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Passports

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for (a) new passports and (b) amendments to passports were made at each office in each year since 1979 ; and if he will indicate the number of applications received in each month in 1987 and 1988.

Mr. Renton : The information, which relates to passports issued rather than to applications, is shown in the tables.


Column 581


2.  Monthly total of new passports issued (1987-88)                                                                    

               |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast     |Total                    

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

January 1987   |23,682      |30,319      |29,806      |27,999      |7,251       |2,534       |121,591                  

January 1988   |25,044      |28,592      |41,880      |35,049      |7,402       |3,246       |141,213                  

February 1987  |35,565      |48,946      |49,917      |39,614      |13,838      |4,954       |192,834                  

February 1988  |34,136      |68,377      |44,845      |52,379      |10,613      |5,575       |215,925                  

March 1987     |40,488      |75,898      |60,983      |51,542      |21,179      |5,604       |255,694                  

March 1988     |38,831      |78,554      |60,155      |66,788      |20,035      |6,278       |270,641                  

April 1987     |33,065      |62,425      |56,051      |31,345      |16,334      |6,362       |205,582                  

April 1988     |39,994      |79,168      |62,605      |59,824      |20,556      |7,443       |269,590                  

May 1987       |24,383      |51,586      |48,473      |30,188      |11,109      |6,874       |172,613                  

May 1988       |45,130      |103,559     |57,405      |60,329      |26,149      |7,929       |300,501                  

June 1987      |31,376      |55,486      |54,841      |44,200      |18,524      |8,405       |212,832                  

June 1988      |51,411      |71,656      |63,461      |57,851      |22,272      |10,286      |276,937                  

July 1987      |52,269      |65,066      |48,004      |45,575      |19,069      |5,625       |235,608                  

July 1988      |48,953      |76,327      |64,174      |46,446      |22,682      |7,969       |266,551                  

August 1987    |40,099      |56,929      |38,765      |53,836      |17,939      |4,195       |211,763                  

August 1988    |34,458      |46,551      |50,528      |51,991      |2,630       |4,566       |190,724                  

September 1987 |24,731      |32,838      |25,815      |49,407      |14,665      |2,681       |150,137                  

September 1988 |24,480      |31,081      |25,929      |22,112      |7,284       |2,421       |113,307                  

October 1987   |15,940      |27,529      |22,891      |23,236      |7,410       |1,596       |98,602                   

October 1988   |23,312      |32,086      |28,829      |26,042      |8,453       |1,653       |120,375                  

November 1987  |20,584      |26,496      |24,242      |21,095      |6,646       |1,356       |100,419                  

November 1988  |31,220      |39,145      |37,792      |37,755      |9,474       |1,714       |157,100                  

December 1987  |13,293      |21,475      |20,634      |21,265      |5,759       |1,119       |83,545                   

December 1988  |17,600      |10,181      |27,493      |31,119      |8,083       |1,168       |95,644                   

  Total 1987   |355,475     |554,993     |480,422     |439,302     |159,723     |51,305      |2,041,220                

  Total 1988   |414,569     |665,277     |565,096     |547,685     |165,633     |60,248      |2,418,508                

1984 1985 1986 1987 1988

(a) (b) (a) (b) (a) (b) (a) (b) (a) (b)

London 424,341 31,988 418,036 26,889 437,857 28,129 355,475 23,345 414,569 22,649

Liverpool 481,540 28,952 446,813 32,327 556,664 36,076 554,993 27, 595 665,277 32,829

Peterborough 418,074 25,986 392,460 25,249 482,797 31,581 480,422 29,114 565,096 29,617

Newport 403,520 18,356 369,981 17,472 427,800 18,829 439,302 14, 048 547,685 23,175

Glasgow 146,123 10,362 137,098 9,650 159,954 11,587 159,723 11,042 165,633 9,480

Belfast 33,707 1,546 34,655 1,537 45,472 2,031 51,305 2,321 60,248 2,458

Total 1,907,305 117,190 1,799,043 113,124 2,110,544 128,233 2,041, 220 107,465 2,418,508 120,208

Column (a) shows new passports issued.

