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Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a full list of all organisations to whom his Department sent, and from whom it has received responses, regarding the consultation letter on noise insulation regulations for new railways and other guided systems, together with the addresses of each such organisation.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 18 January 1994] : The Department issued 210 copies of the consultation papers to local authorities, professional institutions, railway operators, local action groups and others. A list of the original addressees for the consultation letter of 11 October 1993 was placed in the Library of the House at the time, with a set of the consultation documents. Some 200 further copies have since been issued in response to inquiries. The consultation period has therefore been extended by two months and responses will now be accepted until 28 February. I shall subsequently inform the House of the Government's conclusions on the response to the consultation. However, it is not our practice to identify those organisations or individuals who respond to consultation exercises.
Mr. Norris : My Department has received some 300 representations about the proposals to widen the M4 between junctions 3 and 4B. They are mainly opposed on grounds of increased noise, air pollution and environmental impact ; some also suggest alternative proposals.
28. Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of a dedicated junction on the M6 motorway in Birmingham to service the inland container point and the Holford industrial estate taking into account the effect upon local roads of such a junction.
Mr. Freeman : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport meets the Transport Ministers of the European Union from time to time at meetings of the Transport Council. Meetings will be held on 18 April and 20 and 21 June this year, but it is not yet known whether the trans-European railway network will be on the agenda. We understand that the Greek presidency is keen to make progress with those networks, including rail, for which proposals have not yet been adopted.
Mr. Freeman : We intend to franchise rail services on the Isle of Wight on a vertically integrated basis. The timetable for the sale of franchises is a matter for the Office of the Passenger Rail Franchiser, who will be formulating a franchising programme and submitting it to the Secretary of State.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents of violent crime and sexual assault were recorded at British Rail stations in Yorkshire and Humberside in each year since 1988 ; what is the national figure ; and what are the figures expressed as percentages of the numbers of passengers.
Mr. Freeman : The figures for violent crime and sexual assaults before 1992, and the overall numbers of passengers are not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Figures for violent crime and sexual assault for 1992 and 1993 are as follows :
1992--118 Yorkshire and Humberside, 2,521 nationally
1993--84 Yorkshire and Humberside, 2,720 nationally.
Mr. Freeman : Figures are not readily available before 1992 and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost. Figures for assaults on Network SouthEast trains during 1992 and 1993 are as follows :
|Number|Women ---------------------------- 1992 |843 |164 1993 |894 |157 |--- |--- Total |1,737 |321
Mr. Key : One of the proposals in the Department's recent consultation paper "New Driver Safety" was to develop post-test driver training schemes, including motorway tuition, in collaboration with the insurance industry. Tuition fees would not be regulated, but the aim would be to secure insurance discounts to offset the cost of the training. My right hon. Friend will be making a statement shortly on the outcome of the consultation.
Mr. Key : We have no such plans. Motorways are our safest roads : only 3 per cent. of accidents occur on them, though they carry 15 per cent. of traffic. Learners who live several miles from a motorway would face great inconvenience and cost if such tuition were made compulsory.
Mr. Key : About 12 per cent. of over 400 responses to the "New Driver Safety" consultation document included representations of various kinds on motorway tuition, either for learners or for newly qualified drivers. Other representations on this, as on many other road safety issues, have been made at various times by organisations or individuals, including the hon. Member.
Mr. Norris : London Transport operates some 650 bus routes. Of these, 279 have been competitively tendered. LT estimates that tendering has produced average cost savings, net of administrative costs, of 15 to 20 per cent.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the progress of public consultation on his Department's initial proposals for the west of Aylesbury to Wing bypass.
Column 83decided to look again at this issue, not ruling out the possibility of a northern corridor along the A41 towards the M40. Now that Buckinghamshire county council's southern bypass of Wing will not proceed as planned, I will commission a new and strategic study of the route between the A5 near Leighton Buzzard in the east and the M40 in the Oxford area in the West. This will be an early priority for the new Highways Agency.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the annual cost of regular maintenance undertaken of each major technical aspect of London Underground ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : None. A list of restrictions is published and applied by companies operating as British Toll Tunnels under relevant tunnel byelaws. These restrictions are based on the UN recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. Taken together with appropriate tunnel management systems, they ensure that any risks in transporting dangerous goods are kept to a minimum and such tunnels have operated safely for many years.
