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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 14th January 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 14th January 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Objectives

Q8. Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister what are his objectives for 1993.

The Prime Minister : Among the Government's objectives for 1993 are continuing to work for economic growth and recovery and to encourage British industry to take advantage of the great opportunities offered by the single market; reducing the burden of regulations on business; pressing ahead with our reforms of education and health so that there will be more grant-maintained schools and more GP fund holders; continuing to drive for a return to basics in our schools and to give parents more information about how their children are doing; extending home ownership; making further progress with privatisation and contracting out; strengthening and modernising our police force and cracking down on juvenile offenders in particular; continuing our reforms as part of the citizens charter programme to give more power to those who use our public services; bringing forward proposals to develop a network of voluntary help in local communities; defending Britain's interests in Europe and the world.


Edinburgh Summit

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral statement in answer to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, of 14 December, Official Report, column 34, what was the result of his inquiries relating to Telecom's arrangements for incoming calls at the Meadowbank stadium for journalists attending the Edinburgh summit.

The Prime Minister : I wrote to the hon. Member on 16 December setting out the telecommunications arrangements at the European Council media centre.


Peerages

Mr. William Powell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the peerages created since 30 November 1990, together with the dates on which the holders were introduced.

The Prime Minister : The information is as follows :

Peers created under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876                   

                     |Created          |Introduced                        

Lord Browne-Wilkinson (a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary)      |1 October 1991   |15 October 1991                   

Lord Mustill (a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary)         |10 January 1992  |11 March 1992                     

Lord Slynn (a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary)         |11 March 1992    |11 March 1992                     

Lord Woolf (a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary)         |1 October 1992   |1 November 1992                   


Peers created under the Life Peers Act 1958                               

Lord Waddington      |4 December 1990  |4 December 1990                   

Lord Sterling of Plaistow          |17 January 1991  |23 January 1991                   

Lord White of Hull   |25 January 1991  |29 January 1991                   

Lord Runcie          |1 February 1991  |26 February 1991                  

Lord Pallumbo        |4 February 1991  |12 February 1991                  

Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach       |5 February 1991  |20 February 1991                  

Baroness James of Holland Park      |7 February 1991  |19 February 1991                  

Lord Laing of Dunphail          |8 February 1991  |19 February 1991                  

Baroness Seccombe    |14 February 1991 |26 February 1991                  

Lord Wolfson of Sunningdale       |26 March 1991    |26 March 1991                     

Lord Desai           |5 June 1991      |18 June 1991                      

Baroness Hamwee      |6 June 1991      |12 June 1991                      

Lord Marlesford      |7 June 1991      |11 June 1991                      

Lord Judd            |10 June 1991     |25 June 1991                      

Baroness Denton of Wakefield         |11 June 1991     |11 June 1991                      

Baroness Hilton of Eggardon          |14 June 1991     |2 July 1991                       

Baroness Mallalieu   |19 June 1991     |19 June 1991                      

Lord Hollick         |20 June 1991     |25 June 1991                      

Baroness O'Cathain   |21 June 1991     |3 July 1991                       

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn        |24 June 1991     |9 July 1991                       

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish      |26 June 1991     |26 June 1991                      

Lord Skidelsky       |15 July 1991     |17 July 1991                      

Baroness Perry of Southwark         |16 July 1991     |16 July 1991                      

Lord Cheshire        |17 July 1991     |24 July 1991                      

Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden          |29 July 1991     |15 October 1991                   

Lord Craig of Radley            |30 July 1991     |16 October 1991                   

Lord Rix             |27 January 1992  |12 February 1992                  

Lord Prentice        |30 January 1992  |12 February 1992                  

Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank       |12 February 1992 |25 February 1992                  

Lord Wilson of Tillyorn          |14 February 1992 |15 July 1992                      

Lord Wakeham         |24 April 1992    |28 April 1992                     

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey          |24 April 1992    |23 April 1992                     

Lord Taylor of Gosforth          |27 April 1992    |29 April 1992                     

Lord Roger of Earlsferry        |29 April 1992    |29 April 1992                     

Baroness Thatcher    |26 June 1992     |30 June 1992                      

Lord Finsberg        |27 June 1992     |13 July 1992                      

Lord Parkinson       |29 June 1992     |7 July 1992                       

Lord Healey          |29 June 1992     |1 July 1992                       

Lord Owen            |30 June 1992     |8 July 1992                       

Lord Howe of Aberavon          |30 June 1992     |1 July 1992                       

Lord Lawson of Blaby             |1 July 1992      |6 July 1992                       

Lord Merlyn-Rees     |1 July 1992      |7 July 1992                       

Lord Howell          |2 July 1992      |9 July 1992                       

Lord Moore of Lower Marsh       |3 July 1992      |6 July 1992                       

Lord Tebbit          |6 July 1992      |9 July 1992                       

Lord Younger of Prestwick         |7 July 1992      |14 July 1992                      

Lord Amery of Lustleigh         |8 July 1992      |8 July 1992                       

Lord Walker of Worcester         |8 July 1992      |21 June 1992                      

Lord Archer of Sandwell          |9 July 1992      |14 July 1992                      

Lord Ashley of Stoke             |10 July 1992     |13 July 1992                      

Lord Eatwell         |14 July 1992     |19 October 1992                   

Lord Weatherill      |14 July 1992     |15 July 1992                      

Lord Ewing of Kirkford          |17 July 1992     |26 October 1992                   

Lord Geraint         |18 July 1992     |27 October 1992                   

Lord Stewartby       |20 July 1992     |20 October 1992                   

Lord Clark of Kempston          |21 July 1992     |28 October 1992                   

Lord Plant of Highfield         |24 July 1992     |4 November 1992                   

Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare              |27 July 1992     |20 October 1992                   

Lord Ridley of Liddesdale        |28 July 1992     |28 October 1992                   

Baroness Jay of Paddington        |29 July 1992     |21 October 1992                   

Lord Williams of Mostyn            |30 July 1992     |26 October 1992                   

Lord Braine of Wheatley          |10 August 1992   |2 November 1992                   

Lord Cooke of Islandreagh       |11 August 1992   |3 November 1992                   

Lord Barber of Tewkesbury        |12 August 1992   |2 November 1992                   

Lord Hayhoe          |21 August 1992   |3 November 1992                   

Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar       |25 August 1992   |4 November 1992                   

Lord Elis-Thomas     |18 September 1992|27 October 1992                   


Squatting

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Prime Minister if he will transfer responsibility for squatting as an issue to the Department of the Environment.

