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Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the projects and their cost covered by the Rechar programme to date in (a) the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency and (b) South Wales.
Mr. Redwood : I will write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to upgrade the A548 between Bagillt and Mostyn, Clwyd.
Sir Wyn Roberts : This is a matter for Clwyd county council as the local highway authority.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives the Welsh Office has launched in the last 10 years to increase public awareness about the social, economic and environmental effects of transport policy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Policy and activities have been set out in editions of "Roads in Wales", the annual departmental report, "This Common Inheritance" and annual progress reports, "Sustainable
Development--The UK Strategy" and in various planning policy guidance notes.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement concerning pay review bodies as they affect the national health service in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The role played by the national health service review bodies in setting national pay rates for the staff groups within their remits will be kept under review having regard to developments in the extension of local pay determination by national health service trusts.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made in the last five years in reducing the number of people who smoke.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Provisional analysis of the 1993 health in Wales survey carried out by the Health Promotion Authority for Wales suggests that the number of adults aged 18 to 64 who smoke daily has decreased from 27.9 per cent. to 24.5 per cent. for women and from 31.8 per cent. to 27 per cent. for men in the five years 1988 to 1993.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects the cancer treatment centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd to be on stream ; how many professional staff will be employed ; and what is the likely cost.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The project team established to manage the development of the cancer treatment centre at
Column 655Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is undertaking the detailed planning process which will identify staffing and other costs and a timetable.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretry of State for Wales what discussions he has had with health authorities in north-west England concerning the likely impact upon cancer treatment centres in Wirral, Merseyside and Manchester consequent upon the eventual opening of the treatment centre at Ystyby Glan Clwyd ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The decision to develop a cancer treatment centre in north Wales was taken following extensive examination and consultation with interested or affected organisations, including Merseyside and north- western regional health authorities and Wirral district health authority.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what date he expects to publish the indicative budgets for the Welsh training and enterprise councils ; and what proposals he has for improving accountability in the training and enterprise councils.
Mr. Redwood : The Welsh Office is finalising contracts with TECs for 1994-95 budgets and the information is not yet available. The Government have decided that TEC level information should be released publicly only after the beginning of the contracting year. The information must remain commercial in confidence while TECs are negotiating with their providers. The information requested on allocations for 1994-95 will therefore be publicly available on 1 October 1994.
TECs are companies limited by guarantee and subject to the audit provisions of the Companies Acts 1985 to 1989. They are also subject to internal audit, and to further audit scrutiny by the National Audit Office and the European Court of Auditors. The Welsh Office contracts with TECs each year through operating agreements which set out additional requirements of accountability, including the preparation of published reports and arrangements for public meetings.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for the occupation of the office space to be vacated in the Cathays park II section of the Crown buildings, Cathays park by the departure of NCM Credit Insurance Ltd. and the Export Credits Guarantee Department.
Mr. Redwood : The NCM is due to vacate the building by 31 March 1995 but, before final decisions can be taken about potential reuse of the space it now occupies, during the next financial year it will be necessary for my Department to carry out detailed option and investment appraisals.
The ECGD is continuing in occupation although it has recently vacated space following a reduction in staff numbers. Taking advantage of this, plans are now being finalised to relocate the training enterprise and educational department from Companies House.
Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now announce his decision relating to the planning consent at Mostyn docks.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 15 February, Official Report, column 762.
Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effect on job prospects in Clwyd of a refusal of planning permission for the Mostyn dock planning application in Mostyn, Clwyd.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : All material considerations, including the effect on employment in the area, will be taken into account in the consideration of the planning application.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has had in relation to the appointment of Sir Richard Lloyd Jones as chairman of the Welsh Arts Council ; and what account he took of the views of the Committee of Public Accounts in relation to the conduct of Welsh Office non-departmental public bodies prior to confirming the appointment.