Mr. Freeman : I understand that rail services have now been restored between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth ; and that British Rail hopes to restore through services to Shrewsbury during March, following repairs to the damaged bridge south of Welshpool.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , columns 419-20 , what are the additional costs, net of any reduction in employers' national insurance contributions, to his departmental budget for the financial year 1994-95 of the changes in statutory sick pay provision.
Mr. Norris : The separate effects of the change in statutory sick pay provision and the reduction in employers' national insurance contribution rates cannot be estimated accurately, except at disproportionate cost. Reimbursements of national insurance contributions under the statutory sick pay arrangements currently run at approximately £1 million per annum and the reduction in the percentage contribution rates is expected to offer savings of approximately £1 million, so the overall effect of the changes in 1994-95 will be approximately neutral.
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to oblige rail service providers to collate statistics on the number of cycles carried ; and if he will make it a condition of the public service obligation grant or franchise agreement to do so.
We have, however, invited the cyclist public affairs group to produce guidance for rail service operators explaining how they can make their services more attractive to the growing number of cyclists. I shall ensure that copies of this guidance are sent to all bidders for rail franchises.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a full list of all organisations to which his Department sent and from which it has received responses, regarding the consultation paper on the future of taxi and private hire services in England and Wales, together with the addresses of each such organisation.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 January 1994] : My Department has issued about 4,500 copies of this consultation paper to organisations and individuals who have an interest in the subject. These include local authority associations and all individual county and district councils, local and national taxi and private hire vehicle organisations, the licensing officers organisation, the police, organisations concerned with people who have mobility problems and vulnerable members of society, consumer groups, transport interests, the press, car, taxi and taximeter manufacturers and those concerned with tourists. Copies were available in the Lobby of the House and in another place. The paper was also published in a trade newspaper. It is not our practice to identify those organisations or individuals who respond to consultation exercises, and, in any event, the consultation period lasts until 1 March 1994.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a full list of all organisations to which his Department sent and from which it has received responses regarding the consultation paper on "Railway Privatisation : Passenger Rolling Stock", together with the addresses of each such organisation.
Column 85potential lessors and franchisees, rolling stock manufacturers, financial institutions, local authority associations, and other interested parties, and we received 31 responses from a similar range of organisations.
It is not our practice to identify those organisations or individuals who respond to consultation exercises.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a full list of all organisations to which his Department sent and from which it has received responses regarding the consultation paper on heavier lorries for combined road/rail transport, together with the addresses of each such organisation.
Mr. Key [holding answer 18 January 1994] : My Department issued over 3,000 copies of the consultation paper to more than 400 organisations, companies and individuals. These included transport industry associations, the local authority associations and many individual local authorities, transport and distribution companies and agents, user of freight services, environmental groups, the police associations and various institutes and universities with interests in transport. We received 48 responses from associations, 136 from individual organisations and five from individuals. It is not our practice to identify those organisations or individuals who respond to consultation exercises.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a full list of all organisations to whom his Department sent, and from whom his Department has received responses, regarding the consultation paper on the operation of local bus services outside London, together with the addresses of each such organisation.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 18 January 1994] : My Department initially issued 56 copies of the consultation paper to individual bus operators, local authorities and to their associations and to bus user groups. We issued copies subsequently to all, including individuals, who requested it. We received 135 responses from organisations and 27 responses from individuals. It is not our practice to identify those organisations or individuals who respond to consultation exercises.
