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Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) integrated, (b) maintained and (c) controlled primary schools there are ; and how many in each of these categories have fewer than 35 pupils.
Mr. Ancram : The information for 1993-94 is as follows :
|Number of |Number of |primary schools |primary schools with |less than 35 pupils ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Integrated |17 |2 Maintained |456 |21 Controlled |478 |32 |--- |--- Total |951 |55
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of primary schools pay rates.
Sir John Wheeler : The total number of primary schools and preparatory departments in Northern Ireland is 977. Of this total, 16 are exempt from the payment of rates. The percentage of primary schools paying rates is therefore 98 per cent.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list all official bodies, or private bodies with official representation or funding, which supervise or advise on activities on both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland giving in each case the date of the group's formation, details of representation from both sides of the border and levels of funding where appropriate.
Sir John Wheeler : Information on those official bodies established to address cross-border issues is given below. In addition, officials from both sides of the border meet regularly on matters of mutual interest.
Joint steering group--Shannon-erne waterway
A joint steering group with representation from officials from Government Departments in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was set up in November 1990 to oversee the restoration of the Shannon-Erne waterway. In Northern Ireland official representation is drawn from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Finance and the Personnel and Central Secretariat. In the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Finance, the Department of the Taioseach, the Department of Tourism and Trade, the Office of Public Works and the Electricity Supply Board are represented. The work of the Joint Steering Group is financed entirely from within the constituent departments.
Foyle Fisheries Commission
The Foyle Fisheries Commission was formed on 25 March 1952. Two members are appointed by the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland--DANI--and two by the Minister for the Marine in the Republic of Ireland.
The Foyle Fisheries Commission's annual financial deficit is funded equally by DANI and by the Department of the Marine. The DANI contribution in the year ended 31 March 1994 was £131,000. European Studies Project Steering Committee
The European Studies Project Steering Committee was established in 1985 jointly by the three Departments of Education in England, in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland. Membership of the steering committee is drawn from the Departments of Education in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and from the five education and library boards in Northern Ireland, with observers from HMI in England and Scotland. The steering committee has no financial resources. Support for its multi- national inter-schools' activities is provided by the relevant Departments of Education.
Advisory Committee International Fund for Ireland and Joint Secretariat
In accordance with article 10 of the agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Ireland concerning the International Fund for Ireland--Cmn. 266, dated 18 September 1986--an advisory committee has been established composed of representative officials of the two Governments. The committee advises the Board of the Fund on applications for assistance. In addition to the advisory committee, a joint secretariat, composed of
Column 177officials from both Governments, exists to provide the necessary administrative support to the Board of the Fund. No Government funding is involved with either body.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table showing, for each of the last three years, the current year and the projection for next year the expenditure on road maintenance in each council area in Northern Ireland and also indicate the sums expended in each of the last four winters on gritting in each council area and in total for such periods or if more convenient financial years.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on road maintenance in each council area (a) in each of the last three years and (b) the current year ; what is the projected expenditure for next year on road maintenance ; and how much has been spent in each current area in each of the last four winters on gritting.
Mr. Tim Smith : The information is not available in the form requested. Expenditure on road maintenance in the last three years is as follows :
£000's Council |1991-92 |1992-93 |<1>1993-94 ------------------------------------------------------------- Antrim |1,726 |2,354 |2,048 Ards |1,823 |1,622 |1,718 Armagh |3,068 |3,253 |3,066 Ballymena |1,843 |2,068 |1,798 Ballymoney |1,120 |1,171 |1,058 Banbridge |1,614 |1,763 |1,661 Belfast |7,212 |7,052 |6,786 Carrickfergus |582 |770 |670 Castlereagh |1,691 |1,719 |1,657 Coleraine |2,181 |2,171 |1,959 Cookstown |1,342 |1,920 |2,111 Craigavon |2,355 |2,578 |2,430 Derry |2,458 |2,786 |2,506 Down |2,820 |2,528 |2,676 Dungannon |2,302 |2,541 |2,784 Fermanagh |3,008 |2,793 |3,061 Larne |1,196 |1,530 |1,326 Limavady |1,313 |1,389 |1,253 Lisburn |4,059 |4,396 |4,653 Magherafelt |1,526 |1,755 |1,526 Moyle |1,074 |1,179 |1,058 Newry and Mourne |3,078 |3,290 |3,098 Newtownabbey |2,548 |2,875 |2,755 North Down |1,348 |1,296 |1,364 Omagh |2,712 |2,749 |3,035 Strabane |2,027 |2,012 |2,203 |------- |------- |------- Total |58,026 |61,560 |60,260 <1>Provisional figures.
