Home Page

Column 601

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 26 October 1994


Departmental Staff

Mr. Grocott: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many staff are employed by his Department; and what proportion of them are employed in each of the standard regions.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The number of staff in the employment of the Lord Chancellor's Department and the proportion of them who are employed in the standard regions is set out in the table.

Total numbers of staff in the Lord Chancellor       

Department as at                                    

18 October 1994.                                    

The total number of staff currently employed in     

Lord Chancellor's                                   

Department is 12,439.                               

The proportion of staff employed in the standard    


Region              |Total number of                



Scotland            |2                              

Northern            |502                            

York and Humberside |1,041                          

East Midlands       |635                            

North West          |1,415                          

West Midlands       |1,031                          

Wales               |537                            

East Anglia         |303                            

South East          |6,183                          

South West          |790                            

These figures include part time staff who have been 

shown as whole numbers.                             

Public Appointments

Mr. Grocott: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the public appointments for which he is responsible (a) in the west midlands region and (b) in Shropshire, indicating in each case the duration of the appointment, the date when a new appointment is due, and the salary.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The Lord Chancellor has 11 advisory committees on justices of the peace and four on general commissioners of income tax in these areas. The main function of these committees is to recommend suitable people to the Lord Chancellor for judicial appointment. The normal period of appointment is six years, so arranged that approximately half the members of a committee retire every three years. Neither chairmen or members of advisory committees receive any remuneration. If the hon. Member would like more detailed information about the membership of any particular committee or committees I should be happy to provide it if he writes to me. This answer does not include appointments which exercise judicial functions.

Column 602

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department whether his Department organises receptions for those expressing an interest in public appointments for the first time; how often they are held; what is the annual cost; and how many people attend.

Mr. John M. Taylor: My Department has not organised any such receptions. However, in support of the Lord Chancellor's commitment to encourage applications for judicial appointment from suitably qualified women lawyers, the first of what is hoped will be a series of events for women lawyers was held in July at the Bar Council. The purpose of the event, arranged jointly by the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Bar Council and the Association of Women Barristers, was to provide information to women barristers on the opportunities available for appointments to part -time posts within the judiciary. There were no separately identifiable costs to the Department beyond those associated with the manpower involved.

Legal Costs Payments

Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many individuals have received payments of over £100,000 to their legal costs in each of the last four years and in 1994 95.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The table gives the information requested. For civil legal aid, the figures represent the number of individual legal aid certificates where gross payments, including VAT, have exceeded £100,000. For criminal legal aid, the figures show the numbers of cases where gross payments, including VAT, in excess of £100,000 have been made since it is not always possible to disaggregate payments relating to individuals in cases involving more than one defendant.

Year         |Civil      |Criminal   |Total cases            


1990-91      |4          |90         |94                     

1991-92      |22         |66         |88                     

1992-93      |36         |119        |155                    

1993-94      |54         |172        |226                    

1994 to date |41         |112        |153                    

Official Hospitality

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what has been the total amount spent on official hospitality by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies for each year since 1990.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The total amounts spent on official hospitality in the Lord Chancellor's Department each year since 1990, are given in the table. Until 1994 95, the Department had no agencies which were not separate Government Departments. The Public Trust Office, established as an agency on 1 July 1994, has no hospitality budget.

Year                              |Total £            


1990-91                           |19,022.93          

1991-92                           |20,894.90          

1992-93                           |20,697.44          

1993-94                           |20,476.67          

1994-95 (to the end of September) |5,975.38           

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department on what date he expects the team conducting the fundamental review of his Department's expenditure to make its final report to the Lord Chancellor.

Mr. John M. Taylor: The review is an internal process and there are no plans to publish any of the documents produced. Any policy changes resulting from the review will be announced in the usual way and any major changes will be the subject of public consultation. However, there is no firm timetable for this at present.


Public Bodies

Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the non-departmental public bodies to which his Department makes appointments in the Greater London area, together with the total annual

Column 604

budget for each body, and the number of appointments made or renewed for each body in each of the past five years.

