HC Deb 26 July 1982 vol 28 cc425-8W
Mr. Latham

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will bring up to date information given by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) in his reply on 15 April 1981 to the hon. Member for Melton, c. 179, regarding the acquisition and disposal of land under the Community Land Act.

Mr. Allan Stewart

[pursuant to his reply, 14 July 1982, c. 387]: 1979–80 was the last year in which there were acquisitions and disposals of land under the community land scheme. The figures requested are as follows:

redundancies in the area covered by the Shettleston constituency during 1979, 1980, 1981 and to date in 1982: and how many have resulted in closures.

Mr. Alexander Fletcher

[pursuant to his reply, 16 July 1982, c. 481]: There are no comprehensive statistics of redundancies and closures. The table following gives information on the numbers of redundancies involving 10 or more employees reported to the Manpower Services Commission as due to occur in the Parkhead and Glasgow Central employment office areas (which cover the Shettleston constituency), including those known to have resulted in closure, in each year since 1979.

information which education authorities must make available to parents about schools have recently been laid before the House, to take effect from the beginning of next year. The provisions making new and better arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs (especially those caused by handicap) will also come into effect then. An assisted places scheme enabling children to attend fee paying schools which their families could not otherwise afford, will come into existence from 16 August to replace the interim scheme introduced last year.

Progress has been made with the strengthening of religious education in schools. The Scottish Education Board has published syllabuses for the new "O" grade examination in religious studies and I propose in due course to bring into effect the repeal of the statutory bar on the inspection of religious subjects by HM inspectors of schools.

There have been encouraging preliminary results of the three-year development programme announced in March 1980 in response to the Munn & Dunning reports on the curriculum and assessment in the third and fourth years of secondary education. I propose to publish a consultative paper in the Autumn reporting on the development work and inviting comments upon implementation.

We continue to do all we can to support and foster voluntary activity and self-help within the community. The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust accepted an invitation to administer the unemployed voluntary action fund, which provides assistance for projects offering voluntary work opportunities for the unemployed; the funds available for this purpose amount to £400,000 in 1982–83.

As a result of the Government's support for the police in their fight against crime, the police service in Scotland remains high in numbers and morale. We are studying the implications for Scotland of the Scarman report as regards police training, consultation procedures, methods of policing and other matters.

All the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 have now been implemented, with the exception of the provisions relating to the detention of young offenders, to be brought into force later this year.

Health boards have been asked to determine their priorities for the 1980s and to report on the means by which they propose to achieve them.

Further steps have been taken to increase the resources available to the NHS, to specify target reductions in management costs and to limit growth in administration. Other measures to improve efficiency and ensure value for money have included the introduction of revised procedures for NHS building projects.

The Local Government and Planning (Scotland) Bill is expected to become law very shortly. Its provisions give effect to our decisions on the recommendations of the Stodart committee of inquiry into local government in Scotland, clarifying responsibility between regions and districts for certain local authority functions, introducing improvements in the system of development planning and listed building control, and making other useful changes to the law affecting local government in Scotland. It also strengthens legislation affecting a tenant's right to buy his council house. This right large numbers of Scottish tenants have applied to exercise. The Bill also deals with local government finance and the rating system and strengthens my power to take selective action against local authorities planning to incur excessive and unreasonable expenditure. Such expenditure has been significantly reduced following action I have taken under the powers available to me through the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1981.

We have made further increases in shipping subsidies assisting the services to and from the Scottish Islands. On the mainland, four dualling schemes are presently in progress north or Forfar, on the road between Dundee and Stonehaven, and a further five schemes are planned to start before 31 March 1983. We have offered a 75 per cent. grant to Strathclyde region towards the cost of the electric rolling stock for the railway line from Glasgow to Ayr, and have increased our financial support for Highlands and Islands airports.