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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 1st April 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 1st April 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Government Policy (South-West)

Mr. Coe: To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of arrangements for co-ordinating Government policy towards the south-west.

The Prime Minister: The Government office for the south-west already plays a valuable role in ensuring close dialogue between Government and the people, businesses and local representative bodies of the south-west. But this is the largest English region, and it has distinct identities and needs. In recognition of this, I have asked the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Urban Regeneration to act as a central co-ordinator of Government policy towards the south-west. Working with colleagues in the relevant Government Departments, my hon. Friend will take a close interest in the broad issues affecting the whole of the south-west, but will focus particularly on the concerns and interests of the peninsular counties of Devon and Cornwall.


Ministerial Reponsibility

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about ministerial responsibility for volunteering, the voluntary sector and charity matters.

The Prime Minister: In consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage, I have decided that ministerial responsibility for:

Government co-ordination of policy on the voluntary sector including volunteering, charity matters, including sponsorship of the charity commission grants to voluntary sector infra-structure bodies, sponsorship of the National Lottery Charities Board, the Community Development Foundation and the Volunteering Partnership, should be transferred as soon as the necessary financial and other arrangements can be made from my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage. I have concluded that these matters will fit more appropriately within the framework of the responsibilities of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage, who already has responsibility for other lottery distributors.


No. 10 Downing Street (Receptions)

Mr. Hall: To ask the Prime Minister who hosted the reception held at No. 10 Downing street on (a) 7 November 1994 and (b) Monday 6 November 1995.

The Prime Minister: My wife hosted a reception on 7 November 1994. There was no reception on 6 November 1995.


EU Legislation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Prime Minister how many pieces of existing Community legislation have been repealed or amended in each of the past three years.

The Prime Minister: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Much new Council and Commission legislation supersedes, repeals or amends existing legislation.

Mr. Hall: To ask the Prime Minister which Ministers have hosted non-official party receptions of functions in No. 10 Downing Street since July 1993.

The Prime Minister: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has hosted three receptions since July 1993.

Mr. Hall: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all the functions for industrialists held at No. 10 Downing Street which were attended by the chairman of the Conservation party since November 1990.

The Prime Minister: As far as I am aware, none.


Iraq

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he will bring forward to the international community to address health problems among the population of Iraq.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 29 March 1996]: United Nations Security Council resolution 986 is designed to bring much-needed relief to the people of Iraq by permitting the sale of oil to purchase more humanitarian supplies. Iraq has so far refused to implement the resolution. We, and a number of other countries, already give substantial support to humanitarian projects in Iraq, many of which specifically address health needs. Food and medical supplies are not subject to United Nations sanction.


Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Mr. Bermingham: To ask the Minister if he will make it his policy to compensate fully any person who has contracted CJD from beef since 1989.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 29 March 1996]: Any claim for compensation would be considered within the framework of the Government's legal obligations.