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Sir Patrick Mayhew : Consultations are continuing with the Irish Government on the construction of a framework conforming to the principles of the joint declaration. This would facilitate a comprehensive political settlement involving the main constitutional parties, and covering all the main relationships in accordance with the statement of 26 March 1991.
Sir Patrick Mayhew : The Government are consulting closely with the Irish Government on the construction of a framework conforming to the principles of the joint declaration which would facilitate a comprehensive political settlement involving the main constitutional parties, and covering all the main relationships in accordance with the statement of 26 March 1991.
28. Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with political leaders from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland about prospects for peace.
19. Mr. Wilkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the benefits to the security situation in Northern Ireland following the Downing street declaration.
Sir Patrick Mayhew : I assess that the joint declaration, which is a declaration for democracy and against coercion, has beneficially still further isolated from public support and toleration those who employ violence for political advancement within our democracy.
Sir John Wheeler : The Northern Ireland Office is committed to the application of the principles contained within the code of practice on Government information, which came into effect on 4 April 1994.
Mr. Ancram : Integrated schools receive 100 per cent. recurrent funding immediately and become eligible for 100 per cent. capital grants when viability is confirmed. In March 1994, the Department of Education for Northern Ireland provided a £1 million grant to the integrated education fund for the development of integrated education. This is in addition to annual grant aid of some £250,000 to the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.
Mr. Tim Smith : This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive but I am advised by the chief executive that there are 25, 605 houses heated by electricity, 125,427 by solid fuel and 1,900 by other means.
Mr. Tim Smith : The financial year from 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994 has been the most successful 12-month period for inward investment since the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland was established in 1982.
During the year, 13 projects were secured offering a potential 2, 309 jobs. Associated investment in these projects amounts to £259 million.
I am much encouraged by this success, and by the prospects for securing further inward investment for the Province.
Mr. Connarty : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what considerations led to the decision to cease the issuing of vehicle registration licences through post offices in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Tim Smith : This is an operational matter for the chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Northern Ireland. I understand that he wrote to the hon. Member on 6 June 1994 setting out the reasons for his decision.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what were the number of health visitor students and district nurse students in training expressed as whole-time equivalents in March of each year from 1988 to 1993.
Students in Training in Wales<1> Type of Student Year |Health visitor|District nurse|Enrolled nurse --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1988 |61 |62 |32 1989 |58 |61 |25 1990 |54 |50 |- 1991 |41 |37 |6 1992 |43 |30 |19 1993 |42 |29 |14 <1> Number of students, as at March of each year. Figures for whole time equivalents are not available. Source: Welsh National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. <2> Enrolled nurses who are converting to 1st level district nursing ie qualifying as a district nurse.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what amount of funding his Department has provided for each year since 1991, to (a) Church in Wales Children Society, (b) Barnadoes in Wales, (c) the National Children's Home in Wales (d) the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Wales/Cymru and (e) Save the Children in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Under the support for child and family services grant scheme, some of these organisations have had awards to support various projects from 1991-92 to date. The table sets out, where applicable, the total amount granted in each financial year.
^ |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 |£ |£ |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Church in Wales Children's Society |21,894 |82,693.90 |112,350.00|89,077 Barnadoes in Wales |5,000 |3,000.00 |1,531.76 |1,531 National Children's Home Action for Children, Cymru |105,459 |135,300.00|121,470.00|94,800 National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Wales/Cymru |- |- |- |- Save the Children Fund in Wales |- |- |- |-
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends to issue a Welsh language version of the document on the "Implications of Local Government Reorganisation in Wales for Health Boundaries and Proposals for Restructuring Health Authorities" ; if he will make it his policy to issue all consultation documents in bilingual form ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to meet representatives of water companies and the Office of Water Services to discuss the replacement of the present system of basing charges for water and sewerage services by reference to the rateable value of properties.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Decisions on methods of charging are a matter for the water companies in conjunction with the Director General of Water Services. Under existing legislation rateable values cannot be used as a basis for water charging after 31 March 2000.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what research is currently being conducted in Wales (a) by his Department, (b) on behalf of his Department and (c) as notified to his Department on the levels of radioactive pollution.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Full details of the Welsh Office's environmental research programme in Wales is published annually in "Research Wales", copies of which are placed in the Library of the House. Current research projects on radioactivity involve a study of tidal washed pastures on the eastern Irish sea coast, jointly funded with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of the Environment and Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution ; and on plutonium in soils in Wales.
