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Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many complaints have been made to a tribunal each year for the last five years concerning failure by companies to allow employees time off to undertake public duties ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what petrol reserves were held in the United Kingdom at the latest date for which he has figures ; how many days' supply this covers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Morrison : At the end of February 1989 it was estimated that the United Kingdom had stocks equivalent to 4.7 million tonnes of petrol or some 74 days cover. This was made up of 2.05 million tonnes of motor spirit in stock and a further 2.65 million tonnes held as crude oil and unprocessed feedstocks available for refining.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects the information on the number and percentage of officers in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively, and overall, in his Department who are from ethnic minorities, to be available.
Column 626the force have (a) been forced to follow in hot pursuit alleged thieves of nuclear materials and (b) recovered stolen nuclear materials from civil nuclear plants.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority constabulary is required by the Atomic Energy Authority (Special Constables) Act 1976, section 3, to protect nuclear matter. There have been no occasions since the formation of the constabulary when they have been forced to follow in hot pursuit of alleged thieves of nuclear material, nor have they recovered stolen nuclear materials originating from any civil nuclear plants.
Mr. Michael Spicer : My Department's objectives in respect of British Nuclear Fuels plc are contained in paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General published on 5 April. Copies are available in the Library. Although the objectives were already in existence in January 1987, an internal review suggested that they should be set down formally and reviewed from time to time. The primary objectives of the company are set down in paragraphs 1.6 and 1.7 of the report.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the quantity and quality of the coal reserves accessible from Bilston Glen and Monktonhall collieries, including the Musselburgh Bay reserves.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will set out in detail the stages of plutonium processing in the nuclear cycle on which reports are made to the Euratom and IAEA safeguards authorities ; and what details are forwarded in each of these reports.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has assessed the proof of evidence, CND4, prepared by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for the Hinkley Point C public inquiry topic III on radioactive materials management ; and if he will give consideration to the criticisms made in relation to those policy issues for which his Department has responsibility.
Column 628the farm capital grant scheme in each of the years since 1973 to applicants from each of the parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland.
|c|Schedule|c| |c|Farm capital grant schemes|c| Counties |1973-74 Grant|1974-75 Grant|1975-76 Grant|1976-77 Grant|1977-78 Grant|1978-79 Grant|1979-80 Grant|1980-81 Grant -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Antrim |1,614,452 |2,333,748 |2,333,526 |2,247,470 |1,927,004 |2,162,790 |2,353,662 |2,905,239 Armagh |887,237 |1,395,581 |1,251,388 |1,106,038 |832,460 |1,080,418 |1,312,827 |1,768,321 Down |1,605,048 |2,047,864 |1,739,037 |1,321,347 |1,315,823 |1,484,386 |1,498,499 |1,986,656 Fermanagh |699,820 |1,005,845 |1,032,421 |1,002,808 |2,060,507 |3,200,552 |3,602,064 |4,791,579 Londonderry |1,360,065 |1,802,821 |1,654,413 |1,526,824 |1,440,342 |1,970,515 |2,275,327 |3,031,126 Tyrone |1,879,770 |3,082,883 |2,567,302 |2,626,966 |2,588,018 |3,302,878 |4,123,974 |5,186,945 |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- Totals |8,046,392 |11,668,742 |10,578,087 |9,831,453 |10,164,154 |13,201,539 |15,166,353 |19,669,866
Counties |<1>1981-82 Grant|1982-83 Grant |1983-84 Grant |1984-85 Grant |1985-86 Grant |1986-87 Grant |1987-88 Grant |1988-89 Grant -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Antrim |2,407,006 |2,338,197 |1,920,603 |2,600,785 |2,508,338 |3,055,405 |1,132,908 |268,192 Armagh |1,673,731 |2,277,861 |1,914,059 |3,036,958 |2,873,007 |2,452,619 |809,527 |182,550 Down |1,855,728 |1,444,361 |1,836,226 |2,442,574 |1,610,020 |1,616,785 |523,307 |121,468 Fermanagh |5,931,128 |3,381,865 |2,082,469 |1,373,672 |1,042,222 |977,740 |199,303 |61,090 Londonderry |2,429,326 |1,854,738 |2,139,462 |2,176,399 |1,533,823 |1,161,964 |340,362 |82,302 Tyrone |5,147,881 |4,764,866 |3,974,303 |4,858,359 |3,435,800 |3,511,115 |1,215,041 |244,918 |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- Totals |19,444,800 |16,061,888 |13,840,122 |16,488,747 |13,003,210 |12,775,628 |4,220,448 |960,520 <1> Figures from 1981-82 onwards incudes grant paid under the agriculture and horticulture grant scheme.
Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many people were arrested, detained and subsequently released without charge under section 12 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act on more than one occasion during the period 1984 to 1988 ;
(2) how many people were arrested, detained and subsequently released without charge under section 12 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act on more than two occasions during the period 1984 to 1988.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in the Official Report in tabular form details for the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available of the total pay bill, compensatory grant received and income tax paid by each police authority in Northern Ireland in respect of police officers' rent allowance.
|1988-89 £ million -------------------------------------------------------- Rent allowance paid |24.2 Compensatory grant |9.2
A separate record is not maintained of income tax paid on rent allowance.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table in the Official Report to show how many (a) shotguns, (b) .22 rifles, (c) rifles of large calibre, (d) handguns, (e) sub-machine guns, (f) other machine guns and (g) explosive devices, owned by or in the possession of (i) the Royal Ulster Constabulary, (ii) the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve, (iii) the Ulster Defence Regiment, (iv) the Army, (v) the Royal Navy and (vi) the Royal Air Force, have been lost or stolen in each year since 1976 to the latest available date ; how many such weapons in each category of ownership were subsequently recovered ; and how many have been identified in each category and ownership as having been used after theft of loss in criminal or terrorist activity or as much of such information as is available to him.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 23 March 1989] : I have made extensive inquiries but it has not proved possible to collate the information in the form requested. I will write to the hon. Member in due course with such information as can be provided.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, in view of the 9 per cent. increase in fatal and injury road traffic accidents and the 10 per cent. increase in casualties stated in the annual report of the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, he will call for a report on the Chief Constable's decision to reduce the number of officers in the traffic branch by 50 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 19 April 1989] : The chief constable is responsible for the operational control of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and it is for him to determine priorities and allocate resources.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the significance for the momentum of cross-border security of the announcement of the determination to intensify co-operation over border security in paragraph 2 of the communique of the meeting of the Anglo-Irish conference on 5 April.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 24 April 1989] : The brutal murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan represented an attack on security co-operation. Far from diminishing the determination of the two sides to work closely together, they have actually reinforced it and, in particular, both police forces will work closely together to the fullest extent to ensure that those guilty of this and other crimes are brought to justice.
Mr. Portillo : We received on 17 April a report of an oil slick which had been observed on 15 April by a vessel at anchor to the south-east of the Isle of Wight. The slick was described as small globules of heavy crude oil amongst other debris and the report included the name of another vessel, which had also been at anchor, in the direction from which the oil had been observed to be coming. It is not yet clear whether there is any connection between that vessel and oil that came ashore at Shanklin on 16/17 April. Samples are now with the laboratory of the Government chemist for analysis.
Mr. Portillo : Since 9 March anti-pollution aircraft have carried out 6 patrols over the Channel. Two further planned patrols, on 21 and 22 April, were cancelled when the Department's contracted remote sensing aircraft was deployed to oil spill incidents in the Irish sea and North sea respectively.
Mr. Portillo : The Department will contribute to the review being carried out by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of Energy, on the handling by the oil industry of major spills from offshore installations.
