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Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 22 May 1989] : it is not envisaged that the North sea task force will itself commission research into the marine environment, but rather that it will act as a co-ordinating body to bring together the work of all the North sea states. Studies on the coastal margin and inter-tidal areas have been identified by the task force as a priority area and more detailed proposals will be considered at its third meeting in September 1989. Research on inter-tidal and estuarine habitats has also been identified as an sea research programme : detailed proposals are now being drawn up to supplement existing work in this area.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what length of delays will be experienced in the shiplift project at Faslane as a result of the construction difficulties being experienced by the contractor.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will the extra costs involved as a result of the delay in construction of the shiplift project at Faslane ; and who will bear these costs.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many square feet within the Palace of Westminster are currently used for (a) office space for Members, (b) office space for peers, (c) office space for staff, (d) bars and (e)
This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. If the hon. Gentleman has a particular point in mind and would like to write to me I will see what I can do.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reports the police received of obscene telephone calls ; and how many prosecutions in relation to obscene telephone calls were brought under section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 in each of the years 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Mr. John Patten : Information is not available centrally on the number of reports that the police receive of obscene telephone calls or for prosecutions under section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984. Such prosecutions are classified with other offences under this act and therefore cannot be separately identified.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to place in the Vote Office copies of the Heatherington report on war crimes upon publication ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of police constables in (a) the Basildon area, and (b) England and Wales ; what were the comparable figures in 1974, 1976, and each year from 1979 to 1988 ; and what is the provisional figure for 1989.
Constables strength at 31 |<1>Basildon sub-division |England and Wales December -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1974 |103 |74,740 1976 |114 |81,342 1979 |119 |83,684 1980 |120 |87,516 1981 |120 |89,509 1982 |121 |90,581 1983 |123 |90,512 1984 |125 |89,946 1985 |123 |89,775 1986 |129 |90,379 1987 |132 |92,850 1988 |134 |93,508 1989<3> |133 |<2>94,300 <1>Deployment of officers between sub-divisions and to other police functions is a matter for the Chief Constable to decide. <2>This figure is an estimate and includes around 800 new constable posts approved for 1989-90. <3>Provisional.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the weekly attendances at licensed bingo clubs ; how many arrests have taken place in bingo clubs over the last 12 months ; and how many complaints about the membership scheme for those attending bingo clubs he has received over the last five years.
Mr. John Patten : The Gaming Board for Great Britain believes that in total there may be in excess of 2 million attendances weekly at licensed bingo clubs in Great Britain. There is no power of arrest for offences under the Gaming Act 1968, which regulates licensed bingo. Representations about this system of regulation which have been made to the Home Office or the board in the past five years are not categorised routinely by those referring to the requirement for gaming in licensed bingo clubs to be operated under a membership scheme.
Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent arrangements have been made for United Kingdom immigration controls to take place prior to embarkation at airports abroad ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : The immigration service operated successful trials over a one-week period at the end of March and the beginning of April in conjunction with Trans World Airlines operating into Heathrow terminal 3 from J. F. Kennedy airport in New York and with Piedmont airlines operating into Gatwick south from Charlotte. Both trials were successful and were well received by both the passengers and the companies involved. As far as any future activity is concerned the Immigration Act 1988 allows for the provision of additional services against full cost recovery and any applications for pre-clearance will be considered in this context.
Column 499Recent press reports have linked pre- clearance with enhanced security arrangements both here and in the United States of America. Whilst this may be an additional benefit, the arrangements are principally designed to ease congestion on arrival at United Kingdom airports.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will be holding a review within the next five years to reduce the number of separate police forces in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : No. I refer the hon. Member to the reply which was given to questions from my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) and the hon. Member for St. Helens, North (Mr. Evans) on 11 May at column 529.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many female police officers in England and Wales are currently qualified to carry firearms ; what are the figures for five and 10 years ago ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will list by year for the last 10 years in England and Wales (a) in how many operations firearms were issued to female police officers and (b) in how many of these operations shots were fired by female police officers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many female prisoners are serving sentences under the protection of rule 43 ; and what is the percentage in relation to the numbers of female prisoners, by prison.
Sentenced female prisoners at 31 March 1989 Establishment |Number on Rule 43 (own|Percentage of total |protection) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cookham Wood Prison 2 1.7 Holloway Prison |5 |2.2 New Hall Prison |8 |18.2 Styal Prison |1 |0.5
There were no prisoners on rule 43 for their own protection at any of the other eight establishments holding sentenced female prisoners.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will commit funds for updating the police initial recruitment test as recommended by the Commission for Racial Equality.
Column 500(Mr. O'Brien) on 11 May, at column 526. The question of funding may have to be considered when the police advisory board has completed its work.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the total number of asylum applications submitted at ports of entry subsequent to the applicant being refused entry to the United Kingdom on other grounds in each of the last three years ; (2) what was the average decision time taken by his Department for port applications for asylum in each of the last three years ; and what is the current position ;
(3) how many people were refused entry to the United Kingdom at ports of entry in each of the last three years.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum applications were made at United Kingdom ports of entry in each of the last three years ; and how many applicants were granted asylum.
