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Mr. Norris [holding answers 1 February 1994] : The Department's Marine Pollution Control Unit was first informed of pollution on the east coast of Northern Ireland on 10January 1994. Oiled birds were reported coming ashore on the east coast of Northern Ireland from Newcastle, Co. Down to Glenarm, Co. Antrim. Small patches of beached oil were reported, but not in significant quantities. Two days later on 12 January scattered pancakes of oil were found on the shoreline from Ballywater in the North to Ballyquintin point in the South with the heaviest depositions at Portavogie. Clean-up action was carried out by the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) on 10 and 11 January. MPCU requested beach samples to be sent to the laboratory of the Government chemist for analysis--the results are still awaited. On 12 and 17 January aerial reconnaissance by MPCU did not reveal any floating oil at sea.
Column 766Pollution incidents on the coasts of Strathclyde--Ballentrae and Turnberry--Dumfries and Galloway, Port Patrick, were reported to the MPCU between 14 and 17 January. In the Strathclyde region, isolated globules of oil were found on a 6.75 mile stretch of beach south of Ballentrae, and small amounts of oil have also been found on rocks at Turnberry point. In Dumfries and Galloway, oil described as liquid oil clinging to seaweed was found on the beach at Port Mara and Port Kale, near Port Patrick. Clean-up action was carried out by Kyle and Carrick district council over this period, and it was requested to send beach samples to the LGC for analysis. The results are not yet known. MPCU's aerial surveillance aircraft flew over the area on 12, 17, 22 and 24 January, but no floating oil at sea was detected. There is no evidence to suggest that this pollution originated from a recent marine accident. Neither the Marine Accident Investigation Branch nor the Marine Pollution Control Unit is aware of any incident in the vacinity of the affected areas to which the pollution could be attributed. In the circumstances, there is nothing for the MAIB to investigate. The direction of any further action by the MPCU will depend on the outcome of the analysis of beach samples by the LGC.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether all parts of Birmingham will remain eligible for European regional development fund.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Mr. Streeter) on 28 January, Official Report, column 409.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the total budget awarded under the European regional development fund to the Commission initiatives of (a) ENVIREG, (b) INTERREG, (c) PRISMA, (d) RECHAR, (e) RESIDER, (f) REGEN, (g) REGIS, (h) RENAVAL, (i) STAR, (j) STRIDE, (k) TELEMATICS, and (l) VALOREN in each year since their establishment ; and what was the total budget of each awarded to (i) the northern region and (ii) the United Kingdom as a whole.
Mr. Sainsbury : European regional development fund allocations to Community initiatives are shown in the table. Allocations by year are not available. For several of the initiatives, in the United Kingdom only Northern Ireland has been eligible.
ERDF allocations to community initiatives 1993 prices Million ecu |Total |Total |Northern |EC |UK |Region ------------------------------------------------------ (a)ENVIREG<4> |547 |18 |- (b)INTERREG |<1>960 |<3>- |<3>- (c)PRISMA<4> |120 |6 |- (d)RECHAR |325 |158 |26 (e)RESIDER |131 |5 |0 (f)REGEN |384 |0 |0 (g)REGIS |207 |0 |0 (h)RENAVAL |<2>- |71 |41 (i)STAR |933 |14 |0 (j)STRIDE |402 |29 |2 (k)TELEMATIQUE<4> |215 |5 |0 (l)VALOREN |472 |6 |0 <1> Represents total allocations under European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, and guidance section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund. Allocations by fund not readily available. <2> Information on total EC allocations not readily available. <3> Allocations not made to individual Member States. <4> Only Northern Ireland eligible in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the total budget awarded to the EC's European regional development fund, in each year since its establishment ; and what proportion of this was granted to (i) the northern region and (ii) the United Kingdom as a whole.