So far as tanker casualties are concerned, the Government have long accepted the responsibility for
Column 630dealing with major spills that threaten United Kingdom interests and the Department's marine pollution control unit is a full-time response organisation with specific responsibility for planning contingency arrangements and taking charge of counter-pollution operations. We review these arrangements carefully after every major incident.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with respect to the support grades in his Department (a) what is the number of staff employed, (b) how many vacancies there are and how many of these have existed for over one month and over three months, (c) how many temporary and casual appointments there are and (d) how much overtime was worked by them in London and elsewhere.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : As at 1 April 1989 the Department of Transport employed 647 staff in support grades (that is, office keeper, paper-keeper, messenger, security officer, car driver, telephonist and reprographic grades and cleaners). There were 11 posts vacant in these grades, of which three had been vacant for more than one month and six for more than three months. Casual staff are employed to provide cover for vacancies and for staff absent on long-term sick and other leave. Central records are not kept of casual appointments.
Until 31 March 1989 the Departments of the Environment and Transport shared a common services organisation, in which the majority of support staff were based. The latest available overtime figures, which are for March 1989, therefore relate to the two Departments jointly. Overtime working by support grades, excluding cleaners, in March averaged approximately 6.4 hours per head in London headquarters offices and 1 hours per head in the major regional offices.
New trailers have had to be fitted with spray-reducing devices since May 1985 and new lorries since April 1986. Research is continuing into ways of achieving even greater improvements. Britain is pressing for the early agreement of the European Commission's draft directive on anti-spray devices. This is necessary if the United Kingdom is to continue to require anti-spray devices after the completion of the single European market.
Drivers could significantly reduce the nuisance of spray to others, by driving more slowly in wet weather.
Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why advance payment compensation, approved by the district valuer, has not been given to Mr. M. A. E. Thornton of Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa.
Column 631documentation was sent to Mr. Thornton's agents on 21 April. As soon as it is returned, advance payment will be made.
This invitation reaffirms the Government's decision to give the private sector the opportunity to participate in the provision of a second Severn crossing. The shortlisted tenderers have been invited to submit proposals on two bases : to design and build the second crossing, and to finance and operate it with the existing crossing ; and to design and build the second crossing for the Government. In either case the investment would be recovered through tolls. Under the first option the invitation allows tenderers to propose their own toll regimes within a finite concession period ; they will also be required to take on the debt on the existing Severn crossing. Proposals must be submitted by 2 October.
The new crossing will have a dual three-lane carriageway with hardshoulders, and windshielding has been specified.
We are dealing with the approach roads separately, and will make another announcement shortly about these.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements he has made for road maintenance likely to add to traffic congestion in Greater London to be undertaken only at night, giving current or recent examples of any such practice.
Mr. Bottomley [holding answer 26 April 1989] : Each case is considered individually after consultation with the police and the London boroughs. Peak-hour working is avoided wherever practicable. Consideration is given to night time working at locations where traffic flows are high throughout the day and at weekends. Recent examples include : carriageway closures on M4 for communication upgrading ; resurfacing and annual maintenance work on the A406 north circular road ; and lane closures for weekly maintenance in the Blackwall tunnel (southbound).
Night-time working may be precluded because of safety considerations and disturbance to residents. Recent maintenance closures have been publicised in departmental press notices.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the numbers of persons, and their respective Civil Service grades, who are employed in his Department to discharge the traffic management responsibilities hitherto the duty of the Greater London Council ; what are the names and duties of each unit ; and what standing arrangements now exist or are planned for regular meetings between officials of these units, together, with representatives of the London borough councils and the Metropolitan police, to review incidents of congestion and to plan for effective traffic management consequent on known future events, including road works.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 26 April 1989] : The Department has assumed the highways and traffic powers of the former Greater London council only in respect of 70 miles of metropolitan roads which are now trunk roads. It is not practicable to identify the numbers and grades of persons employed in the London Regional Office (Transport) on those roads from among their general responsibilities for trunk roads in London.
