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Changes since April 1991 have included the removal of central European countries, and the addition of the CIS republics and those countries which were formerly part of Yugoslavia, except Serbia and Montenegro, which are subject to UN sanctions.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 27 January, Official Report column 396, if he will list the qualification of those engineers engaged in the servicing of domestic gas appliances; and what assessment he has made of the consequences for safety standards if no other engineers were employed in gas maintenance.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 require anyone who works with a gas fitting, including servicing of a domestic gas appliance, or a gas storage vessel to be competent. The Health and Safety Commission's approved code of practice, "Standards of Training in Safe Gas Installation", published in 1988, provides practical guidance on the scope of training necessary for those engaged in gas installation work.
No assessment has been made of the consequences for safety of a shortfall in the availability of competent gas fitters to undertake gas maintenance work, because I cannot foresee circumstances in which such a shortfall would arise.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when application forms for financial instrument for fisheries guidance grants will be made available for the period 1994 to 1999; and for what reasons application forms are not available in January.
Column 355approved by the European Commission until 29 December. It will be necessary to introduce secondary legislation to provide the UK national or regional aid required to trigger EU aid and advise interested parties when the scheme is open for application. We are proceeding with the implementation as quickly as possible, including the preparation of application forms.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why he has not yet provided the information about next steps agencies requested by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton in his question of 20 January.
Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans are presently under consideration at the Department of the Environment for the creation of agencies to carry out its functions; and if he will list (a) the areas identified, (b) the expected work force within each agency, (c) the stage which each agency proposal has reached and (d) what consultation has taken place with elected Northern Ireland members.
Mr. Moss [holding answer 7 February 1995]: There are already four next steps agencies in the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) covering rate collection, driver and vehicle testing, Ordnance Survey and driver and vehicle licensing. On 19 July 1994, my hon. Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Smith) announced that the Public Record Office would become a next steps agency from 1 April 1995 and that the Water Executive would become an agency from 1 April 1996-- Official Report, 19 July 1994, column 193.
The Public Record Office will have a work force of 94, including three part -time staff, but decisions have not been taken about the workforce for the Water Executive.
On 18 January 1994, my right hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler) announced that the functions of the planning, roads and environment services and the Land Registry were potential candidates for next steps agencies and that the possible "prior options" of abolition, privatisation or contracting out would be considered in each case, Official Report column 521. On 21 July, my hon. Friend the Member for Beaconsfield announced that a prior options study of Works Service would also be undertaken, Official Report, column 443. These studies are undertaken in pursuance of the Government's policy that, where the prior options of abolition, privatisation, market testing and contracting out do not apply, executive functions within Departments are best carried out in next steps agencies. A report on the DOE studies was completed in December and is currently under consideration. When conclusions have been reached, an announcement will be made regarding any further agencies to be created.
I should be glad to discuss with Northern Ireland Members of Parliament the action being taken to create next steps agencies and other initiatives directed at improving efficiency and value for money in the Department of the Environment. I will write to them shortly on this matter.
Mr. Ancram [holding answer 8 February 1995]: There has only ever been one licensed mink farm in Northern Ireland. It was situated in County Down and was issued with an annual licence in 1990 and 1991. No licences were issued in 1992, 1993 or 1994.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the extent to which appropriation in aid was taken into account in his answer of 28 October 1994, Official Report , columns 895 96 , in relation to the Crown Prosecution Service's cash and running cost limits for 1994 95.
