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Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to his written answer of 13 January, Official Report, column 454, and the publication of his review of Government sports policy, what calculations he made as to the likely cost of the additional offices required for a separate United Kingdom sports commission.
Mr. Atkins : As I made clear in my written answer of 13 January, Official Report, column 454, the United Kingdom Sports Commission and the Sports Council for England will be funded from within the provision made available for the Great Britain Sports Council. The size and location of offices required as a result of this re-structuring will be a matter for discussion with the Great Britain Sports Council and its successor bodies.
Mr. Fallon : My right hon. and learned Friend expects shortly to receive the report he commissioned from Professor Alexander, Mr. Rose and Mr. Woodhead. When it is published it will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will pulish a list of all HIV and hepatitis B virus research laboratories and production facilities in England and Wales.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The main Government agency for funding medical research in this country is the Medical Research Council. Its latest handbook for 1991 gives details of the location of the research which it supports. A copy has been placed in the Library.
Publicly funded medical research is also conducted in universities and through the health authorities and health Departments. Information on such research and on research undertaken by companies and the medical research charities is not collected centrally.
Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what senior appointments he expects to make to the Further Education Funding Council for England and the Higher Education Funding Council for England to be established under the Further and Higher Education Bill [Lords].
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : Subject to the passage of the Further and Higher Education Bill, we intend to make the following appointments. For the Further Education Funding Council for England : Chairman : Mr. Robert Gunn, former Chairman of the Boots Company plc ; and
Chief Executive : Dr. William Stubbs, currently Chief Executive of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council (PCFC).
For the Higher Education Funding Council for England :
Column 668Chairman (as already announced) : Sir Ron Dearing, currently Chairman of the PCFC ; and
Chief Executive : Professor Graeme Davies, currently Chief Executive of the Universities Funding Council.
These will be strong teams to help steer the two new councils in funding the effective expansion of both further and higher education.
In advance of these appointments, Dr. Stubbs will be seconded to the Department to help prepare for the new further education funding arrangements. Professor Davies is therefore being appointed also as chief executive of the PCFC.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consideration is given in allocating funds to the Open university, to the teaching and learning difficulties encountered in remote and scattered rural areas.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Government recognise the special role of the Open university in serving those living at a distance from other higher education institutions. The Government continue to support the Open university and has funded 3,000 additional undergraduate places at the university in 1992.
The funds given to the Open university are not earmarked to particular areas. However, the university has a commitment to make its services available to those living in all parts of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Fallon : The schools component of standard spending assessments (SSAs) is already largely based on pupil numbers, but with an allowance, equivalent to about 20 per cent. of standard spending for schools, for the additional cost of educating pupils in areas of relative deprivation and for the relatively high labour costs of London and the south east. Authorities are not bound by SSAs, but are free to make their own decisions about total spending on schools and the distribution of funding between schools and between pupils, subject to the current LMS requirement that at least 75 per cent. of funds delegated to schools must be distributed with reference to pupil numbers. My right hon. Friend welcomes indications that LEAs are beginning to take action to narrow the gap between spending levels per pupil in the primary and secondary phases.
Staffordshire local education authority Pupil:teacher ratio |1989|1990|1991 --------------------------------------- Primary Schools<2> |23.0|23.3|23.1 <1> Excludes nursery schools. <2> Based on qualified teachers only in schools.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish the information relating to the attainment of children in key stage one tests in English, mathematics and science, and in all three subjects combined, ranking local authorities by attainment in their area at level three.
Mr. Eggar : The following table ranks LEAs' combined English, mathematics and science results of the 1991 tests of seven-year-olds by the proportion of pupils attaining level three. The other information requested can be derived from the tables at annex B of the full report placed in the Library of the House on 19 December.
