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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 17 May 1993

TRANSPORT

Buses

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the average age of buses in each of the last seven years.

Mr. Freeman : The average age of Hackney buses and coaches with nine or more seats in Great Britain licensed at the end of each of the last seven years is given in the table.


Average age.      

Year  |Years      

------------------

1986  |7.8        

1987  |8.0        

1988  |8.2        

1989  |8.3        

1990  |8.4        

1991  |8.8        

1992  |9.2        

Source: DVLA.     

Aircraft Security

Mr. Hall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to ensure that the Civil Aviation Authority enforces, and that British registered airlines comply with, the security regulations in regard to the quantity of baggage permitted to be brought into aircraft cabins.

Mr. Norris : The CAA recently issued a notice reminding aircraft and aerodrome operators of the measures available to them for restricting the excessive carriage of cabin baggage and of their duty to comply with them in the interest of passenger safety. The authority will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the regulations are adhered to.

Bus Services, London

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many bus routes in London have been put out to tender ; what savings have resulted ; and how many of these tenders were won by London Buses.

Mr. Norris : London Transport operates some 650 bus routes in London. Of these, 268 have been competitively tendered, with London Buses winning 132. LT estimates that tendering has produced average costs savings, net of administration costs, of 15 per cent.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who will be responsible for responding to requests from residents' groups on residential estates in London to discuss the introduction of a bus service.


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Mr. Norris : London Transport has a general duty under the London Regional Transport Act 1984 to provide or secure the provision of public passenger services for Greater London. It has no statutory obligation to respond to approaches from residents' groups, but such organisations are free to approach LT direct to discuss future bus provision.

Privilege Rail Tickets

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the number of privilege rail tickets granted under reciprocal arrangements to employees of overseas railway administrations for travel within Great Britain in 1991-92.

Mr. Freeman : British Rail advises that it issued 57,023 coupons for such travel on its services in the calendar year 1991. It is not known how many of these were actually used.

Bus Operators

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the publicly or municipally-owned bus operators that are excluded from submitting tenders for the provision of services in Great Britain.

Mr. Freeman : All publicly or municipally owned bus operators are free to submit tenders to provide bus services.

Robin Hood Line

Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Government will be making additional funding available for the Robin Hood line between Nottingham and Mansfield.

Mr. Freeman : The Government will be making available to Nottinghamshire county council additional resources of £6.5 million for stage 2 of the Robin Hood line. These resources are in addition to the £367,000 which the Government have already made available towards the costs of stage 1 of the line. The additional resources should make it possible to extend the Robin Hood line from Nottingham at least as far as Mansfield.

Taxis

Mr. Bendall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has had with the National Association of Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Enforcement Officers regarding two-tier taxi licensing systems, and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris : My officials met the National Association of Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Enforcement Officers on 5 May to discuss the licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles, principally outside London. NAPTHELO gave the Department copies of its draft proposals for the future of the taxi and private hire vehicle licensing system which we will be studying with interest.

Mr. Bendall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he has taken on the recommendations contained in paragraph 23 of the report of the working party on the safety of users of taxis and minicabs in London.


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Mr. Norris : I am aware of the situation outside London where there is a two-tier system for licensing taxis and private hire vehicles. I will take experience of this into account in making a decision on any changes to the licensing regime for the capital.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of how many parliamentary questions a substantive answer was not provided by his Department wholly or partly on the ground of disproportionate cost in each of the last 18 months (a) in total and (b) as a proportion of questions answered.

Mr. Norris : The information requested is as follows :


Month              |Number of         |Number of         |Percentage                           

                   |Parliamentary     |disproportionate                                        

                   |questions answered|cost answers                                            

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 1991      |392               |2                 |0.51                                 

