|Previous Section||Home Page|
21. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to meet his European colleagues to discuss the entry qualification for higher education.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I plan to attend the next meeting of EC Education Ministers on 5 December in Brussels. Entry qualifications to higher education are not on the agenda on that occasion. The Scottish Office Education Department is represented at a Council of Europe conference beginning today on recognition of higher education qualifications.
24. Mr. Ernie Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to meet the Scottish Trades Union Congress to discuss youth unemployment.
25. Mr. Kynoch: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many general practitioner fundholding practices there are now in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
26. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the current estimate of the costs of local government reform in Strathclyde and Lothian region.
Mr. Stewart: The Government's estimate of the costs and savings that will result from its proposals to reorganise local government in Scotland has been calculated on a Scotland-wide basis, and has not been disaggregated to individual local authority level.
27. Sir Thomas Arnold: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement on the future of the Forestry Commission.
Sir Hector Munro: I have nothing to add at this stage to the statement to the House by my right hon. Friend on 19 July 1994 and the command paper "Our Forests--The Way Ahead" published in August, which explained the Government's proposals in greater detail. We have invited views on our proposals. These should be submitted by 18 November.
28. Mr. Canavan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the Scottish economy.
Mr. Stewart: The Scottish economy is advancing on a broad front. Output is increasing across a range of sectors and exports are at a record level. Unemployment has been falling and the September level was the lowest for three years. The latest business survey evidence points to continued confidence in virtually all sectors and to
Column 721increasing investment expectations on the part of manufacturers. Business forecasts predict continuing steady growth this year and next. These positive trends are greatly to be welcomed and amply demonstrate the success of the Government's policies for the economy.
29. Mr. Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what acreage of hardwood trees is felled on average each year; and what is the rate of re- planting.
Sir Hector Monro: No record is kept of the area of broadleaved woodlands which is felled each year. Nevertheless, the felling of woodland in Britain is controlled through felling licences and the woodland grant scheme. These ensure that practically all felled woodland is replanted, and that broadleaved woodland is replanted with broadleaved trees.
30. Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about water charges.
Mr. Stewart: Water charges have risen in recent years and will continue to do so to finance the new investment of some £5 billion needed for water and sewerage over the next 15 years or so. The new structure for Scottish water and sewerage services proposed in the Local Government etc (Scotland) Bill is designed to keep increases as low as possible. The three new public authorities will be expected to secure economies of scale and maximise operational efficiency.
31. Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure that the number of hospital beds in Glasgow will be sufficient for future needs.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: It is for Greater Glasgow health board in consultation with the NHS trusts in its area to assess the volume of service for the Glasgow population in consideration of a needs assessment of the current and future needs of the local population.
32. Mr. Raymond S. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress is being made with regard to the implementation of the proposals contained in his document, "Higher Still: Opportunity for All".
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Good progress is being made. The committee structure which will deliver the new system of courses and awards for upper secondary education in Scotland is now in place and has commenced its work. In addition, a development unit has been established to co- ordinate development activities.
33. Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to meet representatives of tenants groups to discuss housing in Scotland.
Column 722of my housing visits to local authorities throughout Scotland.
34. Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the change in the number of unemployed in Scotland since December 1992.
35. Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on measures to combat acidification of rivers in Scotland.
Sir Hector Munro: The main source of acidification of rivers in Scotland is acid rain caused by atmospheric pollution. The Government are a signatory to the recent European sulphur protocol which binds all European countries to reduce emissions of sulphur, a significant contributor to acid rain, during the next 15 to 20 years. Our primary vehicle for achieving reductions in emissions of acid gases from major industrial sources is the United Kingdom national plan to meet the requirements of the EC large combustion plants directive. Under this plan, Scotland is separately responsible for delivering its own reductions in emissions of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen within specified overall UK limits.
36. Mr. Harry Greenaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Scottish jobs are in the public sector; what is their cost; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: In 1993, public sector employment in Scotland is estimated to have been as follows: civil service 53,000; NHS 139,000; local government 304,000; HM armed forces 19,000; and national industries approximately 30,000.
The above total of 545,000 excludes employment in other central Government occupations and other public corporations. The NHS figure includes those employed in NHS trusts, but excludes medical and dental practitioners, who are treated as self-employed. The local government figures exclude those employed in further education. An estimate of the total cost is not available
Approximately one in four workers in Scotland are in the public sector, a slightly higher proportion than in the UK as a whole. This includes part- time as well as full-time workers.
37. Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to meet the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss local government reorganisation; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: My right hon. Friend and I are scheduled to meet the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on 11 November as part of the normal consultation on local government finance matters. It is likely that issues relating to local government reorganisation will be discussed at that meeting.
38. Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the outcome of his representations to the European Commission on the eligibility of the ports of Cairnryan and Stranraer for assistance under various EC initiatives.
Lord James Douglas Hamilton: I expect that projects to develop facilities and access at the ports of Stranraer and Cairnryan will be eligible to compete for a share of the 47 million ecu to be made available to Dumfries and Galloway under objective 5b of the structural funds over the period 1994 to 1999. This follows the Government's success in securing objective 5b status for the region. The Commission have decided that the two ports will not be eligible to receive assistance under the INTERREG community initiative.
39. Mr. Norman Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the current position on the winding up of the new town development corporations.
