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Biodiversity

Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he has had with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation regarding its expertise in biodiversity, particularly in respect of discussions on the global environment facility ; and what action the Government are taking to discourage unnecessary duplication in the United Nations system.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have had no consultations with UNESCO in this area. In relation to the global environment facility the instrument establishing the restructured GEF, agreed in Geneva on 16 March, is designed to encourage co-operation in the United Nations system.

Pergau Dam

Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the environmental impact report from the consultant sent to assess the Pergau dam project in early February 1991.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I have placed a copy of the report entitled "Pergau Hydro-Electric Project : Environmental and Socio-Economic Issues" in the Library today.

Earth-scanning Radar

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether consideration has been given to the provision of earth-scanning radar equipment similar to that in use in the Gloucester murder inquiry for use in de-mining operations supported under the United Kingdom overseas aid budget.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Our role in humanitarian mine clearance operations continues to be one of funding organisations with suitable programmes. We have not to date received any proposals using advanced technology, but would consider funding the use of any appropriate technology which would speed up mine eradication.

Peru

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much aid is to be given to Peru in the coming year ; and for what it has been allocated.


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Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Bilateral aid to Peru during the coming year will be largely technical co-operation. Expenditure is likely to amount to approximately £3 million in 1994-95 financial year. This involves agreed activities in animal health, renewable energy generation, teacher training, scholarships for technical training for Peruvians in the United Kingdom, and small development projects managed through the British embassy.

Further projects either under development or planned will be directed mainly to support for health service reform, family planning and reproductive health services, renewable natural resources and water conservation. Assistance will also be provided through funds made available to United Kingdom non-governmental organisations under the joint funding scheme. In 1994-95 this support is likely to amount to over £1 million for activities in a wide variety of sectors.

South Africa

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he will take to ensure that the Government of South Africa after the elections of 27 April will promote educational opportunities for all ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Currently more than half of our bilateral aid to South Africa is spent on increasing access to, and improving the quality of, education and training for those disadvantaged by past policies. Education will continue to feature prominently in our growing aid programme, now running at some £15 million a year. We will discuss with the new South African Government how best to support their efforts to reconstruct the education system on a professional, equitable and affordable basis.

International Military Services Ltd.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in which aid and trade provision agreements since 1979 International Military Services Ltd. has played a role ; and if he will give details of the company's involvement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : International Military Services Ltd. has not been lead contractor on any ATP projects. The names of subcontractors on ATP projects are not held centrally by either ODA or DTI and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. We are not aware of any role played by International Military Services Ltd. in any ATP agreement since 1979.

Banana Producers

Mr. Wells : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current United Kingdom position on the European Community proposal for aid to traditional African, Caribbean and Pacific banana-producing countries.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have proposed to the Commission amendments to the proposal which link assistance to restructuring and diversification. We will support the proposal if these amendments are agreed.


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TRANSPORT

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions in the last five years he has knowingly provided incomplete information in answers to parliamentary questions other than on grounds of disproportionate cost ; and on what subjects.

Mr. MacGregor : I answer parliamentary questions on the basis set out in paragraph 27 of "Questions of Procedure for Ministers".

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport 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. Norris : The information required is not held in the form requested.

There have been 14 questions this parliamentary session which were referred to the chief executives of the Department's executive agencies. This represents 0.84 per cent.

Red Routes, London

Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of fuel pollution resulting from the introduction of red routes in London.

Mr. Norris : Estimates of the reductions in vehicle emissions are set out in section 13 of the Transport Research Laboratory report on the pilot red route scheme (project report 31, 1993), a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact on traffic volumes on the roads involved resulting from the introduction of red routes in London.

Mr. Norris : The Transport Research Laboratory's assessment of the pilot red route scheme in north and east London concluded that many vehicles had rerouted from inappropriate roads onto the red route, but that there was not a large volume of new traffic.

Airport Security

Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in ensuring tighter security for passengers at United Kingdom airports.

Mr. Norris : Since the Lockerbie tragedy there have been substantial improvements in aviation security in the United Kingdom both for passengers and for staff. Further improvements are being made in baggage screening and in acounting and authorising for carriage of all hold baggage on international flights.

