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Farm Shops

Mr. Garnier : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the Government's planning policy towards applications for farm shops.

Mr. Baldry : Farm shops help meet demand from consumers who want fresh produce at the point of production and can provide new sources of jobs and services in rural area and outlets for producers of regional and speciality foods. Advice on the circumstances in which planning applications are needed for farm shops is provided in planning policy guidance note 7, paragraph B2. When planning applications are needed, local planning authorities should take account of :

(i) the desirability for the farmer to provide a service throughout the year, which may require him to bring in non-local produce to overcome the problems of seasonality and provide continuity of employment and to ensure that a sufficiently wide selection of produce can be offered ;

(ii) the potential impact on nearby village shops ; and (

(iii) the transport effects in terms of the traffic likely to be generated and the highways, access and parking arrangements. In this context "non- local" means produce originating from beyond the farm holding and its environs. Local planning

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authorities should not discriminate against produce orginating outside the United Kingdom. This applies equally to produce which is packed on the farm but which originates from outside it.

In individual cases where the development of an unrestricted retail use on a farm shop would be likely to result in a significant adverse effect on a nearby village shop, the local authority may wish to consider the scope for using planning conditions to limit the broad types of produce sold in the farm shop so as to enable permission to be given. Guidance on the use of conditions is contained in the DOE circular 1/85.


Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date in April the Minister for Local Government met in Bradford Mr. Graham Ablewhite, managing director of Sparks confectioners, with head offices in Hockney road, Bradford ; what undertakings the Minister gave regarding action concerning the use of unofficial sites by travellers within Bradford metropolitan district ; what specific action he has taken in this matter since meeting Mr. Ablewhite ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Curry [holding answer 23 May 1994] : I met Graham Ablewhite during a non-departmental visit to Bradford on 29 April. While there, I promised to seek advice on the background from officials in my Department ; I plan to write.


Mental Health Services

Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what specific instructions he has provided to the purchasers of mental health services in respect of the seriously mentally ill.

Mr. Stewart : My right hon. Friend has issued no such instructions. The organisation of mental health services is determined by clinical assessment and local need. It is for individual health boards to assess the needs for their population and to purchase mental health services accordingly. In so doing they are expected to have due regard for the Government's community care objectives and what is best for individuals.

Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what specific instructions he has issued, and to whom, on good practice on hospital discharge for mentally disordered people and on continuing care for mentally disordered people.

Mr. Stewart : Three circulars on this matter have been made available. "Discharge of Patients from Mental Illness and Mental Handicap Hospitals", SW10/1988 was sent to directors of social work and copied to general managers of health boards on 1 June 1988, and dealt with the management issues. "Assessment and Care Management", SW11/1991 HHD/DGM, (1191)40 was issued on 17 June 1991, and "Guidance on Care Programmes for People with a Mental Illness including Dementia", SOHHD DGM 1992/9 SW 1992/1 was issued on 7 February 1992. These were sent to general managers of health boards, the Common Services Agency, the state hospital and the Health Education Board for Scotland, and to chief

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executives of district councils, appropriate professional and voluntary bodies, directors of social work and directors of housing. Local bodies have developed discharge protocols based on this guidance.

Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to issue instructions within one year on the minimum acceptable provisions for mental health services by way of (a) 24-hour staffed community houses, (b) day-staffed residential care, (c) day centres and hospital places and (d) provision of community-based multi-discipline teams ; and if he will bring forward proposals to require the inspection of such establishments every three years.

Mr. Stewart : These are not matters on which central guidance on standards would be practical. The frequency of inspections is a matter for determination in the light of local circumstances but some guidance has been offered on the frequency of inspection which would be appropriate for residential accommodation.

Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the use of discharge contracts by health boards in respect of the mentally ill.

Mr. Stewart : Health boards do not use discharge contracts. Patients assessed as requiring continuing specialist medical and nursing care are the responsibility of health boards. Those patients who are discharged and do not require such care have their needs assessed by the local authority taking account of the views of health care professionals. An individual care programme should then be drawn up.

Local Government Reorganisation

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made as to the nature of the staff most likely to be made redundant following local government reorganisation ; in which councils ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : The Government have estimated that following local government reorganisation, a structure of 32 single-tier authorities will require between 220 and 1,800 fewer staff posts across Scotland. Sensible manpower planning by local authorities in the run-up to reorganisation should ensure that staff numbers are controlled largely by natural wastage and early retirement measures. It will be for the new authorities themselves to determine the number and nature of staff that they require to carry out their functions.

Public Service Vehicles (Missiles)

Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many reported cases of missiles being thrown at public service vehicles there have been in each of the last five years in each police authority area in Scotland.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : This information is not available.

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NHS Trusts

Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of how morale in NHS trust hospitals has been affected by changes in the numbers of staff on short-term contracts ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : The numbers of staff on short-term contracts is determined by the employing authority, whether NHS trust or health board. Any assessment of a relationship between morale and changes in the numbers of staff on such contracts in an NHS trust hospital is a matter for the trust hospital itself.

