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Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what will be the implications for the operation of his Department, and the Health and Safety Commission, of the code of practice on open government.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Department and the Health and Safety Executive already answer many hundreds of thousands of inquiries each year, through, for example, their "public enquiry point" service. The code of practice will reinforce and build upon existing arrangements for the provision of information to the public.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 9 March, Official Report, column 201, how many people were employed in banking, insurance and finance in Greater London, including those not resident in Greater London, in the latest quarter for which figures are available and the equivalent quarters of 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Miss Widdecombe : The information is given in the following table :
Employees in employment in banking, finance, insurance and business services and leasing (SIC division 8): Greater London |Number ------------------------------ December 1989 |798,000 December 1990 |773,000 December 1991 |726,000 December 1992 |699,000 December 1993 |712,000
Ms Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the reasons for the introduction of the new regional, district and area management structure of the Employment Service ; how will it differ from existing arrangements ; what are the implications for awarding and monitoring contracts entered into with external organisations operating job clubs ; how it relates to and affects PACT--placing assessment and counselling--teams and other services for unemployed people with disabilities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the questions has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Ms Clare Short, dated17 March 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Employment has asked me to reply to your question about the new introduction of the Employment Service management structure.
The Employment Service (ES) is setting up a structure of Districts in order to focus more effectively on the delivery of services to its clients, and provide better value for money. Districts will consist of a number of local offices serving discreet local labour markets, and they will be managed through the existing network of ES Regions. The new arrangements become operational from April 1994, when the Area tier of management will cease. The new structure will ensure that more senior managers will be directly responsible for managing resources and performance within districts. The existing network of local offices will remain in place, and continue delivering services to clients.
District Managers will be responsible for awarding contracts to external organisations operating Jobclubs, and for ensuring that these contracts are monitored. In this they will be assisted by programme contracting specialists.
The specialist disability service delivered by Placing, Assessment and Counselling teams (PACTs) will be strengthened by the appointment of Regional managers. Their role is to maximise the potential of PACTs, establish effective working relationships with local offices in the new districts and ensure that the appropriate specialist programmes and services are available for clients.
They will also work with District Managers to provide appropriate help for clients with disabilities who do not need specialist help in funding or retaining work.
I hope this is helpful.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women are employed by the Employment Service ; and what this figure is as a percentage of the total work force of the Employment Service.
Mr Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the questions has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Column 812Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mrs. Ann Clwyd, dated17 March 1994 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the number of women employed by the Employment Service and what percentage of the total workforce this represents.
I have looked at the latest available staff-in-post figures taken at 1 January 1994. These show that we presently employ 49,061 staff. Of this figure 35,119 are women, which represents 71 per cent. of the total workforce.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many rules and regulations his Department has passed in each of the last three years.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 16 March 1994] : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made the following number of statutory instruments in the last three years :
|New |Other |instruments|instruments ------------------------------------------------ 1991 |25 |10 1992 |29 |12 1993 |27 |9
"Other instruments" cover those which amend, replace, or revoke existing instruments, or are commencement orders.
Not all instruments impose requirements or regulations on business.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many self-financing regulatory authorities his Department has set up since 1979 ; what was the annual running cost of each of the self-financing regulatory authorities in each of the last three years ; what is the current staffing establishment ; and what it was last year and two years ago.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 16 March 1994] : None.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women are employed at each civil service grade in his Department as a whole ; and what percentage of each grade is constituted by women.
Miss Widdecombe : The numbers and percentages of women in each grade in the Employment Department Group at 1 January 1994 are set out in the following table :
Women in the Employment Department Group at 1 January 1994 Grade |Number |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------------- Administrative assistant |2,234 |74.7 Administrative officer |24,402 |75.3 Typist |663 |99.7 Executive officer |11,107 |67.8 Administrative trainee |5 |71.4 Management trainee |36 |65.5 Higher executive officer(D) |9 |45.0 Higher executive officer |1,771 |43.1 Senior executive officer |338 |27.5 Grade 7 |182 |24.2 Grade 6 |14 |10.3 Grade 5 |21 |18.8 Grade 4 |0 |0.0 Grade 3 |1 |4.2 Grade 2 |1 |20.0 Grade 1 |0 |0.0
Mr. Kenneth Baker : To ask the Prime Minister whether the 30-year rule applies to the handwritten records of each Cabinet meeting ; and, after the lapse of this time, whether they will be open to public scrutiny.
