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Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the possible trial of Libyan suspects relating to Pan Am 103 taking place in The Hague, under a Scottish judge, with Scottish court rules.
The Prime Minister : The Government's policy is to obtain justice for the 270 victims of the Lockerbie disaster. Part of this is to ensure the appearance for trial in a United Kingdom or United States court of those accused of the Lockerbie bombing. The two accused would receive a fair trial in Scotland. There is therefore no need to establish a special court to try them in The Hague. The Libyan Government should comply in full with Security Council resolutions 731, 748 and 883 without further delay.
Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 8 February.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 8 February.
The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the public engagements of Ministers held in connection with the Biwater group of companies since 1983.
The Prime Minister : The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 28 January, Official Report, column 406, what proportion of the representations he has received on the Charterline pilot scheme have been (a) favourable and (b) critical.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 4 February 1994] : Recent surveys of Charterline users show that 87 per cent. are happy with the Charterline service and 93 per cent. would use the Charterline service again. I have received one representation critical of Charterline.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what factors led him to make a decision at Prime Ministerial level to over-rule an accounting officer in the case of the Pergau Dam.
Mr. Goodlad [holding answer 3 February 1994] : I have been asked to reply.
I refer the hon. Member to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has already said to the House on this matter and to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State's answer of 25 January 1994 at column 145-46 to the right hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham).
Mr. Booth : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to extend the know-how fund to other countries in the near future.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The know-how fund will be extended to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia with effect from the beginning of the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the original target dates for the Great Western line franchise (a) to begin running as a shadow franchise and (b) in the private sector ; and what are the current expected dates for these stages.
Mr. Freeman : The Great Western main line should begin operating as a shadow franchise from 1 April, which has always been the target date. It will be for the franchising director to determine when this franchise should be offered to the private sector.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the arrangements for the policing of ports following privatisation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : Many harbour authorities have statutory powers to employ their own constables but few do so. On privatisation, the statutory powers used by the former undertakers are transferred to the new owners. The Department does not intervene in ports' decisions about their policing arrangements.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the licensing requirements for seamen's agencies ; and on how many occasions licences have been refused or revoked since 1973.
Mr. Norris : Seamen's agencies may be licensed in accordance with section 110 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894. This section permits the Department of Transport to make the licence subject to such terms and conditions as are considered appropriate. Prior to 1988 the Department refused licences to commercial agencies and the only licence holders were seven Merchant Navy establishment
administration--MNEA--offices, and two unions. No licences have been refused since 1990 but two were revoked in 1993.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 19 January, Official Report, column 604, what statements and press notices were made and issued on the channel tunnel rail link in November 1989 ; and if he will set out the information in the same form as his earlier answer.
Mr. Freeman : The information is as follows :
3 November 1989
Cecil Parkinson in response to a question from Jonathan Aitken MP "I am greatly encouraged by the clear indications that I have had from the private sector that Channel Tunnel Rail services, including a new Channel Tunnel Rail Link can be financed commercially and that the new link can still be brought into operation by 1988." I regret that this item was not discovered during the search which was made in response to the hon. Member's earlier question.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of British Rail board members pay was linked to performance in July 1992 and July 1993.
Mr. Freeman : In the year to 31 March 1992 BR executive board members participated in a bonus scheme with a potential maximum of 25 per cent. of annual remuneration. Percentage payments made in 1992 were in the range of 10 per cent. to 11 per cent. of remuneration. In the next year the potential maximum was 40 per cent., and payments were 22.5 per cent.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport 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. Norris : Next steps agency chief executives are usually asked to reply to parliamentary questions about the day-to-day operational matters of their agency and on subjects for which they have delegated responsibility, as set out in their agency's framework document.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Doncaster-based British Rail employees were employed by each division of British Rail on 1 January (a) five years ago and (b) 10 years ago.
Mr. Freeman : As at 1 January 1994 the number of Doncaster-based British Rail employees by division was as follows :
|Number ----------------------------------------- Central Services |391 Trainload Freight |449 Inter City |547 British Transport Police |17 Regional Railways |258 BR Maintenance Ltd. |570 National Stores Centre |335 |------- Total |2,567
Information for the previous years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many British Rail season ticket holders have, since January 1993, (a) had the validity of their season tickets
Column 138extended for days when there is no effective service, (b) been offered discounts on the renewal of their season tickets to compensate them for poor service in the previous year and (c) made use of the season ticket discount offered.
Mr. Freeman : Information on season ticket extensions is not held centrally. Decisions on extensions are made by local BR management according to local circumstances. I understand that 93,182 passengers have been offered and have accepted discounts on renewal of their season tickets since January 1994.
Mrs. Currie : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 16 December, Official Report, column 828, whether he will introduce legislation this year to decriminalise homosexuality in the Merchant Navy.
Mr. Norris : The Government will bring forward the necessary legislation at the earliest convenient opportunity, taking account of the many other pressures on the legislative timetable.
Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what action his Department is to take following the recent pollution incidents in North Wales, Lancashire and Cumbria caused by the Norwegian company Stolt-Nielson ;
(2) what is the cost of the clean-up operation in North Wales, Lancashire and Cumbria following the pollution incident caused by the Norwegian company Stolt-Nielson.
Mr. Norris : I have been asked to reply.
I refer to my answer to the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) on 26 January 1994 at column 245.
The marine pollution control unit has discussed the circumstances of this incident with the Stolt-Nielson group. The group has agreed to settle claims for the reasonable costs incurred by local authorities and other organisations involved in cleaning up the pollution and treating affected birds. Preliminary estimates of these are of the order of £100,000.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many British Rail employees deal with the public in the course of their work ; and how many of these wear name badges.
Mr. Freeman : British Rail employs approximately 22,000 retail staff. This figure includes all station and terminal staff and directly employed on-board train staff who come into contact with the public. All staff who have face-to-face contact with the public are required to wear name badges.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of London Transport board members' pay was linked to performance in July 1992 and in July 1993.
Mr. Norris : Only the full-time executive members of the London Transport Board are covered by performance
Column 139pay arrangements. Non-pensionable bonuses for these members are paid retrospectively, based on performance in the previous financial year. In the financial years 1992-93 and 1993-94 the bonuses paid represented on average additions of, respectively, 14 per cent. and 27 per cent. to the basic salary for the relevant year of the members concerned. The increase between the two years is partly explained by an increase in the maximum bonus payable under the bonus scheme from 25 per cent. to 40 per cent. of basic salary.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of British Rail stations displayed track record displays of punctuality and reliability as at July 1993.
Mr. Freeman : Track record displays appear at 231 of BR's 2,482 stations. Figures for punctuality and reliability performance are available on request from all staffed stations.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 506, regarding existing contracts with his Department, if he will publish the terms of reference for each contract.
Mr. Norris : The existing contracts awarded over the past five years contain a wide variety of types of work. They will not normally be let against simple terms of reference, but if the hon. Member has a particular interest in any one of the cases listed in my answer of 31 January, I will be happy to respond.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many reported incidents of tankers breaching areas to be avoided around Shetland there have been since 5 January ; and if he will give details of each incident.
Mr. Norris : The Department has received one report since the area to be avoided off the Shetland Islands was extended on 28 November 1993. That report related to an
Column 14087,000 grt Singapore-registered tanker spotted on 30 January, when the ship was approximately 1 km south of Sumburgh head, travelling in a south-westerly direction. The Department has asked the Singapore authorities, as the responsible flag state, to investigate the incident.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 506, regarding prospective contracts with his Department, if he will publish the terms of reference for each contract.
Mr. Norris : Consultancy contracts are not let against simple terms of reference, they are let taking account of specification and conditions which need to be established to understand the scope of the work involved. If the hon. Member has a particular interest in any one of the cases listed in my answer of 31 January, I will be happy to respond.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 27 January, Official Report, column 385, on aircraft landing charges, if he will provide figures on the same basis but for summer off-peak rates.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 7 February 1994] : The information requested, which has been provided by the CAA, is shown in the tables :
Aircraft type |Maximum take |Seats |Passengers at |off weight |80 per cent. |load factor ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 747-200B |378 |374 |299 737-200 |53 |109 |87 BAe 146-2 |43 |84 |67 Note: 1. Charges are based on the assumption that the aircraft concerned meet ICAO chapter 3 noise standards and qualify for any noise rebates available at the airports concerned. The preceeding aircraft assumptions also apply. 2. All landing charges include Aerodrome Navigation Services charges. 3. All passenger charges include security charges and are based on charges for international services.
^ Comparison of summer off-peak airport charges Total charges BAe 146-200 737-200 747-200 |Landing|Pax |Total |Landing|Pax |Total |Landing|Pax |Total ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gatwick |£155 |£130 |£285 |£174 |£169 |£343 |£633 |£580 |£1,213 Stansted |£138 |£141 |£279 |£191 |£183 |£374 |£1,485 |£628 |£2,113 Manchester |£387 |£691 |£1,078 |£476 |£898 |£1,374 |£3,047 |£3,086 |£6,133 Birmingham |£507 |£697 |£1,204 |£625 |£905 |£1,530 |£4,460 |£3,110 |£7,570 East Midlands |£495 |£753 |£1,248 |£611 |£978 |£1,588 |£4,355 |£3,361 |£7,715
Charges per passenger BAe 146-200 737-200 747-200 |Landing|Pax |Total |Landing|Pax |Total |Landing|Pax |Total ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gatwick |£2.31 |£1.94 |£4.25 |£2.00 |£1.94 |£3.94 |£2.12 |£1.94 |£4.06 Stansted |£2.05 |£2.10 |£4.15 |£2.20 |£2.10 |£4.30 |£4.97 |£2.10 |£7.07 Manchester |£5.77 |£10.32 |£16.09 |£5.48 |£10.32 |£15.80 |£10.19 |£10.32 |£20.51 Birmingham |£7.57 |£10.40 |£17.97 |£7.19 |£10.40 |£17.59 |£14.92 |£10.40 |£25.32 East Midlands |£7.39 |£11.24 |£18.63 |£7.02 |£11.24 |£18.26 |£14.56 |£11.24 |£25.80 Note: These charges are based on summer off-peak rates. However, the periods covered by these rates are different for each airport and the off-peak periods which apply for each airport are shown below. Gatwick Landing charges-1100-1659 and 1900-0559, 1 April to 31 October. Passenger charges-1600-0529, 1 May to 30 September. Stansted Landing charges-Any time, 1 May to 31 October. Passenger charges-1600-0659, 1 May to 30 September. Manchester Landing charges-Any time except 1400-1559, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 1 November to 30 April. Passenger charges-Any time, 1 May to 31 October. Birmingham All charges-Any time of the day throughout the year. East Midlands Landing charges-Any time of the day throughout the year. Passenger charges-Any time, 1 March to 31 October.
