Previous Section Home Page

European Social Fund

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding is obtained from the European social fund for courses in British universities.      [16892]

Miss Widdecombe: I have been asked to reply.

In 1993, £40.35 million was claimed for European social fund provision across objectives 2, 3, 4 and 5b by the higher education sector, which includes universities, in Great Britain. Final figures for 1994 are not yet available.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidelines she is giving to universities and other higher education institutes on how to deal with mature students who receive training allowances from the European social fund.      [16840]

Miss Widdecombe: I have been asked to reply.

Each year, the Department issues comprehensive guidance to all potential applicants, including universities and other higher education institutes, on how to apply for, and claim European social fund grants. This guidance covers how the allowances to students and other trainees are to be treated.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students benefit from the European social fund provision entitling them to pursue courses in United Kingdom universities.      [16893]

Miss Widdecombe: I have been asked to reply.

In 1993, 50,309 students in Great Britain benefited from European social fund provision across objectives 2, 3, 4 and 5b in the higher education sector, which includes universities. Final figures for 1994 are not yet available.

National Science Week

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the cost to the university sector of the National Science Week promotion.      [16897]


Column 689

Mr. Boswell: The requested information is not held centrally.

Grant-maintained Schools

Ms Gordon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what was the total cost of cash protection of the central element of grant- maintained schools' budgets in England and Wales in 1994 95, listed by local education authority; and what will be the costs in 1995 96, based on the local education authority provisional estimates submitted by 31 March;      [16935]

(2) which grant-maintained schools, listed by local education authority, will receive more cash protection within central AMG in 1995 96 than in 1994 95, based on provisional estimates;      [16891] (3) which grant- maintained schools, in each local education authority area, will receive, on provisional estimates, an element for cash protection within their annual maintenance grant for 1995 96, when no element was received in 1994 95.      [16986]

Mr. Robin Squire: Responsibility for the calculation of grants for grant-maintained schools is a matter for the Funding Agency for Schools. I have asked its chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Teachers Pensions Agency

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many former teachers' pensions are covered by the privatisation review which is currently taking place at the Teachers Pensions Agency.      [16981]

Mr. Robin Squire: We have made it clear that there is no question of privatising the teachers' superannuation scheme. The present review is concerned solely with the administration of the scheme. Some 250,000 former teachers have preserved rights in the scheme. Some 340,000 retired teachers are receiving pension payments.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether, as part of the privatisation review of the Teachers Pensions Agency, she is considering allowing private firms to charge teachers' employers directly for the provision of administrative services.      [16982]

Mr. Robin Squire: My right hon. Friend has no plans for any such arrangement.

Pupil Statistics

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the total numbers in Derbyshire schools over the last 20 years in the (a) 11 to 16 years, (b) 16 to 19 years and (c) five to 11 years age range.      [16714]

Mr. Robin Squire: Information on pupils in Derbyshire local education authority area for years 1975 1994 is shown in the table.


Column 690


Pupils by age in maintained        

schools<1> in Derbyshire Local     

Education Authority area:          

1975-1994                          

Position in January each year      

Ages at previous 31 August         

        Pupils aged                

       |5-10  |11-15 |16-19+       

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

1975   |85,400|67,200|4,300        

1976   |86,100|67,770|4,300        

1977   |85,600|69,500|4,400        

1978   |84,300|70,800|4,300        

1979   |82,000|71,600|4,300        

1980   |79,300|72,000|4,300        

1981   |76,200|72,000|4,600        

1982   |72,800|71,200|5,100        

1983   |68,500|70,800|5,200        

1984   |65,200|69,300|5,100        

1985   |64,100|67,300|4,900        

1986   |63,900|64,500|4,700        

1987   |64,100|61,900|4,400        

1988   |64,600|58,100|4,440        

1989   |65,900|54,900|4,900        

1990   |66,700|52,500|4,700        

1991   |66,900|51,900|4,600        

1992   |66,700|52,200|4,900        

1993   |67,100|52,700|5,200        

1994   |68,300|53,400|5,000        

<1> Excludes Sixth Form Colleges   

which ceased to be classified as   

schools from 1 April 1993.         

School Meals

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much was spent by Derbyshire county council local education authority on subsidising school meals in each of the last 12 years.      [16866]

Mr. Robin Squire: This information is not collected centrally in the form requested. The table shows Derbyshire local education authority's total expenditure on, and income from, its school catering service from 1982 83 to 1993 94, the latest year for which provisional outturn figures are available.


