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Mr. Redwood: I met the chairman of the Countryside Council for Wales on 10 and 24 January 1995 to discuss a very wide range of issues concerning the council's functions. I will publish the conclusions in due course.

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from the Countryside Council for Wales concerning changes in legislation pending in relation to the administration of the (a) Tir Cymen and (b) hedgerow renovation schemes; what increase in staffing his Department will require to administer such schemes; and if he will give an estimate of the date of publication of any amended statutory provision enabling a corresponding transfer of responsibilities.

Mr. Redwood: I have received no such representations from the Countryside Council for Wales. The necessary statutory provision which would enable the Tir Cymen and hedgerow renovation schemes to be transferred to the Welsh Office and the countryside stewardship scheme in England to be transferred from the Countryside Commission to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is in clause 80 of the Environment Bill which had its First Reading in another place on 1 December 1994. But no decisions have yet been made on whether the Welsh schemes should be transferred, or on the staffing increase which my Department would require.

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those sites of special scientific interest in national parks which are to be transferred for management purposes to local authorities; and if he will list all those sites of special scientific interest subject to international designation or classified as particularly fragile, intended to be excluded from any such transfer.

Mr. Redwood: No decisions have yet been made regarding the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales.

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what consultation he has had with the local authority associations in Wales in relation to the transfer of powers,


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duties and resources from the Countryside Council for Wales to the local authorities for (a) public rights of way, (b) local landscape and nature conservation schemes, (c) country parks, (d) publications on sites of conservation interest, (e) oversight and monitoring of small sites of special scientific interest and (f) other miscellaneous duties and powers; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what consultations he has had with the nature conservation voluntary bodies concerning transfers of functions, duties and resources for the management of national nature reserves; what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Countryside Council for Wales in relation to the competence and capacity of voluntary bodies to undertake such work; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: I have not consulted local authority associations or others on these matters as discussions are still taking place with the Countryside Council for Wales. If I decide that the CCW should play less of a direct role in any of these activities, I will ensure that interested parties are consulted.

Coal Mining (Illness)

Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will placed in the Library a copy of the survey conducted by general practitioners in West Glamorgan in 1988 on the links between opencast coal mining and illness.

Mr. Richards: No. The report is the property of the authors, Dr. N. M. Temple and his partners. Dr. Temple is now a trainee registrar in public health medicine and can be contacted at Powys health authority, the Laurels, Bronllys, Brecon, Powys.

A copy of a report of September 1988, commissioned by the Welsh Office and undertaken by Dr. P. C. Elwood, commenting on Dr. Temple's report, has been placed in the Library of the House.

NHS Suppliers (Payment)

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what consultations he has had with the Welsh Health Consumer Services Authority concerning delayed payments to suppliers to the Welsh NHS; what information he has on the number of suppliers who have put a stop on supplies to the Welsh Health Consumer Services Authority because of payment delays; and if he will make a statement; (2) what consultations he has had with the Welsh NHS trust hospitals and health authorities' directly managed hospitals concerning the delayed payments by purchases for hospital treatment, and delayed payments for supplies to the Welsh Health Consumer Services Authority.

Mr. Redwood: Meetings between the Welsh Office and representatives of NHS trusts and health authorities are held regularly to consider a wide range of issues. These have included the Government's requirement that all NHS organisations settle bills promptly. Appropriate guidance has been issued and I expect it to be followed.

New Zealand Flatworm

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what studies he has carried out into the numbers of areas in Wales where the New Zealand flatworm has been found; if it is increasing in numbers and areas affected;


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and what assessment he has made of its impact on native earthworm and soil structure.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Executive Search Agencies

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what guidelines are operated by his Department as regards the use of executive search agencies to fill vacancies within his Department and his Department's executive agencies; and in what circumstances his Department employs executive search agencies instead of relying fully on departmental resources to fill vacant posts.

Mr. Redwood: My Department does not use executive search agencies to fill vacancies in the Department or its executive agencies. It would consider doing so if this offered a cost-effective means of recruitment and was consistent with the principles of fair and open competition.

Patients

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many patients from each health authority were referred to Rookwood hospital, Cardiff, for assessment and for rehabilitation following severe head injury in each year since 1988;

(2) how many Welsh patients in a coma or persistent vegetative state have been discharged to a private nursing home without the health authority accepting the costs, in each year since 1988, giving the figures for each health authority;

(3) how many Welsh patients with severe head injuries, following neurosurgery, were discharged for assessment and for rehabilitation to (a) a recognised specialist assessment/rehabilitation centre, (b) a district general hospital, (c) an independent nursing home and (d) their home in each year since 1988.

