Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) of 1 December, Official Report, columns 814-15, if he will make a statement regarding his Department's expenditure on special advisers in each of the last three financial years and for the financial year 1979 80.
Mr. Redwood: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretaryon 19 December 1994, Official Report, column 937 .
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make additional moneys available to enable Clwyd education authority to meet its special needs duties; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what measures he proposes to take to enable head teachers to reduce large class sizes; and if he will make a statement; (3) if he will visit Clwyd education authority and discuss with it the difficulties they face in delivering its statutory
(4) what percentage increase in cash he has proposed for Clwyd education authority for recruitment of more teaching staff; (5) by what percentage he plans to increase Clwyd education authority's budget to enable it to spend more cash on its books and its equipment budget; and if he will make a statement.
(6) if he will convene a conference of local education authorities in Wales to discuss funding difficulties; and if he will make a statement;
(7) if he will fund Clwyd education authority to enable its head teachers to provide additional cover for absent staff; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Richards: Clwyd county council's provisional standard spending assessment for 1995 96 is £266.642 million, an increase of 1.7 per cent. including resources for community care. It is for the authority to decide on spending priorities between and within services in the light of its statutory responsibilities and its perception of local needs and priorities. Discussions with local authorities on funding issues are undertaken through the forum of the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government Finance.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what use his Department has made of executive search
Column 998agencies in filling vacancies within his Department and executive agencies administered by his Department during the last year; and how much these services have cost his Department.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the local education authority chairmen in Wales he has met formally.
Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend has not yet had any formal meetings with individual local education authority chairmen.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many train journeys of one hour's duration or more he has made in Britain in 1994 in the course of his official duties.
Mr. Redwood: I regularly travel to Wales by train; each journey takes longer than one hour.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to improve the resourcing of primary schools; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend recently announced his plans for Welsh local government revenue spending in 1995 96. He proposed that total standard spending should be set at £2.767 million. It represents an increase of £72 million, 2.7 per cent on the comparable level of funding for 1994 95.
It is for individual local authorities to determine how their available resources are allocated between services including education, taking account of their statutory responsibilities and their perception of local needs and priorities.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to visit Meirionnydd Nant Conwy; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: I visited the hon. Member's constituency recently in September this year, and have no other immediate plans to visit Meirionnydd Nant Conwy again in the near future.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many schools in Wales have opted to become grant maintained in 1992, 1993 and to date in 1994; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Richards: Parental ballots at seven schools in Wales in 1992 and six in 1993 were in favour of applying for grant-maintained status. No schools have balloted in favour of grant-maintained status in 1994.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total number of, and expenditure on,
Column 999managers within the NHS in (a) 1979 80 and (b) 1993 94.
Mr. Richards: At 30 September 1993 there were 1,159 general and senior managers--whole-time equivalents--employed by the NHS in Wales. The salary and wage cost of employing these staff during the financial year 1993 94 was £30.7 million--provisional. The grades of general and senior managers were introduced gradually from 1985 onwards so comparable figures for 1979 80 are not available. The figures include staff employed and expenditure by district health authorities, the Welsh Health Common Services Authority, family health services authorities, NHS trusts and the Health Promotion Authority for Wales.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the projected cost to the NHS of providing long term care for the chronically sick and terminally ill in (a) 1995 96 and 1996 97.
Mr. Richards: This information is not held centrally.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the cost to the NHS of providing long term care for the chronically sick and terminally ill for each of the last five years.
Mr. Richards: This information is not held centrally. However, the Welsh Office has made a series of allocations to support the voluntary hospice as follows:
Year |£ --------------------------------------- 1991-92 |1,000,000 1992-93 |1,900,000 1993-94 |2,304,000 1994-95 |<1>2,477,000 <1> including £100,000 agreed but not yet allocated.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how performance-related pay will be calculated for national health service employees.
Mr. Richards: Local pay provides the opportunity to reward the contributions which individual members or groups of staff make to the provision of high-quality, cost-effective patient services. The precise nature of pay schemes will be a local matter.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many home helps and (b) district nurses per 1,000 people over the age of 65 there are; and what are the equivalent figures for other European countries.
Mr. Richards: At 30 September 1993 there were 8.6 whole-time equivalent home helps--including home care organisers and family aides--per 1,000 people aged 65 and over in Wales. Reliable estimates of the numbers of nursing staff employed in specific occupational groups, such as district nursing, and information on equivalent figures for other European countries for these two groups of staff are not available centrally.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what financial penalties have been paid by the contractor on the Brynglas tunnels bypass scheme; and what new date has been agreed for its completion.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: The contract completion date for the M4 Brynglas tunnels and A4042 Malpas road relief scheme has been extended from 4 December 1994 to 5 February 1995. I am advised that the contractor will not achieve actual completion until summer 1995. Liquidated damages are not yet applicable.
