Previous Section Home Page

Column 416

Mr. Michael Spicer : The coal industry will need to ensure that its future output and prices meet the needs of its main customers including the privatised electricity generators. Employment in the industry will depend both on demand for coal and future productivity gains. It is for British Coal to determine what its manpower requirements are and how it will meet them.

Civil Service Dispersal

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report details of those sections of his Department which have been relocated in the last five years, indicating the sites to which they have been moved ; whether consideration is being given to future relocation of London-based sections of his Department to sites outside London ; and whether the central borders of Scotland has been identified as a suitable area for any future moves.

Mr. Wakeham : There are no plans for relocation. As I told the hon. Member for Beverley (Mr. Cran) on 26 July 1989 (col. 720 ), the position will be reviewed in early 1991 when the Department will have had some 18 months' experience of working in its new headquarters building. No sections of my Department have been relocated in the last five years.

Energy Costs

Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the energy cost of each Government Department for the past five years.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The Property Services Agency is currently responsible for paying fuel bills on behalf of most Departments. They will be writing to my right hon. Friend giving the precise information within two weeks.

Energy Savings (London)

Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has on the energy savings of each London borough council for the past five years.

Mr. Peter Morrison : Information on the energy savings of each London borough council is not available centrally.

TRANSPORT

Concessionary Fares Scheme

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals there are for changes to the operation of the concessionary fares scheme in Greater London.

Mr. Portillo : I am not aware of any such proposals. Decisions on concessionary fares rest with the London local authorities in negotiation with London Regional Transport.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will amend the law to provide that any fares imposed on users of concessionary travel permits in London will require parliamentary approval.

Mr. Portillo : This is a matter for the London boroughs and the City of London who pay for the concessionary fares scheme.


Column 417

Passenger Rail Services

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with British Rail management about reopening to passenger traffic lines now used only for freight traffic, or where the trackbed remains wholly or substantially intact ; if he has discussed the case put by the Wealden line campaign for the reopening of the Lewes- Uckfield link ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo : I am aware of the campaign to re-open the Lewes- Uckfield line. It is for the British Railways Board to decide on the re- opening of freight railway lines to experimental passenger services, as they are empowered to do under the Transport Act 1962 (Amendment) Act 1981, (the "Speller" Act).

Channel Tunnel

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assurance he has received from British Rail regarding the availability for use when the tunnel opens of a high-speed rail link to London from the Channel tunnel for passengers and freight.

Mr. Portillo : In the early years of the tunnel's operation, BR plan to use existing lines, upgraded as necessary, for international passenger and freight services. British Rail and their joint venture partners, Eurorail, are planning to build a new passenger rail link between the Channel tunnel and London to overcome capacity constraints on the existing network. This new line, which is expected to be operational in 1998, will release additional capacity on existing lines for the growth of international freight traffic.

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assurance he has received from British Rail regarding the availability of the station facilities required in the Ashford area for the Channel tunnel link at the opening of cross-Channel services.

Mr. Portillo : British Rail and Eurorail have reaffirmed their intention to have an international passenger station at Ashford when the Channel tunnel opens. To this end the board has announced its intention to introduce a private Bill later this month to seek powers to change the proposed location of Ashford IPS in order to fit in with the proposed new Channel tunnel rail link.

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what engineering and costing investigations have been made by his Department into the viability of tunnelling the high-speed rail link to King's Cross through south-east London.

Mr. Portillo : Engineering and costing investigations for the Channel tunnel rail link are for British Rail and Eurorail, not the Department.

Prestwick Airport

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Official Report, 23 October, columns 371-72, he will state (a) how many of the 1,815 acres of land and buildings not directly or immediately required for airport operations were adjacent to Prestwick airport and (b) what was the value of land not directly or immediately required for airport operations at or adjacent to Prestwick airport at 8 July 1987.


Column 418

Mr. McLoughlin : The prospectus issued when BAA plc shares were offered for sale noted that of these 1,815 acres, 938 acres were at BAA's Scottish airports, predominantlyat Prestwick. Plans showing this land are in the House Library.

The gross current cost valuation of land and buildings at Prestwick, shown in the 1987 BAA company accounts, includes the value of land and buildings not immediately or directly required for airport operation. A separate valuation was not identified.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Disarmament

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received any proposals from the Soviet Union for its complete unilateral disarmament ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave : No.

