Written Answers To Questions
Thursday 5 July 1990
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the reason for the delay in replying to the letter to him from the chief constable of Staffordshire on 8 May concerning residency qualifications for applicants to the police force.
The chief constable's letter concerned a citizen of Nigeria who wishes to join the police. His residency qualifications and his later application for leave to remain in this country have been the subject of detailed inquiries. This was explained to the chief constable in an interim reply on 24 May. A substantive reply will be sent as soon as practicable.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the steps he is taking to protect the public from intimidatory begging on the streets of London; and if he will make a statement.
Decisions about the deployment of resources to tackle crime are an operational matter for the commissioner. I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the police will arrest for begging where there is some element of threatening or intimidating behaviour.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the level of co-operation between police forces in the United Kingdom and those in Belgium in the fight against Irish terrorism; and if he will make a statement.
Police forces in the United Kingdom are co-operating fully with those in Belgium and will continue to do so.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department has any plans to require police forces to monitor and record areas of violence against homosexuals where there is evidence of homophobic motives.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward proposals for police action to protect lesbians and gay men from violent attacks.
Decisions about police action against specific offences are an operational matter for chief officers of police, but they attach a high priority to tacking violent crime.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has held discussions with the Metropolitan police following the recent bomb incidents in London.
As I told the House in my statement on 26 June, I had a discussion with the commissioner that morning.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many successful prosecutions were brought under the Vagrancy Act 1824 in 1989 (a) in the Metropolitan police district and (b) in other parts of England and Wales.
Information for 1989 will not be available until the autumn.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the operation of the Security Service Act.
The Security Service Act 1989, which came into force on 18 December last year, provides for effective oversight of the service.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average cost of imprisoning a fine defaulter in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
The average cost of imprisonment in 1988–89 was £288 per inmate per week. No separate records are held for different categories of offender.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fine defaulters were committed into custody in England and Wales during 1988 and 1989; what is the current daily population of fine defaulters; and if he will make a statement.
Information on persons received into prison service establishments in default of payment of a fine is published anually in "Prison Statistics England and Wales"—table 7.3 of the volume for 1988, Cm. 825—copies of which are in the Library. The provisional receptions figure for 1989 is 17,700 and the average population was about 460.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many psychiatric hostel places were available for offenders in England and Wales for the latest date available; what percentage were occupied; and if he will make a statement.
There are no places specifically designed for offenders in need of psychiatric support in the statutorily approved probation/bail hostels, but only those suffering from severe subnormality or psychopathic disorder are statutorily precluded from admission to these hostels. There are 212 bed spaces specifically available for discharged prisoners in need of psychiatric support within the Home Office voluntary after-care accommodation grants scheme (VACAGS). The latest available figure, which relates to 1989, for occupancy of these bedspaces is 72 per cent. I am aware that a number of other projects within VACAGS occasionally accept such residents, as do other special needs accommodation projects not funded by the Home Office.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average weekly cost for the latest available date of a psychiatric hostel place in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
The Home Office gives a contribution to the total income received by accommodation projects within the voluntary after-care accommodation grants scheme. The average weekly cost of a psychiatric hostel place requires information on total costs and cannot be obtained without disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many category A, category B, and category C places were available in each prison region in England and Wales for the latest date available; and if he will make a statement.
The certified normal accommodation of category B and category C training prisons in each of the four regions in England and Wales on 31 March 1990 was as follows:
|Certified normal accommodation in|
|Category B prisons||Category C prisons|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners currently under sentence or on remand in England and Wales are (a) mentally ill or (b) have a psychiatric history for the latest date available; and if he will make a statement.
The number of inmates with a psychiatric history is not recorded centrally. On 30 September 1989, the latest date for which figures are available, 329 inmates—140 sentenced and 189 unsentenced—were reported by prison medical officers to be mentally disordered as defined by the Mental Health Act 1983. Of these, 264–90 sentenced and 174 unsentenced—were reported to be mentally ill.On 30 June 1979 prison medical officers considered that 557 inmates were detainable within the terms of the legislation then in force. On the census dates in recent years the number has fluctuated between 250 and 350.The Government encourage the diversion of mentally disordered offenders from the penal system whenever custody is not necessary in the public interest.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many psychiatric reports were prepared on remand prisoners in England and Wales for the latest year available; and if he will make a statement.
A court requiring medical advice on a defendant's mental condition may remand that person to prison for a report. During the period 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1989 a total of 6,081 psychiatric reports to court, including 512 offered where not specifically requested were prepared by prison medical officers.The Government encourage the use of other means of obtaining such reports including bail or remand to hospital where custody is not necessary in the public interest.
Children Leaving Home
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up a national record of children under 16 years of age who leave either their own or local authority homes.
My right hon. and learned Friend is currently examining different ways of establishing a national register of all vulnerable missing persons, including missing children. He hopes to announce his conclusion shortly.
Natural History Museum
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the consequences for forensic science of the changes at the natural history museum.
We do not anticipate that the organisational changes being made at the natural history museum will have significant consequences for forensic science.
Mrs Sarah Conlon
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to compensate Mrs. Sarah Conlon for the false imprisonment of her husband, Giuseppe, and her son Gerard;(2) how much he plans to pay Mrs. Sarah Conlon for the cost of the return of her husband's body to Belfast.
I explained to the House on 14 June at column 454 that in the light of the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions the convictions of the Maguire family and their co-defendants are unsafe and unsatisfactory. The correct course would probably be for me to refer the case to the Court of Appeal, but I did not think it was right to do so until all the submissions on that issue had been presented to the May inquiry and Sir John May had had an opportunity to respond to them. As soon as I receive Sir John May's report on the relevant evidence so far presented to his inquiry, I will consider referring the cases to the Court of Appeal under section 17(i)(a) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968.Should the late Mr. Giuseppe Conlon's conviction be set aside, I will consider any application which Mrs. Conlon may make for compensation in respect of her husband's conviction. The amount of any such payment would be determined by an independent assessor, who in reaching his decision would consider detailed submissions as to the matters to be taken into account.On the advice of the independent assessor, an interim payment of compensation has already been made to Mr. Gerard Conlon in respect of his wrongful conviction for offences arising out of the Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings. Further payment will be made on the advice of the independent assessor.
