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Mrs. Gillian Shephard : As at 10 May 1994, 9,928 cases of BSE have been confirmed in Great Britain in animals born after the ruminant feed ban which came into operation on 18 July 1988. Some 39 cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland in animals born after the ruminant feed ban which came into operation on 11 January 1989.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the current arrangements for funding direct support payments to new entrants to farming ; what consideration she is giving to introduce greater flexibility ; and if she has raised these matters with her European counterparts.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 25 May 1994] : Current arrangements for funding direct support payments to new entrants to farming are, in the main, adequate given the complexity of the schemes concerned and the need to maintain the integrity of the integrated administration and control systems as an anti-fraud measure. However, I recognise that there are anomalies in the case of livestock farmers acquiring land after the IACS deadline because they cannot benefit from the IACS related livestock subsidies in that year. Officials are currently discussing with the European Commission whether it might be possible to allow transfer to take place in some clearly defined circumstances, provided proper controls were in place to prevent fraud.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what measures are presently in place to ensure that new entrants coming to farming after the deadline for the submission of IACS forms are not deprived of payments for the period up to the deadline in the following year ; and what is the reason for these measures ; (2) what scope there is to provide new entrants coming to farming after 15 May with direct headage payments in respect of the period before the IACS year beginning May 1995.
Column 311claim under the Sheep Annual Premium Scheme, or up to 15 livestock units under the beef special premium and suckler cow premium schemes provided they do not wish to receive the extensification premium. We are considering what arrangements should be made for hill livestock compensatory allowances in 1995 and will shortly be consulting the industry on proposals. The Council regulation establishing the arable area payments scheme specifically requires applications for payment to be submitted by 15 May and it is not possible for a new entrant to claim such payments retrospectively.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what circumstances it is a condition for direct support payments that a new entrant takes up occupancy of the farm on which the claim is to be based before the deadline for submission of IACS forms.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 25 May 1994] : In order to be eligible for arable area payments, beef special premium, suckler cow premium or hill livestock compensatory allowances, each farmer must submit annually an IACS form, including all of the land farmed, by the deadline. EC rules provide limited exemptions from this requirement for livestock farmers who wish to claim no more than 15 livestock units under the beef special premium or suckler cow premium schemes and do not wish to claim the extensification premium.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what provision exists for new entrants to give forewarning of the intention to assume occupancy of a farm after the annual closing date for submission of IACS forms in order to secure annual payments adjusted to reflect the period when the farmer is in actual occupation.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what flexibility EC laws allow with regard to setting the date for submission of IACS forms to give entitlement to new entrants coming to farming after the last date for submitting claims.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 25 May 1994] : The EC rules require IACS forms to be submitted by 31 March. The Commission may allow a member state to set a later date, up to 15 May, if it is satisfied that this still allows proper checks to be carried out. In the United Kingdom, we have applied the latest possible date of 15 May. In circumstances where the IACS form relates only to permanent pasture, a member state may decide that it can be submitted at the same time as the first livestock application, but not later than 1 July.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the schools, by local education authority, that had not had their budgets delegated under local management of schools schemes by (a) 1 January and (b) 1 April ; and if he will express the number of such schools as a percentage of all schools.
Column 312something over 1,000 county and voluntary schools did not have delegated budgets on 1 January 1994. All primary and secondary schools have had delegated budgets from1 April 1994 except in a few cases where delegation has been withdrawn or deferred by the LEA. All special schools are due to have delegated budgets by 1 April 1996 although many will have them at an earlier date.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education with whom the responsibility lies for deciding whether to (a) hire a teacher, (b) carry out a repair and (c) replace items of furniture in schools with delegated budgets under the local management of schools.
Mr. Forth : Within the resources available to it, the governing body of a school with a delegated budget is responsible for determining the school's staff complement and selecting teachers for appointment. The local education authority, except in the case of aided schools, whose staff are normally employed by the governors, must appoint the persons selected unless they fail to fulfil any of the statutory requirements relating to qualifications, health and physical capacity or conduct. The respective responsibilties of governing bodies and LEA for building repairs and maintenance will depend on the terms of the LEA's LMS scheme, although governors will normally be responsible at least for internal decoration and other work of a non-structural kind. In the particular case of voluntary- aided and special agreement schools, repairs to the exterior of the buildings are the statutory responsibility of governors, who may apply for grant aid from the Secretary of State. Furniture for an LEA's schools will in general be provided by the LEA through its capital programme, but governing bodies are free to make purchases with funds from their delegated budgets if they so wish.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children under the age of five years were attending on (a) a full-time basis and (b) a part-time basis (i) nursery classes, (ii) nursery schools or (iii) reception classes in primary school on the latest date for which information is available.
