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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 26 April 1990


Crash Barriers

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy in respect of crash barriers on the central reservations of trunk roads.

Mr. Atkins : It is the Department's policy to provide central reserve safety fencing in England on all motorways and, where justified by the traffic level, on non-motorway dual carriageway trunk roads. The fencing provided is essentially designed to contain an errant vehicle weighing up to 1.5 tonnes travelling at 70 mph and impacting the fence at an angle of up to 20 deg.

London Regional Transport

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will state his reasons for not including the text of the letter he sent to the chairman of London Regional Transport in his press notice 132 of 19 April, announcing the fact that he had sent the letter and commenting on its contents.

Mr. Portillo : A desire to save paper. The press notice made it clear that copies of the letter were available on request, and it was reproduced in the Official Report on 19 April 1990 at columns 993-95.


Mr. Tom Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes he envisages to the planning system to speed up the road projects for which he has responsibility.

Mr. Atkins : We are speeding up road schemes by a range of measures. These include more effective procedures and organisation in the Department, more staff and greater use of the private sector. We do not propose to change statutory procedures at present or to reduce the opportunities of those affected by proposals for a full and fair hearing.

Sub-standard Shipping

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Harborough of 18 April, Official Report, columns 913-14, about sub-standard shipping, whether foreign ships in his reply includes all ships belonging to member nations of the EEC.

Mr. McLoughlin : Yes. Merchant ships belonging to other members of the European Community are regarded as foreign ships and therefore subject to port state control inspection when they enter a United Kingdom port.

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for

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Harborough of 18 April about sub-standard shipping, how often in the past 12 months his Department's marine surveyors have used their powers relating to deficiencies on visiting ships (a) to prevent their entry to British ports and (b) to retain vessels ; and in how many cases the vessel's owner or master was prosecuted.

Mr. McLoughlin : There has been no case in the last 12 months of Department of Transport marine surveyors using their powers to prevent the entry of visiting ships into United Kingdom ports. During that period, 60 ships were detained and seven prosecutions were initiated.

Travis Brow

Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he first requested that Stockport metropolitan borough council convey to his Department the land at Travis Brow, Stockport, near to the M63, referred to in a letter from the Minister for Roads and Traffic to the hon. Member for Stockport dated 22 June 1989 ; and when he expects the transaction to be completed.

Mr. Atkins : August 1988. Conveyance of the council's title to the land has proved to be a complex matter. While we are pressing to complete as soon as possible, there are a number of outstanding items still to be resolved.

Channel Tunnel

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria his Department has laid down in the interest of safety about the number of passengers not segregated from their vehicles who are allowed to travel in a single carriage through the channel tunnel.

Mr. Portillo : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 23 April 1990, Official Report, column 43. The number of passengers allowed in a single carriage is a matter for decision when Eurotunnel submits its proposed operating rules for approval.

Light Dues

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a response to the report by the British Ports Federation recommending the charging of light dues on seagoing pleasure craft.

Mr. McLoughlin : Not before I have given careful consideration to the responses from the interested bodies which have been consulted on the federation's report. These bodies have been asked to send their comments to the Department by the end of July.

Radioactive Material (Transport)

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) crashes and (b) reported near misses have occurred for each year since 1960 in which aircraft carrying radioactive material have been involved ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. McLoughlin : Available information commences in 1964. There have been three crashes involving consignments of radioactive materials from the United Kingdom, none of which was caused by the nature of the radioactive cargo :

(i) In 1965 a Boeing 707 crashed and burned at Heathrow. The package remained intact and there was no release of radioactivity. (

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(ii) In 1979 an aircraft crashed and burned at Athens airport. There was a partial release of package contents. Radiological implications were minimal and confined to the area around the aircraft.

(iii) In 1987 a Piper Navajo crashed in a field near Teesside after engine failure. There was no reported fire and the packages remained intact.

My Department does not collect data on near misses. I understand from the Civil Aviation Authority that data on near misses do not include detailed information on the type of cargo carried.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how may aeroplane flights occurred in 1989 in United Kingdom airspace in which radioactive material was carried ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. McLoughlin : The Department does not collect data of the kind requested ; however, I understand from recent research that there are around 8,000 such flights per year.

Transport Ministers (Meeting)

Mr. Hayward : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent meeting of European Transport Ministers in Paris.

Mr. Parkinson : I attended the second meeting of the European civil aviation conference of Transport Ministers which was held in Paris on 24 April.

In response to a United Kingdom initiative, the meeting took a major step towards reducing air traffic congestion and flight delays. Ministers unanimously agreed an action programme to increase capacity in Europe, by integrating air traffic control systems and optimising the air traffic route network.

