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Mr. Ancram: Recurrent funding for the youth service in Northern Ireland has risen from £9.3 million in 1989 90 to £15 million in 1993 94, the last year for which complete figures are available. This represents a 61.3 per cent. increase in total recurrent funding over that period. An increase of 62 per cent. in capital funding--from £1.1 million to almost £1.8 million--has also occurred over the same period.


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Milk Marketing Board

Mrs. Peacock: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what decision has been made on the reorganisation scheme submitted by the milk marketing board for Northern Ireland

Mr. Ancram: The Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 provided for the ending of the statutory milk marketing scheme in Northern Ireland. It enabled the milk marketing board for Northern Ireland to submit proposals for its replacement by voluntary arrangements, for the transfer of its assets to specified successor bodies and for the distribution of the value of those assets to milk producers. The milk marketing board for Northern Ireland submitted reorganisation proposals to the Department of Agriculture on 31 December 1993. Following this, a wide-ranging consultation exercise was conducted when the views of the various parties with an interest were sought. Subsequently, and in the light of the responses to that consultation, the milk marketing board on 26 August 1994 submitted an amended reorganisation scheme and a further round of consultation was conducted.

In his statement of 21 December 1994, my right hon. and learned Friend, the Secretary of State commented on the milk marketing board's proposals. He said that those reorganisation proposals met the requirements of the Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 and that subject to and contingent upon approval being given by the EC under articles 92 and 93 of the EC treaty in respect of the state aids inherent in the scheme; certain amendments being made to the scheme; and satisfactory arrangements being put in place to cover any liability upon the residuary board in respect of milk quota superlevy; the scheme submitted by the board was one that merits approval.

The milk marketing board has now submitted the formal amendments to its scheme, as required in my right hon. and learned Friend's statement, together with the necessary assurances in relation to payment of any milk quota superlevy. Formal state aid approval by the European Commission has now been confirmed. The scheme has therefore today been approved in accordance with the requirements of the Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 1993.

The order requires that the principles of the approved reorganisation scheme be made public. The principles of the scheme as submitted, and subsequently amended, by the milk marketing board for Northern Ireland were set out in the two consultation documents issued by the Department of Agriculture in January and September 1994. Although some further detailed amendments have been made by the milk marketing board to its scheme, the principles as set out in those documents are unchanged. Copies of the consultation documents, together with a note updating them in the light of the further detailed amendments, are available from the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland.

Under the approved reorganisation scheme, the existing statutory milk marketing scheme will be revoked on 1 March 1995--the "vesting date". As a result, producers will be free to sell their milk to whom they wish, whether to the successor co-operative being established under the board's reorganisation scheme, to agricultural co-operatives or other group marketing milk on behalf of producers, or direct to processors. The current joint


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committee system of centrally negotiated pricing according to the milk's ultimate end use will end on the vesting date. The price of milk will be determined by contract between purchaser and supplier. The milk marketing board for Northern Ireland will be succeeded by a producer co-operative, United Diary Farmers Ltd. and the board's commercial division, Dromona Quality Foods, will be incorporated as wholly owned subsidiary of United. The assets being transferred to United have been set at £18.003 million. Eligible producers who join United will receive shares in United proportionate to their milk production in 1992 93. Eligible producers who elect not to join United will receive redeemable loanstock bearing an interest rate at bank base rate plus a 0.5 per cent. premium. Loan stock will be allocated on the same basis as shares to joiners of United and will be redeemed not later than five years after the vesting date. In view of the delay in the vesting date from 1 April 1994, as first proposed, to 1 March 1995, the milk marketing board has written to all milk producers who have already signed a contract with United to provide them with an opportunity to withdraw without penalty from that contract.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Civil Servants

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many staff in his Department have reported an offer of employment from an outside employer since February 1993 as required under the civil service management code; and how many of those reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 18 January 1995]: Information on offers of outside employment to staff below grade 3 level is not recorded centrally in this Department. No members of staff at grade 3 level or above within the Department of National Heritage have reported an offer of employment from an outside employer since February 1993.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Veal

Mr. Morley: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee what was the country of origin of the veal served in the House of Commons on 17 January; and what method of production was used.

