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Mr. Hume : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what figures are available to indicate pupil numbers and expenditure for each of Northern Ireland's secondary schools in the past three school years.
Mr. Ken Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table showing the number of officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary serving in Northern Ireland in each year from 1969 to the current date.
Strength of the Royal Ulster Constabulary |Royal Ulster constabulary|Royal Ulster constabulary|Royal Ulster constabulary |reserve (full time) |reserve (part time) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 31 December 1969 |3,044 |- |- 1970 |3,809 |- |578 1971 |4,086 |- |1,284 1972 |4,257 |153 |1,981 1973 |4,391 |290 |2,224 1974 |4,565 |510 |3,350 1975 |4,902 |661 |4,158 1976 |5,253 |870 |3,827 1977 |5,692 |1,002 |3,684 1978 |6,110 |1,188 |3,417 1979 |6,614 |1,305 |3,209 1980 |6,935 |1,685 |3,067 1981 |7,334 |2,060 |2,810 1982 |7,718 |2,173 |2,666 1983 |8,003 |2,294 |2,198 1984 |8,127 |2,533 |1,907 1985 |8,259 |2,755 |1,753 1986 |8,234 |2,753 |1,659 1987 |8,236 |2,987 |1,657 30 November 1988 |8,245 |3,000 |1,666
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, in the light of the undertaking given in the reply to the hon. Member for Brent, East on 23 May, Official Report, column 35 on firearms, he will look into the case of Robert McConnell, convicted for the murder of John Turnley at Belfast Crown Court in June 1982.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 15 December 1988] : The murder of Mr. Turnley has been fully investigated by the RUC. In the absence of any new evidence, there are no plans for the case to be reopened.
Mr. Tom King [holding answer 15 December 1988] : A proposal for a draft Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order was published on 20 July 1988, and distributed widely to political parties both here and in Northern Ireland and to a number of other interested groups and individuals.
We are presently assessing all the responses that we have received. After considering these, we intend to finalise the contents of the order and lay it before Parliament early in the new year.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 8 December 1988] : Operational matters concerning the Royal Ulster Constabulary are the responsibility of the chief constable, but I understand that no decision has yet been taken regarding the disposal of Dromara police station.
Mr. Molyneaux : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will give the financial savings resulting from the closure of Dromara police station, including a breakdown of the sum in terms of wages and running costs.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 8 December 1988] : Operational matters concerning the Royal Ulster Constabulary are the responsibility of the chief constable. I understand, however, that the decision to redeploy the police personnel from Dromara police station was one of several measures recently announced by the chief constable to support and maintain the current thrust of police operations against terrorist activities rather than produce actual financial savings. The savings resulting from the closure of Dromara police station would therefore be limited to running costs.
Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any progress is being made to find an international solution to the problems of Kampuchea ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : While a number of difficult issues remain to be solved, progress is being made in talks between the Cambodian factions, through the "JIM" process initiated by the Jakarta informal meeting in July, in which the countries of south east Asia also participate, at the United Nations, and in bilateral meetings between those most concerned.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Mr. Hobbein Zaminpour, reference 885675/704 and Mr. Mortela Faghih of the National Petroleum Company of Iran applied to the United Kingdom post in Geneva for permission to visit the United Kingdom to purchase equipment ; and when decisions are likely to be made on their applications.
Mr. Eggar : Mr. Zaminpour and Mr. Faghih applied on 8 December and 14 December respectively at the British consulate-general in Geneva for business visit visas. After personal interview, which is an essential part of our entry clearance procedure, both applications were referred to London for decision. Authority to issue visas was sent to Geneva today.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the National Petroleum Company of Iran's office in London about delays experienced by
Column 749members of their staff at present in Geneva in coming to the United Kingdom to purchase equipment in consequence of delays in securing interviews at the United Kingdom post to discuss visa applications ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the right hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth may expect the reply, hastened four weeks ago, to his letter of 18 August originally addressed to the Secretary of State for Defence, and transferred by him on 22 August.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Total sales of safeguarded plutonium to the United States since the end of December 1982 have amounted to significantly less than one gram. Transfers of plutonium under the fast reactor collaborative programme announced by the UKAEA in 1979 were covered in my reply to the hon. Member on 14 December 1988 at column 582.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on progress made by research sponsored by his Department through the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority or British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. on laser isotope separation (LIS) ; for how long, and with what financial resources for the research and development, the laser isotope separation programme has continued ; and what specific attention has been paid to safeguarding laser isotope separation technology in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Euratom.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Laser isotope separation studies have been proceeding for some years in the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels plc, but it is too early to quantify progress towards a competitive commercial system. It is also too early to formulate specific safeguards measures since these measures will depend on the physical feature of the production unit.