Pupils under five being attending maintained nursery and primary school in England-January 1993 |Full-time|Part-time ------------------------------------------------ Nursery Schools |9,461 |43,527 Primary Schools Nursery Classes |27,307 |259,619 Infant Classes |289,481 |26,798
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the local education authority's central costs percentage for a primary grant-maintained school in Solihull in 1993-94 ; what is the equivalent figure for 1994-95 ; and in how many local education authorities the proportionate change from 1993-94 to 1994-95 has been (a) greater and (b) smaller than in Solihull.
Mr. Robin Squire : The central percentage addition applying in 1993 -94 for a primary grant-maintained school formerly maintained by Solihull local education authority was 15.6 per cent. The comparable figure applying to a grant-maintained primary school in Solihull in 1994-95 is 7.0 per cent. The proportionate change between 1993-94 and 1994-95 was greater than that applying in Solihull in two local education authorities, and smaller in 105 local education authorities.
The Funding Agency for Schools is recalculating the relevant percentages for 1994-95 on the basis of LEAs' expenditure plans for the current financial year. As a result of their consideration, the percentages applying in some local education authorities this year may increase.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 19 May, Official Report, column 547, if he will give (a) the provisional full-time equivalent teacher numbers for (i) nursery and primary schools and (ii) secondary schools as at January 1994 and (b) the provisional pupil numbers in (i) nursery and primary schools and (ii) secondary schools as at January 1994 giving the figures both for local education authorities and grant-maintained schools.
An estimated breakdown between primary and secondary of the provisional full-time equivalent numbers of teachers employed in the maintained sector, including self-governing (GM) schools. England-January 1994 |Thousands ---------------------------------------- Nursery and primary |197.6 Secondary |193.3 |--- Total |390.9
( Projected full-time equivalent numbers of pupils in maintained schools, including self-governing (GM) schools. England-January 1994 |Thousands ---------------------------------------- Nursery and primary |4,120.7 Secondary |2,932.3 |---- Total |7,053.0
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the number of schools holding opt-out ballots, the number of yes votes and the total percentage of parents voting yes and total percentage voting no in (a) October 1993, (b) November 1993, (c) December 1993, (d) February 1994, (e) March 1994 and (f) April 1994.
Parental ballots on grant maintained status |Number of |Number of Yes |Total |Total |balloting |parents voting|parents voting ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ October 1993 |16 |13 |67 |33 November 1993 |36 |22 |59 |41 December 1993 |40 |28 |56 |44 January 1994 |18 |16 |68 |32 February 1994 |30 |16 |48 |52 March 1994 |39 |23 |52 |48 April 1994 |26 |12 |49 |51
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to offer financial assistance to those people or organisations who wish to promote new grant-maintained schools under section 49 of the Education Act 1993.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people requested further information, in response to his Department's advertising campaign for grant-maintained status during January and February, by (a) phoning the number given on the coupon in the advertisements and (b) returning the coupon.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Department's GM publications centre received 3,913 requests for information between Janaury and the end of April. Of these, 996 calls to the freephone number are known to be attributable to the advertisements, as are the 1,177 coupons returned.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the criteria set by his Department for placing advertisements in national newspapers to promote the availability of information on grant- maintained status ; and what was the estimated readership of the advertisements.
Mr. Robin Squire : The advertising campaign was designed to alert schools, governors and parents to the availability of factual information on grant-maintained status. It was timed to coincide with the introduction of the new statutory requirement that the governing bodies of schools should consider each year whether to ballot parents on applying for grant- maintained status. The newspapers where advertisements were placed were chosen because they enjoy a high level of readership among those likely to have an active interest in education.
It is not possible to estimate the readership of the advertisements themselves. However, the official Audit Bureau of Circulation estimated daily readership figures for the titles used during the campaign as follows :
|Number ----------------------------------- Guardian |1,457,000 Independent |1,148,000 Mail on Sunday |5,999,000 Observer |1,619,000 Radio Times |5,433,000 Sunday Times |3,538,000 Times Educational Supplement 530,00
Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Education on what occasions since April 1992 Ministers from his Department have (a) requested Parliamentary Counsel to assist in preparing amendments to private Members' Bills on behalf of other private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct Parliamentary Counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members.
Mr. Forth : Parliamentary Counsel drafts not on behalf of private Members but on the instructions of Departments acting on the authority of Ministers. On one occasion, in respect of the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill, Department for Education Ministers agreed that instructions should go to Parliamentary Counsel for an amendment to a private Member's Bill, with the intention that this should be tabled by the Government. That amendment was subsequently passed to a private Member.
