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Mr. Maclean : I have been asked to reply.
The information readily available centrally relates to trials completed at the Crown court following the issue of a notice of transfer, under either section 53 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (certain cases involving children) or section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (serious fraud cases). No cases were recorded in the period 1 October to 31 December 1992. Information for 1993 will be available in the autumn.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes there have been in the Government's policy on forestry since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
Sir Hector Monro : Our forestry policy was set out in September 1991 in the booklet "Forestry Policy for Great Britain". Last month we published "Sustainable Forestry : The UK Programme", which is a comprehensive statement of the action we are taking to promote sustainable management at home and in other countries, including the initiatives we have launched since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money, in the form of grants for private forestry owners, the Government receive from the EC annually ; and what conditions are attached to these grants with respect to promoting public access and environmental concerns.
Sir Hector Monro : The Government expect to receive £7.1 million from the European Community as co-financing of grant-aid for the afforestation of agricultural land and other forestry operations on farms in 1993-94. Agricultural land, for these purposes, includes all arable land and grassland.
To qualify for co-financing, member states have to obtain approval from the European Commission for national programmes setting out the aid schemes for which reimbursement will be sought. In Great Britain, the principal aid schemes are the woodland grant scheme and the associated farm woodland scheme and farm woodland premium scheme. Participants in these schemes are required to follow the environmental guidelines published by the Forestry Commission. In addition, the community woodland supplement, introduced in 1991 as part of the woodland grant scheme, provides grants for the creation of new woodlands near towns and cities on condition that the woodlands are open for informal public recreation. Similar arrangements apply in the schemes operated in Northern Ireland.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the timetable for community forest initiatives has been affected by the Government's plans to privatise the Forestry Commission.
Sir Hector Monro : Ministers have asked the forestry review group to review the effectiveness of the current incentives for forestry investment, to review options for the ownership and management of Forestry Commission woodlands and to make proposals for changes which would improve the effectiveness of the delivery of the Government's forestry policy objectives, having regard to our other economic and environmental policies. Ministers will await the advice of the review group before considering what action, if any, should be taken in respect of the ownership and management of the commission's woodlands. The work of the review group has not affected the progress of the community forests initiative.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the national forestry plan that was promised to the United Nations conference on environment and development in 1993 is due to be published.
Sir Hector Monro : This was published on 25 January, under the title "Sustainable Forestry : The UK Programme". A copy is in the Library.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how he intends to ensure that Britain implements the principles set out in the statement of forest principles endorsed at the UN Conference on Environment and Development.
Sir Hector Monro : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin) on 28 January, Official Report , column 461 .
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest estimate of the average number of (a) suckler cows and (b) ewes for (i) the average hill unit and (ii) the average upland unit and the gross margin based on the most recent market prices.
Sir Hector Monro : The table shows the average number of suckler cows and ewes on livestock farms in the less-favoured areas as represented in the farm accounts scheme, together with the estimated 1993-94 farm gross margins.
Farm type |Average |Average |Estimated |number of |number |1993-94 |suckler |of ewes |farm gross |cows |margin |(£) ------------------------------------------------------------------ LFA: Specialist Sheep |11 |684 |32,583 LFA: Specialist Beef |60 |112 |42,859 LFA: Cattle and Sheep |55 |467 |49,871
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the (a) projected and (b) actual levels of farm incomes, and the percentage increase/decrease which this represents with the previous year for (i) 1989 -90, (ii) 1990-91, (iii) 1991-92, (iv) 1992-93, (v) 1993-94 and (vi) 1994- 95.
Sir Hector Monro : The information requested as derived from the farm accounts scheme in Scotland, is set out in the table. No actual income levels are available for 1993-94 and neither actual nor projected income figures are available for 1994-95.
