Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what percentage of public appointments made by his Department were held by women at the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The percentage figure for such public appointments made by the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Northern Ireland court service was 27 per cent. as at 1 September 1993. This answer does not include judicial appointments. The figures for 1994 are still being collated and will be announced in due course.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the average cost to his Department of answering (a) a written and (b) an oral parliamentary question.
Mr. John M. Taylor: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that the then Financial Secretary to the Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr. Dorrell), gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, West (Mr. Jones) on 30 November 1993, Official Report , column 387 .
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which former hon. Members of this House have been appointed since 1988 by his Department to quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations; and if he will list, in each case, the title of the post, the salary, the duration of the appointment and the party which each represented as an hon. Member.
Mr. John M. Taylor: No central records are kept of previous employment of persons appointed by the Lord Chancellor to non-departmental public bodies. It would therefore not be possible to give the detailed and comprehensive information sought by the question without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many man hours were taken up by adjusting the clocks throughout his Department.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The information requested is not available. The Lord Chancellor's Department has 497 buildings on its estate and therefore the information could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for restoring the rail route facilities that permitted through services of trains from the former Great Western main line, at its junction with the Heathrow branch, with (a) King's Cross, (b) Liverpool Street and (c) Stratford, as part of his studies consequent on the report of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution.
Mr. Watts: Any restoration of these rail routes is a commercial matter for Railtrack. The recommendations in the report of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution will be considered carefully.
Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimates he has made of (a) the passenger demand for an international station at Stratford and (b) the number of jobs likely to be created by such a development;
(2) what estimates he has made of the likely level of demand for travel between Ebbsfleet and Paris/Brussels, and of the approximate number of passengers expected to join each train calling at Ebbsfleet;
(3) what assessment he has made of the impact of the construction of Ebbsfleet on nearby stations owned by Railtrack, and the effect of reduction in passengers using them on future levels of train services on the North Kent and Chatham lines;
(4) what analysis was carried out of the costs and benefits to passengers of constructing stations on the proposed high-speed rail link at (a) Stratford, (b) Rainham and (c) Ebbsfleet.
Mr. Watts: The assessment of each of the intermediate station options was based on studies undertaken by Union Railways and its consultants. Union Railways worked closely with the principal local authorities concerned and each of the promoter groups. The approach was to evaluate and compare outline designs, passenger demands, road traffic and highway impacts, associated developments, socio-economic impacts, environmental appraisals, cost/benefit analysis, contributions by third parties and safety considerations. Account was also taken of estimates of the impact of intermediate stations on nearby domestic stations and estimates of future levels of domestic services.
Some of the information in the assessment is commercially confidential. However, much is provided in Union Railways' October 1993 report to the Government, which was placed in the Library on 24 January 1994, together with a supporting report by the consultants Pieda plc, entitled " Intermediate Station Options: Socio-Economic and Development Impacts ".
Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations were received from the right hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Dame A. Rumbold) concerning the location of an intermediate station on the proposed high-speed rail link between London and the channel tunnel.
Dr. Mawhinney: No meetings were arranged by the Department of Transport between Ministers and the right hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Dame A. Rumbold).
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received in connection with the proposed EC directive on the approximation of the laws of the member states with regard to the transport of dangerous goods by road, and by the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 1994, as they may affect the transportation of Scotch whisky; what discussions he has held with his European counterparts on this matter; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris: My Department has had representations from the Scotch Whisky Association about the effect of the draft directive and the regulations on the carriage of whisky in casks over 250 litres capacity within Great Britain. My hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) has also made representations on behalf of the association. The Transport Council agreed a common position on the draft directive in June, and will discuss it again only if the European Parliament proposes further amendments. My officials have explained to the association how they propose, within the derogations permitted by the directive, to exempt the carriage of whisky within Britain in traditional-sized casks from the unintended requirements for design-type testing of the casks, so that existing practice can continue.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what strategic planning considerations he took into account when determining that there should be an international station at Ebbsfleet, together with associated urban development.
Mr. Watts: Strategic planning objectives for the south-east Region are set out in the Government's regional planning guidance published in March 1994--draft March 1993. The location of intermediate stations on the new channel tunnel rail link at Stratford, Rainham or Ebbsfleet would be consistent with the policy of encouraging future development in the east Thames corridor or Thames gateway. The scope for development, in terms of land availability close to the projected an additional station site, is greatest at Ebbsfleet. Ebbsfleet has been selected, but the opportunity for an additional station at Stratford remains open. The potential contribution which stations and associated developments at these locations could make to the future development of Thames gateway is set out in the more detailed guidance contained in the consultation draft of the Thames gateway planning framework published by the Department of the Environment on 7 September.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the company to be granted the concession to operate passenger trains on the channel tunnel rail link will also be given a concession to operate international passenger trains on the existing lines through the channel prior to the channel tunnel rail link coming into use.
