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SCOTLAND

Kintore Bypass

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for what reason topsoil was buried by contractors constructing the bypass at Kintore in Aberdeenshire. [3513]

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Mr. Chisholm: Top soil was retained as part of the foundation of some sections of the road for geotechnical reasons. In all other sections top soil has been stripped and stockpiled for later landscape use, in accordance with normal practice.

Creagan Bridge

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the timetable for the construction of the Creagan bridge, what are the financial resources involved; and if he will make a statement. [3794]

Mr. Chisholm: Preparation of this scheme is well underway to permit a construction start in February 1998, subject to finance being available. Construction is estimated to take 18 months and the estimated scheme costs are £6.3 million, including VAT.

European Union Funding

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to discuss with interested bodies the future of objective 1 funding for the Highlands and Islands; and if he will make a statement. [3795]

Mr. Chisholm: The Government have not put forward detailed submissions at this early stage of the reform of the structural funds. We expect to put forward proposals after the results of the inter-governmental conference are known. In the meantime Scottish Office officials are in discussion with those from the local authorities and Highlands and Islands Enterprise about the future options.

Hopetoun House, Linlithgow

Ms Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the public funding made available to Hopetoun house, Linlithgow, over the last five years; what use was made of those funds; how they were invested; and what interest has accrued on them. [3655]

Mr. Chisholm: Awards under the Historic Buildings Repair Grant scheme to Hopetoun House Preservation Trust over the past 5 years have amounted to £272,400. In addition, Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise have provided £72,600 towards refurbishments. These sums, paid from programmes for which I am responsible, have contributed towards work which has been satisfactorily completed.

I am also aware that sums of £190,465 and £4,000,000 have been awarded by the European Regional Development Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund respectively.

School Leavers

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of (a) female and (b) male children leave school at 16 in Scotland, broken down into local authority areas; and if he will make a statement. [3658]

Mr. Wilson: Percentages for 1995-96, the latest year for which information is available are as follows. Pupils are regarded as having left on achieving the school leaving age in 1995-96 if they:



18 Jun 1997 : Column: 185

These arrangements therefore allow some pupils to leave school while they are still 15 years old.

Local Taxation

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to introduce proposals to allow Wales and Scotland to introduce different systems of local taxation from that being operated in England; and if he will make a statement. [2933]

Mr. McLeish [holding answer 16 June 1997]: The Government's proposals for devolutions to Scotland and Wales will be announced in White Papers in due course.

Housing (Energy Efficiency)

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average energy efficiency rating for Scotland's housing stock; and if he will provide a breakdown by (a) local authority, (b) private sector and (c) housing association dwellings. [3305]

Mr. Chisholm [holding answer 17 June 1997]: This information is not yet available but the report of the 1996 Scottish House Condition Survey, which is expected to be published by Scottish Homes in the autumn, will include information on the energy efficiency rating of the housing stock surveyed.

Rough Sleepers Initiative

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to alter the framework for the distribution of funds under the rough sleepers' initiative. [3306]

Mr. Chisholm [holding answer 17 June 1997]: No decisions about the distribution of funds under the rough sleepers initiative will be taken until local authorities have submitted bids and I have received a report from the advisory group which has been established to advise on the merits of the bids received. The deadline for submission of bids is end-July. We have, of course, increased the amount available under the initiative this financial year by £1 million to £4 million.

Percentage of leavers who left at school leaving age 1995-96

MaleFemale
Scotland33.024.9
Local authority
Aberdeen City37.330.0
Aberdeenshire28.020.6
Angus35.025.2
Argyll and Bute28.720.1
Clackmannanshire24.724.4
Dumfries and Galloway41.630.7
Dundee City37.330.5
East Ayrshire37.325.5
East Dunbartonshire32.823.1
East Lothian32.627.6
East Renfrewshire18.719.6
Edinburgh, City of24.420.9
Falkirk37.026.4
Fife29.620.4
Glasgow, City of39.133.3
Highland28.721.4
Inverclyde27.927.5
Midlothian30.626.2
Moray34.723.3
North Ayrshire31.723.3
North Lanarkshire38.826.0
Orkney Islands38.821.9
Perth and Kinross22.516.6
Renfrewshire36.729.1
Scottish Borders36.729.7
Shetland Islands42.421.4
South Ayrshire32.020.7
South Lanarkshire32.022.1
Stirling25.421.7
West Dunbartonshire41.323.9
West Lothian35.728.2
Western Isles23.26.6

Sources:

GRO(S) Mid-Year Population Estimates.

