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Mr. Maclean : The Government are taking steps to permit the use of food irradiation as one additional measure in the comprehensive range of policies aimed at protecting public health through enhancing the safety of food. On obtaining the necessary powers, the Government would propose to introduce a licensing system with official monitoring by qualified inspectors. Comprehensive labelling provisions are also proposed that would leave consumers free to decide for themselves whether they wish to choose foods whose safety is protected by this process.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has of the cost of the distribution of (a) welfare milk and (b) milk supplied to customers in general ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what United Kingdom regulations govern the declaration by manufacturers and wholesalers of ingredients on the labels of compound animal feedstuffs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : At present manufacturers of feedingstuffs must give detailed nutritional information such as protein, oil and fibre content and guarantee the safety of the finished feed. Manufacturers may also voluntarily declare the ingredients used. However, an amendment to the relevant EC directive was agreed at the Agriculture Council on 22 January, which will make it obligatory for ingredients to be shown in descending order of importance or in categories of similar ingredients.
Column 497Mr. Curry : It is not possible to pasteurise an egg.
Pasteurisation is applied in egg-processing plants to broken-out bulk liquid egg. Only a moderate heat treatment can be applied during the process, otherwise the functional properties of the liquid egg are destroyed. The risk of contamination remaining at the end of the process depends on the degree of contamination of the raw product prior to pasteurisation. This is why processing plants cannot accept raw product which is likely to be heavily contaminated.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 2 February 1990] : My statutory responsibilities in relation to food poisoning are set out in the Food Act 1984, the Animal Health Act 1981 and the Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Since 1965, approximately 125 significant road bridges have been built from public funds in the Highlands and Islands. If the hon. Member would care to identify the type of bridge which interests him I should be pleased to provide him with a list.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the prospective designers and operators of a Skye toll bridge have so far been required to consult any environmental bodies before submitting plans and costs.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Skye bridge working group has already consulted the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland (RFACS) and is in touch also with the Countryside Commission for Scotland, the Nature Conservancy Council and the National Trust for Scotland. The views of these bodies will be conveyed to the three tenderers once they have been selected. The tenderers will be required to provide an environmental impact statement for each of their designs and, as usual, to give RFACS an opportunity to comment on their detailed designs before their tenders are formally submitted to the Scottish Development Department.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the policy of his Department on the provision of future fixed link improvements in communications infrastructure being provided (a) from public funds and (b) by the private sector.
Column 498network in Scotland, and plan to increase public expenditure on new construction during 1990-91 by some 25 per cent. over the current year. As indicated in "New Roads by New Means", the financing of roads is no longer a matter solely for Government, however, and there will from time to time be ad hoc opportunities for privately financed schemes. The Scottish Development Department is willing to discuss with the private sector any such schemes which are brought forward.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Tayside on progress on the criminal investigations arising out of alleged irregularities in the running of the Labour clubs in Ardler, Menzieshill and Whitfield, Dundee, commenced in November 1987 ; and if he will make a statement.
The procurator fiscal at Dundee has reported regularly to Crown counsel on the progress of investigations by him and Tayside police. Given that inquiries are not yet concluded it would not be appropriate for further details to be given at this time.
Doctors |9,839 |<1>10,833 Nurses |66,339 |<2>75,213 <1>As at 30 September 1988. <2>Provisional, as at 30 September 1989.
Farm units with 1,000 or more breeding ewes June 1989
Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the community charge table for each district council and regional council for 1989, and what it would have been if it had been uprated in line with inflation for the 1990-91 year.
