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Tuition Fees

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to pay the fourth year of tuition fees for eligible Northern Irish students beginning degrees at Scottish universities from 1998 onwards; and if he will make a statement. [25417]

Mr. Worthington [holding answer 26 January 1998]: The issue remains the subject of ministerial discussion.

Tourism Promotion

Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the recent commission to Lord Lichfield by the British Tourist Authority to take promotional photographs around Britain includes Northern Ireland. [25762]

Mr. Ingram: The British Tourist Authority is responsible for the promotion of England, Scotland and Wales but not Northern Ireland, therefore, its commission to Lord Lichfield did not include Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board works closely with the BTA in a number of overseas markets and BTA distributes Northern Ireland literature on a commercial basis in certain markets.

Mr. Maginnis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to what extend the Northern Ireland Tourist Board's marketing links with Bord Failte in the Irish Republic restrict it from participation in British Tourist Authority promotions. [25761]

Mr Ingram: Joint marketing to promote the island of Ireland between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Bord Failte does not restrict additional joint activity with the British Tourist Authority. The NTB will continue to promote with both organisations to optimise tourism to Northern Ireland.


Social Housing

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much the Government spent in each of the last 10 years on (a) new social housing stock and (b) maintenance of social housing stock, in (i) Glasgow and (ii) Scotland. [22750]

Mr. Macdonald: Social housing for rent during the period specified has been provided by local authorities, the New Town Development Corporations, Scottish Homes and Housing Associations. The available information on expenditure by these bodies is set out in the tables. For local authorities and New Towns, the Government granted consent to incur expenditure through borrowing and use of receipts. The expenditure contained in the tables for Scottish Homes' own stock and Housing

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 173

Associations came from Government grant-in-aid and receipts. In addition, Housing Associations attracted private finance, which is not included in the tables.

Table 1: Public expenditure on construction of new social housing stock

£ million

Table 2: Public expenditure on maintenance of social housing stock

£ million

1. Amounts shown are at cash prices.

2. The local authority figures for 1996-97 are provisional and may be subject to change. The local authority figures for Glasgow are for Glasgow District Council up to 1995-96 and Glasgow City Council for 1996-97.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 12 January 1998, Official Report, column 109, on PFI schemes, what is the capital cost of each scheme; and what agreements for payment have been entered into by each procuring agency. [23493]

Mr. Dewar: The capital value of each project is set out in the table. Payment arrangements vary from project to project. The service payment made in each of the Health PFI deals is a unitary payment based on the availability of the facility (or the acceptance of the IT modules) and the performance of the service. Payments would therefore be reduced if part of the facility (e.g. a ward or an operating theatre) were unavailable for any reason, or if the level of service were to fall below the minimum level stated in the contract.

For the Stirling Further Education Centre, Falkirk College will pay a monthly charge for occupying a fully serviced and maintained facility, the charge being subject to adjustment based on performance by the operator. The College has an option to reduce the space that they occupy with a consequent adjustment in their payments.

Payment arrangements for the M6 DBFO are based on a shadow toll structure under which payments to the operator will be related to the volume of traffic using the road over the project period. Provisions are in place to reduce payments in relation to the economic cost of delays and disruption associated with the operation and maintenance of the road.

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For HM Prison Kilmarnock, the prison operator will be paid on the basis of the number of available prisoner places. Payments are subject to deductions for failure to meet agreed levels of performance.

The tariff payment arrangements for the Inverness main drainage and Fort William sewage treatment scheme are based on a banded payment structure which relates payment to the quantity of effluent passed into the sewage works for treatment. The PFI concessionaire will also receive payment for the treatment of additional sewage sludge imported by the water authority.

Revenue to the joint venture consortium for the Baldovie waste to energy plant project will be based on volume based payments for the waste treated and the value of electricity sales. Further details can be obtained from Dundee City Council.

PFI projects in Scotland

Procuring agencyProject descriptionCapital value £ million
(a) construction/work underway
Law Hospital NHS TrustProvision and operation of a hospital information system2.5
Grampian Health BoardProvision and operation of a community hospital in Kincardineshire (Stonehaven)3.8
Perth and Kinross Healthcare NHS TrustProvision and operation of an integrated healthcare information system2.3
Victoria Infirmary NHS TrustProvision of elderly care beds, Mearnskirk Hospital2.4
Falkirk CollegeStirling Further Education Centre3.6
M6 DBFOUpgrading and maintenance of A74(M) (M6) between Millbank and Border160.0
Scottish Prison ServiceBowhouse Prison, Kilmarnock32.0
(b) legal and financial work completed but construction yet to commence
North of Scotland Water AuthorityInverness main drainage and Fort William sewage treatment45.0
Dundee City CouncilBaldovie waste to energy plant43.0

Scottish Parliament

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what grounds the option to house the Scottish Parliament in a separate new building in the Calton Hill, Regent Road area of Edinburgh was rejected. [24947]

Mr. McLeish: Housing the entire Parliament in a separate new building in the Regent Road area was not considered to be a realistic option. A proposal was put forward which would have involved the construction of a new debating chamber on Regent Road, but it was considered to be less suitable in terms of operational efficiency and less acceptable in terms of visual impact than housing the entire Parliament complex within the curtilage of St. Andrews House.

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration was given to the area around New Street, Edinburgh, as a possible site for the Scottish Parliament. [24949]

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 175

Mr. McLeish: The area around New Street, in particular the former bus garage, was considered but rejected as being less suitable than the sites which were subsequently shortlisted.

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date the Scottish Office was informed by Scottish and Newcastle that the Holyrood site would be available for the Scottish Parliament. [24950]

Mr. McLeish: Agents acting for Scottish and Newcastle PLC first approached The Scottish Office in October 1997 about the possibility of the Holyrood site being considered. Following detailed discussions with the agents and the company to establish, in particular, when the site was likely to become available my right hon. Friend announced in December that Holyrood had been added to the shortlist of sites under consideration.

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the plans for the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood involve the closure to vehicular traffic of (a) Holyrood Road and (b) Horse Wynd. [24948]

Mr. McLeish: The Scottish Office and The City of Edinburgh Council are committed to developing arrangements for improving traffic management around the Holyrood site to create a pedestrian-friendly environment. Proposals will be developed and implemented in time for the completion of the Parliament building.

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