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Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the official inquiry into the Marchioness tragedy will be able to take into consideration any proposal for permanent restriction of navigation through any existing, or proposed, Thames bridge, including proposals for uni- directional movement through any one span.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to the possible extension of the Docklands light railway from Becton to Thamesmead via a planned Thames crossing, including provision in such a crossing of a single, dual directional, line of rail.
Mr. Portillo : There are no plans for an extension of the Docklands light railway from Beckton to Thamesmead via the proposed east London river crossing. London Regional Transport do however plan a bus station at Gallions reach on the DLR Beckton extension which will provide a good interchange with buses serving Thamesmead via the river crossing.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations has he received over reduced levels of safety off the north Devon coast during 1989 ; and what remedial action he intends to take.
Mr. McLoughlin : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received 17 such representations. The points raised have been answered and he is satisfied that the current facilities for co-ordinating maritime search and rescue operations off the north Devon coast are adequate to meet the rescue needs of the area.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has he made of the adequacy of the actual level of manning at coastguard headquarters, Swansea, and of the cover over the North Devon coastline by day and by night.
Column 10met. The staffing level at Swansea has been increased and since the merger the number of persons on watch has not fallen below four. This is adequate, as are all the current facilities for co-ordinating maritime search and rescue operations off the north Devon coast whether by day or night.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to ensure the adequacy of the actual level of manning at coastguard headquarters, Swansea, and over the north Devon coastline by day and by night.
Mr. McLoughlin : Following the Swansea/Hartland merger on 6 December 1988, staffing levels were increased to reflect the area now covered by the Swansea centre. At no time since has the number of persons on watch fallen below four persons.
An additional coastguard sector officer has been stationed in the Hartland area and the auxiliary coastguard rescue companies in the area remain unaffected by the merger. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is satisfied with these arrangements and that the current facilities for co- ordinating maritime search and rescue operations off the north Devon coast are adequate to meet the rescue needs of the area.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give, for the last five years for which figures are available, the amount of money spent by each county highways authority and highways authority on street lighting ; and if he will state the percentage that money is of the total amount spent on roads, authority by authority.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Attorney-General what is the official retirement age for Court of Appeal judges, High Court judges, and circuit judges ; how many retired judges in each category returned to sit in (a) 1987 and (b) 1988, as deputy judges or ad hoc deputy judges ; on how many occasions these judges, on average, have sat as deputies or ad hoc deputies ; and what is the rate of pay for such service.
The Attorney-General : Court of Appeal and High Court judges retire on the date of their 75th birthdays. Circuit judges retire at the end of the completed year of service in which they attain the age of 72 though their period of full-time service can be extended, with the Lord Chancellor's approval, until they reach 75. In 1987, 43 retired judges sat as deputy circuit judges for a total of 1,868.5 days, five sat as deputy High Court judges for a total of 197 days, and eight sat as deputy Court of Appeal judges for a total of 285 days. In 1988, 32 judges sat as deputy circuit judges for a total of 1,764.5 days, eight sat as deputy High Court judges for a total of 273 days, and seven sat as deputy Court of Appeal judges for a total of 285 days. Deputy Court of Appeal judges are paid £361 per day. Deputy High Court judges are paid £328 per day. Deputy circuit judges are paid £179 per day.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 27 July to the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Squire), Official Report, column 815, if he will specify the initiatives taken by his Department's business and environment unit to give more focus to recycling.
Mr. Forth : My Department's business and the environment unit, formed in June of this year, is developing a number of initiatives to encourage increasing recycling of industrial residues and household waste. These include presentations to and sponsorship of a series of conferences, seminars and workshops ; collaborating in the preparation of primary and secondary school education packs ; participating in the "Recycling City" experiment ; commissioning a range of recycling research and advisory work ; and providing advice on recycling matters to trade associations, individual companies, local authorities, voluntary groups, and the general public. An advisory group, consisting of representatives of a wide range of interests in recycling, has also been established under the unit's chairmanship. It has met once so far.
