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Road Pricing

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent research his Department has undertaken into the concept of road pricing; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: A major research project into the implications of introducing congestion charging in London is nearing completion. The findings will be made public later this year. My Department has also provided some financial support for research by local authorities outside London.

Particulate Pollution

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Department of Health concerning the number of early deaths from particulate pollution.

Mr. Norris: Particulate emissions are currently being considered by a sub-group of the Department of Health's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants which was set up to advise Government on the effects on health of air pollutants both in outdoor and indoor air. My officials are fully involved with COMEAP.

PRIME MINISTER

National Service

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the number of people who have performed national service (a) in each of the armed services, (b) in the Merchant Navy and (c) comparable service for the National Coal Board.

The Prime Minister: The information requested is not available.


Column 206

Internet

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards encouraging party political debate on the Internet.

The Prime Minister: Her Majesty's Government are all in favour of a full and frank political debate on the Internet or in any other forum.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Prime Minister if he will dismiss the Under- Secretary of State for the Environment, the hon. Member for Croydon, Central (Sir P. Beresford); and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: No.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement regarding manufacturing employment.

The Prime Minister: In the quarter to December 1994, employment in manufacturing industry rose by 37,000 the largest rise since quarterly records began.

EMPLOYMENT

Training

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what legislative measures he will introduce to increase the number of unemployed young people who enter training programmes.

Mr. Paice: There are no legislative measures planned for this purpose. The Government are committed to increasing the range of options in education and training available to young people and increasing the level of advice and guidance provided by the Careers Service.

EU Directives

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will instigate a publicity campaign giving advanced warning to employers of the retrospective application of the workplace, signs and construction products directive; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Oppenheim: Whenever European Community directives are implemented, appropriate publicity is given to the relevant implementing regulations. The workplace directive, safety signs directive and construction products directive are at different stages of implementation. In no case do the regulations apply

retrospectively.

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the impact on small businesses of the workplace, signs and construction products directive; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Oppenheim: A cost benefit analysis or compliance cost assessment is prepared in respect of all new regulations implementing European Community directives. The workplace directive, safety signs directive and construction products directive are at different stages of implementation. In each case assessments have been made of the likely costs of the relevant regulations.


Column 207

Permanent Secretaries

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which permanent secretaries have left his Department's employment in the last five years; and which public positions they have been appointed to subsequently.

Miss Widdecombe: Sir Geoffrey Holland transferred from the Employment Department to the Department for Education on 13 January 1993.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Ian Greer Associates

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what items of correspondence were received by Ministers in the Overseas Development Administration from Messrs Ian Greer Associates in the last month.

Mr. Baldry [holding answer 28 February 1995]: One invitation to meet business men was received and accepted.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Permanent Secretaries

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Attorney General which permanent secretaries have left his Department's employment in the last five years; and which public positions they have been appointed to subsequently.

The Attorney-General: Sir James Nursaw KCB, QC retired as Treasury Solicitor in October 1992. He was part-time legal adviser to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission during 1992 93 and is currently part- time counsel to the Chairman of Committees (House of Lords). Sir Allan Green QC resigned as Director of Public Prosecutions in October 1991. He has not been appointed to any public positions.

EDUCATION

Permanent Secretaries

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which permanent secretaries have left her Department's employment in the last five years; and which public positions they have been appointed to subsequently.

Mr. Boswell: In the five years from 1 March 1990, Sir John Caines KCB and Sir Geoffrey Holland KCB have left the Department for Education. Sir John Caines has since been appointed as an advisor to the National Heritage memorial fund and a council member of the Open university. Sir Geoffrey Holland has not been appointed by Ministers to any public positions.


Column 208

School Funding

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 3 March, Official Report, column 775, concerning priorities in educational expenditure, if she will publish the text of the letters she has sent to her hon. Friends on this topic.

Mr. Forth: No.

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what were the average sizes of single teacher classes in each year since 1979 80 in maintained (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) overall.

Mr. Robin Squire: The average sizes of single teacher classes in maintained primary and secondary schools in England between 1980 and 1994, the latest date for which information is available, are shown in the table.


