Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has made any assessment of (a) the cost or (b) the effects on safety of a reversible lane on the Britannia bridge on the Commercial road (A13) at Limehouse.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the progress of the inquiries by British Transport police into contracts for engineering materials ; when they are likely to be completed ; and if he will make a statement on the involvement of any managerial staff.
Mr. Portillo : I understand that inquiries by the British Transport police are continuing and are likely to take some time to complete. These are matters for the British Transport police, the Attorney-General and the Lord Advocate.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to increase the fines payable by haulage firms failing to comply with regulations on the safe transportation of dangerous substances by road ; and if he will make a statement on the EEC report on long-distance drivers and safety.
Most relevant offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 are dealt with summarily in magistrates' courts, where the maximum penalty for each single offence is £2,000. Magistrates can refer serious cases on indictment to the Crown court, where the maximum fine is unlimited.
The study of hours worked by drivers engaged in international road transport was carried out in Holland in 1984-85. It recommended that drivers should work fewer hours, and that there should be increased enforcement.
Column 400The 1986 EC drivers hours regulations include provisions for increased weekly rest and a recent EC directive setting minimum levels of enforcement came into effect on 1 January 1989.
Mr. Portillo : The regulations and conditions for the transport of all radioactive materials (including plutonium) are based on the internationally accepted standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency safety series No. 6. A copy is held in the Library. For United Kingdom sea consignments these are given effect by : The Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981 No. 1747).
The Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) (Amendment) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986 No. 1069).
In addition, the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No. 1333) apply to all modes of transport.
Mr. Macfarlane : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the City of Westminster council regarding parking arrangements for coaches in London SW1 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : I met the chairman of Westminster City council's planning and development committee in December last year as part of my continuing effort to support the council with its coach parking responsibilities. Our discussions concentrated on how illegal on-street parking by tourist coaches might be discouraged and how legal parking arrangements might be improved.
These discussions have been taken forward by my officials. Westminster have met the Metropolitan police, who have written to the Bus and Coach Council explaining that in a bid to minimise illegal coach parking, especially in streets surrounding Buckingham palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, they will be carrying out an advice and enforcement campaign starting this month and continuing throughout the summer.
My officials also attend Westminster's coach working party, which discusses a range of coach parking issues across London ; and the Department has commissioned a major comprehensive study of tourist coach traffic in London, which is due to report later this year.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We have no plans to abolish the power of local highway authorities to install bus lanes. My hon. Friend will know from my answer to his question on 10 February that we believe that bus lanes can be justified when the benefit to bus users exceeds the cost to other road users. I am writing to him enclosing a copy of our current technical advice on the subject.
Mr. Macfarlane : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet officials of the City of Westminster council to assess the bus lanes and the traffic flow between Vauxhall bridge road and Drummond gate, London SW1 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the proportion of freight to continental Europe by (a) weight and (b) value which will be carried (i) through the Channel tunnel, (ii) by air and (iii) by sea, broken down where possible by individual port, on completion of the tunnel.
Mr. Portillo : The Department of Transport does not produce forecasts of cross-channel freight traffic in total or by mode. Instead, on certain occasions, when the pattern of future cross-channel freight traffic has implications for the public sector, it forms its own view on the available forecasts.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to receive in his Department the written decision from the Civil Aviation Authority regarding the recent route licence applications by Air Europe, Air UK, Monarch and British Island Airways to Malta starting on 1 April.
(2) how many air transport licences have been revoked in each of the last 10 years for subsequent non-compliance with statements of intent given at Civil Aviation Authority route licence hearings.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by whom the line-throwing breeches buoy equipment withdrawn from Her Majesty's coastguard on 31 March 1988 has been purchased ; if he will give details of the
Column 402number of sets of this equipment sold and the moneys received in payment ; and how the funds realised from the sale of this equipment will be invested.
Mr. Portillo : All line-throwing rockets and launching devices, which formed an integral part of breeches buoy equipment, were over age or obsolete and destroyed. Some ancillary equipment plus a variety of miscellaneous items, were purchased by the Department of Marine of the Republic of Ireland at a total cost of £6,940. The remainder will be disposed of as Government surplus. All receipts count towards departmental appropriations-in-aid, and are not available for direct use by Her Majesty's coastguard.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Sub-post offices provide an efficient and convenient vehicle excise relicensing service, particularly in rural areas. There are currently 3,550 offices providing this service. Some 2,000 are sub post offices. Following negotiations with Post Office Counters Ltd. we are pleased to be able to announce that a further 60 sub-post offices will be added to the relicensing network over the next few months. The choice of offices will be made by the Post Office, but I shall be writing to right hon. and hon. Members in whose constituencies individual offices are situated.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on incidents which took place on 27 February and 3 March, involving fishing vessels and submarines ; what investigations he is undertaking into the incidents ; and what action he is proposing to take to avoid similar incidents recurring.