The Department of Transport sets training standards for staff working in civil aviation who receive terrorist warnings, and for the national aviation security programme which covers, among other things, airport authorities' contingency plans, staff instructions, training programme and exercises.


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Public Transport (Gas Guel)

Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to promote research and development of gas fuelling for buses and taxis.

Mr. Key : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) on 21 March at col 9 .

Bus Lanes, London

Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to extend the number of designated bus lanes in London.

Mr. Norris : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) on 15 March at column 652 .

Newly Qualified Drivers

Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce a probationary period for newly qualified drivers.

Mr. Key : My right hon. Friend announced on 9 February at columns 270-71 the steps we are proposing to take following the consultation on "New Driver Safety". We are considering the practicalities of a scheme requiring drivers convicted of certain traffic offences within a specified period of qualifying to pass a further driving test ; this might involve issuing licences on a probationary basis. We also considered the case for introducing probationary plates, but are not yet convinced of its merits ; we are prepared to consider this further when full results are available of a study into "restricted" plates in Northern Ireland.

Exclusion Zones, London

Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce more traffic exclusion zones in central London.

Mr. Norris : This is a matter for local highway authorities, who are responsible for local roads in central London.

Air Pollution

Mr. Harvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of pollution caused by diesel engines relative to other forms of fuel used in transportation.

Mr. Key : I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Public Transport gave to the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn) on 21 October 1993 at column 298 and the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) on 21 March at column 9 .

British Rail Pension Funds

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make an announcement on the future of British Rail pension funds.

Mr. Freeman : Soon.


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Channel Tunnel Rail Link

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the figure Q for the elasticity of journey time for the channel tunnel rail link for (a) international passengers and (b) domestic commuters.

Mr. Freeman : Union Railways has used several models when forecasting demand for domestic and international services. The information contained in these models is commercially confidential, given its relationship with marketing and pricing strategies.

Dame Peggy Fenner : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he intends to seek powers in the legislation for the proposed channel tunnel rail link to enable the new crossings of the Medway, for the rail link and for the M2 motorway, to be built at the same time.

Mr. Freeman : I intend that the legislation for the new channel tunnel rail link, which the Government aim to have ready for introduction as soon as parliamentary time allows, should include powers for a scheme to improve the M2 motorway from junction 1 to junction 4, enabling the two new bridges across the Medway to be built concurrently.

Light Dues

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on light dues.

Mr. Norris : I am pleased to announce that light dues for 1994-95 will be frozen at the levels set in March 1993. I am able to do so largely because the three general lighthouse authorities are to contain their expenditure proposals for 1994-95 broadly within the levels set for 1993- 94. This has been made possible by further savings from the automation of lighthouses and by the authorities entering into co-operative arrangements which will enable a reduction to be made of one ship in the lighthouse tender fleet.

I commend the general lighthouse authorities for taking this initiative.

Shipping (Hazardous Cargoes)

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to keep shipping with hazardous cargoes away from areas of environmental sensitivity.

Mr. Norris : Measures are in place to keep ships carrying hazardous cargoes away from environmentally sensitive areas. These include "areas to be avoided" off the islands of Orkney and Shetland, around Fair Isle, and between the Smalls lighthouse and Grossholme island. In addition, there is a defined deep water route to the west of the Hebrides. Further measures to protect the coast will take account of any recommendations made by the inquiry announced to the House by the Secretary of State on 11 January 1993 under the chairmanship of Lord Donaldson of Lymington.

Greater Manchester Buses North Ltd.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from Corporate Finance Services on behalf of the employee buyout team of Greater Manchester Buses North Ltd. ; what reply he is sending ; what action he is taking ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Freeman : I have received a number of representations about the sale of both Greater Manchester Buses North and Greater Manchester Buses South recently. Amongst these was a letter about the sale of the North company from Coopers and Lybrand, Corporate Finance Services dated 15 March, to which an acknowledgement was sent on 17 March.

The Secretary of State's consent to both sales will eventually be required. In view of his quasi-judicial function in these sales it would not be appropriate for me to comment further or make a statement.

