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Official Visits

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the (a) dates and (b) reasons for each official visit he has made to Paisley since being appointed to his present post ; what plans he has to visit the town ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 20 January 1993] : I attended the formal launch of the Glencoats area development in Ferguslie Park, Paisley on 4 October 1991. I have no plans to visit Paisley in the immediate future.

Hill Livestock

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the subsidies available to hill livestock farming businesses over the last five years for which figures are available ; and how they have varied in value at constant prices in relation to farm input costs and the retail price index over the last five years for which figures are available.

Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 18 January 1993] : The table shows the main rates of assistance available to hill farming enterprises, in money and real terms, from livestock subsidy schemes over the last five years. Information on the prices of input items of hill farming enterprises are not readily available. However, aggregate input costs which include input volume as well as price changes, have risen at a rate below the retail prices index.


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                      In money terms                          Deflated by                                    

                              retail prices index                                                            

                              1987-88=100                                                                    

Subsidy              |1987-88|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92        

                     |£      |£      |£      |£      |£      |£      |£      |£      |£      |£              

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

Sheep annual premium |6.24   |6.10   |6.94   |9.88   |16.03  |6.24   |5.81   |6.14   |7.98   |12.24          

Suckler cow premium  |33.40  |33.40  |47.43  |51.69  |59.64  |33.40  |31.83  |41.94  |41.76  |45.52          

Hill livestock compensatory allowances<1>                                                                    

Hill sheep 6.75      |6.75   |7.50   |8.75   |8.75   |6.75   |6.43   |6.63   |7.07   |6.68                   

Upland sheep         |4.50   |4.50   |4.50   |4.90   |4.90   |4.50   |4.29   |3.98   |3.96   |3.74           

Cows                 |54.50  |54.50  |54.50  |63.30  |63.30  |54.50  |51.94  |48.19  |51.14  |48.32          

<1>Rates payable in the severely disadvantaged areas.                                                        

Road Traffic Accidents

Mr. Alex Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many people have been charged by Scottish police forces for failing to report and stop at the scene of a road traffic accident, in each of the last five years ; and if he will give a regional breakdown of these figures ;


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(2) how many people have been prosecuted for failing to report and stop at the scene of a road traffic accident, in each of the last five years ; and if he will give a regional breakdown of these figures.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 19 January 1993] : The information is not available in the form requested. Table (i) gives the total number of offences under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and corresponding earlier legislation, which were cleared-up by Scottish police forces. Table (ii) gives the number of


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offences under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and corresponding earlier legislation, which were proceeded against. Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 includes both failing to stop or report a road traffic accident and also failing to provide proof of insurance.


Column 569


Failing to stop or report a road traffic accident, or give            

information or insurance documents, by region, Scotland 1987 to 1991  

(i) Number of offences cleared-up                                     

                      |1987   |1988   |1989   |1990   |1991           

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

Borders               |207    |213    |195    |174    |144            

Central               |290    |346    |334    |334    |295            

Dumfries and Galloway |359    |417    |496    |403    |471            

Fife                  |625    |501    |524    |605    |476            

Grampian              |1,388  |1,277  |1,270  |1,313  |1,286          

Highland              |370    |340    |305    |310    |380            

Lothian               |1,879  |1,850  |1,578  |1,718  |2,058          

Strathclyde           |3,035  |2,932  |2,865  |2,831  |2,794          

Tayside               |709    |595    |666    |688    |584            

                                                                      

Orkney                |26     |37     |26     |37     |18             

Shetland              |40     |32     |43     |33     |34             

Western Isles         |32     |27     |40     |25     |50             

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

Scotland              |8,960  |8,567  |8,342  |8,471  |8,590          


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(ii) Offences proceeded against by court location                         

                          |1987   |1988   |1989   |1990   |1991           

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

Borders                   |84     |82     |101    |99     |81             

Central                   |241    |251    |244    |238    |229            

Dumfries and Galloway     |191    |265    |346    |354    |266            

Fife                      |234    |199    |185    |198    |202            

Grampian                  |686    |977    |777    |896    |977            

Highland                  |233    |193    |165    |193    |216            

Lothian                   |1,476  |1,255  |1,075  |1,206  |1,097          

Strathclyde               |1,418  |1,581  |1,389  |1,406  |1,380          

Tayside                   |571    |528    |563    |509    |461            

                                                                          

