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Mr. Sackville [holding answer 11 July 1994] : This information will be placed in the Library.
Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will bring forward proposals to prevent lesbians being given parental rights.
Mr. John M. Taylor : I have been asked to reply.
There are no plans to bring forward such proposals.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations she has received from the Gay Hussar group in regard to strategies for reforming the EU common agricultural policy.
Mr. Jack : Neither my right hon. Friend nor I have received any such representations.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representation her Department had at the second session of the intergovernmental committee of the convention on biological diversity held in June in Nairobi ; and if she will make a statement on the relevance of the decisions taken at the meeting for the completion of partnership agreements between the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Agricultural Research Centre involved in gene bank development.
Mr. Jack : The United Kingdom delegation comprised officials from the Department of the Environment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Overseas Development Administration, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Delegates to the meeting recognised and supported the intention of the Food and Agriculture Organisation to conclude agreements with the international agricultural research centres to place certain of their seed banks under its auspices.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when she expects to make an announcement of the conclusions of the review of her Department's animal health and veterinary group.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I intend to issue a consultation document shortly.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current level of stock of beef, in tonnes, held in intervention in the United Kingdom ; and if she will give details of the age profile of the stock.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Responsibility for this matter is delegated to the Intervention Board. I have asked the chief executive to reply to the hon. Member.
Letter from Guy Stapleton to Mr. Austin Mitchell, dated 12 July 1994 :
Column 532The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has asked me to reply to your question about current beef stocks in intervention in the United Kingdom, and the age profile of these stocks.
The information is set out in the attached table :
Beef stocks at end of May 1994 Year of origin |Weight |tonnes) --------------------------------------------- 1990 |784 1991 |6,980 1992 |30,845 1993 |15,139 1994 |Nil |--- Total |53,658
Dr. John Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of arms spending by China.
Mr. Aitken : China's official defence budget for 1994 is 54.4 billion yuan--about US$6 billion--although there is also a considerable amount of military-related expenditure which does not fall to the Chinese defence budget.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which organisations, agencies and other bodies relating to his departmental area of responsibility have been privatised since 1990 ; and what plans he has for further privatisation.
Mr. Aitken : No part of my departmental area of responsibility has been privatised since 1990. The next areas likely to reach that stage are the royal dockyards, for which tenders will be issued in due course. As announced in "Next Steps Review 1993" (Cm 2430), possible defence agency candidates covering a wide range of defence support activity are subject to a prior options review during which the scope for privatisation is explored. Likewise, the scope for privatisation is considered in other areas as part of my Department's "Competing for Quality" programme. For instance, as announced by the then Minister of State for the Armed Forces on 31 March 1993 Official Report, column 197 , work is continuing to transfer the services' married quarters estate to a housing trust in the private sector on 1 April 1995. The scope for private sector involvement in defence support business has also been considered as part of the defence costs study on which we shall be making an announcement shortly.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when RNAD Trecwn was declared surplus ; when tenders were invited to market RNAD Trecwn ; and what were the reasons for the delay.
Mr. Hanley : RNAD Trecwn was declared surplus on 1 August 1992 and tenders were invited from estate agents and surveyors to market the site on 28 January 1994. The
Column 533intervening period was used to allow consideration to be given to the possibility of establishing a European armaments decommissioning facility at Trecwn.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date information was provided to the hon. R. Philipps or Crown Ridge Industries Ltd., on the details of (a) RAF Hendon (East Camp) and (b) Peninsula barracks, Winchester.
Mr. Hanley : In addition to being available from other sources, details of my Department's sites are widely disseminated by officials to many companies and individuals and no central records are maintained. As far as can be ascertained, however, no specific details of RAF Hendon (East Camp) or Peninsula barracks have been supplied to the hon. Rhodri Philipps and/or Crownridge Industries. The hon. R. Philipps was, however, provided in October 1993 with a list which is available to the public on request, naming all major sites in disposal or coming up for disposal. This is likely to have included brief details of Peninsula barracks and RAF Hendon (East Camp).
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates the decisions were made (a) to dispose of Peninsula barracks, Winchester and (b) to invite tenders.
Mr. Hanley : The initial decision to vacate and dispose of Peninsula barracks was made in 1980, but this was dependent upon reprovision of the barracks on a green field site north of Winchester. Occupation of the new barracks started in 1986 and vacation of Peninsula barracks was completed in 1988.
The site was initially marketed in July 1988, but the developer selected went into liquidation in 1990. The MOD with the Crown Estate, as joint owners of the site, pursued the planning application submitted by this developer and finally obtained planning permission in September 1993.