Ms Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on the know-how fund 1992-93 ; how much has been spent in the current financial year ; what projects were undertaken ; and which consultancy companies were in receipt of know-how fund moneys in 1992-93 and in the current financial year.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : A total of £47,249,000 was disbursed through the know-how fund in the financial year 1992-93. Approximately £28,437, 000 has been disbursed in the current financial year. A list of projects undertaken
Column 86from the beginning of 1992-93 onwards, using know-how fund moneys, has been placed in the Library. This list also contains the names of the consultancy companies, other organisations and individuals contracted to carry out these projects.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what considerations underlay the decision not to include details of United Kingdom overseas aid as a percentage of United Kingdom gross domestic product in "British Overseas Aid, Annual Review 1993" or in the statistical appendix forming part of the review.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The British overseas aid annual review 1993 is intended to provide a broad overview of our aid activities in 1992-93. Comprehensive statistics including the United Kingdom's aid-GNP ratio are contained in British aid statistics 1988-89 to 1992-93, section D, which has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring provision exists in regard to multilateral aid to former east European nations within the European Union framework ; what are the comparable procedures for monitoring of bilateral aid given to developing nations in other parts of the world ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : European Commission procedures for monitoring EC aid financed activities in countries in central and eastern Europe under the Poland, Hungary Aid for Reconstruction of the Economy programme include regular reports from project managers and visits to projects by both EC staff and EC consultants. EC project staff and recipient Governments are both involved in monitoring physical and financial progress.
Arrangements for monitoring bilateral aid projects involve a combination of visits by ODA staff and embassy and high commission officials, together with reports from project personnel and recipient authorities. When the project implementation nears its conclusion, a completion report is prepared. The precise arrangements vary according to the needs of individual projects.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Attorney-General how many official Christmas cards were sent out in 1993 by (a) Ministers, (b) civil servants and (c) staff of Government agencies working in or to his Department ; and how much these cards cost (i) to buy, (ii) to post and (iii) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes.
The Attorney-General : In 1993, (a) 150 Christmas cards were sent by Ministers, (b) 1,190 by civil servants in the Treasury Solicitor's Department, the Serious Fraud Office and the legal secretariat to the Law Officers and (c) 196 by staff of the Government Property Lawyers Agency. The approximate cost of these cards was (i) £1,100 to buy and (ii) approximately £255 to post. Figures are not
Column 87available for the cost of staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes. Figures for the Crown Prosecution Service are not included and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
37. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if it is Government policy to consider directly privatising departmental activities before giving consideration to market testing them.
Where we consider that ultimate responsibility for a function should remain within Government, its delivery may be contracted out or market tested in order to see whether value for money can be improved.
Mr. David Davis : There are opportunities at all levels of the civil service for recruits from a wide range of specialisms and professional backgrounds, from actuaries to zoologists. Government Departments and agencies are particularly interested in recruits with relevant outside experience.
41. Mr. Bayley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many of the public policy objectives of the Government's "back-to- basics" campaign are monitored already by citizens charter standards.
Mr. Waldegrave : The citizens charter is based on fundamental principles which should underlie all good organisations--explicit standards of service, consultation with customers and a proper response if standards are not met. The charter is seeking to ensure that the basic public services on which we all depend--our schools, hospitals, local authorities, railways, utilities--are run in accordance with these principles.
Mr. David Davis : Under the citizens charter, public services are required to publish their standards and their performance against these standards. As standards are met, so they are being raised. My right hon. Friend regularly reviews progress in raising standards of service across the whole public sector.
Mr. David Davis : It is primarily for the universities, as autonomous institutions, to determine how best to meet their future staffing needs. The research councils have a responsibility to help ensure the supply of highly-qualified scientists and engineers who might undertake research in universities or elsewhere.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, column 369, what estimate he has made of the additional costs, net of any reduction in employer's national insurance contributions, to his departmental budget for the financial year 1994-95 resulting from the changes in statutory sick pay provision.
Mr. David Davis : The additional cost to my departmental budget resulting from the change in statutory sick pay provision, net of any reduction in employer's national insurance contributions, is estimated to be £5,000 a year. The precise figure will, in any one year, depend on a number of factors including the level of sickness absence and the distribution of salaries across the national insurance bands.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement regarding the use of psychometric testing in the civil service and United Kingdom businesses in the assessment of individual employee performance ability and the removal from employment.
