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Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend met the then chairman of the Mid Glamorgan health authority on 22 March 1994 to discuss proposals for the future of health services in the Merthyr and Cynon valleys.
16. Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the change in the number of unemployed since December 1992.
Mr. Redwood: Seasonally adjusted unemployment in Wales has now fallen by 19,000--14 per cent.--since December 1992. October's fall in the seasonally adjusted rate in Wales was the greatest in the United Kingdom.
25. Mr. Roy Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the level of male unemployment in Newport and Gwent at the latest available date.
17. Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to improve standards of conduct in local authorities in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: Such standards of conduct are primarily a matter for local authorities themselves and their auditors, taking account in particular of the national code of local government conduct, Welsh Office circular 23/90, and pecuniary interests of members of local authorities, Welsh Office circular 16/92. Where appropriate the Welsh Office reminds local authorities of their statutory responsibilities.
18. Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement concerning the prospects for manufacturing industry in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: Prospects for manufacturing industry in Wales are excellent. The latest CBI Wales survey shows that confidence in the Welsh business community is nearly double the United Kingdom average. New orders have increased at their fastest rate since 1988 and at twice the United Kingdom rate. The number of both export and domestic order books above normal levels is the highest since 1988, and the investment intentions of Welsh manufacturers are at their highest level since the survey began.
19. Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on health service funding in Wales during the current financial year.
Mr. Richards: The initial NHS budget for the current year was £2, 076 million. This was £100 million more than last year--an increase of over 5 per cent. A further £8 million has been made available during the year.
20. Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what additional resources are to be made available to local authorities in Wales to undertake responsibilities which have been passed over to them from the Welsh Development Agency.
21. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will explain the difference in weighting attaching to courses for the teaching of the Welsh language to adults and the weighting as applied to the teaching of English; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Richards: I understand that the Further Education Funding Council for Wales weights the funding per student of different courses according to the relative costs of provision. Since English as a second language is normally taught in small classes to students from a wide variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds the costs per student are higher than those for second language Welsh courses. I also understand, however, that the funding council has decided to increase the weighting for Welsh second language courses next year.
22. Mr. Alan W. Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on changes in the milk marketing scheme introduced on 1 November.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: The essential features of the new arrangements were set out in the answer by my right hon. Friend the then Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 16 June, Official Report, columns 644 46. The necessary regulations were duly made and the new marketing arrangements came into effect on 1 November. Dairy Crest has not yet been floated on the stock market and remains in the ownership of the residual Milk Marketing Board.
23. Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his assessment of the effect on business and the environment of the Severn bridge tolls.
Mr. Redwood: A report by Pieda plc was published in 1992 by the Department of Employment. It concluded, on the basis of a survey of businesses in south Wales and Avon, that the second Severn crossing scheme allowing for the new tolls, would have a positive effect on local trading and commercial activity, and stimulate investment opportunities in south Wales. Copies of the executive summary of the report, entitled "The Economic Impact of
Column 529the Second Severn Crossing", are in the Library of the House. No assessment has been made of the effect of the tolls on the environment.
24. Mr. Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he last met leaders of county councils to discuss opt out schools.
26. Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received on his proposals to create five new health authorities in Wales.
27. Mr. Rowlands: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of gross domestic product per capita in Mid Glamorgan as a percentage of the figure for (a) Wales and (b) south-east England.
Mr. Redwood: The latest available county data are for 1991, when GDP per head in Mid Glamorgan was estimated at £5,883. This represented 81.5 per cent. of the Welsh average and 59.1 per cent. of that for the south-east of England.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received on the effect of the change in price of milk since the inception of Milk Marque; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much public money will be spent on entertaining, Christmas decorations and other festive activities this Christmas season by his Department and Government agencies answerable to his Department; and of this sum
Column 530how much will be spent in Minister's private offices, his flat in Cardiff and other official residences.
Mr. Redwood: This information is not held centrally. I do not have a personal flat in Cardiff. A small area of Cardiff headquarters office is available for Ministers and officials to stay the night, as well as being used for day-time meetings. Nothing will be spent on Christmas in this facility, and there are no official residences elsewhere.
Mr. Redwood: The fieldwork for a 1994 survey of employers has been completed on behalf of the seven Welsh training and enterprise councils, the Welsh Development Agency, the Development Board for Rural Wales, the Employment Service and the Welsh Office and a summary of preliminary findings issued in a Welsh Office statistical release on 31 August 1994, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
It is planned to produce a Welsh Office statistical publication summarising the findings of the survey by March 1995.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will sanction and fund the erection of reliable and substantial safety barriers between the carriageway and housing estates between the River Dee bridge and the Gateway to Wales hotel; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: The existing safety barriers on the A494-A550 trunk road at this location are of the type used nationally in similar circumstances and there are no proposals to alter or extend the existing fencing.
