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Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Visit)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he visited the constituency of Meirionnydd Nant Conwy; what was the duration of the visit; and what was its purpose.

Mr. Redwood: I visited Meirionnydd Nant Conwy on 19 September to see the Ffestiniog railway, the A5 through Pont Padog and the set of the "White Knights" film.

Patients Charter

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the cost to public funds of the production, printing, distribution and advertising of the patients charter when launched (a) in 1991 and (b) in 1994; and how many copies were printed in each case.

Mr. Richards: The budget for the patients charter in 1991 was £250,000 and £45,000 for the 1994 edition. In 1991, 1,250,000 copies were printed, compared with 301,000 in 1994.

Liquidations

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many businesses in Wales went into liquidation in (a) 1993 and (b) 1994.

Mr. Richards: Official estimates of liquidations are compiled for Wales and England combined and are not separately available for Wales.

Estimates of total liquidations for England and Wales for 1992 93 and 1993 94 are 27,829 and 22,058 respectively.

New Businesses

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many new businesses were set up in 1993 and 1994.

Mr. Richards: Comprehensive information on the number of new business start-ups in Wales is not available. However, partial information is available from VAT data, though this excludes smaller new business start -ups. This shows that during 1993, the latest year for which data is available, there were some 7,200 registrations for VAT in Wales.

Correspondence

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy towards signing Welsh language letters from his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend's policy is not to sign letters in languages he cannot understand. he replies to correspondence written to him in Welsh by sending a Welsh translation of his reply together with the signed English version.


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Conversion Grants

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the categories of grant available to convert existing shop premises to residential dwellings; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: District councils may make available discretionary home renovation grants to convert empty buildings, including shop premises, into dwellings. Since 1991 92 I have made £19 million available which has created an additional 1,200 dwellings. A further £1.5 million is available next year.

Shopkeeper Grants

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the categories of grant available to shopkeepers in Wales to improve and modernise their premises; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: Welsh Office funding of local authority regeneration projects and strategies, through the strategic development scheme, includes in some cases support for grant aid towards the renovation of shops and other properties. They are normally in designated commercial improvement or renewal areas. The Welsh Development Agency's town improvement grant may support external improvement of buildings, including shops, in urban areas. The Welsh Office-through Cadw, Welsh Historic Monuments--may also offer grants on the advice of the Historic Buildings Council for Wales towards the costs of repairs in buildings of outstanding historic or architectural interest. Grant may also be provided towards external repairs which would make a significant contribution to the enhancement of the preservation of the character of buildings within a conservation area, or form part of a designated town scheme, administered by the local planning authority.

Set-aside Land

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many hectares of set-aside land there are in each of the Welsh counties.

Mr. Redwood: The following table shows the area of set-aside land by Welsh Counties as recorded in the agricultural census return of June 1994:


                |Hectares         

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

Clwyd           |610              

Dyfed           |2,094            

Mid Glamorgan   |219              

South Glamorgan |430              

West Glamorgan  |238              

Gwent           |838              

Gwynedd         |781              

Powys           |945              

                                  

Wales           |6,155            

Opencast Coal

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the sites for which opencast coal


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extraction planning permission has been applied for; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: This information is not held centrally.

Council Tax Appeals

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales with reference to council tax appeals, if he will state how many appeals under council tax legislation in Ynys Mo n (a) have been dealt with and (b) are outstanding; and what are the target dates for completion of those currently outstanding.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: As at 31 January 1995 1,214 appeals had been settled and 636 appeals were outstanding. For Wales as a whole 41, 630-- 77.2 per cent.--of initial council tax appeals were settled by 31 December 1994 against a target of 38,000--70 per cent. Around 90 per cent. of initial appeals will be cleared by 31 March 1995. Targets for the clearance of outstanding and subsequent appeals are under consideration.

Rules and Regulations

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the rules and regulations in his Department which have been withdrawn in the last 12 months, or which his Department plans to withdraw in the next 12 months; and what impact this will have on his Department's manpower.

