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Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No. I and my Department will be considering the relevance to the Scottish situation of the recommendations, including the one relating to the creation of a prison ombudsman, contained in the recently published Home Office working group report on an improved system of grievance procedures for prisoners' complaints and requests.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ask the chief constables for reports detailing the cost per policeman of deploying police officers on ambulance duties within their spheres of authority.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland) is currently considering the basis on which forces should cost the assistance given in relation to the ambulance dispute and in the light of draft guidance prepared by the Scottish Home and Health Department which reflects previously agreed practice.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide a list of the 10 worst polluted beaches and give details of the most recent measurements of pollution on each of these beaches.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The condition of beaches is a matter for the local district or islands council while river purification authorities are concerned with the quality of waters. River purification boards monitor waters for compliance with standards set in the EC bathing water directive. For details in respect of the 23 identified waters in Scotland, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) on 25 January 1990, at columns 844- 45 .
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide a list of the 20 worst polluted rivers and give details of the more recent measurements of pollution in each of these rivers.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Day-to-day control of pollution of rivers is the responsibility of the river purification authorities. Annual reports of the seven river purification boards contain detailed information about pollution in their areas and are available in the Library. The Scottish Development Department, in co-operation with the river purification boards, publishes periodic reports which give a broad assessment of the condition of Scottish waters. The last of these, also available in the
Column 73Library, was produced in 1985, and the hon. Member may like to refer to the maps contained in it which show the lengths of rivers in each of four categories. A further report, based on conditions found during the current year, is now being planned.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland by what measures the accountant in bankruptcy assesses remuneration of a trustee in sequestration, in cases where the remuneration of the trustee is to be met from moneys provided by Parliament ; and if there is any specific maximum hourly rate for chartered accountants and unqualified persons.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : In terms of section 53(4) of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 the accountant in bankruptcy is required in assessing remuneration to have regard to the work which was reasonably undertaken by the trustee in relation to the value of the debtor's estate and the extent of his responsibilities in administering that estate. There are no specific maximum hourly rates laid down for this work.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each year since the commencement of the Bankruptcy Scotland Act 1985 the total sum paid out of moneys provided by Parliament in terms of section 76 of the said Act.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Gross expenditure, including payments to trustees and the administration costs of the office of the accountant of court and the office of accountant in bankruptcy, has been as follows :
Financial |Gross year |expenditure |(£'000) ------------------------------------1986-87 |256 1987-88 |706 1988-89 |2,918
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The number of sequestrations registered annually by the accountant in bankruptcy until 1 April 1986 under the provisions of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1913 and thereafter under the provisions of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 are as follows :
Year |Number of |awards |registered ---------------------------------1974 |104 1975 |148 1976 |128 1977 |132 1978 |130 1979 |105 1980 |151 1981 |185 1982 |217 1983 |280 1984 |296 1985 |298 1986 |437 1987 |826 1988 |1,420 1989 |2,294
The 1985 Act introduced in Scotland provisions for the public funding of bankruptcies where there are insufficient assets in the bankrupt's estate to meet the expenses of sequestration. No such facility was available under the 1913 Act, and this is reflected in the increase in sequestrations registered from 1986 onwards.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each year since 1974 the total sum paid out of moneys provided by Parliament for remuneration for trustees in sequestration.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The remuneration from public funds of trustees in sequestration was introduced by provisions of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 which came into effect on 1 April 1986. Gross payments made these provisions to trustees are as follows :--
Financial |Gross Year |Payments |(£'000) ------------------------------1986-87 |13 1987-88 |418 1988-89 |2,415
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No. In addition to necessary company and financial details, bidders will be required to give information on their general employment policy, their proposals regarding the disabled and elderly, and a statement of their future intentions for the company. There are already strict safety requirements governing all bus operators in the interests of all bus travellers. Bus operators require an operator's licence and buses must be tested annually and are also subject to spot checks on the road. If sufficient services are not available commercially local authorities have powers to subsidise those services they consider socially necessary, including, for example, late evening or night services.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I am aware that chief constables place a high priority on investigations into criminal activities against children. The question whether a special unit or units would help in this task is an operational matter for them to decide.
