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Orthopaedic Clinics

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of English and Welsh orthopaedic clinics are booking patients over a year in advance; and what assessment she has made of the reasons for this.

Mr. Malone: Information requested in respect of England is not available centrally. Information relating to Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Mrs. Roberta Gerardo

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the death of Roberta Gerardo.

Mr. Sackville: I shall write to the right hon. Member.

NHS Trusts (Sponsorship)

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set out the advice which she has given national health service trusts on the subject of sponsorship.

Mr. Sackville: Advice on commercial sponsorship of posts and of attendance by staff at relevant conferences, courses and other events is contained in HSG (93) 5, "Standards of business conduct for NHS staff". Further advice is contained in "Income Generation: A Guide to Local Initiative", issued under cover of HN (89) 9. Copies of both documents are available in the Library.

Social Care

Mr. Hinchlifffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals she has to allow the purchasing of social care by fundholding general practitioners in pilot schemes on total purchasing.

Mr. Malone: Fundholding general practitioners in the total purchasing pilot schemes will be able to purchase all hospital and community health services on behalf of their patients.

Asphyxia (Deaths)

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the recorded numbers of deaths by (a) age and (b) gender by asphyxiation from chewing gum in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Sackville: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Children (Divorce Proceedings)

Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will review the workings of the Children Act 1989 in respect of children's rights during divorce proceedings.

Mr. John M. Taylor: I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to conduct such a review.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Listed Buildings, Leicester

7. Mr. Janner: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage whether he will carry out a review of listed buildings in the city of Leicester.

Mr. Dorrell: I have no plans for a comprehensive review. Several significant buildings in Leicester have recently been spot-listed, and I am always ready to consider the case for listing, particularly where buildings are under threat.

Disabled People

12. Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what progress his Department is making towards full access for disabled people into sports venues.

Mr. Sproat: The Government are keen to ensure that people with disabilities are able to gain access to sports facilities in order to both watch and participate in sport. The Building Regulations 1991 already require all newly built and most extended public buildings to be accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, the Disability Discrimination Bill will introduce new rights of access for disabled people.

13. Mr. Dunnachie: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what discussions he has had with disability arts organisations about improving arts opportunities for the disabled.

Mr. Sproat: My Department is in regular contact with disability arts organisations.

23. Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consideration he has given to the needs of disabled people in framing his proposals to restructure the Sports Council; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sproat: Under the proposals I have announced, I shall expect the Sports Council, and its successors, to give full weight to the needs of sport for able-bodied people and people with disabilities.

Millennium Commission

20. Ms Quin: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement about the progress being made by the Millennium Commission in achieving its objectives.

Mr. Dorrell: I am delighted with the Millennium Commission's progress to date. The commission issued detailed guidance for applicants in November. Applications for funding for capital projects, large and small are now being invited, and the commission is consulting with experts on a festival for the year 2000 and a bursary scheme. A national competition for ideas for the festival will be launched in the spring.


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Arts, Yorkshire

24. Mr. William O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he last met the chairman of the Yorkshire and Humberside regional arts council to discuss the development of the arts in the Yorkshire region; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell: I have had no such discussion with the chairman of Yorkshire and Humberside arts board. Development of the arts in the regions is primarily a matter for each of the 10 regional arts boards working with the Arts Council of England.

Information Super-highway

25. Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement about his Department's involvement in developments for an information super-highway.

Mr. Dorrell: The Department of National Heritage is working with other Departments, such as the DTI, on a number of initiatives in this area. The Department is involved in the work on the Global Information Society; is interested in the areas of "electronic libraries" and "electronic museums and galleries"; and is reviewing developments as part of its responsibility for broadcasting and media. It is examining service information delivery over the Internet.

Fringe Theatre

26. Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the planned level of spending on fringe theatre in London in 1995 96; and what is the figure for the current year.

Mr. Dorrell: This is a matter for the Arts Council and the London arts board. I understand that, in allocating money, these funding bodies do not distinguish "fringe theatre" from other forms of theatre.

Cross-media Ownership

27. Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he expects to announce the conclusions of his review of the rules on cross- media ownership.

Mr. Dorrell: An announcement will be made once the Government have reached a view on the way forward.

