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Column 502Professor R. Voles
Professor I. M. Ward
Professor K. Warwick
Professor R. G. White
Dr. D. P. Wilkinson
Mr. M. R. Williams
Dr. N. Williams
Professor S. Williamson
Professor J. Yarwood
There are 14 further members of the DSAC who have asked to remain anonymous as they are associated with sensitive areas of research. Those involved are all members of the scientific and academic community.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : "Workfare" is usually taken to mean large- scale, all-embracing compulsory work schemes. The Government do not believe that there can be a single approach to meeting the needs of unemployed people and therefore they reject "workfare" schemes. The more effective approach is to target the individual needs of particular groups and help them back into work. That is why the Government introduced in April two new pilot schemes designed to help 18 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for over a year to get back to work. The pilots are : Workwise, a four week personal development and jobsearch course ; and 1-2-1, a series of individual advisory interviews. Both pilots are mandatory for people who have declined all other offers of help.
Miss Widdecombe : The latest reliable information is from the 1991 census of employment. In September 1991, there were 24,200 jobs in the United Kingdom in film production, distribution and exhibition--activity heading 9711 of the 1980 standard industrial classification.
(2) how many trainees are currently undergoing apprenticeship courses related to the skills of technicians in the film industry ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what is his policy on the maintenance of the technical skills base for the British film industry ;
(4) what assistance is made available by Her Majesty's Government for training technicians for the film industry.
Miss Widdecombe : Oversight of training in the broadcast, film and video industry is the responsibility of Skillset, the recognised industry training organisation. In partnership with the Open university, Skillset has already developed nine national vocational qualifications at levels 2 to 4 covering camera, lighting and sound, and is working with the BBC, ITV and training and enterprise councils to implement them.
Column 503The results of a joint Employment Department and Skillset project on training needs in the industry will be announced at ITV Network in London on 19 May 1994. Officials will be working closely with Skillset on their implementation. We are already supporting an industry database of information on training courses.
There are currently 60 trainees on a film and television scheme. I am also hoping that the film industry will shortly be developing, with Government support, a modern apprenticeship model scheme to include technician training for introduction in September 1995.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will place in the Library a copy of the undertakings sought from training and enterprise council secondees in (a) England and (b) Wales, in relation to the obligation to retire early, for those civil servants applying for his Department's voluntary early retirement scheme.
Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 13 May 1994] : There is no specific form of undertaking to place in the Library. Regional directors were instructed that training and enterprise council secondees would qualify for early retirement only if they intended to return to the Department at the end of their secondment. Secondees were required to confirm their intention in writing and our guidance required our regional offices to send a letter to the TEC telling it of the secondee's intention to return to the Department at the end of their secondment.
Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people in each region were in receipt of unemployment benefit only (a) in total and (b) who had been unemployed for more than six months at the latest available date.
Miss Widdecombe [pursuant to her reply, 12 April 1994, c. 57] : I regret that my reply to the hon. Lady of 12 April was incorrect. The information requested is available for Great Britain, and is given in the following table. The figures relate to 11 November 1993.
Number of Unemployed Claimants |Receiving |Receiving |Unemployment |Unemployment |Benefit only for |more than |Benefit only |6 months (thousands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East |148 |56 East Anglia |17 |5 South West |37 |13 West Midlands |47 |19 East Midlands |33 |12 Yorkshire and Humberside |44 |13 North West |52 |17 North |34 |10 Wales |22 |6 Scotland |49 |14 |-- |-- Great Britain |483 |165 Sources: DSS Quarterly Analysis of Unemployment Claimants. DSS Half Yearly Analysis of Unemployed Claimants.
19. Mr. Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been allocated to the east midlands in the first year of the new single regeneration budget ; and how much was allocated to the same areas under the urban programme over each of the last five years.
Sir George Young : Planned expenditure in the east midlands through the single regeneration budget in 1994-95 is £68 million. Under the urban programme, the east midlands was allocated £11.4 million in 1989 -90, £11.5 million in 1990-91, £11.7 million in 1991-92, £11.2 million in 1992-93 and £7.5 million in 1993-94.