Sir Trevor Skeet : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many projects there are of which he has knowledge for power stations to be built by the private sector ; and if he will outline (a) the average capacity per plant, (b) whether any station exceeds 1,000MW and (c) the aggregated capacity involved.
commercial-in-confidence until the companies announce them.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has had any recent discussions with the chairman of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee, following on the concern he expressed at a Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive technical seminar at Didcot, that excavations for deep underground repositories would disturb the integrity of surrounding rock strata, and allow for transmigration of radionuclides from the repository.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library a copy of the European Commission report on the causes of and solutions to atmospheric warming (greenhouse effect) presented at the meeting of European Environment Ministers on 24 November ; and if he will make a statement on his response to the Commission report.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A copy of the report has now been received. We are arranging through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for this document to be deposited in Parliament in accordance with the usual procedures. An explanatory memorandum will be prepared in due course.
Sir Charles Morrison : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report, for the most recent period for which figures are available, the total amounts of licensed abstraction of water in each water authority area and the amount, expressed as a percentage, of water actually taken up in each area.
Water authority (England) |Amount of water licensed |Percentage taken up |for abstraction |(megalitres per day) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anglian |3,614 |57 Northumbrian |12,629 |9 North West |5,922 |64 Severn-Trent |10,282 |62 Southern |2,849 |60 South West |2,542 |36 Thames |18,033 |25 Wessex |1,775 |57 Yorkshire |6,368 |48
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement regarding the delay in granting schedule monument consent for the repairs to the medieval packhorse bridge known as Old Perry, Aldridge road, Birmingham.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A provisional decision indicating that the Secretary of State is minded to grant conditional scheduled monument consent for the repairs to the bridge was issued on 18 November 1988. A final decision can be issued as soon as Birmingham city council has indicated its acceptance of the proposed conditions.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussion his Department has had with local authority planning committees on the granting of planning permission on redundant farm buildings to be developed as holiday accommodation.
Mr. Chope : We have had no recent discussions with local authority planning committees specifically about this. The re-use of redundant farm buildings for a range of purposes arises quite frequently in correspondence with local authorities and others. The Government's policy is to encourage the granting of planning permission for beneficial re-use of such buildings whenever possible.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to make funds available to voluntary conservation bodies to assist them with the purchase and management of those national nature reserves which are currently owned or part-owned by the Nature Conservancy Council in the event of such areas being taken out of the public sector ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West (Mr. Jones) on 9 December at column 350 . The Government will consider whether any financial assistance to voluntary bodies is required in the light of the Nature Conservancy Council's report.
Mr. Howard : Today I, together with my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, have published a research study of the economic and other consequences of various local options for limiting nitrate concentrations in drinking water. I have placed a copy in the Library. The Government will take these studies into account in developing its nitrate strategy and a further announcement will be made in the new year.
Ten widely different catchment areas were chosen for the study. They were selected to provide a good mixture of farming type, geology and climate. There is no implication that the choice of areas in any sense increases the possibility that measures will be introduced in these particular locations.
Mr. Burt : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what capital allocations he is making available to charging authorities in England in 1989-90 for the capital costs of preparing for the community charge.
Mr. Gummer : My right hon. Friend announced on 21 October that capital allocations totalling £135 million will be made for the capital costs in 1989-90 of preparing for the community charge. This level of allocations derives from the forecast made by Price Waterhouse in its independent report on costs.
Letters have today been sent to each charging authority in England informing them of their individual allocations. A list of these allocations has been placed in the Library. The allocations have been made to charging authorities on a basis which reflects the number and relative mobility of charge payers in each area.
Now that these allocations have been made and charging authorities know the resources they have for 1989-90 they have no excuse for not getting on with the job of implementing the community charge.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many professional staff there are in the legal departments of each of the shadow National Rivers Authority unit of each regional water authority.