Mr. Sainsbury : European regional development fund allocations in each of the years 1975 to 1993 are shown in the table :
ERDF ALLOCATIONS Million ecu, current prices |Total EC|Total UK|Northern |Region --------------------------------------------- 1975 |250 |86 |17 1976 |388 |142 |45 1977 |386 |146 |46 1978 |561 |151 |28 1979 |962 |260 |41 1980 |1,138 |243 |41 1981 |1,637 |361 |69 1982 |1,845 |449 |105 1983 |2,127 |458 |57 1984 |2,383 |621 |65 1985 |2,495 |585 |43 1986 |3,328 |513 |58 1987 |3,662 |628 |89 1988 |3,827 |563 |105 1989 |4,666 |511 |84 1990 |5,227 |462 |11 1991 |7,175 |586 |55 1992 |8,901 |655 |98 1993 |10,407 |893 |65
Mr. Vaz : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will itemise the expenditure on the administration of regional enterprise grants, including printing, advertising and stationery costs as well as worker expenses (a) over the last year and (b) since the scheme was developed.
Mr. Sainsbury : Expenditure on the administration of regional enterprise grants in England in 1992-93, the first year for which figures have been published, totalled around £1 million. Publicity costs, which included printing, advertising and stationery costs, totalled £3,400 for the same year. Comparable figures for the years since the scheme began in 1988 are not available.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will itemise the expenditure on the administration of English Estates, including printing, advertising and stationery costs as well as worker expenses (a) over the last year and (b) since the scheme was developed.
Mr. Sainsbury : English Estates is a body which has been in existence in various form since 1936. Its activities have developed over that period. Figures going back to 1936 are not available. Forecast running costs for 1993-94 are as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------------------------------ Maintenance of premises and sites |4.4 Personnel costs |8.2 Office Expenses |2.0 Professional fees and charges |3.9 Research and development |0.4 Advertising and marketing |2.3 Note: Figures include the cost of activities carried out on behalf of the Rural Development Commission.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what sum of money has been allocated for the manufacturing, planning and implementation studies programmes for 1993-94; what proportion thereof had been allocated as at 31 December ; and how many (i) successful, (ii) unsuccessful and (iii) pending applications there have been for assistance under the programme.
Mr. McLoughlin : The forecast for the grant payments under the manufacturing planning and implementation studies programme is £3.5 million for 1993-94, of which £2.9 million had been committed on 31 December 1993. Total grant payments for the scheme is £8.75 million. A total of 312 applications were received by the closing date, 31 May 1993. A total of 120 cases were successful and have been awarded grant status; a further 28 applications are pending. Fifty-nine applications were unsuccessful; the remainder chose not to pursue their applications.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what sum of money has been allocated for publicity and promotion of the manufacturing, planning and implementation studies programmes for 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Mr. McLoughlin : The manufacturing planning and implementation studies programme was launched in February 1991. The spend profile for promotion is as follows :
|£ ------------------------------------------ February 1991 to March 1992 |75,000 April 1992 to May 1993 |52,793
This gives a total of £127,793 for the promotion of the programme. Since the closure of the scheme to new applications on 31 May 1993 there has been no further promotion spend.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the change in his Department's post of chief scientist.
Mr. Heseltine : Over the last 18 months I have redefined the Department's science and technology policies to relate more closely to my overall focus on competitiveness and to the Government White Paper on Science and Technology. In recognition of this, elements of the recently announced organisational change in my Department involve the integration of delivery of these policies with the sectoral and regional organisation for the support of industry.
One result of this reorganisation, which will take effect on 1 March 1994, is that the rationale for the post of chief adviser on science and technology in its present form no longer applies. Therefore a successor to the current holder, Dr Geoffrey Robinson, will not be appointed when Dr Robinson returns to the private sector at the beginning of March. Dr David Evans--formerly chief scientist at the Department of Energy--has been appointed head of the technology and innovation policy division, and will have overall responsibility for the Department's science and technology policies and programmes.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much central Government money was spent on developing and supporting (a) manufacturing industries and (b) businesses in general in Cornwall in each year since 1979.
Mr. Sainsbury : It is not possible to provide a fully comprehensive answer without a disproportionate cost. The figures account for moneys paid to Cornish Enterprises under the regional development grant II, regional selective assistance and regional enterprise grant schemes, which have been the major source of grant over the period in question.
