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Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The information requested is set out in the tables.


a. Disabled students undertaking higher education       

courses in Scotland                                     

Academic year |Disabled     |Number of                  

              |students<1>  |students                   

              |allowance                                

              |payments                                 

              |£                                        

--------------------------------------------------------

1990-91       |102,476      |74                         

1991-92       |214,724      |162                        

1992-93       |291,860      |188                        

1993-94       |250,635      |175                        


b. Disabled students undertaking higher education       

courses outwith                                         

Scotland                                                

Academic year |Disabled     |Number of                  

              |students<1>  |students                   

              |allowance                                

              |payments                                 

              |£                                        

--------------------------------------------------------

1990-91       |14,145       |7                          

1991-92       |22,278       |11                         

1992-93       |41,893       |16                         

1993-94       |29,293       |12                         

Notes:                                                  

<1> The above figures include postgraduate students.    

<2> Academic year 1993-94 is up to 3 February 1994      

only.                                                   


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Schools (Audiology Services)

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the provision of audiology services in schools within (a) Scotland, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Renfrew Division.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Audiology services in schools may be provided both by health boards and education authorities. The level and location of such services are wholly for the decision of the bodies concerned. Responsibility for the provision of educational audiology services for any part or parts of an education authority's area therefore lies with that authority. The Secretary of State has no power to intervene.

Proxy Votes

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make the application form to vote by post or proxy due to disability or physical incapacity available in braille.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his latest estimate of the number of people living in homes of multiple occupation in Scotland ; what regulations govern this type of shared accommodation ; what plans he has to bring forward new legislation, regulations and controls ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Information on the number of people living in houses in multiple occupation is not held centrally. The 1991 census showed that 10,435 people were living in accommodation which is not self-contained.

Housing authorities have powers to make orders applying the code of management contained in the Housing (Management of Houses and Buildings in Multiple Occupation) (Scotland) Regulations 1964, and to introduce licensing schemes for houses in multiple occupation under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Order 1991. The Government will continue to monitor the use of these powers and is not planning to amend the statutory provisions. HMOs are also covered by secondary legislation which can be introduced for various specific purposes, including fire safety.

Foxes

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much he has allocated to fox destruction clubs in the past five years ; what criteria are applied in the distribution of this funding ; what methods the funded clubs use to destroy foxes ; and if he will make a statement.


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Sir Hector Monro : The information on grant allocated to fox destruction clubs in the past five years is as follows :


        |£            

----------------------

1988-89 |47,649       

1989-90 |58,981       

1990-91 |47,566       

1991-92 |59,846       

1992-93 |60,400       

Grants are paid to 31 clubs throughout Scotland to meet 50 per cent. of the approved cost of carrying out systematic fox control within a clearly defined area of adequate size. Group activity by farmers through these clubs has proved effective in reducing lamb losses.

Fox clubs use legal methods to dispatch foxes.

Electoral Register

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many citizens living overseas have applied to be registered to vote in elections in each parliamentary constituency.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Information about applications by overseas electors to be included in the electoral registers are not held centrally.

Information about the number of overseas electors included in the 1992 and 1993 electoral registers is published by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in "1993 Electoral Statistics", a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Similar data for the 1993 and 1994 registers is expected to be published in the summer.

Homosexuals

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidelines have been recently issued by the Lord Advocate to procurators fiscal, sheriffs and judges concerning consenting homosexual relationships among males aged 16 years or more ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 4 February 1994] : My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate does not issue guidelines to sheriffs and judges. Since December 1991 procurators fiscal have been directed by the Lord Advocate to report to the Crown Office for Crown Counsel's consideration cases of consensual homosexual acts where both of the participants are over 16 years but one or both are under 18 years.

Where both the participants are over 18 years but one or both are under 21 years and there are circumstances pointing to exploitation, corruption or breach of trust, the direction to procurators fiscal is that prosecution would be appropriate and that such cases need not be reported to the Crown Office unless none of those circumstances is present but the procurator fiscal considers that there are other circumstances which would justify proceedings.

Cancer

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of women in the eligible target group have been screened for breast cancer in the last three years in Scotland ; how many women have breast cancer ; and how many women died from breast cancer in Scotland.


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Mr. Stewart [holding answer 4 February 1994] : Seventy-one per cent. of women invited in the eligible target age group have attended for screening by the Scottish breast screening programme in the last three years.

