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Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the capital expenditure of Tai Cymru and housing associations in Wales on administration in the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received on the subject of reductions in the hill livestock compensatory allowances ; and if he will make a statement.
representations to me on this subject.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received during the last six months on the question of amalgamation of Welsh police forces ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many hospitals are currently managed by health boards in Wales ; what percentage of total bed provision these hospitals represent ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : In Wales, 76 hospitals, 50 per cent. of total beds, are managed by health authorities, 81 hospitals, 50 per cent. of total beds, by NHS trusts. On 1 April 1994, 10 further NHS trusts will be established taking the total of NHS trust-managed hospitals to 127,73 per cent. of total beds.
Sir Wyn Roberts : My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Wales wrote to the chairman of the Further Education Funding Council for Wales on 27 May 1992 to provide broad guidance on the functions of the council--on Government policies which are relevant to the exercise of those functions and on particular matters to which the council should have regard. That guidance has been supplemented by further indications of the Government's policies for the further education sector in the annual letter sent to the council notifying it of expenditure provision for the following financial year. Copies of the letters have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from those involved in agriculture in Wales on the designation of sheep scab as a non-notifiable disease ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : A number of representations have been made for the Government to impose statutory controls in respect of sheep scab. However, this is a disease which can be controlled readily by individual farmers, who are well aware of the preventive measures and procedures needed to deal with it. Most of the detailed measures on the control of sheep scab were removed in July 1992. The Government have already announced that they will complete this process, and have no other plans to require the notification of sheep scab.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when his office received a copy of the report prepared by the auditors Coopers and Lybrand on the debts owed to and outstanding insurance claims of South Glamorgan county council ; if he will place a copy of the report in the Library ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales 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. Redwood : Farmers wishing to diversify may qualify for assistance from a number of sources. The Wales tourist board provides assistance for farm tourism developments in Wales under the provisions of section 4 of
Column 314the Development of Tourism Act 1969. The Welsh Development Agency and the Development Board for Rural Wales operate the rural conversion grant scheme which assists with the conversion of redundant buildings in rural areas with the aim of bringing them back into productive use.
Financial assistance is also available under the DRIVE scheme--development of rural initiative, venture and enterprise--which is designed to stimulate private sector activity in deprived rural areas.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what funding has been made available in each of the past five years to health boards for screening of osteoporosis ; how many women in Wales have been screened for osteoporosis in each of the past five years ; how many clinics in health boards and trust board areas exist for the specific purpose of screening for osteoporosis ; how many women have been diagnosed as suffering from osteoporosis in the past five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : There is no national population screening programme for osteoporosis, and therefore no central funding, as there is not yet evidence to show that such a programme would be effective. Health authorities are responsible for assessing need and for ensuring that suitable diagnostic services for individual women are made available.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations relating to future funding provision he has received from voluntary organisations in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what grants were made to F. L. Steelcraft and F. L. Steelcraft Ltd. of Borth, Aberystwyth, Wales from public funds ; and on what dates payments were made to these companies.
Mr. Redwood : Under long-standing arrangements the formula for distributing revenue support grant is agreed with the local authority associations and ratified by the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government Finance. A meeting would not be appropriate.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the implications for his plans to encourage greater tourism in Wales of contamination of north Wales beaches from radioactive pollution discharges from Sellafield.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Details of the latest recorded levels of radioactivity on the north Wales coast can be found in the "Aquatic Environment Monitoring Report", No. 38, 1992, published by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. A copy of the report is available in the Library of the House. The report indicates that the levels of radioactivity on north Wales beaches are not significant and are well within internationally agreed limits. It is not expected that this will have a detrimental effect on the tourist industry.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his response to the publication on 17 March of the Welsh region National Rivers Authority reports on ferriginous minewater impacts in Welsh coalfields.
Mr. Watson : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each purchasing health authority in Wales, the figures for revenue funding in 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95, and the estimated figures for 1995 -96 and 1996-97 ; and if he will identify the changes for each health authority's revenue budget resulting from the replacement of the resource allocation working party system of determining funding allocation.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The information requested in respect of the revenue funding of each purchasing authority in the period 1992-93 to 1994- 95 together with projections of allocations in the years 1995-96 and 1996- 97 is as follows :
Revenue allocation<1> |1992-93 |<2>1993-94 |<2>1994-95 |Projected |Projected |<2><3>1995-96|<2><3>1996-97 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |176.861 |177.062 |182.184 |184.662 |187.163 East Dyfed |107.960 |108.857 |111.951 |112.062 |112.172 Gwent |199.564 |189.955 |196.175 |197.490 |198.814 Gwynedd |105.782 |109.701 |114.998 |115.946 |116.902 Mid Glamorgan |243.622 |247.241 |255.927 |257.231 |258.544 Pembrokeshire |47.941 |48.350 |49.959 |50.218 |50.479 Powys |60.534 |63.842 |64.092 |63.244 |62.387 South Glamorgan |209.111 |214.001 |221.564 |221.169 |220.767 West Glamorgan |160.939 |161.338 |166.403 |166.811 |167.220 <1>Allocations prior to deduction of the hospital and community health element of GP Fundholder budgets. <2>Allocations from 1992-93 onwards reflect reductions in respect of the costs of education and training when responsibility for the purchase of education and training from education providers pass to central control. <3>Projected allocations based on latest resource planning assumption which, for planning purposes only, reflect 0.5 per cent. per annum real terms growth.
