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Mr. Robin Squire: We estimate the direct costs of maintaining current surplus places--not all of which is in practice removable--as being some £240 million. We announced in June our intention to set targets for those authorities with particularly high levels of removable capacity.
Mr. Robin Squire: Competitive sports are an important part of a balanced physical education curriculum. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has announced that she will be accepting in full Sir Ron Dearing's recommendations on the new national curriculum. The new curriculum for physical education, which will be published shortly, will require all children aged five to 16 to pursue competitive games--starting with learning the skills of competitive games, right through to playing the full recognised version of a competitive game.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the most accurate assessment she can make of (a) the number of parents who secure for their children their first choice of nursery, primary and secondary schools and (b) the satisfaction of parents about the current systems for choosing nursery, primary and secondary schools.
Mr. Robin Squire: This information is not collected centrally. The most recent evidence--from surveys commissioned by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities in 1992 and The Times newspaper in 1993--shows that some 90 per cent. of parents gain a place for their child at their first choice of school. Circular 6/93 stressed that schools' admission arrangements should be clear and objective, and gave parents a clear indication of their chances of gaining a place for their child at a particular school.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment she has made of the number of potential students in further or higher education who have been or are deterred from undertaking or completing a course for financial reasons.
Mr. Boswell: There are record numbers of students in further and higher education. This does not suggest that potential students are being deterred. Some students will inevitably fail to complete their courses for a variety of reasons but wastage rates in higher education have remained broadly steady for a number of years.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations she has received on the financial hardship experienced by students in receipt of student loans; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Boswell: My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations about the adequacy of the student support system. It is not possible to say how many of them were about the position of students who have taken out student loans.
Mr. Robin Squire: The fabric of school buildings in England is the responsibility of governors and local education authorities. The £600 million of Government support for school capital and repairs that has been made available in 1994 95, together with the additional input which local education authorities are able to make from their own resources, should enable them to make significant progress in improving the state of the school stock.
Mr. Robin Squire: My right hon. Friend has announced that she intends to accept in full Sir Ron Dearing's recommendations for the revised national curriculum. In English, there will be clear and more rigorous requirements for pupils to be taught written and spoken standard English, with a greater emphasis on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For the first time, there will also be a requirement to pay proper attention to correct English across the curriculum. A full announcement will be made shortly and the revised curriculum will be implemented in September 1995 for five to 14-year-olds and from September 1996 for 14 to 16-year-olds.
Mr. Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many grant-maintained schools have applied to the Treasury for a loan; (2) how many loans to grant-maintained schools have been approved by the Treasury;
Column 1107(3) if she will list each grant-maintained school that has been granted Treasury loans and show how much each has been loaned; (4) if she will list the grant-maintained schools which have repaid Treasury loans; and how much each school has repaid.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on what dates her Department asked Coventry social services to conduct an inspection of day care facilities at Beechwood day nursery in Coventry.
Mr. Robin Squire: My officials invited Coventry social services department on 15 July this year to visit Beechwood pre-prep independent school and report further on the provision made for children aged under five.
Mr. Robin Squire: The Department first became aware on 10 July 1992 of Coventry social services department's concerns about aspects of the nursery provision at this establishment. These were taken into account when the establishment was subsequently notified of the improvements required in order for final registration as an independent school to be granted.
Mr. Robin Squire: The establishment in question was provisionally registered on 6 August 1992 as an independent school as required by teh Education Act 1944, under the name of the Abacus pre-prep school. It changed its name to Beechwood pre-prep independent school on 26 September 1992. The Department has notified the school of the improvements required in order for final registration to be granted. We still await confirmation that these have been carried out.
Mr. Robin Squire: It is for Essex LEAs to put forward for the schools they maintain the bids they judge necessary for consideration within the annual capital guidelines, or to use their own resources. It is for grant-maintained schools as they judge necessary, to put forward bids independently for consideration by the Funding Agency for Schools.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many hereditaments in Scotland whose rateable values will fall (a) below and (b) above the proposed £10,000 threshold for determining whether the lower limit on year-on-year increases in non-domestic rates bills applies, there are estimated to be whose rates bills for 1995 96 in the absence of any transitional relief would be (i) under 50 per cent., (ii) between 50 and 80 per cent., iii between 80 and 120 per cent., (iv) between 120 and 200 per cent., (v) between 200 and 500 per cent. and (vi) over 500 per cent. of their bills for 1994 95; and if he will estimate for each of those categories the aggregate increase or decrease in rates bills between the two years.
