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21 Feb 1996 : Column WA77

Written Answers

Wednesday, 21st February 1996.

Development Education: ODA Programme

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What support the Overseas Development Administration gives to development education, and what grants it has made for this purpose in the most recent period of 12 months for which figures are available; and

    Whether they have any plans to expand their development education programme through voluntary organisations.

Lord Chesham: The Overseas Development Administration considers development education an important part of its information effort and supports a large number of organisations in this field. It intends to continue this support in the future.

Grants awarded in 1994-95 were:

Development Education Grants

1994-95
1. Worldaware: Core Budget 1994-95£210,000
2. Worldaware: publication£8,500
3. Scottish Education and Action for Development: publication, conference£30,000
4. Scottish Development Education Centre: publication£7,250
5. Education Partners Overseas: school links£50,000
6. International Broadcasting Trust: schools TV series: "Eye over Asia"£50,000
7. OneWorld Broadcasting Trust: annual media awards£20,000
8. OneWorld Broadcasting Trust: OneWorld OnLine project/news diary£24,000
9. Gemini: rural reporting project, South Africa£15,500
10. Panos Institute: media briefings; "news from the South" project£50,000
11. Development Education Association: youth project (£22,000 1994-96)£8,866
12. Development Education Association: youth conference 1994£2,000
13. FAO 50th Anniversary Book: 94-95: UK$40,000 (£25,315); 95-96: US$10,000 (£6,330)£25,178
14. Inter-Press Service: newspaper, UN conference on women terra viva grant£10,000
15. Education Partners Overseas: conference grant£9,080
16. Local Government International Bureau: continuation of grant£259
17. World Development Movement: information paper£8,626
18. International Broadcasting Trust: Africa schools project£50,000
19. International Broadcasting Trust: OneWorld Support£50,000
20. Television Trust for the Environment: Benaco film grant£15,000
Total£644,259


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ABM Treaty and UK Nuclear Forces

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to make clear to the US that any alteration to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty will prevent them taking part in any nuclear weapon reductions such as those currently being envisaged by US Defense Secretary Perry.

Lord Chesham: We believe that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty continues to make an important contribution to strategic stability. The size of the United Kingdom's nuclear forces depends on a wide range of factors influencing our assessment of our minimum deterrence requirement.

Pesticide Spraying: Advice to Farmers

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, prior to the start of the spraying season, they will circulate to all arable farmers clear and simple advice about the appropriate times and methods for spraying their crops with toxic chemicals, together with warnings about penalties for spraying under inappropriate conditions.

Lord Lucas: The appropriate times and methods for spraying each pesticide are readily available to farmers at all times on the product's label. General advice to farmers on appropriate spraying conditions is also provided in the statutory code of practice for the safe use of pesticides on farms and holdings. Given the professional way with which the great majority of arable farmers use pesticides, we have no plans to remind them of these requirements or provide warnings about the penalties involved for spraying under inappropriate conditions prior to the start of the spraying season.

Organophosphorus Flea Collars: Adverse Reactions

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of the suspected adverse reactions reported to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate implicating cat and dog organophosphate flea collars or pesticides involve children.

Lord Lucas: Between 1 January 1984 and 15 February 1996, there have been 29 reports of suspected adverse reactions in humans involving the use of organophosphorus flea collar products. Of these, one incident involved a child.

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Veterinary Medicines: Human Adverse Reaction Reporting Arrangements

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have set a time limit for the transfer of the reporting of human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to another agency.

Lord Lucas: No. A number of options are being considered for the future arrangements for reporting human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines. A decision will be taken and any changes implemented as quickly as possible.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will consider a single agency to whom human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines and pesticide incidents affecting human health are reported.

Lord Lucas: A number of options are being considered for the future arrangements for the reporting of human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines.

Veterinary Products Committee: Medical Members

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many members of the Veterinary Products Committee (excluding the medical and scientific panel) are practising members of the medical profession.

Lord Lucas: One member of the Veterinary Products Committee (Dr. D. N. Bateman BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, MD, FRCP) is a practising member of the medical profession. He is also Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Panel of the Veterinary Products Committee, which has been set up to look into reports of links between organophosphorus sheep dip exposure and long term health effects.

Teddington Hall

Baroness Hamwee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they propose to put into full repair Teddington Hall, a Grade II listed building in their ownership, and how they justify its present condition.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): Teddington Hall and its adjacent land and building originally formed part of the National Physical Laboratory operational estate. It became surplus to requirements some years ago and, to accord with government disposal rules, the Department

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of the Environment/Property Holdings first sought and obtained planning and listed building consents following a lengthy period of negotiation. These permissions would oblige a purchaser to repair the hall before commencing redevelopment of the adjoining land.

However, proposed marketing has been delayed pending the finalisation of plans being prepared by the Department of Trade and Industry for the rationalisation and development of laboratories on the adjacent site. Premature disposal of the hall could place these proposals in jeopardy.

The hall building is fully protected and carefully monitored to prevent further deterioration, but it is felt that full repair should rest with a purchaser after determination of its future use within a larger and more comprehensive redevelopment scheme.

The Government are aware of the need for the hall building to be restored as soon as practicable and the Department of Trade and Industry hope to discuss the future of the hall with Richmond Borough Council shortly.

Local Government Structure

Baroness Hamwee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the comments of the Secretary of State for the Environment in Environment News Release dated 30 September 1993, that the views of local people are of paramount importance and the Earl of Lindsay's remark on 25 April 1995 that "the opinion of local people who live and work in these areas will be important" (H.L. Deb., col. 783), they will reject any of the Local Government Commission's Final Recommendations of 19 December to create unitary authorities where there is substantial opposition to change from local people.

Earl Ferrers: We are currently considering the Local Government Commission's recommendations on the district reviews, along with the representations which we receive. The June 1995 Policy and Procedure Guidance to the commission makes it clear that the views of local people are important as an element of community identity, and we shall give proper attention to that factor. However our decisions must be taken as a result of attention to all the issues, not just one element.

Fire Safety: Review

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will reply to the sixty-one recommendations made in the report on Fire Safety presented to them in June 1994.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): The Government have been considering the findings of the review and the

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views expressed by interested parties, including the Deregulation Task Force. They have also been further considering the fire safety aspects of the EC Framework and Workplace Directives. An announcement on both will be made soon.


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