December 1991      |173               |0                 |-                                    

January 1992       |223               |0                 |-                                    

February 1992      |371               |1                 |0.26                                 

March 1992         |172               |0                 |-                                    

April 1992         |General Election  |-                 |-                                    

May 1992           |170               |0                 |-                                    

June 1992          |359               |2                 |0.55                                 

July 1992          |259               |1                 |0.38                                 

August 1992        |Recess            |0                 |-                                    

September 1992     |Recess            |0                 |-                                    

October 1992       |205               |1                 |0.48                                 

November 1992      |334               |1                 |0.29                                 

December 1992      |181               |1                 |0.55                                 

January 1993       |196               |2                 |1.02                                 

February 1993      |418               |0                 |-                                    

March 1993         |392               |0                 |-                                    

April 1993         |213               |1                 |0.48                                 

                   |-----             |-----             |-----                                

Total              |4,058             |12                |0.29                                 

Third Thames Crossing

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what cost- benefit analysis was used in selecting his Department's preferred option of a bridge, rather than a tunnel, for the A102 Blackwall third crossing ; what emphasis this cost-benefit analysis gave to the impact of a bridge on the local community, business and the environment ; if his Department will publish the cost-benefit analysis in full in time for the consultation phase ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris : The Department has a standard cost benefit analysis for assessment of the effects of new road schemes in urban conditions--URECA-- which addresses the likely change in traffic conditions and therefore the effect on the local community. The scheme's technical appraisal, which contains a summary of this analysis, is available and I will send the hon. Gentleman a copy if he wishes.

A formal environmental assessment is not prepared in the early stages of a scheme. Full details of the preferred bridge option for a new crossing at Blackwall, including landscaping proposals, air quality and noise pollution assessments, were included in public exhibitions held recently as part of the current public consultation exercise.

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he had with local government,


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community and business organisations prior to publication of his Department's consultation document on the A102 Blackwall third crossing ; and how many of the organisations that he met were in favour of the Department's preferred bridge option.

Mr. Norris : Earlier this year the Department consulted on an informal basis the London boroughs of Greenwich and of Tower Hamlets and the London Docklands development corporation. It also had similar informal consultations with British Gas because of its wide-ranging Port Greenwich development proposals on its land at Blackwall peninsula and with industrialists on the north bank. The recent, widely advertised public consultation exercise is the opportunity for all interested parties to comment. Not surprisingly, the bridge option has received a mixed reaction.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a detailed environmental assessment, including analysis of noise pollution, of the planned bridge at Blackwall.

Mr. Norris : A formal environmental assessment is not prepared in the early stages of a scheme. Full details of the preferred bridge option for a new crossing at Blackwall, including landscaping proposals, air quality and noise pollution assessments, were included in public exhibitions held recently as part of the current public consultation exercise.

Oxleas Wood

Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has recently received any communication from the European Commission with regard to Oxleas wood in Woolwich ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris : I have recently received the European Commission's reasoned opinion on the east London river crossing. We will study it carefully but remain confident that we will be able to persuade the Commission of the merits of our case.

M6

Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was paid for the land at Red Star which was bought for widening the M6 at Fulwood in Preston.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : The Department does not disclose information about individual compensation claims.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Crown Prosecution Service

Mr. Blair : To ask the Attorney-General what proportion of cases were discontinued by the crown prosecution service on the grounds of (a) evidential insufficiency or (b) it being not in the public interest to continue for each year since the instigation of the crown prosecution service.

The Attorney-General : Reasons for discontinuance are not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


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The total numbers of defendant cases discontinued in each year were as follows :


Year    |Number         

------------------------

1987-88 |108,900        

1988-89 |120,714        

1989-90 |140,313        

1990-91 |151,236        

1991-92 |174,411        

1992-93 |193,774        

The interim findings of Home Office research into the reasons for the termination of cases included 54 per cent. terminated on evidential grounds and 32 per cent. terminated in the public interest.


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Mr. Blair : To ask the Attorney-General how many cases were (a) received by the crown prosecution service from police, (b) completed in the magistrates court, (c) discontinued by the crown prosecution service before or at the magistrates court hearing, (d) committed to the Crown court by the magistrates court or (e) otherwise disposed for each year since the instigation of the crown prosecution service in each crown prosecution service region.

The Attorney-General : The tables show the numbers of defendant cases in each category dealt with in the 31 areas of the crown prosecution service for each year since April 1987. Cases received for pre-charge advice are also shown. "Other proceedings", such as forfeiture under the Obscene Publications Act, have been recorded separately since 1991.