Orkney                    |38     |22     |18     |31     |13             

Shetland                  |57     |20     |14     |14     |26             

Western Isles             |25     |18     |23     |38     |36             

                                                                          

High Court                |5      |4      |2      |7      |4              

Proceedings discharged                                                    

  before court appearance |75     |66     |59     |41     |3              

                                                                          

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

Scotland                  |5,334  |5,461  |4,961  |5,230  |4,991          

EMPLOYMENT

Disabled People

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if she will publish a table showing the (a) names, (b) place of residence, (c) current occupation, (d) salary, honorarium or allowance payable, (e) expected weekly time commitment, (f) date of appointment and (g) date of retirement of those appointed to serve on each local committee for the employment of disabled people ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Gordon McMaster, dated 25 January 1993 :

As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to write to you direct to respond to your Parliamentary Question to her about


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Committees for the Employment of People With Disabilities (CEPDs). This is something which falls within the responsibility delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.

Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with the information you require about the names, residence and occupation of people appointed to the Committees. There are 60 local Committees with a total membership of approximately 900 people and such information about the membership is not held centrally.

Chairmen and members of Committees are not paid. Certain allowances may however be claimed and I am enclosing a note of the current rates.

We do not expect any particular weekly commitment from people on the Committees, nor is there a record of the amount of time spent on Committee work. There are usually 2-4 meetings each year and events to promote people with disabilities.

Turning to your question about the date of appointment and retirement, I regret I cannot give details about the date of appointment as such information is again not held centrally. Committees are normally reconstituted approximately every three years when all appointments are considered afresh. Committee Chairmen are appointed by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State on behalf of the Secretary of State. Members are appointed by my Regional Directors again on behalf of the Secretary of State. The Committees are next due to be reconstituted on 1 April 1994 and current appointments will terminate on 31 March 1994.


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Committees have a duty to advise and assist the Secretary of State for Employment (in practice my local officials) on matters relating to the employment and self employment of people with disabilities in their areas. Their role includes :

helping to influence and educate employers locally towards positive policies and action to promote the employment and progression of people with disabilities ;

promoting and marketing our services to people with disabilities particularly employers ;

a statutory role in respect of items referred to them in conjunction with registration of people as disabled and the provisions of the Quota Scheme.

We value the help Committees give to promoting people with disabilities and in getting the important message across to employers that disability does not mean inability.

As decided by the Administration Committee of the House of Commons, Chief Executive replies to written Parliamentary Questions will now be published in the Official Report. I will also place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.


Allowances for CEPD chairmen and members                                                 

Subsistence allowance                                                                    

                          |If lunch is not     |If lunch is provided                     

                          |provided                                                      

                          |£                   |£                                        

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

Night subsistence                                                                        

Inner London              |98.70               |94.45                                    

Elsewhere                 |85.85               |81.60                                    

Day subsistence                                                                          

More than 5 hours but not                                                                

  more than 8 hours       |4.25                |none                                     

More than 8 hours         |9.30                |5.05                                     


<

Financial loss allowance including loss of earnings         

and child care allowance                                    

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

(i)   Where the period during which loss or                 

      expense is incurred is not more than four             

      hours-maximum of                          |20.70      

(ii)  Where the period during which loss or                 

      expense is incurred exceed four hours-                

      maximum of                                |41.40      

Maximum amount paid per day-                    |41.40      


Mileage by private motor vehicle                                      

                   Engine capacity                                    

                   of car                                             

                  |Up to 1500cc|1501-2000cc |Over 2000cc              

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

Up to 5,000 miles                                                     

  per year        |35.7p       |40p         |43p                      

Over 5,000 miles  |17p         |21p         |27p                      

Redundant Workers

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans she has to introduce a charter for redundant workers.

Mr. McLoughlin : The redundancy payments service charter, which has been in operation since November 1991, lays down standards of service to be met in dealing with claims for statutory redundancy payments, as well as certain other debts against employers who have become insolvent. It prescribes target time limits within which claims will be met, and which have recently been enhanced.

