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Regional Arts Associations

Mr. Butler : To ask the Minister for the Arts what information he has on the percentage by which grants from the Arts Council to the regional arts associations have increased since 1979.

Mr. Luce : Between 1979-80 and 1990-91 the Arts Council's grant to the regional arts associations increased from £6,362,017 to £33,146, 000. This represents a cash increase of 521 per cent. and a real terms increase of 244 per cent.

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Minister for the Arts what representations he has received about his proposals to enlarge the role of the regional arts associations.

Mr. Luce : My announcement on 13 March was welcomed by the House, the Arts Council and the regional arts associations. I have also received a number of other messages of support.

Percent for Art" Schemes

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts (1) what sums the Arts Council has invested in "Percent for Art" schemes in each of the last three years ; and how much is budgeted for each of the next three years ;


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(2) what sums the Arts Council has invested in the infrastructure necessary to develop "Percent for Art" schemes.

Mr. Luce [holding answer 11 July 1990] : The Arts Council does not invest directly in individual "Percent for Art" schemes but encourages developers through education and example. It estimates that it has spent some £32,000 in this way since 1988. The success of its campaigning has created an increased demand for expertise and the council is now considering how best to meet this demand. It is already committed to spending £30,000 over the next three years to support the creation of new posts in four local authorities aimed at introducing the "Percent for Art" policy within the planning system. The council is meeting half the cost of these posts.

British Library

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the value of the land to be sold on the north side of the new British library site at St. Pancras.

Mr. Luce [holding answer 11 July 1990] : The final value will depend on how much is surplus and the use to which the land can be put. A 5 acre area of land at the north end of the site was estimated in 1989 to be worth between £4.5 million and £6 million.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the estimated value of the Somers Town goods yard site at St. Pancras.

Mr. Luce [holding answer 11 July 1990] : It has not been necessary to obtain a valuation for the whole site.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is the cost of site preparation of the land on the north side of the new British Library site at St. Pancras and its area in relation to the area to be occupied by the British Library.

Mr. Luce [holding answer 11 July 1990] : The cost of removing the existing railway structures from the 2.7 acre strip at the northern end of the site totals £300,000. The remainder of the site, including the area to be occupied by the British library, comprises 9.8 acres.

EMPLOYMENT

Cobalt

Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on the extent to which employers are currently complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations in relation to control of cobalt exposure and provision of medical facilities to employees exposed to cobalt in the manufacture and use of tungsten carbide, and on the extent to which conditions have improved since the last Health and Safety Executive internal report on the matter.

Mr. Nicholls : Data available within the Health and Safety cover a special project national exercise on cobalt exposure in the hard metal industry for the period 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1990 ; it is not possible without disproportionate cost to give data covering just the second year.

During the overall period, 122 premises were visited where cobalt was used ; some more than once. By the end


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of the two-year period, HSE inspectors considered control to be satisfactory and in full compliance with the COSHH Regulations at 106 premises. For seven premises results of atmospheric monitoring are not yet available. At nine premises, exposure was judged to be inadequately controlled ; enforcement action is continuing at these premises to ensure compliance with COSHH.

HSE does not have comprehensive information on the provision of medical facilities at these premises.

Asbestos

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the workplaces known to his Department with sprayed asbestos on the structural steelwork.

Mr. Nicholls : The information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Benefit Claimants

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many unemployed claimants in each month since 9 October 1989 have (a) been issued with warning letters for not actively seeking work, (b) had their claims referred to an adjudication officer for not actively seeking work and (c) had their claims (i) allowed and (ii) disallowed ; where the claim has been disallowed, how many were (A) successful and (B) unsuccessful in claiming reduced income support ; where an adjudication decision is pending, how many have been (1) successful and (2) unsuccessful in claiming reduced income support ; how many have been referred to an adjudication officer for refusing employment ; how many of those so referred had their benefit disqualified ; and if he will provide the figures for Great Britain, each region and area adjudication sections in London.