The NHS in Scotland management executive is concerned to improve morale in the NHS in Scotland and, following a survey on the impact of the 1991 document "Framework for Action", has asked employing authorities to develop action plans to tackle those issues which are identified as requiring action locally. The outcome of these action plans will be reported to the management executive in February 1995.

Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to ensure that clinical directors in NHS trust hospitals have greater access to finance and information management training to help them participate in contract negotiations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : National training provision is made through short courses available from the management development group at the Scottish health service centre and by the management education for clinicians project which receive funds from the Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education for this purpose. A focused mailing to clinical directors in Scotland took place in January 1994 to draw attention to existing courses

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on NHS information and financial management. Another mailing is planned for summer 1994. MEC has been involved in providing trust-based programmes for clinical directors for eight NHS trusts to date ; all those programmes include sessions on finance, contracting and NHS information.

Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to increase the participation of clinical directors in negotiating contracts within NHS trust hospitals ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : Health boards and NHS trusts are responsible for deciding the make-up of their contracting negotiating teams. However, guidance issued by the management executive has always sought to encourage and emphasise the role of clinicians and other health professionals in the contracting process.

Ferry Services

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the KPMG consultants report on the Scottish ferry services will be published.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Macdonald) yesterday, Official Report, 25 May 1994, column 208.

Scottish Prison Service

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what targets he has set the Scottish Prison Service agency for 1994-95.

Mr. Lang : I have set the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service the following targets :

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Performance measures                         |Key targets                                                                              


The number of prisoners unlawfully at large. |No A' category prisoners should escape.                                                  


                                             |The number of escapes by B' category                                                     

                                             |prisoners should not exceed 2.5 per 1,000                                                



The number of significant incidents.         |The number of significant incidents should                                               

                                             |not exceed 11.                                                                           


The number of serious assaults on staff and  |The number of serious assaults on staff                                                  

prisoners.                                   |should not exceed 5 per 1,000 staff.                                                     


                                             |The number of serious assaults on other                                                  

                                             |prisoners should not exceed 10 per 1,000                                                 



Basic quality of life for prisoners.         |By April 1995 60 per cent. of available                                                  

                                             |prisoner places will have access to forms of                                             

                                             |night sanitation.                                                                        


The amount of available opportunities for    |80 per cent. of convicted prisoners should                                               

prisoners' self development.                 |have the opportunity of at least 7 hours per                                             

                                             |working day of programmed activities.                                                    


Time out of cell for unconvicted prisoners.  |On average 25 per cent. of unconvicted                                                   

                                             |prisoner hours should be available for out                                               

                                             |of cell activities.                                                                      


Average annual cost per prisoner place.      |To keep costs within £26,624 per place                                                   

                                             |available for use.                                                                       


The level of absence through staff sickness. |To reduce the average number of days lost                                                

                                             |per person per year through staff sickness                                               

                                             |to 18.                                                                                   

Hospital Trusts

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidelines or instructions he has given about the statistics or information that a hospital trust must keep.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 20 May 1994] : Guidance was issued on 27 April on the central requirements for work force information. Trusts are also expected to keep the same information and statistics which hospitals and health boards would have kept when the units were directly managed. In addition trusts are required to provide monthly returns to the management executive on their finances and activity.


Parliamentary Counsel

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 13 May, Official Report, columns 262-63, on what occasions since April 1992 Ministers from his Department have authorised officials to instruct Parliamentary Counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members.

Mr. Lilley : On one occasion, 20 April 1994.


Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he intends to pay expenses and national insurance contributions for those on jury service who are unemployed on the same basis as for those in employment.

Mr. John M. Taylor : I have been asked to reply. Members of the public performing jury service are subject to the same regulations in respect of allowances for expenses, whether unemployed or in emloyment. These regulations came into operation on 1 January 1979. Additionally, in April 1988 the Department of Social Security introduced a system to ensure that unemployed people on jury service could maintain a full national insurance contribution record in the same way as those in employment.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many individuals in each region have claimed industrial injuries disablement benefit for chronic bronchitis or emphysema under stage one of the approval scheme ; and how many claims have been approved.

Mr. Scott : The table shows the number of valid claims received and the number successful as at 6 February 1994. Not all the claims received by 6 February would have been processed by that date.

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Area                             |Claims        |Assessed at 14               

                                 |received      |per cent. or                 



Anglia                           |9             |2                            

Chilterns                        |11            |0                            

South East                       |199           |20                           

West Country                     |59            |1                            


Wales and Central England                                                     

East Midlands                    |2,665         |175                          

Greater Manchester               |150           |19                           

Lancashire and Cumbria           |1,113         |64                           

Merseyside                       |249           |19                           

Midlands South West              |361           |30                           

Wales                            |5,197         |669                          

West Mercia                      |1,780         |181                          


Scotland and North                                                            

East Scotland                    |1,391         |46                           

Glasgow                          |137           |1                            

North and West Yorkshire         |1,317         |180                          

North, Central and West Scotland |1,101         |20                           

South Yorkshire                  |3,455         |347                          

Tyne Tees                        |4,023         |324                          

                                 |----          |----                         

Total                            |23,217        |2,098                        


Figures are based on a 100 per cent. count and subject to amendment.          