Cattle Slaughtered County |May |June |July |August |September|October -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |- |- |1 |- |- |- Gwynedd |- |- |- |- |- |- Powys |- |- |2 |4 |- |- Dyfed |29 |25 |54 |7 |12 |253 South Glamorgan |- |- |- |- |- |- West Glamorgan |- |- |- |- |- |- Mid Glamorgan |- |- |- |- |- |- Gwent |17 |7 |7 |5 |9 |4
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many badgers were culled as a result of bovine tuberculosis in each region in each month since May 1994; and how many of these were shown to be suffering from TB.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: Eight badgers have been culled in Wales as a result of bovine TB since May 1994. All of these were in Dyfed, four in September and four in October. Three of the eight badgers showed lesions at post mortem consistent with being affected with bovine TB, although laboratory results in all eight badgers are still outstanding.
Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of the population is receiving job-related training; and how the figure relates to the standard Great Britain regions and the Great Britain average.
Percentage of the resident population of working age <1> participating in job-related training <2> in the last 4 weeks <3> Region |Percentage Wales |12.6 Northern |12.8 Yorkshire and Humberside |13.8 East Midlands |12.2 East Anglia |12.3 London |14.1 Rest of South East |14.1 South West |13.3 West Midlands |12.3 North West |13.0 Scotland |12.5 Great Britain |13.2 <1> Working age is defined as men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59. <2> Education or training connected with the respondent's job, or a job they might be able to do in the future. <3> Respondents are asked about job-related education and training activity in the four weeks prior to the survey. Source: Labour force survey, spring 1994.
Mr. Redwood: My Department employs one special adviser. Salaries for special advisers are negotiated individually in relation to their previous earnings, and are confidential. They are, however, normally paid on a special advisers' salary spine of 34 points, ranging from £19,503 to £67,609. Appointments are non-pensionable, and the salary spine reflects this.
|Percentage of |16-18 |Number |Population ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16-18 year olds not at school, in employment or on YT schemes |29,000 |29 Of whom: At college |18,000 |18 Other |11,000 |11 Source: Labour force survey, spring 1994.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of registered homeless persons in the Ynys Mo n borough council district on 1 September; and what was the equivalent figure for 1 September 1990 and 1 September 1987.
|Number of cases |Number of persons |homeless |accepted as |homeless ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1994 |16 |25 1990 |14 |35 1987 | 1 | 4
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State of Wales what is the number of claimants currently accommodated in temporary bed-and- breakfast accommodation and receiving housing benefit in Ynys Mo n; and what was the equivalent figure for 1 September 1990 and 1 September 1987.
|Resident in bed and |breakfast |accommodation ------------------------------------------------------------ 1994 | 1 1990 | 2 1987 |-
No information is available as to whether individuals are claiming housing benefit or not.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has yet received, from those who have convened the first meeting of the Reporting Back Forum for Wales representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, scheduled to take place of Thursday 24 November, an invitation to be a member or to attend this or subsequent forum meetings; what response he will give; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards the forum.
Mr. Redwood: I did not receive an invitation to the forum meeting convened on 24 November. The forum has been established by the two local authority associations. I have suggested that the associations should consider inviting MEPs and a selection of Welsh MPs from all four parties to join these discussions. I or one of my ministerial colleagues in the Welsh Office would be happy to attend a subsequent meeting.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give a date for the repayment to the education committee of South Glamorgan county council the £70,000 run-off debt left by Mary Immaculate high school when it transferred to grant-maintained status on 31 March.
Mr. Redwood: It has been agreed with South Glamorgan county council that repayment of the budget deficit incurred by Mary Immaculate RC high school while under that local authority is to be effected by adjustments to the authority's revenue support grant over the remainder of the current financial year. The delay in putting this arrangement in place was due to South Glamorgan county council not notifying my Department of the actual size of the deficit until October.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairmen of the Cardiff Bay development corporation and the Millennium Fund Commission in relation to the choice of designing architect for the proposed Cardiff Bay opera house.