Mr. Redwood: The local Government (Publication of Manpower Information) (Wales) (Revocation) Regulations 1994 was withdrawn. The Department is continuing to review its rules and regulations and any which are to be withdrawn in the next 12 months will be announced as and when consultations are complete. The manpower implications are taken into account in the Department's central manpower plans which will be published in the Welsh Office departmental report in March. Most regulations are England and Wales or United Kingdom wide and do not fall to the Welsh Office to repeal. The Welsh Office has cut the number of forms sent to the health service by a third over the last year.

Civil Service Jobs

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the centralisation of civil service jobs in Wales on unemployment statistics.

Mr. Redwood: Changes in civil service job numbers are just one of many factors which influence unemployment statistics.

A449

Mr. Roy Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when the Abergavenney turn-off on the northbound section of the A449 between Newport and Raglan will be reopened following reconstruction.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Raglan junction on the A449 trunk road is now open.


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Health Service Forms

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report , column 642 , how long each of the forms scrapped has


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been in use; and how many times per annum completion was required by his Department.

Mr. Redwood: The information available is given in the following table. In many cases, when these forms were introduced they superseded existing returns of similar information.


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Forms to the NHS discontinued in 1994-95                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                              |Information                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                              |collected                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                              |in present                                    |Number of times                                                                              

Form                                           |Description                                   |format since                                  |collected each year                                                                          

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

Financial returns-costing:                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

HFR7/TFR8                                      |Catering, laundry and linen                   |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR16/TFR6                                     |Ambulance services                            |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR19                                          |Purchase of health care from non NHS bodies                                                                                                                                                

                                               |  and grants to voluntary bodies              |1991-92                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR20                                          |Joint Finance and Care in the Community       |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR24                                          |Care group analysis of health services                                                                                                                                                     

                                               |  purchased                                   |1991-92                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR26/TFR7                                     |Analysis of stock                             |1991-92                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR27/TFR5                                     |Fixed assets                                  |1991-92                                       |1                                                                                            

HFR28                                          |Artificial limb and Wheelchair Services       |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

FFRO6                                          |FHSA revenue and capital income               |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

FFR07                                          |FHSA administration                           |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

FFRO8                                          |FHSA administration expenditure-capital       |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Financial returns-other:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

FIS(HA)4                                       |Superannuation forecast                       |1993-94                                       |4                                                                                            

FIS(FHS)5b                                     |Cash limited GMS; practice staff costs        |1989-90                                       |12                                                                                           

FIS(FHS)6                                      |Suspense items                                |1985-86                                       |12                                                                                           

FIS(FHS)7                                      |Superannuation/PAYE/NI                        |1977                                          |12                                                                                           

-                                              |Incentive Bonus Scheme for ancillary staff    |1978                                          |1                                                                                            

-                                              |Memo Trading accounts standards               |1992                                          |1                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Statistical returns:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

KA32                                           |Summary of Patients Journeys                  |1987-88                                       |1                                                                                            

KE85                                           |Estate Finance/Budgets                        |1991-92                                       |1                                                                                            

KH05                                           |Summary of Ward attenders                     |1988-89                                       |1                                                                                            

KH08                                           |NHs Operating theatres: availability and use  |1988-89                                       |4                                                                                            

KH10a                                          |Inventory and Intended availability of                                                                                                                                                     

                                               |  radiotherapy equipment                      |1988-89                                       |1                                                                                            

KH10b                                          |Actual availability of radiotherapy equipment |1988-89                                       |1                                                                                            

KH10c                                          |Summary of radiotherapy machine activity      |1989-90                                       |1                                                                                            

KH11a                                          |Diagnostic departments: pathology-unit                                                                                                                                                     

                                               |  values                                      |1988-89                                       |1                                                                                            

KH11b                                          |Diagnostic departments: pathology-location                                                                                                                                                 

                                               |  of departments and equipment                |1988-90                                       |1                                                                                            

KH13                                           |Diagnostic departments: Physiological                                                                                                                                                      

                                               |  measurement                                 |1988-89                                       |1                                                                                            

SBH112(w)(MI)                                  |Return of mental illness facilities           |1970s                                         |1                                                                                            

SBH112(w)(MH)                                  |Return of mental handicap facilities          |1970s                                         |1                                                                                            