As reported in the annual environmental digests for Wales, also placed in the Library of the House, continuous monitoring of radioactivity is carried out on behalf of the Welsh Office by a number of organisations.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what further commitments he intends to make to publish further reviews of environmental research and the ranking of priorities of environmental protection initiatives in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : As stated on page 9 of "The Environment in Wales : Third Report", copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House, a review of environmental research priorities has been completed by the Welsh Office. There are at present no plans for a further specific review but the programme continues to be monitored. Paragraph 12 of the third report sets out the Government's broad objectives for environmental protection in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : A press release was issued by the Welsh Office on 10 May to announce publication of the report. Copies of the report were also sent to a wide range of interests in Wales including all local authorities, public bodies and voluntary organisations. Copies were also placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) out-of-town shopping centres, (b) out-of-town warehouse parks and (c) warehouse clubs are (i) currently under construction and (ii) have planning permission but have yet to start construction in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The quality measures used to inform the contracting process are a matter for individual GP fundholders. They will include patients charter standards, the quality of clinical care and patient satisfaction.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library the details of the circumstances in which GP fund holders cannot refer a patient extra-contractually without the permission of his Department.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The guidance covering extra-contractual referrals from GP fundholders, for non-fundholding procedures, is the same as that for non-fundholder GPs. The Department is involved where GPs wish to refer patients abroad. All other extra-contractual referrals are subject to health authority procedures, and are not affected by fundholding status.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidelines he issues to chief ambulance officers in Wales on the timing and release of information to the press following a 999 call requiring the attendance of an ambulance at a serious road accident.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : There are no central guidelines for the release of information by chief anbulance officers. In the event of a major incident, the responsibility for dealing with the media lies with the receiving hospital. A copy of the guidelines dealing with such incidents-- Welsh Office circular WHC(93)(69)--has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will issue new guidance on the charging policy of local authorities and on minimum standards for providing access to planning documents by local authorities.
Section 69 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires local planning authorities to keep a register of planning applications and to make it available for public inspection. This duty is referred to in planning policy and minerals planning guidance notes produced by the Welsh Office. Welsh Office circular 11/86 gives guidance on the provisions of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. My right hon. Friend has no proposals to issue new guidance.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : No. The Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 provides for public inspection of certain background papers about local authority proceedings. The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 removed certain impediments on copyright and permits the copying of material open to public inspection.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library the names of the medical consultants who currently hold merit awards in Wales ; and if he will indicate the grade that each has been awarded.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that any directly managed unit or NHS hospital trust which changes the prosthesis used for hip or knee replacement surgery informs all purchasing authorities before such changes are introduced.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The type of prostheses used for hip and knee replacements is currently a matter for agreement between commissioning authorities, GP fundholders and hospitals, when agreeing contracts. Commissioners are able to stipulate that they wish to be informed before any changes are made.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many patients have been re-referred in the last three months from in- patient surgical appointments at the Carmarthen and district NHS trust to the Pembrokeshire NHS trust.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library details of the statutory indemnity existing for Dwr Cymru Cyf in respect of costs, damages and expenses not otherwise covered by insurance arising from claims against Dwr Cymru Cyf on the grounds of harm to health arising solely from fluoridation.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when the public planning inquiry was held at the Guildhall, Swansea into the proposed development at the Oystermouth bus station ; and on which date he announced his decision.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now issue further guidance to local authorities on the principles to be supplied in determining discretionary charges for home care services.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Guidance on charging for non-residential social services for adults was issued on 18 January 1994 under cover of Welsh Office circular 4/94. Copies are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what sums have been provided by the Welsh Office for health promotion initiatives to combat drug and alcohol misuse in (a) 1993-94 and (b) 1994- 95.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : A number of statutory and voluntary organisations undertake initiatives to combat drug and alcohol misuse as part of their overall remit. It is not possible to disaggregate this expenditure from total allocation. Additional Welsh Office support is provided for specific national activity. In 1993-94, £90, 000 was provided and for the current financial year, some £100,000 is available.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that any directly managed unit or NHS hospital trust which introduces a new form of surgical intervention should inform all purchasers before such changes are introduced.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : There is a clear expectation that any significant change or development in the pattern of treatment and care should be subject to a dialogue between hospitals and commissioners prior to their introduction.
