Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received a report on the young offender wing at HM prison, Leeds, from the deputy director-general of the prison service ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : I have now received the report which I asked the deputy director-general to prepare on the young offender wing at Leeds, with particular reference to the deaths of five young prisoners there in the past year. The report concludes that the deaths appear not to have been the result either of the way in which the prisoners were treated or of conditions on the wing, which are at least as good as those at comparable establishments. The report finds the prison service suicide prevention procedures are being complied with at Leeds prison, and argues that the situation would not be improved by simply removing the young prisoners at Leeds to another establishment. It does, however, make a number of specific recommendations aimed at preventing further fatalities. These include the installation of more sophisticated cell lighting to facilitate observation of inmates at night without disturbing them ; the establishment of a suicide prevention management group at the prison ; the training of more staff in suicide prevention awareness and techniques; the improvement of the reception area where newly arrived inmates are screened for suicide risk ; and improved arrangements for communication between staff involved
Column 456with young prisoners at Leeds. I accept these recommendations and am asking the governor and regional director to implement them as quickly as possible.
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has of the cost of opening one magistrates' court, staffed by a probation officer in the London area for two hours on a Saturday afternoon.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by year and by grade of inmate, the number of offences by inmates at HM prison Lindholme, since it was opened of (a) gross personal violence to a prison officer, (b) assault on a prison officer and (c) attempts to commit such offences ; and if he will give in his answer the penalty imposed on inmates found guilty of each offence.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 6 March 1989] : All prisoners held at Lindholme are sentenced adult males. The readily available information relates to offences proved on adjudication and is given in the table.
|c|Proved offences of gross personal violence to or assault on a prison officer committed at Lindholme prison: by type of offence and punishment|c| |c|awarded, 1986 and 1987.|c| Number of offences Offence and year |Total offences |Cellular confinement |Forfeiture of privileges |Stoppage or reduction of |Exclusion from associated|Forfeiture of remission |Total punishments |earnings |work --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gross personal violence to prison officer |1986 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- Assault on prison officer |1986 |2 |1 |1 |1 |1 |2 |6 |1987 |1 |- |- |- |- |1 |1 Attempted gross personal violence to or assault on |1986 |2 |- |- |- |- |2 |2 prison officer |1987 |- |- |- |- |- |- |-
Mr. Luce : I am glad to announce that I am setting aside up to £100,000 a year for the three years 1989-90 to 1991-92 towards the establishment of a national manuscripts conservation fund. This is in response to a
Column 456proposal from the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and the British Library, who are seeking matching amounts from other sources. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to record offices, libraries and other owners of manuscripts, documents and archives accessible to the public, where the need for special conservation beyond the applicants' normal resources can be demonstrated. Grants will normally match applicants' own contributions. If the expectation regarding matching by applicants and from other sources is realised, this will mean that up to £400, 000 will be available for the conservation of manuscripts in each year. The rules of the fund will be determined by its trustees who have yet to be appointed. The fund will be administered by the British Library's research and development department, to which all inquiries should be addressed.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will take steps to devise with the Civil Service college together with the permanent staff of the House an induction course for new hon. Members.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service why, pursuant to his reply of 20 February, Official Report, column 519, the three organisations referred to were asked to return their payment warrants ; and why the four others were not so asked.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date, after the previous lease had expired in June 1979, the renewed leasehold agreement between the Property Services Agency and Bourne Association Ltd., for the rent of 67 Tufton street, Westminster, commenced.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date, after the previous lease had expired in June 1979, a renewed leasehold agreement between the Property Services Agency and Bourne Association Ltd., for the rent of 67 Tufton street, Westminster, was signed.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date, after the previous lease had expired in June 1979, a renewed leasehold agreement between the Property Services Agency and Bourne Association Ltd., for the rent of 67 Tufton street, Westminster, terminated.