Peninsula barracks was remarketed in January 1994 and an offer for the freehold was accepted in June 1994.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates the decisions were made (a) to dispose of RAF Hendon (East Camp), and (b) to invite tenders.
Mr. Hanley : The initial decision to dispose of RAF Hendon (East Camp) was made in 1988 and the site has been marketed since 1989. Since that time some 7 acres of the site have been sold and a further five acres provisionally allocated for the use of the adjoining RAF museum.
The remainder of the site was remarketed in January 1994, with a closing date for informal tenders of 31 March 1994.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all the MOD establishments which are accredited NAMAS--national measurement accreditation service--testing laboratories.
Mr. Aitken : Establishments in my Department and in defence agencies which are NAMAS accredited for calibration or testing purposes are listed in the table :
Column 534Royal Air Force Electrical Standards Laboratory, Deeside, Clwyd Defence Research Agency, Aquila, Kent
Defence Radiological Standards Centre, Aldermaston
Army Calibration and Standards Laboratory, Army Base Repair Organisation, Old Dalby, Leicestershire
Defence Radiological Protection Service, Gosport, Hampshire Defence Research Agency Dunfermline, Rosyth, Scotland
Defence Research Agency, Fort Halstead, Kent
Defence Research Agency, Bridgwater, Somerset
Defence Research Agency, Civil Marine Group, Portsmouth, Hampshire Environmental Test Centre, Foulness, Essex
Proof and Experimental Establishment, Pendine, Dyfed
Proof and Experimental Establishment, Eskmeals, Cumbria Proof and Experimental Establishment, Shoeburyness, Essex Proof and Experimental Establishment, Lavington, Wiltshire Test and Evaluation Establishment, Chertsey, Surrey
Defence Clothing and Textile Authority (Quality and Product Support Division) Oxfordshire
Royal Military College of Science, Swindon, Wiltshire
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent by RAE Aberperth on sending electronic equipment for calibration at NAMAS accredited laboratories in each of the last three years.
Mr. Aitken : The figures for calibration of electronic equipment not arranged within the MOD and thus incurring charges are as follows :
|£ --------------------------- 1993-91 |523.34 1992-93 |1,511.78 1993-94 |2,135.57
Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been spent on refurbishing the Royal Navy stores depot in Exeter in each of the last five financial years.
Mr. Hanley : It is not possible to break down all the costs of expenditure on specific refurbishment from that of general works, maintenance and fire prevention measures at RNSD Exeter ; however, overall expenditure in these areas in each of the last five financial years is as follows :
|Cost |£ ------------------------------ 1989-90 |515,000 1990-91 |1,000,000 1991-92 |650,000 1992-93 |900,000 1993-94 |1,400,000
Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of closing the Royal Navy stores depot in Exeter ;
(2) what plans his Department has to conduct a full impact study of the effects of closing the Royal Naval stores depot in Exeter.
Mr. Hanley : Stores depots, including Exeter, were examined by the defence costs study, the outcome of which we hope to announce shortly.
Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the Chinook helicopter that crashed on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June was scheduled to land.
Mr. Hanley : The Chinook helicopter that crashed on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June was scheduled to land at Fort George, Inverness.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the amount of expenditure by his Department on training employment, enterprise, employment measures and labour market services in each year since 1979-80 in each region in (a) cash terms and (b) 1993-94 prices.
Miss Widdecombe : The information is not available in the form requested.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate for the business basics scheme for 1994-95.
Miss Widdecombe : Funds for the business start-up scheme have been transferred to the single regeneration budget in 1994-95. Provision for the single regeneration budget includes £70.122 million for business start -up support in that year.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much money was spent on business initiative 1993-94.
Miss Widdecombe : Expenditure in 1993-94 on the business start-up scheme was £82 million.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will set out the extent of (a) financial support and (b) training time offered by the business basics programme.
Miss Widdecombe : Although now within the single regeneration budget, the business start-up scheme is expected to continue in 1994-95 to offer financial support within the previous range of £20 to £90 per week, plus a training element, both determined locally by training and enterprise councils. TECs may, however, provide start-up support in whatever form they consider appropriate to their local circumstances.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) women and (b) men took up the business initiative scheme in each month from April 1993 to April 1994, and give the extent of (i) financial support and (ii) training time.
Miss Widdecombe : Support is given under the business start-up scheme to help unemployed people set up their own businesses. The scheme is delivered by training and enterprise councils, which may provide these services under different titles. The numbers of people taking up the support between April 1993 and April 1994 are set out in the table. Financial support in 1993-94 ranged from allowances of £20 to £90 per week, for between 26 and 66 weeks. Training time was at the discretion of the local TECs.
