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Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how she will prevent the standard assessment task results for 11-year-olds available in June being used by parents for school selection; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Forth: My right hon. Friend cannot do, and would not want to do, what the hon. Member has suggested. The national curriculum testing and assessment arrangements are intended to raise standards and to promote accountability. My right hon. Friend intends to require schools to publish, in their annual reports and prospectuses, their pupils' aggregate results in the national curriculum assessments and tests for 11-year-olds. This will provide clear and robust information about schools' performance which parents may take in account, alongside other information about schools, when deciding to which school they should apply.


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My right hon. Friend has, however, made it clear that the results of national curriculum tests and assessments will not be included in national school by school performance tables in 1995.

EMPLOYMENT

Community Action

Ms Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) men and (b) women have entered community action and how many were participating in community action in each month since the start of the programme in each region and for Great Britain; what information he has about the destination of those participants who have left community action; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Ms Clare Short, dated 20 January 1995:

The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your question about the number of men and women who have participated in Community Action in each month since the programme began and the destination of Community Action leavers.

Since the programme began on 27 July 1993 to 30 December 1994, the latest date for which figures are available, 45,588 men and 11, 647 women have started on Community Action.

The number of men and women who were participating in Community Action in each month since the programme began, in each Employment Service region and for Great Britain are contained in the attached tables. There are separate tables for the 1993/4 and 1994/5 operational years for ease of reference.

Information is gathered on the destination of all Community Action leavers immediately on leaving and also through a postal follow up survey three months after leaving.

From April to the end of December this year 30,010 men and 7,673 women had left the programme. Of these 10 per cent. of men and 13 per cent. of women directly entered employment a further 14 per cent. of men and 16 per cent. of women went directly into training or full time education.

Three month follow up data shows that 15 per cent. of male leavers and 20 per cent. of female leavers are in employment at that stage, and 11 per cent. of male and 13 per cent. of female leavers are in training or full time education. This is at the top end of the target range for positive outcomes from the programme.

I hope this is helpful.


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Table 1: Male community action participants each month, by region-1993-94                                             

                  |July     |August   |September|October  |November |December |January  |February |March              

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

Northern          |-        |-        |-        |32       |66       |112      |211      |458      |1,317              

Yorkshire and                                                                                                         

  Humberside      |-        |-        |-        |59       |240      |397      |653      |1,047    |1,464              

East Midlands and                                                                                                     

  Eastern         |-        |-        |15       |103      |297      |435      |576      |849      |1,192              

London and South                                                                                                      

  East            |-        |22       |85       |260      |607      |1,095    |2,042    |3,676    |5,507              

South West        |35       |74       |93       |221      |422      |595      |777      |1,081    |1,482              

Wales             |-        |-        |9        |69       |153      |255      |383      |572      |827                

West Midlands     |-        |-        |4        |38       |146      |251      |419      |682      |1,707              

North West        |-        |-        |39       |212      |421      |571      |842      |1,282    |1,889              

Scotland          |-        |-        |12       |84       |216      |350      |496      |1,030    |1,600              

                                                                                                                      

Great Britain     |35       |96       |257      |1,078    |2,568    |4,061    |6,390    |10,677   |16,985             


Table 2: Female community action participants each month-by region-1993-94                                            

                  |July     |August   |September|October  |November |December |January  |February |March              

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

Northern          |-        |-        |-        |2        |4        |10       |22       |66       |210                

Yorkshire and                                                                                                         

  Humberside      |-        |-        |-        |17       |60       |87       |139      |206      |308                

East Midlands and                                                                                                     

  Eastern         |-        |-        |7        |18       |61       |93       |145      |202      |319                

London and South                                                                                                      

  East            |-        |-        |4        |59       |145      |246      |500      |972      |1540               

South West        |1        |9        |12       |29       |64       |100      |160      |221      |304                

Wales             |-        |-        |2        |15       |47       |78       |105      |143      |225                

West Midlands     |-        |-        |1        |18       |49       |84       |131      |186      |442                

North West        |-        |-                  |25       |64       |92       |152      |237      |353                

