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Column 70Assistance to the Ministry of Education in curriculum development. Assistance in teacher education at the Vocational Training Institute.
Assistance to improve English language teaching at the Institute of Health Sciences.
A study of the opportunities for tissue culture of date palms and other traditional crops.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the policy of his Department that developing countries should be encouraged to spend less on armaments ; and whether levels of spending on arms is taken into account in the allocation of aid.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : It is for each country to assess and provide for its own legitimate defence needs. The United Kingdom actively supports the increased emphasis placed by the International Monetary Fund and the World bank in their relations with developing countries on the implications for economic and social development of an excessive level of military expenditure. We have made it clear that we consider the setting of an appropriate level of military expenditure to be an important part of good government. It is one of the factors we take into account when deciding our allocations of bilateral aid.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Projects funded by the Overseas Development Administration in Jordan over the last five years are as follows : Provision of a livestock expert to assist the Ministry of Agriculture sheep husbandry project.
Financial assistance to farmers to replant fruit trees in the Jordan valley following the severe storms of January and February 1992.
Provision of advice to the Jordan Industrial Consortium Engineering Company.
Senior advisory assistance to the Jordanian Electricity Authority and to the Irbid District Electricity Company.
Provision of equipment to the Jordan Meteorological Department for monitoring weather systems and locust swarms.
Advice on air traffic control to the Jordan Civil Aviation Authority.
Feasibility study for the Government of Jordan on the restructuring of telecommunications.
Provision of equipment and advice to the geological mapping section of the Natural Resources Authority for compiling and printing maps. Advice on computerising the Jordanian passport system. Study of an aquifer at Qa Disi in southern Jordan to enable the Water Authority of Jordan to determine sensible abstraction rates. Study for a possible professional link between the Water Authority of Jordan and a United Kingdom water company.
Diagnostic study into pollution at the King Talal dam.
Study of possible contamination of groundwater in the Amman Zarka basin.
Feasibility study into centralising the Water Authority of Jordan's maintenance facilities on a single site.
Advice to develop in-service teacher training and textbook production.
Provision of equipment to the structures testing laboratory at the Jordanian university of science and technology.
Assistance to develop teaching English for specific purposes at the Jordan university of science and technology.
Column 71Provision of computers and consultants to increase computer awareness among secondary school pupils.
Provision of equipment and advice to develop the national centre for occupational safety and health, and advice on industrial safety legislation.
Provision of equipment to vocational secondary schools. Provision of a walking dragline for the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company.
The heads of mission small projects scheme is administered by the British ambassador to Jordan and funds four to six small projects each year.
The joint funding scheme has contributed to 11 Oxfam projects in Jordan over the last five years.
Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the breakdown of spending on clean water and sanitation projects within the Overseas Development Administration in 1991- 92 ; how much of the total is allocated to basic water supply and sanitation for use by the public ; and how much for services to private dwellings.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Total specific spending on clean water and sanitation projects by the Overseas Development Administration in the financial year 1991-92 was £24.529 million. Data are not available to enable a separation to be made between expenditure on water supply and sanitation for public or communal use, and services directly connected to private dwellings.
Many non-governmental organisations have clean water projects as part of their wider rural development schemes.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit on the external assistance vote-- class II, vote 5--will be increased by £3,736,000 from £1,811,060,000 to £1,814,796,000. The increase includes a transfer of £88,000 from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for assistance to the St. Petersburg potato industry and £3,337,000 in respect of a rollover of underspending against 1992-93 EC attribution. The gross running costs limit for the ODA has been increased by £311,000 from £51,771,000 to £52,082,000. This includes £235,000 in respect of an end of year flexibility entitlement and a transfer of £76,000 from Property Holdings for a maintenance club subscription. The net running costs limit for the Natural Resources Institute has been increased from nil to £3,788,000 to cover a revised forecast of income, and restructuring and relocation costs. The increases will be offset by transfers from other Government Departments and charges to the reserve and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what cash is distributed as tied aid ; how much aid is untied ; what other categories of aid exist ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 72the development assistance committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development : tied, partially tied and untied.