Drug Rehabilitation Places
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many residential and nonresidential drug rehabilitation places in both the statutory and voluntary sectors are available for offenders in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
There are no places specifically designated for drugs offenders in the statutorily approved probation/bail hostels, but there are 577 bed spaces specifically available for such discharged prisoners within the Home Office voluntary after-care accommodation grants scheme. I am aware that a number of other projects within the scheme occasionally accept such residents as do other special needs accommodation projects not funded by the Home Office. It is not possible to calculate the number of drugs offenders attending non-residential facilities.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the cost to date of the prison building programme; what is the estimated cost of the remaining planned institutions; and if he will make a statement.
The total capital cost of the 8 prisons already constructed is £223 million, at outturn prices. The costs of the remaining 16 prisons in the current prison building programme are estimated at £1,132 million, also at outturn prices, of which £336 million had been spent up to the end of March 1990.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what allocations have been made from the £1 million pledged for 1990–91 for international agencies working in Cambodia.
Following discussions with international agencies active in Cambodia, Britain will grant £500,000 to UNICEF for its programmes in health, nutrition, water and sanitation. This will enable further progress to be made in priority activities to which Britain recently contributed £250,000. A further £300,000 will be provided to the World Food Programme to purchase rice in support of UNICEF's well and pond digging programme. This is an essential component of a nutrition programme already benefiting 7,480 families. Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Cambodia. I have therefore decided to provide £200,000 to the World Health Organisation for their new anti-malaria programme.I am sure that our contributions will make a significant impact on these key programmes of humanitarian assistance to the people of Cambodia. We shall monitor progress very closely.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the specified radius in nautical miles of low-flying avoidance around towns and villages;(2) what definition is used for major conurbations and built-up areas in the instructions to pilots concerning overflight of major conurbations and built-up areas in the United Kingdom low-flying system;(3) if simulated attacks on moving civilian road traffic are permitted in the United Kingdom low-flying system;(4) what are the regulations concerning simulated attacks on targets of opportunity in the United Kingdom low-flying system.
The points raised are the subject of recommendations by the House of Commons Defence Committee whose report on low flying (HC 120) is currently being considered by the Government and to which a response will be made in the normal way.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list all the avoidance sites which have been disestablished in the tactical training areas since 1984;(2) if he will list all the avoidance sites which have been newly established in the tactical training areas since 1984.
It is not our practice to release detailed information on flying restrictions in individual areas.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if all users of the United low-flying system are required to plan and brief an exact route for their sortie before take-off; and if he will make a statement;(2) what is the maximum permitted lateral deviation from planned route for aircrew attempting to maintain visual meteorological conditions in poor weather at low level.
Comprehensive planning is required for all sorties in the United Kingdom low-flying system. The precision with which the actual route is planned will vary with the type and role of aircraft and with the nature of the low-flying exercise which is to be undertaken. Aircrew will take account of the possibility of adverse weather in their planning but no maximum permitted lateral deviation is laid down.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which types of aircraft's noise levels produced by NATO allied air forces which are common users of the United Kingdom's low-flying system, will be included in the forthcoming noise survey to be conducted by his Department.
The noise measurement trial conducted at the Royal Aerospace West Freugh range last month covered the following common users of the United Kingdom low-flying system: F-111, Hawk, Harrier GR5, Jaguar, Tornado and Tucano aircraft.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the nature, purpose and title of the low-flying exercise to be held in the vicinity of Swanton Morley, Norfolk, between 25 June and 20 July; how many and what types of aircraft are due to take part; what is the minimum altitude authorised for (a) helicopters and (b) fixed-wing aircraft participating in the exercise; and what notification has been given to the public of this exercise.
There are no plans to hold a low-flying exercise in the vicinity of Swanton Morley over the period in question.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date that part of the London/Thames valley avoidance area encompassing Braintree, Witham and Heybridge, Essex, was abolished; what was the reason for its abolition; if he will list the parliamentary constituencies over which low flying is newly permitted, or within which the area available for low flying is extended, as a result of this measure; and what instructions are now issued to military pilots concerning low flying over (a) Witham (b) Braintree and (c) Heybridge.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 28 July 1989 at column 1031.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the maximum number of aircraft permitted to operate at low level at any one time in the hilly areas of Wales; if this restriction applies to the whole of low-flying area 7; and if he will list any changes made to this maximum number since 1979.
No more than 30 aircraft, excluding helicopters, are permitted to book into low flying area 7 at any one time during the period 0700 to 1800 local time Monday to Friday. No changes have been made to this figure since its introduction in 1987.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints were received about military low flying over the national eisteddfod at Glyn Llifon agricultural college, Caernarfon, between 28 May and 2 June.
I am not aware of any such complaints.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has further to reduce the number and size of low-flying avoidance areas covering special rules airspace around civil airports; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave him on 26 July 1989, Official Report, column 317.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the nature, purpose and title of the low-flying exercise held in the vicinity of the Llyn Brianne reservoir on 11, 12 and 13 June; how many and what types of aircraft took part; what was the minimum altitude authorised for (a) helicopters and (b) fixed-wing aircraft participating in the exercise; and what notification was given to the public of this exercise.
Fighter evasion training involving one Hunter aircraft and two Lynx helicopters was conducted in the area of the Llyn Brianne reservoir over the period concerned within the normal minimum height constraints applicable in the United Kingdom low-flying system. No notification was given to the general public of this routine training activity.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many low-flying sorties took place over the United Kingdom during this year's Exercise Central Enterprise.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on what date flow control for low-flying military aircraft in a southerly direction between the city of Hull and danger area D. G306 was first established;(2) on what date flow control was first established in the United Kingdom low-flying system in a south-westerly direction
(a) between RAF Marham and the Stanford practical training area and (b) in the vicinity of Harlesdon, Norfolk;
(3) on what date flow control was first established in the United Kingdom low flying system in a north-westerly direction in the vicinity of (a) Watton, Norfolk and (b) Diss, Norfolk;
(4) on what date flow control was first established in the United Kingdom low-flying System in a northerly direction between (a) Brancaster and Blakeney Point, Norfolk and (b) the city of Northampton and Sywell airfield;
(5) on what date flow control was first established in the United Kingdom low-flying System in a north-easterly direction between (a) RAF Cottesmore and RAF' Wittering, (b) King's Lynn and RAF Sculthorpe and (c) on the north side of the RAF Wattisham military air traffic zone;
(6) on what date flow control was first established in the United Kingdom low-flying system in (a) a southerly direction in the vicinity of Cromer, Norfolk, and (b) a westerly direction between Peterborough and RAF Alconbury;
(7) on what date the anti-clockwise flow control was first established around the town of Sculthorpe in the United Kingdom low-flying system;
(8) on what date flow control was first established in the United Kingdom low-flying system (a) between Harworth and Carlton-in-Lindrick, Nottinghamshire, and (b) in the vicinity of Ackworth, west Yorkshire.