Column (b) shows endorsements and amendments to existing passports.


2.  Monthly total of new passports issued (1987-88)                                                                    

               |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast     |Total                    

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

January 1987   |23,682      |30,319      |29,806      |27,999      |7,251       |2,534       |121,591                  

January 1988   |25,044      |28,592      |41,880      |35,049      |7,402       |3,246       |141,213                  

February 1987  |35,565      |48,946      |49,917      |39,614      |13,838      |4,954       |192,834                  

February 1988  |34,136      |68,377      |44,845      |52,379      |10,613      |5,575       |215,925                  

March 1987     |40,488      |75,898      |60,983      |51,542      |21,179      |5,604       |255,694                  

March 1988     |38,831      |78,554      |60,155      |66,788      |20,035      |6,278       |270,641                  

April 1987     |33,065      |62,425      |56,051      |31,345      |16,334      |6,362       |205,582                  

April 1988     |39,994      |79,168      |62,605      |59,824      |20,556      |7,443       |269,590                  

May 1987       |24,383      |51,586      |48,473      |30,188      |11,109      |6,874       |172,613                  

May 1988       |45,130      |103,559     |57,405      |60,329      |26,149      |7,929       |300,501                  

June 1987      |31,376      |55,486      |54,841      |44,200      |18,524      |8,405       |212,832                  

June 1988      |51,411      |71,656      |63,461      |57,851      |22,272      |10,286      |276,937                  

July 1987      |52,269      |65,066      |48,004      |45,575      |19,069      |5,625       |235,608                  

July 1988      |48,953      |76,327      |64,174      |46,446      |22,682      |7,969       |266,551                  

August 1987    |40,099      |56,929      |38,765      |53,836      |17,939      |4,195       |211,763                  

August 1988    |34,458      |46,551      |50,528      |51,991      |2,630       |4,566       |190,724                  

September 1987 |24,731      |32,838      |25,815      |49,407      |14,665      |2,681       |150,137                  

September 1988 |24,480      |31,081      |25,929      |22,112      |7,284       |2,421       |113,307                  

October 1987   |15,940      |27,529      |22,891      |23,236      |7,410       |1,596       |98,602                   

October 1988   |23,312      |32,086      |28,829      |26,042      |8,453       |1,653       |120,375                  

November 1987  |20,584      |26,496      |24,242      |21,095      |6,646       |1,356       |100,419                  

November 1988  |31,220      |39,145      |37,792      |37,755      |9,474       |1,714       |157,100                  

December 1987  |13,293      |21,475      |20,634      |21,265      |5,759       |1,119       |83,545                   

December 1988  |17,600      |10,181      |27,493      |31,119      |8,083       |1,168       |95,644                   

  Total 1987   |355,475     |554,993     |480,422     |439,302     |159,723     |51,305      |2,041,220                

  Total 1988   |414,569     |665,277     |565,096     |547,685     |165,633     |60,248      |2,418,508                


2.  Monthly total of new passports issued (1987-88)                                                                    

               |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast     |Total                    

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

January 1987   |23,682      |30,319      |29,806      |27,999      |7,251       |2,534       |121,591                  

January 1988   |25,044      |28,592      |41,880      |35,049      |7,402       |3,246       |141,213                  

February 1987  |35,565      |48,946      |49,917      |39,614      |13,838      |4,954       |192,834                  

February 1988  |34,136      |68,377      |44,845      |52,379      |10,613      |5,575       |215,925                  

March 1987     |40,488      |75,898      |60,983      |51,542      |21,179      |5,604       |255,694                  

March 1988     |38,831      |78,554      |60,155      |66,788      |20,035      |6,278       |270,641                  

April 1987     |33,065      |62,425      |56,051      |31,345      |16,334      |6,362       |205,582                  

April 1988     |39,994      |79,168      |62,605      |59,824      |20,556      |7,443       |269,590                  

May 1987       |24,383      |51,586      |48,473      |30,188      |11,109      |6,874       |172,613                  