In December 1991, the Employment Service published its job seekers charter, which tells job seekers how the Employment Service can help them get back to work and


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what happens when they claim unemployment benefits. All local offices display the standards and their performance against them.

Unemployment Benefit Disqualification

Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information is available regarding the length of periods of unemployment benefit disqualification imposed by adjudication officers in the area which includes the Derbyshire, North-East constituency.

Mr. McLoughlin : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Harry Barnes, dated 25 January 1993 :

As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to write to you direct to respond to your Parliamentary Question to her about the length of periods of unemployment benefit disqualifications in the North East Derbyshire area. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.

All decisions on claims for unemployment benefit are made by the independent adjudicating authorities.

Information about the length of disqualification periods imposed is not collated or published as each is decided in the light of the circumstances surrounding the individual case. Without knowledge of these circumstances no meaningful interpretation of the information could be made.

I hope this is helpful.

As decided by the Administration Committee of the House of Commons, Chief Executive replies to written Parliamentary Questions will now be published in the Official Report. I will also place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.

Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information is available regarding the lengths of periods of unemployment benefit disqualification imposed by adjudication officers in the area which includes the constituency of Manchester, Withington.

Mr. McLoughlin : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Keith Bradley, dated 25 January 1993 :

As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to write to you direct to respond to your Parliamentary Question to her about the length of periods of unemployment benefit disqualifications in the Manchester, Withington area. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.

All decisions on claims for unemployment benefit are made by the independent adjudicating authorities.

Information about the length of disqualification periods imposed is not collated or published as each is decided in the light of the circumstances surrounding the individual case. Without knowledge of these circumstances no meaningful interpretation of the information could be made.

I hope this is helpful.

As decided by the Administration Committee of the House of Commons, Chief Executive replies to written Parliamentary Questions will now be published in the Official Report. I will also place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.


Column 573

WALES

Transport Links

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make representations to the European Community to secure the inclusion of additional Welsh seaports in the draft maps outlining the trans-European transport network.

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has made to the European Community concerning the possibility of including Cardiff Wales airport as a second-line hub airport within a trans-European airport network.

Sir Wyn Roberts : The Government are currently considering their approach to the Commission's work on trans-European transport networks which are still at an early stage. My officials hope soon to meet the Commission's transport directorate.

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what representations have been made by his Department to date to the European Community concerning (a) the future development of ferry ports in Wales and (b) the future development of transport links between Wales and the Republic of Ireland ;

(2) what representations he has made to the European Commission's directorates general XVI (inter-regional) and VII (transport) concerning the inclusion of Wales-Ireland transport links as part of the INTERREG programme.

Sir Wyn Roberts : My officials have had a number of discussions with their counterparts in the European Commission over links between Wales and the Republic of Ireland and my right hon. Friend intends to raise this matter at his next meeting with Commissioner Millan.

Self-employment

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many self-employed people in Wales have reported (a) zero income and (b) after-tax losses in Wales in each year since 1990.

Mr. David Hunt : Reliable estimates for Wales are not available.

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people have been self-employed (a) in their main job and (b) in a secondary job in Wales in each year since 1990 ; and what are the numbers of self-employed (i) men, (ii) women and (iii) the percentage of the Welsh work force who have been self-employed in each year.

Mr. David Hunt : The estimated numbers of people who have been self- employed in main and secondary jobs are given in the table. These estimates are subject to sampling variablity and are not reliable indicators of year to year changes.


Column 574


Self-employed in main and second job by sex                                                         

Thousands                                                                                           

Spring              |Self Employed (main|Self Employed      |Self Employed in                       

                    |job)               |(second job)<1>    |main job as a                          

                                                            |percentage of                          

                                                            |economically active                    

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

1990                                                                                                

  All persons       |166                |18                 |12.3                                   

  Males             |128                |13                 |16.7                                   

  Females           |38                 |-<2>               |6.6                                    

                                                                                                    

1991                                                                                                

  All persons       |161                |12                 |12.0                                   

  Males             |123                |-<2>               |16.3                                   

  Females           |38                 |-<2>               |6.5                                    

                                                                                                    

1992                                                                                                

  All persons       |168                |18                 |12.7                                   

  Males             |129                |11                 |17.1                                   

z7Females           |39                 |-<2>               |6.9                                    

Source: Labour Force Surveys                                                                        

<1> Excludes those who did not state their status in second job.                                    