Mr. McLoughlin : Eight references or applications have been heard by the tribunal under its present rules of procedure introduced in 1989 and amended in 1991 to take account of extension of the jurisdiction of the tribunal by the Broadcasting Act 1990. These cases have been of differing complexity and, in consequence, the length of hearings has varied from one day to several weeks, in two cases involving multiple applications and relating respectively to the use of TV listings information by newspapers and magazines and to the broadcasting of sound recordings by independent radio stations. Five further cases were resolved before reaching a hearing, although the tribunal made orders with the consent of the parties in two of these, and five cases are pending.
Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many questionnaires were sent out, and how many completed questionnaires were received by the Patent Office in respect of the consultation into the functioning of the Copyright Tribunal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : Some 98 questionnaires seeking views on the functioning of the tribunal were sent out to those who have been involved in tribunal proceedings, including both users of copyright works and copyright owners, and other interested parties, and 30 replies were
Column 316received. My Department is in the process of analysing these responses, and I will consider in the light of this analysis whether any changes in tribunal procedures are desirable.
Ms Corston : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has made concerning the sale by British Aerospace of its space systems business to Matra Marconi Space ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : Officials from the British National Space Centre regularly discuss current issues with companies in the space sector, including Matra Marconi Space and British Aerospace (Space Systems). Many of these discussions are of a commercially confidential nature.
Mr. McLoughlin : My Department has issued a consultation document on possible amendments to the law relating to transfer of title on the sale of goods, including the provisions in the Hire Purchase Act 1964 concerned with the sale of motor vehicles subject to a hire purchase or conditional sale agreement.
Mr. Etherington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he last met representatives of the motor vehicle industry to discuss motor vehicle warranty deals and the protection of consumer rights in motor vehicle sales.
Mr. Heseltine : Representatives of the industry have not had formal discussions with me on this subject. My last official meeting with the Retail Motor Industry Federation was in January 1993. A number of subsequent meetings with other Ministers and senior officials have taken place, on a range of issues, as part of the Government's continuing dialogue with leading representatives of the motor vehicle sector.
Mr. Etherington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when his departmental officials last met representatives of the European Commissioner responsible for competition to discuss the application by Pallion Engineering Ltd., Sunderland, to accept an in-house ship repair contract from its majority shareholder.
Column 317who do not have substantial funds to raise court action through the liquidator in cases of alleged fraudulent trading or wrongful trading.
Mr. Deva : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action he intends to take following the enactment of the Insolvency Act 1994, regarding the position of receivers or managers who are not administrative receivers and their liability under contracts of employment they may adopt.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The Government wish to learn the views of interested parties on whether it would be appropriate to extend the restrictions that the Insolvency Act 1994 introduced in relation to liability under contracts of employment adopted by administrators and administrative receivers and receivers in Scotland, to other receivers or managers.
During the passage of the Bill I indicated that extending its provisions to other receivers or managers would go beyond the Bill's narrow purpose and that such a step would need careful consideration. Interested parties are therefore invited to submit their views on this issue to
The Insolvency Service (Policy Unit) at PO Box 203, 21 Bloomsbury street, London WC1B 3QW, by 15 August 1994.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the implications of the latest general agreement on tariffs and trade agreement for restrictions in the trade in (a) toxic waste or (b) chlorofluorocarbons.
Government funding of CRE related activities-£ million ( 1994 prices) Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1986-87 |1.7 1987-88 |0.6 1988-89 |0.2 1989-90 |3.4 1990-91 |11.7 1991-92 |4.9 1992-93 |1.7 1993-94 |5.2 Note: The monies shown represent Government contributions to: The Grimthorpe research and development project. The Point of Ayr coal liquefaction research and development project. Contracted research and development in the fields of generic science and advanced power generation. Projects paid for by the know-how fund. Other ad hoc income from Government.
Investment for subsequent years up to 1997 totals £7.6 million for contracts already in place between CRE and DTI.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what research his Department is currently taking in respect of the production and manufacturing of cigarettes that are less of a fire hazard ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will list the current documents and research material his Department holds on the production and manufacture of cigarettes that are less of a fire hazard ; what has been the result of his talks with the tobacco trade on producing safer cigarettes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : My Department is in liaison with other Government Departments with an interest in the production of fire-safe cigarettes in order to assemble a body of research material. A list of documents has been placed in the Library of the House. I have not held talks with the tobacco industry on this matter. I am currently monitoring events relating to proposed legislation concerning fire-safe cigarettes which is under discussion in the United States.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his current policy in respect of gas consumers paying a levy to fund energy-saving initiatives ; and if he will make a statement.