Sir Paul Beresford: The Secretary of State makes appointments to the following non-departmental public bodies whose activities relate solely to the Greater London area. It excludes those bodies, based in London, whose activities are national.

                                             |Total Annual                       

                                             |Budget (1994-95)                   

Body                                         |approx. £ million                  


London Docklands Development Corporation                                         

(LDDC)                                       |116.2                              

London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA)        |<1>248.5                           

London Rent Assessment Panel (LRAP)          |2.6                                

London Residuary Body (LRB)                  |<2>2.3                             

Stonebridge Housing Action Trust (SHAT)      |1.0                                

Tower Hamlets Housing Action Trust (THHAT)   |6.9                                

Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust (WFHAT)  |35                                 

<1> None of this budget is directly financed by DOE. Most of the expenditure     

represents the cost of pensions paid to former GLC and ILEA employees.           

<2> None of this budget is directly financed by DOE.                             

The number of appointments and re-appointments for each of these bodies for the last five years is as follows:

                |1990          |1991          |1992          |1993          |1994 (to date)               



Appointments    |-             |6             |2             |2             |2                            

Re-appointments |-             |2             |4             |-             |5                            



Appointments    |0             |0             |0             |1             |0                            

Re-appointments |0             |0             |8             |0             |0                            



Appointments    |2             |5             |5             |5             |5                            

Re-appointments |28            |26            |26            |25            |29                           



Appointments    |1             |-             |-             |-             |-                            

Re-appointments |-             |-             |1             |2             |1                            



Appointments    |-             |-             |-             |-             |11                           

Re-appointments |-             |-             |-             |-             |-                            



Appointments    |-             |-             |-             |10            |-                            

Re-appointments |-             |-             |-             |-             |-                            



Appointments    |-             |11            |-             |-             |-                            

Re-appointments |-             |-             |-             |-             |-                            

Column 603

Compulsory Competitive Tendering

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the de minimis figure of £100,000 for compulsory competitive tendering will be reviewed, following the proposal of a de minimis figure of £300,000 in respect of compulsory competitive tendering for legal services.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The two figures referred to by my hon. Friend are different in nature and purpose. The £100,000 de minimis relates to manual services, and represents the level of expenditure on a service below which the administrative cost of compulsory competitive tendering may outweigh the prospective savings. The other figure relates to the proposals to extend CCT to local

Column 604

authorities' legal services. The exemption from CCT of 55 per cent. of local authorities' legal work, or £300,000 by value, whichever is the greater, is designed to ensure that all authorities can maintain the necessary in-house legal expertise for advising on policy and strategic matters.

All CCT de minimis provisions are kept under review, but there are no immediate plans to change the present figures.

Marsham Tower

Sir Roger Moate: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the current quantity of floor space in the Marsham tower Government building; how many

Column 605

persons are currently employed there; how much office space is envisaged in the outline redevelopment proposals currently before Westminster city council; and approximately how many office personnel could then be accommodated.

Sir Paul Beresford: The current building at 2 Marsham street has a gross floor area of 890,000 sq ft above ground and accommodates approximately 3,000 civil servants from the Departments of Environment and of Transport. The outline application for the site before Westminster city council proposes 690,00 sq ft of offices above ground as well as residential and retail uses and open space. It is too early to say how many people will be accommodated in this new space. This will depend on the design of the new buildings on the site and the requirements of the eventual occupiers.

Sir Roger Moate: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the likely timetable for the demolition of the Marsham street Government buildings and redevelopment of the 5 acre site; and what provision he is making for proper public consultation, including hon. Members, about the plans for the future of the site both as regards alternative usage and intensity of development and building design.

Sir Paul Beresford: The 2 Marsham street building will be vacated by the end of 1997. Demolition will then commence and is likely to take a minimum of 18 months. Redevelopment of the site could start in 2000 with the first building becoming available for occupation in 2002. A public exhibition of the outline proposals for the site was held following the submission of the outline planning application on 18 July 1994. It is envisaged that there will be a further opportunity for the public to view the proposals after a presentation to the Royal Fine Art Commission later this year. This is an outline application and therefore proposes uses and scale of development but not building design.