Unidirectional traffic flows have been in use since before the introduction of the current low flying system in 1979 and I regret that the information requested could not be provided without disproportionate cost and effort.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions are given to pilots concerning the minimum height and maximum speed to be flown over the Billing and Boothville suburbs of Northampton, when flying through the channel in the United Kingdom low-flying system in a northerly direction between the city of Northampton and Sywell airfield.
Aircraft flying in the area concerned are subject to the normal rules of the United Kingdom low flying system.
Research And Development
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration is being given within the options for change exercise to the mechanisms for returning research and development scientists and facilities to civilian manufacturing.
The implications of options for change for the defence equipment programme, including the research programme, are being studied, but it is too early to say what their impact will be.
Exercise Panoramic Ii
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many aircraft, and of which types, will participate in Exercise Panoramic II; and from which bases they will operate;(2) if he will make a statement on the nature and purpose of the forthcoming exercise entitled Panoramic II;(3) if he will make a statement on the measures taken to ensure the safety of civilian sea and air traffic during Exercise Panoramic II.
Panoramic II is a trial designed to investigate the performance of air-to-air missiles. The trial, which began on 2 July and will continue until 13 July, involves four Tornado F3, one Phantom, one Victor, one VC10, one Nimrod and one Canberra aircraft. All the aircraft are operating from RAF Leuchars, with the exception of the Nimrod, which is operating from RAF Kinloss.Missile firings are taking place within a special airspace reservation area north-west of Saxa Vord. The Nimrod carries out a search for shipping and ensures that the area is clear before any firing takes place. A coastal navigation warning has been issued by the Royal Navy hydrographer. All civilian air traffic routes through the area have been closed for the duration of the trial.
Airborne Anti-Armour Weapon
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to make a decision on the advanced airborne anti-armour weapon SR(A)1238.
We have decided not to proceed with the advanced airborne anti-armour weapon to SR(A) 1238 at this stage; further decisions will not be made until the way forward from the "Options for Change" exercise is clear. In the light of altered circumstances, we may wish to consider designs to less stringent criteria than had previously been required.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the incidence and levels of (a) tetrachloroethylene, (b) trichloroethylene and (c) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in drinking water; if the levels detected have in any case exceeded World Health Organisation guidelines; and if he will discuss with his European Community counterparts the establishment of maximum advisable concentrations in respect of each of these chemicals.
The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 set standards for tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene of 10 and 30 microgram/litre respectively as annual averages. These are based on tentative guideline values promulgated by the World Health Organisation. No specific standards for tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene are laid down in the EC drinking water directive.Comprehensive information about the current incidence and levels of tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene in drinking water is not, at present, held centrally. The drinking water inspectorate is aware of a few public supplies which exceed the standards for these substances. The water companies concerned have either taken the supplies out of service or have given undertakings under section 20 of the Water Act 1989 to introduce treatment by 1994 in order to reduce the levels. Because of the safety margins allowed, medical advice is that public health is not endangered by those supplies which are continuing in use.The Water Quality Regulations incorporate the standard of 0.2 microgram/litre for six specified polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) laid down in the EC directive. They also set a national standard, based on the WHO guideline value, of 0.01 microgram/litre as an annual average for benzpyrene, an individual PAH.At the request of my Department and the Welsh Office water undertakers carried out a comprehensive survey of their supplies in early 1989 to establish levels of PAH in drinking water. Of approximately 6,250 samples,44—0.7 per cent.—contained concentrations in excess of standards mentioned above. These results indicate that there is not a general problem with PAH in drinking water. Where a high concentration of PAH is confirmed water companies carry out remedial programmes comprising relining or replacing water mains or flushing.I see no need at present for any additional EC standards for these substances.
River And Harbour Pollution
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the latest available figure for the average fine imposed by magistrates courts in the south-west of England for river and harbour pollution.
Information collected by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department shows that, for cases brought under sections 31 or 32 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 as the principal offence, the average fine imposed by magistrates courts in 1988 for water pollution offences in the south-west was £570.
London Residuary Body
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the salary, expenses and other emoluments paid annually to the chairman of the London residuary body, and the estimated figures for 1991, following the reappointment announced on 26 June for the period to March 1993.
The chairman's current annual emoluments—salary and pension scheme contributions—are £63,530 and will rise to £64,165 from 1 January 1991. The total expenses paid to the chairman and LRB board members in 1988–89, the latest year for which information is available, was £6,430.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will ensure that an adequate number of fans are made available to hon. Members and staff working in those parts of the Palace where ventilation systems have been closed down for repair during the summer recess.
The Parliamentary Works Office has made arrangements for engineers control on extension 4747 to issue fans on request to those who need them.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from the Governments of Iceland, Denmark, Norway and the Faroes regarding proposals to increase the volume of reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at Dounreay; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has received representations from the Environmental Ministers of Iceland, Denmark, Norway and the Faroe Islands about reprocessing and radioactive waste disposal at Dounreay. He has also discussed this subject with the Danish Environment Minister.
Big Ben (Chime)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the hour chime of Big Ben to be restored.
I hope early in August. The work to forge the new hammer arm has taken longer than expected.
Local Government Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the letter to him from Councillor Stewart Foster, of Leicester city council, dated 18 June, concerning student nurses and the poll tax; and if he will make a statement.
