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Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department received a copy of the report commissioned on the introduction of competency-based training for hospital officers and nurses ; and when he intends to publish it.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. David Blunkett, dated 4 May 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question as to when his Department received a copy of the report commissioned on the introduction of competency based training for hospital officers and nurses ; and when he intends to publish it.
The report commissioned on the introduction of competency based training was received on the 28 February 1992. The report was judged to meet neither quality standards nor the tender specification. The report was therefore rejected by the Head of Nursing Services and not published. A further report was commissioned from an alternative source and received on 20 November 1992. As a direct result of this second report a policy of providing National Vocational Qualifications in care at levels 2 and 3 has been introduced for all hospital officers now called health care officers.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women prisoners gave birth during imprisonment in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years ; in which prisons the women were held before the birth ; in which prisons the women were held after the birth ; and where the births took place.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated4 May 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of women who have given birth while serving a prison sentence in each of the last ten years ; in which prisons the women were held before the birth ; in which prisons the women were held after the birth ; and where the births took place.
The annual reports on the work of the Prison Service until 1991-92 record the number of women temporarily removed to outside hospital for delivery and returning to establishments afterwards. Figures are now published in the annual report of the Director of Health Care for prisoners. The figures are :
|Numbers --------------------------- 1983 |70 <1>1984-85 |70 1985-86 |71 1986-87 |62 1987-88 |75 1988-89 |63 1989-90 |74 1990-91 |65 1991-92 |56 1992-93 |29 <1> 15 month period.
In addition there were six deliveries within Prison Service establishments :
|Numbers ------------------------ 1983 |1 1984-85 |1 1985-86 |1 1987-88 |1 1988-89 |2
Pregnant women who wish to keep their babies with them in prison are held in Holloway, Styal or Askham Grange. It is not possible to say which prisons women were held in after the birth as such detailed records are not kept. If the baby remained with the mother on a prison mother and baby unit they would have been in Holloway, Askham Grange or Styal prisons. If the mother made alternative arrangements for the care of her baby then it is possible she may have been held in any of the women's establishments.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he has received about the effect the Sunday Trading Bill will have on the operation of cinemas on Sunday ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 527Liverpool philharmonic, the Bournemouth symphony orchestra and the City of Birmingham symphony orchestra.
Mr. Brooke : I am aware of concerns that the orchestras to which my hon. Friend refers are currently facing varying degrees of financial difficulty. However, I have no locus in matters relating to the funding of individual arts organisations. The orchestras in question are clients of the Arts Council of England, which closely monitors their financial as well as artistic and management performance.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what information he has concerning the number of broadcasting franchises which have to date been allocated to community radio broadcasters ; who are the broadcasters concerned ; and on what date they took over the franchise in question.
Mr. Brooke : Government policy is that the responsibi-lity for licensing independent radio services lies with the Radio Authority, which will have the detailed answers my hon. Friend seeks. Some general information on independent radio licenses may be found in the Authority's annual report, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what restrictions are in place on advertising drugs available without prescription which are designed to aid sleep ; what checks are carried out to ensure that addictive or potentially harmful drugs are not advertised for mass consumption ; what health warnings should be given in such advertisements ; in what ways regulations or guidelines on the advertisement of such drugs have been amended or relaxed within the past five years ; what plans he has to introduce new legislation, statutory orders or guidelines to regulate the promotion of aids to sleep which are available without prescription ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : I refer the hon. Member to the reply to his similar question given on 27 April, column 203, by my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Sackville). The Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority issue codes of advertising standards and practice, which include provisions on medicines and treatments. These codes are reviewed from time to time.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether the current remit of the housing association tenants ombudsman will allow the extension of his work to incorporate those members of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers which are not registered housing associations ; what is his policy on such an extension ; and what is the estimated additional cost ;
(2) what plans he has to support attempts by the Association of Retirement Housing Managers to bring all their members under the jurisdiction of the housing association tenants ombudsman.
Sir George Young : The housing association tenants ombudsman service was established by the Housing Corporation last autumn to handle complaints from tenants and leaseholders of properties owned or managed by housing associations registered with the Corporation. This is a very early stage at which to consider posible extensions of its remit, particularly outside the registered housing association sector. I shall, however, seek the views of the Housing Corporation about the feasibility of the proposal made by the Association of Retirement Housing Managers.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the sums given to each London borough for the year 1994- 95 for the tenants' cash incentive scheme ; and how each sum is arrived at.