(Average £/farm) Net farm income Net farm income Actual Projected Farm type |Level |Per cent.|Level |Per cent. |change |change ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- LFA: Mainly sheep 1989-90 |7,911 |-26 |9,350 |-7 1990-91 |7,268 |-22 |9,252 |-3 1991-92 |10,941 |+18 |9,573 |+15 1992-93 |11,568 |+21 |10,946 |+34 LFA: Sheep and cattle 1989-90 |9,838 |-18 |9,334 |-19 1990-91 |6,803 |-27 |8,359 |-12 1991-92 |8,932 |+7 |10,458 |+11 1992-93 |11,308 |+8 |11,610 |+9 LFA: Mainly cattle 1989-90 |9,984 |-5 |8,457 |-12 1990-91 |6,211 |-27 |8,424 |-4 1991-92 |7,653 |-9 |7,066 |-13 1992-93 |7,135 |+1 |9,464 |+31 LFA: Mainly arable 1989-90 |8,016 |-2 |14,019 |+34 1990-91 |12,964 |-8 |16,895 |+14 1991-92 |14,745 |-13 |12,414 |-22 1992-93 |15,694 |+26 |- |- Lowground cattle and sheep 1989-90 |5,526 |-12 |8,758 |-12 1990-91 |7,796 |-11 |9,819 |+22 1991-92 |6,121 |-38 |8,458 |-32 1992-93 |10,321 |+22 |15,308 |+60 Cropping 1989-90 |5,650 |+168 |19,214 |+191 1990-91 |21,625 |+13 |15,592 |+6 1991-92 |7,995 |-49 |6,930 |-57 1992-93 |16,190 |+134 |17,186 |+105 Dairy 1989-90 |27,109 |+16 |27,414 |+17 1990-91 |27,384 |- |21,932 |-21 1991-92 |18,068 |-18 |21,345 |-6 1992-93 |23,529 |+10 |28,353 |+23 (1) The system of farm classification changed in 1992-93. The actual levels and percentage changes shown are those for the nearest comparable type or combination of types except for LFA: Mainly arable farms wHere there is no comparable type. (2) Under the farm accounts scheme comparisons in income in one year compared with the previous one, both in the case of projected or actual figures, are calculated from data on exactly the same farms ie an identical sample. This sample changes between projected and actual and also between years. Hence the figures do not provide a precise comparison either between projected and actual or between years.
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of Scottish farm units included in the calculations on annual farm incomes on which the level of hill livestock compensatory allowance is based for the years (a) 1989-90, (b) 1990-91, (c) 1991-92, (d) 1992-93, (e) 1993-94 and (f) 1994-95.
Sir Hector Monro : The information requested is set out in the table. No information is yet available for 1994-95.
Income |Number of forecasts in |businesses<1> in respect of |sample |employed to |calculate |income |forecast --------------------------------------------------- 1989-90 |180 1990-91 |191 1991-92 |186 1992-93 |199 1993-94 |220 <1> Each business in the sample can comprise a number of farm units.
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the (a) projected and (b) actual members of farmers who received hill livestock compensatory allowances for (i) 1989-90, (ii) 1990-91, (iii) 1991-92, (iv) 1993-94 and (v) 1994-95.
Sir Hector Monro : The numbers of farmers who received hill livestock compensatory allowances under the schemes from 1989 to 1993 were :
Scheme year |Number ------------------------------------ 1989 |18,206 1990 |18,137 1991 |17,904 1992 |17,903 1993 |17,382
Projections of the numbers of farmers are made according to the previous year's scheme.
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest estimate of farm incomes which are used to calculate the level of hill livestock compensatory allowances ; and if she will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro : The latest farm income estimates used in considering the level of hill livestock compensatory allowances were lodged in the House of Commons Library on 30 November 1993. These estimates showed that incomes on livestock farms in the less favoured areas were expected to increase substantially in 1993-94. Subsequent estimates published on 31 January 1994 also show a similar level of increase overall despite the reduction in rates for hill livestock compensatory allowances.
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) percentage and (b) number of hill livestock compensatory allowance claimants are estimated to have volunteered information to the colleges and universities responsible for collating information on which the calculations of farm incomes are based ; and what (i) percentage and (ii) number of these claimants were from the severely disadvantaged areas for (1) 1989-90, (2) 1990-91, (3) 1991-92, (4) 1992-93, (5) 1993-94 and (6) 1994-95.
Sir Hector Monro : The information requested is set out in the table. It is not possible to split the farm accounts sample between severely disadvantaged and disadvantaged areas.