Average sizes of single teacher classes in maintained primary and          

secondary schools in England 1980-1994                                     

Position in January each year                                              

                                             |<1>Primary and               

               |Primary       |<1>Secondary  |Secondary                    

               |Schools       |Schools       |Schools                      

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

1980           |25.4          |21.0          |23.2                         

1981           |25.2          |21.0          |23.0                         

1982           |25.1          |20.9          |22.9                         

1983           |24.8          |20.8          |22.7                         

1984           |24.7          |20.6          |22.5                         

1985           |24.9          |20.6          |22.7                         

1986           |25.5          |20.6          |22.9                         

1987           |25.4          |20.4          |22.9                         

1988           |25.4          |20.1          |22.8                         

1989           |25.7          |20.1          |23.0                         

1990           |25.9          |20.3          |23.2                         

1991           |26.3          |20.6          |23.7                         

1992           |26.4          |20.9          |23.8                         

1993           |26.6          |21.2          |24.1                         

1994           |26.9          |21.4          |24.3                         

<1> excluding Sixth Form Colleges which ceased to be classified as schools 

from 1 April 1993.                                                         

Overseas Students

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will announce the Government's decision on the proposal to amend the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1994 to allow institutions to charge overseas students on part-time courses higher fees; and further, whether she will publish the responses to the consultation exercise engaged in by her Department.

Mr. Boswell: The Government have carefully considered the responses to the consultation exercise announced last September. In the light of the general support for the proposal shown by the responses to the exercise from institutions, the Government have decided to lay before Parliament an amendment to the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1994 to allow higher and further education institutions to charge all students on part- time courses a higher fee, representing the full cost of their course, where they do not meet the three-year residency requirement and are not excepted. The amendment will not alter, in any way, institutions' present discretion to set their own fee levels or to waive or reduce fees for asylum seekers if they choose.

In line with the code of practice on access to Government information, a summary of the responses to the consultation exercise will be provided by the


Column 209

Department from today. A copy will be placed in the Library. Copies of individual responses will be made available in the public enquiry room of the Department, unless the respondent has specifically requested confidentiality.

Community Facilities

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what advice her Department gives to local education authorities regarding the provision of community or adult education facilities financed by local education authorities; and what advice her Department gives to the Department of the Environment regarding the provision of finance for such facilities and courses.

Mr. Boswell: It is for individual local education authorities to secure the adequate provision for their areas of certain types of further education for adults, as defined by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The Department does not issue any advice to local education authorities on this matter.

The Department keeps the Department of the Environment abreast of spending needs in this area, and discusses with them and the local authority associations the provision of funding to local education authorities.

Discretionary Awards

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students are in receipt of discretionary grants for the latest year for which figures are available; and what are the main subjects or courses being studied.

Mr. Boswell: Local authority returns show that my Department in 1992 93, the latest year for which data are available, there were 220,000 discretionary awards. A total of 24,000 awards were for courses of higher education of which 3,000 were for postgraduate courses; and 196,000 awards were for further education courses. Information on the subjects studied by award holders is not collected centrally.

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what advice her Department gives to local education authorities regarding the financing of student courses on a discretionary basis; and what advice her Department gives to the Department of the Environment regarding the provision of finance for discretionary grants.

Mr. Boswell: It is for individual local education authorities to determine their own discretionary awards policies in the light of local needs and priorities. The


Column 210

Department does not produce any central guidance on this issue. The Department keeps the Department of the Environment abreast of spending needs in this area, and discusses with them and the local authority associations the provision of funding to local education authorities.

Further Education (Funding)

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will make a statement on the demarcation between (a) community and adult education courses funded by local education authorities, (b) courses of further and higher education funded by Higher Education Funding Council and (c) courses for which training and enterprise councils are responsible.

Mr. Boswell: Under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, the further education funding councils and local education authorities are jointly responsible for securing the adequate provision for their areas of all kinds of further education for adults. The FEFCs are responsible for securing the provision of the type of further education defined in schedule 2 to the Act--mainly vocational, academic, access and basic skills courses. LEAs have responsibility for securing the provision of all other kinds of further education--mainly leisure and recreational courses.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England funds HE institutions for non-vocational community education through its funding methodology for part -time teaching, and for continuing vocational education where the institutions apply successfully for development funding.

