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Mr. Wyn Roberts : The new criteria for the training of teachers, set out in Welsh Office circular 59/89, have been designed to ensure that students, on completion of their course, should be able to identify pupils with special educational needs or with learning difficulties ; and that they should understand the way in which the potential of such pupils can be developed.
There is provision within the local education authority training grants scheme for the training of existing teachers to enable them to offer advice to colleagues on meeting the special educational needs of children in ordinary schools. A draft Welsh Office circular will issue for consultation shortly, offering guidance on staffing for pupils with special educational needs generally.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list the representations and the subjects in each case which he has received from Nottinghamshire on matters within his responsibility up to 7 February.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance he has issued to the armed services on the status as students for community charge purposes of members of Her Majesty's forces undergoing training ; and if he will estimate numbers of (a) trainees at Her Majesty's
Column 814forces establishments and (b) members of Her Majesty's forces attending courses at institutions of further and higher education who will be classified as students for poll tax purposes.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : We have promulgated information about the classification as students of personnel on long training courses at RAF Halton, and asked other training establishments to seek such classification for other similar categories. As decisions on classification are taken by community charge registration officers on the basis of all the relevant facts, I cannot estimate how many members of Her Majesty's forces will eventually be classified as students.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : For unclassified but sensitive systems Departments are expected to follow Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) guidance covering all aspects of IT security, and the application of this has been tightened recently. CCTA advice is kept under continuous review and is based upon the analysis of security risks and requirements using structured methods such as the CCTA risk analysis and management methodology (CRAMM), which has also been made commercially available.
For classified systems more stringent conditions apply. MOD computer security staff continuously review the Department's computer security policy and its application to ensure that constant and adequate levels of protection are provided for those systems processing or holding classified material. In the interests of national security the nature and extent of the security countermeasures utilised to protect classified MOD computer systems cannot be revealed.
Mr. Neubert : Causes of theft or misappropriation in the Ministry of Defence are centrally recorded and, where appropriate, published in the losses statement attached to the appropriation accounts. In the light of analysis of individual cases, systems and procedures are changed as necessary.
Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will list the number of professionally qualified loss prevention staff employed by his Department and the qualifications held by such staff, excluding qualifications obtained during police or military service.
Mr. Neubert : Responsibility for the prevention of loss, as for all matters of regularity and propriety, including the development, introduction and operation of internal control systems, rests with line managers. There are no staff employed specifically on loss prevention.
Sir Alan Glyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the duties of the Household Division apart from ceremonial duties and (b) the areas in which units are serving and have served in recent years.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Household Division comprises both cavalry and infantry regiments and undertakes a wide range of duties outside its ceremonial functions. The division has eight battalions of foot guards, all of which undertake regular infantry tasks both in the United Kingdom and around the world. Recently this has meant units serving as far afield as Cyprus, Belize, Berlin, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland. Units are presently deployed at various locations in the United Kingdom, West Germany and Berlin. The division's two regiments of cavalry alternate between tours of duty with the British Army of the Rhine and 5 Airborne Brigade at Windsor.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) nuclear-powered hunter killer and (b) Polaris submarines have been withdrawn from duties or recalled from patrol following the recent discovery of faults in Royal Navy nuclear submarine reactors.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Over the past two years the Soviet Navy has embarked on a major force modernisation programme to rid its inventory of obsolete submarines. The rate at which units are being decommissioned and the numbers subsequently sold for scrapping in foreign shipyards has increased markedly during 1989. During that year the Soviets removed a total of at least 35 submarines from service compared with at least two in 1988. The vast majority of these units were the 1950s vintage WHISKEY class general purpose diesel submarines.
Mr. Neubert : Concept studies were completed in 1985. Some £28 million at 1989-90 prices has been spent so far on feasibility studies for a new generation of hunter killer submarines for the Royal Navy.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, as part of his policy of devolving budget responsibilities and allocating costs to users, he will instruct hunter killer submarine units to charge the Polaris force for anti-submarine protection services rendered.
