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Written Answers

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 15 March 1988

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Turks And Caicos Islands

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to review the governance of the Turks and Caicos Islands; and if he will make a statement.

No. Elections took place in the Turks and Caicos Islands on 3 March. The People's Democratic Movement won a majority of the seats. We look forward to working with the new Government.

Export Promotion Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reorganisation of the United Kingdom export promotion services in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of Trade and Industry have reviewed the Government trade promotion services available to British exporters to the Federal Republic of Germany and have jointly agreed to arrangements for upgrading our service in the Federal Republic of Germany. A new post of Director General of Trade and Investment Promotion for the whole country will be created in Düsseldorf. An improved information technology system is being installed in Düsseldorf and in other British consultates-general in Germany which will provide British exporters with speedier service more closely targeted to their needs. All British exporters to the German market will benefit and especially those entering the export market for the first time.A comprehensive and centralised data base is to be installed in the consulate-general in Düsseldorf. This will be linked to terminals in consulates-general in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and West Berlin and to the British Marketing Office for High Technology in Stuttgart. An FRG-wide information network will thus be created. All consulates-general will have access to it and be able to communicate with each other through it. The new system will give exporters quicker answers to enquiries about market prospects and faster contact with potential agents and buyers.The Focus Germany campaign and Lord Young's recent enterprise initiative are stimulating the interest of exporters, especially smaller and medium-sized companies in the German market. The realisation of the single market in 1992 will open it up even further. The FCO and DTI are strengthening Government services to exporters now to assist them in seizing the opportunities that will present themselves.The enhanced system has been planned to be fully operational in October and will be installed over the next six months.

The consul-general in Düsseldorf, Peter Bryant, has taken over from 14 March, as the new Director General of Trade and Investment Promotion with responsibility to direct and co-ordinate the new organisation.

The commercial section in the embassy in Bonn will continue in being until 1 May. On that date it will close and thereafter all inquiries and visits which would have been made to the embassy should be directed to the British consulate-general in Düsseldorf. Their address is Nordsternhaus, Georg-Glock-Strasse 14,400 Düsseldorf 30 (Telephone: 0211–43740, telex: 8584855; telefax 0211–4542319).

National Finance

Royal Family (Civil List)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the total amount payable under the Civil List Acts to the Royal Family in the calendar years 1987 and 1988.

The information on amounts payable to the Royal Family in the present and previous calendar year is as follows:

19871988
££
The Queen's Civil List4,326,1004,500,000
HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother375,300390,300
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh209,300217,700
HRH The Duke of York50,00086,500
HRH The Prince Edward20,00020,000
HRH The Princess Royal130,400135,600
HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon127,000132,100
HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester51,40053,500
HRH The Duke of Gloucester102,200106,300
HRH The Duke of Kent138,000143,500
HRH Princess Alexandra, Mrs. Angus Ogilvy131,500136,800
TOTAL5,661,2005,922,300
Refunded by Her Majesty The Queen371,700386,600
5,289,5005,535,700

Notes:

1. These figures combine the sum directly payable from the Consolidated Fund with supplementation provided by the royal trustees via the Treasury Vote "Class XIX, Vote 11 HM Treasury: Administration".

2. The underlying increase is 4·0 per cent., though the actual increase in total is 4·6 per cent., due to the additional payment to HRH The Duke of York.

3. The sum of £20,000 has been payable from the Consolidated Fund to HRH The Prince Edward since he attained the age of 18 on 10 March 1982, and has been paid in full since 1 January 1987.

4. Her Majesty paid £371,700 into the Consolidated Fund in respect of payments made in 1987 to members of the Royal Family whose expenses are met under section 3 of the Civil List Act 1972. A similar payment of £386,600 will be made for 1988.

Income Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what additional annual income net of tax and national insurance would result from (a) a 2 pence cut in the basic rate of income tax and (b) the reduction of all high rate income tax bands to 40 per cent. for (i)a person, (ii)an income taxpayer, (iii)a household and (iv)average family of four.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 February 1988, c. 88]: I regret that the table given with my reply to

Increase in income after tax and national insurance (£ per annum) compared with indexation in 1988–89
Multiple of average male earnings1
Increase derived from:½¾11½25
(a) 2 pence cut in basic rate
(i)single77141204331372372
(ii)married couple wife not earning148112176303372372
(iii)married couple wife earning282188294534658744
(b) reduction of all higher rates of income tax to 40 per cent.
(i)single875,971
(ii)married couple wife not earning155,685
(iii)married couple wife earning2877,794
1 Average male earnings assumed to be £244·70 per week; an increase of 6·5 per cent. on 1987–88 in line with the assumptions used by the Government Actuary for reviewing National Insurance contributions (paragraph 3.02 of the Autumn Statement 1987).
2 Assuming that the wife's earnings are the same multiple of average earnings as her husband's.

Taxes And Rates

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much tax and rates will be paid in the present financial year (a) by a married man, with two children, earning £250,000 a year, (b) by a single man, with no dependants, earning £250,000 a year, (c) by a married man, with two children, earning £100,000 a year, (d) by a single man, with no dependants, earning £100,000 a year, (e) by a married man, with two children, earning £25,000 a year, (f) by a single man, with no dependants, earning £25,000 a year, (g) by a married man, with two children, earning £7,500 a year and (h) by a single man, with no dependants, earning £7,500 a year, in each case assuming no other income.

[holding answer 8 March 1988]: The available information is given in the table.

Income tax liability in 1987–88
Annual EarningsSingle manMarried man
£££
7,5001,370·251,000·35
25,0006,811·756,195·25
100,00050,203·0049,381·00
250,000140,203·00139,381·00
The calculations assume that the taxpayer has no other income and that he is not entitled to any allowances or reliefs other than the personal allowances. The number of children does not affect liability to income tax.Corresponding estimates on indirect taxes and local authority rates are not available

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the figure for the projected yield of a 1 per cent. rate of income tax in 1987–88 in England and Wales, based on existing outturns of income tax.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: For the United Kingdom as a whole, the revenue effect in a full year from a one penny change in the basic rate of income tax in 1987–88 is estimated at about £1·3 billion. Income tax liabilities of residents of England and Wales in 1985–86, the latest year for which data are available, were 89 per cent. of the total for the United Kingdom.

the hon. Member for Dunfermline, East contained some incorrect figures. I refer the hon. Member to the revised table below:

Allowances And Reliefs

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the real increase in the direct tax allowances and reliefs published in table 6·5 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1988–89 to 1990–91,"Cm 288–1.

[holding answer 3 March 1988]: The table shows the percentage change, in real terms, between 1986–87 and 1987–88 of the latest estimates of the cost of direct tax allowances and reliefs, based on the forecast movement of 4 per cent. in the general index of retail prices to 1987–88. The percentage changes should be treated only as an approximate guide. Excluded from the table are those reliefs marked with an asterisk in table 6·5 of Cm 288–1 or in the corresponding 1986–87 table because the estimates were subject to a wide margin of error, and those reliefs whose costs were £5 million or less in either year.