The programme commits the ECAC states to intensify work on measures to handle safely the forecast growth in traffic to the end of the century. The Civil Aviation Authority already has an investment programme of about £100 million a year. Our European partners are also investing substantial amounts on updating their air traffic control equipment. The ECAC programme will build on and give emphasis to this work.

Ministers agreed to harmonise air traffic control systems in high-density traffic areas by 1995, and elsewhere not later than 1998 ; optimise air traffic services route network and airspace structure by 1995 ; achieve comprehensive radar coverage throughout the continental ECAC area by 1995 ; reduce safe minimum separation distances between aircraft to 5 nautical miles in high-density areas, and to 10 nautical miles elsewhere ; complete automatic data links between air traffic control centres and aircraft from 1998 onwards. The programme will be managed by Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control body centred in Brussels. It will be overseen by a group of senior officials from participating states, reporting to their respective Governments.

At the meeting, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden indicated that they would apply to join the existing 11 members of Eurocontrol soon. Four more states have also recently been accepted for membership. Ministers reaffirmed that they hoped the remaining ECAC states would join Eurocontrol.

Ministers agreed that they would meet again in the second half of 1991 to review progress.

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This is an important and historic agreement which should greatly contribute to the welfare of European civil aviation in the years ahead.


Child Care and Family Services

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what mechanisms his Department has on services and policies on child care and family services.

Mrs. Rumbold : National responsibility for policies in these areas rests with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health.

Obtaining suitable premises is a major difficulty for those organising child care schemes and this is where the education service can offer substantial help, through making available school premises for this purpose out of normal school hours. As part of an initiative to enhance child care provision launched last year by the ministerial group on women's issues, of which I am deputy chairman, the Department issued a letter last October to all local education authorities and the chairmen of governors of all maintained schools, asking them to respond sympathetically to requests for such use of their school premises. It is, of course, for individual schools to decide on whether to help, but there are encouraging first signs of a positive response to our approach.

Within the Department, consideration is being given to the provision of creche facilities and a holiday play scheme at the Darlington office. In London the Department is participating in an interdepartmental study of the scope for providing creches centrally and in commuting areas.


Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding expenditure on education in Calderdale ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend has received no recent representations specifically about education expenditure in Calderdale.

Corby CTC

Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science who appoints the trustees of the Corby city technology college trust ; if he will list the names and designations of trustees, the total amount of private sector funds received by the trust to date, the names of persons or companies who, to date, have contributed and the amount each has contributed ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold : The members of the Corby City Technology Trust are appointed by the principal sponsor or the Secretary of State for Education and Science. The initial members are the lead sponsor Mr. Hugh de Capell Brooke who is the chairman. Other members are Mr. John Nelson-Jones, Sir Cyril Taylor and Sir Monty Finniston. A total of £1.6 million of private sector sponsorship has been received to date ; £1.1 million of this is in the form of a donation of land from the lead sponsor. The balance comes from other private sector sponsors who will decide when to make their involvement public.

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Environmental Protection Education

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment has been made of the environmental protection education needs at colleges and universities in the 1990s ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : This is a matter for individual institutions.

Teachers' Pay

Mr. Robert B. Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to announce his proposals for new permanent teachers' pay negotiating machinery ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. MacGregor : I am writing today to the local authority employers and the teacher unions setting out my proposals for new permanent machinery, as follows :

Text of letter of 26 April from Secretary of State for Education and Science to the local authority employers and the teacher unions

New teachers' pay determination arrangements 1. Following the useful series of meetings I had with the teacher unions and employers before Christmas I have been reflecting on the best way forward. My immediate priority has been to complete consideration of the IAC's recommendations for the 1990-91 settlement, but now that that is nearly out of the way I can bring forward my proposals for permanent new pay determination arrangements.

2. In formulating the proposals set out in this letter and its attachment I have sought to reflect as far as possible those areas where there was broad consensus. If parties to these consultations share the objective that the new machinery should be introduced on the basis of the maximum possible amount of agreement, we shall need over the next month or so to move forward together constructively. 3. The best way ahead appears to lie with the restoration of negotiations between teachers and their employers in a way which gives sufficient scope to negotiate realistically from one year to the next, while at the same time providing essential safeguards in the public interest against the kind of stalemate and long term disruption which characterised the Burnham arrangements, and on overall cost. Enclosed with this letter is a note setting out my proposals in detail. Their main features are :

(a) direct national negotiations between local authority employers and teacher unions, with no Government presence at the negotiating table ;

(b) separate sub-committee for heads and deputies ;

(c) a firm deadline for the completion of negotiations ; (

(d) reserve powers for the Government to refer back to the negotiating body with its reasons aspects of agreed settlements with which it is unhappy and in the last resort, if reference back does not produce an acceptable outcome, to impose its own views ; but (

(e) an undertaking that the Government will not normally override on cost grounds a settlement falling within the inter-quartile range of non-manual private sector settlements ;

(f) if the deadline is passed without a negotiated settlement being achieved, consideration of that year's settlement to be taken out of the hands of negotiators and referred to an IAC type body for advice ;

(g) provision for individual LEAs or the governing bodies of GM schools to apply to me to withdraw from the national arrangements and determine the pay and conditions of their teachers locally. 4. While my preference would be for a restitution of national negotiations between teachers and their employers, and I would expect discussions to concentrate on how best to achieve this, I would not want to rule out at this stage further

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consideration of the alternative possibility of an independent advisory body broadly similar to the present IAC but on a permanent basis, should any of the parties want to propose that.