Mr McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Government will initiate a comprehensive review of public support for land uses such as agriculture and forestry in Scotland, and their effects on wildlife and the countryside, with a view to reducing conflict between conservation and these land uses.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Secretary of State in exercising his functions in relation to agriculture and forestry has a duty to take environmental considerations into account. The Government keep under review their various measures of support for agriculture and forestry and these are increasingly directed at conservation or enhancement of the environment.
Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to arrange for the green pound to be introduced into the European monetary system in order to restrict the disadvantage of Scottish farmers from 20 to 6 per cent. and thereafter to parity.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The entry of sterling into the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system would have no direct effect on green rates or agricultural support prices. The disadvantage to our producers will be overcome by reducing monetary gaps through devaluing the green pound. Green currency devaluations are normally considered in the EC price-fixing negotiations. In the current round we shall be seeking a substantial devaluation as part of our commitment to remove all monetary gaps by the end of 1992.
Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to recompense farmers of Scotland in the short term of flood damage and other losses caused by recent inclement weather.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I have every sympathy for farmers who sustained damage from the latest storms and floods. Indeed, the floods are so recent that damage is still hidden by water so that many will not yet know the full extent of their losses. My noble Friend the Minister of State has called for full reports as soon as practicable. In the meantime, it is important to stress that successive Governments have followed well- established policy not to pay compensation to farmers for the effects of severe weather, particularly where risks are insurable. Assistance is however available under the farm capital grant schemes. These schemes will be operated as flexibly as the rules will allow to take account of the effects of the storms.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will establish a commission to examine the plight of elderly and disabled people who have top medical priority status and yet who cannot be immediately rehoused.
Column 76statute to consider the housing needs of their areas and to have regard to the special needs of chronically sick or disabled persons. My right hon. and learned Friend does not believe that a commission would assist authorities in this duty. Individual authorities are themselves best placed to determine particular needs and to identify solutions for meeting those needs either in council housing or other housing.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure that councils have the resources to rehouse elderly and disabled residents with top medical priority status in suitable housing.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 8 February 1990] : Housing capital allocations to local authorities take account of their overall housing needs as set out in their housing plans and capital programmes. Within the allocations made it is the responsibility of local authorities to decide how the resources should be used in the light of local priorities.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 5 February 1990] : It is possible to provide full-year budgets for Training Agency schemes in Scotland only for the years 1989-90 and 1990-91. The planned expenditure for 1988-89 for the Training Commission was £210,083,000 : a detailed breakdown of Training Agency scheme budgets in Scotland is not available for that year. The information available is set out in the table.
Training Agency Budgets (Scotland): £'000s Planned expenditure |1989-90|1990-91 ---------------------------------------------------------------------Employment Training |130,154|112,850 Employment Rehabilitation |900 |900 Residual and Other Training Schemes |1,945 |145 Youth Training Scheme |104,550|87,757 Community Industry |<1> |2,879 Business Growth Training |4,240 |5,436 Enterprise Allowance Scheme |<1> |14,722 School/Industry Compacts |<1> |1,453 Higher Education Programmes |869 |1,207 Training and Vocational Education Initiative |12,020 |13,409 Training and Education Support Programmes |5,483 |5,168 Marketing, Advertising and Publicity |2,112 |2,157 Research and Evaluation |674 |686 Administrative Costs |13,752 |18,516 |-------|------- Total |276,699|267,285 <1> Budget centrally administered 1989-90.
Mr. Nicholls : This information is not available. Figures in the "IMS Manpower Commentary No. 43, Retaining Women Employees" suggest that the percentage of organisations currently providing workplace nurseries is small, only about 3 per cent. However, indications are that the provision of such facilities is growing.
Mr. Nicholls : On 1 December 1989, the latest date for for which figures are available, the Health and Safety Executive had 103 inspectors regularly engaged on the inspection of construction activities. On 1 January 1980, the total was 87.
Mr. Nicholls : Under the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1989, from 1 Aprl 1990, local authorities will be responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation for certain additional activities including various leisure activities ; cosmetic and therapeutic treatments, display or demonstration of goods at an exhibition ; church worship and religious meetings ; and certain internal construction work.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the cost of the following departmental publications ; and what was their intended respective purpose (a) "People and Companies, Employee Involvement in Britain", (b) "Small Firms in Britain" and (c) the "United Kingdom in Europe, People and Progress Fact Pack".