Column 13and what communications he has with the European Commission on the matter of battery recovery and recycling.
Mr. Forth : Battery recycling is an established industry in the United Kingdom, but is almost entirely concentrated upon the larger lead acid and nickel cadmium cells, and the smaller silver oxide and mercury button cells. As part of a collaborative project, Waren Spring laboratory is carrying out research into methods of recovering small consumer batteries from the domestic waste stream. In December 1988, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive covering batteries and accumulators containing dangerous substances. Negotiations on the proposal have yet to begin but, if adopted, the directive would have implications for battery recovery and recycling in member states.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department is participating in the international conference on cost, planning and strategic issues for industry, environmental regulation in the European Community, on 19 and 20 October.
Mr. Forth : My Department was not invited to participate in this conference. But DTI representatives will be participating in a number of similar conferences in the next few weeks aimed at raising the level of environmental awareness in business.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if during the meeting of the Council of EEC Industry Ministers in Brussels on 26 September, he raised the issue of environmental protection and implications of European industrial policy for the environment ; and if any initiatives were taken on the industrial dismantlement of chlorofluorocarbons from refrigerators.
Mr. Forth : No. However, there is close liaison between my Department and the Department of the Environment to ensure that the implications for the environment of measures affecting business and enterprise are fully taken into account in discussions between EC Ministers on all appropriate occasions. My Department has also commissioned a major study into the options for recovering, recycling and destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the United Kingdom. The study, which will consider, among other things, the recovery of CFCs from industrial and domestic refrigerators, is due to be completed early next year.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each year since 1981 the applications received by his Department from the Nature Conservancy Council for orders under section 29 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, showing those which resulted in such an order.
Year |Site |Result of Application ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984 |Tan-y-Gadair, Cadair Idris, Gwynedd |Order made 1984 |Llyn Mawr, Powys |Order made 1985 |Coedydd a Chorsydd, Aberteifi, Dyfed|Order made 1986 |Rallt, Cors Erddreiniog, Gwynedd |Order made 1986 |Clegir Mawr, Y Werthyr, Gwynedd |Application refused 1987 |Llandegla Moor, Clwyd |Application refused
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make it his policy that promotion to senior grades in the civil service will be contingent upon working outwith the south-east area of England for a reasonable period during the course of the officers' careers.
Mr. Luce : No. Promotion to all grades in the Civil Service is on merit. This takes account of experience and other relevant factors. Senior staff are mobile grades and can be obliged to work in any location.
Column 14city's efforts in preparing for its year as European city of culture 1990 by a special Government contribution of £0.5 million, spread over two years.
Mr. Luce : Museums Year is the initiative of the Museums Association in its centenary year. I strongly support this celebration of our museums and was pleased to join the Museums Association at its centenary conference held in York in September. I am delighted that, in the course of this year, my Department, the Museums and Galleries Commission, and the Museums Association, are working together on a number of initiatives including the creation and development of the Museums Training Institute.
Mr. Knapman : To ask the Minister for the Arts how much money is being provided in the current year for the repair and maintenance of museums and galleries ; and how much was provided five and 10 years ago.
Mr. Luce : This year's provision for building and maintenance at the 11 national museums and galleries which I sponsor is £48 million. In 1979-80 the provision was £14 million and in 1984-85 it was £28 million.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands asking him to name the two officers who were involved in the Carl Bridgewater murder inquiry who have been disciplined in the last five years.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the basis of whichwarrant issued in Hong Kong in 1985 the request for the extradition of Lorrain Osman under the Fugitive Offenders Act proceeded ; and whether that warrant was exhibited to him or to Bow Street magistrates in pursuance of the authority to proceed or the issue of the provisional arrest warrant ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how may (a) males and (b) females have been (i) charged and (ii) found guilty of an offence under section 1 of the Genocide Act 1969 in each year since 1969.
Mr. John Patten : For information relating to 1987, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to his question on 26 October 1988 at columns 266-68 . Information for 1988 and 1989 is not yet available.