Mr. Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the opportunities available for young people aged 16 and 17 years old who are classified as (a) International Labour Organisation unemployed and (b) economically inactive.
Mr. Redwood: The Government guarantee a place on the youth training programme to all 16 and 17-year-olds who are not in education or employment. There is a wide range of opportunities available in employment, education, training and voluntary work.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his latest estimate of the cost of his plans to oversee national curriculum tests in schools and provide for their external marking.
Mr. Richards: The precise requirements for 1995 96 have still to be determined by the Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales. The latest estimate to meet the assessment needs in Wales to cover test development and distribution, guidance to teachers and external marking is in the order of £4.5 million to £5 million.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimates he has made of the savings which will accrue in each of the next three years arising out of the creation of unitary authorities; and if he will itemise the specific areas where he expects these savings to accrue.
Mr. Redwood: Paragraph 6.8 of "Local Government in Wales: A Charter for the Future", Cm 2155, made it clear that financial savings were possible as a result of the reorganisation but that the exact level would depend on decisions taken by the new authorities after their election.
I do not expect any savings in 1995 96. I informed the House on 14 December, Official Report, columns 925-40,
of the funding for transitional costs which I propose to make available, and offered to provide further money for compensation costs to facilitate changes where authorities decide that they want to make major administrative savings at the point of reorganisation. I have not made any estimates in respect of 1996 97 or 1997 98 and is too early to do so. I would expect savings to result from such things as the reduction in the number of councillors and in the number of chief executives, treasurers and other posts in central administrative departments.
Column 1001Local government and the public will also benefit from non-financial improvement which result from the reorganisation, such as improved co-ordination of services and greater accountability.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much money he plans to make available for his new initiative for popular schools; when he expects this initiative to get under way; and when the first pupils will take up places in schools taking part in the programme.
Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend has made £20 million available over the next four financial years for the popular schools initiative. Bids will be invited for consideration under the initiative early in the new year and I would hope to be in a position to make the first announcement of schools to benefit by summer 1995.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to launch a major new initiative like that announced for popular schools to raise standards in schools which are identified by the office of Her Majesty's chief inspector or the local education authority as having particular problems to overcome in providing a high standard of education for their pupils.
Mr. Richards: The whole thrust of the Government's education policies and reforms is to raise standards. The Education Act 1993 contained specific provisions to deal with schools identified by inspectors as failing to provide acceptable standards of education. It is our policy to raise the standards of education in all Welsh schools.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what specific programmes and publications he has funded in each of the last three years to promote the dissemination of information about making schools successful.
Mr. Richards: The Welsh Office has over that period issued advice and guidance in a variety of forms about aspects of school performance and management which contribute to making schools successful, as has the office of Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools in Wales.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list by local education authority the (a) secondary schools, (b) primary schools and (c) special schools that will be eligible for his new initiative for popular schools, and what estimate he has made of the capacity of these schools' sites to accommodate the extra facilities that he is proposing.
Mr. Richards: All maintained schools which are oversubscribed will be eligible under the popular schools initiative. It is for local education authorities and/or the school to decide whether to bid for funds and whether the school site is able to accommodate the additional facilities.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has (a) to publish material to promote low-cost home ownership schemes and (b) to include in this material information about the Government's proposals to change the rules regarding the payment of housing benefit to people who lose their jobs.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: In the new year I intend to publish information about home ownership opportunities to
Column 1002support the work of local authorities and housing associations that are seeking to respond to the continuing demand for home ownership.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his oral statement of 14 December, Official Report , column 926 , whether the further £6.6 million for disabled people will be allocated exclusively to schemes brought forward by local authorities; and whether he will be issuing new guidelines governing the type of scheme which will be eligible for consideration.
Mr. Richards: Of the total of £6.6 million announced by my right hon. Friend, £1.85 million will be allocated to help with housing, including for disabled facilities grants. We are presently considering how the remaining £4.75 million will be allocated but intend that schemes from the local authorities and the voluntary sector will be eligible for support.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the teachers' unions he has met formally.
Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend has met the National Association of Head Teachers. Since my appointment I have met the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. I hope to have the opportunity to meet other teachers' associations in the near future.