At the request of the London boroughs, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is responsible for the traffic signals and urban traffic control in London. The corporation of the City of London acts as agent. It staffs and maintains the traffic control systems unit as a separate entity within the local government environment. Officials of the Department hold quarterly management liaison meetings with the unit and representatives of the Association of London Authorities, the London Boroughs Association and the Metropolitan and City police. In addition, the unit has regular monthly meetings with the Metropolitan police to review contingency plans for traffic incidents and planned events such as roadworks, bridge closures, and so on, and to plan for effective traffic management in those circumstances.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newham, South on 13 January, Official Report, column 800, concerning causes of major incidents of traffic congestion, he will now monitor such incidents and, in conjunction with London Buses Limited and the respective unit of the Metropolitan police, record the incidence and extent of delay compared to normal free flow conditions and keep a record of any known cause, or contributory cause, leading to each major incident of congestion.
We keep in touch with London Buses Limited and the Metropolitan police on congestion points on trunk roads. The Metropolitan police make such arrangements as they consider necessary to maintain the safe and efficient flow of traffic in the case of day-to-day incidents and to be prepared for planned events.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what exercises using volunteer passengers have taken place on the underground section of the Great Northern line of British Railways between Finsbury Park and Moorgate ; what were the results of any such test ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 26 April 1989] : A major exercise to test evacuation procedures, in which all emergency services participated, was held on 7 February 1988. The need for various improvements was identified. British Rail is presently carrying out a £1 million programme which includes the provision of improved lighting and communications. It expects the work to be finished by September.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 26 April 1989] : The 1985 airports policy White Paper (Cmnd. 9542) noted that the Government had maintained a consistent policy of encouraging the maximum use of regional airports. They have a role to play in relieving pressure on the London airports. The Government encourage their growth and development.
We provide special borrowing allocations for municipal airports whose expansion is justified.
We continue, both in the EC and in bilateral negotiations, to pursue policies of liberalisation in order to maximise the scope for regional air services.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 26 April 1989] : The Civil Aviation Authority is due to provide my right hon. Friend in July with advice on this and other aspects of airport and airspace capacity.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the one-way peak-to-daily flow ratio for the M25 (a) as predicted for the London orbital motorway at the 1974-75 public inquiry into the A10- A12 section of the motorway by the Department's traffic witness, (b) as recorded, for each section for which data is available, when the M25 was fully opened in 1986 and (c) as recorded in the latest available year.
Junction number |Clockwise |Anticlockwise ---------------------------------------------------------------- J1 to J2 |- |- J2 to J3 |- |- J3 to J4 |10.7 |10.2 J4 to J5 |9.2 |9.1 J5 to J6 |11.1 |10.3 J6 to J7 |11.4 |10.6 J7 to J8 |- |- J8 to J9 |9.7 |9.0 J9 to J10 |9.6 |8.3 J10 to J11 |9.2 |8.5 J11 to J12 |9.4 |8.3 J12 to J13 |- |- J13 to J14 |9.8 |9.0 J14 to J15 |8.7 |8.6 J15 to J16 |- |8.9 J16 to J17 |8.3 |8.6 J19 to J20 |8.2 |8.6 J22 to J23 |- |8.4 J25 to J26 |9.8 |10.9 J26 to J27 |9.6 |10.6 J29 to J30 |- |8.5 Dartford Tunnel |8.5 |8.8
The ratios of peak to 24-hour weekday flows for M25 at March 1989 (latest available month) (expressed as a percentage) are :
Junction number |Clockwise |Anticlockwise ---------------------------------------------------------------- J1 to J2 J2 to J3 J3 to J4 |8.0 |9.2 J4 to J5 |8.2 |8.3 J5 to J6 |10.9 |9.6 J6 to J7 |11.5 |9.3 J7 to J8 |9.9 |8.7 J8 to J9 |9.6 |8.4 J9 to J10 |9.6 |8.5 J10 to J11 |- |<1>- J11 to J12 |- |<1>- J12 to J13 |- |<1>- J13 to J14 |9.6 |8.4 J14 to J15 |8.5 |8.1 J15 to J16 |7.7 |8.2 J16 to J17 |8.2 |7.7 J17 to J18 |8.0 |8.3 J18 to J19 |8.0 |7.9 J19 to J20 |7.8 |7.6 J20 to J21 |8.1 |7.8 J21 to J22 |8.1 |8.6 J22 to J23 |8.1 |8.0 J23 to J24 |8.2 |8.6 J24 to J25 |8.4 |8.8 J25 to J26 |8.5 |9.7 J26 to J27 |8.3 |9.7 J27 to J28 |9.2 |10.3 J28 to J29 |8.4 |9.0 J29 to J30 |7.4 |8.0 Dartford Tunnel |7.5 |7.8 <1> No detailed data due to widening works.
