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Column 806receipt of goods and services or the presentation of a valid invoice.
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proposals he has for amendments to the Cinema Act 1910 in relation to access to cinemas for people with disabilities.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: I have been asked to reply.
The Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations 1955 make detailed provisions for securing safety in cinemas. My hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People announced on 24 November a package of measures to tackle discrimination against disabled people, including a right of access to goods and services.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he is taking, other than exhortation, to make it easier for shareholders to influence the size of the salaries and perks of those at the top of British industry.
The Prime Minister: Shareholders already have the ability to exercise influence--for example, by raising questions at the annual general meeting or, in the case of institutional holdings, by exerting pressure behind the scenes.
Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 1 December.
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 1 December.
The Prime Minister: This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Hanson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will now publish the remuneration of the board members and chairman of the Standing Committee into Standards of Public Life.
The Prime Minister: The chairman will receive no remuneration from public funds for his work on the committee. Three members are already in receipt of a salary from public funds and will therefore not receive any further remuneration for their work on the committee. The other six members of the committee will receive an honorarium of £1, 000 per month until the first report has been published, and a per diem attendance rate of £155 after that. Their travel and subsistence expenses will be met.
The administrative and support resources for the Nolan committee will be drawn from the Office of Public Service and Science Vote (19 Vote 1).
Mr. Michael Brown: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what further amendments to the Electricity (Class Exemptions from the Requirement for a Licence) Order 1990 are presently proposed.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Under this order, a number of companies which generated or supplied electricity before the electricity industry was vested are exempt from the requirement for a licence to generate or supply electricity for a transitional period, which ends on 31 March 1995.
Following consultation with the electricity industry and others, I have now decided that these transitional exemptions should be extended until 31 March 1998. These exemptions would continue, as now, to be limited to the generating capacity or customer base supplied before vesting. This should not, however, be read as meaning that these companies will necessarily continue to be exempt after 1998. That will be considered in the period leading up to 1998, when the market in electricity supply will become fully competitive. I will lay an order bringing this amendment into effect early next year. My officials are presently considering a number of other possible amendments to the order. I shall announce our decision on these in due course.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has for the future of electricity supply from foreign sources.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The position in relation to the French interconnector--the only present source of foreign electricity supplies-- was set out in the White Paper "The Prospects for Coal" (Cm 2235). Proposals for further interconnectors are a commercial matter for the electricity companies, subject to their obtaining any necessary consents.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give a breakdown of projected annual expenditure under Interreg 2 (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Gwynedd, (c) Dyfed and (d) Kent for each year in which the programme is to run.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Allocations for the period from 1994 to 1999 are as follows, in mecu at 1994 prices:
|Mecu ------------------------------- Northern Ireland |66.9 Gwynedd and Dyfed |13.5 Kent and East Sussex |28.3
Qualifying expenditure may extend until 2001. Annual allocations have not yet been settled.
Mr. Allen: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many occasions in the last year he has received a report from the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and (a) agreed its
recommendations and (b) deferred a decision.
Mr. Eggar: Since 1 November 1993, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has received
Column 80814 reports, including one not yet published, from the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Where adverse reports have been published, he has accepted the MMC's findings. In one case during this period-- The Daily Mail and General Trust plc/T. Bailey Forman Ltd.--the MMC report has been published and the final decision deferred pending further consideration of possible remedies. Before that period, there have been other examples of consultation on possible remedies after publication, notably on the MMC reports on the supply of gas, and on the distribution of newspapers.
Sir Thomas Arnold: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to announce the result of his review into the future of nuclear power generation.
Mr. Eggar: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr. Tipping) on 19 October, Official Report , column 239 .
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what share of the fossil fuel levy is received by (a) renewable sources of energy, (b) Nuclear Electric and (c) Scottish Nuclear.
