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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 2 March 1995

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Child Care Facilities

Mrs. Maddock: To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick on Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission what decisions have been taken by the House of Commons Commission following the debate on child care facilities on 12 January.

Mr. Beith: The Commission has now considered its policy on child care facilities, and has taken into account the survey of demand by Research Services Ltd., the claim for child care voucher scheme by the trade unions representing House staff, and the views expressed by hon. Members during the debate on 12 January.

Since 1991, it has been the policy of the Commission as the employer of the staff of the House of Commons that, if a viable scheme for child care help could be devised, it would want it to go ahead. The Commission has concluded that a child care voucher scheme is immediately practicable and commands wide support. The Commission has decided to implement a voucher scheme in line with those currently in operation in the National Audit Office and the House of Lords. Vouchers will be available to employees of the Commission who work for at least 15 hours per week and who demonstrate that they need to pay someone other than their partner to look after their child or children. The scheme will cover children under the age of five or who are not yet attending full-time education, at a rate of £6 per day worked per family, which is taxable. It is hoped to have the new arrangements in place from 1 April. Further details will be issued to staff by the Establishments Office.

The Commission, in seeking to follow best employment practice, has taken full account of the arguments for assistance with child care. It hopes that the voucher scheme will provide effective help to existing staff, and benefit future recruitment. The introduction of these arrangements also firmly underlines the House's commitment to a policy of equal opportunity.

Divisions

Mr. Skinner: To ask the Lord President of the Council how many Divisions of the House have taken place on Thursdays since the new procedures introduced on 19 December 1994 came into force.

Mr. Newton: Between 19 December 1994 and 1 March 1995 there were three Divisions on Thursdays. During the same period last year there were eight Divisions on Thursdays.


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LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

Lobby Organisations

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Lord President of the Council if Ministers in his Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs. C. S. M. Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J .W. Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C., (f) G.J.W., (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International, (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy, (l) Good Relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casy, (n) Low Bell, (o) People Corporate and Political Relations and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd., and discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.

Mr. Newton: I have had no such meetings.

Privy Council

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make a statement on the duties and functions of the Privy Council.

Mr. Newton: The Privy Council advises the sovereign on the making of royal proclamations and Orders in Council, and on the grant and amendment of royal charters. It approves rules made by statutory registration councils responsible for the medical and certain other professions, and makes instruments of Government for higher education corporations. The Privy Council is also responsible for certain appointments to statutory councils and to the governing bodies of universities and colleges, and for the appointment of high sheriffs. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the final Court of Appeal from courts of the United Kingdom dependencies and from courts of those independent Commonwealth countries which have retained the right of appeal. The committee also hears appeals from courts of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and from the disciplinary and health committees of the medical and allied professions, together with some ecclesiastical appeals.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Civil Servants

Ms Hodge: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many employment vacancies in the civil service in grades 1 and 2 have been (i) externally advertised and (ii) filled by external applicants since the publication of the White Paper on the reform of the civil service.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Since the publication of the civil service White Paper "The Civil Service: Continuity and Change" in July 1994, five vacancies at these levels or with equivalent pay rates have been externally advertised.

So far, appointments have been made to three of these posts, of which one was an external applicant and one was an agency chief executive originally recruited as an external applicant.


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Lobby Organisations

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if Ministers in his Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs C. S. M. Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J. W. Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C., (f) G.J.W., (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International, (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy, (l) Good Relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casy, (n) Lowe Bell, (o) Profile Corporate and Political Relations and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd., and


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discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: No.

Career Breaks

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) men and (b) women applied for career breaks in his Department or its agencies; and how many have had their employment terminated in the last five years.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: For the departments and agencies for which my right hon. Friend is responsible, and other areas which fall to the Cabinet Office vote, the information is as follows:


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               |Cabinet Office                                                                                                         

               |(including No.|RAS           |Chessington   |CS College    |OHSA          |COI           |HMSO                         

               |10)/CCTA                                                                                                               

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

Men            |1             |0             |1             |0             |0             |2             |0                            

Women          |19            |2             |6             |5             |1             |3             |9                            

No staff have had their employment terminated while on a career break.