Lockerbie Air Crash

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold urgent talks with the West German Government about the level of co-operation available to the Scottish police force investigating the Lockerbie crash.

Mr. Maude : No such talks are necessary. The close contact which the investigating authorities have enjoyed with their West German colleagues has been an important and productive feature throughout the investigation and will continue.

Dashevsky Family

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Soviet Government so as to obtain permission for Vladimir Dashevsky of 26 Bakinskich Icomissarov, Moscow, to leave the Soviet Union to travel to Israel together with his wife and three children.

Mr. Waldegrave : We take every opportunity to press the Soviet authorities on individual refusenik cases such as Vladimir Dashevsky. My right hon. and learned Friend the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised this case most recently when he met Mr. Shevardnadze in New York on 29 September. We shall maintain our pressure until Vladimir Dashevsky is given permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union.

Civil Service Dispersal

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report details of those sections of his Department which have been relocated in the last five years, indicating the sites to which they have been moved ; whether consideration is being given to future relocation of London-based sections of his Department to sites outside London ; and whether the central Borders of Scotland has been identified as a suitable area for any future moves.

Mr. Maude : The diplomatic wing has not relocated any jobs in the last five years, but some 250 jobs, (mainly in


Column 419

administration departments) have been identified for relocation from central London to the FCO estate at Hanslope park near Milton Keynes by 1995.

In the aid wing, 18 jobs have been relocated to the East Kilbride office in the last five years following the relocation of 427 jobs there in 1981 ; and some 390 jobs from the Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute are being relocated from London and the Thames Valley to Chatham between 1988 and 1990, most of which have already been transferred. In addition, about 100 further aid wing jobs will move from London, mostly to East Kilbride. The exact number of jobs and timing have yet to be decided.

Mr. Raghubinder Singh

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department's migration and visa correspondence unit intends to reply to the letter dated 4 September from the hon. Member for Woolwich about the case of Mr. Raghubinder Singh.

Mr. Maude : The hon. Member's letter has not been received in the MV correspondence unit. I understand that he is sending a duplicate, which will receive prompt attention.

Missile Technology Control

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions are taking place between Her Majesty's Government and the United States Government concerning ways of strengthening the missile technology control regime.

Mr. Waldegrave : We have had frequent discussions of this subject with the American Government at both ministerial and official level. We are agreed that the most effective means of strengthening the regime is to encourage more countries to participate. We hope in the near future to host a meeting of partners to discuss expanding the regime.

ASEAN

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what communications he has received or sent to the Association of South-East Asian Nations countries concerning their nuclear- free policies.

Mr. Waldegrave : There have been no communications on this issue recently with the member states of the Association of South-East Asian Nations.

Southern Africa

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the claims of the South African Foreign Minister arising from interception of communications of United Kingdom units serving as UNTAG border monitors.

Mr. Waldegrave : United Nations' investigations have found no evidence to support the South African claims. We have no reason to question this judgment.


Column 420

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Nursery School Places

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures he plans to take to increase the number of nursery school places to encourage mothers to return to work ; and what representations he has had on this subject.

Mrs. Rumbold : Nursery education takes place within the hours of the school day and children commonly attend part time. Day care facilities such as day nurseries play a more important part in enabling mothers to return to work. They are the responsibility at Government level of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health.

Disabled Students

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how he plans to take account of the additional costs for disabled students in his current proposals in the White Paper on top-up loans for students.

Mr. Jackson : Disabled students will continue to qualify for the additional allowances available with the grant. They are also specifically exempted from the ending of students' benefit entitlements. After their courses, they will be protected by the provisions for deferment of repayments and write-off of the debt if their income is low.

Teachers

Mr. Murphy : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what assessment has made of whether the 5.3 per cent. salary offer to teachers in maintained further education colleges will attract and retain top quality graduates and people with industrial and business expertise ;

(2) what steps he will take to ensure that teachers remain attracted and committed to a career in further education ; whether he has received the report by Hay Management Consultants on pay of principals of maintained sector colleges and if he will make a statement.

(3) whether he will bring forward proposals to establish for those teachers employed in adult education a properly graded salary structure.

Mr. Jackson : The pay and conditions of lecturers in further education, including adult education, are a matter for their local authority employers. At national level, they are negotiated by the employers and the lecturer unions in the National Joint Council (Further Education).

