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The Prime Minister : This Government's success in co-ordinating policies to ensure that pensioners have an adequate standard of living is clearly shown by the fact that we have maintained the value of retirement pension, ensured that pensioners' savings keep their value, and encouraged the growth of occupational pensions. These policies resulted in a 23 per cent. real terms increase in pensioners' total average net income in our first seven years in office. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security announced in November last year that an extra £200 million annually is to be made available to certain groups of pensioners through the income support scheme, who have not shared fully in the prosperity enjoyed by pensioners as a whole.
Q80. Sir David Price : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the protection of the British coast line and the development of appropriate sea defences ; and which of her Ministers has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of such a policy.
The Prime Minister : Through the provision of grant aid to water and other drainage authorities and to maritime district councils, Her Majesty's Government provide a substantial contribution to the cost of capital works undertaken by these bodies for the protection of the coastline from flooding and erosion by the sea.
Ministerial responsibility in England for flood and coastal defences rests with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and in other parts of the United Kingdom the respective Secretaries of State.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Prime Minister if, during her recent meeting with President Mitterrand of France, she raised the possiblity of Franco- British technical co-operation to resolve outstanding technical problems of verification for a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.
The Prime Minister : I concluded that it would be considerate to postpone my visit to Sudan because of the present political difficulties there. The Government hope that all parties in Sudan will work for the restoration of peace and stability.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I shall be presenting the north-east business man of the year awards in Gateshead.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list all local education authorities in England in rank order of expenditure per secondary pupil per year, together with their position in the table of examination results for school leavers achieving five or more O-levels at grades A to C or CSE grade 1, for the year 1984- 85.
Mrs. Rumbold : The information in the table gives the average cost per secondary school pupil for the financial year 1984-85 ; and the three- year average, over the academic years 1984-85, 1985-86 and 1986-87, of the proportion of school leavers who attained five or more higher grades at O- level/CSE. The latter figures are drawn from a 10 per cent. sample of pupils at each school and are presented in the form of a three-year average, rather than for any single year, to help mitigate the effects of sampling error.
|c|Secondary schools in England|c| Examination results: Average over the academic year 1984-85, 1985-86 and 1986-87 |Expenditure per pupil (£)|Percentage of school |Ranking |in the financial year |leavers attaining 5+ |1984-85 |higher grades at |O-level/CSE ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Local education authorities: ILEA |1,940 |15.4 |90 Haringey |1,615 |17.3 |83 Brent |1,525 |19.1 |75 Newham |1,485 |12.4 |93 Waltham Forest |1,450 |11.0 |94 Ealing |1,315 |19.6 |69 Manchester |1,295 |17.3 |82 Hillingdon |1,275 |21.2 |62 Barnet |1,265 |41.0 |1 Newcastle-upon-Tyne |1,245 |17.7 |80 Knowsley |1,240 |10.6 |95 Harrow |1,240 |37.8 |2 Havering |1,230 |23.9 |44 Barking |1,225 |9.9 |96 Croydon |1,225 |22.9 |52 Hounslow |1,190 |21.5 |61 Redbridge |1,185 |25.6 |32 North Tyneside |1,180 |21.9 |56 Coventry |1,180 |19.9 |67 Richmond-upon-Thames |1,170 |26.5 |26 Liverpool |1,165 |17.0 |84 Kingston-upon-Thames |1,165 |34.8 |3 Rochdale |1,155 |20.2 |64 Bromley |1,155 |30.5 |10 South Tyneside |1,150 |18.1 |79 Enfield |1,150 |23.7 |45 Sheffield |1,150 |18.9 |74 Sandwell |1,135 |13.4 |92 Wolverhampton |1,130 |15.4 |89 Stockport |1,130 |24.3 |41 Wigan |1,110 |27.2 |19 Nottinghamshire |1,110 |19.6 |68 Salford |1,110 |18.9 |76 Walsall |1,105 |19.1 |73 Leicestershire |1,100 |22.9 |51 Bury |1,100 |28.4 |16 Buckinghamshire |1,095 |31.6 |8 Avon |1,085 |24.7 |38 Bexley |1,080 |26.6 |24 Gateshead |1,080 |18.8 |77 Hertfordshire |1,075 |28.9 |13 