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Mr. Murphy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what provisions there are in the grant-maintained regulations to pay a special purpose grant for staff restructuring after the first 12 months of a grant- maintained school's existence ;
(2) what additional financial assistance he has provided to Cwmcarn grant- maintained school, in order to facilitate the departure of the former head teacher.
(Grant-maintained Schools) (Finance) Regulations 1990, the Secretary of State is empowered to make grants to the governing bodies of grant- maintained schools in respect of the premature retirement of any person who is or was a member of the staff of the school. In the case of the former head of Cwmcarn grant-maintained school, my right hon. Friend was prepared to contribute £9,191 towards the costs associated with his early retirement.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received from voluntary organisations in Wales on the Local Government (Wales) Bill [ Lords ] ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The town and county of residence of each appointee is given in "Appointments by the Secretary of State for Wales" and the address of each executive non-departmental public body is given in the respective annual reports. These publications are available in the Library of the House.
It would be an invasion of privacy to publish full details of individual appointees' addresses.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make available in public libraries and local government offices in Wales the publication "Public Bodies--Appointments by the Secretary of State for Wales".
Mr. Redwood : The quarterly list of appointments is available in the Library of the House and the Welsh Office, Cathays Park, Cardiff. The Department makes arrangements for individuals to consult the Welsh Office library
Column 195copy on request. The costs of making the publication available in public libraries and local government offices are not justified.
(2) what research the Welsh Office has undertaken into the problem of upland acidification in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : I refer the hon. Member to the environmental chapter of "Research, Wales--20th Report 1992-93" a copy of which is held in the science and environment section of the Library of the House.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to ensure that agricultural tenants are ensured minimum tenancy agreements of 15 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : A statutory minimum term has never featured in our proposals for agricultural tenancy reforms ; nor is it included in the common position agreed by the majority of farming organisations and announced by the Government on 8 December. In the light of that agreement, we are now finalising details so that legislation can be introduced as soon as parliamentary time permits.
Sir Wyn Roberts : Under the "next steps" initiative, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has decided that the highways directorate of the Welsh Office should be considered as a candidate for executive agency status. A prior options review is being undertaken to establish whether agency status or some other option would be appropriate. Those undertaking the review will be consulting local authorities in Wales. My right hon. Friend and I would welcome comments from other interested parties. These should be sent, by 31 May 1994, to : The Under Secretary, Transport, Planning and Environment Group, The Welsh Office, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF1 3NQ.
Ms Jane Davidson, Mr. Meirion Edwards, Mr. Frank Evans, Mr. Keith Evans, Ms Katrina Gass, Mr. Peter Griffiths, Ms Caroline Ireland, Mr. Gerallt Jones, Mr. Geraint Stanley Jones CBE, Mr. Myles Pepper, Mr. David Richards, Mr. Alwyn Roberts, Mr. Eurig Thomas, Professor Gwyn Thomas and Ms Moira Vincentelli.
The members have been appointed for three years, apart from Mr. Frank Evans, Mr. Keith Evans and Mr. Eurig Thomas, who have been appointed for two years.
Column 196The council will have a wide range of experience in arts matters and expertise in many fields. Under the chairmanship of Sir Richard Lloyd Jones, the council will build on the work of the existing Welsh Arts Council to achieve its main aims of encouraging artistic excellence and increasing accessibility to the arts through Welsh and English.
I would also pay tribute to the members of the Welsh Arts Council who are not being re-appointed. They have played an important role in the development of the arts in Wales.
Mrs. Jane Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology concerning its proposals for the establishment of two satellite cancer treatment units in north Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones [holding answer 18 March 1994] : The decision to develop a cancer treatment centre in north Wales was taken following extensive examination and consultation with interested and affected organisations and included consideration of the proposals for satellite cancer treatment units put forward by the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology. In the course of this, my right hon. Friend's predecessor discussed the proposals with the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology and officials had extensive discussions with the centre and others.
