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Column 761Professor Susan Iversen (Oxford University)
Professor Rachel Leech (University of York)
Dr. Tom Little (Unilever)
Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie (Scottish Office)
Professor Lady Noreen Murray (University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Brian Richards CBE (British Biotechnology Group)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-- Chairman : Dr. Alan Rudge, OBE FEng FRS (BT)
Chief Executive : Professor Richard Brook, OBE
Professor John Ball, FRS (Heriot Watt University)
Professor Alec Broers, (FRS (Cambridge University)
Professor Sir David Davies, CBE FEng FRS (Ministry of Defence) Dr. David Evans, (Department of Trade and Industry)
Dr. David Giachardi, (Courtaulds)
Professor Julia Higgins, (Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine)
Professor B. F. G. Johnson, FRS (University of Edinburgh) Dr. Tony Ledwith, (Pilkington)
Mr. S. C. Miller, CBE FEng (Rolls-Royce)
Dr. D. J. H. Smith, (Whatman)
Professor Jean Thomas, CBE FRS (Cambridge University)
Professor David Wallace, FRS (Loughborough University of Technology)
Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)-- Chairman : Dr. Peter Williams, CBE (Oxford Instruments) Chief Executive : Professor Ken Pounds, CBE FRS
Sir David Cooksey, (Advent)
Professor Stan Cowley, (Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine)
Mr. John de Fonblanque, (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Professor John Dowell, FRS (University of Birmingham)
Professor John Enderby, FRS (University of Bristol)
Dr. David Evans, (Department of Trade and Industry)
Professor Ian Halliday, (University College Swansea)
Dr. Carole Jordan, FRS (Oxford University)
Sir Martin Rees, FRS (Cambridge University)
Dr. Geoff Robinson, (IBM)
Mr. Waldegrave : For the purpose of this question I am taking "external routes of complaint" to mean the provision by public services covered by the charter of a route to deal with complaints which is separate from the management hierarchy of the service. Those which are known to my Department are :
Benefits Agency War Pensions Unit : War Pensions Committees ;British Gas : Gas Consumers' Council and OFGAS ;British Rail : Area Transport Users' Consultative Committee (co-ordinated through the Central Transport Consultative Committee) ;British Telecom : OFTEL with recourse to a service provided by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ;British Waterways Board : British Waterways Ombudsman ;14 Electricity Companies : Electricity Consumers Committees and OFFER ;Home Office Immigration and Nationality Department : Complaints Audit Committee ;Housing Corporation : Housing Association Tenants Ombudsman Service ;Inland Revenue : Revenue Adjudicator ;Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce : Agency Complaints Adjudicator ;London Buses and London Underground : London Regional Passengers Committee ;
Column 762Department of National Savings : Adjudicator for National Savings ;Police Service : Police Complaints Authority (England and Wales) ;Procurator Fiscal Service (Scotland) ;Post Office : Post Office Users' National Council with recourse to a service provided by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ;Probation Service : Area Probation Committees ;32 Water companies : Regional Customer Services Committees and OFWAT.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many Proton cars were purchased by his Department and the Department of Energy in each of the last 10 years for which information is available ; and at what cost.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) of 22 March, Official Report, column 210, if he will set out the reasons for the separate information on EC trade data not being available.
Mr. Heseltine : Separate information on volumes, unit values and terms of trade for United Kingdom trade with the EC is not available because of the unreliability of the price indices, or deflators, used in their calculation. These deflators are thought to be reliable overall but less so for trade with individual countries.
The quality of those concerning United Kingdom trade with the EC is also adversely affected by problems associated with the introduction of Intrastat, the system for collecting information on EC trade following the completion of the single market.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when the report of the construction industry deregulation task force will be published ; and if the task force took evidence from (a) the Home Office and (b) fire service.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The booklet "Deregulation Task Forces : Proposals for Reform" was published on 19 January 1994 and copies placed in the Library of the House. The working papers of all the task forces will be placed in the Library of the House today. The construction industry task force held discussions with officials and Ministers in several Government Departments including the Home Office. The fire review announced by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade on 17 January 1994, Official Report, column 381, is exploring the fire safety issues identified by the task force in consultation with all interested parties including fire service bodies and is assisted by expert advisors including a chief fire officer.
