Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what arrangements have been made for the publication of audited accounts for grant-maintained schools ; and where details are available for inspection.
Mr. Robin Squire : The governing body of a grant-maintained school is required to present each year's accounts to the anual parents' meeting falling next after the submission of the accounts to the Secretary of State. The governing body must also ensure that the accounts are available at the school for inspection by any member of the public.
Mr. Patten : Subject to parliamentary approval of the related supplementary estimates, the cash limits for class X, vote 1, schools, research and miscellaneous services ; vote 2, higher and further education ; vote 4, administration ; and vote 6, office of Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools in England, will be amended. The changes are as follows :
Class and |Current cash |Change |Revised cash Vote |limit |limit |£ |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- X.1 |741,282,000 |-32,300,000 |708,982,000 X.2 |5,404,831,000|+1,006,000 |5,405,837,000 X.4 |94,301,000 |+47,000 |94,348,000 X.6 |48,819,000 |-1,266,000 |47,553,000
The reduction to the cash limit on class X, vote 1 includes a reduction of £18,500,000 as a contribution towards offsetting the increase of £155 million sought via a supplementary estimate for class X, vote 3, student awards, loans and compensation payments, which is not cash limited ; a reduction of £13,000,000 to offset wholly payments to universities and colleges of further education in respect of grants from the European regional development fund towards capital projects ; and a transfer of £800,000 to class X, vote 2 to increase provision in respect of bursaries for the training of teachers in shortage subjects.
The net increase of £1,006,000 on class X, vote 2 takes account of an increase of £1,306,000 in gross provision for grant in aid to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, offset by a transfer of £828,000 from the Home Office for the costs of students sponsored to attend extended and upgraded courses in social work in
Column 932universities, less a transfer of £622,000 to class X, vote 3 to increase provision for student loans associated with these courses ; and the appropriation in aid of receipts of £1,100,000 from proceeds of sale of redundant properties at the Royal College of Art. The remainder of the vote 2 increase is offset by the transfer of £800, 000 from class X, vote 1.
The increase on class X, vote 4 is the net result of a transfer of £127,000 from Property Holdings in respect of buildings maintenance and an increase of £80,000 in receipts of payments arising from services supplied by the Teachers Pensions Agency which are to be appropriated in aid of the vote. The running costs limit has been increased by £127,000 from £90,323,000 to £90,450,000.
The decrease on class X, vote 6 is the net result of a reduction of £1,300,000 in forecast outturn on programme and a transfer of £34,000 from Property Holdings in respect of buildings maintenance. The running costs limit has been decreased by £29,000 from £31,960,000 to £31,931,000. This is the net effect of the transfer from Property Holdings and a transfer of £63,000 for non- running costs provision in the same vote.
The increases on class X, votes 2 and 4 are wholly offset elsewhere and will not therefore add to the planned total for public expenditure.
Mr. Forth : The Education Acts do not give governors an express right to visit their schools ; but governors have a range of statutory duties and powers, and are entitled to expect reasonable access to schools as necessary to allow them to carry out their functions.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what assessment was made of the previous employment record of the new property controller of the Further Education Funding Council before he was appointed ;
(2) who was consulted about the conduct of the new property controller of the Further Education Funding Council while he was employed by the Welsh Development Agency before his appointment to the Council.
Mr. Boswell : In accordance with its normal recruitment procedures, the Further Education Funding Council made an assessment of the previous employment record of the newly appointed head of property services on the basis of information obtained from his application form, from discussion with him at interview and from references taken up prior to his interview and the subsequent offer of employment. The references, which were provided in confidence, provided sufficient information about his conduct during his employment with the Welsh Development Agency to satisfy the council.
Column 933inspectors ; what is their total value ; in how many cases the contract was awarded to an LEA-based registered inspector when there was a lower bid entered by a registered inspection from outside the LEA sector ; and what is the sum of the amounts by which the awarded contracts exceeded the value of lowest bid submitted by a non- LEA-based inspector in the financial year 1993-94 to date ; (2) how many Ofsted contracts were awarded to registered inspectors based outside local education authorities ; what is their total value ; in how many cases the contract was awarded to a registered inspector from outside the LEA sector when there was a lower bid entered by an LEA-based registered inspector ; and what is the sum of the amounts by which the awarded contracts exceeded the value of the lowest bid submitted by an LEA-based inspector, in the financial year 1993-94 to date.
I have asked Professor Sutherland to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Robin Squire : All parents of children within the catchment area of a city technology college are free to express a preference for a place at the college. So many do so that inevitably many are disappointed not to receive the offer of a place. CTCs have a duty as far as possible to ensure that the pupil intake is representative of the full range of ability among pupils within the catchment area.