Mr. Colin Shepherd: The Director of Catering Services informs me that the veal used in the Refreshment Department is purchase only from United Kingdom suppliers who use the Quantock method of rearing veal calves.

Kiosk Takings

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee what were the takings of the House of Commons kiosk in (a) the four weeks to 24 December


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and (b) the latest financial year for which figures are complete; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Colin Shepherd: I am assuming that my hon. Friend is referring to the main kiosk.

The unaudited figures for December 1994 indicate that the takings of the main kiosk for the four weeks to 24 December 1994 were some £200,000, inclusive of VAT.

The accounts of the Refreshment Department trading fund account for the year ending 31 March 1994 show that the kiosks had a turnover of £674,966, net of VAT. The Director of Catering Services informs me that the turnover of the main kiosk was £521,082, net of VAT.

No. 7 Millbank

Mr. Cash: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee who are the beneficial owners of, or of the company which owns, the freehold of No. 7 Millbank; and if he will arrange for a copy of the lease to be deposited in the Library.

Mr. Ray Powell: The company which owns No. 7 Millbank is Salinger Properties Ltd. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, it is not the practice to deposit copies of leases in the Library.

WALES

NHS Trust Salary Bills

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many managers are employed by each of the health trusts in (a) Clwyd, (b) Gwynedd and (c) Powys; what is the estimated annual salary bill for each; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Richards: The available information is given in the following table. It is not yet possible to distinguish between clinicians and non- clinicians in management grades. The figures cover both. The two trusts in Gwynedd and the North Wales ambulance trust, covering Clwyd and Gwynedd ambulance services, were not established until 1 April 1994.


                         |Managers                                               

                         |(whole-time                                            

                         |equivalents) |Salary bill                              

                         |September    |September    |(£ thousands)              

NHS Trust                |1993         |1994         |1993-94                    

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

Clwydian Community Care  |53           |54           |1,661                      

Glan Clwyd Hospital      |27           |29           |745                        

Wrexham Maelor Hospital  |27           |30           |966                        

Powys Health Care        |37           |37           |887                        

Gwynedd Community Health |<1>-         |23           |<1>-                       

Gwynedd Hospital         |<1>-         |14           |<1>-                       

North Wales Ambulance    |<1>-         |6            |<1>-                       

<1> not appicable                                                                

Unemployment (Young People)

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the number of people in


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Wales who are currently under 18 years of age but who are not in (a) full-time education, (b) on a training programme or (c) in full-time work.

Mr. Redwood: The latest estimate available is based on the labour force survey conducted last summer. It indicates that, at that time, approximately 10,000, subject to confidence limits of plus or minus 4,000, 16 and 17- year-olds were neither in full-time education, nor on a training programme nor in full-time work. We can only honour our guarantee of a training place for those not in work where the young person asks for such a place.

Community Facilities

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has regarding the voluntary youth services, village halls and community centres programme.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Welsh Office has administered the voluntary youth services, village halls and community centres programme since 1978. The programme aims to assist local voluntary and community groups to repair existing facilities or to construct new premises. It is a collaborative scheme with project costs being shared by the Welsh Office, the local authority and the local sponsor. In recent years, the legislative power for the programme has derived from regulation 12 of the Education (Grant) Regulations 1990.

Since 1978, Welsh Office grants of nearly £6 million have helped fund some 618 local projects. Total provision in 1994 95 is £493,000.

It is our policy that decisions on the funding of local facilities should, wherever possible and appropriate, be taken by local authorities. I am therefore proposing that the programme should be wound up and the finance transferred to local authorities with effect from 31 March 1997. After that date, assistance to local youth, voluntary and community groups to repair existing facilities and to construct new premises will not normally be funded under these regulations.

This proposal does not affect projects which have already been approved under the programme, or those which have been submitted under the 1995 96 round and are currently under consideration. Before taking a final decision on the proposal, I am consulting local authorities, voluntary groups and other bodies. A copy of the consultation letter, which also includes the arrangements for financial transfer, has been placed in the Library of the House.