Column 458exempt from the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 the leasehold agreement made by the Property Services Agency for the rent of 67 Tufton street, Westminster, which expired in June 1979.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date notice of determination of the leasehold agreement made between Bourne Association Limited and the Property Services Agency for the rent of 67 Tufton street, Westminster, was served on the Property Services Agency.
Mr. Trippier : Our policy is that affordable housing should be within the reach of all families. In particular we recognise the need to stimulate investment in the rented sector. This need not all be publicly owned and subsidised housing--housing benefit is available for poorer tenants who cannot afford their housing costs. But we accept the continuing need for some new investment in subsidised rented housing in areas of shortage. We are therefore encouraging private investment in housing associations and increasing public funding for the Housing Corporation programme by 80 per cent. over three years ; and we have clarified local authorities' powers to pay subsidies to private landlords where this is needed to stimulate investment whilst keeping rents at affordable levels.
Mr. Trippier : This is a matter for the landlords and tenants concerned, and circumstances will vary. Housing associations are required to have regard to the Housing Corporation's tenants' guarantee, which says that they should set and maintain their rents at levels which are within the reach of those in low paid employment. Local authorities should have regard to the provision of section 24 of the Housing Act 1985.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table of the numbers of registered homeless people for each housing authority area for each of the last three years.
Mr. Trippier : The number of households accepted under the homelessness provisions of the Housing Acts reported by local authorities for 1985, 1986 and 1987 are published in "Local Housing Statistics" (issues No. 78, 82 and 86 respectively). Figures for the first and second quarters of 1988 are also published in issues No. 86 and 87 of "Local Housing Statistics"; figures for the third quarter appear in "Local authorities' action under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 Housing Act : England. Results for the third quarter of 1988. Supplementary Tables".
Copies of all these are available in the Library.
Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when his Department will reply to the letter dated 24 January 1989 from the city of Birmingham housing department about the 1989-90 financial arrangements for five estate action schemes in Birmingham.
Mr. Ridley : My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales and I propose that, to assist the harmonisation of rating, we should use our powers to prescribe common decapitalisation rates to be used throughout Great Britain in the 1990 revaluation for properties valued by reference to the cost of construction. The evidence suggests that the rate should be set somewhere in the range 6 to 7 per cent., although a lower rate may be justified for certain educational and health care establishments valued on this basis. We shall be issuing a consultation paper shortly.
Mr. Ridley : My Department has today issued a consultation paper inviting comments by 21 April 1989 on various proposals relating to compulsory purchase and land compensation. I have placed a copy in the Library.
Mr. Baldry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the Government have concluded their review of the compensation provisions applying to compulsory purchases for commercial purposes.
Mr. Ridley : The Government have given careful thought to the representations about the land compensation code made during the debates on the Channel Tunnel Bill and in a memorandum submitted by the National Farmers Union and the Country Landowners Association. Under the existing provisions, compensation is based on the market value of the land, taking account of any planning permission or hope value which attaches to it, but disregarding the effects of the scheme for which the land is being taken, except in so far as the actual or prospective development might have taken place apart from the scheme. It is generally accepted that in most cases this basis of compensation achieves a fair result since it gives the land owner the value which his asset would have realised on the open market in the absence of the proposed scheme.
The main point raised during the parliamentary debates on the subject, and repeated in the joint memorandum, was that the code operates unfairly where the end use of the land is essentially commercial, since a commercial undertaking acquiring land without the benefit of compulsory purchase powers might be expected to pay the landowner a premium in order to secure the land for itself. Particular concern was expressed about the compulsory powers which remain with nationalised industries after they have been privatised. Land may be acquired compulsorily only where authorised by or under statute. The compulsory powers remaining with nationalised industries after privatisation relate only to the statutory functions of those industries and cannot be used to acquire land which is not needed for those functions. Each acquisition must be justified on its merits having regard to the statutory powers concerned. In these respects, compulsory acquisitions of land by or on behalf of private sector bodies do not differ from other compulsory acquisitions. The Government's view is that the market value of the land as assessed under the existing compensation provisions remains a fair measure of the loss to be compensated where any land is acquired compulsorily. It will be for Parliament to consider the scope and extent of any compulsory acquisition powers proposed in future legislation including private legislation to authorise particular developments for which land may need to be compulsorily acquired. However, it is the Government's view that compulsory powers should not be available to acquire land for incidental commercial development.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : In October 1987 at a meeting of Ministers from a number of EC and EFTA countries, we suggested that co-operation on stratospheric ozone should be dealt with on a Europewide basis. We are pleased that following discussion by representatives of various EC and EFTA countries and leading European stratospheric scientists over the past year, our proposal has led to the establishment of a European stratospheric ozone research co-ordinating centre.