Mr. J. Watts: The channel tunnel rail link promoter will be granted the ownership of European Passenger Services Ltd. which will be the operator of international passenger trains through the channel tunnel on the existing lines, as well as on the channel tunnel rail link when it comes into use.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current annual capital spending on (a) overground and underground railways and (b) national roads; what is (i) the number of passenger and vehicle occupant journeys and (ii) the distance travelled on (a) overground and underground railways and (b) national roads; and how much was spent on (a) overground and underground railways and (b) national roads (A) per passenger and vehicle occupant and (B) per mile travelled.
Mr. Watts: Information on journeys and passenger mileage is not available separately for national roads. The other information requested is given in the table.
Capital expenditure on and use of national roads and railways 1993-94 |National |Overground |Underground |roads |railways<1>|railways<2> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Capital expenditure, £ million |2,316 |824 |627 Passenger journeys, millions |na |713 |735 Passenger miles, billions |na |18.9 |3.6 Expenditure (£) per journey |na |1.2 |0.9 Expenditure (£) per 1,000 passenger miles |na |44 |174 <1> British Rail <2> London Underground na not available For comparability, only infrastructure expenditure (including renewals) is included-expenditure on rolling stock is excluded.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current capitalisation of European Passenger Services Ltd.
Mr. Watts: At 31 March 1994, the date of the latest audited accounts, the company had a capital value in terms of fixed assets of £928 million.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the valuation of assets transferred from the British Railways Board to European Passenger Services Ltd.; and what is the value of the liabilities attributable to British Rail's former European passenger services operating divisions that remain on the British Railways Board's balance sheet.
Mr. Watts: The net value of assets transferred from the BR Board to European Passenger Services were valued at approximately £818 million. The board retains certain contingent liabilities in respect of guarantees and indemnities which it had entered into when EPS was its subsidiary.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what communications he has had with the safety commission of the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission concerning use of the new
Column 1123Austrian tunnelling method in the channel tunnel's cross-over chambers.
Mr. Watts: The Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission supervises all matters concerning the construction and operation of the tunnel on behalf of the United Kingdom and French Governments. It is advised by the independent channel tunnel safety authority. The safety authority carried out very careful checks of the tunnelling and support systems used in the channel tunnel, including the new Austrian tunnelling method, before advising the intergovernmental commission that it had no objection to their use.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what detailed arrangements have been made covering the Secretary of State's freehold interest in the channel tunnel, in the event of the formal liquidation, or insolvency of the concessionaires; and what equivalent arrangements have been made in respect of assets within the public domain in the Republic of France.
Mr. John Watts: In Britain the Government hold the freehold of the land on which the fixed link has been built. This land is leased to the concessionaires under the terms of the concession agreement. In the event of formal liquidation of the concessionaires the concession agreement states that the terms of those leases shall end. Similar arrangements in France are also covered by the concession agreement.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received about the proposed widening of the M25.
Mr. John Watts: This an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Ms. Tessa Jowell, dated 2 November 1994:
The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr. John Watts, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what representations he has received about the proposed widening of the M25.
A total of some 14,000 representations have been received in respect of the proposed widening of the M25 between junctions 5 7, 12 15, 15 16, 16 19 and 23 26 for which draft proposals have been published.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many ship inspectors are employed by the Marine Safety Agency; and what are his projections for the number employed in the financial years 1995 96 and 1996 97.
Mr. Norris: The Marine Safety Agency currently employs 125 staff based in the marine offices, which deal mainly with the survey and certification of United Kingdom ships and the inspection of United Kingdom and foreign ships. Under current plans to meet the Department's efficiency gains proposals it is expected that by April 1996 there will be 117 such staff based in the marine offices.
Sir Thomas Arnold: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the side orders on the A6(M) Stockport north-south bypass.
Mr. Watts: This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend. Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Sir Thomas Arnold, dated 2 November 1994:
Mr Watts, the Minister for Roads and Railways, has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State regarding the A6(M) Stockport North-South bypass, as this is an operational matter for the Highways Agency.
