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Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to reply to the letter sent to him by the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed on 10 November on the subject of Castle Morpeth borough council's objections to the Government's proposals on market franchise rights.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will identify for each of the proposals put forward to Government by the business deregulation task forces, and represented by numbers 193, 196, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 229, 264, 273, 283, 287, 292, 309 and 314 in the publication deregulation task forces proposals for reform (a) which the Government have already taken action on, (b) which are under further consideration and (c) which are not being considered further.
Mr. Gummer : The substantial deregulation action that my Department is taking in relation to all the task force recommendations, including those cited, to reduce unnecessary controls on business while safeguarding environmental and public safety is fully set out in each of the three categories at pages 36 to 44 of the DTI publication "Deregulation--Cutting Red Tape" that was issued on 19 January. A copy of this publication was placed in the Library of the House on that date.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of the public appointments he is responsible for making in addition to those identified in "Public Bodies 1993", including non- executive agency and other departmental management boards.
Mr. Baldry : In addition to the bodies identified in "Public Bodies 1993", and excluding departmental committees, of which no central record is maintained, the Secretary of State makes appointments to the following bodies :
New bodies established since Public Bodies 1993 (1 April 1993) Appointment |Annual |salary |£ -------------------------------------------------------------- Birmingham Castle Vale Housing Action Trust Chairman |25,315 Deputy Chairman |8,590 10 Members |5,030 English Partnerships Chairman |unpaid Deputy Chairman |24,605 4 Members |6,310 Local Government Staff Commission Chairman |25,200 2 Members |13,890 Tower Hamlets Housing Action Trust Chairman |25,315 Deputy Chairman |8,590 8 Members |5,030 Executive Agencies Ordnance Survey Director General |<1>- 3 management board non-executives |5,262 Planning Inspectorate Chief Planning Inspector |<1>- 4 Members of Advisory Board |unpaid Building Research Establishment Chief Executive |<1>- QE II Conference Centre Chief Executive |<2>- The Buying Agency Chief Executive |<2>- Security Facilities Executive Chief Executive |<2>- Other Bodies Office of Water Resources (OFWAT) Director General |<3>- 7 National Park Authorities (England) One-third of Members |unpaid Broads Authority 9 of the 35 Members |unpaid Sutton Housing Trust 4 of the 7 Trustees |2,120 Commission for Local Administration Chairman |<4>- 2 Commissioners |<3>- <1> Civil Service Grade 3. <2> Civil Service Grade 5. <3> Civil Service Grade 2. <4> Civil Service Grade 1.
Appointments to the Commission for Local Administration are made by Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the Secretary of State. One commissioner receives an addition of £1,000 per annum as deputy chairman.
The Secretary of State also appoints the local government independent adjudicator--£5,750--and
Column 641nominates 14 members for the European Community's Committee of the Regions. The appointments are formally made by the EC Council of Ministers.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 21 February, Official Report, column 5, if he will list the powers available to highway authorities to regulate or restrict vehicular use on byways open to all traffic and the circumstances in which these powers can be used.
Mr. Atkins : Local authorities' powers to regulate and restrict traffic are contained principally in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended. They apply to all roads over which the public has access--which includes byways open to all traffic. The powers are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Transport.
Mr. Kevin Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to include, as members of the working group into peat and related matters, independent producers of peat alternatives who are not involved in the peat industry.
Mr. Baldry : The Government have no plans to include independent producers of peat alternatives as members of the working group into peat. However, the scope of the greater use of alternative materials is an important feature of the group's work. I propose to consult the producers before finalising any future policies for peatlands.
Mr. Baldry : I have no plans to place the minutes of the meetings of the working group on peat in the Library. However, I will be publishing later this year, for wide consultation, a report summarising the information that has been made available to the group, together with a draft policy paper and a draft guidance note. Copies of these will be placed in the Library.
Sir George Young : The Housing Corporation is responsible for the payment of revenue support in respect of special needs projects operated by housing associations. To protect the position of these Mencap schemes, the corporation offered to make funding available to the housing association involved, Liverpool Housing Trust. Having assessed the information provided by the trust, the corporation will be paying transitional special needs management allowance in April.
Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimate of the annual cost of providing public housing or other publicly funded residential care for people who are homeless in England ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those contracts let by his Department in the last five years in which there was a requirement for specialised knowledge of local government accountancy showing for each contract the contractor, the price, the subject, the estimated number of person-days and whether the final report has been published or otherwise made available to the House.
Mr. Gummer : Many of the consultancy and research contracts let by the Department require some knowledge of local government accountancy, even if local government finance is not the main subject. It is not practicable to identify all the contracts that might be involved or the detailed information requested by the hon. Member except at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the allocation within Lewisham's standard spending assessment, on a per capita basis, for children at risk, during the next financial year ; what is the allocation for each of the other London boroughs ; on what basis this formula operates ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : The children's personal social services element for 1994-95 for Lewisham is £107 per head of resident population. Information for other London boroughs is in the table. The formula uses a "client group approach" ; the client group is the estimated number of children at risk. Cost adjustments are made to reflect the increased costs associated with social conditions and differences in the costs of provision between areas. The formula for the children's PSS element, along with the formulae for other SSA elements, has been revised in the light of the SSA review.
Table showing the children's personal social service (PSS) element for 1994-95 per head of resident population for Lewisham and the other London boroughs Borough |PSS for |Children |(£/head) ----------------------------------------- Lewisham |107 City of London |26 Camden |114 Greenwich |83 Hackney |175 Hammersmith and Fulham |108 Islington |150 Kensington and Chelsea |81 Lambeth |164 Southwark |129 Tower Hamlets |138 Wandsworth |79 Westminster |85 Barking and Dagenham |42 Barnet |42 Bexley |25 Brent |108 Bromley |26 Croydon |51 Ealing |68 Enfield |42 Haringey |125 Harrow |35 Havering |25 Hillingdon |35 Hounslow |59 Kingston-upon-Thames |28 Merton |39 Newham |118 Redbridge |41 Richmond-upon-Thames |25 Sutton |30 Waltham Forest |74
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) of 22 February, Official Report, column 109, what is the breakdown by occupation of the members of the 13 rent assessment panels in England.
Sir George Young : A total of 143 hold a legal qualification, 172 are surveyors or valuers, and 127 are appointed as lay members. The occupations of the lay members are varied : where details are known centrally, they are recorded in the list of members which was placed in the Library on 18 January.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the last meeting of the public information panel of his Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee was held ; and what information he has as to the next planned RAWPIP meeting.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals against banding for council tax are outstanding in Lambeth ; how many have been determined (a) on the grounds of manifest error, (b) by agreement and (c) following a hearing ; and how long it will be before all outstanding appeals are likely to be settled or determined.
Details of the number of the settlements which were resolved by agreement, the number which were withdrawn by the proposer and the number determined by tribunal for each local authority area are not collected centrally.
Column 644As I announced on 11 January, we expect four out of five appeals to be dealt with before the end of the year and the remainder to be settled as rapidly as possible thereafter.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has on the numbers of sea birds washed up on British coasts over the last three months ; what were the causes of death ; in what areas these birds were washed up ; and what types of birds they were.
Mr. Atkins : The Department's statutory conservation advisers do not keep records of the numbers of sea birds washed up dead on British coasts because this information has been found to be of limited value in interpreting wildlife mortality incidents. During the past three months there have been two major incidents involving the deaths of seabirds. One concerned pollution off the Lancashire coast at the beginning of the year and I refer the hon. Member to the answer he was given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Transport in London on 26 January, Official Report, column 245. More recently, between 25,000 and 60,000 guillemots and shags are estimated to have been washed up on the north and east coast of Britain. Starvation is believed to be the principal cause of death, possibly due to a combination of strong onshore winds which may have disturbed normal feeding activity and, perhaps, a mismatch between bird location and food activity.
Three other incidents have occurred in the Irish sea involving oil pollution in which over 1,500 sea birds were affected, including common scoter, guillemot, great crested grebe and razorbill.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the average local authority rent in each London borough for each year since 1980 with the percentage increase for each year in real terms.
Sir George Young : I have today placed in the Library a table showing the average local weekly unrebated rent for each London borough in financial years since 1988-89, including provisional figures for 1993-94. The percentage increases of rents expressed at 1988-89 prices for each year from 1989-90 are also given. The information for London boroughs could be provided for the years before 1988-89 only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Peter Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if rent officers, in their determination of fair rents for unfurnished private accommodation in inner London, are currently obliged to disregard scarcity ; and if he will make a statement on recent changes in fair rents in inner London.
