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19. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment Her Majesty's Government have made of the conflicting evidence presented at the international whaling conference in Mexico of the number of blue whales (a) in the northern hemisphere and (b) in the southern hemisphere ; and what action she is taking to urge the international community to protect the species.
Mr. Jack : I am not aware of any conflicting evidence on the current number of blue whales which was presented to this year's IWC. Abundance estimate of whales are primarily based on sighting surveys, and surveys are in hand to provide revised estimates of blue whale numbers throughout their range. Blue whales remain fully protected.
Mr. Soames : We take the threat of animal disease very seriously and constantly reassess the adequacy of our animal health controls. We are not complacent and have taken those steps we consider necessary to safeguard our high animal health status.
Mr. Jack : The Meat and Livestock Commission has prime responsibility for promotion of British bacon, but the Ministry also plays a part through its pig assurance scheme which provides the farm assurance element of the British charter quality bacon scheme.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : My ministerial colleagues and I have frequent discussions with the federation on topics of concern to an industry which makes such a valuable contribution to the United Kingdom economy.
Mr. Jack : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Mr. Gill) on 14 June, Official Report, columns 441-43, on the outcome of the 10 June Council of Fisheries Ministers.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I and my Department have received various representations. I and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales approved the milk marketing board's reorganisation scheme, and modifications on 16 June.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations she has received to press for the limitation of journeys for live animals to eight hours ; and if she will make a statement.
24. Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the latest estimate for EC spending on agriculture in 1995 ; and if she will express the total as a sum per day in pound sterling.
Column 313This equates to £78 million per day.
Mr. Jack : The Ministry devotes considerable effort to the support and promotion of the agricultural industry, as the departmental report, a copy of which is deposited in the Library, and our regular news releases, make clear. We support Food From Britain to the tune of £5 million per annum and provide the statutory framework for the Meat and Livestock Commission and other industry bodies which carry out promotional work. We have launched the continental challenge this year to help United Kingdom suppliers find markets with European retailers. MAFF Ministers are making promotional visits this year to Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, India, Poland, the Slovak Republic and the USA. Our new marketing development scheme, launched on 15 June, could be used to help set up new promotional initiatives.
I am informed by the chief executive of ADAS that in order to achieve 63 per cent. of cost recovery for chargeable advisory services in 1994-95, ADAS expects to need to shed some 325 posts, found in approximately equal numbers from among administrative and consultancy positions.
Of the 160 consultancy staff posts to be cut, ADAS expects 75 staff to be made compulsorily redundant at the end of June, following a voluntary early retirement and severance scheme.
Mr. Jack : The common fisheries policy, which was established in 1983, took good account of United Kingdom interests in all the major stocks around our shores. We also, at that time, reduced the access rights of other member states in our coastal waters by nearly three quarters. Since then, the Government have continued to protect British fishing interests. More recently, the United Kingdom has led the successful opposition to the European Commission's "blank cheque" proposals for future access by Spanish and Portuguese fishing vessels to the waters of other member states, and we ensured that detailed rules must be drawn up within a tight framework of safeguards which have been agreed by the Council. These rules protect our quota shares and require that there shall be no increase in fishing effort in areas subject to the Spanish and Portuguese accession treaty. For other areas, including the North sea, any proposals for access would have to be for non-quota species only and take account of track record. The outcome of the negotiations on Norwegian accession
Column 314to the common fisheries policy also protects the interests of British fishermen, with relative stability assured and no reduction in United Kingdom fishing opportunities. Indeed, we have increased fishing possibilities for cod at North Norway.
Mr. Jack : In my reply of 22 March to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Harris), Official Report, columns 120-22. I set out the fisheries implications for the United Kingdom and the other member states of the European Union, of Norwegian Accession. Swedish quotas in the North sea will be consolidated at the average for the period 1989 to 1993, while the arrangements for Swedish and Finnish market access will be the same as for Norway.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list, by estate, those occasions on which birds belonging to protected species have been found (a) shot, (b) poisoned or (c) otherwise illegally killed in each of the past five years ; and how many (i) prosecutions and (ii) convictions have resulted.
Mr. Soames : Cases reported to this Ministry of protected birds killed by poisoning are given in the table on a county basis as details of the estates on which poisoned birds have been found are not readily available. The location where a poisoned bird is found is not necessarily the same place as where it consumed the poison. This Ministry does not collect information on protected bird species that have been illegally shot or otherwise illegally killed.