Mr. Stewart: The requested estimates depend on an assumption as to rate poundages and cannot therefore be provided until rate poundages have been set for Scotland for 1995 96. It is planned to announce 1995 96 rate poundages in December.
Mr. Stewart: The requested information depends on assumptions as to the progress made in introducing a unified business rate. It cannot therefore be provided until rate poundages have been set for Scotland for 1995 96. It is planned to announce 1995 96 rate poundages in December.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what studies he has commissioned, internally and from external consultants, of the likely impact of the April 1995 revaluation of non-domestic property on rateable values and non-domestic rate bills in different regions and different sectors of the economy; if he will publish those studies, or summary thereof; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: Between February and July of this year, the Scottish Office employed the research organisation SIAS Ltd. to gather information from Scottish assessors giving the estimated effect of the 1995 revaluation on the rateable value and net annual value of a sample of about one in 10 non-domestic properties in Scotland. The sample was chosen to be representative of all regions of Scotland and of the main sectors, and was weighted to give greater coverage for larger subjects. Overall, subjects in the sample comprise some 42 per cent. of the 1994 95 rateable value of all subjects in the classes surveyed. In the last few weeks, assessors have supplied updated estimates for a number of these properties. The data obtained are still being analysed.
Column 1109The information from the surveys will be used to inform decisions on rate poundages for Scotland for 1995 96, and transitional arrangements. No decision has been taken regarding eventual publication of the results of this survey.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to announce the results of his consultations about the numbers of councillors in the proposed single-tier local authorities.
Mr. Lang: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimates, I intend to make changes to eight voted cash limits, two non-voted cash blacks and five running costs limits: a. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 3, training programmes, roads and transport services and industrial support, Scotland, will be increased by £4,248,000 from £872,404,000 to £876,652,000. The increase includes a transfer of £740,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry in respect of certain innovation and technology support schemes in Scotland and the take-up of end-year flexibility entitlement for Motorways and Trunk Roads, announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July (official Report Columns 729-734).
b. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 7, housing and environmental services, Scotland will be increased by £1,747,000 from £432,051,000 to £433,798,000. The increase takes account of a £1,979, 000 increase in gross running cost provision for Historic Scotland from £12,725,000 to £14,704,000, reflecting the uptake of end-year flexibility entitlements and various inter-vote transfers representing transference of responsibility. It also takes account of an increase in provision for the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.
c. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 12, law, order, miscellaneous health and social work services, Scotland, will be increased by a net total of £5,822,000 from £296,863,000 to £302,685, 000. Provision for running costs on this vote has been increased by £2,676,000. The changes include the take-up of the end-year flexibility entitlement for the Scottish Prison Service, increasing Departmental running costs and capital provision by £2,656,000 and £359,000 respectively. Other changes include an increase in the capital provision of The Scottish Office Pensions Agency, for information technology investment; and an increase in provision for health education in Scotland, for publicity on measles and rubella vaccination. These changes will be offset by transfers from other votes.
d. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 14, hospitals, community health, family health (part) and other health services, Scotland, will be increased by a net total of £23,893,000 from £2,988,180,000 to £3,012,073,000. This increase takes account of this vote's end-year flexibility entitlements and various inter-vote and inter-departmental transfers including the Scottish contribution to the Prescription Pricing Authority's administration costs in connection with the assessment of claims under the Scottish Low Income Scheme and for NHS estate management consultancy; a transfer to cover the cost of services previously funded directly by the Department of Health; and a transfer to reflect a change in responsibility for the unlinked anonymous HIV testing programme. It also includes transfers to fund the Scottish Hospital Advisory Service and publicity in connection with the measles and rubella immunisation campaign; and for the capitalisation costs of pension arrangements entered into
Column 1110by the Scottish Ambulance Service. In addition there is a revision of NHS trusts' external financing limit and some adjustments between subheads to reflect revised requirements and changes to anticipated appropriations in aid.
e. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 17, education, arts and libraries, Scotland will be increased by £434,000 from £918,012,000 to £918,446,000. The increase reflects the full take-up of end-year flexibility for further education capital; an increase in provision for the Scottish mining Museum: and a transfer for the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, in respect of additional costs. This increase is partially offset by a transfers to OST as part of a national contribution towards a "Supercomputing: Class Three Time" project; and one in respect of prosthetic student fees.
f. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 21, Scottish Office Administration, will be increased by £470,000 from £168,264,000 to £168,734,000. Within this total, running cost provision increases by £459,000 arising from take-up of end-year flexibility predominantly to fund staff early departure costs, less inter-vote transfers. The capital provision reduction arises from a take-up of end-year flexibility less inter-vote transfers. Current provision increases to reflect a transfer from the Department of National Heritage, class XI, vote 6.
g. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 22, Scottish Record Office, will be increased by £1,513,000 from £7,514,000 to £9,027,000. Within this total, running cost provision increases by £438,000, £231,000 of which results from a take-up of end-year flexibility which will reduce the backlog of building maintenance and an intra-vote transfer of £207,000. The capital increase results from a take-up of end-year flexibility and a transfer from Scottish Office Administration which will offset new repository building costs arising in 1994 95 from earlier slippage.
h. The cash limit for class XIV, vote 23, will be increased by £544,000 from £5,450,000 to £5,994,000. The running cost provision increases by £307,000 due to take-up of end-year flexibility, necessary to continue to meet operational requirements. Capital end-year flexibility will enhance the continued development of the management information systems.
i. The non-voted cash limit SO/LA1, which covers non-housing capital expenditure by local authorities, is to be increased by £12, 004,000 from £610,212,000 to £622,216,000. This reflects full take-up of end-year flexibility together with a transfer from residential accommodation to secure accommodation within class XVI, vote 12. j. The non -voted cash limit SO/LA2 which covers housing capital expenditure by local authorities and capital expenditure by New Towns will be increased by £13,215,000 from £262,992,000 to £276,207,000. The increase reflects the full take-up of end-year flexibility entitlement.
k. The overall running cost limit for the Scottish Office together with its Agencies will be increased by £5,212,000 from £330, 676,000 to £335,890,000. This results from take-up of end-year flexibility, increased cost provision arising from increased income by Historic Scotland less a reduction for Common Police Services within vote 12. In addition this running cost limit of the Student Awards Agency for Scotland in its first year is £2,699,000. The increases will be offset by savings on other votes within my responsibility, transfers from other departments
Column 1111or charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Lang: There were 53 responses to the consultation paper, from a wide variety of bodies. Over half supported the introduction of enhanced controls, but a significant minority preferred the status quo. As with other consultation exercises, the comments are available to the public at the Scottish Office.
In the light of these comments, I have concluded that selective abstraction controls should be introduced in Scotland as envisaged in the consultation paper. Our proposals need however to be seen in the context of current EC developments on groundwater protection. Discussions with the Commission on groundwater protection measures are under way and the Council resolution agreed on 4 October urged the Commission to bring forward by mid-1995 proposals for the implementation of the action programme on groundwater agreed at The Hague in 1991. In the course of these discussions, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I will of course seek to ensure that the principles of subsidiarity are fully respected.
In these circumstances I have decided not to seek new powers over abstraction at this time. My intention none the less remains to introduce selective abstraction controls
Column 1112in Scotland. I will bring forward the necessary legislation in the light of progress on the action programme. In the meantime my officials will take forward with the interested parties various points arising from the responses to the consultation paper.
Dr. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many public appointments (a) he is responsible for making and (b) require his approval including those not listed in "Public Bodies"; and if he will give this figure in terms of (i) appointments to executive bodies, (ii) appointments to advisory bodies and (iii) other appointments.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 27 October 1994]: Information on non -departmental public bodies and national health service bodies is published in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies 1993", copies of which are available in the Library. Information about any other appointments made by me, or which I approve, is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Persons Called to Peterhead Sheriff Court by Main Crime and Offence Category, 1976-1992 Main Crime and Offence Category<1> Year<2> |Group 1|Group 2|Group 3|Group 4|Group 5|Group 6|Group 7|Total -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1976 |14 |5 |116 |15 |18 |275 |534 |977 1977 |22 |7 |152 |23 |17 |338 |531 |1,090 1978 |20 |13 |149 |20 |29 |384 |590 |1,205 1979 |17 |5 |193 |24 |16 |281 |674 |1,210 1980 |31 |7 |174 |27 |29 |302 |555 |1,125 1981 |43 |2 |161 |15 |17 |185 |574 |997 1982 |39 |6 |144 |17 |26 |130 |483 |845 1983 |32 |6 |124 |21 |30 |102 |491 |806 1984 |26 |4 |138 |7 |46 |105 |382 |708 1985 |35 |6 |212 |11 |41 |139 |443 |887 1986 |20 |10 |124 |18 |22 |171 |330 |695 1987 |21 |14 |159 |12 |37 |120 |336 |699 1988 |28 |15 |230 |19 |29 |146 |318 |785 1989 |18 |13 |151 |29 |42 |183 |413 |849 1990 |15 |7 |183 |27 |42 |190 |460 |924 1991 |20 |8 |164 |27 |44 |187 |408 |858 1992 |15 |5 |146 |10 |39 |132 |386 |733 Notes: <1> The classification of crimes and offences used by The Scottish Office Home and Health Department for criminal statistics contains about 320 codes. These are grouped in the table as follows: Group 1-Non-sexual crimes of violence Group 2-Crimes of indecency Group 3-Crimes of dishonesty Group 4-Fire-raising, vandalism etc Group 5-Other crimes Group 6-Miscellaneous offences Group 7-Motor vehicle offences <2> The year recorded is the year in which the person's case is disposed of.