|£ |£ Borders |205.00 |220.79 Berwickshire |31.00 |33.39 Ettrick and Lauderdale |42.00 |45.23 Roxburgh |42.00 |45.23 Tweeddale |43.00 |46.31 Central |213.00 |229.40 Clackmannan |87.00 |93.70 Falkirk |46.00 |49.54 Stirling |97.00 |104.47 Dumfries and Galloway |206.50 |222.40 Annandale and Eskdale |47.00 |50.62 Nithsdale |39.00 |42.00 Stewartry |37.00 |39.85 Wigtown |40.00 |43.08 Fife |238.00 |256.33 Dunfermline |55.00 |58.24 Kirkcaldy |60.00 |64.62 North East Fife |82.00 |88.31 Grampian |219.00 |235.86 Aberdeen City |85.00 |91.55 Banff and Buchan |56.70 |61.07 Gordon |44.00 |47.39 Kincardine and Deeside |32.00 |34.46 Moray |42.00 |45.23 Highland |200.00 |215.40 Badenoch and Strathspey |35.00 |37.70 Caithness |25.00 |26.93 Inverness |26.00 |28.00 Lochaber |37.00 |39.85 Nairn |28.00 |30.16 Ross and Cromarty |39.00 |42.00 Skye and Lochalsh |25.00 |26.93 Sutherland |6.00 |6.46 Lothian |305.00 |328.49 East Lothian |69.00 |74.31 Edinburgh City |87.00 |93.70 Midlothian |59.00 |63.54 West Lothian |54.00 |58.16
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Until details of local authorities' budgets are available it is not possible to estimate what proportion of their expenditure in 1990-91 is to be met by community charge payers. The proportion indicated in budget returns for the current year is 21 per cent.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has made an estimate of the increase in central Government subsidy to housing benefit caused by private landlords who have failed to reduce their rents following the replacement of rates by the poll tax.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will cause a study to be carried out on the number and proportion of private landlords who have not reduced rents following the abolition of rates ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Effective remedies are available to regulated tenants and assured tenants who believe their landlords are continuing to include an element for domestic rates in their rental charge. A study on the lines suggested would serve no useful purpose.
Column 501Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The number of agricultural holdings classified as less favoured within the constituency of East Kilbride is estimated to be 247. The figure is, however, approximate since parish boundaries (on which records of holdings are based) do not necessarily coincide exactly with constituency boundaries.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the name of the accountants instructed by the chief executive of the Scottish Health Service to examine the accounting methods of Lothian health board referred to in his reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central on 31 January.
(2) pursuant to his answer of 18 December 1989, whether he will now say how many students are and will be enrolled at each of the Scottish grant-aided colleges in the years 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Mr. Lang : As I stated in my written answer of 18 December 1989, Official Report, columns 50-51, projected student numbers will be set out in the Scottish commentary on public expenditure to 1992-93, which will be published shortly.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the three-year running cost settlements that have been provided for each of the Scottish grant-aided colleges ; and how much extra money has been provided through fee income and for extra student numbers.
Mr. Lang : I shall announce allocations of grant-in-aid for 1990-91 shortly and provide colleges with provisional grant allocation figures for the following two years in due course. The colleges' tuition fee income will depend on the numbers of students enrolled and the levels of fee they charge.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what were (a) the academic staff numbers and (b) the student numbers in each of the Scottish grant-aided colleges in each of the last five years.
<1>Staff and student figures are expressed as full-time equivalents. <2>The staff figures represent the approved complements. <3>Excludes the Off-shore Survival Centre and the Off-shore Health Centre. <4>Excludes the Business Development Centre. <5>Napier Polytechnic of Edinburgh and Glasgow College of Technology joined the Central Institution sector on 1 September 1985. <6>Excludes the Non-Destructive Testing Centre. <7>Leith Nautical College transferred to the local authority sector with effect from 1 August 1987. <8>Merged to form Northern College of Education on 1 April 1987. <9>Merged with Moray House College of Education on 1 April 1987.
<1> Represents spending over 9 month period due to change in financial year. <2> Figures include grant allocated under the switch to technology programme. <3> Napier Polytechnic of Edinburgh and Glasgow College of Technology became central institutions on 1 September 1985. <4> Leith Nautical College transferred to the local authority sector. <5> College dissolved on 15 September 1981. <6> Merged to form St. Andrew's College of Education on 15 September 1981. <7> Includes funding for Jordanhill College School until 31 March 1987. <8> Merged to form Northern College of Education on 1 April 1987. <9> Merged with Moray House College of Education on 1 April 1987.
