Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the average value, as stated by plaintiffs, of those personal injury claims commenced in the county courts for each year since 1990.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The information requested is not recorded throughout the year but only from cases concluded during the months of March and November. From these samples, the average figures can be projected as follows :
Year |£ --------------------------- 1990 |3,273.71 1991 |3,561.31 1992 |3,956.86 1993 |5,054.47 1994 |6,895.96
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many lawyers currently employed by his Department have a minimum of three years experience in dealing with personal injury cases.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the main concerns expressed by respondents to the consultation paper entitled, "Small Personal Injury Claims."
Mr. John M. Taylor : Approximately 150 responses to the consultation paper were received and they are currently being evaluated. Respondents came from a wide variety of interested groups and their responses varied accordingly in scope and tone. The majority of respondents who disagreed with the proposals were those who consider the small claims procedure an inappropriate forum for personal injury claims under any circumstances, particularly because it limits recoverable costs.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will define the meaning of non-standard injury as set out in paragraph 33, part a, in the consultation paper, "Small Personal Injury Claims."
Mr. John M. Taylor : Paragraphs 31 to 34 of the consultation paper set out the safeguard which will ensure that each case is dealt with in the appropriate forum according to subject matter, and not value alone. It is proposed that, where a district judge decides that a case is
Column 546unsuited to arbitration, for example because an injury had come about in complex circumstances or was of unpredictable severity, he would be able to refer the matter for trial.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will outline the full range of duties, other than disposing of cases by trial, which are performed by district judges.
Mr. John M. Taylor : A description of the jurisdiction and duties of the office of district judge is contained in the consultation paper "Developments in Judicial Appointments Procedures" which was issued on 19 May 1994. Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many contracts and for what total sum were let out by his Department and agencies for which it is responsible to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b) KPMG Peat Marwick, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) Price Waterhouse, (e) Arthur Andersen, (f) Touche Ross, (g) Grant Thornton, (h) Robson Rhodes and (i) Pannell Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) other services in (1) 1980 to 1983, (2) 1984 to 1987, (3) 1998 to 1991 and (4) 1992-93.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The information that the Department has about these types of contract relates only to 1992-93 and is not broken down in a way which allows the question to be answered in the detail sought. However, on the best information currently available, total expenditure on external consultants during that year was £3.455 million. For projects costing less than £20,000 no detailed information is readily available, but for those above that amount which were completed in that year, the details are as follows :
Consultants |Number of |amount £000's |contracts ------------------------------------------------------------ Coopers & Lybrand |2 |57 KPMG |2 |115 Ernst & Young |2 |52 Price Waterhouse |6 |1,396
Mr. Streeter : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has for the reorganisation of water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland in advance of the privatisation of these services.
Mr. Jacques Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has for the reorganisation of water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland in advance of the privatisation of these services.
Column 547Government remain committed to the privatisation of water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland as soon as practicable, but will not be able to do so, for tehnical reasons, during the lifetime of the present Parliament. In the interim, I have decided that the Water Executive of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, which is responsible for the delivery of water and sewerage services, should become a "next steps" agency not later than April 1996. This will enable the Water Executive to operate as a separate unit in the Department, within a framework of appropriate efficiency targets and performance measures, and will build on work to develop the commercial orientation of the organisation.
To meet an overall efficiency gain of 2 per cent.
To reduce the unit cost per vehicle excise enforcement case completed to £21.73 (at 1992-93 prices).
To dispatch 90 per cent. of registration books for new vehicles within 16 working days of the receipt of application.
To dispatch 90 per cent. of refunds of vehicle excise duty within 11 working days of receipt.
To dispatch 92 per cent. of vehicle excise licences within six working days of receipt of postal applications.
To dispatch 92 per cent. of duplicate vehicle registration books within six working days of receipt of applications.
To dispatch 96 per cent. of amended vehicle registration books (following changes to vehicles or keepers) within eight working days of receipt of applications.
To dispatch 91 per cent. of ordinary driving licences within 11 working days of receipt of applications.
To dispatch 96 per cent. of vocational driving licences within 11 working days of receipt of applications.
To dispatch 91 per cent. of provisional driving licences within 10 working days of receipt of applications.
To dispatch substantive replies to 90 per cent. of written inquiries within four working days of receipt.
To limit maximum waiting time at local vehicle licensing offices to 25 minutes during peak periods (the first eight and last two working days of each month) and 10 minutes at other periods.
To reduce the error rate (errors on any item sent out by the agency) to 0.5 per cent. of total agency output.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister when he last met representatives of organisations for, and of, disabled people to discuss the need for comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation ; when he next plans to meet such representatives ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : I have had a number of meetings with interested parties. My right hon. Friend, the Minister for Disabled People, has also had a number of such meetings, including one with the all-party disablement group on 15 March. He keeps me fully informed of the issues which are discussed.
Section 4 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and section 4 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 oblige those who provide buildings which are visited by members of the public to make provision for disabled people. In addition, the Government have introduced provisions within building regulations for the benefit of such people. These provisions apply predominantly to new buildings and some extensions.
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what amounts have been received in EC subsidies and support by British, French and German pig farmers in each of the last five years.