Mr. Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish tables showing for spring 1994 and for the latest date which figures are available the total number of 16 and 17-year-olds in Wales together with the number and percentage who are (a) employed, (b) self- employed, (c) full-time students, (d) undertaking Government employment and training programmes, (e) classified as International Labour Organisation unemployed and (f) economically inactive.
Mr. Redwood: The available information is given in the table. All those included in the ILO unemployed category are eligible to take up a training place if they wish to do so. The summer figure represents a peak with school leavers appearing.
Economic activity of 16 and 17-year-olds in Wales |Spring 1994 |Summer 1994 ---------------------------------------------------------------- Total |63,000 (100%)|68,000 (100%) Employed |22,000 (35%) |28,000 (42%) Full-time student |48,000 (76%) |47,000 (70%) ILO unemployed |<1>- |11,000 (17%) Economically inactive |37,000 (59%) |28,000 (42%) Source: The labour force survey. Notes: <1> Indicates less than 10,000 in a cell. Estimates of less than 10,000 are subject to unacceptably high sampling error and are not published. <2> The number of 16 and 17-year-olds in employment is based on the internationally recognised measure of employment and therefore includes self-employed and those on government employment or training programmes. Separate estimates of these are not given since the estimates are less than 10,000. <3> The 1991 census of population recorded only 242 16 and 17-year-olds as self-employed. <4> TEC management information for September 1994 recorded approximately 5,500 16 and 17-year-olds as being on youth training or youth credits.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what date indicative delegated budgets were circulated to the heads of groups in his Department.
Mr. Redwood: The answer is 2 December 1994.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the running costs of his Department in real and cash terms for each year since the 1977 78 financial year.
Mr. Redwood: The available information is as follows:
Welsh Office running costs |Cash terms |1993-94 prices |£ million |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------ 1977-78 |9.1 |29.1 1978-80 |14.4 |41.3 1979-80 |17.8 |43.6 1980-81 |22.6 |46.9 1981-82 |24.7 |46.7 1982-83 |25.4 |44.8 1983-84 |31.5 |53.2 1984-85 |32.9 |52.8 1985-86 |32.8 |49.9 1986-87 |37.9 |56.0 1987-88 |39.2 |55.1 1988-89 |40.5 |53.3 1989-90 |45.7 |56.2 1990-91 |51.4 |58.5 1991-92 |58.1 |62.2 1992-93 |70.4 |72.5 1993-94 |71.5 |71.5 1994-95 |73.0 |71.5 Footnote: The figures relate to gross Welsh Office administrative expenditure, not including capital expenditure. Figures are not available on a consistent basis over this period. The most significant change is the introduction of superannuation changes in 1993-94. Including superannuation, running costs in cash terms were £76.5 million in 1993-94 and £78 million in 1994-95. There are other discontinuities, for example reflecting the development of inter-departmental charging arrangements. The Welsh Office has also assumed certain additional responsibilities over this period. Following the transfer of responsibility for training in Wales, the TEC management fee has been included in the figures since1992-93.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many train journeys
Column 1004of one hour's duration or more he has made in Britain in 1994 in the course of his official duties.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what resources are available to provide plaintiffs with legal advice in small personal injury claims.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Plaintiffs who meet the financial criteria would be eligible for legal advice under the green form scheme. Payments under this scheme for advice on accidents and injuries totalled almost £8.4 million in the financial year 1993 94.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the statutes which govern (a) consumer cases worth less than £1,000 and (b) personal injury cases worth less than £1,000.
Mr. John M. Taylor: There are no statutes specific to small claims in either category. The County Courts Act 1984 provides the power to prescribe the cases to be referred to arbitration and the procedures to be followed on any such reference. Other general legislation applies both to small claims and to larger claims.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment his Department has made of the safeguards necessary to ensure that plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases worth less than £1,000 are equal contestants.