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Table 6                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Magistrates' Courts Cases 1992-93                                                                                                                                                                              

                           |Received           |Finalised          |of which:                                                                                                                                  

                                                                   |Advice only        |Completed in       |Discontinued       |Committed to Crown |Other Disposals    |Other Proceedings                      

                                                                                       |Magistrates' Courts                    |Court                                                                          

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inner London               |146,480            |148,352            |2,749              |80,785             |22,538             |11,440             |29,075             |1,765                                  

London North               |76,838             |73,918             |3,781              |44,749             |12,284             |5,556              |6,498              |1,050                                  

London South               |58,390             |58,182             |2,322              |37,363             |8,481              |4,720              |4,845              |451                                    

Avon/Somerset              |34,379             |34,049             |1,283              |22,485             |4,549              |2,650              |2,611              |471                                    

Herts/Bedfordshire         |30,415             |30,408             |1,814              |19,159             |3,881              |1,787              |2,757              |1,010                                  

Cambridge/Lincolnshire     |31,326             |28,325             |1,669              |20,255             |3,328              |2,173              |720                |180                                    

Cheshire                   |26,300             |25,749             |1,478              |17,752             |2,653              |1,976              |951                |939                                    

Cleveland/North Yorkshire  |40,663             |40,418             |2,135              |26,210             |5,480              |3,655              |1,636              |1,302                                  

Cumbria/Lancashire         |62,616             |61,486             |2,398              |43,497             |6,625              |5,097              |3,281              |588                                    

Derbyshire                 |23,285             |23,613             |3,967              |14,200             |2,062              |1,711              |1,386              |287                                    

Devon/Cornwall             |30,174             |30,985             |1,428              |23,106             |2,659              |2,026              |1,394              |372                                    

Dorset/Hampshire           |58,043             |59,271             |1,750              |43,874             |4,724              |3,913              |4,330              |680                                    

Durham/Northumbria         |68,353             |69,382             |2,151              |44,856             |12,478             |4,748              |4,656              |493                                    

North Wales                |36,250             |36,436             |1,218              |27,077             |4,175              |1,665              |1,757              |544                                    

Essex                      |39,869             |41,670             |2,030              |28,385             |3,064              |1,974              |6,065              |152                                    

Gloucestershire/Wiltshire  |33,417             |33,434             |1,168              |22,858             |3,835              |1,496              |3,014              |1,063                                  

Greater Manchester         |105,716            |103,350            |2,382              |71,911             |10,541             |7,568              |6,202              |4,746                                  

Gwent/South Wales          |75,537             |77,529             |5,083              |50,273             |9,395              |4,684              |6,647              |1,447                                  

Humberside                 |24,139             |24,042             |1,382              |16,536             |1,949              |2,320              |379                |1,476                                  

Kent                       |28,463             |27,643             |1,125              |17,907             |4,865              |2,366              |1,156              |224                                    

Leicester/Northamptonshire |38,202             |40,406             |2,334              |26,174             |4,773              |3,104              |2,973              |1,048                                  

Merseyside                 |54,586             |56,090             |1,099              |41,584             |5,960              |4,835              |2,238              |374                                    

Norfolk/Suffolk            |36,760             |37,951             |3,484              |26,610             |3,156              |2,244              |1,651              |806                                    

Nottinghamshire            |27,794             |28,837             |523                |19,876             |4,083              |2,530              |1,501              |324                                    

South Yorkshire            |39,155             |39,885             |5,257              |22,839             |6,342              |3,106              |2,049              |292                                    

Staffordshire/Warwickshire |46,806             |45,895             |2,741              |33,027             |4,981              |2,872              |1,383              |891                                    

Sussex                     |32,739             |32,186             |1,719              |22,082             |4,011              |2,049              |2,038              |287                                    

Thames Valley              |45,320             |45,489             |3,108              |28,714             |6,201              |2,449              |4,231              |786                                    

                           |West Mercia        |27,614             |26,977             |1,198              |19,200             |3,833              |1,544              |908                                    

West Midlands              |76,593             |74,305             |1,545              |48,616             |9,986              |6,524              |6,095              |1,539                                  

