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Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from how many people deductions were made under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 in each of the years from 1979 to 1989 inclusive.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 20 June 1989] : The number of people from whom deductions have been made is not available, but the number of debt cases, recorded by the four main creditor bodies, in respect of which deductions were made in 1988-89 under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 was 16, 479. Directly equivalent information for the earlier years is not available, but I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 25 October 1988, Official Report at column 137.
With effect from April 1988, the major proportion of deductions from benefits against arrears of rent, rates, electricity and gas charges have been made under the provisions of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987, and the 1988-89 figure given already referred to excludes deductions under these regulations.
74. Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what percentage of cases dealt with by magistrates courts, judgment or sentence is deferred from the original hearing ; and what proposals he has to shorten the length of time between arrest and the conclusion of a case and to cut the number of appearances of individual defendants in respect of a single charge.
Mr. Hurd : In 1988 it is estimated that 76 per cent. of cases were adjourned one or more times. Measures to reduce delays include the establishment of a scrutiny of the magistrates courts service and of a committee to review the procedure of the magistrates courts ; the introduction on an experimental basis of power for courts to remand defendants in custody in certain circumstances for up to 28 days at a time ; the development of the magistrates courts management information system ; and the progressive introduction of statutory time limits which govern the period during which an accused may be held in custody awaiting committal or trial.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints his Department has received about anomalies in the application of the concessionary television licence scheme since the rules change in May 1988 ; and if he will give details.
Mr. Renton : Since the change in the regulations in May 1988, we have received visits from five hon. Members and 202 letters, 98 of them from hon. Members, about aspects of the concessionary TV licensing scheme. The nature of each complaint is not separately recorded, but the main points raised were whether the scheme should be extended to ordinary housing, the treatment of new residents of schemes which no longer qualified and whether the circumstances of individual housing schemes fitted the new regulations.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will inquire into the reasons why Miss S. A. Lawrence of 68 Sutton road, Southend whose date of birth is 1 February 1952, and who applied to his office in Croydon on 27 December 1987, and forwarded a cheque for £170, has had no notification since that time apart from an immediate acknowledgement ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : The Home Office received some 300,000 citizenship applications in the course of 1987, mostly in connection with the ending of certain registration rights under the British Nationality Act 1981. This led to delays in completing naturalisation that are currently around 22 months. Miss Lawrence applied for naturalisation in December 1987. Her application will reach its turn for consideration within the next few months. I am not aware of any reason for giving it priority.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to publish the results of the scrutiny of the working of section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 which was undertaken by his Department.
Mr. Hurd : The report of the scrutiny of section 11 grant is being published today, and a copy has been placed in the Library. The Government welcome the report's thorough analysis of the way in which the system has operated. The report shows that there is still a need for special provision to help break down barriers which prevent people from the ethnic minorities from using fully their opportunities for educational, economic and social development. We are considering further what changes need to be made to improve the effectiveness of help provided to ethnic minority communities by services funded under section 11 grant. Such services are one important means of enabling men and women from Britain's ethnic minorities to play a growing and confident part in the mainstream of our national life.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report in tabular form the results of the Home Office survey conducted in December 1987 into the extent of old and sub-standard police stations in the Metropolitan police area giving the names and locations of stations which are (a) first class, (b) second class, (c) vulnerable and (d) irrecoverable.