Training and enterprise councils are responsible generally for co- ordinating the training needs of their areas and specifically for delivering the youth training programme for young people and the training for work programme for adults.

Special Needs

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will list the allocation for each local education authority for special educational needs support in 1994 95 and 1995 96, broken down into the categories (a) training, (b) school policies and (c) parent partnership schemes in each year.

Mr. Forth: The allocations to each local education authority for these grants, made under the grants for edcuation support and training programme, are shown in the table.


Column 209


GUEST Allocation for Special Educational Needs 1994-95 and 1995-96                                                

£ thousand                                                                                                        

                        (a)                       (b)                       (c)                                   

                       |Training for|Training for                          |SEN Parent  |SEN Parent               

                       |SEN         |SEN         |School SEN  |School SEN  |partnership |partnership              

                       |specialisms |specialisms |policies    |policies    |schemes     |schemes                  

LEA                    |1994-95     |1995-96     |1994-95     |1995-96     |1994-95     |1995-96                  

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

Corporation of London  |0.3         |0.3         |0.3         |0.5         |0.0         |0.3                      

Camden                 |44.0        |39.8        |13.2        |24.8        |23.0        |23.0                     

Greenwich              |76.4        |75.6        |23.0        |44.7        |18.0        |20.0                     

Hackney                |37.0        |37.5        |19.7        |35.3        |31.0        |35.5                     

Hammersmith            |69.0        |63.0        |11.9        |22.4        |10.0        |10.0                     

Islington              |80.0        |137.4       |16.7        |32.8        |10.0        |13.0                     

Kensington and Chelsea |24.0        |21.6        |7.6         |13.4        |10.0        |10.0                     

Lambeth                |28.5        |51.3        |21.2        |34.8        |24.0        |30.5                     

Lewisham               |72.9        |65.0        |21.2        |40.7        |49.0        |52.5                     

Southwark              |43.9        |39.9        |21.5        |36.3        |41.0        |42.0                     

Tower Hamlets          |45.5        |39.4        |22.5        |43.7        |66.0        |67.0                     

Wandsworth             |160.7       |172.0       |19.2        |31.3        |51.0        |42.0                     

Westminster            |8.4         |10.9        |12.4        |24.3        |19.0        |19.0                     

Barking                |48.2        |32.6        |16.1        |30.8        |29.0        |30.0                     

Barnet                 |67.4        |137.4       |27.3        |48.2        |0.0         |38.0                     

Bexley                 |45.2        |40.4        |20.3        |35.8        |10.0        |13.0                     

Brent                  |65.6        |118.9       |20.0        |29.3        |66.0        |70.0                     

Bromley                |39.9        |42.9        |23.5        |38.3        |14.0        |16.0                     

Croydon                |52.4        |47.4        |29.3        |51.7        |21.0        |26.5                     

Ealing                 |52.6        |63.5        |25.5        |32.8        |10.0        |49.5                     

Enfield                |43.4        |50.7        |21.5        |38.7        |58.0        |58.0                     

Haringey               |65.0        |59.6        |21.7        |42.7        |14.0        |14.0                     

Harrow                 |44.7        |43.0        |16.4        |31.3        |24.0        |25.0                     

Havering               |47.0        |45.8        |23.5        |43.7        |14.0        |14.0                     

Hillingdon             |40.0        |36.9        |21.7        |29.8        |9.0         |10.0                     

Hounslow               |44.0        |38.7        |19.5        |36.8        |14.0        |15.0                     

Kingston upon Thames   |25.8        |23.3        |11.3        |19.9        |5.0         |10.7                     

Merton                 |29.9        |28.1        |15.5        |29.3        |19.0        |32.5                     

Newham                 |63.0        |70.0        |20.7        |39.7        |55.0        |56.0                     

Redbridge              |46.1        |44.8        |17.7        |34.8        |15.0        |23.5                     

Richmond upon Thames   |25.2        |19.8        |11.9        |23.3        |27.0        |30.5                     

Sutton                 |21.0        |40.2        |13.9        |21.9        |25.0        |25.0                     