Comparable prediction for 1986 and 1989 are not readily available from the papers of the 1974-75 public inquiry.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he intends to apply to the content of British broadcasting media the principle embodied in Her Majesty's Government's documentation for the Helsinki states information forum that the free flow of information both within countries and across frontiers is seen by the West as an integral part of human rights provisions.
Mr. Renton : The principle of the free exchange of information and ideas, guaranteed by article 10 of the European convention on human rights, is central to our broadcasting policy. We have played an active part in the preparation of the Council of Europe's convention on transfrontier television, which we hope will be opened for signature next month and which we plan to implement through the forthcoming Broadcasting Bill. The convention is designed to encourage the transfrontier circulation of television programme services on the basis of a number of commonly agreed basic standards. As our White Paper "Broadcasting in the 90's : Competition Choice and Quality" makes clear, the development of European regulatory instruments of this kind is consistent with the approach of the Government towards domestic broadcasting services in establishing an enabling regulatory framework to allow increased opportunities for broadcasters and viewers, while ensuring the maintenance of satisfactory programme standards.
Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether all European Community countries have agreed to discontinue national channels at passport control entry at airports in favour of joint ones for European Community citizens.
Mr. Renton : This is a matter for national decision and practice varies throughout the Community. Where passenger volume makes it desirable to present passengers to more than one channel most EC countries direct all EC nationals to a special channel.
Mr. Renton : My right hon. Friend announced to the House on 14 December 1988, at column 576, the Government's intention to introduce in the spring a single immigration channel for all nationals of the EC (including British nationals) entering the country. Implemented from 10 March, this is a practical demonstration of our readiness, in line with the spirit of the Single European Act, to reduce as far as possible the levels of immigration checks on other EC nationals. There has been no change in our arrangements for immigration controls on nationals of non-EC countries.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what approximate percentage of people eligible to vote are not currently registered to vote ; and if such people will be able to register prior to (a) country and (b) European elections.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The most recent major study into the accuracy of the electoral register ("Electoral Registration in 1981", Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, 1982) estimated that 6.7 per cent of people in England and Wales eligible to vote were not registered to do so. Under section 11(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended) claims for inclusion in the published register can be made at any time. However, no such claim can have effect for the purposes of an election unless it is allowed, and the alteration made, before the close of nomination for candidates at that election. It is therefore now too late for such claims to have effect at either the county council or European parliamentary elections.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will recommend the granting of a pardon to Joe Benjamin in relation to a conviction on appeal by Knightsbridge Crown court and the imposition of a fine of £150 under an offence under the Public Order Act, in respect of the case of Regina v Benjamin, 29 October 1987, before Mr. Recorder Walker.
Mr. John Patten : My right hon. Friend will consider Mr. Benjamin's conviction if he is presented with any new evidence or other consideration of substance which calls its safety into question and which has not been before the courts.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the Irish Government's award of a frequency to Radio Tara Ltd ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : We have received letters from the Independent Broadcasting Authority, the Association of Independent Radio Contractors, two independent local radio stations and a number of hon. Members expressing concern at the effect which the proposed Irish station might have on United Kingdom radio broadcasting. We are in touch with the Irish authorities on the issue.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the time taken to deal with interviews referred by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office concerning entry clearance in Manchester and London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 23 March, at column 809, in answer to his earlier question. It remains the objective in Manchester and London, as elsewhere, to carry out interviews within three months of receipt of papers in the United Kingdom.