Mr. Charles Wardle: For details of payments from the fossil fuel levy to renewable generators and Nuclear Electric, I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Minister for Industry and Energy gave to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Ainger) on 12 July 1994, Official Report , column 518 . Scottish Nuclear does not receive payments from the levy.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the purpose of the fossil fuel levy as paid to Nuclear Electric.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The fossil fuel levy finances the premium element of the price paid by the regional electricity companies for the electricity that they are required to purchase under the non-fossil fuel obligation. In Nuclear Electric's case, the levy payments cover the above- market costs of generating nuclear power. Together with revenues from sales of electricity at market prices, levy payments enable Nuclear Electric to cover the full costs of generating electricity from its stations, including operating costs, depreciation and provisions for the so-called "back end" liabilities.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of Nuclear Electric using the fossil fuel levy to help with its cash flow.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The existing arrangements to enable the full cost of nuclear power in the United Kingdom to be met, including the fossil fuel levy, are being assessed as part of the Government's review of the future prospects for nuclear power.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the purpose of the electricity interconnector with France.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The interconnector was built for mutual system support, and to trade electricity when one country could supply it more cheaply than the other.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list (a) the date and (b) the countries involved in the instances during the last 10 years when export licences have been granted for (i) riot shields, (ii) CS gas, (iii) batons and (iv) other riot control equipment.
Mr. Ian Taylor: This question could be answered in respect of controlled goods only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to refer the proposed merger between the Halifax and the Leeds Permanent building societies to the Office of Fair Trading; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The Director General of Fair Trading at the Office of Fair Trading is currently investigating this proposed merger and he will advise my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade in due course. A decision on whether it should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission will be taken once that advice is received.
Mr. Hutton: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 23 November, Official Report, column 208, if he will list those development and intermediate areas in the North-West where applications for regional selective assistance have been refused.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The information is listed in the following table:
|Number rejected |(1 April 1993 to Travel to work area |31 March 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Accrington and Rossendale |4 Barrow-in-Furness |4 Blackburn |2 Bolton and Bury |5 Liverpool |23 Manchester |28 Oldham |3 Rochdale |3 Widnes and Runcorn |5 Wigan and St. Helens |19 Wirral and Chester |12 Workington |5 Project location undecided |10 Total |123
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what support or advice was given to the manufacturers of the Robin Reliant prior to the company going into receivership.
Mr. Eggar: My Department was advised, in confidence, of the decision to place Reliant in the hands of the receiver. My officials are in close contact with the receiver about the prospects for the business.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list those United
Column 810Kingdom-owned car manufacturers in 1987 and at the current date.
Mr. Charles Wardle: At the beginning of 1987, there were 12 United Kingdom-owned manufacturers producing cars. These were: Aston Martin Lagonda, Bristol, Caterham, Ginetta, Jaguar, Marcos, Morgan, Reliant, Rolls -Royce Motor Cars, Rover Group, TVR Engineering and Westfield. Since then, Aston Martin Lagonda and Jaguar have been acquired by Ford and Rover by BMW. The others remain in the United Kingdom ownership.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many tonnes of coal were imported by the nationalised electricity power generators in each year between 1980 and denationalisation.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The amount of coal imported by the Central Electricity Generating Board and South of Scotland Electricity Board is shown below. The Department has no records of coal imported by the power producers before 1983 or of any imports by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board and the Northern Ireland Electricity Service.
|Thousand Year |tonnes --------------------------------------- 1983<1> |1,020 1984<1> |52 1985<1> |2,656 1986<1> |1,186 1987<1> |1,358 1988<2> |1,973 1989 |<2><3>1,963 <1> Central Electricity Generating Board only. <2> Central Electricity Generating Board and South of Scotland Electricity Board. <3> 1989 was the last full year before denationalisation.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the future of British Coal Enterprise following the privatisation of British Coal.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 28 November 1994]: The Government and British Coal are currently exploring options for the services provided by British Coal Enterprise. No final decisions have yet been taken about its future.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will ask the Office of Fair Trading to institute an inquiry into the practices of insurance companies in respect of life assurance premiums for (a) heterosexuals and (b) people who have had a negative test for HIV.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The Association of British Insurers has recommended to its members that they do not ask questions about negative HIV tests on life and health insurance proposal forms. I have placed a copy of the association's press release in the Library of the House.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what quantities of Japanese-owned plutonium exists in (a) unreprocessed nuclear fuel awaiting reprocessing
Column 811and (b) in store after reprocessing, under safeguards at Sellafield.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The stocks of civil plutonium held by British Nuclear Fuels plc at its Sellafield site were published in the annual plutonium figures for 1993 94, copies of which were placed in the Library of the House. Further details of the ownership of the stocks are an operational matter for BNFL.
