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I also attach importance, in the context of the pursuit of value for money and cost reduction, to an increasing proportion of LUL's expenditure being subject to market testing. As you know, my officials are consulting LUL on the basis for setting precise targets in this regard. My intention is that such targets should attract bonus of at least 5 per cent. of salary in the Board Performance Bonus schemes for 1994-95 and 1995-96. I would also wish you to include in LT Annual Reports, starting with that for 1993-94, a report on progress on the LUL market testing programme, including a measure or measures showing as a proportion of the appropriate base the amount of work which has been market tested during the year in question, compared with the equivalent amount for the previous year. Finally with respect to LUL, I would like to see the establishment of a measure, agreed with Government, showing the full economic costs to the public sector of the services provided by LUL. This should include a figure representing the opportunity cost of the asset base. This measure should be published in LT's Annual Report and Accounts for the year 1993-94 and for each subsequent year.

London Buses Limited (LBL)

The current objective is that LBL should achieve, for as long as this remains relevant, a 5 per cent. return on those of its tendered operations which are subject to "gross cost" contracts. We will set fresh financial objectives for bus services purchased by LT in the light of our recent announcement on the future of London's bus services. New targets for 1994- 95 and 1995-96 will be set by the end of March 1994.

Public Accountability

As in previous years, performance and progress against these objectives, and against your safety and quality of service objectives, should be published each year in LT's Annual Reports and Accounts." As my letter states, objectives with respect to LT's subsidiaries and activities, other than London Underground and London Buses, have been set in a separate letter from my Department to the LT's chief executive and deputy chairman, Dr. Alan Watkins. The following is a summary of these objectives :

LT Central Services . Gross costs to be no more than £57 million in 1993-94 ; a fresh objective for the period up to 1995-96 to be set by 31 March 1994.

Victoria Coach Station. Return on turnover to be at least 5.8 per cent. in 1995-96.

LT PASS. Total costs in 1995-96 to be no more than 2.6 per cent. of gross ticket sales.

LT Museum. Revenue in 1995-96 to be at least 56 per cent. of costs.

Dial-a-ride. Operating costs per trip in 1995-96 to be no more than £9.30, at 1993-94 prices.

LT Property. Net operating costs in 1995-96 to be no more than £1.6 million at 1993-94 prices. Rental income to increase by 1.1 per cent. in 1993-94. Targets for rental income in subsequent years, linked to an appropriate index of performance in the property market, to be set by 31 March 1994.

LT Advertising. Sale of LTA to be completed by 30 June 1994.

Coaches (Safety)

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many coaches in England and Wales were tested for roadworthiness in each year since 1979 ; how many failed this test ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Key : Vehicle testing is conducted by the Vehicle Inspectorate Executive Agency (VI). The annual statutory testing of public service vehicles began in 1982. The statistics are not produced on a regional basis and therefore relate to all first annual tests conducted in England, Scotland and Wales. Additional information on PSV testing and retests can be found in current and past editions of the VI annual report and accounts.


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Year                |Number of tests    |Initial failures<1>|Final failures<2>                      

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

<3>1982-83          |66,221             |-                  |16,357                                 

<3>1983-84          |65,292             |-                  |13,972                                 

<3>1984-85          |61,288             |-                  |11,749                                 

1985-86             |69,334             |27,110             |13,250                                 

1986-87             |68,376             |26,462             |13,627                                 

1987-88             |67,282             |27,128             |14,986                                 

1988-89             |72,215             |27,998             |15,620                                 

1989-90             |72,391             |27,407             |14,963                                 

1990-91             |71,351             |24,994             |13,692                                 

1991-92             |71,789             |26,443             |13,647                                 

1992-93             |73,350             |27,059             |13,342                                 

<1> Initial failures are those for vehicles as presented for the annual test.                       

<2> Final failures are those following rectification of minor defects.                              

<3> Statistical information on initial failures is unavailable.                                     

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fatal coach crashes there have been in each year since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Key : The number of fatal coach accidents and their resulting fatalities are shown for each year from 1979 to 1992 in the table.


All accidents involving coach occupant fatalities                               

                    |Fatal coach        |Occupant fatalities                    

                    |accidents          |in coaches                             

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

1979                |27                 |34                                     

1980                |27                 |29                                     

1981                |19                 |20                                     

1982                |27                 |33                                     

1983                |26                 |38                                     

1984                |35                 |37                                     

1985                |25                 |32                                     

1986                |21                 |24                                     

1987                |14                 |15                                     

1988                |17                 |17                                     

1989                |18                 |20                                     

1990                |17                 |19                                     

1991                |22                 |25                                     

1992                |17                 |19                                     

                                                                                

All fatal accidents involving coaches                                           

                    |Fatal accidents    |All fatalities<1>                      

1979                |299                |327                                    

1980                |253                |272                                    

1981                |219                |239                                    

1982                |248                |279                                    

1983                |234                |263                                    

1984                |224                |245                                    

1985                |181                |211                                    

1986                |195                |227                                    

1987                |187                |199                                    

1988                |174                |188                                    

1989                |195                |223                                    

1990                |209                |225                                    

1991                |177                |189                                    

1992                |160                |177                                    

<1> Includes pedestrians and fatalies in other vehicles involved in a coach     

accident.                                                                       

Severn Bridge

Dr. Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the annual average daily traffic flow figures for the Severn bridge, for each year since 1983 and the current year.

