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Written Answers

Volume 431: debated on Tuesday 22 June 1982

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Written Answers

Alcohol Consumption And Crime

asked Her Majesty's Government;What research the Home Office has conducted or sponsored on the relationship between the consumption of alcohol and the commission of criminal offences.

Research in this area with which the Home Office has been associated has focused on the problems of particular groups of offenders rather than on the more fundamental and complex question of the general relationship between the consumption of alcohol and the commission of criminal offences. The department is, however, keeping under review the possibility of undertaking research on that subject.

Mr Abdul Qayum Butt

asked Her Majesty's Government:Why Mr. Abdul Qayum Butt, a person against whom no charges have been brought, was transferred from the Queen's Building to Ashford Remand Centre rather than to Harmondsworth, and while he was there given no facilities to communicate with his friends and advisers by telephone.

Before his most recent arrival, Mr. Butt was the subject of personal certification by my right honourable friend as a person whose entry to the United Kingdom would not be conducive to the public good. In view of this, Ashford Remand Centre was considered the most appropriate place of detention pending his removal from the United Kingdom. Mr. Butt has had the same limited facilities for telephone calls as all other detainees at Ashford.

Southall Market: Report Of Mrs R Harris

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have received the report of Mrs. R Harris, MRCVS, on a visit to a horse sale at Southall Market on 5th May 1982; whether previous complaints by the police have been acted upon; and what steps are being taken to bring recurring violations of the code of practice to an end.

Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have received Mrs. Harris' report and have noted the critisisms which it contains. A Ministry veterinary officer made an additional visit to Southall Market in the week following Mrs. Harris' visit. On that occasion, no contraventions of the relevant legislation were found. Since issuing the code of practice for the guidance of operators of horse and pony sales in 1979, the Ministry has been monitoring the conduct of the sales. In the course of this exercise, veterinary officers have regularly visited Southall Market and are actively encouraging fuller compliance with the code of practice. Ministry veterinary officers have instructions to take appropriate action if, in the course of their attendance at markets, they witness contravention of legislation. The Ministry has received no recent complaints from the police about Southall Market.

Somerset Levels: Land Use Study

asked Her Majesty's Government:When the Somerset County Council initiated its study into land use on the Somerset Levels, and when its final report and recommendations will be published.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department of the Environment
(Lord Bellwin)

Somerset County Council initiated its study into land use on the Somerset Levels in 1980. I understand that the county council hope to publish a draft plan for consultation later this year.

Coin Counterfeiting: Detection And Prevention

asked Her Majesty's Government:What steps they are taking to detect and prevent counterfeiting of the new £1 coin.

To reveal the steps that will be taken in order to detect and prevent counterfeits of the new £1 coin when it is produced in April 1983 would be of assistance to potential counterfeiters. It would not, therefore, be in the public interest to reveal that information.

Nhs Pay Beds: Trail Scheme

asked Her Majesty's Government:Which National Health Service authorities have at any time since the passing of the National Health Service Act 1980 made request to the appropriate Secretary of State for leave to embark upon a trial scheme of authorisation of pay beds by a system of a maximum number of bed days per annum rather than a system of a ceiling on the number of pay beds which may be used at any one time—as envisaged in paragraph 20 of the Health Circular issued by the DHSS dated 6th August 1980; the dates of the requests; whether in each case leave was given; and whether it is possible to report on the success or other wise of any such scheme.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security
(Lord Trefgarne)

:Twenty-nine area health authorities in England and Wales expressed interest in managing private in-patient activity within NHS hospitals on the basis of an authorised number of bed-days per annum. The authorities and the dates of their approaches are given below. The majority did not provide proposals in detail. The five authorities marked with an asterisk were invited to participate in trial schemes which are currently in progress. It will not be possible to draw conclusions before at least next summer, following completion of the trials.

Health AuthorityDate of request
Tameside*26 February 1981
Bradford26 February 1981
Avon4 March 1981
Bedfordshire10 March 1981
HertfordshireApril 1981
Sandwell11 May 1981
Stockport13 May 1981
Devon15 May 1981
Hampshire*18 May 1981
Cheshire21 May 1981
Trafford27 May 1981
Bromley4 June 1981
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow9 June 1981
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly23 June 1981
Health AuthorityDate of request
Surrey7 July 1981
Warwickshire9 July 1981
Kent28 July 1981
Lincolnshire3 August 1981
Gwynedd*4 August 1981
Kirklees7 August 1981
Hereford and Worcester11 September 1981
Coventry*21 September 1981
Rochdale24 September 1981
Clwyd*19 October 1981
Dyfed19 October 1981
North Yorkshire17 November 1981
Dorset25 November 1981
Barnsley8 January 1982
Greenwich and Bexley27 January 1982
House adjourned at twenty-eight minutes before eleven o'clock.