Home Page

Column 349

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 21 December 1989


Power Stations

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether West Burton, Rugeley, Staythorpe and Aberthow power stations are to be transferred from National Power to PowerGen.

Mr. Wakeham : The Government do not intend to reopen the existing non-nuclear split of assets between National Power and PowerGen.

Arts and Design

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

Mr. Wakeham : My Department has made no expenditure on the arts during the last financial year. However, my Department has commissioned original design and artwork for publications, exhibitions and advertisements. The amount spent on this work cannot be separately identified.


Capital Allocations

Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he provide estimates showing for each financial year from 1978- 79 to 1989-90 the capital spending allocations for (a) local education authorities and (b) voluntary aided and special schools.

Mr. Alan Howarth : Total capital allocations for LEAs, which may be topped up from capital receipts and other sources, from 1981-82 to 1989-90 were as follows, together with figures for actual gross expenditure financed by allocations, capital receipts, and other sources.

            |£ million  |£ million              




1981-82     |355        |406.1                  

1982-83     |338        |456.1                  

1983-84     |295        |469.2                  

1984-85     |300        |501.2                  

1985-86     |315        |530.2                  

1986-87     |297        |574.9                  

1987-88     |306        |592.8                  

1988-89     |387        |702.0                  

1989-90     |352        |n/a                    

Details of initial allocations to individual LEAs for these years were provided in the reply given to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) by my right hon. Friend on 7 November 1989, at columns 588-636, and gave the

Column 350

information requested in respect of local education authorities from 1981-82 to 1989-90. Comparable information is not available prior to 1981-82, as local education authorities did not receive block allocations, but were notified annually in the context of a rolling programme of the limit of the value of building starts in the following year.

Payments of grants to voluntary aided and special agreement schools for capital expenditure were as follows :

          |£ million          


1978-79   |16.4               

1979-80   |20.3               

1980-81   |22.1               

1981-82   |24.0               

1982-83   |26.1               

1983-84   |22.4               

1984-85   |29.1               

1985-86   |36.5               

1986-87   |31.8               

1987-88   |37.2               

1988-89   |50.4               

1989-90   |65.3               


1. Grant represents 85 per    

cent. of gross expenditure,   

15 per cent. of which is met  

by governing bodies.          

2. Capital grant figures for  

1978-79 to 1981-82 are not    

separately identified from a  

single building grant figure  

which included repairs and    

maintenance. The capital      

figures shown for this period 

are based on an apportionment 

of the building grant figure  

using the average ratio       

between capital and repairs   

during 1982-83 and 1985-86.   

Children (HIV)

Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidelines have been issued to local education authorities about the admission to schools of children who are HIV positive.

Mr. Alan Howarth : Bulk copies of the booklet "Children at School and Problems Related to AIDS" were issued to all chief education officers in England and Wales in June 1986, sufficient in number for copies to be sent to all maintained schools. The booklet advises that the fact of HIV infection should not be a factor taken into account by LEAs, governing bodies or headteachers in discharging their duties concerning school admissions, transfer and attendance, or exclusion from school. The booklet also provides guidance on safety measures to be taken by schools to avoid any risk of transmission of HIV infection. There are no known cases in the United Kingdom of transmission of HIV infection in the school setting.

Arts and Design

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

Mrs. Rumbold : In 1988-89 the Department made direct grants totalling some £15.7 million to individual bodies primarily concerned with the arts and design education. In addition, central grants to universities and other directly funded institutions of higher education were used to cover expenditure on arts and design education. However, information on the amounts involved is not held centrally.

Column 351

Religious Education

Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent local education authorities in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland have complied with the requirement to establish statutory advisory councils on religious education.

Mrs. Rumbold : I understand that all local education authorities in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland have established standing advisory councils on religious education.

Research Equipment (Survey)

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he will be publishing the ABRC survey of academic research equipment.

Mr. Jackson : I understand that the ABRC will be publishing the report of this survey very shortly.

Teacher Shortages

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secreatry of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the likely level of teacher shortages in January 1990.

Mr. MacGregor : The Department carries out a survey of teacher vacancies in January each year. I will report the results in the usual way.

Teacher Vacancies

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he makes of the number of teacher vacancies in schools at 31 October or the latest available date.

Mr MacGregor : The most recent comprehensive survey of teacher vacancies was conducted by my Department in January 1989. Numbers of vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in maintained schools in England are given in the table.