Tech'Atlantique

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the relevance of Tech'Atlantique for Wales in the European Union.

Mr. Richards: Tech'Atlantique is a recently established network of universities in those regions of the European Union which border the Atlantic ocean. As yet, no Welsh university has joined the network. It is therefore too soon to assess the relevance of the network to Wales.

Four Motor Regions

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what new proposals he has to strengthen links between Wales and the four motor regions and nations of the European Union; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Redwood: There is a programme of activity with the four motor regions. Collaboration covers a number of areas including business, research and development, healthcare, education, the environment and culture. A visit to Catalunya by Welsh applied scientists and an exchange of graduates between innovative companies in Wales and Baden-Wu rttemberg are some of the new initiatives currently under consideration. In addition, the Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Jones) is to visit both Lombardy and Catalunya later this year.

National links with Europe are taken forward through the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.

Local Council Corporate Services

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the application of the competitive tendering programme in respect of local councils' corporate services.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Faber) on 1 December 1994, Official Report, columns 879 80, by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment.

Youth Service Funding

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what calculations he has made of the changes in levels of funding for the youth service in Wales since 1989; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: It is for individual local councils to determine the priority that they give to youth activities when apportioning money between functions. Net current expenditure by local authorities for the years 1990 91, 1991 92 and 1992 93, was £12.0 million, £13.3 million and £13.7 million respectively. Information is not available on a consistent basis for prior years and outturn data is not yet available for 1993-94.

Public Bodies (Running Costs)

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the indicative management running costs he has agreed with each of the non- departmental public bodies he sponsors.

Mr. Redwood: I have asked the NDPBs sponsored by my Department to keep within the following running costs budgets in 1995 96:


                                                |£ million          

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

Housing for Wales                               |2.87               

Sports Council for Wales                        |1.039              

Arts Council of Wales                           |1.719              

Further Education Funding Council               |2.558              

Higher Education Funding Council                |1.679              

Cardiff Bay Development Corporation             |4.101              

Land Authority for Wales                        |1.882              

National Museum of Wales                        |10.452             

National Library of Wales                       |4.523              

Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic                           

  Monuments                                     |1.18               

Welsh National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and                     

  Health Visiting                               |0.985              

Wales Youth Agency                              |0.386              

Welsh Language Board                            |1.123              

ACAC                                            |1.65               

Wales Tourist Board                             |4.150              

Welsh Development Agency                        |13.2               

Development Board for Rural Wales               |3.689              

Countryside Council for Wales                   |8.1                

Imax Cinema

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from the chairman of the council of the national museum of Wales and the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation for Wales with respect to the funding of the proposed Imax cinema and the redevelopment of the Welsh industrial and maritime museum; on what date consent for capital expenditure on (a) the Imax cinema equipment and (b) the cinema building was granted; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 1 December 1994, Official Report, column 814, I have received no further representations from either the president of the council of the national museum of Wales or the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a further statement on the forms of direct accountability of NHS trusts to (a) the Welsh Office, (b) health authorities and (c) GP fundholders.

Mr. Redwood: NHS trusts, in Wales, enter into accountability agreements which outline the relationship and respective responsibilities between myself, the director for the Welsh Office Health Department, as accounting officer, and the trust chairmen and their chief executive officers. The prime duty is to provide good quality health care for the people of Wales.

The financial obligations that trusts must meet are to break even, taking one year with another, make a target return--currently 6 per cent.--and stay within the annually established external financing limit.

Trusts are also required to publish annual reports and audited accounts and to hold at least one meeting a year open to the public. Trusts are directly accountable to health authorities and GP fundholders through service contracts to agreed levels of quality, quantity and price.

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what undertakings have been (a) sought and (b) given with regard to the continuity of employment for the chief executive-designate newly appointed by the University hospital of Wales--Cardiff Royal Infirmary trust designate subsequent to, and conditional upon, the formation of that NHS trust and his appointment of a chairman and board for it; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: None. South Glamorgan health authority as the employer has offered a contract to the chief executive designate of the University Hospital of Wales--Cardiff Royal Infirmary group. If the application for trust status is approved, the trust will be required to consider and approve the appointment of a chief executive.


