Sir George Young : When London Transport promoted the Bill seeking powers to build the extension of the docklands light railway to Lewisham, it was envisaged that a premium fare, in the form of a cross-river toll, would need to be charged to recover the costs of construction. Current advice confirms that a premium fare will be necessary to make the project financially viable.
Mr. Baldry : The total value of the land and buildings held by the Leeds development corporation at 31 March 1993 was £7,507,000. The valuation figure, which is at the lower of cost and net realisable value, corresponds to the entry for development assets in the financial statements published in the corporation's annual report.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what concerns were expressed by his officials to himself or his predecessors in the operation by Westminster or Wandsworth council of (a) the cash incentive scheme and (b) the right to buy in general.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what reference was made to the cash incentive schemes and right-to-buy policies of Westminster and Wandsworth councils in their housing investment programme submissions, monitoring statements and meetings since 1985 ; what concerns were expressed by his officials as a result of these ; and what changes were made to the scheme.
Sir George Young : Local authorities' HIP submissions are public documents and copies have been placed in the Library of the House. The Department collects detailed information at the end of each financial year from all local authorities operating cash incentive schemes under section 129 of the Housing Act 1988, and monitors the right-to-buy performance of all London boroughs. We were satisfied that Wandsworth's proposals met the criteria
Column 80but, in the case of Westminster, following discussions with the Department when the borough first planned to run a cash incentive scheme in 1989-90, the council confirmed that when properties vacated were to be sold they would be offered to existing council tenants only, thus creating a vacancy for reletting to a homeless household.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what reviews were carried out by his Department of the cash incentive schemes operated by Westminster and Wandsworth councils ; what the results of these were ; and what changes were made to the schemes as a result ;
(2) what measures were taken by his Department to ensure that where the payment of a cash incentive in Wandsworth and Westminster council did not under their scheme result in the vacated houses being allocated for rent to someone in housing need the purchaser of those vacant properties themselves vacated a property which was let to someone in housing need.
Sir George Young : Since the introduction of the cash incentive scheme in 1989, the Department has collected detailed information at the end of each financial year. This includes the number of grants paid and dwellings released for each local authority running a CIS. It enables the Department to monitor schemes to ensure that they meet the objective of releasing vacancies to house--directly or indirectly--homeless households.
No changes were made to the schemes run by Westminster council or Wandsworth council as a result of this monitoring process. The results of the first two years of this monitoring process were published by HMSO in a repoert "Cash Incentives Review" in 1992 ; a copy is in the Library.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment for what reasons Westminster council was judged to be performing well in its housing policies which led to the award of higher housing investment programme allocations in recent years ; and by how much the allocation was increased as a result.
In recent years, Westminster has been assessed as performing strongly across the board, with particular strengths in the management of its stock, the promotion of tenant involvement and self-management, and the support of housing associations. These assessment's of Westminster's efficiency and effectiveness, along with assessments in respect of other published criteria, have been reflected in the discretionary elements of its HIP allocations. For the past three years, discretion has been used to allocate 60 per cent. of the HIP annual capital guidelines, the remainder being allocated on the basis of a calculation of the general housing needs of local authorities. Westminster has in recognition of its efficiency and effectiveness been allocated ACGs significantly greater than it would have been using the needs calculation alone. The criteria used in assessing housing authorities are available from the Library of the House, as are the details of the HIP allocations of individual authorities, and the calculations of their general housing needs.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when approval was given to the cash incentive scheme operated by (a) Westminster and (b) Wandsworth councils ; and what special conditions were added to the schemes as proposed by these councils.
Sir George Young : Any local authority which applies under section 129 of the Housing Act 1988 to run a cash incentive scheme is required to ensure that the number of grants paid equals the number of people rehoused in rented accommodation ; that grants are paid only to tenants who could not afford to buy without this assistance ; and that the amount of individual grants is kept within the prescribed limit.
Both Westminster council and Wandsworth council met these criteria. Formal approval to run a cash incentive scheme in 1989-90 was granted to them on 14 August 1989 and 22 May 1989 respectively.
No changes were made by Westminster and Wandsworth councils when they sought and obtained annually approval to run a cash incentive scheme in subsequent years.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of subsidy was paid under the cash incentive scheme to Westminster and Wandsworth councils in each year since the scheme was introduced.
Sir George Young : The table shows the total Government resources made available in the form of supplementary credit approvals to Westminster and Wandsworth councils for cash incentive schemes each year since the scheme was introduced. No Government resources were made available in 1989- 90 or in 1993-94.
0 Year |Wandsworth |Westminster |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------ <1>1990-91 |1,933,464 |1,409,000 <1>1991-92 |2,446,000 |2,611,000 <2>1992-93 |480,995 |658,000 <1>Made available under the homelessness initiative. <2>Made available under the housing market package.
(b) 62 (including (a) )
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 20 January, Official Report, columns 827-28, whether British Nuclear Fuels was charged by his Department for the work put into preparation on the Euratom treaty article 37 submission on THORP.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to monitor the progress of environmental health authorities in meeting the timetable requirements of part 1 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in respect of licences to control emission levels from paper coating processors.