Mr. Stewart: The annual report of each new town development corporation for the year ending 31 March 1994 sets out progress with winding-up. Copies of the reports are available from the Library of the House. We remain committed to achieving the wind-up of East Kilbride and Glenrothes by 31 December 1995, and the other three towns by 31 December 1996, and plans to do this are in place.
40. Mr. Gallie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Water Services Association and the DOE Northern Ireland in respect of the review of the EC drinking water directive; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro: The water industry has made my right hon. Friend aware of its views, supported by COSLA, on the review of the EC drinking water directive. The Government will take these views into account when negotiating the revision of the directive.
Mr. Darling: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultation he has carried out in respect of the environmental effects of the proposal to build a second road bridge across the River Forth.
Sir Hector Monro: The "Setting Forth" feasibility studies considered the environmental effects of a wide range of transport proposals, including a new bridge across the Forth. Full reports of the studies have been passed to Scottish Natural Heritage, local authorities and other bodies, and we look forward to receiving their detailed comments.
Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the temporary traffic regulation orders for which he has authorised an extension under section 15(5) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended by the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991,
Column 724stating in each case (a) the name of the authority making the order, (b) the public rights of way stopped up by the order, (c) the duration of the extension and (d) why he granted the extension.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The Secretary of State for Scotland has authorised an extension under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as amended by the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991 to one temporary traffic regulation order made by Highland regional council, which temporarily closed the U87 Wick to Noss Head road for a length of approximately 480 m for a six month period from 9 February to 9 August 1994 to allow time for him to determine the permanent Highland Regional Council (Wick Airport Road) (U87) (Stopping-up) Order 1993.
Mr. Galbraith: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many new patients with glaucoma were referred to out-patient departments for each year from 1985 until the last for which current figures are available.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he was first informed that Health Care International in Clydebank had financial difficulties; and what action he has taken to alleviate these difficulties.
Mr. Stewart: Officials of Locate in Scotland and Scottish Enterprise have been involved in discussions about this company's financial position over the last two months, and my right hon. Friend has been kept informed of developments.
Mr. Stewart: Total assistance offered to this project amounted to some £30 million, the largest single element of which was an offer of £22 million in regional selective assistance. This relates to total investment in the project of £180 million.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie of 4 August about Health Care International in Clydebank.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what dates in the past two years his representatives have met with, or had other contact with, representatives of Health Care International from Clydebank.
Column 725leg-up scheme. There has been no other loan from the Government or its agencies.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if all the intended regional selective assistance has now been paid to Health Care International in Clydebank; and what is the cash value of this assistance.
The authorisation of the construction of the Clydebank hospital given in 1987 by my right hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) the then Secretary of State for Scotland, contained conditions about staffing, reimbursement of nurse training costs and supply of blood and blood products. A copy of the authorisation is in the Library.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 24 October 1994]: None. Individual health boards are free to purchase health care from HCI where the hospital can offer specific medical techniques not readily available elsewhere or where the NHS sees a need for waiting lists to be reduced more quickly than the service itself is in a position to achieve. This position applies equally for all independent providers.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he received the study ordered by Health Care International from Ernst and Whinney into the size of the market for an American hospital; what conclusions he drew from its report; and when he investigated Health Care International's forecasts as to when it would achieve its capacity.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Greater Glasgow health board is currently preparing its strategy for acute and maternity services in Glasgow. This will outline the future level of NHS provision of services and will be subject to full public consultation. Officials of Locate in Scotland are currently engaged in unrelated discussions
Column 726about the financial restructuring of HCI with a view to securing its future.
Ms Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many employers in each TEC area have been given the investors in people award; how many have made a commitment to meeting the standard; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: The operation in Scotland of Investors in People is the responsibility of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. I have asked the chairmen of these bodies to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland 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.
Number (full-time equivalents) of physical education teachers in Scottish education authority secondary schools Year (at September) |Number ------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |2,008 1980 |1,998 1981 |1,934 1982 |1,896 1983 |<1>1,862 1984 |<1>1,792 1985 |not available 1986 |not available 1987 |1,698 1988 |1,614 1989 |not available 1990 |1,610 1991 |not available 1992 |1,611 1993 |not available <1> estimated
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to announce his decision in the public local inquiry held under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 into the provision of a supermarket in Anstruther.
Mr. Stewart: The reporter who heard evidence at the public local inquiry into the proposed supermarket in Anstruther will shortly submit a report, with recommendations, to my right hon. Friend. Every effort will be made to issue a decision by the end of the year.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many public local inquiries under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 have been held in each of the last 10 years for which information is available.
Year |Number --------------------- 1984 |150 1985 |147 1986 |163 1987 |123 1988 |125 1989 |132 1990 |171 1991 |129 1992 |111 1993 |215
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the current establishment of the planning inquiry reporting unit of the Scottish Development Department; and what vacancies there are.
Deputy Chief Reporter
Administrative Supportive Staff--25
Secretarial and typing staff--4
These figures include the two additional reporter posts which were created and filled earlier this year.
The current complement of the panel of part-time reporters is 16 including four part-time reporters who were recruited recently. There are no vacancies at present in the Unit.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many public local inquiries held under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 in 1993 he has yet to announce a decision.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the dates and subjects of the public local inquiries in north- east Fife held under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 in which he has yet to announce a decision.