The Prime Minister : No.


Treasury (Advice to Ministers)

Mr. Bennett : To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to market- test the provision of advice to Treasury Ministers.

The Prime Minister : The provision of advice to Treasury Ministers is one of the Treasury's core functions and there are no plans for it to be market tested.


London

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Prime Minister what machinery of government deals with London affairs.

The Prime Minister : Government Departments deal with issues within their areas of responsibility. The Cabinet sub-committee on London co- ordinates their policies. The 32 London boroughs and the corporation of the City of London are responsible for local government services in London, with joint arrangements where these are necessary.


Ministerial Committees

Mr. Richard Shepherd : To ask the Prime Minister if he will update the list of ministerial standing Cabinet committees published in May 1992 to include a list of those ad hoc ministerial committees established since the formation of his Government.

The Prime Minister : I will publish an updated list shortly.


Travellers

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Prime Minister where the responsibility lies for caravan site provision for the traditional travelling community.

The Prime Minister : The Caravan Sites Act 1968 requires local authorities in England and Wales to provide accommodation on caravan sites for travelling people staying in or resorting to their areas. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, local authorities have a discretionary power to provide sites for travelling people.

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Prime Minister what provisions exist to improve access to state services for the traditional travelling community.

The Prime Minister : In England and Wales, the Department for Education and the Welsh Office respectively provide grant support to local education authorities to help them improve the attendance of traveller children at school and meet their particular educational needs. General medical and hospital services are available to travellers on the same basis as to the rest of the population and health authorities are expected to take account of travellers' needs when planning services. In addition, the Department of Health is funding a number of special schemes aimed at meeting the day-to-day needs of such groups as single rough sleepers, families in bed-and-breakfast accommodation and traveller families.

In Scotland, education and health services for travelling people are under regular review by the Secretary of State's advisory committee on travelling people. In Northern Ireland, a document published in November 1992 by the advisory committee on travellers reviewed progress on travelling people's access to services. A consultation process is in train.


Cabinet Papers

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what is the reason for withholding release of certain Cabinet papers and departmental papers on the royal family and Cyprus beyond 30 years.

The Prime Minister : Records relating to these matters are considered for release after 30 years in the normal way in accordance with the provisions of the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967. Any which are deemed to require protection for longer than 30 years are either closed under section 5(1) or retained in Departments under section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958 in accordance with the criteria published in the Government's response to the Wilson Committee report "Modern Public Records", Cmnd. 8531.


Government of Scotland

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister what he has done since April 1992 to take stock of how Scotland is governed; when he plans to announce his proposals for the future; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I am examining a wide range of aspects of the governance of Scotland and have had fruitful discussions with numerous people in Scotland representing many walks of life and political viewpoints. Once the review is complete, the Government will announce the results to the House.


Bed-and-breakfast Accommodation

Mr. Pike : To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to investigate the incidence of poor nutrition and ill health among families living in bed-and-breakfast accommodation; and what representations he has received on this subject.

The Prime Minister : There is evidence concerning the association between ill-health and adverse social circumstances, but little to identify specific causes of this, particularly the role of nutrition. Indeed, the nutritional content of the diets of people of all incomes is remarkably similar. A balanced diet with more bread, cereals, seasonal vegetables and fruit, and fewer fatty foods can be cheaper than a less healthy diet. The Nutritional task force set up to help implement the White Paper "Health of the Nation" will seek ways to improve the promotion of healthy eating.


Labour Statistics

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister if he will direct the Secretary of State for Employment to discontinue replying to hon. Members' questions over regional unemployment by referring them to the NOMIS data base in the Library; and if he will make it his policy that the information requested should be published in the Official Report.

The Prime Minister : I endorse the procedure followed by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Employment, which is to refer hon. Members to NOMIS when more than 10 figures are asked for. The introduction of this procedure was announced, in answer to a parliamentary question, by the then Secretary of State for Employment, on 19 October 1990. This was done only after extensive consultation with both sides of the House and with the then Speaker. The procedure does not result in withholding information and does not deny hon. Members the opportunity of asking questions about unemployment or other labour market issues. NOMIS is a public data base, which can be accessed through a terminal in the House of Commons Library. It provides an open and an efficient way of publishing statistics, which I welcome under the citizens charter. The Official Report has never been a statistical digest.


Council of Europe

Mr. Jopling : To ask the Prime Minister whether he has made any changes to the composition of the United Kingdom delegation for the 44th Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The Prime Minister : With effect from 1 February 1993 my hon. Friend the Member for Ravensbourne (Sir J. Hunt) and my noble Friend, Lord Newall will become representatives on the delegation and my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Dicks) and my noble Friend, the Earl of Dundee, will become substitutes. My hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) has resigned from the delegation.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 14 January.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 14 January.

The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.


Coreper

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what changes took place in the operation of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the European Council during the United Kingdom presidency of the European Council.

The Prime Minister : None, other than that the chair was taken by the British representative.