In 1992, £650 million of the United Kingdom's bilateral aid commitments to developing countries were tied, £500,000 were partially tied and £324 million were untied.
Mr. Heppell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which organisations were consulted by his Department, on each of the recommendations of the business deregulation task forces before they were agreed and action proposed in the DTI document "Deregulation : Cutting the Red Tape".
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Matters covered by task force recommendations on administration of training programmes, handling of unfair dismissal claims, and industrial tribunal procedures have been discussed with training and enterprise councils, the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service, presidents of the industrial tribunals, the Council on Tribunals and other interested bodies as appropriate. A provision in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill relating to redundancy selection implements a proposal of the task forces, which represent business.
I have asked the Health and Safety Commission to consider the task forces' recommendations on health and safety at work as part of a general review of health and safety legislation. Decisions on these recommendations will be taken when the commission has made its report.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many complaints from employees were received by the wages inspectorate in March, April and May 1993 ; and in how many of these cases the inspectorate's investigation was completed within four weeks.
1993 |Number of |Number of complaint |within four weeks -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- March |113 |78 April |100 |69 May |93 |65
Employees were told the results of investigations into their complaint. If the investigation could not be completed within four weeks, the employee was told about the progress of the investigation.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were in temporary employment at the latest available date ; and what is the proportion of those in temporary employment as a percentage of the total number registered for employment for England as a whole and for each standard region within England.
Miss Widdecombe : Latest estiamtes from the summer 1993 labour force survey of the number and proportion of employees in temporary employment for standard regions within England are given in the table :
Standard region |Employees in |Proportion of |temporary |employees in |employment |temporary |(thousands) |employment |(percentage) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East |477 |7.0 Greater London |196 |7.8 East Anglia |67 |8.0 South West |107 |6.0 West Midlands |117 |5.9 East Midlands |101 |6.2 Yorkshire and Humberside |128 |6.7 North West |145 |6.2 North |83 |7.4 ------- |------- |------- England |1,224 |6.6
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the subjects on which his Department formerly answered parliamentary questions but which are now referred by him to an executive agency.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The chief executive of the Employment Service Agency is usually asked to reply to parliamentary questions concerning the day-to-day operational matters of the agency and on subjects for which he has delegated responsibility, as set out in the agency's framework document, a copy of which is available in the Library.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications for a work permit to employ a non-EC national were received in April 1993 ; what proportion of these applications were decided within eight weeks ; and what proportion of applications on behalf of entertainers, sports people and models were decided within four weeks.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Four thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine applications for work permits were received in April 1993. Of the 2, 850 cases processed in the month, 91.9 per cent. had been decided within eight weeks of receipt.
One thousand, four hundred and eleven of the total applications decided in April 1993 were for entertainers, sports people and models. Fifty-seven per cent. of these cases were decided within four weeks and 92 per cent. within eight weeks of receipt.