West Yorkshire             |74,364             |76,249             |6,228              |48,403             |10,882             |7,300              |3,212              |224                                    

                           |-------            |-------            |-------            |-------            |-------            |-------            |-------            |-------                                

Total Field                |1,530,586          |1,532,512          |72,549             |1,010,363          |193,774            |112,082            |117,639            |26,105                                 

Other disposals comprise committal hearings in which the defendant was discharged, cases where the defendant was bound over to keep the peace, instances where the defendant cannot be found, and other cases  

where the prosecution cannot proceed (e.g. through the death of the defendant).                                                                                                                                


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Table file CW930517.004 not available

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Table file CW930517.005 not available

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Table file CW930517.006 not available

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Table file CW930517.007 not available

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Table file CW930517.008 not available

Mr. Blair : To ask the Attorney-General what assessment his Department has made of the proportion of victims who are consulted when a case is discontinued by the crown prosecution service.

The Attorney-General : The crown prosecution service does not consult victims directly. Where appropriate the victim's views are made known to the CPS through the police, who are consulted before a case is discontinued and to whom the victims charter assigns the role of keeping victims informed about proceedings. The interests of the victim are an important factor in determining the balance of the public interest.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Profit-related Pay

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the estimated cost in 1991-92 and 1992-93 of tax forgone by the Inland Revenue through profit-related pay schemes.

Mr. Dorrell : The latest information is as follows :


Estimated cost of income tax   

relief                         

           |£ million          

-------------------------------

1991-92    |40                 

<1>1992-93 |200                

<1> Provisional.               

Self-employed People

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many self-employed people in Wales have claimed tax relief on personal pension payments in each of the last three years ; and if he will indicate in each instance the number who have claimed the maximum amount of tax relief available.

Mr. Dorrell : In 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91, the most recent three years available, the estimated numbers of self-employed people in Wales claiming relief on pension payments are 50,000, 60,000 and 70,000 respectively. Reliable information on numbers claiming the maximum relief is not available.

Rugby Football

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment the Inland Revenue has made of the implications of the Rugby Football Union report entitled "Inducements to Move, Incentives to Stay and Other Illegal Payments", a copy of which has been sent to him ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Dorrell : The Inland Revenue is aware of the Rugby Football Union report. It is making inquiries to establish whether any players have received taxable income or benefits which they have not declared. It will take appropriate action when its inquiries are completed.

Water Expenditure

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors underlie the differential categorisation of borrowing for water supply purposes by Scottish, English and Welsh local authorities as respect Government expenditure ; and what plans he has to bring the positions into line.

Mr. Portillo : In Scotland expenditure by local authorities on water and sewerage is subject to the same controls as other capital expenditure. No distinction is made between borrowing for water supply and for other local authority capital projects.

English and Welsh local authorities have no statutory responsibility for developing and maintaining water supplies, except in the Isles of Scilly and do not therefore need to borrow to finance capital investment. Supplementary credit approvals are issued by the Department of the Environment for capital expenditure in connection with the provision of supplies in the Isles of Scilly.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in respect of how many parliamentary questions a substantive answer was not provided by his Department wholly or partly on the ground of disproportionate cost in each of the last 18 months (a) in total and (b) as a proportion of questions answered.

Mr. Nelson : Relatively few parliamentary questions are not answered substantively by Treasury Ministers on ground of disproportionate cost.

Overseas Contracts

Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy towards British subjects working on contracts in the middle east for United Kingdom companies whose salary is administered in Britain for income tax and national insurance contributions.

Mr. Dorrell : The tax treatment of United Kingdom citizens working abroad for United Kingdom companies, whether in the middle east or elsewhere, depends on a number of factors, including their residence status for United Kingdom tax purposes ; and the terms of any relevant double taxation agreements and the length of time they spend outside the United Kingdom.


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I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security that, where individuals remain ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom while working abroad, they and the United Kingdom companies to which they are contracted are liable to pay class 1 national insurance contributions for the first 52 weeks of employment in most middle eastern countries. Contributions may be paid voluntarily by the individual after that time.

Israel is the only middle eastern country with which the United Kingdom has a social security convention. Under the terms of that convention, class 1 contributions may be due for the first five years of employment there. Liability would arise under Israeli national insurance law if the employment lasted for longer than five years.