Scotland          |-        |-        |10       |29       |51       |80       |119      |275      |394                

                                                                                                                      

Great Britain     |1        |9        |36       |212      |545      |870      |1,473    |2,508    |4,095              


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Table 3: Male community action participants each month-by region-1994-95                                              

                  |April    |May      |June     |July     |August   |September|October  |November |December           

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

Northern          |1,667    |1,636    |1,575    |1,458    |1,257    |1,022    |610      |667      |712                

Yorkshire and                                                                                                         

  Humberside      |1,919    |2,003    |1,860    |1,851    |1,684    |1,604    |1,333    |1,328    |1,296              

East Midlands and                                                                                                     

  Eastern         |1,553    |1,524    |1,428    |1,423    |1,246    |1,242    |1,174    |1,238    |1,342              

London and South                                                                                                      

  East            |6,343    |6,002    |5,883    |6,097    |5,809    |5,750    |4,969    |5,140    |5,125              

South West        |1,724    |1,693    |1,616    |1,593    |1,448    |1,402    |1,271    |1,288    |1,301              

Wales             |968      |909      |803      |693      |638      |646      |537      |567      |574                

West Midlands     |2,434    |2,252    |2,000    |1,768    |1,400    |1,348    |997      |1,013    |1,076              

North West        |2,564    |2,297    |2,341    |2,288    |2,049    |2,038    |1,803    |1,781    |1,764              

Scotland          |1,992    |1,958    |1,912    |1,748    |1,577    |1,480    |1,272    |1,375    |1,409              

                                                                                                                      

Great Britain     |21,164   |20,274   |19,418   |18,919   |17,108   |16,532   |13,943   |14,407   |14,599             


Table 4: Female community action participants each month-by region-1994-95                                            

                  |April    |May      |June     |July     |August   |September|October  |November |December           

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

Northern          |277      |277      |271      |251      |237      |174      |129      |128      |135                

Yorkshire and                                                                                                         

  Humberside      |428      |462      |445      |453      |418      |379      |342      |324      |304                

East Midlands and                                                                                                     

  Eastern         |383      |385      |372      |364      |335      |336      |322      |342      |378                

London and South                                                                                                      

  East            |1,865    |1,875    |1,867    |1,940    |1,910    |1,858    |1,622    |1,687    |1,640              

South West        |368      |382      |381      |389      |377      |360      |332      |343      |353                

Wales             |274      |267      |217      |206      |183      |207      |174      |169      |160                

West Midlands     |991      |704      |653      |573      |462      |411      |313      |309      |323                

North West        |460      |472      |474      |475      |399      |379      |338      |375      |358                

Scotland          |450      |461      |436      |399      |366      |343      |292      |313      |333                

                                                                                                                      

Great Britain     |5,196    |5,285    |5,116    |5,050    |4,687    |4,447    |3,864    |3,993    |3,984              

Careers Services Contracts

Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the name of the organisation which has been awarded the contract for careers services for each local authority.

Mr. Paice: Information on organisations tendering to provide careers services is commercial in confidence. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will announce those organisations with which he will contract when negotiations are finalised.

Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will outline the timetable and the procedures used for the allocation of the careers service contract for the Solihull area.


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Mr. Paice: All bids were assessed against the criteria published in the careers service prospectus. In Solihull, the Department is negotiating with two bidders to determine which offers the best careers service for Solihull and the best value for money for the taxpayer. Both bidders have until 3 February to respond with revised proposals.

FOCUS Computer System

Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will place in the Library the full FOCUS business case.

Mr. Oppenheim: The FOCUS business case is a working document prepared by the Health and Safety Executive for internal use to support the introduction of the FOCUS computer system and not for publication.


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Trades Union Rights

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proposals he has to introduce legislation giving effect to the decision of the European Court of Justice regarding trades union rights in respect of collective redundancy and transfer of undertakings.

