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Decisions following the inquiry into the final section between Wendlebury and Waterstock will be announced shortly.

United Kingdom Decca Chain and Loran C (Options)

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to issue a letter of consultation about the available options for the United Kingdom Decca chain and Loran C ; if he will list the parties who will be consulted ; if he will list the Decca Radio and power supply equipment transmitter sites which need replacing in the next five years ; and who will be representing the United Kingdom at the relevant discussions in Dublin in February.

Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend intends to issue a consultation document in the spring on the options for marine radio navigation systems in United Kingdom waters. He intends to consult bodies with marine and related interests, including those representing users and the general lighthouse authorities. The question of equipment renewals for the existing Decca Navigator system is a matter for Racal Decca Marine Navigation Limited under the company's current contract with the general lighthouse authorities, which runs to 1994. At the Dublin meeting of the international Loran C policy group, which is considering the feasibility of establishing a North West European Loran C system, the United Kingdom will be represented by officials from the Department and the general lighthouse authorities.

Channel Tunnel

Mr. Allan Roberts : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department will commission a report on the feasibility of the construction of a Liverpool land bridge for traffic moving between north America and the continent when the Channel tunnel opens in 1993.

Mr. Portillo : I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave on 16 January to the question by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) at column 81 .

Motor Cycles

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the criteria for the proposal to limit newly qualified motor cycle drivers to 400 cc machines ; whether high brake horsepower output machines will be included ; for what period this limitation will apply ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Peter Bottomley : The EC Commission is expected to propose that, as part of its plans for further harmonisation of driver licence categories, inexperienced riders should be limited to motor bikes below a certain size or power. The limit is likely to be 400 cc or 35 kw. It remains unclear how these would relate to each other. We agree with the Commission's objective. We are still considering the details of the proposals.

The Commission is also expected to propose a separate test before motor cyclists may ride more powerful machines. We believe that two years riding experience would be a sufficient safeguard. We shall continue to argue for this and against introducing a new special test. Unfortunately, our position has not been made clear in some press reports on this issue.

East London River Crossing

Mrs. Rosie Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what value per hectare was given to land lost in Oxleas wood to the construction of the east London river crossing in his Department's cost bearing analysis of that scheme.

Mr. Channon : This information is not available.

For the purpose of the cost benefit analysis, the district valuer provided an overall estimate of the cost to all land and property required for the scheme, including 8.3 hectares in Oxleas wood. The estimate also included the cost of land to be acquired and dedicated as open space in exchange for the land taken for the wood.

Autoguide

Mr. Robert G. Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the introduction of Autoguide in London.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Government believe that advanced driver information systems such as autoguide can do much to ease congestion and so make better use of our roads. The Road Traffic (Driver Licensing and Information Systems) Bill, now before Parliament, demonstrates our commitment to this exciting new technology. The Government have today invited the private sector to make proposals for installing a pilot autoguide scheme in the London area. A copy of the guidelines has been placed in the Library. Subject to a satisfactory proposal being received, and to the Road Traffic Bill becoming law, we hope that a licence can be issued this year. We envisage that the pilot scheme will involve around 1,000 vehicles. Its operation will be closely monitored by the Department of Transport working in collaboration with the autoguide operator. We are discussing with local authority associations and the police how they might be involved in monitoring the pilot scheme.

Provided that the pilot scheme demonstrates the satisfactory performance of autoguide it is our intention that the operator should be authorised to upgrade the scheme to a fully commercial autoguide system, to which the public would be able to subscribe. This would mean that motorists could have autoguide equipment in their cars by the early to mid-1990s.


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London Docklands

Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further steps he is taking to improve transport for London docklands ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Channon : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I, together with the private sector, are investing heavily to improve access to docklands.