<2> Estimates below 10,000 are not published.                                                       


Family credit recipients in Wales                                                   

                     |Families with a self|Families with a                          

                     |employed main       |self-employed main                       

                     |earner              |earner as a                              

                                          |percentage of all                        

                                          |cases                                    

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

April 1990           |4,100               |19                                       

April 1991           |3,740               |17                                       

April 1992           |3,920               |16                                       

Source: Department of Social Security.                                              

Mr. Hain : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give figures for the total number of quangos in Wales, together with the total number of staff employed and the total expenditure, including those connected to the health service, for each year from 1979 to 1991, together with the percentage difference in each case.

Mr. David Hunt : The available information is shown in the tables, based on the figures published annually in "Public Bodies,".


Total number of public bodies in    

Wales<1><2>                         

Table 1                             

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

1978-79 |16 |12 |3  |9  |40 |-      

1979-81 |n/a|n/a|n/a|n/a|n/a|n/a    

1981-82 |17 |19 |4  |10 |50 |-      

1982-83 |17 |27 |4  |10 |58 |+16    

1983-84 |16 |30 |10 |10 |66 |+14    

1984-85 |16 |31 |11 |18 |76 |+16    

1985-86 |16 |30 |11 |18 |75 |-1     

1986-87 |16 |30 |11 |19 |76 |+1     

1987-88 |17 |28 |11 |19 |75 |-1     

1988-89 |18 |30 |11 |19 |78 |+4     

1989-90 |18 |29 |11 |19 |77 |-1     

1990-91 |19 |31 |11 |19 |80 |+4     


Column 575


Total number of staff employed by public bodies in Wales<1><2>                                                    

Year               |Executive         |NHS               |Total             |Percentage                           

                                                                            |difference year on                   

                                                                            |year                                 

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

1978-79            |7,548.0           |<3>50,321.0       |57,869.0          |-                                    

1979-81            |n/a               |n/a               |n/a               |-                                    

1 April 1982       |7,393.0           |<3>54,055.0       |61,448.0          |-                                    

1 April 1983       |7,082.5           |54,030.0          |61,112.5          |-1                                   

1 April 1984       |1,766.0           |54,121.0          |55,887.0          |-9                                   

1 April 1985       |1,749.0           |54,791.0          |56,540.0          |+1                                   

1 April 1986       |1,529.0           |55,602.0          |57,131.0          |+1                                   

1 April 1987       |1,570.5           |55,567.0          |57,137.5          |-                                    

1 April 1988       |1,548.0           |55,602.5          |57,150.5          |-                                    

1 April 1989       |<5>1,565.0        |55,765.0          |57,330.0          |+1                                   

1 April 1990       |1,580.5           |55,851.0          |57,431.5          |-                                    

1 April 1991       |1,794.0           |55,517.5          |57,311.5          |-1                                   


Column 575


Total expenditure by public bodies in Wales<1><2>           

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

1978-79   |212.32   |<3>411.00|623.32   |-                  

1979-81   |n/a      |n/a      |n/a      |-                  

1981-82   |310.50   |<3>765.30|1,075.80 |-                  

1982-83   |304.81   |737.82   |1,042.63 |-1                 

1983-84   |130.11   |784.33   |914.45   |-12                

1984-85   |138.61   |<5>838.93|977.54   |+7                 

1985-86   |134.82   |909.43   |1,044.25 |+7                 

1986-87   |133.45   |977.42   |1,110.87 |+6                 

1987-88   |168.64   |1,082.25 |1,250.88 |+13                

1988-89   |223.51   |1,202.43 |1,425.94 |+14                

1989-90   |337.18   |1,285.86 |1,623.04 |+14                

1990-91   |379.67   |1,465.81 |1,845.48 |+14                

<1> Source: Report on Non-Departmental Public Bodies        

published January 1980, Cmnd 7797.                          