Information held centrally by the Home Office on prosecutions and convictions for illegal activities cannot separately identify the killing of protected birds from other illegal activities against them because the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 does not separately identify an offence of killing wild birds from the offence of injuring or taking them.
Details of illegal poisoning incidents reported to MAFF involving protected bird species from 1989-93 County |Year |Number and species |involved ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Avon |1991 |1 buzzard |1992 |1 crow Bedfordshire |1993 |1 red kite Buckinghamshire |1992 |10 feral pigeons Cambridge |1989 |2 chaffinches |1990 |1 buzzard |1991 |1 crow |1993 |Several rooks Cheshire |1992 |4 magpies |1993 |Numerous crows and magpies |1 crow, 2 jackdaws, 4 magpies Cornwall |1990 |3 buzzards |1991 |1 red kite |1992 |1 buzzard, 1 gull, several crows Cumbria |1989 |1 buzzard |1 buzzard, 2 crows |2 buzzards, several crows |1990 |2 buzzards |1 buzzard |2 buzzards |1 crow |1 crow |1991 |2 buzzards |1 buzzard |1992 |1 buzzard |1 buzzard, several crows |1 buzzard |1993 |1 rook Derbyshire |1989 |1 kestrel |1 goshawk |1990 |1 sparrowhawk Devon |1989 |1 buzzard |1990 |8 feral pigeons |1991 |1 buzzard |1992 |2 peregrines |1993 |1 buzzard Dorset |1989 |1 buzzard |1992 |2 buzzards, 1 peregrine Durham |1993 |1 buzzard East Sussex |1989 |46 feral pigeons, 2 black-headed | gulls |3 crows |1990 |Several feral pigeons |1993 |Several feral pigeons Essex |1990 |8 black-headed gulls |1993 |2 magpies |1 magpie Greater London |1993 |20-30 feral pigeons |60 feral pigeons Hampshire |1989 |1 buzzard |1993 |1 little owl Hereford and Worcester |1989 |c. 300 mallard and pheasants |1 red kite |1990 |1 sparrowhawk |1 buzzard |1 buzzard |Several pheasants |19 crows, 1 jackdaw, 1 pheasant, | 1 woodpigeon, 2 greenfinch |1991 |11 pheasants, 3 jays, many | woodpigeon |2 crows |1 buzzard |Several house sparrows Humberside |1990 |17 rooks |1992 |8 rooks, 9 feral pigeons |1993 |12 mallard Kent |1990 |Blackbirds, robins and starlings |1991 |2 rooks, 1 magpie |1 kestrel Lancashire |1989 |2 magpies |1990 |1 hen harrier |1 kestrel |1991 |1 red-tailed hawk (falconer's bird) |1 magpie, 1 rook |1992 |48 rooks, 1 pheasant |1993 |1 buzzard, 1 rook Lincolnshire |1989 |1 tawny owl, 1 crow |4 blackbirds, 4 house sparrows |1990 |1 crow, 1 rook, 5 magpies |1991 |2 magpies |More than 25 feral pigeons |20 gulls |1992 |91 brent geese, 1 pheasant Norfolk |1989 |Several house sparrows, feral | pigeons and blackbird |1991 |20+ feral pigeons |1992 |c. 30 pheasants, 1 robin |Several feral pigeons, 1 robin |1993 |1 hen harrier Northumberland |1992 |9 rooks, 1 crow, 1 magpie, | 1 chaffinch |1 goshawk North Yorkshire |1989 |18 mallard, 1 moorhen |1 crow |1990 |2 crows |3 rooks |1991 |1 hen harrier |1 rook |1992 |2 kestrels, several crows |1993 |4 feral pigeon, 1 woodpigeon, | 1 rook, 2 jackdaws, | 1 yellowhammer Nottinghamshire |1990 |1 sparrowhawk |30 pheasants |1992 |1 buzzard |1993 |5 magpies, 1 crow Oxfordshire |1990 |1 red kite |1993 |1 sparrowhawk Shropshire |1989 |1 buzzard |Several feral pigeons, 1 blackbird |Several crows, jackdaws and rooks |Several rooks |1990 |2 buzzard |1 buzzard |Several rooks and woodpigeon |2 crows |1 magpie |1991 |1 magpie |Numerous rooks and jackdaws |Numerous magpies and 2 jackdaws |1992 |1 magpie South Yorkshire |1990 |3 kestrels, 1 sparrowhawk Staffordshire |1991 |1 magpie |Several starlings |1992 |1 buzzard Somerset |1989 |1 buzzard |1991 |2 buzzards Suffolk |1989 |1 sparrowhawk |1990 |4 mallard Surrey |1991 |1 magpie Tyne and Wear |1989 |Several gulls and crows |1991 |Several house sparrows |1993 |Many house sparrows, blackbirds |, starlings Warwickshire |1990 |2 buzzards |1 jackdaw, 3 rooks |1991 |1 buzzard, 1 crow West Midlands |1992 |1 buzzard West Sussex |1992 |1 magpie West Yorkshire |1991 |1 magpie Wiltshire |1990 |1 buzzard |1991 |1 buzzard |1993 |2 buzzards
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many of the representations she has received over the last 18 months on the subject of the proposed reform in agricultural tenancy law were in favour of a statutory minimum period ; how many were in favour of complete contractual freedom ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : Since 1 January 1993, my right hon. Friend has received 187 representations via hon. Members and 26 addressed to her direct. Of these the vast majority were broadly supportive of the Government's proposals, with only 23 favouring a statutory minimum term. We are keen to introduce legislation as soon as parliamentary time is available.