Mr. Oppenheim: The relevant legislation on all but one of the points covered by the judgments was amended by the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993. The Government are presently considering what action needs to be taken on the remaining issue, concerning consultation with employees' representatives where there are no recognised trade unions.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will list the average weekly earnings inclusive of gross pay and exclusive of overtime for full-time workers in (a) Scotland, (b) the regions of Scotland including and excluding Grampian and (c) Great Britain for (i) male manual workers, (ii) male non-manual workers, (iii) all male workers, (iv) female manual workers, (v) female non-manual workers, (vi) all female workers and (vii) all workers;

(2) if he will show (a) average weekly earnings, (b) weekly median earnings, (c) the percentage of workers earning below (i) £208.53 per week and (ii) £156.40 per week and (d) the distribution of earnings for those earning (1) under the point below which 10 per cent. of earners fall and (2) the point which 10 per cent. of earners exceed, for Scotland including and excluding Grampian, broken down by (x) manual, (y) non-manual and (z) all workers;

(3) if he will list the percentage of full-time workers earning less than (a) £221.50, (b) £208.53 and (c) £156.40 per week inclusive of gross pay and excluding overtime in (i) Great Britain, (ii) Scotland and (iii) the regions of Scotland excluding and including Grampian for (1) male workers, (2) female workers, (3) male manual workers, (4) male non-manual workers and (5) all workers; (4) if he will list the proportion of full- time workers with hourly earnings inclusive of gross pay but exclusive of overtime below (a) £5.88, (b) £5.53, (c) £4.15 and (d) £3.00 in (i) Great Britain, (ii) Scotland and (iii) the regions of Scotland exclusive and inclusive of Grampian for (1) male workers, (2) female workers, (3) manual workers, (4) non-manual workers and (5) all workers.

Mr. Oppenheim: As the information is contained in a number of tables, I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy in the Library.

European Commission Jobs

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will apply for derogation for Britain in respect of European Commission staff regulations regarding European Commission jobs in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Oppenheim: No. I have no plans to make a statement.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is the precedence between the


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European Commission's staff regulations and the Race Relations Act 1974 in respect of European Commission jobs in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what assessment he has made of the consistency of EC staff regulations with the United Kingdom Race Relations Act 1974 in respect of non-EU nationals applying for jobs with the European Commission; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Oppenheim: The EC staff regulations are directly applicable in all member states, including the UK. I have no plans to make a statement.

South Thames Training and Enterprise Council

Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much money is owed to training providers in the parliamentary constituency of Lewisham, Deptford and the London borough of Lewisham by the South Thames TEC.

Mr. Paice: This is a matter for the administrative receiver.

TRANSPORT

Air Pollution

Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to consult organisations of and representing people with disabilities, over any proposed restrictions on vehicular use of city centre streets in periods of high air pollution.

Mr. Norris: The Department of Transport is in close and regular touch with organisations of and for disabled people through its statutory advisory body, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. Members of that committee are consulted as a matter of course on all issues which may affect the interests of disabled people. I fully understand the vital importance of personal mobility to many disabled people and the necessity of ensuring that it is not compromised.

Vehicle Licensing System

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to introduce the order in respect of the change to a continuous operating licence system for heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles.

Mr. Norris: I expect the commencement order for the provisions concerning operator licensing contained within the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 to be made this summer. It is likely that those provisions will be brought into force at the end of the year.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (Accidents)

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving heavy goods vehicles there were in each of the last five years for which figures are available by police authority; and how many fatalities and serious injuries there were in each case.

Mr. Norris: The information requested is shown in the following table:


Personal injury road accidents involving an HGV, by year, police authority: Great Britain 1989-1993                         

                       Accidents                                                                                            

Police Authority      |1989            |1990            |1991            |1992            |1993                             

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

Metropolitan Police   |1,733           |1,684           |1,302           |1,169           |1,195                            

Cumbria               |165             |176             |154             |156             |159                              

Lancashire            |220             |281             |213             |237             |281                              

Merseyside            |255             |292             |283             |286             |281                              

Greater Manchester    |702             |667             |606             |573             |619                              

Cheshire              |475             |403             |364             |339             |418                              

Northumbria           |249             |255             |232             |184             |212                              

Durham                |112             |124             |120             |113             |118                              

North Yorkshire       |403             |347             |351             |312             |292                              

