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(3) if he will detail the assistance available from the Benefits Agency for victims of the Strathclyde floods in respect of (a) immediate help to deal with the aftermath, (b) help with making temporary accommodation habitable and (c) help with establishing permanent accommodation as a warm, dry comfortable home for (i) people in receipt of income support and (ii) people not in receipt of income support; if he will also detail the particular help which might be available to people in both categories during all of the three phases, who are (1) insured and (2) not insured; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roger Evans: Disaster relief following flooding is essentially a matter for the relevant local authority. However, people receiving income support are eligible to apply for community care grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans from the social fund. Those people not receiving income support can apply for a crisis loan. Whether an applicant can receive a payment from the social fund is a matter for specially trained social fund officers to decide, using the Secretary of State's directions and guidance, area social fund officer guidance and their discretion. So far, 526 awards have been made--421 grants and 105 loans totalling £108,217.

Community care grants help those who might otherwise be in danger of going into care; or families who find themselves under exceptional pressure. Budgeting loans help spread the cost of expenses which may be difficult to meet from weekly benefit. Crisis loans are available to anyone in an emergency or a crisis, where they have no other means of preventing serious risk or damage to the health or safety of themselves or a member of their family. Social fund officers will consider whether other help is available, including money from insurance policies.

Awards made from the social fund to the flood victims may include help to meet immediate needs following the floods; pay higher domestic fuel bills incurred as a result of the floods and provide household items required to make their temporary and permanent home habitable.

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will appoint named officers, at appropriately senior level, in (a) his Department and (b) the Benefits Agency to be responsible for all phases of assistance available to victims of the Stathclyde floods; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roger Evans: The Benefits Agency's area director for the Glasgow and Paisley area, Mr. Archie Roy, is responsible for ensuring that all claims to the social fund from victims of the Strathclyde floods are properly dealt with and for liaison, as necessary, with the Department.

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will detail the specific assistance which is available to claimants of the mobility or motability schemes who lost vehicles under water in the Strathclyde floods of December 1994, with particular reference to eligibility for assistance under the loss of use scheme; what particular assistance is available to participating claimants who owned, rather than leased, their vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hague: Motability is an independent organisation. The administration of the scheme is wholly a matter for Motability and any questions on this issue should be directed to the director, Mr. Simon Willis.


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Natural Disasters (Scotland) Bill

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will meet the hon. Member for Paisley, South to discuss the provisions of the Natural Disasters (Scotland) Bill; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roger Evans: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met the hon. Member last month to discuss what help the Department could provide to assist those people affected by the flooding in Strathclyde.

If the hon. Member has further concerns, my right hon. Friend would be happy to consider a request for a second meeting.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the level of benefit savings to date since 1 April 1994 resulting from (a) non-maintenance cessations of benefit and (b) savings in housing benefit and council tax benefit, following action by the Child Support Agency, calculated on the same basis as the figures given in the letter of 5 July 1994 from the chief executive of the Child Support Agency, published in the Minutes of Evidence of the Social Security Committee, HC 470 iv, Session 1993 94, appendix 2, page 103.

Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Frank Field, dated 13 January 1995: I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about benefit savings following action by the Child Support Agency.

From April 1994 to October 1994, benefit savings resulting from non- maintenance cessations in cases where the parent with care withdraws a claim to income support totalled £124 million.

The consequential savings in Housing and Council Tax Benefit are calculated retrospectively after the end of the financial year from returns provided by local authorities.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Sport

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to ensure an integrated approach to sport following the severing of links between the east midlands regional council for sport and recreation and the English Sports Council.

Mr. Sproat: The Sports Council's regional offices will continue to work closely with a wide range of regional parties in furtherance of the council's particular national policy objectives. The regional offices will also wish to maintain close links with local authorities and regional sporting interests as those agencies develop their own wider strategies for general leisure provisions.

Children's Play

Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what financial commitments he has made towards resourcing children's play in future years.

Mr. Sproat: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are currently considering the responses to our current consultation exercise on children's play and will


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be announcing our conclusions in due course along with their financial implications.

Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for National heritage how much money was allocated by his Department to children's play in the years, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Mr. Sproat: As part of its annual grant in aid, the Sports Council received earmarked funding for children's play totalling £4.2 million over the period 1987 88 to 1992 93, an average of £700,000 a year. Following the closure of the national children's play and recreation unit in March 1993, it has been for the Sports Council to determine its expenditure on children's play within the overall resources available to it.

Departmental Responsibilities

Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the division of responsibilities and relationship between his departmental Ministers and agencies.