Applications<1> for refugee status at United Kingdom ports, and grants<1> of refugee status or exceptional leave to enter in port application cases Number of cases<1> |Applications received |Grants of refugee |Refused asylum but |status<2> |granted leave to enter |on exceptional |grounds<2> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |1,634 |40 |315 1986 |1,102 |30 |1,118 1987 |1,053 |57 |735 <1> Excluding dependants. <2> The grant figures include, where relevant, grants on applications made in earlier years.
These figures do not include south-east Asian refugees who are dealt with under separate arrangements and are granted settlement on their arrival in the United Kingdom. The number granted settlement in the years 1985 to 1988 is published in table 18 of "Control of Immigration : Statistics United Kingdom 1987" (Cm. 415) and in table 3 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin, issue 10/89 "Control of Immigration : Statistics--Fourth Quarter and Year 1988", copies of which are in the Library.
Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for non-payment of televison licence fees in Warrington, Widnes, Crewe and the whole of Cheshire in 1986, 1987, 1988 and since the start of 1989.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 22 May 1989] : Information available to me supplied by the national television licence records office relates to the number of prosecutions for television licence evasion by area of the television licence enquiry offices only. These area offices are based on the post code system. Information for
Column 501Warrington, Widnes and Crewe and the whole of Cheshire is therefore not readily available. Data for the area offices covering the county of Cheshire are as follows :
3 Prosecution for television licence evasion by area television licence enquiry office covering the county of Cheshire Area |1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89 --------------------------------------------------- Altrincham |2,388 |3,834 |4,220 |5,380 Preston |4,432 |5,065 |5,204 |4,660 Shrewsbury |1,007 |1,423 |2,067 |2,004 Note: Figures given are for financial year (April to March).
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many accidents have taken place in each of the past five years for which figures are available on unmanned and unlit railway crossings involving (i) foot users, (ii) vehicle users and (iii) cattle or other farm animals ;
(2) how many accidents have taken place in each of the past five years for which figures are available on railway crossings which are lit involving (i) foot users, (ii) vehicle users (iii) cattle or other farm animals.
Mr. Portillo : This information is not readily available in the form requested. The total numbers of accidents at all level crossings (manually- operated automatic and unprotected) during the period 1984-88 are as shown. These categories comprise :
Manual : manned gates or barriers, including barriers remotely controlled by closed circuit television.
Automatic : half-barriers and open crossings protected by road traffic signals ; user-worked gates (UWG) protected by miniature warning lights.
Unprotected : UWG : UWG with telephone ; open crossings ; footpath crossings.
The Department's accident records do not show whether a crossing is lit. All manually operated public crossings have some form of illumination and it is a requirement that where the road approaches are lit, all manual and automatic crossings must be lit at least to the same standard.
Level crossing accidents |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |<1>1988 ------------------------------------------------------------ Manual |30 |25 |22 |14 |13 Automatic |16 |26 |22 |21 |32 Unprotected |30 |28 |32 |29 |31 <1>Provisional
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to publish the report of the chief safety inspector on safety arrangements on London Underground, in line with recommendations 56 and 57 of the Fennell report into the King's Cross Underground fire.
Mr. Channon : As I told the House on 10 November 1988, at columns 496-97, I commissioned the chief inspecting officer of railways to carry out an urgent survey of the safety management systems applying to stations on London Underground. The report has now been completed and I am arranging for it to be published this afternoon, together with London Underground's written response to it. Copies are being placed in the Library of the House.
London Underground's first priority, after the King's Cross fire and, later, Mr. Fennell's report on it, was to take immediate action to deal with potentially unsafe equipment and conditions. This includes, for example, fitting fire detection and alarm systems on escalators and the removal of wood panelling as part of a safety programme costing nearly £300 millions over three years.
Safety is not, however, only about equipment and investment. It is now increasingly recognised that formal management systems to promote and monitor health and safety are required. Mr. Fennell recommended that the railway inspectorate should keep the Underground's management of safety under review. Today's report is the result of action taken on that recommendation.
The report is based on a survey conducted by a team drawn from the railway inspectorate, the Health and Safety Executive and the London fire brigade.
It assessed London Underground's safety management systems against the standards of the international safety rating system (ISRS), one of several recognised methods for safety audit, but one which has previously been applied mainly in other industries. The ISRS is designed to provide a progressive safety management programme. The optimum standards within the ISRS represent excellence in safety management, which should be achieved some five to 10 years after the introduction of the programme.
During its field work in January and February, the team found that some aspects were well managed. These included the Underground's controls on purchasing, employment of contractors, and the arrangements for recruiting and placing staff.