Mr. Hurd [holding answer 29 June 1989] : The Home Office survey focused on the extent of old and sub-standard police stations in England and Wales. Questionnaries were issued to the Metropolitan police only in respect of police stations which were in categories C and D. The total number of stations and the number in each category, have changed since 1987. The position is summarised as follows :
|Numbers ------------------------------- A first class |27 B second class |64 C vulnerable |58 Dirrecoverable |37 |---- Total |186
The details of the gradings of stations are as follows :
Grades of metropolitan police stations Name |Grade updated ------------------------------------------------- Acton |A Addington |A Barnes |A Barnet |A Brixton |A Canon Row |A Chigwell |A Chingford |A Chiswick |A Croydon |A East Dulwich |A Epsom |A Kilburn |A Leman Street |A Marylebone |A Orpington |A Paddington Green |A Peckham |A Plaistow |A South Norwood |A Southall |A Southgate |A Southwark |A Stoneleigh |A Uxbridge |A Wembley |A Wimbledon |A Albany Street |B Arbour Square |B Barkingside |B Battersea |B Belvedere |B Biggin Hill |B Boreham Wood |B Brentford |B Brick Lane |B Catford |B Chadwell Heath |B Cheshunt |B City Road |B Collier Row |B Dagenham |B Ealing |B Enfield |B Esher |B Feltham |B Finchley |B Greenwich |B Ham |B Hammersmith |B Hampstead |B Harold Hill |B Harrow |B Highgate |B Holborn |B Holloway |B Hornchurch |B Hounslow |B Kennington |B Kensington |B Kentish Town |B Kingsbury |B Kingston |B Lavender Hill |B Lewisham |B Limehouse |B Loughton |B Mitcham |B Notting Dale |B Ponders End |B Poplar |B Roehampton |B Romford |B Rotherhithe |B Ruislip |B Shepherds Bush |B Sydenham |B Teddington |B Thamesmead |B Tooting |B Vine Street |B Walthamstow |B West Drayton |B West end Central |B West Ham |B West Hampstead |B West Hendon |B West Wickham |B Whetstone |B Woodford |B Worcester Park |B Barking |C Bethnal Green |C Bow Road |C Bromley |C Camberwell |C Carter Street |C Chelsea |C Cobham |C Earlsfield |C East Ham |C East Molesey |C Edgware |C Eltham |C Fulham |C Gipsy Hill |C Golders Green |C Greenford |C Hackney |C Hampton |C Harrow Road |C Hayes |C Heathrow |C Hendon |C Highbury Vale |C Hornsey |C Hyde Park |C Ilford |C Isle of Dogs |C Islington |C Kings Cross |C Leyton |C Leytonstone |C Muswell Hill |C Norbury |C Pinner |C Plumstead |C Potters Bar |C Putney |C Radlett |C Rainham |C Richmond |C Rochester Row |C Shooters Hill |C Sidcup |C Streatham |C Surbiton |C Sutton |C Tottenham |C Tottenham Court Road |C Tower Bridge |C Twickenham |C Upminster |C Wallington |C Wealdstone |C Westcombe Park |C Winchmore Hill |C Wood Green |C Woolwich |C Banstead |D Beckenham |D Bexleyheath |D Bow Street |D Brockley |D Bushey |D Caledonian Road |D Cavendish Road |D Chislehurst |D Clapham |D Dalston |D Deptford |D Edmonton |D Erith |D Forest Gate |D Gerald Road |D Harlesden |D Kenley |D Lee Road |D Mill Hill |D New Malden |D New Southgate |D North Woolwich |D Northwood |D Norwood Green |D Notting Hill |D Penge |D St. Anns Road |D St. Johns Wood |D Staines |D Stoke Newington |D Sunbury |D Waltham Abbey |D Wandsworth |D Wanstead |D Welling |D Willesden Green |D
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many student hours have been lost in recreation classes in the last three months in Her Majesty's prison, Wandsworth ; and what percentage this is of the normal evening provision.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 28 June 1989] : In the 12- week period ending 23 June 1989 a total of 3,350 student hours were lost : this represents 35 per cent. of the normal evening class provision at the establishment.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of books issued to prisoners in Her Majesty's prison, Wandsworth (a) in the three months before fresh start and (b) in the last three months.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 28 June 1989] : In the 12- week period preceding the implementation of fresh start (5 June 1988) 17, 797 books were issued to prisoners. In the 12-week period ending 23 June 1989 a total of 9,546 books were issued.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the governor of Wandsworth prison on staffing levels at the prison ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Staffing levels are discussed in the normal course between governors and regional management. A round of discussions on staffing levels has taken place between the governor of Wandsworth and regional staff over the last two months, and management is considering the position.