Financial year |Manufacturing |Service total |Total |total --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |1,112,767 |- |1,112,767 1980 |1,450,468 |- |1,450,468 1981 |1,384,159 |- |1,384,159 1982 |887,701 |- |887,701 1983 |521,376 |- |521,376 1984 |561,718 |- |561,718 1985 |1,464,826 |330,000 |1,794,826 1986 |3,703,031 |735,892 |4,438,923 1987 |4,900,029 |867,014 |5,767,043 1988 |7,017,236 |728,182 |7,745,418 1989 |5,623,299 |461,929 |6,085,228 1990 |2,366,027 |367,705 |2,733,732 1991 |2,032,525 |1,037,275 |3,069,800 1992 |2,193,816 |646,372 |2,840,188 1993 |3,122,380 |641,736 |3,764,116 ------- |------- |------- |------- Total |27,106,973 |5,816,105 |32,923,078
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many companies or individual exporters have contacted his Department's export control organisation regarding the application of export control regulations since the guidance at page 84 of his Overseas Trade Board's plan was published.
Mr. Needham : The British Overseas Trade Board's annual report for 1992-93 and forward plan was published on 9 June 1993. From that date to 27 January 1994 my Export Control Organisation's inquiry unit received just over 25,000 telephone calls and fax messages about a wide range of export control matters.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will now list those countries which receive United Kingdom aid to which arms have been exported in each of the last 14 years.
Mr. Needham : In recent years about 140 countries have been recipients of the United Kingdom's bilateral aid. To examine any correlation between each of those countries and the issue of export licences for arms for each of the past 14 years could be undertaken only at disproportionate expense.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what communications he has had with the United States Secretary of Commerce in regard to the trading links between Matrix-Churchill Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio and the United Kingdom Matrix Churchill company.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will provide figures for the amount his Department has been reimbursed by the Department of Social Security in respect of statutory sick pay provision for each of the past three years.
Mr. Eggar : The sums reimbursed were as follows :
|£000 --------------------- <1>1993-94 |204 1992-93 |281 <1> To end December.
Figures for earlier years are not available.
Dr. Wright : To ask the President of the Board of Trade which of the public appointments for which he is responsible require advance notification to, and consultation with, the Chief Whip's Office ; and which appointments made since 1979 have been so notified and consulted upon.
Mr. Eggar : It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to answer parliamentary questions about discussions and consultations between Departments and offices of Government relating to public appointment.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Baord of Trade what further changes he is planning in regional policy since his answer of 23 June 1993, Official Report , column 227 .
Mr. Sainsbury : Regional policy is kept under continual review. Since June 1993 there have been several changes to our regional policy. The new assisted areas map was announced on 23 July 1993. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 4 November 1993 plans to introduce a single regeneration budget and integrated regional offices from April 1994. Details of the European Commission's decisions about objective 2 and 5b areas under the structural funds were announced recently.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has to issue departmental press releases by electronic mail.
Mr. Eggar : My Department's press releases, in common with those of other Government Departments, are already released electronically through the Central Office of Information's electronic news distribution system.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many representations his Department has received relating to the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation ; and what consideration he has given to them in deciding on the future of British Coal.
Mr. Eggar : The Department has received some 50 representations about the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation. I and my officials are in touch with British Coal and CISWO about the future provision of welfare services.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the sectors of industry and services that have been reviewed by his competitiveness unit.
Mr. Sainsbury : The competitiveness division is concerned with the overall competitiveness of all parts of manufacturing and services. The DTI's 15 sector divisions have each been considering the competitiveness of their particular sectors.
Mrs. Ewing : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations his Department has made to the Hungarian Government about the restrictive quotas applied to Scotch whisky and other imported spirits.
Mr. Needham : My Department has a close working relationship with the scotch whisky industry both through the Scotch Whisky Association and through many individual producers. Some of the larger companies have offices in Budapest and are well known to British embassy officials.
Through this network we have been aware of the difficulties which importers of spirits face in this market for some considerable time, and have raised these when appropriate with Hungarian counterparts. We have also been active in giving support to the industry's representations to the Hungarian Administration. In some areas--for example, labelling--progress has been made.