Mrs. Jane Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the National Audit Office concerning the viability of the establishment of a new cancer treatment centre at Glan Clwyd NHS trust hospital as against the development of networked radiotherapy facilities located in two centres in north Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones [holding answer 18 March 1994] : Officials are discussing a range of issues associated with the establishment of a cancer treatment centre at ysbyty Glan Clwyd with the National Audit Office.
Mrs. Jane Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what research his Department has carried out on the viability of establishing a cancer treatment centre at Glan Clwyd NHS trust hospital ; and what research his Department has carried out on alternative proposals for the provision of cancer treatment facilities in north Wales, including those of Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology.
Mr. Gwilym Jones [holding answer 18 March 1994] : In addition to its own investigations, the Welsh Office commissioned a number of independent appraisals of all the available options for improving cancer services for north Wales patients prior to the decision to develop a cancer treatment centre at Glan Clwyd Hospital NHS trust. The appraisals covered proposals put forward by the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology.
Mrs. Jane Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Clwyd, North-West (Mr. Richards) of 14 March, Official Report, column 604, what form the new cancer treatment facility in north Wales will take ; and what is the estimated cost of the new cancer treatment centre.
Column 197a cancer treatment centre at ysbyty Glan Clwyd is undertaking the detailed planning process which will identify the exact form that the new centre will take and its associated costs.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will issue guidelines to local authorities in Wales based on the report to the President of the Board of Trade and the Secretary of State for the Environment, submitted by the packaging industry producer responsibility group entitled, "Real Value from Packaging Waste--A Way Forward".
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to earmark specific grants for demonstration schemes in recycling municipal waste by Welsh local authorities ; what representations he has had from Cardiff city council in relation to the costs and benefits already achieved from its green bag recycling, and its possible extension ; and if he will make a statement.
Cardiff city council has made a number of representations seeking additional revenue support for recycling schemes. As the arrangements for distributing resources are agreed with the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government Finance, the city council has been advised to pursue the matter with Council of Welsh Districts representatives on that body.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he proposes to ensure that Welsh local authorities are not omitted from any general Government initiatives to support existing recycling schemes or new recycling initiatives, with particular reference to those initiatives based on the Valpak scheme proposed by the packaging industry producer responsibility group.
Mr. Redwood : Local authorities themselves take steps to ensure that they take advantage of existing and new initiatives, including any opportunities to increase recycling activity in their area that may be presented by the producer responsibility group's proposals for packaging waste. I am keen to see local authorities in Wales hit the target for recycling one quarter of all household waste.
The cost of purchases are included in the entertainment expenditure for my Department which is published in the annual report.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the expenditure committed on the ETIS--environment technology innovation scheme--programme ; how many projects were supported ; what was the regional distribution of expenditure and projects ; how many applications there were in total ; how many such applications were rejected because the scheme had closed ; and on which date the scheme was closed for new applications.
Mr. McLoughlin : The environmental technology innovation scheme, ETIS, jointly managed by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment, was launched on 2 October 1990 and closed to new applications on 30 September 1993.
The information requested is as follows :
Region/Country |Applications |Applications |Grants awarded|Expenditure |received |received after |committed £ |closure date ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East |167 |- |9 |1,728,055 East |39 |- |3 |564,180 South West |47 |- |- |- East Midlands |34 |- |2 |138,025 West Midlands |62 |1 |8 |1,494,910 Yorkshire and Humberside |40 |- |3 |584,699 North West |65 |1 |7 |1,064,020 North East |19 |- |1 |24,186 Scotland |33 |- |1 |835,120 Wales |14 |- |- |- Northern Ireland |1 |- |- |- Non United Kingdom |1 |- |- |- |----- |----- |----- |----- Totals |522 |2 |34 |6,433,195
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list all Parcelforce depots as at 1 April 1993 ; when each depot was opened ; whether each depot is proposed for closure or has already shut ; and what were the total costs in expenditure and lost jobs in the closure programme so far.