Publications

Mr. Boyes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list all White Papers, Green Papers and pamphlets issued by his Department, or agencies for which it is responsible, in 1994 giving, in each case the total cost to the Exchequer of their production, publication and distribution; and what was the equivalent cost in 1980.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Two White Papers were produced by the Office of Public Service and Science in 1994. These were "The Civil Service: Continuity and Change" and "Next Steps Review 1994". All costs were borne by HMSO, which aims to recover these from sales revenue. The following pamphlets were issued by the Cabinet Office and Office of Public Service and Science in 1994:


                                                      |Total cost             

Publication                                           |£                      

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

Response to Priorities for the Science Base           |904                    

Science Connections                                   |17,633                 

Key Events Leaflet                                    |2,090                  

Technology Foresight Programme                        |2,236                  

The Context of Foresight                              |1,725                  

Innovation and Foresight                              |3,250                  

Turning Research into Wealth: The Japanese Way        |4,334                  

Technology Foresight: An Information Technology                               

  Way                                                 |4,830                  

Proceedings of the Foresight Forum                    |11,900                 

Foresight No. 1                                       |3,115                  

Foresight No. 2                                       |3,552                  

LINK Newsletters (3 per annum)                        |26,000                 

Europe: Funding from the 4th Framework                                        

  Programme-Collaboration in the 21st Century         |23,321                 

The UK/Japan Relationship                             |10,364                 

The Zuckerman Lecture                                 |1,291                  

The Rising Tide                                       |1,894                  

The Human Genome                                      |3,592                  

Innovation and the Tax System                         |1,254                  

Government response to The Rising Tide                |1,896                  

Routes Response                                       |502                    

Review of UK Culture Collections                      |4,485                  

Review of Fast Stream Recruitment                     |7,200                  

Responsibilities for Recruitment to the Civil Service |2,100                  

"The Facts You Need to Know"-Booklet for                                      

  Prospective Executive Officer Candidates            |3,500                  

Racial Equality in the Civil Service                  |1,500                  

Top Management Programme Brochure                     |800                    

Citizen's Charter Second Report 1994 (inclusive of                            

  audio, braille and large print versions)            |408,000                

Complaints Task Force (CTF) Interim Report            |6,882                  

CTF Leaflet                                           |652                    

CTF Effective Complaints Systems: Principles and                              

  Checklist                                           |2,083                  

CTF Discussion Papers                                 |22,082                 

CTF Literature Review                                 |12,161                 

Open Government Code of Practice and Explanatory                              

  Leaflet                                             |18,522                 

                                                                              

Total                                                 |615,650                

Two minor pamphlets were also issued where production and distribution was 60 copies or less and the total cost negligible. The Department did not exist in its current form in 1980 and therefore no comparable information for that year is available.

Contract Research Posts

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what proportion of contract research posts paid for from research council funds were for three years or less in each year from 1990 1994:

(2) what proportion of contract researchers paid for by research councils left employment before completing their contracts in each year from 1990 to 1994;

(3) how many contract researchers were paid for by the research councils in each year from 1990 to 1994.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: The information is not held centrally. Primary responsibility for employing contract staff, howsoever funded, rests with the individual universities as employers. The Universities' Statistical


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Record collects staff data on behalf of the universities funded by the former University Funding Council, but has no separate category for "contract researchers".

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Children's Play

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what decision he has taken on future central support arrangements for children's play.

Mr. Dorrell: I am grateful to all those who submitted comments in response to our recent consultation on the implications of Sports Council restructuring for children's play. I am today inviting interested organisations to a meeting to discuss the new arrangements which we propose to introduce. Under these, existing bodies will be invited to bid for funds to carry out work in the areas of information dissemination, playground safety, playwork education and training, and policy advice. The new arrangements will take effect from October 1995 and will be based on a continuation of the existing level of funding of £400,000 per annum.