Derbyshire local education authority                                                

£000                                                                                

                     |School catering     |School catering                          

                     |service                                                       

                     |total expenditure   |service total income                     

                     |(cash terms)        |(cash terms)                             

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

1982-83              |15,117              |5,674                                    

1983-84              |16,084              |6,055                                    

1984-85              |16,799              |5,728                                    

1985-86              |16,641              |5,457                                    

1986-87              |18,974              |6,542                                    

1987-88              |21,617              |7,092                                    

1988-89              |23,305              |7,546                                    

1989-90              |22,477              |7,413                                    

1990-91              |22,872              |7,560                                    

1991-92              |26,921              |8,226                                    

1992-93              |28,192              |9,873                                    

1993-94<1>           |22,959              |9,051                                    

<1> Provisional.                                                                    

University Evaluation System

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps she is taking to change the English and Welsh university evaluation system for teaching to take them closer to the system operated for Scottish universities.      [16890]


Column 691

Mr. Boswell: The Higher Education Funding Council for England is responsible for quality assessment in England. Following consultation with the sector, the council has announced a revised methodology from April 1995 which contains some elements in common with the system operated in Scotland. Responsibility for the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Funding Agency for Schools

Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 784 , when the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley may expect to receive a reply from the chairman of the Funding Agency for Schools.      [16652]

Mr. Robin Squire: I understand that the chief executive of the funding agency wrote to the hon. Member on 27 March.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Gaza

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals are being put forward by the World bank, European Union and British Government to help improve reproductive health services in Gaza and on the west bank.      [16606]

Mr. Baldry: We are not aware of any proposals being put forward by the World bank or the European Union. We have agreed to contribute £400,000 for the UN Relief and Works Agency's expanded family health programme in the Gaza strip which aims to help improve reproductive health.

Rwanda

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what gaps exist in the food pipeline to camps holding refugees from Rwanda; and what measures are proposed to fill any such gaps.      [16598]

Mr. Baldry: We have pledged 21,000 tonnes of cereals and 2,800 tonnes of beans, with a total value £7 million, to the world food programme for its operations in and around Rwanda, in the last month. From this pledge, 8,500 tonnes of maize have already been bought for delivery in May; the beans will be bought locally and quickly. Taking account of this and other donors' pledges, WFP calculations suggest the pipeline for cereals is reasonably healthy until September, apart from some possible, short-term problems in April, which they are currently considering how to tackle. Additional pledges for non-cereal commodities are needed.

Burundi

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action is being taken by the international community to establish an effective and objective judicial system in Burundi.      [16603]

Mr. Baldry: A UN Security Council mission to Burundi last month reiterated the importance of strengthening the national judicial system. A number of


Column 692

donors have expressed interest, including the European Union. Belgium plans an appraisal mission in April which others may join but the situation in Burundi is extremely fragile and plans to support the judicial system are very difficult to advance. We have contributed £100,000 this month to a UN High Commission for Human Rights programme of training and technical assistance for Burundis in justice and human rights.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action is being taken by the World bank, IMF and donor countries to assist Burundi to stabilise and achieve economic development.      [16605]

Mr. Baldry: The fragile political and security environment in Burundi is making progress with economic development very difficult. The World bank agreed an emergency assistance project last December, worth nearly £10 million, for the import of high-priority goods for education, health, agriculture, infrastructure and private sector development. IMF staff hope to restart discussions with Burundi officials in Geneva this week leading to the formulation of a three-year economic policy framework for IMF assistance. An EU troika mission left for Burundi on 23 March and will present recommendations for strengthening EU support.

Iraq

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the projects on which the United Kingdom's aid contribution to Iraq has been spent since 1991.      [16632]

Mr. Baldry [holding answer 27 March 1995]: A list providing details of United Kingdom emergency aid contributions totalling £57.2 million since 1991 has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Most of this aid went to Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, and refugees in neighbouring countries. Smaller amounts have been used for medical supplies and water projects in central and southern Iraq. In addition, our share of EC spending has totalled £13.3 million over the same period.

Aid Strategies

Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information is now available under the Overseas Development Administration's published policy on open government on aid strategies for the United Kingdom's main bilateral aid programmes.      [17678]

Mr. Baldry: Country aid programme statements on the United Kingdom's bilateral programmes to Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Russia are now available from the ODA library.

Further CAPS will be added to this list as and when the relevant country programmes are reviewed--those over £10 million per year; this process is carried out every other year.


Column 693

DEFENCE

Low Flying

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what considerations led to the making of low flying passes by a Royal Navy Westland helicopter over Goodison Boulevard, Cantley, Doncaster around 14.20 hours on 3 March.      [16237]

Mr. Soames: Extensive enquiries have been made, but it has not proved possible to identify the helicopter in question from the details given.