Mr. Redwood : I have today published the report of an investigation into the incidence of cancer around Trawsfynydd and Wylfa nuclear installations over the period 1974 to 1986. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
The report gives the results of a statistical analysis of the incidence of seven groups of cancer near to the two installations. The results have been examined by the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment, which concluded that the study demonstrates that there is no association between the incidence of the cancers studied and residence near Wylfa and Trawsfynydd nuclear installations.
In the light of COMARE's conclusions and advice I do not propose any further investigation of the incidence of cancer in the vicinity of Trawsfynydd and Wylfa nuclear installations. The full text of the committee's advice is as follows.
Comare Statement-- Investigation of the Incidence of Cancer around Wylfa and Trawsfynydd Nuclear Installations Background A detailed investigation of the incidence of cancer around the Trawsfynydd and Wylfa nuclear installations has been undertaken by the Welsh Cancer Registry. The study has now been published. The Study
The object of the study was to investigate the incidence rates from 1974- 1986 of the following groupings of cancer : all leukaemias, lymphoid leukaemia, all lymphomas, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, brain cancer and thyroid cancer. These cancers were selected because of their suggested links with radiation in the medical literature at the time the study was undertaken. The geographical regions were defined as the pre-1974 local authority areas within Gwynedd. The time span was the years for which data were available from the Welsh Cancer Registry. Data were analysed by Stone's method for all ages combined and further analyses of lymphoid leukaemia and thyriod cancer were undertaken for three age groups (0-24 years, 25-64 years and 65 years and over).
(i For both Trawsfynydd and Wylfa no significant results were found for all leukaemias, all lymphomas, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, brain cancer or thyroid cancer.
(ii The analysis of lymphoid leukaemia was undertaken separately for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). However, in attempting to undertake these analyses account had to be taken of the approximately 9 per cent. of registrations which were recorded neither as ALL (ICD code : 204.0) nor CLL (ICD code : 204.1) but as other and unspecified lymphoid leukaemia' (ICD codes : 204.2, 204.8 and 204.9). It was not possible to determine the type of lymphoid leukaemia for such cases and therefore the analysis was undertaken in two ways, either with the cases recorded as unspecified lymphoid leukaemia analysed as if they were all ALL or with the cases recorded as unspecified lymphoid leukaemia analysed as if they were all CLL ; The results analysed in these two ways were as follows :
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)
(a Trawsfynydd. No significant results were obtained.
Column 657area containing the installation compared to 0.57-0.66 expected with the relative risk decreasing as the distance from Trawsfynydd increased (p 0.01).
(b Wylfa. No significant results were obtained.
(iii Data for 1987 and 1988 became available during the period of the study. No further cases of lymphoid leukaemia were recorded in the local authority areas containing either installation.
Comare's Advice to Government--
COMARE considered and welcomed this study.
The Committee endorsed the statistical methods used.
In interpreting the results on ALL at Wylfa, the Committee noted that the statistically significant increase in ALL rests on a single case of unspecified leukaemia being included as acute lymphoid leukaemia rather than chronic lymphoid leukaemia. It was considered that this finding could be disregarded for the following reasons : Statistical associaton based on a single case is extremely unreliable.
Placing weight of opinion on a finding based on reclassification of a case of unspecified leukaemia to ALL in the 65 years and over age group was felt to be unreasonable, since in this age group chronic leukaemia is very much more common than acute leukaemia.
Equally, the finding of cases of CLL around Trawsfynydd should not give rise to public concern because :
The overwhelming weight of evidence from international studies leads to the conclusions that CLL is a leukaemia sub-type which has not been shown to be associated with, or induced, by ionising radiation. This fact alone should be sufficient to allay concern that environmental radiation might have played a part in causing such cases observed in this study.
CLL is an indolent disease, predominantly of the elderly, which may cause few symptoms over long periods. Diagnosis is often the result of investigation of an unrelated complaint and incidence in a geographical area depends on the intensity of such investigations. Hence the baseline incidence is uncertain, particularly for relatively small areas and it is unwise to calculate rates, raised or otherwise, in subgroups in such areas.
Given the number of statistical tests undertaken on this body of data there is a strong likelihood that at least one subgroup will show a statistical association by chance.
The Committee noted the considerable effort that had been made to confirm the diagnosis in the cases investigated. Further research to establish the diagnosis with greater certainty was not felt to be justified.
The Committee concluded that the study demonstrated no association between the incidence of the cancers studied and residence near Trawsfynydd and Wylfa nuclear stations. No further work to investigate such an association is recommended.