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Poverty

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the number of people in Wales living in poverty; what plans he has to reduce this figure; and if he will make a statement. [2731]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: No Government of any political persuasion have ever accepted that it is possible to define poverty in a meaningful way.

Statistics on patterns of household disposable income, for the United Kingdom as a whole, are provided in "Households Below Average Income 1979-1992/93", a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Information for Wales is not available separately.

Textile Industry

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many persons are currently employed in the textile and garment making industry in Wales. [2919]

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Mr. Gwilym Jones: The latest available figures are for 1993 when, according to the census of employment, the number of employees employed in the manufacture of textiles and wearing apparel in Wales was 12,300.

School Transport

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice he has issued to local authorities with regard to escort provision on school transport services. [2928]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Welsh Office Circular 19/95 "Home to School Transport", which was issued on 10 May 1995, contains guidance about local education authorities' responsibilities in providing supervision on school transport.

A copy is available in the Library of the House.

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what new initiatives he proposes to improve safety on school buses; [2929]

Mr. Norris: I have been asked to reply.

I hope to lay two sets of regulations before the House later this autumn. The first will require seat belts to be fitted in minibuses and coaches used specifically for the transport of children. The second will remove the concession allowing three seated children, under 14 to count as two passengers, when travelling on public service vehicles fitted with seat belts.

Housing Expenditure

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the planned expenditure for housing in Wales for the year 1996-97; and if he will make a statement. [2925]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: My right hon. Friend will be announcing the details of his public expenditure decisions for 1996-97 in December.

Clinical Negligence Claims

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was (a) the number of cases reported alleging clinical negligence, (b) the total amount of money

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claimed in these cases, (c) the total amount of money advised by trust solicitors or otherwise resolved by trusts in settlement of such claims, and (d) the figures for (c) expressed as a percentage of turnover, for each health trust and for Wales as whole for each of the last two years for which information is available. [641]

Mr. Richards: I will write to the hon. Member and will place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.

Council Tax

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list for each district council in constant 1995 prices the actual amount collected in council tax within each band and in average terms for each available year since its introduction, indicating also the corresponding amounts collected per household; [1850]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The available information is given in the following tables. Table 1 gives the amounts of council tax budgeted to be collected by each authority at the beginning of each financial year. This information is not collected by band. The average per dwelling is based on the number of dwellings liable for the council tax in the relevant year.

Table 2 gives the available, equivalent information for unitary authorities.

The figures for the implied council tax levels in 1995-96 have been derived from the final disaggregated budget and indicative standard spending assessments issued on 27 October. These redistribute 1995-96 budgets and SSAs for the existing councils to the new authorities. Weighted band D taxes, based on the actual 1995-96 taxes set in each district area within the new unitary boundaries, are given together with estimates of the amount which would have been raised by that level of tax. Per dwelling averages are not available.

On 30 October, I announced that a scheme would be introduced to damp the increases in council tax arising from the disaggregation exercise.

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Table 1: Amounts raised from the council tax, band D averages and per dwelling averages, 1993-94 to 1995-96 at constant 1995-96 prices

Total amount of council tax budgeted to be collected (£ million) Average band D council tax (£) Average council tax per dwelling (£)
1993-941994-951995-961993-941994-951995-961993-941994-951995-96
Alyn and Deeside9.89.710.4398393403358351357
Colwyn7.67.88.1377372387330325338
Delyn9.19.19.8397377401358340360
Glyndwr5.55.75.9374366383328330345
Rhuddlan7.17.37.7393384399328319333
Wrexham Maelor14.414.515.1398388406330320334
Carmarthen7.48.29.0363390439326355397
Ceredigion9.510.311.3373404451337370406
Dinefwr5.05.36.0364394445313339379
Llanelli9.510.311.5414447495317341378
Preseli Pembrokeshire9.09.810.7354381427313340378
South Pembrokeshire5.76.06.8339368416304322367
Blaenau Gwent6.46.77.2315319343217220238
Islwyn5.95.96.4319308334224236255
Monmouth10.110.311.1330330351349346368
Newport13.914.315.3324328349272277294
Torfaen8.89.110.0326327354253259280
Aberconwy7.27.28.4345361400307323359
Arfon5.86.36.7342365382270286302
Dwyfor3.94.24.7327347384288307340
Meirionnydd4.74.75.2359356391295291318
Ynys Mon9.19.310.0353370399304323349
Cynon Valley5.26.37.0299356390208249274
Merthyr Tydfil4.75.66.4294349396203242274
Ogwr12.515.918.3297358401248304342
Rhondda5.97.48.3292353400191235266
Rhymney Valley8.710.511.9299357402227271305
Taff Ely9.511.012.3324365402268300332
Brecknock5.25.66.2326356393310339370
Montgomeryshire6.26.87.6312341377284311343
Radnorshire2.93.23.6309341378287317348
Cardiff29.329.633.8302299338266265299
Vale of Glamorgan13.113.315.4310313353308310348
Port Talbot5.55.96.4366385419279293317
Lliw Valley7.37.98.7366384419298313341
Neath8.08.69.3400422454313328353
Swansea22.324.726.6376397435317339366
Wales321.6344.4379.1341358392287303330

Source: Local authority returns.


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Table 2: Band D council tax estimates for unitary authorities--estimates based on the latest budget and indicative SSAs compared with averages of actual taxes levied in component districts, 1995-96

(a) Estimates based on latest unitary budget figures and indicative SSAs for 1995-96 (b) Estimates based on weighted averages of actual band D taxes set in component districts in 1995-96
Implied band D council tax Implied council tax to be collected Weighted band D council tax Implied council tax to be collected
(£)(£ million)(£)(£ million)
Anglesey3208.039910.0
Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire42218.138516.5
Aberconwy and Colwyn29212.039416.2
Denbighshire49116.139312.9
Flintshire42621.440220.2
Wrexham36714.540515.9
Powys34816.138317.7
Cardigan59014.845111.3
Pembrokeshire37215.442317.5
Carmarthenshire44325.246326.4
Swansea34826.143232.5
Neath and Port Talbot51521.943618.5
Bridgend39217.140117.6
Vale of Glamorgan34615.835516.2
Rhondda, Cynon, Taff49032.839826.7
Merthyr Tydfil4357.13966.4
Caerphilly40719.837518.3
Blaenau Gwent52410.23436.7
Torfaen3519.935410.0
Monmouthshire2428.035111.7
Newport24610.734915.3
Cardiff37138.133934.9
Wales392379.1392379.1

Source: Local authority returns.


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