Column 1112treatment for patients who suffer from kidney stones, listed by year for the last five years by health board area.
Column 1113in-patient and day case admissions from the waiting list where the principal diagnosis was calculus of kidney and ureter are shown in the table for each health board of treatment for calendar years 1989 1993.
Mean waiting time-days-for in-patient and day case admissions from the waiting list where the principal diagnosis was calculus of kidney and ureter, by health board of treatment, calendar years 1989-1993 HB Treatment |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Argyll and Clyde |13.9 |39.4 |15.2 |22.3 |54.9 Ayrshire and Arran |32.4 |31.1 |37.1 |32.5 |35.0 Borders |24.7 |32.2 |13.3 |36.7 |25.7 Dumfries and Galloway |68.0 |146.2 |79.4 |69.5 |61.8 Fife |29.4 |33.9 |43.9 |17.7 |24.2 Forth Valley |32.6 |33.1 |21.3 |29.6 |26.2 Grampian |72.4 |41.8 |42.0 |30.8 |26.4 Greater Glasgow |40.4 |46.2 |50.7 |49.5 |38.2 Highland |46.8 |18.8 |17.8 |30.2 |15.9 Lanarkshire |51.9 |49.1 |59.8 |55.3 |56.4 Lothian |27.7 |24.9 |49.3 |31.7 |22.5 Orkney |15.7 |3.0 |- |- |2.0 Shetland |1.0 |35.5 |- |- |55.0 Tayside |35.9 |30.2 |42.6 |50.6 |39.6 Western Isles |- |10.5 |- |24.3 |23.1 Scotland |38.5 |36.8 |46.3 |36.6 |29.6 Notes: 1. Diagnostic codes are based on the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision (ICD9). The code used in the analysis is ICD9 592, calculus of kidney and ureter. 2. The table is for elective admissions from the waiting list (SMR1 TADM=1 and WAIT>0). 3. The table excludes out-patient attendances for treatment of renal calculi for which information is not centrally available.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much land, in hectares, was owned by (a) the North of Scotland hydro-electricity board and (b) the South of Scotland electricity board just prior to privatisation.
Column 1114landowner to determine, within any constraints that may be imposed by wide-ranging legislation. The United Kingdom strategy on sustainable development sets out the Government's agenda for using such land in productive but environmentally responsible ways, and the Scottish Office is committed to its implementation. The rolling review of national planning policy guidelines and development plans is a prime example of that commitment.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 28 October 1994]: Revised guidance on the disposal of surplus land and buildings was circulated within the Scottish Office and associated Departments last year. This guidance establishes the principles and procedures to be followed when disposing of such assets. Before a property is offered for sale, officials must seek explicit advice on its development potential, and, where appropriate, secure outline planning permission for a suitable use. The sale may entail associated conditions. Within any such constraints, it is then for the new owner to consider subsequent use or development, and to obtain any necessary permissions from the appropriate planning authority. For its part, the authority is required to consider any proposals for development against the land use framework set by the approved development plan for its area, and any other material considerations.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 October 1994]: The number of national health service sight tests paid for by health boards in each of the financial years since 1987 is shown in the table.