Mr. Etherington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he will take to ensure that as part of the denationalisation of the coal industry British Coal or its successor, the Coal Authority, will release all borehole information to the British Geological Survey ; and if he will ensure that British Coal or the Coal Authority will remove the present embargo on academic study and research of geological data to develop geological knowledge for non-commercial purposes.
Mr. Eggar : The Coal Industry Bill currently before Parliament places a specific duty on the Coal Authority normally to provide public access to a wide range of information in its possession, including geological data.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the cost of the assistance his Department gives to help British companies market and sell their products abroad in the past five years ; and what is the planned expenditure in 1993-94 and 1994-95.
Mr. Heseltine : The table records gross and net expenditure on export promotion assistance programmes. This does not include the running costs associated with delivering these programmes at home and abroad.
In £ million-1993-94 and 1994-95 are forecasts |Gross|Net -------------------------- 1988-89 |46.8 |30.4 1989-90 |47.1 |32.9 1990-91 |52.5 |36.9 1991-92 |46.0 |27.8 1992-93 |46.3 |29.8 1993-94 |51.3 |36.6 1994-95 |55.3 |39.4
Mr. Heseltine : During the month of February, I and my ministerial colleagues received 1,751 letters from hon. Members and responded to 1,376. Some letters are transferred to other Government Departments for reply.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list for each Government enforcement agency covered by his Department's code the dates on which their codes of practice were published and made available to the public.
Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 15 March 1994] : The table sets out the dates on which each of the enforcement agencies listed in "Working with Business" published their code of practice. The table also shows the date from which each code was available since many agencies had their codes available to business while preparations for publication were underway.
Following my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's seminar on deregulation on 19 January, it was agreed that all remaining enforcement agencies would finalise their codes by April 1994.
Enforcement agency |Available to |Published |business -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ADAS Milk and Dairies Inspectorate |15 April 1994<1> |Estimate late May |1994 Agriculture Health and Safety Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Agriculture Wages Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |6 April 1994 Agriculture Wages Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Animal Health Act Inspectors and Veterinary Inspectors |1 January 1994 |25 March 1994 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 British Waterways Board |- |Expected April 1994 Central Statistical Office |1 January 1994 |31 December 1993 Civil Aviation Authority |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Companies House |1 January 1994 |19 January 1994 Companies Registry (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Contributions Agency |21 January 1994 |17 January 1994 Customs and Excise |<2>- |<2>- Department of Health: control activities in connection with places |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 approved under the Abortion Act Drinking Water Inspectorate |30 December 1993 |30 December 1993 Driving and Vehicle Testing Agency (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Driving Standards Agency (register of approved driving instructors) |10 March 1994 |10 March 1994 Drugs Inspectorate (NI) |<3>- |<3>- Egg Marketing Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |7 March 1994 Egg Marketing Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Employment Agency Licensing |<4>- |<4>- Engineering Inspectorate |14 December 1993 |14 December 1993 Export Licensing Unit |20 January 1994 |9 March 1994 Fatstock Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |25 March 1994 Fertilisers and Feed Stuffs Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Fish Diseases Inspectorate |<1>15 April 1994 |Estimate late May |1994 Fisheries Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Fisheries and Terrestrial Radiological Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |18 February 1994 Football Licensing Authority |31 December 1993 |31 December 1993 Gas Examiners, Gas Meter Examiners |27 January 1994 |27 January 