(2) what representations he has received concerning the implementation of the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : There is no specific category of armed robbery. However on the information available centrally, it is estimated that in 1987 there were 470 persons found guilty of robbery where a firearms offence was involved. Similar estimates for prosecutions are not possible. Information for 1988 is not yet available.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received (a) supporting and (b) opposing legislation to require parents to be responsible for the actions of their children ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Since March this year we have received 111 letters in favour of strengthening the legal responsibilities of parents for their children's behaviour and 13 against. In the light of the comments we have received, we are considering what changes to propose.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will visit the Devon emergency volunteers to convey his congratulations on their contribution to civil defence during the past 21 years.
Mr. John Patten : My right hon. Friend has no present plans to visit the Devon emergency volunteers, but we recognise and welcome most warmly the valuable contribution which they, and other volunteers, make to their local communities.
Column 17submitted to it ; if there are any plans to reduce the period between the submission of a claim and payment of compensation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Information in this form is not available, but the percentage of cases resolved by the board within certain periods of registration is shown in paragraph 6 of its latest annual report (Cm 536), a copy of which is in the Library.
To speed up the processing of claims, the board's staff complement has been increased from 220 in 1987 to 320 now. A new office opened in Glasgow, which houses two thirds of the board's staff, and is now fully operational.
The board is reviewing its administrative procedures with the aim of reducing the time taken to resolve applications.
Years in which |Posts applied for applications made ------------------------------------------------------ 1975-76 |50 1979-80 |18 1986-87 |1
Each of these applications was approved in full.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he now has any plans to introduce a scheme whereby condoms would be made available to inmates in prison ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to provide that the possession of condoms cannot be used as evidence in the prosecution of women for soliciting ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Nearly 2.5 million copies of the first and second editions of the Home Office crime prevention handbook "Practical Ways to Crack Crime" have been distributed in England and Wales. The third edition will be published shortly.
Mr. John Patten : In the 12-month period ended 30 June 1989, notifiable offences of burglary in Gloucestershire decreased by almost 15 per cent. compared with the previous 12 months. This information is published in table 7 of Home Office statistical bulletin 7/89 and in a subsequent table ; copies of both are in the Library.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the representations he has received regarding the further restrictions on the availability of the concessionary television licence fee for pensioners.
Mr. Renton : Since the changes in the regulations in May 1988, we have received visits from four hon. Members , and 311 letters, 168 of them from hon. Members, about aspects of the concessionary TV licensing system. The nature of each 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.
Column 19The figure of five hon. Members given in the answer of 3 July 1989 at column 19 to the question from the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) was unfortunately incorrect, and I am writing to the hon. Member.
Mr. Renton : We do not keep separate statistics of the ethnic origins of asylum seekers but the great majority of the Turkish nationals who have sought asylum here are of Kurdish origin. Seventy-one Turkish nationals have been granted refugee status so far in 1989, and a further 243 have been granted exceptional leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. Decisions have yet to be reached on the majority of the 3,500 applications for asylum made by Turkish nationals who arrived in May and June.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to reduce the number of convicted persons held in prison where the crime for which they were sentenced did not involve violence or illegal entry.
Mr. John Patten : We are developing further the ideas for encouraging greater use of community penalties in the Green Paper "Punishment Custody and the Community" (Cm 424). We have already taken steps to reduce the number of young adults in custody. We have issued national standards for community service orders. By ensuring that community service is rigorous and demanding, we hope to encourage its use for offenders who might otherwise receive a custodial sentence.
Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library the summary of the 3,000 responses he received to the White paper, "Broadcasting in the '90s Competition, Choice and Quality", with particular reference to responses to paragraph 6.17, the allocation of television franchises through the highest tender method.
Mr. Renton : My right hon. Friend placed in the Library on 21 April a list of the main organisations which submitted comments on the broadcasting White Paper which he announced in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Mr. Wheeler) at column 342 . I regret that the further information sought would involve a fresh analysis of more than 3,000 submissions and could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.