Mr. Atkins : My Department monitors in various ways the operation of the local authority air pollution control system established under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This monitoring includes regular meetings of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution--local authority liaison committee, the establishment of an industry forum, local authority statistical returns, and a review of the performance of 25 authorities undertaken by my officials last year.
Guidance notes on air pollution standards have been issued for the categories of processes coming under the control system. Each guidance note includes a timetable for completing process improvements. One such note was published on paper coating processes in February 1992 and a copy was placed in the Library of the House at the time. Each note is issued in consultation with the relevant industry organisation and it is our intention that they are reviewed every four years, or sooner if particular issues arise.
There is no statute governing the way in which surplus school capacity should be assessed. For current purposes the Department calculates the number of surplus places at a school as the difference between the number of places available, measured using a standard formula and based on the physical capacity of the accommodation at the school, and the number of pupils on the school's roll.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the (a) budgeted and (b) actual expenditure by his Department on (1) internal and (2) overseas travel by the Secretary of State in 1992-93 after 11 April 1992 and so far in 1993-94.
Financial Year |Domestic |Overseas |Travel |Travel |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1992-93-planned |6,000 |see note<1> -actual |3,330 |2,050<2> 1993-94-planned |6,250 |see note<1> -actual (to date) |3,080 |400<2> <1>The annual budget for foreign travel by all the Department's Ministers (including officials in attendance). This was £54,000 in 1992-93; the corresponding figure for 1993-94 is £50,000. These plans are not disaggregated between Ministers. <2>Expenditure incurred on the Secretary of State's travel (including officials in attendance).
Dr. Twinn : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what initiatives he plans to introduce to make educational establishments equally accessible to users of non-motorised as to users of motorised transport, including provision for adequate secure cycle parking.
Mr. Forth : The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981, require that the land provided for a maintained school shall be adequate to permit provision of appropriate ancillary facilities, including vehicle parks. The Department's publication "The Outdoor Classroom", Building Bulletin 71, includes guidance on car parking and cycle storage facilities for schools. Parking and access arrangements at other educational establishments are a matter for the authorities responsible for those establishments.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish a table showing (a) the component of standard spending assessment which is notionally attributed to the education of under-fives, (b) the actual expenditure on education of under-fives for each of the London boroughs for the most recent year that figures are available, (c) the number of children under five in maintained schools and (d) the percentage of under-fives in (i) nursery classes and nursery schools and (ii) infant classes, as a percentage of the under-five-years population.
|£ million -------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Under-fives component of education SSAs |935.2 (c) Number of under-fives in maintained schools |656,193 (di) Percentage of under-fives population in nursery classes and nursery schools |26 (dii) Percentage of under-fives population in infant classes |24 Notes: 1. The information on pupil numbers is derived from the January 1993 schools census carried out by the Department. The figure is based on a head count of the number of part-time (329,944) and full-time (326,249) pupils aged three and four on 31 August 1992. 2. The figures exclude pupils aged four on 31 August 1992 but whose fifth birthday fell between 1 September and 31 December as well as pupils aged under-five in maintained special schools. 3. The percentage rates have been calculated using information on the under-fives population supplied by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OCPS).
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish a table showing the component of standard spending assessment which is notionally attributed to the education of under-fives, expressed as a per capita figure for each child under five years, and the actual expenditure on education for under-fives expressed as a per capita figure for (a) each child under five years in maintained schools and (b) each child under five years in the population.
Mr. Robin Squire : We do not have precise figures for expenditure by local education authorities on under-fives in maintained schools, but we can estimate the costs at a national level. The latest year for which spending data is available is 1991-92. The table gives the figures all in relation to the 1991-92 financial year.
|£ ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Standard assessment (SSA) per population under five<1> |260 Estimated expenditure on under fives in maintained schools per under five pupil<2> |1,650 Estimated expenditure on under fives in maintained schools per population under five<1> |340 <1>The divisor for this is the population 0-4 on 30 June 1989. This is the basis on which the 1991-92 under-fives SSA was distributed to LEAs. <2>Both the expenditure and the pupil numbers relate to pupils who were aged four or less on 31 August. The pupil number divisor is a financial year average.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the impact of Sir Ron Dearing's national curriculum review on the swimming and water safety requirement of key stage 2.
Mr. Robin Squire : The School Curriculum and Assessment Authority is currently considering what changes are needed in the statutory requirements for all the subjects of the national curriculum, including physical education. My right hon. Friend cannot anticipate the outcome of that consideration.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement setting out the arrangements for the membership and timetable for action for the working groups recommended by the national curriculum review undertaken by Sir Ron Dearing.
Mr. Robin Squire : Membership of the groups advising the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority on the revision of the national curriculum was announced by the authority on 12 January : a copy of its press notice is in the Library. The groups' work will be completed by the end of March and the authority will then advise my right hon. Friend on a revised national curriculum to go out to consultation between May and July. The aim is that new orders for each national curriculum subject should be distributed to schools in January 1995.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy that local education authorities should be represented on bodies which are relevant to their responsibilities as employers on such bodies as the Teacher Training Agency ; and if he will invite those authorities to nominate representatives.
Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend will continue to make it his policy to appoint to bodies for which he is responsible members who will make an effective personal contribution, drawing on their knowledge and experience. While relevant experience may be specified in statute, and outside bodies may always suggest names for consideration, members are not normally appointed in a representative capacity.
Mr. Robin Squire : TSI projects include a tender stage when project details are finalised and competitive tenders are sought to ensure value for money is obtained. For grant-maintained school projects, approval from the Department must then be obtained before work on the project can begin. Grant is paid only for expenditure which has been approved, and invoices must be submitted to support claims.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library a copy of Stratford grant-maintained school's successful bid for £300,000 under the technology schools initiative.
Mr. Robin Squire : No. Bids for awards under the technology schools initiative--TSI--were prepared by individual schools, with the involvement of the local education authority where applicable, for submission to the Department. Schools did not necessarily prepare their bids with any expectation that they would become public documents.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education by what date he expects Stratford school to have completed the project for which grants were awarded under the technology schools initiative.
Mr. Robin Squire : The DFE publishes a termly newsletter, Schools Update, which is sent to all schools. It has a section which offers information about the availability of leaflets and resource material from other Government Departments.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Education which Departments of Government in the last year have offered for circulation or circulated to schools printed or film/video material directly or indirectly ; and if he will name the publications provided in schools.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Department for Education does not keep a record of material distributed to schools by other Government Departments. In the last 12 months, the DFE has itself distributed sample copies of the following publicity material to schools : Education Act 1993 Publicity Flyer
Grant-Maintained Schools--Experiences in The First Year
Grant-Maintained Schools--How to Become a GM School
Grant-Maintained Schools--Questions Parents Ask
Grant-Maintained Schools--Questions Staff Ask
How is Your Child Doing at School?
It's Your Choice
National School Tests in 1994
National Unauthorised Absence Tables
School and College Performance Tables (16-18 Age Group) 1993
Column 86School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document
School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Leaflet
Schools Update --termly newsletter to all schools
Secondary Schools Performance Tables 1993
Student Grants and Loans--A brief guide for higher education students 1993- 94
Student Grants and Loans--A brief guide for higher education students 1994- 95
The Charter for Further Education
The Charter for Higher Education
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what inquiries he has undertaken or commissioned into the application of grants by the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre Ltd. ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Department's accountancy adviser was asked to review the financial systems of the GMSC as regards the application of grant. Subsequently, a firm of accountants was engaged to review these in more detail. In addition the centre is required to provide the Department with audited accounts every year, which must include a statement as to whether the auditors are satisfied that grant income has been applied correctly.
The auditors have certified that in 1992-93 grant was used for the purposes approved by my right hon. Friend.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education which grants to the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre Ltd. were incorrectly applied ; if he will give the amounts, dates and purposes of such grants ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the name of the consultants who conducted further work into the finances of the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre Ltd. after his own Department's internal review of the company was concluded in February 1993 ; and if he will place a copy of its report in the Library.
Mr. Robin Squire : The consultancy was undertaken by the firm Coopers and Lybrand. Their report covers the full range of activities of the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre Ltd., more than half of which are not grant aided. It must therefore be treated as commercial in confidence.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what inquiries he has undertaken or commissioned into the financial systems operated by the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre Ltd.; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Grant-Maintained Schools Centre Ltd. was visited by the Department's chief accountancy adviser in February 1993, and subsequently by consultants, who examined and advised on the centre's financial systems. The company improved its systems in the light of that advice, and the external auditor's report on the company's accounts for 1992-93 includes a statement that the centre is now maintaining an adequate system of internal control.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many schools have agreed to take part in the proposed school-based teacher training initiatives ; and how many students will be trained as a result ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the representations he has received for and against participation in the school-based teacher training initiative.
Mr. Robin Squire : Consultations in 1992 and 1993 revealed widespread support for the principle of school-based teacher training, in which students spend considerable time in schools and schools are involved in the design and delivery of training. My right hon. Friend's criteria for new ITT courses now include these requirements, which should be fully in place by September 1994 for secondary ITT and by September 1996 for primary ITT.
A new scheme of school-centred initial teacher training--SCITT--was launched in March 1993, in which funds are paid direct to consortia of schools to organise and provide ITT for postgraduates. In 1993-94, 214 students began courses offered by nine consortia involving a total of
Column 8849 schools. Proposals from consortia of primary and secondary schools for courses to start in 1994-95 are currently being considered.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The Development Board for Rural Wales, like other non-departmental public bodies, is subject to a range of controls, direction and monitoring as required by the Development of Rural Wales Act 1976 and as set out in the board's financial memorandum and other guidelines. In addition, the board is set a number of targets, objectives and performance measures and in the context of its corporate planning cycle. I shall be chairing a meeting with the board in the summer to discuss its corporate plan targets for 1995-96. The board's finances are monitored on a monthly basis and its accounts are audited by the National Audit Office.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much central Government money was spent on developing and supporting (a) manufacturing industries and (b) business in general in Wales for each year since 1979.