Full-time permament teacher vacancies in maintained nursery,                              

primary and secondary schools-England, January 1989                                       

Local Education               |Number of          |As a percentage of                     

   Authority/Region           |vacancies          |teachers in post                       


Gateshead                     |31                 |1.8                                    

Newcastle upon Tyne           |50                 |2.3                                    

North Tyneside                |0                  |0.0                                    

South Tyneside                |0                  |0.0                                    

Sunderland                    |13                 |0.5                                    

Cleveland                     |12                 |0.2                                    

Cumbria                       |22                 |0.6                                    

Durham                        |15                 |0.3                                    

Northumberland                |11                 |0.4                                    

                              |---                |---                                    

North                         |154                |0.6                                    


Barnsley                      |5                  |0.3                                    

Doncaster                     |22                 |0.8                                    

Rotherham                     |32                 |1.4                                    

Sheffield                     |12                 |0.3                                    

Bradford                      |28                 |0.6                                    

Calderdale                    |20                 |1.2                                    

Kirklees                      |30                 |0.9                                    

Leeds                         |61                 |1.0                                    

Wakefield                     |70                 |2.6                                    

Humberside                    |29                 |0.4                                    

North Yorks                   |46                 |0.9                                    

York and Humberside           |355                |0.9                                    


Knowsley                      |10                 |0.6                                    

Liverpool                     |20                 |0.4                                    

St. Helens                    |9                  |0.5                                    

Sefton                        |3                  |0.1                                    

Wirral                        |19                 |0.7                                    

Bolton                        |11                 |0.5                                    

Bury                          |14                 |1.0                                    

Manchester                    |55                 |1.4                                    

Oldham                        |7                  |0.3                                    

Rochdale                      |33                 |1.7                                    

Salford                       |58                 |2.8                                    

Stockport                     |14                 |0.6                                    

Tameside                      |38                 |2.1                                    

Trafford                      |9                  |0.6                                    

Wigan                         |9                  |0.3                                    

Cheshire                      |24                 |0.3                                    

Lancashire                    |193                |1.8                                    

                              |---                |---                                    

North West                    |526                |1.0                                    

Derbyshire                    |76                 |1.0                                    

Leicestershire                |44                 |0.6                                    

Lincolnshire                  |52                 |1.2                                    

Northamptonshire              |10                 |0.2                                    

Nottinghamshire               |108                |1.3                                    

                              |---                |---                                    

East Midlands                 |290                |0.9                                    


Birmingham                    |188                |2.2                                    

Coventry                      |24                 |0.9                                    

Dudley                        |48                 |1.9                                    

Sandwell                      |25                 |0.9                                    

Solihull                      |27                 |1.6                                    

Walsall                       |4                  |0.2                                    

Wolverhampton                 |24                 |1.0                                    

Hereford and Worcester        |50                 |1.0                                    

Shropshire                    |13                 |0.4                                    

Staffordshire                 |50                 |0.6                                    

Warwickshire                  |31                 |0.8                                    

                              |---                |---                                    

West Midlands                 |484                |1.1                                    


Cambridgeshire                |39                 |0.8                                    

Norfolk                       |31                 |0.6                                    

Suffolk                       |36                 |0.8                                    

                              |---                |---                                    

East Anglia                   |106                |0.7                                    


Barking                       |51                 |4.0                                    

Barnet                        |85                 |3.9                                    

Bexley                        |31                 |1.9                                    

Brent                         |32                 |1.6                                    

Bromley                       |10                 |0.6                                    

Croydon                       |39                 |1.7                                    

Ealing                        |116                |5.5                                    

Enfield                       |72                 |3.6                                    

Haringey                      |128                |8.5                                    

Harrow                        |16                 |1.2                                    

Havering                      |51                 |2.7                                    

Hillingdon                    |58                 |3.5                                    

