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Standing Spending Assessment

(Jobseeker's Allowance)

Mr. Rooker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how claimants of the jobseeker's allowance are to be taken into account in calculating local authority standard spending assessment levels for 1997-98. [11944]

Sir Paul Beresford: The proposed standard spending assessments for 1997-98 use data on numbers of unemployed over a three-year period in 1993-96 and income support claimants in 1995. They therefore predate the introduction of the jobseeker's allowance.

Pollution (Energy Conservation)

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of current energy conservation measures in reducing pollution. [12118]

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Mr. Clappison: The progress report on carbon dioxide emissions from the UK's climate change programme, which was published in December 1995, includes an assessment of the energy efficiency measures which were in operation at that time. The Government are preparing a second national communication under the United Nations framework convention. This will report on progress since December 1995.

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to direct Nirex to investigate alternative sites for the establishment of an underground nuclear repository. [12150]

Mr. Clappison: None. Subject to planning permission and compliance with regulatory requirements, the selection of a suitable site for an underground repository for intermediate level radioactive waste is a matter for Nirex itself.

Local Education Authority Spending

Mr. Rooker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what factors underlie the differences in the rules for local education authority spending limits according to whether they are London boroughs, shire counties or metropolitan districts. [12054]

Sir Paul Beresford: In determining the caps limits for each class of authority, the Secretary of State takes into a range of factors including the pressures on authorities and the underlying increases in standard spending assessment.

WALES

Sea Empress Oil Spill

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimates he has made, for each wild bird species affected by the Sea Empress disaster, of the total number of birds killed, indicating in each case the number as a percentage of the estimated population in the area affected. [11348]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Under Secretary on 25 April 1996, Official Report, columns 268-69. There are no significant changes in the number known to have been killed since then, although I am advised that a survey of the common scoter sea duck has suggested a substantially decreased number of the species from last winter.

Hedgerow Preservation

Mr. Donald Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the implications for Wales of the judgment of Hull county court by Judge Cracknell concerning preservation of ancient hedgerows. [11434]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 20 January by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Official Report column 437.

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Public Expenditure

Sir Wyn Roberts: To ask the Secretary of Wales what was the total spending per head of the population in Wales derived from (a) European Commission sources and (b) Her Majesty's Treasury, in the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [11504]

Mr. Hague: In 1994-95, control total expenditure within my responsibility was £2,248 per head. European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund and European regional development fund receipts channelled through my Department in the same year totalled £75 per head.

Cardiff Print Centre and Bookshop

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment his Department has made of the financial and social impact of The Stationery Office's proposals for the Cardiff print centre and Cardiff book shop; and if he will make a statement. [11343]

Mr. Hague: My Department has made no such assessment. There is a contract between the Arts Council of Wales and The Stationery Office in respect of the management of the Oriel bookshop in Cardiff. The provision of services under the contract is a matter for the Arts Council and The Stationery Office.

Public Appointments Panel

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when and by what means the appointments panel positions announced on 14 January were advertised. [11707]

Mr. Hague: They were not advertised.

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many members of the public appointments panel announced on 14 January are members of a political party. [11705]

Mr. Hague: I am not aware that any are members of a political party, and they were not asked for this information.

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what were the criteria for inclusion in the list of advisers for Ministers on public appointments, announced on 14 January. [11706]

Mr. Hague: The criteria for inclusion on the list were wide experience of organisations and management at a senior level; an understanding of the context in which public bodies operate; and some distinction in their own careers or profession. Some direct experience of service in a public appointment was an advantage. The individuals on the list come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a wide range of different experiences and skills.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many private finance initiative projects his Department is involved in; if he will list them; and if he will make a statement. [11672]

Mr. Hague: Private finance initiative projects in which the Welsh Office is involved include: where deals have been agreed: Welsh Office IT system--OSIRIS;--University Hospital of Wales, phases 1 and 2 car parks

22 Jan 1997 : Column: 656

and concourse; energy management schemes at Withybush and Llandough hospitals; where projects are being considered: Bute avenue, Cardiff; A55 Anglesey; M4 relief road; A465 heads of the valleys road; staff residential accommodation and IT system, district general hospital, Llantrisant; day surgery unit, Nevill hall, Abergavenny; community hospital, Chepstow; replacement of radiotherapy equipment, Velindre; new general hospital at Baglan; Bronllys-Newtown hospitals, elderly medical, nursing and mental health facilities; north Meirionnydd-east Dwyfor community hospital; national library of Wales, IS-IT system; Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, Caerphilly.

North Wales Health Authority Funding

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what level of capitation funding the North Wales health authority will receive in 1997-98; and if he will make a statement. [11669]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The 1997-98 health authority allocations have not yet been announced.

General Practice

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of general practices in each health authority area in Wales. [12078]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The information is given in the table. Information for the new health authority areas is not yet available.

Number of general medical practitioner partnerships at 21 March 1996(12)
Clwyd71
Dyfed64
Gwent89
Gwynedd52
Mid Glamorgan103
Powys18
South Glamorgan71
West Glamorgan64

(12) Includes practices with only one principal GP.


Community Hospital, Porthmadog

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will approve the start of construction of the new community hospital at Porthamdog. [12027]

Mr. Hague: No. The outline business case for this scheme has been approved, and Gwynedd Community NHS trust is testing for private sector interest within the private finance initiative. The North Wales health authority has asked the trust to delay discussions with the private sector until its completes its major review of service priorities in March.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Northern Ireland Grand Committee

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many submissions he has

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received in relation to his proposals for extending the powers and role of the Northern Ireland Grand Committee; how many were favourable; and if he will make a statement on his future plans and their timing on the matter. [11196]

Sir Patrick Mayhew: Six substantive responses have been received as of Friday 17 January. It would not be appropriate to comment on them without prior approval and in circumstances in which further submissions are expected.

A decision in this context will be taken when the consultation process is completed.


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