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Year ending |STV |Grampian |Border |Total (rounded) |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ December 1982 |2.35 |0.12 |0.05 |2.52 December 1983 |6.11 |0.46 |0.11 |6.68 March 1985 |7.21 |0.53 |0.12 |7.86 March 1986 |9.76 |0.59 |0.16 |10.50 March 1987 |11.11 |0.55 |0.16 |11.82 March 1988 |12.46 |0.40 |0.16 |13.01 March 1989 |13.20 |0.39 |0.16 |13.75 |--- |--- |--- |--- Total (rounded) |62.20 |3.03 |0.92 |66.15
These figures do not represent the net cost of the fourth channel subscription to the ITV companies. The subscription is offset by reduced levy and tax liabilities and fourth channel advertising revenue. Precise figures on the extent of these offsets are not available.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make representations to other Governments in the European Community that they only authorise gaming competitions on conditions that invitations to forward stakes are not sent through agencies or otherwise to countries whose laws forbid such lotteries within their national territories ;
(2) To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has made to other Governments in the European Community to prevent the unauthorised sale of foreign lottery tickets in the United Kingdom.
Mr. John Patten : The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has approached the authorities in the Federal Republic of Germany to explore means of stopping the posting of invitations to participate in lotteries based there to people in Great Britain, as the promotion and conduct of foreign lotteries here is unlawful under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. We have no evidence of need to ask for a similar approach to be made to the authorities in any other member state of the Community, but we would certainly do so if necessary. Our understanding is that gambling legislation is a matter for each member state of the Community, as in any other country ; and the means, if any, necessary to achieve respect for the law on lotteries in another country is a matter for national determination.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice he has received from the European Commission on whether national legislation on gambling games is justified on grounds of public morality and consumer protection.
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received concerning Navaratnasingam Vathanan, a Tamil who was returned to Colombo in February 1988 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what representations he has received concerning Vythialingam Skandarajah, a Tamil who was returned to Colombo in February 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton [holding answer 19 June 1989] : A judicial review of our decisions to refuse refugee status to these two cases and to four other Tamils was dismissed by the House of Lords in December 1987 and they were returned to Sri Lanka in February 1988. On 13 March 1989 an adjudicator upheld appeals against refusal of leave to enter in five of these cases. My right hon. Friend sought leave to appeal to the tribunal on 22 March but on 19 April the tribunal decided that it had no jurisdiction to consider this appeal because of a clerical error in the service of the papers. On 12 May my right hon. Friend sought leave to move for judicial review of the tribunal's decision and leave was granted on 17 May. We have received a number of representations about the cases from hon. Members, organisations and individuals.
Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will urgently examine existing legislation governing the holding of mass outdoor pop concerts and similar functions to assess the need to strengthen any provisions concerning (i) sound levels and decibel controls, (ii) prior warnings to local residents and (iii) provisions against exceeding any licence terms including time limits.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 14 June 1989] : The powers conferred on local authorities for the granting of public entertainments licences under the London Government Act 1963 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 are already very wide and should, in my view, be sufficient to enable them to regulate these matters.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask the chief constable of Manchester to list the complaints made by members of the public against former PC Gerald Corley and the action taken in each case.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 12 June 1989] : Responsibility for the investigation of complaints against police officers and for consideration of disciplinary action rests with the chief officer of the force concerned, subject
Column 195to the provisions of part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. My right hon. Friend has no part to play in these procedures.
It is not the normal practice to reveal details from a police officer's personal file. I understand from the chief constable of Greater Manchester, however, that complaints were made by members of the public against ex-PC Corley on 19 occasions from December 1977. All these complaints were fully investigated in accordance with the statutory procedures in force at the time. Where a complaint was withdrawn prior to the completion of the investigation it was reviewed by a senior police officer in accordance with force procedures.
In only two cases were complaints against Mr. Corley found to have a sufficient measure of substantiation to justify action being taken against the officer. Both concerned allegations of irregularity in procedure. On both occasions Mr. Corley was interviewed by a senior officer.
Sir David Price : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether there has been any further developments following the publication of the discussion document "Phones on the Move" in January ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has considered carefully the responses to the discussion document in the light of our wish to select at least two operators to provide personal communications networks (PCNs) in the 1990s. We have also received advice from the Director General of Telecommunications.