Mr. Portillo : On 27 February 1989 a near miss incident was reported involving three fishing vessels and a submarine near Little Cumbrae Island, Firth of Clyde. On 3 March 1989 the fishing vessel Seagull reported a near miss involving an unidentified unlit vessel near the Cock of Arran. The Department's marine surveyors are investigating both incidents. When their inquiries are completed appropriate action will be considered.
Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the purchaser of the Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge railway ; when he expects the sale to be completed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : British Rail is proposing to sell this railway to the Brecon mountain railway company, subject to my right hon. Friend's consent. We are considering the evidence on the case and we shall make an announcement as soon as possible.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make a statement on the Government's policy regarding provision of double glazing, secondary glazing and other measures in connection with noise from road traffic ;
Column 403(2) what steps he takes to monitor noise levels on urban and suburban roads ;
(3) if he will introduce a minimum noise level which would automatically attract grant assistance for noise insulation.
Mr. Bottomley : Government policy is to seek to reduce the effect upon residential properties of noise from new roads by careful design, including where appropriate the use of earth bunds and noise barriers. Under part I of the Land Compensation Act 1973, owner-occupiers can claim compensation from the Government in respect of depreciation in the value of their property arising from the use of a new road. Claims may be made as from 12 months after the road comes into use.
In addition, under the Insulation Regulations (1975 to 1988) the Government offer secondary glazing for eligible rooms of dwellings where it is estimated that maximum noise levels, during the 15 years after road opening, will be at least 68 dBA on the L10 18 hour scale, with a contribution of at least 1 dBA from traffic using the new road. Where insulation has been offered or installed, its benefit is taken into account when setting the level of part I compensation. These provisions apply to roads constructed on behalf of the Secretary of State. Local authorities follow similar procedures. The regulations also allow insulation to be provided on a discretionary basis in respect of noise insulation arising from road alterations. For older, unaltered roads, there is no entitlement to compensation or noise insulation. In respect of trunk roads, the Department does occasionally exercise a discretion to provide noise barriers where the noise levels are high and where the benefits of barriers would be substantial.
We have no proposals to alter the qualifying noise levels under the noise insulation regulations or to seek to introduce qualifying noise levels for houses beside older roads. There is no general monitoring by the Department of noise levels on urban or suburban roads.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the implications of the amount of overtime being undertaken by Her Majesty's coastguard and the hours worked, for safety in handling emergency rescues.
Mr. Portillo : Overtime working by individuals is voluntary but is strictly controlled to ensure that performance is not impaired. The average among watchkeepers is 4.7 hours/week and among sector officers is 1.4 hours/week. There is no indication that hours worked have had any adverse effect on the safe handling of emergency rescues.
Mr. Portillo : London Regional Transport will pay to Dr. Ridley a sum equivalent to six months' pay in lieu of the notice provided for under the terms of his appointment, that is £30,000. LRT will pay sums to make up the difference between the immediate reduced pension which Dr. Ridley had already earned on 10 November 1988, and the actuarially reduced pension which would have been payable to him on retirement at the end of his appointment on 31 August 1991.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) whether Irish teachers who qualified in the Republic of Ireland will become licensed teachers from September when employed by British local education authorities ;
(2) whether Irish teachers who qualified in the Republic of Ireland will, from September, be fully and automatically recognised by his Department on application by the employing local education authority ; and whether applications for recognition will be processed within a two-week period ;
(3) whether route 2(b) application procedure for his Department's recognition by Irish teachers seeking qualified teachers' status will still be available from September as the self-advocacy route to his Department's recognition ;
(4) whether route 2(e) application procedure for his Department's recognition by Irish teachers seeking qualified teachers' status will be abolished in September.
Mrs. Rumbold : We propose, subject to further consultation, to lay regulations before the House introducing the licensed teacher route to qualified teacher status from September 1989. This will replace all existing routes to qualified teacher status other than the successful completion of a course of initial teacher training in England or Wales. Local education authorities will then be free to employ teachers trained in Ireland as licensed teachers who will progress to qualified teacher status after up to 2 years' satisfactory performance as licensees.
Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is his policy towards providing financial support for teacher recruitment and retraining initiatives by local education authorities in relation to the problems of teacher shortages identified by his Department ;
(2) what information is available to his Department on any teacher recruitment and retraining initiatives being undertaken by local education authorities in relation to the problems of teacher shortages identified by his Department ; what steps are being taken by his Department to promote good practice ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 405education authorities and schools. It is for them to determine the level of recruitment and retraining necessary in the light of their own needs. The costs of retraining are eligible for support through the LEA training grants scheme. The Department is aware of good practice and special measures in a number of local authorities. The teaching as a career unit whose remit has just been extended for three years, promotes good practice in recruitment on the basis of guidelines agreed by my Department.
Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy towards future numbers of re-entrant qualified teachers, with appropriate retraining, in relation to the problems of teacher shortages identified by his Department ; what actions he has taken in pursuit of this policy in recent years, and at what cost ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Butcher : My right hon. Friend recognises the great importance of encouraging former teachers to re-enter the profession. My Department's memorandum to the Education Science and Arts Committee--a copy of which is in the library--indicates the importance of re-entrants as a source of supply and highlights good recruitment practice to attract returners. In recent years the proportion of teaching posts filled by former serving teachers has risen steadily to about 50 per cent. This proportion has been achieved without the widespread use of special measures by local authorities who, as employers, have responsibility for the employment and re-training of re-entrants. With proper publicity for employment opportunities, good employment practices and support and training measures the proportion of posts filled by re-entrants can remain substantial. The costs of re-training are eligible for support through the LEA training grants scheme.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether there is any religious group from which he would automatically reject a proposal to sponsor a city technology college ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Butcher : All proposals put to us for the establishment of city technology colleges are considered strictly on their merits. My right hon. Friend would not, however, find any proposal acceptable which sought to provide exclusively for applicants from particular religious groups.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will set out the criteria to be used in evaluating a proposal from a sponsor to support a city technology college based on the principles of any religion.
Mr. Butcher : In considering any proposal from prospective sponsors my right hon. Friend will first look at whether it meets the objectives and requirements of the CTC programme. A number of such sponsors have indicated that they would wish to place an emphasis on Christian values in their CTCs. This is entirely complementary to the fundamental CTC objective of preparing young people more effectively for their adult responsibilities and opportunities. But no CTC will admit
Column 406pupils on the basis of their religious beliefs ; and we shall ensure that all CTCs are fully representative in all respects of the communities they serve.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has received any proposals or representations from companies or trusts to establish city technology colleges based upon religious principles other than Christianity ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list all the administrative forms which universities have to fill in to comply with procedures for the control of public money they receive.
Mr. Jackson : The control of public money is not meaningfully separable from the range of dealings between the University Grants Committee and individual institutions. However, the committee's main source of information on financial matters is the annual return form 3 (finance).
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is, for each year, since 1974 the amount of public funds given to universities in (a) Austria, (b) Denmark, (c) France, (d) Germany, (e) Holland, (f) Italy, (g) Spain, (h) Sweden, (i) Canada, (j) the United States of America and (h) the United Kingdom.
|c|Public recurrent expenditure<1> on higher education in 1983 and 1984|c| |c|(calendar years)|c| Current expenditure per capita (£) Country |1983 |1984 ---------------------------------------------------- France |41 |42 Germany |37 |<2>58 Italy |25 |26 Netherlands |98 |95 United Kingdom<3> |57 |58 United States of America<4> |168 |165 <1> At purchasing power parity; data prior to 1983 and 1984 have been adjusted via consumer price indices. <2> Revised coverage of source statistics. <3> Excluding expenditure on nursing and paramedical courses at Department of Health establishments. Also excludes in-service teacher training secondment costs. <4> Provisional.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many copies of the booklet "School Governors : A New Role", have been supplied to the Conservative party ; and what payment was made for them.
Mrs. Rumbold : Sample copies of "School Governors : A New Role" were distributed to a wide range of organisations, including representatives of political parties. Further copies are supplied free of charge to any
Column 407individual or organisation asking for them. So far over 750,000 copies have been distributed : the Department does not keep a record of the number supplied in response to each individual request.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will give an indication as to the projected time scales for reaching a decision on proposals to establish voluntary-aided schools.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to ensure that funding by local education authorities for schools through the local management scheme takes into account the actual salaries paid to teachers, rather than the average level of salary within that local authority area.