I have written to Councillor Foster today.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library the address and telephone number of each of the bodies responsible for hearing community charge appeals against decisions of charging authorities in London.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: I have today placed copies of the information requested in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to refuse any application for quarrying in Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: No. I cannot give such a general policy assurance. Any application coming before the Secretary of State for determination is considered on its merits.
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what grant he has given to MIND in Wales for 1990–91; on what date MIND was notified of this grant; what was the grant in preceding years; and whether there is any change in the conditions for 1990–91 under which grant payment is offered.
Wales MIND applied on 4 June 1990 for a grant under section 64 of the Health Service and Public Health Act 1968. A decision will be notified shortly. Previous years' section 64 funding was as follows:
Registered Child Minders
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many registered child minders there are in Wales.
I refer the hon. Lady to the reply I gave on 22 May 1990, at column 123.
Nhs And Community Care Act
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he intends to circulate to people in Wales regarding the implementation of the National Health Service and Community Care Act; and what budget he has allocated for this purpose.
The booklet for circulation in Wales will explain the main changes taking place in the national health service and reflect the particular circumstances in the Principality. It is being prepared in a bilingual version. We shall provide a budget sufficient for distribution of the booklet to all households throughout Wales.
General Practitioners (Prescribing)
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what guidelines his Department has issued in the past 10 years in respect of (a) over-prescribing and (b) under-prescribing by general practitioners; and if he will place in the Library a copy of all such guidelines currently in force.
I shall write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Nurseries And Playgroups
To ask the Secretary or State for Wales if he will list the number of (a) registered pre-school nurseries and(b) registered playgroups for each academic year from 1970–71 to 1988–89 in (i) Wales as a whole and (ii) each county.
The available information on the numbers of registered pre-school nurseries and registered playgroups is shown in the table. Data prior to 1975 are not readily available.
|Number of Registered Facilities at 31 March Clwyd|
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total expenditure on core community care services in Wales for each year since 1979; and how much and what percentage of the total was in respect of (a) community health, (b) his departmenal and (c) local authority expenditure.
[holding answer 25 June 1990]: The information is not available in precisely the form requested.
Expenditure by district health authorities in Wales on community
Expenditure £ million
1 Community health service costs consist of preventative health services (such as fluoridation, vaccination and immunisation, health education and health visiting), school medical and dental services, family planning services and primary district nursing services. Figures are extracted from "Key Statistical Indicators for National Health Service Management in Wales" published annually.
2 Data for earlier years on a comparable basis are not available except at disproportionate costs.
Expenditure by local authorities in Wales on residential and domiciliary care is as follows:
Expenditure £ million
The expenditure shown in tables 1 and 2 was supplemented each year by direct Welsh Office funding under a number of arrangements, but details of all these amounts are not available except at disproportionate cost.
European Court Of Justice
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent discussions she has had with the heads of other European Community Governments concerning the powers of the European Court of Justice; and if she will make a statement.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has not yet had any formal discussions on this issue with the heads of other European Community Governments.
To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a further statement on the United Kingdom's contribution to international co-operation on environ mental issues.
I have been asked to reply.The Government work to protect the global environment through a wide range of international organisations including the European Community, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. We are playing an active part in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and we have led the call for an international convention on climate change. On 25 May this year my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that provided others are prepared to take their full share, Britain is prepared to set itself the very demanding target of returning carbon dioxide emissions to their current levels by 2005.Last week the Government hosted on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme the second meeting of the parties to the Montreal protocol which agreed important new measures to protect the ozone layer and to enable developing countries to play their part. It demonstrated the international co-operation we need to safeguard the global environment. We will continue to give support to UNEP's valuable work in this and other areas. We will also play a full and constructive role in preparations for the United Nations conference on environment and development which will be held in Brazil in 1992.
To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 5 July.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is hosting the NATO summit meeting. This evening she will be attending a dinner for NATO given by Her Majesty the Queen.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department is supporting the designation of a European Year of Elderly People; and if he will make a statement.
We intend to play a full part in the discussions on this and on other aspects of the Commission's communication. We shall do so on the basis that elderly people are as diverse as any other group in society and most lead active, independent lives.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he has made to the European Commission communication on aging (COM(90)80 FINAL).
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health on 3 July, Official Report, column 548.
Conference On Security And Co-Operation In Europe
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the CSCE conference on the human dimension at Copenhagen; and what has been the reaction of Her Majesty's Government towards the San Marino proposals for the Council of Europe to become the parliamentary dimension of the CSCE process.
We welcome the successful conclusion of the second meeting of the conference on the human dimension, held in Copenhagen from 5 to 29 June. The meeting agreed a concluding document which represents a historic advance in CSCE participants' human rights commitments. It enshrines specifically proposals which the United Kingdom, together with other western countries, put forward, laying down the conditions which should be fulfilled for elections to be considered free and fair, and enumerating the principles for a sound legal system. The document also extends existing CSCE undertakings on freedom of expression, of association and peaceful assembly, and of movement, and reaffirms the participating states' respect for the rights of minorities. The explicit and universal adherence to these principles which the Copenhagen concluding document represents will be of great benefit in sustaining the process of democratic reform in eastern Europe. Copies of the concluding document are being placed in the Library of the House.The Copenhagen meeting also discussed participating states' implementation of their CSCE human rights commitments and reviewed the mechanism established at the 1989 Vienna CSCE follow-up meeting allowing participating states to monitor each others' human rights performance.The United Kingdom and other CSCE member states will be considering the ways and means in which the Council of Europe can contribute to the human dimension of the CSCE process.
Romanian Children (Adoption)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on any action taken by the Romanian Government or any other agencies in that country to place a blockade or other hinderance upon the adoption of Romanian children by suitably qualified couples in the United Kingdom, including couples which have lodged suitable adoption papers; and if he will make a statement.
We understand that final approval of adoption from overseas has been temporarily halted until the new Romanian Parliament decides which authority is to be responsible for the final approval. This decision should be taken soon. If necessary, we shall ask the Romanian authorities to allow adoptions for which Romanian and United Kingdom procedures have already been started, and which satisfy the stated requirements of both countries, to be completed and the child concerned released to the adoptive parents.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Burmese Government about the recent elections in that country; and if he will make a statement.