Business Start-Up Scheme 1993-94-England. 4-Weekly Entrant Statistics|| Period Ending |Entrants ---------------------------------------------- 25 April 1993 |2,771 23 May 1993 |2,699 20 June 1993 |2,553 18 July 1993 |2,470 15 August 1993 |2,357 12 September 1993 |2,544 10 October 1993 |2,680 07 November 1993 |2,730 05 December 1993 |2,587 02 January 1994 |1,819 30 January 1994 |2,560 27 February 1994 |2,732 27 March 1994 |4,005 1993-94 |34,507
Individual totals for women and men for the various periods are not available. However, available data suggest that the overall proportion for the year--women : men--was approximately 31 per cent : 69 per cent.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many Crown notices have been served and Crown prosecutions initiated in each of the past 10 years ; and whether he has any proposal relating to Crown immunity in Government Departments and agencies.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The following table shows the number of Crown enforcement notices issued over the last 10 years for which figures are available :
Crown enforcement notices issued by Health and Safety Executive's Factory and Agricultural Inspectorates (a), 1983-1992-93 Year of |Improvement|Deferred |Immediate |Total issue (b) |prohibition|prohibition ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1983 |47 |3 |11 |61 1984 |38 |- |12 |50 1985 |27 |2 |6 |35 1986-87 |7 |1 |2 |10 1987-88 |13 |1 |5 |19 1988-89 |8 |- |5 |13 1989-90 |5 |- |7 |12 1990-91 |18 |- |4 |22 1991-92 |5 |- |5 |10 1992-93 |4 |2 |5 |11 (a) Includes notices issued by the Quarries Inspectorate for years since 1990-91. (b) Figures for the calendar years 1983 to 1985 and the financial years beginning 1 April for subsequent years.
Under the present law, Crown bodies cannot be prosecuted, but administrative procedures are in place for the censure of Crown bodies in circumstances where prosecution would otherwise be considered. The number of censures in each of the past 10 years is shown in the following table :
Year |Number --------------------- 1985 |- 1986 |- 1987 |- 1988 |1 1989 |- 1990 |3 1991 |- 1992 |3 1993 |- 1994 |1
The Government have no immediate plans to change the current position, which is that Crown bodies are bound by health and safety legislation and Health and Safety Executive inspectors seek to ensure that the law is complied with and that Crown employers meet standards of good practice found elsewhere. I understand that the HSE is considering the implications of removing Crown immunity from prosecution under health and safety legislation.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to encourage work experience schemes for pupils in their final year at school.
Miss Widdecombe : The Government announced on 24 May, Official Report , column 198 , that they have asked training and enterprise councils and their partners to ensure that all pupils in their final year of compulsory education can have at least one week's work experience. An additional £23 million will be provided over the three years to 1997- 98 to support this.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which organisations, agencies and other bodies relating to his departmental area of responsibility have been privatised since 1990 ; and what plans he has for further privatisation.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The majority of the Employment Department's skillcentres were privatised in 1990. There has been no other privatisation since.
We intend to privatise the Health and Safety Executive's electrical equipment certification service when a suitable legislative vehicle is available.
Mr. Congdon : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has now completed his review of the engineering construction industry training board ; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe : I am pleased to announce that the review of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board has now been completed.
The review was wide-ranging and thorough. It included consultation with representatives of employers and employees in the engineering construction industry and an independent survey of all employers in scope to the board. There was widespread support from the industry for the retention of a statutory board with the power to raise a levy on employers.
While it remains Government policy that sector training arrangements should normally be non-statutory, the Government are persuaded that different considerations continue to apply in the engineering construction industry. Since becoming an independent board in 1991, the ECITB has made substantial progress towards modernising training in its industry. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has decided that it will be reconstituted as a statutory training board with effect from 23 July, until the end of March 1998, which will enable it to build on these achievements. I shall be writing to the chairman of the new board in due course to set out in more detail the Government's expectations of the board. A copy of that letter will be placed in the Library.
Sir John Gorst : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment on which day the May day bank holiday will fall during 1995 and 1996 ; and if he will list the dates of all the public holidays that have been fixed for 1995.
