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Students

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many students in Wales applied for student loans in each year since 1991; and if he will make a statement. [2338]

Mr. Hague: These are matters for the Student Loans Company. I have asked the acting chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many students in Wales applied for hardship funds in each year since 1991; and if he will make a statement. [2339]

Mr. Hague: Since the academic year 1990-91 institutions in Wales have received student access funds so that they may provide financial help to students in financial difficulties. Institutions may supplement these funds from their own resources.

The number of students in the former public sector further and higher education institutions in Wales applying for assistance from the access funds in the academic years 1990-91 to 1993-94 is as follows:


Information on applications to the colleges of the university of Wales is not available prior to 1993-94. In that year, 3,260 students applied for assistance from the access funds. Information for academic year 1994-95 is not yet available.

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average grant received by undergraduate students in Wales in each year since 1991; and if he will make a statement. [2340]

Mr. Hague: The average net maintenance grants, after means-testing, received by mandatory award holders in Wales in the academic years 1990-91 to 1993-94 are set out in the following table. Since 1990-91, eligible students have also had access to non-means-tested student loans.

Average net maintenance grants to holders of mandatory awards (£) Wales: 1990-91 to 1993-94

Academic year Average net maintenance grant paid by local education authorities(21)
1990-911,590
1991-921,620
1992-931,690
1993-941,740

(21)To the nearest £10.


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 754

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what research has been undertaken in the last five years by his Department into the level of students suffering from stress and depression; and if he will make a statement. [2341]

Mr. Hague: None.

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps his Department has taken to improve the welfare and counselling services to students in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [2342]

Mr. Hague: As autonomous bodies, it is for individual further and higher education institutions to ensure that such services are sufficient to enable students to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.

Dental Services

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average annual payment, for each of the last three years for which figures are available, for patients who paid for NHS dental treatment, per family health services authority; and if he will make a statement. [2763]

Mr. Hague: Information about patient charges is held on the basis of individual courses of treatment rather than per patient. The estimated average patient charge per course of treatment is given in the following table:

Year ending March (£)
Family health services authority 1993 £ 1994 £ 1995 £
Clwyd19.6518.9120.06
Dyfed20.1619.6120.34
Gwent20.4719.4520.34
Gwynedd18.8818.0617.82
Mid Glamorgan20.6019.6920.60
Powys20.4920.1621.72
South Glamorgan19.9719.7621.36
West Glamorgan18.7818.4119.09

Source: Dental Practice Board.


Exempt patients and patients receiving remission from charges are excluded. The year relates to the date on which payment for treatment was authorised by the Dental Practice Board.

Assisted Places Scheme

Sir Wyn Roberts: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to extend the assisted places schemes in Wales. [3685]

Mr. Hague: As I mentioned in the Welsh Grand Committee earlier today, I proposed to double the number of places available under the assisted places scheme in Wales over a period of time. Over 700 pupils in Wales are currently benefiting from the scheme which makes an important contribution to our policy of parental choice, diversity and excellence in education.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 755

I propose to invite bids for additional places from schools already participating in the scheme and other schools which have reached an appropriate standard. Schools must be able to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and have a good record of performance in public examinations.

Bids will be invited for places at age 11 or 13, where there is currently a high demand, and at sixth form, bids will also be invited for places for children below age 11 years in junior departments which form an integral part of secondary schools.

Regional Selective Assistance

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the outturn figures for regional selective assistance (a) offers and (b) payments for 1994-95; and if he will indicate how these figures related to the original budgeted plans for that year. [2110]

Mr. Hague [pursuant to his reply, 24 November 1995, c. 414]: I regret that there was an error in my answer. The reference for the Industrial Development Act 1982 annual report should have been HC 723, not Cm 723 as quoted.

DEFENCE

Executive Agencies

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for each of his executive agencies for the last financial year in respect of overseas travel by agency staff (a) the costs of the travel, (b) the countries visited and (c) the posts held by the staff concerned. [2288]

Mr. Arbbuthnot: This is a matter for the agencies concerned. I have asked the chief executives to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from N. R. Essenhigh to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 756



    Posts of Hydrographic Office staff making overseas visits FY 1994-95
    Hydrographer
    Deputy Chief Executive
    Director Defence Requirements
    Director Production and Marketing
    Director Information Systems
    Director Nautical Charts and Publications
    Head of Product Development
    Head of Bilateral Arrangements
    Head of Maritime Safety Information
    Head of Physical Oceanography
    Head of Sales and Marketing
    Head of Information Processing Project
    Head of Finance
    Head of Submarine Operations and Surveys
    Head of Nautical Chart Branch 1
    Head of Nautical Chart Branch 4
    Head of Nautical Chart Branch 5
    Head of MOD/RN Requirements and Co-ordination
    Head of Tidal Branch
    Head of International Liaison
    Retired Officer 2-Maritime Safety Information
    Staff Officer Survey Planning
    Commercial Sales Manager
    SMCO Information Processing Project Implementation
    SMCO Submarine Operations and Surveys
    SMCO Operational Charting and Mine Countermeasure Support