The State Law and Order Restoration Council's abuse of the human and political rights of the Burmese people is well documented and has been repeatedly condemned. The surprisingly free and fair way in which the actual polling was conducted on 27 May was, therefore, all the more welcome. The official results now confirm that the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, has won an overwhelming victory.On 29 May, the British Government urged the SLORC to give effect to the clearly expressed wish of the people of Burma and called for the early release of the imprisoned leaders of the democratic parties and for the unconditional lifting of martial law.On 6 June, the European Community called on the military regime to respect the results of the elections by handing over power to a Government chosen by the newly elected Parliament without delay and to release political leaders in detention immediately.The British Government again call on the military regime to respond to the clearly expressed wish of the Burmese people for change. Along with our EC partners, we are ready to co-operate with the new Government, once it is formed. Meanwhile, existing policy will continue until the regime takes concrete steps to end the military rule which the Burmese people have so decisively rejected by initiating a constructive dialogue with opposition leaders at an early date.
Education And Science
Civil Research And Development
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of Britain's gross domestic product is devoted to civil research and development; and what information he has as to comparable figures for France and West Germany.
A report published last year by the OECD showed that in 1985, the latest year for which figures are available 1.8 per cent. of the United Kingdom's GDP was attributable to estimated gross domestic expenditure on civil research and development. The corresponding figures for France and West Germany were 1.8 and 2–6 per cent. respectively.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to take further action to encourage schools to seek grant-maintained status.
The 1988 Act gives parents and governors the opportunity to seek grant-maintained status for their school. There has been a rapid expansion in the number of grant-maintained schools and a lot of interest among parents and governors. I anticipate that there will be many more applications for GM status.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to make all local education authority secondary schools grant maintained.
It is for parents and governors to decide whether to seek grant-maintained status for their school. My right hon. Friend will consider every application on its merits.
Financial Support, Bradford
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding financial suppport for education in Bradford; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has received a number of letters on this issue and I recently received a deputation from Bradford which included the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer).
Bradford has done well out of the change from the grant-related expenditure assessment for education to the standard spending assessment—the education component of its SSA is £179 million and is substantially higher than the comparable GRE figure for 1989–90. This assessment should mean that the authority has a solid funding base for its education service in 1990–91.
Bradford's annual capital guideline for 1990–91 was over £9 million. LEAs have been invited to submit their education capital expenditure plans for 1991–92 by 15 September. Bradford's needs will be considered syrnpathetically against an objective set of criteria, as will the needs of all other LEAs.
School Psychological Service
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting lists for the school psychological service for pupils in Preston.
The operation of the school psychological service is a matter for local education authorities. I understand that the Lancashire LEA has recently reorganised the service and is in the course of making a number of additional appointments. The authority is currently reviewing the process by which pupils are referred to the service.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in respect of the academic years 1988–89, 1989–90 and 1990–91 the number of grants made available for students to study for vocational qualifications at colleges in Scotland in respect of each course at each college.
Information about the number of grants made available by local authorities in England and Wales for students to study for vocational qualifications at colleges in Scotland is not available. Information about the number of such grants made available by the Scottish Education Department is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has made any assessment of the effect of community charge capping on the provision of further education; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has considered all the representations made to him by the capped authorities, including those about service delivery, together with all other information he considers relevant, and he is satisfied that the final caps he is proposing will permit them to maintain their services at a reasonable level.
Local Management Of Colleges
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those local education authorities which have had their schemes for local management of colleges turned down by his Department.
My right hon. Friend has not turned down any schemes for the local management of colleges, though a number have been approved with modifications or conditions. The schemes for Barnet, Hereford and Worcester and Staffordshire have yet to be approved, though Hereford and Worcester and Staffordshire are operating schemes in advance of statutory approval.
Management Information Systems
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in the allocation of education support grant funding to local education authorities in England and Wales for the development of management information systems in further education colleges.
Between 1985–86 and 1989–90 education support grant allocations to local education authorities in England for the development of computerised management information systems in further education colleges supported £12–5 million expenditure. Commitments for 1990–91, 1991–92 and 1992–93 support a further £21 million.Allocation of education support grant funding for local education authorities in Wales is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will give details of his Department's role on the question of quality assurance relating to management information systems development.
With local education authorities, the Department is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the use of education support grants to support expenditure on computerised management information systems (CMIS) in further education colleges. This is achieved by means of annual progress reports from LEAs, national surveys of developments in colleges, the observations of Her Majesty's inspectorate and studies by consultants. The Department is also in contact with the major suppliers of CMIS software to discuss their products.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what guidance he gives to local education authorities as to under what sections of and schedules to the Education (No.2) Act 1986 they should conduct the selection procedure for the headships of schools which have been part of a major schools reorganisation programme;(2) what steps he has taken to satisfy himself under the terms of section 68 of the Education Act 1944 that Leeds education authority is acting reasonably in the way it has decided to conduct the appointment of headships as part of the city's reorganisation of schools.
The Department's Circular 7/87 provides general guidance on the provisions of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 relating to the appointment of head teachers. Where a local education authority is reorganising its schools by closing two or more of them and opening new schools in their place paragraph 23 of schedule 2 to the 1986 Act allows the local education authority, in consultation with the temporary governing bodies of the new schools, to appoint one of the head teachers of the schools which are closing to be the first head teacher for the new school, provided that a substantial number of the pupils at the discontinued schools, taken together, are expected to transfer to the new school. In these circumstances the authority is empowered to make the appointment in this manner as an alternative to the procedures usually applying to the appointment of head teachers. These are set out in section 37 of the Act and provide for the local education authority to advertise the post and hold a selection panel comprising persons appointed by the authority and no less a number of governors. It is my understanding that in carrying through its reorganisation of its schools the Leeds education authority has elected to adopt the paragraph 23(2) procedures.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will announce the postgraduate bursary rates payable in the academic year 1990–91.
I propose to set the main maintenance rates for bursaries offered under my Department's postgraduate awards scheme in the academic year 1990–91 as follows:
Official Report, column 575.