Sir George Young : When determining the fair rent for any property, the rent officer is required to follow section 70 of the Rent Act 1977. This requires the rent officer to assume that the number of people seeking accommodation is not substantially greater than the number of homes available for letting : colloquially this amounts to disregarding any element of market rents which is due to scarcity.
Column 645Fair rents generally have been rising in recent years. This is a matter for rent officers and rent assessment committees, but it seems likely that, among other factors, it reflects the increased availability of evidence about market rent levels and a view that the discount to be allowed for scarcity has diminished following the deregulation of new lettings in 1989.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date he received representations from the environment directorate of the European Commission in relation to the compatibility of the proposed Cardiff bay barrage with the European Commission habitats directive and wild birds directive ; if he will place a copy of such communication or letter in the library ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : My right hon. Friend received a letter from the Environment Commissioner about the Cardiff bay barrage on 27 January. Such communications are confidential between the Government and the Commission.
Mr. Gummer : I have today written to Sir John Banham, chairman of the Local Government Commission for England, about the Commission's report, "Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset".
I am still considering the recommendations for both Avon and Somerset. Having carefully considered the commission's
recommendations for Gloucestershire, together with representations made to me, I am not at present convinced that effective and convenient local government will be best achieved by making no change to the current structure of local government in the county. I therefore intend to direct the commission to conduct a further review of Gloucestershire ; but before issuing a formal direction I have invited the commission's views on timing.
As with the further reviews of Derbyshire and County Durham, which I announced on 29 November 1993, I shall be directing the commission to have regard to the revised procedure and policy guidance issued in November 1993. I announced on 3 February that the final sentence of paragraph 3 of the policy guidance had been deleted by the High Court ruling on 28 January.
The review of Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset was conducted in accordance with the original policy guidance which I issued to the commission in July 1992. The revised policy guidance which I issued on 2 November 1993 clarified the Government's views on a number of issues, including the importance of local consensus. Representations have been made to me by local authorities in Gloucestershire that they should be given the opportunity to make fresh proposals on the basis of the new guidance. I consider that the local authorities and people of the area ought to be given that chance.
A copy of my letter to Sir John Banham has been placed in the Library.
Sir George Young : The Government have been encouraging local authorities to keep the number of empty council dwellings to a minimum so that the most effective use is made of the council housing stock. I am pleased to say that the local authorities have responded well to this encouragement and have been making good progress in recent years in reducing the number of their vacant dwellings. As at 1 April 1993 "management vacants"--those ready for occupation immediately or after minor works--were 40,000 compared to 54,000 in 1987--a drop of 26 per cent. The total number of vacant council dwellings were 71,000 compared to 112,000 in 1987.
Management vacants provide an indication of the empty dwellings available to meet housing need. The 20 authorities with the highest number of management vacant at 1 April 1993 are :
Ranking of authorities by numbers of Management Vacants at 1 April 1993. |Stock |Management|Percentage |Vacants --------------------------------------------------------------- 1) Hackney |40,802 |1,911 |4.68 2) Manchester |83,710 |1,306 |1.50 3) Sheffield |73,935 |1,104 |1.49 4) Liverpool |56,906 |969 |1.70 5) Leeds |79,638 |907 |1.14 6) Birmingham |107,288 |896 |0.84 7) Lambeth |44,523 |825 |1.85 8) Tower Hamlets |40,099 |679 |1.69 9) Southwark |55,377 |617 |1.11 10) Salford |34,750 |608 |1.75 11) Greenwich |33,202 |557 |1.68 12) Newcastle upon Tyne |40,368 |550 |1.36 13) Islington |37,608 |547 |1.45 14) Bristol |35,986 |519 |1.44 15) Wolverhampton |33,839 |503 |1.49 16) Nottingham |37,895 |502 |1.32 17) Coventry |21,441 |483 |2.25 18) Bradford |30,917 |458 |1.48 19) North Tyneside |24,058 |435 |1.81 20) Walsall |32,459 |427 |1.32
I am today placing in the Library a complete list of local authorities ranked on this basis.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the occasions since 1979 when Ministers have issued written instructions to override his Department's accounting officer's objections.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps the Government are taking to safeguard the incomes of beekeepers, following the cut in customs duties for honey imported from outside the EC agreed in the recent general agreement on tariffs and trade negotiations.
