Home Page

Column 217

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 23 November 1990

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Welsh Students

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish the figures for the number of students in each university college in Wales who were normally resident in Wales for both 1989 and 1990 ; and if he will publish the figures in percentage form of the total number of students attending each college.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The numbers of students in academic year 1989-90 in each university college in Wales of Welsh domicile, and as expressed as percentages of the total numbers of students attending each college, are given in the table. The data cover all students whether full time, part time, undergraduate or postgraduate. The numbers for 1990 are not yet available.


Column 218


University of Wales-1989                                                   

               |Total students|Welsh         |Percentage                   

               |all domiciles |domicile      |Welsh                        

                                             |domicile                     

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

Aberystwyth    |3,929         |1,099         |28                           

Bangor         |3,606         |913           |25                           

Cardiff        |9,300         |3,302         |36                           

Lampeter       |897           |180           |20                           

Swansea        |5,725         |1,677         |29                           

UWCM           |1,120         |439           |39                           

               |-------       |-------       |-------                      

Total          |24,577        |7,610         |31                           

Source: Universities Statistical Record.                                   

State Education

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will show the total expenditure on state education in actual and 1989 prices in 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1989, showing the percentage increase in 1989 prices, and also the amount spent on teachers' salaries and related costs in each case in actual and percentage terms.

Mr. Eggar : Data for 1960 are not readily available. The available data for subsequent years on total United Kingdom education spending, and on spending on school teachers' salaries in England, are as follows :


Column 217


            Total education spending         Teachers' salaries                         

           |Cash terms|1989-90   |Increase  |Cash terms|1989-90   |Increase             

                      |prices                          |prices                          

           |£ billion |£ billion |Per cent. |£ billion |£ billion |Per cent.            

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

1970-71    |2.6       |16.5      |-         |0.6       |4.1       |-                    

1980-81    |12.9      |21.9      |33        |3.7       |6.3       |54                   

1988-89    |22.0      |23.4      |7         |6.6       |7.0       |11                   

1989-90    |24.1      |24.1      |3         |n.a.      |n.a.      |-                    

Notes:                                                                                  

1. The total education spending figures are drawn from the relevant Public Expenditure  

White Papers.                                                                           

2. The figures for spending on teachers' salaries are drawn from local authority        

spending returns. Data for 1989-90 are not yet available. Spending on teachers'         

salaries includes on-cost such as superannuation. No account is taken of changes in     

teacher numbers over the period shown.                                                  

3. The "increase" column shows the increase in spending at 1989-90 prices over the      

previous year shown.                                                                    

4. The figures at 1989-90 prices have been calculated using latest GDP deflators.       

Teachers

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will state on the same basis as his reply of 12 November, Official Report, column 46, the actual number of pupils being educated by local education authorities in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1989 and 1990, together with the pupil-teacher ratio in each case, based on actual numbers, showing also the change between 1970 and 1989 in actual and percentage terms.

Mr. Fallon : The information requested for local education authority -maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools is given in the table.


January each year |Actual           |Actual           |Ratio of                           

                  |teacher          |pupil            |actual pupil                       

                  |numbers          |numbers          |numbers to                         

                  |(thousands)      |(thousands)      |actual teacher                     

                                                      |numbers                            

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

1960<1>           |-                |-                |-                                  

1970              |347.8            |7,537.2          |21.7                               

1980              |455.7            |8,275.5          |18.2                               

1989              |421.0            |6,900.5          |16.4                               

1990<2>           |424.6            |-                |-                                  

<1> Not readily available.                                                                

<2> Data on pupil numbers are not yet available.                                          

Teacher numbers increased by 73,200, or 21 per cent., between 1970 and 1989. Pupil numbers decreased by 636,700 or 8 per cent. and the ratio of actual pupil numbers to actual teacher numbers also decreased by 24 per cent. over the same period.

Council for National Academic Awards

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to be in a position to respond on behalf of the Government to the conclusions reached by the report of the review of the Council for National Academic Awards.