Mr. McLoughlin : Parcelforce is in the process of converting its depot network so that each depot is capable of handling the business's entire product range, instead of being product-specific. This move is designed to help Parcelforce maintain and improve its service to customers. Details of the programme are a matter for the Post Office. The hon. Member's interest in this subject has been brought to the attention of the Post Office.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what differences exist in terms of (a) recording for public sector borrowing requirement plans, (b) capital programme accounting for public expenditure plans, (c) external financing limit controls, (d) powers to raise capital between the Post Office and British Nuclear Fuels plc ; and what return there will be for the Exchequer from both enterprises in the current financial year.
Mr. Heseltine : The Post Office is a public corporation and its borrowing requirement is counted as part of the PSBR. Its capital expenditure is controlled through the external financing limit set in the annual public expenditure round. The EFL limits its ability to raise finance over and above that generated internally.
British Nuclear Fuels plc is a Companies Acts company classified to the private sector. It is not set an EFL, but the relevant objectives, including in relation to capital projects, are met through targets on profitability and the corporate plan cycle. The extent of guaranteed borrowing by BNFL is limited by the Nuclear Industry (Finance) Act 1977, as amended.
In 1993-94 the Post Office has been set a negative external financing limit of £181 million. A negative EFL represents a net cash payment to the Exchequer in the form of debt repayment and/or accumulation of financial assets.
BNFL makes outright payments to the Exchequer in the form of dividends which are recorded on the income side of the Government accounts. The dividend paid in 1993-94 was £16 million.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. Byers) of 9 March, Official Report, column 252, what was the share of defence in total over all Export Credits Guarantee Department project businesses in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
|Saudi Arabia|Iraq ---------------------------------------------------- 1980-81 |0 |0 1981-82 |0 |0.44 1982-83 |0.28 |0.34 1983-84 |0 |0 1984-85 |0.39 |0.08 1985-86 |0 |0 1986-87 |0 |0 1987-88 |0 |0 1988-89 |21.77 |0 1989-90 |0 |0 1991-92 |0 |0 1992-93 |5.92 |0
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer given to the hon. Member for Milton Keynes, North-East (Mr. Butler), of 8 March, Official Report, column 204, if he will explain the original reasons for the suspension of the exceptional projects scheme and for the extension of the suspension to 30 June 1994 ; for how many years the scheme was in operation ; and how many projects there were and with how much expenditure in each year of the scheme's existence.
The scheme was open for applications in the five years 1988-89 to 1992-93. In that time, 60 projects were submitted, of which only three succeeded in meeting the criteria. Two offers of grant totalling £5 million were approved in 1989-90 and one of £20 million in 1992-93.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will ensure that all companies and enterprises involved in Government contracts as a result of market testing or outsourcing programmes will observe the requirements of FRED 8, the Accounting Standards Board exposure draft on related party disclosure.
Column 201the draft in the light of those comments. When it becomes a standard all companies and enterprises within its scope will have to comply with it.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the dates on which companies containing the name Thermabond have gone into insolvency ; and which of those insolvencies have resulted in a referral to his disqualification unit.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The liquidator, administrator or administrative receiver of any company which enters into formal insolvency is required to consider and make a report to my Department on the conduct of the directors.
Thermabond Ltd. and Thermabond Roofing Ltd. went into voluntary liquidation on 24 September 1991 and reports have been received from the liquidator of those companies. Thermabond Contracts Ltd. went into voluntary liquidation on 1 February 1994 and a report will be due by 1 August 1994.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the members, occupations and present enterprise links of the chemicals and pharmaceuticals deregulation task force ; and what regulations they have been examining.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The report "Deregulation Task Forces : Proposals for Reform" which was published on 19 January and placed in the Library of the House gives details of the membership of all the task forces and their recommendations. Working papers which give fuller details of the areas examined by each task force will be placed in the Library of the House shortly.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list all his schemes and services for the promotion of environmental technology that are current together with the expenditure on, and projects supported by, each scheme or service estimated up to 1 April.