In assessing bids and allocating the £16.2 million my right hon. Friend took account of a number of factors, including : how the housing needs of the area would benefit from a cash incentive scheme ; the general needs index for the authority ; the amount the authority proposed to allocate to the scheme from its own resources, and whether it had the means to do so ; whether the authority had previously run a successful scheme ; and the value of encouraging a local authority to run a scheme for the first time.
Local Authority |Allocation (£) ------------------------------------------------------- Barnet |500,000 Bexley |110,000 Brent |520,000 Camden |1,500,000 Corporation of London |110,000 Croydon |1,420,000 Ealing |350,000 Enfield |700,000 Greenwich |460,000 Hackney |690,000 Hammersmith and Fulham |450,000 Haringey |820,000 Harrow |450,000 Havering |100,000 Hillingdon |810,000 Hounslow |380,000 Islington |610,000 Kensington and Chelsea |180,000 Kingston upon Thames |400,000 Lambeth |540,000 Lewisham |180,000 Merton |270,000 Newham |630,000 Redbridge |450,000 Richmond upon Thames |500,000 Southwark |150,000 Sutton |210,000 Tower Hamlets |310,000 Waltham Forest |810,000 Wandsworth |750,000 Westminster |840,000 Totals |16,200,000
Column 529price limits for water companies ; what responsibility they have to take into account the views of the consumer ; and by what means.
Mr. Atkins : The Director General of Water Services, Mr. Byatt, has responsibility for setting water price limits. It is not for the Secretary of State to guide him. However, in preparation for his current periodic review of price limits, the Director General sought the perspective of the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales on the environmental and safety obligations which water companies will have to meet in the period 1995 to 2005. The Secretaries of State published their perspective, "Water Charges : The Quality Framework", in October 1993. The Director General has a duty to protect the interests of customers under section 2 of the Water Industry Act 1991. To assist him in this task, Ofwat has established 10 regional customer service committees and a National Customer Council.
Mr. Baldry : Urban development corporations make use of architectural, engineering, property, legal and other specialist consultancy to provide the necessary expertise in managing major regeneration projects. It provides better value for money to the Exchequer for corporations to make use of private practice in this way than to employ such staff with the appropriate technical expertise in-house. Consultants are appointed by competitive tendering and in accordance with strict procedures which are open to inspection by independent auditors, appointed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many civil servants in his Department applied in each year since 1986 through the business appointments system to take up an outside appointment (a) as an independent consultant, (b) with a firm of consultants and (c) in other employment ; how many were referred to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments ; and how many were granted.
|Independent|Firm of |Other |Referred to|Granted |consultants|consultants|employment |advisory |committee ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1986 |7 |4 |40 |2 |All 1987 |7 |3 |29 |0 |All 1988 |8 |3 |44 |0 |All 1989 |10 |12 |37 |0 |All 1990 |11 (12) |4 |27 (29) |1 (3) |All 1991 |9 |3 |16 (29) |1 (3) |All 1992 |9 (13) |4 |39 (43) |2 (6) |All 1993 |6 (10) |10 |23 (34) |2 (5) |All 1994 |4 (7) |0 |13 (20) |2 (3) |All Note: The figures in brackets are the number of applications received; all other figures refer to the number of individuals who applied.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment at what date the guidance in the revised planning policy guidance note 13 came into effect ; and what influences it is expected to have on planning inspectors sitting on appeals at that time.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 May 1994] : The revision of planning policy guidance note 13 was published on 15 March 1994. It is capable of being a material consideration in any planning decision taken after that date--whether by a local planning authority, the Secretary of State or a planning inspector appointed to take a decision on his behalf.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the effects of increases in water charges on old-age pensioners ; and what plans he has for specific assistance.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 3 May 1994] : The Director General of Water Services has a duty to protect the interests of customers and ensure no undue preference or discrimination in the fixing of charges. In performing this
Column 530duty he is required to take into account, in particular, the interests of those who are disabled or of pensionable age. The Director General is currently undertaking a periodic review of charge limits for the 10 years from 1 April 1995 and will be announcing the results of his review in July.