Mr. Key [holding answer 29 November 1993] : The figures are shown in the table. Since the start of one-way


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tolling on 26 April 1992 only westbound traffic flows were recorded, until 4 November 1993 when an additional automatic counting system was installed to monitor eastbound traffic.


Two-way flows        |Annual average daily                     

                     |traffic                                  

Year to 31 March                                               

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

1982-83              |33,997                                   

1983-84              |34,004                                   

1984-85              |35,636                                   

1985-86              |36,764                                   

1986-87              |40,151                                   

1987-88              |44,384                                   

1988-89              |49,129                                   

1989-90              |51,789                                   

1990-91              |51,545                                   

1991-92<1>           |51,128                                   

                                                               

Westbound flow only                                            

1992-93<2>           |25,882                                   

<1> 1 April 1991 to 25 April 1992.                             

<2> 26 April 1992 to 31 March 1993.                            

PRIME MINISTER

National Identity Card

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 25 November, Official Report, column 107, which Departments are keeping the question of a national identity card under review.

The Prime Minister : The question of a national identity card scheme is a matter for the Home Office.

Housing

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister if he expects to be able to meet the Government's commitment to provide 153,000 homes for those in housing need by the year 1995-96.

The Prime Minister : Yes.

Crime Prevention

Mrs. Roche : To ask the Prime Minister how often the ministerial group on crime prevention meets ; when it last met ; and in what form its deliberations are published.

The Prime Minister : The ministerial group on crime prevention meets about three times per year. The last meeting was held on 16 November 1993. Its most recent report, entitled "Reducing the Costs of Crime : Measures Taken by Government Departments", was published in November 1992 ; a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The minutes of its meetings are not published.

Fund-raising Events

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the fund- raising events for which (a) 10 Downing street and (b) Chequers have been used for events since he became Prime Minister ; what events are planned for the future ; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Since November 1990 there have been a total of 31 receptions, dinners or other functions at No. 10 Downing street for charities or voluntary bodies and three at Chequers. The organisations concerned were :


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(a) 10 Downing street

NSPCC

Surrey County Cricket Club Youth Trust

Lords Taverners

MENCAP

Age Concern

EUREKA

Wordsworth Trust

Huntington's Disease Association

Action Research

Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust

National Council of Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Crossroads Care (two functions)

Animal Health Trust

ORT

Youth Clubs (UK)

ChildLine

Silver Trust

Marie Curie Cancer Care

Excalibur Scheme

Motability

Westminster Foundation for Democracy

London Community Cricket Association

International Spinal Research Trust

Cambridge Arts Theatre Trust

YMCA

Leeds International Piano Competition

Westminster Medical School Research Trust

The Shakespeare Globe Trust

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Consortium for Street Children

(b) Chequers

MENCAP

ARC

CORDA

I am not prepared to give advance notice of functions at No. 10 or at Chequers, whether official or non-official.

Mr. Beith : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to permit fund-raising events to be held at No. 10 Downing street ; which organisations will be eligible to apply for such functions ; and what charges will be levied for the use of the premises, attendance of staff and other costs which might otherwise fall on public funds.

The Prime Minister : When charitable or other non-official events are held at No. 10 Downing street, the organisers are responsible for all catering and staff costs, as well as other miscellaneous direct costs. Organisers may use the kitchens or other facilities at No. 10 Downing street.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how many functions have been held at 10 Downing street since 5 July at which funds have been raised for political parties, or for which tickets have been sold for the benefit of political parties.

The Prime Minister : None.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to allow 10 Downing Street to be made available to political parties other than the Conservative party for the purposes of fund raising.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 29 November 1993] : As under previous Administrations, the use of 10 Downing street for non- official or party functions is a matter for the Prime Minister.


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Security and Intelligence Agencies

Sir David Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister what is the expenditure of the security and intelligence agencies.

The Prime Minister : The aggregate provision for the security and intelligence agencies in 1994-95 will be around £900 million, including about £100 million for the attributed costs of Ministry of Defence personnel who mainly assist GCHQ in its functions. The provision for the agencies is planned to reduce by over 4 per cent. in the following two years.

Precise figures for the 1994-95 aggregate budget will be given in the main estimate for the new single intelligence vote, to be presented to Parliament next March, after appropriate charging arrangements for departmental support for the agencies have been determined.