Shadow National Rivers |Fully qualified legal |Legal assistants Authority unit in |staff regional water authority ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anglian |2 |3 Northumbrian |1 |0 North West |1 |2 Severn Trent |3 |0 Southern |3 |3 South West |3 |1 Thames |3 |4 Welsh |4 |4 Wessex |1 |1 Yorkshire |2 |2 |------- |------- Total |23 |20
These figures do not include the contracting out by many water authorities of the legal work on prosecutions for pollution incidents.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) whether he has any plans to extend community care grants to persons leaving hospital and in receipt of invalidity benefit ; and if he will make a statement ;
Column 753(2) if he will amend his direction 25 in such a way as to enable those discharged from mental institutions and who are in receipt of invalidity benefit to be eligible for community care grants ; (3) if he will extend the criteria for allowing community care grant as a means of increasing the take up of the current budget.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of (i) all pensioners, (ii) male single pensioners, (iii) female single pensioners, (iv) pensioner couples, (v) newly retired single men, (vi) newly retired single women and (vii) newly retired pensioner couples are in receipt of a state additional pension ; and, for each group, what is the average amount received.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is (i) the total number and (ii) the proportion of (a) single pensioners and (b) pensioner couples who are in receipt of housing benefit.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The latest available information is for autumn 1987 when the estimated total number of pensioners receiving housing benefit was 3.8 million. Information about the number of single pensioners and pensioner couples is not available.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many persons and what proportion of those over pensionable age in Derbyshire are in receipt of payments from occupational pension schemes.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assumptions his Department has made for the percentage take-up of each social security benefit in making its calculations for the impact upon public expenditure for the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Forward expenditure estimates are based on expected caseload. Estimates for 1989-90 will be published in the next public expenditure White Paper. Precise take-up estimates are available only on the basis of historical surveys. For the latest available estimates, I refer the hon. Member to pages 272 and 273 of Cm. 288 "The Public Expenditure White Paper". Later take-up estimates, for 1985, will be published in the new year.
Column 754personal bank accounts of disabled pensioners already receiving all other benefits through the credit transfer system.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The facility to have benefit paid directly into a bank account is restricted to beneficiaries paid by computer because a transfer of magnetic tapes is required to effect the payment to the bank. Income support is paid clerically in local social security offices and the direct payment facility cannot be made available at present.
However, it is anticipated that payment of income support will be computerised by the early 1990s and direct payment to bank accounts will then be offered as an option. Amending legislation is not required.
Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proposals he has for implementing Council directive 86/378/EEC on the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes.
Mr. Scott : The Social Security Bill published today includes provisions to equalise treatment for men and women in occupational schemes. The Occupational Pensions Board will be given powers to assist schemes to modify their rules to conform with the equal treatment requirements, but scheme rules which by 1 January 1993 do not comply will be overridden so that the more favourable treatment accorded to persons of one sex will apply equally to persons of the other sex. An exception to the general principle of equal treatment will be allowed for survivors' benefits, and we intend to introduce an amendment during the passage of the Bill permitting schemes to retain in accordance with the terms of the directive different ages at which retirement benefits come into payment.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will investigate why the Post Office has failed to pay the national insurance contributions deducted from Miss B. M. Shaw, formerly sub-post mistress of the Freshwater East sub-post office, for the first nine months of the financial year 1986-87 ; how many other Post Office employees are similarly affected ; what action is being taken by his Department ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Department is currently investigating the deficiency in the 1986-87 contribution record for Miss B. M. Shaw. I regret that I cannot as yet say how many other Post Office employees are similarly affected. I shall write to my hon. Friend when investigations are completed.
Column 755seasonal workers claiming unemployment benefit. At the same time, the income support rules for calculating notional earnings of seasonal workers will be removed. We also propose to amend the unemployment benefit earnings rules where they operate harshly on people earning very small amounts and yet leave the benefit of people in highly paid weekend jobs unaffected. Our proposals to add a de minimis provision to the so-called "full extent normal" rule and to introduce a cut -off point, at which those on high earnings from part-time work will lost all benefit in the week concerned, will remove these anomalies.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will indicate for each of the Hoxton, Bloomsbury, and Finsbury Park Department of Social Security local offices, the number of cases of fuel direct payment in (a) 1981, (b) 1983, (c) 1985 and (d) 1987 ; and if he will indicate the amount of the average deduction made under fuel direct in each category.