Figures are not available for the number of women with breast cancer. The number of new registrations of invasive cancer of the breast and the number of deaths from invasive cancer of the breast in Scotland is as follows :


              |Number of    |Number of                  

              |new          |deaths                     

              |registrations                            

--------------------------------------------------------

1989          |2,742        |1,356                      

1990          |2,944        |1,250                      

1991          |3,092        |1,278                      

1992          |-<1>         |1,250                      

<1> Figures not yet available.                          

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of women in the target group have had a cervical cancer smear test in Scotland within the last five years ; how many women in Scotland have cervical cancer ; and how many women died of cervical cancer.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 4 February 1994] : Eighty per cent. of the eligible target population in Scotland have attended for a cervical smear within the last five years.

Figures are not available on the number of women with cervical cancer but the number of new registrations of invasive cancer of the cervix and the number of deaths from invasive cancer of the cervix is as follows :


Year          |Number       |Number                     

              |of new       |of deaths                  

              |registrations                            

--------------------------------------------------------

1987          |461          |188                        

1988          |460          |191                        

1989          |376          |205                        

1990          |494          |162                        

1991          |458          |175                        

1992          |<1>-         |183                        

<1> Figures not yet available.                          

Organic Farming

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many applications he has received to date for assistance under the aid scheme to assist farmers in Scotland wishing to convert to organic production methods, which he announced in August ; (2) what is the estimated expenditure in the current financial year in respect of aid to those wishing to convert to organic production methods in Scotland ; and what is the estimated expenditure in 1994-95 and 1995-96.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 7 February 1994] : The proposed organic aid scheme is not yet open for applications. It is part of the Scottish agri-environment programme currently with the EC Commission for approval. Subject to approval by Parliament and the Commission, planned expenditure on the Scottish agri-environment programme is expected to be in the region of £11 million in 1995-96.

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received since the August


Column 181

announcement on the agri-environment programme about the exclusion of current organic producers from the aid scheme proposed for organic production methods ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 7 February 1994] : Since the August announcement about a proposed organic aid scheme, 22 representations have been received about the position of existing organic producers. Existing producers are not excluded from the scheme provided they have further land to convert. The scheme is designed to encourage farmers to convert to more environmentally friendly farming methods, not as a subsidy for existing organic producers.

Criminology Researchers

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his policy on the granting of permission to criminology researchers to interview prisoners.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 3 February 1994] : I have asked the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, to reply.

Letter from Mr. E. Frizzell to Mr. John McFall, dated 7 February 1994 :

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your Question about the policy on the granting of permission to criminology researchers to interview prisoners.

All requests for access to prisons for the purposes of conducting research are dealt with by Scottish Prison Service Headquarters. A substantial number of these involve requests to interview prisoners or have prisoners complete questionnaires.

The merits of such requests are considered against a number of criteria : relevance to the programme of Ministerially approved and published criminological research priorities ; congruence with the interests of the Scottish Prison Service ; the possible security implications of the proposed work ; the value of the research to the advancement of criminological understanding ; and the likely cost in terms of staff time and possible disruption which the research may have on the operations of specific establishments. In addition, a professional commentary on the methodology of the research proposal is supplied by criminologists from the Central Research Unit of The Scottish Office Home and Health Department.

Access is granted only in those cases where the research proposal satisfies some or all of these criteria. If granted access, researchers must sign an undertaking that they will adhere to the code of ethical guidelines of their profession or discipline (eg the British Psychological Society or the Social Research Association) and, if appropriate, receive approval from the Ethics Committee of the local Area Health Board. It is a requirement of any access that all prisoners approached are given the opportunity to decline to be interviewed and that all material gained during the interview is confidential and will be treated anonymously.

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who are the members currently appointed to the Scottish Hospital Trust.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 4 February 1994] : The current membership of the Scottish Hospital Trust is :

Mr. G. M. Murray FFA (Chairman)

Mr. J. R. Gibson FFA

Mr. G. A. Hepburn ACMA, ACIS

Mr. J. B. Hume MA

Mrs. M. A. Jeffcoat FCCA

Mr. J. T. Laurenson MA FCA

Mr. J. M. Watherston CA


Column 182

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who are the members currently appointed to the State Hospital Management Committee.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 4 February 1994] : The information is as follows :

Chairman

Mr. Philip Hamilton-Grierson

Non-executive members

Dr. Barbara Ballinger

Mrs Nan Burnett

Mr. Bob Davis

Mrs. Heather Jenkins

Mr. Archie McCunn

Dr. Andrew Zealley

Executive members

Mr. Dick Manson

Dr. Janice Duncan

Mrs Ruth Whitty

Housing

Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will release additional funds to local authorities to enable them to replenish their housing stock ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 3 February 1994] : Substantial resources totalling some £405 million have been made available to local authorities for capital investment in public sector housing in 1993-94. I will announce the housing capital allocations for 1994-95 shortly. These allocations are generally not earmarked for specific purposes and it is for local authorities themselves to determine their own policies and priorities for meeting local housing needs.