May 1988       |45,130      |103,559     |57,405      |60,329      |26,149      |7,929       |300,501                  

June 1987      |31,376      |55,486      |54,841      |44,200      |18,524      |8,405       |212,832                  

June 1988      |51,411      |71,656      |63,461      |57,851      |22,272      |10,286      |276,937                  

July 1987      |52,269      |65,066      |48,004      |45,575      |19,069      |5,625       |235,608                  

July 1988      |48,953      |76,327      |64,174      |46,446      |22,682      |7,969       |266,551                  

August 1987    |40,099      |56,929      |38,765      |53,836      |17,939      |4,195       |211,763                  

August 1988    |34,458      |46,551      |50,528      |51,991      |2,630       |4,566       |190,724                  

September 1987 |24,731      |32,838      |25,815      |49,407      |14,665      |2,681       |150,137                  

September 1988 |24,480      |31,081      |25,929      |22,112      |7,284       |2,421       |113,307                  

October 1987   |15,940      |27,529      |22,891      |23,236      |7,410       |1,596       |98,602                   

October 1988   |23,312      |32,086      |28,829      |26,042      |8,453       |1,653       |120,375                  

November 1987  |20,584      |26,496      |24,242      |21,095      |6,646       |1,356       |100,419                  

November 1988  |31,220      |39,145      |37,792      |37,755      |9,474       |1,714       |157,100                  

December 1987  |13,293      |21,475      |20,634      |21,265      |5,759       |1,119       |83,545                   

December 1988  |17,600      |10,181      |27,493      |31,119      |8,083       |1,168       |95,644                   

  Total 1987   |355,475     |554,993     |480,422     |439,302     |159,723     |51,305      |2,041,220                

  Total 1988   |414,569     |665,277     |565,096     |547,685     |165,633     |60,248      |2,418,508                

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the average time taken to process applications for new passports at each office from time of receipt to date of issue as at the first day of each month in 1988 ;

(2) what was the average time taken to process applications for (a) renewal and (b) amendment to passports at each office from time of receipt to date of issue on the first day of each month in 1988.


Column 584

Mr. Renton : I regret that the information is not available in precisely the form requested. The processing times in working days for straightforward, non-urgent applications of all types are shown in the table, and relate to applications completed on the dates shown.


Column 583


             |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast                  

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

January      |45          |5           |19          |7           |6           |2                        

February     |32          |10          |12          |12          |14          |3                        

March        |43          |14          |20.5        |15          |24          |3                        

April        |39          |11          |25.5        |18          |28          |3                        

May          |47          |13          |30          |18          |33          |4                        

June         |56          |11          |34          |21          |35          |4                        

July         |52          |14          |34          |22          |38          |3                        

August       |12          |11          |16          |12          |2           |2                        

September    |8           |10          |7           |5           |7           |2                        

October      |8           |7           |6           |6           |13          |2                        

November     |16          |6           |7           |11          |11          |2                        

December     |11          |2           |7           |6           |13          |2                        

Note: Figures are those at the first weekend of each month in 1988.                                     

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of staff (a) in past and (b) actually on duty in each passport office on the first day of each month in 1988.


Column 584

Mr. Renton : The table shows the number of staff in post and on duty at each regional passport office on the first working day of each month in 1988.


Column 583


             |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast                  

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

January                                                                                                 

  (a)        |250.5       |200         |177.5       |177         |83          |14.5                     

  (b)        |215.5       |165.5       |153         |160         |65          |11.5                     

February                                                                                                

  (a)        |271.5       |209         |191         |185.5       |91          |16                       

  (b)        |244.5       |178.5       |158         |155         |76          |16                       

March                                                                                                   

  (a)        |272.5       |231         |208         |221.5       |92.5        |16.5                     

