Letter from M. Bichard to Mr. David Porter, dated 21 March 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the storage times for clerical records, cashed girocheques and order book foils prior to destruction.
Clerical records are normally kept for a minimum of eighteen months after the cessation of the claim before they are destroyed. Girocheques are destroyed six months after encashment. Since November 1992 they have been put onto microfilm before destruction, and the microfilms are kept for between six and seven years. Order book foils are stored for twelve months after encashment before they are destroyed.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Ray Powell : The question of access by wheelchair-bound visitors to proceedings in the Chamber and Committees will be included in the Committee's forthcoming inquiry into access arrangements for the disabled. If the hon. Member has any suggestion to make in this respect he is invited to write to the Committee.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he will review the system of allocating the Upper Waiting Hall for exhibitions so that hon. Members who win in the ballot cannot enter again in the life of that Parliament ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 169I will ensure that the hon. Member's proposal is considered by the Committee at a future meeting.
Mr. Brazier : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the National Infertility Awareness Campaign to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 20 June to Friday 24 June.
Mr. Brandreth : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the work of the Samaritans to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 18 July to Friday 22 July.
Sir George Gardiner : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to ICSTIS--the Independent Committee of the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services--to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition on the work of the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards for Telecommunications and Information Systems to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 4 July to Friday 8 July.
|Number of |Number of |hon.Members |hon.Members |entered ballot|successful |in ballot ------------------------------------------------------------ 1990 |69 |35 1991 |76 |33 1992 |57 |29 1993 |89 |33 <1>1994 |83 |22 <1>To date.
Column 170fatal, major and minor for the latest available three-month period, shown by region ; and how many ET/training for work providers had contracts terminated (a) in that period and (b) in the three preceding months for reasons of inadequate health and safety.
Region |Fatal |Major |Minor --------------------------------------------------------- South-East |0 |2 |9 London |0 |0 |3 Eastern |0 |0 |4 South-West |0 |1 |7 West Midlands |0 |1 |9 East Midlands |0 |0 |7 Yorkshire and Humberside |0 |1 |23 North-West |0 |3 |16 Northern |0 |1 |11 Scottish Enterprise |0 |2 |14 Highlands and Islands Enterprise |0 |0 |0 Welsh Office |0 |2 |4 |_______|_______|_______ National Totals |0 |13 |107 Notes: 1. Employment Department figures for training for work participants have been compiled on a similar basis to those for employees by the Health and Safety Executive ( HSE). However, the Employment Department's figures also include a number of accidents to trainees in educational establishments, and road traffic accidents, which would not have been reportable to HSE for employees. 2. Major and minor injuries are classified according to the severity criteria laid down in the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985.
Information on training for work provider contracts terminated by training and enterprise councils and local enterprise companies for reasons of inadequate health and safety is not held centrally.
Miss Widdecombe : In Great Britain in December 1993, there were estimated to be 7,600 participants on Government training programmes who were not included in the count of the work force in employment.
Miss Widdecombe : Westbury is part of the Trowbridge and Frome travel-to-work area. In February 1994 the rate of claimant unemployment was 8.1 per cent.--a fall of 1.5 percentage points on a year ago.
Mr. Chisholm : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time jobs there were in the economy in (i) the latest quarter for which figures are available, (ii) the equivalent quarter 12 months previously and (iii) two years ago.
Workforce in employment: Great Britain ( seasonally adjusted) Thousands |Full-time|Part-time -------------------------------------------- December 1991 |18,405 |6,640 December 1992 |17,538 |6,779 December 1993 |17,438 |6,940
Miss Widdecombe : The local Employment Service and training and enterprise councils deliver a wide range of employment, enterprise and training programmes to help young people in the area find the best and quickest route to employment. The Government intend to improve the range of opportunities available to school leavers still further in London and elsewhere by introducing modern apprenticeships in 1995.
Total hours worked by all employees and self-employed Great Britain-not seasonally adjusted Quarter |Total hours |(billions) --------------------------------------- Winter 1992-93 |10.1 Spring 1993 |10.6 Summer 1993 |10.3 Autumn 1993 |10.8 Source: Labour Force Survey.