The Attorney-General: The revised running costs limit of £224,392, 000 reported in my earlier answer took account of appropriations in aid of £91,000. Gross expenditure without such deduction determines the gross running costs limit. Following the transfer of £80,000 to the Department of Social Security, the Crown Prosecution Service's running costs limit will therefore now be £224,483,000.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Attorney-General what was the actual annual expenditure on (a) the Treasury Solicitor's Department, (b) the Crown Prosecution Service, (c) the Serious Fraud Office and (d) the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, in each year since 1979, in 1994 prices.
|Expenditure Year |£000 ------------------------------------------------------------------ (a) Treasury Solicitor's Department 1979-80 |13,467 1980-81 |14,969 1981-82 |14,205 1982-83 |14,524 1983-84 |17,328 1984-85 |18,106 1985-86 |20,380 1986-87 |19,881 1987-88 |23,966 1988-89 |26,023 1989-90 |29,265 1990-91 |30,179 1991-92<1> |37,601 1992-93 |39,056 1993-94 |43,126 (b) Crown Prosecution Service 1986-87<2> |112,800 1987-88 |205,200 1988-89 |226,000 1989-90 |244,600 1990-91 |263,200 1991-92 |282,400 1992-93 |306,900 1993-94 |307,300 (c) Serious Fraud Office 1987-88<3> |1,288 1988-89 |9,528 1989-90 |11,896 1990-91 |15,724 1991-92 |19,867 1992-93 |22,666 1993-94 |19,609 (d) Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers 1979-80 |675 1980-81 |809 1981-82 |776 1982-83 |827 1983-84 |1,085 1984-85 |1,045 1985-86 |1,124 1986-87 |1,161 1987-88 |1,253 1988-89 |1,220 1989-90 |1,268 1990-91 |2,006 1991-92 |2,071 1992-93 |1,815 1993-94 |2,052 <1> The figures from 1991-92 onwards include VAT on bills raised under a repayment regime which was introduced on 1 April 1991. Since that date administration and operational costs discharged on behalf of client departments or bodies have been recovered from those clients through repayment. <2> The figures are for part year only, the CPS being established during the course of 1986. <3> The figures are for part year only, the SFO being established in June 1987.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Attorney-General what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
The Attorney-General: The expenditure is given in the table in 1994 prices. Such consultants were engaged primarily to advise on matters of management or to develop new systems and, while their advice is considered to have contributed very significantly to efficiency, it is not possible to quantify the annual cost savings attributable to this expenditure.
Expenditure in £000 |Legal |Solicitor's |Prosecution |Fraud |to the Law Year |Department<1>|Service |Office |Officers ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1987-88 |Not known |182 |Not known |- 1988-89 |Not known |378 |Not known |- 1989-90 |<2>6.2 |632 |339 |- 1990-91 |Not known |487 |199 |- 1991-92 |57.9 |480 |96 |- 1992-93 |345.3 |678 |118 |- 1993-94 |428.0 |697 |155 |- <1> Including expenditure by the Government Property Lawyers agency, established on 1 April 1993. <2> Approximate figure.
Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effects on existing council tenants of the wholesale transfer of council housing stocks to housing associations; and what further assessment he has made of the effects of such transfers following local authority reorganisation and of the influence such activity will have on the ability of new authorities to provide housing services to all districts within their jurisdiction.
Mr. Lang: There has, as yet, been no wholesale transfer of council housing stock to a housing association in Scotland. However, there has been a steady flow of smaller scale transfers with over 15,000 council houses having transferred to the private sector, mainly to locally based housing associations.
While transferring tenants change from secure to assured tenancy agreements, they generally continue to enjoy at least the same rights as before on a contractual basis, including the right to buy their home. Furthermore, tenants are also usually offered a rent guarantee for at least the first few years after transfer. As investment in the transferred stock no longer counts as public expenditure, tenants can also expect to benefit from accelerated investment in improving the stock. Tenants also often have the opportunity to become directly involved in the management of their housing through participation in the activities of the housing association and representation on its management committee.
The wholesale transfer of housing stock will enable local authorities to concentrate on their strategic and enabling role in meeting housing needs in their area, free from the day-to-day burdens of acting as a landlord. Part of any receipt arising from the stock disposal can, with the consent of the Secretary of State, be used to support new housing investment and the establishment of nomination rights with the acquiring landlords will enable authorities, and their successors after reorganisation, to perform their statutory duties in ensuring that the housing needs of the area are met.
