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Column 558Scotland. However, building standards do take account of the expected extreme winds in the local area, so that storm damage is not necessarily related. Records of wind damage are held by the Building Research Establishment. Further information can be obtained directly from the Chief Executive, Building Research Establishment, Bucknalls Lane, Garston, Watford, Herts WD2 7JR.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of children were taught in special schools in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1989 and the latest available year.
Mr. Forth : Pupils in special schools as a percentage of total pupil population in maintained schools in the years concerned, based on the latest data available, are as follows :
Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1977 |1.55 1979 |1.59 1981 |1.62 1989 |1.34 1993 |1.25
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education under which Act the ballot for grant-maintained status at Prospect school, Berkshire, has been conducted.
Mr. Robin Squire : The governors of Prospect school, Berkshire passed a resolution on 10 January 1994 to ballot parents on the question of seeking grant-maintained status. The ballot has therefore been conducted under section 28 of the Education Act 1993.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the cost of introducing nursery education for all three and four-year-olds ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : The cost would depend on the types of provision, the balance between full-time and part-time attendance and the numbers of parents who choose to take up a nursery place. We estimate that the average annual recurrent unit cost for a full-time equivalent pupil aged under five in the maintained sector is £1,770 at 1993-4 prices. In addition, there would be capital, transport and staff training costs. As at January 1993, 55 per cent. of children aged three and four in England were already in receipt of some form of maintained or independent schooling.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will give an indication of the figure available for supplementary capital allocations to local education authorities for 1994-95.
Mr. Forth : The total of supplementary credit approvals to be made available to local education authorities for 1994-95 is £39.398 million.
Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the allocation for drug education in schools in each of the last three years.
Mr. Forth : Most current expenditure on schools is incurred by local education authorities, either directly or delegated through local management of schools schemes and totals some £15 billion a year. It is for schools and LEAs to determine in the light of local priorities and taking account of advice and guidance available how much of their total budgets to spend on drugs education. Through the grants for education support and training programme funding was made available on a pump-priming basis to support expenditure of £7.3 million in 1991-92 and £5.0 million in 1992-93 on preventive health education and training in schools, including education about drugs. At national level my Department's preventive health education budget supported drugs-related initiatives with grant exceeding £42,000 in 1991-92 and £149,000 in 1992-93. The provisional figure for 1993-94 is £104.000.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he was consulted by the Colleges Employers Forum on its model contract for further education staff.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Education when the hon. Member for Coventry, North-East can expect a reply to his letter to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell), dated 25 January.
Mr. Boswell : I replied to the hon. Member for Coventry, North-East on 25 February 1994.
45. Mr. Jacques Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the aid programme in Latin America.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have a sizeable and successful bilateral aid programme in Latin America. It is focusing increasingly on the key areas of environmental cooperation, natural resources and good government.
46. Mr. William O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom overseas aid to the southern and eastern African countries.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Africa is a high priority for Britain's bilateral aid programme. In 1992-93 we disbursed almost £304 million of bilateral aid to countries in eastern and southern Africa, excluding CDC investments, to help promote sustainable development and to relieve immediate suffering.
47. Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will increase the level of aid to India.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : India is the top recipient of our bilateral aid and will continue to be a high priority. Planned expenditure for next year is in line with average levels over recent years.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many individuals in how many countries are estimated to have benefited from overseas aid in each of the past five years ; how much cash was involved ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In the last five years we have provided bilateral aid to an average of 133 countries each year. By promoting economic and social development, and by helping reduce poverty, our aid is intended to be of wide benefit in the recipient countries. It is not, however, possible to say how many individuals have benefited. The amount of aid which we have provided is as follows :
|Gross |Total gross |bilateral |aid |aid |£ million<1>|£ million<1> ---------------------------------------------------- 1988-89 |933 |1,616 1989-90 |1,035 |1,736 1990-91 |1,168 |1,893 1991-92 |1,081 |2,016 1992-93 |1,278 |2,245 <1> Rounded to the nearest million.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each project funded by the Overseas Development Administration in the last five years.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I refer the right hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) on 7 February 1994, Official Report, column 70.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current level of United Kingdom aid to Angola.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Since the start of 1993 we have allocated over £15 million of aid for Angola. This includes our share of EC aid.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much British Aid is currently being given to Indonesia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We expect United Kingdom bilateral aid expenditure for Indonesia in the current
Column 561financial year to be about £21 million. Our aid supports projects in such sectors as power, forestry, railways, civil aviation, education, broadcasting and public administration.
Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to offer aid to South Africa.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : This year we will spend up to £15 million, plus over £11 million as our share of EC aid. We will increase our aid to support a new South African Government pursuing sound policies.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to transfer the Driving Standards Agency to the private sector.
Mr. Key : I have no plans to change the status of the agency. Options for the future of the agency will be reviewed again in around three years. Meanwhile, the chief executive has been asked to make full use of the market testing initiative to secure best value for money.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether consultants have been employed to consider the future status of the Driving Standards Agency.
Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether it is his intention to give a direction to refuse Asda/Thomas Storey, Stockport, Application No. 59583, which was lodged on 7 February ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : No application for this proposed development has yet been referred to the Department.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make an announcement on the future status of the Vehicle Inspectorate's testing stations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : My right hon. Friend hopes to announce his provisional conclusions shortly. He recently made available to the Transport Select Committee the consultants' report on the future of the VI's testing functions ; a copy is being placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ceredigion and Pembroke, North (Mr. Dafis) of 8 February, Official Report, column 149, whether the Government's review of the issues surrounding sustainable development resulted in any changes in the Government's policies on transport.
Mr. MacGregor : "Sustainable Development : The UK Strategy" builds directly upon the commitments made in "This Common Inheritance" and subsequent reports. We are, therefore, already taking action on the issues raised. In addition to setting out the environmental situation in the United Kingdom and the principles and processes designed to respond to it, the strategy also highlights key areas for future action.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons he approved the withdrawal of landing rights for the Polish airline LOT ; and how he proposes to resolve the dispute.
Mr. Norris : I refer the hon. Member to the letter I wrote to the hon. Member for Thurrock (Mr. Mackinlay) on 16 November 1993 which was deposited in the Library of the House and which explains the background to the current situation. We have been in contact with the Polish Government since the autumn in an attempt to resolve the current difficulties. Contacts are continuing and we hope that it will possible for direct services to be restored soon.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the estimated number of all categories of motor vehicles in the United Kingdom, together with the estimated percentage of them equipped with catalytic converters ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : The distribution and volume of the United Kingdom vehicle fleet is set out in full in "Transport Statistics Great Britain 1993". The latest information on the total volumes of licenced vehicles up to the end of September 1993 is included in the following table.
Total licensed vehicles End September 1993 Thousands Taxation class |Total |Petrol |Diesel |Other ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Private and light goods |22,371.5 |20,249.6 |2,120.7 |4.8 Of which: Private cars |20,157.3 |19,040.7 |1,113.1 |3.5 Motor cycles |713.2 |712.4 |0.7 |0.1 Goods vehicles |430.3 |15.8 |414.4 |0.0 Public transport vehicles 107.8 7.2 100.6 0.0 Agricultural machines |319.9 |7.8 |310.1 |2.0 Other vehicles |56.1 |39.8 |16.2 |0.0 Exempt vehicles |961.8 |766.3 |163.7 |31.7 |------- |------- |------- |------- All vehicles |24,964.2 |21,798.9 |3,126.5 |38.8
The precise number of vehicles fitted with catalytic converters is not known, but is estimated at approximately 2.5 million or 13 per cent. of the total licensed passenger car fleet, excluding diesel cars. Catalysts are also optionally offered on some diesel car models and some motor cycles, but the numbers licensed are likely to be negligible.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce Government funding and financial support for the Midland metro.
Mr. Freeman : We will be looking carefully, in the context of this year's public expenditure round, at the scope for making resources available to that a start could be made on Midland metro in 1995-96.
Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) for what reason no commitment to re-route the A40 trunk road in Cheltenham was made in the Government's draft planning guidance for the south west ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) when he plans to announce a starting date for road improvements to the A436 and the A417.
Mr. Key : The draft regional planning guidance for the south-west is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. It provides the framework for the updating of structure and local plans in the region and is not the appropriate vehicle for commitments to particular road schemes.
Construction of the A417 Brockworth bypass started last month. Further improvements to the A417 in this area are at the very earliest planning stages. It is planned that the A436 will act as a bypass for Cheltenham in conjunction with Brockworth bypass. A constultants' study is in progress to identify the need for, and environmental acceptability of, any improvements.