Inland Revenue Solicitor

Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the future structure of the offices of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue and the Solicitor of Inland Revenue (Scotland).

Mr. Dorrell : The offices of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue and of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue (Scotland) were two of the executive offices of the Inland Revenue established in April 1992 as part of the Inland Revenue's response to the next steps programme, Official Report, 6 March 1992, columns 319-21. These offices have been merged for management purposes to form a single executive office under the overall management of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue. However, the post of Solicitor (Scotland) continues to exist within the new office and the holder of the post continues to act as solicitor to the Board of Inland Revenue in Scotland. A framework document for the new office will be placed in the House Library shortly.

Petrol Tax

Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what is the estimated amount of revenue that will be raised by (a) petroleum revenue tax and (b) petroleum excise duty in 1993-94.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 14 May 1993] : Forecast revenues in 1993-94 from petroleum revenue tax are£0.6 billion and from excise duties applied to leaded and unleaded petrol are £9.6 billion.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Drama Funding

Mr. McKelvey : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will publish a geographical breakdown of funding for drama provided by the Scottish Arts Council ; and if such funding decisions rest with members of the drama committee or the paid officers of the Scottish Arts Council.

Mr. Brooke : The geographical breakdown of funding for drama by the Scottish Arts Council is set out in the table. Decisions on revenue funding for drama clients are taken by the council in the light of recommendations by the drama committee. Decisions on funding projects and schemes are taken by the drama committee.


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Drama<1>                                         |£                  

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Borders                                                              

  Jane Houston Green                             |200                

                                                                     

Central                                                              

  Federation of Scottish Theatre Ltd.            |18,000             

  MacRobert Arts Centre                          |1,900              

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |19,900             

                                                                     

Edinburgh                                                            

  Benchtours                                     |3,500              

  Communicado Theatre Company                    |156,873            

  Celtech Events                                 |1,000              

  Edinburgh Puppet and Animation Festival        |3,000              

  Edinburgh Puppet Company                       |9,000              

  Edinburgh Touring Circuit                      |3,000              

  Fifth Estate                                   |34,000             

  Grassmarket Project                            |1,500              

  Hullaballoo Childrens Theatre                  |30,000             

  Pat Keysell                                    |1,255              

  Duncan Low                                     |300                

  Jo McNamara                                    |3,000              

  Muirhouse Festival Activities Centre           |900                

  Boilerhouse Theatre Company                    |13,997             

  Royal Lyceum Theatre Co. Ltd.                  |530,271            

  Streets Ahead Theatre Company                  |1,500              

  Scottish International Children's Festival     |20,000             

  The Traverse Theatre (Scotland) Ltd.           |323,793            

  Theatre Scotland                               |3,000              

  Theatre Workshop Edinburgh Ltd.                |11,500             

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |1,151,389          

                                                                     

Fife                                                                 

  Byre Theatre of St Andrews Ltd.                |129,920            

                                                                     

Glasgow                                                              

  Annexe Theatre Company                         |3,000              

  Birds of Paradise Theatre Company              |4,000              

  Citizens Theatre Ltd.                          |514,786            

  Clanjamfrie                                    |7,500              

  Clyde Unity Theatre                            |41,000             

  Fablevision                                    |20,000             

  Govan Initiative                               |2,100              

  Jane Jewel                                     |1,000              

  Flloyd Kennedy                                 |200                

  Music Theatre Lab.                             |5,000              

  Media Theatre Company                          |3,000              

  Pen-name Theatre                               |40,000             

  Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre                |3,000              

  Jo Smith                                       |300                

  7:84 Theatre Company Ltd.                      |175,702            

  Scottish Youth Theatre Ltd.                    |21,000             

  Scottish Drama                                 |2,000              

  Scottish National Association of Youth Theatre |5,000              

  Phyllis Steel                                  |200                

  Ian Turbitt's Puppet Theatre                   |300                

  Tron Theatre Ltd.                              |211,839            

  Tag Theatre Company                            |151,334            

  Visible Fictions                               |15,000             

  Woodside Area Arts Project                     |1,000              

  Winged Horse Touring Productions               |18,000             

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |1,246,261          

                                                                     

