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ABB

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 15 March, at column 636, how many of the former ABB workers to


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whom he refers have had their unemployment benefit suspended for any period since they were made redundant by ABB.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question 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 Mr. Hugh Bayley, dated 21 March 1994 :

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about people made redundant by ABB Transportation Ltd who have had their unemployment benefit suspended for any period.

For reasons explained in my letter of 24 November, I regret that this information is not available. No records are kept on the number of clients claiming benefit who have been made redundant by a particular company, or about the status of their claim. This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Claims are filed alphabetically by client's name, and it would not be cost effective to make a retrospective check seeking to match clients against redundancy from ABB Transportation Ltd.

I am sorry I cannot be of more help on this occasion.

Equal Opportunities

Mr. Duncan Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the implications of the judgment of the House of Lords in Regina v. Secretary of State for Employment Ex-parte Equal Opportunities Commission and Another.

Miss Widdecombe : The Government are carefully considering this judgment and will take what action may be necessary to comply with its legal obligations.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what number of employed people have been counted (a) twice and (b) more than twice in employment figures in each of the last 15 years.

Miss Widdecombe : Precise information on the number of people with more than one job included in the published work force in employment estimates is not available. However, the labour force survey collects information on the number of people who have two or more paid jobs. A distinction cannot be made between the number of people counted twice or more than twice in the employment figures. Consistent information is available only from 1984 and is given in the table :


Numbers of people with a second 

job: Great Britain              

            |Thousands          

--------------------------------

Spring 1984 |698                

Spring 1985 |778                

Spring 1986 |813                

Spring 1987 |834                

Spring 1988 |960                

Spring 1989 |1,054              

Spring 1990 |1,073              

Spring 1991 |1,074              

Spring 1992 |962                

Spring 1993 |1,029              

Autumn 1993 |1,127              

Source: Labour Force Survey.    

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what are the totals of self-employed in the


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Government employment figures in each of the past 15 years ; and what proportion they are of (a) the employed work force and (b) the population ;

(2) what are the totals of part-time workers included in employment figures in each of the last 15 years ; and what proportion they are of (a) the total employed work force and (b) the total of the population.

Miss Widdecombe : As the information requested is derived from a number of statistical tables, I shall write to the hon. Member and place a copy in the Library.

Outdoor Adventure Centres

Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many commercial outdoor adventure centres are currently operating in England ; and if he will list them by county.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is not collected in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. It is estimated that about 3,000 outdoor activity centres operate in Great Britain.

Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many outdoor adventure centres will be inspected by the Health and Safety Executive between 1 April 1994 and 31 March 1995 ; and if he will list them.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : This is a programme being run jointly by the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities, representatives of which will visit more than 100 activity centres. As an element of surprise is integral to this programme, it would not be helpful to alert the centres concerned to the intention to visit them.

Job Vacancies, Doncaster

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is the current number of unfilled vacancies in the jobcentres in the Doncaster area ; and what was the figure (a) five years and (b) 10 years ago ;

(2) how many vacancies were listed in the Doncaster area jobcentres during (a) December, (b) January, (c) February and (d) at the latest date for which he has figures available ; and if he will make a statement as to the nature of these vacancies.

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 Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 14 March 1994 :

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions about vacancies in Jobcentres in the Doncaster area.

There are six Jobcentres in the Doncaster travel to work area, five in Doncaster and one in Thorne. The Doncaster Jobcentres have one central vacancy taking point.

Information about the current number of unfilled vacancies and the number five and ten years ago is shown in Table 1 attached. The number of vacancies notified in the statistical period 6 December 1993 to 7 January 1994 is shown in Table 2. Information from 8 January is not yet available.

Information about the nature of vacancies is collected on a quarterly basis. During the period covered by your question the information was collected on 7 January and is shown on Table 3. I hope this is helpful.