Collection and processing of cross-boundary data used for the revenue formula assessment by the resource allocation working group was discontinued when the weighted capitation formula for allocating health authority revenue funding was introduced in 1991-92. The identification of differences between notional allocations under the previous methodology and allocations made to authorities under the current methodology therefore cannot be provided other than at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many licence applications he has received for the killing of cormorants or goosanders to prevent serious damage to fisheries in the last year ; how many have been granted ; how many are still to be determined ; and which river or locality is involved in each case.
Mr. Redwood : The Department has received two applications relating to the river Usk, and one each for the river Wye, the river Dovey and Llyn Cefni on Anglesey. All five applications have been rejected. Two applications for the Usk have yet to be determined.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consideration he has given to the report on the basis for policy relating to avian piscivores which was commissioned by the National Rivers Authority and its subsequent position statement on cormorants and sawbill ducks, dated 1 March.
Mr. Redwood : The report provides a valuable contribution to the debate on the controversial issue of the effect of bird predation on freshwater fisheries, and identifies the need for further research in this field. The report has only recently been published, and interested parties will be considering its recommendations and the National Rivers Authority's position statement.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people were not on waiting lists for treatment but were waiting to see a specialist in the national health service for each quarter in the last two years.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 24 February, Official Report, column 417, if he will make a statement on the circumstances which led to the final directions, the sums of public money involved, and in what ways his Department informed hon. Members and the Committee of Public Accounts of these directions.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 3 March 1994] : I understand that on both occasions urgent decisions were required in respect of the Welsh development agency's investment in the Parrot Corporation. In 1985 Treasury approval for a £750,000 guarantee from the Welsh development agency to the Parrot Corporation was given on condition that it would be used as a facility of last resort. In October 1985 an immediate decision was required in order to ensure that refinancing negotiations which were under way at the time did not collapse and the then Secretary of State authorised the accounting officer to waive the condition.
In April 1988 another immediate decision was required and the then Secretary of State authorised the accounting officer, in the absence of Treasury authority, to approve funding of £58,500 by the WDA to enable the agency to take up its share of a rights issue in order to allow the agency to maintain its shareholding and to remove a contingent liability.
On both occasions the circumstances described were considered to fall within the provisions of paragraph 11 of the then accounting officer memorandum, that is, issues not of formal propriety or regularity but more widely of prudent and economical administration. This did not require notification to the Comptroller and Auditor General. The Department drew the circumstances to the attention of the National Audit Office in the course of a subsequent inquiry.
Column 318gene bank in Trinidad, (b) by the CATIE cocoa gene bank in Costa Rica, (c) the international cocoa germplasm database at Reading, Berkshire and (d) the international cocoa quarantine station at Reading, Berkshire in each of the last five years.
Mr. Jack : MAFF has not provided financial assistance to any of those bodies. I refer the hon. Member, however, to the answer given on 21 March by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, at column 26.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many livestock units on average are considered necessary for a less- favoured area farm in England to be classified as a full-time commercial farm in 1964, 1973, 1979 and according to the most recent information available.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many less-favoured area farms in England of fewer than eight, eight to 16, 16 to 28, 28 to 40, 40 to 60, 60 to 100, 100 to 200 and 200 livestock units and over draw more than 25 per cent., 50 per cent., 75 per cent. or the full 100 per cent. of their total income from the farm business ; how many farmers in total, for each of the size brackets, have secondary employment ; and how many have secondary employment which contributes over 50 per cent. of their total income.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The information is not available in the form requested. Some information on the incomes of farmers from both farm and non-farm sources is published in "Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom".
Mr. Jack : As far as the annual cost of consultants is concerned I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 10 February 1994 to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher), Official Report, columns 429-30.
There is no central record of the numbers of contracts prior to 1990-91. For the remaining years the approximate numbers are as follows :
Financial year |Approximate |number of |contracts --------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |34 1991-92 |71 1992-93 |111
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will place in the Library a copy of the advice note dated 12 October 1993, issued by her Department to the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service, on the consultation procedures for the licensed killing of birds under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : There is no unequivocal scientific evidence so far of the occurrence of either maternal or horizontal transmission of BSE. If either is occurring it is happening so infrequently that it is undetectable against the current background level of disease caused by contaminated feed. It is clear that although maternal transmission, if it is occurring, would increase the cumulative total of BSE cases, on its own it would be insufficient to perpetuate the epidemic under British farming conditions. The effect of horizontal transmission on the BSE epidemic would depend on the frequency and circumstances of its occurrence. DUCHY OF LANCASTER
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what evidence he has as to the effect on the quality of service to the public of market-testing and privatisation of civil service activities since November 1991.
Mr. Waldegrave : Departments estimate that quality of service will improve in over a third of activities which have been included in the competing for quality programme for 1992-93 and will be maintained in the remainder.
Mr. Waldegrave : The estimate of savings made on4 November 1993 and published in the citizens charter second report on 16 March was based on reports made by Departments on their expectation of future performance of a service, and set against costs currently incurred.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the decision was taken to allow direct contracting out of civil service activities without an opportunity for an in-house bid to be considered.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what role he has in monitoring Government public relations, advertising, press releases and publicity for accuracy and honesty and to ensure that it is not knowingly misleading.
In addition to the information provided by Property Holdings in respect of the common user estate, the Cabinet Office also occupies property on its own departmental estate. The Cabinet Office has no departmental property which is not currently occupied. The Civil Service college, an agency of the Office of Public Service and Science, has one students accommodation block vacant, undergoing refurbishment.
Her Majesty's Stationery Office has two warehouse properties surplus to its requirement. One is currently for sale, the other is being prepared for sale.
The Central Office of Information has no property which is currently unoccupied.