The Prime Minister : The Cabinet Secretary's handwritten records of Cabinet meetings are regarded as subject to the Public Records Acts which make provision for the release of public records after 30 years. Section 3(4) of the 1958 Act permits the retention of such records for longer than 30 years, subject to the Lord Chancellor's approval.
The question of the release of the notebooks was considered in the summer of 1993, in accordance with a recommendation in the Wilson committee's report on "Modern Public Records", Cmnd. 8204. The Lord Chancellor has approved the continued retention of the notebooks. It is proposed that a further review will take place in 10 years' time.
Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 17 March.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 17 March.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House,
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many square miles of coast have been lost to the sea since 1979.
Mr. Jack : Recent studies suggest that the average annual rate of coastal erosion is probably in the range of 0.08 to 0.2 sq m per year. Much of the material lost as a result of this erosion contributes to coastal accretion or the formation of beaches or banks which provide protection to other coastal areas.
Mr. Sweeney : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the average net annual income of farm owners in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Jack : The farm business survey collects data from a sample of farms throughout the United Kingdom which
Column 814are classified as full-time holdings. Results are not readily available for the United Kingdom as a whole, but the table provides information on the occupier's net income for wholly owner-occupied farms in each of the four home countries in 1992-93.
Occupier's net income on wholly owner occupied farms 1992-93<1> |Average for all |types of farm |£ thousand ------------------------------------------------- England |19.1 Wales |14.6 Scotland<2> |16.7 Northern Ireland |9.1 <1>Occupier's net income represents the return to the principal farmer and spouse for their manual and managerial labour and investment in the farm business. <2>Includes holdings which are wholly and mainly owner occupied.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations she has made to the European Commission about the French emergency aid package for the French fishing industry ; how much of this aid is new money ; for what purposes it is paid ; and what assessment she has made of the resulting advantage of French industry over the United Kingdom industry.
Mr. Jack : According to the announcement by the French Government, the aid package takes a variety of forms, including the rescheduling of loans, social payments to fishermen's families, advancement of reimbursement of market withdrawal costs, government-funded promotion of fish, and reduced national insurance contributions. The European Commission has responsibility for assessing state aids and for overseeing their compliance with articles 92 and 93 of the treaty. We have written to the Commission asking them to consider urgently whether the aid package gives French fishermen an unfair economic advantage and whether all its elements are in accordance with EU legal provisions. I understand that the Commission is actively pursuing this.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the numerical difference between the number of United Kingdom citizens whose primary economic activity is farming and the number of public employees and private contractors employed by her Department.
Mr. Jack : No figures are available on the number of United Kingdom citizens whose primary economic activity is farming.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the notional loss to United Kingdom agricultural producers as a result of the transitional agricultural protection allowed to Austria, Sweden and Finland on their accession to the European Community.
Mr. Jack : The United Kingdom agricultural industry should benefit from the immediate abolition of border
Column 815controls as a result of the agreement by the applicant countries to introduce CAP support prices from the date of accession. While the European Union has authorised Austria, Finland and Norway to introduce transitional, degressive national aids where support levels for particular commodities are significantly reduced, such aids should not adversely effect United Kingdom producers. These arrangements will be approved and supervised by the European Commission to ensure that competition is not distorted.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what checks are carried out to ensure that farm animals coming from Poland are free from radioactive contamination.
Mr. Soames : Council Regulation (EEC) No. 737/90 lays down conditions governing imports into the European Community of agricultural products, including live animals, originating in third countries following the Chernobyl accident. The regulation specifies maximum permitted levels of radioactivity in imported products and requires checks to be made at the point of entry to the Community. In the United Kingdom such checks are the responsibility of port health authorities, acting under the Imported Food Regulations 1984.
Sir Ralph Howell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the overall value of all food and food products imported from other EU countries ; and what proportion, in cost terms of these imports from (a) France and (b) Germany were of (i) meat and (ii) dairy products in 1980, 1990 and the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Jack : The following is the information requested :
Imports of food and food products into the United Kingdom from other EU countries |EU 11 |France |Germany Year |£ million|£ million|£ million -------------------------------------------------- 1980 |2,611 |356 |210 1990 |6,659 |1,043 |621 1992 |7,597 |1,252 |773