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 757


    SMCO Physical Oceanography
    Engineering Manager
    Technical Officer Ship Equipment (HPTO)
    SMCO Printing
    SMCO Marketing
    Assistant Maritime Safety Information (Defence)
    Reviser Tidal Branch
    HMCO Information Processing Project Implementation
    HMCO Physical Oceanography
    HMCO Submarine Operations and Surveys
    SMCO MOD/RN Requirements and Co-ordination
    HMCO Geodesy
    HMCO Printing
    HMCO Marketing
    Technical Officer Print Equipment (PTO)
    Technical Officer Ship Equipment (PTO)
    Abbreviations
    SMCO = Senior Mapping and Charting Officer
    HMCO = Higher Mapping and Charting Officer
    HPTO = Higher Professional and Technical Officer
    PTO = Professional and Technical Officer

Letter from Alan Pollard to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    I have been asked by the Minister to reply to your parliamentary question on overseas travel by Defence Agency Staff during Financial Year 1994-95. LISA was formed on 21 November 1994 and the figures listed at the Annex to this letter are based on travel after that date and before 1 April 1995. The figures do not include my staff travelling on RAF flights in support of operations, since I do not hold such costs. If you require further details please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Travel overseas by LISA personnel-Financial Year 1994-95

    CountryPostCost £
    GermanyHPTO159.70
    GermanyCaptain175.60
    GermanyMajor159.70
    CanadaWarrant Officer1,678.46
    GermanyHEO282.26
    Germany Lieutenant Colonel 282.26
    GermanyCaptain159.70
    GermanyCaptain236.46
    GermanyContractor236.46
    GermanyContractor236.46
    USAAO2,641.00
    GermanyColonel159.70
    GermanyRO2159.70
    GermanyContractor249.86
    CanadaEO2,507.40
    CanadaPTO2,291.06
    GermanyCaptain321.70
    CanadaWarrant Officer2,507.40
    CanadaEO2,507.40
    GermanyCaptain322.56
    GermanyCaptain322.56
    GermanyCaptain341.68

    Letter from Captain W. S. Graham to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 758



    1. In your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence, you asked for a list for each of his executive agencies for the last financial year in respect of overseas travel by agency staff:
    (a) the costs of the travel
    (b) the countries visited
    and
    (c) the posts held by the staff concerned
    In response:
    2. RNAY Fleetlands
    (a) £8601 spent on Travel and Subsistence.
    (b) Countries visited: Holland, Cyprus, Germany and Norway.
    (c) Variety of Industrial and Non Industrial posts held consisting of:
    Quality Assurance Manager
    Engineering Manager
    Dope Shop Supervisor
    Safety Officer
    Quality Inspectors
    Technical Officer
    Engineering Desk Officer
    Aircraft Fitters (6)
    3. RNAW Almondbank
    (a) £3088 spent on Travel and Subsistence
    (b) USA only country visited
    (c) Engineering Services Manager
    Engineering Desk Officer.

Letter from Philip Wildman to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    1. The Secretary of State has asked me to reply direct to your question seeking details of overseas travel undertaken by the staff of this Defence Agency in Financial Year 1994-95. I regret that the Chief Executive is unable to reply personally due to absence.
    2. The answers you require are as follows:
    (a) Cost of Travel--£578,000 excluding costs of centrally provided trooping services e.g. Washington and British Forces Germany.
    (b) Countries Visited--see Annex A attached.
    (c) Posts Held by Staff Concerned--
    (1) Serial 1--Headquarters
    Director General and supporting staff.
    (2) Serial 2--Commitments
    Commitments staff are responsible for MOD geographic policy and its related NATO and international aspects.
    (3) Serial 3--Acquisition
    Acquisition staff are responsible for the development and maintenance of highly cost-effective exchange agreements which enable Military Survey to obtain the geographic data essential for Defence needs world-wide.
    (4) Serial 4--Production and Information Systems
    Production staff travel is undertaken to manage the technical aspects of NATO and international coproduction and burden-sharing agreements. In addition, some travel by Information Systems staff is in support of standards and compatibility work to facilitate the international exchange of geographic data.
    3. I hope you find this information useful.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 759

    Military Survey Defence Agency Overseas Travel Destination Financial Year 94-95

    SerialFunctionCountries Visited
    1 Headquarters (Director General and senior staff) Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic,Greece, Australia, Bosnia, Norway, Romania, Turkey USA.
    2 Commitments Belgium, Germany, Bosnia, USA, Spain, Denmark, Canada, Cyprus, Honk Kong, Holland
    3 Acquisition USA, Czech Republic, Greece, dubai, Muscat, Austria, Bahrain, Saudia Arabia, Sweden South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Hungary.
    4 Production and Information Systems Germany, Belgium, USA, Finland, France, Canada,Denmark, Norway, Holland, Poland, Cyprus.

