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Mr. Nelson : Treasury Ministers have received a number of such representations.
Mr. Welsh : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking to improve the present regulations concerning independent financial advisers.
Mr. Nelson : The regulations governing the conduct of independent financial advisers are primarily a matter for Securities and Investement Board and the self-regulatory organisations recognised under the Financial Services Act 1986. In July last year my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor issued directions to SIB requiring it to develop a new approach to regulation of the marketing of investment-based life insurance products. On 7 January SIB published new rules relating to independent financial advisers and other life insurance distribution channels.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements are in place for Her Majesty's Customs and Excise to demand or request from the Scott inquiry papers in the inquiry's possession which customs officers consider material to a customs investigation.
Sir John Cope : No particular arrangements are in place. Customs and Excise have no powers to demand papers from Lord Justice Scott. Their powers to demand papers apply in relation to persons concerned in certain activities or suspected of having committed offences. The response to any request to Lord Justice Scott for papers he holds is a matter for him. It is, of course, open to those who have provided information to the inquiry to provide Customs and Excise direct with any information they have relating to suspected breaches of export control.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the annual inflation rate in each of the years since 1967 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson : The information requested is available in table 8 of the publication "Retail Prices Index December 1993", CSO Business Monitor MM23, a copy of which is available in the Library.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the values to the United Kingdom of oil revenues for each year from 1978.
Mr. Eggar : I have been asked to reply.
Figures on the value to the United Kingdom of oil and gas revenues since 1978 have been published by the Department of Trade and Industry annually in "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom. Table 14 gives details of income from the United Kingdom continental shelf and table 15 gives the revenue accruing to the Exchequer. Copies of this publication are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date, where and how the British Government announced that they had agreed to the request of the Malaysian Government that the soft loan for Pergau was to be paid direct to Tenaga Nasional ; and how and where it was announced.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd [holding reply 21 February 1994] : Her Majesty's Government informed the Malaysian Government that they could accept their request for the soft loan to be made direct with Tenaga Nasional in a letter from the British high commissioner in Kuala Lumpar to the Ministry of Finance on 14 May 1991. The details of financial and contractual arrangements are not usually the subject of announcements.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the British Government have taken to condemn human rights violations against Kurdish people in Turkey.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The United Kingdom and our European Union partners condemned human rights abuses in Turkey in the European Union statement to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly of 23 November. There will be a similar statement at the Commission on Human Rights currently being held in Geneva.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the value of consultancy contracts awarded by his Department each year since 1992, both in current prices and at constant 1994 prices.
Mr. Waldegrave : The costs of consultancy contracts awarded by the Office of Public Service and Science and its agencies in 1992-93 and 1993- 94 to date are as follows :
|£ ------------------------------------------------------- OPSS and its agencies 1992-93 |4,054,273 1992-93 at constant 1993-94 prices |4,186,036 1993-94 to date |5,016,285
The costs of consultancy contracts awarded by COI and HMSO in 1992-93 and 1993-94 to date are as follows :
|£ ------------------------------------------------------- COI 1992-93 |136,460 1992-93 at constant 1993-94 prices |140,894 1993-94 to date |55,189 HMSO 1992-93 |410,075 1992-93 at constant 1993-94 prices |423,402 1993-94 to date |1,061,025
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many school leavers there were in each of the past 10 years from the maintained and independent sectors ; and what percentage in each category were intending to enter degree or teacher training courses.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The information required is given in the following table.
Maintained schools<1> Independent schools<1> Academic year |Number of |Percentage |Number of |Percentage |school leavers |entering degree |school leavers |entering degree |or teacher |or teacher |training courses |training courses ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1991-92 |31,520 |- |1,065 |- 1990-91 |32,220 |14 |1,055 |45 1989-90 |34,525 |12 |1,170 |38 1988-89 |37,825 |10 |1,280 |32 1987-88 |39,380 |9 |1,225 |24 1986-87 |42,770 |8 |1,080 |30 1985-86 |42,125 |9 |1,060 |34 1984-85 |43,190 |8 |1,240 |33 1983-84 |42,855 |8 |1,185 |29 1982-83 |44,085 |8 |1,240 |39 Source: 1982-83-1990-91 School Examinations Survey; 1991-92 Welsh Office RD1. <1> Data are not available for 1991-92 as intended destinations were collected in different categories.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement regarding the possibility of compensation for farmers who have been affected by the ReChem incinerator plant in Gwent, South Wales.
Mr. Redwood : I understand one farmer in Gwent is taking legal proceedings against the company. In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate for me to comment. My Department has, however, funded an independent survey of PCB-dioxin contamination in the Pontypool area and the results were published in April 1993. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of the average United Kingdom wage is the average Welsh wage.