The Education Act 1993 and the code of practice which subject to Parliament's approval my right hon. Friend hopes to issue this summer will significantly improve the arrangements for the education of all children with special needs. The code offers guidance to all schools and LEAs on their responsibilities towards all pupils with special needs of all kinds, including those with dyslexia.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance Her Majesty's Government are giving to alleviate the plight of the Rohingya refugees from Burma who fled to Bangladesh at the end of 1991.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Her Majesty's Government have provided some £1.2 million for the Rohingyas via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross-Crescent movement. My noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has approved a further £1 million in response to recent UN appeals for both care and maintenance programmes and for the official repatriation programme now expected to get under way, following agreements between the Burma authorities and UNHCR.
Mr. Curry : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class VII, vote 13--sale of the PSA businesses--will be increased by £4,540,000 from £39,351,000 to £43,891,000. The increase will not constitute a claim on the reserve as it will be netted off the proceeds from the Government's privatisation programme.
The provision is sought mainly to fund a payment to the purchaser of PSA projects, as provided for in the sale agreement, to adjust the consideration payment one year after completion of the sale depending on the numbers of transferred staff still employed by the business. In addition, the cash limits for class VII, vote 11--PSA services--will be reduced by £43,535,000 from £163,760,000 to £120,225,000. This takes account of earlier recoveries of works expenditure from customer departments and a reduction in forecast severance expenditure. The net running cost limit on this vote will reduce by £7,512,000 from £103,596,000 to £96,084,000.
(i) the cash limit for class VII, vote 5--central environmental services, etcetera--will be reduced by £6,300,000 from £391,336,000 to £385,036,000. This change reflects a saving of £6,300,000 in forecast expenditure on grant in aid to the National Rivers Authority ; (
(ii) the cash limit for class VII, vote 6--Property Holdings and other services to government--will be increased by £1,000 to £2,000. This reflects the token supplementary estimate taken for this vote. The gross running cost limit will be increased by £614,000 from £20, 062,000 to £20,676,000 to meet early retirement costs and consultancy fees, and is partly funded by take up of running cost end-year flexibility entitlement--covered by the increase in the running costs limit announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1993, Official Report , columns 512-17 . The net running cost limit for the Security Facilities Executive agency will be reduced by £271,000 from £1,101,000 to £830,000. This reflects changing levels of business within SAFE. The net running cost limit for the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre will be increased by £5,624,000 from £1,200,000 to £6,824,000. This reflects increased
Column 935business for the QEIICC and the introduction of an accommodation charge for the centre itself. This increase will be offset by increased receipts ;
the cash limit for class VII, vote 7--DOE administration--will be increased by £357,000 from £225,544,000 to £225,901,000. This change reflects a number of small transfers to and from other votes, the most significant being an increase of £353,000 from Property Holdings-- class VII, vote 6--in respect of maintenance charges. The Department of the Environment's gross running cost limit on class VII, vote 7 will be reduced by £2,864,000 from £226,578,000 to £223,714, 000. In the main, this reduction is necessary to match the projected shortfall in Planning Inspectorate executive agency receipts ; ()
the cash limit for class VII, vote 8--revenue support grant, payments of non domestic rates, Valuation Office services, etcetera, England--will be reduced by £666,000 from £28,808,799,000 to £28,808, 113,000. This reflects the transfer of £155,000 in manpower savings from valuation tribunals to class VII, vote 12, for disabled persons' rate relief, emergency financial assistance to local authorities and rate rebates in enterprise zones, and a saving of £511,000 ; (
(v) the DOE/Housing Corporation non-voted cash limit will be increased by £9,113,000 from £1,786,093,000 to £1,795,206,000, to reflect the transfer of £14,404,000 from the city challenge programme--to fund housing associations in city challenge areas--and an increase of £741,000 following the full take-up of end-year flexibility entitlement--announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1993, Official Report, columns 512-17 . It included the switching of £6,032,000 from capital to revenue to cover increased costs in demand-driven revenue programmes for which the Housing Corporation is responsible ;
(vi) the DOE/urban aid non-voted cash limit will be reduced by £18, 380,000 from £996,672,000 to £978,292,000. The change reflects a transfer of £14,404,000 to the housing vote--vote VII, 1--to meet an equivalent increase in city challenge housing association expenditure. A transfer of £1,376,000 to the Department of Transport is necessary in order to refund resources originally transferred to DOE for the London Docklands development corporation, but which are now no longer required. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport will announce an equivalent increase in his cash limit today. The London Docklands development corporation's external financing limit for 1993-94 will be correspondingly reduced to £105, 388,000. A further reduction of £2,600,000 will be made to reflect an excess carry-over of resources by the docklands light railway in 1992-93. The docklands light railway external financing limit for 1993-94 will be correspondingly reduced to £32,017,000.