Boxing

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will set up an investigation into reforming the rules of boxing to avoid injuries to the head but allow participants to demonstrate combative skills.

Mr. Sproat: No. It is for the boxing authorities to determine their own rules and regulations.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proposals he has to reconsider any grants that are made in support of boxing and other activities with risks of injury and death to their participants.

Mr. Sproat: Most Government moneys specifically for sport are channelled through the Sports Council who allocate these funds according to their own policies and priorities. However, an important criterion in deciding which governing bodies are eligible for grant is for the council to satisfy itself that proper safeguards for the sport are in place.

National Trust

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to commemorate the centenary of the National Trust; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell: I was pleased to join with the National Trust on 12 January, in the presence of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to celebrate the trust's centenary. As the guardian of some of our most important historic buildings and landscapes, the trust has made an invaluable contribution towards the preservation of the nation's heritage for the enjoyment and understanding of this and future generations. The trust's work in safeguarding our heritage over the past 100 years has also played a major part in increasing the awareness of the value of our heritage for both the cultural and the economic well being of the country.


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Royal Fine Arts Commission

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he intends to publish the report of Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield into the Royal Fine Art Commission, and what was the final cost of the report.

Mr. Dorrell: I am giving careful consideration to Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield's report and will in due course place it in the Library of the House with my conclusions. The final cost of the report was £4,700.

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage on what date Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield delivered to him his report on the Royal Fine Art Commission.

Mr. Dorrell: Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield delivered his report on 3 June 1994.

Film Industry

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is his policy in respect of (a) tax incentives for European film producers and (b) levies on non-EU films; and what assessment he has made of the impact of levies on non-EU films on transnational distribution of European audio-visual products.

Mr. Dorrell: Tax arrangements are a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The rate of duty applied to non-EU films imported into the UK ranges between 0.28 and 1.9 ecu per 100 m, depending on the type of film. No assessment has been made of the impact duties on non-EU films may have had on transnational distribution of European products.

Public Libraries

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what assessment he has made of the Library Association poll relating to closures of branch libraries in the financial year 1995 96, a copy of which has been sent to him; if he will consider amending the guidelines of the national lottery funding agencies to help public libraries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sproat: My officials were already aware of some of the issues identified in the Library Association poll, and have already discussed them with several authorities. Where there is reason to believe an authority may be failing in its statutory responsibility, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will investigate in line with the requirements of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. The national lottery is not intended to fund projects which would normally be funded from existing public expenditure, such as core public library services, for which local authorities have a statutory responsibility. The national heritage memorial fund's guidelines to applicants for lottery funds state that grants can be made where library buildings or collections are of recognised importance to the heritage. Copies of the these guidelines are available in the Library of the House. The Arts Council of England has stated that it can make grants out of lottery funds for the enhancement of library facilities through the provision of space for activities such as readings, literary events, exhibitions, concerts and performances.


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Lobby Organisations

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if Ministers in his Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs C. S. M. Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J. W. Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C., (f) G.J.W., (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International, (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy, (l) Good Relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casy, (n) Lowe Belle, (o) Profile Corporate and Political Relations and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd. and discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.

Mr. Dorrell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science.

Information Technology

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what role he envisages for projects to encourage the popular use of information technology in the distribution of the millennium fund.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 20 February 1995]: This is a matter for the Millennium Commission. I will write to the hon. Member in my capacity as chairman of the commission, placing a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

TRANSPORT

Lobby Organisations

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if Ministers in his Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs C. S. M Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J. W Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C, (f) G.J.W, (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International Ltd., (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy, (l) Good relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casy, (n) Lowe Bell, (o) Profile Corporate and Political Relations and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd. and discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.