Mr. Redwood : At April 1993 the average gross weekly earnings of full-time employees in Wales was 89 per cent. of the average for the United Kingdom.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received regarding opposition to opencast mining at Selar Farm grassland site of special scientific interest near Neath ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : A total of 31 representations have been received to date. Consideration is currently being given to requests that an application for opencast mining which will affect the Selar Farm grasslands site of special scientific interest should be called in for my own determination.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement regarding the effect on the Marsh Fritillary butterfly colonies at Selar Farm grasslands site of special scientific interest and Parc Slip West, Mid Glamorgan, of the decisions to allow British Coal to develop opencast mines on those sites.
Mr. Redwood : The effect on the Selar Farm grasslands site of special scientific interest which includes a colony of Marsh Fritillary butterflies is a consideration which is being taken into account in determining whether an application for an opencast mining development should be called in for my own determination. In the case of Parc Slip West, I determined to grant consent in September 1993.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what special measures he has taken to ensure that more heart bypass operations are performed.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The development of the specialist adult cardiac unit at the University Hospital of Wales has been completed at a cost of £5 million and a new unit is planned for Morriston hospital. Pending its completion, additional funding approaching £4 million per annum has been provided to enable health authorities to secure further operations from other specialist centres.
The development of the paediatric cardiac unit at the University Hospital of Wales is nearing completion following an expansion project earlier this year.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many heart bypass operations were performed on Welsh patients, and in what locations, in each year since 1980.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The information is not immediately available and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received concerning the introduction of the new model contract by the College Employers Forum.
Mr. Boswell : My right hon. Friend and I have received a number of letters from further education lecturers, both directly and through hon. Members.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will estimate the numbers of employers and part-time students whose need for further education services is not limited to the working day or the traditional three college terms for each year from 1992-93 to 1994-95 ; and what influence the kind of staff contract has had or is expected to have on the ability of colleges to meet the demand.
Mr. Boswell : Few, if any, employers close their own businesses for up to 16 weeks in each year, so their employees are available for training at times when a college running a traditional 36-week teaching year is closed. Most adult part-time students are also ready to learn during the holidays, or in the evenings. A more flexible contract will assist colleges to open for longer and to meet demand when it arises.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made on local employee relations in colleges arising out of the 2 per cent. reduction of college funding.
Mr. Boswell : The 2 per cent. holdback relates to the introduction of more flexible contracts for staff appointed on or after 1 April 1994. I see no reason why the introduction of more flexible contracts should damage employee relations. Staff should see the advantages for themselves of a system where the weight of the whole job is considered rather than the counting of hours on tasks.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what proportion of contracts he will require to be adequately flexible for the £50 million held back from the grant to colleges of further education to be payable ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what time scale he envisages for rapid progress in moving further education staff over to new contracts ;
(3) what sanctions are being imposed on colleges to move existing staff on to new contracts ;
(4) what he considers to be the significant majority of existing lecturers signing new contracts in colleges of further education which would satisfy his desire to move staff over to them.
Mr. Boswell : The £50 million grant will be released to the Further Education Funding Council in proportion to the number of colleges which certify that staff appointed on or after 1 April 1994 have contracts that provide adequate flexibility for the colleges' needs. No sanctions will be imposed on colleges who do not move existing staff on to new contracts ; it is for colleges to decide how rapidly they wish to do so.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the ratio of staff to students of further education colleges for each of the last five years ; and what increase in the ratio will be allowed by greater flexibility of contract.
Mr. Boswell : The table gives student-staff ratios for further education colleges for the last five years. Future plans for the employment of lecturers are a matter for individual colleges. It is not possible to say what effect the introduction of new contracts will have on the ratio of staff to students.
Academic year |Student staff ratio ------------------------------------------------------------ 1988-89 |10.1 1989-90 |10.6 1990-91 |10.9 1991-92 |11.8 1992-93 |12.3
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will list for each further education college the proportion of existing staff who have been moved on to new contracts ; (2) if he will list those further education colleges which have had strikes, stoppages or working to rule over new contracts.
Mr. Boswell : This information is not collected centrally.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what limits he is imposing on cash sums and salary increases offered to existing staff or further education colleges to accept new contracts ;
(2) whether colleges of further education can make payments of fees for private medical insurance for staff as part of an incentive package to persuade staff to accept new contracts.
Mr. Boswell : Within the framework of the Government's policy on public sector pay, it is for individual colleges to decide what they will pay their staff, and what form increases or incentives will take, within the resources available to each college.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what procedures he has introduced to vet staff contracts in colleges of further education to ensure that they satisfy his requirements ;
(2) by what criteria he will assess whether new contracts for further education staff (a) offer adequate flexibility and (b) are sufficiently different ; whether the contracts currently being issued to new staff fulfil these criteria ; and in what respects existing contracts do not meet them ;
(3) what kind of certification from governing bodies of further education colleges, that their new contracts provide adequately increased flexibility, is acceptable to him ; how that flexibility will be audited ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Boswell : It will be for colleges themselves to certify that their new contacts both provide adequate flexibility for their needs, and, so far as lecturers are concerned, also differ significantly from the former local authority contracts. The Further Education Funding Council will ask them to sign a declaration to that effect. Such a declaration would be subject to scrutiny by the college's auditors.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proposals he has for ending the system of three traditional terms in (a) further education colleges, (b) former polytechnics and (c) universities.