Mr. John M. Taylor: In its judgment in Afzal- v. -Ford Motor Co. Ltd. the Court of Appeal gave its view that the potential for inequality of representation is present in all cases where the means of the parties are unequal. However, county court rules governing the small claims procedure allow for a party to be represented by someone other than a lawyer, and provide for the arbitrator to adopt a method of procedure which will give both parties an equal opportunity for their case to be presented.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many personal injury cases worth less than £1,000 have been decided in the small claims procedure since the small claims limit was raised to £1,000.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The information requested is not available for the stated period and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, available statistics indicate that approximately 300 personal injury cases are currently concluded by arbitration each month.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in what proportion of small personal injury claims (a) defendants and (b) plaintiffs are represented by solicitors or barristers.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The information requested is not collected and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much has been recovered by the Legal Aid Board in each of the
Column 1005last three years in 1994 prices; and what percentage this represents of the civil legal aid budget.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Payments made to the legal aid fund in respect of civil cases for each of the last three years, at 1994 95 prices, were as follows:
|1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |£ thousands|£ thousands|£ thousands ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Contributions |21,093 |22,010 |23,892 Costs |104,573 |137,832 |183,133 Damages |73,677 |73,645 |80,916 Miscellaneous receipts |686 |1,483 |1,839 |-------- |-------- |-------- Total receipts |200,030 |234,970 |289,780
Total civil legal aid receipts represented 35.7 per cent. of gross civil legal aid expenditure in 1991-92. The equivalent figures for 1992-93 and 1993-94 were 32.5 per cent. and 34.3 per cent. respectively.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what proportion of the total legal aid budget was (a) awarded to claimants and (b) spent on administration and establishment in each of the last two years.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The legal aid fund is provided solely for the purpose of providing help and assistance. Net expenditure on legal aid in 1993 94 and 1992 93 was £1.21 billion and £1.093 billion respectively. The cost of administering legal aid is met by separate provision. For the Legal Aid Board, which administers 80 per cent. of the legal aid budget, the cost of administration in 1993 94 and 1992 93 amounted to £47 million and £43.9 million respectively. The Lord Chancellor's Department and the courts are responsible for administering criminal higher legal aid but equivalent figures are not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what proportion of the legal aid budget was spent in each region of the United Kingdom in each of the last two years.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The information is not available in the form requested. For England and Wales, the proportion of gross legal aid payments to solicitors--including counsels' fees--made by the Legal Aid Board in the last two years was as follows:
1992-93 1993-94 |£ million|Per Cent.|£ million|Per Cent. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- London |139.6 |18.56 |167.6 |19.57 South & East |168.1 |22.35 |191.2 |22.33 South West & Wales |129.1 |17.16 |142.6 |16.65 Midlands |121.8 |16.19 |137.8 |16.08 Merseyside & the North |193.6 |25.74 |217.3 |25.37
An equivalent breakdown for payments made direct to counsel is not available. Total gross payments to counsel in 1992 93 and 1993 94 were £92.6 million and £104.6 million respectively.
The Lord Chancellor's Department meets the cost of criminal higher legal aid. Gross payments to both solicitors and counsel in respect of criminal higher legal aid, by administrative circuit, were as follows:
1992-93 1993-94 |£ million|Per cent.|£ million|Per Cent. --------------------------------------------------------------------- South Eastern |113.0 |50.91 |118.3 |49.74 Midland and Oxford |28.6 |12.89 |32.7 |13.75 North Eastern |20.6 |9.30 |23.5 |9.87 Northern |29.3 |13.22 |29.6 |12.46 Wales and Chester |11.2 |5.06 |14.4 |6.05 Western |19.1 |8.62 |19.3 |8.12
Separate schemes exist for legal aid in Scotland and Northern Ireland. For each jurisdiction gross payments in 1992 93 and in 1993 94 were £129.3 million and £144.5 million, and £45.7 million and £53.6 million respectively.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to amalgamate magistrates courts committee areas in England and Wales; if he will name those committees so affected; and if he will list the names of the individuals and organisations that have made representations to him on this matter since the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994 received the Royal Assent.
Mr. John M. Taylor: No formal submission under section 69 of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994 has yet been received by the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor does not therefore have any settled plans to exercise his power, under section 69(3) of the Act, to amalgamate magistrate courts committees. Before that power may be exercised the affected magistrates' courts committees, magistrates, and interested authorities will be consulted under the Act. Informal discussions have taken place between representatives of several magistrates courts committees and me and my officials. Those discussions have explored both the question of amalgamation and alternatives to it which achieve the same objectives.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what procedures are in place for the integration and co- ordination of his Department's review of public expenditure and Lord Woolf's review of the civil justice system.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Lord Woolf is conducting an independent review of access to justice, and those findings of the Department's fundamental review of expenditure which are relevant to his inquiry have been made available to him.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what percentage of parental responsibility agreements are currently recorded by the principal registrar of the family division within seven working days of receipt of the completed application and fee.
Mr. John M. Taylor: All parental responsibility agreements are recorded within seven working days of receipt of the completed application. There is no fee to have an agreement recorded.