|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There is as yet no indication when the European Court of Justice might offer a ruling. We have made clear our support for the Commission's decision to refer Greece's action to the European Court of Justice. We hope that this will lead to an early lifting of Greece's measures.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 12 April, Official Report, column 101, on the report on information and protection of transactions concerning immovable property purchased by consumers, if he will now make it his policy to bring forward proposals to ensure that member Governments of the European Community are entitled (a) to see and (b) to publish for consultation all reports commissioned by the European Commission.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : No. The publication of reports commissioned by the European Commission is a matter for the Commission itself. However, the majority of these reports are likely to be available under the agreement on public access to documents held by the Council and Commission.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 12 April, Official Report, column 99, on information and protection of transactions concerning immovable property purchased by consumers, if he will make it his policy to bring forward proposals to ensure that in future the European Commission informs the United Kingdom Government of all the reports which it commissions.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : No. The European Commission commissions large numbers of reports annually to assist it in its work. These reports are the property of the Commission, which itself decides whether or not they should be published. However, under the code of conduct on access to Council and Commission documents, we would expect the public to have access to the majority of such reports.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 12 April, Official Report, column 100, on the report on information and protection of transactions concerning immovable property purchased by consumers, if he will now make it his policy to require the European Commission to make known to the United Kingdom Government the cost of this and of all future such reports which it commissions.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : No. The cost of reports commissioned by the European Commission is a matter for the Commission itself. However the Commission must ensure that all its expenditure is consistent with the treaties and Community legislation, including requirements for sound financial management. It is also subject to examination by the Court of Auditors as to the legality and regularity of transactions.
Column 380they form part of the unhypothecated budget shares allocated to schools by formula, and devolved where they are made available to schools subject to conditions, specified by the local education authority, as to the purposes for which they may or may not be used.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement on the future of the core status of the United Nations following the pending review of the history programme of study within the national curriculum.
Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend is currently considering advice from the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority on slimming down the national curriculum. At this stage I cannot comment on the possible place of the United Nations within a revised history curriculum. The Secretary of State's proposals will be published in May and will be followed by a public consultation exercise.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which grant-maintained schools previously required to provide rooms for election meetings are now able to refuse.
Mr. Forth : Figures for each of the last 10 years are not available. Information on permanent exclusions from maintained schools in England was collected by the Department over a two-year period, starting with the summer term 1990, under the national exclusions reporting system--NERS. In England, 2,910 permanent exclusions were reported in year one and 3,833 in year two. It is not possible to provide an area breakdown of the figures because of assurances given as to confidentiality.
Ms Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is his latest estimate of the number of children under five years of age in (a) nursery schools and (b) nursery classes in primary schools.
Mr. Robin Squire : In 1993, 53,000 children aged under five attended maintained nursery schools in England, either full or part time, and a further 287,000 children attended nursery classes in maintained primary schools.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he has taken and what methods he has used in calculating his published figures concerning children under school age attending reception classes, nursery classes in primary schools, nursery schools and registered playgroups to avoid double counting of those
Column 381children who, within the chosen period of any returns of single time census are attending, or have attended, more than one category of provision.
Mr. Robin Squire : Information on pupils in schools is collected each January from schools. A pupil should be on the register of only one school at any one point in time. Information on children attending playgroups is not held centrally. Figures quoted about playgroup attendance are those supplied by the Pre-school Playgroups Association, to which about 80 per cent. of playgroups are affiliated. It is of course possible that a child attends both a play group and some form of schooling in the same year.
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend has no such plans. Section 1 of the Education Reform Act 1988 requires the provision of a curriculum which prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. In fulfilment of that, schools often include preparation for parenthood within their programmes of personal, social and health education in the wider curriculum.
Mr. Robin Squire : Under the Education Acts the statutory duties relating to compulsory education apply from the start of the school term following a pupil's fifth birthday. Local education authorities and schools may make provision for children before that age, but are not obliged to do so.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to undertake a fundamental review of the availability of public assistance for the payment of the fees of law students taking either the legal practice course or Bar finals.
Mr. Boswell [holding answer 12 April 1994] : British universities received some £1.25 billion from private sources in 1991- 92--just over a quarter of their total income. Private income, which includes income from industry for a range of services, has grown by some 70 per cent in real terms since 1985. In addition to income, institutions had outstanding borrowings of some £830 million from the private sector in 1992 for capital developments.
