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Simultaneous Translations

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all meetings between his Department and outside bodies at which simultaneous translation has been used, indicating the language used, since January 1989.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : There are numerous such meetings, but the Department holds no central record of such meetings.

Appointments

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list (a) the organisations to which he has the right to make appointments and (b) the appointments to public bodies and other organisations made by him and his predecessor since 1979.


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Mr. Peter Walker : (a) The organisations to which I have the sole responsibility for making one or a majority of ministerial appointments are listed in the table :

Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales

Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committee Panel of Chairmen--Wales

Agricultural Valuation Committee (Wales)

Agricultural Wages Committee

All Wales Advisory Panel on the Development of Services for People with Mental Handicaps

Ancient Monuments Board for Wales

Cardiff Bay Development Corporation

Committee on Opportunities for Volunteering

Committee for the Welsh Scheme for the Development of Health and Social Research

Community Health Councils

Court and Council of the National Library of Wales

Court and Council of the National Museum of Wales

Curriculum Council for Wales

Development Board for Rural Wales

District Health Authorities

Family Practitioner Committees

Forestry Commission Reference Committee Panel--Wales

Health Policy Board

Health Promotion Authority for Wales

Historic Buildings Council for Wales

Housing for Wales

Land Authority for Wales

Library and Information Services Council (Wales)

Local Government Boundary Commission

National Parks Committees

Place Names Advisory Committee

Rent Assessment Panel

Saundersfoot Harbour Commission

South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee

Sports Council for Wales

Standing Working Group of the Wales Advisory Body for Local Authority Higher Education

Teamcare Valleys Steering Group

Training Enterprise and Education Advisory Group

Urban Investment Appraisal Panel

Wales Tourist Board

Welsh Committee for Post Graduate Pharmaceutical Education Welsh Committee on Drugs Misuse

Welsh Development Agency

Welsh Health Common Services Authority

Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board

Welsh Language Board

Welsh National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting The following organisations are those for which I have sole responsibility for a minority of ministerial appointments : Council of University Colleges, Lampeter

Court and Council of University College of Wales, Aberystwyth Court and Council of the University of Wales, Bangor

Court of the University College, Swansea

Parliamentary Boundary Commission

(b) This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Welsh Language

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the representations he has received against the Welsh Language Board's practical options for the use of Welsh in business ; (2) if he will take steps to encourage businesses located and operating in Wales to implement the Welsh Language Board's practical options for the use of Welsh in business.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Businesses in Wales will wish to consider their own response to the board's guidelines for the private sector. No formal representations have been received following their publication.


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Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the total direct expenditure by his Department in support of the Welsh language in each financial year between 1980-81 and 1989-90.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Direct Government support for the Welsh language is provided through grants for developments in bilingual education and for assistance to the Welsh language. The figures are shown in the following table :


Year       |£                  

-------------------------------

1980-81    |893,000            

1981-82    |1,611,630          

1982-83    |1,755,726          

1983-84    |2,002,136          

1984-85    |1,986,825          

1985-86    |2,421,507          

1986-87    |2,527,755          

1987-88    |2,823,188          

1988-89    |3,345,987          

<1>1989-90 |4,431,000          

<1>Provision (outturn figures  

for other years).              

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make a statement on his approach to the principle of equal validity in respect of the Welsh language ;

(2) what consultations he is undertaking with interested people and organisations on the Welsh Language Board's recommendations for legislation for the care of the Welsh language.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The Welsh Language Board has presented my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State with proposals for legislation based on the principles of equal validity. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is considering with the board the practical implications of these proposals.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that Welsh-speakers should have the right to require all public bodies to deal with them, in writing and verbally, in Welsh whenever practicable.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : This is one of the features of the Welsh Language Board's legislative proposals which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is currently considering.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether the supplement to attract students to Welsh medium initial teacher training courses has been effective ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The incentive supplement was introduced in 1988 as a two-year pilot project aimed at increasing the supply of Welsh medium teachers in the secondary sector. The supplement was available only to those students who it is thought needed extra tuition in Welsh so that they have the confidence to pursue their studies and classroom training through the medium of Welsh.

In 1988, 30 students received a supplement and 26 of these subsequently obtained teaching posts in Wales. Forty-three students received supplements in 1989.

I have concluded that the supplement appears to have been successful in encouraging Welsh-speaking graduates to pursue Welsh medium initial teacher training courses. However, in order that a more detailed evaluation of the scheme can be undertaken, I have decided that the pilot should be extended for a further two years.


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The demand for Welsh medium teaching in Wales continues to increase in both primary and secondary phases. To ensure that this demand is met, I have asked my officials to discuss with the relevant initial teacher training institutions ways in which a supplement might be provided to increase the number of students attending Welsh medium initial teacher training primary courses.

Welsh Language Board

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library copies of all correspondence between his Department and the Welsh Language Board.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : No.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) on how many occasions he has met the chairman of the Welsh Language Board to discuss the affairs of the board ;

(2) when he last held discussions with the chairman of the Welsh Language Board ; what was discussed ; on how many occasions he has met the Welsh Language Board ; and when his officials will next meet representatives of the Welsh Language Board to discuss the board's suggested legislation.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : We have had one formal meeting with the chairman of the Welsh Language Board and his board. We have discussed issues relating to the board with the chairman on numerous occasions. Welsh Office officials meet representatives of the board as and when the need arises.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he proposes to make further appointments to the Welsh Language Board to restore the board to its original size.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no immediate plans to make further appointments.

Pharmacists

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to expand the definition of pharmaceutical services in order to use the expertise of pharmacists in matters like health education, supervision of dispensing in residential homes, preventive work, and services to people in sheltered accommodation in Wales.

Mr. Grist : The Government's policy on developing the role of the community pharmacist was set out in chapter 6 of "Promoting Better Health" (Cm 249).