Land Searches

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce his conclusions on the consultation exercise on a statutory scheme for local authority land searches.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Responses to the consultation carried out earlier this year demonstrated wide-ranging support for a 10 working days timescale for local authority responses to homebuyers' standard search inquiries. The proposals set out in the consultation document are being considered further in the light of responses, and a further announcement will be made in due course.

Water Saving

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he has given to issuing building regulations guidelines about water saving devices for new and refurbished buildings, including sprinkler taps and showers.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The consultation document, "Using Water Wisely" issued in July 1992 outlined various ways of saving water. The Government have considered the responses to that document and propose to issue an action plan shortly. A separate consultation paper will also be issued soon on replacements for the water

Column 606

byelaws which expire in England in 1997. This paper will consider the scope for addressing this issue through building regulations as well as in alternative ways.

Local Government Act 1974

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will institute a public inquiry into the operation of section 26(9) of the Local Government Act 1974; (2) what considerations underlay the Government's refusal to invoke the provisions of section 26(9) of the Local Government Act 1974 to close the loophole in the investigation of alleged breaches of the national code of local government conduct raised in the correspondence he and his predecessors have had with the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe in the case of Mr. Arthur Hodgkinson.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Personnel matters are specifically excluded from the local government ombudsman's jurisdiction by schedule 5 of the Local Government Act 1974. It is not the ombudsman's responsibility to investigate breaches of the national code of local government conduct other than to include them in an investigation where there is an allegation of maladministration involving personal injustice. There is no loophole to close and my right hon. Friend will not be instituting a public inquiry into the operation of section 26(9) of the Local Government Act 1974.

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the conformity with the national code of local government conduct of the action of Wigan metropolitan borough council in the case of Mr. Arthur Hodgkinson.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: None. The Secretary of State has no role in assessing the compliance of individual councillors with the code.

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department organises receptions for those expressing an interest in public appointments for the first time; how often they are held; what is the annual cost; and how many people attend.

Mr. Gummer: My Department has not organised any receptions of this kind.

Yorkshire and Humberside Projects

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what payments have been made by his Department during the last five years to individuals or companies in Yorkshire and Humberside in support of projects which it was assumed would create employment; and how many jobs have been created in each case.

Sir Paul Beresford: Until April of this year, my Department awarded city grant to private developers in support of projects designed to create employment. On 1 April, responsibility for city grant was assumed by English Partnerships.

In the five years to April 1994, £43.75 million of city grant was awarded in Yorkshire and Humberside in support of 41 schemes, which were expected to create 6,318 new jobs.

Column 607

Dearne Valley City Challenge Scheme

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what expenditure has so far been incurred in support of the Dearne Valley city challenge scheme; and how many permanent jobs have so far been created.

Sir Paul Beresford: The Dearne valley will receive £37.5 million in city challenge funding over five years from 1992 93, subject to satisfactory performance. Up to the end of September, Dearne valley city challenge has spent £15.252 million implementing its action plan. A total of 777 jobs has been created.

Column 608

Air Pollution, London

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the latest information available on traffic-related air pollution in London; and what policy objectives he has for improving air quality.

Mr. Atkins: The London energy study carried out by the London research centre was published 15 September 1993, it was funded by the European Commission, London Electricity plc and the Department of the Environment. One of the principal outputs of the study was a very detailed inventory of energy use, and the resultant emissions of pollutants to the London atmosphere covering almost 2,000 sq km in and around London. The table illustrates the sources for each pollutant as well as the total for London and as a percentage of United Kingdom total emissions for 1991.