  (b)        |243.5       |187.5       |185         |190         |78          |12                       

April                                                                                                   

  (a)        |278.5       |248         |217.5       |221.5       |103.5       |18                       

  (b)        |255.5       |175.5       |167.5       |146         |81          |13                       

May                                                                                                     

  (a)        |304.5       |248.5       |226.5       |223.5       |123.5       |20                       

  (b)        |280.5       |206.5       |194.5       |187         |107         |17                       

June                                                                                                    

  (a)        |302         |259.5       |223         |220.5       |121.5       |21                       

  (b)        |281         |205.5       |168.5       |147         |104         |21                       

July                                                                                                    

  (a)        |301         |256.5       |217         |213.5       |126.5       |21                       

  (b)        |272         |187.5       |153.5       |171         |107.5       |14                       

August                                                                                                  

  (a)        |304         |249.5       |221         |207.5       |122.5       |23                       

  (b)        |284         |185.5       |177         |156         |103.5       |17                       

September                                                                                               

  (a)        |266.5       |210         |179.5       |189.5       |114.5       |15                       

  (b)        |240.5       |154         |152         |160         |91.5        |10.5                     

October                                                                                                 

  (a)        |266.5       |195.5       |169         |168.5       |104.5       |13                       

  (b)        |241.5       |148.5       |143         |137         |77.5        |10                       

November                                                                                                

  (a)        |251.5       |190.5       |169         |166.5       |120         |12                       

  (b)        |235.5       |160         |148.5       |141         |107         |7                        

December                                                                                                

  (a)        |245         |198.5       |176         |162.5       |129         |12                       

  (b)        |221         |154.5       |158.5       |128         |101         |7.5                      

Column (a) Number of staff in post.

(b) Number of staff on duty (London figures do not reflect absences on annual/flexible working hours leave).

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were employed on a casual basis, namely, not on the permanent staff, at each passport office in each month of 1987 and 1988 ; and what was the cost of such staff.


Column 586

Mr. Renton : The table below shows the number of casual staff in post at each regional passport office on the last day of each month in 1987 and 1988, and the annual cost of such staff.


Column 585


               |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast                  

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

January 1987   |20          |5           |19          |16          |5           |-                        

January 1988   |20          |11          |25          |20          |8           |-                        

February 1987  |22          |27          |26          |21          |7           |1                        

February 1988  |27          |32          |43          |53          |10          |2                        

March 1987     |25          |34          |37          |33          |9           |1                        

March 1988     |37          |51          |51          |52.5        |21          |4                        

April 1987     |40          |33          |39          |33          |9           |2                        

April 1988     |62.5        |50          |62          |53.5        |40          |5                        

May 1987       |27          |45          |42          |39          |15          |3                        

May 1988       |54          |62          |60          |51.5        |38          |5                        

June 1987      |50          |49          |43          |51          |26          |5                        

June 1988      |56.5        |58          |54          |48.5        |39          |6                        

July 1987      |47          |46          |37          |50          |24          |5                        

July 1988      |57.5        |53          |58          |41.5        |35          |8                        

August 1987    |34          |12          |24          |41          |18          |4                        

August 1988    |26          |25          |31          |35.5        |29          |-                        

September 1987 |12          |-           |9           |11          |8           |-                        

September 1988 |19          |21          |8           |5           |18          |-                        

October 1987   |10          |-           |2           |-           |7           |-                        

October 1988   |12          |17          |9           |4           |7           |-                        

November 1987  |6           |-           |2           |-           |6           |-                        

November 1988  |10          |17          |16          |4           |7           |-                        

December 1987  |3           |-           |1           |-           |6           |-                        

December 1988  |7           |12          |4           |-           |7           |-                        

Salary cost of casual staff: 1987-£567,002.  1988-£864,030.                                               

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visitors' passports were issued in each year from 1979 ; and how many extensions to passports were issued in 1986 to date.

Mr. Renton : The information is shown in the tables.


II. Annual total of  

free short-term      

extensions to        

expired passports    

granted to personal  

callers at the       

London Passport      

Office               

       |Number       

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

1986   |Nil          

1987   |13,532       

1988   |18,511       

The figure for 1988 is not yet available.