Mr. Waldegrave : Following the delegation of responsibility for personal review and promotion to Departments and agencies, information is not held centrally on the use of psychometric testing in the civil service. Neither is information held on the use of psychometric tests in United Kingdom businesses. However, the Recruitment and Assessment Services agency acts on behalf of some Departments and agencies, and uses psychometric tests when appropriate. This is always done under the direction of a chartered psychologist and in conformity with the Institute of Personnel Management and the British Psychological Society guidelines.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what working definition of "back to basics" is used by his Department ; and what his Department has done in the past three months to implement the policy.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd [holding answer 20 January 1994] : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) on 21 January at col. 849 .
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what will be the effect on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the export of anti-personnel mines of ratification of the 1981 inhumane weapons convention by the United Kingdom.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Ratification of the convention will not have any direct effects on our policy regarding mine exports. The convention relates to the use of mines, booby traps and other devices as defined, not to their export.
The United Kingdom already adheres strictly to the principles of the convention. We also adopt a responsible approach to the export of defence equipment, and have one of the most rigorous systems for scrutinising licence applications. The United Kingdom has not produced or exported anti- personnel mines for some time.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list Her Majesty's Government's voting record for each measure, and amendments thereto, on the agenda of the first committee of the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.
|Subject |Voting record ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Item 57 |New Types of Weapons of Mass |consensus |Destruction Item 58(B) |Transparency of Military Expenditures |consensus Item 59 |Compliance with Arms Limitation and |consensus |Disarmament Agreements Item 60 |Education and Information for |consensus |Disarmament Item 61(B) |Biological Weapons Convention: |consensus |Verification Weapons Report Item 62 |Science and Technology (India) |against Item 63 |Science and Technology (Germany/Brazil) |abstention Item 64 |Verification in all its Aspects |abstention |Operative Paragraph 2 |against Item 65 |Partial Test Ban Treaty Conference |against Item 66 |Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty |consensus Item 67 |Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone |consensus Item 68 |South Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone |for Item 69 |Negative Security Assurances |abstention Item 70 |Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space |for |Preambular Paragraph 18 |abstention |Operative Paragraph 8 |abstention |Operative Paragraph 10 |abstention Item 70 |Study of Confidence Building Measures |consensus |Outer Space Item 71C |Study on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of |against |Mass Destruction Item 71 |Bilateral Nuclear Arms Negotiations |consensus Item 71J |Conventional Arms Control |for Item 71(C) |Prohibition of Production of Fissile |consensus |Material Item 71(D) |Dumping of Radioactive Waste |consensus Item 71(E) |Disarmament and Development |consensus Item 71(F) |Regional Disarmament (Germany) |consensus Item 71(F)I |Regional Disarmament (Pakistan) |for Item 71(G) |Transparency in Armaments |consensus Item 71(H) |International Arms Transfers (Colombia) |consensus Item 71(H) |International Arms Transfers (Afghanistan)|for Item 71(J) |Moratorium on Export of Anti-Personnel |consensus |Mines Item 72(A) |UN Disarmament Fellowship |consensus Item 72(B)B |Convention on the Prohibition of the Use |against |of Nuclear Weapons Item 72(C) |UN Disarmament Information Programme |consensus Item 72(E)A |Regional Confidence Building Measures |abstention Item 72(F) |Regional Centres for Peace |consensus Item 73(A) |UN Disarmament Commission Report |consensus Item 73(B) |Conference on Disarmament Report |consensus Item 74 |Israeli Nuclear Armament |against Item 75 |Inhumane Weapons Convention |for |Preambular Paragraph 5 |abstention Item 76 |Question of Antarctica |did not participate Item 77 |Security and Cooperation in the |consensus |Mediterranean Region Item 78 |Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace |against Item 79 |Implementation of the Declaration |abstention |International Security Item 80 |Maintenance of International Security |for Item 80 |Maintenance of International Security |consensus |(Balkan States) Item 81 |Treaty of Tlatelolco |consensus Item 82 |Denuclearisation of Africa |consensus Item 156 |Rationalisation of the First Committee |consensus |Agenda
Copies of the statements and explanations of vote which we made with reference to the above have been sent to the House of Commons Library.