Mr. Dorrell: My Department is responsible for two agencies, Historic Royal Palaces and the Royal Parks. The division of responsibilities and relationship between Ministers and the agencies is set out in their respective framework documents, copies of which are available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Royal Property

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what different ownership arrangements apply to (a) Buckingham palace, (b) Windsor castle, (c) Sandringham and (d) Balmoral; and what public ownership exists in respect of them.

Mr. Sproat: Buckingham palace and Windsor castle are vested in the sovereign in right of crown. Sandringham and Balmoral are privately owned by the Queen.

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the latest estimate of the total sum expected to come from public funds for the repairs arising from the fire at Windsor castle.

Mr. Sproat: It is at present estimated that the cost of the Windsor restoration will be about £35 million, of which £10.5 million will be met from public funds.

WALES

Labour Statistics

Mr. Roy Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the most recent percentage figures of unemployment in Newport, Gwent and Wales.

Mr. Redwood: In November 1994, the adjusted, workforce-based unemployment rates were 9 per cent. in both the Newport travel-to-work area and Gwent; and 8.7 per cent. in Wales.

Voluntary Organisations (Grants)

14. Sir David Knox: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the value of grants from his Department to voluntary organisations in each of the past three years.


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Mr. Richards: The latest available figures at outturn prices for direct grants are £10.4 million for 1991 92, £12.3 million for 1992 93 and £14.1 million for 1993 94.

Departmental Priorities

15. Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are his Department's priorities for 1995.

Mr. Redwood: Details will be in the Welsh Office departmental report, but some of my main priorities are: to further enhance the competitiveness of Welsh industry; to attract more private investment; to press on with work to dual the A465 and the A55 across Anglesey; to reduce waiting times in the NHS and to increase spending on direct patient care; to secure a smooth transition to the new structure of local government; to implement fully the revised national curriculum and develop pupil assessment; and to extend modern and accelerated apprenticeships.

Countryside Council for Wales

16. Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he last met the chairman of the Countryside Council for Wales to discuss the council's budget for the next financial year.

Mr. Redwood: I met Mr. Michael Griffith, chairman of the Countryside Council for Wales, to discuss the review of his organisation and its budget on Tuesday 10 January 1995.

Welsh Development Agency

17. Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the latest estimate of the capital and revenue spending of the Welsh Development Agency for 1994 95; how much of this is funded by the sale of Welsh Development Agency assets; and what were the corresponding figures for 1993 94.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Latest estimates of capital and revenue spending in 1994 95 are £122 million and £38 million respectively. The agency expects to generate £60 million in receipts from the sale of assets. In 1993 94, corresponding outturn figures were: capital spend-- £111.733 million; current spend--£39.923 million; and receipts from the sale of assets--£45.548 million.


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Private Health Facilities

18. Mr. Donald Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has for promoting the extension of private health facilities in the NHS in Wales.

Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend and I wish to encourage the private sector to provide new facilities within which the NHS can provide clinical services.

Private Sector Finance Initiative

19. Sir Wyn Roberts: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress is being made with the private sector finance initiative; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: Considerable progress is being made across many of my Department's programmes. I have already announced plans to attract £1,000 million private investment to the south Wales valleys and am looking to secure another £1,000 million for Cardiff bay.

General Hospitals

20. Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how he proposes to protect the position of smaller district general hospitals.

Mr. Richards: Any substantial change in the use of a hospital requires extensive public consultation before it can be put into effect. If the proposals for change do not secure the backing of local community health councils in particular, they must be referred to my right hon. Friend for a decision.

Workers (Licensed Mines)

21. Mr. Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many workers are employed in licensed mines in South Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: I understand there were around 720 employees as at 1 September 1994.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the development of NHS trusts in Wales.

Mr. Richards: There are currently 24 operational NHS trust in Wales. My right hon. Friend and I have received five applications from hospitals, community units and the ambulance service to become NHS trusts from April 1995. Public consultation on three of the applications ended on 4 December 1994.

In the light of the representations received, and taking account of the individual merits of each application, my right hon. Friend and I have decided to establish a further three NHS trusts to become operational from next April. The details are

South Glamorgan Health Authority

South Glamorgan Dental Hospital and School, Cardiff

South Glamorgan Community/Priority Services Unit, Cardiff Ambulance Service

East Dyfed and West Glamorgan Ambulance Services

The orders giving effect to my decisions have been signed today. The trusts will be formally established on 6 February 1995 with an operational date of 1 April 1995.


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We will announce shortly the details on the chairmen and non-executive directors of the new NHS trusts.