Human Genome Organisations

Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what financial contributions he expects will be made from United Kingdom sources to the human genome organisations in 1989-90 and in each of the following four financial years.

Mr. Jackson : I understand that the Medical Research Council has not been approached to make a financial contribution to the human genome organisation. We have no information about possible approaches to private funding sources.


Column 421

Disabled Students' Grant

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local education authorities follow procedures which enable them to pay the full three years disabled students' grant in a single lump sum.

Mr. Jackson : This informaton is not collected centrally.

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, how many local education authorities have guidelines governing the award of disabled students' grants.

Mr. Jackson : The Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations empower local education authorities to assess extra grant in respect of certain types of expenditure incurred by disabled students. Within the framework specified in the regulations, how this power is exercised is a matter for individual authorities. Information about their procedures is not collected centrally.

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to how many disabled students following higher education courses incur costs related to their disability that exceed the level of the disabled students' grant.

Mr. Jackson : This information is not collected centrally.

Fire Safety (Schools)

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he has taken or is considering to improve fire safety in schools.

Mr. Alan Howarth : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 23 October 1989 at column 323.

Top-up Loans

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has to amend the financial assumptions upon which the top-up loans White Paper is based.

Mr. Jackson : We have no plans to adjust the assumptions made for the purpose of Cm. 520 as to the long-term rates of take-up, deferment, default or inflation. The size of the loan facility offered to students in any year will be determined the previous autumn in the light of actual and anticipated cost increases.

Open University

Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what provision for inflation he will make in calculating grant aid to the Open university in 1990-91.

Mr. Jackson : The Treasury's expectation of price movements in the economy in 1990-91 will be announced in the Autumn Statement. Changes in the planned provision for the Open university in the forthcoming three years will be announced following the Autumn Statement.


Column 422

HOME DEPARTMENT

Criminal Justice Act

62. Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he proposes to bring section 43 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 into effect.

Mr. John Patten : Section 43 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 came into effect on 31 July this year. By subsection (5), the wider power it gives the Court of Appeal to order a retrial does not apply where notice of appeal or application for leave to appeal was given before that date.

Drug Prevention Units

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy when considering the location for the recently announced drug prevention units, to consider Bolton as a base for a unit.

Mr. Mellor : Drug prevention units will be located in those areas judged most at risk from drug misuse and in particular from a threat of cocaine and crack. We are not yet in a position to announce which areas will be chosen.

Bingo

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to amend section 42 of the Gaming Act 1968 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 : I refer my hon. Friend to my reply on 1 November at column 185 to an earlier question from him about the advertising of licensed bingo clubs.

Guildford Four

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that interim compensation is paid immediately to Paul Hill, Gerard Conlon, Patrick Armstrong and Carole Richardson in light of the Appeal Court's decision in their case.

Mr. John Patten : My right hon. and learned Friend has made interim payments of compensation to all four.

May Inquiry

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that Sir John May's inquiry into the case of the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven be held in public.

Mr. John Patten : The conduct of the inquiry is a matter for Sir John May, but I understand that it is his intention that as much of the evidence as possible will be heard in public.

Terrorism Suspects (Interviews)

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure tighter safeguards for persons in custody on suspicion of terrorist offences ; and if he will introduce video and sound recordings of all interviews of such persons, and immediate access to legal advice.


Column 423

Mr. Waddington : There are already safeguards in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989 to ensure that interviews under the terrorist provisions are carried out properly and that those detained are properly treated. New provision was made in schedule 3 of the 1989 Act, in accordance with Lord Colville's recommendations in his report on the workings of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1984, for the supervision of the detention and examination powers in the Act by means of regular reviews during the first 48 hours. Any extension of detention beyond that period (up to a maximum of a further five days) requires my authority.

Preparatory work is now underway for the trial use of tape-recording in interviews with those held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. There are no proposals for video recordings in these cases.

There is already a right of access to legal advice for those detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act but I believe that it is essential that the police should continue to have the power to delay the exercise of that right for a prescribed period where it is necessary to do so and the statutory criteria are met.

Prisoner No. B51715

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he received an application for the temporary transfer of prisoner No. B51715 from Frankland prison to a prison in Northern Ireland ; if he will outline the compassionate grounds on which the application was based ; and if he will give sympathetic consideration to immediately granting this application.