Hounslow                      |24                 |1.5                                    

Kingston                      |9                  |0.9                                    

Merton                        |47                 |4.1                                    

Newham                        |194                |8.2                                    

Redbridge                     |36                 |2.3                                    

Richmond                      |1                  |0.1                                    

Sutton                        |21                 |1.9                                    

Waltham Forest                |75                 |4.2                                    

ILEA                          |1,028              |6.5                                    

                              |---                |---                                    

South East and Greater London |2,124              |4.3                                    

Bedfordshire                  |117                |2.8                                    

Berkshire                     |91                 |1.7                                    

Buckinghamshire               |73                 |1.6                                    

East Sussex                   |74                 |1.9                                    

Essex                         |123                |1.1                                    

Hampshire                     |134                |1.3                                    

Hertfordshire                 |109                |1.4                                    

Isle of Wight                 |0                  |0.0                                    

Kent                          |224                |2.1                                    

Oxfordshire                   |9                  |0.3                                    

Surrey                        |131                |2.2                                    

West Sussex                   |74                 |1.7                                    

                              |-------            |-------                                

Other South East              |1,159              |1.6                                    


Avon                          |21                 |0.3                                    

Cornwall                      |47                 |1.4                                    

Devon                         |122                |1.9                                    

Dorset                        |11                 |0.3                                    

Gloucestershire               |0                  |0.0                                    

Somerset                      |73                 |2.4                                    

Wiltshire                     |68                 |1.7                                    

                              |-------            |-------                                

South West                    |342                |1.1                                    

                              |-------            |-------                                

Total England                 |5,540              |1.5                                    

Greenhouse Effect

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list all projects funded by (a) the European Community and (b) Her Majesty's Government regarding global climate changes and all the environmental factors associated with the greenhouse effect.

Mr. Jackson [holding answer 13 December 1989] : The provision of information in respect of projects funded by both the European Community and Her Majesty's Government is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. Details of work relevant to global climate change undertaken by the research councils are as follows :

Natural Environment Research Council :

Application of weather radar to the alleviation of climatic hazards.

Development of deep ocean pH instrument.

Contribution to the world ocean circulation experiment. Fine resolution Antarctic modelling.

Biogeochemical ocean flux study.

Automatic submersible development programme.

North sea project.

Marine laboratories programme.

Atmospheric sciences programme.

United Kingdom universities global atmospheric model-ling programme.


BGS data collection for climatology.

Pattern and change in Antarctic physical environment.

Geological evolution of west Antarctica.

Dynamics of the Antarctica terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem. Structure and dynamics of the South ocean ecosystem.

Terrestrial and freshwater science programmes and support of research in universities and higher education institutions. Agricultural and Food Research Council :

The absorbtion or release of carbon dioxide by plants in photosynthesis and respiration and the effects of carbon dioxide on growth, production and development.

The fate of nitrogen in plants and soil and the release of gases such as nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.

Predictive mathematical modelling of the response of plants and plant communities to the interacting effects of carbon dioxide, light, photoperiod, temperature, desiccation, water logging, pH and nutrition.

Column 354

Effects of temperature of growth and development and the tolerance to extremes.

Plant water relations and adaption to water shortage.

The effects of changing environmental factors on pests and diseases.

A significant part of the AFRC programme, especially in the plants and environment research area, bears on environmental aspects. Science and Engineering Research Council :

The stratospheric and mesospheric sounder (SAMS) instrument for the NASA Nimbus 7 satellite.

The improved stratospheric and mesospheric sounder (ISAMS) and the microwave limb sounder (MLS) instruments for the NASA upper atmosphere research satellite.

The along track radiometer (ATSR) instrument for the ESA earth resources satellite (ERS-1).

The geophysical data facility at the Rutherford Appleton laboratory.

A mesosphere-stratosphere-troposphere (MST) radar facility is being constructed by University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

In addition, SERC supports some research on chemical reactions relevant to the atmosphere, on improved combustion processes, on renewable energy sources, on the effects of environmental changes on civil engineering structures, projects on lower atmosphere and climate research and provides supporting computer facilities. In addition to the specific projects listed, other work of the councils has a relevance to factors associated with the greenhouse effect.

Student Maintenance Award

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what was the average level of net student maintenance award and parental contribution for each year since 1979, at 1990-91 prices.

(2) if he will give figures for the levels of student maintenance award, loan and parental contribution for students with average levels of maintenance award and parental contribution, at 1990-91 prices, from 1989- 90 to 2007-8.

Mr. Jackson [holding answer 18 December 1989] : The table shows average grant (including average supplementary allowances), contribution (including any contribution assessed against a spouse's or the student's own income), and, for the relevant years, loan, in constant 1990 prices. The figures take into account the recently announced main rates of student grant for 1990-91, and assume an inflation rate of 3 per cent. per annum from that year onwards.