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Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give the levels of borrowings of NHS trusts in Wales, (a) for capital developments and (b) for other purposes in each financial year for which figures are available.

Mr. Redwood: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave on 8 December 1994, Official Report, column 347.

Blood Transfusion Service

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when a decision will be taken on the future host organisation and format for the national blood transfusion service Wales.

Mr. Redwood: The future management arrangements of the Welsh blood service will be subject to consultation. The consultation period is scheduled to commence in January 1995 and be completed by end February 1995 and an announcement on the result will follow shortly thereafter.

Lobbying Organisations

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what occasions he or his fellow Welsh Office ministers or officials have met representatives of lobbying organisations.

Mr. Redwood: I and my Ministers meet Members of Parliament who may bring in delegations to see us. If Members chose to bring in lobbying organisations as part of those delegations, we would not refuse to see them. We do not see lobbying organisations on their own. Officials frequently meet representatives from a wide range of bodies.

Residuary Body for Wales

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he has made for the establishment of the residuary body for Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The residuary body will be set up on 1 February. The members will be:

Mr. D. Hugh Thomas CBE (chairman)

Mr. J. Elwyn Davies

Miss D. Adrianne Jones CBE

Mr. Brian T. Williams

The Secretary of State will be issuing guidance to the residuary body. Local authorities will be able to comment on a draft of the guidance before it is issued in final form to the residuary body.

SCOTLAND

Barnacle Geese

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the implications for the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the recent acquittal in Dumfries sheriff court of a farmer for the shooting of barnacle geese without a licence.

Sir Hector Monro: None.


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EDUCATION

Student Loans Company

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what means of redress a student has against any malfunctioning of the Student Loans Company that affects his or her financial or educational position.

Mr. Boswell: As indicated in the charter for higher education, a student who has a complaint against the Student Loans Company should, in the first instance, contact the company. If he is not satisfied with the company's response, or more than three months has elapsed since the complaint was made, the borrower can ask the company to refer his complaint to the independent assessor appointed in accordance with the Student Loans Act 1990. A copy of the assessor's terms of reference was placed in the Library of the House on 19 July 1990.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what plans she has to hold a public inquiry into the functioning of the Student Loans Company;

(2) what assessment she has made as to the extent to which the Student Loans Company is honouring its promises on quality of service to students;

(3) what assessment she has made as to the quality of service being offered by the Student Loans Company; and what plans she has to improve its performance.

Mr. Boswell: My right hon. Friend has no plans to hold a public inquiry. I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) on 16 January, Official Report , columns 340 41.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether the staff of the Student Loans Company are on

performance-related pay; and what has happened to pay levels over the past three years.

Mr. Boswell: The pay of staff of the Student Loans Company is performance related. Pay increases for individuals are a matter for the company. For 1992 93, 1993 94 and 1994 95 they were settled within overall totals of 4.42 per cent., 1.48 per cent. and 2.49 per cent., respectively.

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the estimated cost of the investigation being carried out by Coopers and Lybrand into allegations concerning the Student Loans Company.

Mr. Boswell: Coopers and Lybrand was appointed to undertake the investigation, following competitive tender action. Its bid represented the best value for money in relation to the competition. The individual value of contracts between the Department and its suppliers is considered to be commercial in confidence and cannot therefore be disclosed.

Youth Service (Funding)

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what calculations she has made of the changes in levels of funding for the youth service in England since 1989; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Boswell: It is for local authorities to decide how much of their budget they dedicate to expenditure on the youth service.


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Local education authorities' net recurrent expenditure on the youth service, as recorded in returns to the Department of Environment, between 1989 90 and 1992 93, the latest year for which figures are available, was as follows:


                     |Net recurrent                            

                     |expenditure (actual)                     

Year                 |£ million                                

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

1989-90              |235.3                                    

1990-91              |241.7                                    

1991-92              |251.7                                    

1992-93              |273.9                                    

Schools (Capital Programme)

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the current estimate of outstanding capital works in schools in each local education authority and for England as a whole.