London (1991)                             Percentage of                                                                                                         

                                          total emissions                                                                                                       

                                         |Carbon dioxide  |Sulphur                          |Carbon          |Nitrogen        |Volatile organic                 

                                         |(as carbon)     |dioxide         |Black smoke     |monoxide        |oxides          |compounds                        


Road transport                           |33              |22              |96              |99              |76              |97                               


Other transport                          |3               |1               |2               |1               |4               |1                                


Electricity supply industry              |2               |0               |0               |0               |1               |0                                


Other industry                           |13              |43              |1               |0               |5               |1                                


Domestic                                 |30              |1               |0               |0               |6               |1                                


Other                                    |19              |32              |2               |0               |8               |0                                

                                         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------                          

Total (thousand tonnes)                  |8,508           |26              |19              |648             |137             |116                              


London as a percentage of United Kingdom                                                                                                                        

 total emissions                         |5.3             |0.7             |4.2             |6.7             |5.0             |4.8                              

The term volatile organic compounds does not include methane. The evaporation of petrol from production, storage and distribution is included under other industry. Evaporation from petrol tanks and carburettors of motor vehicles is included under road transport. Sources of volatile organic compounds given in the United Kingdom section of this table include emissions from non-energy related sources, such as industrial processes and solvents. These account for 50 per cent. of the total emissions. The sources included in the London section of the table are related only to the use of energy. Percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding.

The Government are committed to securing, throughout the United Kingdom, good air quality based on a framework of exacting standard which takes full account of health and environmental effects. They will announce later this year proposals for meetings standards efficiently and cost-effectively.

Environmental Information

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies have established policies to implement the Environmental Information Regulations 1992; and what procedures are in place to monitor the production and operation of these policies.

Sir Paul Beresford: Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies that have public

Column 608

responsibilities in relation to the environment are under a duty to implement the environmental information regulations.

The Department of the Environment does not continuously monitor the implementation of these regulations, but in 1997 will give the European Commission a report on the experience gained in operating directive 90/313 -- which required the regulations to be made -- and will then ask bodies for information relating to the practical implementation of the directive.

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list (a) the total expenditure to date and (b) expenditure in legal fees by each executive agency and

non-departmental public body on the implementation of the Environmental Information Regulations 1992.

Sir Paul Beresford: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him today. The Department of the Environment does not keep centrally information of this kind.

Hadrian's Wall

Mr. Peter Atkinson (Hexham): To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, when he will announce his decision on the proposed Hadrian's Wall path national trail.

Mr. Atkins: The Secretary of State has today decided to approve the Countryside Commission's report in

Column 609

respect of the Hadrian's Wall path national trail, with a modification to the route as submitted by the Commission. In reaching this decision, careful consideration has been given to all the views expressed, including from those directly affected by the route and those concerned at its impact on the archaeology of the wall. The Secretary of State is satisfied that the Commission, in conjunction with English Heritage, has taken full account of the implications of establishing the path alongside this world heritage site.

Docklands Light Railway

Mr. Martin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the Docklands light railway.

Mr. Gummer: The Government are to privatise the Docklands light railway in line with their 1992 manifesto commitment. The first step will be taken in 1996, when DLR operations will be franchised to the private sector for a period of about seven years. The second step will be taken at the end of the franchise period, when the aim will be to transfer the railway as a whole into the private sector. In parallel, as part of the private finance initiative, the private sector will take responsibility for building an extension of the DLR to Lewisham, as announced by my right hon. and learned Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year. Detailed planning for the Lewisham extension is now complete and I have today given DLR Ltd. my consent to start the competition to select a private concession company. DLR Privatisation

Through privatisation, the Government aim to ensure that the DLR will continue to develop as a highly efficient, customer-oriented and market- driven passenger service for Docklands, with reduced dependence on public subsidy.

The DLR's operational performance has improved markedly over the last two years. Moreover, existing programmes to improve DLR's signalling and train control system are well advanced and will be complete in 1995, providing the capacity for more flexible service patterns and operating practices. The railway should return to full seven day services across the network during the first half of 1995. The franchising of DLR operations in 1996 will therefore allow private sector disciplines to be applied to consolidate the substantial improvements already made in efficiency, reliability and quality of service.

I have asked Sir Anthony Gill, chairman of the DLR, to put in hand the preparatory work required to enable franchise to be let in 1996. The private sector operator will be expected to take responsibility for marketing services, maintaining trains, stations and track, and for all DLR's operations, including train services on the new extension to Lewisham when it opens, for a period of about seven years. The franchisee will have to have a statutorily approved railway safety case in place before starting to operate train services.