Mr. Boswell : The Government have no such plans. The organisation of the academic year is a matter for institutions.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what limits are indicated for hours worked per week in new staff contracts in further education colleges ; and how the part-time contract is differentiated from the full-time contract ;
(2) what liability is imposed on further education staff for damage to college property or equipment (a) by them and (b) by students in the new contracts ;
(3) if his Department will review or offer advice on new contracts to governing bodies of further education colleges.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will give details of the changes in conditions of employment proposed in the new contract for further education lecturers ; to what extent these are linked to increased salary awards ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Boswell : It is for each college to decide what form of new contract it wishes to introduce.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will set out his objections to the existing contracts of staff of further education colleges ; and what changes to these conditions would be acceptable to him ;
(2) whether existing contracts for staff of further education colleges include an hour-by-hour account of what they are to do ; (3) to which restrictive practices in the Silver Book of further education colleges he objects ; and what difficulties each of those practices poses in respect of a more flexible and responsible service.
Mr. Boswell : The Silver Book includes the following restrictions : no more than 10 sessions per week ; no more than 30 hours duty per week ; no more than 21 hours of class contact per week ; no more than two evening sessions
Column 506per week ; and reduced class contact time for other professional duties according to agreed procedures. Such restrictions prevent colleges from making the best use of their human and material resources. It will be for individual colleges to decide the precise content of new, more flexible contracts.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will detail the negotiations with the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education about the new contract for staff ; and what representations he has received from them on it.
Mr. Boswell : The Colleges Employers Forum has held negotiations with NATFHE on the introduction of more flexible contracts between September 1993 and February 1994. A delegation from NATFHE met officials at the Department on 25 November 1993. NATFHE has asked to see officials again and a meeting is being arranged. I am not aware of any other representations from NATFHE on this matter.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish the detailed conditions for the release of holdback of the £50 million kept back from further education colleges in November 1993 ; and if he will list the colleges which have satisfied them to date.
Mr. Boswell : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 16 February, Official Report, column 842 . The condition relates to the financial year 1994-95, and colleges will be asked in due course by the FEFC whether they have satisfied the conditions.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how the effect of his statement to colleges of further education that the higher pay costs shall be covered by efficiency improvements will differ from the increases in pay costs available in the rest of the public sector.
Mr. Boswell : The Government's policy that increases in pay costs should be covered by efficiency improvements applies throughout the public sector.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish in the Official Report his speech to principals of further education colleges in the week ended 11 February and a copy of his letter to the chairs of the College Employers Forum of 8 February.
Mr. Boswell : Since these are lengthy texts, I have placed copies of them in the Library of the House.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 18 February, Official Report, column 1019, what legislation sets out his responsibilities with regard to approval of staff employed by the Further Education Funding Council.
Mr. Boswell : Provisions concerning the appointment of staff of the Further Education Funding Council are contained in schedule 1 to the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. Paragraph 7 of that schedule provides that the council may appoint such employees as it thinks fit. The only requirement for approval by the Secretary of State is in the case of the appointment of future chief
Column 507officers--paragraph 2(3) of that schedule-- the first chief officer having been appointed by the Secretary of State under the terms of paragraph 2(2) of that schedule.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what will be the payment to members of the Funding Agency for Schools.
Mr. Robin Squire : The chairman of the Funding Agency for Schools, Sir Christopher Benson, will receive an annual fee of £33,430 for an equivalent of two days per week from 1 April 1994. Other members of the agency will be eligible to receive £155 and reimbursement for travel and subsistence expenses for each day spent on agency business, such as attending board and sub-committee meetings.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the new sixth forms to which he has given approval in (a) grant- maintained schools and (b) local authority schools since April 1992.
Mr. Robin Squire : Since April 1992 my right hon. Friend has approved proposals for new sixth forms in 17 grant-maintained schools and two LEA-maintained schools. The schools concerned are : (a) Grant maintained
Baverstock GM School, Birmingham
Small Heath School, Birmingham
Sawtry Village College, Cambridgeshire
The Merrill Community School, Derbyshire
Chellaston School, Derbyshire
Beauchamps GM School, Essex
Bromfords School, Essex
The King John School, Essex
West Hatch School, Essex
The Arnewood School, Hampshire
The Burgate School, Hampshire
Ringwood School, Hampshire
The Maplesden Noakes School, Kent
Sheringham High School, Norfolk
Highams Park School, Waltham Forest
Queen Elizabeth School, Warwickshire
Moseley Park GM School, Wolverhampton.
(b) LEA maintained
St. Peter's RC Comprehensive School, Solihull.
My right hon. Friend has also recently approved proposals for the establishment of a new school for pupils aged 11 to 18 years in Halifax, Calderdale, to replace two 11 to 16 schools.