The provision for 1993-94 is carried in part by the Cabinet Office-- £197 million on class XIX, vote 2 "Cabinet Office : Secret Service"-- and in part by the Ministry of Defenc, roughly 80 per cent. of the balance, and the Foreign Office, 20 per cent., which at present carry the whole of the cost of GCHQ.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Land Reclamation

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what initiatives his Department has taken to promote United Kingdom expertise in decontamination of soil and land reclamation.

Mr. McLoughlin : My Department works together with the Department of the Environment, and other bodies, on a number of activities to promote United Kingdom expertise in decontamination of soil and land reclamation. Some of these provide financial support for private sector projects in new technology--for example under the LINK, environmental technology innovation scheme and Euroenviron programmes.

DTI also promotes export opportunities in this area as part of our general support for the United Kingdom environmental industry, by improving the access of overseas firms to United Kingdom technology. The Laboratory of the Government Chemist is active in promoting awareness of contaminated land and the need for investigation, as well as acting as a consultancy.

Green Business Parks

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the development of green business parks.

Mr. McLoughlin : I welcome any commercially sound development which helps business to improve its environmental performance or which furthers the growth of the United Kingdom's capability in the field of environmental technology and services.

Nuclear Industry

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on progress made in commissioning the Sizewell B nuclear plant.

Mr. Eggar : Nuclear Electric continues to make good progress on the Sizewell B project. The company is


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confident that the project can be completed within the timetable committed at the Sizewell B public inquiry and within budget.

Energy Advisory Panel

n 22 November.

Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) on 26 November, Official Report, column 254.

Industry (Costs)

Mrs. Lait : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what evidence he has that the principle of best available techniques not entailing excessive cost is not causing excessive costs to British industry where it is applicable.

Mr. McLoughlin : I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside on 26 November, Official Report, columns 255-56.

Trading Standards Departments

Sir David Steel : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the effects of the local government review on the number of trading standards departments in (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom.

Mr. McLoughlin : None. The effects will depend on the future number of local authorities and the arrangements made for trading standards functions to be carried out. Some authorities may join together to set up a combined trading standards department as have the five authorities in west Yorkshire.

Nirex Rock Characterisation Facility

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information has been presented to justify expenditure on the Nirex rock characterisation facility ; and if he will publish it.

Mr. Eggar : Expenditure proposals by UK Nirex Ltd. are a management matter for the company and its shareholders, who are represented on the board of the company.

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the latest cost estimate of the Nirex rock characterisation facility ; on what date the planning application will be submitted ; and what is the proposed date of its opening.

Mr. Eggar : These are management matters for UK Nirex Ltd. However, I understand that the company currently estimates the cost of constructing the rock characterisation facility at around £120 million, and that the company hopes to be in a position to submit the relevant planning application early in 1994. The applications and documentation accompanying it will include information about time scales.

EC Consumer Council

Ms Quin : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the outcome of the EC Consumer Council of 19 November.


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Mr. McLoughlin : The Council discussed the draft timeshare directive, and agreed on a common position by a qualified majority vote.

Industry Council

Ms Quin : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Industry Council of 18 November.

Mr. Sainsbury : I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to her on 26 November, Official Report , columns 251-52 .

Gas and Electricity (Standing Charges)

Mr. Madden : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action he has taken to encourage gas and electricity companies to reduce or cancel standing charges, with particular reference to pensioner households ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : The level of standing charges is a matter for the Directors General of Gas Supply and of Electricity Supply respectively.

Combined Heat and Power, Leicester

Mr. Vaz : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the involvement of Warren Springs in the application by Leicester Combined Heat and Power to develop a CHP scheme in Leicester ; what was the cost to public funds of this involvement ; what are the position and salary scale of Dr. Rampling ; on whose invitation Dr. Rampling attended the meeting in Leicester on 9 November ; and what was the cost of attendance by Dr. Rampling at that meeting.

Mr. McLoughlin : I have asked the chief executive of Warren Spring Laboratory to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from D. Cormack to Mr. Keith Vaz, dated 26 November 1993 :

Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL) has the remit to recover its costs through the execution of contract work for both government and non-government customers. In this case WSL was acting under contract to Leicester CHP Limited, to study the distillation of oil from waste tyre pyrolysis, to evaluate its possible use as a fuel for CHP application.

It is normal WSL practice to provide high quality objective scientific and technical data and evaluations, on all its contract work. This is recognised by its customers, and understood by all parties who may have an interest in any particular issue. There was no cost to public funds of this involvement. All Dr. Rampling's activities, including meetings with interested parties at the invitation of Leicester CHP Ltd, are charged to Leicester CHP Ltd under the contract, at a rate which covers all his costs, including his salary, according to Treasury rules under which the Laboratory operates as a full economic cost recovery Agency.


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