1994 Health and Safety Executive |<6>- |12 January 1994 Health and Safety Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Health and Social Services Board Inspectorate of Registered Nursing |<6>- |<6>- Homes (NI) Scottish Home and Health Department. Approval under Section 1(3) |14 January 1994 |14 January 1994 of the Abortion Act 1967 and Registration of Pregnancy Advice Bureaux (SO) HM Industrial Pollution Inspectorate (SO) |29 April 1994 |29 April 1994 HM Inspectorate of Pollution |22 March 1994 |22 March 1994 Home Office Drugs Branch |1 April 1994 |1 April 1994 Horticultural Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |18 February 1994 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) |5 April 1994 |5 April 1994 Inland Revenue |<2>- |<2>- Licensing and Inspection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) |5 January 1994 |5 January 1994 Act 1986 Meat and Livestock (SO) |22 April 1994 |22 April 1994 Medical Devices Directorate |28 December 1993 |4 January 1994 Medicines Control Agency |31 December 1993 |1 January 1994 Medicines Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Milk and Milk Products Quality Assurance Division (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 National Rivers Authority |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 National Weights and Measures Laboratory |23 December 1993 |23 December 1993 Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Occupational Pensions Board |- |by April 1994 Office of Fair Trading |19 January 1994 |19 January 1994 Pharmaceutical Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |18 January 1994 Plant Health Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Poisons Inspectorate (NI) |<3>- |<3>- Potato Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Radiocommunications Agency (Radio Investigation Services) |End December 1993 |End December 1993 River Purification Boards (SO) |<7>- |<7>- Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SO) |10 January 1994 |12 January 1994 Sea Fisheries Inspectorate |1 January 1994 |6 April 1994 Seeds Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Surveyor Generals Organisation (now-Marine Support Agency) |<8>- |March 1994 The Good Laboratory Practice Monitoring Authority (GLP MA) |11 January 1994 |11 January 1994 Trading Standards Inspectorate (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Traffic Area Offices |April 1994 |April 1994 Transport Licensing and Enforcement (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Vehicle Certification Agency |April 1994 |April 1994 Vehicle Inspectorate |April 1994 |April 1994 Veterinary Services (NI) |1 January 1994 |1 January 1994 Wine Standards Board |1 January 1994 |11 February 1994 <1>- Delay due to changes in governing legislation. <2>- Intend existing Citizen's Charter documents to form basis of Code. <3>- Covered in a United Kingdom wide code. <4>- Committed to complying in full once position has been finalised under the Deregulation and Contracting out Bill. <5>- Existing publications were updated to bring them into line with Code. <6>- Withdrawn by Department of Health. <7>- Two codes published 10 February 1994 and 6 December 1993. Five others in preparation. <8>- Publication timed to coincide with launch of Agency on 1 April 1994.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many, and what percentage of officers in each of grades, 1 to 7 and overall, in his Department are (a) women, (b) from ethnic minorities and (c) disabled, respectively.
The total percentage of women in each grades 1 to 7 and overall within the Department of National Heritage are listed :
DNH staff as at 28 February 1994 Grade |Total number|Per cent. of |female ----------------------------------------------------- 1A |1 |0 G3 |4 |25 G4 |1 |0 G5 |16 |25 G6 |5 |80 G7 |44 |25 SEO and below |265 |49 Note: Information on ethnic minorities is not yet held centrally; The percentage of registered disabled staff employed within the Department of National Heritage is 0.6 per cent.
Mr. Sproat [holding answer 29 March 1994] : At historic royal palaces 18 apartments are occupied on a grace-and-favour basis by pensioners, employees and holders of official positions in the royal household.
Year |Number --------------------- 1991 |93 1992 |117 1993 |143
Not all instruments impose requirements or regulations on business and some amend, replace or revoke existing instruments.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will give a breakdown of feline spongiform encephalopathy cases for each month since the first case was reported and the areas in which they occurred.
