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Written Answers

Volume 264: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1995

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 24 October 1995

House Of Commons

Fees Office

To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will seek to define and publish targets for the work of the House of Commons Fees Office.

Performance indicators for the House of Commons Fees Office have been published in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 annual reports of the House of Commons Commission. Copies of these reports are available in the Library.

Asbestos

To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee (1) if asbestos products have been used in the works which have taken place in the Palace of Westminster since 20 July; and if he will make a statement;(2) what record is kept in the Palace of Westminster of the presence of asbestos; and if he will make a statement.

No asbestos products have been used in the works which have taken place in the Palace of Westminster during the summer recess. Like most older buildings, the Palace of Westminster contains some asbestos, which used to be incorporated for insulation purposes. Since it became known that exposure to asbestos dust can be dangerous, the Parliamentary Works Directorate, and its predecessors, has sought to follow strictly the guidelines and procedures laid down by the Health and Safety Executive. An asbestos register is maintained recording the locations both where asbestos is known to remain—usually because it is inaccessible—and from which it has been removed. Only firms on an approved list are used for asbestos removal work and the work is carried out in the approved manner.It is the practice to remove asbestos found when undertaking maintenance and other works services. For example, during the installation of the wiring for the parliamentary data and video network and fire alarm system this summer, a considerable amount of previously undiscovered asbestos was found and removed. The result is that all ceiling voids and under-floor spaces which have so far been cabled for the parliamentary data and video network are now free of asbestos. All the evidence available indicates that the asbestos had not been disturbed for some considerable time and should not therefore have presented any risks. However, a full record has been made of the discoveries and will be kept on the register.

Disabled People (Access)

To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what recent improvements have been made in access to all parts of the Palace of Westminster for disabled people; what plans there are for further improvements; and if he will make a statement. [38393]

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) on 8 February at column 243, which described in detail the conclusions of the review by the Accommodation and Works Committee into access for disabled people. Since then the Parliamentary Works Directorate has continued to implement many of the recommended improvements. The new entrance, which has been created at Black Rod's Garden, enables people in wheelchairs to go directly to the start of the line of route. A ramp has been constructed at the entrance to Speaker's House giving access to the North Door. The ramps in Star Chamber Court allow access for people in wheelchairs to the Strangers Gallery via lift number 1 and the new ramp at the Medals Corridor enables them to go on to the Terrace, the private dining rooms and via lift number 15, to the Principal Floor and Committee Rooms. This lift has been specially adapted to include such features as relocated control panels with embossed and illuminated buttons, handrails to the sides and rear of each car, and door edges with time delay sensors. Lifts numbers 3, Peers and Gallery, and 17, Speaker's House, have been similarly adapted as has one in the other place. Modifications to lavatories have been carried out and there are now specially adapted facilities in the following locations:

Centre Curtain Corridor, Lower Waiting Hall, opposite Committee Room 7 on the Main Committee Corridor, and opposite Committee Room 19 on the Upper Committee Corridor.
In addition, a continuous handrail has been ordered for installation on the Strangers' Gallery staircase and a platform lift is shortly to be installed to take people in wheelchairs from Westminster Hall to the Grand Committee Room. In time, we hope to install a proper lift in that area as part of the plans for a visitor centre in 1996–97. It is planned to spend a further £250,000 on overhauling five lifts including the provision of facilities for the disabled and £55,000 on other access facilities.Some £688,000 is to be spent this financial year in the Palace of Westminster on facilities for disabled people.

Lord Chancellor's Department

Legal Aid

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the latest figure for the amount of legal aid paid to Kevin and Ian Maxwell. [38196]

It would not be appropriate for me to give further details of payments in this case while the trial is in progress.

Employee Fraud

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the total number of cases of all forms of fraud committed by employees of his (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental bodies for each year from 1991–92 to 1994–95; and for each of those years what was the total monetary sum (1) misappropriated and (2) subsequently recovered. [39125]

Losses (£) due to proven staff fraud
1991–921992–93
NumberLossRecoveredNumberLossRecovered
Lord Chancellor's Department1 211313,7547,753758,8902,026
Northern Ireland Court Service21,166.70nil117,507.01265.70
Non-Departmental Public Bodies313243241500nil
Total12314,0788,076859,3892,026
1993–941994–95
NumberLossRecoveredNumberLossRecovered
Lord Chancellor's Department1 24180,87654,961723,70372
Northern Ireland Court Servicenilnilnil120nil
Non-Departmental Public Bodies3nilnilnilnilnilnil
Total4180,87654,961723,70372
1 The Public Trust Office became an executive agency on 1 July 1994. For ease of comparison data since then has been separated.
2 The Court Service became an agency on 1 April 1995.
3 The frauds shown in the table above relate to the Legal Aid Board. There are no reported frauds from any of LCD's other NDPBs.

Letter from Edward Beardsall to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 24 October 1995:

In the absence of the Chief Executive who is presently away from the office I have been asked by the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, to reply to your recent question concerning the total number of all forms of fraud committed by employees in the Land Registry for each year from 1991–92 to 1994–95 and for each of these years the total monetary sum (1) misappropriated and (2) subsequently recovered. All cases related either to misuse of official postage, misuse of the telephone or abuse of the flexible working hours system. I can provide the following information:

Total sum

Number of cases

Misappropriated £

Recovered £

1991–927380.66380.66
1992–934(Minor sums of less than £10)
1993–944760760
1994–9515858

I do hope that this answers the points raised with the Parliamentary Secretary but please contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

Letter from Sarah Tyacke to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 24 October 1995:

I have been asked by the Lord Chancellor's Parliamentary Secretary to reply to your question about employee fraud.
There were no cases of fraud committed by employees of the Public Record Office in the years that you list.

The information requested is set out in the table. In many cases we cannot establish whether a fraud was by an employee or an outsider, and by no means all attempted frauds succeeded. The table therefore includes known cases of actual fraud attributable to staff. Some further recoveries may have been made since the records for each year were compiled, and further recoveries may be made, especially in relation to frauds in 1994–95. I have asked the chief executives of the Public Record Office and Her Majesty's Land Registry to reply to the hon. Member directly.

Personal Pensions

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he expects to publish the report of the Securities and Investments Board/Department of Social Security study of the sale of personal pensions to low-income earners; and what are the terms of reference of the study. [38259]

[holding answer 23 October 1995]: I have been asked to reply.The Securities and Investments Board will be responsible for publishing a report into potential mis-selling of personal pensions to people who were previously in the state earnings-related pensions scheme. I understand that SIB hopes to report on this issue by the end of the year.

Scotland

Farm Sizes

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of farms sized (a) 1–25 hectares, (b) 26–50 hectares, (c) 51–75 hectares, (d) 76–100 hectares, (e) 101–150 hectares, (f) 151–200 hectares and (g) 201 or more hectares for the last available year and for 1985. [36431]

The information is given in the table:

Number of farms of size (hectares)19851994
Less than 2611,41312,592
26-<514,7594,754
51-<763,5673,476
76-<1012,5792,490
101-<1513,0833,205
151-<2011,5901,652
201 or more4,3574,344
Total31,34832,513
The figures come from the June agricultural census in 1985 and 1994 and relate to main holdings. The hectarages refer to total agricultural areas which include rough grazings.

Red Deer Commission

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration he is giving to the future of the Red Deer Commission; and if he will make a statement. [36939]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) to the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) on 10 May 1995 Official Report, column 450. In addition, a policy and financial management review of the Red Deer Commission is currently being undertaken, in accordance with the Government's commitment to appraise effectiveness and value for money in all non-departmental public bodies on a regular basis.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what subsidies were paid out for environmentally sensitive areas in (a) 1992–93, (b) 1993–94, (c) 1994–95 and (d) 1995–96; and how many individuals were recipients of these payments in these years. [37125]

The total payments made under the environmentally sensitive areas scheme and the number of participants for the years requested are set out in the table.

Amount paid £ thousandsNumber of participants
1992–931,086802
1993–94963583
1994–951,044717
1995–96 (to 31 August)781847

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what area in hectares and percentage terms of environmentally sensitive areas in Scotland is made up of productive, or potentially productive, agricultural land. [37124]

The information is set out in the table.

