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Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency concerning the future responsibilities of the agency in (a) factory development, (b) marketing, (c) urban regeneration, (d) derelict land clearance and (e) investment banking and venture capital; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: I meet the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency regularly to discuss a range of issues.
My letter to the chairman of 8 March 1994 set out the ways in which I expect the agency to contribute to the economic development of Wales. A copy of that letter was placed in the Library of the House at the time.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the Audit Commission in relation to the terms of reference of the inquiry conducted by Grant Thornton into the Welsh Development Agency joint venture with Cynon Valley borough council and the land deal with Tesco plc.
Mr. Redwood: None. The arrangements for the inquiry are a matter for the agency.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what date he received notification from the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency concerning his impending directorship of Development Securities Ltd.; on what date consent was given; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: The chairman notified me that he intended to take up a directorship of Development Securities plc on 25 March 1994.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make a statement on the advice given to (a) schools proposing to switch to grant-maintained status and (b) their local education authorities in relation to the clearing of current year deficit in the final year under local authority administration;
(2) when he expects to refund to South Glamorgan county council the run-off deficit of Mary Immaculate high school, as at the date of its transfer to grant-maintained status on 31 March.
Mr. Redwood: The deficit which had been accumulated by Mary Immaculate high school over a period of years and while it was under the control of South Glamorgan local education authority will be paid off in its first year as a grant-maintained school without additional funding from the Welsh Office.
It has been made clear that, under the Education (Grant-Maintained Schools) (Finance) (Wales)
Column 250Regulations 1994, any deficit incurred by schools while under local education authorities control will be taken into account in calculating their annual maintenance grant for their first year as a grant-maintained school.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has agreed to sell the Queen Elizabeth hospital to Greenwich healthcare trust for NHS use.
Mr. Soames: Negotiations with the Greenwich healthcare trust have been progressing well although a number of stages remain to be completed before any contract could be signed. In the meantime, however, we have received an expression of interest from a private consortium. Should this result in a formal offer, we would consider it.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will indicate which departmental publications are currently available (a) in Braille, (b) in large print and (c) on tape; and if he will indicate what efforts have been made by his Department to inform visually impaired people about the availability of publications in alternative formats to normal print.
Mr. Jack: MAFF has collaborated with the Royal National Institute for the Blind to produce publications in alternative formats on a range of subjects. There are two MAFF publications, from the "Foodsense" series, available through the RNIB's customer services: the booklet "New Microwave Labels" is available in Braille or on audio; and the booklet "Healthy Eating" is available both in Braille and large print formats, as well as on audio tape. A third publication "Health Eating for Older People" is available in large print format via the "Foodsense" public ordering telephone line.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) adult cattle, (b) calves, (c) sheep/lambs, (d) pigs and (e) other livestock were imported into Great Britain in each year since 1985.
Mr. Jack: Data for Great Britain in the form requested are not available except at disproportionate cost. Figures for recorded imports into the United Kingdom as a whole are given in the table.
Recorded imports of live animals into the United Kingdom since 1985 |Adult cattle |Calves |Sheep & lambs |Pigs |Other livestock|Poultry (,000) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |218,696 |2,625 |90,808 |60,156 |6,739 |2,809.5 1986 |231,867 |429 |64,591 |64,844 |8,150 |4,446.8 1987 |151,473 |109 |88,168 |59,710 |12,139 |3,778.5 1988 |178,051 |510 |67,677 |45,445 |11,921 |2,526.2 1989 |122,947 |653 |102,923 |56,982 |11,403 |2,459.8 1990 |124,337 |355 |119,217 |52,581 |10,584 |3,224.6 1991 |89,488 |- |98,032 |76.286 |8,280 |3,439.6 1992 |79,366 |1,462 |234,487 |109,964 |11,533 |4,402.9 1993 |34,616 |3,167 |74,429 |4,678 |1,765 |2,795.9 Source: HM Customs and Excise
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many licensed (a) red meat and (b) poultry abattoirs there were in each of the last five years.