Year |Total number |Number of |Percentage of |of claimants |claimants |total supplying |supplying |incomes data |incomes data |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |18,206 |255 |1.4 1990 |18,137 |294 |1.6 1991 |17,904 |316 |1.8 1992 |17,903 |318 |1.8 1993 |17,382 |323 |1.9 (1) Incomes data is supplied only for full-time businesses while the total number of claimants will include many small units. (2) The business supplying incomes data can comprise more than one unit.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement on the dates for the commencement and completion of the dualling of the A1 trunk road between Meadowmill and Amisfield.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The construction of a dual carriageway between Tranent and Haddington, including Meadowmill to Amisfield, is the major priority on the A1. Draft orders for this scheme, published on 30 March 1993 were the subject of a public local inquiry in June 1993. Subject to the satisfactory completion of statutory procedures, construction will be considered by the Secretary of State for inclusion within the trunk road programme for 1994-95. A specific date for the start and completion of the scheme cannot, however, be given at this time.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what time limit he set for the feasibility study, "A Rural Framework for North West Sutherland", in respect of (a) presentation of the draft report, (b) consultation and (c) presentation of the final report.
Sir Hector Monro : As a condition of its contribution to the funding of the feasibility study the Scottish Office Environment Department required that it be kept informed of progress on the study ; have the opportunity to comment on the final draft report which was to be submitted by 31 March 1993 ; and receive a copy of the final report at least five working days prior to publication. These conditions were fulfilled.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of whether the feasibility study, "A Rural Framework for North West Sutherland", meets the objective which he set out on page 5 of his document, "Rural Framework 1992".
Sir Hector Monro : A main purpose of "The Scottish Office Rural Framework" was to identify a number of themes to act as a focus for thought and action about the future of rural Scotland. It was a consultation paper and did not seek to prescribe the way forward or the activities of existing organisations. It is now for the North West Sutherland council of social service and the Scottish Crofters Union to decide on whether or how to take forward its feasibility study into the possibility of restructuring itself into a rural framework organisation, having regard to the particular circumstances of north-west Sutherland and to the views and wishes of interested parties.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what conditions he attached to his part-funding of the feasibility study, "A Rural Framework for North West Sutherland".
Sir Hector Monro : The Scottish Office Environment Department contributed £1,500 towards the cost of a feasibility study into the possibility of restructuring North West Sutherland council of social service into a rural framework organisation. It did not, however, commission the study. The report of the study is the property of NWSCSS and the Scottish Crofters Union, and its implementation is a matter for them. Standard conditions were set requiring that the Scottish Office Environment Department be kept informed of progress on the study ; be given the opportunity to comment on the final draft report and receive a copy of the final report prior to publication.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will be publishing the audit regulations covering self-governing schools.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : A consultation document on the Self- Governing Schools Grant and Recovery (Scotland) Regulations 1994 was issued to a wide range of interested bodies and individuals on 17 January 1994. We have asked for responses by 18 February 1994. Once we have considered these responses, we shall bring forward final regulations as soon as possible.
Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what further proposals he has for improving the Scottish criminal justice system.
Mr. Lang : I am today publishing a consultation paper entitled "Sentencing and Appeals", which seeks views on
Column 877a number of proposals for improving the ability of our system of justice to deal with crime effectively and fairly. The paper seeks views on possible changes of the system of fiscal fines and the sentencing powers of the sheriff courts and invites views on the case for introduction of sentencing guidelines. It proposes revised procedures for dealing with criminal appeals and invites views on whether there is a need for change to the criteria by which criminal appeals are determined. The paper also seeks views on whether the current arrangments for dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice in Scotland are satisfactory and sets out a number of possible options for change.
The consultation paper is the fourth in a series seeking views on proposals for improving the delivery of justice in Scotland. We are inviting comments by 16 April. Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Library.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing the allocation of funds to each regional council for the provision of sheltered placement schemes in each of the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 10 February 1994] : The grant- aided expenditure for sheltered employment for each regional authority for the years 1989-90 to 1993-94 is given in the table. GAE is the level of expenditure which is taken into account in distributing aggregate external finance to local authorities. It is, of course, for the authorities themselves to determine actual levels of expenditure on a particular service.
Sheltered employment grant-aided expenditure |1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 |£000 |£000 |£000 |£000 |£000 ------------------------------------------------------------- Borders |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 Central |304 |317 |329 |407 |340 Dumfries and Galloway |23 |26 |26 |27 |24 Fife |611 |828 |1,144 |1,179 |1,186 Grampian |1,023 |1,161 |920 |825 |1,249 Highland |384 |420 |496 |512 |469 Lothian |755 |828 |940 |957 |1,260 Strathclyde |1,976 |2,352 |2,683 |2,677 |2,342 Tayside |560 |906 |1,018 |1,035 |1,080
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met representatives of organisations representing disabled people to discuss comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 10 February 1994] : My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State met the all-party disablement group on 24 February 1993.