Key Stage 1 Assessment LEA Ranking LEA |Percentage |at Level 3 --------------------------------------------------- Bromley |26 Haringey |26 Harrow |24 Richmond upon Thames |24 Merton |23 Barnet |22 Camden |22 Hackney |21 Sutton |21 West Sussex |21 Wirral |21 Gloucestershire |20 Hertfordshire |20 Isle of Wight |20 Rotherham |20 Surrey |20 Hillingdon |19 Kensington and Chelsea |19 Kirklees |19 Lewisham |19 Redbridge |19 Solihull |19 Westminster |19 Brent |18 Buckinghamshire |18 East Sussex |18 Enfield |18 Hampshire |18 North Yorkshire |18 Nottinghamshire |18 Wandsworth |18 Avon |17 Cheshire |17 Newcastle upon Tyne |17 Shropshire |17 Waltham Forest |17 Warwickshire |17 Wiltshire |17 Bedfordshire |16 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |16 Croydon |16 Doncaster |16 Hereford and Worcester |16 Islington |16 Manchester |16 Norfolk |16 Somerset |16 St. Helens |16 Stockport |16 Trafford |16 Wolverhampton |16
English, Mathematics and Science combined LEA |Percentage |at Level 3 --------------------------------------------- Barking and Dagenham |15 Berkshire |15 Cambridgeshire |15 Cumbria |15 Devon |15 Dorset |15 Essex |15 Gateshead |15 Northamptonshire |15 Northumberland |15 Sheffield |15 South Tyneside |15 Derbyshire |14 Durham |14 Ealing |14 Greenwich |14 Hammersmith and Fulham |14 Liverpool |14 North Tyneside |14 Oldham |14 Oxfordshire |14 Sefton |14 Southwark |14 Tameside |14 Wigan |14 Havering |13 Hounslow |13 Humberside |13 Kent |13 Leeds |13 Leicestershire |13 Lincolnshire |13 Suffolk |13 Coventry |12 Kingston upon Thames |12 Bury |11 Calderdale |11 Rochdale |11 Bexley |10 Birmingham |10 Bolton |10 Cleveland |10 Knowsley |10 Salford |10 Sandwell |10 Wakefield |10 Dudley |9 Lancashire |9 Newham |9 Sunderland |9 Walsall |8 Barnsley |7 Staffordshire |6 Bradford |5 Total England |15
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with Nottingham city council regarding the use of housing tribunals or housing courts to process actions against bad neighbours and neighbour nuisance ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he has any plans to consider the issue of human settlement in the preparatory work undertaken by his Department for the forthcoming United Nations conference on environment and development ; (2) what proposals Her Majesty's Government has for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development for addressing the issue of urbanisation and human settlement generally.
Mr. Baldry : Early United Nations meetings concerned with drawing up the agenda for UNCED took little account of urban development and human settlements. However the United Kingdom and the other member states of the EC successfully argued that the subject should be dealt with as a major cross-sectoral issue. The secretariat's proposals to be presented to the final preparatory committee in March are expected to reflect the views put forward by the EC.
Mr. Gould : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what initial screening of companies seeking to tender for the maintenance of any of the royal parks took place on grounds of a horticultural quality threshold or the company's financial position ;
(2) what account he has taken of the experience of individual local councils who have awarded horticultural contracts to a prospective tendering company, in drawing up short lists for maintenance of the royal parks.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 16 January 1992] : Companies wishing to tender for garden and landscape maintenance work in the royal parks were asked to complete a pre-tender questionnaire providing details of their company finances and their contracts. This information, together with assessments of the horticultural quality of their current work by site visits and the financial viability of each company, was then considered in drawing up a short list of tenderers for each park. The experience of individual local authorities has been a relevant factor in drawing up these short lists of tenderers for garden and landscape work in the royal parks.
Mr. Gould : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will disqualify any contractors proposing staffing levels signficantly below the minimum staffing levels for maintenance recommended in the 1989 consultants' report from bidding for the maintenance contract of St. James's park.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 16 January 1992] : No. But my Department has satisfied itself that the chosen contractor will employ enough skilled and unskilled operatives to tend the gardens and grounds to our high standards--and indeed to improve on our present standards in certain respects.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The NHS low income scheme is administered by the Department of Social Security on behalf of the Department of Health, on a repayment basis. Figures are available only for the three years 1989- 90, 1990-91 and 1991-92. The repayments for those years have been £8.107 million, £7.180 million and £5.137 million respectively.
The Committee was chaired by Sir Cecil Clothier KCB, QC. The Government are grateful to Sir Cecil and the members of this eminent committee for producing a clear and comprehensive report on a scientifically complex subject.
The committee's main conclusions and recommendations are : Gene therapy offers for the first time in many genetic disorders the prospect of effective treatment and cure. It also has other possible clinical applications. Before introduction into medical practice it must be ethically acceptable and shown to be so. Gene therapy raises no new ethical principle but the familiar issues which attend the introduction of any new medical procedure are heightened because of the special qualities of the genetic make-up of individuals. The Committee believe that, all gene therapy treatments should initially be regarded as research and be governed by the existing requirements which already apply in the United Kingdom to research involving human subjects. This is an important safeguard for the patient.
Gene therapy should be directed to the alleviation of genetic disease in individual patients. It should not be used to change or enhance normal human traits.