Mr. Soames : This disease is not notifiable to the Ministry and report to the Ministry is usually by private veterinary surgeons. The information requested is therefore listed by date of onset of clinical signs of the disease and is as follows :
Date of onset |County ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1989 November |Avon 1990 January |Leicestershire February |Gloucestershire March |Somerset March |Clwyd April |Hereford and Worcestershire May |West Glamorgan June |Hampshire June |Leicestershire July |Avon September |Cornwall September |Strathclyde October |Cornwall October |Suffolk October |North Yorkshire October |West Yorkshire December |Clwyd 1991 March |Lancashire May |Devon June |Shetland August |Dorset August |Berkshire August |Fife September |Guernsey November |Bedfordshire December |Clwyd 1992 February |Derbyshire March |Somerset April |Dorset April |Clwyd April |Gloucestershire August |Hertfordshire August |Shropshire August |Wiltshire August |Surrey September |Hereford and Worcestershire October |Norfolk October |Bedfordshire October |Gloucestershire December |Surrey 1993 May |Cambridgeshire May |Cumbria August |Nottinghamshire August |Durham September |Strathclyde October |Devon November |Surrey
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 15 March, Official Report, column 606, if she will list the recipients of the foodstuffs in the national food stockpile.
Mr. Soames : There have been numerous recipients of foodstuffs from the national food stockpile following the decision to run it down. Some foods have been donated for food aid. Other foods have been either sold by competitive tender or returned under contract to the supplier. Stocks no longer suitable for human consumption have been sold for animal feed or destroyed.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many Proton cars were purchased by her Department in each of the last 10 years for which information is available ; and at what cost.
Mr. Jack : The policy is for the Ministry to buy cars for official use where they can provide the most cost-effective means of arranging travel on the Ministry's business. Only those models showing the basic features necessary for the business in question are purchased and all purchases are made through central call-off contracts set up for that purpose.
There are no records of any purchase of Proton cars during the period in question.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what changes she envisages in regulations concerning "quota hoppers" in respect of the joint declaration on ownership of fishing vessels (final act) of annex 1 Union common position of the Norway EV fisheries agreement ; and if she will make a statement.
Column 769the judgment of the European Court of Justice in cases 216/87 and 221/89. As such, the declaration does not appear to necessitate any change in United Kingdom legislation.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 24 March, Official Report, column 374, if she will place in the Library copies of the studies commissioned by the National Rivers Authority on the reasons for declines in fish catches.
Mr. Jack : Studies carried out by the National Rivers Authority in response to anglers' concerns about the perceived decline in catches of fish often involve an assessment of the status of stocks at the location in question. Normally further work would be carried out only if this revealed a particular problem. The results of such studies are made available to local fishery interests but are seldom disseminated more widely in the form of formal published reports. I am, however, arranging for reports on two of the more extensive studies carried out recently--those relating to the Warwickshire Avon and to the Test and Itchen--to be deposited in the Library of the House.
full cost recovery for the three business activities of licensing, policy work and residues monitoring ;
75 per cent. of new licence applications to be issued within 120 clock days ; 95 per cent. within 200 days ;
an overall efficiency gain of 2 per cent.
These are challenging targets which will build on the improvements already made in the efficiency and quality of service provided by the directorate since its establishment as a next steps agency, and for which I commend the chief executive and his staff. In addition, I have agreed the VMD's corporate plan for 1994-95--1996-97, and copies are being placed in the Library of the House and the Public Information Office.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : In deciding whether to establish a development council, Ministers have to follow the procedures in the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947. In particular, they need to be satisfied that its establishment is desired by a substantial number of persons engaged in the industry.
In mid-April the Ministry and the Welsh Office therefore intend to invite all milk producers in England and Wales to vote on a proposal for the establishment and operation of a milk development council covering Great Britain and its funding by means of a statutory levy. A development council would continue certain activities of the milk marketing boards in Great Britain--such as the funding of research and development and the provision of market information--which would not be assumed by commercially-oriented successor co-operatives but are of benefit to the industry generally.