Column 359consultation on the boundaries of the Strathclyde passenger transport authority and executive following local government reorganisation in Scotland; how many supported (a) map 1 in his consultative document, (b) map 2 in his consultative document and (c) the whole of the present Strathclyde region; if he will list the organisations which supported each of the three options; and if he will make a statement on how he now proposes to proceed.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Although the consultation period ended on 31 January 1995, responses are still being received from organisations which had difficulty in responding within the deadline. The responses have come from a wide variety of sources including local authorities, community councils, voluntary and representative bodies, Members of Parliament, councillors and individuals, and have covered a range of issues including the options contained in the consultation document. The responses will be carefully assessed before any decision is taken.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: We do not hold this information centrally. Recent studies have shown that the problem of negative equity is less pronounced in Scotland than in any other region of the United Kingdom.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: We do not currently hold this information centrally. Figures supplied by the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggest that, in 1993, 2,330 properties were taken into possession in Scotland. This represents 0.29 per cent. of the total number of properties with mortgages outstanding, which is around half the proportion for the United Kingdom as a whole.
Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many warrant sales have been conducted in Scotland in each year since 1987 in each sheriffdom; and if he will list for each sheriffdom, the numbers instigated by (a) local authorities, (b) Government Departments, (c) private firms and (d) private individuals.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Figures for the number of warrant sales reported to the Sheriff courts from 1987 to 1994 are set out by sheriffdom in the table. The figures for 1994 are provisional only. A breakdown of the numbers by (a) local authorities, (b) Government Departments, (c) private firms and (d) private individuals is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Sheriffdom |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Glasgow and Strathkelvin |63 |69 |43 |44 |41 |64 |42 |36 Lothian and Borders |82 |135 |37 |49 |38 |67 |54 |48 North Strathclyde |77 |123 |19 |27 |59 |38 |29 |83 South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway |110 |116 |68 |26 |62 |47 |54 |66 Tayside, Central and Fife |142 |115 |31 |45 |48 |48 |151 |48 Grampian, Highland and Islands |227 |156 |81 |42 |75 |70 |43 |65 Total |701 |714 |279 |233 |323 |334 |373 |346
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money has been spent on health education programmes in schools designed specifically to dissuade children from smoking cigarettes in each of the past five years in (a) Strathclyde and (b) Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: In Scottish schools the management and content of the curriculum in matters relating to health education, including the effects of smoking policy, are the responsibility of education authorities and headteachers. The information sought is not held centrally by the Scottish Office. In Strathclyde, the life skills approach to drug, alcohol and smoking education will continue to be the core of education programmes rather than a focus on individual substances like tobacco. No separate allocation of money is therefore spent to dissuade children from smoking cigarettes.
Column 360Scottish Agricultural Science Agency against its targets for 1994 95 and the setting of targets of 1995 96.
For 1995 96 I have set the agency the following key performance targets:
fulfilment of the service level agreement with the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department within the running costs voted to the agency for 1995 96;
recovery of full economic costs on average for charged services; formal consultation with all major customers on the quality of the work done by the agency in 1995 96;
completion of 90 per cent. of all scientific tests and analyses within the timescales set by customers;
increase by 1 per cent. in the proportion of the agency's full cost attributable to scientific activities rather than support services.
Column 361maintained showing (a) the radioactive inventory, (b) the nature and (c) the precise location of low-level radioactive wastes disposed of on authorised landfill sites; and to what extent this information is available to members of the public.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 6 February 1995]: Details of low-level radioactive wastes disposed of by controlled burial in landfill sites are held by the operator of the landfill site, usually the local authority. Operators are not required to publish this information. However, a request for such information to the operator would be considered within the framework of the Environmental Information Regulations 1992.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions in the last three years his inspectors have supervised, examined or monitored the slaughter of factory farm mink and Arctic fox; and by what method killings were carried out.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 8 February 1995]: During the period in question, a veterinary officer was present at the killing of Arctic foxes at one farm. The method used was injection of pentobarbitone. There are currently no fur farms in operation in Scotland.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee what arrangements have been made for the visit of Mr. Gianfranco Fini to the House; which hon. Member was responsible for inviting him; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security in how many cases the Child Support Agency has applied for a liability order; how many cases have been heard to date; and what has been the outcome of these hearings.