Westlink

Mr. Tracey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects Stanwell Buses Ltd., trading as Westlink, to be sold.

Mr. Norris : London Buses Ltd. sold Stanwell Buses Ltd., trading as Westlink, to a management buy-out team for £1.937 million on 19 January.

M1

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ensure that a public explanation is offered for the confusion and delay which severely affected traffic on the northbound carriageway of the M1 north of junction 29 on 13 and 14 March ; what action is being taken to avoid a recurrence of such an experience ; and what redress those affected have available under the terms of the citizens charter.

Mr. Key [holding answer 18 March 1994] : During the night of 13 and 14 March, changes were being made to the traffic management on the major maintenance scheme to the north of junction 30 on the M1. These changes were agreed between the resident engineer, the contractor and the police and were planned to occur during a period of light traffic flow to minimise the delays and confusion to traffic. On Sunday 13 March heavy rain and gales threatened to make the work more difficult and, with the agreement of the police, work started at 2030--earlier than planned. This decision was taken to ensure that the changes were completed before the Monday morning rush hour.

Unfortunately some inconvenience is inevitable during essential changes in traffic management. Clearly every effort was made to minimise inconvenience and delay during essential maintenance work and therefore there is no redress under the citizens charter. I am sorry that members of the public suffered delay and confusion on this scheme, which has now been completed ahead of schedule.

Driving Tests

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what percentage of people taking their driving test in March 199330 had waited more than six weeks for their test.

Mr. Key : Responsibility for the subject of this question has been delegated to the Driving Standards Agency under its chief executive Dr. S. J. Ford. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from Dr. S. J. Ford to Mr. Hugh Bayley, dated 7 February 1994 :


Column 253

The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your Question about the percentage of people taking their driving test in March 1993 who had waited more than six weeks for their test.

The Agency measures the waiting time for tests on the basis of the size of the queue waiting for a test in relation to the examiner resource available to conduct tests. It does not have statistics that measure precisely the wait experienced by individual customers. Instead we use our annual, independent customer surveys to provide insight into the experiences of customers.

The last such survey was conducted in May 1993. The sample of candidates surveyed was selected from those who had taken a test in the previous two months. The response, from nearly 2,000 driving test candidates across the country, indicated that 90 per cent. waited 6 weeks or less between the date of making the appointment and the date the test was conducted.

During January and February 1993, when customers would generally have been seeking test appointments in March, appointments were available at over 90 per cent. of our permanent centres within 6 weeks and at all permanent centres within 10 weeks, with an average of 3 to 4 weeks ahead of the date of application.

Vehicle Inspections

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) in which vehicle inspectorate testing stations the operating costs of the station exceeds the amount of revenue generated through test fees ;

(2) if he will list his Department's vehicle inspectorate testing stations ; in which parliamentary constituency each testing station lies ; how many people are employed at each testing station ; how many vehicles were tested at each testing station during the last year ; and how much revenue was collected at each testing station in testing fees.


Column 254

Mr. Key : I have asked the vehicle inspectorate chief executive to write to the hon. Member with this detailed information.

Letter from Ron Oliver to Mr. Brian Donohoe, dated 4 February 1994 :

The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your Questions about the Vehicle Inspectorate's test station network, income from testing, and costs.

The Inspectorate's accounts and management information for 1992-93 were sufficiently detailed to provide information on test volumes and income from testing down to district level. This is shown on the attached table.

Unfortunately information relating to the operating costs and staff at each station cannot be provided in a form that will help answer your questions. In 1992-93 VI had a district based organisation and recorded information on costs accordingly. This information was aggregated at agency level and then divided between the individual schemes, including HGV and PSV testing, for accounting purposes. This means that detailed information on costs for individual test stations is unavailable. More importantly the costs of enforcement staff based in the districts would be included in the figures and could not be separated out. For these reasons a simple list of district costs, against income generated from testing activities, would give a false impression.

VI reorganised its operational structure on 1 November 1993. The Inspectorate now has two operational divisions, Vehicle Testing and Road Transport Enforcement. The costs of each division are separately accounted for from 1 November 1993. Although VI may have interim figures for each station later this year, the new financial structure will not be fully reflected until the Inspectorate's 1994-95 accounts are published.