The director general has advised us that the capacity of Mercury Communications Ltd., a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless plc, to provide the full range of telecommunications services in competition with British Telecom is limited by the lack of a mobile radio network to compete with Cellnet, in which BT has a majority stake. We have therefore accepted his advice that a consortium led by Mercury or Cable & Wireless should be a prospective operator and in due course be offered one of the licences to operate a mobile communications network within the frequency range 1.7-2.3 GHz. This is subject to the submission of an acceptable proposal, both in regard to the consortium and in business and technical terms, by 14 September. On the advice of the director general, we intend to identify one, or possibly two, other prospective operators by the end of the year. We are issuing notes for the guidance of applicants today. Copies of these notes have been placed in the libraries of both Houses. The closing date for applications is noon on Thursday 14 September. Applications may be made by any company, whether or not it responded to the discussion document. The exceptions are Cellnet and Racal Vodafone, their associates and main shareholders. Since the new networks are intended to compete with these companies' existing cellular radio operations, we have decided, on the director general's advice, that they should not be able to participate in their development or operation either in their own right or as a member of a consortium. We will, however, keep
Column 196under review their needs for additional frequencies in the light of the progress they make on the pan-European cellular network and the development of competition in the United Kingdom.
We have also considered the choice of PCN technology, which will govern the appropriate technical standards. The two technologies which emerged strongly from the consultation period were those being developed for the pan-European digital cellular radio system and the digital European cordless telephone. it is our intention that the PCNs should operate according to a common technical standard, in order to ensure competition between the operators. It would be highly desirable for this to be based on a technology developed in Europe. Accordingly, we have decided that applications must be based on one or other of these technologies, and applicants may, if they wish, put in separate proposals based on each. The selected common standard will be announced when the choice of operator is made and will take account of developments in Europe.
We have also considered the major cost of linking the small radio cells needed to provide a true PCN. To aid the planning of these networks for the 1990s, we have decided that the operators will be able to provide their own radio-based network infrastructure between individual radio cells. However, the links to the public switched network, which provides the basic telecommunications service of conveying messages over fixed links, will still be provided by British Telecom or Mercury pending the outcome of the November 1990 duopoly review. In order to protect the position of the new entrants, any request by the existing cellular operators to provide similar radio links for their own networks will be considered in the light of their progress in implementing the pan-European cellular network but will in any event not be implemented until two years after both of the new PCNs have entered service, provided there are no undue delays in the introduction of the new networks.
We have been aware of the possible affect of this initiative on the four Telepoint operators we announced in January. We do not believe that the PCN initiative should significantly affect their prospects for success. The new networks will offer two-way call initiation aimed to compete with cellular radio, with its relatively expensive and sophisticated technology, and will not begin service until 1992 at the earliest. By contrast the inherently lower cost one-way Telepoint technology has already been developed and we expect it to be introduced into the marketplace well before the end of the year. We have, however, asked the director general to pay particular regard to any new ideas from the Telepoint operators themselves as to how the Telepoint concept could be further developed in the future and to advise us as necessary.
The "Phones on the Move" discussion document put forward our vision of the future in PCNs and companies responded to it with enthusiasm and imagination. We intend to maintain this momentum, and to encourage industry to make this vision a reality in the early 1990s. We do not anticipate any further major developments in new mobile telecommunications systems for some time. As a result of our announcement today and previous announcements on Telepoint, cellular radio, private mobile radio and paging, the Government have opened up new markets and provided for effective competition. We
Column 197hope that all the companies involved in this field will continue to respond vigorously and to exploit the opportunities that have been created.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has any evidence, in the form of comprehensive and reliable consumer surveys, on the state of consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with public houses and clubs in Britain.
Mr. Forth : I am aware of two surveys which are relevant. First the Consumers Association conducted a survey of 2,175 adults in May 1987, which formed the basis of their evidence of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission investigation into the supply of beer. A number of questions were asked which related to consumer satisfaction. According to the Consumers Association, of those respondents who said they visited pubs less often than two years previously, the largest single reason was that drinks in pubs were too expensive. Two thirds of respondents agreed that all pubs should be allowed to sell draught bitter from more than one brewer, and 61 per cent. agreed that pub prices were too high compared with supermarkets and off-licences. More recently, Haig Whisky has published results from a MORI poll of 1,037 adults who go to the pub at least once a month, carried out in 65 constituency sampling points in the second half of May 1989. This survey was carried out to examine attitudes towards the MMC's recommendations for changes in the brewing industry. It showed a majority in favour of the Government implementing the MMC recommendations. Eighty- four per cent. said landlords (that is publicans) should have more freedom to introduce other beers. Sixty per cent. thought the quality of pubs would increase as a result of the MMC recommendations.