The unit will be set up this spring in Cambridge and led by a British scientists Dr. Tony Cox of the UKAEA Harwell laboratory, Oxfordshire, who has an established international reputation in atmospheric chemistry. It will be located at the offices of the Natural Environment Research Council's British Antarctic survey and will operate in conjunction with a panel of European scientists to facilitate co-operation on stratospheric ozone research. The centre will be administered jointly by Cambridge university and the British Antarctic survey. We hope that a scientist from another European country will be attached to the centre to support Dr. Cox.
The Department is assessing the production, use, recyclability and disposal of CFCs, with a view to defining areas where specific research may be justified. Meanwhile, any company with a project eligible for support under the enterprise initiative, including the research and technology initiative, should make full use of the assistance available.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the submission being prepared for presentation to the European Commission which covers less-favoured areas in the whole of the United Kingdom will be completed and forwarded for its consideration.
Mr. Ryder : We are now very close to completing work on the application of the required economic and demographic tests in the United Kingdom. I plan to put a case to Brussels for consideration very soon and will keep the House informed of progress.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when information has been passed by spotter planes working in conjunction with fisheries protection vessels, that Belgian trawlers were fishing in forbidden or restricted waters ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In 1988, two Belgian beam trawlers were observed by United Kingdom surveillance aircraft illegally fishing within the six-mile limit. In both cases the vessels were prosecuted and financial penalties were imposed by the courts.
Mr. Michael Marshall : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the outcome was of his Departmental review of data with potential value to the information services industry, initiated after the circulation of policy guidelines on Government-held tradeable information in 1986.
Mr. Donald Thompson : An "information audit" has been carried out in the Department and a number of information systems have been identified as potential candidates for commercial exploitation. Further work is needed on these systems to assess their commercial viability.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he intends to take any action to prohibit farming systems for the intensive rearing of red deer ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Reid : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list which of the 17 measures referred to by him in the Official Report, at column 933, on 21 February, are new measures to be enacted and which of them are within existing legislation ;
(2) if he will give the dates and circumstances when any of the 17 measures referred to by him on 21 February, Official Report, column 933, have been used to deal with salmonella enteritidis.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) on Friday 3 March at columns 373-74. All 17 measures, many of which are already in operation, are intended to contribute actively to combating salmonella enteritidis.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on his proposals for the future funding and manpower of agricultural research and development, particularly in relation to (a) the Agricultural Development advisory service and (b) the Agricultural and Food Research Council.
Mr. Ryder : As announced in November 1987, planned expenditure on R and D by Agriculture departments will be reduced by £5 million in 1989 -90 and by a further £5 million in 1990-91. The 1988 Autumn Statement announced a further £5 million reduction for 1990-91 and an additional £9 million for 1991-92. Together, these reductions amount to a total of £24 million by 1991-92, which is equivalent to £30 million at full economic cost. However, there will be an increase in the strategic research funded from the agriculture, fisheries and food programme of £2 million in 1990-91 and a further £3 million in 1991-92.
Final decisions on the future level of Government funding of agricultural research and development will not be taken until after consultations with the industry on the funding of near market research are completed. Those consultations will also be an important factor in determining future staffing levels of the Agriculture Development and Advisory Service on research and development. I shall keep the House informed of decisions taken to adapt our facilities and manpower to the policy on near market research.