Both the Government and the Director General are aware of the impact of rising water charges on all customers and are very keen to ensure that future charges are no higher than necessary. Specific assistance to those in need is a matter for the Secretary of State for Social Security.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many miles of rivers and streams in England and Wales are polluted or are at risk of pollution from former mine workings ; and what action he is taking in each region to ensure that such pollution is prevented following the passage of the Coal Industry Bill.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 3 May 1994] : In its report "Abandoned Mines and the Water Environment" published in March 1994, the National Rivers Authority estimated that some 200 km of waters in England an Wales are affected by abandoned coal mines. My noble Friend the Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry
Column 531addressed the issue in another place on 26 April. He noted that the Government are reviewing the framework of pollution legislation relating to abandoned mines. Pending the outcome of that review he made clear that the Government would expect the Coal Authority, as owner of all abandoned coal mines in Great Britain, to go beyond the minimum standards of environmental responsibility which are set by its present legal duties in these areas and to seek the best environmental result which can be secured from the use of the resources available to it for these purposes. The Coal Authority will have a specific budget for this, which will enable it to carry forward in full the role and activities of British Coal in this area.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what are the criteria for bids for a share of the money allocated to East Anglia under objective 5b funding ; what qualifying schemes he has been advised upon ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will make a statement clarifying how £46 million for East Anglia is to be allocated from the funds available under objective 5b funding ; what is now the timetable for bids ; and when he expects fund allocations to be made.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 May 1994] : The Government presented six plans to the European Commission on 26 April for the development of those rural areas of England which are eligible to receive EC structural funds under objective 5b. One such eligible area covers parts of East Anglia. The plans describe the strategies and priorities which will be pursued with the funds in these areas for the period 1994-99.
The plan for the East Anglia objective 5b area identifies the types of activities for which assistance from structural funds will be sought. These include support for the development of businesses, agricultural and fishery diversification, the development of human resources, development of tourism and cultural activities and for research and development.
Under the structural funds regulations, the European Commission is required to respond to the plan within six months of receipt. It is not possible to draw upon the £46 million allocated to the region to fund projects until the Commission has reached a decision on the East Anglia plan. However, I hope bids can be invited before the autumn. The Government office for the eastern region is continuing to work closely with other local partners, such as local authorities and training and enterprise councils, on measures to implement the plan. In due course, a monitoring committee will be established to determine the detailed criteria for selecting projects.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy in regard to evaluating independent expert studies of the long-term safety of the storage of high-level radioactive waste liquor in the Sellafield storage tanks.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him on 8 March, Official Report , column 203 .
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the press statements, parliamentary answers and other official documents in which the average household council tax has been used as a measure since April 1992.
Mr. Curry [holding answer 29 April 1994] : The average household council tax was published in "Local Government Financial Statistics No. 4" 1990-91 to 1993-94 and in two departmental press notices, the first dated 31 March 1993, the second 31 March 1994. In each instance, a corresponding headline council tax figure for band C, two adults was also shown. The average household council tax has also been given in answer to four parliamentary questions :
On 24 February 1993 to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Greenway) Official Report, columns 872-74 ;
On 28 April 1993 to the hon. Member for Houghton and Washington (Mr. Boyes) Official Report, column 941 and the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Denham) Official Report, column 422 ; On 7 February 1994 to my noble Friend Lord Braine of Wheatley, Official Report, column 118.
The Government believe that using the band C, two adults figure is the best way to compare council with council. But the average figure can be useful in comparing the council tax with the community charge, and in looking at year-on-year changes.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what correspondence he has had during 1994 with Dwr Cymru plc concerning water and sewage services to householders in Wales for 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : My right hon. Friend and his Department are in regular contact with Dwr Cymru on matters of common interest. The Director General of Water Services has responsibility for protecting the interests of customers for water and sewerage services in England and Wales.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many junior hospital doctors in Wales are currently contracted for more than 72 hours per week ; and what percentage of the total number of junior doctors in Wales this represents.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The latest returns for September 1993 showed that a total of 786 junior doctors were contracted to work for more than 72 hours per week, which represents 47 per cent. of the total number in Wales, while none was contracted to work more than an average of 83 hours per week, as required under the Government's programme to reduce the hours of junior hospital doctors. The next stage is to reduce contracted hours to 72 hours on average in hard-pressed specialties by 31 December 1994.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received on the content of annexe 1 to planning policy guidance note 22 referring to the development of wind energy plants ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a table showing on how many occasions each district council in Wales has granted planning permission (a) in departure from its structure plan and (b) against the advice of its chief planning officer in each year since 1990.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : This information is not held centrally. In the Government response to the Welsh Affairs Committee's report on rural housing, it was accepted that it would be prudent to survey the performance of local planning authorities in the handling of departure cases in view of the recent changes in planning legislation. Consideration is currently being given to how best to collect this information.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 25 March, Official Report, column 454, if he will publish for each district council in Wales, and for Wales as a whole, for the latest available year (a) the total number of suicides, (b) the number of suicides by farmers and (c) the figures in (b) as a percentage of (a) ; and if he will make a statement.