We expect to publish fresh Orders early in 1995 with a view to holding a public inquiry in the Autumn.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the areas of rail transport policy about which Ministers in his Department answered parliamentary questions prior to the passage of the Railways Act 1993 but which are now regarded as either (a) matters of commercial confidentiality or (b) other matters about which answers will no longer be given.
Mr. Watts: There has been no change, since the passing of the Railways Act 1993, in the way in which matters of commercial confidentiality are defined. Ministers will not answer questions on issues now properly, the statutory responsibility of the regulator.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much capital spending London Underground Ltd. made in each of the past six years, excluding the fire-risk reduction cost following the King's Cross fire.
Mr. Norris: London Underground Ltd.'s capital investment expenditure on the core network, excluding fire safety works, over the last six years, was as follows:
|£ million |outturn prices --------------------------------------------- 1993-94 |445 1992-93 |590 1991-92 |265 1990-91 |310 1989-90 |245 1988-89 |200
Mr. Faber: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the final date for consultation on the proposed restructuring of the Highways Agency; and when he expects to announce the results.
Mr. Watts: This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend. Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. David Faber, dated 2 November 1994:
The Minister for Roads and Railways has asked me to respond to your Parliamentary Question about the proposed restructuring of the Highways Agency.
Consultations with staff and trade unions on the restructuring are continuing and I expect to announce the Agency's future organisation later this month.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 20 October, Official Report, column 325, when he received the executive summary of the plutonium transport review; how the review report has been distributed; and if he will place copies of both the review and its executive summary in the Library.
Mr. Norris: The plutonium nitrate transport assessment done in 1984 was reviewed by the Atomic Energy Authority in 1993 in the light of updated criteria. The exercise was an internal one within the AEA for a specific purpose and a copy of the summary of the review was received by my Department, on request, on 19 October 1994. I am awaiting a copy of the full review. Copies of the summary and the review will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what conclusion is reached by the Property Holdings report on the PowerGen building in Shirley, west midlands, on whether the agency should take up the lease; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library;
(2) when the Highways Agency leased the PowerGen building in Shirley, west midlands; and if he will make a statement on the cost.
Mr. Watts: This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member. Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody, dated 2 November 1994:
The Minister for Roads and Railways has asked me to respond to your two Parliamentary Questions about the Powergen building in Shirley.
I am exploring a number of property options in relation to the Agency's restructuring proposals. No new leases have yet been signed. Reports on properties received from Property Holdings have to be treated as commercially confidential.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates he has made of the costs (a) incurred by the Exchequer to date in respect of the proposed Birmingham northern relief road, (b) of his Department's involvement in the public inquiry into the road, (c) for the use of Mans Hal management centre for the public inquiry into the proposed road; and if he will recover this sum from the concessionaire, Midland Expressway Ltd.
Mr. Watts: This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member. Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Ms Joan Walley, dated2 November 1994:
You asked the Secretary of State for details of expenditure on the proposed Birmingham Northern Relief Road. As this is an
Column 1126operational matter for the Highways Agency I have been asked to reply.
In response to those detailed points I would answer, using your paragraph letter, as follows:
(a) The Exchequer has so far spent around £6.7 million on the proposed BNRR.
(b) The setting up of the public inquiry currently in progress has cost the Department about £250,000 and there are running costs (including fees, hire charges etc.) of around £20,000 per week. (c) It is no longer intended to take the inquiry to Hams Hall. Alternative arrangements have been made.
You also asked about the recovery of costs from Midland Expressway Limited. The detail of the cost sharing between MEL and the Department is commercially confidential.
Mr. Channon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his response to the third report of the Transport Committee on the future of air services between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, HC 47; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Mawhinney: I will write to my right hon. Friend.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate the cost of an (a) single-line and (b) double-line tunnel to extend the route of the docklands light railway under the Thames from Beckton to the north Kent railway at Thamesmead as part of his studies consequent on the report of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution;
(2) if he will obtain an estimate of the approximate additional percentage of paid passenger miles which would need to be travelled in order to reduce the general level of fares by (a) 10 per cent. (b) 20 per cent. and (c) 30 per cent., as part of his studies consequent on the report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution;
(3) pursuant to his answer of 17 October, Official Report, column 97 , if he will request Railtrack and the potential operators of the route from north Woolwich to Woolwich Arsenal to estimate the marginal cost of movement alone of three-car multiple-unit trains, subsequent to its re- electrification from Willesden junction to North Pole junction, as part of his studies consequent on the report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution;
(4) if he will estimate the marginal cost of movement by rail within the approximate area of Greater London per passenger mile, or other convenient unit, at weekends and public holidays, assuming no charge for standing charges, infrastructure costs, or any cost other than that of the direct movement costs of trains currently time-tabled on (a) the rail services of London Underground Ltd. and (b) the inner-London services operated over routes for which Railtrack is responsible, as part of his studies consequent on the report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.