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Table 1                                         

                Unfilled                        

                vacancies                       

               |Doncaster |Thorne job           

               |jobcentres|centre               

------------------------------------------------

7 January 1994 |384       |67                   

6 January 1989 |338       |42                   

6 January 1984 |166       |20                   


Table 2                                                    

                     |Vacancies notified                   

                     |6 December 1993 to                   

                     |7 January 1994                       

-----------------------------------------------------------

Doncaster jobcentres |316                                  

Thorne jobcentre     |60                                   

                     |--                                   

Total                |376                                  


M

Vacancies notified  |Doncaster         |Thorne job-                          

11 October 1993 to                                                           

7 January 1994      |jobcentres        |centre                               

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Permanent full-time |568               |172                                  

Permanent part-time |417               |60                                   

Temporary full-time |168               |2                                    

Temporary part-time |76                |0                                    

                    |---               |---                                  

Total               |1,229             |234                                  

EDUCATION

Malaysian Airlines

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the dates Ministers, or officials from his Department, including his Department's agencies, have used the Malaysian airline MAS for each year since 1985 including this year to date on official business ; and what was the cost of each flight to his Department.

Mr. Boswell : This information is not collected centrally.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list for the last 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to one of his Department's agencies for answer ; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to his Department this represents.

Mr. Robin Squire : No such referrals have been made during the last 12 months.

Correspondence

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many letters were received from, and written to, hon. Members by him and his ministerial colleagues in February.

Mr. Boswell : Nearly 1,200 letters were received from hon. Members and just over 1,300 replies were dispatched in February 1994.

Mandatory Awards

Mr. Bryan Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the number of mandatory award holders, excluding European Community and sandwich


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students on their placement year, in 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94 ; and what are the projected numbers for 1994-95, 1995- 96 and 1996-97.

Mr. Boswell : The table shows the information requested.


Academic      |Award-holders              

year          |Thousands                  

------------------------------------------

1991-92       |553                        

1992-93       |<1>636                     

1993-94       |<2>719                     

1994-95       |<2>761                     

1995-96       |<2>767                     

1996-97       |<2>763                     

<1>Provisional.                           

<2>Projected.                             

Discretionary Awards

Mr. Bryan Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the total amount spent in current prices on discretionary awards by local authorities in the last three academic years for which figures are available.

Mr. Boswell : Expenditure on discretionary awards by local authorities in England and Wales in 1992-93 constant prices was £231.1 million in 1990-91, £248.9 million in 1991-92 and £238.1 million- -provisional--in 1992-93.

Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what additional help he is proposing to provide to local education authorities to assit them in their role of providing discretionary student awards.

Mr. Boswell : The provision of discretionary awards is a matter for local education authorities. A national survey of LEA discretionary awards- -supported by the Department--is in progress. My right hon. Friend and I will wish to consider carefully the findings of the survey once they are available.

Drop-out Rates

Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what details are kept on the number of students who leave college before the end of term or course for financial reasons ; and if he will list them by area.

Mr. Boswell : Higher education drop-out rates are published in the departmental report. Table 14 in the latest report--Cm 2510--a copy of which is available in the Library, shows that drop-out rates have remained broadly steady over the period from 1982-83 to 1991-92. The Department does not collect information on the reasons why students leave courses prematurely, whether it is for financial reasons or otherwise ; nor does it collect data by area.

Higher Education

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what information he has about the numbers of applicants for places in higher education institutions who decline to give information about the occupation of parents ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Boswell : In 1991-92, of the 274,255 United Kingdom applicants to the polytechnics central admissions


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system 37,277--13.6 per cent.--failed to answer the relevant question on the application form. The corresponding figures for applicants to the Universities Central Council on Admissions were 21,884--9.1 per cent.--out of 241,660 applicants.

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if students applying for places in higher education have the right to see references given about them to the institutions.

Mr. Boswell : This is a matter for the institutions themselves and the individuals and bodies supplying the references, except where the references are held on computer, which are subject to the access provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984.

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what purpose his Department uses local education authorities to transfer mandatory awards of maintenance grants and tuition and college fees to students and institutions of higher education.

Mr. Boswell : Local education authorities have been under a duty since 1962 to make mandatory awards to eligible students. Regulations made under the Education Act 1962 require LEAs to decide the eligibility of students ; to assess and meet their maintenance requirements ; and to pay specified fees in respect of their course. Since 1 April 1990 my right hon. Friend has paid specific grant to LEAs at 100 per cent. for this expenditure.

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what are the numbers of full-time students in higher education institutions who are (a) home-based, (b) living away from the parents' home and studying in London or (c) living away from the parents' home and studying elsewhere.

