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Local Enterprise Companies (Training)

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in what ways the eligibility, financial and operating rules which apply to the delivery of training programmes by LECs in 1997-98 will differ from the rules outlined in the new contracting documents which replace the training and enterprise councils annual funding agreement in England. [13593]

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson [holding answer 30 January 1997]: The rules in England are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. The rules for Government training programmes in Scotland are contained in the management statements and manual of project and programme rules of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Copies have been placed in the House of Commons Library. Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have responsibility for the delivery of Government training programmes through their respective networks of local enterprise companies. The contents of the annual operating contracts which exist between these enterprise organisations and the individual local enterprise companies within their networks are a matter for the enterprise organisations.

Northern Isles (Ferry Services)

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland by what date final tender proposals have to be submitted to his Department in respect of the provision of passenger ferry services for the Northern Isles. [14872]

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 10 February 1997]: The shipping operators who are competing for the award of subsidy under the new block grant arrangements for the support of passenger ferry services to the Northern Isles have been asked to submit their tenders by Monday 24 February 1997.

Northern and Western Isles (Freight Services)

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he proposes to issue a consultation paper on the future subsidy arrangements for the carriage of bulk freight to the Northern and Western Isles; and if he will make a statement. [14873]

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Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 10 February 1997]: A consultation paper on bulk freight shipping services in the highlands and islands area was issued on Friday 7 February 1997. Responses have been invited by Friday 19 April.

Departmental Staff

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff his Department employs to advise schools on attaining self-governing status; and what is their current salary. [15172]

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson [holding answer 1 February 1997]: Self-governing schools matters are dealt with by four officials within a policy branch of the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department which also deals with a range of other matters, including registration of, and liaison with, independent schools, the administration of the assisted places scheme, and school transport. Other officials, including Her Majesty's inspectors of schools and those dealing with legal and financial issues, also have occasional involvement on such matters when the need arises. It is not Scottish Office policy to disclose the salaries of individual officials.

WALES

Farms (Negative Equity)

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many full-time farm businesses had a negative equity in each year since 1985; and if he will make a statement. [12756]

Mr. Jonathan Evans [holding answer 28 January 1997]: Results of the farm business survey show only isolated incidences of farm businesses in the sample with negative equity--defined as liabilities greater than assets--since 1986-87, the first year for which information is readily available.

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many full-time farm businesses in Wales had negative equity in each year since 1985. [13894]

Mr. Evans: Results of the farm business survey show only isolated incidences of farm businesses in the sample with negative equity--defined as liabilities greater than assets--since 1986-87, the first year for which information is readily available.

Public Information Videos

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many public information videos produced by his Department and the agencies for which he is responsible have been subtitled or signed. [14382]

Mr. Hague: In the past five years, no public information videos produced by my Department or agency Cadw have been subtitled or signed.

Economic Activity

Mr. Donald Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what changes he plans to make to his policy to

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redress the imbalance in economic activity and inward investment between south-east Wales and south-west Wales. [14422]

Mr. Hague: I would like to see more investment in the western parts of Wales and in those other areas that have so far not been the principal beneficiaries of inward investment.

I will therefore set the Welsh Development Agency new and more demanding targets for inward investment outside the eastern M4 and A55 corridors. Additionally, I am asking the WDA, within agreed UK and European limits, to recognise the extra costs of locating in some areas by being prepared to give more assistance to companies locating in those areas than to equivalent projects elsewhere.

Hospital Waiting Times

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on current hospital waiting times in (a) Clwyd and (b) Powys. [14889]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Since 1 April 1996, the residents of Clwyd are the responsibility of North Wales health authority and the residents of Powys are the responsibility of Dyfed Powys health authority.

At 30 September 1996, 95 per cent. of north Wales residents and 93 per cent. of Dyfed Powys residents who were waiting for a first out-patient appointment had been waiting less than six months. In both areas, 99 per cent. of those waiting for in-patient or day-case treatment had waited less than 18 months and no one had waited over two years.

Maternity Beds

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of maternity beds provided by each (a) NHS and (b) non-NHS hospital in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [14893]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: A list of NHS hospitals in Wales providing maternity beds is given in the following table. There are no specifically designated maternity beds in private hospitals in Wales.

NHS HospitalAverage daily number of maternity beds 1995-96(25)
Aberdare General4
Breconshire War Memorial6
Broddyfi Community2
Bronglais General16
Bryn Beryl5
Builth Wells Cottage3
Caerphilly District Miners23
Chirk Community3
Deeside Community3
Dolgellau and Barmouth6
East Glamorgan General40
Knighton2
Llandough50
Llandrindod Wells4
Llanidloes and District3
Montgomeryshire County Infirmary4
Neath General27
Nevill Hall31
Prince Charles41
Princess of Wales38
Royal Gwent68
Singleton68
Tywyn and District War Memorial2
University Hospital of Wales40
Victoria Memorial8
West Wales General32
Withybush General40
Ysbyty Glan Clwyd48
Ysbyty Gwynedd43
Ysbyty Maelor53

(25) Obstetrics and GP maternity. Provisional.


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Music Lessons

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what guidelines his Department has issued to (a) local education authorities and (b) schools in Wales regarding making music lessons available to pupils without consideration of parental payment; and if he will make a statement. [14780]

Mr. Hague: Welsh Office circular No. 4/89, "Charges for School Activities", a copy of which is in the Library, gives guidance on charges for individual tuition in playing a musical instrument unless the tuition was necessary as part of the syllabus for a prescribed public examination or of the national curriculum, when it must be provided free of charge. Amending legislation in 1993 subsequently extended charges to groups of up to four pupils.

Hospital Services

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many NHS hospitals in (a) Clywd and (b) Powys are currently paying private sector hospitals to treat NHS patients; if he will list the (i) hospitals concerned and (ii) costs involved; and if he will make a statement. [14892]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: I am advised that no NHS trusts based in the former county of Clwyd or in Powys are currently paying private sector hospitals to treat NHS patients.

Roads

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the (a) road building and (b) road repairing work planned to take place during 1997, and for each the (i) start date, (ii) planned completion date and (iii) cost; if he will identify those where the construction of a flyover is involved; and if he will make a statement. [14915]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Our spending plans for roads in 1997-98 were announced by my right hon. Friend on 12 December 1996. All major schemes in the forward trunk road programme are being reviewed in the light of that announcement. We are reassessing the competing priorities of individual schemes in the programme against the resources available. Details of the revised forward trunk road programme will be published in the Welsh Office departmental report shortly. Copies of the report will be placed in the Library of the House.

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