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Mr. Nicholas Baker: There are no official data on the numbers of illegal immigrants in EU member states, because, by its very nature, illegal immigration is very difficult to measure and any estimates, including any for the United Kingdom, would be highly speculative.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 30 January, Official Report, column 503, about Pucklechurch remand centre, what were the appropriate arrangements that were put into effect to hold the category A prisoners; what has been the cost of putting these arrangements into effect to date; and how long they will remain in force.
Column 409Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Doug Hoyle, dated27 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the arrangements for holding category A prisoners at Pucklechurch.
As these arrangements concern the security of an establishment, it would not be appropriate for me to publish any details. Staff were diverted from elsewhere for this work. Additional costs of approximately £12,000 were incurred for travel and subsistence, excluding the cost of staff time which would have been incurred anyway.
The prisoner was transferred to another prison on 15 February.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will inform the European Commission that he will ask Parliament to amend article 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 to make unenforceable in the United kingdom any directive or judgment of the European Court which diminishes the control on the movement of persons which the United Kingdom at present exercises at its frontiers.
The Prime Minister: No. I have already made it clear that we will take whatever action is necessary to maintain our frontier controls. However, amendment of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 would not have the effect suggested.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will ensure that the enforcement provisions contained in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill apply to all regulations for which her Department is responsible, past, present and future; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the status of swimming in the school curriculum and what is her Department's guidance to local education authorities and schools regarding charging for swimming lessons.
Mr. Forth: Swimming is a compulsory part of the national curriculum. The national curriculum for physical education requires that, by the age of 11, all pupils should be able to swim unaided at least 25 m and demonstrate an understanding of water safety. Local education authorities and schools should not charge for swimming lessons. They may, however, request voluntary contributions provided that it is made clear that these are optional and that registered pupils are not treated differently depending on the level of contributions made.
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions she has had with councillors in Lancashire concerning nursery education for four-year-olds and the funding of such provision.
Mr. Forth: My right hon. Friend has received representations from councillors in a number of local authorities, including Lancashire, concerning nursery education for four-year-olds and the funding of such provision.
Mr. Forth: Annual capital guidelines for 1995 96 include notional allocations of over £7 million for special education projects. No specific sums are earmarked for schools for children with moderate learning difficulties: it is for local education authorities to decide their own capital expenditure priorities and to make the best use of the resources available to them through ACGs. Further sums will become available through supplementary credit
Column 412approvals for specific special education projects in the course of the financial year.
Mrs. Ann Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what action her Department is taking to bring up to the standards set out in "Building Bulletin 77" the schools for pupils with severe learning difficulty in Kirklees.
Mr. Forth: The guidance in "Building Bulletin 77" is not mandatory. It sets out good practice in the design of accommodation for new special school buildings and for the adaptation of existing special schools. My right hon. Friend takes account of how closely proposals for new construction in special schools--in Kirklees, and elsewhere--comply with the bulletin when considering the approval of premises under section 185 of the Education Act 1993.
Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 16 February, Official Report, columns 783 84, how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff responsible for sport were transferred to the Department of National Heritage in July 1992.
Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 16 February, Official Report , columns 783-84 , how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff responsible for science were transferred from her Department to the Cabinet Office in July 1992.
Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 16 February, Official Report columns 783-84 , how many staff responsible for Her Majesty's inspectorate and support for Her Majesty's inspectorate still remain in her Department following the transfer of the majority of those staff to Ofsted in September 1992.
Mr. Forth: On the establishment of Ofsted in September 1992, 86 HMI and support staff remained in the Department and have since retired. Three HMI became DFE staff and remain in the Department, as do 20 former HMI support staff. Seventeen DFE staff remain on loan to Ofsted and may return to the Department in due course.
Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 16 February, Official Report , columns 783 84 , how many of her staff responsible for Her Majesty's inspectorate and support for Her Majesty's inspectorate transferred to the Office for Standards in Education in September 1992.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of those accepted for fast-stream entry for which her Department is responsible in (a) 1991, (b) 1992, (c) 1993 and (d) 1994 were women.
Column 413In 1993, the Department recruited seven staff to fast-stream grades of whom two were women. In 1994, there were 10 recruits, of whom six were women.
Mr. Baldry: Bilateral aid to Eritrea, including emergency assistance, totalled almost £2 million in1992 93 and £6 million in 1993 94. Since 1992 we have also contributed more than £6 million through the EC. We expect to continue our bilateral technical co-operation programme of about £1 million a year. Future emergency assistance will reflect needs as they arise.
45. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total aid that the European Union has agreed to provide to Syria; why the aid package was agreed; and how much will be contributed by the United Kingdom.
Mr. Baldry: Since 1978 the European Community has provided to Syria a total of 461 mecu, or £362.9 million--exchange rate February 1995, 1 ecu equals £0.7889--of which the UK share was approximately 16 per cent. This support forms part of the EC's programme of assistance for all Mediterranean non-member states.
Mr. Baldry: We continue to support the Rwandan Government's programme of reconciliation and socio-economic rehabilitation and recovery, which is the agreed framework for accelerating economic and social development in Rwanda. Donors have already pledged $583 million in support of the programme.
Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom has taken a leading role in promoting the implementation of the forest principles agreed in Rio. We have also provided more than £14 million for bilateral forest protection projects in Amazonia since 1989 and are supporting the joint G7-European Union pilot programme to conserve the Brazilian rain forest. We have provided £1.5 million to the pilot program trust fund managed by the World bank, and plan to provide additional assistance.
non-governmental organisations such as Childhope, the International Children's Trust, CAFOD and Oxfam. British partnership schemes, run by our embassies in the region, provide additional support to local NGO projects.
Miss Lestor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the contract value, in pounds sterling, to (a) Coppee (UK) Ltd., (b) Westinghouse Brake and Signal, (c) NEI, (d) GEC Alsthom, (e) Cegelec, (f) Crown Agents, (g) Brecknell Willis, (h) Balfour Beatty and (i) Thorn EMI from the Ankara Metro project.
The following companies are subcontractors of the contract awarded to Coppee (UK):
|Companies |£ million -------------------------------------------------------------------- (c) |NEI |3.2 (d) |GEC Alsthorn |17.1 (e) |Cegelec |8.9 (f) |Crown Agents |4.2 (g) |Brecknell Willis|4.7 (h) |Balfour Beatty |5.7 (i) |Thorn TTSI |1.9
Mr. Riddick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made to the external finance limit for the current year for the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
Mr. Baldry: The external finance limit for CDC set out in the statistical supplement to the "Financial Statement and Budget report 1994 95", Cm 2519, has been increased from zero to £30.56 million. The increase is made up of £22 million due to a classification change, £2.7 million to allow for investment of cash balances held at the end of 1993 94 and £5.86 million in respect of continuing interest payments made by CDC.
The classification change has no consequences for public expenditure and the other elements of the increase will be met by a decrease in the cash limit for, and reallocation of provision within class II, vote 5. The increase will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Column 415the Crown Prosecution Service during the prosecution process.
The Attorney-General: Since the Public Order Act 1986 came into force, consent to prosecute under section 18 has been granted in five applications out of seven. I have also received 12 applications for consent to prosecute under other sections of part III of that Act, of which 10 have been granted and two have been refused.
Mr. Hutton: To ask the Attorney-General how many successful prosecutions were concluded by the Serious Fraud Office in the last year; and what was the total value of all payments to prosecuting counsel instructed by the Serious Fraud Office over the same period.
The total payments on fees to prosecuting counsel during this period was £2,655,000. That amount includes some payments in relation to professional services carried out prior to that period but excludes costs incurred within the period where payment has not yet been made.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Attorney-General what was the agreed cost of legal services to the Ministry of Defence by the Treasury Solicitor's Department in respect of the Scott inquiry; and what other or later invoices than those cited in his answer to the hon. Member for Wallsend(Mr. Byers) of 13 May 1994, Official Report , column 251 , in respect of the Scott inquiry have been sent by the Treasury solicitors to the Ministry of Defence and all other Departments.
The Attorney-General: The agreed cost to date of legal services provided to the Ministry of Defence by the Treasury Solicitor's Department in respect of the Scott inquiry is £137,306.18. Invoices sent by the Department since 13 May 1994 are as follows:
Department |£ ----------------------------------------------- Ministry of Defence |2,311.38 Department of Trade and Industry |25,840.71 Foreign and Commonwealth Office |15,490.62
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the non- departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department which will (a) follow the pay arrangements of the sponsoring Department and (b) pursue an independent and separate route under the delegated pay option (i) from April 1995 and (ii) from April 1996.
Mr. Sackville: Minimally invasive techniques have been used safely and effectively in various surgical specialties for many years. There is no one branch of surgery specifically devoted to these techniques.
We are now talking to the royal colleges about a new system which will bring together groups of experts under the auspices of the royal colleges to evaluate major advances in surgery and medicine. It is for individual provider hospitals to ensure high standards of practice for all patients and for purchasing
Column 417authorities to ensure that their populations have access to high quality care. Surgeons practising minimal access techniques should be properly trained in those techniques and junior trainees should be closely supervised by experienced staff.
Mr. Bowis: None. The national health service has always contracted with private contractors. It is the responsibility of health authorities to arrange and fund continuing health care. We issued guidance to health authorities on their responsibilities for meeting continuing care needs on 23 February, copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set up an investigation into the recent supply of the names and addresses of NHS pensioners and their Paymaster General's office reference numbers to third parties.
Mr. Sackville: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the National Health Service Pensions Agency under its chief executive, A.F. Cowan. I have asked him to reply to the hon. Member. Letter from A. F. Cowan to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 27 February 1995:
The Secretary of State for Health has asked me to respond to your written parliamentary question of 17 February 1995 because it falls within my area of responsibility.
The Agency contracts Paymaster to administer the payment of NHS pensions. They had, without reference to us, issued promotional material to pensioners from a third party but I have been assured by Keith Sullens, who is the Chief Executive of Paymaster, that at no time has any information about NHS pensioners been released to third parties.
Mr. Malone: Between 1978 79 and 1992 93, hospital and community health services' efficiency in England increased by over a fifth. Data on health services in other European Union countries are available in "OECD Health Systems", Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development 1993.
We share the judgment of OECD, whose latest "Economic Survey", July 1994, points out that the national health service
"was, and is, a remarkably cost effective institution"
Column 418and that it achieves "comparable health outcomes" with other large OECD countries.
Four further projects have been approved, each with a capital value of £1 million or over. These are: