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Numbers of IVB recipients dealt with by Brighton DO at a point in time |Area ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- May |1991 |2,137 |Brighton DO area only May |1992 |2,556 |Brighton DO area only May |1993 |4,243 |Brighton DO and Lewes BO areas March |1994, |4608 |Brighton DO and Lewes BO areas
These figures were obtained from a 100 per cent. clerical count of cases in the DO at the last working day of each month.
Column 701Districts do not maintain records of the total amount of IVB paid to customers in any period. To establish the amount of benefit in payment at any point in time would involve disproportionate cost. I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mrs. Jane Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what new guidelines his Department has issued to adjudication officers for determining eligibility for disability living allowance with specific reference to sufferers from epilepsy.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what legal advice he took before deciding to issue a directive to his accounting officer on expenditure on the Pergau dam.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary explained the position in his evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee. The ODA accounting officer sought a direction from him on the grounds of the prudent and economical administration of aid funds, but not because of any issue of propriety.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what indications there have been that the signatories have been more willing to allow unimpeded access for food and medical aid in Sudan following the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development talks in Nairobi ; and what access there will be to the Nuba mountains for international relief organisations through Operation Lifeline Sudan.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Nations has submitted proposals for access to 85 areas by air, 17 by road and four by river to the parties to the IGADD talks. The next scheduled talks are on 3 May. In the Nuba mountains, Kadugli and Dillinge are now accessible to United Nations agencies. The United Nations has applied to the Government of Sudan for access to further areas.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what has been the level of Operation Lifeline Sudan in each of the years in which it has been operating ; what is the level that the United Nations sees as necessary for this year ; and what has been pledged by donor nations ;
Column 702(2) who are the donors to Operation Lifeline Sudan ; and how much they each contribute.
Mr. Jack : The fisheries laboratory at Conwy is one of the four laboratories that comprise the directorate of fisheries research--DFR. Like most public sector research establishments, DFR is subject to the efficiency scrutiny announced on 2 February 1994 by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Within DFR a study is also taking place of all the directorate's laboratory sites to identify options and potential savings and efficiency gains which may be appropriate for the future.
Mr. Soames : The Racing Pigeons (Vaccination) Order 1994 requires that an organiser of a pigeon show or race which takes part wholly or partly in Great Britain shall ensure that all racing pigeons entered for the show have been vaccinated with a suitable vaccine against paramyxovirus 1--PMV1--in pigeons. This implements a specific requirement in Council directive 92/66/EEC on Community measures for the control of Newcastle disease which in turn, recognises the part that racing pigeons can play in spreading Newcastle disease to commercial poultry, either through direct contact or by passing the PMV virus to feral pigeons.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many parliamentary questions to his Department have not been answered over the past five years because of disproportionate costs or because the information requested was not held centrally ; how many could be answered now due to computerisation and/or more effective operational systems ; and if he will list each such question along with the name and constituency of the hon. Member who tabled it.
Mr. Brooke : Since my Department was formed in April 1992 it has declined to answer 14 questions on the ground of disproportionate cost or because the information requested was not held centrally. As computer and operational systems continue to improve there will doubtless be increased potential for this number to decline.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proportion of the moneys allocated to them from the national lottery development fund he envisages should be the maximum spent on administrative costs by the five bodies selected by him to distribute the proceeds of the national lottery.
Mr. Brooke : The proportion of net lottery proceeds spent by distributing bodies on administration costs will depend on the amounts allocated to them from the national lottery distribution fund and the total number of applications they have to process. Directions issued to the bodies under section 26(3) of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 will require them to secure value for money in the administration of lottery funds.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The treaty on European Union provides that every person holding the nationality of a member state shall be a citizen of the Union and there is no provision for a derogation from this article.
In their statement on former Yugoslavia, Ministers condemned the continuing Bosnian Serb attacks on Gorazde and called for an immediate ceasefire and the release of all detained United Nations personnel. They also called for an intensified diplomatic effort by the international community. This should involved the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. It would aim to ensure the convergence of their initiatives and to bring about talks between the parties at an early date based on the European Union plan and taking into account the Washington accord and the talks on the Krajinas. An association council with Cyprus was held in the margins.
The Council agreed a common position on the cohesion fund regulation which will govern the operations of the cohesion fund. The text will now be transmitted to the European Parliament for assent.
Column 704The President of the European Commission, Mr. Delors, gave a brief presentation to the Council on follow-up activity to the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment. He said that the Commission would focus on improving the functioning of the single market, paying particular attention to the fiscal and regulatory environment for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Commission presented ideas for enhancing the European Union relationship with Ukraine. Discussion will continue at a future FAC. The Council adopted a package of interim measures for discussion with the future South African Government, intended to send a strong political signal in support of the transition to democracy. The measures include trade and economic co-operation, a special development co-operation programme and political dialogue. A long-term relationship will be discussed subsequently, should the new Government wish.
The Council agreed a joint action on the middle east to assist the European Union's policy of political and economic support for the middle east peace process. The text of the joint action is being deposited in the House Library.
Ministers agreed that preparations to launch the European Union's initiative for a pact on stability in Europe at a conference in Paris on 26 -27 May were proceeding well. Ministers will review progress again at the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 May. The Council agreed provisional guidelines for financing actions under the common foreign and security policy.
The Commission introduced its proposal for a directive establishing the arrangements to allow citizens of the Union residing in a member state of which they are not nationals to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections. The proposal was broadly welcomed by the Council. There will be discussions in the Home Affairs Council on 21 April.
The Council welcomed applications for European Union membership from Poland and Hungary and invited the Commission to prepare its opinions on the applications.
The Council was unable to confirm an agreement reached in the Committee of Permanent Representatives on the application by The Guardian newspaper for access to a number of Council documents under the code of conduct on the right of access to information. The Council underlined the importance of rapid completion of negotiations towards a partnership and co-operation agreement with Russia and invited the Commission to explore Russian proposals relating to trade in nuclear material.
The Council reached agreement on allocating the remaining European Union fish quotas gained under the European economic
area--EEA--agreement. It agreed the internal allocation of North Norway cod among Spain, Portugal and Ireland ; and Icelandic redfish among the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and France.
The Council heard a report on the state of the Organisation for Economic Co -operation and Development negotiations on state aids for shipbuilding. The Council hoped that the negotiations, which were approaching a conclusion, could be finalised soon. The Council emphasised the importance of an agreement permitting competition rules to function better.
Column 705The Council remitted the Commission request to send its draft decision for concluding the Uruguay round to the European Parliament to COREPER for examination.
Germany made a statement reserving its right to pursue its case against the EC banana regime in the European Court of Justice and to object to the proposed changes agreed with the Latin Americans. Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands associated themselves with the statement.
No formal vote was taken.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 19 April, Official Report, column 445, concerning the nature of the contacts between his Office and that of Mr. Delors, if he will state the names and offices of the persons giving and receiving the respective assurances ; and if he will place a copy of the recipients' notes in the Library.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made clear in the House on 30 March, and as my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office made clear on 12 April, the assurances we received from the Commission were given with the full authority of Mr. Delors. The discussions between the Commission and ourselves were conducted on a confidential basis and I do not intend to breach their confidentiality. Nor do I see any need to do so : we have informed the House fully of the outcome of those discussions.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he intends to put in place to encourage the development of co- operatives in the manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail, marketing, finance and housing sectors ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart : I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 10 February 1994 and to that of my hon. Friend the Minister responsible for education and housing in Scotland dated 17 February 1994. In order to encourage the development of marketing co-operatives the Government will introduce, later this year, the marketing development scheme, which is intended to help producers and processors improve their marketing and commercial expertise. In addition the Scottish Agricultural Society receives Government funding to carry out on behalf of the Scottish Office co-operative development work among farmers.
The Government's Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill provides a general deregulatory power which will enable burden on business to be removed by secondary legislation. The illustrative list of uses for this general power, published alongside the Bill, includes proposals for credit unions and industrial and provident societies. These measures, when implemented, will remove restrictions on co-operatives and enable them to streamline their procedures. That, in turn, should encourage the continued growth of the sector.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to require local enterprise companies to publish and make available to the public a corporate plan or any other mechanism to increase the information available to the public about their activities.