Estimated change in cost in real terms between 1986–87 and 1987–88
Per cent.
Income Tax
Married man's allowance-3
Single person's allowance-5
Wife's earned income allowance-1
Husband and wife; election for separate taxation of wife's earnings50
Age allowance-1
Additional personal allowance for one parent family-4
Widow's bereavement allowance-4
Dependent relative allowance-4
Relief for:
Employees' contributions to occupational pension schemes-2
Investment income of occupational pension schemes-3
Lump sum payments to pensioners-7
Retirement annuity premiums4
Life assurance premiums (where insurance contract made before 14 March 1984)-14
Qualifying interest on loans for purchase or improvement of owner-occupied etc property-2
Schedule E work expenses allowed as a deduction-7
Half of Class 4 National Insurance Contributions-5
Exemption of:
Income of charities8

Per cent.

British government securities where owner not ordinarily resident in United Kingdom6
Foreign service allowance paid to Crown Servants abroad-4

Petroleum Revenue Tax

Uplift on qualifying expenditure13
Relief for exploration and appraisal expenditure-22
Oil allowance—Petroleum Revenue Tax49
Safeguard: restricting petroleum revenue tax to not more than 80 per cent. of the excess over a 30 per cent. return on historic capital cost72
Tariff receipt allowance0

Capital Gains Tax

Exemption of:
First £6,600 of gains of individuals and first £3,300 of gains of trustees13

Inheritance Tax/Capital Transfer Tax

Exemption of:
Transfers to charities on death-4
Relief for:
Agricultural property-4
Business property-4

Stamp Duty

Exemption of:
Transfers of government stocks and loan stocks11
Transfers of houses or other property (not stocks and shares) where the consideration does not exceed £30,000-4

Transport

Electric Multiple Unit Trains (Brake Failures)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reports he has received, or requested, from his Inspectorate of Railways concerning failures in braking systems on electric multiple unit trains; what representations have been made to him or his inspectors on this topic; when he expects to publish any reports; and if he will make a statement.

There is no evidence that failures are occurring in the braking systems of electric multiple-unit trains. The British Railways Board is currently studying the braking performance of trains generally. This is in response to some evidence that the number of signals passed at danger is increasing and the claims by some drivers that under certain conditions the braking performance of their trains is less than fully adequate. The inspectorate's report on the September 1986 accident at Colwich junction, to be published shortly, will, I understand, include comments on current train braking systems, and the report on the August 1987 accident at Walton-on-Naze will comment specifically on the braking of electric multiple-units. No formal representations have been made to the Department on this subject.

Motorway Safety Fences

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made introducing requirements for firms manufacturing, supplying and erecting safety fences on motorways to have management systems certificated by independent certification bodies accredited by the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies.

Publication of the specification for highway works in October 1986 announced the Department's intention to introduce these new quality assurance requirements in safety fence contracts from January 1988. The NACCB has accredited two certification bodies which have certificated a number of companies. The first contracts requiring the suppliers to have a certificated quality management system have now been let and we expect this method of achieving quality assurance for safety fencing to be applied increasingly from now on. As yet, not as many firms as we had hoped have achieved certificated quality assurance status. In view of this, where there are insufficient firms with certificated status to maintain competition and progress with the Department's safety fence programme some contracts may be placed with other firms. In those cases, we shall ensure that the qualtiy control checks carried out under existing contractural arrangements are applied rigorously and thoroughly.The Department will continue to encourage firms to obtain certification for their quality management schemes and seek to make this a requirement in all contracts. Grants available from the Department of Trade and Industry under its enterprise initiative should be of particular benefit in enabling this sector of industry to introduce quality management systems meeting our requirements.

Attorney-General

Land Registry

To ask the Attorney-General how many staff are currently employed by the Land Registry; and what are their grades.

The staff employed and their grades as at 1 March 1988 are set out in the following table:

GradePermanentCasualTotal
Open structure
Grade 21·01·0
Grade 31·01·0
Grade 518·018·0
Grade 632·032·0
Grade 792·092·0
Total144·0144·0
Legal Officer8·00·58·5
Executive
SEO246·0246·0
HEO468·5468·5
EO1,515·01,515·0
Total2,229·52,229·5
Clerical
AO2,928·53·02,931·5
AA1,181·0444·51,625·5
Total4,109·5447·54,557·0
Secretarial
Total703·575·0778·5
Support
Total1,008214·51,222·5
Grand Total8,202·5737·58,940·0

To ask the Attorney-General what has been the ratio of staff to total registrations dealt with per year by the Land Registry in each of the last seven years for which figures are available.

The ratio of staff to registrations dealt with in each of the last seven years expressed in terms of registrations completed per post is as follows:

Registrations
1981–82355
1982–83359
1983–84352
1984–85358
1985–86364
1986–87388
1987–88394

To ask the Attorney-General what recent representations he has received concerning delays at the Land Registry.

In the three months to 29 February 1988 the Lord Chancellor received some 35 letters concerning delays at the Land Registry.

To ask the Attorney-General when he expects the application for registration about which the hon. Member for Macclesfield recently wrote to the Lord Chancellor to be processed by the Land Registry.

The Land Registry is awaiting a reply to requisitions sent to the applicant's solicitors on 14 October 1987. The application cannot proceed further until the requisitions are complied with, but will be completed as quickly as possible thereafter.

Trade And Industry

Research And Development

103.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of research and development expenditure in the United Kingdom as a percentage of gross domestic product in the light of the finding by the Society of British Aerospace Companies that the Government have over-estimated their research and development expenditure.

I have no reason to revise the estimate of total United Kingdom expenditure on research and development (R and D) in the light of the study carried out by the Society of British Aerospace Companies. This relates to the funding by Ministry of Defence of development contract work carried out by some aerospace defence manufacturers. In common with other members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development the United Kingdom compiles statistics of total expenditure on R and D by aggregating expenditure on R and D by the sectors performing the R and D not by sectors funding the R and D.

Company Registrations

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has as to the numbers of companies registering at Companies House; and if he will make a statement.

A total of 121,125 new companies were registered in England and Wales in 1987, and 5,926 in Scotland. At the end of January 1988 the total number of live companies, including those registered in Scotland, was 925,321

Economic League

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the Economic League registered its accounts at Companies House for the last financial year.

The last accounts registered at Companies House were delivered on 24 September 1986 for the financial year ending 31 December 1985.Accounts for the year ending 31 December 1986 are overdue and the Registrar of Companies is taking action to secure compliance with the filing requirements of the Companies Act 1985.