Mr. Atkins : The quality of air in the United Kingdom is generally good and it is improving. Our recent discussion paper "Improving Air Quality" set out for consultation proposals for maintaining and extending this improvement.
Mr. Atkins : Under the United Nations framework convention on climate change, the United Kingdom and other developed countries are committed to taking measures aimed at returning emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2000. The adequacy of the convention's commitments is due to be reviewed by the conference of parties to the convention in 1995 and again by 1998.
Mr. Curry : The local government associations have made representations on capping on a number of occasions during the course of the annual cycle of consultations on the local government finance settlement.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of local authority revenue accounts is received from central Government grants ; and what were the comparable figures for 1980-81 and 1986-87.
The available information is as follows :
England |<1>Revenue |<2>Government|Government |Expenditure |Grants |Grants as |£ million |£ million |percentage of |Revenue |Expenditure ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1981-82 |20,106 |11,234 |56 1986-87 |26,630 |13,402 |50 <3>1993-94 |42,654 |23,582 |55 <1>In 1981-82 and 1986-87 local authority expenditure is taken to be "relevant expenditure" plus expenditure on certain non-relevant items such as net expenditure on mandatory student awards. It represents spending to be financed by rate support grant, relevant specific grant, rates and balances. This measure of expenditure is net of sales, fees and charges, interest receipts etc. For 1993-94 local authority expenditure is "revenue expenditure to compare to TSS" which is expenditure to be met from revenue support grant, specific and special grants inside Aggregate External Finance, Non-Domestic Rates, council tax and appropriations from reserves. <2>In 1981-82 and 1986-87 Government Grants comprise Aggregate Exchequer Grant and Rate Rebate Grants. In 1993-94 Government Grants included Revenue Support Grant, Specific and Special Grants in Aggregate External Finance, Council Tax Benefit Grant and Council Tax Transitional Relief Scheme Grant. <3>Budget data.
24. Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy towards the development of motorway service areas on green-belt land adjoining the M25 motorway ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : My Department is taking substantial deregulation action to reduce unnecessary controls on business while maintaining environmental standards and public safety. We have identified several repeals and simplifications, two of which are included on the face of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill and others which are suitable for the general power if enacted. We have also indentified several changes in secondary legislation. We are also taking administrative action aimed at clarification and simplification of bureaucracy, particularly in integrated pollution control and waste management.
Mr. Atkins : Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local authorities are under a duty to keep amenity beaches, down to high water mark, clear of litter and refuse. The Tidy Britain Group has surveyed the amenities and cleanliness of all British resort beaches and will shortly publish a league table to highlight which are the best and which are the worst.
36. Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to bring forward proposals to change the current legislation regarding local authority obligations in respect of housing the homeless.
Mr. Atkins : It is already the Government's policy that exposure of the public to radiation from man-made sources should be as low as reasonably achievable, economic and social factors being taken into account.
Mr. Atkins : The Government are committed to establishing an Environment Agency for England and Wales and a Scottish Environment Protection Agency as soon as possible. Paving provisions were announced in the Queen's Speech and we will introduce a Bill shortly.
Mr. Baldry : The Government are taking substantial deregulation action to reduce unnecessary controls on the construction industry in the United Kingdom. We have identified several repeals and simplifications, such as the proposed changes to building regulations and waste regulations, which are included in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill. We are also responding positively to the recommendations on construction set out in "Deregulation Task Forces--Proposals for Reform".
Mr. Curry : The Government have consistently made clear their commitment to the principle of subsidiarity, both between central and local government and beyond ; subsidiarity does not stop at the local authority but continues to whatever level is most consistent with competence, practicality and cost-effectiveness.