London Regional Transport is taking steps, in co-operation with GEC, to ensure that the docklands light railway fully meets its performance specification. The Government are supporting a major programme of upgrading and extension of the docklands light railway. The service to Bank will be open next year and will be fully operational by 1991. The carrying capacity of the railway will then be more than three times its present level. Further enhancement is planned to meet the needs of the full development at Canary wharf. A Bill to authorise extension of the railway to Beckton is currently before Parliament.

To accommodate the rapid pace of development in docklands, the Government believe that additional rail infrastructure will be required to supplement the docklands light railway. I have therefore established an east London rail study which is examining the best options for improving rail access from central London to docklands and east Thames-side. The study will include Olympia and York's proposal for a new underground railway between Waterloo and Greenwich peninsula via the Isle of Dogs, and the options canvassed in the docklands access consultation document on which LRT and the LDDC are currently seeking views. The work is being carried out by Halcrow Fox and Associates for my Department, the Department of the Environment and LRT. It would take into account the benefits which new rail links will provide to property owners and developers and the contributions which they should be expected to provide. It will also take into account the potential for new housing development in East Thames-side. Subject to the conclusions of the east London rail study and to the negotiation of satisfactory contributions from all developers concerned, the Government would wish to see a new line built and the deposit of a Bill in November this year.

In parallel with these improvements in the public transport network, a substantial programme of work is in hand to give docklands an effective internal road network and link it to the strategic road system. The LDDC is proceeding, subject to the statutory procedures, with its plans for Limehouse link road to be completed by 1993 and with other new schemes to serve docklands traffic. Within my own programme, I am developing the strategic road network in east London through improvement to the A13, the Hackney/M11 link, upgrading the north circular road and extending it to the A2 via the east London river crossing.

In order to carry forward the improvement of transport to and within docklands, I am asking my hon. Friend the Minister of State to take the lead in co-ordinating the activities of the various agencies involved and to ensure an adequate level of service while construction work is being carried out. He will be supported by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under -Secretary of State for the Environment with special responsibility for inner cities.


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Public Service Vehicles (Failures)

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will publish in the Official Report the information his Department now collects on the failure rates of public service vehicles ; and if he will specify the levels of disaggregation ; (2) what information his Department now collects on the pass rates of public service vehicles at the annual Department of Transport tests ; and if he will indicate the levels of disaggregation at which he will make this information available.

Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding replies 18 and 19 January 1989] : The Department's vehicle inspectorate executive agency collects information on the results of all public service vehicles at annual test. National and regional analyses of this information are contained in the inspectorate's annual report and accounts 1987-88, a copy of which is held in the statistical section of the House of Commons library.

Further analysis of the information on a sub-regional basis is also available and can be sent to the hon. Member if required.

International Maritime Organisation

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he foresees any potential adverse effects upon safety legislation in the United Kingdom if any deliberations of the International Maritime Organisation are delayed as a result of members' contribution defaults ; what steps are being taken to remedy the default situation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo [holding reply 13 January 1989] : No adverse effect on the United Kingdom's safety legislation programme is foreseen, given that the International Maritime Organisation's maritime safety committee is to meet in 1989 as originally planned. At its November meeting, the IMO council requested the secretary general to remind member states of their obligation to pay their assessments on time. This is being reinforced by direct approaches by the secretary general, and individual member states, to those governments currently in default, including Panama which has the largest accumulation of arrears. In addition, the council has established a Working Group to examine and advise on the organisation's longer-term financial solution.

HOME DEPARTMENT

DNA Tests

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the outcome of his review of the cases of over- age applicants for entry certificates as dependent children who were refused entry before they were 18 years old and have since proved they were wrongly refused by the use of DNA tests.

Mr. Renton : I am not yet in a position to announce any conclusion on this matter, but I hope to be able to do so before long.


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Criminal Injuries

Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange for statistics on criminal injuries to include information on the number of such injuries sustained by people during their working time.

Mr. John Patten : Statistics on criminal injuries are held centrally by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board but only in relation to applications made for compensation. The board publishes figures relating to police officers injuries on duty (paragraph 7.1 of their latest annual report, Cm. 536) but has no plans to collect such information for other occupations.