SOEID Annual Survey of School Leavers.


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Primary School Class Sizes

Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are (a) the average and (b) the maximum numbers of children in primary school classes in (i) Inverclyde and (ii) Scotland; how many children are taught in classes with a number in excess of 30 pupils; and if he will make a statement. [3460]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 17 June 1997]: The latest information for 1995 is as follows:

InverclydeScotland
Average class size25.125.3
Maximum number in class3435
Number of pupils in classes of 31 or more86776,913

The information excludes the small number of classes which consist of a large group of pupils being taught by more than one teacher. It covers single and two stage classes in publicly funded schools only.

Class sizes are a matter in the first instance for local authorities and the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee for teachers in school education The Government have made clear the priority it attaches to raising standards in Scottish schools. I expect to work closely with local authorities to help achieve that objective. Last month I made available £13 million for early intervention and raising standards in primary schools.

I will arrange for comparable information for each education authority in Scotland to be placed in the Library of the House.

Food Poisoning

Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from institutions conducting research on E. coli relating to lack of funding. [3614]

Mr. Galbraith [holding answer 17 June 1997]: We have received no such representations.

Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has budgeted for research into food-poisoning in 1997-98, broken down to show the funds dedicated to (a) E. coli, (b) campylobacter and (c) salmonella. [3616]

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Mr. Galbraith [holding answer 17 June 1997]: The information requested is set out in the following tables. The majority of research in this area is funded by the Departments of my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

E. coliCampylobacterSalmonella
£££
The Scottish Office Department of health
80,468----
The Scottish Office, Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department
634,221106,657395,511



Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the research grant applications which have been submitted to the Scottish Office for funding into the causes of E.coli, indicating which of these have been (a) accepted and (b) rejected within the last six months; what was the date when each was accepted or rejected; and if he will make a statement on the financial costs relating to each application. [3608]

Mr. Galbraith [holding answer 17 June 1997]: Eleven applications have been submitted to the Scottish Office since December 1996 of which eight were successful and one was unsuccessful. A further two applications are still under consideration. The applications are listed in the following table.

The Scottish Office Department of Health
(£000s)

Time of applicationDecisionDate of decisionAmount
Epidemiology and Laboratory Studies of Escherichia Coli 0157Accepted18 April 199730
Fine Structure Analysis of VTEC in Scotland(9)--18 April 1997126

(9) This project was neither accepted nor rejected, but deemed to be more appropriate to Research Council funding.


The Scottish Office, Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department

Title of applicationDecisionDate of decisionAmount
Prevalence of E. coli 0157: H7 in Scottish Livestock (Part I)Accepted14 March 19979
Prevalence of E. coli 0157: H7 in Scottish Livestock (Part II)AcceptedNot yet commissioned382
Molecular typing of the WL subclone of E. coli 0157: H7Accepted2 April 199721
Molecular typing of the WL subclone of E. coli 0157: H7Accepted2 April 199721
Characterisation of commensal and pathogenic E. coli populations in cattleAccepted30 April 1997180
Improved techniques for the rapid detection of Escherichia coli 0157 in foodsAccepted30 April 1997300
Intestinal microbial community structure in VTEC and non-VTEC carrying cattleAcceptedNot yet commissioned45
Proposal to investigate the virulence of Escherichia coli 0157Rejected17 March 1997125
Laboratory studies with verocytotoxigenic E. coli, particularly serogroup 0157Under consideration-- approximately 85
Consumer perception of risk in relation to food safetyUnder consideration-- approximately 200

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Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on research into food-poisoning in each of the last five years, broken down to show the funds dedicated to (a) E. coli, (b) campylobacter and (c) salmonella. [3615]

Mr. Galbraith [holding answer 17 June 1997]: The information is set out in the following tables. The majority of research in this area is funded by the Departments of my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

(£000's)

E. coliCampylobacterSalmonella
The Scottish Office Department of Health
1992-93394--
1993-9425----
1994-95521--
1995-965833--
1996-971411--
The Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department
1992-9348----
1993-9448----
1994-9550--32
1995-9670--251
1996-97183102420


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