Academic      |Average      |Average      |Average      |Total                      

year          |main         |contribu-    |loan         |average                    

              |tenance      |tions<1><2>                |resources                  



1979-80       |2,133        |548          |-            |2,681                      

1980-81       |2,137        |533          |-            |2,660                      

1981-82       |2,007        |588          |-            |2,595                      

1982-83       |1,906        |645          |-            |2,551                      

1983-84       |1,857        |647          |-            |2,504                      

1984-85       |1,684        |838          |-            |2,522                      

1985-86       |1,505        |972          |-            |2,477                      

1986-87       |1,515        |963          |-            |2,478                      

1987-88       |1,488        |1,008        |-            |2,496                      

1988-89       |1,463        |990          |-            |2,453                      

1989-90       |1,448        |974          |-            |2,422                      

1990-91       |1,462        |972          |420          |2,854                      

1991-92       |1,419        |941          |494          |2,854                      

1992-93       |1,381        |913          |559          |2,854                      

1993-94       |1,344        |886          |623          |2,854                      

1994-95       |1,309        |860          |685          |2,854                      

1995-96       |1,274        |835          |745          |2,854                      

1996-97       |1,240        |811          |803          |2,854                      

1997-98       |1,207        |787          |859          |2,854                      

1998-99       |1,176        |764          |914          |2,854                      

1999-2000     |1,145        |741          |968          |2,854                      

2000-01       |1,115        |720          |1,019        |2,854                      

2001-02       |1,086        |698          |1,070        |2,854                      

2002-03       |1,057        |678          |1,118        |2,854                      

2003-04       |1,030        |658          |1,166        |2,854                      

2004-05       |1,003        |639          |1,212        |3,854                      

2005-06       |977          |620          |1,256        |2,854                      

2006-07       |952          |602          |1,300        |2,854                      

2007-08       |928          |584          |1,342        |2,854                      

2008-09<3>    |900          |571          |1,383        |2,854                      

Notes: <1>Figures for 1987-88 and previous years are outturn recorded by local      

authorities; for 1988-89 estimated; and for 1990-91 and later years compatible with 

the latest government spending plans.                                               

<2>Assuming a cash freeze on maintenance grant rates and average contributions from 

1990; and average total resources constant in real terms from 1990, at an annual    

inflation rate of 3 per cent.                                                       

<3>If supplementary allowances are excluded the sum of the remaining maintenance    

element and contribution equals the average loan by 2008-09.                        


Estate of Mr. Freddie Andrews

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made to date by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in their investigations into the handling of the estate of Mr. Freddie Andrews (1976 No. 516) ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Cope : The Chief Constable has informed me that the RUC fraud section has carried out a thorough investigation of this complex matter. As a result one person was prosecuted and convicted for theft and deception. Any further information which may come to light will be carefully examined.

Food Safety

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received concerning difficulties experienced by public health officers in enforcing existing regulations in relation to the display and sale of cooked and uncooked meats in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Needham : The Department of Health and Social Services has from time to time received representations from organisations representing enforcement interests about difficulties in enforcing these regulations. Similar representations have been received on the Government's recently published proposals for amending the existing law on food hygiene matters generally.

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he proposes to strengthen the legislation governing the recommendations relating to hygiene regulations applying to the display and sale of cooked and uncooked meats in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Needham : As part of a United Kingdom exercise, the Department of Health and Social Services recently completed consultations with interested parties on proposals for new legislation to tighten food hygiene law

Column 356

generally. Comments are now being considered and the Government intend that new regulations should be made as soon as practicable.


Mr. A. Cecil Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the cost to date of the Stevens inquiry into the Royal Ulster Constabulary and security ; and when the inquiry will be in a position to make its findings available.

Mr. Cope : Precise costs for the investigations now being conducted by the deputy chief constable of Cambridgeshire, Mr. John Stevens, and his inquiry team are not yet available. However, it is estimated that they will be in the region of £100,000 to £125,000 per month, for the duration of the inquiry team's secondment to Northern Ireland.

I understand that Mr. Stevens hopes to be able to report to the Chief Constable early in the new year.

Anglo-Irish Agreement

Rev. Ian Paisley : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the expenditure of operating the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the running of the conference and the operation of the secretariat in Maryfield, Belfast, in 1989 ; and what was the comparable expenditure for previous years.

Mr. Brooke [holding answer 18 December 1989] : Details of expenditure are available only on a financial year basis. Between 1 April 1989 and 31 October 1989 identified expenditure by the British Government in holding meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and operating the secretariat amounted to £529,000. Comparable expenditure in previous years is as follows : Expenditure by the Irish Government on conferences and the secretariat is a matter for them.

          |£ million          


1985-86   |<1>0.53            

1986-87   |<1>1.09            

1987-88   |<1>0.96            

1988-89   |0.93               

<1> Includes estimated        

expenditure on additional     



Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list by category the number of (a) yachts, (b) fishing boats, (c) pleasure boats and (d) other sea-going vessels registered at Portrush, Ballycastle, Bangor, Ardglass, Donaghadee and Portstewart harbours.

