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Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Rail Regulator and Ministers are committed to continuing easy access to through ticketing for passengers. Ministers will consider carefully the Rail Regulator's decisions on ticketing obligations at railway stations after his wide-ranging consultations.
Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the estimated number of (a) jobs lost and (b) new jobs created in each of the last five years for which figures are available for (i) each district council area in Wales and (ii) Wales as a whole.
Mr. Redwood: Comprehensive information on the number of jobs lost and created is not available. Information on employees in employment for district council areas is available from the 1989 and 1991
Column 271censuses of employment. Figures for Wales are available from the Employment Department's quarterly estimates series and are published in table 1.5 in the Employment Gazette. All these data are available from the NOMIS database which can be accessed by the staff of the Library of the House.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions in the last four months of which he has knowledge any civil servants in his Department have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements.
Mr. Redwood: Officials may receive representations about a variety of matters, but the information requested is not collected.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions in the last four months he or any of his Ministers have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements.
Mr. Redwood: My Ministers and I meet a wide range of people from many organisations at informal and official occasions.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to the letter from the Under-Secretary of State for Employment to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West of 11 January, concerning outcomes-based funding of training and enterprise councils, if he will give details of the consultation exercise referred to as it applies in Wales; and which organisations in Wales have been consulted.
Mr. Redwood: My Department is currently in the process of consulting TECs in Wales on the prospective changes in the funding arrangements for training for work before the determination of contacts for 1995-96.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his letter to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Evans) of 7 January, concerning Mr. W. C. Powell, what proposals he has to issue new guidelines to require the participation of general fundholders in inquiries such as the one agreed with Mr. Powell.
Mr. Redwood: There are no plans to issue guidelines. Informal inquiries of the kind offered to Mr. W. C. Powell, do not include powers to compel the attendance of witnesses. There is no distinction to be drawn between fundholders and non-fundholders.
18. Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of students entering higher and further education in 1994 95.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The number of students who entered higher education in Scotland for the first time in 1994 95 is currently estimated to be 46,800.
Column 272Many FE students enter courses at different times or for studies of less than one academic year. The current estimate of the total number of students on all FE courses in 1994 95 is 169,200.
19. Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his best estimate of the number of people in Scotland living in poverty; what plans he has to reduce this figure; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Statistics on patterns of household disposable income are provided in "Households Below Average Income 1979 to 1991 92", published in July last year. The best response to low household income is to sustain economic recovery and to assist those in greatest need. The Government's policies address both these aspects.
20. Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to modify the rules governing the ownership and management of both nursing and residential homes for elderly citizens.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend has no present plans to modify the rules governing the ownership and management of nursing and residential care homes for the elderly. Officials are, however, reviewing the procedures and standards in both sectors.
21. Sir Russell Johnston: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effect on tourism of the proposals to terminate the motorail service and reduce sleeper services to Scotland; and when he was consulted on these matters.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Responsibility for railways rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. However, I understand British Rail has yet to decide the future of these services in the light of the franchising director's decision not to include certain services in passenger service requirements.
22. Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met representatives of the Scottish Prison Officers Association; what he discussed with them; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend last met representatives of the Scottish Prison Officers Association on 6 May 1994 when he met a delegation from the Scottish Prison Service trade union side.
The subjects discussed were the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, market testing and staff morale in the Scottish Prison Service.
23. Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what further assessment he has made of the staff and other costs of work being undertaken by local authorities in preparing for the new authorities.
Mr. Stewart: I have nothing to add to my right hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for
Column 273Kincardine and Deeside (Mr. Kynoch), on 13 December 1994, Official Report , columns 595-96 , which outlined his plans for funding the costs of local government reorganisation in 1995 96.
24. Mr. Robert Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from local authorities in Scotland on their spending plans.
Mr. Stewart: The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and some individual local authorities have made representations to my right hon. Friend about the level of the 1995 96 local government finance settlement and the implications for authorities' budgets.
25. Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the chief executive of Lanarkshire health board to discuss the provision of health care in Lanarkshire; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State regularly meets representatives from all health boards to discuss health issues.There are no immediate plans for a meeting with Lanarkshire health board.
26. Mrs. Liddell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to meet the chairman and chief executive of Scottish Enterprise National to discuss the state of manufacturing industry in Scotland.
Mr. Stewart: My right hon. Friend regularly meets the chairman and chief executive of Scottish Enterprise. He has, however, no immediate plans for a meeting.
27. Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the recent floods in Strathcylde.
Mr. Stewart: I refer the hon. Member to the replies to his parliamentary questions answered last week and to his recent meeting with my right hon. Friend and me.
29. Mr. Galbraith: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to meet Strathclyde regional councillors to discuss flood prevention.
Mr. Stewart: Although there are no such plans at present, my hon. Friend the Minister with responsibility for agriculture and the environment, who is responsible for flood prevention matters, would be willing to meet the hon. Gentleman together with representative Strathclyde councillors, if this would be helpful.
28. Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will approve the financial consents necessary to enable Borders regional council to build a new bridge at Kelso.
Mr. Stewart: Final decisions have not yet been made about the distribution of roads and transport capital allocations for 1995 96. The case for a new Kelso bridge
Column 274will be taken into consideration, along with other proposals, in setting the levels for individual councils.
30. Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the adequacy of prison cell searches.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The subject of the question relates to matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked its chief executive, Mr. E.W. Frizzell, to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Lady Olga Maitland,dated 25 January 1995:
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your Question about what assessment has been made of the adequacy of prison cell searches.
Cell searches are an essential element in a range of security measures, which includes the use of drug detection dogs, closed visits, rub down and strip searches, to prevent the introduction of unauthorised and/or prohibited articles into prisons. A comprehensive set of guidelines on the safe custody of prisoners, including cell searches, was issued to all Governors-in-Charge of establishments in 1991. These are subject to continuous review.
In the year ended 31 March 1994, 2079 punishments against prison discipline were awarded by Governors to prisoners who either took or were found in possession of unauthorised or prohibited articles. We have no statistical information which would indicate how many of those offences against discipline were the result of cell searching, but Governors are aware of the importance of the security guidelines and of the need for cell searching to be properly carried out.
31. Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact of rail privatisation upon the economy of the highlands and islands; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Responsibility for railways rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. However, the Government believe that private sector involvement in the railways will benefit users and the economy as a whole.
32. Sir David Know: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent per pupil in secondary schools in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what were the figures in 1978 79 at constant prices.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Current expenditure per secondary pupil in 1992 93 was 46 per cent. higher in real terms than in 1979. The latest figure is £2,914 per secondary pupil.
Details of budgeted school running costs per pupil for 1994 95, for individual primary and secondary schools in Scotland, were published last month and a copy has been placed in the Library.
33. Mr. Michael J. Martin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy that tenants of Scottish Homes are entitled to remain with Scottish Homes if they vote against the takeover of a new landlord.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Disposal of housing stock by Scottish Homes must be in accordance with
Column 275guidelines issued by my right hon. Friend which promote substantial safeguards for tenants. These provide that the majority view should prevail and all the tenants in a ballot area will transfer if a majority of those voting are in favour. Throughout the consultation process Scottish Homes emphasises to tenants the importance of casting a vote. My right hon. Friend has no plans to change these arrangements.
34. Mr. Eric Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he is going to publish the results of the Scottish Office independent engineering and structural survey of the Forth rail bridge.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: No such survey has been undertaken.
35. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the result of the meeting arranged by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) between Mr. Patrick Hetherington of the Scottish Office, Mr. Colin Aston and Mr. John Watson of Maid of the Forth in relation to metallic problems of the Forth rail bridge and of the subsequent inspection of the bridge by Mr. Hetherington in relation to bird remains, bird droppings in crevices and the non-function of lights installed by Scottish Power.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Inquiries are continuing and I shall write to the hon. Member when these are complete.
36. Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he has taken to safeguard bank holidays in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The dates of bank holidays in Scotland are either defined in schedule 1 to the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 or designated each year by royal proclamation under section 1(3) of the Act. There are no proposals at present to change these dates.
37. Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy to increase the supply of affordable rented housing in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Our policy is to assist and enable provision of an adequate supply of housing, by monitoring housing supply and demand and encouraging housing agencies to identify and address local imbalances in the supply of housing.
38. Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many men were in full-time jobs in Scotland (a) in June 1979 and (b) at present.
Mr. Allan Stewart: Information on male full-time employment is not available for 1979. The total number of male employees, in June 1979, was 1,205,200. In June 1994, there were 972,800 male employees, of whom 876,300 were full-time. The total number of employees in June 1979 was 2,102,300, and in June 1994 was 1,963,600.
Column 276In comparison, the total civilian work force in employment fell by 29,600 over this period. This includes an increase of 76,900 in the number of self-employed and the introduction of the work- related Government training schemes.
39. Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the trend in national health service waiting lists in Scotland; and what comparable statistics he has on waiting lists elsewhere.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: As the information requested is lengthy, I have arranged for a copy to be sent to the hon. Gentleman and for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.
40. Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what pamphlets or speeches he wrote or delivered in 1994 setting out his views on the Scottish constitution.
Mr. Lang: During 1994, my belief that Scotland's constitutional future lies firmly within the United Kingdom was expressed on many different occasions.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland further to his answer of 16 December 1994, Official Report , column 1055 , if he will give details of the conditions attached to the licence issued to a farmer on Solway firth on 15 December 1994 for the killing of barnacle geese.
Sir Hector Monro: The current licence was issued on 11 November 1994. As the information requested is rather lengthy, I am arranging for a copy of the licence and guidance notes to be sent to the hon. Member and placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by each hospital trust in Scotland on public relations for each year for which figures are available.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The information requested is not available centrally.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to fund overseas presentation of Scottish arts linked to efforts by Scottish businesses to win contracts.