DLR will be consulting its work force on the planned franchise. We expect any franchise to amount to a transfer for the purposes of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations and, if this is the

Column 610

case, the franchisee will assume responsibility for DLR employees. Neither the letting of the franchise nor any subsequent sale of DLR will require legislation. DLR Lewisham Extension

In his Budget statement on 30 November 1993, my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the private sector was to be invited to finance, build and maintain a 4.2 km extension of the DLR to Lewisham. Following the completion of detailed planning, I have today given my consent for the DLR to start the competition to select a private concession company to deliver the project. The first phase of market testing, the prequalification of bidders, will take three months. Full tendering is expected to start in February 1995, and DLR Ltd. should be in a position to award the concession contract before the end of the year. Construction should start in 1996, with the extension opening in 1999.

A year ago, the provisional indications were that the project could not be financially viable as a private sector concession if it included stations previously planned for Island Gardens and Cutty Sark. At my request, DLR Ltd. and its owners, the London Docklands development corporation, consulted local interests on the option of deleting those two stations from the project. They also appointed financial advisers to validate the financial modelling and to develop a commercial structure for the project. Further, in July 1994, the Lord Chairman of Committees in another place ruled that any decision to omit Island Gardens station would breach an undertaking given to Parliament by the promoters of the London Docklands Railway (Lewisham) Act 1993 in relation to that station.

In the light of these developments, DLR Ltd. has recommended to me that, on the basis of its latest cost and revenue forecasts, the Lewisham extension project is potentially viable financially with the new station at Island Gardens included. But it has concluded that the financial case for inclusion of a station at Cutty Sark is poor and that unless the cost of providing the station can be met by third party contributions, Cutty Sark should be omitted from the project. I am pleased that we are able to proceed with the Lewisham extension with six stations because of the regeneration benefits this will provide both north and south of the Thames. In particular, the inclusion of a new station at Island Gardens on the Lewisham extension, close to the Thames foot tunnel, and one at Greenwich, about 700 m from the Cutty Sark and the historic waterfront, will provide dramatically improved access to the various important tourist destinations in the area.

Nevertheless, I have received a number of representations arguing for a station next to the Cutty Sark itself. I am willing to allow more time for local interest to finalise a financing package of their own. My decision therefore is that if funding is fully and unconditionally committed by the time DLR has prequalified bidders for the project next January, the project may go ahead to full tendering with Cutty Sark station included. Otherwise it will go out to tender on a six-station basis, excluding the Cutty Sark. Contributors must agree to meet the actual costs of the station, whatever they are shown to be through market testing, the current estimate being £14 million at 1994 prices. Funding pledges must be

Column 611

contracted and unconditional, with agreement that the cash will be provided during the construction period. There is no question of the Government's providing grant or subsidy towards a Cutty Sark station.

This arrangement will allow an extended opportunity to those who support a station at Cutty Sark to come forward with funding, whilst eliminating uncertainty and potential delay for the Lewisham extension project as a whole.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each year since the introduction of housing benefit, and for (a) local authority tenancies, (b) housing association tenancies and (c) private tenancies, the average weekly housing benefit payable and this figure expressed as a percentage of the average income support paid per tenant household.

Mr. Roger Evans: I have been asked to reply.

The available information is set out in the tables:

Tenure Type         |Ave Weekly HB      |HB as percentage of                    




Local authority     |22.74              |67                                     

Housing Assoc       |n/a                |n/a                                    

Private*            |31.35              |99                                     



Local authority     |26.08              |65                                     

Housing Assoc       |n/a                |n/a                                    

Private*            |37.35              |98                                     



Local authority     |29.88              | 63                                    

Housing Assoc       |35.35              |80                                     

Private             |46.17              |107                                    



Local authority     |32.23              |66                                     

Housing Assoc       |40.22              |85                                     

Other Private       |51.67              |112                                    

* Includes Housing Association tenancies.                                       

n/a = not available.                                                            

Information for earlier years is not available.                                 