Mr. Major [holding answer 18 December 1989] : I have been asked to reply.

I regret that this information is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


London Assessment Studies

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is the estimate of the number of homes likely to be lost as a result of the decisions relating to stage 2B report of the London assessment studies ;

Column 357

(2) what levels of public transport fares increases and fuel cost increases were assumed in assessing the options in the London assessment studies ;

(3) what would be the estimated cost of implementation of each of the preferred options for each of the London assessment studies.

Mr. Atkins : The consultants assumed that public transport fares would rise in line with expected growth in gross domestic product, and that fuel costs would rise midway between the Department of Transport's high and low forecast. Forecast increases for the period from 1986 until 2001 are 46.3 per cent. and 13.7 per cent., respectively.

Information on the cost and effects of the consultants' options is set out in their stage two reports, which have been placed in the Library.

Learner Drivers

Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list those European Community countries in which it is unlawful to give private driving tuition to learner drivers ;

(2) what studies have been undertaken by his Department of the practices employed in other European Community countries in the supervision of learner drivers.

Mr. Atkins : The Department is a member of the Commission Internationale Des Examens de Conduite Automobile (CIECA) which exists to exchange information and experience about driver testing and training throughout Europe. We are participating in its latest update of national requirements. The value of these requirements needs to be assessed in the context of the accident records and problems of the countries concerned. CIECA data at present available indicate that Denmark, West Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal do not allow learners to obtain practical driving experience other than through paid professional tuition.

Aircraft Safety

Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he intends to implement the aircraft safety recommendations set out in the Civil Aviation Authority's report on aircraft evacuations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. McLoughlin : The Civil Aviation Authority has the statutory responsibility for regulating safety in civil aviation. Consequently it is for the CAA to consider the results of the Cranfield trials, which were commissioned, funded and published by the CAA.

British Rail (Investment)

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward an amendment to the Railways Act 1968 to permit British Rail to invest speculatively ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo : British Rail's duties and powers, which are defined mainly by the Transport Act 1962, enable British Rail to carry out any investment required for the purpose of its business. If my hon. Friend has a particular point in mind, I should be grateful if he would write to me.

Column 358

Penalty Points

Mr. Waller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will report the results of the monitoring by his Department of the effects of the Penalty Points (Alteration) Order 1988 ;

(2) what consultation he has had with the Magistrates Association concerning the effects of the Penalty Points (Alteration) Order 1988.

Mr. Atkins : We have invited the Magistrates Association to participate in monitoring the effects of the penalty points alterations which came into force on 1 March this year. No problems have been drawn to our attention so far.

Traffic Area Organisation

Mr. Prescott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he has taken on the Palmer report on traffic area organisation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Parkinson : A number of interested organisations were invited to comment on the recommendations contained in the Palmer report. These are being considered. I expect to reach decisions on the main recommendations early in the new year.

Gatwick Airport

Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to when the TNA security equipment being installed at Gatwick airport will become operational.

Mr. McLoughlin : The machine, which will be only the third of six production machines to be installed, will be loaned by the FAA for a 12- month trial and evaluation in a United Kingdom airport. We are in close touch with the FAA and Gatwick Airport Ltd. about the arrangements for its installation and operation. Many questions have had to be resolved and other agencies have had to be consulted. Negotiations and consultations are nearing completion. Before the machine can be delivered modifications requested by Gatwick Airport Ltd. will need to be completed by the American manufacturer. It will not become operational as part of the national aviation security programme until initial tests have been satisfactorily carried out.

Lowlands Airports Policy

Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce his decision on the Scottish lowland airports policy review.

Mr. McLoughlin : My right hon. Friend expects to be in a position to announce his decision in the new year.

British Rail

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss the disposal of British Rail land in Nottingham ;

(2) what rate of return he requires from British Rail on the sale of derelict land holdings ;

(3) what rules apply to the sale of British Rail land and the putting out to tender of such land.

Column 359

Mr. Portillo : The disposal of British Rail land is the responsibility of the British Rail Property Board (BRPB). The board's objectives require it to manage its operational property in accordance with best commercial practice, and to identify and divest itself of all underused or surplus land and property as rapidly as possible, at a proper commercial price.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss the electrification of the midlands main line.

Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend meets the chairman of British Rail regularly. We welcome worthwhile proposals for electrification schemes. I understand that British Rail has no plans to electrify the midland main lines at present.

Next Section

  Home Page