Mr. Soames : The Animal Health Act 1981, and orders made under the Act, require a minimum valuation to be provided for certain categories of equines before a welfare export licence is issued. There are exemptions for thoroughbred horses certified by the Jockey Club and other horses intended for breeding, riding, exhibition, jumping and polo are also exempted. I have no plans to change these arrangements.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many prosecutions for breaches of the Rabies Order 1974, as amended, there were in (a) 1991, (b) 1992 and (c) 1993 ; and if she will make a statement.
|Number --------------------- 1991 |64 1992 |45 1993 |24
These figures are compiled from the returns given to the Department by local authorities, which are responsible for enforcing the order.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate he has made of the legal and consequential costs involved in the various proceedings initiated against the United Kingdom by the EC Commission in relation to the application of the acquired rights directive.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The disbursements incurred on behalf of the United Kingdom in connection with the proceedings in the European Court of Justice concerning the acquired rights directive--case C-382/92--and the collective redundancies directive--case C-383-92--were about £9,200. This consists of counsel's fees, VAT, travelling and hotel accommodation. This figure does not include the costs of staff in the Treasury Solicitor's Department or the Employment Department's legal advisers who provided legal services and advised within the normal course of their duties. No assessment has been made of any wider legal or consequential costs.
Miss Widdecombe : Latest estimates from the winter 1993-94 labour force survey for Great Britain show that 50 per cent. of males and 15 per cent. of females aged 55 to 64 worked full-time as employees or self- employed.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest information he has on levels of economic inactivity in the Doncaster and Mexborough areas ; and what were the comparable figures (a) 12 months and (b) 24 months ago.
Miss Widdecombe : The available estimates from the labour force survey of economic inactivity levels refer to the Doncaster local authority district area, and are given in the following table. No information from the LFS for local authority districts available prior to spring 1992.
Number of Economically Inactive Persons in Doncaster: Quarter |Economically |Inactive |Persons ----------------------------------------- Spring 1992 |97,000 Winter 1992-93 |97,000 Winter 1993-94 |97,000 <1> Persons not employed or unemployed according to the International Labour Organisation definitions. Source: Labour Force Survey (not seasonally adjusted).
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for the Doncaster and Mexborough area the current number of (a) males and (b) females who are in receipt of unemployment benefit, and who have been unemployed for (i) longer than six months, (ii) longer than 12 months, (iii) longer than two years and (iv) three years and over.
Unadjusted claimant unemployment by duration (April 1994) Doncaster and |Male |Female Mexborough<1> --------------------------------------------------------- Over 6 months |14,642 |3,015 Over 12 months |10,007 |1,660 Over 2 years |5,977 |927 Over 3 years |3,738 |577 <1> Figures are totals for the Doncaster and the Rotherham and Mexborough travel-to-work areas combined.
Miss Widdecombe : Jobs are created by employers, and it is not possible to give a precise total for the numbers of cases where a training and enterprise council has assisted job creation in some way. The mission statement of Barnsley and Doncaster TEC is : "To work for local prosperity by creating through partnerships, a climate in our community were greater value is given to education, training and enterprise".