Old Sarum Airfield

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who holds the lease of Old Sarum airfield; when the lease was granted and for how long; and whether the terms of the lease permit the cessation of flying activity and the development of the airfield for housing and industrial use.      [16855]

Mr. Soames: The lease of Old Sarum airfield is held by two parties, Blane Field Investments Ltd.--the major leaseholder--and Old Sarum Park Properties Ltd. The lease was granted on 16 November 1982 for 999 years and allows for the erection of new buildings with the landlord's consent.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to sell the freehold of Old Sarum airfield; and if tender documents have been prepared.      [16854]

Mr. Soames: We intend to sell the freehold of Old Sarum airfield by public tender. Final tender documents are being prepared with a provisional tender date of 26 April.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rights are reserved for use of Old Sarum airfield by his Department; on how many occasions those rights have been exercised since a lease was granted on the property; and if he will make a statement.      [16856]

Mr. Soames: The rights reserved for the use of Old Sarum permit my Department to use the airfield for the taking off and landing of military aircraft, including helicopters, on no more than 150 occasions per year. Information on the number of occasions when those rights have been exercised is only available for the last two financial years: in 1993 94, some 80 landings took place for which a landing fee was charged; in 1994 95 there were around 50 landings.

Decommissioned Warships

Mr. MacKinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 15 December 1994, Official Report , column 816 , to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) on HMS Sirius what were the dates and total cost of the final refits undertaken for the three decommissioned warships used as targets and sunk in live firing exercises between 1990 and 1994.      [16926]

Mr. Freeman: The last refit dates of the decommissioned warships used as targets and sunk in live firing exercises in 1990, 1991 and 1993 were, respectively: 5 September 1983 to 1 June 1984, 29 May 1985 to 17 February 1986, and 7 April 1986 to 8 December 1986. The costs of refit work undertaken before the royal dockyards passed into commercial management in April 1987 are not available.


Column 694

HMS Fort Victoria

Mr. MacKinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will write to the hon. Member for Thurrock, as undertaken during the debate on 16 February, Official Report , column 1152 , giving details of delayed delivery and commissioning times of HMS Fort Victoria and the reasons for these delays, together with the total costs and penalties paid.      [17000]

Mr. Freeman: I shall be writing to the hon. Member very shortly.

Vehicle Purchases

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what military purpose his Department requires to purchase 30 wheeled industrial diesel tractors, as set out in tender No. LV2B/488; what consideration has been given to leasing or hiring of such tractors; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 22 March 1995]: The wheeled industrial diesel tractors are required for the general haulage of stores, materials handling activities and occasional light aircraft towing. A number of these are also protected to allow safe movement of ammunition, bombs and missiles. The provision, management and support of service transport is at present being reviewed to determine whether there is scope for greater involvement of the private sector. We intend to establish pilot leasing schemes by the end of this calendar year. Tender LV2B/488 represents the minimum order necessary to meet the requirement pending the outcome of the review. Any resultant contract will be sufficiently flexible to take account of changes in vehicle purchasing arrangements for any further requirements.

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what military purpose his Department requires to purchase various diesel 4 x 2 trucks, as set out in future purchase LV1B/983; what consideration has been given to leasing or hiring of such trucks; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 22 March 1995]: The vehicles are required for the transportation of military stores and equipment. The provision, management and support of service transport is at present being reviewed to determine whether there is scope for greater involvement of the private sector. We intend to establish pilot leasing schemes by the end of this calendar year. Future purchase LV1B/983 represents the minimum order necessary to meet the requirement pending the outcome of the review.

Horses and Ponies

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Defence how many (a) ponies and (b) horseshave been owned by his Department in each of the last10 years.      [16078]

Mr. Soames [holding answer 24 March 1995]: My Department had a requirement for 517 horses in each year between 1985 and 1991; this changed to 471 in 1992, 499 in 1993 and 1994, and will reduce to 433 next month. In addition, we owned five ponies throughout this period.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) ponies and (b) horses have been transported by his Department to (i) Cyprus and (ii) Germany in each of the last 10 years.      [16077]


Column 695

Mr. Soames [holding answer 24 March 1995]: An average of three horses were transported to Germany each year between 1985 to 1992. Two ponies were transported to Cyprus in 1991 and one in 1994.

SCOTLAND

Fisheries Protection

Mr. MacDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list all the fisheries for which exclusion orders under the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976 are (a) currently in operation and (b) currently under request; if he will make a statement on the operation of public access agreements in each of these fisheries; and whether he is conducting a review of the situation regarding public access to the boats operated by the Aberfeldy Angling Club on the Tay.      [15520]

Sir Hector Monro: The following protection orders made under the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976 are currently in force:

The Rivers Tweed and Eye Protection Order 1980.

The Upper Spey and Associated Waters Protection Order 1982. The River Lunan Catchment Area Protection Order 1983.

The River Tummel Catchment Area Protection Order 1983.