Waltham Forest         |98.4        |63.4        |20.3        |37.3        |15.0        |16.0                     

Birmingham             |205.0       |216.3       |103.9       |192.2       |72.0        |72.0                     

Coventry               |73.0        |118.0       |32.4        |61.6        |27.0        |40.0                     

Dudley                 |76.5        |76.3        |26.8        |48.7        |11.0        |21.5                     

Sandwell               |65.0        |59.7        |33.6        |64.6        |54.0        |63.5                     

Solihull               |40.0        |34.7        |21.2        |40.7        |14.0        |19.5                     

Walsall                |56.0        |52.5        |31.3        |57.1        |33.0        |33.0                     

Wolverhampton          |39.9        |34.5        |30.8        |58.1        |28.0        |27.0                     

Knowsley               |40.0        |41.0        |18.7        |36.3        |44.0        |44.0                     

Liverpool              |125.5       |124.6       |54.0        |103.3       |52.0        |53.0                     

St. Helens             |45.0        |45.5        |21.7        |38.7        |24.0        |26.0                     

Sefton                 |53.0        |49.2        |29.3        |57.1        |25.0        |25.0                     

Wirral                 |58.8        |52.6        |32.6        |62.6        |20.0        |20.0                     

Bolton                 |62.7        |30.3        |31.1        |58.1        |17.0        |17.5                     

Bury                   |35.0        |33.7        |21.5        |41.2        |0.0         |19.0                     

Manchester             |120.0       |136.8       |51.8        |99.8        |42.0        |43.0                     

Oldham                 |66.4        |64.0        |29.9        |58.1        |29.0        |25.0                     

Rochdale               |50.0        |43.3        |22.5        |40.7        |14.0        |14.0                     

Salford                |55.7        |48.3        |27.3        |51.2        |20.1        |27.0                     

Stockport              |60.0        |57.8        |32.4        |62.1        |24.0        |24.0                     

Tameside               |45.0        |44.7        |16.5        |47.7        |14.0        |14.0                     

Trafford               |44.5        |72.3        |23.7        |44.7        |13.0        |22.5                     

Wigan                  |88.0        |81.5        |36.7        |71.0        |38.0        |39.0                     

Barnsley               |48.6        |48.2        |27.3        |52.7        |20.0        |21.0                     

Doncaster              |35.8        |56.7        |39.2        |77.0        |29.0        |33.0                     

Rotherham              |60.0        |144.7       |33.6        |65.6        |28.0        |29.0                     

Sheffield              |100.0       |89.5        |44.3        |86.4        |29.0        |30.0                     

Bradford               |111.0       |87.6        |63.2        |118.7       |49.0        |49.0                     

Calderdale             |33.7        |43.0        |12.4        |45.2        |17.0        |18.0                     

Kirklees               |56.0        |88.8        |49.8        |93.4        |36.0        |40.5                     

Leeds                  |130.0       |116.4       |74.8        |144.6       |43.0        |46.5                     

Wakefield              |60.0        |62.0        |42.7        |79.5        |29.0        |29.0                     

Gateshead              |40.0        |34.7        |24.0        |46.7        |19.0        |20.0                     

Newcastle upon Tyne    |114.0       |122.2       |26.3        |50.7        |37.0        |38.0                     

North Tyneside         |33.0        |34.2        |21.7        |41.7        |15.0        |18.0                     

South Tyneside         |35.0        |27.0        |17.6        |34.3        |30.0        |33.0                     

Sunderland             |30.0        |53.6        |10.0        |60.1        |20.0        |29.0                     

Isle of Scilly         |0.7         |2.5         |0.1         |2.5         |0.0         |3.5                      

Avon                   |140.0       |124.0       |108.7       |212.1       |41.0        |41.0                     

Bedfordshire           |115.0       |131.2       |73.1        |137.1       |26.0        |28.0                     

Berkshire              |147.2       |169.0       |83.6        |154.0       |36.0        |43.0                     

Buckinghamshire        |135.0       |202.2       |83.4        |155.0       |49.0        |50.0                     

Cambridgeshire         |120.0       |117.9       |78.3        |142.1       |58.0        |60.0                     