Mrs. Browning: Until 1993, abattoirs in Great Britain were not licensed centrally by Agriculture Departments. The following figures for abattoirs licensed by local authorities are derived from records of state veterinary service visits and are therefore approximate. The number of licensed abattoirs in England and Wales in each of the last five years was:
red meat |poultry meat --------------------------------------- 1989-780 |1989-108 1990-700 |1990-102 1991-640 |1991-98 1992-595 |1992-98 1993-473 |1993-102
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the use of meat tenderising enzymes administered to animals pre-slaughter.
Mrs Browning: The Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992 currently prohibit the sale for human consumption of fresh meat from animals to which tenderisers have been administered. The EC Scientific Veterinary Committee has been asked to consider the question of administration of tenderising enzymes to cattle after stunning and before slaughter. It is not clear when the committee is likely to report.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Prime Minister what has been the total cost, including staff time and legal fees, of representing each Government Department in cases at industrial tribunals in each of the past five years.
The Prime Minister: The information requested is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library (a) a list of official visits he has made since 21 July, (b) copies of speeches he made on each visit, (c) a list of interviews given to the media over the same period and (d) a copy of his speech to the Conservative and Unionist conference in Bournemouth on 14 October.
The Prime Minister: (a) I have made a number of official visits throughout the country since 21 July this year, delivering several speeches on a wide range of subjects. Since that date I have also made three overseas visits as follows:
Date |Destination ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1-2 August |Poland and Lithuania 7-8 September |The Hague and Berlin 18-22 September |Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa
(b) Copies of the speeches made on each occasion have been placed in the Library, along with (c) a list of interviews given to the media since 21 July.
(d) A copy of my speech to the Conservative and Unionist conference in Bournemouth on 14 October is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish a current list of special advisers attached to Ministers stating the Minister they work for, the date of their appointment, the name of their previous employer before their initial appointment as a special adviser attached to a Minister, and the organisation from which they are seconded.
The Prime Minister: Currently there are 32 special advisers attached to Ministers. None is on secondment from an outside organisation. The names of the advisers, the Ministers they work for, the dates of their current appointments and the names of their previous employers before their initial appointments and the names of their previous employers before their initial appointments as special advisers are as follows:
Name |Minister (s) served |Date of Appointment |Previous Employer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K Adams |Secretary of State for the Environment |28 May 1993 |Rt. Hon. John Gummer P Barnes |Secretary of State for Social Security |28 May 1993 |Boston Consulting Group C Blunt |Secretary of State for Defence |15 February 1993 |PI Political Consultants Miss. A Broom |Secretary of State for Employment |21 July 1994 T Burke* |Secretary of State for Environment |28 May 1993 |Green Alliance J Caine |Secretary of State for Northern Ireland |17 June 1992 |Conservative Central Office Dr. E Cottrell |Secretary of State for Education |21 July 1994 |Conservative Central Office Dr. W Eltis* |President of the Board of Trade |1 January 1993 |National Economic Development Office M Fraser |Minister for Overseas Development |10 April 1992 |Conservative Central Office J Gray |Jointly to the Ministers for Local Government|28 May 1993 |GNI Ltd | and Inner Cities; Environment and | Countryside; and Housing and Planning D Green |Prime Minister |1 June 1992 |Business Television Mrs. S Hogg |Prime Minister |10 April 1992 |Daily and Sunday Telegraph Ms. S Hole |Chief Whip |13 April 1992 |Lord Rothschild A Kemp* |President of the Board of Trade |28 May 1992 |CDP Nexus Ltd Mrs. T Keswick |Chancellor of the Exchequer |28 May 1993 |Cluff Investments and Trading G MacKay |Secretary of State for Scotland |8 May 1992 |Pieda plc M MacLay |Secretary of State for Foreign and |19 July 1993 |The European | Commonwealth Affairs R Marsh |Secretary of State for Health |21 April 1992 |Conservative Central Office Ms. S McEwen |Lord Privy Seal |21 July 1994 |Namara Cowan Ltd M McManus |Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster |21 July 1994 |Conservative Central Office P Moman |Lord President |15 December 1993 |Self employed consultant and writer L O'Connor* |Secretary of State for the Environment |14 March 1994 |Self employed Architect Mrs. K Ramsay |Prime Minister |2 June 1992 |Conservative Central Office P Rock |Home Secretary |28 May 1993 |Conservative Central Office D Ruffley |Chief Secretary |21 July 1994 |Clifford Chance D Rutley |Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food |21 July 1994 |Pepsi Cola International Lady Strathnaver |President of the Board of Trade |21 April 1992 |Haymarket Publishing Services Ltd N True |Prime Minister |10 April 1992 |Public Policy Unit Miss. A Warburton |Prime Minister |12 January 1994 |Career break Miss. R Whetstone |Home Secretary |5 September 1994 |Conservative Central Office H Williams |Secretary of State for Wales |18 October 1993 |Governing Body of Rugby School, | also Freelance Journalist and Writer A Young |Secretary of State for Scotland |8 May 1992 |Drummond & Co * Special advisers fall into two categories, political and those with specialised expertise relevant to their appropriate Secretary of State. The latter are indicated by an Asterisk.