Source: Housing Benefit Management Information Systems annual 1 per cent.       

samples (with Income Support) May 90, 91, 92 and 93.                            


Postgraduate Research Training

Mr. Congdon: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what conclusions he has drawn from the public consultation on policies for postgraduate research training announced in the White Paper, "Realising Our Potential: A Strategy For Science, Engineering and Technology"; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Hunt: The Office of Science and Technology has consulted widely on those policies. I am most grateful to all who responded to consultation.

We need research students who are equipped with the skills and knowledge that they need to fulfil their potential in whichever sector they eventually choose to take up employment.

There was widespread support for the White Paper's objectives of improving the quality of research training in

Column 612

the United Kingdom, and making it more relevant to the needs of both students and their future employers.

I am asking the Director General of the Research Councils, Sir John Cadogan, to write to the research councils with further guidance on how best to work with universities and employers to achieve those objectives. In particular, he will be inviting the councils to support new, one-year master's degrees by research on a pilot basis. We estimate that some 250 students will enrol on the first pilot courses. These new courses will offer a valuable addition to the range of options open to postgraduate research students.

The way forward must be to test how effective the courses will be as a direct route into employment or as a preparation for the PhD. I welcome the initiative of universities and employers who are keen to lead the way. There will be no requirement for all research students funded by the research councils to complete a master's year. I would expect the councils to continue to fund PhD students for normally no longer than three years.

I am placing in the Library: a copy of Sir John Cadogan's letter; a list of the respondents to the consultation; the responses from the CVCP and CBI, which I believe give a helpful general summary of the views expressed by higher education and industry; and a press statement which I am also making today. Copies of consultation responses not made in confidence are available on request from the OPSS.

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether his Department organises receptions for those expressing an interest in public appointments for the first time; how often they are held; what is the annual cost; and how many people attend.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: No such receptions have been held.

Official Report (Price)

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make it his policy to enable differential pricing of the Official Report so as to make it cheaper for public and academic libraries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Differential pricing already exists. Under long-standing arrangements aimed at facilitating public access to Government information, public libraries are entitled to buy all HMSO publications, including the Official Report , at half price.

Public Opinion Surveys

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list each public opinion survey commissioned by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies since 1 October 1992, showing for each, the subject, objectives, total cost, the period in which it was conducted and the organisation from which it was commissioned.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: In the Departments and agencies for which my right hon. Friend is responsible, and other areas which fall to the Cabinet Office vote, the information is as follows:

Column 613

Office of public service and science                                                                                                                                                 

Survey                                   |Objectives                        |Time                              |From                                                                 


Citizen's Charter Customer Survey        |(a) find out levels of awareness  |March-April 1993                  |ICM Research                                                         

                                         |of Charter initiative, individual                                                                                                          

                                         |charters and what they stand for.                                                                                                          

                                         |(b) form a base-line of public                                                                                                             

                                         |opinion about various public                                                                                                               

                                         |services, against which progress                                                                                                           

                                         |in achieving improvements in                                                                                                               

                                         |quality can be measured.                                                                                                                   

                                         |(c) establish how people would                                                                                                             

                                         |like service delivery to improve,                                                                                                          

                                         |both generally and by the                                                                                                                  

                                         |implementation of good charter                                                                                                             


                                         |(d) gain information which will                                                                                                            

                                         |help Citizen's Charter Unit                                                                                                                

                                         |determine priorities for action.                                                                                                           


Attitudes of University Finalists        |To enable The Office of the       |February-March 1994               |MORI                                                                 

(additional questions commissioned to    |Civil Service Commissioners to                                                                                                             

form part of survey)                     |market effectively opportunities                                                                                                           

                                         |in the Civil Service                                                                                                                       


Citizen's Charter Complaints Task Force  |(a) identify the views of public  |June-November 1994                |MORI                                                                 