Trade And Industry
Office Searches (Ec Inspectors)
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which the private offices of the chairman of British Airways were searched by European Community inspectors; what authority the inspectors had for entering the premises and studying documents; and which court authorised these searches.
I am not responsible for the activities of the European Commission.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date he expects the publication by the European Commission of its proposed Green Paper on postal monopolies.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 2 July, Official Report, column 426.
Copyright (Television Programmes)
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will place in the Library a copy of counsel's opinion asked for by him on the protection granted to television programme formats under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
No. It would not be appropriate to place in the Library a copy of counsel's advice to me.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects the European Economic Community to make a decision on the arrangements for trade in cars, with particular reference to the import to the continent of British cars manufactured by Japanese-owned firms; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 2 July 1990]: Following the informal discussion among Community Ministers on 19 June, the Commission is to have talks with the Japanese authorities, and is expected to report back to Ministers in July. I should like to see a firm agreement reached as soon as possible. However, I believe that the Government's position that cars manufactured in the EC by Japanese-owned companies should continue to enjoy unlimited free circulation throughout the Community is unassailable and has now been accepted by other member states.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the implications for his policy on treating cars produced in the United Kingdom by Japanese-owned firms in the same way as other British-produced cars of the European Commission's recent declaration concerning imports of Japanese motor vehicles.
[holding answer 2 July 1990]: Formal agreement has still to be reached among member states and with Japan on the future treatment of cars produced by Japanese-owned companies. I am insisting and I remain confident that all cars produced in Britain, including by Japanese-owned companies, will continue to enjoy unlimited free circulation throughout the Community after 1992.
Import And Export Licences
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in what form information on the granting of licences under the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939 is kept by his Department.
[holding answer 2 July 1990]: Information relating to import and export licences is kept in paper form and is subject to the Official Secrets Act. Since January 1990 certain export licence information has been preserved on microfilm. Some information pertaining to import licensing is held on computer.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which section of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1989 is concerned with biological weapons.
[holding answer 2 July 1990]: Biological weapons are controlled by entry ML7 of group 1 of part 2 of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1989, as amended by the Export of Goods (Control) (Amendment No. 2) Order 1990.
Export Credits Guarantee Department
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether, following the conversion in 1991 of the insurance services group of the Export Credits Guarantee Department to a Government company, it will be necessary for the new company to establish at least one year's commercial accounts before its full privatisation.
[holding answer 3 July 1990]: No.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in identifying an eventual buyer, or buyers, for the insurance services group of the Export Credits Guarantee Department.
[holding answer 3 July 1990]: Decisions have not yet been taken about the proposed method of sale of the insurance services group. No decisions have been taken about possible buyers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what method will be used to recruit a chief executive for the privatised insurance group of the ECGD.
[holding answer 3 July 1990]: This will be a matter for the new owners of the privatised business.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultations he has had with the European Commission regarding the prospective bidders for the insurance services group of the Export Credits Guarantee Department and competition policy.
[holding answer 3 July 1990]: Decisions have not yet been taken about the proposed method of sale of the insurance services group and no decisions have been taken about possible purchasers. The Government will, however, take into account the views of the European Commission in reaching decisions.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to encourage regional airports to recognise the importance of a quality welcoming system for visitors.
The Government are keen to see the maximum use of airports in all parts of the country but the facilities referred to by the hon. Member are a matter for the commercial judgment of individual airport managements.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received in favour of introducing compulory third party liability insurance for private pilots.
Over the past year my Department has received five communications supporting the introduction of compulsory third party insurance for civil aviation, including private aircraft.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total value of damage sustained by third parties as a result of accidents involving private aircraft for each of the last three years.
This information is not held centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any plans to introduce compulsory third party liability insurance for private pilots.
My right hon. Friend has received, in response to a request to the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, initial advice from the authority on the issues which would have to be dealt with by a compulsory scheme, for which legislation would be needed, and he is now considering that advice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the introduction of the single European Act will affect the number of taxi licences available to United Kingdom citizens (a) in respect of Hackney cabs and (b) in respect of private cabs.
The European Commission has not yet formulated definite proposals relating to Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licensing. Unless or until such time as the EC issues a directive, the domestic licensing laws of each member state will apply to applicants for licences.At present in Scotland, England—outside—London and Wales local authorities may not refuse a hackney carriage licence unless they are satisfied that there is no significant unmet demand for hackney carriage services in the area, but no numerical controls are allowed on private hire vehicles. In London there are no numerical controls on hackney carriage licences; private hire vehicles—minicabs—are not licensed. In Northern Ireland no numerical controls are allowed on either hackney carriages or private hire vehicles.
Roads, Folkestone And Southampton
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects a continuous dual carriageway road to be operational between Folkestone and Southampton.
My right hon. Friend has no proposals for a continuous dual carriageway road between Folkestone and Southampton but with schemes completed or under construction and the further schemes announced in the Roads Report "Trunk Roads, England Into the 1990s", the M27—A27—A259 south coast trunk route is being progressively improved. It will be dual carriageway standard between Southampton and Polegate in East Sussex, and a mixture of dual and single carriageway between Polegate and Folkestone, depending on the variation in forecast traffic flows along the route.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what design work is taking place on the Lacton interchange on the M20 in Ashford to improve the junction's traffic flow and capacity.
Kent county council, as highway authority for the junction roundabout, is undertaking preliminary design of possible options to improve the capacity and traffic flow at M20 junction 10. Subject to my Department being satisfied about the effects to traffic on the motorway and its connecting roads, the choice of any scheme to be promoted rests with the county council.
Russell Scott School (Land Sale)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to complete the sale of land at the side of the M67 and the former Russell Scott school in Denton; and when negotiations for sale started.
Negotiations will open shortly. It is too soon to say when a sale might be completed.
Passenger Coaches (Seat Belts)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about his policy on the fitting and wearing of seat belts in passenger coaches.
I am strongly in favour of the fitting of good quality seat belts on all seats in coaches and of the belts being worn wherever provided. I am very glad that the Bus and Coach Council is now recommending that all new coaches should be fitted with seat belts. We are discussing further with them the fitting of belts on existing coaches.We are continuing to press for early agreement in the European Community to the mandatory fitment of seat belts on all seats in new coaches.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 2 July, Official Report, columns 428–29, if he will make a statement outlining the nature and extent of the changes which will result from the commitment to establish a single market in aviation by the end of 1992.