Mr. Neubert : All accidents to Royal Navy aircraft during 1989 are currently under official investigation. As such, details of the causes cannot be given. However, the remaining information is as follows :
Aircraft type |Tail No. |Location |Date -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Accidents to aircraft in flight Jetstream T2 |XX489 |Portland Harbour |8 May 1989 Lynx |XZ244 |Kenya |14 May 1989 Sea King |XV699 |Pont Henri, |5 June 1989 |Llanelli Sea Fury FB11 |TF956 |Firth of Clyde |10 June 1989 Sea Harrier |ZA191 |Lyme Bay |4 October 1989 Sea King |XZ582 |Off Bermuda |27 October 1989 Sea Harrier |XZ451 |Off Sardinia |1 December 1989 Accidents to aircraft on the ground/on board ship Sea King |XV676 |Prestwick airport|31 May 1989 Sea Harrier |XZ440 |Off Bermuda |30 October 1989
Mr. Archie Hamilton : NATO's current priorities in arms control were set out in "The Alliance's Comprehensive Concept" in May 1989. In the conventional field this called primarily for the establishment of a secure and stable balance of conventional forces in Europe at lower levels. Naval forces are, by the agreement of all parties, specifically excluded from the CFE negotiations.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on how many port visits were made to non-Warsaw pact countries by Soviet warships in 1989 ; what proportion of these involved submarines ; and what were the comparable figures for 1988.
We recorded 125 port visits to non-Warsaw pact countries by Soviet warships in 1988, including 16 visits by submarines.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : We believe that the Soviet Union produced approximately 3,500 tanks in 1988. Preliminary estimates suggest that tank production in 1989 may have been reduced to about half that level.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the number of new nuclear-powered submarines which entered Soviet naval service in 1989 ; and what was the comparable figure for 1988.
Mr. Neubert : Information for individual aircraft types is classified. However, the fixed-wing major accident rate for the Royal Navy, shortly to be published in the Statement on the Defence Estimates, is 1.52 per 10,000 hours.
Mr. Nicholls : The information is available in the Library. In December 1989 the level of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in the Greater London region was 201,300, a fall of 181,300, or 47.4 per cent. since December 1985.
Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the current rate of unemployment in the United Kingdom and list those member states of the European Community whose rate of unemployment is higher.
Column 8185.8 per cent. On the OECD international definition the unemployment rate is higher in Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands.
Mr. Eggar : My Department has made major improvements in the provision of training for small businesses with the introduction last April of business growth training (BGT). For small firms, BGT offers help for owner managers in producing better business and training plans ; training for starting their own businesses ; and training to improve the business skills of owner managers and to help the more ambitious achieve their plans for growth. This year BGT will offer 90,000 such opportunities to small firms. The Training Agency also sponsored the launch last month of the small business programme, and open learning initiative backed by the Open university and Cranfield School of Management.
The groundwork has been laid for the new network of training and enterprise councils which will take over responsibility from the Training Agency for planning and delivering training for, and to support the development of, small businesses. They will be responsible both for encouraging more firms to invest in training and for enterprise activities designed to strengthen local economic growth.
My Department has continued with its campaign to make Government procurement more accessible to small firms by simplifying purchasing practices and by improving their awareness of the benefits for small suppliers. We have updated the booklet "Tendering for Government Contracts" and published our advice to purchasing officers in "Think Big, Buy Small". Last December I appointed a consultant to work closely with the central unit of purchasing to further improve purchasing practices and to strengthen the monitoring of small firms involvement.
In 1988 the Government published the booklet "Prompt Payment Please" as part of an initiative to encourage good payment practice in both large and small firms and to foster closer co-operation between buyers and suppliers. The booklet gives guidance to small firms on credit management and correct invoicing and to large firms on their responsibility to suppliers, particularly small firms. It was prepared in conjunction with the CBI, the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Purchasing and Supply and has met with a positive response from both the public and private sectors.
The local enterprise agency project scheme was introduced in April 1988 as part of the Action for Cities initiative. Grants have been made available to support project-based activity in approved enterprise agencies in any of the 57 urban programme authority areas. To date £729,893 has been given in support of 102 projects, with matched cash contributions of £914,734 from the private sector. Following a review, the loan guarantee scheme was improved in January 1988 by the introduction of a simplified application procedure for loans up to £15,000. In April 1989 the loan limit was increased from £75,000 to £100,000. These changes have led to a doubling of
Column 819applications for usage of the scheme, which are now running at 260 per month. In addition, in June 1988 the proportion guaranteed was increased from 70 per cent. to 85 per cent. for businesses in the 16 inner-city task force areas. In 1988-89, some 2,291 loans were guaranteed to the value of £64.76 million, compared to 1,234 loans totalling £46.23 million in the previous year.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table showing average gross weekly earnings for full-time male employees on adult rates in Great Britain for every year from 1979 to the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the average gross hourly earnings in Great Britain for full-time manual workers, full-time non-manual workers, part-time manual workers and part- time non-manual workers, at the latest date for which figures are available.