Mr. Alan Howarth : I cannot yet say. The Government recognise the support for some change revealed by the consultations on the report's recommendations. However, the right for institutions to award their own degrees cannot be taken as an issue on its own. The report also raises important questions about which institutions should have this right, and about the nature of future quality assurance arrangements. We need to consider these further.


Column 219

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will set out the criteria currently required of those who seek to qualify for Council for National Academic Awards status ; and whether any changes are proposed in future ; (2) if he will make a statement as to how the estimated numbers likely to secure Council for National Academic Awards status as set out in paragraph 10.7 of his Department's review of the Council for National Academic Awards were arrived at ;

(3) what representations he has received from those institutions which may be denied Council for National Academic Awards status as proposed by the conclusions of the committee reviewing the Council for National Academic Awards.

Mr. Alan Howarth : Any educational institution or training organisation may apply to the Council for National Academic Awards for validation of its courses. If successful it is granted "associated" status and may later seek "accredited" status. The departmental policy review of the CNAA recommended that associated status should be phased out over a period, and that associated institutions should either seek to become accredited or should look to other educational institutions to validate their courses. Around half the 80 responses to the review have been from institutions with associated status, or from bodies whose membership includes such institutions. The Government are still considering their response to the review in the light of the consultations.

The estimate in the policy review of the number of institutions which might neither want, nor qualify for, accredited status was a matter for the review team.

Illiteracy

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what current plans he has to combat illiteracy in adults.

Mr. Eggar : Local education authorities are the main providers of basic literacy tuition for adults ; central Government support is provided to the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit, which acts as the central focus for adult literacy and basic skills work in England and Wales.

The Department will continue to work closely with the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit to promote improvements in adults' basic literacy skills. We are continuing to provide support through the education support grant programme to enable local education authorities to establish open learning centres and are encouraging the development of workplace tuition by employers. The training of tutors to teach adult literacy and related basic skills is currently a national priority area in the local education authority training grant programme. We will also continue to co-operate with the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit, the BBC and the Employment Department on the basic skills accreditation initiative.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what resources are being devoted to combat illiteracy among adults in the current financial year ; and what increase is proposed for the next three years.

Mr. Eggar : The Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office support the Adult Literacy and Basic


Column 220

Skills Unit : the Department's grant for the current financial year is £3,030,000. The Department is also supporting expenditure of £1.7 million this year in the education support grant programme to enable local education authorities to establish open learning centres. Training in adult literacy is a national priority area under the local education authority training grants scheme and we are supporting expenditure of £700,000 this year.

Local education authorities are the main providers of adult literacy and other basic skills tuition. The Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit estimates that local education authorities in England and Wales are spending about £26.3 million a year on adult basic education. The Employment Department funds training and enterprise councils, which provide training programmes taking account of local labour market needs, including the requirements of unemployed people with literacy difficulties. The Home Office also makes provision for those with inadequate literacy skills in prisons.

The Government are not yet in a position to announce what funds will be available in the next three years for those programmes which it funds directly. The expenditure of local education authorities is for them to decide in the light of available resources.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teachers are currently employed in the Government's efforts to tackle illiteracy.

Mr. Eggar : Comprehensive figures are not available. Local education authorities provide annual returns to the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit. These include the numbers of staff involved in teaching adult literacy and related basic skills. In November 1989, 751 full-time tutors and 8,514 part-time tutors were employed by local education authorities. In addition, there were 3,925 volunteer tutors.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will conduct a survey to establish the extent of illiteracy in adults in the United Kingdom at the present time ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : I have no plans to conduct such a survey at present. Our best estimate, based on evidence from the national child development study survey in 1981, suggests that about 13 per cent. of adults may have some problems with literacy and numeracy. I understand that a further survey for this study is currently taking place.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what agencies, voluntary and statutory, are involved in the Government's efforts to tackle adult illiteracy.

Mr. Eggar : A number of voluntary sector providers have a substantial involvement in adult basic education, for example, the National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders, but a comprenhensive list is not available. The main statutory agencies involved in improving adult literacy and related basic skills include the following : the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office which support the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit ; the Employment Department through its training, enterprise and education directorate ; the Home Office ; local education authorities ; and other organisations such as the BBC and the library service.


