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The matter of contributing to the costs which will be incurred by the Western Isles island council in participating in the inquiry has been the subject of correspondence between, among others, my right hon. Friend and the convener. He has considered the request carefully but has made it clear that he is unable to make an exception to the statutory requirement for such costs to be met by the council.
Column 1180Historic Scotland's performance has been evaluated, and it has taken significant steps forward, in particular:
it has consistently achieved almost all of its targets
it has made significant improvements in the delivery of services to all its customers.
Historic Scotland's framework document has been revised and I have placed copies in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish an up-to-date list of all the (a) chairs and (b) non-executive directors of each tourist board, indicating the gender and occupation of each individual.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 24 October 1994]: Area tourist boards in Scotland are established by local authorities under discretionary powers. They are generally either associations or companies. Members of their committees are mainly either appointed as representatives of local authorities or are elected from within the tourism industry membership. I am arranging for a copy of the current lists to be sent to the hon. Member and placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much land, in hectares, is owned by the Crown Commission in Scotland; and if he will publish a breakdown in terms of (a) forestry, (b) agricultural land in productive use, (c) agricultural land in set-aside, (d) sporting land, (e) inland waters, (f) coastal waters, (g) urban land and property and (h) crofting land.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 28 October 1994]: Each year the Crown Estate Commissioners publish an annual report which contains a schedule of all Crown Estate properties including a breakdown by Scottish regions and individual estates.
At 31 March 1994 the total acreage of agriculture and forestry lands held by the Crown Estate in Scotland amounted to 34,947 hectares. This comprised predominantly, land let through agricultural tenancies and included areas also used for sporting purposes. Principal forestry areas amounted to around 4,290 hectares. The Crown Estate owns approximately half of the foreshore and almost all of the seabed around the coast of Scotland although ownership does not extend to fresh water lochs.
The urban holdings in the ownership of the Crown Estate amounts to some 10 hectares with a further97,500 sq ft of office space. No land is held under crofting tenure.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the total cost for (a) publicity and (b) administration of the rent- to-mortgage scheme since the date when this policy was first implemented; and how many tenants in each sector of public housing have (i) applied to take part in the scheme and (ii) signed an agreement.
Column 1181scheme in spring 1991 and spring 1992 cost £381,000 and some 21,000 responses requesting further information were received. The right to buy and the statutory rent-to-mortgage--introduced in September 1993--were promoted together in campaigns in autumn 1993 and spring 1994, at a cost of £512,000, and over 12,400 responses were received.
The administration of the rent-to-mortgage scheme is a matter for local authorities, Scottish Homes and the new town development corporations; information on administration costs is not held centrally.
The number of applications to purchase and complete sales under the rent-to -mortgage scheme up to July 1994 by each sector is shown in the table:
9 Rent-to-mortgage in Scotland |Applications|Sales --------------------------------------------------------- Local authorities |1,467 |457 Scottish Homes |<1>737 |346 New towns |38 |61 |2,242 |864 <1> The Scottish Homes application total includes some in respect of New Town houses.
Mr. Chisholm: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what conditions in relation to private finance have been attached to the granting of capital consent for building the new royal infirmary of Edinburgh;
(2) what are the general implications of the involvement of private finance in the building of the new royal infirmary of Edinburgh for (a) the public sector borrowing requirement and (b) future current expenditure;
(3) what are the implications for private beds of the involvement of private finance in the building of the new royal infirmary of Edinburgh;
(4) what are the implications for ownership of the involvement of private finance in the building of the new royal infirmary of Edinburgh.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 1 November 1994]: Ministers are currently considering Lothian health board's proposals for acute services including the building of a new royal infirmary and an announcement will be made shortly. The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary NHS trust is currently exploring the scope for the private financing of a new hospital, should approval to this development be given. Meanwhile, no decisions on private finance has been taken.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 1 November 1994]: Work is in hand to prepare the necessary legislation and my right hon. Friend has in mind to introduce it when parliamentary time is available.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The legislation on children, which is in preparation, will be based on the proposals set out in the White Paper "Scotland's Children", Cm 2286, and will also draw on those proposals in the Scottish Law Commission's report on "Family Law", Scot Law Com No 135, 1992, relating to children.