NHS Trusts (Ayrshire)

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement listing the current executive and non-executive directors on the boards of (a) the North Ayrshire and Arran NHS Trust, (b) the South Ayrshire Trust and (c) the Community Health Care Trust ; and which bodies nominated these individuals for membership of the trust boards.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 February 1994] : Appointment of executive directors is a matter for the trust boards themselves and particulars of individuals appointed are not held centrally. The current non-executive directors are listed below. None of them was nominated for appointment by an organisation.

North Ayrshire and Arran NHS Trust

Mr. James Grier

Mr. Keith Tulloch

Mrs. Kim Donald

Mrs. Angela Dunbar

Mr. Alan Stewart

South Ayrshire NHS Trust

Mr. Harold Currie

Mrs. Dorothy MacLellan

Mr. William Mowat

Mrs. Ann Wilson

Mr. Graeme McKinstry

Ayrshire and Arran Community Health Care NHS Trust

Mr. Ian Allison

Mr. David Gall

Mr. W. Scott McConnell

Mr. Robert Johnston

Dr. Susan Kinnaird


Column 183

Mr. Raymond Gilmour

Mr. Gordon McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his consideration of the application for the prerogative of mercy submitted on behalf of Raymond Gilmour, Her Majesty's Prison Saughton.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 7 February 1994] : The detailed inquiries into the petitions submitted on Mr. Gilmour's behalf, referred to my reply to the hon. Member on 7 December 1993, have now been completed. My right hon. Friend will respond to the petitions shortly and will also write to inform the hon. Member of his decision.

Defective Housing

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make available additional funding to local authorities and owner-occupiers to deal with the structural problems associated with Orlit and Whitsun- Fairhurst type houses ; if he will ring-fence this expenditure ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Substantial resources totalling some £405 million have been made available to local authorities for capital investment in public sector housing in 1993-94. I will announce the housing capital allocations for 1994-95 shortly. These allocations are generally not earmarked for specific purposes and it is for local authorities themselves to determine their own policies and priorities for meeting local housing needs including the need to deal with Orlit and Whitsun-Fairhurst type houses.

Additional housing capital allocations are made available to local authorities in respect of expenditure incurred by them in the provision of reinstatement grants or repurchase from eligible owners of Orlit and Whitsun-Fairhurst houses.

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to amend the provisions of legislation relating to housing defects ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : There are no plans to amend the provisions of the housing defects legislation. Under these provisions assistance has been available to eligible owners of defective houses for a 10-year period. In Scotland that period ends on 30 November 1994 and all applications must be submitted by that date.

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what special financial provision he currently makes available to local authorities and owner-occupiers to deal with the structural problems associated with Orlit and Whitsun-Fairhurst type houses ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Substantial resources totalling some £405 million have been made available to local authorities for capital investment in public sector housing in 1993-94. Resources are not allocated specifically for work on any one type of house. It is for individual authorities to determine their own policies and priorities for investment in their own housing stock, including the need to tackle the structural problems found in Orlit and Whitson-Fairhurst houses.


Column 184

Eligible owners of Orlit and Whitsun- Fairhurst houses can require local authorities to repurchase or give grant to make good the house. Supplementary capital allocations are issued to local authorities each year to meet in full their expenditure liabilities.

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary State for Scotland if he will visit the Paisley, South constituency to assess the problems of Orlit and Whitsun-Fairhurst type houses.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend has no plans to visit Paisley, South. Responsibility for the repair and maintenance of council housing lies with local authorities and my right hon. Friend has no powers to intervene in individual cases.

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the options for dealing with housing with structural defects, such as those of Orlit and Whitsun-Fairhurst design ; what plans he has to fund research into potential solutions ; and if he will make a statement.


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