Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many low flying exercises have been carried out by the Royal Air Force and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over the Hexham constituency for each of the last five years for which figures are available.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has received from the United States Government a copy of the latest nuclear weapons surety report to the United States President which deals with security of United States nuclear warheads and weapons deployed in the United Kingdom and Europe ; and whether his Department received earlier copies of this report.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total amount of compensation paid for (a) deaths and (b) injuries inflicted by (i) rubber bullets and (ii) plastic bullets fired by the Army in Northern Ireland from 1969 to the present.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The information is not available in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, our records show that of the claims received since 1 April 1987, we have paid out to date a total of £8,250 in compensation awards for injuries caused by rubber or plastic bullets in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The defence estate in Hong Kong is the property of the Hong Kong Government. Under long-standing arrangements, whenever defence land is required for redevelopment, for economic or social purposes, the Hong Kong Government reprovide defence facilities, as required, at other suitable locations. The naval basin and related facilities at HMS Tamar lie in an area required by the Hong Kong Government for a major new development. No decision has been taken on the future of
Column 180the Prince of Wales building (headquarters British forces Hong Kong), which is unaffected by the reprovision of the Royal Navy's facilities at Stonecutter's island.
Mr. Neubert : The power-to-weight ratio for the Vanguard class was calculated in the course of deciding on the submarine's design. Adequate power will be generated to satisfy the operation requirement.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects that the joint tactical information distribution system will be fitted to aircraft of the Royal Air Force, and to which aircraft.
Mr. Alan Clark : The AEW Sentry E3D will enter RAF service in the early 1990s fitted with JTIDS class 2. On current plans the Tornado ADV will have JTIDS fitted shortly after. Consideration is also being given to fitting JTIDS to tanker aircraft in the mid-1990s. A reduced size version of JTIDS is specified for the European fighter aircraft.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's plans to coordinate the development of the next generation of tanks.
Mr. Alan Clark : NATO nations generally consider opportunities for collaboration in the development of equipment, and are doing so in relation to elements of armoured fighting vehicle technology. There is at present no project aimed at the development of a complete tank.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representation there was from his Department at the seminar on the education and training policy of the European Commission held at the university of Manchester and Wales on 14 October.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department last year issued a circular entitled "Working Together for The Protection of Children From Abuse : Procedures Within The Education Service", which was designed to help local education authorities and others to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to prevent and deal with child abuse.
The circular discussed the potential contribution of the curriculum in this matter and invited local education authorities and schools to consider carefully the extent to which teaching should be directly concerned with warning children of the risks of child abuse. The circular also invited local education authorities to consider the extent to which, within their responsibilities for adult, further and higher education, there was scope for personal and social education about the prevention of child abuse.
The Department has recently asked local education authorities to report on the action they have taken to give effect to the recommendations of the circular.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department is currently providing grant of some £70,000 towards the costs of a programme to help local education authorities to train teachers in the protection of children from abuse.
Mr. John Patten : As my right hon. Friend the then Home Secretary said on 15 June at columns 514-15, the emergency services provide an excellent response to such incidents, and recent events have confirmed that.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contribution was made by Ministers or officials of his Department to the conference on risk held at the university of Bradford on 12 September.
Column 182principal of the Emergency Planning College. A presentation was given on the outcome of the Home Office review of peacetime emergency arrangements.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he hopes to respond to the recent Apex Trust report, "Making Rehabilitation Work ;" and if he will make a statement regarding implementation of its proposals in future legislation.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the latest available figures from the staff- inmate ratios in dispersal prisons during the time that inmates are unlocked.
Mr. Mellor : The seven dispersal prisons vary considerably in size, design, function and population. Comparisons between staff/inmate ratios need therefore to be made with some care. As at 1 September 1989 the position was as follows :
Prison |Prisoners |Officers in post |Prisoners per officer |Typical number of |prisoners per officer at |time of unlocking ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Albany |375 |317 |1.2 |3.0 Frankland |388 |396 |1.0 |2.4 Full Sutton |386 |381 |1.0 |2.5 Gartree |316 |290 |1.1 |2.7 Long Lartin |425 |337 |1.3 |3.1 Parkhurst |224 |338 |0.7 |1.7 Wakefield |689 |429 |1.6 |4.0
(2) if he will make provision in the broadcasting legislation for the protection of hours during which children's programmes traditionally are shown ;
(3) if he will make provision in the broadcasting legislation for children's television programmes to continue being provided as a public service, and not subject to subscription ;
(4) if he will make provision in the broadcasting legislation for the setting up of an independent panel to ensure quality children's programmes ;
(5) if he will make provision in the broadcasting legislation for the distribution of money through a public service broadcasting council, to the BBC and earmarked for children's programmes ; (6) if he will make provision in the broadcasting legislation to permit the Independent Television Commission to arrange a minimum level of funding for children's programmes on channels 3 and 5.