Estimated hectares of agricultural land in each designated areaEstimated percentage of total area designated
Breadalbane140,00078
Loch Lomond36,90075
Stewartry48,50082
Central Borders (formerly Whitlaw and Eildon)28,80081
Machair of the Uists and Benbecula, Barra and Vatersay12,00079
Central Southern Uplands220,30081
Western Southern Uplands131,00052
Cairngorms Straths148,70068
Argyll Islands177,40084
Shetland Islands144,90099
Total1,088,50076

New Homes

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out the total number of new homes started by (a) local authorities and new towns and (b) housing associations in Scotland in each year since 1974, and his estimate of the likely number of starts in 1995 and 1996. [37492]

The information requested on the number of new homes started is set out in the table. Housing associations plan to start 6,155 houses in 1995–96 and 193 new town starts are expected during 1995 and 1996. Information on planned local authority starts is not held centrally.

New housebuilding starts—Scotland, 1974 to 1994
Local authoritiesNew townsHousing associations
197416,3242,600660
197512,3263,683592
19767,5782,6651,362
19775,8291,673629
19784,1852,2021,365
19794,858984963
19802,7701,1551,261
19811,9297331,051
19822,5857652,446
19832,1411941,068
19841,7551261,239
19851,6931901,487
19861,6711411,414
19872,1453741,988
19881,4334952,068
19898716802,748
19908867202,111
19918481343,448
19924293953,051
19935034295,062
19945442084,807
Housing association figures are likely to be subject to future revision.

Short-Time Working

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate his Department has made of the number of companies on short-time working; and how many employees are affected by such short-time working. [37514]

Available information is restricted to operatives—manual workers—in the manufacturing sector. In the week ending 9 June 1995, the latest date for which figures are available for Scotland, an estimated 1,300 operatives in manufacturing industries were affected by short-time working. Of these, 900 were stood off the whole week. The source of these figures is the Central Statistical Office.

Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will increase hill livestock compensatory allowances for 1996. [37918]

Decisions on the rates of hill livestock compensatory allowances are taken by Ministers in the light of the annual autumn review of economic conditions in the hills and uplands, which is currently under way.

Health Service Revenue

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans the Government have to revise the Scottish hospital resource allocation formula—SHARE—in a manner similar to the revision of the NHS formula for allocating hospital and community health service revenue resources in England. [38001]

There are no immediate plans to revise the Scottish hospital resource allocation formula. We do, however, continually consider whether there is scope to improve the formula.

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about a policy and financial management review of the royal botanic garden, Edinburgh. [39728]

As part of the Government's rolling programme of five-yearly policy and financial management reviews of non-departmental public bodies, My Department will conduct a thorough review of the work of the royal botanic garden, Edinburgh between now and March 1996. The first stage of the review will take the form of a "prior options" study. This will include an examination of what scope there is, if any, for discontinuing, or undertaking in some other way some or all of the functions which the garden carries out. This will include looking at how it takes forward its statutory obligations, including its objectives, as set out in the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985.The second stage of the review will concentrate on the garden's financial management systems and controls.

I would welcome comments from interested parties. They should be sent by 30 November 1995 to:

  • Mr. K. K. Steven
  • The Scottish Office Agriculture Environment and Fisheries
  • Department
  • Pentland House
  • 47 Robb's Loan
  • Edinburgh
  • EH14 1TY.

Vandalism (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what help is available to schools in Scotland suffering especially severe problems of vandalism. [37937]

[holding answer 20 October 1995]: The response to acts of vandalism will depend on the nature of each incident and the circumstances in which they have been perpetrated. It is for the education authority concerned to consider appropriate measures having regard to the local circumstances and physical characteristics of the schools affected.

Overseas Development Administration

Kenya

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date programme aid was suspended to Kenya. [37675]

Programme aid to Kenya has not been suspended. But disbursements continue to depend, as they always have, on Kenya continuing to implement economic programmes agreed with International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and on the overall political environment in Kenya.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards Kenya at the World Bank, and if he will make a statement. [37674]

Discussions between the World Bank and the Kenyan Government continue. We hope that there will be sufficient progress in Kenya to allow early agreement on a structural adjustment credit.

Bilateral Aid Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the bilateral aid programme in promoting political and economic stability in the least developed countries. [38145]

We believe that British bilateral aid, with its emphasis on good government and sound economic policies, has played a vital role in promoting political and economic stability in many of the least developed countries, notably in the Commonwealth. The effectiveness of British aid in meeting this objective is kept under constant review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the foreign policy implications of reduction in Britain's bilateral aid programme; and if he will make a statement. [38147]

The bilateral aid programme is a very significant part of the United Kingdom's relationship with the developing world. The size of the programme is kept under constant review, along with all the other factors which contribute to the relationship with developing countries, including trade and investment.

Environment

European Building Projects

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many British firms secured contracts on the (a) European Parliament building, Strasbourg,(b) European Parliament building, Brussels, and (c) Bundestag building, Berlin, projects; and what was the value of these projects. [37045]

My officials are currently assembling the information requested and I will write to the hon. Gentleman shortly.

Housing Initiatives

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, what assessment he has made of the impact of his Department's policy initiatives since 1979 on the housing associations. [37677]

Between 1979–80 and 1994–95, capital and revenue grants totalling more than £16 billion have been made to registered housing associations, which are now the main providers of new social housing. By April 1995 there were around 860,000 housing associations properties, compared with around 350,000 in 1979.In 1988, we introduced mixed funding for housing association developments which has enabled associations to raise over £5 billion in private finance. This has generated almost 100,000 more housing association homes than would have been possible without the private finance input.Our shared home ownership and incentive initiatives have helped people who wanted to buy their own home but could not otherwise afford to do so. These initiatives represent good value for money, particularly where they release rented lettings for others in housing need. From 1990–91 to the end of 1994–195 more than 60,000 households have benefited from these initiatives, and more than 40,000 existing social lettings have been released for others in housing need.We have also encouraged housing associations to take on former local authority housing. Since 1988, 43 new housing associations have been created for this purpose. More than 180,000 dwellings have been transferred from local authority ownership, generating some £2.8 billion of linked private sector investment for the purchase, repair and long-term maintenance of the properties.

Pay Bargaining

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide in respect of his plan for pay delegation submitted to the Treasury (a) a description of the staff in each bargaining unit covered by the plan, distinguishing staff in headquarters functions, agencies and agency candidates, and in other identifiable business units and (b) proposals for trade union recognition in each bargaining unit and the negotiating machinery to be put in place in each bargaining unit. [38282]

The pay bargaining units and the union recognition and bargaining arrangements proposed for 1996 are:

DoE (central)
Staff in headquarters, staff in the Government offices for the regions and rent assessment panels; current patterns of union recognition will remain and procedural agreements for future consultation and negotiation are under discussion.
Planning Inspectorate
Staff in the agency; union recognition will be on current lines and procedures for negotiations are in place.
Building Research Establishment
BRE already has responsibility for negotiating the pay of its industrial staff and will take this on for all staff in the agency; union recognition will be on current lines and procedures for negotiations are under discussion for non-industrial staff.
PSA Services
Staff in the centre will become part of the DoE (central) bargaining unit. Those on secondment to the successor businesses to PSA will have their pay determined by analogue to arrangements in DoE (central).
Property Holdings (to become Property Adviser to the Civil Estate)
Staff in the PACE agency; union recognition will be on current lines and procedures for negotiations are under discussion.
Security and Facilities Executive
SAFE already has responsibility for negotiating the pay of its industrial staff and will take this on for the other staff in the agency; union recognition will be on current lines and procedures for negotiations are under discussion.
The Buying Agency
Staff in the TBA agency; union recognition will be on current lines and procedures for negotiations are under discussion.
It is planned that the final three bodies listed will have become the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster by 1 April 1996.
In addition, the Health and Safety Executive, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre agency and the Ordnance Survey already have responsibility for their own pay arrangements and have agreed arrangements for negotiating with those unions recognised.