Average gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of employees on adult rates |£ ----------------------------------------- Full-time manual employees |4.44 Full-time non-manual employees |6.83 Part-time manual employees |2.97 Part-time non-manual employees |4.23
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the name of and amount of money invested in each research project into the effects of work in or around steel furnaces on the development of chronic bronchitis, emphysema or other related disorders.
Mr. Nicholls : The Health and Safety Executive has not directly funded any research into the effects of work in or around steel furnaces on the development of chronic bronchitis, emphysema or other disorders. The European Coal and Steel Community is now conducting its fifth programme of medical research into occupational ill-health. The Health and Safety Executive has been consulted about the contents of this research and is closely following the programme's progress.
Mr. Rifkind : It is not feasible to produce the information requested because many companies located in Scotland operate on a national or international basis and their Scottish training costs cannot be separately identified.
Column 820In connection with its major study "Training in Britain" the Training Agency commissioned an employers' activities study. The public and private sector employers in Scotland that responded to that study jointly spent £665 million on training in 1986-87. "Training in Britain" estimated that net training expenditure by British employers in 1986-87 was of the order of £18 billion ; but was not able to relate this directly to turnover.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : There are no figures available for the total number of people living in bed-and-breakfast accommodation. It is estimated, however, that the number of households placed in such accommodation by local authorities under the provisions of part II of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 was 295 at 30 September 1989.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional grant or bursary payments are made available to student teachers of mathematics, computing and design and technology in Scotland ; and what rules and regulations apply to the receipt of such payments.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) on how many occasions the Minister has met representatives of the North East River Purification Board in the last nine months ; what subjects were discussed ; and on what dates the meetings took place ;
(2) if he has received any correspondence from the North East River Purification Board concerning matters relating to the duties and structures of the board for which he is responsible ; and whether he has received any representations on such matters.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Secretary of State has not met representatives of the board in the past nine months. No representations have been received about the board's duties and structures ; I have received a letter from the hon. Member about the responsibilities of the Secretary of State in this respect, to which I am replying. The clerk to the board wrote to the Department last October intimating the board's intention to restructure its management organisation. There is, of course, day-to-day official correspondence with the board on matters of mutual interest.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many complaints he has received from prisoners or from organisations concerned with prisons that hon. Members have not passed on prisoners' complaints to the parliamentary ombudsman.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will publish a table showing the average income of first-time house buyers and average prices of houses in Scotland in 1989-90 ; (2) what is the average new mortgage in 1989-90 in Scotland.
|First-time |All |housebuyers|housebuyers |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------- Average income |12,461 |- Average price of all dwellings |23,152 |35,847 Average new mortgage (advances) |- |25,893 Source: DOE 5 per cent. sample survey of building society mortgages.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average outstanding mortgage in 1989-90 in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My noble Friend the Minister of State is today announcing that three consortia have been selected to tender for the provision of a privately financed bridge to Skye. Subject to obtaining the necessary powers and approvals, it is hoped that the fixed link will be open to traffic by the mid-1990s. For the interim period however, given the rising popularity of the Skye crossing, approval has also been given today for the replacement of the existing ferries by two new 36-car capacity vessels. Tenders to build will now be invited by Caledonian MacBrayne and it is expected that the vessels will enter service during 1991.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications for maintenance funds under the Finance Act 1982 have taken more than one year to process ; and how many have taken more than two years.
Mr. Lilley : Of the applications for the establishment of a heritage maintenance fund which have been accepted, five have taken less than one year to process, four between one and two years and 47 more than two years.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases have occurred where permission has been given for the establishment of a maintenance fund under the Finance Act 1982 but where the fund has not thereafter been established with an endowment.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many maintenance funds for heritage property have been established since the Finance Act 1982 ; and how many have an endowment of less than £20,000.
Mr. Lilley : A total number of 56 heritage maintenance funds have been established since the passage of the Finance Act 1982 ; of these four have an endowment which on establishment was less than £20,000.
Mr. Lilley : Of the total of 56 maintenance funds established since the passage of the Finance Act 1982, 53 support heritage entities which include property designated under more than one of the categories contained in section 31(1) of the Inheritance Tax Act.