Ms Hoey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he intends to give more commercial freedom to the publicly owned Post Office.
Mr. Heseltine: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Dowd) on 23 November, Official Report , column 579 .
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement in connection with his proposals of July 1994 to establish a working group on floating production systems for use in oil fields in the North sea and the Atlantic; if he will list the names and positions of those appointed to the working group of floating production systems; what estimate he has made of the development costs of the Foinaven and Schiehallion oil fields to the west of Shetland; and what percentage of this work he assesses will be allocated to domestically based support services.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 29 November 1994]: The working group on floating production systems has been set up and will report to Ministers by the end of the year. The industry members are listed below.
The operator responsible--BP--for the development of the Foinaven and Schiehallion oil fields to the west of Shetland has estimated development costs for Foinaven to be £550 million and has estimated that around 70 per cent. of this expenditure will be allocated to the United Kingdom. Schiehallion is not yet far enough advanced to estimate development costs.
Floating production systems working group industry membership Name ---------------------------------------------- Mr. Mike Baugh |Hamilton Mr. Martin Fielding |Amerada Hess Mr. Chris Grey |Conoco Mr. Alan Hunt |Shell Mr. John Hutton |Texaco Dr. Rob Kenison |BP Dr. Reg Potter |Marathon
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many contracts have so far been allocated to United Kingdom-based companies in connection with research into, and development of, floating production systems.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 29 November 1994]: A large number of R and D projects have been sponsored by oil companies and the Government, associated with floating production systems. However, many of these projects are not unique to floating production systems. They also apply to other aspects of offshore technology so it is not possible to assign numbers in the way that hon. Lady requested.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list those local authorities and private and voluntary organisations currently in receipt of grant aid from the Konver programme.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 30 November 1994]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the then Minister for Industry, my right hon. Friend the Member for Hove (Mr. Sainsbury) on 10 December 1993, Official Report, column 426 . The lists of grant awards under the Knover I programme available in the Library of the House show the main sponsor for each project only. I shall write to the hon. Member with a full list of project sponsors.
Sir Anthony Durant: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his policy on support for exports to countries which have rescheduled their debts and have re-established their
Mr. Needham: Following a review of its risk assessment systems for those markets, the Export Credits Guarantee Department will now be adopting normal underwriting criteria to assess applications for support from United Kingdom exporters, the principal criterion being the ability of the overseas buyer or borrower to meet it debts on time. The main consequence of applying normal criteria will be to broaden the range of exports eligible for support, and significant reductions in premium rates on a number of markets. The Government will also be pursuing an initiative in international forums to ensure that the prime focus of export credit and other financial support in such markets will be upon goods and services which will foster and sustain their economic rehabilitation.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he plans to publish the district auditor's report on the Welsh Health Promotion Authority.
Mr. Richards: This report was published by the Health Promotion Authority for Wales on 8 August 1994. Copies can be obtained from the authority.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many of the bills paid by his Department during the last month for which figures are available were paid within (a) up to one month, (b) up to two months, (c) up to three months, (d) up to six months and (e) over six months from receipt of invoice; and how many were over the date for payment by (i) up to one month, (ii) up to two months, (iii) up to three months, (iv) up to six months and (v) over six months;
(2) of the bills currently awaiting payment in his Department how many are over the advised payment date by (a) up to one month, (b) up to two months, (c) up to three months, (d) up to six months and (e) over six months, respectively.
Mr. Redwood: The information is not available in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Departments, however, are required to provide details of their annual payment performance in their departmental reports. For 1993 94, the Welsh Office paid 87 per cent. of its bills in accordance with agreed contractual conditions or, where no such contractual conditions existed, within 30 days of receipt of goods and services or the presentation of a valid invoice.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the Staff Commission for Wales and the local authority associations in relation to the carrying over of existing staff to the new authorities on 1 April 1996.
Mr. Redwood: The Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Jones) held an annual review meeting with the staff commission on 14 November: staff transfer arrangements were among the matters discussed. My officials maintain close contact with the Staff Commission and local authority associations, and are discussing with them how best to give effect to the guidance which I issued to the commission in August.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for funding the new residuary body for Wales by (a) precept and (b) other means.