Column 24electrical apparatus by ensuring that it does not produce or receive interference. It reached common positions on the fifth amendment to the cosmetics directive ; on modifications to three directives dealing with technical standards for tractors ; and on the proposed regulation on the giving of security to ensure payment of customs debts (the last of these being subject to a United Kingdom parliamentary scrutiny reserve).
The Council discussed the proposed European Community mergers regulation, and the proposed directive to ensure compliance with public procurement directives. The Commission withdrew its proposal for a right of residence directive and indicated that it would now put forward new proposals on this subject shortly.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether licences for telecommunications operators contain provisions enabling them to inform community charge registration officers of changes of address by telephone subscribers.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give the total amount of expenditure on business development consultancy initiative between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989 and for each of the region and island authorities in Scotland.
Mr. Newton [holding answer 29 June 1989] : In the period from 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1989 the Department contributed £1.6 million to the cost of consultancies in Scotland under the business development consultancy initiatives. It is estimated that those consultancies not completed by 31 March 1989 will cost the Department a further £2.1 million. A breakdown of expenditure for each region and island authority in Scotland is not available.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give the total number of applications (a) received and (b) approved for business development consultancy initiative between April 1988 and 31 March 1989 and for each of the region and island authorities in Scotland.
|(a) |(b) Region/Island authority |Number of applications |Number of applications |received |approved for assisted |consultancy ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Borders |36 |34 Central |57 |46 Dumfries and Galloway |23 |11 Fife |65 |53 Grampian |163 |116 Highland |43 |29 Lothian |239 |188 Strathclyde |797 |680 Tayside |101 |76 Orkney |2 |- Shetland |1 |- Western Isles |2 |2 Total |1,529 |1,235
Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he is making on the upgrading of the Otterbourne to Chilworth section of the A33 trunk road to motorway standards ; and when he expects the work to be completed.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Works in advance of the main contract for the Compton to Bassett section of the M3 are proceeding satisfactorily. We hope to award the main contract shortly. Construction should be completed around the end of 1991.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he is satisfied with British Rail's safety measures associated with its proposal to run the proposed high speed rail link parallel to the M20 motorway through the village of Sellindge.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to seek to ensure that the village of Sellindge is environmentally protected from the proposed high speed rail link.
Mr. Portillo : Yes. Regulations that I have made were today laid before Parliament to reduce the fees for registering or varying non- subsidised community bus services from £30 and £27 respectively to a flat charge of £10.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving injuries and deaths have taken place for each year since 1979 in each direction on the A33 between the M3 and M27.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The M3 motorway was extended south to Bar End (Winchester) in 1985. Accident statistics for the A33 trunk road are not available separately for each direction of travel. The combined figures for accidents involving death or injury are as follows :
A33 (T): M3 (A303/A30 Junction) to M27 Bassett Year |Number of Accidents ------------------------------------------------------------ 1980 |93 1981 |89 1982 |89 1983 |91 1984 |95
A33 (T):M3 (Bar End) to M27 Bassett Year |Number of Accidents ------------------------------------------------------------ 1985 |66 1986 |69 1987 |69 1988 |68
Mr. Michael Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received following the three year review of the orange badge scheme for disabled car parking ; and what consideration he is currently giving to the problems affecting 430 thalidomide victims arising from the outcome of that review and, in particular, for those with shortened arms such as Mrs. Alison Wright of Bognor Regis.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We received nearly 700 comments on the discussion paper which we issued in August 1986 setting out possible changes to the orange badge scheme. The results of the review were announced in answer to a question from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) on 25 April 1989, at columns 481-83.
Column 27A number of people have understood limited press reports to mean that badges will in future be restricted to recipients of mobility allowance. We do not want to restrict eligibility to this extent. Nor do we seek to ration badges or set targets for their availability. We have received many letters and telephone calls supporting our proposals for tackling abuse of the scheme. The idea of redesigning the badge with space for a photograph of the holder has been particularly welcomed by people with disabilities and their representative organisations.