This exceeds the Department's published standard of 75 per cent. within eight weeks and was achieved at a time when the section responsible for work permits was in the process of moving between sites in Sheffield.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications for new licences were received from employment agencies in April 1993 ; and in what proportion of these cases a licence was issued to the applicant within eight weeks.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employment agencies have (a) been licensed, (b) had applications for licensing as an employment agency refused and (c) had their licences revoked in each year since 1973.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Employment Agencies Act 1973, which requires all employment agencies and employment business to be licensed, came into force in mid-1976. The available records commence from 1977, the first full year of the Act's operation, and are provided in the table :
Year |Number of |Applications|Licences |current |refused |revoked |licences ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1977 |5,057 |10 |- 1978 |5,896 |4 |1 1979 |6,550 |2 |- 1980 |6,990 |3 |- 1981 |6,645 |5 |2 1982 |6,624 |7 |- 1983 |6,950 |3 |- 1984 |7,668 |- |- 1985 |8,499 |1 |- 1986 |9,984 |3 |1 1987 |11,379 |3 |2 1988 |13,541 |- |- 1989 |16,023 |5 |- 1990 |17,227 |3 |- 1991 |15,887 |5 |1 1992 |14,701 |3 |2 1993 |14,482 |1 |- |--- |--- Totals |58 |9
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much funding has been made available to each TEC in East Anglia in 1992-93 and 1993-94 for youth training, adult training, long-term unemployed and business start-up schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Separate figures are not available for the long-term unemployed. People unemployed for at least a year who have been through a jobplan workshop are given priority for places on the training for work programme, and the long- term unemployed also have access to a wide range of other opportunities available through the training and enterprise councils.
Details of TEC budgets TEC Names |Youth |Training |Business |Training/|for work |Start Up |Credits |Allowance |£ million|£ million|£ million ------------------------------------------------------------- 1992-93 Bedfordshire |5.14 |2.94 |0.36 Cambridgeshire |2.60 |1.06 |0.31 Essex |16.02 |6.08 |0.82 Greater Peterborough |4.60 |2.22 |0.20 Hertfordshire |13.52 |4.03 |0.82 Norfolk and Waveney |10.78 |5.58 |1.26 Suffolk |9.78 |2.16 |0.93 1993-94 Bedfordshire |5.16 |2.60 |0.43 Cambridgeshire |3.44 |1.20 |0.34 Essex |16.71 |6.13 |0.86 Greater Peterborough |5.09 |2.45 |0.27 Hertfordshire |13.28 |4.00 |1.03 Norfolk and Waveney |10.04 |5.89 |1.11 Suffolk |9.31 |2.37 |0.72 Notes: <1> Funds are paid to TECs on the basis of a negotiated contract. The figures given above for both years are based on contracted amounts. The actual amount spent depends on claims made by the TEC. <2> TFW figures include the programmes replaced by TFW, including employment training, employment action and HTNT. <3> BSU figures are based on the amounts paid for starts and survivors.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Terry Rooney, dated 7 February 1994 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about guidance to Employment Service (ES) staff on providing information about claimants to honourable Members' staff.
It may help if I explain the background. The rules of confidentiality are long established, having been in operation since the start of the National Insurance Scheme in 1911, when the Government of the day decided that information obtained about members of the public in connection with its administration should be regarded as confidential between the person concerned and the Ministry, and would not be released without the consent of that person. Successive Governments have continued since then to apply this policy. There are however specific groups of people who may receive personal information about a client without written consent ; these include MPs, provided that they are acting on behalf of the client concerned. If however an enquiry about a client is received from someone claiming to be acting on behalf of the MP, we do not reply until the written consent of the client is produced. The policy on issues concerning disclosure of information, is set out in the ES Disclosure Guide and other internal memos. This guidance is issued to all ES Jobcentres and updated regularly as necessary.
I hope this is helpful.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what reason Italy and Spain gave for abstaining on the protection of young people at work directive in the Council meeting of 23 November 1993.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Explanations of voting on the common position concerning the protection of young people at work are in the annex to European Council document 10237/93--Presse 199-G. I have arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Chisholm : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much money was allocated to each training and enterprise council in 1993-94 for after-school care in accordance with the Department of Employment's after- school care initiative ; ane what each TEC's estimated out-turn expenditure is in 1993-94 in that area of activity.
Miss Widdecombe : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms Short) on 3 December 1993, Official Report, column 821, which lists the funding made available for 1993-94 by training and enterprise councils including that for the out of school child care grant.
TECs are not asked to provide estimated outturn expenditure.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the organisations and individuals consulted or to be consulted by the Health and Safety Commission in its current review of health and safety legislation.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 4 February 1994] : No definitive list is available. The core of consultation rests with the Health and Safety Commission's task groups, part of whose remit is, in turn, to consult widely. A list of task group members has been placed in the Library.