The total expenditure for road maintenance in the current financial year is estimated at £61.4 million and, at present, it is expected that expenditure in the 1995-96 financial year will be on a broadly similar level.
In the past four financial years expenditure on winter gritting is as follows :
£000's Division |1990-91 |1991-92 |1992-93 |<1>1993-94 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ballymena |517 |427 |472 |579 Belfast |526 |284 |294 |254 Coleraine |729 |502 |685 |822 Craigavon |735 |520 |709 |789 Downpatrick |763 |614 |532 |740 Omagh |878 |473 |699 |644 |--- |--- |--- |--- Total |4,148 |2,820 |3,391 |3,828 <1> Provisional figures.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many potholes by grade or priority for repair there were in each council area in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years and the current year to date ; if he will further break the figures down by (a) road classification and (b) mile or kilometre of each such road type.
Mr. Tim Smith : The information requested is not available in the form requested and could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many parliamentary questions, in the period November 1992 to March 1993, were answered with the response that the information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost ; how many were referred on to an agency chief executive ; and, in each case, what percentage of the total number of questions asked this constituted.
Sir John Wheeler : Some 708 questions were asked in the period specified of which 20, 3 per cent, were answered with
disproportionate cost and 35, 5 per cent. were answered by an agency chief executive.
11. Mr. Paice : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the average non-wage employment costs for manufacturers in Britain, France and Germany.
Mr. Heseltine : In 1992 non-wage costs as proportion of total labour costs were 29 per cent. in France, 23 per cent. in Germany and 17 per cent. in the United Kingdom.
15. Mr. Faulds : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he will next meet the Director General of Electricity Supply to discuss electricity prices.
Mr. Eggar : I meet the Director General of Electricity Supply regularly.
20. Mr. Morgan : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what response he proposes to make to the analysis of Britain's competitive position in manufacturing industry contained in the report of the Trade and Industry Select Committee.
Mr. Heseltine : The Government will be responding to the Trade and Industry Committee in due course. The report offers a valuable contribution to the debate on how we can improve our relative economic performance.
24. Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether commitments made to restrict the trade in CFCs under the Montreal protocol will be allowable under the Uruguay round world trade accords.
Mr. McLoughlin : Yes. The Government have always considered that the trade measures in the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer were GATT-consistent. That will remain the case under the Uruguay round.
25. Mr. Welsh : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to expand gas production from the central and northern North sea.
Mr. Eggar : I announced proposals for new rounds of offshore oil and gas licensing on 25 April. Full details are contained in the formal announcements, copies of which are available in the Libraries of both Houses.
27. Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to legislate on consumer rights in the near future.
Mr. McLoughlin : During 1994, regulations will be made to implement the EC directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts and the EC general product safety directive. The Sale and Supply of Goods Bill and the Sale of Goods (Amendment) Bill, both currently before the House, have Government support.
28. Mr. Mullin : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he will make an announcement about the future arrangements for the control of mine water ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made by my noble Friend the Minister of State during the Committee stage of the Coal Industry Bill on 26 April, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 539-42.
29. Mr. Madden : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he intends to refer the takeover of the Yorkshire Rider bus company by Badgerline to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The Director General of Fair Trading's view, on the information he has received, is that the proposed acquisition by Badgerline of Yorkshire Rider does not qualify for investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission under the mergers provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973. I will not therefore be making a reference to the MMC.
30. Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will review the Companies Act 1985 to ensure that the public has more information on political donations made by companies.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : No. The present law is sufficient. The Companies Act 1985 requires companies to disclose, in the directors' report, political donations exceeding £200.
31. Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received about the proposed takeover by Lloyd's bank of the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : It is for the Director General of Fair Trading to consider this proposed merger and to advise my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, under the Fair Trading Act 1973, whether the merger should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Any representations received by the DTI are being forwarded to the Office of Fair Trading.
32. Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade with what interested parties he has had recent discussions about introducing a further redundancy scheme for mineworkers to replace the scheme that expires on 30 April.
Mr. Eggar : The operation of British Coal's redundancy arrangements is a matter for the corporation. I understand it is currently discussing with the unions the redundancy arrangements for industrial employees to apply after 30 April.
Mr. Bellingham : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he next expects to meet representatives of small businesses in East Anglia to discuss help for innovation.