    Letter from Jim Drew to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:




    I have been asked to reply, as Chief Executive of the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO), to your recent Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State if he will list for the FY 94/95 details in respect of overseas travel as follows:
    a. costs of travel
    b. countries visited
    c. posts held by staff who visited those countries.
    I detail below the information in respect of ABRO:

    Grade Destination Subsistence Cost (£)
    G7 Production Canada 501
    SPTO Engineers Paris, Sweden, Germany 884
    HPTO Paris, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg 2,388
    RO1 Supply Germany 119
    EO Managers Germany 104
    Med/Dent Repair Belize 465
    Sen C/Hand Technicians Belgium 181
    Total4,642

    The total commercial air costs were £4,783, which has proven difficult to break down in the time available and does not include air trooping flights for which we are not charged. The first 3 elements in the above table were directly related to repair support contracts in place with commercial companies based in these countries: the remainder were routine staffing meetings with our customers and suppliers. Therefore, the total overseas travel costs were £9,425.


Letter from Michael Maycroft to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:

I have been asked by the Secretary of State for Defence to reply to your Parliamentary Question about overseas travel by agency staff. As the Chief Executive of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency (DCTA) I can advise you of the following information in respect of this agency.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 760


Letter from Peter Trevelyan to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:

You asked the Secretary of State for Defence for details of expenditure by Executive Agencies for the last Financial Year in respect of overseas travel by agency staff. I am replying on behalf of the Defence Accounts Agency.


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 761

Letter from Richard Kyle to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 28 November 1995:


Letter from Peter Ayee to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    I write as Chief Executive of the Royal Air Force Signals Engineering Establishment (RAFSEE) Defence Agency in response to your Parliamentary Question, No 9363 of 23 November 1995, to the Secretary of State for Defence.
    The role of the Agency is to design, install and recover ground signals systems and selected airborne equipment for its operational customers in the UK and overseas. In carrying out these tasks, RAFSEE design and installation staff visited locations in Germany, Cyprus, USA, Belgium, Dubai and Gibraltar on a total of 52 occasions in the period between Agency launch on 22 November 1994 and the end of the Financial Year. The total cost was £54,253.

Letter from John Clarke to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    The Secretary of State for Defence has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question, about details of overseas travel by Agency staff during the last financial year, in my capacity as Chief Executive of the Naval Recruiting and Training Agency.
    You will wish to be aware that the Naval Recruiting and Training Agency (NRTA) came into being on 1 April 1995 and, as such, was not an executive agency during the period of the last financial year.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 762

Letter from Brian Raine to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    The Secretary of State for Defence has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question about overseas travel by Agency staff.
    Our Bursar did travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada in order to reconnoitre the situation at the International Tattoo in Halifax in preparation for our Pipe Band going there in June 1995. The cost of the trip was £609.20.

Letter from W. E. Spreadbury to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    In the absence of the Chief Executive on duty, I am replying to your enquiry concerning overseas travel by agency staff.
    The details you requested are:-
    (a) £2,185
    (b) Germany, for Rhine Army Show
    (c) Headmaster, Publicity Officer and four pupils.

Letter from J. M. Powell to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    1. I have been asked by the Secretary of State for Defence to reply to your Parliamentary Question.
    2. The specific answers are as follows:
    (a) The costs of travel during FY 1994/95 were £155,946.
    (b) Travel in Europe related solely to training and the management of schools within SCS (NWE) in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. In addition one visit was made to service schools in Cyprus.
    (c) The posts held by staff travelling were:
    i. travel in Germany was by all staff of SCS (NWE).
    ii. travel elsewhere was by the Chief Executive, three Assistant Chief Executives, the Budget manager, Finance manager, Personnel manager, Contracts manager, members of their staff, Headteachers and members of the Inspection Advisory Service.
    3. However, it must be appreciated that the Service Children's Schools (North West Europe) Agency with its Headquarters in Rheindahlen Germany is concerned with the operation of service schools in North West Europe, where 80% of service families posted overseas are stationed. Therefore whilst all travel undertaken by Agency staff is "overseas" this represents no more than the normal discharge of duties; The only exception was a four day liaison visit to Cyprus by the Chief Executive.
    4. If you require any further information or clarification please contact this Headquarters.