Mr. Redwood: The choice of architect is not a matter for me but I have spoken to the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation. I urged him to allow the public to have a full opportunity to see the different designs and give their views, and for these to be taken in account by the trustees in coming to their decision on which design to build.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many and which local authorities have responded to the consultation paper "Our Forests, the Way Ahead"; and how many and which local authorities have expressed reservations about the proposal to continue with the disposal of woodland and the loss of public access in these woodlands.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: Four local authorities in Wales have responded: Dyfed county council, Rhymney Valley district council, South Glamorgan county council and Vale of Glamorgan borough council. Each of these local authorities has expressed reservations about the proposals for securing public access to woodlands sold by the Forestry Commission.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru cyf with respect to water and sewerage company access to the records of council tax band allocations for the purpose of graduated charging for water and sewerage.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the National Rivers Authority Wales region concerning the European and United Kingdom statutory regulations for beach cleanliness and bathing water standards in relation to Jackson's bay and Whitmore bay, Barry, Glamorgan.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation concerning the capital cost and running cost of the chairman's and the chief executive's cars; what marque are these cards; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 25 November 1994]: None. The chairman of Cardiff Bay development corporation uses a Jaguar pool car supplied jointly be the corporation and the Land Authority for Wales. The chief executive uses a leased Jaguar car to which he makes a substantial personal contribution in accordance with the scheme approved by my Department.
(2) if she will make a statement on the present funding for care in the community.
Mr. Bowis: The information requested is not available in the precise form requested. Total health and personal social services expenditure on services for mentally ill people for 1992 93 was £2.5 billion. These figures only include spending by the voluntary and private sector where purchased by health and social services.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish the final cost of each advertising campaign for 1993 94 referred to in her answer to the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) of 14 February, Official Report , column 623 .
Campaign |£000 --------------------------------------------------------- AIDS Travelsafe |282 Blood Donor Recruitment |953 Community Care |339 Drug and Solvent Misuse |2,813 Health Service Professions Recruitment |125 Organ Donation |786 TV Fillers |50
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many permanent housing units for mentally ill homeless people have been provided under the Government initiative to supply homes for those needing a higher level of support launched in July 1990.
Mr. Bowis: As part of the Government's homeless mentally ill initiative, the Housing Corporation has approved proposals for 122 bed spaces to provide supported accommodation for mentally ill people. Proposals in respect of a further 40 are being considered. The level of support provided will vary depending on individual clients' needs.
In addition, 330 clients have already been found permanent places in existing accommodation. Many others have been placed in supported residential care for rehabilitation which it is hoped will eventually lead to permanent resettlement at a later date.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the agreement between Fletcher Joseph Partnership and the Northern regional health authority is still in force; whether such agreements are currently under review by her Department or by other agencies; whether such agreements are deemed ultra vires; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: The district auditor has made a confidential report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State under section 20(3) of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 concerning the transfer of the former Northern regional health authority's architects department to the Fletcher Joseph Partnership in 1990. After considering fresh legal advice obtained by the RHA, we have accepted the auditor's view that the agreement was ultra vires the authority on one narrow ground. We therefore regard the agreement as being no longer in force.
As a general principle, health authorities have the legal powers to make agreements with external contractors to transfer non-core health authority functions, such as architects services. In drawing up such agreements, health authorities need to take legal advice to ensure they are acting within their powers. The NHS executive has carried out a review of non-core NHS trading agencies and will be producing general guidance for authorities shortly.
Mr. Bowis: The number of psychiatric beds is not the only factor influencing bed occupancy rates. The mental health task force's report on services for severely mentally ill people in London, "Priorities for Action", copies of which are available in the Library, found that increased availability of community services and good bed management strategies could reduce the pressure on acute beds. All inner London health authorities have agreed action plans to review their provision of acute psychiatric beds or alternative community-based accommodation and commission any necessary additional provision for 1995 96.
Dr. Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of studies on t he incidence of breast cancer in women who have had an abortion; if she will be promoting any research into this correlation; and what advice on this subject she will be issuing to doctors and women.
Mr. Sackville: We have no information on the risks of developing breast cancer in women who have had an abortion. The report of recent Canadian research on this subject will be studied carefully by the Department.
Mr. Bowis: We issued general guidance to health authorities in spring 1994 about the need to promote the health of drug misusers, including non-opiate drug misuse such as steroids. The guidance includes encouraging into treatment and care those not in touch with services and reducing health risks such as the spread of HIV. Copies of the guidance are available in the Library.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will ensure that national health service purchasing authorities and general practitioner fundholders will use the powers granted to them under the national health service reforms to facilitate homoeopathy where it is considered to be clinically appropriate; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: Both district health authorities and general practitioner fundholders purchase services to meet the health care needs of the patients and local populations for whom they are responsible, according to local circumstances and priorities. This includes the purchase of homeopathic services where this is appropriate.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice she gives to health authorities and NHS trusts on street level access to NHS public buildings for disabled people and wheelchair users; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: The Department issued advice to the national health service in 1989 under the title "Health Building Note 40, Common Activity Spaces, Volume 4, Designing for Disabled People". The scope of this guidance includes the design of ramps and stairways from street level into NHS buildings. Copies of the advice are available in the Library.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 22 November, Official Report , column 68, when she expects to be able to publish the data for 1993 94 on general practitioner lists.