Cleveland |1,075 |27.5 |18 Barnsley |1,070 |15.7 |88 Tameside |1,070 |23.5 |48 Oxfordshire |1,070 |26.5 |25 Doncaster |1,065 |19.2 |72 Birmingham |1,060 |16.9 |85 Bedfordshire |1,060 |25.9 |29 Sutton |1,060 |34.4 |4 Sunderland |1,060 |19.3 |70 Berkshire |1,055 |27.5 |17 Sefton |1,045 |27.0 |21 St. Helens |1,040 |23.6 |46 Merton |1,040 |24.9 |36 Shropshire |1,040 |27.0 |22 Humberside |1,040 |21.1 |63 Trafford |1,040 |31.7 |7 Wirral |1,035 |23.5 |47 Bolton |1,035 |24.9 |37 Northamptonshire |1,035 |20.0 |66 North Yorkshire |1,035 |31.4 |9 Surrey |1,030 |34.4 |5 Cumbria |1,025 |24.2 |42 Staffordshire |1,025 |23.4 |50 Derbyshire |1,020 |21.5 |58 Solihull |1,020 |29.4 |11 Essex |1,015 |25.1 |35 Lancashire |1,015 |24.7 |39 Gloucestershire |1,015 |28.6 |14 Cheshire |1,010 |26.6 |23 Norfolk |1,010 |21.9 |57 Warwickshire |1,010 |26.2 |27 East Sussex |1,000 |25.7 |30 Calderdale |1,000 |19.3 |71 Northumberland |1,000 |29.0 |12 Oldham |995 |16.1 |87 Rotherham |995 |17.4 |81 Dudley |990 |21.5 |60 Bradford |990 |16.7 |86 Lincolnshire |985 |25.3 |34 Devon |980 |23.4 |49 Hampshire |980 |26.0 |28 Suffolk |975 |22.0 |55 Wiltshire |975 |22.1 |54 Wakefield |975 |15.4 |91 Leeds |970 |21.5 |59 Durham |965 |20.0 |65 West Sussex |965 |32.1 |6 Cornwall |965 |25.5 |33 Dorset |960 |28.4 |15 Isle of Wight |960 |18.3 |78 Hereford and Worcester |955 |25.7 |31 Somerset |950 |22.2 |53 Kirklees |950 |24.1 |43 Kent |935 |27.1 |20 Cambridgeshire |690 |24.4 |40
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list, for each of the local education authorities in England the number of A-level grades A to E awarded to pupils in maintained institutions, including both secondary schools and tertiary colleges, in each year from 1982-83 to the latest for which figures are available.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when and where it was stated and agreed in 1986 that the staged salary increase for university teachers was to cover three years ; how long the standard response letter from his Department signed by Miss J. Bonde, in reply to representations concerning the Association of University Teachers dispute has been in use ; and if it is his intention to revise it.
Mr. Jackson : The pay settlement for university non-academic and academic related staff agreed in March 1987 provided for increases of 16.6 per cent from 1 December 1986 and 7.4 per cent from 1 March 1988. At the time of the settlement, the Government gave a clear indication to the employers that no further funds would be made available to finance further increases from 1 April 1988. In the nature of things many correspondents make the same points and accordingly there are areas of similarity in the Department's replies. The comments made on all matters are revised when necessary.
Mr. Straw : To ak the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will place in the Library copies of the submissions which he has received from organisations and bodies in response to his White Paper "Top- up Loans", in a manner similar to the arrangements he made in respect
Column 604of submissions on the consultative documents for the Education Reform Bill ; and if he wll list those organisations.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary on 15 February and 7 March to the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) at columns 209 and 465-67. Formal responses have also been received from Oxford university, Liverpool polytechnic and the Association of Colleges for Further and Higher Education.
Mr. Butcher : The statement has been published today and a copy has been placed in the Library. My right hon. Friend and I hope that it will help those concerned to make the most suitable provision for the education of deaf-blind children. We are grateful for the help that voluntary organisations, in particular SENSE, and local education authorities have given the Department in drawing up this statement.
33. Mr. Clifford Forsythe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many households in Northern Ireland are at present able to receive cable television.
Mr. Renton : Ulster Cablevision has the Cable Authority franchise to provide cable television to 136,000 homes in Belfast. This franchise is not operational yet. In addition, the Cable Authority has authorised a number of satellite master antennae television systems in Northern Ireland. Information on the number of households connected to such systems is not readily available.
34. Mr. A. Cecil Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the implementation of the 1981 and 1987 Broadcasting Acts as they affect Northern Ireland.