Cheshire               |129.0       |151.5       |130.6       |247.4       |58.0        |60.0                     

Cleveland              |170.0       |134.5       |64.7        |122.7       |29.0        |35.0                     

Cornwall               |90.0        |119.2       |70.7        |138.1       |29.0        |29.0                     

Cumbria                |95.0        |80.0        |86.4        |151.5       |29.0        |32.5                     

Derbyshire             |139.3       |140.0       |128.6       |239.9       |41.0        |41.0                     

Devon                  |200.0       |210.0       |126.8       |244.9       |91.0        |92.0                     

Dorset                 |91.9        |103.0       |64.7        |120.2       |27.0        |43.5                     

Durham                 |120.0       |120.08      |55.7        |168.4       |35.0        |29.0                     

East Sussex            |130.0       |161.1       |64.7        |125.2       |47.0        |49.0                     

Essex                  |230.0       |230.9       |159.0       |249.9       |92.0        |96.0                     

Gloucestershire        |120.8       |111.0       |74.8        |124.7       |27.0        |28.0                     

Hampshire              |230.0       |248.8       |171.1       |313.5       |87.0        |87.0                     

Hereford and Worcester |138.0       |178.1       |92.4        |178.3       |0.0         |38.0                     

Hertfordshire          |238.0       |313.4       |128.8       |237.0       |59.0        |60.0                     

Humberside             |165.0       |200.0       |104.8       |203.2       |0.0         |60.0                     

Isle of Wight          |37.0        |73.0        |16.9        |33.3        |9.0         |33.5                     

Kent                   |340.0       |510.0       |174.8       |303.0       |109.0       |111.0                    

Lancashire             |280.0       |283.5       |178.8       |343.8       |94.0        |85.0                     

Leicestershire         |174.0       |161.9       |76.9        |201.7       |25.0        |29.0                     

Lincolnshire           |75.0        |65.0        |86.7        |144.1       |34.0        |32.0                     

Norfolk                |110.0       |98.6        |113.0       |205.7       |24.0        |25.0                     

North Yorkshire        |250.0       |128.0       |74.4        |223.5       |91.0        |91.0                     

Northamptonshire       |130.0       |147.7       |83.9        |153.5       |39.0        |39.0                     

Northumberland         |66.3        |66.7        |33.5        |101.3       |31.0        |32.0                     

Nottinghamshire        |140.0       |129.0       |128.6       |249.4       |97.0        |97.0                     

Oxfordshire            |105.0       |171.0       |71.2        |140.1       |8.0         |69.5                     

Shropshire             |112.3       |95.2        |64.2        |119.7       |28.0        |28.0                     

Somerset               |42.5        |2.5         |23.6        |130.2       |49.0        |50.0                     

Staffordshire          |220.0       |217.8       |124.6       |240.9       |59.0        |59.0                     

Suffolk                |125.0       |181.3       |83.9        |165.4       |38.0        |40.0                     

Surrey                 |124.0       |219.0       |106.8       |179.8       |0.0         |0.0                      

Warwickshire           |105.0       |104.3       |71.5        |132.6       |32.0        |32.0                     

West Sussex            |140.0       |126.3       |73.2        |142.6       |44.0        |46.0                     

Wiltshire              |100.0       |143.3       |82.1        |148.5       |34.0        |34.0                     

                                                                                                                  

Total                  |9,668.5     |10,500.5    |5,444.2     |10,500.1    |3,518.1     |4,000.0                  

Support and Training

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will list the full bids for grants for education support and training for the 1995 assessment and testing arrangements for each local education authority.

Mr. Forth: The grants for education support and training allocations for the implementation of national curriculum assessment arrangements, which totalled £23.3 million in 1995 96, were distributed among local education authorities according to a formula, rather than requiring bids from LEAs.