Mr. Nicholls : The employment service became an executive agency on 2 April 1990. Mr. Mike Fogden, the Employment Service Agency's chief executive, will be replying in writing to the hon. Gentleman regarding the number of claimants issued with warning letters for not actively seeking work. That part of the question asking for numbers of claimants who were successful/unsuccessful in claiming reduced income support should be directed to the Secretary of State for Social Security.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of unemployed claimants in Great Britain, each region and the London employment service Areas, who were referred to an adjudication officer on grounds of voluntary unemployment, in the quarters ended December 1988, March 1989 and September 1989, categorised according to each reason for disqualification ; and how many in each case have (a) been disqualified and (b) not been disqualified.

Mr. Nicholls : The Employment Service became an executive agency on 2 April 1990. Mr. Mike Fogden, the Employment Service Agency's chief executive, will be replying in writing to the hon. Gentleman.


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WALES

Computers (Schools)

Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the level of integration of computers on to the school timetable in Wales.

Sir Wyn Roberts : This information is not available. The level of integration of information technology across the curriculum varies with such factors as the age of pupils, the


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phase of education, and subjects timetabled as well as access to computer equipment, and is not statistically quantifiable.

Maternity Services

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Wales if he will list the hospitals in Wals which had consultant obstetric and/or general practitioner maternity beds in 1980, 1985 or the most recent year for which information is available and the numbers of beds of each type in each hospital in each year.

Mr. Grist : The information is given in the table :


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                              1980                      1989-90                               

Hospital                     |Obstetric   |GP Maternity|Obstetric   |GP Maternity             

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

Clwyd                                                                                         

Catherine Gladstone          |-           |12.0        |-           |8.0                      

Chatsworth House             |-           |17.0        |-           |-                        

Chirk                        |-           |8.0         |-           |-                        

Colwyn Bay Community         |-           |-           |-           |3.0                      

Colwyn Bay Maternity         |-           |13.1        |-           |-                        

HM Stanley                   |47.0        |-           |52.0        |-                        

Llangollen                   |-           |5.0         |-           |-                        

Ruthin                       |-           |1.9         |-           |-                        

Ysbyty Maelor                |66.0        |-           |62.9        |-                        

                                                                                              

East Dyfed                                                                                    

Amman Valley                 |20.0        |-           |-           |-                        

Bronglais                    |16.0        |-           |16.0        |-                        

West Wales General           |32.0        |-           |32.0        |-                        

                                                                                              

Gwent                                                                                         

County                       |36.0        |12.0        |24.0        |6.0                      

Nevill Hall                  |31.3        |0.7         |44.0        |9.3                      

Royal Gwent                  |84.0        |11.0        |58.7        |11.0                     

                                                                                              

Gwynedd                                                                                       

Bryn Beryl                   |-           |5.9         |-           |5.0                      

Dolgellau and Barmouth       |-           |10.0        |-           |7.0                      

Gors Maternity               |-           |15.5        |-           |-                        

St. Davids                   |59.7        |-           |61.0        |-                        

Towyn                        |-           |3.0         |-           |3.0                      

                                                                                              

Mid Glamorgan                                                                                 

Aberdare                     |26.2        |5.0         |25.0        |5.0                      

Bridgend General             |50.0        |-           |-           |-                        

Caerphilly Miners            |38.0        |-           |38.8        |-                        

East Glamorgan               |50.0        |-           |45.3        |-                        

Llwynypia                    |32.0        |-           |13.9        |-                        

Maesteg                      |-           |14.0        |-           |-                        

Merthyr General              |12.1        |-           |25.0        |-                        

Princess of Wales            |-           |-           |51.0        |-                        

St. Tydfils                  |13.3        |-           |-           |-                        

                                                                                              

Pembrokeshire                                                                                 

Withybush                    |30.0        |20.0        |30.9        |8.9                      

                                                                                              

Powys                                                                                         

Brecon War Memorial          |-           |6.0         |-           |6.0                      

Builth Cottage               |-           |4.0         |-           |3.0                      

Knighton                     |-           |2.0         |-           |2.0                      

Llandrindod Wells            |-           |7.0         |-           |4.0                      

Llandiloes                   |-           |6.0         |-           |5.0                      

Machynlleth and District     |-           |2.0         |-           |2.0                      

Montgomery Infirmary         |-           |6.0         |-           |5.7                      

Victoria Memorial            |-           |8.0         |-           |8.0                      

                                                                                              