Mr. Atkins : Since their privatisation in 1989, the monitoring of water and sewerage companies in England and Wales has been the responsibility of the Director General of Water Services, who has a duty to ensure that the companies can finance and carry out their statutory water supply and sewerage functions. He is also responsible for the protection of customers' interests, ensuring that services are provided economically and efficiently, and facilitating competition. The director general publishes an annual report which is presented to Parliament.
Mr. Curry : As part of the citizens charter initiative, local authorities are required, starting this year, to publish details of their performance against a wide range of performance indicators. For the first time, citizens will be able to make effective judgments about the quality of services provided by their local council compared to other local authorities of a similar background, and over successive years. Many local authority services are also subject to compulsory competitive tendering. This has led to better services at lower costs, and CCT is now being extended to a wide range of further services, including housing management, legal, finance, IT, personnel, architectural, engineering and property management services.
Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the total accumulated local authority housing capital receipt from the sale of council housing in England at 31 March, by local authority and by Department of the Environment region ; (2) what is the projected total accumulated local authority housing capital receipts at 31 March 1995, by local authority and by Department of the Environment region.
Sir George Young : The total discounted values of all council dwellings sold between April 1980 and December 1993, as reported by each local authority in England, are in the table. The information shown includes reported data on receipts from large-scale voluntary transfers. No estimates have been made for those periods where data have not been supplied by a local authority or were incomplete. Actual cash receipts for the period will depend on the extent to which sales had been financed by loans from the authorities. Data are not yet available for the period January to March 1994.
No estimates are available by local authority or by Department of Environment regions of projected capital receipts during the calendar year 1994 or the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 3 May, Official Report, column 443, what guidelines his Department issues in relation to quality and technical competence when contracts are being considered by Government Departments for work which was formerly undertaken by the Property Services Agency.
Sir George Young : The DOE issues a range of relevant guidance, dealing with the contracting process, standard forms of contract, managing building works, client requirements for Government office buildings, the special needs of historic buildings, and how fire standards and precautions should be approached. When selecting contractors and consultants for particular works projects, Departments have access to computerised DOE pre- qualification systems that assess the technical and financial standing of contractors and consultants seeking Government work. The Treasury's central unit on procurement has also issued guidance on particular aspects of works procurement, including quality assurance and the selection of works contractors.
Sir George Young : We have not yet received all the first claims from local authorities for the current financial year. However, from the claims received up to now--excluding the 30 authorities which have conducted large-scale voluntary transfers of their stock, the following authorities have indicated that they will have an overall--negative entitlement to housing revenue account subsidy in 1994-95 :
Isles of Scilly
All claims are subject to revision and to external audit validation.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which local authorities have a negative housing entitlement for housing revenue account subsidy purposes in the latest financial year ; and what is the cash value of this negative entitlement.
Sir George Young : We have not yet received all the first claims from local authorities for the current financial year. However, from the claims received up to now--excluding the 30 authorities which have conducted large-scale voluntary transfers of their stock--290 authorities have indicated that they will have a negative entitlement on the housing element of their housing revenue account subsidy. In total this amounts to £889,671,987. All the claims are subject to revision and to external audit validation.
As soon as I have complete list of the authorities and the sums involved I will write to the hon. Member with the details.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many people served on (a) rural, (b) urban, (c) borough and (d) metropolitan county boroughs and county councils in 1964 ; and how many currently serve on (i) district, (ii) London borough, (iii) county and (iv) other councils.
|<1>Numbers ----------------------------------------------------- Rural districts |14,633 Urban districts |9,368 County boroughs |5,056 Metropolitan boroughs |1,738 Municipal boroughs |8,445 Counties |5,346 Parish councils (England only) |57,000 <1> Separate figures for England and Wales are not available.
In 1994 the numbers of councillors in England are :
|Numbers --------------------------------------- District councils |13,459 London boroughs |1,914 County councils |2,998 Metropolitan districts |2,481 Parish councils |71,600
In 1994 the numbers of councillors in Wales are :
|Numbers ---------------------------------- County councils |502 District councils |1,475
Figures are not available for councillors serving on community and town councils in Wales.