Child Support Agency

Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) whether a student who is a parent without custody will have his or her income taken into account if earning money for more than five weeks and if the parent with custody applies for a maintenance assessment ;

(2) if he will make a statement about the operation of the Child Support Act 1991 in respect of students who are parents without custody ;

(3) whether a parent without custody who is a student will have earnings assessed for maintenance only if the parent with custody applies after the student has worked more than five weeks ; (4) what are the rules governing the treatment of temporary earnings by students who are parents without custody ;

(5) whether income earned for more than five weeks by a student, who is a parent without custody, will be averaged and dealt with as the person's average income for the entire year whether or not the earnings continue ; and whether that estimated annual income is added to grants or loans received by the student in calculating the amount of maintenance to be paid.

Mr. Burt : A maintenance assessment made by the Child Support Agency applies from the date that the maintenance inquiry form is issued to an absent parent or, where there was previously a court order, from two days after the assessment is made.

There are special provisions for assessing maintenance where the absent parent is a student. He is not required to

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make payments unless he has income other than from a grant, grant contribution or student loan. Where he does have other income and a maintenance assessment is made, the grant and loan elements are averaged to give a weekly income figure for the weeks for which they are paid. Any element in respect of the costs of his studies-- such as examination fees or books--is ignored, as is £10 of the weekly value of a student loan.

The absent parent's average weekly earnings are calculated over the year preceding the issue of the maintenance inquiry form. If he has been a student for a period of less than a year, the calculation is made for the period of studentship. Where child support officers, who make the assessments, consider that the calculation does not produce a representative figure, they have discretion to calculate earnings over a different period. In the vast majority of cases, students would not be liable for maintenance.

Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list all those organisations which made submissions on the child support proposals following the publication in 1990 of "Children Come First", Cm 1264.

Mr. Burt : The following organisations responded to the White Paper "Children Come First", In addition, comments were received from some 100 private individuals and 85 hon. Members.

Alphabetical list of organisations commenting on Government's White Paper Children Come First'

Association of County Court and District Registrars

Association of Metropolitan Authorities


Basildon Council

Building Societies Association

British Bankers Association

British Agencies/Adoption and Fostering

Bradford University (Department of Applied Social Studies) Bristol University

British Computer Society

Campaign for Justice in Divorce

Campaign for Work

Catholic Family Care Society (Northern Ireland)

Chelmsford Women's Aid

Chief Adjudication Officer :

Social Security Legislation

Child Poverty Action Group

Children's Legal Centre

Children & Lone Parent Centre (Plymouth)

Church Action on Poverty

Citizens Advice Bureau (Scotland)

Confederation of British Industry (Northern Ireland)

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

Council of Her Majesty's Circuit Judges

County Councils Women's Forum

Department of Economic Development (Northern Ireland)

Disability Alliance

Dudley Law Centre


Gingerbread (Scotland)

Families Need Fathers

Family Charter Campaign

Family Law Bar Association

Family Welfare Association

Forum of Private Businesses

Hammersmith Unemployed Workers Group

Hillingdon Women's Centre

Justices' Clerks' Society

Lambeth TUC Unemployed Branch

Law Society

Legal Action Group

London Boroughs Association

Magistrates Association

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Moorpark Lone Parent Group

National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux

National Association of Welsh Medium Nursery Schools and Playgroups

National Children's Home

National Commission of Women in Great Britain

National Council For One Parent Families

National Council of Women of GB

Newcastle University

North East Money Advice Centre

Northern Ireland Resident Magistrates Association

Northern Ireland Family Law Association

North Yorkshire Welfare Benefits Unit

Norwich City Council

One Plus One Parent Families Strathclyde

One Parent Families York

Oxfordshire Welfare Rights

Pay Day

Payroll Alliance

Portsmouth Women's Aid Support Group

Principal Registry of Family Division

Save the Children

Scottish Council for Single Parents

Scottish Family Conciliation Service

Scottish Law Commission

Scottish Women's Aid

Sheffield University

Social Security Advisory Committee

Social Security Medical Appeal Tribunals N.I.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Family Association

Solicitors Family Law Association

Spastics Society


The Children's Society

Thamesdown Law Centre


University College London

Wages For Housework Campaign

Wandsworth Social Services Department/Welfare Rights Unit Welsh Womens Aid Trust

West Yorkshire Probation Service

Womens National Commission

Women's Aid Federation

Wythenshawe Law Centre

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