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} 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 |Launched as|Total |Staff |Total |Staff |Total |Staff |agency |expenditure |expenditure |expenditure |(£ million) |(£ million) |(£ million) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driving Standards Agency |1990 |50.0 |2,105 |52.5 |2,192 |51.3 |1,898 Vehicle Certification Agency |1990 |2.5 |80 |2.6 |84 |2.7 |75 Vehicle Inspectorate<1> |1988 |40.3 |1,653 |41.2 |1,879 |50.5 |1,861 <1> Traffic examiner staff passed to the Vehicle Inspectorate's establishment in 1991-92, but the inspectorate became formally responsible for their costs in the following financial year.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport into which vehicle licensing category mechanical organs fall which are permanently fixed to the vehicle and used for display purposes only.
Mr. Key : Vehicles used to transport mechanical organs for solely private purposes, for example use at charity events, fall to be licensed in the private and light goods--PLG--tax class. The HGV rate would apply only where there was a commercial purpose.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the names of those consulted in respect of proposals on passengers and goods vehicle operating licences circulated on 27 May 1993.
Mr. Key : I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer of 14 December 1993 at column 592. In addition the Department sent copies of the consultation document to a wide-ranging number of bodies and individuals with an interest in operator licensing.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he intends to implement the proposals for continuous "O" licensing included in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill ; how the annual fee for the renewal of the "O" licence is to be paid and collected ; what provision
Column 688there will be to bring to the attention of the licensing authority any misdemeanour committed by an operator during the previous year ; how and how often the licensing authority will check an operator's licence ; on what basis the licensing authority will decide to hold a public inquiry following objections to an "O" licence proposal or transfer ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : Continuous operator licensing will be introduced as soon as possible after Royal Assent, consistent with the need for a smooth transition from the current system. Details of changes to fee arrangements are currently the subject of separate consultation. Any further changes as a consequence of continuous licensing will also be the subject of prior consultation. The enforcement of the requirements on vehicles subject to operator licensing will be unaffected by the change to continuous licensing. Checks on the details of an operators business will continue to be made at the same five year intervals as provided by the present five year licensing system and operators will continue to be required to notify the licensing authorities about changes whenever they occur. The licensing authorities will continue to hold public inquiries as at present when they need to be satisfied about a matter arising out of an application for a licence or a variation of a licence. In addition, at the five-yearly review point, they will also be able to hold inquiries to consider objections to the operating centre of an operator.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect the proposal to end the requirement for "O" licence operators to prove to
Column 689the Traffic Commissioner that they have adequate maintenance facilities for their vehicles, set out in his Department's 1993 consultation document, will have on (a) road safety and (b) general vehicle maintenance standards.
Mr. Key : This proposal is not being taken forward. Operators will continue to be required to satisfy traffic commissioners that they have adequate maintenance arrangements for their vehicles.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many public inquiries have been held in each traffic region in each of the last three years in respect of (a) HGV operator licences and (b) PSV operator "O" licences ; and, in each case, if the operator licence was revoked or retained ; and, in the latter case, what conditions were applied.
Mr. Key : The appendices to the annual reports of the licensing authorities and traffic commissioners published for the last three years, 1990-91 to 1992-93, contain information on the number of public inquiries held in each traffic area. Specific information about disciplinary inquiries is in the main text of each licensing authority's report.
Of those cases heard at public inquiry, the number of goods vehicle and public service vehicle operator licences revoked or retained, or where conditions were applied to PSV licences is in some instances mentioned in the reports and appendices to the reports. More detailed information on the action taken by each traffic commissioner and licensing authority against operator licences could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Copies of the "Annual Reports of the Licensing Authorities" and "Annual Reports of the Traffic Commissioners" are available in the Library of the House.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the current capacity of combined road-rail transport operations.
Mr. Freeman : Table 5.14 of Transport Statistics Great Britain 1993 contains statistics on "other traffic" which includes intermodal road-rail traffic. A copy of this publication has been placed in the Library.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what documentary evidence will be required relating to the destination of the loading unit used in a combined transport operation from or to a rail terminal ; and what enforcement measures will be implemented.