Column 221

Refugees

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will consider making additional earmarked grants available to local education authorities for provision of English courses for refugees newly arrived in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Fallon : It is open to local education authorities in England and Wales to apply for grants paid under section 210 of the Education Reform Act 1988 to meet the educational needs, including the need for English language teaching, of those who are for the time being resident in a camp or other accommodation or establishment provided for refugees or for displaced or similar persons. Provision for English language teaching for other refugees is a matter for the local education authority concerned. However, if the refugees are from the Commonwealth, local education authorities in England and Wales may apply for grant paid by the Home Office under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 to support the cost of English language teaching.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will consider making additional resources available to asylum seekers to meet the fees sought by British universities or colleges to which they may apply.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The Government do not regard it as appropriate to provide resources to meet the course fees of applicants for asylum, since there is no presumption that they will be allowed to remain in this country. Those granted asylum are eligible to apply for mandatory awards, or to pay fees at the home rate if they do not qualify for such an award.

Student Loans Company

Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if non-executive directors will be appointed to the board of the Student Loans Company.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The board of the Student Loans Company met on 1 November and, with the approval of the then holder of my office and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, appointed Mr. Ralph Kanter as non-executive director. This appointment will bring additional commercial expertise to the board of a successful and efficient company.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Child Care Cases

Mr. Carrington : To ask the Attorney-General what steps have been taken by the Lord Chancellor to nominate members of the judiciary to deal with child care cases in the higher courts under the Children Act 1989 ; and whether the location at which these hearings will take place have been determined.

The Attorney-General : The Children Act 1989 is due to be implemented on 14 October 1991. Central to the philosophy of the Act is the principle that children's cases in the higher courts should be heard by judicary who, by reason of their experience and training, are specialists in family work.


Column 222

Under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, the Lord Chancellor will have the power to nominate such judiciary, with the concurrence of the president of the family division. The nomination process is expected to extend over a period of months, but as a first step the Lord Chancellor has, with the approval of the right honourable Sir Stephen Brown, president of the family division, named 47 circuit judges who will be known as "designated family judges". This group of judges will be based at the network of county court "care centres" and will have the primary responsibility for hearing the child care cases transferred to those centres from the magistrates courts. Each centre will also provide the focus for a local implementation committee which will be chaired by the designated family judge and which will play a major role in developing implementation plans based on local circumstances. It is envisaged that these committees will begin their work well before October 1991.

The location of the "care centres" which were announced on 2 August have been confirmed following widespread consultation with justices' clerks, local authorities and other interest groups. The 50 locations, together with the name of the designated family judge assigned to each one, are as follows :



Location                             |      Judge                                                              

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

South Eastern circuit                                                                                          

Brighton                             |His Honour Judge Hammerton                                               

Chelmsford                           |His Honour Judge Groves TD RD                                            

Guildford                            |His Honour Judge Main QC                                                 

Ipswich                              |His Honour Judge Barnett QC                                              

Luton                                |His Honour Judge Hamilton                                                

Medway                               |His Honour Judge Russell Vick QC                                         

Milton Keynes                        |His Honour Judge Tyrer                                                   

Norwich                              |His Honour Judge Hyam                                                    

Reading                              |His Honour Judge Kenny                                                   

Watford                              |His Honour Judge Stockdale                                               

                                                                                                               

Midland and Oxford circuit                                                                                     

Birmingham                           |His Honour Judge Wilson Mellor QC                                        

Coventry                             |His Honour Judge Harold Wilson                                           

Derby                                |His Honour Judge Morrison                                                

Leicester                            |His Honour Judge Young                                                   

Lincoln                              |His Honour Judge Hutchinson                                              

Northampton                          |His Honour Judge John Wilson                                             

Nottingham                           |His Honour Judge Heald                                                   

Oxford                               |His Honour Judge Peter Crawford QC                                       

Peterborough                         |His Honour Judge Astill                                                  

Stoke                                |His Honour Judge Kenneth Taylor                                          

Telford                              |His Honour Judge Shand                                                   

Wolverhampton                        |His Honour Judge Stuart-White                                            

Worcester                            |His Honour Judge Roy Ward QC                                             

                                                                                                               