Mr. Richards: This information is not available centrally.

Sea Fishing

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people are currently employed in the


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sea fishing industry; what were the numbers in (a) 1970, (b) 1980 and (c) 1990; and how many of the jobs were (i) on fishing vessels and (ii) ashore.

Mr. Richards: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Training Contracts

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposal he has to ensure that the Welsh training and enterprise councils swiftly conclude their contracts for the next financial year with AST Training.

Mr. Richards: The negotiation of contracts between Welsh TECs and training providers such as AST Training is a matter for the parties to such contracts not my Department.

Head Injuries (Rehabilitation)

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information has been made available to general practitioners in Wales about the availability of assessments and rehabilitation for patients with severe head injuries; on what date this was given; and in what form it was issued.

Mr. Richards: Only in a limited number of cases would general practitioners make such referrals. However, the Welsh Office has issued a series of protocols and technical documents which cover the type of care people with such injuries should receive. The protocol on "Physical Disability and Discomfort" was sent to family health services authorities in November 1991 and he protocol on "Injuries" in June 1992.

Students

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish for each county in Wales and for Wales as a whole for the last three available years the number of full-time students in (a) further education, (b) higher education and (c) further and higher education in total, indicating the percentage of women in each case.

Mr. Richards [holding answer 25 January 1995]: Information on the number of full-time students on further and higher education courses at publicly-funded institutions in Wales for the academic years 1991 92, 1992 93 and 1993 94, is the latest available year, are shown in the following table.


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Full-time students at publicly funded institutions in Wales <1>                                            

                                      1991-92             1992-93             1993-94<2>                   

                                               |Per cent.          |Per cent.          |Per cent.          

                                     |Total    |female   |Total    |female   |Total    |female             

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

Further education courses<3>                                                                               

Clwyd                                |4,441    |55.5     |4,957    |51.5     |6,054    |50.3               

Dyfed                                |3,210    |56.0     |3,344    |55.7     |3,757    |54.1               

Gwent                                |5,122    |52.0     |5,601    |50.4     |5,967    |49.7               

Gwynedd                              |1,975    |55.4     |2,292    |53.2     |2,609    |52.4               

Mid Glamorgan                        |4,635    |54.8     |5,185    |53.9     |5,609    |52.6               

Powys                                |1,033    |58.7     |974      |54.8     |970      |58.0               

South Glamorgan                      |3,566    |54.6     |3,535    |53.5     |4,570    |50.8               

West Glamorgan                       |5,758    |50.2     |5,928    |50.8     |5,921    |51.1               

                                                                                                           

Wales                                |29,740   |53.8     |31,816   |52.5     |35,453   |51.6               

Higher education courses                                                                                   

Clwyd                                |1,916    |49.9     |2,196    |49.3     |2,247    |51.0               

Dyfed                                |6,775    |51.8     |7,783    |53.1     |8,949    |53.1               

Gwent                                |1,769    |51.7     |2,109    |52.2     |2,584    |51.7               

Gwynedd                              |4,762    |51.6     |5,500    |52.9     |5,952    |54.1               

Mid Glamorgan                        |6,006    |34.3     |8,110    |37.9     |9,799    |39.0               

Powys<4>                             |-        |-        |-        |-        |-        |-                  

South Glamorgan                      |14,634   |51.1     |17,015   |52.7     |18,818   |53.2               

West Glamorgan                       |8,716    |47.9     |9,610    |49.6     |10,395   |50.3               

                                                                                                           

Wales                                |44,578   |48.4     |52,323   |49.7     |58,744   |50.2               

                                                                                                           

Further and higher education courses                                                                       

Clwyd                                |6,357    |53.8     |7,153    |50.9     |8,301    |50.5               

Dyfed                                |9,985    |53.1     |11,127   |53.8     |12,706   |53.4               

Gwent                                |6,891    |51.9     |7,710    |50.9     |8,551    |50.3               

Gwynedd                              |6,737    |52.7     |7,792    |53.0     |8,561    |53.6               

Mid Glamorgan                        |10,641   |43.3     |13,295   |44.1     |15,404   |43.9               

Powys                                |1,033    |58.7     |974      |54.8     |970      |58.0               

South Glamorgan                      |18,200   |51.8     |20,550   |52.9     |23,388   |52.8               

West Glamorgan                       |14,474   |48.9     |15,538   |50.1     |16,316   |50.6               

                                                                                                           

Wales                                |74,318   |50.5     |84,139   |50.8     |94,197   |50.7               

<1> Full-time includes Full-time year, Sandwich and Short full-time courses. Data for the University of    

Wales are at December, the non-university data are at November. Students are recorded in the County in     

which the institution they attend is located.                                                              

<2> Data are provisional pending publication.                                                              

<3> Numbers include Coleg Harlech from 1992-93 and sixth form colleges from 1993-94 but exclude link       

students.                                                                                                  

<4> There are no higher education institutions in Powys.                                                   

Prescribing

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the percentage figures for (a) brand name and (b) generic prescribing for (i) general practitioner fundholders and (ii) non general practitioner fundholders in each family health service authority in Wales for each of the past three years for which figures are available.