Mr. Renton : The Broadcasting Act 1981 sets out the statutory framework for the operation of independent television and radio in the United Kingdom. Under it Ulster Television was re-awarded the ITV franchise for Northern Ireland in 1981 and Downtown Radio had its contract for the provision of the Northern Ireland ILR service extended by a further eight years in 1986. In accordance with the Broadcasting Act 1987, which makes provision for extending existing ITV contracts with the IBA until 31 December 1992, the franchise of Ulster Television is extended to that date.
Column 605speeds of over 200 km per hour on the transmission of UHF and VHF broadcasts ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : My right hon. Friend has not commissioned any such investigations ; neither are we aware of any. Neither the BBC nor the IBA are aware of any problems in transmission or reception of UHF or VHF broadcasts caused by arcing from high speed electric trains.
Mr. Dicks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how long police protection has been provided for Mr. Salman Rushdie ; and what has been the cost to public funds of that provision.
Mr. Hurd : On 14 February 1989, the Metropolitan police decided that it was necessary to provide Mr. Rushdie with police protection. It would not be sensible to disclose information about police protection which would indicate its scale in a particular case.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if there has been any change in the advice given to chief constables concerning the appointment of special constables as in the case of Sealink Harbours Ltd. ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There has been no change in the advice given to chief officers of police about the appointment of special constables for their police force area under section 16 of the Police Act 1964. Chief officers are not parties to the appointment, by Justices, of persons nominated by a statutory harbour authority (under the terms of the Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847) whose special constabulary powers apply only within the port and one mile around it.
Mr. John Marshall To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those arrested at football grounds during the past two seasons were (a) subsequently charged with offences and (b) convicted ; and if he will provide a breakdown of the types of offences for which convictions were secured.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding was given to Relate : National Marriage Guidance for England and Wales in each of the last five years ; what funding is set for 1989-90 ; and if he will make a statement.
|£ --------------------------------------- 1984-85 |827,460 1985-86 |864,570 1986-87 |890,500 1987-88 |912,870 1988-89 |<1>1,035,910 <1>Includes £100,000 supplementary grant-in-aid.
Subject to the approval of Parliament the provision for 1989-90 will be £959,310. That provision will be reviewed during the year.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 8 March 1989] : The experimental byelaw in Stockton-on-Tees, which makes it an offence to drink alcohol in designated public places, was made by the council on 24 February and is expected to be confirmed, subject to the statutory requirements being fulfilled. The experiment will last two years during which its operation will be monitored by the local authority with the assistance of the Home Office. It is expected that the results of the pilot scheme, which involves six other local authorities, will be available in 1991.
(2) how many neighbourhood watch schemes have been established in Cleveland.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 8 March 1989] : At the end of November 1988 the Cleveland police force strength was 1,470 police officers and 429 civilians. This represents increases of 123 police officers and 111 civilians since 1979. Nine police officers and one civilian work full time on crime prevention. Four crime prevention panels are in operation in the area and there are 463 neighbourhood watch schemes, covering 15,826 homes. As part of the Government's "Action for Cities" initiative, a safer cities project is being established in Hartlepool.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many places in hostels he estimates will be lost to ex-offenders as a result of the introduction of the new social security regulations.
Mr. Hurd : In the five departmental Select Committee reports completed since June 1987, to which the Government have responded, 56 recommendations were made, of which 44 have been accepted in whole or in part by the Government, or noted, where no further action by Government was sought.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend has asked HM inspectorate of constabulary, as part of its annual force inspections, to discuss with chief officers and to report to him on the implementation of Home Office circular 52/1988.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department's guidance to police officers on child abuse issued in July 1988 is available to (a) hon. Members and (b) the public.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Yes. A copy of Home Office circular 52/1988 on the investigation of child sexual abuse, which was issued on 6 July 1988, was placed in the Library. Copies are available to members of the public on request.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many juveniles under 17 years sentenced by juvenile and Crown courts in Greater Manchester received custody in 1988 ; and what proportion this is of the total number of juveniles sentenced to custody in England and Wales.
Mr. John Patten : In 1987, a total of 502 juveniles aged under 17 years were sentenced to immediate custody at all courts in Greater Manchester ; that was 12 per cent. of the juveniles sentenced to immediate custody in 1987 throughout England and Wales. The 1988 figures are not yet available.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Dog fighting is an offence under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 and penalties were recently increased by the Protection of Animals (Penalties) Act 1987 and the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1988. The investigation of crime is a matter for the chief officer of the police force concerned.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it will be an offence under the Official Secrets Bill as currently drafted for an organisation to act as United Kingdom publisher of a copy of an international publication compiled outside the United Kingdom and including information based on official confidential United Kingdom communications to the European Commission.