However, 34 of the 109 LEAs did indicate the level of support they were seeking. This information is shown in the table


                       |Implementation of                      

                       |National                               

                       |Curriculum                             

                       |Assessment                             

                       |Arrangements (Bids)                    

LEA                    |£                                      

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

Corporation of London  |15,000                                 

Camden                 |F                                      

Greenwich              |116,600                                

Hackney                |F                                      

Hammersmith            |30,000                                 

Islington              |F                                      

Kensington and Chelsea |21,200                                 

Lambeth                |F                                      

Lewisham               |110,800                                

Southwark              |110,000                                

Tower Hamlets          |F                                      

Wandsworth             |F                                      

Westminster            |F                                      

Barking                |F                                      

Barnet                 |F                                      

Bexley                 |37,200                                 

Brent                  |133,240                                

Bromley                |F                                      

Croydon                |80,000                                 

Ealing                 |F                                      

Enfield                |F                                      

Haringey               |F                                      

Harrow                 |146,000                                

Havering               |118,600                                

Hillingdon             |90,000                                 

Hounslow               |F                                      

Kingston upon Thames   |F                                      

Merton                 |F                                      

Newham                 |F                                      

Redbridge              |65,500                                 

Richmond upon Thames   |F                                      

Sutton                 |F                                      

Waltham Forest         |126,500                                

Birmingham             |F                                      

Coventry               |F                                      

Dudley                 |122,400                                

Sandwell               |F                                      

Solihull               |F                                      

Walsall                |F                                      

Wolverhampton          |90,500                                 

Knowsley               |F                                      

Liverpool              |F                                      

St. Helens             |F                                      

Sefton                 |129,700                                

Wirral                 |115,560                                

Bolton                 |F                                      

Bury                   |F                                      

Manchester             |F                                      

Oldham                 |F                                      

Rochdale               |F                                      

Salford                |F                                      

Stockport              |F                                      

Tameside               |F                                      

Trafford               |80,000                                 

Wigan                  |F                                      

Barnsley               |F                                      

Doncaster              |F                                      

Rotherham              |130,700                                

Sheffield              |F                                      

Bradford               |F                                      

Calderdale             |F                                      

Kirklees               |215,310                                

Leeds                  |F                                      

Wakefield              |F                                      

Gateshead              |80,000                                 

Newcastle upon Tyne    |F+30,201                               

North Tyneside         |67,720                                 

South Tyneside         |F                                      

Sunderland             |126,150                                

Isles of Scilly        |32,300                                 

Avon                   |F                                      

Bedfordshire           |F                                      

Berkshire              |F                                      

Buckinghamshire        |328,000                                

Cambridgeshire         |F                                      

Cheshire               |F                                      

Cleveland              |F                                      

Cornwall               |F                                      

Cumbria                |F                                      

Derbyshire             |F                                      

Devon                  |F                                      

Dorset                 |F                                      

Durham                 |F                                      

East Sussex            |F                                      

Essex                  |F                                      

Gloucestershire        |244,000                                

Hampshire              |F                                      

Hereford and Worcester |240,000                                

Hertfordshire          |F                                      

Humberside             |F                                      

Isle of Wight          |F                                      

Kent                   |F                                      

Lancashire             |F                                      

Leicestershire         |350,000                                

Lincolnshire           |F                                      

Norfolk                |F                                      

North Yorkshire        |F                                      

Northamptonshire       |F                                      

Northumberland         |F                                      

Nottinghamshire        |F                                      

Oxfordshire            |F                                      

Shropshire             |F                                      

Somerset               |203,000                                

Staffordshire          |482,700                                

Suffolk                |F                                      

Surrey                 |372,060                                

Warwickshire           |F                                      

West Sussex            |277,100                                

Wiltshire              |F                                      

Total                  |4,918,041                              

Notes:                                                         

1. "F" indicates that the LEA did not submit a bid, but will   

take up its formula allocation                                 

2. Total is only the total of the bids made (34 of 109 LEAs)   

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Fire Safety

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee on what occasions over the past five years combined familiarisation drills and exercises have been held between the Palace of Westminster fire section, other security staff and the London fire brigade as part of incident pre-planning; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ray Powell: Detailed records of familiarisation visits by London fire brigade crews prior to 1993 are not held. Since January 1993 16 familiarisation visits have taken place. Large scale exercises involving the extensive deployment of crews, including a fire boat crew on one occasion, have taken place as follows: 2 October 1990