(vii) the DOE/local authority capital non-voted cash limit will be reduced by £3,677,000 from £2,461,475,000 to £2,457,808,000. This change reflects reductions in provision for minor current expenditure grants for private sector renewal which have been partly offset by full take-up of end-year flexibility entitlement of £1,470,000. The original entitlement of £61,000 announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1993, Official Report, columns 512-17 , has been increased following revision of the forecast outturn figures;
(viii) the DOE/new towns non-voted cash limit will be increased by £20,613,000 from minus £116,938,000 to minus £96,325,000. This change reflects a shortfall in receipts of £39,607,000 and a reduction in expenditure of £17,912,000. The external financing limit for Letchworth Garden City development corporation will be reduced from zero to minus £1,082,000 ; and
(ix) the housing action trusts external financing limit will be reduced by £8,678,000 from £86,779,000 to £78,101,000. This change reflects a reduced borrowing requirement by housing action trusts.
Column 936Any cash limit increases will be offset by savings within the DOE, or transfers within DOE or from other Departments and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new measures he proposes to assist the steel and and newsprint industries to reduce their energy costs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The Government's best practice programme produces guides and case studies showing the successful implementation of energy efficiency technology and techniques in different industrial sectors, including steel and paper and board--covering newsprint. These have already helped stimulate take-up of measures leading to energy savings. Further projects are in the pipeline and proposed for the future.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment 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.
|£ ------------------------ 1990-91 |350,406 1991-92 |246,508 1992-93 |180,237
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) which of the public appointments for which he is responsible 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 ;
(2) which appointments since 1979 to public bodies or posts to which he is responsible have included candidates nominated by the Chief Whip's Office ; if any nominees by this source have been appointed ; and if he will give details.
Mr. Baldry : 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.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what funding has been allocated nationally to Groundwork trusts in each year since 1990-91 ; and what is the expected allocation for 1993-94 and 1994- 95.
Year |Amount £ |Number of |Trusts ----------------------------------------- 1990-91 |1,292,407|22 1991-92 |1,622,319|25 1992-93 |1,521,017|25 1993-94<1> |1,994,318|28 <1>Estimated outturn.
For 1994-95 the foundation has made an initial provision of £2,889, 000 for a target of 37 trusts in England.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what funding has been allocated to each of the individual Groundwork trusts in Yorkshire and Humberside in each year since 1990-91 ; and what are the expected allocations for 1993-94 and 1994-95.
Mr. Atkins : There are two Groundwork trusts in the Yorkshire and Humberside region--South Leeds and Wakefield. Grants paid from the Groundwork Foundation's grant in aid as a contribution towards the trusts' approved running costs have been allocated as follows :
|South Leeds|Wakefield £ |£ ------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 |178,000 |57,692 1991-92 |150,000 |48,444 1992-93 |55,000 |42,275 1993-94 |55,000 |15,000
Allocations for 1994-95 have not yet been made.
The trusts are also able to apply for grants for projects under departmental programmes, but details of these payments are not readily available.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to respond to the report by Environmental Data Services on integrated pollution control, a copy of which has been sent to him.
Mr. Atkins : The Government welcome the comprehensive review of the operation of integrated pollution control up to April 1993 by Environmental Data Services. I am pleased to note that the results of this study confirm that IPC has resulted in improved environmental performance.
Officials in the Department of the Environment and Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution are currently considering the findings of the report in detail and will receive a presentation from the authors.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the average percentage thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer over (a) Shetland and (b) northern Europe generally, in each year since 1979.
Mr. Atkins : The table sets out, for each year for which data are available, estimates of the average percentage departure of the thickness of the stratosperhic ozone layer over Shetland, from the long-term mean.
Year |Shetland |(Lerwick) ------------------------------ 1981 |+5.2 1982 |+7.0 1983 |-2.6 1984 |+2.1 1985 |-1.8 1986 |+0.9 1987 |+0.6 1988 |-2.1 1989 |+1.5 1990 |-0.9 1991 |-0.3 1992 |-3.2 1993 |-6.7
Analysis of global ozone data is carried out by the World Meterological Office--United Nations Environment Programme ozone scientific assessment panel. Its latest estimate of the average depletion of the ozone layer at northern European latitudes is 3 per cent. per decade from 1979 to 1991. Large departures of 1 to 2 per cent. from this trend from late 1991 to May 1993 were reported by the United Kingdom stratospheric ozone review group, whose report has been placed in the library of the House. These years were greatly influenced by atmospheric dynamics and Mount Pinatubo volcanic aerosol and the low figures for 1992 and 1993 therefore do not necessarily imply an acceleration of ozone loss.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new classes of environmental information held by his Department were made available to the public between July 1992 and July 1993 ; what new rights to participate in the decision-making process on environmental issues were extended by his Department to the public in this period ; and what new rights to seek remedies in the event of breach of environmental laws or failure to provide environmental services were introduced by his Department for the public.