Western circuit                                                                                                

Bristol                              |Her Honour Judge Counsell                                                

Taunton                              |His Honour Judge Willcock QC                                             

Plymouth                             |His Honour Judge Sir Jonathan Clarke                                     

Truro                                |His Honour Judge Cox                                                     

Bournemouth                          |Her Honour Judge McKinney                                                

Portsmouth                           |His Honour Judge Wroath                                                  

                                                                                                               

Wales and Chester circuit                                                                                      

Cardiff                              |His Honour Judge Norman Francis                                          

Chester                              |His Honour Judge Roy Woolley                                             

Caernarfon and                                                                                                 

  Llangefni                          |His Honour Judge Eifion Roberts QC                                       

Warrington and Rhyl                  |(to be appointed)                                                        

Swansea                              |His Honour Judge Michael Evans QC                                        

Newport                              |His Honour Judge David Glyn Morgan                                       

Merthyr Tydfil                       |His Honour Judge Graham Jones                                            

                                                                                                               

Northern circuit                                                                                               

Manchester                           |His Honour Judge Lees                                                    

Liverpool                            |Her Honour Judge Ebsworth                                                

Carlisle                             |His Honour Judge Bell                                                    

Blackburn                            |His Honour Judge Lockett                                                 

Lancaster                            |His Honour Judge Mahon                                                   

                                                                                                               

North Eastern circuit                                                                                          

Hull                                 |His Honour Judge Barker                                                  

Leeds                                |His Honour Judge Geoffrey Baker QC                                       

Newcastle                            |His Honour Judge Paling                                                  

Middlesbrough                        |His Honour Judge Peter Fox QC                                            

Sheffield                            |His Honour Judge Fricker                                                 

Sunderland                           |His Honour Judge Carr                                                    

York                                 |His Honour Judge Coles QC                                                

The principal registry of the family division will act as the centre for child care cases in London. Mrs. Justice Bracewell, whose appointment as family division liaison judge for London was announced on 27 September, will be assigned special responsibility for this centre.

Drumcree Church Parade

Mr. Trimble : To ask the Attorney-General whether any proceedings have been taken against spectators of the church parade to Drumcree parish church, County Armagh, on 8 July, in respect of their threatening, abusive and insulting language or in respect of their display of flags and posters likely to provoke a breach of the peace.

Mr. Cope : I have been asked to reply.

This is a matter for the chief constable, but I understand that no arrests were made by police during the parade and no proceedings are pending.

ENVIRONMENT

Civil Defence

Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many civil servants are currently employed (a) full time and (b) part time by his Department on civil defence ; what the total costs of employing staff on civil defence duties were in 1989-90 ; what the total costs of employing staff on civil defence duties are expected to be in 1990-91 ; and whether he has any plans for these staff to be transferred to work on other duties.

Mr. Chris Patten : The information requested is as follows :


Number of       |Number of      |Total cost £   |Estimated                      

full-time staff |part-time      |1989-90        |total cost                     

employed on     |staff em-      |£              |1990-91                        

16 November     |ployed on                      |£                              

1990            |November                                                       

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

Nil             |34             |261K           |230K                           

My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary announced on 16 October that he had initiated a review of the options for the future of civil defence arrangements in the light of east-west relations. Future levels of expenditure in civil defence will depend on the outcome of that review.


Column 224

Vehicle Emissions

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment his Department has made of the emission standard for carbon monoxide for motor vehicles which would be necessary to achieve the environmental aims set out in his White Paper, "This Common Inheritance".

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : It is our assessment that the strict car exhaust emissions standards for which we are pressing within the European Community will enable us to achieve the Environmental White Paper aims for CO.