(a) One--Shops Bill [Lords], Session 1985-86.
Bills passed by the Commons Session |<1>1 |<2>2 |<3>3 |<4>4 ------------------------------------------------ 1992-93 |68 |68 |29 |52 1991-92 |47 |46 |15 |33 1990-91 |71 |69 |18 |49 1989-90 |46 |45 |14 |34 1988-89 |47 |46 |16 |37 1987-88 |63 |62 |16 |49 1986-87 |53 |51 |19 |36 1985-86 |70 |70 |23 |49 1984-85 |76 |75 |26 |54 1983-84 |73 |73 |30 |60 1982-83 |55 |51 |17 |41 1981-82 |56 |56 |19 |46 1980-81 |71 |71 |30 |57 1979-80 |82 |81 |25 |71 <1> Number of Bills passed by Commons. <2> Number of Bills which received the Royal Assent. <3> Number of Bills which received Royal Assent which originated in the Lords. <4> Number of Bills which received the Royal Assent which were Government Bills.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the environment if the appointment of, or powers given to, the new senior regional directors for urban regeneration, or the new procedures he proposes for determining the structure and distribution of related expenditure, are subject to any decision of Parliament.
Mr. Baldry : The integrated regional offices, headed by senior regional directors, will bring together the responsibilities of the existing regional offices of the Department of the Environment, Department of Transport, Department of Employment and Department of Trade and Industry. Their appointment does not require specific parliamentary approval. Voted expenditure on the new single regeneration budget, details of which were announced to the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment on 4 November 1993, Official Report, column 515 , will be subject to the approval of Parliament in the normal way.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council tenants received compensation in 1992-93 upon leaving their home for improvements made to it ; and what was the total sum paid to them.
Sir George Young : Information on expenditure by local authorities under the existing discretionary power to make such payments, in section 100 of the Housing Act 1985, is not collected centrally. The Department proposes
Column 78to monitor expenditure under the new right to compensation for tenants' improvements scheme being introduced on 1 April 1994, under section 122 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the subjects on which his Department or its predecessors formerly answered parliamentary questions but which are now referred by him to an executive agency.
Mr. Baldry : Next steps agency chief executives are usually asked to reply to parliamentary questions on the day-to-day operational matters of their agencies and on subjects for which they have delegated responsibility, as set out in their agencies' framework documents. Copies of replies provided by chief executives are published in the Official Report.
Mr. Baldry : The provision of information on planning appeals is the responsibility of the Planning Inspectorate. I have asked the inspectorate 's chief executive, Mr. Stephen Crow, to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from H. S. Crow to Mr. John Ward, dated 3 February 1994 : The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the number of food superstores for which planning permission has been granted on appeal.
The information is taken from the Inspectorate's records. The latest figures available for England are for the financial years that ended on 31 March 1992 and 1993 and are set out below :
Planning appeals allowed involving food superstores |Number ---------------------- 1991-92 |9 1992-93 |13
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what additional public funding over the provision envisaged, is necessary to meet the full construction costs, including stations at Island Gardens and Cutty Sark, of the proposed docklands light railway extension to Greenwich and Lewisham.
Column 79Gardens stations, were estimated at £139 million in November 1992. The Government have stated unequivocally from the outset that this project must be taken forward with the private sector in the lead without any Government grant or subsidy. That remains our position. A review of the commercial viability of the project undertaken last autumn indicated that the original estimated cost could not be funded from the level of revenues forecast for the extension. Third parties locally have assigned £7 million to the project but this will not be sufficient to close the funding gap. To ensure the project's financial viability, either major reductions in the scope of the project will need to be made or further third party finance will need to be contributed.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to charge a toll for cross-river journeys on the docklands light railway when it is extended to Greenwich and Lewisham.