Automotive Industry

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what percentage of the United Kingdom automotive industry was Japanese-owned; and what market share this represents, for each year from 1979.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. is the sole wholly-owned Japanese vehicle manufacturer in the United Kingdom. Production of cars began at Sunderland in 1986 and so far makes up only a small, though increasing, proportion of total sales by Nissan here. Nissan's overall share of the United Kingdom market since 1979—supplied solely by imports from Japan until 1985, and by a mixture of imports and United Kingdom-produced vehicles since then — has been as follows:

per cent.
19795·9
19806·07
19815·94
19825·99
19835·84
19846·08
19855·76
19865·84
19875·67

Regional Aid

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what has been the spending, and the number of cases helped in the county of Cleveland, through (a) regional selective assistance and (b) regional development grant in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987, broken down into manufacturing and service industries, and within that category (i) firms employing up to 200 employees and 201 or more and within that category (ii) regional development grant awards made on a capital grants basis, as opposed to grants given per job created.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: The information requested in respect of the number of projects receiving payments and the value of expenditure under regional selective assistance (RSA) and regional development grant (RDG) in the County of Cleveland in each year is as follows:

RSA1
ManufactureService
1984
Small
Number of projects285
Payments (£ million)1·00·2
Medium/Large
Number of projects81
Payments (£ million)3·20·7
1985
Small
Number of projects265
Payments (£ million)2·70·1
Medium/Large
Number of projects91
Payments (£ million)1·80·9
RDG2
ManufactureService
(a) Capital grant(b) Job grant(a) Capital grant(b) Job grant
19843
Small
Number of projects
Payments (£ million)
Medium/large
Number of projects
Payments (£ million)
1985
Small
Number of projects36317
Payments (£ million)1·4Neg0·2
Medium/large
Number of projects
Payments (£ million)
1986
Small
Number of projects30243575
Payments (£ million)0·22·8Neg0·8
Medium/large
Number of projects211
Payments (£ million)0·10·1Neg
1987
Small
Number of projects59365587
Payments (£ million)0·74·5Neg0·9
Medium/large
Number of projects5512
Payments (£ million)0·60·7NegNeg
Note—small firms are those with up to 200 employees; medium/large firms are those with 201 employees or more. Negligible means payments below £50,000.
1 Project and training grants only.
2 Figures are given for the revised RDG scheme only. Records for the original scheme are insufficiently detailed to provide the information requested.
3 No data for 1984 as the revised RDG scheme was only introduced in November that year.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will set out in the Official Report estimates of expenditure in 1987–88 in England, Scotland and Wales, respectively, on (a) regional development grants, (b) regional selective assistance and (c) regional and general

Manufacture

Service

1986

Small
Number of projects324
Payments (£ million)1·70·1
Medium/Large
Number of projects5
Payments (£ million)1·8

1987

Small
Number of projects215
Payments (£ million)1·2Neg
Medium/Large
Number of projects131
Payments (£ million)2·6Neg

industrial support in cash and real terms, together with the amounts of planned expenditure for the years 1988–89,1989–90 and 1990–91.

[holding answer 10 March 1988]:The information requested in cash and constant (1986–87) price terms is as follows:

£ million1
1987–8821988–8931989–9031990–913
CashConstantCashConstantCashConstantCashConstant
(a) Regional Development Grant
England1321271561431161036657
Scotland6764585351453228
Wales5451645842372824
(b) Regional Selective Assistance4
England122117161148148131148127
Scotland55351605560538069
Wales4139464252466153
(c) Regional and General Industrial Support6
England7294282463425448397423364
Scotland8257246266244261231261225
Wales9169162194178180160180155
1 All figures are net of recoveries and other domestic receipts, but gross of receipts from the European regional development fund
2 Supply Estimate figures
3 Figures underlying the 1988 public expenditure White Paper
4 Incorporating industrial and training grants and expenditure under the business improvement services and exchange risk guarantee schemes
5 Including (for 1988–89 onwards) expenditure provision for the regional investment grant element of the enterprise initiative package
6 Including expenditure on regional development grant and regional selective assistance
7 Including (in addition to RDG and RSA) expenditure provision in Great Britain for selective assistance towards individual companies and industries, as well as (for 1988–89 onwards) GB provision for the consultancy services and regional innovation grant elements of the enterprise initiative package. Also incorporating expenditure in England only under the regional investment grant element of the package, and expenditure on task forces and city action teams.
8 Including (in addition to RDG and RSA) expenditure under the Industry, Energy, Trade and Employment (excluding tourism) Vote on support for nationalised industries (except transport), general labour market services, support for the Scottish Development Agency and the Highlands and Islands Development Board, and other central and miscellaneous services.
9 Including (in addition to RDG and RSA) expenditure under the regional investment grant element of the enterprise initiative package, and support for the Welsh Development Agency and Mid-Wales Development.

Employment

London Docklands (Construction Sites)

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many successful prosecutions have been made against companies on construction sites in London docklands for breaches of health and safety legislation; and if he will enumerate these on an annual basis since 1981, with an annual total of fines imposed;(2) how many accidents and deaths have been recorded by the Health and Safety Executive on construction sites in London docklands since 1981 on an annual basis.

The information is not available in the detail requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Home Department

Police Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the design of police stations in relation to the accessibility to the public of a general reception and injury desk.

Guidance issued by the Home Office on the design of new police stations recommends that the public entrance to the station should have a suitable ramp, and that all parts of the entrance hall should be visible from the inquiry counter.

Prison Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of inmates in each of the prisons in England and Wales who on 1 March were in single cells and who were (a) sharing two to a cell and (b) sharing three to a cell.

The information tabulated as follows relates to 10 January this year, the latest date for which figures are available.

Distribution of inmates in cells designed for single occupation
PrisonNumbers held singlyNumbers sharingNumbers sharing
2 to a cell3 to a cell
Acklington315
Albany210
Ashford90236
Aylesbury271
Bedford3092204
Birmingham41160861
Blundeston277
Bristol1842206
Brixton179532219
Brockhill219821
Bullwood Hall8260
Camp Hill180156
Canterbury39130162
Cardiff52312183
Channings Wood466
Castington227
Chelmsford24288
Coldingley236
Cook.ham Wood114
Dartmoor582
Deerbolt202
Dorchester3014424
Durham (male)140526306
Durham (female)36
Everthorpe235126
Exeter5730684
Featherstone454
Feltham214
Frankland393

Prison

Numbers held singly

Numbers sharing

Numbers sharing

2 to a cell

3 to a cell

Full Sutton194
Gartree276
Glen Parva301346
Gloucester9911069
Grendon2012
Highpoint229
Hindley15854
Hollesley Bay169
Holloway170
Hull13324126
Huntercombe13912
Lancaster18120
Latchmere House48118
Leeds78190966
Leicester3072312
Lewes140386
Lincoln75172423
Liverpool120570345
Long Lartin392
Low Newton (male)14242
Low Newton (female)824
Maidstone4072
Manchester105958432
New Hall64
Northallerton16138
Norwich80134135
Nottingham74182
Onley389
Oxford1910278
Parkhurst176
Pentonville135856
Portland369829
Portsmouth (Kingston)136
Preston240294
Pucklechurch (male)4264
Pucklechurch (female)1152
Reading39156102
Risley (male)98638
Risley (female)1236
Rochester19858
Shepton Mallet672045
Shrewsbury2826212
Stafford57700
Stocken285
Stoke Heath127184
Styal2
Swansea1920618
Swinfen Hall166
Thorp Arch151
Usk5616
Wakefield57510
Wandsworth617712
Wellingborough204
Winchester111484
Wormwood Scrubs386690
Wayland434
TOTAL13,92913,2645,142

Police Cells (Remanded Persons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unconvicted prisoners were remanded in police cells in Peterlee and Seaham on 1 March; and if he will make a statement.