5. My main concern at this stage is to develop in consultation with the local authority employers and the teacher unions a permanent mechanism for determining pay nationally. At some point in our discussions, however, we will have to consider how best to handle the 1991-92 pay settlement. The three broad options appear to be to deal with it in the new machinery, retrospectively if necessary, once that has been put in place ; to run the new machinery on a voluntary, shadow basis in anticipation of the passage of any necessary legislation ; or to ask the IAC to make recommendations. The first of these would bring on the new machinery at the earliest possible date, but probably at the price of significant delay to the 1991- 92 settlement. The second would only be possible if all the parties involved were willing to participate. The third would ensure a timely settlement, but delay for another year the operation of the new permanent machinery.

6. Accordingly I should like to arrange an early meeting with your association. My Private Office will be in touch about a date. In the meantime my officials stand ready to explore any of these issues with you in further detail if that would be helpful. If we are to be ready to legislate at the start of the next session of Parliament, we need to finalise our proposals well before the summer break. I must therefore ask that your association complete its representations by Friday 15 June.

7. I am writing in similar terms to the General Secretaries of the other teacher associations and to the Chairman of NEOST.

Proposals for new teachers' pay negotiating machinery


1. All pay and conditions matters to be within scope. But only proposals for changes to the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (ie to pay, duties and working time) to require the Secretary of State's endorsement and acquire statutory force. Structure

2. Main negotiating body to comprise representatives of the local authority employers and of the teacher unions, together with observers from the voluntary sector and grant maintained schools. 3. Separate sub-committee for heads and deputies, with rights as set out in paragraph 9 below.

Teachers' Side Composition

4. In the light of views expressed in earlier discussions this might be determined as follows :

(a) rules about how representation is to be determined to be laid down in regulations ;

(b) the rules to cover

(i) voting strength : to be determined for each union in proportion to the number of its members paid according to scales determined as a result of negotiations in the particular committee or sub-committee, and to be reviewed at least every 3 years and more frequently at the Secretary of State's discretion ;

(ii) numbers of representatives per union, with a limit on total numbers attending. In view of (i), the number of representatives need not vary with the size of the union. Should the rule be no more than two, or perhaps three, representatives per union, in order to keep meetings to a manageable size?

(iii) returns of union membership : a requirement for unions to make returns annually to the Certification Officer identifying separately the number of members within their total membership figures whose pay and conditions

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are determined by each separate element of the new machinery, with a provision for the returns to be subject to audit ;


threshold for representation : what union membership threshold should be set before an association justified membership of the teachers' side, and should provision be made to accommodate small associations representing distinctive groups of teachers? (

Management side composition

5. To be determined by the employers, within a limit that total numbers attending should not exceed the limit for the teachers' side. Observer status to be given in addition to two representatives of the voluntary sector, one each appointed by the Catholic Education Council and the General Synod of the Church of England Board of Education, and to a representative of the grant maintained schools appointed by the Secretary of State.


6. The Burnham "one voice" convention (whereby only single union and management positions were put forward and differences of view within each side were not aired publicly) should not operate. 7. Each side to appoint its own chairman in each committee. Chairmanship of committees for discussion : is there advantage in an independent chairman?

8. Decisions in the negotiating body will be reached when the two sides are in agreement with each other. It is for consideration whether a simple majority of the votes within each side should suffice for the establishment of that side's position or whether some other majority should be required eg two thirds.

9. Agreements reached in the heads and deputies sub-committee to take the form of recommendations to the main committee. The main committee not to be able to reject such recommendations without first referring them back to the sub-committee.

10. Agreements reached in main negotiating body for changes to the Document to take the form of recommendations to the Secretary of State for statutory implementation.

11. Secretary of State to establish a firm deadline--probably the end of January for an April settlement--for completion of negotiations on changes to the Document, with automatic reference to second stage body if negotiations not completed in time. But the Secretary of State has an open mind on a switch to a September settlement date if that seemed advantageous.

Government Reserve Powers

12. Secretary of State to have the power to refer back to the negotiating body with reasons recommendations made by them for changes to the Document, for further consideration within a defined timescale.