Mr. Enright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has considered paying the Automobile Association a fee for running the cones hotline.
Mr. Key : In considering the future development of the cones hotline, we are currently looking at the option of having it run by a private sector agency.
Mr. Enright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the cones hotline number is an indirect line.
Mr. Key : Until recently the cones hotline has operated adequately on the Department's general inquiry number. However, it has now been changed to a direct line--0345 50 40 30.
Mr. Enright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the purpose of the cones hotline.
Mr. Key : I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave on 2 February, column 759.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the number of instances annually, over the past five years, in which unaccompanied baggage was erroneously carried on flights departing from United Kingdom airports.
Mr. Norris : No such information is available.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it compulsory by law for all aircraft hold baggage to be reconciled with passengers on all flights departing from United Kingdom airports.
Mr. Norris : It is already a legal requirement for aircraft operators to ensure that all passengers and operating crew, whose hold baggage has been loaded into an aircraft, have boarded and will travel on that aircraft. The baggage of passengers who check in but do not board the aircraft is required to be removed and may not be carried unless it is subjected to security controls. There are circumstances where baggage may be legitimately carried without an accompanying passenger ; however, such unaccompanied baggage is not carried unless it is first screened and if necessary hand-searched. The United Kingdom has always complied with international requirements on passenger baggage. We have even gone further and introduced a recommended practice for airlines to account for and authorise for carriage every item of hold baggage that they carry. This will become a mandatory requirement within a few months.
Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will state the cost of the tunnels on the Department's scheme for the A27 development in Worthing and Shoreham and the costs of the tunnels of the blue route and the extent to which these figures have been reduced by improved technology compared with the technology used on the Brighton bypass.
Mr. Key : This information is available from the Department's representative at the public inquiry into the A27 Worthing-Lancing improvement proposals. I will ask him to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the properties which have been purchased by his Department in connection with the developments of the A27 in the Worthing area which he has or now proposes to sell ; what is the price, and total cost to his Department, of each ; and at price each has been (a) sold or (b) is now on the market.
Mr. Key : Of the properties which have been purchased in connection with the A27 Worthing-Lancing scheme, six have been offered for sale as follows :
Property |Offers invited |in the region |of (£) ---------------------------------------------------------- 52 Longlands, Worthing |130,000 54 Longlands, Worthing |135,000 56 Longlands, Worthing |140,000 44 Copthorne hill, Worthing |75,000 11 Fontwell close, Worthing |90,000 20 Findon road, Worthing |57,000 |------- Total |627,000
A sale has been agreed for 54 Longlands, but it would not be appropriate to disclose the sale price which is confidential to the prospective purchaser.
It would not be appropriate to disclose the price paid by the Department for each property, which is confidential to the former owners, but the total price to the Department for the six properties was £901,750 exclusive of fees and other administrative costs.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the discs which goods vehicle operators are required to display are designed to be read by pedestrians who are aggrieved by the vehicle's operation or operator.
Mr. Key : Goods vehicle operator discs are primary intended to assist the police and other enforcement organisations who carry out checks on heavy goods vehicles. Should members of the public who wish to register a complaint concerning a goods vehicle have difficulty in readily identifying the operator of the vehicle, they should contact the local traffice office quoting the vehicle's registration mark.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of public appointments made by his Department in 1993 were of women ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : Information in the precise form requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. An annual monitoring exercise is undertaken of the position as at 1 September each year and figures are passed to the Cabinet Office for inclusion in their annual publication of "Public Bodies 1993". The proportion of DOT appointments held by women shown in "Public Bodies 1993" is 19 per cent. In "Public Bodies 1992" it was 14 per cent. The departmental objective is that the percentage should be increased to 25 per cent. by 1996.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which private organisations have been authorised to implement traffic regulations ; and in what circumstances they have been authorised.
Mr. Key : Some local traffic authorities employ contractors to carry out various parking enforcement functions, and some police forces use them to remove vehicles under the direction of constables or traffic wardens. In addition, the Metropolitan police use contractors to fix and remove wheelclamps--again under the direction of constables or traffic wardens. There is no requirement for the traffic authorities and police forces concerned to notify the Department of their arrangements, so there is no central record of those which have employed contractors on these tasks, or of the contractors used.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will reinstate the proposal to establish a trolley bus service from Bradford city centre to Buttershaw in Bradford ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : The West Yorkshire passenger transport authority did not include this project in its bid for resources in 1994-95. It is for the PTA and the city council to decide whether to include it in their bids in future years.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what provision he has made for the continuation of the availability of the free rail passes to former GWR and subsequently BR employees, currently pensioners, under future franchise arrangements.