I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful at present, but if you have any additional questions please write to me.


Column 253


                                       <1>Testing                                                                                                                              1992-93                                                            

                                       volumes by stations                                                                                                                                                                                        

District,                                               PSV                               HGV                               Trailers                                           Revenue          <2>Cost                                           

sub-stations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

and constituency                      |Class VII       |Annual          |Prohibitions    |Annual          |Prohibitions    |Annual          |Prohibitions    |Total           |£               |£               |<3>Staff                         

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

Aberdeen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Gordon                                |144             |827             |5               |5,643           |45              |2,885           |30              |9,579           |256,193         |253,557         |12.9                             

Ammanford                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Llanelli                              |116             |1,738           |63              |5,614           |198             |2,245           |51              |10,025          |338,236         |331,857         |12.5                             

Haverfordwest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Pembroke                              |406             |-               |-               |1,530           |31              |319             |2               |2,288           |-               |-               |3.2                              

Beverley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Beverley                              |202             |852             |20              |6,124           |92              |4,443           |25              |11,758          |306,375         |290,067         |14.2                             

Bicester                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Banbury                               |820             |806             |24              |6,720           |86              |2,147           |22              |10,625          |274,773         |233,454         |13.2                             

Birmingham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Birmingham, Yardley                   |744             |2,876           |27              |14,081          |158             |4,413           |22              |22,321          |630,709         |607,788         |30.6                             

Bishopbriggs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Strathkelvin and Bearsden             |2,249           |3,569           |82              |12,051          |357             |6,775           |47              |25,110          |648,641         |659,887         |32.3                             

Lochgilphead                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Argyll and Bute                       |166             |-               |-               |458             |3               |112             |0               |739             |-               |-               |-                                

Bredbury                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Hazel Grove                           |366             |2,454           |32              |16,040          |425             |8,447           |74              |27,838          |748,154         |601,985         |33.6                             

Bristol                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Bristol, South                        |794             |2,310           |29              |10,827          |303             |4,950           |39              |19,252          |797,659         |707,111         |27.2                             

Calne                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Wiltshire, North                      |340             |-               |-               |7,686           |162             |3,256           |56              |11,500          |-               |-               |9.2                              

Canterbury                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Canterbury                            |291             |605             |20              |4,611           |88              |2,088           |37              |7,740           |216,107         |285,181         |14.5                             

Carlisle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Carlisle                              |296             |853             |29              |4,704           |110             |2,921           |42              |8,955           |356,492         |329,339         |8.6                              

Newton Stewart                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Galloway and Upper Nithsdale 70       |-               |-               |418             |7               |131             |1               |627             |-               |-               |-                                                 

Dumfries                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Dumfries                              |451             |-               |-               |2,056           |39              |1,200           |10              |3,756           |-               |-               |4.0                              

Workington                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Workington                            |204             |-               |-               |1,032           |15              |468             |8               |1,727           |-               |-               |1.0                              

Chelmsford                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Chelmsford                            |739             |1,389           |22              |9,508           |184             |2,693           |54              |14,589          |403,423         |344,189         |17.2                             

Darlington                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Darlington                            |537             |2,011           |35              |12,894          |269             |8,882           |87              |24,715          |628,068         |506,858         |24.6                             

Derby                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Derbyshire, South                     |538             |1,164           |18              |6,810           |111             |4,147           |43              |12,831          |336,378         |320,251         |16.9                             

Edmonton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Edmonton                              |2,234           |2,327           |33              |13,599          |124             |3,141           |23              |21,481          |577,375         |653,890         |28.7                             

Exeter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Exeter                                |235             |1,802           |81              |5,178           |101             |1,475           |19              |8,891           |551,195         |566,717         |14.1                             

Taunton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Taunton                               |77              |-               |-               |5,964           |119             |2,356           |34              |8,550           |-               |-               |9.0                              

South Molton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

North Devon                           |268             |-               |-               |2,027           |47              |565             |9               |2,916           |-               |-               |4.0                              