South Glamorgan                                                                               

St. David's                  |86.0        |2.0         |64.0        |2.0                      

University Hospital of Wales |71.0        |-           |70.7        |-                        

                                                                                              

West Glamorgan                                                                                

Gorseinon                    |11.5        |-           |12.0        |-                        

Mt. Pleasant                 |38.7        |-           |-           |-                        

Morriston                    |39.4        |-           |75.6        |-                        

Neath General                |62.0        |-           |40.4        |-                        


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Cataract Treatment

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evidence collected and used by his Department underlay the decision to locate the specialist centre for the treatment of cataracts in Wales in Gwynedd health authority.

Mr. Grist : The ophthalmology treatment centre, while open to patients from the whole of Wales, is intended primarily to solve a particular waiting times problem in north Wales.

The decision to locate the treatment centre in Gwynedd was made on the basis of proposals received from health authorities and on the results of a special survey conducted in July 1989, which estimated that over 500 patients had been waiting more than four months for treatment for cataracts in Gwynedd and Clwyd at that date.

Financial Planning

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for the financial years 1985-86 to 1989-90 the inflation figure his Department advised (a) district councils, (b) county councils and (c) health authorities in Wales to use in their advance planning and estimate making for each specific financial year.

Mr. David Hunt : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave him on 9 July 1990.

Rivers

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he intends to take to improve the classifications achieved by rivers in Wales in accordance with the National Water Council grading system.

Mr. Grist : We will be setting statutory water quality objectives for all rivers and estuaries in Wales in the light of the findings of the river quality survey presently being carried out by the National Rivers Authority and its subsequent advice.

Defence Installations

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what criteria he uses for considering appeals from the decisions of local planning authorities where the proposals concern defence installations.

Mr. Grist : Each case is considered on its merits, having regard to the development plan and all other material considerations. All factors are carefully weighted before reaching a decision.

Community Health Councils

Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is now in a position to announce his decision on the future structure of community health councils in Wales.

Mr. David Hunt : Yes. Over 200 responses were received to the consultation paper which outlined our proposals for the reduction in the number of community health councils (CHCs) in Wales and other issues.

I have now completed my consideration of those responses and whilst recognising that support is evident


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for certain of the proposals I have taken full cognisance of the fact that the majority of those who replied were not in favour of the reduction in the number of CHCs to one per district health authority (DHA). In most cases it was felt that many DHAs in Wales covered too large an area, or had too large a population, to be adequately serviced by a single CHC.

I have therefore decided to retain 22 CHCs in Wales, comprised as they are at present. Nevertheless, I still feel that there are considerable advantages in CHCs coming together at times when dealing with DHAs on district-wide issues and will be suggesting that councils consider setting up joint committee systems such as that which is employed in Mid Glamorgan. It is also my intention to pursue certain of the other measures which were outlined in the paper and which I consider will be of benefit to the way in which CHCs operate. These measures will include the transfer of responsibility for the employment of all CHC staff from DHAs to the Welsh Health Common Services Authority and consideration of improved staff training ; greater involvement in consumer attitudes and quality of care issues generally ; production of forward plans of action ; and the possible involvement of CHCs in the DHA and practitioner committee annual review procedures.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Regulations

Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many regulations his Department has introduced in each of the last three years.

Mr. Redwood : The number of statutory instruments (including regulations, rules and orders) made by my Department in each of the last three years was as follows :


       |Number       

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

1987   |82           

1988   |120          

1989   |138          

Some of these replace older regulations, and others have been necessary to fulfil our obligations to implement EC directives in connection with the single market programme.

Hi-tech Industries

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what new initiatives he plans to encourage the growth of markets for British hi-tech industries.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My Department encourages growth in all markets by promoting enterprise and by creating a climate in which industry can flourish. There are no plans at present for any specific new initiatives.

Research

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much of the money allocated to the Link research funding programme has had to be returned to the Exchequer due to lack of demand.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No money allocated to the Link research programme has had to be returned to the Exchequer. Once funding is committed to a Link project it will be made available as necessary.