The agreement reached by EC Transport Ministers on 18 June set the Community firmly on course to complete a single market in aviation by the end of 1992. As well as setting out a second stage of EC liberalisation, this agreement incorporates into EC law the earlier Ministerial commitment to the key ingredients of a single market: the abolition of bilateral capacity sharing and the introduction of the double disapproval system for the setting of fares by 1 January 1993, and the adoption of uniform licensing criteria by 1 July 1992. The United Kingdom has welcomed these commitments and will continue to take a leading role in negotiations on the completion of a liberal EC market in air transport.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will seek to establish why the French Government blocked the proposal last month by British Midland Airways for a cheaper business fare from London to Paris; and if he will initiate proceedings against the French Government.
The French Government initially maintained that the three-day business return fare of £149 proposed by British Midland for its London-Paris service was not reasonably related to the costs of the airline.Under the EC arrangements for fare approval, which provide criteria for the assessment of fares proposals and for consultations in cases of disagreement, the Department of Transport met the French authorities on 2 May in Paris.
At these consultations the French agreed to accept a fare structure on British Midland's Heathrow-Paris service which would include a new three-day business return of £165. This is higher than first proposed, but is still substantially lower than existing business class return fares on the route of around £240. I understand that British Midland was content with the result.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 2 July, Official Report, columns 428–29, if he will make a statement explaining the nature and extent of the greater freedom being made available to commercial airlines in consequence of the Transport Ministers Council of 18 June.
I am particularly pleased that the EC Transport Council adopted a second package of measures which seals the commitment to the liberalisation of air transport in the European Community by the end of 1992, and provides for arrangements which will function in the interim.The new package builds on the first set of measures agreed in 1987. It contains arrangements for setting fares which introduce an element of double disapproval and simplify the existing zonal system. It further relaxes the limits on capacity sharing by progressively increasing the maximum share of capacity enjoyed by the airlines of any one state to 75 per cent. The package also eases access to the market by creating third and fourth freedom traffic rights between virtually all Community airports, relaxing restrictions on fifth freedom services within the Community, and progressively lowering the thresholds for multiple designation. The Council accepted the need to deal quickly with predatory practices; and agreed principles against which air cargo services should be further liberalised by March 1991. Ministers also reached agreement on a mandate for the opening of aviation negotiations for EFTA.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his Department's current estimate of the cost of making good all defects in local authority adopted roads (a) in total and (b) by local authority; and if he will make a statement.
The Department of Transport does not have the detailed condition data that would be necessary to estimate the cost of rectifying all defects in roads that local authorities are responsible for maintaining. Central Government's contribution to local authority road maintenance is made as part of the annual revenue support grant settlement, and to structural maintenance of local authority bridges through the transport supplementary grant settlement. Local authorities are consulted through their representative bodies as part of the process of deciding on these levels of funding.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has received from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority regarding the transportation of spent fuel rods of highly enriched uranium to the United Kingdom from research reactors in Spain, the Netherlands and West Germany under contracts proposed between the authority and the relevant body in each country.
While we are aware that such contracts are being sought, to date no application relating specifically to the transport of this material has been received. All shipments of spent fuel are required to be carried in containers which have been approved and certified by my Department as complying fully with stringent national and international transport safety regulations.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will meet the costs of legal representation for the relatives of victims of the Lockerbie disaster at the forthcoming Scottish fatal accident inquiry.
Yes. I am writing to the Secretary of the Lockerbie air disaster group of solicitors' firms to say that my Department will meet the reasonable costs incurred on behalf of the British relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie disaster by one team of legal representatives in carrying out the necessary work in preparing for and attending the inquiry.This offer of financial assistance reflects the exceptional nature of the disaster, a crime perpetrated by international terrorists which resulted in the destruction of a large passenger aircraft in British air space. There are therefore very special reasons for departing from the practice that relatives' costs are not met in fatal accident inquiries or inquests.
Personal Pension Plans
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether, pursuant to his reply to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailing on 28 June, Official Report, column 350, he will now include the Consumers Association in those interested bodies who have been asked for their views on the existing regulations on the disclosure of information to members of occupational and personal pension schemes.
The Consumers Association has now been asked whether it wishes to make any comments.
Pensioners (Investment Income)
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the level of investment income, excluding savings, of pensioners with a weekly pension income of (a) less than £50, (b) £50 to £100, (c) £100 to £200, (d) £200 to £500 and (e) over £500; and if he will indicate the number of pensioners in each group.
The latest information from the 1987 family expenditure survey is set out in the table. The figures provided assume weekly pension income to consist of national insurance state retirement pension and supplementary benefit. There are no cases of people with this income in the levels of the top two bands specified in the question.
Retirement pension supplementary benefit1
Percentage of pensioners in each group
Average savings/investment income per week2
|less than £50||65||13.85|
|50 to 99.99||35||33.60|
|100 to 199.99||less than 1|
|200 to 499.99||0||nil|
|500 and over||0||nil|
1 Pounds per week at 1987 prices
2 It is not possible to separately identify savings income from investment income except at disproportionate cost. Savings are generally accepted to be bank and building society deposits whereas investment income includes (for example) premiums on stocks/shares.
3 Only two cases were found within this group which do not represent an adequate sample size.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he intends to implement the recommendation in commissioners' decision CIS/18/88, and amend the income support regulations to provide in the case of a pensioner moving from hospital to residential care, that income support commences immediately on discharge from hospital instead of on the following retirement pension pay day.
We have no plans to implement the suggestion of the appeal tribunal mentioned in CIS/18/88. For those over pension age, income support is paid in advance from the first pay day on or after the date of claim. Similar arrangements apply when income support is reduced or ceases, so equity is preserved.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he proposes to lay regulations concerning students' entitlement to benefits and to publish the report of the Social Security Advisory Committee on the draft regulations.