No unconvicted prisoners were held in police cells at either Peterlee or Seaham police stations on 1 March 1988.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the number of complaints made following official visits to either police or magistrates court cells in the London area to see people being held on remand during the last 12 months.

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give a breakdown of the charges facing remand prisoners being held in police cells on 1 March; and if he will list the police stations and the age of the remand prisoners.

On 1 March 1988, a total of eight juvenile remand prisoners were held in cells at Croydon, Wimbledon, Coalville and Cowley police stations. A record of their ages is not available.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give a breakdown of the charges facing remand prisoners being held in either police or magistrates' court cells on 7 March.

This information is not collated centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of (a) men and (b) women being held on remand in police cells in England and Wales on 7 March.

On Monday 7 March, 1,510 male and eight female prisoners, most of whom would have been on remand, were held in police cells in England and Wales.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of remand prisoners who had to sleep on the floor in either police or magistrates' court cells on 6 March.

Prisoners held in police and magistrates' courts cells are all provided with mattresses and most sleep on beds. Further information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of pregnant women being held on remand in either police or magistrates' court cells on 7 March.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the visits, and their dates, that he, or other Ministers in his Department, have made to police or magistrates' court cells to see the conditions under which remand prisoners are being held; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary visited prisoners in the Liverpool main bridewell on 2 October 1987 and my noble Friend the Earl Ferrers visited prisoners in police cells at Bradford police station on 23 February, Ealing police station on 1 March and Newcastle bridewell on 8 March this year. I visited he prisoners in police cells at Croydon police station on 23 November last year and the Metropolitan police holding cells at Lambeth on 18 February this year. My hon. Friend the Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten) plans to visit the cell area at Horseferry road magistrates' court shortly. In addition to these particular visits, Ministers in the Department undertake frequent visits to police stations during which we often take the opportunity to visit the cells.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the following places of detention were last visited for the purposes of inspection, and by whom: Bow road police station, Camberwell road magistrates' court, Horseferry road magistrates' court and South Western magistrates' court; and if he will place in the Library a copy of any resultant reports on conditions.

I am informed by the Metropolitan police that the local chief superintendent has responsibility for ensuring that conditions in places of detention at police cells and magistrates' courts are maintained at the highest possible level. So far as access to individual prisoners is concerned, lay visitors already have access to persons detained by the police in police cells; these arrangements will be extended to include detainees who would normally be held in prison service establishments.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he intends to take to monitor the number of days persons are being held in either police or magistrates' court cells while on remand; and if he will make a statement.

Remanded Persons (Complaints)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision is made for prisoners held on remand to complain as to the conditions under which they are kept; and if he will make a statement.

Remand prisoners in prison custody may make complaints about conditions in the following ways:

  • by speaking to supervising prison staff;
  • by applying to see the governor, chaplain, medical officer, education officer or welfare officer;
  • by applying to see the board of visitors or a visiting member of the board;
  • by applying to see a visiting officer of the Secretary of State;
  • by petition to the Secretary of State, to Parliament or to Her Majesty The Queen;
  • by writing to a Member of Parliament;
  • by writing to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, directly or through a Member of Parliament;
  • by petition to the European Commission of Human Rights.
Remand prisoners held in police custody may raise any complaints about conditions with the supervising police officers or by writing to the chief officer of the force concerned. It has also been decided that prisoners held in police custody should have access to an independent body concerned with the supervision of their custodial conditions and treatment. Lay visitors have been asked to take on this task as we are discussing with the Metropolitan police what guidance needs to be given to assist them in carrying out these duties.

Police Cells

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of people held in police or magistrates' court cells in each of the last five years in England and Wales.

Annual averages are given in the table. Further details are published annually in "Prison Statistics England and Wales" at table 1.9 of the latest volume, for 1986 (Cm. 210), a copy of which is in the Library.

Average population of prisoners held in police cells, 1983 to 1987
Number
1983310
198454
198545
1986119
11987537
1 Provisional.

Wandsworth Prison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when each member of staff at Wandsworth prison is to be allocated an individual locker; and if he will make a statement.

Where space is available, policy is to provide each prison officer with an individual locker. At Wandsworth, because of space constraints, it has only been possible to provide two thirds of the staff with individual lockers. We are presently looking at ways in which extra space might be secured to provide for additional lockers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of showers for the use of prison officers in each of the wings or relaxation areas in Wandsworth prison; and if he will make a statement.

Staff showers are provided at Wandsworth prison in the hospital, the gymnasium, the reception area and the works department. There are no staff showers elsewhere.

Crime Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the annual number of homicides reported by the police in England and Wales in each year since 1958; and if he will express these figures per million of population in England and Wales.

The number of offences initially recorded as homicide per million population is given in the following table. In each year since 1967, some 10 to 15 per cent. of such offences were not finally recorded as homicide. Figures for homicides recorded by the police are published annually in chapter 4 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", (figures for offences currently recorded as homicide related to population are in table 4.1), copies of which are in the Library. Corresponding information for 1987 is not yet available.

Offences initially recorded by the police as homicide

1

and offences per million population.

England and Wales

Year initially recorded

Offences initially recorded as homicide

1

Offences initially recorded as homicide

1

per million population

19582615·8
19592665·9
19602826·2
19612655·7
19622996·4
19633076·5
19642966·3
19653256·8
19663647·6
19674148·6
19684208·6
19693958·1
19703968·1
19714599·4
19724809·8
19734659·5
197459912·2
197550810·3
197656511·5
19774849·8
197853510·9
197962912·8
198062112·6
198155611·2
198261812·5
198355211·1
198461912·4
198562512·5
198666213·3

1 Murder, manslaughter and infanticide

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the current level of burglaries and violent attacks on members of the public.

In the first nine months of 1987 recorded offences of burglary fell by 2·5 per cent. compared to the same period in 1986. Burglaries in dwellings fell by nearly 4 per cent.Recorded offences of violence against the person rose by 11 per cent. Some of this increase is likely to be attributable to increased recording and the greater willingness of victims to come forward, especially to report racial attacks, rapes and domestic violence which have been receiving special police attention in the last year.The handbook "Practical Ways to Crack Crime", published last week, provides valuable guidance for members of the public about how to prevent burglaries and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of violent crime.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the annual number of armed robberies in England and Wales in each year since 1958.

The number of offences recorded by the police in which firearms were reported to have been used, by offence type, is published annually in table 3.1 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", copies of which are in the Library. Comparable figures are not available before 1969.

Environment

Inner City Partnership Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which inner city partnership authorities underspent their allocations in 1986–87; and by what percentage.

The information is provided in the table:

AuthorityEstimated 1986–87 OutturnAllocationPercentage Underspend
£ million£ million
Lambeth11·32313·113·6
Hackney10·97311·65·4
Islington9·26710·07·3
Manchester/Salford21·98723·87·6
Liverpool22·98623·52·2
Birmingham25·94326·52·1
My Department impresses on local authorities the importance of reporting projected underspends during the course of the financial year, so that resources can be reallocated to local authorities which can make effective use of them.

Housing Act 1985

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many local authorities are (a) imposing and (b) not imposing the availability and fair rent conditions, as contained in sections 503 and 504 of the Housing Act 1985, in (i) housing action and general improvement areas and (ii) in all other areas.