Grampian                                                             

  Aberdeen Art Gallery/City of Aberdeen          |11,000             

  Banff & Buchan District Council                |1,500              

  Crathes 1992                                   |1,500              

  The Invisible Bouncers                         |6,000              

                                                                     

Co-Ordinating Association                        |5,000              

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |25,000             

                                                                     

Highland                                                             

  Eden Court Theatre                             |1,000              

  Grey Coast Theatre Company                     |22,000             

  National Gaelic Arts Project                   |18,000             

  Clown Jewels                                   |22,000             

  Ross & Cromarty District Council               |1,000              

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |64,000             

                                                                     

Lothian                                                              

  East Lothian District Council                  |57,541             

                                                                     

Strathclyde                                                          

  Black Box Puppet Theatre Trust                 |14,628             

  Borderline Theatre Company Ltd.                |160,476            

  MacMyth Project                                |3,000              

  Cumbernauld Theatre Trust Ltd.                 |36,500             

  Edward Jackson                                 |500                

  Wildcat Stage Productions Ltd.                 |190,021            

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |405,125            

                                                                     

Tayside                                                              

  Dundee Repertory Theatre Ltd.                  |266,486            

  Tayside Regional Council                       |650                

  Pitlochry Festival Soc. Ltd.                   |227,193            

  Perth Repertory Theatre Ltd.                   |266,987            

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |761,316            

                                                                     

Island Authorities                                                   

  Alan Watters                                   |3,000              

                                                                     

Others                                                               

  Assitej G. B.                                  |500                

  Half Moon Young Peoples Theatre                |3,000              

  International Workshop Festival                |2,500              

  Medieval Players Company Ltd.                  |4,000              

  Northern Stage Company                         |1,000              

  Oily Carte Theatre Company                     |2,000              

  Ra Ra Zoo                                      |2,000              

                                                 |-------            

                                                 |15,000             

                                                                     

Total                                            |3,878,652          

<1> All companies are listed within their home region. Many spend a  

large proportion of their time touring outside that area.            

Marble Hill Park

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what legal obligations and other responsibilities passed on the transfer of ownership of Marble Hill park and house from the Greater London council to English Heritage in respect of the maintenance of Marble Hill park as a public open space and public amenity park including the provision of sports and children's facilities and public access to Marble Hill house.

Mr. Brooke : No specific legal obligations were transferred upon the abolition of the Greater London council under the terms of the Local Government Act 1985, although English Heritage accepted a responsibility as a public body to manage and maintain Marble Hill house and park. Paragraph 13 of the Local Government Reorganisation (Property, etc.) Order 1986 conferred additional powers on English Heritage to enable it to manage the park as a public open space and provide recreational facilities.

Arts Subsidies

Mr. Dicks : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how much subsidy from public funds has been provided to the arts in each year since 1987.


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Mr. Brooke : Government funding for the arts is channelled mainly through the Arts Council of Great Britain. The Arts Council's grant-in-aid for each year since 1987 is set out in the table.


Year       |£ thousand           

---------------------------------

1987-88    |139,300              

1988-89    |152,411              

1989-90    |155,500              

1990-91    |175,792              

1991-92    |<1>194,200           

1992-93    |221,200              

1993-94    |225,630              

<1>This excludes a special       

payment of £10.8 million to      

enable the English National      

Opera to buy the freehold of the 

Coliseum.                        

The Government also fund the business sponsorship incentive scheme, the theatres restoration fund and various research projects. For 1993-94, total central Government expenditure additional to the Arts Council's grant-in- aid will be approximately £5.6 million. Local authorities also fund activities, but no definitive figures on their overall expenditure are available.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

UN Conference on Environment and Development

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals the United Kingdom plans to put to the EC Development Council on 25 May, regarding progress made in following up the commitments made at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Development Council will consider progress by the Community since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, including what the Community is doing to help developing countries implement agenda 21. As part of this, the Council will consider the findings of a series of expert groups, in which Britain has played an active part. These groups considered priorities in the implementation of agenda 21 in developing countries. Britain chaired the group which considered energy efficiency issues.