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The actual spend on Link projects lags significantly behind commitment. This is due to the time involved in industry and science based institutes concluding formal agreements to collaborate, together with the fact that industrial grants are paid in arrears. This situation is made worse by industry frequently taking up to 12 months after the work has taken place to submit claims.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criticisms of the Link funding rules have been received by his Department.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Comments on Link, including its funding rules, have been made by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, the Confederation of British Industry, the Engineering Council, and others. Their observations are currently being studied.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what changes are planned in the Link research funding rules.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : None at present, although as with all such schemes, the rules are reviewed from time to time.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the money allocated to the Link research funding research programme has been (a) spent and (b) committed, to date.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : A total of 24 programmes have been approved under the Link scheme targeting priority areas of research. £160 million has been committed by government to finance the research in these programmes providing industry comes forward with a matching £160 million for individual projects. To date 65 individual collaborative research projects have been agreed and are under way with a total commitment from government and industry of £37 million. Due to the time taken to establish collaborative projects and the delay in industry submitting claims for work undertaken the spend for the financial year 1989-90 was only around £7 million but this is expected to increase significantly during the course of the current financial year.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what factors account for the low take-up of the money allocated to the Link research funding project.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Whilst 24 Link programmes have been announced, most of the 65 current research projects under way have only become active within the last 12 months. For example, on 6 April 1989 there were only 12 active research projects, whereas by 29 May 1990 the number has risen to 65. In addition, on 29 May 1990 a further 57 were through all stages of technical approval and were awaiting final financial clearance or the Department was waiting for the industrial partners to satisfactorily conclude crucial collaborative agreements. The time delay between the approval of research programmes targeting a particular area and the conclusion of collaborative agreements between individual science based institutes and industry to proceed on a particular project is reflected in the actual Link spend being significantly behind the commitment. This is exacerbated by the fact that industrial grants are paid in arrears, that


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is after costs have been incurred and particularly in the early days of a project, claims may not be submitted for up to 12 months after the work has taken place. As a result the actual spend to date has been low but is expected to increase significantly during the course of this financial year.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what proportion of projects funded under the European framework programme there is a United Kingdom academic partner and no United Kingdom industrial partner ; and what are the reasons for this.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : A fundamental objective of EC research and development collaboration is to encourage greater interaction between academic and industrial research in order to increase European competitiveness in world markets.

In general, United Kingdom industry has made considerable progress in participation in international collaboration and in winning funds from the EC research and development budget. With the greater emphasis in the 1990- 94 framework programme on basic science, for example in biomedicine, health and the environment, United Kingdom universities and research establishments should be able to increase their already significant involvement in EC collaborative activities.

The split between United Kingdom industrial and academic involvement varies according to the content of individual research programmes and disproportionate effort would be required to extract this information on the 32 specific programmes under the 1987-91 framework programme.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has on the number of United Kingdom academics transferring their research ideas to the United Kingdom's competitors ; and what factors account for this transfer.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My Department makes no provision for the collection of information on the number of United Kingdom academics transferring their research ideas to the United Kingdom's competitors.

Dunsdale Securities

Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what conclusions he has drawn about the quality of the flow of information between regulators and his Department in the light of the failure of Dunsdale Securities.

Mr. Redwood [holding answer 12 July 1990] : Since the Securities and Investments Board and the self-regulating organisations took over responsibility for the regulation of investment businesses on 29 April 1988, there has been no requirement for them to keep the Department informed of their day-to-day dealings with particular firms. In cases where significant problems emerge, the regulators directly concerned of course keep my Department in close touch with developments, as has happened over Dunsdale Securities since 6 June 1990.


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SOCIAL SECURITY

Deaf-Blind People

Mr. Bell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how his Department is monitoring the extension of mobility allowance, on 9 April, to deaf-blind people ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : Apart from normal arrangements for monitoring mobility allowance claims, separate records are kept of the number of claims from people who are both deaf and blind, and of the outcome of these claims.

Mr. Bell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what instructions, guidance and training has been given to examining doctors, members of medical boards and members of medical appeal tribunals on how to apply new regulations introduced on 9 April extending mobility allowance to deaf-blind people ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 19 April at columns 1012-13.

Autistic Children

Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many autistic children have been granted mobility allowance.