Mr. McLoughlin : My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade announced on 7 December 1993, Official Report, column 149, a joint programme with the Department of the Environment aimed at encouraging the adoption by industry of best practice in environmental technology and techniques. The Department, in association with the DoE, is currently developing this programme which will be launched later in 1994. The Department will be contributing £11 million to this £16 million programme which is due to run for five years. The programme will concentrate on the provision and delivery of information to industry rather than on grant assistance. It will build on the experience of grant schemes to support research and demonstration of innovative environmental technology which closed to new applications during 1993.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the operation of the dispute settlement panel which will be invoked under the agreement establishing the Multilateral Trade Organisation where a member state fails to bring a measure found to be inconsistent with a covered agreement into compliance.
Mr. Needham : Dispute settlement panels in the proposed World Trade Organisation dispute settlement system will provide expert arbitration on disputed rights and obligations between members of the WTO. In circumstances where, following dispute settlement proceedings, a WTO member failed to bring a measure into conformity with its obligations, the member would be able to offer compensatory market access, or face retaliation by the aggrieved member. Both compensation and retaliation would be proportional to the impairment involved.
Mr. Madden : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) under what provision Oftel may (a) regulate international call charges levied by United Kingdom telephone companies and (b) make representations to overseas telephone companies about false-answer defects ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what plans he has to ensure that the level of international telephone call charges and related matters are subject to regular scrutiny ;
(3) what discussions he has had with United Kingdom telephone companies about appropriate action to warn their customers making calls to certain Asian and African countries of the charges arising from false-answer defects ; and if he will encourage United Kingdom telephone companies to tell customers how to claim refunds when they are charged for international calls not made ;
(4) which Asian and African countries have telephone systems which result in United Kingdom telephone companies charging customers for international calls not made because of false-answer defects ; and with which Ministers of which of these countries he has held or proposes to hold talks about the problem.
Mr. McLoughlin : My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has had no representations on this matter. The resolution of inaccurate billing resulting from calls that are not completed but that accrue charges because of a defect in equipment at the far end is a commercial matter for BT and Mercury. Customers should contact BT and Mercury in the first instance. Where customers are not satisfied with the redress they receive from companies they contact Oftel.
Oftel received less than a dozen complaints on this matter between October 1992 and June 1993, including calls to Nigeria and Pakistan. The problem does not affect more than a small proportion of the calls to the countries concerned. In the normal course of events United Kingdom telephone operators cannot detect the problem until alerted by customers, who are able to do so because of itemised billing. They have, however, made representations to telecommunications operators in the countries concerned.
Both companies have been quick to rectify genuine mistakes in bills resulting from these faults and have made good-will payments to customers. Oftel and my
Column 203Department have not become involved in these commercial matters. In cases where customers have been refunded as a result of billing errors, BT and Mercury have nevertheless had to stand the loss resulting from having to make call delivery payments to operators at the far end.
Under condition 24 of its licence, BT is subject to restriction of prices for a range of services which includes international telephone calls. At present this restriction stands at retail prices index minus 7.5 per cent. This formula is next due for review in 1997. BT demonstrates to Oftel that it is complying with price restriction on the basis of a methodology agreed with Oftel.
Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Member to the magazine "Independent", which published the annual disability report in its issue of Friday 18 March 1994, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
(2) what steps the Government have taken to encourage the development of safe substitutes for dry cleaning fluids.
(i) a project under the environmental management options scheme DEMOS lead by Master Services Group with a grant of £134,332 over 13 months to support the research and development of a hydrocarbon non-halogenated fluid ; and
(ii) an award of £45,000 made under the small firms merit award for research and technology to assist a project lead by ECO Cleansing Products, aimed at combing the use of a new solvent with ultrasound and de- humidification chambers.