Mr. McLoughlin : Ministers visit East Anglia as often as diaries permit. My noble Friend the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Small Firms visited King's Lynn earlier this month.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his latest estimate of the United Kingdom share of world trade.
Mr. Needham : The United Kingdom's share of world visible exports was 5.2 per cent. in 1992, the latest year for which data are available, making the United Kingdom the world's fifth largest exporter.
Mr. Amess : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the implications of the GATT agreement signed at Marrakesh for British companies.
Mr. Sainsbury : British companies will benefit from higher world growth, the opening up of overseas markets, improved trade rules and a more stable international trading environment.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many and which of the present staff and functions of AEA Technology, separately identifying the
Column 181National Environmental Technology Centre, will be transferred to the commercial division preparatory to sale or privatisation.
Mr. Heseltine : I announced to the House on 17 February, Official Report, columns 922-24 the Government's intention to privatise the Atomic Energy Authority's commercial activities. With effect from 1 April, all these activities, including the National Environmental Technology Centre, were brought together within AEA Technology. As at 1 April 1994 staff numbers for AEA Technology were some 4,300 of which some 450 work in areas covered by the National Environmental Technology Centre.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the recruitment of permanent staff for the Insolvency Service and on the steps his Department is now taking to fill vacancies as they arise.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : A budget for the Insolvency Service has been agreed for 1994-95 which provides for 1,652 established posts together with financial provision for a further 235 staff on non-established terms. I have asked the service to come forward with proposals for additional, non- permanent resources to be deployed in 1994-95 in order to reduce the backlog of case administration and to increase its investigative effort. In advance of agreeing its final budget for 1994-95 the service is not filling any permanent administration grade vacancies that arise.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on funding of wave power technology.
Mr. Eggar : On 31 March, Official Report, column 1009-10, I announced the Government's future strategy for new and renewable energy in the United Kingdom, Energy Paper 62, copies of which are in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much financial support has been received from the European Community to help fund redundancy payments to mineworkers for each of the last five years.
Mr. Eggar : The European Coal and Steel Community provided non- repayable aid under article 56 of the ECSC treaty as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1993-94 |8.0 1992-93 |32.2 1991-92 |36.2 1990-91 |17.9 1989-90 |22.3
This aid has been provided in respect of a number of areas of restructuring costs including redundancy payments and retraining. Separate figures for assistance with redundancy payments are not readily available.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many applications he has received for the subsidy outlined in the "The Prospects for Coal" for additional sales of deep-mined coal to the generators ; how many of these have been successful ; how many tonnes of coal each involves ; and what is the total amount of subsidy that has now been paid.
Mr. Eggar : Since the coal subsidy scheme was announced in March 1993, my Department has received five applications. Four offers have been made so far, two to British Coal and two to the private sector. These cover the delivery of almost 2 million tonnes of coal over the period 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1995. One application is currently under consideration.
To date, the European Commission has approved payment only in respect of production in 1993 and a cumulative total of £1,054,815 has been paid. Authorisation is awaited from the Commission in respect of production from 1 January 1994.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much financial assistance he has made available to British Coal to fund redundancy payments to mineworkers for each of the past five years.
Mr. Eggar : Under section 3 of the Coal Industry Act 1987 the Government have provided grant aid to British Coal in respect of work force reductions and redeployment over the last five financial years as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1993-94 |574.4 1992-93 |467.3 1991-92 |310.3 1990-91 |199.4 1989-90 |354.0
Separate figures for grant aid for redundancy payments specifically for mineworkers are not readily available.
Mr. Bennett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received about grants to industry in Greater Manchester.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : My Department has received a number of written representations about specific grant applications and about various domestic and European programmes.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what help his Department provides exporters of water pumps and water filters to the Arab world ; and what requests he has had from Iraq to enable Iraq to obtain water filtering and water pump equipment.
Mr. Needham : The Government's normal range of assistance and services are available to such exporters. The export of all goods to Iraq is prohibited, but there is an exemption for the export of humanitarian goods. Any such exports from the United Kingdom would require a United Kingdom export licence and authorisation from the United Nations Sanctions Committee. Details of applications received for licences to supply humanitarian goods are not disclosed on grounds of commercial confidentiality.
Mr. Evennett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many jobs have been created or sustained in British industry as a consequence of inward investment since 1979.