* Local office |November 1987 ------------------------------------------ Bloomsbury |514 Finsbury Park |1,807 Hoxton |2,167 Note: Information about the average amount of deductions is not available at a local level. Source: Internal management information returns.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There are two library facilities available at this establishment. A non-fiction paperback collection is available on the two wings to which all inmates have access. There is a central library containing a non-fiction book stock which is situated in the education department to which all inmates who wish have access.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average time spent on remand in custody by those who had completed their period of remand in the three months before 1 April 1987 and 1 April 1988 and who were remanded from courts in (a) Avon, (b) Somerset, (c) Kent, (d) the west midlands and (e) the rest of England and Wales.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in Armley prison are on remand in respect of charges of violent crime, murder, burglary and theft, expressed by number and percentage of the total on remand.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 8 December 1988] : Details of the offences with which remand prisoners are charged are not recorded centrally until the completion of court proceedings. The readily available information is given in the table.
Untried and convicted unsentenced prisoners initially received into Leeds prison: by type of offence, 1987 Offence with which |Number<1> |Per cent. charged<2> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Murder |9 |0 Other violence against the person |454 |14 Sexual offences |125 |4 Burglary |914 |28 Robbery |118 |4 Theft |540 |17 Handling, fraud and forgery |162 |5 Drugs offences |68 |2 Arson |40 |1 Criminal damage |122 |4 Motoring offences |101 |3 Other offences |216 |7 Not recorded |398 |12 |----- |----- Total |3,267 |100 <1> The figures, which are provisional, are those recorded centrally and are approximate. <2> In the case of prisoners convicted, the offence is that for which convicted.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the percentages of those aged 18 years in both schools and colleges obtaining two or more A-levels for each year since 1970-71.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : Information is not readily available for years before 1974-75. The table below shows the numbers of English school leavers and students at colleges of further and higher education, of any age, who attained two or more A-levels, expressed as a percentage of the average of the 18 and 19 year age groups.
England Qualifiers with two or more A-levels at schools and colleges as a percentage of the relevant age group <1> Academic years |Per cent. --------------------------------------------- 1974-75 |14.0 1975-76 |14.7 1976-77 |14.7 1977-78 |14.8 1978-79 |14.4 1979-80 |14.4 1980-81 |14.6 1981-82 |15.1 1982-83 |15.6 1983-84 |16.1 1984-85 |16.2 1985-86 |16.0 1986-87 |16.7
The numbers of qualifiers are derived from sample surveys. The figures are therefore subject to sampling error.
Column 757for his policies of the report of the Commission for Racial Equality on racial harassment in schools, entitled "Learning in Terror".
Mr. Butcher : There is no place in our schools or colleges for racial antagonism or intolerance. The Government are pursuing a range of measures to try to promote racial harmony. These include action on initial and in-service teacher training and a number of projects funded through the education support grant activity on educational needs in a multi-ethnic society. It is Government policy that ethnic minority pupils should have the same opportunity as all others to profit from what schools can offer them and that schools should preserve and transmit our national values in a way which accepts Britain's ethnic diversity and promotes tolerance and racial harmony.
Mr. Jackson : Subject to Parliament's approval of the necessary regulations, the main rates of grant will be increased in the 1989-90 academic year by 5 per cent. for students studying outside London and students who study from the parental home. For those studying in London, the main rate of grant will be increased by 9.3 per cent. in recognition of their higher living costs. In England and Wales the new rates will be as follows (rates for 1988-89 are shown in brackets) :
|undergraduate (£)|postgraduate (£) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Halls or lodgings (i) London |2,650 (2,425) |3,970 (3,630) (ii) Elsewhere |2,155 (2,050) |3,125 (2,975) Parental home |1,710 (1,630) |2,270 (2,160)
The threshold for parental contributions, and the points on the contribution scale at which the rate of contribution changes, will be uprated to reflect the movement of earnings. Parents whose residual income is below £10,600 will not be assessed for a contribution. The full parental contribution scales for 1989-90 are as follows :
Residual income |Scale 1 |Scale 2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From £10,600 to £13,500 |£1 in £7 |£1 in £9.3 From £13,501 to £19,800 |£1 in £5 |£1 in £6.6 From £19,801 |£1 in £4 |£1 in £5.3 (3) The maximum contribution, which applies to parents with more than one child holding an award, will rise from £4,900 to £5,300. The minimum contribution will be increased from £50 to £60 for parents whose student children began their courses before the 1988-89 academic year (and whose grant is assessed on scale 1) and from £37 to £45 where students first entered higher education in 1988-89 or later (and whose grant is assessed accordingly to scale 2). (4) The contribution payable may be less than the amounts shown on the scale, particularly at its top end and where the contribution is in respect of one award-holder only. This will depend on the amount of grant against which the contribution has to be set and whether any of the assessed contribution is offset by allowances for other dependent children.