Mr. David Hunt [holding answer 8 July 1994] : On 16 December 1993 I announced that, for 1995 only, the early May bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be moved from the first Monday in May to the second Monday, 8 May, to link with events on and near VE day commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ending of the second world war. In Scotland, the anniversary will be marked by an additional day's bank holiday on the second Monday in May for 1995 only. In 1996, the early May bank holiday will revert to the first Monday in May. The bank and public holidays fixed for 1995 are set out in the following table :
Holiday |England and Wales|Northern Ireland |Scotland -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Monday January 2 In lieu of January 1 |BH |BH |- Monday January 2 New Year |- |- |BH Tuesday January 3 In lieu of January 1 |- |- |BH Friday March 17 St. Patrick's Day |- |BH |- Friday April 14 Good Friday |BH |BH |BH Monday April 17 Easter Monday |BH |BH |- Monday May 1 Early May Bank Holiday |- |- |BH Monday May 8 Early May Bank Holiday |BH |BH |BH Monday May 8 Bank Holiday |- |- |BH Monday May 29 Spring Bank Holiday |BH |BH |BH Wednesday July 12 Battle of the Boyne anniversary (Orangemen's Day) |- |BH<1> |- Monday August 7 Summer Bank Holiday |- |- |BH Monday August 28 Summer Bank Holiday |BH |BH |- Monday December 25 Christmas Day |BH |BH |BH Tuesday December 26 Boxing Day |BH |BH |BH BH=Bank/public holiday. <1>indicates a provisional date, still subject to proclamation by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 24 June, Official Report, column 354, concerning the increase in real earnings of railway signalmen compared with white collar
Column 540workers, if he will break down the figures to show the deciles in each case for 1979 to 1989 and 1989 to 1993 together with the actual earnings in April 1993.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information available is set out in the table. Railway signalmen are classified as skilled manual workers and therefore information for manual workers is also included in the table.
Gross weekly earnings of full-time employees- Pay unaffected by absence; at April Percentiles |25 per cent.|50 per cent.|75 per cent. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Real increase in pay 1979-1989 Railway signalmen, and shunters etc. Men |5.3 |13.7 |21.8 Women |- |- |- All manuals Men |6.0 |9.8 |13.4 Women |10.3 |12.2 |16.6 Private sector non-manuals Men |23.1 |33.7 |40.7 Women |30.8 |40.8 |50.3 Increases in pay 1989-1993 Railway signalman, and shunters etc. Men |26.5 |18.1 |21.7 Women |- |- |- All |26.5 |18.1 |21.7 All manuals Men |1.6 |2.2 |2.3 Women |3.6 |4.7 |7.0 All |2.8 |2.2 |2.3 Private sector non-manuals Men |-0.1 |1.2 |2.8 Woman |9.3 |10.6 |12.0 All |6.6 |5.1 |4.7
Gross pay levels Percentiles 1993 |25 per cent.|50 per cent.|75 per cent.|Mean ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Railway signalmen, and shunters etc. Men |260.3 |323.4 |429.4 |365.5 Women |- |- |- |- All |260.3 |323.4 |429.4 |365.5 All manuals Men |201.2 |256.4 |324.0 |274.3 Women |130.5 |162.2 |205.8 |177.1 All |181.4 |239.1 |308.8 |256.6 Private sector non-manuals Men |253.9 |356.4 |498.3 |421.9 Women |167.0 |218.9 |293.3 |250.8 All |201.9 |289.8 |422.4 |353.4 Source: New Earnings Surveys
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether railway signalmen are classified as skilled workers.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : For statistical purposes, railway singalmen are classified as skilled manual workers.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the change in real earnings of non-manual workers in (a) electricity, (b) office
Column 540machinery, etc., (c) retail distribution, (d) railways, (e) banking etc., (f) banking and bill discounting, (g) business services, (h) accountants, auditors and tax experts, (i) social security, (j) higher education and (k) school education since 1989.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is shown in the table :
Real percentage increase in average gross weekly earnings between April 1989 and April 1993 for full-time non-manual employees Industry |Percentage |increase -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Production and distribution of electricity |14.8 Manufacture of office machinery and data processing equipment |3.2 Retail distribution |6.7 Railways |12.1 Banking and finance |9.9 Banking and bill discounting |8.0 Business services |5.2 Accountants, auditors, tax experts |11.0 Social Security |29.3 Higher Education |9.8 School education (nursery, primary, secondary) |15.5 Source: New Earnings Survey.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make funds available for the introduction of video monitoring cameras at all maternity units ;
(2) if he will estimate the cost of bar-code tagging newly born infants at all maternity units ;
(3) if he will consult urgently the Royal College of Midwives on proposals for security at maternity units ;
(4) if he will extend the pilot schemes for tagging newly born infants at Edinburgh Simpson hospital and Law hospital ;
(5) what proposals he has for introducing better security procedures at maternity units.