Mr. Sainsbury : According to figures notified to my Department's Invest in Britain Bureau for the financial years 1979 to 1993 there have been some 291,377 new jobs created and some 234,771 jobs safeguarded as a result of inward investment.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many small firms merit award for research and technology--SMART--award winners on the Isle of Wight have received ministerial visits.
Mr. McLoughlin : I am not aware that any winners of the small firms merit award for research and technology, SMART, in the Isle of Wight have received ministerial visits.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the current operations and standards of the Post Office.
Mr. McLoughlin : In accordance with the long-standing policy of successive Governments since 1969, postal operations are the responsibility of the Post Office Board. During 1993-94, the overall standards of service provided by the Post Office remained impressively high : preliminary figures for 1993-94 show that overall performance nationally for first class letter delivery by the next working day was over 90 per cent., for second class letters over 98 per cent. were delivered within three working days and in Crown post offices, 96 per cent. of customers were served within five minutes.
Mr. Haselhurst : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the current price of a gallon of four-star petrol ; and what was the equivalent price, in real terms, in (a) 1964, (b) 1974 and (c) 1984.
Mr. Eggar : The average price of four-star petrol in March 1994 was 253p per gallon. The equivalent prices, adjusted to 1992 price levels using the GDP deflator at market prices, are :
|Pence per |gallon ------------------------------- 1994-March |239 1984 |284 1974 |280 1964 |246
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many international aid workers remain in Rwanda ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We understand from the United Nations that there are currently 14 personnel from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kigali, plus two from Medecins Sans Frontieres. There are 15 ICRC personnel in other areas of Rwanda, plus a further 10 working in border regions.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the British aid projects that his Department has approved for Kenya and the amount of funding granted for each project for the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : No new projects have been signed so far in 1994- 95, but we expect to sign agreements shortly with the Government of Kenya for £10.6 million for the national agricultural research programme and £2.3 million for the Kenya trypanosomiasis research programme. In addition, we expect to sign an agreement this month to provide £5 million of programme aid in support of Kenya's economic reform programme.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what response Her Majesty's Government are making to the report by Willem C. Smit and Dr. Jean Pierre Revel for the regional office in Amman of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a copy of which has been sent to him, on their assessment mission to Iraq from 11 January to 11 February covering the health and nutritional status of the Iraqi people, the extent of the increase in the cost of a food basket between 1990 and 1993 and the extent of marasmus, kwashiorkor and other water-borne diseases.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 10 May 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on 25 April, Official Report, column 31. The appeal by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was to a large extent based on the Smit/Revel report. The British Red Cross is clarifying one or two issues, following which a final decision on a possible contribution from the Government will be taken.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of the work force in local authority areas in Gwynedd is in part-time employment ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The latest source of the information requested is the 1991 census of population. The following table shows the number of part- time employees in local authority areas in Gwynedd and expresses these as a percentage of the total number of employed and self-employed persons in each area.
Part-time employees<1> in Gwynedd: April 1991 District |Number of part-time|Percentage of all |employees |employed and |self-employed |persons -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aberconwy |4,194 |19.9 Arfon |3,718 |18.4 Dwyfor |1,737 |16.9 Meirionnydd |2,330 |17.9 Ynys Mon |4,402 |17.2 <1>Persons usually working no more than 30 hours a week. Source: 1991 Census Report for Gwynedd-OPCS.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessments he has made of the proportion of Gwynedd economy which is dependent on (A) tourism, (b) slate quarrying, (c) farming and fishing and (d) the power industry.
Mr. Redwood : The latest available employment data at the detailed industrial breakdown required are from the 1991 census of employment, which covers employees only. The following table shows the number of employees in each category expressed as a percentage of all employees in Gwynedd. In addition, the 1991 census of population indicates that 6.0 per cent. of all employed and self-employed persons in Gwynedd were engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Percentage of total employees in employment in Gwynedd: September 1991 |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------- Tourism related industries<2> |13.9 Slate quarrying |<1>- Farming and fishing<3> |3.4 Power industries<4> |2.6 <1> Figure cannot be released for reasons of commercial confidentiality. <2> Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1980) groups 661, 662, 663, 665, 667, 977, 979. <3> Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1980) division 0 <4> Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1980) groups 111, 130, 152, 161, 162, 163. Source: NOMIS
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what checks there are on the Land Authority for Wales's compulsory purchase powers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The Land Authority's power to acquire land compulsorily is contained in section 104 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 and each Order requires my confirmation before it can take effect.
A public inquiry is always held if a statutory objector objects to the proposal.