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Royal Parks Agency: Chief Executive

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The job description sets out several qualities required in the successful candidate. None is emphasised at the expense of another. Accounting skills are not required, rather a familiarity with the systems of public financial accounting. As was the case with the current chief executive's appointment, there is no absolute requirement that the successful candidate should have expertise in horticulture or experience in the management of large horticulture and landscape features and/or sensitive major visitor attractions. This would unreasonably limit the field of applicants. The basis for calculating a performance related bonus will be agreed wih the successful candidate. The current chief executive's bonus is 15 per cent of basic salary. This is made up of 7- per cent for achieving the agency's and the chief executive's personal targets and 7- per cent for exceeding targets or for other exceptional performance.

11 Oct 1999 : Column WA58

Museums and Galleries: Re-admission to Temporary Exhibitions

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 26 July (WA154), on what grounds each of the relevant national museums and galleries operates a policy of no re-admission to temporary exhibitions which carry an entrance fee. [HL4020]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The British Museum operates such a policy in order to predict and control visitor numbers, and to ensure that as many visitors as possible are able to enjoy the exhibition. This approach is also adopted by the National Museum of Science and Industry, the Tate Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery. There is evidence of fraudulent misuse of tickets.

The Victoria and Albert Museum will not allow re-admission if safety is likely to be compromised.

The National Gallery will not allow re-admission only if an exhibition is particularly popular, when a timed entry system is used to maintain visitor flow.

Elgin Marbles

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What meetings have been held, and with whom, to discuss proposals to display the Elgin Marbles in Athens under the auspices of the British Museum; and when they expect to make an announcement about the outcome of such meetings.[HL3985]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: On 11 May, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Minister for the Arts met with Alf Lomas MEP, Irini Lambarki MEP, Alexandros Alavanos MEP, and Graham Binns and Christopher Price (of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Sculptures). At that meeting, Christopher Price suggested that the British Museum could establish an outpost in Athens in which the Parthenon sculptures could be displayed whilst remaining the property of the Museum. It would be a matter for the Trustees of the British Museum to take this suggestion forward, if they felt it to be an appropriate one. The Government are not persuaded of the merits of it.

Euro Notes and Coins

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have already minted or arranged to have minted euro coins; and whether they have already printed or arranged to have printed euro notes.[HL4100]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No euro notes or coins are being produced for issue in the UK.

11 Oct 1999 : Column WA59

The Bank of England is assisting the European Central Bank in technical preparations. These will involve producing sample banknotes to be used for reference purposes by those countries introducing euro notes in 2002, having joined the single currency on 1 January 1999. The Royal Mint has contracts to supply blank metal disks to seven of the 11 countries that are introducing euro coinage in 2002. These disks will be used to mint their own euro coins.

Industrial Action: Working Days Lost

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What were the numbers of working days lost as a result of industrial action in 1997 and 1998 on a comparable basis in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.[HL4058]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics who has been asked to reply.

Letter to Lord Pearson of Rannoch from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Dr. T. Holt, dated 16 September 1999.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question on working days lost as a result of industrial action.

Directly comparable data are not available for statistics on industrial action. Different countries use different thresholds for including strikes in their national statistics and, for example, France and Germany exclude strikes in public administration. Further details on the exact definitions are given in an article in the April 1999 edition of Labour Market Trends, a copy of which is available in the House of Lords Library. I have enclosed a copy of the article.

International data for industrial disputes are collated and published by the International Labour Office (ILO). The following table presents the latest available data for each country. The statistics are given as the number of working days lost due to labour disputes per thousand employees. This gives a more meaningful comparison, as it takes into account the size of the employee population in each country.

Working days not worked per 1,000 employee jobs, as a result of industrial action

Country1995199619971998
Germany18321
France12995723--
Italy1641358340
United Kingdom219571012

Source:

1 International Labour Office,

2 Office for National Statistics.

--Not available.


11 Oct 1999 : Column WA60

EU Official Journal: Publication of Contract Notices

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the latest year for which statistics are available, how many tender notices were published in the Official Journal by puchasing entities subject to European Union open public procurement legislation, analysed by European Union Member States, including the United Kingdom.[HL4059]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The European Commission advise that the number of contract notices published in the Official Journal in 1998 was:


    Austria: 2,488


    Belgium: 2,550


    Denmark: 1,342


    Finland: 894


    France: 19,694


    Germany: 15,954


    Greece: 1,680


    Ireland: 796


    Italy: 8,117


    Luxembourg: 284


    Netherlands: 1,384


    Portugal: 1,291


    Spain: 4,164


    Sweden: 2,529


    United Kingdom: 11,065

EU Public Contracts: UK Share

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the latest year for which statistics are available, what share the United Kingdom achieved of public contracts (by value) in each of the other 14 European Union member states awarded as a result of tender notices published in the Official Journal by purchasing entities subject to European Union open public procurement legislation; and what share each of the other 14 European Union Member States achieved of such contracts in the United Kingdom.[HL4060]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: This information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The European Commission has advised that it is developing improved methodologies for monitoring the progress of public procurement and that one of the areas being looked at is the size of cross border public procurement between member states.

Statistical returns on public contracts awarded by UK contracting authorities are gathered for onward transmission to the Commission. An analysis of contracts awarded during 1997 indicates that less than

11 Oct 1999 : Column WA61

3 per cent. by value were awarded to suppliers, contractors and service providers from outside the UK.

EU: Cumulative UK Deficit on Trade in Goods

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the United Kingdom deficit on current account in 1993-1998 with the European Union was around £47 billion; and, if so,

    (a) whether they believe that the single market is beneficial to the United Kingdom economy; and, if so, why; and

    (b) how many jobs have been lost to the British economy and gained by the economies of the other 14 European Union member states as a result of that imbalance; and[HL4061]

    Whether the cumulative United Kingdom deficit on trade in goods with the Common Market/European Union in 1973-1998 was around £130 billion; if so, whether they believe that Common Market/European Economic Community/European Union membership has been economically beneficial to the United Kingdom; and, if so, why.[HL4062]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The cumulative UK deficit on trade in goods with the European Union was $130 billion between 1973 and 1998. The Government are firmly of the view that membership of the single market is beneficial to the UK economy in terms of trade, employment and our ability to attract overseas investors to this country. The single market plays an important role in job creation, not just in the United Kingdom but across the European Union as a whole.


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