Mr. Heppell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment 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. Gummer : Decisions were taken on the task forces' 130 recommendations for my Department in the normal way ; interested bodies have been or will be consulted as appropriate.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to improve sewage treatment and disposal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The United Kingdom has the highest percentage connection rate to sewers among our European Community partners and is among the leaders regarding the provision of sewage treatment. Improvements will result from the sewerage undertakers' large investment programmes to maintain and replace their assets and to meet statutory requirements.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what the cost of the Audit Commission was for each year since 1989 ; what is the cost for the current year ; what assessment he has made of performance and the results of the Audit Commission ; and what value for money the Audit Commission has achieved.
Mr. Baldry : The Audit Commission has no direct cost to the Exchequer. The audit of local authorities and health service bodies and the undertaking of value for money studies is financed by fees from publicly funded bodies.
The operating costs of the commission have been as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1988-89 |28.4 1989-90 |33.9 1990-91 |46.4 1991-92 |61.6 1992-93 |74.3 1993-94 |<1>76.6 <1> Estimated. NB. 1991-92 was the first full year that the commission appointed auditors to NHS bodies.
In 1992 the commission was subject to a financial management review by its sponsors : the Department of the Environment, the Department of Health and the Welsh Office.
Copies of the report of this review, which was published on 14 January 1993, and of the commission's annual reports and accounts are available from the Library.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many mortgage indemnity agreements he has approved under section 442 of the Housing Act 1985 ;
(2) how many local authorities have agreed to indemnify mortgages under section 442 of the Housing Act 1985 ; and how many properties have been indemnified.
Sir George Young : The Secretary of State approved a standard form of mortgage indemnity agreement in October 1988. This superseded earlier approved forms of agreement.
In the period 1 April 1986 to 30 September 1993, 48 English local authorities reported entering into mortgage indemnity agreements. The estimated total number of mortgages indemnified by local authorities during this period is some 2,500.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to know the outcome of the review of the extension of part M of the building regulations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend, the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Mr. Bowden) on 20 January 1994, Official Report, column 840.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the current major issues being examined by each department devoted to rural strategic policy planning in the Rural Development Commission ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The Rural Development Commission's strategy directorate has three policy branches which are currently considering the following major issues affecting or likely to affect rural areas of England :
Column 143(i) Rural Economy
The relationship between structural change in traditional rural industries and the need for new and diverse economic activity in rural areas.
(ii) Rural Services
Policies and practices affecting the provision of local services in rural areas and accessibility to them.
The impact of living in rural areas on particular groups of people eg women, young children, the elderly and the handicapped and their accessibility to jobs and services.
Policies affecting the voluntary sector in rural areas.
(iii) Housing and Planning
The provision of affordable housing in rural areas.
Planning policy and development plans.
The needs of rural dwellers and rural businesses within a strategy for sustainable development.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many posts there are in the Rural Development Commission devoted to strategic rural policy planning ; and if he will list the departments and their responsibilities and the grades of those posts.
Mr. Atkins : The Rural Development Commission has a small strategy directorate in which 11 staff are directly concerned with analysis and advice on strategic policy issues affecting rural communities and businesses in England. They are the Director, civil service grade 5, and three policy branches dealing with issues affecting
(a) the Rural Economy : (1 Grade 7, 1 HEO, 1 AO)
(b) Rural Services : (1 Grade 7, 1 HEO, 1 EO, 1 AO)
(c) Housing and Planning : (1 Grade 7, 1 HEO, 1 AO)
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list (a) the local authorities in receipt of standing spending assessment reduction grant for 1994-95 and (b) what is the amount in each case.
Mr. Baldry : The inforamtion requested was provided in special grant report (No. 9) laid before the House on 27 January 1994.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what method the Government use to assess the weight of public opinion when considering whether or not to hold a public inquiry ;
(2) what criteria are used by his department when assessing whether or not a project should be subject to a public inquiry ;
(3) what he considers to be a sufficient number of complaints to make a subject worthy of a public inquiry.
Mr. Baldry : In deciding whether to hold a public local planning inquiry, each case is considered on its merits. All the relevant issues, including the complexity of a case and the weight of public opinion or complaints arising, are taken into account.