Avian Pests

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with the European Commission concerning the birds directive's provisions for avian pest species.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : There have been many meetings with the Commission in recent years, at both ministerial and official level, at which ways of accommodating pest control practices within the directive's protective framework for birds and their habitats have been discussed.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he intends to put to the European Community for a control scheme for avian pest species following his decision not to amend the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Only the European Commission may submit proposals to the Council for amending Community law. In the Government's view, however, there is a case for amending the EC birds directive so that where member states can show that control of avian pest species is necessary and would not endanger the survival of those species, they may authorise appropriate measures without having to operate unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. The Commission is aware of the Government's views.

Smoke Controls

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what support will be offered by his Department to implement the extension of Clean Air Act controls to areas of dense smoke.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Local authorities which designate smoke control areas under the Clean Air Acts are eligible for Exchequer grant of 40 per cent. of the cost of adapting heating and cooking appliances to burn fuel smokelessly. Since 1979-80, grants totalling more than £15 million have been awarded to local authorities in England and Wales.

The Mall

Mr. Summerson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why The Mall in London SW1 is closed to traffic on Sundays.

Mr. Trippier : The Mall is closed on Sundays to facilitate pedestrian access to St. James's park and to improve the amenity of the area for visitors.


Column 225

Government Offices (Furnishing)

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his assessment of the relative costs of furnishing Government offices (a) from Crown Suppliers and (b) from (i) German and (ii) other foreign suppliers.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Since 1987 Government Departments have been individually responsible for purchasing furniture wherever value for money can be obtained. The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is (a) the Government assistance per head in the North Devon district council area and (b) the community charge in the same area.

Mr. Key : External support to the North Devon district council area is £470 per adult in 1990-91. External support consists of revenue support grant, receipts from the national non-domestic rate pool, receipts from the safety net and low rateable values grant. The average community charge in the area is £319.

Charge payers in the North Devon area also receive additional Government assistance through community charge benefits and the transitional relief scheme.

Nature Conservancy Council

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the reasons he gave the Nature Conservancy Council for not providing it with additional funding to assist in the purchase of fenns and whixhall mosses.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We expect the Council to make the safeguarding of important sites a top priority when disbursing the grant in aid it receives from my Department each year. Its grant in aid was increased by almost £4 million to £44.069 million this year and should have been more than sufficient for the purchase of the fenns and whixall mosses. We do not retain funds within the Department for site acquistion.

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library the report commissioned by his Department to examine the feasibility of alternatives to reprocessing of nuclear waste.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I assume that the hon. Member is referring to DOE report No. DOE RW89/089 entitled "Packing, storage and direct disposal of spent AGR fuel". The report was submitted to the Department in November 1989. A copy was also sent to the national lending library in Boston Spa, where it is available to the public on request. I am arranging for a copy to be placed in the House Library.

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment his Department has made of the use of dry storage of nuclear waste from advanced gas-cooled reactors as an alternative to reprocessing or subterranean disposal ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : No such assessment has been made by my Department. The hon. Member is aware of


Column 226

the report commissioned by my Department on the feasibility of dry storage of spent fuel. Spent fuel is not nuclear waste unless it is designated for direct disposal. The storage of nuclear fuel is a matter for the nuclear industry.

County Hall (London)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why the bid from the County Hall Development Group for county hall was formally rescinded by the London residuary body ; and what the impact on capital receipts for the London boroughs will be.

Mr. Key : The County Hall Development Group failed to complete the purchase of county hall as required by the London residuary body. LRB notified London boroughs on 25 October that there would be no general distribution of Greater London capital receipts this year.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the future of county hall, London, SE1.

Mr. Key : My Department's letter of 24 July invited the London residuary body and the County Hall Development Group to submit amendments to the planning and associated applications that were the subject of a public inquiry in the autumn of 1989. Amendments were submitted by the London residuary body on 7 November and copies sent to all parties to the public inquiry. My Department has invited comments on the proposed amendments. I will be considering whether the inquiry should be reopened.

London Residuary Body

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what the £23.1 million deposit that appears on page 16 of the London residuary body accounts for 1989-90 relates to ; and what has happened to this deposit.