<2> Source: "Public bodies", first published in 1982 and    

successive years by the Cabinet Office.                     

<3> Figures for NHS bodies are estimated. Not previously    

published in this format.                                   

<4> These figures should be read in conjunction with the    

notes provided in the Cabinet Office publications "Public   

Bodies" for the appropriate year.                           

<5> Figures published in "Public Bodies" were misprinted.   

Amended figures are shown above.                            

Business Advice Centres

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many clients have sought the assistance of each business advice centre in Wales within each of the last three years ; and what monitoring has been undertaken of the nature of the inquiries.


Column 576

Sir Wyn Roberts : Many organisations in Wales, including banks and other commercial companies, have "centres" for giving advice to businesses. Information on total numbers of clients seeking advice from such bodies is not held centrally. However, the Development Board for Rural Wales--DBRW-- operates a network of business advice centres and the information requested for those centres is as follows :


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Business Advice Centre                                                    

                          1989-90       1990-91       1991-92             

                         |<1>BAS|<2>TS |BAS   |TS    |BAS   |TS           

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

Ystradgynlais and Brecon |685   |113   |465   |74    |630   |129          

Llandrindod Wells        |668   |67    |661   |57    |794   |144          

Welshpool                |1,412 |107   |940   |94    |1,040 |100          

Newcastle Emlyn          |747   |73    |1,033 |128   |1,011 |130          

Aberystwyth              |1,292 |120   |1,178 |97    |1,152 |69           

Dolgellau                |524   |125   |772   |100   |793   |59           

<1> BAS-Business Advisory Sessions (number held).                         

<2> TS-Training Sessions (number held).                                   

The Development Board for Rural Wales monitoring includes a range of processes including customer-care questionnaires, independent reviews and evaluations of customer needs, as well as meeting representatives of the business advice centres monthly.

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the business advice centres established in Wales within the last three years ; and if he will make a statement outlining the main activities carried out by such centres.

Sir Wyn Roberts : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given today. As regards the Development Board for Rural Wales network of business advice centres, two additional centres have been established at Cardigan and Lampeter. They primarily provide advice on business start-up, training, and access to information on premises and financial assistance.

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much has been allocated by his Department to develop business advice centres in Wales within each of the last three years ; and if he will list the amount allocated to each centre.

Sir Wyn Roberts : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given today. The Development Board for Rural Wales has allocated funding to its business advice centres over the last three financial years, as follows :


Y

Business advice          |1989-90        |1990-91        |1991-92                        

centre                                                                                   

£                        |£              |£                                              

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

Ystradgynlais and Brecon |21,000         |36,000         |36,000                         

Llandrindod Wells        |14,000         |18,000         |18,000                         

Welshpool                |14,000         |18,000         |18,000                         

Newcastle Emlyn          |18,000         |18,000         |18,000                         

Aberystwyth              |14,000         |18,000         |18,000                         

Dolgellau                |14,000         |18,000         |18,000                         

In addition, the Welsh Development Agency and the Development Board for Rural Wales have given funding for core services and special projects to Wales' 21 local enterprise agencies, which also provide business advice, as follows :


1989-90 |1990-91|1991-92        

£       |£      |£              

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

430,700 |370,400|353,000        

Local Development Agencies

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to establish local development agencies to operate in the 10 areas which head the deprivation tables published by his Department with the duty of granting loans to assist unemployed people to establish their own businesses.

Sir Wyn Roberts : I have approved local enterprise agencies in all but one of the areas concerned and I am


Column 578

currently considering an application for the remaining area. These agencies provide a wide range of services to people considering establishing their own business, including advice on the Government's loan guarantee scheme.

Disabled People (Unemployment)

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the current rate of unemployment among (a) disabled people in total and (b) disabled people of working age in Wales.

Mr. David Hunt : Information on those with a health problem or disability which limits the kind of paid work they can do is available from the labour force survey, but is only collected for people of working age. It is estimated that, in the summer of 1992, 7 per cent. of such people were unemployed according to the International Labour Organisation definition. A further 12 per cent. said they would like a job but were not currently looking for work. These estimates are based on very small samples in Wales and may be subject to large sampling variability.