Race Relations

Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to being about an increase in the numbers of black people applying to join the prison service.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Recent advertising campaigns have specifically highlighted the need for recruits from the ethnic minorities, and recruitment material emphasises the service's commitment to racial equality. In addition, several initiatives have been taken to improve contacts with ethnic minority groups to explain the work of the prison service, and these will continue.

Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ensure that boards of visitors comment on race relations in their annual reports.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Advice on the format and content of annual reports, which specifically lists race relations as an item for comment, was reissued on 21 December to all board chairmen in anticipation of the preparation of reports for 1988.

Football (Arrests)

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, pursuant to his answer of 19 December 1988 on football statistics, Official Report, columns 56 to 60, he will publish similar tables for the 1987-88 English Football League season showing the number of arrests of home and away supporters on each ground plus the numbers of each team's supporters who were arrested on away grounds.

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) how many of the 6,147 arrests at Football League matches last season took place within football grounds ;

(2) how many of the 6,147 people arrested at Football League matches during the last season were convicted as a result.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information collated by the Association of Chief Police Officers on arrests at Football League matches in England and Wales does not distinguish between arrests made inside grounds and arrests directly connected with those matches made outside the grounds. Nor does the information detail the outcome of arrests and distinguish between home and away supporters.


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Viraj Mendis

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legal expenses have been incurred by his Department in court cases pertaining to Viraj Mendis.

Mr. Renton : The estimated costs to date (but not including the costs incurred in the court proceedings on Thursday, 19 January) incurred by Treasury Solicitor's Department and in fees for Counsel in representing Home Office interests before the courts in the case of Viraj Mendis are about £8,000 excluding VAT. Any costs incurred within the Home Office cannot be separately identified from those incurred on other cases.

Firearms

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many additional appointments are being made of (a) civilian, and (b) police staff to deal with shotgun licence and firearm certificate applications following the enactment of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Firearms (Amendment) Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 1988, but its provisions have not yet come into force. The appointment of civilian and uniformed staff to process applications for certificates is a matter for individual chief officers of police, who are responsible for the administration of the Firearms Acts. Information on the number of such appointments is not kept centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Transmitters

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish a table showing how many transmitters are sited in each ITV region.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the IBA that ITV transmitters are situated as follows :


              |Main Stations|Relays                     

--------------------------------------------------------

Anglia        |3            |18                         

Border        |2            |58                         

Central       |5            |58                         

Channel       |1            |6                          

Grampian      |7            |74                         

Granada       |1            |56                         

HTV (Wales)   |6            |157                        

HTV (West)    |1            |52                         

LWT/Thames    |1            |39                         

STV           |4            |76                         

TVS           |6            |59                         

TSW           |5            |72                         

TTT           |3            |35                         

UTV           |3            |40                         

YTV           |2            |52                         

Transmission Costs

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish a table showing the transmission cost per head of the population for each ITV region.

Mr. Renton : I understand from the Independent Broadcasting Authority that this information is not at


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present available. I hope that information about costs of transmission in different areas will emerge from the study on privatisation of the transmission system which my right hon. Friend announced on 30 December.

Metropolitan Police

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for improving the accountability and financial control of the Metropolitan police and the information provided to Parliament.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Home Office and the Metropolitan police seek continually to make improvements in these areas. The steps that have been taken will be set out in a memorandum which will be put to the Committee of Public Accounts shortly.

Rugby Match (Twickenham)

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many motorists leaving a rugby match at Twickenham on 6 December 1988 were stopped by the Metropolitan police ; how many were asked to take a breathalyser test ; how many were subsequently re-tested at a police station ; and, of those, how many were charged.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Havant (Sir I. Lloyd) on 12 December 1988 at column 463 .

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the estimated cost to police funds of the operation mounted by the Metropolitan police to check motorists leaving the rugby match at Twickenham on 6 December 1988 ; and how many officers of what rank were involved and for what period.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the operation involved three sergeants and 23 constables for four hours (two hours at the scene). Since the operation took place in normal police time no additional costs were incurred.