The River Tay Catchment Area Protection Order 1986.

The West Strathclyde Protection Order 1988.

The River Earn Catchment Area Protection Order 1990.

The River Don Catchment Area (Part) Protection Order 1990. The Loch Morar and River Morar Protection Order 1992.

The Loch Awe and Associated Waters Protection Order 1992. The River Clyde Catchment Area (Part) Protection Order 1994. The North West Sutherland Protection Order 1994.

Applications for protection orders for Loch Arkaig and the River Arkaig, Middle River Spey, St. John's loch in Caithness and Loch Ruthven and Loch Choire are under consideration.

The operation of public access to fishings in each area is considered regularly by a liaison committee. My Department is liaising with the Aberfeldy Angling Club on access to its fishings but not on boat access as no boats are operated by that club.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Mr. MacDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what amount of environmentally sensitive area grant budget for 1994 95 is still uncommitted (a) in cash and (b) as a percentage of the budget; and if he will make a statement on underspending in the environmentally sensitive areas budget for 1993 94 and 1994 95.

Sir Hector Monro: Sufficient resources have been made available to enable eligible farmers and crofters in the designated areas to participate in the environmentally sensitive area scheme. Expenditure in 1994 95 is expected to be £1.16 million which represents almost 26 per cent. of the total provision of £4.5 million.

The level of uptake has been lower than anticipated since additional environmentally sensitive areas were designated in 1993 and 1994, but we hope that more farmers and crofters will wish to take advantage of the scheme.


Column 696

Forestry Commission

Mr. MacDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list and give the acreage of Forestry Commission woodlands (a) currently scheduled for sale in Perthshire and (b) sold over the past five years.      [15521]

Sir Hector Monro: The Forestry Commission records its land holdings by region, not by the former Scottish counties. The following Forestry Commission woodlands in Tayside region are currently for sale on the open market.


                        |Area                             

Name of property        |(hectares)                       

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

Camusericht             |304                              

Dalguise (part)         |7                                

Long Plantation, Crieff |80                               

Upper Glenprosen        |230                              

Lists of the woodlands sold over the last five years, by region, are in the Library of the House.

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what level of Government support the Forestry Commission has received in each year since 1985;      [15976]

(2) what was the level of financial remuneration received from the Forestry Commission in each year since 1985.      [15980]

Sir Hector Monro: The information is as follows:


                            |Receipts from                            

                            |sale of                                  

                            |Forestry                                 

              |Grant-in-aid |Commission                               

              |used by      |land payable |Overall                    

              |Forestry     |into         |Government                 

Year ended    |Commission   |consolidated |support                    

31 March      |(net)        |fund         |(net)                      

              |£ million    |£ million    |£ million                  

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

1985          |54.0         |21.8         |32.2                       

1986          |51.4         |17.2         |34.2                       

1987          |51.2         |14.5         |36.7                       

1988          |48.1         |13.1         |35.0                       

1989          |53.5         |12.4         |41.1                       

1990          |58.2         |12.9         |45.3                       

1991          |74.3         |12.0         |62.3                       

1992          |76.5         |14.9         |61.6                       

1993          |97.1         |9.9          |87.2                       

1994          |85.9         |17.3         |68.6                       

Forestry Enterprise Framework Document

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place a copy of the Forestry Enterprise framework document in the Library; and what parliamentary scrutiny he now proposes the document will be subject to.      [15994]

Sir Hector Monro: The framework document will be placed in the Library of the House when it is completed. Hon. Members will be able to raise it, like any other published document, in the House.


Column 697

Hunting

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will specify the areas of Forestry Commission land where the lease stipulates that (a) fox and (b) deer hunting must be allowed.      [15978]

Sir Hector Monro: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Food Poisoning

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 21 March, Official Report , column 168. how many cases of food poisoning were reported in 1994.      [16296]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: A total of 4,098 cases of food poisoning were reported in Scotland in 1994.

Deregulation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ensure that his ministerial management information system for establishing objectives for his Department includes deregulation objectives (a) for him and (b) for each of the Ministers within his Department.      [15571]

Mr. Lang [holding answer 27 March 1995]: My ministerial colleagues in the Scottish Office and I have implemented and keep ourselves fully informed of progress on a wide range of deregulation activity undertaken by the Department.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what targets he has for withdrawing regulations within his Department.      [15555]

Mr. Lang [holding answer 27 March 1995]: The Scottish Office is fully committed to the deregulation initiative and operates a rolling programme of review of the regulations, forms and rules for which it has responsibility with a view to identifying scope for repeal or simplification.

Woodland Planting

Mr. Lord: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many hectares of forestry or woodland have been planted by the private sector in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.      [16934]


Next Section

  Home Page