The University hospital of Wales and Cardiff Royal group and the West Glamorgan east unit (Neath and Port Talbot) district services unit, jointly, have also applied for NHS trust status from April 1995. Both applications are currently subject to three months public consultation. We expect to announce the outcome during February. This announcement today means that, from April 1995, some 95 per cent. of acute and community services and 100 per cent. of ambulance services in Wales will be delivered by NHS trusts.

Road Schemes (Property Acquisition)

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the estimated value of those properties purchased by, and currently owned by, his Department prior to the building of road schemes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The estimated disposable value of land and property acquired in advance of proposed trunk road schemes which is, or will eventually be, surplus to requirements is £4.5 million.

Non-departmental Executive Posts

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will review the policy regarding the number of non-departmental executive posts that can be held by individuals.

Mr. Redwood: In making public appointments, I take account of any existing appointments held by the prospective appointee, to ensure that the total time commitment is not excessive.

Abattoirs

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was (a) the total capacity and (b) the total number of abattoirs in Wales in 1979, 1984. 89


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In 1994, all 39 abattoirs were licensed under the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992; 33 were operating under temporary derogations while upgrading their premises to comply in full with the structural regulations.

The Welsh Office does not hold figures on the total capacity of abattoirs.

Consultation Papers

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many consultation papers issued by Government Departments inviting views on matters relating to England and Wales have not been issued in Wales by his Department in each of the last five years, specifying the consultation papers and the reasons for not consulting on the same basis in Wales;

(2) how many consultation papers issued by the Department of the Environment inviting views on matters


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relating to England and Wales have not been issued in Wales by his Department in each of the last five years, specifying the consultation papers and the reasons for not consulting on the same basis in Wales.

Mr. Redwood: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Hepatitis C

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what provision he has made for contacting and counselling those who have received blood transfusions contaminated with hepatitis C; what

representations he has received concerning such an information programme; what consultation he has had with the board of management of National Blood Transfusion Service Wales on this issue; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: The Government have asked the chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood and Tissues for Transplantation to set up a United Kingdom working party of experts to draw up guidance to undertake the "look back" programme and to inform the counselling of those identified as being at risk. Guidance on the treatment options available will also be provided. The National Blood Transfusion Service for Wales will implement the "look back" programme to identify those who may have been inadvertently infected by blood collected by the Welsh transfusion centre. The managers of the Welsh Transfusion Service have been kept fully informed of this process.

No representations have been received concerning the "look back" programme.

School Meals

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many pupils aged under seven years, seven to 11 years, and over 11 years respectively, in each local education authority area in Wales receive school meals, and free school meals; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Richards: Data on school meals are not collected by age. The number of pupils receiving school meals in each local education authority area in Wales as at January 1994, by sector, was:


                 Primary schoolSecondary schools   

                |Paid  |Free  |Paid  |Free         

                |meals |meals |meals |meals        

---------------------------------------------------

Clwyd           |9,470 |6,570 |7,693 |2,862        

Dyfed           |13,950|6,201 |11,476|2,875        

Gwent           |13,406|10,744|11,230|4,378        

Gwynedd         |7,740 |4,111 |5,111 |1,736        

Mid Glamorgan   |19,637|15,726|11,809|6,612        

Powys           |5,844 |1,212 |3,523 |405          

South Glamorgan |9,973 |10,125|5,377 |3,762        

West Glamorgan  |9,917 |8,173 |9,313 |3,789        

                                                   

Wales           |89,937|62,862|65,532|26,419       

Environmental Education

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what preparation he is making to implement the recommendation of the Toyne report on the commissioning of a national appraisal of the progress


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made in the further and higher education sector in the development of environmental education.

Mr. Richards: The Toyne report recommended that the Welsh Office and the Department for Education commission a national appraisal not later than the 1995 96 academic year. It is intended that the appraisal will take place in the 1995 96 academic year.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Bromley (Fraud)

25. Mr. Dowd: To ask the Attorney-General if charges have now been brought in respect of the allegations of fraud in the environmental health department of the London borough of Bromley.

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service considered the results of inquiries into allegations concerning the environmental health department of the London borough of Bromley and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to justify criminal proceedings against any person.

Crown Prosecution Service

28. Mr. Thurnham: To ask the Attorney-General what assessment he has made of the efficiency of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Solicitor-General: The performance of the Crown Prosecution Service is monitored at regular meetings between the law officers and the director of Public Prosecutions. The service handles about 1.5 million cases per year, with a conviction rate in the year to September 1994 of 97.7 per cent. in magistrates' courts and 90.3 per cent. in the Crown court.

Lenient Sentences

29. Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Attorney-General in how many cases where he has referred a sentence to the Court of Appeal as being unduly lenient, the sentence has been increased.