Mr. Robin Squire: Such information is not held centrally for individual LEAs. For England as a whole, information from the 1991 National Audit Office report on school buildings suggested that some £2 billion, at 1990 prices, was required to deal with the outstanding capital needs of school buildings. In the four years from 1991 92, Government support for capital and repair work at maintained schools has amounted to some £2.5 billion and a further £620 million will be available in 1995 96.

Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what capital grants have been given (a) to each grant-maintained school and (b) to local education authority schools in each year since 1990.

Mr. Robin Squire: Allocations to individual schools are the responsibility of their LEAs or the Funding Agency for Schools. I have asked the chairman of the funding agency to write to the hon. Member in respect of allocations to individual grant-maintained schools.

Clerical Support

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much money was spent in each of the last five years on clerical support for teachers in schools.

Mr. Robin Squire: The table gives local education authorities' expenditure on administrative and clerical staff, and education support staff in LEA-maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, from 1988 89 to 1992 93, the latest year for which figures are available.


Year            Expenditure                                 

               |£ million,    |£ million                    

               |cash          |1994-95 prices               

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

1988-89        |598.6         |803.5                        

1989-90        |723.4         |907.7                        

1990-91        |842.8         |979.1                        

1991-92        |989.8         |1,081.9                      

1992-93        |1,081.9       |1,137.3                      

Public Bodies

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for how many boards, authorities, committees and other public bodies she is responsible, in the whole or in part, for appointments; what is the total number of such appointments; and what is the total public spending by the bodies.

Mr. Boswell: My right hon. Friend is responsible, in whole or in part, for 385 appointments to 28 boards, authorities, committees and other public bodies. Total public spending by these bodies in 1994 95 is estimated at some £6.6 billion.

Pre-School Education

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many pre-school education places were available in England at the latest available date; and what percentage that number is of the total number of children in the relevant age group.

Mr. Forth: Information on the number of education places is not available. In January 1994, there were 675,000 pupils below compulsory school age in maintained nursery and primary schools in England, of whom 347,000 were in nursery provision. The participation rates were 52 per cent. and 27 per cent. respectively.

Assisted Places Scheme

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which elements of gross income and allowed expenditure are discounted in order to reach the figure for assessment purposes in respect of the amount of parental contribution to fees to be paid in the assisted places scheme.

Mr. Robin Squire: As a general principle, parents must declare their gross annual income from all sources for the purpose of assessment under the assisted places scheme. Non-taxable social security benefits are excluded from the assessment of parents' relevant income. For self-employed persons, deductions from the gross profit amount agreed with HM inspector of taxes may be made only in respect of capital allowances, losses and stock relief. In all cases, an allowance--£1,140 in the current academic year, 1994 95--is made for each child, other than the assisted place holder, or other dependent relative in the household. This reduces the relevant income figure and helps larger families in particular. The only other allowance which is discounted from gross income is the blind person's allowance.

Student Finance

Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the Government are doing to assist students in further education who do not wish to fall into debt through student loans and yet are unable to exist on student grants.

Mr. Boswell: Student loans are not available for further education. It is Government policy to provide support for students in higher education through grant and student loan. Loans are provided on generous terms. It is for individual students to decide whether or not to take out their loan entitlement.


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School Closures

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools have been closed in each of the last five years.

Mr. Robin Squire [holding answer 17 January 1995]: The table lists, by the year in which the closure was proposed to take effect, the number of approved school closure proposals. In some instances, the actual date of implementation may have been modified from that originally proposed.


Year proposed for |Number of schools                  

closure                                               

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

1990              |322                                

1991              |310                                

1992              |437                                

1993              |224                                

1994              |103                                

Pupil Testing

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is her policy on the body administering standard assessment tasks using unqualified student teachers to do the marking; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Forth: The recruitment of qualified markers to mark the national curriculum tests for 11 and 14-year-olds this year is going very well. No unqualified student teachers will be employed to do the marking.


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