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Home Affairs pursuant to his answer of 17 January to the hon. Member for Stretford (Mr. Lloyd), Official Report , column 139, whether he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis upon when the functioning and efficiency of breath testing instruments used on motorists leaving the rugby match at Twickenham on 6 December 1988 was last tested.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I am advised by the Commissioner that the breath testing instruments used at Twickenham on 6 December 1988 were tested on 30 November 1988.

Immigration

Mr. Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office Department on how many occasions since the Immigration Act 1971 came into force he has used his power under section 21 of that Act, to refer matters for consideration to the appellate authorities ; in how many of those instances he accepted the opinion of the adjudicator or tribunal on the matter referred ; and if he will identify the cases in which he has used these powers.


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Mr. Renton : There is no record that the powers under section 21 have ever been used.

Crime Statistics

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions arose in 1988 from admissions made by prisoners currently serving sentences for other crimes ; how many of these were multiple admissions of guilt ; and what were the comparable figures for 1978.

Mr. John Patten : This information is not available.

Remand

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to reduce the number of people held on remand.

Mr. John Patten : We are taking steps to reduce both the number of people remanded in custody and the time taken to deal with cases. In many areas, the probation service is providing Crown prosecutors with better information on defendants through bail information schemes. This will help prosecutors to decide whether they need oppose bail. Resources are being provided over three financial years for the creation of about 500 new bail places at approved hostels. Magistrates and their clerks have been urged to concentrate on reducing delays. A management information system is being introduced to help magistrates' courts monitor their performance. We intend to extend further the operation of custody time limits later this year. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has taken steps to tackle delays in the Crown court through the provision of more resources and improved management. Additional judges have been appointed and new court rooms have been opened. The reclassification of certain offences under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 should help to ease pressure on the Crown court.

Greater Manchester Police

Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has met the Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester police authority to discuss the recruitment of extra officers to combat the increasingly high crime rate.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend is aware of the chief constable's wish to have more police officers for the Greater Manchester police and my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State met the chief constable on 9 November, when police manpower was discussed. Decisions on applications for increases in force establishments from police authorities, including Greater Manchester police authority, will be announced shortly.

Broadcasting (Council of Europe Convention)

Mr. Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made towards a Council of Europe convention on broadcasting.

Mr. Renton : Substantial progress towards finalising the convention was made at a conference of Council of Europe Broadcasting Ministers in Stockholm last November, at which I led the United Kingdom delegation. The


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remaining work on the draft text is now being undertaken by the Ministers' deputies of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and we hope that the convention will be opened for signature later this year.

Dog Fights

Dr. Glyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for reports from chief constables as to the steps they are taking to discover the sites of organised dog fights.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No. It is for chief officers to decide what steps to take in their own force area.

Charity Commissioners

Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is in a position to announce the appointment of two part-time Charity Commissioners.

Mr. Hurd : I have today appointed Mrs. Diane Yeo and Mr. Michael Webber to act as Charity Commissioners on a part-time basis. The appointments will be for three years initially, with a possibility of extension to a maximum of five years.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Child Care Facilities

Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will introduce on-site child care facilities for children of hon. Members and staff of the House.

Mr. Wakeham : The Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee has the possible provision of child-care facilities under consideration and, pending any decision on the principle, has drawn the attention of the New Building Sub-Committee to the possible need to accommodate such a facility in phase II of the new parliamentary buildings.

ENERGY

Unleaded Petrol

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has set the petroleum retailing companies a date by which unleaded petrol must be available on the forecourts of all filling stations either owned or serviced by them.

Mr. Peter Morrison : No such date has been set.

EC Directive 85/210/EEC requires member states

"to ensure the availability and balanced distribution within their territories of unleaded petrol from 1 October 1989".