1 May 1993

1 May 1994

A further large scale exercise with the London brigade is planned for 14 May 1995.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what lessons have been drawn from the fires at Hampton Court palace, Windsor castle and Stormont in relation to minimising fire risk at (a) the Palace of Westminster and (b) other buildings in the parliamentary estate; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ray Powell: Following the publication of the guide to the protection of historic buildings "Heritage Under Fire" in 1990, which drew on the experience of a number of fires including the one at Hampton Court, a fire safety manager was appointed in 1992 to advise on all aspects of fire precautions and means of escape. The publication of a fire safety strategy for the Palace of Westminster and parliamentary outbuildings in 1993 and the establishment of a fire safety committee to review fire risk management and ensure the fire safety strategy is implemented are both in line with the recommendations of the report by Sir Alan Bailey, "Fire Protection Measures for the Royal Palaces", published in May 1993, following the fire at Windsor castle. It is understood that the report into the fire at Parliament buildings, Stormont, will be published in due course.


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Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee (1) if (a) the Palace of Westminster and (b) other buildings in the parliamentary estate reach the standard of fire safety which would be required for the issue of a fire certificate; (2) if he will make an assessment of the fire risk of (a) the Palace of Westminster and (b) other buildings in the parliamentary estate.

Mr. Ray Powell: Home Office fire inspectors have recently assessed the fire risk of the Palace of Westminster and have recommended further measures to be taken. These are being progressed and it is expected that a fire certificate will be issued later this year. The fire risks of the parliamentary outbuildings have also been assessed and fire certificates have already been issued for Norman Shaw North, Norman Shaw South, 1 Canon row and 2 the Abbey garden. A fire certificate for 3 Dean's yard is expected shortly. Some additional works are being carried out in 7 Millbank and the phase 1 building and it is expected that fire certificates will be issued later this year.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what difficulties of access exist for the fire brigade and other emergency services in the event of fire in relation to (a) the Press Gallery area and (b) other areas presenting access difficulties.

Mr. Ray Powell: Vehicular access for fire brigade appliances into Speaker's Court and the inner courtyards has to be carefully managed because of the size of the archways. This has been tested on exercises held with the London fire brigade. There are no particular difficulties of access for fire brigade and emergency service personnel to the Press Gallery or other areas of the Palace of Westminster.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission (1) what changes in the number of fire officers within the Palace of Westminster's fire section were contained in the recommendation of the Metropolitan police internal reports into fire prevention that were prepared in February 1985 and December 1987.

(2) how many additional fire officer posts within the Palace of Westminster's fire section were recommended by the fire safety manager in 1992; what were the reasons or basis for his recommendations; and how many additional officers were subsequently appointed.

(3) if he will list the establishment of the Palace of Westminster's fire section for the last 10 years, indicating at each appropriate stage the size of the parliamentary estate over which their responsibility extended.

(4) what changes to the establishment, watch rotas, pay and conditions of service of the Palace of Westminster fire section are (a) under consideration or (b) subject to consultation with trade unions; and if he will make a statement.

(5) if he will make a statement about the role and functions of the members of the Palace of Westminster's fire section in the initial stages of any fire incident being reported.

Mr. Beith: Members of the Palace of Westminster fire section are civilian employees of the Metropolitan police subject to Metropolitan police terms and conditions of service. The role and responsibilities of the fire section are specified in the fire strategy for the Palace of Westminster and parliamentary outbuildings, which was


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approved by the relevant Committees of both Houses in 1993. A review of the fire section has recently been carried out by the staff inspector in conjunction with the staff inspector of the House of Lords and I have asked the Serjeant at Arms to write to the hon. Member about their recommendations.

Motor Vehicles

Mr. Cox: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he will have notices placed around the precincts of the Houses of Parliament ordering drivers of all motor vehicles to turn their motor engines off when their vehicle is stationary or parked; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael J. Martin: No. In my reply to my hon. Friend on 17 February 1994, Official Report, column 938, I stated that this was a matter for the Serjeant at Arms. I understand that instructions have since been given to members of the security force to caution drivers who leave their engines running unnecessarily.

TREASURY

Charges and Salaries

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what new measures he proposes to combat the impact of charges he assessed to be unfair, dividends he has assessed to be excessive and top salaries he has assessed to be contrary to (a) the consumers' interests and (b) the wider national interest.