Mr. Redwood : I have received no representations on this matter. In making the appointment, I took account of relevant considerations. Sir Richard will make an excellent chairman.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he proposes to issue guidelines on the publication of the political affiliations of the appointees to non-departmental public bodies ; what proposals he has to make such publication retrospective ; what proposals he has to extend such publication of affiliations to the Masonic Order ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The general procedure for the making of public appointments is contained in the Cabinet Office publication "Guide on Public Appointments Procedures" which is available in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will provide an up-to-date table showing for Wales and the counties of Wales for each year from 1989, the number of places on youth training schemes and the number of people who have been waiting for over eight weeks for a place.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The numbers of filled youth training places in Wales at March of each year since 1989 and the figure for December 1993 are shown in table A. Statistics are collected by TEC area, not by county.
In every year since 1989 there has been sufficient funding available to provide youth training places for all of those who sought them. Demand for youth training places fell by 35 per cent. between March 1989 and December 1993 because numbers of young people attaining school leaving age dropped by 16 per cent., and the proportion of those staying on in full-time education increased from 35 per cent. to over 60 per cent. in that period.
Column 657The number of young people in each TEC area who had been waiting eight weeks or more for a place on youth training as at January 1993 and January 1994 are shown in table B. Figures for earlier years are not available, as the first count was in September 1992. Figures are not collected on a county basis.
Table A Number filled youth training places in Wales 1989-93 |Numbers ------------------------------ March 1989 |23,779 March 1990 |22,665 March 1991 |16,352 March 1992 |16,180 March 1993 |14,129 December 1993 |15,409
Table B Number waiting eight weeks or more for YT place |14 January 1993|13 January 1994 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Gwent |43 |3 Mid Glamorgan |111 |123 North East Wales |77 |9 North West Wales |65 |23 Powys |17 |14 South Glamorgan |59 |4 West Wales |17 |28 |-- |-- Total |389 |204
Mr. Sweeney : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made in securing the future of St. Quintin's castle, Llanblethian, near Cowbridge.
Sir Wyn Roberts : I am pleased to be able to tell the House that we have secured the owner's agreement to place this monument in state care through a guardianship agreement with the Secretary of State.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what representation the Welsh Office has in the Invest in Britain Bureau.
Mr. Redwood : The Invest in Britain Bureau is part of the Department of Trade and Industry. The bureau works in close partnership with Welsh Development International and other territorial and regional bodies to promote inward investment to the United Kingdom. WDI is also represented on the interdepartmental committee on overseas promotion which co-ordinates the United Kingdom's inward investment promotional activities.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who are the members currently appointed to the London Regional Transport board.
Mr. Norris : The names and positions of the members of the board of London Regional Transport are listed below :
Column 658Executive Members--
Sir Wilfrid Newton CBE
Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive
Dr. Alan Watkins
Mr. Anthony Sheppeck
Mr. Denis Tunnicliffe
Mr. David Thompson
Mr. Oscar Roith
Mr. Keith Brown
Mrs. Helen Robinson
Mr. J. Keith Davies
Sir Alan Bailey
Mr. Robert Dorey
Mrs. Rosemary Day
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of the public appointments he is responsible for making in addition to those identified in "Public Bodies 1993", including non- executive agency and other departmental management boards.
Mr. Norris : Additional public appointments made by my right hon. Friend are :
Acting Conservator of the River Mersey ;
The Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Alcohol and Drug Misuse- -chairman and four members ;
The Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Disorders of the Cardiovascular System--chairman and six members ;
The Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and
Diabetes--chairman and six members ;
The Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Disorders of the Nervous System--chairman and 10 members ; and
Some chairmen and from one to 10 members of 17 port authorities and harbour boards.
My right hon. Friend also appoints the rail regulator and the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising, both of whom head non-ministerial Government Departments.