Asbestos

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what monitoring is taking place following the Health and Safety Executive's increased emphasis on the risks of casual exposure to asbestos as outlined in the HSE statement on asbestos 1994. [38052]

The Health and Safety Executive is currently commissioning an independent evaluation of its asbestos awareness campaign. The results should be available towards the middle of 1996.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the number of cases identified where respiratory protective equipment has been used but where the respirable asbestos dust levels exceed the respiratory protective equipment manufacturers claimed level of protection since July 1992; [38055](2) what sanctions are applied to contractors who are caught using respirable protective equipment but where the level of respirable asbestos dust exceeds the respiratory protective equipment manufacturers claimed level of protection; [38056](3) how many contractors have been sanctioned for using respiratory protective equipment where the level of respirable asbestos dust exceeds the respiratory protective equipment manufacturers claimed level of protection since July 1992; [38057](4) how many contractors have been fined for using respiratory protective equipment where the level of respirable asbestos dust exceeds the respiratory protective equipment manufacturers claimed level of protection since July 1992; and what is the average level of the fine. [38058]

If standards of health and safety are not adequate, health and safety inspectors have the statutory power to serve improvement or prohibition notices, or prosecute duty holders. Information is not centrally available on the number of cases or contractors sanctioned involving the use of respiratory protective equipment where the level of respirable asbestos dust exceeds the manufacturers claimed level of protection. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many instances have been identified in each of the last three years for which figures are available of asbestos removal work being carried out by licensed contractors using self-employed operatives who have been required to provide their own respiratory protective equipment; [38059](2) what sanctions have been applied to licensed asbestos removal contractors who have been found using self-employed operatives who have been required to provide their own respiratory protective equipment. [38060]

Licensed asbestos removal contractors cannot require self-employed operatives to provide their own respiratory protective equipment. Where self-employed operatives voluntarily provide their own respiratory protective equipment the licensed contractor, as duty holder under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987, remains responsible for ensuring that the equipment is suitable for the work to be undertaken, taking into account the approved code of practice.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what work is being carried out to monitor the Health and Safety Executive's July 1992 initiative to reduce exposure to asbestos dust during the removal of asbestos insulation; and if he will make a statement. [38065]

(2) what evidence he has of reduced exposure to asbestos dust during the removal of asbestos insulation since July 1992; [38066]

(3) what progress has been made on reduced exposure to asbestos by measures other than the use of respiratory protective equipment since July 1992. [38068]

The Health and Safety Executive does not hold quantitative data on the progress made in reducing exposure to asbestos by measures other than the use of respiratory protective equipment since July 1992.Licensed asbestos removal contractors are required to provide the appropriate enforcing authority with written notification of the proposed work entailing the removal of asbestos insulation or asbestos coating. On the notification form, the licensed asbestos removal contractor is required to specify the dust suppression or dust control technique to be used. Where dust suppression methods—controlled wet stripping—are not to be used, that decision has to be justified to the satisfaction of the enforcing authority which can monitor the action being taken by the contractor in accordance with the July 1992 initiative.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many cases have been identified, in each of the last three years for which figures are available, of operatives directly employed by licensed asbestos removal contractors who are not under medical surveillance; [38050](2) how many cases have been identified, in each of the last three years for which figures are available, of operatives directly employed by licensed asbestos removal contractors who have not been medically examined within the preceding two years. [38051]

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

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many contractors have been (a) sanctioned and (b) fined for asking little attempt to use effective dust suppression or dust control measures and relying on respirators to protect against high levels of respirable dust, since July 1992; and what is the average level of fine. [38054]

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

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been spent on publicity to increase awareness of the risks of casual exposure to asbestos since the publication of the Health and Safety Executive statement on asbestos 1994. [38070]

In February this year HSE launched a major campaign to raise awareness of the risks of casual exposure to asbestos and of the appropriate precautions which should be taken when working with it. A total of £227,700 was spent on national newspaper and trade journal advertising alone. A low-cost telephone order line and the production and distribution of more than 250,000 free leaflets and pocket cards cost a further £244,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what approaches have been made to employers' associations and trade unions to participate in a joint publicity drive to highlight the risks of casual exposure to asbestos as outlined in the HSE statement on asbestos 1994. [38053]

Trade unions and employers' associations have been involved in HSE's asbestos awareness campaign, through the usual channel of the Health and Safety Commission's advisory committees, and in particular the Health and Safety Commission's construction industry advisory committee. In addition, HSE recently sought the help of all local authorities to ensure that workers and contractors involved in building maintenance are aware of the risks of exposure to asbestos dust.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what sanctions are applied to contractors who make little or no attempt to use effective dust suppression or dust control measures and rely on respirators to protect against high levels of respiratory dust. [38069]

If standards of health and safety are not adequate, health and safety inspectors have the statutory power to serve improvement or prohibition notices, or prosecute duty holders. The Health and Safety Executive may revoke a licence if an asbestos removal contractor is convicted of an offence of failing to discharge a duty relating to work with asbestos insulation or asbestos coating to which he is subject by any health and safety legislation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made on reducing the risk of heat stress during the removal of insulation from hot plant and pipework, since the publication of the Health and Safety Executive's guidance note EH 57, "The problems of Asbestos Removal at High Temperatures" in December 1992. [38067]

The Health and Safety Executive has not undertaken a formal assessment of the impact of the advice contained in guidance note EH 57.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many prosecutions have been taken by the Health and Safety Executive to enforce asbestos regulations since the publication of the HSE Statement on Asbestos-1994, and what was the corresponding number of prosecutions taken in the preceding period covering the same time span. [38071]

Dorset County Council SSA (unadjusted for changes in function)
SSA Element1990–911991–921992–931993–941994–951995–96
Education
£ million157.560184.435200.117185.549191.515197.952
Percentage change+17.1+8.5-7.3+3.2+3.4
Percentage adjusted1+17.1+8.5+4.4+3.2+1.1
Per Social Services
£ million43.49553.50657.42059.48168.42777.623
Percentage change+23.0+7.3+3.6+15.0+13.4
Percentage adjusted1+23.0+7.3+3.6-1.4+0.2

The Health and Safety Executive's statement on asbestos was published in September 1994. Details of informations laid by Health and Safety Executive inspectors alleging contravention of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987, the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 or the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations 1992 are given in the table. Statistics from April 1995 have not yet been compiled.

PeriodNumber of monthsNumber of informations
1 August 1993 to 31 August 199413152
1 September 1993 to 31 March 1994731
1 September 1994 to 31 March 19957127
1 Provisional: Statistics for April 1994 to March 1995 not yet verified.

Safety Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many safety consultants are currently in operation in the United Kingdom; [38061](2) what qualifications are required and what BSI standard is to be achieved before a person is recognised as a safety consultant; [38062](3) what type of training, and for what duration, is required before a person is recognised as a safety consultant; [38063](4) if safety consultants operating in British industry are required to register with the Health and Safety Executive. [38064]

The Health and Safety Executive has no information on the numbers of safety consultants. Safety consultants are not required to register with HSE or to have any specific qualifications or undergo any particular type or duration of training. While there are a range of qualifications in health and safety, including National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Occupational Health and Safety Practice, there is no British Standard. HSE has published a free booklet, "Selecting a health and safety consultancy", which helps business to find competent consultants.

Local Government Finance, Dorset

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the total percentage increase in the various categories of standard spending assessments for Dorset compared with inflation since 1990. [38376]

Dorset County Council SSA (unadjusted for changes in function)

SSA Element

1990–91

1991–92

1992–93

1993–94

1994–95

1995–96

Fire

£ million

9.52710.92811.75312.06512.17912.444
Percentage change+14.7+7.6+2.7+0.9+2.2
Percentage adjusted1+14.7+7.6+2.7+0.9+2.2

Police

£ million20.80122.87926.99328.04329.218

2

Percentage change+10.0+18.0+3.9+4.2

2

Percentage adjusted1+10.0+18.0+3.9+4.2

2

Highways maintenance

£ million21.75824.68024.63224.27324.29224.828
Percentage change+13.4-0.2-1.50+2.2
Percentage adjusted1_13.4-0.2+5.5+0.1+2.2

Capital financing

£ million

24.20727.32124.25324.24022.18120.065
Percentage change+12.9-11.2-0.1-8.5-9.5
Percentage adjusted1+12.9-11.2+0.1-8.5

2-6.2

All other services

£ million12.99218.06924.60823.83923.73125.362
Percentage change+39.1+36.2-3.1-0.5+6.9
Percentage adjusted1+39.1+36.2-2.8-0.5+5.4

Total SSA

£ million290.339341.818369.776357.489371.543358.274
Percentage change+17.7+8.2-3.3+3.9-3.6
Percentage adjusted1+17.7+8.2+3.4+1.1+0.9

GDP Deflator

Percentage change

-+4.1+3.0+1.8+3.0+3.0

1For 1993–94 onwards, an adjusted SSA figure has been used to provide an appropriate year on year comparison. Details of the calculation are included in the annual Standard Spending Assessment Handbook.

2In 1995–96, Dorset police authority's SSA is £31.619 million. This includes a police SSA element of £31.109 million, a capital financing element of -£0.273 million and an all other services element of £0.783 million. The comparable figures for 1994–95 and earlier years are included in Dorset county council's SSA.