The Hungarian quota system for imported spirits remains a concern and one which has been exacerbated by
Column 772the announcement of what appear to be even more restrictive terms for the current year. We are now considering what might be done, balancing the needs of the industry with our experience of the Hungarian market as one in which insensitive lobbying can be counter- productive.
Mrs. Browning : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he has completed the review of ECGD arrangements for allocating claims recoveries to exporters.
Mr. Heseltine : As a result of a review of its IT systems, it became clear that ECGD was applying different interpretations of similar terms in different guarantees when allocating recoveries to its policyholders. The Cardiff office, which handled short-term guarantees, interpreted ECGD's legal rights differently in a particular respect from the London office which handles medium and long term guarantees, the Cardiff interpretation being in certain cases more generous to the exporter than the London interpretation. When this emerged ECGD at once put a hold on the further allocation of certain categories of recovery and sought legal advice on what has proved to tbe an exceedingly complex matter.
I have now received considered legal advice on all aspects of this matter. It is now clear how the relevant provisions of the guarantee should be interpreted and all future recoveries, including those currently held by ECGD, will be allocated between the exporter and ECGD in accordance with the London interpretation. This will mean that some policyholders will receive a lower share of recoveries than they had in the past. The hold on payments to its customers which ECGD has imposed while the review has been in progress will now be ended.
ECGD has estimated that the amounts which it has paid to policyholders since 1975 which are in excess of what is now considered to be the correct legal entitlement could total up to £83 million.
Given the complexity of this issue and the difficulty and cost of establishing the case of recovering these excess payments from a large number of exporters the Government have decided not to pursue their legal right to seek restitution of these excess payments. I believe that this represents a realistic balance between the interests of the taxpayer and of the exporter.
Mr. Etherington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the North East Shipbuilders Ltd./British Shipbuilders closure document as agreed between the United Kingdom Government and the EC in 1988 ;
(2) if he will list the package of aid approved by the EC in December 1988 intended to cover costs associated with the closure of North East Shipbuilders Ltd./British Shipbuilders.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answers 1 February 1994] : No. It is not the Government's policy to make available the details of agreements entered into with the European Commission where, as in this case, they contain commercially sensitive information.
An aid package worth some £45 million in total was agreed for those affected by the closure. It comprised the following three main elements : first, an enterprise zone for
Column 773Sunderland ; secondly, English Estates received £7million for the provision of advance factory space ; and, thirdly, some £10 million was made available over three years to Sunderland Enterprise and Training Ltd. and the Wearside Opportunity. This aid finance has been almost entirely taken up.
Mr. Hutton : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what has been the total amount spent by English Estates in providing new factory premises and serviced sites in Barrow and Furness since June 1991 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 1 February 1994] : English Estates has spent £5.1 million in the Barrow-in-Furness travel-to-work area since June 1991. Of this, some £1 million has been used to assemble sites for the town centre redevelopment and the remainder has gone on the development of 34,500 sq ft of managed workspace to help encourage the formation of new businesses, 33,000 sq ft of workshops/small factories and 46,000 sq ft of large detached factories for both indigenous companies and inward investors.
Mr. Hutton : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many acres of serviced industrial land have been provided by English Estates in Barow and Furness since 1991 under the Cumbria special support initiative announced by the Government in June 1991.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 1 February 1994] : Since Cumbria county council is well advanced with its own site
reclamation/servicing programmes, assisted by derelict land grant, English Estates has supported these efforts by acquiring 7.5 acres of serviced land. It has also been working with the county council to identify further locations in the Barrow-in-Furness travel-to-work area where land can be brought forward. Feasibility studies are well advanced on two possible sites involving around 30 acres in total.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to include the consideration of environmental matters such as energy efficiency in the joint OFGAS/DTI consultation paper on the licensing and competition arrangements for independent gas suppliers.