A new expert supervisory body should be established to provide scientific and medical advice on matters germane to the safety and efficacy of human gene modification, and its use. This supervisory body should work in conjunction with local research ethics committees when proposals for gene therapy are made.
Because there is insufficient knowledge to evaluate the risk to future generations, genetic modification of reproductive cells, or the germ cells which give rise to them, should not at present be attempted.
As the report says, gene therapy offers for the first time the prospect of effective treatment and cure in many genetic disorders. In such an important and sensitive area, Ministers believe that those with an interest --both professional and lay people--should be given an opportunity to respond to the committee's recommendations. We have therefore decided to consult widely on the committee's report and would welcome comments from organisations and individuals. The Government will decide what steps to take once these views are available. The consultation period will end on 18 May 1992. It is not expected that proposals for gene therapy will be made in the immediate future ; but it is judged prudent to make arrangements for handling any proposals that may be made before substantive arrangements are in place. Accordingly the Committee on the Ethics of Gene Therapy has been asked to remain in being.
Copies of the report have been placed in the Library and I am arranging for copies to be available in the Vote Office.
Column 674to health authorities in 1987, HC(87)18, a copy of which is available in the Library. There are no plans to issue any further guidance at present.
Mr. Rathbone : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidelines the chief medical officer has issued to consultants and general practitioners on how best to treat those suffering from the use of ecstasy and similar drugs ;
(2) what advice has been given to general practitioners on how best to warn patients on their lists of the risks of illness and death from ecstasy and similar drugs.
Mr. Dorrell : The Department has recently published updated "Guidelines on Clinical Management of Drug Misuse and Dependence", a copy of which is available in the Library. These are being circulated to every doctor in England, Scotland and Wales. The guidelines include information for doctors on the problems associated with use of ecstasy and similar drugs and recommend a range of treatments for these problems.
Mr. Dorrell : Exploratory work is being undertaken by a group of doctors at the Institute of Psychiatry and the Maudsley hospital to determine the possible adverse effects of ecstasy. The Department is keeping a watching brief on this and is aware of some interest in this area among other drug researchers.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will introduce legislation to require surgeons and dental surgeons to wear masks in combination with eye protection devices whenever splashes, spray, spatter or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials may be generated and eye, nose or mouth contamination can be reasonably anticipated ;
(2) if he will place in the Library a summary of those requirements that employers are required to meet to protect their employees who work in hospital premises from being infected with blood or other potentially infectious materials ;
(3) if he will introduce legislation to increase protection for employees working in health premises who have contact with laundry contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials ; (4) if he will introduce legislation to ensure that all health employees who carry out phlebotomies at volunteer blood donation centres are required to wear gloves when (a) the employee has cuts, scratches or other breaks in his or her skin, (b) the employee judges that hand contamination with blood may occur and (c) the employee is receiving training in phlebotomy.
Column 675All employers have legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work for all their employees, and to ensure that persons not employed, but who may be affected by their undertakings, are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. Employers are also required by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 1988, to carry out a risk assessment for all activities which are likely to expose any employees to any substance hazardous to health, including pathogenic micro-organisms. A range of guidance and codes of practice, published by the Health Departments, the Health and Safety Executive, and by health service professional associations, is available to employers and employees to help ensure appropriate standards of hygiene and minimise the risk of any spread of infection as a result of clinical activities. I would refer the hon. Member particularly to the booklet, published in January 1990 by the UK health departments through HMSO, entitled "Guidance for Clinical Health Workers : Protection Against Infection with HIV and Hepatitis Viruses". A copy of this booklet is available in the Library,
There are no plans for legislation to cover separately the matters referred to by the hon. Member.
Mr. Wolfson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the results of energy management schemes in the national health service over the last 10 years ; and what energy efficiency targets have been set for the next five years.
Mr. Dorrell : The National Health Service is currently saving £68 million a year through improved energy management. The cumulative savings from this source released to improved patient care in the past 10 years amounts to £379 million. The NHS is committed to achieving further savings of 15 per cent. over the five years from April 1991 as part of the Government's continuing energy efficiency campaign.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make an immediate announcement on the declarations of interest in trust status submitted by the Churchill hospital and the acute services in Oxford.
Mr. Dorrell : There is no intention of freezing the trust programme. The health service reforms are already producing benefits to patients and we wish to see the national health service building on the progress already established.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which district health authorities and trusts have cook-chill systems of hospital catering ; and which regional health authorities have a region wide policy of cook-chill catering in hospital.