Regional Planning Guidance, West Midlands

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to review the regional planning guidance for the west midlands, to reduce the level of new house building required in Worcestershire and correspondingly increase it in Birmingham. [38146]

We shall keep our recently issued regional planning guidance for the west midlands under review. In particular, I have asked the local authorities to reconsider the housing figures in the light of the latest national household projections. They will advise me on this next year and we will then consider whether to revise our guidance. However, I cannot promise the hon. Member that the outcome will be a lower figure for Worcestershire and a higher figure for Birmingham.

Local Government Reorganisation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated cost of reorganisation in each of the individual local authority areas affected. [38412]

It is too early to estimate the final cost of reorganisation in each area. The reports of the Local Government Commission give estimates of costs and savings for the main options they considered and for their recommendations. The outcome will depend on how authorities implement reorganisation.

Eu Fur Imports Ban

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when a technical working group of the European Union with Canada and the USA was established to develop humane trapping standards; and if he will make a statement on its activities. [38705](2) what steps he is taking to ensure that EC Regulation 3254/91 to Ban the Import of Fur from Certain Species will be implemented at the end of the year and that no further delays in its implementation occur; and if he will make a statement. [38706]

I understand that the working group was established in August this year. The United Kingdom is not represented on it and we have not so far received any written report from it. We would expect any advice from the working group to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.The Government strongly support the objectives of EC Regulation 3254/91 which was adopted by the Council of Ministers in November 1991. The ban will come into force on 1 January 1996. We are currently awaiting formal receipt of the Commission's detailed proposals for implementing the ban on the import of certain furs from countries which still use leghold traps. The proposals are expected to include a list of countries which have already banned the use of leghold traps and can therefore continue to trade in fur products from the 13 species listed in the regulation.

Sites Of Special Scientific Interest

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he will publish revised financial guidelines for the management agreements with owners and occupiers of sites of special scientific interest; [39242](2) when he will publish recommendations, advice and information to aid owners and occupiers of sites of special scientific interest in accordance with section 33 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. [39243]

Work on revising these documents is continuing. They will be the subject of consultation with interested parties before being finalised and issued.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will review permitted development rights for temporary activities within or adjacent to sites of special scientific interest. [38525]

Following a review in 1992, permitted development rights for certain recreational uses of sites of special scientific interest were withdrawn. The Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 remove permitted development rights which would adversely affect the integrity of a Natura 2000 site which is also a site of special scientific interest. We have no plans for a further review.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take to prevent Mickletownings site of special scientific interest from receiving sewage-created nutrient input. [38529]

In 1991, following a series of accidental sewage overflows during storm conditions in the 1980s, English Nature initiated a 10-year monitoring programme agreed with British Coal Opencast and Leeds city council to monitor the physical and chemical nature of the pond waters within the site of special scientific interest. Evidence points to an improvement in water quality and no damage to the special interest.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has made and received on the impact of sea level rises on sites of special scientific interest in the Humber estuary. [38530]

English Nature is working with the National Rivers Authority to address the concerns expressed and develop a comprehensive framework for the future management of the flood defences of the Humber.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to protect Skipwith Common site of special scientific interest from dredging and drainage operations. [38531]

Routine maintenance, including dredging and drainage, does not adversely affect the scientific interest of this site.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to protect Bingley South Bog site of special scientific interest from damage arising from road construction. [38532]

Appropriate mitigation measures will be taken to protect the scientific interest of this site.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he will take to protect (a) Broadhead Clough, (b) Dark Peak and (c) Haworth Moor site of special scientific interest from acid deposition. [38533]

The southern Pennines, in which the three sites lie, has had a long legacy of air pollution from the effects of the industrial revolution in neighbouring Lancashire and Manchester. The special interest of the sites of special scientific interest is presently maintained but long-term sustainability can only be ensured through the UK's commitment to reducing sulphur emissions. UK emissions of sulphur dioxide have fallen by 45 per cent. since 1970. The Government are committed to making further cuts under the EC Large Combustion Plants Directive, which will substantially reduce the proportion of the UK surface area suffering from acid damage by the end of the century.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to protect the Leeds-Liverpool canal site of special scientific interest from development for a boat and caravan storage facility. [38534]

Appropriate mitigation measures have been taken to protect the nature conservation interests of this site.

European Biodiversity Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the pan-European biological diversity strategy in relation to no climbing areas or seasons; and what discussions he has held with the British Mountaineering Council on this matter. [38029]

The strategy is on the agenda of the European Environment Ministers conference in Sofia, which the Secretary of State is currently attending.The strategy is a useful framework for international action but further work is needed on it, particularly consultation with relevant interests, including the British Mountaineering Council.

Mines Rescue Service

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the future size, location and funding of the mines rescue service. [38262]

The Government have been concerned to ensure that a mines rescue service continues to be available to those mines who may have need of it. To this end I will be making regulations in the near future requiring the owners of certain types of mines to participate in a mines rescue scheme approved by the Secretary of State and which would ensure that appropriate and effective rescue services continue to be available. Once these regulations are made I will consult the Health and Safety Commission and others whom I consider to be appropriate, on proposals for approval of such a mines rescue scheme. A scheme has already been submitted for approval which proposes to maintain the current level of provision of six central rescue stations in strategic locations and a minimum of 80 full-time employees. The mines rescue service is currently operated by British Coal on a contract basis, and funded by the mine owners. Within the framework of the relevant statutory requirements, including the regulations and the scheme when these come into force, the future organisation of mines rescue service will be a matter for the mine owners.

Local Government Residuary Body

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will issue the management statement to the chairman of the Local Government Residuary Body (England). [39322]

I have today issued the management statement to the chairman of the Local Government Residuary Body (England). I am placing a copy in the Library.

Employee Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total number of cases of all forms of fraud committed by employees of his (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies for each year from 1991–92 to 1994–95; and for each of these years, what was the total monetary sum (1) misappropriated in such frauds and (2) subsequently recovered. [39130]

The information requested is in the table:

Number of fraudsTotal misappropriated £Total recovered £
1991–92
Department784,13957,215
Agencies000
NDPBs619,6902,442
1992–93
Department79,0247,635
Agencies000
NDPBs93,0561,028
1993–94
Department53,2413,241
Agencies11,0250
NDPBs650,23050,000
1994–95
Department48484
Agencies000
NDPBs23970

Environment Council

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Environment Council on 6 October. [39829]

I represented the United Kingdom at the Environment Council in Luxembourg held on 6 October.Common positions were reached on a decision on the exchange of information on air quality and on a directive temporarily deferring the emission standards for certain diesel engines, in line with technical progress. On the latter I secured the deletion of text relating to fiscal incentives. Political agreement was secured on the second phase of the financial instrument for the environment—LIFE—which agreed a budget of 450 mecu over four years, 1996–1999, to be reviewed in 1997. Political agreement was also achieved on an amendment to the Waste Shipments Regulation. In both cases a common position is expected in December.There was a policy debate about the proposed amendment to Directive 85/337 on Environmental Impact Assessment. I secured some helpful amendments to the proposals and further detailed discussions will now continue in the experts working group. The Presidency is aiming for a common position in December.Council conclusions were agreed on a number of international conferences taking place in the coming months. These include the third pan-European conference, "Environment for Europe", the seventh conference of the parties to the Montreal protocol, the second conference of the parties to the biodiversity convention and the Euro-Mediterranean conference. Agreement was also reached on Council conclusions deferring the review of the functions of the European Environment Agency for two years.

Direct Labour Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further action he proposes to take against those local authorities whose direct labour and direct service organisations failed to meet their statutory financial objectives in 1993–94. [39828]

On 25 July this year, 18 statutory notices were served on 18 local authorities concerning the failure of their direct labour and service organisations to meet the required financial objectives in 1993–94. A further five notices were served on the London borough of Islington for failure to submit unqualified accounts.My right hon. Friend has now considered the responses to those notices and has today given six directions to Corby borough council on vehicle maintenance, to Devon county council on grounds maintenance, to the London borough of Islington on building maintenance, grounds maintenance, and highways and sewers work, and to Ryedale district council on sports and leisure management.The directions take three forms:

preventing the authority from carrying out the work if it fails to meet the financial objective in 1995–96:—Corby, vehicle maintenance.
requiring the authority to retender the work if they fail to meet the financial objective in 1995–96, and to seek the Secretary of State's prior consent where the work has to be retendered and where the authority subsequently wishes to award the work in-house:—Devon, grounds maintenance, and Ryedale, sports and leisure management.
preventing the authority from carrying out the work if they fail to submit unqualified accounts for work carried out in 1995–96:—the London borough of Islington, building maintenance, grounds maintenance and highways and sewers.
The Secretary of State has also decided to take no further statutory action in respect of financial failure in 1993–94 by:
Bedford, refuse collection; Colchester, sport and leisure management; Coventry, grounds maintenance; Dacorum, vehicle maintenance; Gedling, grounds maintenance; High Peak, grounds maintenance; Hove, sports and leisure management; the London borough of Islington, refuse collection and sports and leisure management; Mansfield, refuse collection; New Forest, building cleaning; North Cornwall, building maintenance; Sedgefield, refuse collection; South Herefordshire, building maintenance; Stoke-on-Trent, other catering; Torbay, grounds maintenance; and Wakefield, schools and welfare catering.