Mr. Freeman : The Government have given a clear assurance that free and reduced rate travel concessions for the retired staff of BR will be safeguarded. Franchised service operators will be obliged, through the terms of the contracts that they will have with the franchising director, to provide concessionary travel on their services to those permanently entitled.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to establish a joint railway industry pension scheme, providing benefits no less favourable than the existing BR pension scheme, which BR staff employed on 5 November 1993 (a) who continue to work in the railway industry and (b) who, following privatisation, leave the railway industry company in which they were first employed, will have a statutory right to join.
Mr. Freeman : It has long been Government policy to establish such a scheme, which will provide benefits no less favourable than the existing BR pension scheme to BR staff participating, or eligible to participate, in that scheme at 5 November 1993. Those staff will have an "indefeasible right" to remain in the joint industry scheme so long as they remain in continuous employment in the railway industry.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give estimates of the number of vehicles travelling east to west along the A66 from Stockton to Darlington on (a) weekdays and (b) Saturdays and Sundays.
Mr. Key : The average westbound traffic flows on the A66 in the vicinity of Elton and Longnewton are as follows :
|Daily |Peak hour ---------------------------------------- Weekday |12,900 |1,380 Saturday |9,700 |760 Sunday |6,600 |600
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will direct his regional office not to divert traffic from the A66 through Elton during the week beginning 5 March.
Mr. Key : I regret the inconvenience to my hon. Friend's constituents. Diversion through Elton is, on balance, the optimum solution and will go ahead as planned.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish an official syllabus for learner large goods vehicle drivers.
Mr. Key : The Driving Standards Agency has today published "Your Large Goods Vehicle Driving Test". As well as giving clear guidance about preparing for and taking an LGV driving test, the book contains the officially recommended learner LGV syllabus which was developed by the DSA following extensive consultation with the road transport and haulage industries. The book also offers advice on issues that will be equally relevant to the more experienced LGV driver, such as driver attitudes and knowledge, hazard perception and motorway driving. I am placing copies in the Library.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for starting new construction on trunk roads in 1994-95.
Mr. MacGregor : I am pleased to announce that, subject to the completion of the remaining statutory procedures and availability of funds, we will begin work on 22 major national road starts in 1994-95. These starts represent new investment in total over the whole construction period of over £1 billion. The Highways Agency, which will assume responsibility for managing, maintaining and improving the trunk road network at the beginning of the new financial year, will oversee the construction of these starts. I am also publishing today a reserve list of seven starts that could also begin in 1994-95. In the event of unavoidable delays in the planned starts, these will be brought forward.
The planned and reserve starts are as follows :
A564 Doveridge Bypass
A564 Derby Southern Bypass and Spur
M1 Junction 21-21A Widening Phase 1
M40 Junction--1A-13 Widening
A13 Wennington--Mar Dyke Improvement
A428 Bedford Southern Bypass
A1(M) Alconbury--Peterborough Upgrading Contract 1
A12 Hackney--M11 Contract 2
A12 Hackney--M11 Contract 3
A406 Silver Street--Fore Street Improvement
A568 Widnes Eastern Bypass (South)
M66 Denton--Middleton Contract 2
M65 Blackburn Southern Bypass Contract 2
M6 Junction 20-21A (bridge renewal)
A19 Norton--Parkway Improvement
A34 Newbury Bypass
A34 Chieveley/M4 Junction 13 Improvement
M25 Junction 8-10 Widening
A30 Honiton--Exeter Improvement
M5 Junction 18-19 Widening
A50 Blythe Bridge--Queensway Phase 2
A11 Roudham--Attleborough Improvement
M25 Junction 16-19 Widening
A406/A1/A598 Regents Park Road Junction Improvement
A13 West of Heathway--Thames Avenue Improvement
A69 Haltwhistle Bypass
A27 Polegate Bypass
A35 Tolpuddle--Puddletown Bypass
Design and build schemes.
All the 1994-95 starts will bring substantial economic and safety benefits to users of the national road network and local residents. They are particularly important in