My right hon. Friend appoints external members of executive agencies advisory boards. Currently there are seven such members : Driving Standards Agency (1)
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (3)
Transport Research Laboratory (1)
Vehicle Certification Agency (1)
Vehicle Inspectorate executive agency (1)
He expects to be making appointments of external members to the advisory boards of the Highways Agency, the Marine Safety Agency and the Coastguard Agency which are due to be established on 1 April 1994.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to receive an application to make permanent the current traffic restrictions being operated by the City of London.
Mr. Norris : The matter is currently being considered by the Corporation of the City of London. Under schedule 5 to the Local Government Act 1985, if an objection from an adjacent London borough is made to the City's draft traffic regulation order the matter will be referred to the Secretary of State for him to determine.
Mr. Whittingdale : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects that work will start to improve the safety of the verges along the central reservation of the A12 between Witham and Marks Tey ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : Witham bypass is our top priority for a verge improvement scheme and works should start here this summer. Similar improvements between Feering and Marks Tey will follow on from this initial scheme. Further announcements will be made at the time contracts are due to be let.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date he now expects publication of the findings and report of the inquiry into the Severn tunnel fire and collision 1991 ; what proposals he has for making a statement or issuing the Government's response to it ; and if he will place a copy of the report's findings and his response in the Library.
Mr. Freeman : I refer to my replies given to the questions by the hon. Member for Newport, East (Mr. Hughes) on 25 February, Official Report, columns 465-66.
Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make an announcement about the Blackwall third crossing.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 February 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to my reply on Monday 21 February 1994 to the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Austin-Walker), Official Report, column 77.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the occasions since 1979 when Ministers have issued written instructions to override his Department's accounting officer's objections.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 24 February 1994] : From records currently available, no formal directions have been issued since 1979.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what financial constraint Her Majesty's Government have placed on contracts between London Underground Ltd. and a supplier of passenger rolling stock, which would delay the date on which that stock would otherwise enter into service in London, whether under the ownership of London Underground or any other body or company ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 28 February 1994] : It is for London Transport and London Underground Ltd. to decide on the timing of the acquisition of rolling stock. Such decisions may be subject to scrutiny or approval by the Secretary of State to ensure that they are appropriate and represent value for money.
Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what feasibility study has been commissioned into reopening the Waverley rail line running through the Borders ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No feasibility study into the reopening of the Waverley line has been commissioned by the Scottish Office. Decisions on the reinstatement of the line are a matter for the appropriate track authority.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether the forestry review group will consider ways that forestry policy can be adapted to deliver social as well as economic and environmental benefits and to meet the needs of rural communities ; and if it will make recommendations on this subject ;
(2) whether the forestry review group will review the appropriateness of the current allocation of the Forestry Commission's research budget as between its economic, social and environmental objectives ; and if it will make recommendations on this subject ;
(3) if he will ask the interdepartmental review group on forestry to consider the economic, environmental and social benefits to be derived from allowing independent certification of Forest Enterprise managed forests.
Sir Hector Monro : No. None of these matters falls within the terms of the reference of the forestry review group.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Scretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement giving the reasons why the Scottish Office has introduced the revised fee scale for planning permission applications.
Mr. Stewart : The Government's policy is to achieve full recovery of planning authorities' costs for handling planning applications. Accordingly, fee scales are subject to regular review and, as part of that exercise, are assessed against the most recent information on costs and income available from planning authorities. The latest returns indicate that the recovery rate in Scotland is around 51 per cent. My right hon. Friend, therefore, decided to seek parliamentary approval for the increases introduced in January 1994, to be followed by further increases in January 1995.
Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what research was conducted prior to the Sheriff Court Fees (Amendment) Order 1993 into the future numbers of those raising or defending court actions and the costs of administration to the Scottish legal aid system ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 25 February 1994] : Estimates of the future workload of the civil business of the sheriff courts are used to generate the
Column 661memorandum trading account which indicates the income required from court fees. The implications of the revised fees for the Scottish legal aid fund were taken into account during the public expenditure round.