Education Capital Expenditure

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what was the indicative capital allocation for education in Mid-Glamorgan (a) for 1991-92 and (b) 1992-93 ; and what information he has of the actual expenditure by Mid-Glamorgan ;

(2) what calculation he has made in capital appraisals for Mid-Glamorgan in 1993-94 for the development of bilingual education.

Sir Wyn Roberts : Welsh local education authorities do not receive indicative capital allocations for education services. County councils receive annual basic credit approvals which are unhypothecated to particular services. Spending priorities between services and within services, including spending on bilingual education, are a matter for them. Actual capital expenditure on education services by Mid Glamorgan county council, including any financed from the authority's own resources, in 1991 -92 was reported at £9.014 million and for 1992-93 is forecast by the local authority to be £8.226 million.

EC Regional Development Fund

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the projects supported by the European regional development fund in Wales, by county, for each of the last three years.

Mr. David Hunt : I will write to the hon. Gentleman and will place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.


Column 579

Trunk Roads

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions, and for how much mileage in each case, county highways have been redesignated as trunk roads in each of the last 10 years ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Wyn Roberts : In the last 10 years only two such trunking orders have been made. These were :

1982--The St. Clears-Nash (South Pembrokeshire) Trunk Road (Nash Finger Post--Waterloo Roundabout Trunking) Order 1982 (SI 1982 No. 437). A length of 2.81 miles.

1987--The London--Fishguard Trunk Road (A48) and the Newhouse--High Beech Principal Road (A466) (County of Gwent) Order 1987 (SI 1987 No. 322) A length of 1.34 miles.

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with Cardiff city council concerning the release of final tranches of urban development grant to the Brent Walker Welsh world trade centre ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The Welsh Office receives a written quarterly progress report from Cardiff city council on the Cardiff international arena--formerly the world trade centre. Frequent informal contact by officials is also maintained with the city council's monitoring team.

Under the terms of the urban development grant agreement between Cardiff city council and Brent Walker plc, £3 million has been paid to Brent Walker for work undertaken and £0.25 million remains to be paid. The balance of the grant will only be released when the building has been completed to the satisfaction of the city council and the Department.

Conwy Tunnel

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what analysis he has made of the cost control and contracting techniques used in the completion of construction of the Conwy tunnel ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Wyn Roberts : I am satisfied that the financial aspects of the work carried out on the Conwy crossing, including cost control and contractual arrangements, are consistent with best financial practice as laid down in the Department's rules and instructions for dealing with all trunk road projects.

Central Office of Information

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales for what length of time the Central Office of Information will carry responsibility for his Department's printing and publicity contracts ; and if he will place a copy of the letter of arrangement with COI covering the delegation of power to place his Department's contracts in the Library.

Mr. David Hunt : We will be reviewing the arrangements during 1993- 94 and will change them if value-for-money and managerial considerations suggest that that is the right course.

The relationship with COI is a long-standing one. The extent to which COI is used is a matter for administrative decision rather than specific contract.


Column 580

Butetown Link Road

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he had with the South Glamorgan county council concerning the application of a global settlement agreement with the contractors' consortium building the Butetown link road section of the south Glamorgan peripheral distributor road.

Sir Wyn Roberts : My right hon. Friend met the leader of South Glamorgan county council on 16 November and again on 20 January when the financing of the Butetown link was discussed.

Printing and Publicity Contracts

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what date he was first informed of allegations of improper conduct in the placing of his Department's printing and publicity contracts ; and what follow-up action he took.

Mr. David Hunt : On 28 April 1992 I was advised that a member of staff engaged in publicity work was to be dismissed for misconduct following an informal investigation. The matter was put in the hands of the police.

A reorganisation of the department's systems for publicity management had been instituted in 1991 and is continuing.

Public Bodies

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which non- departmental public bodies are sponsored by his Department ; which of these are audited by the National Audit Office ; which firms of private accountants audit each of the others, by what method of tendering contracts to such firms are awarded ; and for what duration.


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