Mr. Stewart : The local enterprise companies are required by their operating contracts with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to publish synopses of their operating and business plans-- analogous to a corporate plan--in addition to their annual reports and accounts. They are further required to publicise and hold annually a meeting open to members of the public.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will list those hospitals which have contracts with purchasers to provide infertility treatments, giving their average and lengthiest waiting times for first appointments and commencement of treatment for (a) those on the hospital's own list, (b) those who are accepted for treatment under a contractual arrangement with a fundholding GP and (c) those who are accepted under a contractual arrangement with a health board outside its own area ;
(2) if he will list the average waiting time for infertility treatment to begin at each hospital providing this service, in each year since such services began.
Mr. Stewart : Hospitals which have contracts in 1994-95 to provide infertility services are listed. Information on waiting times for first appointments and commencement of infertility treatment is not held centrally.
Hospitals with contracts in 1994-95 to provide Infertility Treatment
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Borders General Hospital
Caithness General Hospital
Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock
Dundee Teaching Hospital
Eastern General Hospital, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary
Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Glasgow Western Infirmary
Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride
Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock
Law Hospital, Carluke
Monklands District General Hospital, Lanarkshire
Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline
Raigmore Hospital, Inverness
Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley
St. John's at Howden, West Lothian
Southern General Hospital, Glasgow
Stirling Royal Infirmary
Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow
Stonehouse Hospital, Lanarkshire
Vale of Leven District General Hospital
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow
Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) charges and (b) convictions there have been under the Carrying of Knives etc. (Scotland) Act 1993 in each of the police authority areas of Scotland.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 19 April 1994] : Information on the number of charges is not collected centrally. Information on the number of persons proceeded against and convicted where the main charge was an offence under the Carrying of Knives etc. (Scotland) Act 1993 will not be available until later this year.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prisoners have escaped while under escort in each of the past seven years ; in how many such cases discipline charges were proceeded against those officers carrying out the escort duties ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 April 1994] : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Scottish Prison Service under its chief executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Dr. Norman Godman, dated 22 April 1994 :
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your question about the number of escapes of prisoners from escorts in the last 7 years and in how many such cases discipline charges were proceeded against officers carrying out escorting duties.
The information requested on the number of escapes is published annually in the Scottish Prison Service Annual Reports and is as follows :
Escapes from escorts Year |Prisoners|Young |offenders ----------------------------------------- 1987 |10 |20 <1>1988-89 |26 |15 1989-90 |9 |9 1990-91 |13 |12 1991-92 |14 |5 1992-93 |24 |5 1993-94 |9 |3 <1> 15-month period.
To provide figures for the number of cases where discipline charges were instituted within the last 7 years would only be achieved at disproportionate cost. The figure for the period 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1994 is 14.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of whether there are sections of the police service that could be operated by the private sector ; and what proposals he has for any such initiatives.
Column 708including whether any tasks undertaken by police forces could be fulfilled by other agencies, but he has at present no proposals in this area.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : I am aware of three cases before the English courts in 1993 in which pleadings involved article 86 of the EC treaty. Information for earlier years is not readily available. Main decisions and measures taken by the Commission of the European Communities under the competition provisions of the EC treaty are described in the Commission's annual reports on competition policy which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps are being taken by the Board of Trade to ensure copyright protection and enforcement is being carried out or prepared in (a) eastern Europe and (b) China.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Government are fully supporting European Community initiatives to achieve effective protection of copyright in eastern Europe, since we believe that this is now the most effective way of bringing influence to bear in that area. Six countries in the region-- Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland and Romania--have now signed association agreements with the Community, a specific condition of which is that both the level of intellectual property protection and the means of enforcing rights must be brought up to a standard comparable to that in the Community. My Department has also been active over several years in making representations to the Chinese authorities to the effect that China should enact copyright laws conforming to international standards of protection, which they have now done. China's recent accession to the Berne copyright convention and the phonograms convention means that China is obliged to protect British and other foreign rights owners under their new laws to at least the same standard as their own nationals, and the Government will take up with the Chinese authorities any failure to meet these obligations where clear evidence exists.
Moreover, the recently concluded general agreement on tariffs and trade sets standards both on the level of copyright protection and on its enforcement, and includes remedies for failure to meet these standards. China hopes to become a party to the GATT and will, therefore, be expected to abide by these standards.