Archive for ‘Questions’

Cardiff Harbour Authority (09.05.02)

First Minister 19.4.02 Alison Halford: Does the First Minister have any role or responsibilities in relation to the Welsh Assembly Government?s dealings with the Cardiff Harbour Authority? (WAQ17678)   The First Minister: As First Minister I have overall responsibility for the exercise of functions by the Assembly Government. The Assembly Government?s role in relation to Cardiff Harbour Authority stems from the agreement made pursuant to section 165 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 between the former Cardiff Bay Development Corporation and the County Council of the City and County of Cardiff on 27 March 2000. The former CBDC?s rights and liabilities under that agreement were transferred to the Assembly by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (Transfer of Property, Rights and Liabilities) (National Assembly for Wales) Order 2000 SI996 (W53). Those responsibilities fall within the portfolio of the Minister for Economic Development, but other Ministers have an interest too.

Auditing of Arts Festivals (06.06.02)

Minister for Culture, sport and the Welsh Language 6.6.02Alison Halford: What progress has been made on the auditing of arts festivals in Wales? (WAQ18190) The Minister for Culture, Sport and the Welsh Language (Jenny Randerson): The Arts Council of Wales has carried out a review of its funding to festivals, to highlight how the council can ensure that the available funding is targeted effectively at festivals across Wales. This process has helped inform the arts council?s development of a five-year arts strategy, which is currently out to consultation.

Minister for Culture, sport and the Welsh Language (02.05.02)

Clwyd Theatr Cymru (Funding) Alison Halford: Will the Minister make a statement on her long-term commitment to the funding of Clwyd Theatr Cymru? (WAQ17552) Jenny Randerson: I want Clwyd Theatr Cymru to continue to develop as a company of national standing and repute. I am keeping a close watch on the discussions about the theatre, but no decisions on its future funding arrangements will be taken until all possible options have been fully considered. In the meantime, the 15 per cent increase in funding that it received from the Arts Council of Wales for this year is very welcome.   Spending on the Arts in North Wales   Alison Halford: How much has the Minister spent on arts provision for north Wales compared to south Wales since January 2000? (WAQ17553) Jenny Randerson: Since January 2000, the Arts Council of Wales has awarded 367 grants in north Wales, providing a total spend of just over ?11 million, and 517 grants in south Wales, totalling ?8.32 million. These figures exclude grants and expenditure on the national remit companies, which provide services on an all-Wales basis.


Minister for Rural Affairs 17.5.02   Plans to Cull Badgers in Wales Alison Halford: Will the Minister make a statement on whether there are plans to cull badgers in Wales? (WAQ18156) Carwyn Jones: There are no plans to cull badgers in Wales.  


Minister for Rural Affairs 9.5.02 Voluntary Initiative on Pesticides Alison Halford: What will be the impact on the rural economy and environment of the recent voluntary code agreement with farmers to tackle environmental and health concerns associated with pesticides? (WAQ17562) Carwyn Jones: The voluntary package to minimise the environmental impact of pesticides (now known as the voluntary initiative) is an agreement between Government and the agrochemical and farming industries. It is overseen by a steering group comprising the signatories to the package and an equal number of environmental bodies under an independent chair. The outcome of the initiative is expected to be more efficient and responsible use of pesticides, generating improvements to the wider environment and potential benefits to the rural economy and health.


Minister for Rural Affairs 2.5.02 Bovine Tuberculosis Tests   Alison Halford: When were tests for bovine tuberculosis in cattle in Wales last conducted for low-risk areas and high-risk areas? (WAQ17530) The Minister for Rural Affairs and Assembly Business (Carwyn Jones): Testing for tuberculosis in cattle is governed by EC Directive 64/432/EEC, which sets a minimum requirement. Frequency of testing is influenced by the average percentage of confirmed herd incidents on a parish basis, as follows: every four years if the average percentage of confirmed herd incidents over the last two supervisory periods (eight years) is less than 0.1 per cent; every three years if between 0.1 and 0.25 per cent in the last six years; every two years if between 0.2 and 1 per cent in the last four years; every year if over 1 per cent in the last two years. Testing can be stepped up in response to sudden increases in the number of herd breakdowns. However, no system can predict where new infections will arise and high-frequency random monitoring of all herds is not practicable.   Removal of Cattle Not Tested for Bovine TB   Alison Halford: Are cattle that have not been tested for bovine tuberculosis …..