Mr. Eggar : The cost of producing "People and Companies, Employee Involvement in Britain", was £83,000 minus what has been recouped from this being a priced publication (HMSO £5) ; the cost of producing "Small Firms in Britain" was £77,000 ; and the cost of the "United Kingdom in Europe, People and Progress Fact Pack" was £9,000.
Column 78The purpose of "People and Companies" was to describe the British approach to employee involvement and explain Government policy on the subject.
"Small Firms in Britain" was produced to meet the needs of advisory agencies, chambers of commerce and other representative organisations, as well as professional and academic bodies for an authoritative report on the key statistics, issues and trends in the small business sector, and the basis of the Government's policies and programmes to support small businesses.
The purpose of the "United Kingdom in Europe Fact Pack" was to explain the Government's concerns about the European Commission's proposed social charter ; and to set out the approach to encouraging employment, individual opportunity and enterprise the Government believe will best enable Britain, as a full and active member of the European Community, to prosper in a Europe without barriers.
Mr. Nicholls : Employers' financial contributions to employment training are for local negotiation. The Government aim to encourage more employers to participate in employment training and for employers to make a greater investment in training. The formation of training and enterprise councils will be a major step towards those objectives.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of claimants who have had their (a) benefit claim referred to an adjudication office and (b) benefit withdrawn as a result of refusing a place on an employment training scheme in terms of its actively seeking work conditions.
Mr. Eggar : Employment training is a voluntary programme. Social security legislation does not provide for disqualification or disallowance of unemployment benefit where a person refuses to apply for or accept a place on employment training.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of continuing training grants made available in respect of trainees recruited by employees before completion of the employment training action plan between September 1988 and December 1989 inclusive for Great Britain.
Column 79Mr. Nicholls : The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number for employment training of (a) training agents and (b) training managers in Great Britain on the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of employment training trainees who entered permanent employment in the period December 1988 to December 1989 for Great Britain.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the total number of (a) YTS trainees with employment contracts in December 1989 and for each of the standard regions, Scotland, Wales and Great Britain.
Numbers of trainees with employed status, in training at 31 December 1989 |Number ------------------------------------------Great Britain |114,421 South East |16,725 London |8,450 South West |10,258 West Midlands |12,483 East Midlands and Eastern |15,772 Yorkshire and Humberside |12,817 North West |17,617 Northern |4,666 Wales |6,338 Scotland |9,295
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which are the 10 largest managing agents involved in YTS ; what is the total number of trainees contracted to them ; and what was the total Government expenditure on them in December 1989 for Great Britain.
Managing Agents |Agreed |Places -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) |34,000 Non-Electrical Programme CITB Electrical Programme |9,500 Clothing and Allied Products Industry Training Board |7,228 Sight and Sound |4,515 Motor Agents Association |4,000 Association of British Travel Agents |2,650 British Rail |1,900 British Association of Professional Hairdressing Employers |1,830 Hairdressing Training Association |1,760 County of Avon Youth Training Scheme |1,750 |------- Total number of places |69,133
The total amount paid to these managing agents during December 1989 was £11,516,489.93.
Mr. Nicholls : Management fees are not paid for employment training places. Under current YTS rules, there is provision for recovering management fees for unfilled YTS places. This is done wherever appropriate.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the amount of fees paid to Deloitte, Haskins and Sells up to 31 October 1989 for the initial feasibility study and for the work on the offer for sale of the Skills Training Agency.
Mr. Nicholls : At 31 October 1989, Deloitte, Haskins and Sells had been paid fees of £132, 425 for the feasibility study, and fees of £85,023 for work associated with the offer for sale. Both figures exclude expenses and VAT.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of employees in the Training Agency and previously the Manpower Services Commission in each of the years 1984-85 to 1989-90 outturn and planned for 1990-91 to 1992-93, planned for Great Britain.
1988-89 |1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93 ------------------------------------------------12,462 |12,009 |9,719 |9,214 |9,214
Information for earlier years is not available on a comparable basis.