My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Social Security and Disabled People is taking forward his remit from the Prime Minister to identify areas where further action, without expenditure implications, can be taken to eliminate discrimination against disabled people, within the Government's policy of tackling the problem through a programme of education, persuasion and practical help backed up by targeted legislation, as necessary.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidelines he issues in respect of the establishment of new quarries ; what plans he has to amend these guidelines ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 10 February 1994] : National planning guidelines on the working of aggregates in Scotland were issued in 1977. These guidelines which are still extant examines the various issues arising from quarry developments. The guidelines indicate that quarrying is essential to the national economy and that proposals for the extraction of aggregates and other minerals should be provided for in an environmentally acceptable manner. In the Environment White Paper "This Common Inheritance" (Cm 1200) a commitment was made to review all planning guidance. In July 1992, a draft national planning policy guideline entitled "Land for Mineral Working" was issued for consultation. The finalised version will issue in the near future and will provide the strategic context within which local authorities will provide up to date development plan policies for mineral working. Such policies will be developed in full consultation with the local community and with regard to the economic needs and environmental considerations of their area.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of representations he received calling for the abolition of sporting rates prior to his announcement of 3 November 1993 ; if he will list the individuals or organisations which made such representations ; and if he will place copies in the Library.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 11 February 1994] : The current rating liability of sporting rights in Scotland dates from the Sporting Lands Rating (Scotland) Act 1886. Given the long period of years over which representations on this subject have been made, it is not practicable to identify all representations received prior to my right hon. Friend's announcement, on 3 November 1993, to exempt sporting rights from rating.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he proposes to take action to introduce a fairer system of rating of football stadiums in Scotland.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 11 February 1994] : I propose to table shortly a draft order introducing a revised method of valuation for Scottish Football League club grounds.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total number of chairpersons and board members of the local enterprise companies in Scotland.
Mr. Stewart [holding 11 February 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave on 17 December, at col 884 .
Mr. Dalyell : To ask sthe Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library the full text of the advice he has received from Forestry Commission scientists about the extent to which boreal forests have driven global carbon dioxide fluxes during this century, and information about the relationships with tropical deforestation.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 14 February 1994] : I have arranged for a copy of the briefing to be placed in the Library. The Forestry Commission's research is focused on temperate rather than boreal or tropical forests. The Commission's scientists contribute to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, which was set up under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meterological Organisation, and the Commission has published a research information note, No. 189, on "Climate Change : The Contribution of Forestry to Response Strategies", which summarises some of the panel's main conclusions relating to forestry. The Comsmission has also published a research information note, No. 160, on "The Storage of Carbon in Trees and Timber", which describes preliminary calculations on the amount of carbon which can be stored in different tree species. I have arranged for copies of both notes to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people are currently on the waiting lists for housing in each of Scotland's new towns.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 15 February 1994] : The information is as follows :
New Town |Number of people on |waiting list as at |31 January 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------ Cumbernauld |1,351 East Kilbride |4,234 Glenrothes |1,323 Irvine |1,526 Livingston |1,367
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidance he has issued to Scotland's development corporations relating to the continued letting of properties that become vacant in light of his decision to proceed with wind-up.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 15 February 1994] : The guidance issued to development corporations in August 1992 about the disposal of their housing stocks set out a number of measures designed to increase the choice of landlords available to tenants. These included the sale of vacant properties to housing associations. The hon. Member was sent a copy of the guidance on 31 August 1992.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects Irvine development corporation to begin transferring properties to the Irvine housing association.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 15 February 1994] : The corporation is negotiating the transfer of newly built homes and vacant properties to Irvine housing association. The negotiations will not be concluded until after Irvine housing association is registered as a housing association by Scottish Homes. It is not, therefore, possible to set a date for the first transfer.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes are proposed to the Scottish Office's revised fee scales for applications for planning permission ; how much additional revenue will be raised by the increased charges ; which bodies will benefit from the increased charges ; what representations he has received from local authorities relating to the charges ; and what assessment he has made as to the level of the proposed charges.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 8 February 1994] : There are no proposals at present to change the revised fee scales approved by Parliament in December 1993 for introduction on 13 January 1994 and on 3 January 1995. However, the scales are kept under regular review.