Mr. Mellor : There is no express requirement in current broadcasting legislation to show children's programmes. Under our proposals for new legislation Channel 3 and Channel 5 will be required, among other things, to cater
Column 183for a wide range of tastes and interests, and Channel 4 will be required to include programmes appealing to tastes and interests not generally catered for by Channel 3. As new television channels proliferate it becomes generally less desirable for legislation to impose detailed requirements for particular programme types to be included in schedules at particular times or made subject to special funding or licensing mechanisms. But our proposals will suffice to ensure that children's programmes continue to be shown on both the BBC and on independent terrestrial television ; and that the possible outlets for children's programmes will increase.
(2) how many persons have accepted voluntary repatriation at the latest date ; and what was the total cost ;
(3) if he will list the number of deportations from Liverpool for each of the last three years to the latest available date ;
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information on persons removed from the United Kingdom under the deportation process in the years 1986 to 1988, including those who accepted supervised departure, and those on whom a deportation order was enforced, is published in table 14 of Home Office statistical bulletin issue 31/89 "Control of Immigration : Statistics--Second Quarter 1989", a copy of which is in the Library. Separate information on the removal of persons from Liverpool, and on the total cost of supervised departures, is not available.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the names, dates and amounts paid to persons who have been wrongfully imprisoned and the method of calculating compensation for each year since 1970.
Mr. John Patten : It is not our practice to publish details of individual payments to applicants for compensation. The assessment of the amount paid is based in the main on written submissions setting out the relevant facts. In making his assessment, the independent assessor will apply principles analogous to those governing the assessment of damages for civil wrongs.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what applications for compensation in respect of unlawful conviction of Paul Hill, Carole Richardson, Gerard Conlon and Patrick Armstrong he has received ; how they will be assessed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Applications for compensation have been received in respect of Paul Hill, Carole Richardson, Gerard Conlon and Patrick Armstrong. As I informed the hon. Gentleman in my written reply on Monday 30 October, on the advice of the independent assessor my right hon. and learned Friend has agreed that interim awards of compensation should be made to all four pending a final settlement of their claims, for which purpose further information has been sought.
Column 184Arrangements are in hand for the early payment of the interim awards, and my right hon. and learned Friend will accept the assessor's recommendation as to the final amount to be paid in due course.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to receive a report on investigations into the west midlands serious crime squad currently being conducted by Mr. Donald Shaw.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Under the terms of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the reports on these investigations will be made to the Police Complaints Authority and the chief constable of the West Midlands police. I understand that reports on individual cases will be submitted as they are completed and it will be some time before all cases have been examined.
The chief constable of the West Midlands police has been asked to inform my right hon. and learned Friend if anything emerges which casts doubt on the safety of any conviction.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meetings he has had with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police since 1 January ; and on how many occasions the convictions for the Guildford and Woolwich public house bombings were discussed.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand that my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) had three meetings with the commissioner this year. The subject of the convictions for the Guildford and Woolwich public house bombings arose at one of those meetings.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the UNHCR concerning the right of appeal for asylum seekers under United Kingdom law ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : In a variety of contacts over a number of years UNHCR officers have made clear their preference for an in-country right of appeal for all asylum applicants. The Government have responded by explaining the risk that we see of encouraging abusive asylum applications from passengers who have been refused leave to enter for other purposes in order to benefit from the delays inherent in an extended appeal system. The experience of those countries that operate such appeal systems is that the delays in deciding cases typically run into several years. Despite this difference of view, both sides have worked together in establishing and operating the UKIAS referral arrangements, which successfully provide an independent input to the consideration of port cases.
Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to amend section 42 of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 to allow bingo organisers to advertise specific games of bingo at pre-arranged times and places ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 27 October 1989] : The advertising of licensed bingo clubs is controlled by section 42 of the Gaming Act 1968. We have no current plan for Government legislation to amend the section, but we are considering arguments put forward by the Bingo Association of Great Britain for supporting a private Member's Bill entirely to remove bingo clubs from these advertising controls. Bingo clubs can, and do, advertise freely as social clubs ; specific games of bingo, and certain prizes in them, can already be advertised on the front of licensed bingo club premises.
Mr. Waddington [holding answer 27 October 1989] : Wormwood Scrubs therapeutic unit for addicts and sex offenders is carrying vacancies at senior and principal hospital officer level ; action is being taken in connection with current promotion boards to fill them. In-house training is provided by the establishment's medical staff, who are considering what further steps can be taken, and by visiting consultants ; a senior hospital officer was released last month for a one year course in group psychotherapy and the possibility of further external training will be reviewed as vacancies are filled.