Mr. Atkins : Since December 1992 the public have had statutory rights of access to all classes of environmental information subject to safeguards on confidentiality. In addition, a comprehensive system of public registers was already in place to enable the public to inspect information relating to the work of the pollution control authories. The environmental information regulations introduced the right of appeal to the courts for failure to release environmental information and the White Paper "Open Government"--Cm 2290--announced that the Government are considering whether an independent tribunal should be established to hear disputes.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his assessment of the adequacy of stabilisation of carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels as a United Kingdom contribution to the global restriction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Mr. Atkins : The United Kingdom's programme of measures aimed at returning emissions of carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2000 fully meets our commitments under the United Nations framework convention on climate
Column 939change. The adequacy of the convention's commitments is due to be reviewed by the conference of parties to the convention in 1995, and again by 1998.
Sir George Young : I propose to make up to £10 million in supplementary credit approvals available to local authorities in 1994-95, to enable them to carry out flats over shops schemes. I am pleased that we have received over 500 separate bids from local authorities for resources totalling £40 million. I shall announce the allocations by the end of February. In addition, the Housing Corporation is funding such schemes from its approved development programme.
I am encouraged by increasing interest from authorities, housing associations and property owners in bringing spare space above shops back into residential use.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to ensure the provision of easy access for the disabled to all public buildings and spaces in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : In England and Wales, building regulations made under the Building Act 1984 make provision for access by disabled people to new public buildings. I have asked the Building Regulations Advisory Committee to advise me on whether these provisions should be extended to cover certain alterations and changes of use in such buildings. I hope to make a statement on this before Easter.
Elsewhere in the United Kingdom this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Ms Glenda Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many families currently on local authority waiting lists need (a) one bedroom, (b) two bedrooms and (c) three or more bedroom properties.
The latest available figures show a total of 1,208,790 households on council housing waiting lists in England on 1 April 1993. No information is collected centrally on the size of dwellings required by families on the housing waiting lists.
Ms Glenda Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many (a) one bedroom, (b) two bedroom and (c) three or more bedroom properties local authorities manage ; and how many are currently available in (i) Greater London and (ii) south-east England.
Column 940The latest available figures are for 1 April 1993 and show that local authorities managed 980,106 properties with one bedroom, 1,204, 067 with two bedrooms and 1,577,847 with three or more bedrooms. The number of local authority owned dwellings that were available for letting immediately, or after minor repairs, on 1 April 1993 totalled 9,663 in Greater London and 5,172 in south-east England--excluding London-- as reported by local authorities in their latest annual housing investment programme--HIP1--returns. Information is not centrally available on size of local authority-owned dwellings that are vacant.
Ms. Glenda Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what representations he has received from housing associations regarding the review of part M of the Building Regulations and its application ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what representations he has received from (a) consumer groups and (b) Age Concern regarding the review of part M of the Building Regulations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : I have received a number of representations regarding the review of part M of the Building Regulations, including some from housing associations, consumer groups and Age Concern who consider that the requirements in the Building Regulations relating to access for disabled people should be extended to cover new dwellings. The Building Regulations Advisory Committee is at present examining the desirability and practicability of this. I hope to be in a position to make a statement on this before Easter.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 28 January, Official Report, column 438, which local authorities formally made representations to him in writing seeking restrictions on the rights of access of homeless persons to social housing before October 1993.
Sir George Young : Over the years, as part of our continuing dialogue with local authorities, we have received a steady flow of representations on different aspects of housing policy, including the homelessness legislation. We do not keep a separate record of the sort of representations that the hon. Member appears to have in mind.
Mr. Gummer : My hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Technology and I will be meeting the producer responsibility group on Monday 7 February. We expect to receive a plan from the group at that meeting. I will ensure that copies are placed in the Library.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answers of 20 January, Official Report, columns 798-99, what target he has set for the time to process an appeal by the independent tribunal service ; how many appeals were processed after this target time ; and how many appeals in total were dealt with during this period.
Mr. Scott : The responsibility for the administration of the independent tribunal service lies with its president, His Honour Judge Anthony Thorpe. I am informed by Judge Thorpe that in his view there was until recently insufficient information on which to base a target for disability appeal tribunals. The independent tribunal service is currently collecting information to enable Judge Thorpe to set targets for this work for 1994-95.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which appointments since 1979 to public bodies or posts for which he is responsible have included candidates nominated by the Chief Whip's Office ; if any nominees by this source have been appointed ; and if he will give details.