Mr. Worthington: to ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he has taken to ensure that Health Care International in Clydebank is using national health service pay and conditions for its staff.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 1 November 1994]: Since the authorisation of the building of the Health Care International hospital at Clydebank was granted in 1987, NHS trusts have been introduced with the freedom to determine the terms and conditions of service for the majority of their staff. HCI is aware of the principles which underlie the authorisation.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has on the effect of the current national health service terms on whether dentists in Scotland are withdrawing from national health service work or seeking to increase their private practice.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 1 November 1994]: Since the current dental contract was introduced on 1 October 1990, the number of dentists on health board lists have increased from 1, 626 to 1,757. General dental practitioners are independent contractors who are free to choose whether they wish to join a health board dental list to provide NHS services, and to decide whether to give NHS treatment to each individual patient. No information is available on dentists' private practices.
$251,000 on a public information campaign to encourage national reconciliation and to facilitate disarmament; and
$65,000 on generators for the University of Liberia and JFK hospital.
The balance has been earmarked for emergency assistance to persons affected by the fighting, a demobilisation programme, trauma counselling and further support to the public information campaign.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the leader of the British delegation to the UN conference on women in Beijing in 1995, the hon. Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe), will support and promote in Beijing the
Column 1183declaration of the UN conference on population and development in Cairo.
Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom delegation to the fourth UN world conference on women in Peking will follow Government policy in relation to the programme of action adopted at Cairo. Its composition has yet to be determined.
Administration's policy document "Children by Choice not Chance", will be supported and promoted by the British delegation at the UN conference on women in Beijing in 1995.
Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom delegation to the fourth UN world conference on women in Peking in 1995 will support Government policy, including those in the booklet " Children by Choice, not Chance--Meeting the Challenge ".
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the number of nationalities of students on Chevening scholarships in each year since 1985; and if he will list the number and nationalities of students funded by the Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship plan in each year since 1985;
(2) what was the number and nationality of students on Overseas Development Administration shared scholarships in each year since 1985.
Mr. Baldry: In 1992 93 the Overseas Development Administration contributed towards 23 separate research projects aimed at encouraging the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in developing countries who are signatories of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the consultants, (b) the tasks for which they were employed and (c) the payments made to them from the Overseas Development Administration budget for bilateral technical co- operation in (i) 1992 93 and (ii) 1993 94.
Mr. Baldry: A list of the consultants, the projects on which they were engaged with the value of the contracts, has been placed in the Library of the House. Details of the actual payments made to each consultant could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the estimated risks to the success of the Arun III hydro-power project in Nepal from (a) glacier lake outburst flow, (b) earthquakes and (c) possible future irrigation or hydro-electric developments upstream in Tiber; and what efforts are
Column 1184being made by the projects planners to ensure that any such risks to the success of the dam and the prosperity of Nepal are fully researched and minimised.
Mr. Baldry: The geological risks and impact on upstream developments have been studied and taken into account in the design of the project. An independent panel of experts has been involved with the design, and in advising on safety aspects as well as geological, hydraulic, seismic, structural and environmental aspects.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence he has that the Arun III project in Nepal will contribute to the development of technical and managerial capacity in the Nepali private sector.
Mr. Baldry: The Nepalese authorities have drawn on local private sector expertise in preparing the project; and local staff will be responsible for a substantial proportion of the supervision contract. In addition, the Government of Nepal are committed to facilitating private sector investment in the power sector. The proposed project includes a facility to strengthen the capacity of the private sector to undertake feasibility studies and to provide partial financing in selected cases.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made as to whether the rate of return, quoted in the World bank's staff appraisal report, as expected for the Arun III hydro-power project in Nepal, is a sufficient economic return to justify a World bank decision to fund the project.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what grounds the World bank has not established an inventory of the species at risk from the planned Arun III hydro-power project.
Mr. Baldry: One of the volumes in the environmental impact study, which was an important element in the bank's appraisal and was carried out by the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, is devoted to a survey and catalogue of biodiversity in the Arun basin.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what basis the Overseas Development Administration and the United Kingdom executive director to the World bank decide what constitutes a least-cost approach to meeting energy needs when evaluating projects; and if he will place in the Library the cost benefit analysis and least-cost study on the Arun III hydro-power project in Nepal.
Mr. Baldry: The least-cost approach to generation expansion and cost benefit analysis are standard project appraisal techniques employed by the bank. A copy of the least-cost generation expansion plan, excluding the detailed technical annexes, is being placed in the Libraries of the House. Under existing rules of procedure, the bank's appraisal report remains confidential for the time being; but a copy will be placed in the Libraries after board approval of the project.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what basis a comparative assessment of alternatives to the Arun III project in Nepal was performed; and what conclusions were reached regarding the suitability of small-scale and mini-hydro options for tapping the power potential of Nepal.