Mr. Hurd : Any such disclosure could be an offence only if, among other elements of the offence, the prosecution could prove beyond reasonable doubt that the information related to security or intelligence, defence or international relations, as defined in the Bill ; that it had previously been published without the authority of the international organisation to which it had been given ; that, despite its previous publication, its further disclosure met the relevant test of harm set out in the Bill ; and that the discloser had reasonable cause to believe that it would. It is difficult to imagine that a disclosure in the circumstances described could meet these tests.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (i) males and (ii) females were strip-searched by (a) the police, (b) immigration officers, (c) prison officers and (d) other authorities in each year since 1980.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Information on the number of strip searches carried out by police officers is not collected centrally. Comprehensive information about the strip-searching of prison inmates is not available because establishments are not required to record every strip search. Immigration officers normally seek the co-operation of Her Majesty's Customs in any search of a passenger's baggage or person which may be considered necessary, and in practice immigration officers do not carry out strip searches. With regard to the number of strip searches carried out by Customs officers, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to a question from the hon. Member for Barking (Ms. Richardson) on 10 February at columns 836-37.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what action is being taken in the light of local staffing difficulties at Her Majesty's prison, Leeds over (i) searching, (ii) provision of library, (iii) staffing of landings, and (iv) weekend closure of some facilities ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what action is being taken in the light of local staffing difficulties at Her Majesty's prison, Lindholme over (i) regular suspension of searching, internal cleaning and workshop patrols, and (ii) occasional suspension of receptions, censoring, canteen and library services ; and if he will make a statement ;
Column 609(3) what action is being taken in the light of local staffing difficulties at Her Majesty's prison, Wakefield over (i) occasional suspension of searching and (ii) regular closure of workshops ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : In all three prisons systematic searching is completed on a regular basis in both residential and non-residential areas. Searching is never suspended, but occasional staff shortages may cause changes to a particular programme of searching. Programmes of category A searching are always adhered to.
I understand that there has been some reduction in access to library services at Her Majesty's prison, Leeds in recent weeks, but that this difficulty has now been resolved. Since the introduction of fresh start working practices at Leeds, there are more staff now available to work on the landings. Only one recent cancellation of weekend association (on Sunday 28 August 1988) has been recorded. In Her Majesty's prison Lindholme, wing officers control the cleaning of the wings. Other officers are allocated to the different parties that clean the various areas around the Lindholme site. The task is accomplished to a satisfactory level on a regular basis. On workshop patrols, the preferred manning level is four officers, with an additional officer available to give assistance to the instructors if required. Staff absences and other commitments mean that this manning level is not often fully achieved, and there is a local agreement to drop the additional officer tasks if the suggested patrol numbers are short. Work on receptions, censoring, canteen and library services fluctuates according to demand and staff are deployed accordingly.
In Her Majesty's prison Wakefield, workshops are not regularly closed, but there are occasional closures, for example due to staff absences or interruptions in the supply of materials.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 22 February 1989] : The Home Office has issued advice to prison establishments and to the probation service about employment training and its relevance to offenders and ex- offenders. Prison officers in several establishments are receiving special training and support to enable them to provide employment guidance to inmates. It is intended that the vocational training currently provided within prison establishments should be expanded in line with the Government's policy initiative on the competence-based and work-related national vocational qualifications. Advice is currently being offered to prisoners by prison education departments and through pre-release schemes and post-release counselling on opportunities to continue
Column 610skills training following release. Long-term prisoners who are coming near the end of their sentences may apply for temporary release, living in a pre-release employment scheme hostel and working for local employers.
The Home Office after-care grant scheme contributes towards the central and administrative costs of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders and the Apex Trust, organisations which are actively involved with the Training Agency to provide training and employment opportunities for ex-offenders. The Home Office also contributes to a number of other organisations which seek to place ex-offenders in employment as a regular part of their programme of rehabilitation and after -care.
The Home Office takes part in regular meetings with the Training Agency, Department of Employment, the probation service, voluntary organisations and others to co-ordinate initiatives for improving employment prospects for ex-offenders.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he intends to take to ensure that the entitlement to benefits of victims is not affected by compensation awards from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Payments from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board are treated in exactly the same way as any other payments made in compensation for a personal injury. If the award is placed on trust it will be fully disregarded if the recipient is a child or young person, or for at least two years if the recipient is an adult. However, any payments made by the trustees will be treated as income or capital in the normal way. There are no proposals for changing these provisions.