13. If the Secretary of State remains dissatisfied with the recommendations following a reference back he should have the power to override the negotiating body's recommendations, subject to the agreement of Parliament under the negative resolution procedure. 14. The Secretary of State will not set a constraint on the cost of the negotiating body's recommendations at the outset of its work, but the employers will negotiate against the background of the assumptions about standard spending in the Government's proposals for the local authority grant settlement. The Secretary of State would not normally refer back or override on cost grounds pay recommendations falling within the inter-quartile range of non-manual private sector settlements.

Second Stage Body

15. If the deadline for negotations passes without agreement being reached consideration of a settlement shall be referred by the Secretary of State for advice to a body similar to the present IAC, appointed by him and with terms of reference set by him which would not go outside the inter-quartile range. Thus the advisory body would make recommendations to the Secretary of State and he would determine pay in the light of their recommendations.

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(Statutory provision for this could be based on sections 2 and 3 of, and Schedule 1 to the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Act 1987). Local Pay Determination

16. The Act establishing new national pay determination arrangements should contain provision for individual local authorities or the governing bodies of GM schools which wish to do so to determine teachers' pay and conditions locally. This is in order to provide maximum flexibility to respond to local needs and circumstances.

17. The Act would provide for local education authorities and GM school governing bodies to apply to the Secretary of State for the provisions of the Act obliging them to pay teachers only in accordance with the scales and other provisions resulting from the national pay determination process, and giving statutory force to national conditions of employment, to be disapplied from them. Applicants would be required to state what provisions they proposed to put in place of the national arrangements.

18. The relevant provisions of the Act would apply to teachers in all LEA maintained schools and GM schools unless specifically disapplied by the Secretary of State.

19. Before making an application local education authorities would be obliged to consult on their proposals for local pay and conditions provisions with the governing bodies of their maintained schools, and with the local representatives of teacher unions recognised nationally for pay determination purposes. The governing body of a GM school would be obliged to consult with the staff of the school. In each case applicants would be required to report the views expressed, together with their comments on those views, to the Secretary of State when making the application.

20. If the Secretary of State approved an employer's application, the national arrangements would cease to apply from the date the employer put the arrangements described in the application, subject to any variation agreed by the Secretary of State, into place. The local pay and conditions provisions put into place by a LEA would apply to all the schools it maintained.

21. Once the relevant provisions of the Act had been disapplied from a local authority or a governing body their future approach to pay and conditions matters would be unconstrained except that (a) any change in their initial local provisions within 12 months of the date of their implementation would require the Secretary of State's consent ; and

(b) local education authorities would be placed under a general obligation to consult with the governing bodies of their maintained schools and with the teachers concerned before implementing proposals for changes in local pay and conditions provisions.

City Technology College, Brighton

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on progress towards the establishment of a city technology college at Woodingdean, Brighton.

Mr. MacGregor [pursuant to his reply, 24 April 1990, c. 146] : I have been reviewing the progress of the proposal by the Michael Faraday Trust to establish a city technology college in Brighton. My period of review ended on 23 April and I have decided that I must withdraw my financial support because of the trust's failure to raise adequate private sector sponsorship. I have so informed the chairman of the Michael Faraday Trust.

Education Costs

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give the average cost, per student across all subjects, of education (a) in United Kingdom universities as a whole, (b) in United Kingdom

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polytechnics as a whole, (c) in Scottish universities, (d) in English universities, (e) in Welsh universities, (f) in English polytechnics and (g) in the Polytechnic of Wales.

Mr. Jackson [pursuant to his reply, 24 April 1990, c. 145] : It is not possible to determine the teaching cost per student in universities. The available information, published in the universities' statistical record--for example, "University Statistics, Volume 3" for the academic year 1987-88--relates to aggregate income and expenditure without differentiation between teaching and research. Recurrent expenditure, excluding specific expenditure, by universities on teaching and research per full-time equivalent United Kingdom university student was £6,385 in the academic year 1987-88. The lower research load of polytechnics means that their unit cost is a closer reflection of the unit cost of teaching. For the financial year 1987-88, this was £3,356 for English polytechnics, calculated by reference to net recurrent institutional expenditure per full-time equivalent student.


Industrial Planning

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) whether his Department's current industrial sector studies into the capacities of and demands on British industry in crisis and war have been or will be discussed by NATO's industrial planning committee or its sub- committees or working groups ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will list the industries which have supplied or will supply members to the sectoral groups currently involved in studying the capabilities of and demands on British industry in crisis and war.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My Department is consulting as necessary representatives of sectors of UK industry relevant to its study of the possible role of UK industry in crisis and war. NATO's industrial planning committee has been kept informed about this work.

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