Mr. Jack : The problems faced by European beekeepers were discussed by the Agriculture Council on 24 January this year. At the request of the presidency the Commission will now make an analysis of the market situation and produce a reflections document for further consideration by the Council.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information she has relating agricultural employment to farm size, as measured by standard gross margin ; what information she has on the employment generation record of different sizes and types of farm ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : Information collected in the annual census of agricultural holdings includes the number of persons engaged in agriculture according to whether they are farmers, partners, spouses of farmers family or hired workers, full or part time, male or female. It also includes details of the level of cropping and stocking of holdings which enables the economic size and type of the farm to be determined. These data are available on a consistent basis for each year from 1988. Data for 1992 are contained in the table.
Numbers of persons employed in agriculture in England as at June 1992 Farm size group measured in ESU<1> |Less than 8 |8- < 40 |40 < 100 |100 < 200 |200 and over |very small |small |medium |large |very large -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family workers full time |1,208 |3,783 |6,605 |4,173 |1,767 part time |2,704 |3,637 |2,674 |999 |420 Hired workers full time |4,034 |7,427 |14,767 |16,781 |31,195 part time |3,411 |6,553 |7,386 |5,046 |8,906 Salaried managers |619 |879 |1,145 |1,336 |3,018 Farmers, partners and directors (including spouses) |61,460 |63,848 |54,559 |22,928 |10,542 <1> 1 ESU is equivalent to 1,000 ecu of standard gross margin at average 19
Sir Cranley Onslow : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations her Department has received about the opening date of the north-east coast drift net fishery ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : We have been asked by representatives of certain salmon angling and conservation organisations to postpone the opening date of the north-east coast salmon drift net fishery until 1 July. We are giving that request careful consideration and I hope to further address this matter in the near future.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what intention her Department has to phase out hill livestock compensatory allowance payments ; what representations she has received regarding any intention to phase out hill livestock compensatory allowance payments ; and if she will make a statement regarding the maintenance of hill livestock compensatory allowance payments for the duration of this Parliament.
Mr. Jack : I have received a number of representations about the future of hill livestock compensatory allowances. I have no intention of phasing out these payments, which are vital to the continuation of extensive livestock farming in the hills and uplands, and I fully recognise the contribution which this sector of agriculture makes in economic social and environmental terms.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will publish a table showing, in 1992-93 prices, the gross public spending for each year since 1990-91 and the projected expenditure for each year to 1995-96 for each executive non-departmental public body sponsored by her Department, as listed in "Public Bodies 1993".
Mr. Jack [holding answer 15 February 1994] : I attach a table showing total gross expenditure by executive non-departmental public bodies sponsored by my Department for the years 1990-91 to 1991-92, adjusted to 1992-93 prices. The figures for 1992-93 are shown in the publication "Public Bodies 1993", which is available in the Library of the House. Expenditure figures for 1993-94 are not yet available. Projected expenditure figures for future years will appear when the estimates are laid before the House.