Mr. Boswell : Information on term-time accommodation of all full- time higher education students is not held centrally. However, data for students in receipt of mandatory awards are shown in the table.


Mandatory awards held by students domiciled in        

England and Wales                                     

1991-92                                               

Rate received             |Numbers                    

------------------------------------------------------

Parental home rate        |49,800                     

London rate of grant      |76,800                     

"Elsewhere" rate of grant |413,800                    

National Curriculum

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to safeguard access to the national curriculum for members of ethnic minorities who have English language difficulties (a) nationally and (b) in Coventry.

Mr. Robin Squire : Provision for the education of pupils from minority ethnic groups who have English language difficulties is primarily a matter for schools and local education authorities. Authorities with high proportions of children with origins outside predominantly English-speaking countries generally receive within their education standard spending assessment higher allowances to spend per pupil than other authorities in otherwise


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comparable circumstances. Nationally, when undertaking the recent review of Education SSAs for the 1994-95 financial year, we took account of the reduction in the section 11 grant rate. But SSAs are not prescriptive and Coventry will remain responsible for determining its own spending priorities.

Fuel Bills

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what information he has regarding special companies created by colleges and universities to accept advance payments for annual fuel bills for the next five years ; and if the funding councils will be asked to take into account such payments.

Mr. Boswell : My right hon. Friend is not aware that any special companies have been established by colleges or universities for the purpose of accepting advance payments for fuel bills, but he understands that colleges in the further education sector have received advice from independent consultants on schemes for paying fuel bills in advance. Where any such schemes entailed borrowing by colleges above a certain level, the consent of the Further Education Funding Council would be required. It would be for individual colleges to determine how to meet the cost of borrowing.

Teaching Posts (Applications)

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to ensure that local education authorities treat applications for teaching posts from both locally managed and grant- maintained schools equally on individual merits ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robin Squire : When a school has a delegated budget under the local management of schools scheme, it is the governing body that decides which teachers should be appointed to any vacant posts at the school. The local education authority may offer advice, but cannot insist on a school appointing only candidates of which it approves. The Department's publications for school governors stress that all applicants for posts must be judged on their merits.

Undergraduates (Personal Identifiers)

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will bring forward proposals to allow the University and College Admissions Service and the Student Loans Company to make use of national insurance numbers as personal identifiers.

Mr. Boswell : My right hon. Friend has no plans to bring forward such proposals.

Post-16 Courses

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will bring forward proposals to ensure that all school pupils have a right of access to information about all post-16 courses available in their locality.

Mr. Boswell : Under the Education Act 1993, maintained schools, and city technology colleges, are now required to distribute to their year 11 pupils information published and supplied to them by local colleges. This complemented by the guidance on the whole range of


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post-16 options in the publication "It's Your Choice", and by information on school and college performance in the comparative tables published by the Department.

Cornish Language, History and Culture

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what are the totals of money spent from his Department on promoting Cornish language, history and culture in each of the past 15 years.

Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend does not make specific provision for this purpose. Schools are free to teach the Cornish language if there is sufficient demand and they have the resources to do so. National curriculum geography requires that all pupils develop a knowledge and understanding of their local area and there is provision in national curriculum history to study local history.

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many approaches his Department's territorial teams have received from parents who have failed to get their children admitted to the grant-maintained school of their choice ; and what plans he has to begin keeping a central record of such approaches.

Mr. Robin Squire : The Department does not keep detailed records of different categories of written and telephone inquiries from members of the public. There are no present plans to collect data on the number of approaches made to members of the Department's school territorial teams about the specific issue of admissions to grant-maintained schools. Both the Department and the Office for Standards in Education have however noted that when a school becomes grant-maintained there tends to be an increase in the number of applications for admission.

Ethnic Minorities

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to monitor the effects of reductions in section 11 funding (a) nationally and (b) in Coventry.

Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend will continue to monitor the standard of educational provision for all pupils including those for whom English is not their first language, through the Office for Standards in Education.

National Curriculum Council

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 2 February, Official Report, column 737, how many square yards of carpet woven with the NCC logo were purchased by the National Curriculum Council for its offices in York ; and from whom it was purchased.