Gillingham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Gillingham                            |767             |905             |12              |8,410           |147             |3,931           |38              |14,210          |357,870         |338,117         |18.8                             

Gloucester                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Gloucester                            |277             |744             |12              |7,324           |134             |2,800           |27              |11,318          |301,683         |237,949         |11.6                             

Grantham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Grantham                              |416             |603             |16              |8,309           |135             |5,214           |78              |14,771          |366,527         |295,717         |16.6                             

Grimsby                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Great Grimsby                         |659             |673             |7               |5,362           |54              |5,207           |23              |11,985          |287,299         |241,782         |12.7                             

Guildford                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Guildford                             |1,235           |912             |42              |11,604          |250             |2,173           |28              |16,244          |431,307         |348,303         |17.6                             

Hastings                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Hastings and Rye                      |666             |771             |17              |4,338           |65              |892             |13              |6,762           |188,228         |210,027         |9.6                              

Heywood                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Heywood and Middleton                 |323             |2,061           |57              |13,720          |416             |5,887           |53              |22,517          |882,085         |732,747         |29.6                             

Steeton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Keighley                              |484             |457             |9               |6,936           |234             |2,379           |42              |10,541          |-               |-               |8.5                              

Inverness                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber 357     |1,062           |17              |2,135           |45              |692             |8               |4,316           |208,026         |305,785         |11.2                                              

Forth William                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber 57      |-               |-               |259             |1               |99              |2               |418             |-               |-               |-                                                 

Keith                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Moray                                 |3               |-               |-               |992             |5               |676             |1               |1,677           |-               |-               |1.0                              

Kirkwall                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Orkney and Shetland                   |78              |-               |-               |223             |0               |50              |0               |351             |-               |-               |-                                

Lairg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Caithness and Sutherland              |26              |-               |-               |69              |0               |1               |0               |96              |-               |-               |-                                

Lerwick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Orkney and Shetland                   |102             |-               |-               |319             |2               |144             |0               |567             |-               |-               |-                                

Portree                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Ross, Cromarty and Skye               |46              |-               |-               |139             |0               |16              |1               |202             |-               |-               |-                                

Stornoway                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Western Isles                         |17              |-               |-               |251             |1               |67              |0               |336             |-               |-               |0.1                              

Wick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Caithness and Sutherland              |78              |-               |-               |292             |2               |137             |0               |509             |-               |-               |1.1                              

Ipswich                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Ipswich                               |413             |741             |7               |7,511           |122             |7,318           |83              |16,195          |401,611         |338,819         |17.7                             

Kidderminster                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Wyre Forest                           |454             |1,105           |41              |9,877           |173             |3,785           |31              |15,466          |536,759         |460,058         |18.0                             

Hereford                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Hereford                              |275             |-               |-               |3,166           |44              |1,639           |16              |5,140           |-               |-               |5.1                              

Kilmarnock                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Kilmarnock and Loudoun                |297             |1,119           |74              |5,959           |203             |2,686           |36              |10,374          |275,025         |286,708         |14.0                             

Kirkham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Fylde                                 |288             |2,236           |47              |10,435          |228             |5,962           |71              |19,267          |698,169         |633,290         |24.8                             

Barrow                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Barrow and Furness                    |99              |-               |-               |644             |16              |444             |10              |1,213           |-               |-               |1.0                              

Milnthorpe                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Westmorland and Lonsdale              |214             |-               |-               |3,899           |105             |1,852           |37              |6,107           |-               |-               |8.3                              

Lancing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Shoreham                              |438             |690             |10              |5,434           |109             |1,118           |6               |7,805           |214,281         |259,846         |13.7                             

Leeds                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Normanton                             |653             |2,149           |22              |18,384          |353             |10,215          |102             |31,878          |840,436         |676,916         |35.7                             

Leicester                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Rutland and Melton                    |816             |1,307           |34              |10,617          |168             |4,136           |30              |17,108          |460,438         |385,357         |20.9                             

Leighton Buzzard                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

South West Bedfordshire               |636             |1,019           |23              |7,540           |116             |3,453           |28              |12,815          |323,282         |270,588         |15.6                             

Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Knowsley, North                       |1,015           |3,163           |110             |16,523          |654             |10,778          |153             |32,396          |874,953         |686,442         |34.5                             

Livingstone                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Livingston                            |237             |2,558           |70              |10,022          |208             |5,396           |53              |18,544          |598,563         |578,943         |24.8                             

Berwick-upon-Tweed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Berwick-upon-Tweed                    |25              |-               |-               |739             |7               |282             |4               |1,057           |-               |-               |-                                

Charlesfield                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale 155 |-               |-               |831             |14              |276             |0               |1,276           |-               |-               |3.0                                               

East Fortune                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

East Lothian                          |51              |-               |-               |498             |9               |126             |2               |686             |-               |-               |1.0                              

Llantrisant                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Pontypridd                            |167             |1,897           |79              |7,778           |239             |4,144           |53              |14,357          |485,827         |492,118         |21.0                             

Llayrystyd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Ceredigion and Pembroke, North 154    |-               |-               |1,342           |9               |220             |4               |1,729           |-               |-               |1.0                                               

Llandrindod Wells                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Brecon and Radnor                     |241             |-               |-               |1,229           |18              |231             |2               |1,721           |-               |-               |2.0                              

Mitcham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Croydon, North West                   |1,428           |3,376           |43              |12,635          |314             |1,706           |28              |19,530          |579,402         |607,548         |28.0                             

Newbury                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Newbury                               |649             |966             |17              |7,232           |103             |2,796           |22              |11,785          |316,984         |266,810         |13.1                             

Newcastle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Wallsend                              |637             |2,752           |39              |10,548          |240             |4,274           |61              |18,551          |504,777         |449,119         |22.1                             

Northampton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Daventry                              |833             |761             |23              |8,184           |140             |5,961           |31              |15,933          |394,916         |324,766         |17.9                             

Norwich                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Norwich, North                        |794             |840             |16              |7,961           |74              |3,316           |42              |13,043          |339,038         |361,648         |18.6                             

Nottingham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Broxtowe                              |1,208           |1,470           |14              |8,637           |99              |4,008           |28              |15,464          |410,506         |483,834         |26.1                             

Perth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Perth and Kinross                     |558             |1,400           |31              |3,910           |83              |1,759           |29              |7,770           |315,063         |298,023         |8.6                              

Kirkcaldy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Kirkcaldy                             |1,025           |-               |-               |2,377           |64              |690             |10              |4,166           |-               |-               |3.5                              

Montrose                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Angus East                            |118             |-               |-               |813             |17              |327             |1               |1,276           |-               |-               |1.0                              

Peterborough                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Peterborough                          |1,065           |820             |20              |6,453           |129             |4,759           |47              |13,293          |555,770         |483,491         |16.4                             

Crimplesham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Norfolk, North West                   |637             |-               |-               |5,897           |78              |3,811           |48              |10,471          |-               |-               |11.4                             

Plymouth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Plymouth, Devonport                   |336             |1,441           |33              |3,067           |60              |603             |10              |5,550           |287,282         |372,735         |10.0                             

St. Austell                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Truro                                 |266             |-               |-               |1,647           |12              |361             |2               |2,288           |-               |-               |3.0                              

Redruth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Falmouth and Camborne                 |881             |-               |-               |2,090           |32              |308             |8               |3,319           |-               |-               |4.0                              

Pontypool                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Torfaen                               |800             |1,253           |44              |5,189           |157             |3,375           |27              |10,845          |276,252         |250,957         |11.5                             

Poole                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Poole                                 |197             |1,303           |15              |4,628           |63              |1,016           |21              |7,243           |384,110         |363,457         |12.1                             

Salisbury                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Salisbury                             |190             |-               |-               |4,453           |56              |1,975           |31              |6,705           |-               |-               |5.5                              

Purfleet                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Thurrock                              |537             |1,557           |28              |12,736          |337             |10,062          |105             |25,362          |686,150         |644,218         |30.3                             

Royston                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Hertfordshire, North                  |1,237           |1,038           |35              |12,307          |259             |4,389           |48              |19,313          |545,473         |338,564         |17.2                             