II. Annual total of  

free short-term      

extensions to        

expired passports    

granted to personal  

callers at the       

London Passport      

Office               

       |Number       

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

1986   |Nil          

1987   |13,532       

1988   |18,511       

Precise figures are not available from the other regional passport offices, but the numbers issued were very low.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated time expected to be taken between receipt by application and issue of (a) new passports, (b) renewals and (c) amendment to passports at each office in 1989.


Column 586

Mr. Renton : Subject to continuing satisfactory progress with the computerisation programme and no unforeseen changes occurring in the volume and pattern of demand for passport services, the passport department will be aiming in 1989 to process all straightforward, non-urgent passport applications within a month.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the target time for answering telephone inquiries at each passport office as at (a) 1 July 1988 and (b) the latest available date ; what was the estimated average time to answer such calls ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Renton : There were no specific target times for answering telephone inquiries during 1988, and no information is available as to the average time taken to answer such calls. The passport department has undertaken a complete review of its telephone systems with a view to improving the service provided to the public, and various enhancements are being made. The aim in 1989 will be to provide a personal response to 90 per cent. of calls within two minutes of connection, but the achievement of this will depend on a number of factors, including the successful implementation of the remainder of the computerisation programme.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the date of receipt of applications for new passports being dealt with on (a) 1 July 1988 and (b) 1 August 1988 at each passport office.

Mr. Renton : The table shows the date of receipt of applications for new passports being dealt with by each regional passport office at the first weekend in July and August 1988.


Column 587


                          |Week ending 3 July 1988  |Week ending 7 August 1988                          

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

London                    |19 April                 |25 July                                            

Liverpool                 |17 June                  |22 July                                            

Peterborough              |19 May                   |18 July                                            

Newport                   |6 June                   |20 July                                            

Glasgow                   |19 May                   |5 August                                           

Belfast                   |1 July                   |5 August                                           

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff not employed as permanent members of staff have worked for a continuous period of (a) three months and (b) six months or more in 1988, showing the information for each passport office.

Mr. Renton : The table shows the number of casual staff employed continuously at each regional passport office during 1988 for (a) three months or more and (b) six months or more.

(a) (b)

London 70 25

Liverpool 29 29

Peterborough 63 34

Newport 52 30

Glasgow 39 29

Belfast 3 2

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider a public campaign to encourage people to apply for new passports in the months from January to June and November and December.

Mr. Renton : The passport department already publicises on its application forms and in other ways, the need to apply for passports in good time and to avoid the peak summer periods when delays tend to be greatest. They are examining ways of reinforcing this message in 1989.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total budget for salaries and overtime in passport offices in 1988-89 ; what is the estimated expenditure ; and if he will provide the same information for 1989-90.

Mr. Renton : The salaries and overtime element of the passport department's budget for running costs in 1988-89 amounted to £9.9 million. This is likely to be exceeded due


Column 588

to the heavy demand for passport services during the year, but it is not yet possible to say precisely what the outturn expenditure will be. Budget estimates for 1989-90 have yet to be finally determined.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many telephone lines are available for calls from the public at each passport office in 1989 ; how many were available in 1988 ; how many staff are currently allowed to answer such calls ; how many were available to do so during June to October 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Renton : The table shows the number of telephone lines available for incoming calls from the public at each passport office in (a) January 1988 and (b) January 1989.


             |(a)|(b)    

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

London       |28 |28     

Liverpool    |24 |24     

Peterborough |12 |24     

Newport      |17 |40     

Glasgow      |6  |12     

Belfast      |3  |3      

The switchboards at London, Peterborough and Newport connect callers initially to recorded message systems, giving general information for passport applicants. This service is to be extended to the other offices. Staff are allocated to telephone inquiry duties according to the overall operational needs of the office, taking into account other demands, in particular that of passport-issuing. No precise information is available as to the number of staff available to answer incoming calls during a particular period.

Passport Offices (Hours of Work)

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate (a) the number of hours overtime, (b) the average number of hours overtime and (c) the cost of such overtime to each passport office in each month in 1988.