Column 253Ministerial Appointments
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will update the tables given in his answers of 6 December, Official Report , column 28 , following the changes in ministerial appointments that have occurred this year.
The Prime Minister: The information requested is as follows:
|Paybill (1)|1994-95 (2) As at |£ million |£ million --------------------------------------------------- July 1994 |1.16 |1.16 June 1993 |1.37 |1.40 September 1992 |1.30 |1.36 September 1991 |1.10 |1.20 July 1990 |0.95 |1.09 June 1989 |0.93 |1.19 September 1988 |0.74 |1.00 (1) Not including earnings-related national insurance contribution and other personnel overheads. (2) Calculated using the GDP deflator.
Salary Band |<1>Number of Special |Advisers --------------------------------------------------------------- £ 0-10,000 |- 10-20,000 |1 20-30,000 |8 30-40,000 |5 40-50,000 |8 50-60,000 |7 60-70,000 |1 70-80,000 |- 80-90,000 |- 90-100,000 |1 <1> As at 31 July 1994.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions Her Majesty's Government have had with Lord Justice Scott about his proposal, and the timescale of that proposal, to allow witnesses before his inquiry, whom he may criticise in his report, an opportunity to comment before the report is finalised.
The Prime Minister: There has been no discussion between the Government and Sir Richard Scott concerning the principles underlying his proposal to give witnesses whom he may criticise an opportunity to comment before his report is finalised. However, Government officials have discussions with the inquiry team from time to time on a range of issues including the administrative aspects of Sir Richard Scott's proposal outlined above, but the timing of these matters is entirely a matter for him,
Mrs. Gorman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will show for each local education authority and for each year since 1988 89 (a) the cash value of the general schools budget divided by the number of pupils (b) the cash value of the potential schools budget divided by the number of pupils and (c) the cash value of the aggregate schools budget divided by the number of pupils.
Mr. Robin Squire: The information requested for the financial years 1991 92 to 1994--95, has been placed in the Library. Corresponding information for the 1990--91 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will make a statement about Stratford grant-maintained school.
Mr. Robin Squire: Stratford grant-maintained school was judged by a registered inspector to require special measures. The school is being regularly monitored by the Office for Standards in Education to assess the progress it is making in implementing its action plan. In order to assist the governors, my right hon. Friend has exercised her power under section 67 of the Education Act 1993 to appoint an additional governor, Mrs Daphne Gould, to the school. I have placed a letter sent by officials to Mrs Gould concerning her appointment in the Library of the House.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when officials from English Heritage last inspected (a) County hall, London and (b) Battersea power station.
Mr. Dorrell: County hall was last visited by English Heritage staff on 24 August 1994. Battersea power station was last visited on 8 June 1994 and English Heritage plans another visit within the next week.
17. Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress of work by the Local Government Commission.
Mr. Curry: To date, the Local Government Commission has submitted final reports for 10 shire counties, of which three have been referred back to the Commission for second review. It has now published its draft recommendations for these second reviews and for the remaining 29 counties. It plans to submit nine more final responses on 26 October and the rest by the turn of the year.
18. Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many domestic households in England and Wales have their water supply disconnected, on average, each week.
Mr. Atkins: The latest figures available from the Office of Water Services indicate that, of the 19.4 million households in England and Wales receiving mains domestic water, 12,452 disconnections were undertaken in the 12 months to 31 March 1994, an average of 239 per week.
19. Mrs. Jane Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress with the implementation of the single regeneration budget.
28. Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress with the implementation of the single regeneration budget.
Sir Paul Beresford: The single regeneration budget was implemented on 1 April 1994.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many applications have been submitted to the single regeneration budget for funds to support education programmes in schools, with particular reference to the teaching of English to ethnic minority children.
Sir Paul Beresford: Of the total of 469 bids for funding from the single regeneration budget received by Government offices for the regions by the deadline of 7 September 1994, approximately 200 relate in whole or in part to support for education programmes and, of those, approximately 50 specifically refer to the teaching of English to ethnic minority children.
Mr. Purchase: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress made on regional statements for the single regeneration budget.
Sir Paul Beresford: The criteria for the single regeneration budget are set out in the "Bidding Guidance" issued on 14 April 1994, copies of which are in the Library of the House. There are no separate regional statements for the budget, although, as the "Bidding Guidance" states at paragraph 17, initiatives supported by the budget may relate to existing local or regional strategies such as community support frameworks prepared in relation to European structural funds, planning policy guidance and local authority development plans and economic development strategies.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new international environmental arrangements have been reached or discussed arising out of the G7 summit.
Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take to meet United Kingdom environmental obligations arising out of the general agreement on tariffs and trade round.
Mr. Atkins: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reported to the House on 11 July, the G7 agreed to speed up progress in meeting the commitments made at the Earth summit in Rio, and to report further progress at next year's G7 summit.
21. Mr. Eastham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the links between air quality and respiratory problems experienced by people in areas close to motorways.
Mr. Atkins: There have been no recent discussions specifically with regard to problems experienced by those living close to motorways. However, I and my colleagues will be considering issues of air quality and public health when we discuss later this year the terms of our response to the consultation paper on improving air quality.
22. Mrs. Angela Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he intends to revitalise town centres.
Mr. Gummer: Through the combination of a strong national economy, sensible planning and specific measures such as city challenge to unlock local commitment.
23. Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has held on the on-going environmental obligations arising out of the GATT round.
Mr. Atkins: The United Kingdom is contributing to the work of the Trade and Environment sub-committee of the preparatory committee of the new World Trade Organisation.
24. Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress of the local government review.
Mr. Curry: The Local Government Commission is on schedule to submit its final reports by the turn of the year and I intend that implementation of the review will be complete, in line with the published timetable, by 1 April 1997.
29. Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress of the Local Government Commission's review of Derbyshire.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Local Government Commission published draft recommendations for Derbyshire on 5 September, following its further review of local government structure there. The consultation period lasts until 7 November and the Commission will then draw up its final recommendations, which are due at the end of December this year.
25. Mr Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes he proposes in the system of regulation of the water industry.
Sir Paul Beresford: The Government have every confidence in the effectiveness of the existing regulatory system. In July, the Director General of Water Services announced new, tougher price limits for the water companies.
26. Mr. Channon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress is being made with local government reform in Essex.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Local Government Commission published draft recommendations for the future local government of Essex on 11 July. The consultation period ended on 26 September and the Commission is now drawing up its final recommendations which are due in December.
27. Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimate of the number of people who are either homeless or inadequately housed.
Mr. Gummer: Some 128,000 households were accepted by local authorities in England as statutorily homeless during the 12 months ending in June 1994. In 1992, a housing attitudes survey carried out for my Department found that only 2 per cent. of households were very dissatisfied with their housing; some of this dissatisfaction will have been associated with factors other than the adequacy of the accommodation, for example its location.
30. Mr. Patrick Thompson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to introduce legislation to update the management of national parks.