Archaeological Sites, Yorkshire

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) if he will assist the Yorkshire Dales national park authorities to preserve the remnants of Victorian lead mines in the Yorkshire dales; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what action his Department is taking to preserve 19th century industrial archaeological remains; and if he will make a statement; (3) if he will take action to preserve the Old Gang smelt mills in Swaledale, north Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell: The Old Gang smelt mill, Melbecks has been protected as a scheduled ancient monument since September 1978. For a number of years the Yorkshire Dales national park authority has been carrying out recording and consolidation works to the structure


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supported by grants from English Heritage, so far totalling £36, 932. It is one of five mills in the Yorkshire dales which are scheduled, the others being Grinton Lead smelt fuel house and flue, Marrick lead smelt mill, Surrender smelt mill and lead cupola, flue and chimney at Grassington. Grants for essential repairs have been made or remedial action has been taken by English Heritage to ensure proper repair in respect of all of these structures in the last 10 years.

The Royal Commission on the historical monuments of England, together with English Heritage and the county and national park authorities, have since 1989 undertaken a major survey of archaeological sites throughout the dales. English Heritage is also currently carrying out a national survey of the remains of the lead mining industry which will lead to proposals for scheduling and listing an appropriate sample of nationally important remains. This is one of a number of surveys of the physical remains of the late 18th, 19th and 20th century industrial processes undertaken as part of the monuments protection programme which aims to evaluate all known archaeological remains in England.

Tourism

Mr. John Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what initiatives he is taking to promote tourism in the rural areas.

Mr. Dorrell: Grant in aid to the English tourist board is used to support a range of development and marketing programmes including programmes which benefit tourism in rural areas. Many of these are delivered by the regional tourist boards, which receive substantial funding from the English tourist board. Examples in the Yorkshire and Humberside region include the walking holidays in the Wolds initiative and, in the North York Moors national park, the regional routes initiative.

Rural tourism also benefits from the promotional activities of the British Tourist Authority, since the beauty of the countryside is a key element of Britain's appeal to overseas visitors.

Regional Orchestras

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement concerning his policy on regional orchestras and their funding.

Mr. Dorrell: The Arts Council and the BBC are responsible for formulating policy on regional orchestras. They are collaborating on a joint review of orchestral provision. Both bodies are awaiting the response to a discussion document that has been the subject of public consultation.

WALES

Local Government Finance

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he will announce his decision on the 1995 96 local government revenue settlement.

Mr. Redwood: I have given careful consideration to the representations I have received on the provisional settlement proposals for local authorities and police


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authorities in Wales, which I announced on 29 November, Official Report , column 59 , and 1 December, Official Report , column 815 . The Minister with responsibilities for local government in Wales, my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Jones), has met representatives of Dyfed Powys and North Wales police authorities, and I chaired a meeting of the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government Finance, at which settlement matters were discussed. Having taken account of all representations, I remain of the view that my proposals provide local authorities with an adequate level of funding for 1995 96, given the low level of inflation and opportunities for improving efficiency. Local authorities will need to assess their budget priorities carefully, but my plans ask no more of them than is being required of central Government and other public sector organisations.

I have considered carefully the representations that I have received about my provisional settlement proposals for police authorities. In the light of those representations, I have decided to provide an additional £15.1 million in funding for Welsh police forces. This will bring the total available for police services in 1995 96 to £315.8 million. Of this, £156 million will be paid by the Home Secretary as police grant and I will provide £159.8 million as standard spending assessments. My plans clearly demonstrate the Government's determination to support the police and tackle crime. They provide the new police authorities with a strong financial base which will enable them to continue to provide a high standard of service to the communities they serve.

To take account of the additional funding I am making available for policing, I have decided to set total standard spending at £2,782.1 million and aggregate external finance at £2,466.0 million for 1995 96. The settlement will increase the level of resources available to local and police authorities by over £87 million compared with 1994 95.

Aggregate external finance will comprise £1,718.3 million in revenue support grant, £520 million in distributable non-domestic rates, and £227.7 million in specific and supplementary grants. My decisions are subject to approval by the House.

The total standard spending I have announced for 1995 96 represents an increase of 3.2 per cent. on1994 95, including £124.4 million for care in the community. My plans mean that 89 per cent. of total local and police authority revenue expenditure in Wales would be met by central Government, and should ensure a reasonable level of council tax for local taxpayers.

I trust that local authorities will continue to budget prudently and play their part in restraining public expenditure.

I propose to lay the Local Government Finance Report (Wales) 1995 96 before the House, for its approval, later this week.