Number of NHS sight tests<1> in Scotland by Health Board area Health Board |1987-88 |1988-89 |<2>1989-90 |1990-91 |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Argyll and Clyde |95,153 |98,926 |36,636 |39,703 |46,243 |50,139 |55,284 Ayrshire and Arran |80,202 |85,746 |34,754 |34,606 |38,236 |41,530 |45,739 Borders |16,123 |17,981 |7,176 |5,240 |6,316 |7,673 |7,945 Dumfries and Galloway |29,324 |31,000 |11,761 |11,336 |13,637 |15,192 |16,003 Fife |72,534 |76,854 |24,821 |28,556 |34,049 |36,482 |38,082 Forth Valley |54,525 |58,847 |26,276 |18,426 |21,637 |23,141 |25,317 Grampian |96,777 |108,592 |30,582 |33,367 |36,977 |39,738 |41,492 Greater Glasgow |237,924 |252,843 |131,605 |110,697 |122,878 |135,240 |144,399 Highland |36,185 |36,599 |15,841 |13,091 |15,476 |17,234 |18,748 Lanarkshire |119,371 |119,307 |47,680 |47,983 |56,269 |59,510 |64,234 Lothian |162,353 |176,902 |74,531 |56,682 |66,297 |71,554 |77,065 Orkney |2,674 |2,972 |862 |873 |1,034 |1,091 |1,103 Shetland |7,000 |7,069 |2,808 |2,420 |2,834 |2,460 |2,560 Tayside |83,680 |90,498 |28,103 |28,132 |32,642 |35,414 |39,391 Western Isles |4,320 |4,467 |2,043 |1,773 |2,073 |2,287 |2,309 Scotland Total |1,098,145 |1,168,610 |475,479 |432,885 |496,598 |538,683 |579,671 <1> One person may have more than one sight test in the period. <2> Since 1 April 1989 free NHS sight tests have only been available to children, full time students under 19, those in receipt of Income Support or Family Credit, the registered blind or partially sighted, complex lens users, those who hold an AG2 exemption certificate from the Health Benefits Division, diagnosed diabetic or glaucoma sufferers, and close relatives aged 40 or over of glaucoma sufferers.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Field Marshall Peter Inge last visited Indonesia; with which Indonesian ministers and officials he discussed the procurement of military equipment; which military equipment was specified; and when he expects contracts for such equipment to be signed.
Mr. Freeman: During his visit to Indonesia, from eight to 12 October this year, Field Marshal Inge met with President Suharto, the Commander in Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces General Feisal Tanjung, and other senior military figures. Discussions covered a range of equipments and topics of mutual defence interest. Details of negotiations are commercially confidential between the customer and supplier, but export of military goods from the United Kingdom has been, and will continue to be, subject to export control, which takes into account defence and foreign policy.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the privatisations which his Department has promoted since 1979 showing, in each case, the date of the sale, the proceeds of the sale, and the estimated current value of the company.
Mr. Freeman: My Department has completed only one full privatisation since 1979. The proceeds of the sale in 1987 of Royal Ordnance Factory, Leeds were £15.4 million and the gross receipts from the sale of the rest of royal ordnance were £190 million. Detailed figures are given in the NAO's report into the "Sale of Royal Ordnance plc (House of Commons Paper 162 1987 8 Session)". Current values of those companies are a matter for their present owners.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the United Kingdom organisations which have been engaged to assist with the cleansing of the Maralinga site, with reference to the exchange of notes between Her Majesty's Government and the Federal Government of Australia concerning the former United Kingdom nuclear test and experimental programme sites at Maralinga, the Monte Bello islands and Emu field, Cm. 2533; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The clean-up operation at the Maralinga site, and the appointment of organisations involved in it, are matters for the Australian Government. However, the Atomic Energy Authority Harwell has been retained by the Australian Government to act as health and safety advisors for the duration of the rehabilitation project.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent information Her Majesty's Government have received from the Federal Government of Australia regarding the implementation of the cleansing programme at the Maralinga site, with reference to the exchange of notes between Her Majesty's Government and the Federal Government of Australia concerning the former United Kingdom nuclear test and experimental programme sites at Maralinga, the Monte Bello islands and Emu field, Cm. 2533; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been paid so far to the Government of Australia in relation to the cleaning up of the Maralinga test site under the exchange of notes between Her Majesty's Government and the Federal Government of Australia concerning the former United Kingdom nuclear test and experimental programme sites at Maralinga, the Monte Bello islands and Emu field, Cm. 2533; and if he will make a statement.