West Yorkshire        |464             |454             |499             |441             |453                              

South Yorkshire       |308             |292             |286             |269             |255                              

Humberside            |219             |232             |214             |261             |230                              

Cleveland             |91              |69              |87              |66              |63                               

West Midlands         |495             |479             |407             |421             |414                              

Staffordshire         |327             |355             |368             |363             |358                              

West Mercia           |382             |366             |329             |290             |257                              

Warwickshire          |247             |225             |176             |172             |191                              

Derbyshire            |316             |303             |277             |280             |256                              

Nottinghamshire       |320             |283             |289             |267             |259                              

Lincolnshire          |278             |287             |219             |245             |246                              

Leicestershire        |311             |315             |294             |269             |281                              

Northamptonshire      |331             |291             |263             |228             |218                              

Cambridgeshire        |376             |327             |281             |272             |264                              

Norfolk               |322             |255             |260             |276             |227                              

Suffolk               |234             |190             |159             |166             |160                              

Bedfordshire          |252             |196             |157             |146             |165                              

Hertfordshire         |317             |268             |233             |210             |287                              

Essex                 |621             |471             |427             |418             |456                              

Thames Valley         |624             |517             |528             |508             |529                              

Hampshire             |474             |440             |387             |362             |370                              

Surrey                |320             |306             |233             |224             |224                              

Kent                  |477             |456             |375             |436             |429                              

Sussex                |357             |321             |294             |283             |293                              

City of London<1>     |0               |0               |0               |0               |0                                

Devon and Cornwall    |365             |344             |289             |259             |293                              

Avon and Somerset     |319             |290             |265             |266             |254                              

Gloucestershire       |154             |141             |130             |119             |130                              

Wiltshire             |212             |211             |187             |193             |260                              

Dorset                |178             |161             |147             |148             |144                              

North Wales           |210             |196             |212             |182             |159                              

Gwent                 |107             |104             |113             |90              |91                               

South Wales           |212             |228             |216             |225             |197                              

Dyfed-Powys           |168             |207             |206             |197             |168                              

Northern              |78              |83              |43              |62              |60                               

Grampian              |121             |135             |145             |126             |114                              

Tayside               |134             |133             |113             |105             |115                              

Fife                  |68              |50              |52              |52              |47                               

Lothian and Borders   |216             |175             |154             |141             |140                              

Central               |79              |47              |58              |56              |50                               

Strathclyde           |611             |542             |519             |480             |397                              

Dumfries and Galloway |98              |89              |100             |73              |94                               

                                                                                                                            

Total                 |16,107          |15,063          |13,616          |13,016          |13,173                           

<1> Incorporated into the Metropolitan police figure.                                                                       


Casualties in personal injury road accidents involving an HGV, by year, police authority and severity: Great Britain 1989-1993                                                                                   

                       1989                              1990                              1991                              1992                              1993                                              

Police Authority      |Fatal           |Serious         |Fatal           |Serious         |Fatal           |Serious         |Fatal           |Serious         |Fatal           |Serious                          

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

Metropolitan Police   |65              |401             |58              |381             |37              |264             |39              |271             |44              |218                              

Cumbria               |16              |70              |33              |72              |14              |46              |18              |48              |17              |45                               

Lancashire            |14              |42              |23              |82              |8               |44              |11              |49              |11              |104                              

Merseyside            |8               |43              |9               |51              |6               |47              |7               |44              |10              |36                               

Greater Manchester    |26              |100             |23              |109             |24              |94              |24              |91              |22              |76                               

Cheshire              |29              |109             |20              |91              |32              |66              |16              |45              |18              |66                               

Northumbria           |12              |76              |17              |62              |14              |61              |13              |39              |5               |44                               

Durham                |11              |23              |11              |28              |12              |20              |8               |22              |7               |33                               

North Yorkshire       |36              |202             |23              |173             |36              |169             |21              |130             |23              |149                              

West Yorkshire        |27              |133             |25              |106             |24              |122             |16              |120             |25              |85                               

South Yorkshire       |18              |60              |13              |72              |10              |73              |12              |79              |20              |33                               