Mr. Dorrell : This information is not held centrally. It is a matter for district health authorities and trusts to use catering systems that they consider meet their requirements of quality within their available resources.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy to amend the terms and conditions of contract of services for general practitioners to include the provision that medical evidence is supplied free to all claimants where this is submitted in relation to a claim for social security benefits ; (2) what measures are in hand to consolidate and review the national health service General and Medical and Pharmaceutical Regulations ; and if he will bring forward proposals to make it mandatory that all medical evidence needed by social security claimants in support of their benefit claims is available free.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Where medical evidence is expressly required under Social Security legislation to establish entitlement to a particular benefit, GPs are obliged to provide it free of charge to their NHS patients. Such certificates are listed in the National Health Service (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 1974. This obligation will be preserved intact in these regulations which are currently being consolidated.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Hospital-based social workers often advise hospital patients about how to claim social security benefits. In addition, depending on local arrangements, hospital staff may sometimes perform this function.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is issued to health authorities and trusts with regard to involving the police in returning to hospitals patients subject to compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 who have absconded.
Mr. Dorrell : The code of practice issued under the Mental Health Act 1983 states (at paragraph 21.4) that the hospital should always inform the police if a dangerous or restricted patient absconds. Section 18 of the Act also authorises police officers to detain such patients and return them to hospital.
Column 677Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Once the regulations have been made they will be published and made available to hon. Members in the usual way.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much financial support is given to African countries by members of the development assistance committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the most recent available information.
Donor |US$ million --------------------------------------- Australia |76.27 Austria |47.35 Belgium |220.16 Canada |514.23 Denmark |293.43 Finland |252.13 France |3,388.55 Germany |1,342.41 Ireland |12.44 Italy |1,208.70 Japan |1,206.02 Netherlands |552.31 New Zealand |0.88 Norway |312.90 Sweden |534.39 Switzerland |167.75 United Kingdom |697.89 United States |1,853.00 |------- Total |12,650.79 Source: OECD.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the impact of World bank funded projects for soya bean production on south American rainforests.
Mrs. Chalker : The World bank has not funded projects for soya bean production in South America apart from one in Bolivia which was partly concerned with changing the use of existing agricultural land to soya bean production. An overall aim of this project is to develop sustainable agriculture on existing agricultural land, one effect of which would be to reduce pressures for further encroachment into the forest areas.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the contributions made to date, and planned under the know-how funds for central and eastern Europe ; and if he will make a statement on those countries not yet in receipt of the fund.
? |1989-90 |1990-91 |1991-92 |£ million|£ million|£ million --------------------------------------------------------------- Poland |2.3 |10.9 |11.5 Hungary |n/a |1.6 |6.1 Czechoslovakia |n/a |2.0 |6.4 Ex-German Democratic Republi0.5/a n/a Bulgaria |n/a |n/a |1.3 Romania |n/a |n/a |1.3 Baltic States/Former Soviet n/aon n/a 10.0
Our total budget for 1991-92 is £36 million which, allowing for a small amount of slippage, we expect to spend in full. The budget for 1992- 93 has been increased to £46 million which again we hope to spend in full.
We have no plans at present to extend the fund to any further countries.
Mrs. Chalker : Under the know-how fund, which was extended to Czechoslovakia in March 1990, we provided some £2 million in 1990-91 and expect to spend up to £6 million in 1991-92. For details of the projects supported I refer to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Atkinson) on 18 June 1991 at column 93. Additional activities agreed since then are as follows : Financial services and macroeconomic advice
Title : Assistance for Privatisation.
Description : A team of privatisation advisers from Ernst and Young, Schroders and Denton Hall are advising on privatisation policy and implementation.
Status : An ongoing programme of assistance of which the latest phase has just been agreed.
Cost : £738,000.
Title : Training courses for the State Bank.
Description : Courses on banking procedures run by the Bank of England.
Status : Underway.
Cost : £10,000.
Title : Training on bank-lending, credit analysis and credit control.
Description : Six two week courses on the basic principle and skills involved in lending decision making and credit control for staff of various Czechoslovak banks.
Status : Under way.
Cost : £100,000.
Title : Banking Training Adviser.
Description : An adviser to be based at the Prague offices of the State Bank to advise on training needs, policies and programmes for all banks in Czechoslovakia.
Status : Under way.
Cost : £50,000.
Title : Assistance to the Slovak General Credit Bank.
Description : A short training programme to raise the level of ability in international banking operations at the Slovak General Credit Bank.
Status : Underway.
Cost : £38,000.
Title : Assistance to Obchodni Bank.
Description : A treasury management specialist to advise on