KO39                                           |Hospital Eye Service                          |1988-89                                       |1                                                                                            

SH9                                            |Patients receiving treatment under contractual                                                                                                                                             

                                               |  arrangements                                |Early 1980s                                   |1                                                                                            

KC54                                           |Maternity services                            |1990-91                                       |1                                                                                            

LHS27/1                                        |Births                                        |Early 1970s                                   |1                                                                                            

KM45                                           |Manpower joiners summary                      |1987                                          |1                                                                                            

KM46                                           |Manpower leavers summary                      |1987                                          |1                                                                                            

Recycling Collection Points

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many recycling collection points there were in Wales for (i) glass, (ii) save-a- can, (iii) aluminium cans, (iv) newspapers and magazines, (v) plastic bottles, (vi) plastic carrier bags, (vii) textiles and (viii) vending cups in (a) 1990 and (b) 1995.

Mr. Redwood: In 1990, there were 212 glass banks and 19 save-a-can sites. Figures for the other commodities are not available.


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District Councils currently provide collection points for the public as follows:


Waste type          |Collection points                  

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

Glass               |449                                

Cans (all types)    |253                                

Paper and Magazines |318                                

Textiles            |252                                

Information is not available in respect of plastic bottles, plastic carrier bags or vending cups.


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Old Building Waste

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what amount of, and percentage of, old building waste was used as hard core or aggregate in Wales in (a) 1985, (b) 1990 and (c) 1995.

Mr. Redwood: Accurate information is not available.

Broadleaf Trees

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many upland sessile oakwoods have been planted in Wales in each of the last 10 years; and what plans he has to make available funds to encourage further planting of this broadleaf.

Mr. Redwood: The areas of upland sessile oakwoods planted each year are not recorded separately and the information requested is therefore not available. The Government provide grants for the establishment of broadleaved woodlands, including sessile oakwoods, under the woodland grant scheme.

Education Standard Spending Assessments

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the education component of standard spending assessments per pupil, net of specific grants, in sub blocks five to 10 and 11 to 15 in (a) 1994 95 and (b) 1995 96 (i) in each Welsh local education authority and (ii) on average.

Mr. Richards: My right hon. Friend does not set an education component within Welsh local authorities' standard spending assessments. It is for each authority to determine how much of its total available resources to direct to each of its services, including education, taking account of its statutory responsibilities and its perception of local needs and priorities.

Recycling

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of all household waste is currently being recycled in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: Accurate information is not available. The Government's target is to recycle 25 per cent. of the United Kingdom's household waste by the year 2000. Most district councils have now prepared recycling plans and the Welsh Office will be monitoring the progress they make toward achieving the target.

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number and monetary value of supplementary credit approvals promised to Welsh local authorities to develop recycling projects since the launch of "This Common Inheritance".

Mr. Redwood: In Wales, resources, which include those for developing recycling projects, are unhypothecated and distributed on a formula basis. This allows individual authorities to determine their own priorities for capital expenditure. This arrangement has the support of the local authority associations. The most recent capital settlement for local authorities for 1995 96 show a good increase in permitted expenditure overall.

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of households in each of the Welsh counties are covered by kerbside collection recycling schemes.


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Mr. Redwood: The information requested is not available. However, I know that several district councils have been actively considering such schemes in the context of their recycling plans.

Overgrazing

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many sites of special scientific interest in Wales have been damaged by overgrazing in each year since 1985; what was the hectarage of each site; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: Responsibility for the designation and monitoring of sites of special scientific interest rests with the Countryside Council for Wales. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member and will arrange for a copy of his reply to be placed in the Library of the House.

Hedgerows

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many kilometres of hedgerows have been lost in Wales in each year since 1984.

Mr. Redwood: The information is not available in the form requested. However, two sample surveys covering the periods from 1984 to 1990 and from 1990 to 1993 indicated net losses of hedgerows in Wales of 18,000 km and 5,500 km respectively at an average annual net loss of 2,570 km for the first period and 1,830 km for the second period.

Bird Populations

Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the population of (a) corn bunting, (b) grey partridge, (c) skylark, (d) curlew, (e) redshank and (f) snipe have been observed in Wales in each year since 1980.