Africa (Aid)

Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of the overseas aid budget goes to countries in Africa ; and which five countries in Africa receive the highest proportion of that aid.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In 1991-92 45 per cent. of bilateral aid which could be allocated by region went to Africa. The five top recipients were :


          |£ million          

------------------------------

Zimbabwe  |37                 

Ghana     |32                 

Kenya     |29                 

Zambia    |28                 

Uganda    |26                 


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Sub-Saharan Africa

Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Overseas Development Administration's most recent assessment of the economic situation in sub-Saharan Africa ; what are the economic prospects for Africa over the next 10 years on the basis of current international plans of action ; and whether Her Majesty's Government will support the drawing up of a new international plan of action for economic recovery.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The situation of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the poorest, is likely to continue to be difficult and challenging. Where African Governments are implementing economic and political reforms, these are producing positive results which the United Kingdom and the rest of the international community will continue to encourage and support. This support takes the form of substantial concessional aid, debt relief measures and trading arrangements which provide good access for exports from African countries into important markets including the EC ; foreign private investment can be increasingly important where African Governments create the right conditions.

A framework for guiding international support is already in place at a regional level, through the global coalition for Africa and the special programme of assistance to sub-Saharan Africa and at country level. These arrangements allow African governments, OECD country Governments and key international agencies to collaborate and to co-ordinate support.

Mozambique

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what parts of Mozambique he regards, for the purpose of providing aid and development assistance, as Government controlled and what parts as RENAMO administered.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : No such distinction is made for aid purposes. Aid is provided to meet identified needs wherever it is practicable to do so, taking account of the resources available and access to appraise and monitor use of the aid.

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide details of the channels through which United Kingdom development assistance and food and emergency aid is distributed in Mozambique.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : British food and emergency aid is provided primarily through non-governmental organisations, which are best placed to distribute to those most in need. In addition we have contributed to appeals from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Childrens Fund.

Longer-term development aid is provided in the form of balance of payments aid to support Mozambique's economic reform programme channelled through the Government of Mozambique's system for foreign exchange allocation ; capital aid for projects mostly channelled through British companies, and technical co-operation which funds British consultants and experts for a range of projects and training programmes.

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) food and


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emergency aid and (b) health care and medical project assistance the United Kingdom has given to (i) Government- controlled areas in Mozambique and (ii) areas administered by RENAMO, in accordance with the October 1992 general peace accord.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : As required by protocol VII of the October 1992 peace accord a donor conference was held in Rome in December. At this conference we pledged £3 million of humanitarian assistance. About £1.7 million of this has already been spent mainly for seeds and tools programmes managed by British non-governmental organisations. None of this commitment has so far been spent on medicines. Since the peace accord we and other donors have succeeded in distributing humanitarian aid much more widely throughout the whole of Mozambique, although some areas remain inaccessible.

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the estimated levels of diversion and/or theft of United Kingdom aid in Mozambique ; and what representations he has made to, or received from, the Mozambique authorities following Mozambican Government commissions of inquiry into aid diversion and theft in Mozambique.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The only reported losses of British bilateral aid have been pilferage of food aid. We estimate the losses to be less than 1 per cent. of bilateral food aid provided in 1992. All our bilateral food aid last year was provided through British non-governmental organisations, which employ contractors, paid on performance, to store and transport the food to specific destinations. Distribution to beneficiaries is supervised by NGOs. Distribution of food and other emergency aid is monitored at regular meetings in Maputo, to some of which RENAMO are invited. Our ambassador has taken up cases of pilferage with Ministers in the Government of Mozambique and provincial governors and has received assurances that action is being taken to prevent further instances.

South Africa

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the new South Africa development division will be operational in Pretoria ; and if he will publish details of its first year's budget showing the split between higher education projects and other sectors.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The new British development division in southern Africa will open on 7 June and manage our aid programmes in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. We expect the new office to run programmes totalling about £35 million per year. Nearly 40 per cent of this is currently spent on higher education, including postgraduate training awards in a variety of sectors.

China

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 7 May, Official Report, column 260, if he will list the types of information provided by (a) International Planned


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