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Education Funding

Mr. Richards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make a statement on the additional finance intended for education in 1997-98; [14060]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: The provision for education announced by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget statement on 26 November relates to England. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales announced his spending plans for 1997-98 on 12 December 1996. He announced direct provision of £566 million for education in Wales, including the highest-ever level of capital provision for schools at £68 million. This is additional to resources provided to local authorities for the running costs of their schools and other education services as part of their standard spending assessments. Overall, these SSAs are increased by 2.3 per cent. for 1997-98, in line with the increase in English total standard spending for local authorities. They are not hypothecated to particular services. It is for individual local authorities to decide what they wish to spend on education.

Rhuddlan Bypass

Mr. Richards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he estimates the Rhuddlan bypass will be (a) completed and (b) open. [13942]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Denbighshire county council estimates completion and opening by late April or early May.

Dental Services

Mr. Richards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the schemes to improve NHS dentistry in (a) Conwy and (b) Denbighshire. [13944]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The £3 million initiative announced in September 1995 enabled Welsh health authorities to offer grants to attract new dentists into those parts of Wales where they are most needed, and to expand the community dental service.

The effect of the initiative in Conwy and Denbighshire is that, in Conwy, grant aid has been offered for three new dental practices, one of which is already open, and to the Clwydian Community Care NHS trust to recruit an additional dentist in the community dental service. In Denbighshire, grant aid has been offered to one new dental practice that is already open, and to one existing practice that has taken on additional dentists. The Clwydian Community Care NHS trust has also been offered grant aid to recruit a new dentist for a new mobile surgery which is being funded by the Welsh Office initiative.

3 Feb 1997 : Column: 522

Beef Industry

Mr. Richards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on measures taken to help the beef sector since 1992. [13945]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: The package of reforms to the common agriculture policy agreed in 1992 provided for the introduction in 1993 of the beef special premium scheme and suckler cow premium scheme. These schemes have injected £164.4 million into the beef sector in Wales since 1 January 1993.

Following the statement by my right hon. Friend on 20 March 1996, the Government have committed £3.5 billion to support the industry in the UK, over four years, on the following measures in response to the BSE crisis:

SchemePayments in Wales
Beef marketing payments scheme 1£1.27 million (paid early October 1996)
Beef marketing payments scheme 2Estimated £1.6 million to be paid
Slaughtering industry (emergency aid) scheme£622,863 paid to Welsh abattoirs
Beef stocks transfer scheme£312,494 paid to Welsh participants (to 24 January 1997)
Beef special premium supplementary payments£4.47 million paid to date
Suckler cow premium supplementary payments£4.1 million paid to date
Over thirty months scheme--(32)
Calf processing scheme--(32)
Selective cull--(32)
Clean beef top up--(32)
Beef and beef products disposal service--(32)
Animal feed disposal service--(32)
Intervention support--(32)
Aid to the rendering industry--(32)

(32) Not disaggregated from United Kingdom total

Working Time Directive

Mr. Richards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the impact of implementing the working time directive on (a) the tourism industry and (b) the agriculture sector. [14055]

Mr. Hague: The impact would depend on the implementing legislation. Decisions on legislation have not yet been taken and the Government are consulting on the options. A compliance cost assessment was published as part of the consultation document, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.


Ministerial Committees

Mr. Key: To ask the Lord President of the Council on what date in December 1996 and January 1997 he attended the Ministerial Committee on Co-ordination and Presentation of Government Policy. [14126]

Mr. Newton: In accordance with the principle of collective responsibility for Government decisions, including the need to maintain the frankness and candour of internal discussion and advice, details of proceedings of Cabinet committees are not published.