Dr. Mawhinney: No.

Publications

Mr. Boyes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will list all White Papers, Green Papers and pamphlets issued by his Department or agencies for which it is responsible in 1994 giving in each case the total cost to the Exchequer of their production, publication and distribution; and what was the total equivalent cost in 1980.

Mr. Norris: My Department is compiling a list of publications issued in 1994. I will send the list to the hon. Member as soon as it is available and place a copy in the Library. Information is not available on the total costs involved or what was issued in 1980.


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ScotRail (Fort William Services)

Sir Russell Johnston: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye, (Mr. Kennedy) on 6 February, Official Report, column 11, what form consultation on whatever railway proposal is or is not included in respect to Fort William will take; when it will take place; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watts: The Franchising Director will be consulting the Rail Users Consultative Committee for Scotland and Scottish regional councils in early summer on his draft passenger service requirement for the ScotRail franchise, including services to Fort William.

Highway Access to Hospitals

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what rules govern the funding of major highway access works to hospital premises; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watts: The funding of access works to major highways is governed by sections 274 and 278 of the Highways Act 1980.

Settle to Carlisle Railway

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the annual cost of maintaining (a) the track and (b) the viaducts on the Settle to Carlisle line.

Mr. Watts: Railtrack advises me that the costs on its maintenance contracts cannot be separated out to the level of detail requested. These costs will, anyway, be affected by negotiations now in progress.

Railtrack has assured me that it has met and will continue to meet its maintenance obligations in respect of this route.

Parcel Services

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account will be taken of potential job losses and the possible environmental impact of transferring parcel delivery from rail to road when deciding who will be successful in taking over Red Star parcel services; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: BR is the vendor of Red Star. In selling the business it will take account of the statutory objectives set out in section 113 of the Railways Act 1993.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures the Government intend taking to ensure that the purchasers of Red Star parcel service cannot pull out of rail delivery of parcels; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: Under BR ownership, Red Star turnover has declined significantly in recent years. It is in the commercial interests of Red Star that the purchaser should be able to develop the business without continuing restrictions imposed by Government.

Advanced Motorists Test

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidelines his Department issues to drivers taking the advanced motorists test.


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Mr. Norris: None.

Rail Privatisation

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds he has made available to the office of the Rail Regulator to implement rail privatisation; and what is his estimate for the financial years 1995 96 and 1996 97 and 1997 98.

Mr. Watts: The Office of the Rail Regulator is a separate non- ministerial Government department funded by moneys voted by Parliament.

The Rail Regulator informs me that the forecast outturn for expenditure by his Department until the end of 1994 95 is £10.8 million. Planned expenditure for 1995 96, 1996 97, and 1997 98 is £8.6 million, £7 million, and £7 million respectively.

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds he has made available to the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising to implement rail privatisation; and what is his estimate for the financial years 1995 96, 1996 97 and 1997 98.

Mr. Watts: The Office of Passenger Rail Franchising is a separate non-ministerial Government department which is funded by moneys voted by Parliament.

The forecast outturn for expenditure by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising until the end of 1994 95 is £19.1 million. Planned expenditure for 1995 96, 1996 97, and 1997 98 is £10.6 million, £9.7 million and £9.7 million respectively.

Access Grants

Sir David Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many track access grants to reduce Railtrack charges have been made since the announcement of this facility.

Mr. Watts [pursuant to his answer, 27 February 1995, c. 466]: No grants have been made, but eight are under consideration, one has been withdrawn and one has been rejected.

Roads Programme

Mrs. Currie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 19 December 1994, Official Report , column 874 , in respect of the roads programme, if he has changed the Highways Agency's 1994 95 published targets.

Mr. Watts: Yes. I have reduced the original target for the number of new publicly funded scheme starts to 13 and have today placed a revised version of the "National Roads Programme: Summary of Milestones for 1994 95" in the Library.