The information is not collected centrally, but it is a requirement of section 503 of the Housing Act 1985 that, with certain specified exceptions, local authorities must impose the further letting conditions listed in section 504 in relation to any grant-aided property situated in a housing action area or general improvement area.

Rural Economy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his plans to revise the removal of agricultural occupancy conditions in the light of his policies for the diversification of the rural economy.

The revised guidance on the removal of agricultural occupancy conditions in our circular on development involving agricultural land (DOE circular 16/87, Welsh Office 25/87, May 1987) took full account of Government policies for the rural economy.

Urban Development

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of the land allocated for urban development corporation development is owned by international financial companies; and what is the investment total, as a percentage of overall capital expenditure in real terms, they have provided to date in (a) the Merseyside Development Corporation, (b) the London Docklands Development Corporation and (c) the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation.

Circular 26/85

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take in the light of the judgments given in the Queen's Bench Division on 9 June 1987 that the guidance given to local authorities in circular 26/85 should be clarified.

We are currently considering whether it would be appropriate, in the light of the judgment in respect of R. v. Camden London Borough Council ex parte Christey, to issue further guidance to local authorities about the imposition of further letting conditions in relation to mandatory home improvement grants.

Committee Room 12 (Tapestries)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he will take to restore the tapestries in Committee Room 12 of the House to their original condition.

Following examination by experts during the last summer recess these tapestries have been included in the forward programme of conservation work. But this work is unlikely to be done for about three years.

Rating Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the conclusions of the report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the proposed poll tax.

Radioactive Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will publish in the Official Report the advice he was given by the International Commission for Radiological Protection and the National Radiological Protection Board when determining what weekly level of megabecquerels should be specified in the certificate of authorisation for the disposal of radioactive waste.

The International Commission for Radiological Protection and the National Radiological Protection Board periodically publish formal recommendations to Governments on the criteria to be adopted when setting discharge limits. The Government's objectives for radioactive waste management based on this advice are given at paragraphs 13 and 14 of the Government's response to the Environment Committee's report on radioactive waste (Cmnd. 9852, 1986).

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if any study has been carried out by his Department as to the environmental implications of the release into the atmosphere of polonium 210; and at what rate polonium 210 decays when discharged.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution required an environmental assessment of the radiological implications of the polonium 210 discharge. The National Radiological Protection Board undertook this for Capper Pass Limited. The report concluded that radiation exposures from discharges are insignificant. Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has checked and confirmed this assessment. Half of the polonium decays every 138 days due to natural processes.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the National Radiological Protection Board's evaluation of the official radiological consequences of the work undertaken by the north Humberside firm, Capper Pass, prior to the granting of the certificate of authorisation for the disposal of radioactive waste.

The evaluation was undertaken by the National Radiological Protection Board at the request of the company and I have asked the company if a copy can be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will outline the system of monitoring for emissions of polonium 210 from the chimney stack at the North Humberside Smelting and Refining Company, Capper Pass, distinguishing between the differing responsibilities of the company, the National Radiological Protection Board and Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution; and if he has any plans to change the current arrangements.

Samples of stack discharges are collected by the company. Stack samples are routinely analysed by the company and check samples have been analysed independently for Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. The National Radiological Protection Board analyses air samples taken from sites near the plant. I am satisfied with these arrangements.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will consider introducing a more frequent system of monitoring by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution of smelting and refining installations such as that at Capper Pass in north Humberside.

The onus is on operators to demonstrate compliance with the conditions of a discharge authorisation. I am satisfied that the check monitoring undertaken by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution is adequate.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will outline the findings of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution's 1986 assessment of samples taken from the main chimney stack and the environmental monitoring stations at the North Humberside Smelting and Refining Company, Capper Pass; and what information he has as to the level of naturally occurring radiation.

The results indicated that the most exposed member of the public would receive less than 1 per cent. of the dose received from natural radiation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will instruct Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to conduct an immediate investigation into emissions of polonium 210 from the chimney stack of the North Humberside Smelting and Refining Company, Capper Pass.

As part of the investigation I have asked Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to review the discharge authorisation issued to Capper Pass Limited before the end of this year. A part of that review will be a study of current and planned emissions, together with an assessment of any health effects which could result.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many tests for polonium 210 have been carried out at the North Humberside Smelting and Refining Company, Capper Pass; by whom the tests were conducted; and if he will publish the results.

Tests are made weekly. Subject to the agreement of the company, results will be published in the report to be prepared by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.

Housing (Bolton)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many acres are designated for housing in the Bolton council area; and what is his estimate of how many new homes could be constructed on this land.

This is one of the disputed issues currently before the Secretary of State in connection with the application to remove a covenant preventing development at Birtenshaw farm, Bolton. I therefore cannot prejudge the decision to be made on that application by expressing an opinion on this issue.The borough council is required by the Greater Manchester county structure plan to provide sufficient land for 11,800 dwellings in the period from mid-1981 to mid-1991. Government policy requires that they should at all times ensure that a five years supply of land is available.

Historic Covenants

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many decisions he has made about historic covenants in respect of planning appeals during the last 12 months;(2) if he will make a statement about his current policy on historic covenants, with particular reference to their relevance in planning appeals.

I assume that my hon. Friend's questions relate to agreements which were made under section 34 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1932 and restrict the planning, development or use of land. Applications may be made to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State under paragraph 88(3) of schedule 24 to the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 for the discharge or modification of restrictions imposed by an agreement under section 34 of the 1932 Act. Such an application may sometimes be required before development which has been granted planning permission on appeal or otherwise can be started. Applications are considered on their individual merits. Only one application under the paragraph has been determined during the last 12 months.

Planning Appeals

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions during the latest 12 months for which figures are available he overruled his inspector's advice on planning appeals; and if he will make a statement.

In 1987 the Secretary of State made 26 decisions on planning appeals contrary to the inspectors' recommendation, following a public inquiry.

Green Belt And Housing Restraint Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent representations he has received about establishing protected green belt areas and designating housing restraint areas; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: We receive frequent representations on various aspects of green belt and housing policies. Green belt policies already provide adequate and necessary restraint on inappropriate development in such areas.

Building Regulations (Disabled Persons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to alter the building regulations as they affect disabled people in order to broaden their scope and assist those disabled people who are not confined to a wheelchair.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: The building regulations were amended last December so as to require reasonable provision to be made to enable disabled people to gain access to offices, shops, and the principal entry storey of factories, schools and other public buildings. These requirements benefit people with a physical impairment which limits their ability to walk as well as people who need to use a wheelchair for mobility. We now intend to develop proposals for widening the scope of these requirements, and I am asking the Building Regulations Advisory Committee to consider how we might best proceed.

Palace Of Westminster (Carpets)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the composition of the carpeting in the Norman Shaw, North and South buildings, St. Stephen's House and the Old Palace Yard, respectively; whether these carpets are regularly treated with anti-static fluid; and what is the most recent date of treatment in each of these buildings and in the Palace of Westminster.