The Attorney-General: Since 1989, 189 offenders have had their sentences referred to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient. Some 19 cases were subsequently withdrawn. Of the 161 cases that have been heard, 132, or 82 per cent. resulted in an increased sentence.

HEALTH

Staffing

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average qualified nurse to patient ratio in each of the last five years by region.

Mr. Sackville: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 18 April 1994, Official Report, column 401, for the years 1989 90 to 1992 93. Information for 1993 94 is shown in the table. Community nursing figures, which increased from 29,870 in 1987 to 37,520 in 1993--25.6 per cent.--have not been included in the qualified


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nursing and midwifery totals as community patient data is not collected centrally. Figures for qualified staff show all qualified nursing and midwifery staff, including senior nurses and midwives but excluding those nurses who have transferred to senior management terms but still have a clinical role to play, but who cannot be identified separately from other senior managers. It also excludes pre and post-registration learners and Project 2000 nursing students, those nurses employed through an agency or bank arrangements.


Qualified nurses and midwives excluding community and agency            

staff by region-England 30 September total in-patient finished          

consultant episodes                                                     

Year 1993-94                                                            

                  |Qualified nursing                                    

                  |and midwifery                                        

                  |staff WTEs                                           

                  |(excluding       |Ordinary                           

                  |community)       |admissions                         

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Northern          |15,450           |556,147                            

Yorkshire         |16,270           |653,378                            

Trent             |18,990           |764,167                            

East Anglia       |8,430            |334,967                            

NW Thames         |12,860           |451,670                            

NE Thames         |15,870           |615,132                            

SE Thames         |13,850           |565,347                            

SW Thames         |12,030           |438,731                            

Wessex            |12,650           |491,997                            

Oxford            |9,980            |374,205                            

South Western     |14,160           |564,886                            

West Midlands     |21,750           |869,994                            

Mersey            |10,600           |450,427                            

Northern Western  |19,010           |757,915                            

                                                                        

Total             |201,890          |7,888,963                          

Source:                                                                 

KM70 and NHS Non-Medical Census.                                        

Notes:                                                                  

1. "Ordinary Admissions" is the term used for "In-Patient consultant    

episodes".                                                              

2. Ordinary Admissions are taken for the year 1 April to 31 March.      

3. Qualified Nursing and Midwifery Staff are as at 30 September-ie. for 

the 1989-90 year the figure is as at 30 September 1989.                 

NHS Resources

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a paper giving a breakdown of the cash sum attached to each of the health programmes mentioned in annexe 4 to the NHS executive's recent publication "HCHS Resource Allocation: Weighted Capitation Formula" by each of the age groups in table 1 of this publication, using the methods described in annexe 3 of this publication.

Mr. Sackville: The information will be placed in the Library. Hospital and community health service expenditure by age group is not routinely available and has been estimated separately for each programme using data from the latest HCHS programme budgets and separate records of patient activity by age.

Heart Valves

Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who requested 42 heart valves for use in clinical trials in the United Kingdom; and from whom;


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(2) when the request was made to the United States of America for the use of heart valves in clinical trials.

Mr. Sackville: Shiley requested permission from the United States Food and Drug Administration to export Bjo rk-Shiley 70 C-C heart valves from the United States of America for use in clinical trials in the United Kingdom. The Medical Devices Agency has no record of the date of this request. In response to a request from Shiley, dated 25 February 1981, the Department of Health issued a letter on 27 March 1981, indicating no objection to importation of the valve for clinical trial purposes.

Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information was given to patients implanted with heart valves in the course of the clinical trials.

Mr. Sackville: The information given to patients before and during the course of a clinical trial is a matter for the professional judgment of the clinicians involved, taking into account the particular circumstances of each patient and the requirements of the clinical trial protocol.

Health and Safety

Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to ensure that the 1993 legislation on health and safety in the workplace has been implemented in the national health service and social services departments.

Mr. Malone: The implementation of health and safety legislation is entirely the responsibility of national health service employers. The NHS executive guidance, "Health and Safety at Work--(EL(93)66)", issued on 29 July 1993, drew the attention of NHS employers specifically to the health and safety regulations introduced in 1993. In addition, the NHS executive's guidance on "Occupational Health Services for NHS Staff (HSG(94)51)", issued to NHS employers on 6 December 1994, underlined the statutory responsibility of NHS employers including that under the 1993 health and safety legislation. Copies of these documents are available in the Library. Social services departments are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, who is responsible for matters relating to local government.

District Nurses

Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the effects of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 upon the work of district nurses.

Mr. Sackville: None.

Each locality will have different health needs and these will be reflected in the work of the district nurse and other health professionals. It is for local employers of district nurses to continually assess and review their work with them.


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