Local Authority Housing

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people are on waiting lists for council houses in (a) Wales and (b) Alyn and Deeside; and what steps he is taking to provide housing for them.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The information requested is not available for Wales on a consistent basis. Authorities compile their waiting lists in different ways and some are


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moving towards common waiting lists with housing associations. In its housing strategy and operational plan, Alyn and Deeside district council recorded 2,140 applicants on its general waiting list and 739 tenants on its transfer waiting list as at 1 April 1994. These figures represent a reduction of 24 per cent. on the previous year's. Authorities are encouraged to use their enabling role to secure housing to meet local needs and to make best use of their stock by for example reducing voids and under-occupation.

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many empty council houses there are in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Information on the number of empty council houses in Wales is published in table 6.9 of Welsh Housing Statistics No. 14, 1994, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Empty council houses represent 1.1 per cent. of total council housing stock. I look for further improvement.

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in (a) Wales and (b) Alyn and Deeside were provided with council house tenancies in 1994.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Information on the number of local authority dwellings let to new tenants is published annually in table 6.8 of "Welsh Housing Statistics", No. 14, 1994. A copy of the publication is in the Library of the House.

Mortgage Repossessions

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the number of households in Wales who lost their home through repossession because of mortgage arrears in the latest available year; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: In 1994, county courts in Wales made 1,485 mortgage possession orders together with 2,253 suspended orders, whereby the mortgagors are given an opportunity to clear their debts. Information is not recorded centrally on the number of cases in which mortgage possession orders led to warrants to have defendants evicted.

Further Education Colleges

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many students are enrolled at each college of further education in Wales.

Mr. Richards: The number of students at each college of further education in Wales in 1993 94, the latest available year, is set out in the table.


Students at publicly funded Further Education Institutions in                

Wales in 1993-94<1>                                                          

Institution                              |<2>Student number                  

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

Llandrillo Technical College             |7,228                              

Welsh College of Horticulture            |533                                

Llysfasi College of Agriculture          |896                                

Yale Sixth Form College                  |3,625                              

Deeside College                          |4,647                              

Carmarthen College of Technology and Art |4,612                              

Pembrokeshire College                    |2,404                              

Ceredigion College of Further Education  |1,380                              

Gwent Tertiary College                   |14,485                             

Gwynedd Technical College                |3,455                              

Coleg Pencraig                           |1,272                              

Coleg Merion-Dwyfor                      |1,558                              

Coleg Harlech                            |149                                

Merthyr Tydfil College                   |2,112                              

Aberdare College                         |1,420                              

Bridgend College                         |3,989                              

Rhondda College                          |1,287                              

Ystrad Mynach College                    |2,838                              

Pontypridd College                       |3,623                              

Pencoed College                          |557                                

Coleg Powys                              |4,137                              

Coleg Glan Hafren                        |5,197                              

Barry College                            |3,413                              

St. Davids Sixth Form College            |736                                

Swansea College                          |5,789                              

Gorseinon College                        |2,276                              

Neath College                            |4,134                              

Afan College                             |1,962                              

                                                                             

Total                                    |89,714                             

<1> Excludes link students. Data are provisional pending publication.        

<2> Student numbers include students on both higher and further education    

courses and for all modes of attendance.                                     

Local Authority Employees

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the number of (a) men and (b) women who are employed by county boroughs and district councils in Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Information on the number of people employed by local authorities in Wales is compiled by the Local Government Management Board. It is not immediately available in the form requested, but I will write to the hon. Member when the figures are available and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.

Home Renovation Grants

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in (a) Wales and (b) Alyn and Deeside received home renovation grants in 1994.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The numbers of completed home renovation grants made in the first nine months of 1994 are given in the table.


                  |Mandatory        |Discretionary                      

                  |renovation grants|renovation grants                  

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

Wales             |4,585            |318                                

Alyn and Deeside  |61               |2                                  

Information for the last three months of 1994 is not yet available.

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, 26 January 1995, c. 379- 80]: The figure for South Glamorgan Fundholders, for October 1993 should have read 53.53.


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Sewage Discharge Outfalls

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list those sewage discharge outfalls on Welsh tidal estuaries and the coastline which have (a) primary treatment, (b) secondary treatment and (c) tertiary treatment;

(2) if he will list those sewage discharge outfalls on Welsh tidal estuaries and the coastline which are planned for upgrading to (a) secondary treatment and (b) tertiary treatment.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.