The Agriculture and Food Research Council receives funds from my Department and through the science budget which is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education and Science who is also answerable to this House for all matters related to the council.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I have recently issued one time-limited klondyking licence valid until mid-March. The vessel concerned has a relatively limited processing capacity. Last year six vessels were licensed to klondyke in this fishery. Before issuing licences I take full account of the views of interested parties. In the case of the licence I have issued, I concluded that, especially in view of the proportion of mackerel landings which has gone for fishmeal, a limited klondyking operation was fully justified. It should have no damaging effects on the mackerel stock, bearing in mind the conservation measures which apply, including the extended south-west mackerel box.
Mr. Lord : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current position on grant aid for the Anglian water authority's proposed sea defence scheme for Aldeburgh ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. MacGregor : I am delighted to announce that approval has now been given to the Anglian water authority's outline proposals for a £4 million sea defence scheme at Aldeburgh. My officials have written to inform the authority.
The area around Aldeburgh is highly prized for its environmental features which include a heritage coast and an environmentally sensitive area. As well as preventing flooding to people, land and property, the improved sea defences will afford protection to valuable conservation, amenity and recreational interests.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the research conducted by Dr. Robert Gallo in the United States of America relating to the identification of the human B-lymphotropic virus as a possible co-factor necessary for HIV to cause AIDS, is being assessed as part of his AIDS research programme.
Mrs. Rumbold : The AIDS research programme funded from the science budget is run by the Medical Research Council and it is for the council to make scientific judgments on the content of the programme. I understand that British research has included the possibility that human B-cell lymphotropic virus (human herpes virus 6) might be a co-factor necessary for HIV to cause AIDS. The initial results do not support the contention.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Medical Research Council is not conducting such research. I understand that studies that have been carried out under the other auspices have produced conflicting results on both the safety and the activity against HIV of this formulation.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he intends to sponsor trials into the application of AL 721 active lecithin as part of the AIDS research programmes, in view of evidence of its potential for protection against viral activity via the enhancement of cell membrane defences.
Mrs. Rumbold : The AIDS research programme funded from the science budget is run by the Medical Research Council and it is for the council to make scientific judgments on the contents of the programme. I understand that the council plans no trials of AL 721 active lecithin. Preliminary results should shortly be available from a small trial under other auspices.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidelines he has issued as to the composition of local education authority standing advisory committees on religious education ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : The basis composition of standing advisory councils on religious education (SACREs) is laid down by the Education Reform Act 1988. The Department has recently issued a circular explaining the new requirements for religious education and collective worship in schools, including those for SACREs, and a copy has been placed in the Library.
APT--The Association for Lecturers in Higher Education
Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association
Association for Student Counselling
Association of College Registrars and Administrators
Association of County Councils
Association of Graduate Recruiters
Association of Heads of Polytechnic Student Services
Association of Metropolitan Authorities
Association of University Teachers
Association of University Teachers, London Committee
Brighton Polytechnic (Department of Economics and Social Science) Bristol Polytechnic Students' Union
British Dental Association
British Medical Association
Chartered Association of Certified Accountants
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Christ Church College, Canterbury
Church of Scotland, Department of Education
City of London Polytechnic
Commission for Racial Equality
Committee of Directors of Polytechnics
Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom
Conference of Awards Officers of London and the Home Counties Conference of Scottish Centrally-Funded Colleges
Conservative Collegiate Forum
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Council for Professional Supplementary to Medicine
Craigie College of Education
Currie High School, Midlothian
Dorset Institute Students Union
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art
Dundee Institute of Technology
Engineering Employers' Federation
Equal Opportunities Commission
Family Welfare Association (Educational Grants Advisory Service) Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
General Synod of the Church of England Advisory Council for the Church's Ministry
Glasgow College Students Association