We intend to ask for completed questionnaires to be returned by 12 May. The Scottish Office intends to conduct a similar poll in Scotland.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : My Department commissioned a coast protection survey of England in 1993. The survey was to examine the extent, adequacy and state of repair of coast protection defences, which are designed to protect the land from erosion and encroachment by the sea. A lead consultant was appointed to co-ordinate the collection of data by associate consultants. The lead consultants' report has been published today and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
The condition of each defence element--for example, embankment groyne-- around the coast of England was assessed by visual inspection and the results can be summarised as follows :
|Per cent. ------------------------------------------------------- Class 1 (condition as built) |12 Class 2 (some signs of wear) |47 Class 3 (moderate works needed) |33 Class 4 (significant works needed) |8
It should be emphasised that where a defence element is in need of significant works this does not mean that the integrity of the defences for the relevant stretch of coastline is in immediate jeopardy.
The survey also identified some 135 km of unprotected coast which is at present significantly eroding and where the provision of works may need to be considered within the next ten years.
The survey results have been sent to the local coast protection authorities in England so that they can consider the condition of existing defences in their respective areas and the potential need for defences for unprotected lengths of coastline that are eroding significantly. Councils will also be drawing the survey results to the attention of other owners of defences in their areas. The Ministry will be discussing the survey results with the coast protection authorities in order to prioritise the necessary remedial works.
Mr. Willetts : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when she will be able to announce the composition of the medical panel to investigate health effects claimed to arise from organophosphorus sheep dip exposure ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Soames : I am pleased to announce that the following members have been appointed to the medical and scientific panel, which is being established to look into reports of long term health effects claimed to arise from organophosphorus sheep dip exposure. Dr. D. N. Bateman, BSc, MB BS, MRCS, MD, FRCP (Chairman) Professor P. G. Blain, Phd, BMedSci, MB BS, FIBiol, MFOM, FRCP (London), FRCP (Edinburgh)Dr. R. W. Brimblecombe, PhD, DSc, FRCPath, FIBiolProfessor S. J. W. Evans, BS Hons, MScDr. G. A. Jamal, MBChB(Hons), MD, PhD, FRCP (Glasgow)Dr. M. K. Johnson PhD, BSc, ARCS, ARICProfessor M. Lader, DSc, PhD, MD, FRCPsychDr. T. C. Marrs, MB BS, MSc, MD, MIBiol, DipRCPath (Tox), FRCPath, FIBiolDr. R. G. Rawbone, MB BS, LRCP, MRCSProfessor P. K. Thomas, CBE, DSc, MD, FRCP, FRCPath The panel, which will act as a sub-committee to the Veterinary Products Committee, will hold its first meeting on 31 March. I look forward to receiving its advice on the issues it will be addressing.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : This meeting of the Council, at which I represented the United Kingdom, held a further lengthy discussion of the Commission's proposals for farm prices and related measures, including milk quotas, for 1994-95. The attitude that I took on these issues was the one that I explained to the House in the recent debate.
The Council reached no conclusions and will return to the subject at its next meeting. Because prices were not fixed, it was necessary formally to extend the 1993-94 marketing years for beef and milk : the Council so decided by unanimity.
I took the opportunity to refer to recent scare stories in the German press alleging a link between bovine spongiform encephalopathy and human health. I stressed that there was no scientific foundation for this claim, that the measures that had long been in place in the United Kingdom and in the Community were more than adequate protection, and that unilateral action to restrict trade in British beef and cattle would be illegal. I received strong support from the Commission and a number of other member states for my point of view. The Council adopted several relatively minor measures, namely : a regulation permitting member states to buy up milk quota for redistribution, using funds previously set aside to compensate producers for reductions in quotas ; a regulation concerning the use of sums previously agreed for assisting farmers in Portugal affected by drought ; a regulation strengthening the controls on subsidised exports of certain processed products ; a regulation providing for the levy-free import of certain quantities of wheat, beef, poultrymeat, pork and milling residues, previously agreed as part of the settlement of an earlier dispute with third