The carpet in all the buildings listed is predominantly 80% wool, 20% nylon Wilton, with some specialised areas in 100% polyamide heavy duty low loop pile carpet with static control, or polyamide/polypropylene blended fibre bonded carpet.The carpets are spray treated with anti-static fluid only on request and no record is kept of when the treatment is applied.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any measure of the levels of static electricity in carpets in the Palace of Westminster; what percentage of carpets in the Palace have been treated with anti-static fluid; and if he will make a statement.

No measurements are taken of the levels of static electricity. Nor is the percentage of carpets treated known, as this is carried out only when requested and its effects are relatively short-lived.

Wales

Rating Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received concerning the replacement of rates by the community charge in respect of self-catering accommodation; and if he will make a statement.

After considering representations about the position of self catering accommodation under the new local government finance system we have decided that holiday-let self catering accommodation, which includes services and facilities similar to those provided in a hotel, should remain in rating and be subject to the non-domestic rate. Further consideration is being given to the precise boundary between the domestic and non-domestic sectors.

Withybush Hospital

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from the Pembrokeshire health authority in respect of defective roofs at the Withybush hospital, Haverfordwest; and if he will make a statement.

Discussions have taken place between the Department and Pembrokeshire health authority, and the Department has agreed to make a contribution of £500,000 towards the total estimated cost of £750,000 needed to remedy roofing defects at Withybush hospital. This offer is subject to the availability of funds.

Welsh Water Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has received proposals from the Welsh water authority on the implementation of the EEC drinking water directive including a time scale for full implementation, along with the estimated extra cost.

As a consequence of the change in guidance issued by the Government in respect of directive 80/778/EEC, officials are now seeking the relevant information from Welsh water authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if the Welsh water authority will be eligible for grants from the European regional development fund in the run-up to and after plc status.

Water authorities will be eligible to apply for grant both before and after privatisation. It is, however, for the European Commission to consider individual applications on their merits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what aid the Welsh water authority has received from the European regional development fund in each year since 1980; and what projects it currently has under consideration for grant application to the European regional development fund up to 1988.

Gross European regional development fund commitments to the Welsh water authority since 1980 are as follows:

£
19802,268,059
19811,596,468

£

19823,117,044
19832,776,064
19842,362,322
1985570,649
19862,366,863
19877,638,029
19884,194,500

Five further applications for European regional development fund aid have been submitted to the European Commission and are awaiting decisions; the Department is also currently considering nine applications. A number of projects are also likely to be brought forward for consideration under the terms of integrated operations programmes which are either under negotiation with the Commission, or in preparation with the local and public authorities concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what bonus on salary was paid to the chairman of the Welsh water authority, board members and senior officers in 1987–88; and if he will make a statement.

No decision on the payment of bonuses for 1987–88 has yet been made. In 1987 both the chairman and chief executive of the Welsh water authority received a bonus based on the authority's performance during the 1986–87 financial year, of 5 per cent. of their actual salaries.

Fair Rents

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has issued any recent guidelines to rent officers for assessing fair rents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has on the level of fair rents being set by the rent officer in Mid Glamorgan.

Levels of rent on individual dwellings are not held centrally, but the mean registered rents for the private sector and housing associations are published in "Welsh Housing Statistics." The latest figures for Mid Glamorgan based on cases dealt with by rent officers are as follows:

Mean registered rent (£ per year)Number of case
1986
Private Sector1685895
Housing Associations21,0981,122
1 Figures relate to unfurnished premises re-registered, excluding housing associations, where re-registration has taken place within 1·75 to 2·75 years of previous registration.
2 Figures relate to housing association, unfurnished tenancies where re-registration has taken place within 1·75 to 2·75 years of the previous registration.

Ward Closures (Mid Glamorgan)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has received any application from Mid Glamorgan district health authority for the permanent closure of high dependency wards at St. Tydfil's hospital; if he has received any representations about the closure of high dependency wards in Mid Glamorgan; and if he will make a statement.

I have received no application from Mid Glamorgan district health authority for permanent closure of the 5-bed high dependency unit at St. Tydfil's hospital. I have received three representations about the unit's temporary closure. I understand that Mid Glamorgan health authority is committed to the unit's longer-term future.

Scotland

Private Nursing Homes

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to monitor the growth of private nursing homes for the elderly and to inspect these homes at regular intervals.

Information is collected annually by the information and statistics division of the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service on the number of private nursing home places in Scotland. The Nursing Homes Registration (Scotland) Act 1938 requires health boards to undertake regular inspections of private nursing homes.

Unemployed Disabled People

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what facilities are available for retraining for the disabled unemployed in Scotland.

The full range of Manpower Services Commission training programmes is available to the disabled in Scotland. In addition, there are four employment rehabilitation centres located at Bellshill, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow geared to helping the disabled and disadvantaged into employment. The range of training programmes and special help for the disabled is outlined in the Government's publication "Action for Jobs".

National Health Service Hospitals (Medical Equipment And Facilities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many major pieces of medical equipment and facilities were funded by public donation to Health Service hospitals for each of the last five years; and what is the total value of these donations.

Non-Domestic Rate

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the non-domestic rate for each regional, district and islands council in Scotland for the financial year 1988–89.

The figures, which have been provided to my Department by the local authorities, are set out in the table.

Non-domestic rate poundage 1988–89
Pence
Borders53
Central58·5
Dumfries and Galloway54
Fife62

Pence

Grampian50·2
Highland59
Lothian69·3
Strathclyde64
Tayside59
Orkney55
Shetland108
Western Isles79
Berwickshire9·5
Ettrick and Lauderdale10·9
Roxburgh12
Tweeddale9·2
Clackmannan19
Falkirk15·5
Stirling23
Annandale and Eskdale11·5
Nithsdale11·5
Stewartry10
Wigtown9·4
Dunfermline12·75
Kirkcaldy16
North East Fife14·35
Aberdeen City14
Banff and Buchan12·5
Gordon10
Kincardine and Deeside8·2
Moray10·5
Badenoch and Strathspey8
Caithness12·5
Inverness9·5
Lochaber14·5
Nairn8
Ross and Cromarty12·5
Skye and Lochalsh12
Sutherland9·5
East Lothian17
Edinburgh City16·7
Midlothian17
West Lothian15
Argyll and Bute19
Bearsden and Milngavie13
Clydebank19·5
Clydesdale16·75
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth16·5
Cumnock and Doon Valley17
Cunninghame20·5
Dumbarton19
East Kilbride14·3
Eastwood10
Glasgow City26·5
Hamilton18
Inverclyde16
Kilmarnock and Loudoun18·5
Kyle and Carrick17
Monklands18
Motherwell16·25
Renfrew18
Strathkelvin16
Angus13·5
Dundee City21·5
Perth and Kinross14

Surgical Operations (Fife)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list by specialty the numbers of people presently awaiting operations within Fife health board's area.

Information is not collected in precisely the form requested. The number of persons waiting for in-patient hospital treatment (including operations) in each specialty is published in table 6.5 of "Scottish Health Service Statistics 1986/87", copies of which are held in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many operations were performed in National Health Service hospitals in Fife in the last five years for which information is available.