Mr. Lang : I expect the overall student : staff ratio in the grant- aided colleges to reach 11.5 : 1 in session 1989-90. For the future I envisage that staff and student numbers will be a matter for the colleges themselves in keeping with their responsibility for achieving the best use of the resources available to them.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much he has budgeted for ballots, the preparation of formal proposals for self-governing status, and transitional and special purpose grants for schools which may become self-governing in 1990-91.
Column 505(2) whether any money was budgeted and spent on technology academies prior to 1987-88.
Mr. Lang : No provision for expenditure on technology academies was made in either 1987-88 or 1988-89. There is provision of £4.25 million for this purpose in the Estimates for the current financial year.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) pursuant to his answer of 14 December 1989, Official Report, column 808, whether he will now say by how much his education budget will increase in cash and percentage terms in the years 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93, excluding the costs of student maintenance ; (2) pursuant to his answer of 14 December 1989, Official Report, column 808, whether he will now say how much money will be spent on student grants in Scotland in 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 ;
(3) pursuant to his answer of 14 December 1989, Official Report, column 808, whether he will now say how much money will be spent on student loans in Scotland in 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 ; (4) pursuant to his answer of 18 December 1989, Official Report, column 53, if he can now say what his spending plans are for the postgraduate student allowance scheme for the years until 1992-93.
Mr. Lang : As stated in the answers I gave the hon. Member on 14 December 1989 at column 808 and 19 December at column 149, my detailed expenditure plans will be set out in the Scottish commentary on public expenditure to 1992-93 which will be published shortly.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : This information is not held centrally. A water authority (regional or islands council) would disconnect a domestic household's supply only for operational reasons. These would include repairing leaks, making connections and lining pipes.
Mr. Watson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will act to ensure that Greater Glasgow health board does not proceed with its plans to close Charing Cross clinic which provides a comprehensive range of alcohol and drug recovery services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The level and pattern of services to be provided for people with alcohol and drug problems is primarily a matter for health boards to determine in consultation with local authorities and the voluntary sector and in the light of their assessment of local needs and circumstances.
I understand that Greater Glasgow health board has issued a consultative document proposing the closure of Charing Cross clinic and relocation of the services provided there. The board will be considering the responses it receives to the consultation document. Thereafter, if the board wishes to proceed with the closure of the clinic, the approval of my right hon. and learned Friend will be required.
Mr. McKelvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland why the Government's expenditure plans, Cm 1015, include no reference to the £100 million road programme for the upgrading of Ayshire roads which he announced in July 1989.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure that Scottish Power and Hydro-Electric enter into contracts with Scottish Nuclear Ltd. for the sale of nuclear electricity in Scotland.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is (a) the total waiting list, (b) the longest time any patient had to wait and (c) the numbers waiting by number of months' wait for the ear, nose and throat department at the Inverclyde royal hospital over the last four years for which figures are available.
(a) In-patient waiting list at 31 March. 1986 |358 1987 |462 1988 |<1>253 1989 |<1>245
(b) Waiting time for those discharged during the year. 1985 |46.5|3.4 1986 |36.8|2.8 1987 |54.4|3.4 1988 |55.5|3.4
|Number |Number under 3 months |104 |141 3 and under 6 months |50 |33 6 and under 9 months |38 |16 9 and under 12 months |25 |26
Mr. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what is the projected shortfall in the finances of Lothian health board for the current financial year ; and if he will take any steps to supplement the board's finances in order to ensure the continuing provision of patient care ;
(2) what are the terms of reference of the review that Mr. Don Cruickshank is to conduct into the financial crisis of Lothian health board ; when he expects that review to be completed ; and if he will publish Mr. Cruickshank's report.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 26 January 1990] : Lothian health board has indicated that its expenditure in 1989-90 will exceed its revenue allocation by some £9 million. However, the interests of patient care remain paramount and there is no question of crisis closures, or reductions in patient services as a result of the current financial difficulties.