Mr. Freeman : The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1994, which were laid in the House on 25 February exempt from the 38 tonne maximum weight limit a vehicle carrying a loading unit as part of a combined transport operation either (a) to a railhead pursuant to a contract for the transport of that unit by rail, or (b) from a railhead to which the unit has been transported by rail. The regulations require a document to be carried in the cab of the vehicle which specifies, in the case of (a), the railhead, the date of the relevant contract and the parties thereto or, in the case of (b), the railhead and the date and time at which the unit was collected from the railhead.
Column 690Enforcement of lorry weight limits is carried out by the vehicle inspectorate, the police, and local authority trading standards departments. The 44 tonne weight limit will apply only to vehicles carrying containers and swap-bodies and therefore vehicles not carrying these weights will be unable to operate legitimately above 38 tonnes.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details and locations of the rail terminals he has identified for use by 44-tonne lorries in combined road-rail transport operations.
Mr. Freeman : Any rail terminal with facilities for the transhipment of containers and swap-bodies will qualify as a railhead for the purposes of the relevant regulations. It will also be necessary for the loading units in question to travel, or to have travelled, by rail on a network operated by British Rail or under a network licence.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to replace the limitless journey travel card with a stored-value ticket limiting the number of journeys that can be made ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : The Government have made clear their commitment to continuation of the London travel card and have no plans to replace it by a stored-value ticket. The stored-value ticket which London Transport will shortly be introducing as part of its current trial of smart card technology on buses in Harrow will be in addition to, not a replacement for, the present travel card.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have been held with existing traffic area staff about his proposals to turn the existing traffic areas into executive agencies.
Mr. Key : Traffic area office staff have been kept informed about the proposal for executive agency status and will be consulted as proposals are developed.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have been held between his Department and the Council on Tribunals about his proposals to turn the existing traffic areas into executive agencies ; and whether agreement to such a proposal would need to be given by the Council on Tribunals.
Mr. Key : The Council on Tribunals views will be sought before any decision is taken on whether to give the traffic area network executive agency status.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the future responsibilities of traffic commissioners under his proposals to turn the existing traffic areas into executive agencies ;
(2) what will be the relationship as regards decision making at traffic area office level between the traffic commissioner and the chief executive if his proposals to turn the existing traffic areas into executive agencies are implemented.
Mr. Key : The responsibilities of the traffic commissioners for the licensing and disciplining of operators and drivers would remain unchanged if it were decided to
Column 691establish a traffic area network executive agency. The chief executive or director of the executive agency would be responsible for the management and performance of the traffic area offices, whose staff would continue to provide support for the traffic commissioners.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have been held with the road haulage industry about his proposals to turn the existing traffic areas into executive agencies.
Mr. Key : The proposal for executive agency status is concerned with improving management and will not affect the operator licensing regime ; nevertheless, any views expressed by the road haulage industry will be given careful consideration.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have been held with traffic commissioners about his proposals to turn the existing traffic areas into executive agencies.
Mr. Key : Traffic commissioners are being consulted through the senior traffic commissioner and are represented on the steering group that has been established to develop the proposals for agency status.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many air misses there have been in each of the last four years involving aircraft (a) taking off and (b) landing at (i) Leeds-Bradford and (ii) Humberside airports.
Mr. Norris : The responsibility for the safety regulation of United Kingdom civil aviation rests with the Civil Aviation Authority--CAA. All air miss reports in United Kingdom airspace, involving civil or military aircraft, are investigated initially by the joint air miss section of the National Air Traffic Services, which is a joint CAA/Ministry of Defence organisation. They are then examined by the joint air miss working group-- JAWG--an independent committee drawn from a wide cross-section of responsible aviation bodies.
The records held by the joint air miss section, of air miss reports submitted by pilots show that for the period in question, no air miss reports were submitted for Leeds airport, while for Humberside airport only two such reports have been submitted. The first incident occurred on 23 May 1991 and involved a civilian aircraft in the final descent phase of its flight, which came into conflict with a military aircraft. The second incident took place on 13 October 1992 and also involved a loss of separation between a military aircraft and a civilian aircraft. The latter was in the landing phase of its flight. In both cases the incidents were subsequently judged by the JAWG to have involved no risk of collision.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall) of 21 February, Official Report, column 83, if he will set out the terms of reference of the sociological study of hard-core drink-drivers being carried out with the assistance of the Portman Group ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : The study is designed to give a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding drinking and driving offences. The contract for this research was let by the Portman Group, which is funding the study, and it would be for it to decide whether to release any details at this stage.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce a discount for those purchasing in advance electronic tags for crossing the Severn bridge.