The numbers of inpatient cases operated on in National Health Service hospitals in Fife for the years 1981–1985 are as follows:

YearNumber
198113,131
198210,552
198313,583
198414,086
198514,063
Consultants by specialty in Fife health board at September 1983 to 871
198319841985198611987
Total All Specialties7881818182
Surgical Specialties
ENT surgery22222
General surgery66666
Ophthalmology33332
Orthopaedic surgery44444
Urology12222
Accident and Emergency11111
Anaesthetics1113121212
Communicable diseases11112
Dermatology11111
General medicine66666
Geriatric medicine33344
Medical paediatrics33333
Respiratory medicine22222
Dental Specialties
Orthodontics and paediatric dentistry1111
Obstetrics and Gynaecology66666
Psychiatric Specialties
Child and adolescent Psychiatry21122
Mental handicap11122
Mental illness1212121011
Laboratory and Support Specialties
Haematology11222
Microbiology22211
Pathology33333
Radiodiagnosis77777
1 Provisional data.

Scottish Islands (Agricultural Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made in finalising the details of the agricultural development programme for the Scottish islands; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's proposals for an agricultural development programme for the Scottish

Nurses (Fife)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many nurses have resigned or retired from the service of Fife health board in the last five years for which information is available.

The information requested is not available except at disproportionate cost.

Hospital Consultants (Fife)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list by specialty the number of consultants employed by Fife health board in the last five years for which information is available; and the number of vacancies currently in such posts.

The number of consultants employed by Fife health board for 1983–87 is shown in the table. Information on consultant vacancies is not available centrally.islands were formally approved by the European Commission on 8 March. The regulations to bring the programme into effect from 5 April have been laid today.

Recidivism

56.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons in Scotland who were granted parole in 1985 and 1986 whose original offence involved violence, sexual assault or robbery were sentenced again (a) during the period of their parole licence or (b) within 12 months of the expiration of that licence.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 March 1988, c. 146]: Information on the numbers of persons convicted within 12 months of their parole licence expiring are not collected centrally; the other information requested could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.However, figures for the number of persons released on parole or life licence reported for breaches of licence conditions and issued with recall orders are given in the annual reports of the Parole Board for Scotland (copies of which are available in the Library). Persons reported for breach of parole or life licence conditions and persons issued with a recall order were not necessarily released on parole or life licence in the same year.

Prime Minister

War Widows

Q72.

To ask the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government are now in a position to remove the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Q99.

To ask the Prime Minister when Her Majesty's Government expect to remove the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Q139.

To ask the Prime Minister when Her Majesty's Government expect to remove the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Q152.

To ask the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government will undertake a review of provision for pre-1973 war widows.

I refer the hon. Members to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. Garrett) on 7 March 1988, at column 19, and to my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) on 10 March, at column 518.

Q130.

To ask the Prime Minister if she has any estimate of the number of pre-1973 war widows.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security to my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) on 1 March 1988, at column 550.

Q131.

To ask the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty's Government have received on the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 war widows.

Q132.

To ask the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty's Government have received on the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Q135.

To ask the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty's Government have received on the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Q138.

To ask the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty's Government have received on the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Numerous representations have been received in recent years about the comparative positions of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.

Q157.

To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations she has received concerning the situation of pre-1973 war widows.

Q158.

To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans for a meeting with representatives of the British War Widows and Associates.

Q160.

To ask the Prime Minister when she last had a meeting with representatives of the British War Widows and Associates.

Weymouth And Portland

Q113.

To ask the Prime Minister whether she has any plans to visit Weymouth and Portland.

Engagements

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 15 March.

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.

Northern Ireland

Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will commission a report on the present disposal method for domestic refuse in East Antrim, future land fill operations and alternatives to present procedures, including the possible use of waste-derived fuels.

No. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave him on 17 November 1987 at columns 531–32.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what financial assistance is available to district councils in East Antrim for carrying out a research and feasibility study into alternative methods of waste disposal in conjunction with a local university department.

None. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave him on 17 November 1987, at columns 531–32.

Heavy Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which constituency outside Belfast has the highest concentration of heavy industry in Northern Ireland.

Results from the 1984 census of employment show that, outside Belfast, the parliamentary constituency of Antrim, East had the highest total number of employees in the following industries:

  • Energy and water supply industries.
  • Extraction of minerals and ores (other than fuels); manufacture of metals, mineral products and chemicals.
  • Metal goods, engineering and vehicle industries
  • Construction industries.

Larne And Carrickfergus

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish details of the number of ships which entered (a) Larne and (b) Carrickfergus ports during 1987.

During 1987 there were 5,107 ship visits to Larne and some 250 to Carrickfergus.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many passengers travelled through Larne port in 1987;(2) how many

(a) commercial vehicles and (b) cars and caravans passed through Larne harbour in 1987;

(3) what is the estimated number of vehicles entering and leaving Larne harbour annually;

(4) how many persons are estimated to have been at Larne harbour meeting or leaving passengers during 1987.

The information requested is as follows:

Shipping traffic through Larne harbour in 1987
Numbers
InwardsOutwardsTotal
Passengers737,665722,0721,459,737
Vehicles326,944287,562614,506
(a) Commercial vehicles160,942147,804308,746
(b) Cars and caravans166,002139,758305,760
1. The table gives the numbers of vehicles carried on ships. No figures are available for the numbers of vehicles which enter and leave the Larne harbour area.2. There are no estimates available of the numbers of persons meeting or leaving passengers at Larne harbour.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what tonnage of cargo passed through (a) Larne harbour and (b) Carrickfergus harbour in 1987; and what tonnage of cargo was handled at Ballylumford, Magheramorne and Kilroot in 1987.

The information requested is as follows:

Total tonnage of goods in 1987
Tonnes
Larne3,743,268
Carrickfergus309,970
Ballylumford785,840
Magheramorne298,123
Figures for Kilroot are not available for publication. The figures exclude the tare weights of containers.

Labour Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are (a) employed and (b) unemployed in east Antrim; and what percentage of the total unemployed in Northern Ireland (b) represents.

On the basis of the most recent information available, there were in 1984 an estimated 22,050 employees in employment in the parliamentary constituency of Antrim, East.At 11 February 1988 the number of unemployed claimants in the Antrim, East parliamentary constituency was 6,056. This represented 5 per cent. of the total number of unemployed in Northern Ireland at that date.

Accidents At Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many accidents at work have been reported in each year since 1979 in east Antrim.

European Social Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish, by recipient organisation or body, allocations from the European social fund made to projects in Northern Ireland during 1987.

In Northern Ireland the beneficiaries of European social fund aid during the calendar year 1987 were as follows:

OrganisationAllocation
£
Department of Economic Development49,883,189
Department of Health and Social Services1,573,300
Department of Education1,013,245
Northern Ireland Council for Orthopaedic Development44,329
Short Bros plc815,284
Harland and Wolff plc682,828
University of Ulster595,329
Northern Ireland Small Business Institute74,894
Inner City Trust80,294
Derry Film and Video Collective Co. Ltd.27,703
Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO)131,153
Extern Organisation61,111
Dismas House25,484
Nante Ltd.53,559
Churches, Voluntary Work Bureau32,628
Industrial Therapy Organisation416,515
Northern Ireland Electricity915,778
Northern Ireland Training Authority2,191,356
Sea Fish Authority17,411
Hyster50,550
LEDU143,850
Bryson House127,425
Total58,957,215

Companies

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the total number of non-British owned companies operating in Northern Ireland and the total number of (a) British citizens, (b) non-British citizens other than Irish Republic and (c) citizens of the Irish Republic working for them.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: There is no requirement on shareholders or EC nationals who are employees of companies operating in the United Kingdom to disclose their nationality and so the information requested is not available.