Mr. Nicholls : The booklet "AIDS and Employment" published by my Department and the Health and Safety Executive in 1986 advises employers that, since in almost all occupations there is no risk of infected persons passing on HIV to others, having the virus or belonging to a particular group is not a reason for being treated differently from any other job applicants. It follows from this advice that there is generally no reason for employers to require a job applicant to take an HIV antibody test. Further updated guidance on "AIDS and the Workplace" is to be published shortly.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the estimated gross cost per trainee week for employers, on a comparable basis to the figures in Cm 1006 of £50 and £33 for the gross public cost per trainee week, for (a) 1989-90 and (b) 1992-93 ; and what is the likely overall cost to employers of the transfer of costs.
Mr. Nicholls : An increasing element of empoloyer contributions is expected. It is impossible to forecast the gross cost per trainee week for employers, as this depends on the efficiency with which TECs, providers and employers can deliver training.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of applications to industrial tribunals under section 58 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 in the period 1984 to 1988 and indicate how many were complaints under section 58(1) (a) and (b) compared with the number under section 58 (1) (c) ; and if he will give the outcome of these cases under the two separate categories and indicate (a) the number of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service conciliated settlements, (b) withdrawal, not via Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, (c) successful at tribunal hearing, (d) dismissed at tribunal out of scope, (e) dismissed at tribunal hearing, other reasons and (f) disposed of otherwise.
Mr. Nicholls [pursuant to his reply, 6 December 1989, c. 245-46) : I regret that some of the figures for 1987-88 in table 2 of the original reply were incorrect. The correct figures are set out in the table.
1985-86 1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 |581 |582 |581 |582 |581 |582 |581 |582 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Table 1. Applications Registered Applications registered |822 |15 |4,760 |12 |421 |6 |334 |3 Table 2. Outcome of applications to industrial tribunals: ACAS Settlement |<1>291 |6 |<2>907 |3 |<3>3,776|2 |88 |2 Other withdrawal |150 |4 |151 |4 |186 |2 |143 |2 Successful |56 |7 |51 |2 |35 |- |15 |2 Dismissed out of scope |115 |1 |31 |1 |48 |- |12 |- Dismissed other reasons |110 |6 |145 |3 |72 |2 |73 |1 Disposed of otherwise |8 |- |138 |- |5 |- |5 |- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- Total |730 |24 |1,423 |13 |4,122 |6 |336 |7 Notes on tables: 581 = complaints under Section 58 (1) (a) and (b) 582 = complaints under Section 58 (1) (c) <1> including multiple application of c. 125. <2> including multiple application of c. 780. <3> including multiple application of c. 3400.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will institute a further study of workfare in the United States of America to investigate how workfare has helped in recent years to alleviate the problems associated with single-parent families and paternal maintenance.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : While we are, of course, interested in the arrangements made by other countries for lone-parent families, we have no plans to institute a study of workfare. Lone parents in the United Kingdom are not required to be available for work as a condition of receiving benefit. They are able to decide for themselves what is best for them and their children and we believe this is right. But maintenance is also very important. We are particularly concerned about the number of lone-parent
Column 82families on benefit here who receive little or no maintenance. Regular payments of maintenance can be a great help to lone parents who work to move from dependence on benefit into work. We are therefore examining the whole maintenance system to establish how it can be improved. As part of this process we are examining maintenance arrangements abroad, including those in the United States, to see whether there are any lessons to be learned from them.
Telecommunications Agency guidance covering all aspects of IT security and the application of this has been tightened recently. CCTA advice is kept
Column 83under continuous review and is based on analysis of security risks and requirements using structured methods such as CCTA's risk analysis and management methodology (CRAMM), which has also been made commercially available.
More stringent conditions apply to classified systems.
Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security 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.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : It is not possible to give an answer in the form requested as the Department does not employ a specific class of loss prevention officers. There is a general exhortation to all staff to take proper care of property and services for which they are responsible and for line managers to ensure that there is sound management of such resources. Internal audit procedures are undertaken by staff with appropriate training and security guard services are provided by a mixture of departmental staff and private companies.