Public concern has recently been expressed about not extending eligibility for badges to all thalidomide victims with upper limb disabilities.
We have accepted advice and representations from the statutory disabled persons transport advisory committee (DPTAC) that badges must continue to be restricted to people with permanent and severe mobility problems.
The committee's constituent organisations include the joint committee on mobility for the disabled, the Disabled Drivers Association, the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation and the Disabled Drivers Motor Club. The majority of DPTAC's members are people with disabilities.
We are taking further medical advice on the mobility problems specific to some thalidomide people.
Officials have met with the Thalidomide Trust and are in touch with the Thalidomide Society.
We hope to make an announcement shortly on the outcome of this further consultation as it effects the eligibility of thalidomide victims in relation to the mobility criteria of the scheme. The greatest concern must be to protect the interests of those people who cannot move without the benefit of the national scheme and to avoid the growth and extension of local schemes conferring benefits only to local people.
If the national scheme further loses its value and validity, the most severely disabled will suffer badly.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will consider introducing a two-tier system in the future for disabled persons, consisting of a red badge for less serious cases of disability, together with an orange badge for priority, as at present.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 30 June 1989] : No. For the scheme to be workable it is essential that only one class of badge is issued, and is restricted to those people with the greatest mobility problems. This approach has been strongly supported by organisations representing people with disabilities following our recent detailed review of the scheme.
It has been a basis of the scheme from its inception that the issue of badges should be restricted to those most in need of the parking concessions conferred by it. This approach was endorsed in the recent review of the scheme.
The main problem with the scheme is that badges are too easy to get, not too hard. Extending eligibility to those with less serious mobility handicaps (even if the full range of parking concessions were not provided) would increase considerably the number of badge holders. This would contribute to further traffic congestion in town centres. It would make enforcement of the scheme even more difficult.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding the need for orange badges by those who have deformed arms or none at all ; and what reply he gave.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The consultation paper on the orange badge scheme which we issued in August 1986 discussed the possibility of extending eligibility for badges to people with severe upper limb disabilities.
This was generally opposed by those commenting on the paper. In particular, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) argued strongly that badges should continue to be restricted to those with severe mobility problems. Most of the major organisations representing people with disabilities are members of DPTAC. We have received several representations that badges should be issued to thalidomide victims without arms. We are taking further medical advice on whether there are any previously unknown mobility problems specific to thalidomide victims. We are in touch with the Thalidomide Trust and the Thalidomide Society.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Army married quarters have been sold on the open market during each of the past five years ; and what were the net annuals proceeds from such sales.
Mr. Neubert : The number of married quarters that have been sold on the open market during each of the five years is given in the table. The net annual proceeds from such sales are identifiable only for 1988-89 and 1987-88, since records were not kept in this form prior to 1 April 1987.
Financial year |Number of quarters sold|Proceeds of sale |on open market |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988-89 |81 |2.819 1987-88 |212 |5.517 1986-87 |326 |- 1985-86 |100 |- 1984-85 |67 |-
Mr. Neubert : Surplus married quarters that are suitable for sale to individuals are offered to service personnel at a discount of 30 per cent. on the market value. In order to be eligible, service personnel must be aged 25 or over and neither they nor their spouses must have held a freehold interest in a house or other residential property, or a lease with an unexpired term of 21 years or more, since 1 December 1983. Where more than one application is made, preference is given to the applicant with the longest period of reckonable service.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Army married quarters have been made available for sale to serving soldiers in each of the past five years ; and how many have been sold to (a) officers and (b) other ranks.