The majority of the measures proposed in the White Paper have now been implemented. For example, new allowances have been introduced for pharmacists who participate in schemes to provide advice to residential homes, and also for those who maintain records of medicines supplied to certain patients on long-term medication. Funds have also been made available to support the enhancement of the health educational role of the community pharmacist.

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he intends to make in Wales to cover the

responsibilities currently undertaken by the rural dispensing committee.

Mr. Grist : In line with the new management arrangements for family practitioner services, it is


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proposed that family practitioner committees will take all decisions of first instance in relation to dispensing. We shall be consulting the professions about the detailed arrangements for dealing with appeals as soon as possible.

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of the income of pharmacies (a) in Wales generally and (b) in rural areas of Wales comes from dispensing.

Mr. Grist : Pharmacies' income can be derived from a variety of sources in addition to the dispensing of NHS prescriptions. The only information held centrally refers to NHS payments. In 1988-89 pharmacies in Wales received £143 million for providing pharmaceutical services.

No separate statistics are collected centrally in respect of rural pharmacies.

Community Charge

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice has been given to employers in Wales about their responsibility for collecting cash from poll tax defaulters.

Mr. Peter Walker : Attachment of earnings is one of the remedies which is available to a charging authority that has obtained a liability order from a magistrates court in respect of a individual who has failed to pay the community charge. The attachment order served on employers will contain all the information necessary for the correct deduction to be made.

Community charge practice note No. 15, "Enforcement of the Community Charge", sets out a model form and explanatory notes which a local authority may use in correspondence with individual employers. Employers will be entitled to deduct £1 towards their administrative expenses each time an attachment is made.

Low Pay

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has commissioned research concerning new policies to lessen the incidence of low pay in (a) Clwyd, (b) Gwynedd, (c) Powys, (d) Mid Glamorgan, (e) South Glamorgan, (f) West Glamorgan, (g) Dyfed and (h) Gwent.

Mr. Peter Walker : No. Economic expansion and new investment are increasing earnings in Wales. Between 1988 and 1989 the average weekly earnings for full-time adults in Wales increased by 9.9 per cent., which was a higher increase than in six of the other nine regions of Great Britain.

Welsh College of Agriculture

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total number of students attending full-time courses at the Welsh college of agriculture, Aberystwyth, for each year since 1979.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The total number of full-time students attending courses at the Welsh college of agriculture, Aberystwyth for each year since 1979-80 is shown in the following table :


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Academic  |Number of          

year      |students           

------------------------------

1979-80   |229                

1980-81   |262                

1981-82   |288                

1982-83   |281                

1983-84   |282                

1984-85   |272                

1985-86   |276                

1986-87   |271                

1987-88   |225                

1988-89   |181                

West Wales General Hospital

Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many beds there were available for use by patients at West Wales general hospital, Glangwili, Carmarthen, at the end of each calendar month from 31 March 1989 to 31 December 1989 ; and what are the projected figures for 31 January, 28 February and 31 March 1990.

Mr. Grist : Information on bed availability is collected on a quarterly basis and the information for the first three quarters of 1989 is shown in the following table. No projections of available bed numbers are made centrally.


West Wales General hospital                     

Average daily available beds<1>                 

Quarter ending    |Number                       

------------------------------------------------

31 March 1989     |509.4                        

30 June 1989      |510.8                        

30 September 1989 |500.4                        

<1>Includes mental illness and mental handicap  

beds.                                           

General Practitioners

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many applications he has received for the creation of fund-holding general practitioner practices.

Mr. Grist : A booklet explaining the fund-holding initiative was issued to all Welsh GPs on 5 January. Included with the booklet was a form enabling practices to express interest in becoming fundholders. It is far too early to put a realistic figure on the level of potential interest from the inquiries that have come in since 5 January.

Teacher Training

Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the recruitment to teacher training courses in 1988 and 1989 in the public sector and the University of Wales colleges.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Details of teacher training students recruited in 1988 and 1989 are as follows :


                  |1988 |1989       

------------------------------------

Public sector                       

  BEd Primary     |580  |709        

  BEd Secondary   |69   |66         

  PGCE Primary    |167  |161        

  PGCE Secondary  |97   |89         

                  |---- |----       

Total             |913  |1,025      

                                    

University sector                   

PGCE Primary      |136  |206        

PGCE Secondary    |425  |447        

                  |---- |----       

Total             |561  |653        

Recruitment to courses in the public sector increased by 12 per cent. and to courses in the University of Wales by 16 per cent.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many self- employed persons have been taken into account in recalculating the unemployment percentages for each of the employment offices in Wales ; and what was the source of these figures of self-employment and the date to which they refer.

Mr. Nicholls : I have been asked to reply as the methodology used to calculate unemployment rates in the United Kingdom is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State.

The smallest areas for which unemployment rates are calculated are travel- to-work areas. Local rates calculated as a percentage of the total work force were introduced for these areas and for counties in October 1989. These calculations incorporate local allowances for the self-employed based upon census of population and labour force survey results. The latest estimates relate to June 1988 and will be updated in the light of forthcoming information. These local self-employment estimates are sufficiently reliable to be used only as a small component of the work force denominator. Estimates of the total work force for these areas are available in the Library.

TRANSPORT

A1 (Accidents)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of accidents, serious injuries and deaths, involving heavy lorries on the sections of the (a) A1(M) and (b) A1 that runs through South, West and North Yorkshire during the last five years, giving the location of such accidents ; and if he will show in his answer (i) the approximate time of the accident and (ii) what type of cargo the vehicle was carrying or equipped for.

Mr. Atkins : Not all the requested information is available. Details of cargo are not held on the road accident report form. The table below gives the number of accidents by time of day, and the number of casualties by severity :


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