Mr. Key : The sum of £23.1 million relates to the deposit on the purchase of county hall. It is now held by the London residuary body and reserved from distribution in 1990-91 in accordance with the terms of the 1990 London capital money order.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to appoint a Labour party nominee to membership of the London residuary body.

Mr. Key : No.

Spencer House

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what items were transferred from Kenwood to Spencer house ; and what was the basis of the transfer.

Mr. Trippier : A suite of furniture comprising five chairs and two sofas, which had been on loan from Spencer house to Kenwood house since 1958, was returned to the painted room at the newly restored Spencer house when it was reopened on Monday 19 November. The furniture was purchased by the Victoria and Albert museum in 1977 and remained on loan to Kenwood house until its recent


Column 227

removal. This is consistent with the V and A's policy of reinstating furniture and works of art to their original locations wherever possible. The furniture will continue to be available for public view.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the basis of calculation that resulted in Wandsworth receiving the highest cash payment of inner London boroughs from the London residuary body in respect of capital receipts in 1989-90 and Barnet receiving the highest cash payment of the outer London boroughs.

Mr. Key : The distribution of capital receipts by the London residuary body is based on population. The London borough of Croydon received the largest cash payment of the outer London boroughs.

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the recommendations in the report of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux "Coping with the Community Charge".

Mr. Key [holding answer 22 November 1990] : Officials in my Department discussed with the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux the detail of the report last July. Substantial assistance has also been given to the association towards the creation of an office manual on the community charge for advice bureaux officers.

Langbaurgh District Council

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his recent meeting with representatives of Langbaurgh district council.

Mr. Key [holding answer 22 November 1990] : I met my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt) and representatives of the district council on 21 November. The delegation made a number of points about the proposals for the revenue support grant settlement which will be considered before final decisions are taken. They also raised the question of charge capping.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Water Projects, India

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when the water project in Orissa state will be going ahead ; and if the Government will fund the training rig programme ;

(2) what is the current position regarding talks between the Overseas Development Administration and (a) Save the Children, (b) UNICEF and (c) the People's Rural Education Movement in respect of the water projects in Orissa state, Uttar Pradesh, Rajastan and Gujarat, respectively.

Mrs. Chalker : We have submitted to the Government of India a detailed proposal for a mission to formulate an integrated rural water supply project in southern Orissa, to tackle engineering, health and social issues jointly. The organisations to be involved in the project, which may include those referred to by the hon. Lady, will depend on the mission's findings.


Column 228

We have confirmed to UNICEF in writing our interest in funding British rigs for certain villages, in a number of Indian states, as part of its next five-year programme. We have discussions with it next week. The need for a training rig programme will depend on UNICEF's response.

HEALTH

Mentally Ill People

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to extend the grant made available to care for the mentally ill, to cover mentally handicapped people in general.

Mr. Dorrell : The specific mental illness grant was introduced because, in comparison with other client groups, local authorities had not been able to give sufficient priority to the mentally ill. In contrast, local authority expenditure on services for mentally handicapped people has been rising steadily in real terms over a sustained period, increasing by 72 per cent. between 1979-80 and 1988-89 to £358 million.

Disabled People

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on local authorities being empowered to make payments directly to disabled people to make their own care arrangements.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : There have been a number of representations on the subject.

Snapethorpe Hospital, Wakefield

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that any moneys accruing to Yorkshire regional health authority from the proposed sale of Snapethorpe hospital, Wakefield, are made available to Wakefield district health authority.

Mr. Dorrell : To encourage district health authorities to identify surplus property it is our policy that district health authorities should benefit from the proceeds of sales. Regional health authorities are instructed, therefore, to pass a significant proportion of sale proceeds to the district health authority which initiates the sale. Regarding the proposed sale of Snapethorpe I suggest the hon. Member contacts the regional health authority chairman, Sir Bryan Askew.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Teacher Training

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether teacher training colleges have any latitude in interpreting the recommendations of the committee for course accreditation for teacher education.


Next Section

  Home Page