Mr. Norris: My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Transport, for Health and for the Environment welcomed the Royal Commission's comprehensive report and will be studying carefully the recommendations, including their potential benefits and costs. I have no plans at present to ask for the specific information referred to by the hon. Gentleman.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total amount received in European Union objective 3 funding for 1993 and 1994 for (a) each county in Wales, (b) each training area in Wales, (c) Wales, (d) England, (e) Scotland and (f) the United Kingdom, indicating the percentage change in each case; if he will conduct a review of the methods used by his Department in allocating such moneys; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe: The amounts in the following tables have been claimed for 1993:
Objective 3 and 4 in 1993 Country |ESF £ millions --------------------------------------------- Wales |41.08 Scotland |89.13 England |257.99 Total |388.20
Objective 3 and 4 Spend in 1993 by Welsh Counties |ESF County |£ millions -------------------------------------- Clwyd |3.63 Dyfed |5.45 Gwent |5.84 Gwynned |5.06 Mid Glamorgan |8.50 Powys |0.78 South Glamorgan |6.31 West Glamorgan |5.51 Total |41.08
European social fund grants for objective 3 are managed at Great Britain level through sector managers, with Northern Ireland managing ESF separately. Information is not collected below county level. An amount of £344 million for objective 3 is available in 1994. The process of approving applications has not yet been completed and it is not yet possible to give figures for the overall levels of assistance which will go to projects in Wales or Scotland as a whole in 1994.
The monitoring committee for objective 3 will be considering proposals for allocating money to the non-Government sectors for 1995 and beyond later this month.
Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the credibility and effectiveness of the job interview guarantee scheme; and what plans he has to review it.
Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Column 1128Letter from M.E.G Fogden to Mr. Peter Hardy, dated 2 November 1994:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the credibility and effectiveness of the Job Interview Guarantee (JIG) Scheme.
The Scheme was first piloted in 20 inner city offices from September 1989. The pilots were reviewed during 1990 and found to be effective in helping long term unemployed and other disadvantaged clients into jobs. As a result JIG became a national programme from April 1991.
Since the original pilots, a survey was carried out in 1991 1992 by an independent organisation on behalf of the Employment Services (ES) of both JIG participants and employers who had used JIG. The findings showed that 92 per cent. of employers were positive about the service they had received from the jobcentre, 89 per cent. were satisfied with the people they had recruited and that some 40 per cent. had taken on a long term unemployed person for the first time. For clients who had been found a job through the scheme, evidence showed that JIG had considerably increased their chance of being successful at interview and 60 per cent. were still in work. So far this year, 46 per cent. of the people helped through JIG were placed into jobs.
A major evaluation of ES programmes and services which lead to jobs, including JIG, is currently in progress.
December marks the fifth anniversary of JIG. I am taking the opportunity to remind the people who deliver JIG in my local offices about the key features of what is one of our most effective programmes. The anniversary has been supported by re-designed publicity material and updated guidance for people in Jobcentres to help long term unemployed people and others at a disadvantage in the labour market to get back into work. Copies entitled "Job Interview Guarantee, Extra Help in filling your vacancies" and "Job Interview Guarantee, Extra Help to get you a job", have been placed in the Library. I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to (a) pilot test contracting out of the work of the Insolvency Service and (b) evaluate the pilot scheme prior to deciding whether to accept the recommendations of the Stoy Hayward report.
Mr. Heseltine: I have asked my officials to begin work on devising a specification which could be the subject of an invitation to tender to private sector contractors. They will be advised in this work by consultants. Only when that work is nearer completion would it be possible to decide whether there should be a pilot scheme and on the detail of evaluation criteria.
Any decision to contract out work of official receivers or to invite private sector contractors to bid for such work would be subject to the passage of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill currently before Parliament and the procedures applicable to contracting out which are set out in it including the requirement to consult with official receivers as statutory office holders.
Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list all the companies currently running bus services in Worthing; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness and fairness of competition in this area with particular reference to Stagecoach and Cedar Buses.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: Adur Valley Swift Line, Sussex Bus, Sussex Coastline Buses Ltd., and S H Martin trading as Access Cars have services registered to operate in Worthing. Under the competition legislation it is for the Director General of Fair Trading to keep under review the effectiveness of competition and take action if appropriate.