Humberside            |11              |69              |11              |56              |11              |56              |19              |68              |15              |81                               

Cleveland             |0               |14              |1               |7               |8               |10              |2               |12              |0               |12                               

West Midlands         |21              |142             |35              |125             |14              |102             |23              |102             |12              |91                               

Staffordshire         |20              |80              |18              |72              |12              |58              |12              |52              |8               |33                               

West Mercia           |41              |150             |31              |109             |18              |134             |23              |85              |30              |62                               

Warwickshire          |26              |104             |3               |76              |7               |81              |16              |70              |22              |62                               

Derbyshire            |22              |83              |13              |68              |22              |57              |17              |72              |23              |58                               

Nottinghamshire       |15              |114             |22              |87              |21              |70              |12              |74              |9               |71                               

Lincolnshire          |22              |88              |39              |103             |16              |77              |20              |90              |18              |79                               

Leicestershire        |20              |94              |15              |77              |20              |98              |24              |54              |20              |51                               

Northamptonshire      |28              |160             |24              |136             |23              |88              |11              |80              |12              |76                               

Cambridgeshire        |23              |125             |30              |120             |18              |104             |15              |86              |10              |88                               

Norfolk               |24              |122             |17              |106             |15              |114             |22              |98              |18              |79                               

Suffolk               |21              |86              |9               |65              |6               |64              |9               |61              |10              |66                               

Bedfordshire          |15              |63              |12              |44              |8               |27              |20              |31              |15              |26                               

Hertfordshire         |10              |79              |17              |75              |11              |81              |8               |62              |11              |85                               

Essex                 |24              |160             |28              |107             |28              |97              |21              |102             |17              |100                              

Thames Valley         |34              |135             |46              |152             |35              |117             |34              |103             |24              |89                               

Hampshire             |28              |168             |34              |141             |21              |113             |17              |105             |18              |95                               

Surrey                |10              |85              |13              |77              |11              |44              |4               |43              |5               |46                               

Kent                  |34              |113             |17              |108             |21              |65              |27              |98              |22              |113                              

Sussex                |24              |97              |17              |83              |12              |57              |16              |66              |14              |70                               

City of London<1>     |0               |0               |0               |0               |0               |0               |0               |0               |0               |0                                

Devon and Cornwall    |20              |145             |11              |111             |11              |100             |13              |83              |17              |77                               

Avon and Somerset     |21              |116             |18              |106             |25              |71              |21              |65              |15              |60                               

Gloucestershire       |16              |52              |17              |37              |12              |40              |10              |34              |4               |24                               

Wiltshire             |16              |50              |14              |70              |15              |48              |18              |54              |14              |73                               

Dorset                |9               |48              |6               |38              |13              |52              |8               |41              |4               |32                               

North Wales           |17              |63              |10              |40              |18              |52              |4               |50              |12              |30                               

Gwent                 |2               |41              |3               |18              |2               |31              |6               |17              |1               |25                               

South Wales           |4               |49              |9               |49              |5               |28              |9               |36              |7               |21                               

Dyfed-Powys           |10              |83              |17              |107             |13              |92              |11              |82              |9               |82                               

Northern              |15              |39              |7               |38              |8               |20              |5               |30              |7               |33                               

Grampian              |15              |36              |9               |43              |9               |33              |11              |57              |9               |30                               

Tayside               |29              |71              |7               |70              |13              |69              |11              |48              |9               |60                               

Fife                  |5               |28              |5               |18              |2               |15              |2               |16              |4               |8                                

Lothian and Borders   |25              |97              |15              |65              |11              |37              |15              |31              |9               |31                               

Central               |6               |30              |5               |18              |3               |25              |3               |16              |3               |15                               

Strathclyde           |37              |199             |22              |182             |36              |180             |27              |143             |27              |120                              

Dumfries and Galloway |7               |43              |3               |37              |11              |32              |11              |32              |13              |55                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Total                 |989             |4,780           |885             |4,268           |782             |3,645           |742             |3,387           |699             |3,198                            

<1> Incorporated into the Metropolitan police figure.                                                                                                                                                            

Bus Services (Safety)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings he (a) has held or (b) proposes to hold with organisations running public or private bus services to improve safety for passengers during late evening and night services; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: The primary responsibility for the safe operation of bus services rests with bus operators. It is in their commercial interest to ensure that services are safe and attractive for passengers.