Mrs. Rumbold : The central determinant of schools' funding under schemes of local management should be the numbers and ages of pupils. Pupils of the same age should therefore attract the same resources, including the same element for teaching costs, irrespective of which school they attend within the local authority area. It will be for governing bodies to manage their costs, including salaries, from within their budgets as derived on this basis. In practice, variations from average salary costs will be limited. My right hon. Friend has made clear that schools with fewer than 10 teachers, excluding the head teacher and deputy, may receive enhanced funding where they have above average salary costs.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide in the Library an updated report stating the extent to which Her Majesty's Government have implemented the recommendations relating to mentally disturbed inmates in the third report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1985-86 into the prison medical service and the Government's response thereto, Cm. 115 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the number of psychiatric reports prepared outside prison department establishments on persons remanded to all prisons and cells in England and Wales for each year from 1980 ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 408commissioned into mentally abnormal and disordered offenders in prisons ; whether they include those held on remand ; whether any recommendations have been made ; and if he will make a statement.
In October 1987 a contract was entered into with the institute of psychiatry, university of London, to produce over a three-year period a definitive statement of the dimensions of the problem of sentenced mentally disordered offenders in the prison system. This will provide a basis for the consideration of the development of policy in the medium and long term. In November 1988 the institute of criminology, university of Cambridge, was contracted to research into sentencing by the courts in relation to the use of sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in making hospital and restriction orders. The intention is to obtain reliable information on whether, and if so to what extent, the courts are unable to make hospital and restriction orders in all cases that they wish, and to examine the factors affecting their decisions.
The third study is currently under consideration. This would also be carried out by the Institute of Psychiatry. It would focus on the working of the procedures for courts to remand defendants to obtain medical reports.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many secure units are available to his Department for accommodating mentally disturbed offenders (a) specifically for such offenders and (b) along with convicted prisoners not so categorised ; and where they are situated.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Prisoners who meet the criteria under the Mental Health Act 1983 may be transferred to special hospitals or regional secure units. Within the prison service there is a variety of provision for mentally disturbed prisoners. This includes the CRC special unit at Parkhurst C wing, which is intended exclusively for convicted prisoners with a history of psychiatric illness and who also pose persistent control problems.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when was the last full-scale review in his Department of out-of-prison alternatives for mentally disturbed prisoners who are (a) sectioned and (b) in other categories ; and what plans he has for the provision of such alternatives.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : An interdepartmental working group of Home Office and DHSS officials on mentally disturbed offenders in the prison system in England and Wales which reported in May 1987 carried out a review of all alternatives to imprisonment for mentally disturbed prisoners. The provision of facilities for the treatment of the mentally disordered outside prison is a matter for the Department of Health. The consultation paper issued last month by the Home Office on bail accommodation and secure bail hostels included discussion of the use of bail hostel accommodation for mentally disturbed defendants.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he categorises (a) prisoners requiring psychiatric attention and (b) mentally disturbed offenders ; how many are in each category ; and what is the proportion of the prison population as a whole for each category and in total.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Prison medical officers, in examining inmates on reception, identify as a priority those who by reason of their mental state may require particular attention whether of a medical or general management nature. In such cases referral to a psychiatrist would be an early course of further action. Where an inmate is considered to be suffering from mental disorder of a nature or degree which would satisfy the criteria of the Mental Health Act 1983 for detention in hospital for medical treatment, the prison medical officer would use the procedures of that Act to seek the inmates removal to an appropriate hospital. Two hundred and ninety inmates of prison service establishments in England and Wales were on 30 September 1988, the latest date for which figures were available, considered by prison medical officers to meet those criteria. That figure represents 0.58 per cent. of the prison population of 49,922 on that date.
Information as to the total number of inmates in the much wider range of those considered to be mentally disturbed but not such as to satisfy the criteria of the Mental Health Act 1983 is not held centrally. Two censuses were undertaken by prison medical officers of inmates serving sentences of six months and more considered to require specialised therapeutic facilities by reason of mental disorder or abnormality. The censuses showed that on 4 December 1985 1,583 inmates and on 1 October 1986 1,340 inmates were in that category. Those figures represent respectively 3.38 per cent. of the prison population of 46,752 on 6 December 1985 and 2.85 per cent. of the prison population of 46,912 on October 1986.
The study being undertaken by the Institute of Psychiatry, referred to in the answer to another question by the hon. Member, is designed to produce a comprehensive psychiatric profile of the sentenced prison population.