An independent review initiated by the chief executive, NHS in Scotland has examined the board's financial management of its affairs.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any plans for legislation concerning the control of dangerous animals, whether kept as domestic pets, or for guarding of premises.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 2 February 1990] : My right hon. and learned Friend has no such plans at present. There is already a considerable body of relevant legislation, including the Guard Dogs Act 1975, the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and certain provisions relating to dangerous and annoying creatures in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which is currently under review. Most recently the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989 significantly enhanced the powers of the courts to deal with dog owners who fail to exercise proper control over their animals. These provisions, together with the judicious use of byelaws as advocated in our consultation paper, "Action on Dogs", offer considerable scope for more effective control of dangerous animals.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any plans to reform the organisation of Scottish courts to ensure that cases are no longer abandoned because of delays in convening a trial.
Column 508indicates that less than 0.5 per cent. of all cases reported to procurators fiscal are not proceeded with due to court delays, predominately minor cases in the district courts.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 2 February 1990] : The Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris) was added to schedule 5 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 under the Variation of Schedules Order 1988. It is an offence intentionally to kill, injure or take any wild animal included in the schedule. Following an increase in recent years, the numbers of wildcats have stabilised.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish the number of cases requiring the services of the procurator fiscal coming before (a) the sheriff and district courts at Rothesay for the 12 months prior to 30 September 1988 and (b) the sheriff courts at Dunoon and Rothesay and the district courts at Dunoon, Rothesay and Inveraray for (i) the year ended 31 December 1988 and (ii) the year ended 31 December 1989.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in the Official Report those highway authorities to which supplementary credit approval has been allocated for 1990-91, together with the size of the approvals and the purpose for which they are intended.
Supplementary credit approvals in 1990-91
"IDA" means road schemes qualifying for grant under Section 13 of the Industrial Development Act 1982.
Mr. Atkins : Decisions on bus lanes in London are primarily for London boroughs. Departmental advice published in circular 2/87 "Traffic Management Guidance in London", is that buses be given priority where benefits to passengers exceed the costs to other traffic. We are reviewing currently requirements for the signing of bus lanes and technical advice on implementation of bus priority measures more generally.
Mr. Portillo : These data are not available. However, local bus mileage outside London increased by 18 per cent. between 1985-86 and 1988- 89, with 84 per cent. of the 1988-89 mileage being operated on a commercial basis.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many sexual attacks have occurred on London Transport vehicles in each of the past three years ; what action he is taking to stop these attacks ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : The number of reported "sexual offences" on London Underground trains and stations in 1987, 1988 and 1989 were 334, 451 and 632 respectively. Figures for crimes on trains are not recorded separately. The category "sexual offences" covers a range of incidents from indecent exposure to rape. The British Transport police are now targeting this type of crime and detection rates have increased by 94 per cent. since 1988. In addition, a programme of passenger security measures is being introduced on the Underground, financed by £15 million Government grant. Crime against passengers on London buses is dealt with by the Metropolitan police and London Regional Transport does not maintain a central statistical record of such incidents. There has been no serious crime reported on the Docklands light railway since it opened in 1987.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had about the co-ordination of entry clearance for individuals and luggage with the transport arrangements for travellers on the proposed Channel tunnel.
Mr. Portillo : For travellers on Eurotunnel shuttle trains, the concession agreement specifies juxtaposed frontier controls. All the formalities of both countries will be carried out at the terminal of departure.
For BR/SNCF trains going beyond London, the Channel Tunnel Act specifies on -train controls provided that satisfactory arrangements are made to provide facilities for the control authorities. Discussions between the frontier control authorities, Eurotunnel and British Rail about the detailed arrangements appropriate to the Channel tunnel in these two cases are continuing.
For international trains to London, discussions between BR and the control authorities are under way and an announcement is expected shortly.