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if she will list those organisations which had contracts with the Barnsley and Doncaster TEC in 1993-94, but will not have a contract with the Barnsley and Doncaster TEC in 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe : There is only one organisation which had a contract with Barnsley and Doncaster training and enterprise council 1993- 94 which does not have a contract with the TEC in 1994-95. This organisation is Barony college in Scotland. The reason for not contracting this year is because the trainee has now completed his training.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what regulations, codes of practice, and/or guidelines govern the party political activity of senior paid employees including chief executives and directors of the Barnsley and Doncaster TEC ; how these differ from those which govern principal and chief officers of the local authorities : and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe : The training and enterprise council operating agreement precludes TECs from using any of their funds for party political purposes. TECs are private companies and it is for each TEC to decide what, if any, regulations should govern party political activity by senior paid employees. In addition, civil service staff who are seconded to TECs are subject to the same regulations as all other civil servants.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list each employer who has received a fit-for-work award in each of the past five years and the percentage of their work forces who were registered as disabled people at the time of the award.
Following consultation on the 1990 Document, "Employment and Training for People with Disabilities", and advice from the National Advisory Council on Employment of people with disabilities, the then Secretary of State for Employment announced his decision to end the award scheme in 1991.
The percentage of registered disabled people employed by winners was not verified as part of the award process. These awards were intended to help promote positive policies in all aspects of the employment of disabled people, whether registered or not.
Mr. Gapes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he has taken to ensure that following the market testing of the distribution of Health and Safety Executive publications the Government have been successful in achieving their objectives of value for money.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Following the change in the arrangements for the distribution of their publication in October 1993, the Health and Safety Executive is monitoring closely the performance of both contractors to ensure an effective and efficient service which provides value for money.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : It is too early to evaluate fully the market test of the distibution of Health and Safety Executive publications. The new arrangements became effective on 4 October 1993 for a three-year period. The HSE is monitoring closely the performance of both contractors. An interim evaluation will take place after the first full year of the new operation and a full evaluation will take place at the end of the second year.
Sir Harold Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what level of financial support is currently given by his Department to Remploy ; and what the figure was in each of the last 15 years.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Sir Harold Walker, dated 21 June 1994 :
Column 321The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question regarding the level of financial support which is currently given to Remploy by the Employment Service and the figures for the past 15 years.
In the current financial year Remploy will be receiving a total of £92,082,000.
The figures for the past 15 years are as follows :
|£,000s ---------------------- 1979-80 |31,008 1980-81 |42,123 1981-82 |45,684 1982-83 |49,100 1983-84 |51,903 1984-85 |56,570 1985-86 |59,290 1986-87 |57,144 1987-88 |57,996 1988-89 |62,714 1989-90 |67,013 1990-91 |72,167 1991-92 |75,346 1992-93 |83,995 1993-94 |89,199
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what was the total cost of the job creation programme in each year it was in existence ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(2) what was the total cost of the wider opportunities training programme in each year of its existence from 1985 to 1988 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(3) what was the total cost of the voluntary projects programme for each year of its existence from 1987 to 1988 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ; (4) what was the total cost of the job splitting scheme in each year it was in existence from 1983 to 1987 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(5) what was the total cost of the temporary employment subsidy for each year it was in existence, from 1975 to 1979 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ; (6) what was the total cost of the new job training scheme in each year of its existence from 1987 to 1988 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(7) what was the total cost of the job release scheme in each year it was in existence from 1977 to 1986 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(8) what was the total cost of the training for work programme for each year of its existence from 1993 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
Column 322(9) what was the total cost of the old job training scheme in each year of its existence, from 1985 to 1988 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(10) what was the total cost of the job share programme in each year it was in existence from 1987 to 1991 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(11) what was the total cost of the short-term working compensation scheme for each year it was in existence, from 1978 to 1979 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of the years it was in existence ;
(12) what was the total cost of the temporary short-time working compensation scheme for each year it was in existence from 1979 to 1984 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what was the total cost of the employment action programme in each year of its existence, from 1991 to 1993 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(2) what was the total cost of the community programme in each year of its existence, from 1982 to 1988 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years ;
(3) what was the total cost of the employment training programme in each year of its existence, from 1988 to 1993 ; and how many individuals were assisted by the scheme in each of those years.
Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many officials have been suspended from duty as a result of the internal inquiry into the operation of the careers and occupational information centre.