Draft regulations on students' entitlement to benefits were submitted to the Social Security Advisory Committee on 19 February. The committee subsequently reported its conclusions at the end of April. However, amendments to the Social Security Bill have since been carried in the House of Lords which would affect the Government's proposals. The Government will be asking the House to disagree with their Lordships' amendments when these are considered by the House of Commons.The Social Security Advisory Committee report will be formally published and presented to Parliament with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's formal response when the main set of regulations is laid in due course. However, in order better to inform the House in advance of their consideration of the Lords amendments, we have today made special arrangements to place in the Library proof copies of the report on the draft regulations together with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's initial comments on that report.Subject to further consideration of the Social Security Bill the Government intend to make two important changes to the draft regulations submitted to the Social Security Advisory Committee. First, the Government propose to introduce in all the income-related benefits a £10 weekly disregard on income received from top-up loans so long as the recipient continues as a student. Secondly, we intend to consult the local authority association on a separate regulation which will extend the proposed defination of a disabled student to include student who are eligible for an award under the local education authorities disabled student allowance scheme by reason of deafness. Subject to the views of the local authority association, we intend to lay this regulation as soon as possible after the main set of regulations.
Rathlin Island Trust
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has given any financial support to the Rathlin Island Trust; what representations he has received concerning the trust; and on what basis others are represented on the trust.
Financial support has been provided to the Rathlin Island Trust from a number of Government sources, as follows:
Protection Of Birds
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list those areas of special protection for birds as well as those Ramsar sites and areas with dual designation for the protection of birds.
Lough Neagh and Lough Beg is a Ramsar site. We are working on further special protection.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many areas of what size in Northern Ireland are still under food protection emergency prohibitions as a consequence of the Chernobyl incident; how many breeding sheep are still grazing on each such area; by how much radioactivity has decreased in each such area by reference to (a) sheepmeat, (b) vegetation and (c) soil/peat; and when he now expects all restrictions on sheep to be removed.
[holding answer 3 July 1990]: Testing of marketable lamb at slaughterhouses throughout Northern Ireland continues to show that lamb is safe. Restrictions on movement and slaughter of sheep in Northern Ireland apply in the following areas:
|Glenshane County Londonderry||Belraugh County Londonderry||Glenwherry County Antrim|
|Estimated number of breeding sheep||11,300||3,000||7,000|
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the directors of the Inner City Trust in Londonderry.
[holding answer 3 July 1990]: The information requested is held by the Registrar of Friendly Societies at 64 Chichester street, Belfast and the registrar is required to make it available to the public, during office hours on payment of a fee.
Emergency Provision Legislation
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons were detained under Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Acts in 1989; and how many of these persons were subsequently charged with (a) scheduled offences, (b) non-scheduled offences.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: Eighty seven people were arrested under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 and six were subsequently charged with scheduled offences.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average length of custodial sentence of female prisoners in Northern Ireland in 1989.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: Three hundred and twenty four days, excluding those committed to prison on default of payment of a fine.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average period of custodial remand for female custodial remand prisoners in Northern Ireland in 1989.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: The average length of time spent on custodial remand by female prisoners who were tried in 1989 and were in custody at the time of trial was 28 days.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the answers of 11 June, Official Report, column 30 and 21 May, Official Report, column 30, about energy consumption, what is the square footage of office space to which these figures relate.
[holding answer 25 June 1990]: The total area of the Government office estate in Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Office in London in 1988–89 was just over 2.9 million sq. ft.
Job Interview Guarantee Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether, further to his reply of 11 June, Official Report, column 54, concerning the progress of job interview guarantee, he will give the latest figures for the participation of unemployed people for each of the various options available under job interview guarantee, and for the numbers of participants who have been placed in jobs, by each area.
The employment service became an executive agency on 2 April 1990. Mr. Mike Fogden, the Employment Service agency's chief executive, will be replying in writing to the hon. Lady.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of Government spending in the last financial year was devoted to training in each Group of Seven and European Community country; and if he will make a statement.
The information is not available in the form requested. Figures showing public expenditure on labour market programmes as a percentage of GDP and which separately identify labour market training for adults and young people, are published in "Labour Market Policies for the 1990s"—OECD 1990. This OECD publication also draws attention to the methodological difficulties in attempting to arrive at internationally comparable data, the principal one stemming from the different institutional arrangements in individual countries, and it advises caution in interpreting the figures.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects his Department's review on tourism to be completed; and if he will consider publishing its full contents.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir N. Fowler) to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Yardley, (Mr. Bevan) on 28 November 1989, Official Report, column 212. There are no plans to publish the consultant's report that informed the review.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received from the London tourist board on his Department's review of tourism.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: None.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received over modifications to the Development of Tourism Act 1969; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: I have received no such representations. Within the framework of the Act, the recent review of tourism has concentrated on refocusing the Government's support for tourism.
Renewable Energy Projects
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will classify the number of renewable energy projects submitted to his Department for approval in the first tranche of renewable energy, according to which renewable technology and the total electrical capacity proposed for each category of renewables.
By the beginning of 1990 sponsors of some 350 projects, totalling around 2 GW of nominal capacity, had informed the precursors to the public electricity suppliers of their interest in contracting for renewables within the initial non-fossil fuel obligation.This total included a certain amount of double-counting, since some projects were regarded by their sponsors as alternatives while others were competing projects from different sponsors. Other projects have not, in the event, been ready to contract within the initial order. Subject to those qualifications, the main categories of projects submitted were: landfill gas (80 projects, 110 MW nominal); waste incineration (60 projects, 800 MW nominal); and wind (130 projects, 500 MW nominal). Other projects submitted were for hydro, biogas, and tidal schemes.My right hon. Friend plans to make an order setting the initial level of the non-fossil fuel obligation in respect of renewables-sourced electricity generation in the late summer. Projects that are not ready to contract under that order will have the opportunity to do so under subsequent orders.
Nuclear Power Stations
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will update the information given in his answer of 3 November 1989, Official Report, column 374, to the hon. Member for Gordon, (Mr. Bruce) to give the annual load factor achieved by (a) the Central Electricity' Generating Board, and (b) the South of Scotland electricity board nuclear power stations for each month from April 1989 to March 1990, inclusive; and if he will make a statement.