Mr. Atkins: It remains our firm intention to introduce national parks legislation to establish independent authorities for the national parks in England and Wales as soon as there is an opportunity to do so.
Mrs. Gorman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is Government policy on EC proposals to restrict the use of chlorine in industrial processes.
Mr. Atkins: The United Kingdom Government, in common with the rest of the European Union, support a science-based approach to evaluating the risk and benefits of substances including chlorine and chlorinated compounds which takes account of possible alternative substances. Only after the appropriate risk assessments have been undertaken, and the evidence from them demonstrates a need for action, will the Government agree to any restrictions.
34. Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he plans to meet representatives of the local authority associations to discuss the settlement of local government finance for 1995 96.
Mr. Curry: My right hon. Friend and I discussed the local government finance settlement for 1995 96 with representatives of the local authority associations at the meeting of the Consultative Council on Local Government Finance on 10 October.
36. Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the benefits from compulsory competitive tendering.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Independent research confirms that compulsory competitive tendering has reduced costs by an average of 7 per cent. and up to 13 per cent. for some services; has at least maintained and in about 25 per cent. of contracts improved the standards set for services, with clear performance targets and better monitoring of service delivery; and has led to improved work practices and management.
Mr. Straw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list each local authority in England and indicate whether the authority (a) has had no more than three reports of
maladministration between 1990 and 1993, (b) has received one or more charter marks for council services in 1992 or 1993, (c) has received no directions for anti-competitive behaviour or for the financial failure of direct services organisations before January, (d) has been judged well ahead of the field in its region under the housing investment programme between 1992 and 1995, (e) has been the winner of a city challenge competition, (f) has local or unitary development plans for the whole council area and the council has decided half or more of its planning decisions within eight weeks, (g) budgeted to spend below its standard spending assessment between 1991 and 1994, (h) reduced its indebtedness between 1991 and 1993 and (i) collected at least half of
Column 260its national non-domestic rates by 30 September in 1991 and 1993.
Mr. Gummer: I have today made available in the Library of the House a table which shows this information.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) of 18 July, Official Report , column 44, (a) how is the freephone helpline promoted, (b) what assessment has been made of the level of public awareness of the helpline and (c) how many calls the helpline has received in the past 12 months.
Mr. Atkins: (a) The freephone line is promoted in a variety of leaflets and cards produced by my Department as well as literature produced by organisations such as the National Society for Clean Air and the National Asthma Campaign. In addition, the freephone number is carried on Ceefax and Teletext.
(b) In 1993 two assessments were prepared for the Department, an independent consultancy and the survey of public attitudes to the environment--reported in the "Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics No.16". These indicated a 2 per cent. awareness of the freephone line in the general population.
(c) In the 12 months ending on 30 September 1994, a total of 146, 325 calls were received on the freephone, an average of 400 calls per day. In the previous 12 months to 30 September 1993 the average number was 259 calls per day.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) of 14 July, Official Report , column 769 , what was the statistical basis for his statement that the number of telephone calls to the air quality bulletin freephone line increased substantially; and if he will place in the Library the survey on public awareness and actions during the pollution episode on 2 July.
Mr. Atkins: The daily average number of calls to the freephone in the week before 2 July was 536. The number of calls received on the freephone over the next three days averaged 1,184 per day. I have placed a copy of the survey on public awareness and actions during the episodes of 2 to 3 and 12 to 13 of July 1994 in the Library.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many times serious air pollution has occurred without being forecast by his Department in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
Mr. Atkins: In the last three years air pollution has reached levels which the Department describes as "very poor" on seven days, six of which were forecast to be "poor" or "very poor" and one forecast to be "good".
Nitrogen Dioxide Place |Date |Predicted |Actual ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- London |12-13 December 1991|Very Poor |Very Poor Manchester |23 December 1991 |Poor |Very Poor
Sulphur Dioxide Place |Date |Predicted |Actual ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belfast |10 December 1991|Poor |Very Poor Belfast |20 December 1991|Poor |Very Poor Belfast |22 December 1991|Very Poor |Very Poor Belfast |31 January 1993 |Good |Very Poor