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In the past five years for which information is readily available, there have been 34 vehicular accidents involving personal injury on the M4 within four miles of the Severn bridge in England, excluding the bridge itself.
These are :
|Fatal |Serious|Slight |Total ------------------------------------------------ 1984 |0 |2 |2 |4 1985 |0 |2 |7 |9 1986 |0 |3 |4 |7 1987 |0 |1 |5 |6 1988 |0 |2 |6 |8
Information in respect of accidents on the Welsh approach of the crossing may be obtained from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to extend the ban on broadcasting of statements of those supporting terrorism to cover any other, non-Christian organisation urging the breaking of United Kingdom laws ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : No. The broadcasting restrictions apply only to Northern Ireland terrorist organisations and their supporters, and they were introduced only because of the exceptional circumstances surrounding terrorism connected with Northern Ireland.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to amend the notices imposing restrictions on access to the media which were issued to the broadcasters last October to take account of the coming into force of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989.
Mr. Hurd : I have today made a technical amendment to the notices substituting a reference to the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 for the existing reference to the Act of 1984. Copies of the amending notices have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what views the prison governors' representatives expressed, at their meeting with him on 6 March, in respect of his plan to privatise parts of the prison service ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : When my right hon. Friend and I met representatives of the Prison Governors Association on 6 March we had a useful exchange of views about, among other things, issues arising from the Green Paper "Private Sector Involvement in the Remand System" (Cm. 434, July 1988) and from my right hon. Friend's statement to the House on 1 March at columns 277-78. A copy of the responses to the Green Paper, including that from the Prison Governors Association, is in the Library.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department from which organisations he will be seeking advice about his plans for the privatisation of parts of the prison service ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : In his statement to the House on 1 March at columns 277-278 my right hon. Friend described the further work which will be needed to take forward consideration of the possibility of involving the private sector in the provision and operation of new remand centres, and in the provision of court escort and custody services. This will involve extensive consultation with interested parties in or concerned with the operation of the criminal justice system, as well as with potential contractors.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of north Wales on the reasons for the delays and multiple visits of officers involved in applications for firearm and shotgun certificates and as to on what dates forces' standing orders or any instructions to officers on the administration of the Firearms Act and amendments have been issued ;
(2) if he will call for a report from Her Majesty's inspector of constabulary of the efficiency of the administration in the north Wales constabulary of the Firearms Act 1968 and amendments and as to whom the responsibility for the control of the administration procedures has been delegated.
Column 540constable. I am not aware of matters that would justify calling for a report from him or from Her Majesty's inspector of constabulary.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The price of illicit drugs is difficult to assess and varies widely according to factors such as the locality, the purity of the drugs and the circumstances in which the transaction takes place. A broad indication of prices paid for some of the main drugs of misuse over the last five years, based on information collected by the national drugs intelligence unit, is given in the table. It shows typical street level prices in London and Glasgow.
Cocaine (£ per gHeroin (£ per grAmphetamine (£ pCannabis Resin (£ per gram) ounce) |London |Glasgow|London |Glasgow|London |Glasgow|London |Glasgow -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984 |55 |75 |50 |90 |15 |15 |65 |75 1985 |55 |75 |65 |90 |15 |15 |65 |95 1986 |90 |70 |90 |90 |15 |15 |50 |85 1987 |75 |85 |85 |90 |15 |15 |60 |110 1988 |60 |85 |90 |70 |13 |15 |90 |110
Mr. Buchan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now list in the Official Report the names of all (a) organisations and (b) individuals who made representations on the White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s".
Mr. Renton : It would not be practicable to do so : we have now received over 2,900 responses, and a few late submissions are still coming in. We have it in mind in due course to place in the Library a list of the main organisations which have submitted comments.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to make a decision on the application made by Mr. Mohammed Bhika, Ref. GV100/5063 and B468083, to enter the United Kingdom ; when the application was referred to him ; and when Mr. Bhika applied to enter the United Kingdom.