A decision on Lincolnshire county council's failure to meet the financial objective for highways and sewers work has been deferred and will be announced at a later date.

To date, 120 statutory notices have been served by the Department on local authorities for losses incurred by their DLOs/DSOs in 1993–94. A further five statutory notices have been served on the London borough of Islington following its failure to submit unqualified accounts. Today's decisions follow those announced on 6 June, 11 July and 22 August 1995.

Dounreay Reactor Site

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what have been the results to date of the survey carried out of the whole of the Dounreay reactor site in respect of radioactive hotspots, and if he will make a statement. [38302]

I have been asked to reply.The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Agency has been carrying out an extensive survey of contamination on the Dounreay site and any areas of significant contamination on the Dounreay site have either been removed or have been barriered off to restrict access. A strategy for dealing with those areas where contamination has not yet been removed is being prepared for submission to the Health and Safety's Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate, the Scottish Office and Her Majesty's industrial pollution inspectorate. The survey is now well advanced and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.Details of the UKAEA's findings have been reported to the relevant regulatory and advisory bodies and have been the subject of UKAEA "facts faxes" which have been issued to the site work-force, the hon-Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) members of the Dounreay local liaison committee, the Highland regional council and the local media. I am now arranging for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

Treasury

Personal Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the progress made on the implementation of the SIB/PIA review of pension transfer opt-outs and non-joiners. [38263]

The Government fully support the efforts of the financial services regulators to arrange for reviews to identify cases in which investors face financial loss as a result of bad investment advice not given in compliance with regulatory rules, and to ensure that redress is made where it is due. Progress in implementing the review has been delayed by a judicial review of the Securities and Investment Board's guidance earlier this year. However the Personal Investment Authority has now issued guidance, and many firms now have reviews in hand.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of purchasers of personal pensions contracted according to the SIB/PIA guidelines by (a) tied agents, (b) independent financial advisers and (c) all vendors of personal pensions. [38264]

I regret that this information is not currently available. However, the Securities and Investments Board plans to collect data to monitor the progress of the review and I understand that it should be available early next year.

Fish Imports

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what investigations have been made by (a) his Department and (b) the EEC Commission of the origin of fish products and prawns or shrimps imported into this country on EURI certificates from (i) Iceland, (ii) Norway and (iii) the Faroe Islands; how many staff were involved and for what period of time; and what information about consignments was made available to them. [37954]

No investigations have been made in Iceland, Norway or the Faroe Islands by Customs an Excise. The EC Commission has sent mission teams to all three countries. No information is available as to the precise duration of the inquiries or the number of staff involved.A team visited Iceland on several occasions from July 1992 to early 1993, in connection with exports of prawns. They were able to examine processing plant records, which identified the source of raw materials through to consignments of finished product. In 1995 another team visited Iceland to look at cod. The result of their inquiries are still being evaluated.A team visited Norway to make inquiries about cod. These inquiries were subsequently pursued by the Norwegian customs authorities who reported their conclusions to the EC Commission in January and March 1995.The mission to the Faroe Islands took place in 1991. Processing plant and export consignment records were examined.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many retrospective claims against how many firms, for what total sums of money and for what period are being made by his Department against importers of prawns or shrimps in respect of (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands and at whose behest. [37946]

The information requested is as follows:

Number of claimsNumber of firmsTotal (£)Period
a-i) Iceland (mission)1512435,000October 1990 to August 1992
a-ii) Iceland (disclosure)11923,0001993
c) Faroes (mission)13131,900,000May 1989 to October 1991
a-i) and c) were the result of EC missions, while a-ii) was a disclosure by Icelandic customs in respect of one of their exporters.No claims have been made against importers in respect of Norway.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has made to the EEC Commission for compensation for British importers of prawns or shrimps innocently imported from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands on EUR1 certificates now considered by the European Commission to be invalid, what scale of compensation has been proposed; when it will be payable; and what response has been forthcoming from the Commission. [37955]

No such proposals have been made because duty recovery has been suspended pending completion of the legal process. Therefore, compensation is not appropriate in the circumstances. The Commission and member states are being urged to produce a lasting solution which properly balances safeguarding the Community budget and the interests of European business. Such a solution will need to address the future as well as the past.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice was and is now given by his Department to importers of fish products from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands coming in duty free under EUR1 certificates about their liability if the certificates issued in the country of origin prove to be invalid, about how they can safeguard themselves against such retrospective charges and about how they can test the validity of EUR1 certificates. [37948]

Advice is set out in Customs notice No. 826. This recognises the difficulties that importers may experience in trying to establish whether a certificate is valid or whether goods shown on it are eligible for preferential tariff treatment. For very many years the notice has warned of the potential further duty liability and since July 1990 has advised importers to consider the advantages of including a clause in contracts allowing them to recover any duty charge from the supplier. In addition, Customs have regularly contributed articles for trade journals and participated in trade seminars and the consequences of invalid documentation has been covered on each occasion.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in levying retrospective duty on prawns or shrimps imported from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands with valid EUR1 certificates, he makes any allowance for the fact that a proportion of those prawn/shrimps will in fact have been caught in that country; what proportion he estimates this to be; and whether this is estimated as being constant or can be specifically assessed for each consignment. [37952]

The mission to Iceland found that most processing plants kept sophisticated records which identified the source of raw materials through to consignments of finished product. Duty demands were issued only for consignments where there was a clear audit trail from the non-originating prawns through to deliveries to specific companies in the EC. Where part of a consignment qualified, typical because it comprised prawns of different sizes and origin, then the duty demand was restricted to the non-originating element.No duty demands have been issued for prawns or shrimps imported from Norway.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish the evidence provided to him by the European Commission that prawns or shrimps imported from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands in fact originated elsewhere; and indicate what proportion of the imports from the Faroe Islands this applied to. [37947]

EC mission team reports, which contain sensitive commercial information, are protected by EC agreements which restrict their issue or publication.The proportion of imports from the Faroe Islands established as non-originating was 66 per cent. for 1989, 81 per cent. for 1990 and 53 per cent. for 1991.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has made to his customs counterpart in (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands about their acceptance of EUR1 certificates for the export of fish products to Britain which subsequently proved to have originated elsewhere than in Iceland; what compensation he has requested from them for British importers trusting these certificates; and what procedures his Department has put in place to check the validity of EUR1 certificates for Iceland. [37951]

No such representations have been made to third country customs authorities.The UK has, however, made strong representations concerning these difficulties at recent EC meetings and gained considerable support from other member states. A number of different proposals have been put forward to alleviate the burdens on importers and these now have to be considered carefully. It will be for the European Commission to write to third country authorities if this is considered appropriate.In accordance with normal practice, EUR1 certificates are from time to time returned to exporting countries for verification by their customs authorities.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the outcome of all court cases pursued by his Department against importers of prawns or shrimps from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands on the basis of EUR1 certificates now considered by him to be invalid; what costs have been awarded and to whom; how much retrospective duty has actually been paid; and by how many firms. [37956]

Two of the companies who received duty demands in respect of imports from the Faroe Islands submitted an application for a judicial review on the grounds that the demands were incorrect in law. The High Court referred a number of questions to the European Court of Justice and awarded costs against Customs. No reason was given for the award and Customs are still in correspondence on the matter. The judgment of the European Court of Justice is expected by early December.There have been no other relevant court cases, although several importers have appealed to the VAT and duties tribunal. These cases are being stood over by the tribunal pending the European Court of Justice judgment. Payment of duty will not be pursued until the legal process is completed.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for duty have been made in each year since 1980 for duty not paid on fish products imported from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands on EUR1 certificates which subsequently proved to be invalid. [37949]

The information requested is as follows:

1992199319941995
Iceland129
Norway—>2
Faroe Islands13
Figures are not available for imports of fish products prior to 1992.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what burden of proof about the origin of fish products imported on EUR1 certificates falls on (a) his Department (b) the British importer, (c) the customs of the originating country and (d) the exporter issuing the EUR1 certificate where such certificates are deemed by his Department to be invalid; on what basis such retrospective claims are made by his Department; and what time limitations apply. [37953]

The responsibilities of the various parties are set out in the preferential trade agreements between the European Community and Iceland, Norway and the Faroe islands. The prime responsibility for determining whether particular goods qualify for preferential status lies with the exporter. Where it is not possible to determine the origin of goods, or where they are non-originating—that is, they do not come originally from the exporter's country—an EUR1 certificate is inappropriate.The responsibility for accounting for any import duties due falls on the importer in the country of destination.The customs authorities in the country of importation are responsible for collecting any duties due, including duties charged retrospectively where EUR1s are found to be invalid.The customs authorities in the country of export are responsible for issuing EUR1s verifying any certificates returned by foreign import authorities and considering sanctions against exporters who abuse the system.