Mr. Fishburn : To ask the Attorney-General if the Lord Chancellor has yet received the draft Bill to reform the leasehold system of ownership of flats, which he indicated on 13 June that he was expecting ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : Work is continuing at the Law Commission with the preparation of draft legislation to give effect to the recommendations made in the report of the working group on commonhold. The Lord Chancellor hopes to announce a decision about the matter in the next few months.
ading Rain Forest Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what projects his Department is presently sponsoring to use British forestry expertise in pursuit of conserving the rain forests.
Mrs. Chalker : Under our bilateral country programmes we are currently supporting 64 forestry projects in 27 countries ; in addition we are funding 23 forestry research projects. We are also co-financing 38 projects under our joint funding scheme with British NGOs. I am sending a list of these projects to my hon. Friend.
Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans Her Majesty's Government have to contribute to International Literacy Year ; and whether additional public funds will be available to assist projects undertaken by non-government organisations in support of International Literacy Year.
Mrs. Chalker : Our contribution to International Literacy Year will be as part of our on-going programme of literacy activities within wider programmes of help for people and their communities. Examples are support for the Gujarat integrated family welfare project, the Hyderabad slum improvement project and the Ghana programme of action to mitigate the social costs of adjustment. We shall also consider carefully any further projects in the literacy field overseas which non government organisations might wish to send us under the joint funding programme.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will review the £3,000 savings limit which debars pensioners from having the costs of their long-term nursing home care met by his Department.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Pensioners with savings of over £3,000 can receive income support and, therefore, help with nursing home fees. However, an income of £1 a week is assumed for every £250, or part of £250, of any savings between £3,000 and £6,000. No income support is payable to people with more than £6,000. There are no plans, at present, to raise these capital limits.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security by what date he expects the Department of Social Security offices in Archway tower to close ; how many staff will be transferred ; and what will be the location, staffing levels and opening date of the new offices for Finsbury Park and Highgate.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The restructuring of social security services in the Department's offices in Archway tower is due to start in August 1990 and should be completed by March 1991. During this period there will be a phased transfer of backroom work to the social security
Column 187centre in Glasgow and of administrative and specialised services to the district office to be located in Euston. Branch offices providing the full range of social security services to public callers will be established within Archway tower. At present we have no firm dates for the movement of these offices.
A study is currently under way to find a better location for each branch office in order that it can meet our objective of placing service where our customers need it. Accommodation will then be sought within the required areas and plans developed to vacate the premises in Archway tower. In the meanwhile both offices will continue to provide a full personal service from their existing location.
Staffing levels in the existing offices in Archway tower will start to reduce from August 1990 when the first tranche of backroom and specialised work is transferred to the Glasgow social security centre and Euston district office. Rundown of surplus staff will be achieved by a combination of natural wastage and transfers to nearby offices or other Government Departments. Precise details of the numbers to be transferred will not become clear until nearer the date for relocation of the work.
The number of staff required to support the remaining business at each branch office is estimated to be between 12 and 15 per office. These figures will, however, be subject to continuing review and adjustment in the light of departmental experience of existing offices whose backroom work has earlier been relocated.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what further plans he has to study ways of encouraging single mothers to return to work rather than depend on income support and other benefits ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 23 October 1989] : The number of lone parent families dependent on supplementary benefit income support has grown from 318,000 in 1979 to 722,000 in 1988 and approximately two-thirds of all lone parent families are dependent on income support.
Legislation places a duty on absent husbands and fathers to meet their responsibilities wherever they can afford to. However, for over three quarters of the lone parent families receiving income support the absent parent pays no maintenance at all. We shall continue to look for ways to make our efforts to obtain a contribution even more effective. Regular payments of maintenance can provide a useful basis of non-benefit income for lone parents who wish to work.
Lone parents are able to receive income support without having to be available for work, and it is right that they should be able to decide for themselves what is best for them and their children. However, where the lone parent does wish to work the family credit and housing benefit schemes give special help which recognises that lone parents can face extra expenses in working.
In addition, as announced in my right hon. Friend's statement about the uprating of Social Security Benefits,
Column 188on 25 October, lone parents in work will receive extra help from next year. In housing benefit, the lone parent premium will increase from £8.60 a week to £9.70 from April 1990 and the earnings disregard will increase from £15 to £25 a week from October 1990.
In addition, lone parent families in work will benefit like other families on low incomes from increases my right hon. Friend has announced of £1 a week in the family credit adult credit and 50 pence a week housing benefit family premium which are in addition to the normal uprating of these benefits.
1979 Supplementary Benefit Annual Statistical Enquiry.
1988 Income Support Annual Statistical Enquiry.
Note : The figures on the numbers of lone parents do not include prisoners' partners.
Mr. Freeman : Health authorities will remain responsible for the operational management of ambulance services and they are currently considering how best to provide non-emergency ambulance services in the light of the review proposals and local circumstances.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the representation of residents of each district health authority area on the North-East Thames regional health authority, showing political affiliation where known.