|(a) |(b) |(c) Residents of: |Total suicides|Suicides and |and |undetermined |suicides as a |undetermined |deaths of |percentage of |deaths |farmers<1> |total suicides -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alyn and Deeside |9 |- |- Colwyn |10 |1 |10 Delyn |5 |- |- Glyndwr |6 |1 |16.7 Rhuddlan |6 |- |- Wrexham Maelor |19 |- |- Carmarthen |9 |- |- Ceredigion |6 |- |- Dinefwr |9 |1 |11.1 Llanelli |13 |- |- Preseli Pembrokeshire |7 |- |- South Pembrokeshire |5 |- |- Blaenau Gwent |10 |- |- Islwyn |2 |- |- Monmouth |7 |- |- Newport |16 |- |- Torfaen |10 |- |- Aberconwy |10 |- |- Arfon |13 |- |- Dwyfor |3 |- |- Meirionnydd |5 |- |- Ynys Mon-Isle of Anglesey |12 |- |- Cynon Valley |3 |- |- Merthyr Tydfil |7 |- |- Ogwr |18 |- |- Rhondda |10 |- |- Rhymney Valley |14 |- |- Taff-Ely |13 |- |- Brecknock |4 |- |- Montgomeryshire |6 |1 |16.7 Radnor |6 |1 |16.7 Cardiff |38 |- |- Vale of Glamorgan |11 |- |- Lliw Valley |9 |- |- Neath |9 |- |- Port Talbot |5 |- |- Swansea |29 |1 |3.4 |---- |---- |---- Wales |374 |6 |1.6 <1> Farmers, horticulturalists and farm managers. Source: OPCS.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to obtain budgeted revenue information on community care for each local authority area in Wales since introduction of the programme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The Government propose that the Environment Agency should be established as an England and Wales organisation. The precise regional, and supporting committee, structure has yet to be determined ; but the interests of local government in Wales will be taken fully into account when appointments come to be made.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The detailed arrangements for service provision at the local level will be a matter for the Environment Agency itself to determine. However, Ministers will expect it to plan its operations so as to develop a close and responsive relationship with those whom it will regulate, the public and local communities.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to provide additional funding to local authorities to assist them to carry out surveys required by the Environment Agency by 1 April 1995.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Some information is needed from local authorities in Wales in connection with the planned transfer of the waste regulation function to the Environment Agency. However, the Welsh Office, and the
Column 535Department of the Environment in England, intend to keep such requests to the absolute minimum ; and no additional financial provision for local authorities is considered necessary.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The precise regional structure of the Environment Agency will be a matter for its board to determine. However, Welsh Office Ministers regard it as of importance that it should have a strong regional presence in Wales.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the objections he has received with respect to the revised scheme of reorganisation in milk marketing ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : I have received five responses to the consultation on the amended reorganisation scheme submitted by the Milk Marketing Board. They expressed support for the scheme in general, but were concerned about some points of detail.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the cost of employing consultants in connection with privatisation programmes in which his Department has been engaged since 1980.
Mr. Redwood : Since 1980 the Welsh Office has not incurred any expenditure on consultants in connection with privatisation programmes. The Department of Environment and the Department of Trade and Industry respectively took responsibility for the privatisation of Welsh Water and South Wales Electricity in 1989.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the public appointments of Miss Beata Brookes ; what pay and time is allocated to each appointment ; what is the term of office for that appointment ; and if he will make a statement.
Welsh Consumer Council --Chair
Remuneration : £4,730 per annum
Time Commitment : 8 days per month
National Consumer Council --Member
Remuneration : £4,730 per annum
Time Commitment : 12-15 days per annum
Both appointments run from 1 June 1991 to 30 April 1997 ; these appointments are made by the President of the Board of Trade. EC Economic and Social Committee --Member
Remuneration : Nil
Time Commitment : Approximately 100 days per annum
This appointment is made by the EC Council of Ministers ; the appointment runs from 19 November 1993 to 31 August 1994.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received in relation to Miss Beata Brookes' appointment as chairperson of the Welsh Consumer Council ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 3 May 1994] : I have received a number of letters concerning the reappointment of the chair of the Welsh Consumer Council, all of which supported Miss Brookes' reappointment.
I am consulted about this appointment, which is made by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.