Customs and Excise have issued retrospective duty demands only where either the customs authorities for the exporter have advised that certificates were invalid or where an EC mission has provided firm evidence that goods did not meet the rules of origin.

The time limitation for retrospective duty demands is three years from importation.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what instructions he has had from the European Commission about retrospective duty on prawns or shrimps imported from (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) the Faroe Islands on EUR1 certificates; how much he has been required to recover; to whom this is payable; what information he has about the levy of such duties in each fish importing member of the EU; and what representations he has made to the Commission about such changes. [37950]

No specific instructions have been received from the European Commission about retrospective duty on prawns or shrimps. However, where checks on EUR1s show that the goods were not entitled to relief, duty at the full rate becomes payable under the terms of the preferential trade agreement with the country concerned, which in the community are implemented in EC law. Customs duty is collected by member states and remitted to the Community as own resources.In the case of retrospective duty demand on prawns from Iceland, Customs and Excise are aware that duty recovery action has also been taken by Denmark and Germany, the only other countries with a major interest.Customs have made strong representations at recent EC meetings about the problems associated with duty recovery in respect of invalid documentation, including EUR1s, and have gained considerable support from other member states. Over the next few weeks, Customs will continue to press for urgent attention to be given to this issue with a view to reaching consensus among member states on the best solution.

Value Added Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount collected in value added tax (a) in 1979, (b) in 1985 and (c) in the latest year for which figures are available. [37910]

Net receipts of value added tax for financial years 1979–80, 1985–86 and 1994–95 are as follows:

£million
Net receipts
1979–801985–861994–95
8,189.319.331.441,817.3

Independent Television (Taxation)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount of taxation paid by the ITV companies to the Exchequer (a) in 1985, (b) 1990 and (c) in the latest year for which figures are available. [37966]

Companies licensed by the Independent Television Commission to provide Channel 3 services had an estimated corporation tax liability in 1993 of approximately £50 million. Figures for 1985 and 1990 are only available at disproportionate cost.

Kenya (Imf Facility)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy towards the enhanced structural adjustment facility for Kenya at the International Monetary Fund; and if he will make a statement. [37673]

Discussions between the IMF and the Kenyan Government continue. We hope that there will be sufficient progress in Kenya so as to allow early agreement on an enhanced structural adjustment facility.

Tobacco Smuggling

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to reduce tobacco smuggling into the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [38040]

Customs and Excise will continue to take vigorous action against those who smuggle tobacco goods. Working closely with the trade and developing intelligence to identify offenders remains the best method of achieving successful detections.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what numbers of Customs and Excise officers have been involved in pursuing tobacco smuggling into the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. [38041]

The duties of Customs and Excise officers cover a wide range of revenue and prevention functions. Officers are not normally assigned to deal with a single commodity.The information requested is not available.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the loss of revenue in each of the last five years caused by the smuggling into the United Kingdom of (a) hand-rolling tobacco, (b) cigarettes, (c) pipe tobacco and (d) cigars. [38082]

It is particularly difficult to make meaningful estimates of smuggled tobacco goods. What can be relied upon however is the number of detections made by Customs and Excise. In the period from 1 January 1993 to 31 August 1995 there were 4,124 detections of smuggled tobacco goods representing a revenue value of some £7.05 million.The information requested for the last five years is not available. However following recent discussions with the trade, Customs are actively considering methods of deriving credible estimates of smuggling of tobacco goods.

Government Debt

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of general Government gross debt for each country within the EU; and what were the figures for 1991, 1987 and 1983. [38335]

The Government do not produce estimates for general Government gross debt for countries in the EU other than the UK. The most recent figures for the UK are available in the Summer Economic Forecast. Historical data are available in the Financial Statement and Budget Report. Forecasts and historical figures for the rest of the EU can be found in the "OECD Outlook" of June 1995. All three publications are available in the House of Commons Library.

Tourism

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of British competitiveness of the level of VAT on tourism products; and what conclusions he has reached. [38454]

There is no compelling evidence that the fiscal and regulatory environment in the United Kingdom places tourism at a disadvantage. We have a lower standard rate than most EU member states and our zero rate is applied to a wide range of consumer expenditure.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in the consultations between Customs and Excise and the travel industry about the effects of the Value Added Tax (Tour Operators) (Amendment) Order 1995; and if he will make a statement. [39727]

There have been extensive and very productive talks over the summer between Customs, the travel industry and its representatives. These talks have produced a package of options to be publicised today which should allow most tour operators to organise their business so as to minimise any potential for distortion of competition while still fully respecting the provisions of the order. Unlike earlier proposals put forward by some in the industry, this package will not increase taxation for four operators' products. The major trade associations have confirmed that the options adequately address the industry's immediate concerns. Customs' review of the tour operators' margin scheme will now proceed to its second phase which will involve an examination of longer-term issues, including possible simplification of the scheme.

Social Security (Liaison)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how often he liaises with the Secretary of State for Social Security. [38815]

Share Option Schemes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment the Inland Revenue has made of the percentage of option holders who cash in their options or shares as soon as possible; and if he will publish the assumptions made and the basis of calculation. [37963]

Two independent surveys indicate that up to 90 per cent. of option holders sell all or most of their shares on exercise.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has from internal or external sources of the average income of all employees granted share options under approved discretionary share options schemes in each of the last three years. [37902]

A provisional estimate of the average relevant emoluments of those granted share options under approved discretionary share option schemes in 1994–95 is approximately £45,000. Estimates for the earlier years are not readily available.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish the results of all research conducted by the Treasury or Inland Revenue since 1984 on the use of share option schemes by small and medium-sized enterprises; [37960](2) if he will publish the results of all research conducted by the Treasury or Inland Revenue since 1984 on the use of share option schemes for the benefit of low and middle income employees; [37961](3) if he will publish the results of all research carried on by the Treasury or the Inland Revenue since 1984 on the tax revenue gains resulting from increased payment of corporation tax and other taxes in companies whose shares increased in value and which operated successful approved discretionary share option schemes; and if he will publish the research. [37962]

A report by KPMG Management Consulting on employee share schemes, prepared for the Inland Revenue, Treasury and Department of Employment, was published by the Inland Revenue in 1991. This report addressed a wide range of issues, including an analysis of employee share schemes by company size. It did not consider the income of employees or any possible impact on corporation tax receipts. In addition regular monitoring is published in "Inland Revenue Statistics".

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much corporation tax was paid in the last three tax years; and what proportion of the total corporation tax paid was by companies operating approved discretionary share option schemes. [37882]

The figures for corporation tax receipts are as follows:

YearCorporation tax £ million
1992–9315,783
1993–9414,887
1994–9519,390
Estimates of the proportion of total corporation tax paid by companies operating approved discretionary share option schemes are not available.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies started (a) save-as-you-earn share option schemes and (b) profit sharing schemes in each of the last three tax years and the current year to date. [37901]

Available information is given in the table.