Mr. Renton : Mr. Bhika applied on 4 January 1989, at the British deputy high commission in Bombay, to come here for employment as a minister of religion at the Surti Muslim Khalifa society, Bradford. On 6 January 1989 the entry clearance officer referred the application to the immigration and nationality department for a decision. Preliminary consideration has already been given to the case and further inquiries are under way. I expect a decision to be taken on the application shortly. Mr. Bhika and the Surti Muslim Khalifa society will be informed direct of the outcome.
Column 540B437592/IMM/91905, to enter the United Kingdom ; when the application was referred to him ; and when Mrs. Safina Bi applied to enter the United Kingdom.
Mr. Renton : Mrs. Safina Bi applied at the British embassy in Islamabad on 20 September 1987 for entry clearance to join her husband here for settlement. She was interviewed in Islamabad on 7 February 1988 and the entry clearance officer referred the application to the immigration and nationality department on 21 March 1988 for a decision. Further inquiries were made and the decision to refuse Mrs. Bi's application was sent to the entry clearance officer on 20 March 1989, who will formally notify her of the Department's decision once the papers are received in Islamabad. A letter to Mr. Rashid's solicitors informing them of this decision was sent the same day. Mrs. Bi will be informed of her right of appeal against the Department's decision to the independent appellate authorities.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to initiate the powers on extradition provided in the Criminal Justice Act 1985 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Harris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has reached a decision on the recommendations in the Home Office research and planning unit report, "Evaluation of the Use of Computers in Magistrates Courts--The Way Forward."
Mr. Hurd : The report was issued for consultation to the magistrates courts service, other agencies within the criminal justice system and the suppliers of computer equipment in September 1987. Very careful consideration has been given to the responses received.
There was substantial support for recommendations in the report which proposed that the Home Office should develop a clear strategy and objectives for computerisation in courts and that it should be more positive in providing advice and guidance on computerisation. A recommendation that the Home Office should itself develop, on behalf of the magistrates courts, a prescribed computer software package gave rise to much criticism, which we think is well-founded. We have concluded that the more realistic and practicable approach would be to develop a standard specification for magistrates courts computer systems to which equipment would be expected to conform and, in parallel, to test the feasibility of greater data interchange between current and planned systems through networking arrangements available from the private sector.
A small team is to be established within the Home Office to take forward this work and to provide advice to the courts on computer matters, including the preparation of investment strategies. The work will be carried out in close consultation with the courts, suppliers of equipment, and the other agencies in the criminal justice system.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will give an assurance of the availability of funding from central Government for projects eligible for funding under objective 2 of the European regional development fund, in Stockport ;
(2) what projects he has identified as eligible for funding from the European regional development fund, in Stockport ; and if he will make a statement.
Stockport's eligiblity for European regional development fund assistance, as part of Greater Manchester county, is subject to the Commission's confirmation of its provisional objective 2 list. My Department and the Department of the Environment will consider with the local authorities and other interests concerned what projects should be proposed to the Commission for support from the ERDF, and the manner in which it will be sought. Decisions on use of the fund rest with the Commission. Central Government funding will depend upon the nature of projects eventually agreed.
Mr. Walden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many letters he has had about alleged irregularities in the election for the national executive committee of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Mr. Lilley : The current 12-month inflation rates for the United Kingdom and the other members of the Group of Seven are given in the OECD weekly publication "Current Economic Indicators", a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library.
Sir John Stanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the proposal on Third world debt formulated by the United States Treasury Secretary, Mr. Nicholas Brady ; and whether he will be amending his own initiative in this area in the light of Secretary Baker's proposal.
Mr. Lawson : The proposals announced by Secretary Brady on 10 March relate to the middle-income debtor countries, the majority of whose debt is owed to commercial banks. The proposals include the use of IMF and World Bank finance to bring about voluntary debt reduction by the banks. They are being studied carefully in the run-up to the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank next month, where they will be discussed. The initiative which I launched in April 1987 was aimed at the poorest, most heavily-indebted countries in sub-Saharan Africa whose debt is owed largely to official creditors. Implementation of this has already begun and sub-Saharan countries are therefore already benefiting from it.