By the end of last year, unleaded petrol was available at more than 3,000 United Kingdom petrol stations, about 15 per cent. of the total. Current conversions of petrol stations to unleaded are continuing at about 60 per week.


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NORTHERN IRELAND

Identity Cards

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department has investigated, or is currently studying, the usefulness of a national identity card to his departmental responsibilities ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Stewart : As I made clear in my reply of 28 July 1988 to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Favell) at columns 524-525, we keep this matter under review.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.

Mr. Tom King : During 1988, of a total of 323 oral parliamentary questions, 241 were answered as written questions.

Gleneyre and Burnside Children's Home (Inquiry)

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the re-opened inquiry into alleged sexual assaults at the Gleneyre and Burnside children's home, referred to in his answer to the hon. Member for Brent, East of 23 May, Official Report, columns 35-36, has been completed ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 10 January 1989] : The police investigation referred to has been completed. A file was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (Northern Ireland), who directed that no prosecutions should be brought.

Police Stations (Stolen Weapons)

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the written answer of 15 December to the hon. Member for Brent, East, in what form information on weapons stolen from police stations is kept.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 10 January 1989] : This is a matter for the Chief Constable. I understand, however, that centralised records do not differentiate between the actual sources of theft, but cover weapons stolen from (a) members on and off duty ; (b) members' homes ; (c) official and private vehicles ; (d) officers injured and killed ; and (e) police stations.

Grants

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the types of financial assistance by way of grant or otherwise which may be given at the discretion of a Northern Ireland Department, where the moneys required for giving the assistance (a) are payable out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland, or (b) may be appropriated by Northern Ireland Assembly measure.


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Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 12 January 1989] : All payments by Northern Ireland Departments of grants and other assistances are contained in the various Northern Ireland departmental votes and are funded from the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund. The Northern Ireland Estimates 1988-89", a copy of which is in the Library contains detailed spending plans for Northern Ireland Departments, which include details of such grants and assistance.

Public Authority Contracts

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what circumstances a public authority invites the submission of offers before entering into a contract.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 12 January 1989] : Under normal circumstances, all public authorities invite the submission of offers before entering into a contract.

Firearms and Explosives

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in the Official Report a table to show how many finds of (a) firearms, (b) explosives and (c) ammunition were made in (i) Londonderry city, and (ii) the Royal Ulster Constabulary, N division, in each of the years from 1984 to 1988.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 17 January 1989] : The information is as follows :


(ii) Weapons, ammunition and explosives<1> recovered in the Royal                                   

Ulster Constabulary N division (1984-88)                                                            

Year                |Weapons            |Ammunition (rounds)|Explosives (lbs)                       

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1984                |37                 |2,444              |1,499.7                                

1985                |21                 |2,234              |1,415.2                                

1986                |38                 |1,660              |1,670.6                                

1987                |83                 |1,894              |666.8                                  

1988                |41                 |2,837              |3,584.9                                

<1> Figures for explosives do not include recoveries from neutralised devices.                      

<2> Londonderry city RUC stations: Strand road, Shantallow, Rosemount and Waterside-include some    

rural territory.                                                                                    


(ii) Weapons, ammunition and explosives<1> recovered in the Royal                                   

Ulster Constabulary N division (1984-88)                                                            

Year                |Weapons            |Ammunition (rounds)|Explosives (lbs)                       

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1984                |37                 |2,444              |1,499.7                                

1985                |21                 |2,234              |1,415.2                                

1986                |38                 |1,660              |1,670.6                                

1987                |83                 |1,894              |666.8                                  

1988                |41                 |2,837              |3,584.9                                

<1> Figures for explosives do not include recoveries from neutralised devices.                      

<2> Londonderry city RUC stations: Strand road, Shantallow, Rosemount and Waterside-include some    

rural territory.                                                                                    

Housing Discrimination

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what date he hopes to publish the report carried out by the Policy Studies Institute on housing discrimination ; and why this report has hitherto been withheld from publication.


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