However, the team also found that much work still remains to be done. This includes the need for major improvements in leadership in safety management ; in training for managers in health and safety ; and in preparation of procedures for critical tasks, engineering controls and behavioural aspects.
The team's report makes 26 major recommendations together with a large number that are more detailed. The team consider that the priority areas for action, in addition to leadership in health and safety management, are job analysis and observation, organisational rules, engineering control and preparedness for emergencies. These recommendations set the course for a long-term programme of improvements to the Underground's safety management systems. I have discussed the report with the chairman of London Regional Transport, Mr. Wilfrid Newton. I expressed my serious concern at some of the findings and made clear that decisive and sustained action is required. Mr. Newton has responded positively and quickly.
Column 503London Underground's written response shows that it accepts, in whole or part, all but one of the 71 recommendations. London Underground does not accept, however, the recommendations that the board's safety committee should be chaired by the managing director. Although the managing director has line management responsibility for safety and the safety staff report directly to him, London Underground believes that the safety committee should be chaired by an independent non- executive director who, in accordance with one of Mr. Fennell's recommendations, has special responsibility for safety.
The chairman of LRT has welcomed my proposal that the railway inspectorate should conduct a further survey in about 18 months' time. Meantime, the inspectorate will be monitoring progress closely through its programme of visits to stations and contacts with managers at all levels.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Consultation on new regulations offering significant relaxations to those of 1986 will begin on 24 May. A copy of the consultation letter will be placed in the Library of the House. We hope to make the new regulations in the autumn of this year.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what road assessment studies for South Yorkshire (a) have been undertaken during the last five years and (b) are to be carried out in the near future ; which are now under consideration by his Department ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : A major study of the A1 through the county was carried out in 1987. We plan to commission studies later this year to investigate the need for improved highway links between south Lancashire and Yorkshire and to look at the A57 from east of the M1 to the A1 (Worksop). These were announced in the White Paper "Roads for Prosperity" which has just been published.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he intends to commence improvements on the A47 trunk road at Skeffington bend in Leicestershire, as envisaged in his letter to the hon. Member for Harborough on 28 May 1987 ;
(2) if he will give a timetable for the completion of the improvements needed to the A47 at Skeffington bend in Leicestershire.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Following the publication of draft orders in 1987, we have given careful consideration to the need for this scheme. We have concluded that the likely accident savings do not, at present, justify the costs involved. We must target our funds towards those schemes where the potential for reducing accidents is greatest. We shall keep the situation under review.
[NL] ------------------------------ 1986-87 |5.0 1987-88 |6.0 1988-89 |6.27 1989-90 |7.27
The grant for 1989-90 is over 40 per cent. higher in real terms than the grant of £4.2 million provided by the GLC in 1985-86 (the last year it funded these services).
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department's annual publication "Casualties to Vessels and Accidents to Men" contains key statistics on casualties to merchant and fishing vessels registered in the United Kingdom. Copies of CVAM from 1979 to 1987 are available in the Library. CVAM 1988 will be published within the next few months.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The expanded trunk road construction programme published in the White Paper "Roads for Prosperity" includes widening and junction improvements on the M1. A major improvement to junction 21 will be part of this.
Work should start this financial year on an interim scheme at the M1-M69 interchange (junction 21 of the M1) to prevent peak time queuing on the M1.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many proposals he has received from groups seeking to become training and enterprise councils ; and when he expects to announce his decisions.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 16 May 1989] : Twenty two applications have been received by the national training task force. It will forward its recommendations to Ministers who will announce which TECs have been awarded development funding shortly thereafter.
97. Mr. Ground : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received from employers on training and enterprise councils in the south-east ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 16 May 1989] : I have been very encouraged by the excellent response from employers in the south-east and throughout the country to our invitation to form training and enterprise councils (TECs).
Since the launch of TECs on 10 March no fewer than 22 groups of senior employers from around the country have come forward to apply for TEC development funding, of which five applications are from employers in the south-east.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many job clubs have been closed since his decision to reduce their number ; where they were located ; how many had been run by (a) jobcentres and (b) external agencies ; and if he will make a statement.
|Number ---------------------------------------- Northern |1 Yorkshire and Humberside |7 East Midlands and Eastern |20 London and South East |20 South West |21 Wales |5 West Midlands |34 North West |22 Scotland |1
A total of 114 of these job clubs had been run by jobcentres and 17 by external agencies. Around 90 more closures are expected by 30 June 1989 in order to bring the network down to the 1,000 or so needed followingthe substantial and continuing fall in long-term unemployment.
The number of job club places available in 1989-90 will be some 25 per cent. higher than the number of participants in the programme last year. I hope that long-term unemployed people will take advantage of the opportunities open to them to join this valuable programme which has already helped more than 150,000 back into work.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have applied for job start allowance ; how many have had their applications granted and refused ; how many are currently receiving the allowance ; and of those no longer receiving the allowance how long had they received it on average before termination, for Great Britain, and for each standard region.