Mr. Major : I refer my hon. Friend to the Treasury Paper "Private Finance in Public Expenditure" that I placed in the Library of the House in February 1988 and which explains how policy has developed since 1981.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to ensure that Britain retains her place as the second largest shareholder, after the United States of America, of the international monetary fund ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lilley : Statutory responsibility for the authorisation and supervision of banks and for the assessment of whether their directors, controllers or managers are fit and proper persons within the terms of the Banking Act 1987 rests with the Bank of England. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on any particular case.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give for each year from 1978-79 the total expenditure of the Central Office of Information, including the estimated expenditure for 1988-89 and the budget from 1989-90.
Year |Total Expenditure £,000s --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1978-79 |35,400 1979-80 |40,700 1980-81 |45,100 1981-82 |46,100 1982-83 |48,300 1983-84 |60,300 1984-85 |64,700 1985-86 |66,900 1986-87 |149,800 1987-88 |150,500 1988-89 |<1>151,600 1989-90 |<1>144,000 <1>Estimate.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give for each year from 1978-79 the number of employees of the Central Office of Information, including a figure for 1988-89 and a projection for 1989-90.
1 January |Permanent staff in post ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |1,163 1980 |1,177 1981 |1,158 1982 |1,071 1983 |969 1984 |961 1985 |925 1986 |878 1987 |815 1988 |804 1989 |787 1990 |<1>803 <1>Projection.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proposals he has for including in the criteria for entitlement to housing benefit an assessment of the number of rooms which claimants should have in their homes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Housing Benefit Regulations permit local authorities to restrict the amount of rent eligible for housing benefit, in certain circumstances, where they consider that the claimant's accommodation is larger than is reasonably required. No room standard is set down in either legislation or guidance. From April 1989, local authorities will apply to a rent officer for a determination of a reasonable market rent where the claimant lives in deregulated private sector accommodation. One aspect of these new arrangements will be that the rent officer will decide, against a room standard laid down in an order setting out rent officers' functions, whether the claimant is over- accommodated. If so, he will notify to the local authority a notional market rent for suitably-sized but otherwise similar accommodation. It will continue to be for the local authority to decide on the level of benefit paid. After 13 weeks, subsidy due to the local authority will generally be limited to benefit paid up to the level of the notional rent.
bed-and-breakfast accommodation from his Department's offices in Lambeth in any recent available period of 12 months.
(2) how many families in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole were in receipt of family income supplement in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that information about family credit on this basis is still not available. In June 1987, the latest date from which figures are available, 27,000 families in Scotland were in receipt of family income supplement. No information is available about claims from particular local areas.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will state the value of the Treasury supplement to the national insurance scheme expressed in current values and calculated on the percentages paid in 1965, 1970, 1975 and 1979.
Column 545taxation, has been assessed by applying its current percentage rate to gross national insurance contributions that were paid in the tax year into the fund. In 1988-89, such gross contributions are estimated to be £33,240 million, and the current rate of the Treasury supplement is 5 per cent.
The current 1988-89 value of the Treasury supplement is therefore estimated to be £1,662 million. The remaining information requested is as follows :
|c|Percentage rate of the Treasury supplement and value of the|c| |c|Treasury supplement in 1988-89 if relevant percentage rate were|c| |c|applied to gross contributions in 1988-89|c| Year |Percentage rate|£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1965-66 |19.1 |6,349 1970-71 |17.8 |5,917 1975-76 |18.0 |5,983 1979-80 |18.0 |5,983
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish in the Official Report the expenditure incurred by each housing authority in England for providing bed-and-breakfast accommodation for the last year for which figures are available.