Mr. Redwood: There are no annual data of sufficient quality for Wales.

Data gathered by the British Trust for Ornithology between 1988 and 1991, however, shows the number of 10 km squares in Wales occupied by each species as follows:

Corn Bunting: 5

Grey partridge: 54

Skylark: 203

Curlew: 176

Redshank: 60

Snipe: 105

EMPLOYMENT

Labour Statistics

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for each year since 1984 (a) annually and (b) quarterly the number of people in Great Britain surveyed by the labour force survey who, although they are without a job, have looked for a job within the four weeks prior to their labour force survey interview or are waiting to start a job within the two weeks following their labour force survey interview, and the number of


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people who are neither in employment nor unemployed on the International Labour Organisation measure but who said they would like a job.

Mr. Oppenheim: The information available from the labour force survey is shown in the following table, classified to the categories economically inactive and International Labour Organisation unemployed as defined by the international guidelines set out by the ILO.

Up-to-date figures for the groups tabulated are published quarterly, in greater detail, in both the LFS "Quarterly Bulletin" and in the LFS helpline section of the Employment Gazette ; these data show that the majority of people within the economically inactive group who say they want work but are not actively seeking it are students; looking after a family or home; or long-term sick or disabled. Although such detailed information about the economically inactive group was not collected prior to 1984, the available figures for spring 1979 show that 23 per cent. of the population of working age were economically inactive, compared with 21 per cent. in autumn 1994, the latest available figure.


ILO unemployed and economically inactive people                                      

who would like a job                                                                 

Great Britain not seasonally adjusted  Thousands                                     

                  ILO              Economically                                      

                                   Inactive<2>                                       

                 |Unemployed<1>                                                      

                                                   |Wants job<3> and                 

                                                   |seeking work                     

                                  |Wants job<3> but|but not                          

                                  |not seeking     |available to                     

                                  |work in past 4  |start in next 2                  

Quarter                           |weeks           |weeks                            

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

Spring 1984      |3,094           |2,198           |216                              

Spring 1985      |2,968           |2,039           |227                              

Spring 1986      |2,969           |2,106           |210                              

Spring 1987      |2,879           |1,971           |209                              

Spring 1988      |2,376           |1,985           |199                              

Spring 1989      |1,978           |2,090           |224                              

Spring 1990      |1,869           |2,011           |187                              

Spring 1991      |2,302           |2,025           |220                              

                                                                                     

Spring 1992      |2,649           |1,906           |313                              

Summer 1992      |2,797           |1,913           |277                              

Autumn 1992      |2,801           |1,897           |231                              

Winter 1992-93   |2,920           |1,945           |232                              

Spring 1993      |2,804           |1,885           |310                              

Summer 1993      |2,894           |2,003           |245                              

Autumn 1993      |2,792           |2,036           |190                              

Winter 1993-94   |2,737           |2,168           |206                              

Spring 1994      |2,615           |2,059           |264                              

Summer 1994      |2,679           |2,036           |225                              

Autumn 1994      |2,470           |<4>-            |<4>-                             

Source: Labour Force Survey                                                          

<1> The ILO definition counts as unemployed those people without a paid job who were 

available to start work within the next two weeks and had either looked for work in  

the four weeks prior to interview or were waiting to start a job they had already    

obtained.                                                                            

<2> People who are neither in employment nor ILO unemployed according to the         

international guidelines of the ILO.                                                 

<3> According to responses to the LFS question.                                      

<4> Not yet available.                                                               

Disabled People

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many disabled persons registered with the Employment Service in the Durham district are actively seeking employment; and how many registered


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disabled persons in the current financial year, have (i) enrolled at job clubs in the Durham district and (ii) completed a course at a job club in the Durham district.

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 Mr. Gerry Steinberg, dated 6 February 1995:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the number of disabled persons registered with the Employment Service and actively seeking work and disabled person attendance at Jobclub in the Durham District.