Mr. Redwood [pursuant to his reply, 23 January 1995, c. 66]: The following information was omitted from the original table:


                            |October|October|October        

                            |1992   |1993   |1994           

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

Dyfed Fundholders           |50.87  |52.74  |51.62          

FHSA                        |43.07  |45.03  |48.01          

Gwent Fundholders           |43.15  |43.83  |46.65          

FHSA                        |39.89  |42.53  |45.55          

Gwynedd Fundholders         |n\a    |54.61  |46.28          

FHSA                        |36.68  |40.53  |43.70          

Mid Glamorgan Fundholders   |52.55  |53.14  |58.19          

FHSA                        |42.21  |44.19  |46.13          

Powys Fundholders           |20.21  |44.71  |45.36          

FHSA                        |39.63  |42.23  |44.51          

South Glamorgan Fundholders |44.00  |58.53  |50.16          

FHSA                        |43.97  |45.86  |48.28          

West Glamorgan Fundholders  |41.86  |47.95  |52.11          

FHSA                        |40.72  |44.13  |47.49          

CHURCH COMMISSIONERS

Financial Statements

Mr. Flynn: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners if the Church


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Commissioners will consider publishing quarterly financial statements in accordance with the "Bulletin Review of Interim Financial Information" issued by the Auditing Practices Board.

Mr. Alison: All listed companies, in which the public may buy or sell shares, are required by the council of the stock exchange to publish interim financial information every six months. The purpose of the APB bulletin is to provide auditors with guidance as to the methodology and scope of audit work in relation to such six monthly information. It contains no reference to, or definition of, quarterly financial statements.

The commissioners are an exempt charity and do not believe that the publication of quarterly audited information at a considerable cost would be either justifiable or appropriate.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Commercial Lobbying

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) 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;

(2) 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.


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Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 25 January 1995]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 25 January 1995, Official Report , column 197.

Tourist Board Grants

Mr. McWilliam: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what was the level of grant given (a) to the English tourist board and (b) to each of the regional tourist boards in the last five years.


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Mr. Dorrell: (a) The grant in aid allocated to the tourist boards in the last five years was:


£ millions                                              

        |1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94|1994-95        

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

BTA     |27.5   |29.2   |30.9   |32.2   |33.2           

ETB     |14.9   |15.1   |16.2   |13.9   |11.3           

                                                        

Totals  |42.4   |44.3   |47.1   |46.1   |44.5           

(b) The English tourist board made grant allocations to the regional tourist boards as follows:


£ millions                                                                                 

                         |1990-91   |1991-92   |1992-93   |1993-94   |<1>1994-95           

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

Cumbria                  |590,000   |551,000   |690,000   |596,000   |-                    

East Anglia              |531,000   |531,000   |591,000   |510,000   |-                    

East Midlands            |493,000   |587,000   |613,000   |565,000   |-                    

Heart of England         |691,000   |667,000   |600,000   |595,000   |-                    

London                   |806,000   |884,000   |950,000   |748,000   |-                    

Northumbria              |441,000   |479,000   |505,000   |484,000   |-                    

North West               |541,000   |537,000   |617,000   |606,000   |-                    

South East               |588,000   |638,000   |635,000   |696,000   |-                    

Southern                 |622,000   |567,000   |726,000   |636,000   |-                    

Thames and Chilterns     |413,000   |449,000   |167,000   |<2>-      |-                    

West Country             |890,000   |830,000   |747,000   |1,147,000 |-                    

Yorkshire and Humberside |760,000   |676,000   |710,000   |621,000   |-                    

                                                                                           

Total                    |7,366,000 |7,396,000 |7,551,000 |7,204,000 |6,999,800            

Notes:                                                                                     

<1>Figure for 1994-95 is total only, since RTBs have until 31 March 1995 to complete the   

draw down of funds from ETB.                                                               

<2>Thames and Chilterns tourist board went into liquidation midway through 1992.           


 

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