The Department chairs a standing panel of representatives of bus operators, trade unions, the police and interested Government Departments, which meets to consider trends in assaults on bus crews and passengers and to recommend preventive measures. The Department is also commissioning a national review of transport-related crime, perceptions of safety and current preventive initiatives. This will include public and private bus companies.


Column 734

British Rail

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of privatisation on British Rail's subsidiary, British Rail Telecom, and on the optic fibre it has already laid.

Mr. Watts: I have assessed the future of British Rail Telecommunications Ltd. in conjunction with the British Railways Board. Privatisation will best secure for the future the high-quality telecommunications links necessary for railway operations and will also provide opportunities for the company to exploit its significant cable, including optic fibre, network.

Austrian Tunnelling Method

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to what caused the Heathrow tunnel collapse in October; what part was played in this by the new Austrian tunnelling method; and what changes in plans for tunnelling at Heathrow and the new Jubilee line he is making as a result.

Mr. Norris: I understand from the British Airports Authority and the Health and Safety Executive that their


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respective investigations into the Heathrow tunnel collapse in October are continuing. I have received no information on the specific causes of the collapse or the part played by the new Austrian tunnelling method. The HSE's eventual report will be published in due course.

Plans for carrying out tunnelling are primarily a matter for those carrying out the work. I understand that the HSE has published a discussion document to inform those proposing to restart NATM and has established a procedure for assessing any such proposals. London Underground is considering its construction plans for the Jubilee line extension, in the light of the HSE's recent decision that use of NATM can be recommenced for some of the project's tunnels. BAA is also considering its construction plans at Heathrow.

Disused Underground Stations

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many disused Underground stations there are in London; if he will list them; and if he will make a statement about the arrangements for the safety of the public in respect of each of them.

Mr. Norris: The 22 disused Underground stations are as follows: London Underground: Disused Stations

Aldwych

Blake Hall

British Museum

Brompton Road

Bull and Bush

Chancery Lane (old Central line station)

City Road

Down Street

Highgate (high level)

King William Street

King's Cross (old Metropolitan line station)

Lords

Mark Lane

Marlborough Road

North Weald

Ongar

Osterley (old Piccadilly line station)

South Kentish Town

St Mary's

Swiss Cottage (Metropolitan line station)

Wood Lane

York Road

I understand that London Underground has a variety of arrangements in place to ensure the safety of the public.

Public Transport

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings he (a) has held or (b) proposes to hold with organisations running public transport systems in the United Kingdom to make the service more user- friendly.

Mr. Norris: My right hon. Friend and I regularly meet the chairman of London Transport and the British Railways Board to discuss a wide range of issues including measures to improve services for passengers. For bus services outside London, I have reconstituted the bus working group, which will include representatives from the Confederation of Passenger Transport, local authority associations and the National Federation of Bus Users to see what further measures can be taken to improve services within the deregulated framework.


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Rail Privatisation

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the total costs to date of preparations for privatising the British Rail system; and what is his estimate of such costs over each of the next four years, including any cost of regulation.

Mr. Watts: Total costs of rail privatisation to date of the Department, the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising, and the Office of the Rail Regulator, are £48 million.

The costs of BR and Railtrack are primarily a matter for the industries themselves. However, we understand that their total costs to date are around £160 million.

Forward plans of expenditure by the Department, Opraf, and Orr for 1995 96 to 1997 98 will be published in the Transport Report 1995. Projected expenditure by BR and Railtrack is a matter for them.

Road Traffic (Doncaster)

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last assessed the road traffic needs of Doncaster; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watts: The review of the road programme announced on 30 March 1994 was the most recent review of the needs of the trunk road and motorway network, including that around Doncaster. The needs of the local road network are reviewed annually by Doncaster metropolitan borough council in its transport policies and programmes and the Secretary of State's decisions on that were announced on 15 December 1994.