Sheffield                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Sheffield, Attercliffe                |872             |1,675           |3               |10,591          |22              |5,874           |3               |19,040          |885,579         |706,009         |20.0                             

Doncaster                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Doncaster, North                      |697             |1,283           |44              |8,197           |111             |5,212           |35              |15,579          |-               |-               |15.4                             

Southampton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Fareham                               |377             |1,311           |37              |7,184           |209             |3,703           |56              |12,877          |377,712         |464,469         |19.1                             

Cowes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Isle of Wight                         |215             |-               |-               |937             |19              |178             |1               |1,350           |-               |-               |2.0                              

Stoke on Trent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Stafford                              |203             |2,170           |31              |12,280          |210             |7,020           |72              |21,986          |885,961         |739,660         |27.5                             

Shrewsbury                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Shrewsbury and Atcham                 |475             |-               |-               |6,574           |110             |3,379           |42              |10,580          |-               |-               |10.0                             

Walton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Elmet                                 |475             |1,120           |14              |6,298           |125             |2,852           |28              |10,912          |346,923         |426,136         |16.0                             

Scarborough                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Scarborough                           |97              |-               |-               |1,509           |8               |570             |5               |2,189           |-               |-               |4.0                              

Wolverhampton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Staffordshire, South                  |137             |1,662           |29              |15,208          |146             |5,057           |32              |22,271          |637,007         |543,701         |28.6                             

Wrexham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Wrexham                               |237             |2,268           |68              |7,653           |130             |3,294           |19              |13,669          |588,199         |619,946         |19.6                             

Caernarfon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Caernarfon                            |241             |-               |-               |2,311           |43              |281             |5               |2,881           |-               |-               |5.0                              

Bromborough                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Wirral, South                         |429             |-               |-               |3,353           |66              |2,484           |29              |6,361           |-               |-               |7.5                              

Yeading                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Hayes and Harlington                  |2,127           |3,471           |97              |15,749          |416             |3,934           |55              |25,849          |720,994         |763,065         |35.0                             

                                      |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------                          

                                      |44,484          |85,692          |1,907           |567,293         |11,292          |263,799         |2,751           |977,218         |25,840,245      |23,979,799      |1,201.9                          

<1>Test includes Annual Statutory tests; retests and some prohibitions issued at the roadside.                                                                                                                                                    

<2>Includes the costs of roadworthiness enforcement staff based at VI Test Stations.                                                                                                                                                              

<3>Whole-time equivalents.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

PRIME MINISTER

Consultants

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Prime Minister how many contracts his Department has had with consultants ; and what has been the total cost in each of the last five years.

The Prime Minister : There has been no expenditure by my office on contracts with consultants in the last five years.

Security

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the security of Government information and other assets.

The Prime Minister : In recent years, the nature of the threats to Government security has changed. While some of the traditional threats to national security may have somewhat reduced, others have not. The security of Government is also increasingly threatened by, for example, theft, copying and electronic surveillance, as well as by terrorism.

To ensure that their approach to security reflects current threats, the Government have recently completed a review of their arrangements for the management of protective security in Departments and agencies. This has recommended a new protective marking system for documents which will help identify more precisely those which need protecting, enabling them to be protected more effectively according to their value. The new system will also be more closely related to the code of practice on Government information announced in the Government's White Paper on openness.

In addition, the review has concluded that existing security measures should be examined closely to ensure they are necessary in relation to today's threats ; that commercially available security equipment should be more widely used ; and that personnel vetting enquiries should be streamlined particularly in routine cases. Overall, the aim is to give Departments and agencies, and management units within them, greater responsibility for assessing the nature of the risks they face and for making decisions, within a framework of common standards of protection, about the security measures they need to put in place. Substantial cost savings will result.