Based on the latest information available, and assuming receipt of similar numbers and types of application an additional £1 million may be raised in Scotland in 1994-95. The principal beneficiary of increased charges is the tax payer because the more income local authorities raise through fees and charges the less they need support from the Government in the form of aggregate external finance or from council tax payers.
My right hon. Friend has not received any representations from local authorities in relation to the costs applicants for planning permission have to pay.
Increases are assessed having regard to information provided by planning authorities on their income and costs in handling planning applications in the preceding year, and other considerations.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which non- departmental public bodies for which he is responsible have been (a) abolished or (b) created since 1979.
Mr. Redwood : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 1 February at col. 611.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to ensure that within the schools' inspection framework that responsibility of schools for raising awareness and understanding of environmental and conservation issues is subject to inspection and comment.
Sir Wyn Roberts : School inspections are a matter for the Office of Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools in Wales. Inspectors have to report on the quality and standards of education in accordance with OHMCI's framework for inspections. I have asked the chief inspector to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to change the terms of the proposed Welsh Economic Council to take account of the United Kingdom strategy for sustainable development.
Mr. Redwood : The Welsh Economic Council will be able to take account of the strategy in its deliberations.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to work with the voluntary sector to promote sustainable development.
Mr. Redwood : The Government's plans for involving the voluntary sector in working towards sustainable development are set out in the United Kingdom strategy for sustainable development published on 25 January. Within this the Welsh Office will be seeking to ensure that the voluntary sector in Wales is appropriately catered for in the United Kingdom round table and citizen's environment initiatives.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the number of local jobs that would be created in each of the travel-to-work areas adjoining the localities currently nominated for wind farm development and awaiting planning permission.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he will bring forward to increase the number of heritage trusts in Wales.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The Government's response to the Welsh Affairs Committee report on the preservation of historic buildings and ancient monuments (Command 2416) emphasised our commitment to supporting voluntary sector activities in this area. The Department is assisting the architectural heritage fund in its efforts to encourage the establishment of further historic buildings preservation trusts in Wales. The Department's financial support in 1993-94 includes a contribution of £100,000 towards the AHF's loan fund and a grant of £11,300 towards the cost of a development officer. On 4 March I shall be addressing the AHF's conference "From Mansions to Mud-Walled Cottages", which is expected to generate further impetus.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many times he has attended meetings of the EU Council of Ministers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Ministerial colleagues from the lead Departments covering the subject area concerned represent
Column 882our interests at meetings of the Council of the European Union and my senior officials also attend to advise those Ministers when this is relevant. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Welsh Office represented the United Kingdom at the informal council on regional policy held in Liege on 12 and 13 November last year.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many cases of sheep scab have been reported in Wales in 1993-94 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Since controls on sheep scab were deregulated in June 1992, figures for the number of cases have not been collected and consequently the information is not available.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all television advertising, newspaper advertising, radio advertising and other promotional campaigns with a budgeted cost in excess of £10,000 conducted by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies (i) in the current financial year and (ii) planned for 1994-95, showing for each the objectives and mechanisms for assessing the effectiveness of the advertising.
Mr. Redwood : Promotional advertising and other campaigns run by my Department in the current financial year and which have each cost over £10,000 are as follows :
Advertising Television |Newspapers |Radio |Outdoor<1> ------------------------------------------------------------ None |None |None |Drink Drive <1>Posters.
Objectives for national drink drive advertising are set and measured on a United Kingdom wide basis by the Department of Transport. Additional research activity is currently being carried out in Wales specifically to evaluate advertising activity. Other Promotional Activity
Caring for the Future
How Is Your Child Doing At School?
Planning Development Control
Programme for the Valleys
Sheep Annual Premium
My Department's publicity programme for 1994-95 has not yet been finalised.
Cadw is my Department's only executive agency. In 1993-94 it has undertaken no television advertising. Budgeted expenditure on other general promotional activity is £232,000, of which £95,000 is budgeted for general press advertising. For 1994-95 budgets and plans are not yet finalised. It is expected that expenditure of a broadly similar amount will be incurred, primarily directed towards the agency's "Makers of Wales" promotional campaign.