YearProfit-sharing schemesSavings-related share option schemes
1992–936195
1993–9435104
1994–9547144
1995–9611777
1 Year to date.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment the Inland Revenue has made of the value of revenue savings to be made by the proposed changes in taxation of share options; and if he will publish the assumptions made and the basis of the calculation. [37964]

There will be no effect on tax receipts for the next three financial years and the full-year level will not be reached until approximately 2002–03 as a result of transitional arrangements for options granted before 17 July 1995. A provisional estimate of the full-year revenue yield is about £80 million each year based on current levels of exercise, size of gains and the 1995–96 income tax and capital gains tax systems.An outline of the methodology and underlying assumptions for the estimated cost of tax relief for approved discretionary share option schemes was published in chapter 6 of "Inland Revenue Statistics 1991." It has been assumed that the bulk of schemes will continue after the tax relief is withdrawn, and that the gains made on the exercise of options will generate income tax.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what percentage of companies which floated on the Stock Exchange during the last year had approved discretionary share option schemes in operation; [37879](2) how many United Kingdom subsidiaries of United States parent companies operate approved discretionary share option schemes involving options being granted over shares in the United States parent companies; [37900](3) how many of the 100 largest corporation tax paying United Kingdom—registered companies in the last year operated share option schemes; [37885](4) what assessment he has made of the relationship between changes in the value of share options normally and over the longer term and the profitability of companies; [37972](5) how many of the companies which have set up approved discretionary share options schemes since 1984

(a) had turnover below £50 million, (b) has pre-tax profits below £10 million and (c) did not have occupational pension schemes in the year the option schemes were approved by the Inland Revenue. [37903]

This information in the form requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, discretionary share option schemes have been monitored since the scheme began in 1984 and statistics published each year in "Inland Revenue Statistics", copies of which are in the Library.

Loans To Business

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of loans to business are for (a) under three years, (b) under four years, (c) under five years and (d) over 10 years. [38829]

This information is not collected by the Government. Figures on major British banking groups' advances to non-personal customers resident in the UK, analysed by residual maturity, are set out in table 1.10 of the British Bankers Association "Annual Abstract of Banking Statistics" which is in the Library.

Import Duty On Wine

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds Customs and Excise are now expressing the import duty on wines in terms of ecu per hectolitre, details of which have been sent to the Minister in charge of Customs and Excise; and on what legal basis this description of duty is used. [37629]

[holding answer 19 October 1995]: The legal basis for customs duties on goods imported into the European Union is an EC agreement on a common tariff which is then incorporated into the UK tariff. To ensure equity, duties are expressed in the same units in all language versions of the common tariff. In the case of wine imports, one element of the duty is defined in monetary terms. In order that the same rate of duty is levied throughout the community, this is expressed in ecu, but is of course converted to national currency for payment.

National Heritage

Church Repair Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if she will list those churches which (a) have received, (b) are currently receiving and (c) have been granted but have not yet received, grant aid from English Heritage towards repairs necessitated by atmospheric pollution together with the amounts in each case. [38635]

English Heritage does not categorise its grants according to the causes which have necessitated structural repairs. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a breakdown of English Heritage's grant expenditure for work resulting from atmospheric pollution to churches. During 1994–95, English Heritage offered £14 million in grants for repairs to historic churches.

Imperial War Museum

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans she has to construct or assist with the construction of an imperial war museum for the north of England; and if she will make a statement. [39037]

It is for the trustees of the imperial war museum to decide on whether there should be a branch of the museum in the north of England.

Reviewing Committee On The Export Of Works Of Art

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when the report of the reviewing committee on the export of works of art 1994–95 will be published. [39780]

The reviewing committee's annual report 1994–95 has been published today, and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Film Industry (Financial Support)

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if she will publish details of the total financial support for the film industry during each of the last three years for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [38134]

My Department's total expenditure on film over the past three years is as follows:

  • 1993–94: £24.34 million (out-turn)
  • 1994–95: £26.16 million (out-turn)
  • 1995–96: £26.07 million (planned expenditure)
Funds are provided to two non-departmental public bodies, the British Film Institute and the National Film and Television School; three private-sector companies: British Screen Finance, the European Co-production Fund and the British Film Commission, and a number of European initiatives.

Libraries (Internet Connections)

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many libraries and what percentage of the total are currently linked to the Internet; what is the estimated cost of linking those libraries not hitherto connected; and if she will make a statement. [38585]

We do not have precise information about the total number of public libraries with Internet connections, but we believe that a minimum of 35 out of 167 library authorities—over 20 per cent.—have connections to the Internet or are about to become connected. The cost of connection depends very much on how a library wishes to use the Internet but a basic package could cost from about £2,000, including hardware.

Millennium Commission Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proposals she has to reinforce compliance with the principle for Millennium Commission funding that it shall not replace, but be additional to already available sources of Government funding, while maintaining the principle of matching Millennium Commissions funding only with private funding. [38415]

[holding answer 20 October 1995]: National Lottery funding is additional to existing provision. Millennium Commission projects can attract partnership funding from any eligible source, including public and private funds.

Employee Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what was the total number of cases of all forms of fraud committed by employees of her (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies, for each year from 1991–92 to 1994–95; and for each of these years, what was the total monetary sum (i) misappropriated in such frauds and (ii) subsequently recovered. [39133]

The information requested is as follows:

1992–931993–941994–95
Total number of cases of fraud committed by employees of
(a) DNHNil1Nil
Total monetary sum
(i) misappropriated£31.70
(ii) recoveredNil
(b) its agenciesNilNilNil
(c) its NDPBs669
Total monetary sum
(i) misappropriated£202,422£10,913£80,759
(ii) recovered£138,637£6,155£76,270
The figures for the year 1991–92, prior to the establishment of my department in April 1992, are not available.

Pay Delegation Plan

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if she will provide in respect of her plan for pay delegation submitted to the Treasury (a) a description of the staff in each bargaining unit covered by the plan, distinguishing staff in HQ functions, agencies and agency candidates and in other identifiable business units and (b) proposals for trade union recognition in each bargaining unit and the negotiating machinery to be put in place in each bargaining unit. [38272]

The pay delegation plan that my Department submitted to the Treasury covered staff in the Department of National Heritage only. The Royal Parks Agency and the Historic Royal Palaces Agency are preparing separate delegation plans in consultation with my Department. The information requested for each bargaining unit is:

Department of National Heritage

The pay delegation plan covers all staff in my Department at grade 6 and below. This is currently 334 staff in grades as follows:

Staff

Grade 68
Grade 748
SEO and equivalent24
HEO and equivalent71
EO and equivalent61
AO and equivalent59

Staff

AA and equivalent24
Secretarial group26
Support grades13

My Department is recognising all relevant unions for pay bargaining purposes and is currently in discussion with the trade unions about a procedural agreement which will enable negotiations to take place about changes to terms and conditions and pay progression.

Royal Parks Agency

The Royal Parks Agency already has delegated pay authority for the royal parks constabulary and negotiates this with the National Union of Civil and Public Servants. My Department is in discussion with the RPA about its delegation plan for all remaining staff, apart from the chief executive—currently 98 staff in the following grades:

Staff

Grade 61
Grade 73
SEO4
SPTO2
HEO9
HPTO1
EO15
AO27
AA1
Typist2
Park Manager4
Assistant Park Manager7
Park Supervisor13
Groom6
Cartographer1
Wildlife Officer1
Assistant Wildlife Officer1

It has not yet finalised its negotiating arrangements with its trade unions for these staff.

Historic Royal Palaces Agency

The Historic Royal Palaces Agency already has delegated pay authority for its industrial staff. The agency is in discussion with my Department about a pay delegation plan covering all other staff in the agency, except the chief executive and any other staff who may form part of the new senior civil service. These staff number 394 staff in the following grades, excluding the chief executive.

Staff

Grade 56
Grade 61
Grade 715
SEO and equivalent18
HEO and equivalent26
EO and equivalent47
AO and equivalent141
AA and equivalent140
Industrial staff55

The agency has held preliminary discussions with all the unions currently represented, but has not yet reached agreement on formal negotiating arrangements.

Home Department

Child Support Agency (Inquests)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many suicide cases evidence relating to the activities of the Child Support Agency has been presented at a coroner's inquest since April 1993. [37593]

Information about the evidence submitted at individual inquests is not held centrally.

Mobile Phone Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out the figures for the incidents for (a) each category of mobile phone cloning reported and/or investigated and (b) each category of mobile phone theft reported and/or investigated by each police force in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in each of the last two years for which figures are available and the totals for the last five years. [38344]

The information is not collected centrally. However, I understood that the mobile telecommunications industry has provided some estimates on mobile phone fraud as part of its contribution to the work of the industry and Government study group on mobile phone fraud. I understand that a copy of the briefing paper containing these estimates is in the Library.