Miss Widdecombe : In December 1993, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 231,000 employees in employment in the hotel industry, Standard Industrial Classification 665, and 895, 000 in the catering industry, Standard Industrial Classification 661-664, in Great Britain.
Miss Widdecombe : The Department has not contracted with the former skill centres since privatisation. Former skill centres which deliver Government training programmes under contract to training and enterprise councils are subject to the same financial and quality assurance checks as other providers. Therefore, no specific assessment of their record in London has been undertaken.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether any representative of his Department has met Mr. Gerald James, Mr. Michael Cruddas or Mr. Tim Laxton to discuss the sale of armaments ;
(2) what information he has as to the involvement of Mr. Gerald James, Mr. Michael Cruddas or Mr. Tim Laxton in the sale of arms to countries overseas.
Mr. Hanley : My officials had routine contacts with Mr. James in his capacity as chairman of the defence manufacturing company Astra. These contacts may have involved discussions relating to the possible export of equipment manufactured by Astra, but there is no record of this. As we made clear in evidence to the Trade and Industry Select Committee in 1992, meetings were also held to discuss contracts assumed by Astra, following the company's acquisition of the Belgian firm PRB. My Department has no information about Mr. Cruddas or Mr. Laxton and I have no knowledge of any contact between them and MOD officials.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the involvement of the United Kingdom in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and United States Department of Defence-sponsored radiation tests on United States citizens from 1964 to the mid-1970s.
Mr. Hanley : The code of practice on Government information will further improve and reinforce my Department's existing arrangements for the provision of information to the public. Details of the code's implementation will be available at the time of the launch.
Mr. Hanley : To mark World Meteorological Day I shall be opening a special exhibition at the science museum in South Kensington where I will announce recent developments in meteorology and climatology.
Mr. Hanley : My Department has no record of having received any correspondence from organisations regarding the general issue of asbestosis and the armed forces over the last year. It has, however, received letters in that time relating to individual cases from solicitors' offices, coroners' offices and the Department of Social Security.
Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if it is standard practice for records to be kept of the tasks undertaken by members of Her Majesty's armed forces during duty hours and compulsory activities.
Mr. Hanley : In the main, service personnel fill posts with recognised duties attached to them, and records of tasks undertaken are not therefore required. However, for security, administrative, accounting and health and safety reasons certain duties require that records are maintained of work performed.
Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report, column 588, if he will list the occasions in each of the past three years when hunts from his Department's establishments have led to the kill of live quarry.
performance-related pay for service personnel.
Mr. Hanley : The Government have asked the Armed Forces Pay Review Body and the Senior Salaries Review Body to consider whether the concept of performance pay could be applied to the armed forces. The AFPRB has
Column 174decided to appoint management consultants to assist with its work in this area. We envisage that performance pay will also be among the issues which will be addressed by the major independent review of service career and manpower structures and terms and conditions of service, described in my answer of 9 February, Official Report, columns 362-63.
Mr. Aitken : We are currently considering procuring three new types of anti-tank mine : mines in the new century--MINX--vehicle launched scatterable mine system--VLSMS--and aimed controlled effect anti-tank mine- -ACEATM. We are also reviewing our future requirement for anti-tank mines generally and for anti-personnel land mines. We will continue to ensure that any land mine capability we have fully meets the requirements of the international laws of armed conflict.
Mr. Aitken : My Department conducts research into many aspects of mine warfare, including methods of mine location, methods of neutralisation of mines, remote control of mines, limited life mines and self- neutralisation of mines.
These efforts are fully consistent with the international laws of armed conflict, including the 1981 United Nations weaponry convention, protocol 2 of which contains strict rules governing the use of land mines.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) of 10 March, Official Report, column 401, if he will set out the reasons for the issuing of formal directions on each of the occasions listed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : The directions listed in my answer of 10 March were made because the Secretary of State for Defence at the time, or another Defence Minister, had decided, after considering all the factors involved including the advice of the accounting officer, that a particular course of action should be followed. The decisions were :
D Day 40th Anniversary celebrations : To provide transport on Defence Votes for a representative group of veterans to attend the celebrations.