HEALTH

Audit Reports and Management Letters

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health from which NHS authorities and trusts she has now received (a) the audit report and (b) the audit management letter for 1993 94.


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Mr. Sackville: At the end of each annual audit, the statutory auditor issues a management letter to each health authority and national health service trust. This summarises the audit findings over the year and is addressed to the authority or trust board rather than to the Secretary of State. Apart from this, auditors do not issue any other report on authorities and trusts on an annual basis.

HIV and AIDS (Funding)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of funds allocated by her Department for HIV and AIDS work in each year since 1985 has been devoted to the voluntary sector.

Mr. Sackville: The percentage of the Department's HIV-AIDS funding directly allocated to the voluntary sector through section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 is shown in the table. Actual expenditure is also shown. The percentage increases over time are as a result of substantial increases in the Department's total HIV-AIDS funding over the same period. Details of this total funding are also shown.

Government support for the voluntary sector is not confined to section 64 grants as we also provide funding for special projects from centrally administered funds. Thus, for example, in 1993 94 more than £100,000 was provided from these funds and for 1994 95 funding from this source totalled £200,000.

In addition to direct funding from the Department, voluntary organisations in the HIV-AIDS field receive funding from health and local authorities purchasing services for people with HIV-AIDS. This is in accordance with Departmental guidance which stresses that the voluntary sector's participation is vital to the efficient and effective delivery of care and support for people with HIV-AIDS.


               |Section 64                   |Total funding                

               |Percentage    |£             |£                            

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

1985-86        |19.23         |100,000       |620,000                      

1986-87        |2.11          |160,000       |7,760,000                    

1987-88        |3.58          |1,300,000     |37,610,000                   

1988-89        |1.52          |1,090,000     |72,790,000                   

1989-90        |1.13          |1,600,000     |143,400,000                  

1990-91        |1.22          |1,800,000     |149,100,000                  

1991-92        |1.20          |1,900,000     |160,400,000                  

1992-93        |0.96          |1,987,000     |210,012,000                  

1993-94        |0.81          |1,927,000     |240,233,000                  

1994-95        |0.71          |1,789,000     |252,729,000                  

1995-96        |0.56          |1,547,000     |<1>274,547,000               

<1> Excludes allocation to HEA-helpline which has yet to be settled.       

Public Appointments

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what restrictions there are on a person being a member of more than one trust board or on a trust board and a health authority board; (2) what restrictions there are on a person being on a trust board or health authority board where they also are a provider for that trust or health authority.

Mr. Malone: Details of those disqualified for appointment as chairman of non-executive director of


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national health service authorities and trusts are contained in the relevant membership and procedure regulations.

Lobby Organisations

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if Ministers in her Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs C. S. M. Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J. W. Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C., (f) G.J.W., (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd, (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International, (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy, (l) Good Relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casy, (n) Lowe Bell, (o) Profile Corporate and Political Relations and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd., and discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.

Mr. Sackville: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science gave him today.

Publications

Mr. Boyes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list all White Papers, Green Papers and pamphlets issued by her Department or agencies for which it is responsible in 1994, giving, in each case the total cost to the Exchequer of their production, publication and distribution; and what was the total equivalent cost in 1980.

Mr. Sackville: All White Papers and Green Papers are published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

In respect of those and other publications published by HMSO, all costs are borne by HMSO which aims to recover these from sales revenue. The estimated costs of copies of these publications purchased by my Department during 1994 95 are £73,000.

Estimated costs for 1994 95 for leaflets, booklets, newsletters, issued by the Department and its agencies, excluding the Medicines Control Agency, including production and distribution are £5,678,000. This largely represents public health campaigns designed to improve health and information for the national health service, general practitioners and the medical professions.

A full list of all White Papers, Green Papers and pamphlets can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for 1980 are not available.

GP LISTS

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will include in the patients charter a requirement for patients to be given the reasons in writing for their removal from a general practitioner's list.


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