Fire Service (Ships)

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the additional demands made on the fire service by ships in United Kingdom coastal waters and ports (a) registered under the British flag and (b) registered under a flag of convenience; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: None. Incidents at sea requiring attendance or advice from the fire service are rare, although suitable arrangements are in place should this be necessary. There is no evidence of any relationship between the demand on the fire service caused by vessels on fire in UK waters and the vessels' flag state.

M1 Widening Schemes

Mr. Skinner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the time scale for making public the result of his internal reviewing respect of M1 widening schemes of (a) junctions 24 to 28 and (b) junctions 28 to 31.

Mr. Watts [holding answer 19 January 1995]: There is no special review of these schemes. All schemes in the road programme are subject to appraisal at key stages in their development. The results of public consultations on the schemes for junctions 23A to 25 and 25 to 28 will be announced in due course. Options to put to the public are still being considered for the scheme for junctions 28 to 31.


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AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

European Commission (Fines)

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he proposes to take following the fines levied by the European Commission on countries for allowing farmers to collect subsidies to which they were not entitled.

Mr. Jack: The financial penalties, or disallowances, imposed by the Commission's decision on the 1991 clearance of accounts will be collected from the member states concerned by automatic deductions from the monthly reimbursements of common agricultural policy expenditure. The UK has fared well, with disallowance of some £2 million compared to a total disallowance of £1.2 billion for all member states. It is important to note that disallowances are penalties imposed on member states for the failure to implement properly legislation relating to CAP scheme rules and controls. While these deficiencies may result in farmers, or other recipients, being paid subsidies for which they are not eligible, this is by no means always the case. Some two thirds of the 1991 disallowance is on Italy and Spain for failure to implement milk quotas and exceeds the amounts received by those member states in respect of milk support. Where farmers are found to have overclaimed, it is the member state's responsibility to recover the money due and apply the appropriate penalties. Failure to do so would render them liable to disallowance.

We are keeping our own procedures under constant review. With regard to other member states, we are committed to ensuring that proper controls are in place, and that appropriate penalties are applied where this is not the case. We fully support a proposal currently on the table which, among other things, seeks to speed up the clearance of accounts process and improve the financial management of the CAP.

Fishing

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of the increase in Spanish vessels authorised by the Fisheries Councils on the existing balance stocks of fishing fleets to fish as required by section 1 sub- paragraph (ii) of the Fisheries Council statement.

Mr. Jack: Under the agreement reached at the December Fisheries Council, it is for each member state to inform the Commission, by the end of March this year, of the reference list of its named vessels which may have access to the various fisheries covered by the agreement, of the fishing effort assessed by the member state to be necessary to enable it to take up fully its fishing possibilities for total allowable catch and non- TAC species and, where the potential effort corresponding to free access for vessels in the reference list exceeds the assessed effort, the arrangements envisaged by the member state to regulate fishing effort. The Commission will make this information available to the other member states, and will then make a report and proposal to the Council, by 1 May, for the regulation of fishing effort. The Council shall decide on that proposal by 30 June. The agreement makes it clear that existing balances in


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exploitation by fishery and by zone are not to be disturbed.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the effect of the swaps of haddock and cod agreed in the Fisheries Board agreement in Spain between (a) Spain and Belgium and (b) Spain and France on (i) establishing a Spanish track record and entitlement for areas where Spain has not fished before and (ii) the principle of relative stability in those areas.

Mr. Jack: Article 9 of the basic Council Regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy, 3760/92 provides that member states may, after notifying the Commission, exchange all or part of the fishing availabilities allocated to them. Such quota swaps are a regular part of the management of the CFP and are valuable in permitting the best use of fishing opportunities. The United Kingdom makes such swaps in the interest of and with the support of our fishing industry. Such swaps do not affect the relative stability shares on which the Council agrees quotas each year.

The swaps of haddock and cod apply in areas where Spain already fishes. Thus, they have no impact on track record or entitlement for areas where Spain has not fished before.


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