Letter from Miss Ann Chant to Mr. Adam Ingram, dated 9 February 1995:
I am replying to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the number of liability orders for which the Child Support Agency has applied.
From April 1993 to the end of November 1994, the Agency has referred a total of 1,010 cases to court for liability orders. Figures are not available for the number of cases heard and the outcome of those cases, but a new system for collecting this information has been introduced from this month.
Sir John Cope: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on how many occasions section 2 of the Child Support Act 1991 has been applied to reduce the amount of child maintenance paid by an absent parent.
Mr. Burt: I have recently written to my right hon. Friend in reply to his letter to me on this matter. The information that the right hon. Member requires is not available. The law used in making decisions should be recorded on individual files, and notified to the client, but there is no requirement to keep or collate records centrally.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has for replacing provision for the care and mobility needs of disabled people, currently made through disability living allowance, with private insurance against long-term disability.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will break down the amounts recovered by the compensation recovery unit in cases of industrial disease and illness by the disease or illness suffered, for each of the last five years.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Tony Worthington, dated 8 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking for the amounts recovered by the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) in cases of industrial disease and illness, by the disease or illness suffered for each of the last five years.
Information is not available in the exact format requested. This is because data prior to April 1994 is no longer held on the computer system and to obtain such information would be at a disproportionate cost. The information that is collated covering the period 1 April 1994 to 31 January 1995 is provided at Annex A.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Annex A |£ ----------------------------------------------------- Noise induced hearing loss |73,499.03 Asbestosis |893,937.82 Cancer |461,308.45 Asthma |7,507.74 Vibration white finger |68,465.46 Dermatitis |305,970.03 Paralysis |21,741.44 Repetitive strain injury |236,582.19 Others |973,122.62 Total |3,042,134.48
Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many British (a) women and (b) men aged (i) 24 to 35 years, (ii) 35 to 55 years and (iii) 55 years and over have been denied benefits under the habitual residence rule;
(2) how many British citizens with children (a) under five years, (b) over five years and (c) under 16 years have been denied benefits under the habitual residence rule;
(3) how many (a) Canadian, (b) Australian and (c) New Zealand citizens have been denied benefits under the habitual residence rule.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
Expenditure on external consultancy since 1987 at current and constant 1994-95 prices £ million |Current|1994-95 |prices |prices -------------------------------- 1987-88 |23.2 |33.2 1988-89 |49.5 |66.5 1989-90 |43.3 |54.3 1990-91 |83.2 |96.7 1991-92 |69.7 |76.2 1992-93 |<1>36.4|<1>38.3 1993-94 |<1>38.0|<1>38.8 <1> Figures for 1992-93 onwards now refer solely to expenditure on consultancy services following work undertaken for the efficiency scrutiny into the Government's use of external consultants. Figures for earlier years include the costs of contracted services.
The additional information requested in respect of quantified annual cost savings is not available.
Mr. Roger Evans: The information is set out in tables 5.3a and 5.3b of the "Abstract of Statistics for Social Security Benefits and Contributions, and the Indices of Retail Prices and Average Earnings-- October 1994", a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants. for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
|Expenditure Year |£ million ------------------------------------ 1990-91 |185 1991-92 |196 1992-93 |229 1993-94 |198
Figures from 1987 88--1989 90 are not available except at disproportionate costs.
It is not possible to quantify the annual cost savings resulting from this expenditure, the vast majority of which was for specific deliverables such as road schemes. Most of the expenditure was incurred on highways-related work.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will call for a report from the chairman of London Transport indicating which sections of the underground network have train speed limits of 20 mph or less; what are their locations; what are the reasons for this restrictions; and what plans there are to take remedial action.