The first stage of the implementation of the proposals of this review will be the introduction of a new protective marking system with effect from 4 April 1994 alongside the code of practice on access to Government information. The new definitions, which will allow fewer Government documents to be classified, particularly at the higher levels, are set out. The other elements of the new approach to protective security will be put in place in due course. The four categories of protective marking : Definitions The markings to be allocated to any asset, including information, will be determined primarily by reference to the practical consequences that are likely to result from the compromise of that asset or information. The levels in the new protective marking system are defined as follows :

TOP SECRET : the compromise of this information or material would be likely : to threaten directly the internal stability of the United Kingdom or friendly countries ; to lead directly to widespread loss of life ; to cause exceptionally grave damage to the effectiveness or security of United Kingdom or allied forces or to the continuing effectiveness of extremely valuable security


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or intelligence operations ; to cause exceptionally grave damage to relations with friendly governments ; to cause severe long-term damage to the United Kingdom economy.

SECRET : the compromise of this information or material would be likely : to raise international tension ; to damage seriously relations with friendly governments ; to threaten life directly, or seriously prejudice public order, or individual security or liberty ; to cause serious damage to the operational effectiveness or security of United Kingdom or allied forces or the continuing effectiveness of highly valuable security or intelligence operations ; to cause substantial material damage to national finances or economic and commercial interests.

CONFIDENTIAL : the compromise of this information or material would be likely : materially to damage diplomatic relations (ie cause formal protest or other sanction) ; to prejudice individual security or liberty ; to cause damage to the operational effectiveness or security of United Kingdom or allied forces or the effectiveness of valuable security or intelligence operations ; to work substantially against national finances or economic and commercial interests ; substantially to undermine the financial viability of major organisations ; to impede the investigation or facilitate the commission of serious crime ; to impede seriously the development or operation of major government policies ; to shut down or otherwise substantially disrupt significant national operations.

RESTRICTED : the compromise of this information or material would be likely : to affect diplomatic relations adversely ; to cause substantial distress to individuals ; to make it more difficult to maintain the operational effectiveness or security of United Kingdom or allied forces ; to cause financial loss or loss of earning potential to or facilitate improper gain or advantage for individuals or companies ; to prejudice the investigation or facilitate the commission of crime ; to breach proper undertakings to maintain the confidence of information provided by third parties ; to impede the effective development or operation of government policies ; to breach statutory restrictions on disclosure of information ; to disadvantage government in commercial or policy negotiations with others ; to undermine the proper management of the public sector and its operations.

Iraq

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of Tuesday 8 March, Official Report, column 148, if he has now considered, following his meeting of 3 March with the hon. Member for Linlithgow, the provision of water filtering and water pumping equipment to Iraq ; and what action he has taken to respond to the list of pharmaceuticals required in the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris for infants with diseases related to malnutrition in the summer.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 March 1994] : I have now written to the hon. Member following our recent meeting.

EDUCATION

Special Needs

Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what statutory provisions apply to appellants' access to the minutes of special educational needs appeal hearings.

Mr. Forth : There are no statutory provisions relating to appellants' access to the minutes of special educational needs appeals hearings held by committees constituted by local education authorities in accordance with paragraph 1 of part I of schedule 2 to the Education Act 1980. There is no statutory requirement for my right hon. Friend to convene hearings before resolving appeals made to him under the Education Act 1981.


Column 261

Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many special educational needs appeals he is currently considering ; to what extent delays have been caused by the case currently before the Court of Appeal ; when he expects this case to be heard ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend is currently considering 330 appeals under the Education Act 1981. In compliance with the recent court judgment in the case of Regina v. Secretary of State for Education ex parte S my right hon. Friend now copies to the parties to each appeal any independent evaluations he receives from one of Her Majesty's inspectors of schools, and invites the parties to comment. He then gives careful consideration to any comments subsequently submitted to him. This process has added several weeks to the time taken to decide appeals. My right hon. Friend is appealing against the court judgment in question. The appeal will be heard on 27 June.

Higher National Diploma

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether students who are entitled to a mandatory grant for a higher national diploma and


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complete each year of the course at different institutions may receive a supplementary mandatory grant for a related degree at the second institution.

Mr. Boswell : A student who has already received a mandatory award for an HND course will normally be eligible for a further, modified mandatory award for the final year or years of a designated first degree course, depending upon its duration. Local education authorities can make discretionary payments in respect of any other year of the course. A student's entitlement to a further award would not be affected if his HND course involved study at more than one institution.


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