Mr. Key : Discounts of 20 per cent. for cars and light vans and 10 per cent. for heavy vehicles are already available on electronic tags valid for one month or three months, based on the assumption of 22 and 66 return trips respectively. These are the only discount requirements on the concessionaire, Severn River Crossing plc, under its concession agreement with the Secretary of State. Any further discounts are a matter for SRC's commercial judgment.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what information he has about the sinking of the fishing vessel Copia ; what consideration he has given to recovering the ship and crew ; what representations he has received on the subject ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) where responsibility lies for the recovery of bodies on fishing vessels sunk in inland waters ; what arrangements are made for such a recovery in the case of the Copia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 15 March 1994] : The marine accident investigation branch inquiries into the accident are in progress. No representations have been received by this Department on the subject, other than the letter of 7 March from the hon. Member.
The Department will not contemplate salvaging a wreck except where there are firm grounds for surmising that raising a wreck would establish the nature and cause of the accident and there are no other means of achieving this.
There is no general requirement on the part of any official organisation to recover bodies in such circum-stances. Nevertheless, immediately after the accident when police divers located the wreck they looked for the bodies of the crew, but unfortunately without success.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the representations he has received for Liverpool to be the base for a national open register of shipping ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 14 March 1994] : Since the Baltic Exchange's proposals for a British open register for shipping were received in early December, the Liverpool chamber of commerce and industry has written to reaffirm its support for it and for the proposal that the registry should be located in Liverpool. As I explained to my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) on 24 January, Official Report,
Column 693column 78, the proposal raised complex issues which required careful study. An announcement will be made shortly.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to franchise local roads ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : We have no such plans.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many self-financing regulatory authorities his Department has set up since 1992 ; what was the annual running cost of each of the self-financing regulatory authorities in each of the last three years ; and what was the staffing establishment at the latest available date, last year and two years ago.
Mr. David Davis : There are no self-financing regulatory authorities in the departments for which the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has responsibility.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the number of quangos for which he is responsible ; how much in public funds has been given to each quango in each of the last two years ; what is the current staffing establishment of each quango ; and what it was five years ago for the comparable bodies.
Mr. David Davis : Such information is contained in the publication "Public Bodies 1993" and earlier editions of the same publication. Copies of all editions are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many rules and regulations his Department has passed in each of the last two years.
Mr. Waldegrave : Rules and regulations made by my Department during this period are as follows :
Chessington Computer Centre Trading Fund Order (1993)
Race Relations (Prescribed Public Bodies) Regulations (1994) Research Councils (Transfer of Property etc) Order (1994)
Mr. Waterson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he will give a full report of progress on the citizens charter since the publication of the first report in November 1992.
Mr. Waldegrave : "The Citizen's Charter Second Report : 1994" setting out progress in fulfilling citizens charter commitments across the public service is published today. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department's computer-aided facilities management systems cost ; from whom they were purchased ; how many person hours were required to commission them ; what the estimated and actual saving has been from their operation ; and to what extent the use of such systems accounts for the apparent rise in theft noted in his answer to the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) of 16 February, Official Report, columns 884-85.
Mr. Redwood : The Welsh Office does not have a computer-aided facilities management system. However, a computerised system holding information relating to the Department's information technology assets is in place and a project is under way to provide by the end of the year a system which will cater for the Department's real estate, property management and asset inventory requirements. The existing system was purchased from Workgroup Systems at a cost of £7,500 and commissioning is estimated to have taken 150 person hours. It was installed in order to provide a secure record of assets rather than in the expectation of direct savings. There is no evidence to suggest that it has influenced the level of reported theft and losses.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many persons responded to press advertisements inviting applications for positions on non-departmental public bodies in Wales in the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) how many persons who responded to press advertisements for positions on non-departmental public bodies have been appointed by him in the last 12 months.