Type 22 Frigate : To place an order for one Type 22 frigate with Cammell Laird and an order for a second with Swan Hunter. Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment : To place the order for the second Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment on a single tender basis.
HMS Endurance replacement : To acquire Polar Circle (already on charter in this role) as the replacement ice patrol ship without a further survey of the market.
Chieftain replacement : To place an order for Challenger 2 as the replacement for the remaining two regiments of Chieftain tanks. RNSD Copenacre : To close the depot in part rather than fully. Image Intensifiers : To place an order for image intensifiers with English Electric Valves.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Warley, West (Mr. Spellar) of 2 March, Official Report, columns 783-84, and his answer of 18 February, Official Report, column 1054, what changes have taken place relating to the length of time of the proposed trial of the United Nations ration supply system ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : The proposed two-month trial of the United Nations ration supply system which was due to commence on 1 April has been delayed as a result of the United Kingdom troops at Tomislavgrad being re-deployed elsewhere in central Bosnia. The trial is now scheduled to commence on 1 May and will last for three months.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 10 February, Official Report, column 483, if he will list the non-Ministry of Defence sources that have been used to purchase special items of ceremonial uniforms.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 4 March, Official Report, column 943, if he will make it his policy to make a statement about the embarked force capability of the landing platform dock replacement once the project definition studies have been completed.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he intends to change the current arrangements that determine accommodation charges in (a) 1995, (b) 1996, or (c) 1997 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : The accommodation charges paid by service personnel for both married and single accommodation are set on the basis of recommendations made by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body. There are no plans to change this arrangement.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to utilise the services of those serving in the armed forces who will be made redundant as a result of the forthcoming cuts in the spending of his Department.
Academic year |Men |Women -------------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |14,600 |10,800 1980-81 |14,000 |10,300 1981-82 |14,800 |11,000 1982-83 |14,100 |10,800 1983-84 |14,000 |10,700 1984-85 |13,600 |11,200 1985-86 |14,800 |12,900 1986-87 |15,600 |13,100 1987-88 |16,600 |15,300 1988-89 |18,700 |17,700 1989-90 |21,000 |21,500 1990-91 |24,300 |25,000 1991-92 |35,900 |35,500 1992-93 |47,126 |45,894
Mr. Boswell : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Coventry, North-East (Mr. Ainsworth) on 18 February, Official Report, column 1019. In addition to Mr. Roger McClure, the council's director of finance who acted as chairman, the panel which interviewed short-listed candidates for the post of head of property services consisted of Ms Di Hill, the council's personnel manager, and Mr. Christopher Jonas, a member of the council with relevant property expertise. The actual appointment was made in the light of subsequent discussions which were conducted by Mr. McClure.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what has been the total cost to his Department of (a) the higher education charter, (b) the further education charter and (c) the parents charter since their inception ; and what are the estimated costs for 1993-94 and the budgeted costs for 1994-95.
Mr. Robin Squire : The cost of the parents charter campaign which was launched in September 1991 was £2.1 million. The further and higher education charters were jointly produced, printed, distributed and advertised in 1993-94. While it is not possible to attribute separate costs to either charter, the total cost of this campaign was £1.4 million.
The cost of the revised parents charter, to be launched later in the spring, is £2.2 million, falling in 1993-94, while the budgeted cost of distribution in 1994-95 is estimated at some £500,000 although contracts have yet to be let.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what minimum level of training and qualifications he proposes to be necessary for a teacher or leader to possess when involved in canoeing and other hazardous sports courses.
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend has no general power to prescribe by regulation requirements of this kind. However, relevant advice is given with respect to a wide range of outdoor activities in the Department's publication "Safety in Outdoor Education". That advice will shortly be supplemented by further guidance on procedures which should be observed by schools and others in the education service in arranging outdoor activities, which takes into account lessons learned from the Lyme bay tragedy.