Mr. Robin Squire : Approximately 275 sq yds of the carpet is currently in place in the former NCC offices in York but information on how much carpet was purchased by the NCC and from whom is not held centrally and is not identifiable from published NCC documents.


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NORTHERN IRELAND

Public Interest Immunity Certificates

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when, and for what reasons, he or any other Minister has signed a public interest immunity cerificate in connection with the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976.

Sir Patrick Mayhew : Neither I nor any other Northern Ireland Office Minister has signed such a certificate since I became Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Interdepartmental Co-operation

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the steps he has taken to develop co-operation between Departments in the Northern Ireland Office and the Scottish Office on trade, industry and transport matters.

Mr. Tim Smith : Northern Ireland officials regularly meet their counterparts from the Scottish Office on areas of mutual interest in trade, industry and transport. Those include inward investment, electricity interconnection and transportation links. The permanent secretary of the Department of Economic Development and his senior colleagues will be meeting the secretary and top officials of the Scottish Office Industry Department in May in Belfast.

Community Care

Rev. Ian Paisley : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy that the moneys from both the people first budget and the transfer from protected rights are utilised solely for community care and not for capital projects.

Mr. Ancram : The people first community care allocation, which includes the social security transfer, is earmarked for community care services. To secure a comprehensive range of community services it will be necessary for health and social services boards to spend capital relevant to community care such as aids, equipment, transport and day care facilities.

Poultry

Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many poultry birds were slaughtered in each year since 1988 in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Ancram : Total recorded poultry slaughterings in Northern Ireland in each year since 1988 were as follows :


8

Million birds                                           

              |Total        |of which,                  

              |slaughterings|broilers                   

--------------------------------------------------------

1988          |39.12        |37.37                      

1989          |35.19        |33.87                      

1990          |41.71        |39.82                      

1991          |45.74        |43.90                      

1992          |52.03        |49.63                      

1993          |55.91        |54.12                      

Eggs

Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what were the figures for egg consumption in Northern Ireland for each year since 1988.


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Mr. Ancram : The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Open Government

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what will be the implications for the operation of his Department of the code of practice on open government.

Sir John Wheeler : The code of practice will reinforce and build on existing arrangements for the provision of information by the Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office. Operational arrangements within each Department will be announced in the near future.

Product and Process Development Scheme

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 9 March, Official Report, columns 260- 61, what was the total number of applications for (a) the number of companies participating in and (b) the number of first-time users of the product and process development scheme so far in 1993-94 ; and what were the comparable figures in the previous year.

Mr. Tim Smith : So far in 1993-94, 113 companies --43 first-time users--have submitted 173 applications under the product and process development scheme compared to 65 companies--24 first-time users--and 153 applications in 1992-93.

Airports Police

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what procedures will exist for the Northern Ireland airport police to have access to information contained in the police computers operated by the RUC, Home Office forces and Scotland's constabularies, following the airports police privatisation.

Mr. Tim Smith : The Northern Ireland airports constabulary does not and will not have direct access to information held on computers operated by the RUC, Home Office forces or Scottish constabularies. Where the airport police require such information to carry out their duty, they will seek advice from the local RUC, as is the case at present.

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to ensure that the Northern Ireland airport police will be subject to all existing criminal evidence procedure and legislation following their privatisation.

Mr. Tim Smith : The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 has been amended for that purpose and will apply to all airport constabularies authorised under article 19 of the Airports (Northern Ireland) Order 1994.

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what arrangements will be made to ensure that the Northern Ireland airport police continue to be subject to the existing police complaints procedures following their privatisation.


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Mr. Tim Smith : The present arrangement between Northern Ireland Airports Ltd. and the Independent Commission for Police Complaints for Northern Ireland will be extended to the successor company after privatisation of the airport.

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will review the decision to privatise the Northern Ireland airport police following the decision to review security at United Kingdom's international airports.

Mr. Tim Smith : A detailed review of security at Belfast international airport has just been completed and Government security advisers are content with the proposed arrangements for policing after privatisation.

HMS Caroline

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will seek to retain HMS Caroline in Belfast, following its de- commission, as a floating maritime museum and tourist attraction.

Mr. Ancram : I understand that there are no plans to de-commission HMS Caroline.

Imperial War Museum

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what arrangements exist for the collection of the imperial war museum to be exhibited in Northern Ireland.


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