Sir George Young: These are primarily matters for the companies concerned, within the framework of competition law, the Companies Act and any special regulatory regime prescribed by Parliament. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's remarks to the House on 28 February about board remuneration set out the Government's position.

Civil Service

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many new positions are needed to run the new delegated pay systems which the Government has introduced for each department in the civil service.

Sir George Young: Responsibility for the pay and grading of almost two thirds of civil servants is delegated to Departments. "The Civil Service--Taking Forward Continuity and Change" (CM2748) confirmed the Government's intention that all Departments will become responsible for their own pay and grading arrangements below senior levels from 1 April 1996.

It is not possible to give an assessment of the administrative implications of the changes. However, the Government believe that there is considerable potential in the civil service for further improvement both in quality of service, within what can be afforded, and in efficiency. Greater delegation of decisions will enable local needs and circumstances to be taken more fully into account in devising pay and grading systems, will allow Departments to manage and motivate their staff more effectively, and will further strengthen links between reward and performance.


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Performance-related Pay

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons he has introduced performance-related pay into the public service.

Sir George Young: Performance-related pay helps to support the Government's citizens charter objective to establish a regular and direct link between the contribution made by individuals to the standards of service provided, and their reward. First, it is fair, because it rewards those who have made the greatest contributions. Secondly, more flexible pay systems help to achieve a more effective distribution of resources. Thirdly, performance-related pay focuses effort on the delivery of key objectives by reinforcing an organisation's performance management system.

Tobacco

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what United Kingdom laws govern the distance selling of tobacco products to United Kingdom citizens on mail order from European countries with lower excise duties; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The United Kingdom law governing the distance selling arrangements for excise goods is the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement, Warehousing and REDS) Regulations 1992. Under these regulations the vendor of the goods in the other member state is liable to pay the UK excise duty.

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate what effect distance selling of tobacco products has on the legal trade in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: Distance selling is a recognised legitimate activity for which provision has been made in EC legislation, which is implemented in United Kingdom legislation in the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement, Warehousing and REDS) Regulations 1992. Such transactions attract payment of UK duty. Accordingly, no separate assessment has been made on the effect that they have on UK trade.

Business Expansion Scheme

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was (a) the number of new residential lettings created under the business expansion scheme in Scotland for each of the years 1988 89 to 1992 93 inclusive and (b) the cost per dwelling in Scotland of new residential lettings under business expansion scheme in terms of both income tax relief and exemption from capital gains tax.

Sir George Young: Available estimates for Scotland are in the table. It is not possible to give a reliable estimate of the cost of exempting gains arising from disposals of BES shares from capital gains tax.


                                                                                

                                                                                

                                                                                

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AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Common Fisheries Policy

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the members of the committee which he has appointed to review the common fisheries policy.

Mr. Jack: I shall reply to the hon. Member when I have made the appointments concerned.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Child Support Agency

Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the number of outstanding second-tier reviews of child support cases carried out under section 18 of the Child Support Act 1991; and what steps he has taken to clear the backlog.

Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Miss Ann Chant to Mr. Donald Dewar, dated 8 March 1995:

I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the number of outstanding requests for reviews to be carried out under Section 18 of the Child Support Act.

At the end of January 1995, 8,099 such requests were outstanding, compared to 10,766 outstanding at the end of July 1994. This reduction reflects the increased emphasis which has been given to this type of work over recent months. I anticipate that the backlog will be cleared by 31 March 1995.

Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what amount of new maintenance has been collected by the Child Support Agency in each year of its operation to the latest available date.

Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Miss Ann Chant to Mr. Donald Dewar, dated 8 March 1995:

I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the new maintenance collected by the Child Support Agency.

Figures for the whole of 1993/94 and from April 1994 to the end of January 1995 are shown in the table. I have included maintenance paid direct by absent parents (APs) to parents with care (PWCs) in income support (IS) cases. However, I have not included maintenance paid direct between parents who do not use the Agency's collection service in family credit (FC) cases, or cases where benefit is not in payment. This is because your Question seems to be directed specifically at those areas in which the Agency is most closely involved.


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