Under the guarantee section of the common agriculture policy--FEOGA-- expenditure on export refunds and private storage aid for pigmeat, neither of which are paid direct to producers, was as follows :
(ecu million) |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 (provisional) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- United Kingdom Export Refunds |2.250 |3.724 |3.141 |2.433 |2.673 Private Storage Aid |0.356 |0.000 |0.227 |0.108 |0.000 |---- |---- |---- |---- |---- Total |2.606 |3.724 |3.368 |2.541 |2.673 France Export Refunds |12.657 |4.628 |6.391 |3.277 |6.236 Private Storage Aid |12.610 |0.257 |1.928 |0.183 |-0.134 |---- |---- |---- |---- |---- Total |25.267 |4.885 |8.319 |3.460 |6.102 Germany Export Refunds |6.028 |22.072 |47.824 |-20.260 |32.485 Private Storage Aid |6.984 |-0.143 |2.530 |0.378 |-0.885 Exceptional Support |0.000 |0.000 |0.000 |0.000 |2.063 |---- |---- |---- |---- |---- Total |13.012 |21.929 |50.354 |-19.882 |33.663
Column 549Copies of the FEOGA financial reports are in the House of Commons Library.
Refunds for certain pigmeat exports to non-EC countries are available to all member states. Germany has traditional markets in eastern Europe and is the third largest exporter of pigmeat from the EC to third countries.
Private storage aid schemes, when introduced by the EC, are also available to all member states and provide short-term relief from difficulties caused by seasonal oversupply of the pigmeat market. The United Kingdom pigmeat industry generally sees PSA schemes as being of little benefit and United Kingdom take up is very small. Exceptional support measures can be introduced by the EC when orderly marketing cannot otherwise take place. As a result of outbreaks of classical swine fever in Germany, where movement restrictions exist, 2.063 mecu was paid during the 1993 FEOGA budget year and 56 mecu has so far been paid this year. No such measures have needed to be introduced in France or the United Kingdom. EC veterinary funds can be made available to assist member states in eradicating certain animal diseases, including pig diseases. No such payments have been made to the United Kingdom in the last five years and details of any payments to France or Germany are not available to us.
On capital grant schemes, the ministry has paid £5.7 million to pig producers since 1989. A small element of this is reimbursed by the EC. Figures for France and Germany are not available to us.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list those of her Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required to consult prior to legislation proposals ; and in respect of which bodies the Government must publish their response to advice supplied by them.
Mr. Jack : Prior to legislation proposals, the Government are required to consult the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, the Committee on Agricultural Valuation, the Sugar Beet Research and Education Council and the Veterinary Products Committee. They are not required to publish their responses.
The Advisory Committee on Pesticides
The Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees
The Consumers' Committees for Great Britain and for England and Wales
The Committees of Investigation for Great Britain and for England and Wales
The Committee on Agricultural Valuation
The Hill Farming Advisory Committee
The Veterinary Products Committee.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by her Department which are required to lay their annual reports before Parliament.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list her Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to publish their advice to Government.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list the countries, in order of frequency, from which meat treated with (a) clenbuterol and (b) other beta-agonists has been imported in each year since 1985.
Mr. Soames : Beta-agonists--which include clenbuterol--are a group of drugs which have been used for a number of years in licensed veterinary medicines to treat respiratory ailments in cattle and horses and as an aid to cattle at the time of calving. There are no requirements for those importing meat into the United Kingdom to declare whether it has come from animals treated with these medicinal products. I regret therefore that I cannot supply the hon. Member with the information requested.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list the number of cases of bovine TB in cattle imported from Ireland in each year since 1990 and in each month of 1994.
|Number --------------------- 1990 |12 1991 |18 1992 |3 1993 |4 1994 |<1>Nil <1> Provisional figure as at 28 June.
Mr. Soames : All Irish cattle, except bullocks, are tested for bovine tuberculosis 60 days after importation. In addition, all animals in herds maintained by or which have regular intakes of Irish cattle are tested annually. The routine testing interval for herds which import bullocks from Ireland for fattening purposes is set at the discretion of the divisional veterinary officer. No further measures are considered necessary.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans she has to bring forward measures to restrict the sale from supermarkets, garden centres and other retail outlets of Dieffenbachia picta--Dumb Cane--and other species of that genus, or to make the prominent display of safety warning labels mandatory at sites of sale ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : The conditions under which potentially hazardous plants are sold by supermarkets and garden centres is a matter currently being considered by the horticultural industry. An industry voluntary code of practice is in the final stages of preparation and is expected to be published later in the summer. This is an industry-led initiative and a good example of self-regulation.
Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
Anglo-Scottish Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
British Crayfish Marketing Association
Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
Fleetwood Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
Grimsby Fish Producers' Organisations
Institute of Fisheries Management
Lowestoft Fish Producers' Organisation
National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations
New British Trout Association
Salmon and Trout Association
Shellfish Association of Great Britain
South Western Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
United Kingdom Association of Fish Producers' Organisations Yorkshire and Anglia Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd.
Mr. Jack : The Department's policy is to review the scope for publication on a case-by-case basis having regard to the code of practice on open government and agreed contractual terms covering commercial confidentiality. The Department may in some cases publish a synopsis of the report rather than the report itself.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consideration he has given to alternative sources of revenue for the BBC other than licence fees ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : Our consultation document on the future of the BBC, published in November 1992, invited views on a number of possible alternatives to the licence fee. The Government's conclusions will be set out in the White Paper that we plan to publish shortly.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the total licence revenue of the BBC arising from those purchasing licences in (a) England, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales ; and what proportion of the total income of the BBC is represented by revenue derived from television licences.
Mr. Brooke : BBC licence fee income for 1992-93 was £1,597.7 million. This represented 87 per cent. of total BBC income in 1992-93. Figures for television licence revenue by country are not available. However, the number of television licences in force by country as at 31 March 1993 was :