The Consumers Association and Haig Whisky have published documents containing the detailed results of their surveys. I am aware of recent reports that a survey commissioned by the Brewers Society comes to different conclusions, but I have not yet seen the details.
Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the continued location of the International Sugar Organisation and the Wheat Council in London ; what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the anti-competitive foreign subsidies being deferred to those organisations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 25 April, the Government welcome the location of these organisations in London. They have based themselves here for many years because of the merits of London as the leading international trading centre for their products. The Government are therefore prepared to give the London chamber's proposal their full support including a financial contribution in equal partnership with the private sector. The Government will, of course, also provide the usual rates concessions to the two organisations. We shall continue to work to discourage subsidised competition so that different locations can compete fairly on their merits.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in respect of which countries export licences have been applied for in respect of the weapon known as Frag 12 ; and what is the result of the application in each case.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects his proposals for attainment targets and programmes of study for English for pupils in junior and secondary schools to be published for consultation.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have now formulated our proposals for attainment targets and programmes of study in English for pupils in key stages 2 to 4 (broadly ages eight to 16). Our proposals endorse without modification the relevant recommendations of the national curriculum English working group, and build on the provisions in the order covering English in key stage 1 laid before Parliament on 31 May. We are grateful to the group for its clear and helpful advice. I have today referred our proposals to the national curriculum council to start the consultation in England required by the Education Reform Act. My right hon. Friend will be initiating separate consultations in Wales as required by the Act. I have placed a copy of our proposals and the working group's report, together with a copy of my letter to the national curriculum council, in the Library.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Lord President of the Council what information he has available and what information is available to hon. Members concerning the scope and extent of reportage by sound radio of proceedings in the Chamber of the House of Commons throughout its sittings.
Mr. Wakeham : I am not aware of any recent systematic monitoring carried out, either by the House or on its behalf, of the use to which the sound feed from the Chamber is put. So far as the broadcasters themselves are concerned, I am advised that the BBC does not collate statistics of the degree of detail implied by the hon. Gentleman's question and that to do so would be a time-consuming and costly exercise.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Lord President of the Council what guidance is issued to departmental Ministers on the criteria to be observed in determining whether to answer parliamentary questions tabled during the previous day's sitting.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will publish the full set of community charge practice notes ; to whom the public should apply for these notes ; and when applications should be made.
Mr. Gummer : Community charge practice notes are published jointly by the Government and local authority associations. Nineteen notes have been issued so far and copies are available in the Library of the House. The notes are detailed, technical manuals intended for the use of local authority practitioners rather than the general public. A separate series of explanatory booklets are available to the public free of charge from Community Charge Leaflets Section PO Box 622, Bristol B599 1TR.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines he has issued on the evidence which is acceptable for poll tax purposes, that an individual is entitled to severe disablement allowance or to invalidity pension ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. Detailed guidance on the evidence required to satisfy an exemption from the community charge on grounds of severe mental impairment is contained in community charge practice note No. 19, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities have indicated to his Department that their costs in implementing the community charge are likely to be (a) less and (b) more than the amount granted for the purpose by Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Gummer : The information we have on the revenue costs to authorities of implementation suggest that about 15 per cent. of them will be spending less than has been provided in the 1989-90 rate support grant settlement ; most of the remainder intend to spend more.
Mr. Gummer : The actual costs of implementation will not be known until next year but the figures contained in authorities' budget returns suggest that Government provision will support about half of authorities' estimated revenue expenditure on preparation. Similar figures for
Column 200capital are not available. It was never the intention that resources received by individual authorities would necessarily meet in full the estimated costs of their own preferred plans. This would give no incentive to efficient implementation. We believe the resources we have made available--£110 million in the 1989-90 rate support grant settlement and capital allocations totalling £160 million--are sufficient to support reasonable levels of local authority expenditure in preparation.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received that his Department arrange for a survey to be made of the costs actually incurred by all local authorities on implementation of the community charge ; whether he will undertake such a survey ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to exempt from the provisions of the poll tax those who are mainly or wholly dependent on moneys provided to victims of Nazi persecutions.
Mr. Gummer : The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. Individuals are exempt from the community charge if their circumstances conform to one of the categories set out in schedule 1 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 12 June 1989] : Community charge practice notes (which are produced jointly by the Government and the local authority association) contain guidance on technical details of the new system for the local authority staff who will be operating it. Copies of each note are provided free to all local authorities and others with a specific need for the information, and are placed in the Library of the House. Copies of the notes have not been made generally available to other bodies or the public. We have prepared a range of leaflets for that purpose.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether itinerant workers under the community charge will have to pay a personal charge at their permanent address and a collective charge if they are living in a designated dwelling at or near their workplace levied by their landlord.