Table of Executive Non-departmental Public Bodies £ million Total gross expenditure Total gross voted expenditure Body |1990-91 |1991-92 |1990-91 |1991-92 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Agricultural Training Board <1>n/a 11.428 7.580 Apple and Pear Research Council |0.193 |0.369 |nil |nil Food From Britain |8.628 |8.374 |4.969 |4.673 Home Grown Cereals Authority |6.800 |7.867 |1.211 |<2><3>1.105 Horticultural Development Council |1.965 |3.219 |nil |nil Horticulture Research International |17.586 |21.887 |14.395 |20.448 Meat and Livestock Commission |48.488 |49.264 |10.838 |<3>9.622 Royal Botanic Gardens |18.926 |20.456 |14.564 |16.826 Sea Fisheries Industry Authority |8.675 |9.208 |4.032 |2.652 Wine Standards Board |0.379 |0.355 |0.162 |0.155 <1> 1 October 1989-30 September 1990=£9.975 million and 1 October 1990-31 March 1992=£14.053 million. Not indexed to 1992-93 price levels. <2> All but £100,000 (-VAT) was paid in respect of agency work, which the HCGA carries out on behalf of IBEA. <3> Includes expenditure funded by and MAFF the Intervention Board executive agency.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is the average cost to English local authorities for each access agreement for privatised Forestry Commission land ; (2) what assessment has been made of the cost to English local authorities of access agreements for privatised Forestry Commission land.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 28 February 1994] : The Forestry Commission recently wrote to all 45 county councils in England asking, among other things, for an estimate of the costs they incurred in making access arrangements. Thirty-three county councils replied, but only two completed the answer on cost ; one estimated the cost at £100, the other at £1,000.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each of the last four years, and for the current year to date (a) the location and (b) the Richter scale measurement of earth tremors that have occurred ; and what structural damage was reported.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has placed the information requested in the Library of the House. The British Geological Survey has located 1,478 earthquakes in the United Kingdom and its offshore area in the period January 1990 to mid- February 1994. Two of these, at Bishop's Castle on 2 April 1990 and at Caernarfon on 19 July 1992, caused slight damage in Wales.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Information on the number of dwellings available for rent in Wales is published annually in "Welsh Housing Statistics". At 1 December 1984 there were estimated to be 378,000 dwellings available for rent in Wales ; at 1 April 1993 there were 343,000. In the same period, 53,000 council tenants purchased their own homes and between 1 January 1985 and 30 April 1993, a total of 82,000 new homes were built in Wales.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total income received by each district council from the sales of council houses in each of the past five years ; what percentage of these has been reclaimed by his Department ; and what is the projected figure, from each council, for the building of new council housing in the next financial year.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Information on capital receipts for each local authority from the sale of council houses in each of the last five years is given in the following table. The Welsh Office does not reclaim capital receipts. These are used by local authorities to meet credit liabilities or for new capital spending in accordance with sections 59 and 60 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. The Welsh Office does not have complete information on local authority housing capital expenditure plans for 1994- 95 following my right hon. Friend's announcement of capital allocations on 14 December 1993.
Capital receipts from the sales of council houses (£'000s) |1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Alyn and Deeside |2,257 |3,723 |2,213 |1,078 |1,030 Colwyn |1,305 |1,025 |705 |378 |379 Delyn |1,070 |1,928 |1,332 |894 |806 Glyndwr |1,875 |1,933 |868 |471 |524 Rhuddlan |1,541 |1,413 |832 |535 |362 Wrexham Maelor |4,433 |10,385 |4,328 |3,191 |2,759 Carmarthen |1,549 |1,793 |1,651 |1,182 |1,040 Ceredigion |2,291 |3,133 |1,843 |1,288 |1,565 Dinefwr |1,198 |1,153 |1,163 |600 |450 Llanelli |3,258 |3,317 |2,336 |2,060 |1,489 Preseli Pembrokeshire |3,137 |4,214 |2,333 |1,485 |1,774 South Pembrokeshire |1,745 |1,938 |1,124 |829 |516 Blaenau Gwent |2,932 |4,759 |2,163 |1,604 |1,031 Islwyn |4,118 |4,187 |1,325 |1,520 |1,124 Monmouth |4,097 |4,333 |2,252 |1,983 |1,613 Newport |6,972 |8,600 |2,744 |2,112 |1,881 Torfaen |7,170 |9,218 |4,653 |3,101 |3,311 Aberconwy |2,566 |3,242 |1,231 |874 |515 Arfon |2,085 |2,688 |1,204 |890 |669 Dwyfor |352 |498 |591 |239 |271 Meirionnydd |1,054 |1,207 |427 |406 |241 Ynys Mon |2,918 |3,757 |1,871 |1,011 |629 Cynon Valley |1,302 |1,542 |1,073 |879 |651 Merthyr Tydfil |2,663 |2,944 |1,373 |712 |976 Ogwr |5,144 |5,992 |3,500 |2,503 |1,614 Rhondda |557 |742 |621 |340 |373 Rhymney Valley |3,023 |4,602 |3,440 |2,238 |1,885 Taff Ely |4,707 |6,180 |3,539 |2,667 |2,162 Brecknock |1,977 |2,088 |1,132 |780 |586 Montgomeryshire |1,864 |2,228 |1,080 |1,000 |878 Radnorshire |774 |908 |575 |440 |525 Cardiff |14,349 |16,819 |7,028 |5,361 |3,765 Vale of Glamorgan |5,755 |5,065 |2,253 |1,967 |2,006 Port Talbot |4,211 |5,204 |2,661 |2,377 |1,733 Lliw Valley |1,731 |2,966 |2,393 |1,331 |1,024 Neath |2,482 |3,043 |1,913 |1,279 |991 Swansea |8,467 |9,258 |4,200 |2,988 |1,986 |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total Districts |118,929|148,025|75,971 |54,593 |45,134 Source: Local authority returns.