Trawsfynydd nuclear power station received only 7 per cent. of the internationally recommended dose limit of 1 millisievert per year.
Consideration has been given to a detailed aerial survey of the areas of north Wales where restrictions on the movement of sheep remain in force. It is felt unlikely that such a survey would add significantly to the data already held on levels of radioactivity in sheep, soil and vegetation in those areas.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many children he estimates spent the Christmas holiday in bed and breakfast accommodation in Wales other than as tourists during each of the years 1983 to 1988 ;
(2) how many families he estimates spent the Christmas holiday in bed and breakfast accommodation in Wales in each of the years 1983 to 1988 inclusive, other than as tourists ;
(3) how many families in Wales he estimates will spend the 1989 Christmas holiday period in bed and breakfast accommodation other than as tourists ;
(4) how many individuals he estimates will be in bed and breakfast accommodation in Wales other than as tourists during the Christmas 1989 holiday period ;
(5) how many people he estimates spent the Christmas holiday in bed and breakfast accommodation in Wales for each of the years 1983 to 1988 inclusive, other than as tourists.