Burglaries (Amersham And Slough)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has about the incidence of burglary in the Amersham and Slough police areas in the latest quarter for which figures are available and for the corresponding quarter a year earlier. [38438]

The information is not available centrally although figures for the 12 months to June 1995 for Thames Valley as a whole are published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 19/95, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Fine Defaulting (Young Offenders)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by individual centres the numbers of young people who have been committed to young offenders' centres for defaulting on fines in each of the last six years. [39277]

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Mark Fisher, dated 24 October 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking, if he will list by individual centres the numbers of young people who have been committed to young offenders' centres for defaulting on fines in each of the last six years.

The information requested is in the attached table and is for young people aged under 21 for the years 1990 to 1994. Data for 1989 is not available.

Receptions of young people into young offender institutions.

Establishment

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

Closed YOIS (male)

Brinsford9751
Deerbolt1
Dover11
Feltham8426185237218
Glen Parva18437214323321
Guys Marsh
Hollesley Bay11
Huntercombe11
Lancaster Farms1966
Moorland52413
Northallerton21
Wetherby133181
Total closed YOIS (male)403251423712657

Open YOIS (male)

Guys Marsh2
Hatfield11
Thorn Cross2112
Usk632
Total open YOIS (male)212133

Short sentence YOIS (male)

Eastwood Park626176
Hollesley Bay9610761
Lowdham Grange94
Werrington36
Wetherby29609703
Total short sentence YOIS (male)143752940

Juvenile YOIS (male)

Feltham5135
Lancaster farms1
Werrington5
Total Juvenile YOIS (male)56351
Total all YOIS (male)5461,0051,420768691

Closed YOIS (female)

New Hall236122214
Styal
Total closed YOIS (female)236122214

Open YOIS (female)

Drake Hall121221
Total open YOIS (female)121221
Total all female YOIS (female)246143435
Total all YOIS5701,0111,434802726

Police Funding (Merseyside)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will now announce the date of his proposed visit to Liverpool and Mersyside to discuss funding of the police authority; and if he will make a statement; [38832](2) if he will list the hon. Members and organisations who have asked him to visit Merseyside to discuss police funding and the recent disturbances on Liverpool streets; and if he will make a statement; [38833](3) what representations he has received from Merseyside police authority and hon. Members concerning police funding; and if he will make a statement. [38834]

I have received invitations from the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) and the chairman of the Merseyside police authority to visit Merseyside. I would be happy to visit the area when a suitable opportunity arises and when it would be practical to do so.I have received a number of representations from right hon. and hon. Members, local councils, and members of the public about the funding of Merseyside police. The police funding formula has been subject to some further developmental work this year. I cannot say at present how this will affect the allocation of funding to Merseyside for 1996–97. I have, however, taken note of the views of the police authority.

Special Constables

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to provide funding to police forces to assist the recruitment of special constables and improvements to their conditions and training. [39830]

We have established a new challenge fund for special constables. It includes £4 million of Government grant in 1995–96. Police forces in England and Wales are being invited to bid for money to help to resource an increase in the size of their local special constabularies and to help bring the training and equipment of special constables to a more consistent standard.We have asked forces to look for other sources of support, such as local sponsorship, to boost the fund. Sponsors are also invited to contribute on a national basis.The special constabulary makes a valuable contribution to the policing of this country by supplementing the efforts of the regular force. Specials provide an important and visible link between the police and local communities. I hope that the fund will not only increase numbers towards the Government target of 30,000 but improve the quality of the assistance special constable can give to regular police officers.We have issued guidance to all forces in England and Wales about bidding for grants from the fund. I am placing a copy of it in the Library.

Executive Agencies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the split between operations and policy in each agency which reports to him. [38853]

There are four executive agencies within the Home Office: the Prison Service, the United Kingdom Passport Agency, the Forensic Science Service and the Fire Service College. In all cases, responsibility for day-to-day management is delegated to the chief executive, and responsibility for policy rests with me. This division is reflected in the framework document of each of these agencies, copies of which are in the Library.

Police Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations in each county in England have (a) closed permanently and (b) restricted their opening times in each year since 1987. [38568]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations in each English county are in premises shared with (a) the fire brigade, (b) the local authority and (c) other organisations. [38569]

Closed Circuit Television

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Prime Minister's oral answer of 17 October, Official Report, column 142, when he expects to announce where the 10,000 CCTV cameras will be; what will be the rules of the competition for them; and if he will make it his policy that cameras will be allocated regardless of party political affiliations. [38720]

I am currently considering the detailed funding arrangements for the support of further closed circuit television schemes. A challenge competition will be run and bidding guidance explaining the rules for the competition is being drawn up. Copies will be distributed shortly. The bids will be judged against the criteria set out in that guidance.

Prison Cell Sharing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners currently share two to a cell designed for (i) one and (ii) two; [38292](2) how many

(a) female and (b) male prisoners currently share a cell with three or more other inmates; and if he will make a statement; [38290]

(3) how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners currently share three to a cell designed for (i) one, (ii) two and (iii) three. [38291]

Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 24 October 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about cell sharing in the Prison Service.

The only information recorded centrally is about the number of prisoners sharing two and three to a cell designed for one. At the end of September 1995 there were no prisoners sharing three to a cell designed for one. On that date there were 8,440 male prisoners and 56 female prisoners sharing two to a cell designed for one.

Child Prostitution

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to hold centrally information in respect of the number of cases of child prostitution that are reported in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [38298]

Statistics on cautions and convictions for soliciting offences committed by children are already held centrally. Details are contained in the table.

Convictions and cautions for soliciting offences for children under the age of sixteen years
OffenceLegislationYearNumber convicted/ cautioned
Common prostituteStreet Offences Act1992145
loitering or soliciting for1959 section 11993183
the purposes of prostitution(Female only offence)11994194
Soliciting by a manSexual offences Act19926
(Male only offence)1956 section 3219934
119944
1 Provisional.

Police Discipline (Blackburn)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what disciplinary proceedings were taken against a police officer of the Lancashire police force in respect of the loss and recovery in Blackburn town centre in June 1994 of police revolvers; and if he will make a statement. [38969]

Police disciplinary matters are the responsibility of individual chief officers. However, I understand that the officer concerned was reprimanded at a disciplinary hearing for neglect of duty in respect of this incident and has been removed from firearms duties.

Rohan Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he was informed that Scotland Yard had allowed Rohan Thomas into the United Kingdom to help with investigations that were being undertaken by the Metropolitan police; and on what date he granted permission. [38391]

The granting of leave to enter this country is a matter for the immigration service alone. Rohan Thomas presented a passport in a false identity and was given leave to enter the United Kingdom for six months as a visitor on 28 March 1993. The immigration service was informed of his true identity a few days later. He was served with notice of intention to remove him as an illegal entrant after he was apprehended on 19 June 1993.

Family Passports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reconsider his policy whereby husbands on dual passports are eligible to travel alone without their wives, but wives are not allowed to travel without their husbands; and if he will make a statement. [38414]

Family passports, which included details of the passport holder's wife or husband, were discontinued in 1988, through those issued previously remain valid until their normal date of expiry. It is still possible to include particulars of children under 16 years of age on the passports of either or both parents. In accordance with international practice, only the person in whose name the passport is issued may travel on it alone.

Fire Service College

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firefighters have been trained at the Fire Service College in each of the last five years. [38160]

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Fire Service College under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from N. K. Finlayson to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 24 October 1995:

Your Parliamentary Question seeking information relating to the number of Firefighters trained at the Fire Service College in each of the last five years, has been referred to me by the Home Secretary as falling within my delegated authority.

In each of the 5 years up to and including the year 1 April 1994 to 31 March 1995, the following numbers of students from United Kingdom Fire Brigades were trained at the Fire Service College.

  • 1990–91: 3,915 students
  • 1991–92: 4,187 students
  • 1992–93: 4,383 students
  • 1993–94: 4,571 students
  • 1994–95: 4,297 students

Witness Intimidation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken to prevent intimidation and harassment of witnesses (a) before, (b) during and (c) after completion of trials. [37971]

The Government have introduced provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which make it an offence to intimidate a witness, juror or someone assisting the police. The relevant section, section 51, came into force on 3 February this year.Responsibility for the protection and relocation of witnesses rests with the police. They will consider in each case the degree of intimidation and assess the capability of those making the threats to carry them out.

Sri Lankan Tamil Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the prisons or detention centres at which Sri Lankan Tamils are being held while their application for asylum is being considered. [37644]

Information for Sir Lankan Tamils is not recorded separately. As at 17 October 1995, all Sri Lankan nationals detained pending consideration of their applications for asylum were held at the immigration detention centre, Campsfield house.