Mr. Baldry: The bank's appraisal report considers the option of smaller hydro-power schemes as an alternative investment strategy and concludes that the overall balance points in favour of the Arun project.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken by the World bank to ensure that the Nepal electricity authority has the institutional capacity to manage and recover revenue from a completed Arun III hydro-power project.
Mr. Baldry: The Nepal Electricity Authority has engaged consultants to help it adopt measures to strengthen its financial management and cost recovery, including reducing system losses and improved revenue collection performance. The Asian development bank intends to provide technical assistance to the NEA to strengthen its environmental unit.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the proposed Arun III dam project in Nepal is consistent with the country assistance strategy developed for Nepal by the world bank.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of Nepali citizens are expected to benefit from access to the power generated by the Arun III hydro-power project, if completed.
Mr. Baldry: The project is designed to help meet the growth in demand for power in Nepal as a whole, for industrial users and domestic consumers alike. The World bank estimates that currently only 9 per cent. of Nepal's population of 20 million has access to electricity, and that this share is expected to double by the end of the project period.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guarantees have been provided to the World bank as to whether India will buy the excess energy to be generated by the Arun III hydro-power project planned in Nepal, and to ensure prompt payment for any electricity India undertakes to buy from Nepal.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what initiatives the United Kingdom executive director of the World bank has taken regarding the development of the World bank's cost-accounting system for the World bank; and what input he has made to that development.
Mr. Baldry: The task force on portfolio management identified weaknesses in the bank's consideration of risk and sensitivity analysis in its loan appraisals. As a response to that report bank management are producing new guidelines on the use of
risk/sensitivity analysis. The United Kingdom executive director has been active in
Column 1186pressing the bank to undertake full and thorough follow-up to the task force recommendations.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the early retirement of Martin Karcher, division chief for the south Asia region in the World bank.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the type of cost accounting methodology now applied by the World bank to the loans in its portfolio.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of the total British contribution to the funds of the World bank was invested in the Sardar Sarova dam before the World bank withdrew finance from the project.
Mr. Baldry: The bank's board of directors approved an IBRD loan and two IDA credits for the Sardar Sarovar dam project and associated canal in March 1985. IBRD shareholder capital is not used to finance bank loans directly, but as a guarantee for the bank's borrowings on the international capital markets. In 1985, the United Kingdom held 6 per cent. of the IBRD's subscribed capital. At the end of June 1994, the share was 4.92 per cent. The IDA credits were committed under the seventh replenishment of IDA, the United Kingdom share of which was 6.70 per cent.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what referrals to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission within his remit Her Majesty's Government have made since the creation of his Department.
i) The cash limit for vote 1 (museums and galleries) will be increased by £100,000 from £223,022,000 to £223,122,000 to cover the costs of the transitional funding of the Yorkshire mining museum. ii) The cash limit for vote 2 (arts) will be increased by £605, 000 from £194,974,000 to £195,579,000. The increase provides for an additional £70,000 for research, surveys and other services and an increase of £535,000 in respect of the capital end-year flexibility scheme to meet residual Government contributions towards the costs for theatre restoration. This increase will be partly offset by savings on class XI, vote 3 (libraries), where the cash limit will be reduced by £70,000 from £139,373,000
Column 1187to £139,303,000 in respect of a saving of expenditure on the public library development incentive scheme.
iii) The cash limit for vote 6 (Royal Palaces, Historic Royal Palaces Agency, Royal Parks Agency, historic buildings, ancient monuments and the national heritage) will be reduced by £100,000 from £195,062,000 to £194,962,000 to reflect a transfer to the Scottish Office to cover costs arising from a state visit to Edinburgh. iv) The net increase in provision will be charged to the reserve, and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Dorrell: Any operator is free to establish a satellite service provided it meets the conditions laid out in the Broadcasting Act 1990. At present 87 non-domestic satellite broadcast services are licensed by the Independent Television Commission.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will obtain a copy of the Inteco report "Multimedia in the Home"; and if he will make a statement on its implications for his Department.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will bring forward proposals to establish the BBC in statute law and to end its status as the creation of executive power; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: No. Our White Paper on the future of the BBC concluded that the BBC should continue to be established by royal charter, in line with the recommendation of the National Heritage Select Committee.