Farmland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what has been the average price paid per acre in Northern Ireland for hill farmland and for hill grazing land in the last year for which figures are available; and what were the sums paid five and 10 years ago;(2) what has been the average price paid per acre in Northern Ireland for arable farmland without buildings in the last year for which figures are available; and what were the sums paid five and 10 years ago.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: Statistical information on sales of agricultural land in Northern Ireland is not available in the detail requested. The average price paid for all farmland sold in Northern Ireland in the year ending June 1987 was £1,310 per acre. The average prices paid in 1981 and 1976 were £1,172 and £563 per acre, respectively.

Training Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the training schemes currently available in the Province and the total number of those engaged in them in the age groups 18 to 25 years, 25 to 40 years and 40 to 65 years.

[holding answer 8 March 1988]: The available information is as follows:

Scheme18 to 24 years25 to 39 years40 to 65 years
Training Centres432250124
Attachment Training47613537
Skill Training Scheme850
(entrants)
Sandwich Course Grant Scheme155
Job Training Programme (pilot)12214
Junior Management Development Scheme4313
Industrial Scholarship Scheme65
European Export Marketing Programme63
USA Export Marketing Programme41
Graduate Attachment Programme30
New Enterprise Programme111
Management Extension Programme45
Training Employers Premises Scheme1,9931,7881
Manpower Training Scheme (pilot)2
1 The figures given represent the number of employees for whom claims have been made in the current financial year to January 1988.

It is not possible to state how many are currently on the scheme. Information is available only in two categories, those aged under 25 years and 25 years and over. A further breakdown of the latter category could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

2 This is a discretionary scheme negotiated with individual companies. There are currently 14 companies benefiting from the scheme. Information in the form requested regarding employee participation is not presently available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Aidan Mcanespie

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the police officer from the Irish Republic investigating the death of Aidan McAnespie has asked the pathologist or the Royal Ulster Constabulary to be allowed to examine Mr. McAnespie's clothing or the photographs of the body.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Maritime Dumping

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action is taken to ensure that the control of maritime dumping from vessels is strictly enforced; and if he will make a statement.

Maritime dumping from vessels is controlled by the licensing provisions of part II of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 administered by my Department. Licences for disposal of industrial waste, sewage sludge and dredged spoil are not issued unless careful scientific examination shows the operation in question to be acceptable in terms of its impact on the marine environment, the living resources that it supports and human health, and unless it conforms to the relevant international conventions. The practical availability of alternative methods of dealing with the wastes is also taken into account.Departmental scientific staff and officers of my Sea Fisheries Inspectorate carry out inspections to enforce the provisions of the 1985 Act. Checks, often unannounced, are made of licensed disposal operations from the point of production to deposit in the sea. Investigations are mounted into allegations of unauthorised disposals. The Ministry's surveillance aircraft are also used for enforcement purposes.Responsibility for the deposit of sewage and rubbish originating on a vessel rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport.

Fishing Grounds (Contamination)

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what environmental impact analysis has been made by his Department of a possible accident in the English channel involving the crash of an aircraft carrying plutonium to or from Sellafield; and what assessment has been made of any potential contamination of fishing grounds.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: I understand that evidence submitted by British Nuclear Fuels to the European demonstration reprocessing plant (EDRP) inquiry at Dounreay showed that in the event of an air crash in the sea there would be no release of radioactivity, and therefore the question of contamination of fishing grounds would not arise.

Radioactivity (Skipton)

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will place in the Library the results of the surveys of deposition of radioactivity in the Skipton area of Yorkshire following the Chernobyl fallout.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: I am placing in the Library of the House copies of the report of the surveys which were carried out by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE). This report was produced by ITE after full evaluation of the project had been completed; the detailed deposition information was available to my officials at the time the individual surveys were undertaken. The results of our own monitoring in north Yorkshire has already been placed in the Library. The ITE is engaged on my behalf in a further study of radio-caesium deposition in north Yorkshire; when it is completed, I will place that report in the Library.

Irradiated Food

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what representations he has received concerning the effects on the nutritional value of food of the use of irradiation; and if he will make a statement;(2) what action he intends to take to ensure that the nutritutional value of food is not reduced because of the use of irradiation; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: Both international expert committees and the United Kingdom Advisory Committee on Irradiated and Novel Foods have advised that the irradiation of food up to an overall dose of 10 kilo gray presents no toxological hazard and introduces no special nutritional or microbiological problems. This view was reaffirmed by ACINF in its further advice to Ministers given after considering the technical representations made during consultation. As part of its ACINF has recommended that the pattern and extent of use of food irradiation should be monitored, and new nutritional data on irradiated foods kept under review.The need to monitor the effects of irradiated food is one of the factors that will be taken into account as part of the further work, referred to in the reply given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, South (Mrs. Currie), to the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) on 4 March at column

762, now being carried out to examine the scope and format of controls necessary to enable the phased introduction of food irradiation in this country.

Defence

War Widows

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what benefits are paid by his Department to widows of service men killed in world war 2.

All widows who lost their husbands in action in world war 2 receive a war widow's pension from the Department of Health and Social Security. Additional pensions are paid by the Ministry of Defence to the widows of warrant officers class I and equivalents and to the widows of commissioned officers, where certain qualifications were met, including the completion by the husband of the appropriate minimum period of qualifying service.

Carrasco International Airport (Emergency Landing)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the emergency landing of a Hercules C-130 at Carrasco international airport and the subsequent discussions and decision about where it would be allowed to fly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which a Hercules aircraft carrying materials for Exercise Fire Focus in the Falklands was forced to land in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 9 March; when he expects the aircraft to resume its journey; and if he will make a statement on his discussions with the Government of Uruguay.

On 8 March a Hercules C-130 was on a routine flight from Ascension Island to the Falklands. It was only 85 nautical miles north of Mount Pleasant airport (MPA) when the latest report of rapidly changing weather conditions at MPA indicated a very powerful cross-wind, well beyond the aircraft's limit for landing. At this stage the aircraft had insufficient fuel to return to Ascension Island or to rendezvous with a tanker aircraft from Ascension, whilst tankers at MPA were unable to take off because of the wind. An emergency diversion to the South American mainland was therefore essential and landing clearance was given by Carrasco (Montevideo's international airport) where the aircraft landed early on 9 March (British time). It landed on three engines because of a propellor malfunction, which was rectified by the crew in situ. Clearance for the aircraft to depart was sought and given by the Uruguayan authorities on 9 March. The aircraft left Carrasco the following day, after the crew had rested and the aircraft had been refuelled. At Uruguayan request the aircraft returned to Ascension Island.We are most grateful to the Uruguayan authorities for their humanitarian assistance in this matter.

Education And Science

Education Reform

15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on financial delegation to schools