Sir Hector Monro: None. Government support for overseas activities by arts organisations is primarily a matter for the British Council. The business sponsorship incentive scheme, which provides matching government funds for private sponsorship moneys, may also help.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to assist arts organisations to make themselves and their educational services known to individual schools and to the new unitary authorities.
Sir Hector Monro: The Scottish Office Education Department will draw the potential role of arts
Column 277organisations in education to the attention of the new local authorities in a guidance circular on the arts to be issued later this year.
The Scottish Arts Council has identified education as a priority and has published a handbook "Now to Create: Arts and Education in Partnership", a copy of which has recently been sent to every school in Scotland, to every school board and to appropriate local authority officers.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to increase pupils' access to active participation in arts activities.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: National guidelines on the expressive arts, issued in 1992, offer schools advice on art education for pupils aged five to 14. The guidelines cover art, drama and music, and place emphasis on the value of active participation. They set out attainment targets and programmes of study in which performance, participation and appreciation have a place. The arts community generally has welcomed this advice to schools.
Guidelines issued by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum for pupils aged 14 to 18 also ensure that the arts have a secure place within the curriculum. Scottish Examination Board and Scottish Vocational Education Council courses and qualifications are available at standard grade, higher grade, certificate of sixth year studies and national certificate in the areas of music, drama and art. Within the higher still programme, a unified framework of study programmes and qualifications will be developed in these areas.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what funding is available to arts organisations to assist them with
Sir Hector Monro: Relevant financial assistance is available to arts organisations from the Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise networks, including the local enterprise companies, and the Scottish tourist board. The Scottish Arts Council has a general responsibility for funding and encouraging the arts in Scotland; in partnership with the Scottish tourist board and the Scottish Museums Council among other public sector organisations, the council is actively involved in various initiatives to develop arts-based tourism.
Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the levels of benzene emissions from tanker terminals in Scotland.
Sir Hector Monro: Benzene is a commodity chemical that has well- recognised toxic and carcinogenic properties and transfers of the chemical itself into tankers of all sorts are undertaken using closed vapour handling systems to prevent emissions leading to unacceptable exposures to the process operators.
Benzene is also a constituent of petrol and its precursor component mixtures. Vapours given off by such materials contain only very low concentrations of benzene which is vented along with the displacement gases during tanker loading. The implementation of the stage 1 petrol vapour recovery directive, formally adopted by the European Union in December 1994, and intended primarily to reduce emissions of ozone precursors, will see the progressive installation of closed vapour handling systems at all road, rail and inland waterway terminals. For shiploading terminals such as Hound point and Braefoot
Column 278bay, the International Maritime Organisation is negotiating amendments to the MARPOL convention that, once implemented, will extend closed vapour handling systems to ships. An incidental benefit of these changes will be to reduce further the very low levels of benzene emissions arising currently during tanker loading. Monitoring exercises in the Grangemouth area have detected benzene at levels consistently below 1 part per billion--14-day average. Some at least of this concentration can be attributed to tanker loading, but when compared with the 1ppb air quality target recommended by the expert panel on air quality standards, it is clear that the operation of the tanker terminals in the Grangemouth area has a negligible impact on air quality in that locality.
A recent monitoring exercise carried out around the Braefoot bay terminal during shiploading of natural gasoline, which contains low concentrations of benzene, and is used in petrol formulation, demonstrated that peak concentrations--eight-hour averages--in the Aberdour area were greater in numerical terms than the levels recommended by EPAQS for adoption as annual average air quality concentrations. The panel, in making its recommendation, noted that at concentrations occurring in the ambient atmosphere benzene does not have short-term, or acute, effects. In these circumstances, any carcinogenic effect is attributable to the total intake of the material over a lifetime and short-term peaks are of themselves of little import. Concentrations in the Aberdour area measured at times other than during shiploading of natural gasoline were found to be negligible.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on guidelines on the award of bursaries and students by the new unitary authorities.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The power to award bursaries to further education students is discretionary and it is for the authorities themselves to determine if and how these awards are to be made. Officials from the Scottish Office Education Department, COSLA, and the Employers Association for Further Education Colleges meet periodically to discuss the operation of the guidelines for existing education authorities. I expect such discussions to continue when the new authorities come into existence.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what was the level of additional capital allocations to Scottish local authorities for projects for homelessness people in each of the past five years;
(2) what has been the level of direct Government subsidy to public bodies for tackling homelessness in Scotland in each of the past five years.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Specific supplementary allocations totalling almost £30 million for homelessness projects have been issued to local authorities in each of the past four years as follows:
1991 92: £7.6 million
1992 93: £15 million
1993 94: £4.35 million
1994 95: £2.62 million
Column 279Since March 1993, homelessness has been designated as a national priority for housing investment and some local authorities also received an increase in their mainstream allocations for 1993 94 and 1994 95 based on the homelessness strategies included in their housing capital programmes.
Local social work authorities, new towns, Scottish Homes and health boards also make a contribution to