Minister for Rural Affairs 26.4.02   Safety Standards for Imported Beef Alison Halford: What steps are being taken to ensure all imported beef used in Wales meets the highest safety standards? (WAQ17209) Transferred for answer by the Minister for Health and Social Services The Minister for Health and Social Services (Jane Hutt): Responsibility for the safety of food lies with the Minister of Health and Social Services, advised by the Food Standards Agency. All meat imports must be produced in accordance with European Union rules on hygiene and BSE. It is the responsibility of the relevant national authorities to ensure compliance with EU rules, but standards are checked by EU inspectors. Imports from non-EU countries must enter through designated border inspection posts. All consignments have a documentary and identity check, and around 20 per cent are subject to a random physical check. Meat from other EU states is not subject to border inspection because it is in ‘free circulation’ under EU single market rules. However, all imports of carcase beef from other EU countries are subject to inspection by the Meat Hygiene Service at point of destination: it is through these checks that breaches in EU controls on specified risk …..


Minister for Rural Affairs 19.4.02 Business and Livestock Insurance Alison Halford: What percentage of livestock farmers in Wales currently have insurance to protect their business and livestock, and what is being done to encourage them to take up such insurance? (WAQ17208) Carwyn Jones: Insurance contracts between farmers and insurers are commercial transactions and no details are kept centrally. Work is ongoing within the European Union and the UK is currently considering the possible options. This work is in the early stages and is not expected to come on-stream for a number of years. Pricing by Supermarkets Alison Halford: What action is the Minister taking to combat the adverse effects that aggressive price cutting policies by the large supermarkets have on our rural economy? (WAQ17210) Carwyn Jones: Responsibility for the supermarkets code of practice rests with the Department of Trade and Industry. The Secretary of State announced on 18 December 2001 that she had accepted legally binding undertakings from the UK’s major supermarkets to abide by the code of practice governing relations with their suppliers. The code entered into force on 17 March 2002. I wrote to Lord Whitty on 24 January asking for his support in seeking a review of …..


Questions to the Minister for Health 13.6.02  Meniere’s Disease    Alison Halford:  Would the Minister detail the specialist services that are available via the NHS to Meniere’s disease sufferers in Wales? (WAQ18631)   Jane Hutt: We do not hold centrally details of the services that are available for every medical condition. At present, it is the responsibility of health authorities in Wales to determine need and commission services for their populations.   Specialist ‘Balance’ Nurses   Alison Halford: What plans does the Minister have to train specialist ‘balance’ nurses to provide specialist care for those suffering from Meniere’s disease? (WAQ18632)   Jane Hutt: At present, it is the responsibility of health authorities to commission appropriate services for their populations. This includes the responsibility for ensuring that those services are of good quality and staffed appropriately.


Questions to the Minister for Health 6.6.02   Neurologists Leaving Wales   Alison Halford: What action is the Minister taking to counteract the trend of neurologists leaving Wales? (WAQ18193) Jane Hutt: Each trust has developed its own recruitment and retention strategy, which takes account of particular local situations. Issues of relevance for the shortage professions, including consultant specialties, are also addressed. The strategies cover key retention initiatives such as flexible working, term-time contracts and career development. An all-Wales recruitment and retention strategy is in preparation and is due to be discussed at a meeting of the Health and Social Services Committee in the summer. A staff attitude survey was recently sent out to all staff working in the NHS in Wales. The responses are currently being analysed and will help to formulate further policies for tackling any problems of staff dissatisfaction.   Closure of Old Peoples’ Homes (Prevention)   Alison Halford: What action has the Minister taken to stop the closure of old peoples’ homes in north Wales? (WAQ18191)   The Minister for Health and Social Services (Jane Hutt): The Welsh Assembly Government’s role is a strategic one in helping to ensure that there is a confident, flexible and viable …..