Mr. McLoughlin : [holding answer 31 January 1994] : I expect the efficient use of gas to be one of the aspects to be considered in the consultation document.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who is responsible for the loan charges when a council makes a grant to a charitable trust, in order to house people under the care in the community iniatitive ; how many grants of this nature have been made by Scottish local authorities since 1983 ; and what is the total amount of subsidy that has been given.
Mr. Lang : When a local authority incurs a capital debt as a consequence of making a capital grant to a charitable
Column 774trust in such circumstances, each year the outstanding debt will be included in the calculation of the loan charges element of the annual distribution of aggregate external finance to that authority. Information is not held centrally on the number of grants made by local authorities of the type identified by the right hon. Member, nor on the amounts involved. It is therefore not possible to estimate the amount of loan charges support which has been given for such grants.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the planned expenditure on care in the community in (a) Inverclyde, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole in each of the next three years ; and if he will make a statement. Mr. Stewart : Planned expenditure on community care services is entirely a matter for local authorities to determine.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the hon. Members defeated in Scotland in the general election of June 1987 ; and which of them were subsequently given public appointments.
Mr. Lang : The following hon. Members were defeated in Scotland in the general election of June 1987 :
Sir Alex Fletcher
Peter Fraser (now Lord Fraser of Carmyllie)
Roy Jenkins (now Lord Jenkins of Hillhead)
Michael Hirst (now Sir Michael Hirst)
John MacKay (now Lord MacKay of Ardbrecknish)
Albert McQuarrie (now Sir Albert McQuarrie)
None currently holds appointment on bodies for which my Department has responsibility. The information held centrally by my Department does not show whether defeated Members were appointed to such bodies earlier.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the number of appointments made by him to Scottish health board trusts ; and if will give details of the political party affiliations of those appointed.
Mr. Stewart : So far, my right hon. Friend has appointed 38 chairmen and 165 non-executive directors to NHS trusts. Party political affiliations are not relevant to such appointments and such information is neither sought nor held centrally although in some cases, such as those referred to in the reply to the hon. Member's other question today, a person's political affiliation may be obvious.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish the codes of practice governing the making of appointments to public bodies by Ministers.
Mr. Lang : The general procedures for the making of public appointments is contained in the Cabinet Office publication "Guide on Public Appointments Procedures" which is available in the Library of the House.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which of the public appointments for which he is
Column 775responsible require advance notice to and consultation with the Chief Whip's Office ; and which appointments made since 1979 have been so notified and consulted upon.
Mr. Lang : It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to answer parliamentary questions about discussions and consultations between Departments and offices of Government relating to public appointments.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list all land owned by the Forestry Commission in the Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale constituency ; and what plans he has to sell off Forestry Commission land in the Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale constituency under the current disposals programme.
Mr. Lang : The Forestry Commission is preparing a list of all its woodlands in the right hon. Member's constituency, and this will identify those which the Commission is currently selling or planning to sell. I shall send a copy to the right hon. Member and I shall also arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list those research projects (a) undertaken internally by his Department and (b) commissioned by his Department from external contractors, within the last five years, which have gathered data on the employment status (i) of persons convicted of crime and (ii) of persons given custodial sentences.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The following research reports contain data on the employment status of persons convicted of crimes : the first three were in-house projects and the remainder were externally commissioned. Unless otherwise stated, the reports were published by the Scottish Office central research unit.
1. "A Survey of Fine Defaulters in Scottish Courts" published in 1990.
2. "Diversion from Prosecution : Diversion to Social Work" published in 1992.
3. "The Deferred Sentence in Scotland" published in 1992. 4. "Treatment as an Alternative to Prosecution : Diversion to the Douglas Inch Centre" published in 1989.
5. "Sentenced to Serve : The Operation and Impact of Community Service by Offenders" published by Avebury Press in 1992. 6. "Making Amends : Justice for Victims and Offenders : An Evaluation of the SACRO Reparation and Mediation Project", published by Avebury Press in 1992.
A further two research reports contained data on the employment status of those given a custodial sentence. These were "The Prison Survey 1990-91" and "A Survey of the Employment Aspirations and Skill Levels of Offenders in Young Offenders Institutions" published by the Scottish Prison Service, 1992. Both were in-house projects.