Column 201property designated for the collective community charge will pay contributions towards the collective charge payable by the landlord or owner of the property.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many sites of special scientific interest have been designated each year since the inception of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 ; and how many he estimates will be created in the next 12 months.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides for both renotification of sites of special scientific interest originally notified under the National Park and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and notification of new SSSIs. The number of such sites are :
|Financial year --------------------------------------------------------------- Renotifications To 31 March 1989 |3,187 New notifications 1981-82 |0 1982-83 |35 1983-84 |183 1984-85 |268 1985-86 |358 1986-87 |261 1987-88 |274 1988-89 |282
In addition the Nature Conservancy Council expects to renotify 135 sites and notify a further 250 sites in the current financial year.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of the total number of sites of special scientific interest have been (a) destroyed and (b) damaged since the inception of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No information is available prior to 1 April 1984. I am informed by the Nature Conservancy Council that since then the numbers of SSSIs which have sustained damage are as follows :
|Number |Per cent. ---------------------------------------- 1984-85 |192 |6.77 1985-86 |151 |4.84 1986-87 |205 |6.86 1987-88 |139 |4.36
This includes damage of all kinds, whether significant or not, and to both those SSSIs notified under the 1981 Act and those notified under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and not yet renotified. The number of SSSIs suffering significant damage averaged about 1 per cent. over the period.
Over this period three SSSIs were destroyed, two in 1984-85 and one in 1985 -86.
Full information is provided in the NCC's annual reports copies of which are in the Library.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Responsibility for the control of discharges of industrial and trade effluent to the Bristol channel rests with the Welsh, Wessex and South West water authorities. Details of consents granted by the authorities in respect of such discharges are held on the registers maintained by each authority.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will tabulate what a single person living in the london borough of Waltham Forest would pay (a) in community charge and (b) in a system of capital value rates plus local income tax paid in proportions of 80 to 20, respectively if the person earned (a) £40, 000, (b) £80,000 and (c) £120,000 and lived in (i) property owned by that person worth £90,000, (ii) property owned by that person worth £120,000 and (iii) property owned by that person worth £150,000, making the same assumptions as in his reply to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Sir H. Rossi) on 22 March, Official Report, column 626.
Illustrative annual liability in Waltham Forest under a system of capital value rates combined with local income tax, 1988-89 Single persons earnings |Property value £90,000 |Property value £120,000|Property value £150,000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ £40,000 |1,375 |1,655 |1,935 £80,000 |1,940 |2,220 |2,505 £120,000 |2,510 |2,790 |3,070
The figures are based on illustrative tax rates placed in the Library on 23 June 1988 and are for 1988-89. It is assumed that the person lives alone and taxable income is taken as earnings less £260.5, the single person's allowance, in each case. The illustrative 1988-89 community charge in Waltham Forest is £269.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has received any representations to allow large scale construction of new properties in the Yeovil constituency to accommodate citizens of the colony of Hong Kong claiming right of abode in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Trippier : The Housing Corporation has published proposals to introduce an incentive scheme in 1990 to help housing association tenants to move out and buy homes on the open market. The corporation is considering the responses.
Mr. Gummer : The Personal Community Charge (Students) Regulations 1989 were laid before the House on 17 March. They provide for certification officers in all relevant educational establishments in England and Wales, and place a duty on them to issue a certificate in the prescribed form to each person pursuing or about to pursue a full-time course of education. The regulations will come into force on 1 October 1989.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received many representations on this topic. The commitments agreed by the Government under the large combustion plants and motor vehicle emissions directives of the European Community will lead to very substantial reductions in the emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, hydro-carbons and carbon monoxide.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the development of sub-sea bed dry storage for civil nuclear waste.
intermediate-level radioactive waste. Nirex is currently investigating a repository in the form of a mine under the land. The Government have endorsed this programme. The possibility of investigating other locations at a later stage, or of utilising offshore options cannot be ruled out.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has had about imposing a statutory requirement on local authorities (a) to clean European designated bathing beaches of litter and (b) to clean any beach regularly used by the public after an oil spill.
Mr. Moynihan : I have had no specific representations on these subjects. We have, however, announced our intention to place local authorities under a duty to keep land clean. This is one of a number of proposals for legislation on litter which my right hon. Friend intends to announce soon.