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The Welsh Health Planning Forum's report "Physical and Sensory Disability", which was published by the Welsh Office in November 1991, estimated that there were between 50,000 and 60,000 non- insulin-dependent diabetics in Wales. No estimate is available centrally of the number of people with insulin-dependent diabetes. There are no estimates of numbers of diabetics available centrally for areas within Wales.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the facilities, and consultant staff specifically available for the treatment of diabetes (a) within Wales, (b) within the Mid Glamorgan health authority and (c) within Merthy Tydfil and Rhymney.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Details of facilities available in Wales for the treatment of diabetes are not held centrally. Much treatment of diabetic patients is undertaken by general practitioners. The Welsh Medical Committee produced a report "Diabetes Care in Wales--Service Provisions and Recommendations" in 1991, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. It demonstrates that all district general hospitals in Wales have consultant physician staff with a special interest in diabetes.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many consultative circulars have been issued by his Department under the terms of the Education Act 1993, on the matter of pupils with educational problems ; how many were in the Welsh language ; whether he expects
Column 652Welsh-medium schools or Welsh-speaking teachers, school governors or education administrators to respond to these circulars in English ; and if he will make a statement on the policy of his Department in these matters.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The Department has issued for consultation with local education authorities, teacher associations and other organisations draft circulars on the development of special schools, on the organisation of special educational provision and on pupils with problems. In addition, the Department has issued a consultation paper on the special education needs tribunal and on the draft code of practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs. The draft code of practice has been made available in both the English and Welsh languages. As is our general policy, those wishing to write to the Department may do so in either English or Welsh.
The Department's policy has been to issue circulars of guidance on education matters simultaneously in both the English and Welsh languages, whenever possible. However, there have been occasions when it has not been possible to obtain a Welsh translation to allow those being consulted sufficient time to consider the proposals. In order to give them this, it has been necessary to issue a document in English only.
As with all Welsh Office documents which go to schools, the final versions of these circulars will issue in both languages. The Department's policies and practices as regards services for users of the Welsh language are currently being reviewed in the light of the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Department will publish, in due course, following consultation, a scheme having regard to the statutory guidelines of the Welsh Language Board as approved by Parliament.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has, by species, of the number of raptors killed in Wales, in each of the last three years, by (a) shooting, (b) poisoning or (c) other means.
1991 1992 1993 |Shot |Poisoned|Other |Shot |Poisoned|Other |Shot |Poisoned|Other ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sparrowhawk |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |3 |0 |0 |4 Merlin |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |0 Barn Owl |1 |0 |0 |0 |0 |2 |0 |0 |1 Common Buzzard |0 |1 |25 |2 |1 |14 |0 |4 |13 Kestrel |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |4 |0 |0 |3 Goshawk |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |0 Peregrine Falcon |0 |0 |2 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |3 Long-Eared Owl |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |0 Tawny Owl |0 |0 |1 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 Red Kite |0 |1 |3 |0 |6 |1 |0 |3 |3
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many dental practitioners in the whole of Dwyfor and Arfon areas are taking on patients on the NHS ; and if he will take urgent action to ensure an adequate supply of dentists in this area.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : There are six general dental practitioners in the Dwyfor and Arfon areas who are taking on new NHS patients, four of whom are accepting only children. The Secretary of State has given permission to the family health services authority to employ up to four whole-time-equivalent salaried dentists to ensure the availability of NHS dental services. At present there is one part-time peripatetic salaried dentist in post.