Mr. Neubert : Since 1 December 1983, a total of 1,195 surplus Army married quarters have been offered for sale to soldiers. A total of 339 were sold to officers and 642 to non-commissioned personnel. In the time available it has not been possible to provide a year-by-year breakdown of these figures.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will outline the composition, role and powers of the nuclear-powered warships safety committee ; who appoints it ; to whom it reports ; and what decision-making powers it has.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The nuclear-powered warships safety committee consists of serving and retired experts in nuclear and related fields from both within and outside the Ministry of Defence. Its members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence. Its terms of reference are to advise the Secretary of State and other Ministers on all public safety measures concerned with the construction, operation and maintenance of nuclear- powered warships. Although the committee has no executive powers, in practice the Ministry of Defence has always followed its advice on matters which fall within its terms of reference.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many further (a) deaths, (b) leukaemias and (c) multiple myelomas occurring to nuclear test veterans and to members of the control group have become known to the National Radiological Protection Board in the five years that have passed since the National Radiological Protection Board study was completed ;
(2) if he will request the National Radiological Protection Board to produce an interim report examining the developments there have been since the report on nuclear test veterans was completed.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will discuss with the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association the completeness of the service medical records used in the National Radiological Protection Board study of nuclear test veterans.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the right hon. Member to paragraphs 5.5, 7.5 and 8.1 of the National Radiological Protection Board report 214 of January 1988 where the completeness of service records is discussed. I can add nothing further to that.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will request the national Radiological Protection Board as part of its study of nuclear test veterans, to consult the United States scientists who provided the evidence to the United States Government on their nuclear test veterans.
Mr. Sainsbury : It would not be appropriate for the Government to instruct the NRPB on how it should conduct its work. However, I am confident that the National Radiological Protection Board, comprising independent experts, will consult whoever it feels necessary in order to further its understanding of matters relating to the nuclear test veteran studies.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what analysis was made by the National Radiological Protection Board of the incidence amongst nuclear test veterans of the 13 cancers for which the United States Government are now willing to pay compensation to their nuclear test veterans.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the right hon. Gentleman to tables 7.1-7.15, 8.1-8.3, and tables F1-F13 contained in the National Radiological Protection Board report 214 of January 1988 where comprehensive analyses of the information pertaining to different types of cancers are listed.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what has been the cost of obtaining information about the ill health and mortality of nuclear test veterans in the five years since the previous cut-off point ;
(2) what is the estimated cost of analysing the information obtained since the cut-off date used for the first National Radiological Protection Board report on nuclear test veterans ; (3) what was the cost of the National Radiological Protection Board report on nuclear test veterans ; and what proportion of it arose from establishing the names of the nuclear test veterans, their involvement in the nuclear tests and the establishment of an appropriate sample.
Mr. Hincliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether soldiers based at the Shoeburyness proof and experimental establishment, who are currently employed part-time by Centre Security Services undertaking security work at Southend civic centre have permission to undertake this additional employment.
Mr. Neubert : Any officer or soldier wishing to take up any form of off-duty employment is required to obtain approval first. Approval is granted only when the commanding officer certifies that the appointment will not interfere in any way with the applicant's military duties.
Column 31Ltd. and Rolls-Royce plc by his Department for goods and services destined for the British armed services in each of the six years to 31 March ;
(2) if he will list in the Official Report the precise amounts paid in respect of headquarter contracts to each of the following contractors by his Department for goods and services destined for the British armed services in each of the three years to 31 March 1988 : (a) the General Electric Co. plc, (b) British Telecommunications plc, (c) Lucas Industries plc, (d) BTR plc, (e) Austin Rover Group Ltd, (f) Dunlop Holdings plc, (g) United Scientific Holdings plc, (h) Courtaulds plc, (i) Massey-Ferguson Holdings Ltd, and (j) Commercial Shearing Inc.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of the 1.4 million company car drivers how many drive (a) less than 2,000 miles, (b) 2 -3,000 miles, (c) 3-4,000 miles, (d) 4-5,000 miles, (e) 5-6,000 miles, (f) 6-7,000 miles, (g) 7-8,000 miles, (h) 8-9,000 miles, (i) 9-10,000 miles, (j) 10-11,000 miles, (k) 11-12,000 miles, (l) 12-13,000 miles, (m) 13- 14,000 miles, (n) 14-15,000 miles, (o) 15-16,000 miles, (p) 16-17,000 miles and (q) 17-18,000 miles annually.