Column 382We welcome this broadening of the funding base, which is a key means by which universities can strengthen their independence. We are seeking to increase private finance for higher education in line with the private finance initiative.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 14 February, Official Report, column 643-44, how many requests were received for entry packs for the 1993 national training awards ; how many inquiries were received about career development loans ; how many publications relating to "Just the Job" new measures were taken up ; and what proportion of the total number produced this represented.
Miss Widdecombe : The national training awards office received 9, 795 requests for entry packs for the 1993 competition ; 36,390 inquiries were received about career development loans during their 1993-94 advertising campaign ; 70,000 copies of the "Just the Job" were issued during the 1993-94 press advertisting campaign, representing 4.25 per cent. of the total produced.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what help is being given by fishing vessel owners in each port to assist this Department in identifying fishermen employed in the industry for redundancy ; what access is being given by them to records on each ; and what charges are being made.
Miss Widdecombe : Information has been obtained from a number of sources including the fishing vessel owners' records held in various ports. Vessel owners' associations have made their records available for inspection by departmental officials. No charge is being made for this service.
|<1>Nursery/Primary|<1>Secondary |£ per pupil |£ per pupil ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |1,486 |2,243 Dyfed |1,807 |2,164 Gwent |1,479 |2,226 Gwynedd |1,664 |2,423 Mid Glamorgan |1,476 |2,300 Powys |1,911 |2,088 South Glamorgan |1,494 |2,144 West Glamorgan |1,794 |2,403 <1> Local education authority and grant-maintained schools. Includes recharged expenditure on school catering and certain central services.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a list of all the non-departmental bodies in Wales that can be referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
Cardiff Bay Development Corporation
Countryside Council for Wales
Development Board for Rural Wales (except housing functions) Housing for Wales
Office of HM Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales
Sports Council for Wales
Wales Tourist Board
Welsh Language Board
The commissioner may investigate actions taken on behalf of a Government Department or other authority within his jurisdiction.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all Forestry Commission land sold in Mid Glamorgan since 1 January 1991, giving the hectarage and the price paid per hectare ; and what information he has on the current use of that land.
Mr. Redwood : The areas of forest land which have been sold by the Forestry Commission in Mid Glamorgan since 1 January 1991 are shown in the table. The price paid per hectare is given where the purchaser has agreed that such information can be made public. The Forestry Commission does not maintain records of the subsequent use of the woodlands it sells ; however, woodland cannot normally be converted to another use without planning permission.
Name of Property |Area |Price (£) |(hectares) |Per hectare -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aberbargoed tip |21.00 |22,400 Blaengarw (old tip) |67.80 |600 Coed Cefn Rhychdir |23.00 |<1>- Cors y Sarnau |15.70 |<1>- Fochriw to Deri (main sewer improvement) |0.30 |1,700 Llanbradach (colliery road) |0.01 |50,000 Parc Cefn Machen (part) |0.10 |<1>- Treherbert (land at) |4.00 |<1>- Twyn Ifan Madoc |18.50 |<1>- <1> Not public information.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received on the closure of the Design Council in Wales ; and what plans he has to ensure that industry in Wales continues to receive a design service.
Sir Wyn Roberts : I have no knowledge of a development agency for further education. However, a new body is to be established in place of the further education unit and further education staff college which between them carried out much important work in developing the FE sector in England and Wales.
I expect the new, as yet unnamed, body to complement the work of the Further Education Funding Council for Wales and provide the advice, support and other services that colleges and interested organisations will need.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the measures he is taking to improve access to and from the Deeside industrial park, Deeside, Clwyd, with the objective of increasing productivity, ending lorry queues and improving road safety ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he proposes to give additional moneys to local education authorities in Wales to enable them to fit seat belts in school minibuses ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what consultation he has had with local education authorities in Wales concerning the need to fit seat belts in minibuses used to transport school children.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The Government are anxious to do all that we can to limit minibus and coach accidents and to mitigate their effect. We are currently reviewing the whole technical and cost implications of seat belts in these vehicles, including the "three for two" concession in home-to- school transport.
Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what involvement the Countryside Council for Wales has had in operating the measures introduced to prevent overgrazing under the hill livestock compensatory allowance scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The Countryside Council for Wales and other environmental and farming interests were consulted about the introduction of these measures. The operational responsibility rests with my officials assisted by Agricultural Development Advisory Service specialists.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to introduce weather aid to compensate farmers in parts of Wales affected by exceptional losses of lambs resulting from extreme weather during the 1994 lambing season ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : I sympathise with sheep farmers who have suffered higher than usual losses of lambs this season, but it is not the Government's policy to provide compensation for the day-to-day business risks usually associated with livestock production.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effect onarable farmers in Wales of the division of Wales into less-favoured area/non-less-favoured area sectors for the purposes of grant payment ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : No producer will receive less this year than last, subject to any changes in the green rate in force on 1 July 1994 and provided that the total area on which payments are made remains constant. Specialist cereal growers, most of whom are in the non-less-favoured area sector, will benefit from higher payments.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the measures he has planned to eliminate traffic jams from Sealand, through Garden city, Queensferry, Shotton and Connahs quay to Kelsterton on the A550 and A494 ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The communities referred to are along roads which are the responsibility of Clwyd county council, which is planning to build the third Dee crossing. This is expected to alleviate traffic along those routes. My right hon. Friend plans to upgrade the Deeside industrial park junction on the A550 which will complement the county council's proposals.
Mr. Redwood : I have appointed Professor Eric Sunderland as chairman of the commission from 1 April. Professor Sunderland replaces Lady Crawshay, who has chaired the commission since 1979. I have also re- appointed Mr. Richard Hall Williams as deputy chairman and appointed Mr. Lloyd FitzHugh in succession to Mr. Ray Lacey.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what is the total expected cost to the United Kingdom Exchequer of support for the Pergau dam project ; (2) what the total cost of the Pergau dam project to the United Kingdom Exchequer has been to date ;
(3) if he will set out the planned schedule of all future disbursements for the Pergau dam project from the Overseas Development Administration, with the planned dates and amounts in each case.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade at column 360. In addition to the total estimate of interest rate support costs to the Exchequer for the Pergau project of £255.310 million, a further £1.035 million in total is expected to be spent on technical, financial and environmental monitoring of the implementation of the project. The total estimated cost to the Exchequer of the project is therefore £256.345 million.
The total cost of the project to the Exchequer to date is £29.621 million. This covers actual expenditure between the financial years 1991-92 --1993-94 on ECGD and ODA interest rate support costs of £29.202 million and ODA expenditure on technical, financial and environmental monitoring of £0.419 million.
The current planned schedule for estimated future disbursements from ODA for (A) interest rate support costs contributed by ODA and (B) technical, financial and environmental monitoring costs of the implementation of the project is as set out in the table. The payments under (A) are made in June and December in each financial year ; the payments under (B) for monitoring implementation of the project are made as work proceeds, without any pre- planned disbursement dates.
£ million |(A) |(B) ------------------------------- 1994-95 |25.310|0.240 1995-96 |26.940|0.240 1996-97 |26.950|0.136 1997-98 |26.980|- 1998-99 |22.926|- 1999-2000 |19.749|- 2000-01 |16.538|- 2001-02 |13.396|- 2002-03 |10.218|- 2003-04 |7.039 |- 2004-05 |3.880 |- 2005-06 |0.740 |-
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : UNHCR currently estimates a requirement of 45,000 metric tons per month of food for Bosnia Herzegovina. Prior to the airlift being temporarily suspended on 11 April the delivery rate--for March--was 82 per cent.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Until a permanent cessation of hostilities is agreed, it will not be possible to provide medical supplies sufficient to meet all the needs throughout Bosnia. The United Nations agencies have appealed for US$1.76 million in emergency aid and health supplies for April which we understand is fully covered by donor pledges.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his estimate of the cost to be incurred for each exercise in market testing in progress or planned within the Overseas Development Administration ; and what is his projection for the saving to be made.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what market tests have been completed ; what market tests are in progress ; and what market tests are planned for the Overseas Development Administration ;
(2) what was the cost of each exercise in market testing completed to date within the Overseas Development Administration ; and how much money was saved as a result of the exercise.
Mr. Brooke : I would like this review to be completed as rapidly as possible. Officials will make recommendations to Ministers this summer, but the timing of an announcement about the outcome will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of those recommendations and any legislative implications.
Mr. Brooke : Our policy is to encourage the broadcasters to reduce the broadcasting of the same programmes on AM and FM frequencies. AM frequencies used by the BBC for local radio will be released to the Radio Authority, if they are needed for the development of independent local radio.