Mr. Scott : This information is not available.

Pensioners

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the level of support for pensioners in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, taking into account other benefits which are applicable to pensioners.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I refer my hon. Friend to the Department's publication, "Tables of Social Benefit Systems in the European Communities (position at 1 January 1989)", a copy of which is in the Library. These tables set out the levels of benefit in the national currencies together with the sterling equivalent converted according to the OECD's purchasing power parity figure as explained in the introduction to the tables.

Income Support

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what arrangements have been made for an adjudication officer from his Department to assess whether an income support claimant should receive reduced income support under the hardship rules following a doubt over actively seeking work or availability on the basis of papers received from the employment service.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : A hardship claim is automatically considered by an adjudication officer of the Department of Social Security when income support is suspended because of doubts as to whether a claimant is available for and actively seeking work. Such a claim is assessed on the individual's circumstances at the time, taking into account any other income and capital he has and any other relevant factors.


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Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether an income support claimant appealing against a decision to suspend, disallow or disqualify on grounds of actively seeking work, refusal of employment or restricted availability, will have his or her case reviewed by his Department's or the Department of Employment's adjudication officers before submission to a social security appeals tribunal.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Any appeal received against an income support decision will lead to the case being re-examined by the income support adjudication officer before a submission is made to the social security appeals tribunal. However, a formal review will only be instigated if new information is provided which gives sufficient grounds for this course of action.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether income support claimants whose benefit has been suspended for two or more weeks as a result of actively seeking work or availability doubts who are in receipt of housing benefits are required to make a fresh claim for housing benefit.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Where benefit is suspended and the local adjudication officer decides that hardship payments of income support are not appropriate, the claimant would be invited to make a fresh claim for housing benefit in order that entitlement can be determined in the light of the new circumstances.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has received any information on the operation of the rent officer arrangements within the housing benefit scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I have today arranged for information on the operation of the rent officer procedures for housing benefit purposes to be made available in the Library. This information, which was produced by the Department of the Environment and covers England and Wales, is based on the period April 1989 (when the procedures were introduced) to December 1989 inclusive.

Youth Training

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether youth training is a training scheme approved by him for the purposes of section 20(1)(e) to (g) of the Social Security Act 1975.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 29 June 1990] : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment has approved youth training, like its predecessor the youth training scheme, for the purposes of section 20(1)(e)-(g) of the Social Security Act 1975.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Assam Frontier Tea Ltd.

Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of India regarding the murder in Assam on 9 April of the chairman of the British-owned company, Assam Frontier Tea Ltd.


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Mr. Sainsbury : We were saddened by the murder of Mr. Surendra Paul. British-owned tea companies have made their concerns about security in Assam known to us, and we have put these to the Indian Government. The Indian Government have confirmed publicly that they have asked the Assam authorities to take action.

Cyprus

Mr. Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to the response by the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities to United Nations Security Council resolution 649 on the Cyprus problem ; and whether he will urge both sides to resume intercommunal talks.

Mr. Maude : We will continue to give active support to the United Nations Secretary-General's efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem. We believe that the United Nations Security Council resolution 649 clearly maps out the way forward, and we maintain diplomatic contact with all parties in order to assist the United Nations' effort.

LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

Newspapers

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make available a newspaper rack and daily newspapers for use of the staff and hon. Members on the Upper Committee Corridors.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : As the hon. Member knows newspapers are already provided in a number of general areas such as the Members' Tea Room, the Members' Smoking Room and the Library where Members can collectively make use of them. I will arrange for the hon. Member's suggestion to be considered.

SCOTLAND

Shop Premises

Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to increase inspection of shop premises ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 12 July 1990] : The food Safety Act 1990, which received Royal Assent on 29 June provides the necessary framework to enable inspections to be undertaken by local authority (district and islands councils) enforcement officials. The authorities will be required to have regard to codes of recommended practice issued by the Secretary of State for the execution and enforcement of the Act and of regulations and orders made under it.

Present measures will be further augmented and formalised next year by the EC Council directive on the official control of foodstuffs. Member states will require to operate a formal programme of inspections at all stages of food production, manufacture, processing, storage, transport, distribution and trade.


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