Letter from Paul Altobell to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about Next Steps Agencies and how this relates to my Agencies.
    The responses to your questions in the order put to me are:
    In the last financial year DASA spent £547 on overseas travel.
    The country visited was France.
    The trip was for one Grade 6.

Letter from Keith Ellender to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    I am replying on behalf of the Disposal Sales Agency to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence about overseas travel.
    The information in respect of my Agency is as follows:
    Costs: The overall costs amounted to £97,198.09.
    Countries Visited: Austria, Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar, India, Lebanonn, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, USA.
    Posts Held: Chief Executive
    Assistant Director (Germany)
    Assistant Director (Plans & Budget)
    Disposal Sales (Health & Safety)

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 763


    Disposal Sales (Marketing Agreements)
    Assistant Director (Ships & Armaments)
    Disposal Sales (Ships)
    Disposal Sales (Armaments)
    Royal Navy Liaison Officer
    Royal Navy Liaison Officer--(Helicopters)

Letter from John May to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence on overseas travel by the staff of executive agencies during the last financial year has nevertheless been passed to me to answer in respect of the Royal Air Force Training Group Defence Agency.
    The breakdown of the information you ask for is not collected centrally within the Agency or by any other branch of the Royal Air Force. The cost of any trawl to determine the statistics you require would take extensive and un-resourced clerical effort, at a cost that would substantially outweigh any benefit arising from the answer. Nor have we any plans for our future financial and management accounting systems to access discrete data of this nature. It is a principle of good business management that authorization of and accounting for overseas travel should be delegated to the lowest proper level and accommodated within overall travel and subsistence budgets. I therefor regret that I am unable to help you further.
    I am sending a copy of this letter to the Agency's owner, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Personnel & Training Command.

Letter from I. A. Lumsden to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:

The Secretary of State for Defence has asked the Chief Executive to reply to your Parliamentary Question regarding details of overseas travel in the year 1994-95. The Chief Executive is absent on leave and I am standing in for him.


Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:

I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about overseas travel by agency staff.


Letter from Tweedie McBrown to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence, PQ 2288, concerning overseas travel by Defence Agency staff has ben passed to me. As Head of the Defence Postal & Courier Services Agency (DPCSA), I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Secretary of State in respect of travel by staff from within my Agency.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 764


    The DPCSA exists to provide a postal and courier service to MoD/Service establishments in the UK and throughout the rest of the world. My Agency also undertakes work on behalf of other Government Departments, particularly the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. In fulfilling our role we therefore send significant number of staff abroad on a regular basis.
    During FY 1994/95 the Agency spent £638k on civil airline and RAF transport costs. In addition, foreign accommodation and subsistence amounted to £79k.
    The Courier Service operates scheduled delivery services for classified material to most countries in which HM Forces personnel are serving, and to HM Ships wherever they operates. We also provide non-scheduled special services when the need arises. The Postal Service operates a scheduled service for non-classified mail to HM Forces serving throughout the world, including HM Ships and UN Forces in locations such as Bosnia.
    Almost all of the foreign travel & accommodation costs relate to Defence Couriers. These are civilian (ex military) staff employed for the sole purpose of providing the courier service. Military staff from the Agency were also sent abroad to support military operations, particularly in Bosnia. Overseas travel by senior Agency staff is limited to visiting British Forces Post Offices (BFPOs) and other military facilities and is infrequent.
    I hope you find this information helpful. Should you require any further information please let me know.

Letter from J. C. R. Hunt to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 29 November 1995:



    I have been asked to respond to your recent question to the Defence Secretary concerning overseas travel by executive agency staff.
    In 1994-95 the cost of overseas civil air travel and subsistence for Meteorological Office staff is estimated to have been some £560,000. The costs were incurred in pursuit of the Meteorological Office's role as a member of the international meteorological community.
    The countries visited were:
    Africa
    South America
    Ascension
    New Zealand
    Belgium
    Denmark
    Norway
    France
    Switzerland
    Holland
    Italy
    Spain
    Poland
    Middle East
    North America
    Canada
    Australia
    Austria
    Cyprus
    Finland
    Sweden
    Germany
    Gibraltar
    Ireland
    Portugal
    Hungary
    Russia
    Far East

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 765


    Unfortunately information on the posts held by the staff concerned is not available.
    I am sorry that I am unable to reply fully to your question but I hope the information I have given will be of help.


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