Survey on the views of users of public   |service users on how public                                                                                                                

services on how public services handle   |services handle complaints                                                                                                                 

complaints                               |(b) to inform the Citizen's                                                                                                                

                                         |Charter Complaints Task                                                                                                                    

                                         |Force's review of public service                                                                                                           

                                         |complaints systems, and in                                                                                                                 

                                         |particular its final report to                                                                                                             

                                         |Ministers in 1995.                                                                                                                         


United Kingdom Technology Foresight      |To elicit expert opinion on a     |September-December 1994           |A joint consortium of: The                                           

Programme: Delphi Questionnaire          |range of potential market and                                        |Programme for Policy Research                                        

                                         |technology developments in the                                       |in Engineering, Science and                                          

                                         |next 10-20 years.                                                    |Technology (University of                                            

                                                                                                               |Manchester); Business and                                            

                                                                                                               |Market Research plc; and Segal,                                      

                                                                                                               |Quince, Wickstead Ltd                                                


Department of the Environment            |Researching Building              |January-March 1994                |Redwood Associates                                                   



Parliamentary Publications               |To gauge the British public's     |May 1994                          |MORI                                                                 

                                         |awareness of, and interest in,                                                                                                             

                                         |Parliamentary Proceedings and                                                                                                              



Department of Trade and Industry QA      |Primarily a customer              |August-November 1994              |BMRB International                                                   

Register                                 |satisfaction survey but                                                                                                                    

                                         |addressing a number of side                                                                                                                

                                         |issues such as the need for                                                                                                                

                                         |sub-sets of information and                                                                                                                

                                         |scope for a European directory                                                                                                             

                                         |in paper or CD-ROM format                                                                                                                  


Department of Health                     |To establish likely need for a    |September-November 1994           |McCulloch Associates                                                 

                                         |CD-ROM of Department of                                                                                                                    

                                         |Health publications                                                                                                                        


OFSTED Publications                      |Primarily a customer              |October 1994-January 1995         |BRMB International                                                   

                                         |satisfaction survey but                                                                                                                    

                                         |addressing a number of side                                                                                                                

                                         |issues such as alternative ways                                                                                                            

                                         |of providing the information                                                                                                               

                                         |(CD-ROM) and extending the                                                                                                                 

                                         |OFSTED portfolio                                                                                                                           

The costs of the individual surveys are subject to commercial confidentiality.                                                                                                       

Column 615

Access to Public Information

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give details of the steps he has taken to consult the Council on Tribunals with respect to the preparation of a system of external review over cases where information is withheld from disclosure under the code of practice on access to public information, as indicated at paragraph 6.16, page 48 of the White Paper on open government of July 1993, Cm. 2290.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Independent external review of the code of practice on access to Government information is already provided by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. The proposals on page 48 of the White Paper relate to access rights and not to the code of practice.

The council's initial comments on the White Paper proposals are included in the volume of consultation responses deposited in the House of Commons Library. They will be consulted further as detailed proposals are developed.

Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories

Mr. Paice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how the Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton laboratories will be affected as a result of the planned changes to the research councils.

Mr. David Hunt [pursuant to the reply 11 February 1994, Official Report, c. 492 93]:

Following an in-depth examination of the need for, management, operation, funding and other aspects of the laboratory, I have decided that, subject to parliamentary approval, the Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton laboratories should be established as an independent entity with effect from April 1995, under the terms of the Science and Technology Act 1965. The chief executive of the laboratory will be in the same relationship to the accounting officer and Director General of Research Councils within the Office of Public Service and Science as the chief executive of the six other research councils. I intend in due course to lay before both Houses a draft Order in council, which will be subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

Daresbury and Rutherford are national assets. They have been thoroughly reviewed, and my conclusion is that they should remain in public ownership. I believe that according them independent status is the right way to proceed, but with strong emphasis on operating in a commercial manner, and particularly meeting the needs of the customers.

By announcing these new arrangements now, and by aiming to introduce them as quickly as possible, we can ensure the nation gets the best return from these assets.

I am confident that we are creating the right environment for this major resource of the United Kingdom science and engineering base to flourish, and play a full part in carrying forward our White Paper objectives of wealth creation and improving the quality of life.

Next Section

  Home Page