Chapter 8 of the joint DTI/Ofgas consultation document "Competition and Choice in the Gas Market" sets out proposals and options for further steps to promote the efficient use of gas in the new competitive gas market.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of exports from defence industries are currently sent to developing countries ; what is their value ; and how the position has changed in cash and percentage terms in the past five years.
United Kingdom Exports of Defence Equipment to Developing Countries<1> |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 ------------------------------------------------------- Value (£ million) |957 |1,938|1,584|1,440|1,156 Per cent. of total exports |70 |80 |80 |77 |77 Note: <1> All countries excluding NATO and Western Europe. Source: United Kingdom Defence Statistics, (HMSO).
Dame Angela Rumbold : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received about pre-stamping plastic capacity measures by Sandwell borough council ; what steps he is taking to correct this anomaly ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : I have received representations from two plastic capacity measure manufacturers about the stamping of measures before they have been tested, a practice which appears to be acceptable to Sandwell metropolitan borough council.
I have it in mind to make use of the powers proposed by clauses 1-4 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill, once enacted, to amend the Weights and Measures Act 1985, so as to make pre-stamping lawful in defined circumstances and subject to prescribed conditions.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information he has regarding the current negotiations between the European Commission and the United States Government in regard to the extension and revision of the United States--Euratom nuclear co-operation agreement.
Mr. Needham : Negotiations are continuing on a new nuclear co- operation agreement to replace the existing agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community and the United States. The European Commission is responsible for the conduct of the negotiations. I am advised that the next negotiating meeting is scheduled to take place in June.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what has been the percentage change in (a) manufacturing output and (b) manufacturing productivity in Britain and each of the European Union countries, Japan and the United States since 1979.
Growth in manufacturing output and manufacturing productivity (output per head) between 1979 and 1993 Percentage change |Output |Productivity ------------------------------------------------------ Belgium |17 |n/a Denmark |n/a |n/a France |1 |30 West Germany |14 |15 Greece |-1 |n/a Ireland |n/a |n/a Italy |12 |32 Luxembourg |34 |n/a Netherlands |27 |n/a Portugal |41 |n/a Spain |n/a |n/a United Kingdom |5 |66 Japan |43 |26 United States |38 |63 Sources: CSO/OECD. Notes: n/a=Not available on a comparable basis.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) of 16 May, Official Report , columns 302-4 , if he will distinguish in the case of the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, the National Physical Laboratory, the National Engineering Laboratory and the National Weights and Measures Laboratory between consultancy used for management advice, consultancy used for marketing advice, and consultancy used for technical advice.
Letter from R. D. Worswick to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 26 May 1994 :
I have been asked to answer with respect to the Laboratory of the Government Chemist your question to the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his Answer to the honourable Member for Darlington of 16 May, Official Report, columns 302-4, requesting that he distinguish between consultancy used for management, marketing and technical advice.
Over the last five years (up to and including 1993-94) the Laboratory of the Government Chemist has let two consultancy contracts for management advice at a cost of £32,000 ; two for marketing advice at a cost of £44,000 and 9 for technical advice at a cost of £366,000.
Letter from W. Edgar to Mr. Jim Cousins dated 26 May 1994 : I would refer to your question to the President of the Board of Trade, requesting that he distinguish in the case of the DTI Research Establishments between consultancy used for management advice, marketing advice and technical advice.
The split of consultancy costs over the past five years for the National Engineering Laboratory is :
|£ --------------------------- Marketing |222,582 Management |119,541 Technical |18,324 |------- Total |360,447
Letter from Seton Bennett to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 26 May 1994 :
I have been asked to reply in respect of this Agency, to your recent question to the President of the Board of Trade concerning the nature of consultancy contracts let in the last five years. All of the consultancy contracts let by the National Weights and Measures Laboratory between April 1989 and March 1994 were for management advice.
Letter from P. B. Clapham to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 26 May 1994 :
I am writing in respect of the National Physical Laboratory in response to your question to the President of the Board of Trade asking for a breakdown of consultancy contracts let by the DTI Laboratories.
Of the 82 consultancies referred to in my letter of 16 May 1994 to Mr. Alan Milburn MP, 7 were for consultancy used for marketing advice, at a total cost of £151,267 excluding VAT. The other 75, at a total cost of £1,321,058 excluding VAT, related to management advice in the widest sense. (This goes considerably