I am unable to tell you how many people with disabilities are registered with the Employment Service in the Durham North District and are actively seeking work because we do not gather this information. However we do record the number of clients with health/disability problems who are placed in jobs by Jobcentres. I am pleased to be able to tell you that within the Durham North Employment Service District (covering the Durham City, Consett Stanley, Chester-le-Street and Spennymoor areas), 302 clients with health/disability problems have been placed into jobs during the period April-December 1994. This represents 4% of the total job placings for the ES Durham North District.

Placing unemployed people with disabilities is a key activity of the Employment Service and is not the sole responsibility of our specialist staff such as Disability Employment Advisors (DEAs) or our Placing Assessment and Counselling Teams (PACTs). Not all ES clients with health and disability problems actually register as disabled persons under the Disabled Persons and Employment Acts 1944 and 1958.

Some people are reluctant to disclose that they are disabled and many disabilities are not visible. Our services and help are available to any client with long term health or disability problems which affect the kind of work they can do, irrespective of whether they are actually registered as a disabled person. The ES Access to Work (ATW) scheme offers practical help and advice in a flexible way, tailored to suit individual need in individual jobs. ATW is only one of many programmes and special help provision available to clients with health problems.

There are 7 Jobclubs within the ES Durham North District. During the period April-December 1994 there has been a throughput of 1060 clients including 79 people who though not necessarily registered disabled under the Acts, indicated that they have a long term health problem or disability which affects the kind of work they are able to do. Of these 1060 clients, 468 found a job but I am unable to say how many of these clients had previously had a health problem.

I hope this is helpful.

Rules and Regulations

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the rules and regulations in his Department which have been withdrawn in the last 12 months, or which his Department plans to withdraw in the next 12 months; and what impact this will have on his Department's manpower.

Mr. Oppenheim: Since 1 January 1994 the Department has revoked seven sets of workplace health and safety regulations and three sets of employment regulations. These are shown in the following list. The Department is continuing to identify rules and regulations for withdrawal. Those for withdrawal in the next 12 months will be announced when consultations are completed.


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The staffing implications are taken into account in the preparation of the annual departmental report which will be published in March. The Construction (Notices of Operations and Works)

Order 1965 No. 221. (Revoked by SI 994 No. 3140.)

The Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging)

Regulations 1993 No. 1746. (Revoked by SI 1994 No. 3247.) The Health and Safety (Dangerous Pathogens)

Regulations 1981 No. 1011. (Revoked by SI 1994 No. 3246) The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 No. 1657. (Revoked by SI No. 3246)

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 1991 No. 2431.

(Revoked by SI 1994 No. 3246)

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 1992 No. 2382.

Revoked by SI 1994 No. 3246.)

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1984

No. 824. (Revoked by SI 1994 No. 1886.)

Section 59(1) (b) of the Employment Protection

(Consolidation) Act 1973

The licensing requirements of the Employment Agencies Act 1973. The remaining employment provisions of the Shops Act 1950.

Jobseekers

Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether jobseekers allowance will be paid to an individual who is taking steps to carry out a reasonable direction for the purposes of seeking entitlement to jobseekers allowance.

Miss Widdecombe: A benefit sanction will be imposed only if it is determined that a jobseeker has refused or failed to carry out a direction without good cause and that the direction was reasonable, having regard to his circumstances.

Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what rights of appeal jobseekers allowance claimants will have to an adjudicating officer if they feel they are being required to agree to something they consider to be unreasonable.

Miss Widdecombe: All labour market decisions will be made by independent adjudication officers. Clause 7(8) and 7(9) of the Jobseekers Bill provide for jobseekers to be able to refer the terms and conditions by a proposed jobseeker's agreement to an independent adjudication officer if they believe they are unreasonable. They will also have the right for the adjudication officer's determination to be reviewed by a second adjudication officer, and the right of appeal to a social security appeals tribunal.

Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what safeguards will be taken to ensure that, where directions are applied to a person seeking entitlement to the jobseekers allowance and which require a subjective opinion of a claimant's life style, appearance, or general physical, mental or emotional make up, the


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opinion held by the Employment Service officer issuing the directions will not in any way discriminate against the claimant concerned;

(2) how the nature of discretion exercised by Employment Service officers will be held to be free from prejudice or ignorance in directing the claimant for purposes of entitlement to the jobseekers allowance.


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