Mr. Renton : The table shows the monthly number of hours overtime worked at each regional passport office, and the estimated cost of such overtime, in 1988.


Column 587


             |London      |Liverpool   |Peterborough|Newport     |Glasgow     |Belfast                  

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

January                                                                                                 

  (a)        |2,088       |1,263       |2,269       |2,391       |325         |0                        

  (b)        |22,181      |10,180      |18,288      |19,271      |2,620       |0                        

February                                                                                                

  (a)        |5,029       |6,467       |3,634       |4,810       |1,520       |0                        

  (b)        |53,424      |52,124      |29,290      |38,769      |12,251      |0                        

March                                                                                                   

  (a)        |4,667       |11,017      |3,190       |4,994       |2,636       |0                        

  (b)        |49,578      |88,797      |25,711      |40,252      |21,246      |0                        

April                                                                                                   

  (a)        |7,373       |16,276      |5,138       |7,455       |3,865       |0                        

  (b)        |78,325      |131,185     |41,412      |60,087      |31,152      |0                        

May                                                                                                     

  (a)        |6,432       |11,119      |3,792       |4,059       |3,648       |0                        

  (b)        |68,328      |89,619      |30,564      |32,716      |29,403      |0                        

June                                                                                                    

  (a)        |4,351       |4,625       |4,065       |3,271       |2,809       |248                      

  (b)        |46,221      |37,278      |32,764      |26,364      |22,641      |1,999                    

July                                                                                                    

  (a)        |5,654       |4,301       |2,928       |3,388       |2,790       |614                      

  (b)        |60,063      |34,666      |23,600      |27,307      |22,487      |4,949                    

August                                                                                                  

  (a)        |1,637       |0           |1,686       |1,322       |0           |0                        

  (b)        |17,390      |0           |13,589      |10,655      |0           |0                        

September                                                                                               

  (a)        |231         |397         |29          |0           |315         |0                        

  (b)        |2,454       |3,200       |234         |0           |2,539       |0                        

October                                                                                                 

  (a)        |997         |1,407       |123         |0           |594         |0                        

  (b)        |10,591      |11,340      |991         |0           |4,788       |0                        

November                                                                                                

  (a)        |3,463       |2,386       |998         |1,146       |0           |0                        

  (b)        |36,788      |19,231      |8,044       |9,237       |0           |0                        

December                                                                                                

  (a)        |1,342       |0           |1,238       |2,905       |461         |0                        

  (b)        |14,256      |0           |9,978       |23,414      |3,716       |0                        

Column:                                                                                                 

(a) shows the number of hours overtime worked.                                                          

(b) shows the estimated cost of such overtime in £.                                                     

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated amount of overtime expected to be worked at each passport office in 1989 ; and what is the estimated cost.

Mr. Renton : The requirements for overtime working are determined by operational needs, which are in turn determined by the level and pattern of demand for passport services. Budget estimates for 1989-90 have yet to be finally determined.

Heathrow (Police)

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis of the total hours worked by police officers at Heathrow airport in each month from April to October 1988.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the commissioner that the information is as follows :


          |Hours        

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

April     |64,069       

May       |65,996       

June      |64,483       

July      |64,917       

August    |61,673       

September |60,900       

October   |65,553       

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the number of hours worked by police officers at Heathrow airport in each week from 31 October 1988 to 22 January 1989 or to the latest date for which information is available ; what is the average number of hours expected to be worked by officers at Heathrow in each week until 31 March 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from thecommissioner that the information is as follows :


                                     |Hours        

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

31 October 1988 to 6 November 1988   |15,485       

7 November 1988 to 13 November 1988  |15,389       

14 November 1988 to 20 November 1988 |15,682       

21 November 1988 to 27 November 1988 |15,489       

28 November 1988 to 4 December 1988  |16,539       

5 December 1988 to 11 December 1988  |16,032       

12 December 1988 to 18 December 1988 |14,863       

19 December 1988 to 25 December 1988 |14,765       

26 December 1988 to 1 January 1989   |11,024       

2 January 1989 to 8 January 1989     |14,016       

9 January 1989 to 15 January 1989    |15,361       

The average number of hours worked each week until 31 March is expected to be about 15,400.