Quarries

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will examine the implications for local environmental protection in Wales of the effect upon mineral planning authorities of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 in respect of the working of minerals in surface quarries; what representations he has received on this subject (a) from members of the public and (b) from local authorities; and if he will make a statement on quarrying policy.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Since 1 January 1994, my right hon. Friend has received, in relation to those provisions of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 relevant to interim development order permissions, one representation from a local authority about the operation of those provisions, and one representation from a local authority and 13 representations from members of the public in respect of IDO registrations and appeals. My right hon. Friend is considering the response to consultation proposals on the reform of old mineral permissions grated between 1948 and 1981.

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many schools in Wales are grant-maintained; and what is this figure expressed as a percentage of Welsh local education authority schools.

Mr. Richards: Sixteen and 0.8 per cent. respectively.

Trade Delegations

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many trade delegations are expected by his Department in the forthcoming six months; where they are visiting; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: Trade delegations into the United Kingdom are hosted by appropriate trade associations and it is for these organisations to decide on a delegation's itinerary in conjunction with the overseas organiser. The Welsh Office is not involved in this process.

Students (Council Tax)

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to ensure that students sharing private sector accommodation with non-students are not held liable for the unpaid council tax of such non-students.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: I do not propose to change the rules on residents' joint and several liability for the payment of council tax. It is for the members of a


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household to determine how the council tax bill should be paid.

Student Grants

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average grant paid to students in higher education at constant prices in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Richards: The average net maintenance grant, excluding any payment for fees paid by local education authorities in Wales to mandatory award holders in the academic years 1988 89 to 1992 93, the latest year available, is as follows. Since 1990 91, eligible students have been able to apply for a student loan to supplement their grant; loans have increased the resources available to students for their living costs.


Average maintenance grants in constant    

prices to holders of                      

mandatory awards:                         

Wales: 1988-89 to                         

1992-93                                   

Academic year |£                          

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

1988-89       |1,830                      

1989-90       |1,850                      

1990-91       |1,740                      

1991-92       |1,690                      

1992-93       |1,690                      

<1> Based on the September retail prices  

index, excluding mortgage interest        

payments, at the beginning of each        

academic year.                            

Mineral Planning Authorities

Mr. Roy Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will consider amending section 22 of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 in order to assist mineral planning authorities in the exercise of their duties.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Section 22 of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 provides for the registration of interim development order permissions --granted between July 1943 and July 1948--and the submission of schemes of operating and restoration for approval by the mineral planning authority. These measures ensure that the extent and terms of IDO permissions are known and that active sites are operated up to modern standards. We have no plans to amend this section of the act.

NHS Waiting Lists

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will carry out a study to determine the influence that private practice in the same unit or specialty has on the waiting list and waiting time for treatment in the NHS.

Mr. Richards: I have no plans at present for such study.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will implement a system which will routinely gather and analyse out-patient waiting time data in the NHS.

Mr. Richards: This already exists. The NHS provides information on a quarterly basis about the number of people waiting more than six months and one year for a first out-patient appointment, and this is published regularly by the Welsh Office.


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Consultants

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the definition of reasonable as used in deciding how many half-days a consultant may take off for private practice if he or she is full time or maximum part time in the NHS.

Mr. Richards: NHS consultants are able to undertake private work as well as NHS work under their national terms and conditions of service. Whole-time consultants may not earn more than 10 per cent. of their gross NHS earnings from private work. Maximum part-time practitioners can carry on private practice but with a salary reduced to 10/11 of that of a whole- time consultant. Consultants employed on NHS trust contracts may have different provisions.

Cardiff Bay

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation concerning the contribution agreed on 11 May 1989 by Associated British Ports towards the costs of infrastructure in Cardiff bay; and if he will list such payments as have been paid or are anticipated.

Mr. Redwood: None. A development agreement between the corporation and Associated British Ports was signed in March 1991. There is no agreement requiring ABP to make payments to CBDC in respect of infrastructure, but under the terms of the agreement the company is required to carry out development on its land. The chief executive of Cardiff Bay development corporation will write to the hon. Member giving details of the investments which have been made to date.

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give details of his consultations with the Cardiff Bay development corporation into the promotion of Cardiff as a media centre.

Mr. Redwood: I made it clear to the corporation in February 1994 that promotion of Cardiff as a media centre should have a high priority.

Countryside Council for Wales

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from Sir David Attenborough concerning the implications of reduced budget allocations to the Countryside Council for Wales on the ability of the Government to meet their international obligations under (a) the bio-diversity convention of the Rio treaty, (b) the habitats and species directive and (c) the European Union NATURA 2000 programme and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: I have not received any representations from Sir David Attenborough, although I understand he did refer to the matter in a recent speech.


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