Mr. Redwood: I have decided that the residuary body should be funded by means of borrowing under a supplementary credit approval in 1994 95 and 1995 96. It would be funded by levies on local authorities in 1996 97 and any subsequent years. It would not have any power to issue a precept. I wrote to the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) on 2 November informing him of my decision. This letter was copied to the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) and the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile).
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from (a) local authorities and (b) other organisations in relation to the responsibilities for examining health and safety standards in houses in multiple occupation with respect to (i) self- regulation and independent regulation and (ii) duties of environmental health officers and fire officers; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: I have received representations from the all-Wales chief environmental health officers panel, the Wales house in multiple occupation network, the Institution of Environmental Health Officers, South Wales, Cardiff city council and Llanelli borough council about these issues as part of the interdepartmental review on fire safety legislation and enforcement. The responses are currently being considered.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those general practices approved to take part in an incentive prescribing scheme, which have (a) commenced and (b) not commenced their participation.
Mr. Redwood: Prescribing incentive schemes have now been approved in seven family health services
Column 814authorities. Participation in schemes is a matter for local agreement and details of the numbers of participating practices are not held centrally.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for the application of value-added school league tables to grant- maintained schools.
Mr. Redwood: I am committed to the principle that a readily understood measure of added value should be included in secondary school performance tables covering LEA-maintained, grant-maintained and independent schools. Work is in hand to develop such measures.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the head teachers and chairs of governors of grant-maintained schools concerning the supply of information to local authorities for the purpose of drawing up value added school league tables.
Mr. Redwood: None. I look to all concerned to collaborate on the important issue of how to show the extent to which schools add value to pupil performance.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation and the chairman of the court of governors at the National Museum of Wales, concerning (a) the expansion and relocation of the Wales Industrial and Maritime Museum, inclusive of an Imax cinema and (b) the funding of a private sector free-standing Imax cinema; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: I have had no discussions with the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation regarding proposals to develop the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum; in May the chairman did briefly explain to me the aims of the Imax venture and how it might be associated with educational or museum institutions in the Cardiff bay area.
In June, my right hon. Friend the Member for Conwy (Sir W. Roberts) received a presentation from the National Museum of Wales on its corporate plan, including proposals to develop the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum and an Imax theatre.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the special advisers employed by his Department in each of the last five years indicating when they (a) joined and (b) left his Department and the annual salary they received.
Mr. Redwood: Details of special advisers employed by my Department in the last five years are as follows:
D Name |Date joined |Date left -------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. R. Richards |5 November 1990 |14 December 1990 Mr. M. McManus |11 November 1992|27 May 1993 Mr. H. Williams |18 October 1993 |(still in post) Salaries for special advisers are negotiated individually in relation to their previous earnings and are confidential. The salary spine of 34 points ranges from £19,503 to £67,609. Appointments are non-pensionable, and the salary spine reflects this.
Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are his proposals for police authority revenue spending in 1995 96.
Mr. Redwood: I propose to make £300.7 million available from total standard spending in Wales to fund police services in 1995 96. This sum comprises £153.7 million in cash-limited police grant to be paid by the Home Secretary and £147.0 million in standard spending assessments. It represents an overall increase of 6 per cent. on police revenue budgets for 1994 95. The sums for each police authority are set out in the following table:
|Police grant|SSA |Total |£ millions |£ millions |£ millions ----------------------------------------------------------------- Dyfed-Powys |22.5 |21.7 |44.2 Gwent |24.1 |23.3 |47.4 North Wales |32.2 |30.6 |62.8 South Wales |74.8 |71.4 |146.2
The Welsh Office is today writing to each of the police authorities in Wales to consult them on their provisional standard spending assessment for 1995 96.
It is essential that police authorities budget wisely and do not impose an unreasonable burden on council taxpayers. I therefore propose provisional capping principles to inform their budget decisions.
I will make my final decisions on capping principles in the light of budgets set by police authorities.
I am still considering my capping proposals for county and district councils in Wales and propose to announce provisional capping principles for these authorities in mid-December, when provisional county and district SSAs are announced.
Copies of the consultation letter will be place in the Library of the House.