Crime (Lighting)

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider implementing a programme to substantially improve lighting in public areas and streets to combat crime ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : I accept the view that substantial improvements in street lighting can reduce the public's fear of crime, and in certain circumstances can help to prevent crime itself. Together with colleagues in the Departments of Environment and Transport, we are seeking to identify where early action can be taken.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to the average time taken for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to come to a final decision on claims made to the board for compensation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Field) on 20 January at column 350.

Pirate Decoders

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what body will have the responsibility for policing pirate decoders after the abolition of the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

Mr. Renton : Should pirate equipment become available, it would be for the company to pursue the pirate manufacturers through the civil courts, or for the police to investigate any criminal offences which might have been committed.


Column 591

Channel 5

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether investment in Channel 5, prior to its establishment, will be borne by ITV and Channel 4.

Mr. Renton : We have no proposals to invite existing contractors to invest in Channel 5.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on how much the Independent Broadcasting Authority spent on Channel 5.

Mr. Renton : The IBA has been involved in a study of the operational and engineering aspects of the proposed Channel 5 but I understand that their costs have not been separately identified.

Mr. Mark Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of any disruption to ITV and Channel 4 services which will be caused by the installation of Channel 5 transmitter equipment.

Mr. Renton : Detailed arrangement have not yet been made for the introduction of Channel 5 transmission. Experience suggests that, though short-term interruptions to night time services might be necessary there need be no interruption to services during the day and evening.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish a table identifying which transmitter sites need additional equipment before transmitting Channel 5.

Mr. Renton : The precise coverage of a Channel 5 service has not yet been decided.

Transmitters

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is his intention to define minimum standards of transmitter performance which will apply after 1992.

Mr. Renton : As our White Paper made clear, we intend to ensure that high technical standards are maintained. The study on the privatisation of the transmission system which we announced on 30 December will examine whether any technical regulation is necessary to ensure this, and if so, what form it should take.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means transmitter replacement will be funded.

Mr. Renton : As we made clear in our White Paper, a privatised transmission system will be expected to achieve the same degree and quality of coverage as at present. The study on the privatisation of the transmission system which we announced on 30 December will be examining how this objective can be best achieved. The cost of maintaining the transmission system would fall to the private sector operators.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Independent Television Commission will be responsible for monitoring transmitter performance.

Mr. Renton : It is envisaged that the ITC will supervise the transmission arrangements for independent services, in


Column 592

order to ensure conformity with international obligations and the observance of technical specifications designed to limit interference. The study on the privatisation of the transmission system which we are commissioning will consider whether any further technical regulation is necessary.

In the transitional period before the establishment of a privatised transmission system, we envisage that the ITC will also be responsible for appointing, and monitoring the performance of, transmission contractors.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many ITV and Channel 4 transmitters are on British Broadcasting Corporation-owned sites.

Mr. Renton : Four hundred and sixty one.

Business Vote (City of London)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to abolish the business vote in the City of London ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No.

Aldermen

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to seek to abolish the office of alderman.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have no plans to abolish the office.

SCOTLAND

Skye (Road Bridge)

Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the proposed construction of a road bridge to Skye ; what submissions he has received from the private construction sector ; what further consultations have taken place with representatives of the Highland regional council ; what consideration has been given to the possibility of recouping capital costs by means of toll charges ; and what assessment has been made of the implications of any of the above on the budgetary position of Highland regional council's roads department.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Highland regional council commissioned a study of the possibility of building a bridge to Skye. This was discussed with officials of the Scottish Development Department in October 1987. It was agreed that the regional council should ask its consultants to carry out further work. Following its completion there was a discussion between Highland regional council and Scottish Development Department officials in November 1988. A range of options and their financial implications is now being considered. Two firms which suggested that the bridge might be built as a private sector project have been asked to provide further information, in particular on the level of tolls which might be charged if the bridge was built in this way.

Nursery Education

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of those aged three and four


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