Mr. Redwood : More than 2,500 people made inquiries following the advertisements in Welsh newspapers in July 1993 inviting nominations to the Welsh Office register of candidates for public appointments. Of these, 959 returned completed nominations. Most of the nominations were received between September 1993 and January 1994. The new names have been added to those considered as and when vacancies arise.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which non- departmental public body chairman and board members will be required to hold their annual review meeting with Ministers in the first quarter of the year 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 15 March 1994] : My ministerial colleagues and I hold meetings with all the NDPB chairmen to consider their targets for the forthcoming year. Some of these will take place during the first quarter of this year.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement concerning the 1975 equal pay directive as it refers to Wales.
Mr. Redwood : The 1975 Equal Pay Directive is implemented in Great Britain by means of the Equal Pay Act 1970 as amended by the Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1993.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the part-time earnings of female workers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : According to the New Earnings Survey, in April 1993 average gross earnings for part-time females on adult rates in Wales were £71.30 per week for manual employees and £101.90 for non-manual employees. These averages are similar to those of most other regions.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much grant aid has been paid out from public funds in the past to (a) F. L. Steelcraft or (b) F. L. Steelcraft Ltd. of Borth, Aberystwyth, Wales ; and on what dates.
Mr. Redwood : To comment on the Department's relationship with individual companies would be a breach of commercial confidentiality.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will undertake a tour of Wales meeting farm workers to discuss wages, conditions of work and the future of the Agricultural wages board ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : No. The future of the Agricultural wages board is currently being considered in the light of the responses to the consultation exercise completed last year.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he will take to improve the wages of female workers.
Mr. Redwood : My strategy is based on the continued success of United Kingdom macroeconomic policy ; improving standards of education and training in Wales ; improving access to markets ; and ensuring a good supply of development land and facilities for industry and commerce. The continuing success of this strategy should enable average earnings for both men and women in Wales to increase still further.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the titles of all items published during the last three years by his office and by all public bodies to which he makes appointments, which were available for sale, and which were published in the English language only indicating the price, reference numbers, and dates of publication in each case ;
(2) if he will list the full titles of all publications issued during the last three years by his office and by public bodies to which he makes appointments, which were
Column 696available for purchase, and which were printed in both the Welsh and English languages, indicating the prices, reference numbers, and dates of publication in each case.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The information as requested is not centrally available but details of documents published by the Department indicating the price, reference numbers, year of publication and whether available in Welsh are contained within the "Welsh Office Publications List 1992". It is published annually and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives or schemes he has launched in Wales to compensate disabled people for the additional value added tax costs being imposed.
Mr. Redwood : I refer the hon. Member to the package of assistance announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his statement on 30 November 1993 at columns 922-24.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 28 February, Official Report, column 595, regarding cardiac surgery in Wales, what level of additional resources is being made available and to which health authorities for purchasing purposes ; in which trusts and directly managed units for provider purposes new facilities are being developed ; and what are the relevant dates for commencement and completion of such developments.
Mr. Redwood : In addition to their discretionary allocations, from which cardiac services are also purchased, £6.5 million is available in 1993-94 to assist health authorities move towards the target level of cardiac surgery in Wales. I shall announce provision for 1994-95 in due course.
We have completed the development of cardiac facilities at the University Hospital of Wales which can now deliver 800 adult cardiac operations a year. New facilities, which will deliver the balance of need in South Wales, are to be developed at Morriston Hospital NHS Trust. Planning is currently underway and the centre is expected to become operational in 1997.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many rules and regulations his Department has passed in each of the last three years.
Mr. Redwood : The number of rules and regulations made by statutory instrument for Wales alone by the Secretary of State for Wales during the past three years is as follows : 1991--73 ; 1992--131 ; 1993--84.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of quangos for which he is responsible ; how much in public funds has been given to each quango in each of the last three years ; what is the current staffing establishment of each quango ; and what is was five years ago.
Mr. Redwood : Such information is contained in the publication "Public Bodies 1993" and earlier editions of the same publication. Copies of all editions are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of administration costs for family health service authorities for Wales as a whole for each year since 1989-90, indicating the percentage increase in constant prices which has taken place since 1989 -90 and the latest available year.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Revenue expenditure of family health service authorities in Wales on administration was £4,242,000 in 1989-90, £6, 910,000 in 1990-91, £8,265,000 in 1991-92 and £9,150,000 in 1992-93. This represents an increase over the period of 81 per cent. at constant prices. In 1992-93 the cost of this administrative expenditure represented 1.9 per cent. of the total spent on family health services in Wales.
Source : FHSA White Paper Accounts.