The information has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Lang : Employment training is now progressing well in Scotland with over 20,000 people participating. Trainees are being recruited at a rate of some 1,500 a week. This is encouraging considering that the new programme has been operational for just over six months.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has regarding the consumption of alcohol at the following weekly levels (a) men 0 to 21 units, (b) women 0 to 14 units, (c) men 21 to 50 units, (d) women 14 to 35 units, (e) men more than 50 units and (f) women more than 35 units ; and what steps his Department is currently taking to highlight the dangers to health of drinking at higher levels.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Information in the precise form requested is not available. The most recent relevant survey, conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, which included information on alcohol consumption and drinking patterns is "Drinking and Attitudes to Licensing in Scotland". The report was published by HMSO in 1986 and a copy is available in the Library.
The ministerial group on alcohol misuse established in 1987 has put in hand a range of measures to assist in tackling the problem of alcohol misuse generally. The Scottish health education group gives high priority to alcohol misuse within its broad-based health education strategy aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The information requested is given in the table. For this purpose, the relevant offences are taken to be the illegal importation, production, manufacture, cultivation or supply of drugs, possession with intent to supply, and simple possession.
Scotland |Persons with a drugs |offence proved --------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |1,150 1980 |1,155 1981 |982 1982 |1,373 1983 |1,671 1984 |2,271 1985 |2,660 1986 |2,657 1987 |2,515
|c|Quantities of drug seizures (grammes)|c| |c|by the police in Scotland: 1979-87|c| |Cocaine |Heroin |All drugs ------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |33.805 |155.898 |27,636.978 1980 |27.564 |166.517 |21,720.729 1981 |29.037 |98.633 |19,862.644 1982 |203.737 |816.584 |85,465.785 1983 |83.088 |1,540.031 |74,804.202 1984 |460.763 |3,340.739 |62,163.204 1985 |260.175 |3,668.488 |72,329.897 1986 |50.303 |810.073 |52,080.084 1987 |106.499 |1,015.371 |71,143.757
Mr. Rifkind : Firms preparing for the single European market have access to translation and foreign language services mainly through private sector companies and the language departments of higher education institutions. The Government, through the Training Agency, the Scottish Development Agency and my Department, are assisting the institutions to form a language for export consortium to develop and market their services in ways best suited to meet the needs of business. The services provided will go wider than translation, interpretation and the acquisition of foreign language skills to embrace all aspects of trans-lingual commercial communication.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the total expenditure on regional selective assistance for each of the years 1983-84 to 1987-88, inclusive and the estimated expenditure for 1988- 89, 1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Mr. Lang : Total gross expenditure on regional selective assistance and related schemes in the years 1983-84 to 1987-88 inclusive are £28.2 million, £38.2 million, £55.0 million, £43.9 million and £45.5 million respectively. Estimated gross expenditure in 1988-89 is expected to be around £44 million. Planned provision for 1989-90 is published in the Supply Estimates. Planned net provision (including regional enterprise grants), consistent with the figures published in "Public Expenditure to 1991-92, A Commentary on the Scotland Programme", for each of the years 1990-91 and 1991-92 is approximately £80 million. Actual expenditure in these years will depend on the extent to which companies come forward with good projects. We shall continue to encourage Scottish businesses to take full advantage of the provision on offer.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has had any discussions with regional and islands authorities and directors of social work with a view to improving the training and supervision of social workers dealing with mentally disordered workers.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : All regional and Islands councils are involved in the provision of training programmes, approved by the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work, for social workers who are approved as mental health officers under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984. Officials of the social work services group of the Scottish Education Department regularly meet representatives of directors of social work to discuss matters relating to social work training.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any plans for the Scottish Office to make a direct contribution to the improvement of the training of social workers dealing with mentally disordered people ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The need to strengthen post-qualifying training for social workers was among the considerations which led my right hon. and learned Friend to increase by 13 per cent. provision for local authority current expenditure on social work in 1989-90. In addition the Scottish Office is providing a grant of up to £200,000 over three years to St. Andrews university to establish a shared training project for nursing and social work staff working with mentally handicapped people in the Grampian and Highland regions.