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Written Answers

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 11 December 1980

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Written Answers

Prisoners: Exceptional Risk Classification

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will place in the Library copies of the prison red-edged form headed "Reception—Exceptional Risk", and of the form F 1150, showing, in the case of the latter form, how prisoners considered to be exceptional risks are identified; how they classify prisoners in this way, and whether they take into account the view expressed in the paper "Dangerous Offenders in Prison" in Home Office Research Study No. 64, that "dangerousness, as ordinary experience will confirm, is an unpredictable phenomenon"; and what effect this classification has on the prisoner's treatment and his eligibility for parole.

A copy of the police form 618 "Prisoner—Exceptional Risk" appears as Appendix XIII of the Home Office Consolidated Circular on Crime and Kindred Matters which is already in the Library. A copy of prison form F 1150, including the pages most commonly used for sentenced prisoners, has also been placed in the Library. Details from the exceptional risk form are entered on page 24 and the two documents are placed immediately after page 1. The criteria for suspecting that a prisoner presents an exceptional risk are wider than the concepts of dangerousness discussed in Home Office Research Study No. 64. Nevertheless, even if subsequent events show that a suspicion of risk is well-founded, this is only one of many factors taken into account in considering classification, treatment and eligibility for parole.

Charity Commissioners: Salaries And Allowances

asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the salaries of the members of the Charity Commission and whether their pensions are non-contributory and index-linked.

The salary of the chief charity commissioner is £22,110 per annum. That of the other two commissioners is £20,500 per annum. In addition the chief commissioner and one of the other commissioners receive a London weighting allowance of £1,016 per annum. All three commissioners are covered by the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Charity Commissioners: Working Periods

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the number of working days expected in each non-leap year from members of the Charity Commission and what are their normal working hours.

The annual leave allowance of each of the charity commissioners is 30 days in addition to public holidays. The conditioned working hours of the two London-based commissioners are 41 a week; those of the Liverpool-based commissioner are 42.

Principal Charity Commissioner: Qualifications

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether any special qualification is expected of candidates for the post of principal charity commissioner should it fall vacant.

Schedule 1 to the Charities Act 1960, which provides that there shall be a chief charity commissioner and two other commissioners, requires at least two of these to be barristers or solicitors. All the commissioners are at present so qualified. No other qualification is statutorily required. The Home Secretary will appoint as commissioners those who appear to him to be best fitted to carry out their functions.

Charities: The Goodman Report

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they propose to introduce legislation to implement some of the more urgent recommendations of the Goodman Report on Charities before 1984.

The Government's reply to the Report of the House of Commons Expenditure Committee on the Charity Commissioners and their Accountability was announced on 24th January 1980, and I repeated the announcement in the reply I gave on 4th February to a Question from the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary explained that the Government had taken account at the same time of the recommendations of the independent Committee on Charity Law and Voluntary Organisations under the chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, but had concluded that there was at present no need for changes in the law on charitable status or in the administrative practices relating to charities. The Goodman Committee also recommended fiscal changes. The Finance Act 1980 gave effect to a number of these recommendations.

Home Office Staffing Level

asked Her Majesty's Government:Why in contrast with all other departments it is planned that the Home Office is to have 1,410 more staff in post on 1st April, 1984 than it had on 1st April, 1979.

Because of the growth of the prison service (which comprises some two-thirds of the staff of the Home Office) and the provision for increases in other areas, principally immigration control and services in support of police operations. Overall the Home Office manpower target for 1st April, 1984, discounting staff for prison establishments, represents a decrease of 16 per cent. on previously planned levels.

Cantlin Stone Police Operation: Use Of Helicopter

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will confirm that a helicopter was used during the police operation at Cantlin Stone, Shropshire between the 4th and 14th of July 1980 and if so, for what purpose and at what cost.

I understand from the Chief Constable of West Mercia Constabulary that a helicopter was used during the police operation at Cantlin Stone, Shropshire, on two occasions between the 4th and 14th July, 1980. The helicopter was on routine police work and no extra cost was involved.

Hydrocarbons Exploration: Licensing

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, apart from built-up areas, there are any parts of the United Kingdom in respect of which they are unwilling to entertain applications for onshore hydrocarbons exploration licences.

Under the legislation governing applications for petroleum licences in Great Britain and Northern Ireland respectively, applications for licences may be made in respect of any landward area. The subsequent award of any licence does not convey any right of entry on to land; this must be negotiated between the licensee and landowner or occupier. Licensees are also required to obtain such planning permissions as may be necessary before carrying out any operations in the licensed area. Such planning permissions will generally be subject, among other considerations, to appropriate safeguards being taken to protect the environment.

Hydrocarbons Exploration And Planning Permission

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will now list the landward hydrocarbons exploration licences in respect of which planning permission has not yet been granted, in each case identifying the operator, the date of application and the name of the planning authority involved.

I regret that this information is not available. As stated in the reply given on 5th November (Official Report, cols, 1195–6), the question of planning permission for petroleum exploration work is a matter between the licensee and the planning authority concerned. The Government are not notified about planning applications which have been made, except in a limited number of types of case. Licensees are required, however, before commencing any licence operations and as a condition of their licences, to provide the Department of Energy with evidence that they have consulted the relevant planning authority and that any necessary planning permission has been given.

Wells Drilled On Uk Continental Shelf

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many exploration wells and production (including projection) wells were sunk in the British Continental Shelf in each of the years 1968 to 1980.

The numbers of exploration, appraisal and production wells drilled on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf in each of the years 1968 to 1980 are as follows:

ExplorationAppraisal*Production**
196837736
196944827
197022228
197124434
197233836
1973421921
1974673320
1975793721
1976582854
1977673896
1978372596
19793316107
19802921114
(To 29th November)

* Wells drilled in the vicinity of a discovery to help determine its extent and before a decision on whether or not to develop it is taken.

** Wells drilled from a development platform, either to produce oil or gas or to assist production, for

example, by the injection of water or gas to maintain the reservoir pressure.

House adjourned at twenty-one minutes past seven o'clock.