Mr. Mellor : On 14 August 1989 the inmate concerned submitted a petition requesting temporary transfer to a prison in Northern Ireland in order to receive accumulated visits from members of his family who live in Belfast. The petition expressed concern about the strain being experienced by the inmate's family and particularly about the wellbeing of the inmate's wife, daughter and mother. We and the Northern Ireland Office need to take both security and compassionate considerations into account before deciding whether the request can be granted. No decision has yet been reached. I should add that the inmate has also submitted a petition for permanent transfer to Northern Ireland. This, too, is being carefully considered.

James Armstrong

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the internal inquiry into the death of James Armstrong at Risley remand centre revealed.

Mr. Mellor : I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the inquiries which, in accordance with standard practice, were carried out at the time by the governor of Risley into Mr. Armstrong's death. Those inquiries established the facts of the case as subsequently disclosed at the coroner's inquest and as summarised in correspondence with the hon. Member.

Cable Authority

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he will take to ensure that companies being awarded cable franchises by the Cable Authority proceed to actual cabling within an agreed time scale.


Column 424

Mr. Mellor : This is primarily a matter for the Cable Authority. There is inevitably some delay between the award of a cable franchise and the subsequent issue of the licences under the Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984 and the Telecommunications Act 1984 which enable the operator to start operations. Before franchise holders can be granted such licences they need to be able to satisfy the Cable Authority and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (who is responsible for the issue of licences under the Telecommunications Act) on a range of matters. I understand that the Cable Authority has recently announced that it will review franchises after one year, with a view to withdrawing them if the holder has not made satisfactory progress in this regard.

Before a Telecommunications Act licence is issued, the cable operator has to agree a schedule for the construction of his system in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Director General of Telecommunications and the Cable Authority. Monitoring compliance with the Telecommunications Act licence is a matter for the Director General of Telecommunications.

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish a table showing (a) the list of cable franchises awarded by the Cable Authority, showing the name of the franchise, the successful applicant and the responsibility of the company who has won the franchise, and (b) a list of cable franchises currently on offer by the Cable Authority.

Mr. Mellor : I understand from the Cable Authority that a total of 53 cable franchises have been granted, of which 16 have been licensed by the Cable Authority, and 14 are operational. Copies of the lists requested have been placed in the Library.

Prisons

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will (a) give the optimum operation capacity of each prison in England and Wales and (b) the actual numbers of prisoners currently housed in each prison in England and Wales.

Mr. Waddington : The maximum number of inmates an establishment can hold without some overcrowding is known as its certified normal accommodation (CNA).

The latest figures available for :

(i) CNA ; and

(ii) population

of each establishment in England and Wales is as follows :


Establishment            |Total CNA for September |Population on 3 November                         

                         |1989                    |1989                                             

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Acklington               |448                     |441                                              

Albany                   |389                     |379                                              

Aldington                |127                     |119                                              

Ashford                  |374                     |0                                                

Ashwell                  |404                     |404                                              

Askham Grange            |134                     |104                                              

Aylesbury                |296                     |272                                              

Bedford                  |178                     |305                                              

Birmingham               |593                     |981                                              

Blantyre House           |87                      |86                                               

Blundeston               |405                     |406                                              

Bristol                  |552                     |602                                              

Brixton                  |729                     |1,096                                            

Brockhill                |161                     |252                                              

Buckley Hall             |139                     |44                                               

Bullwood Hall            |126                     |151                                              

Camp Hill                |461                     |479                                              

Campsfield House         |66                      |63                                               

Canterbury               |230                     |362                                              

Cardiff                  |337                     |428                                              

Castington               |300                     |234                                              

Channings Wood           |538                     |536                                              

Chelmsford               |242                     |407                                              

Coldingley               |303                     |298                                              

Cookham Wood             |120                     |120                                              

Dartmoor                 |631                     |614                                              

Deerbolt                 |420                     |398                                              

Dorchester               |152                     |235                                              

Dover                    |247                     |223                                              

Downview                 |91                      |91                                               

Drake Hall               |288                     |260                                              

Durham                   |729                     |1,009                                            

East Sutton Park         |84                      |77                                               

Eastwood Park            |134                     |101                                              

Erlestoke                |218                     |212                                              

Everthorpe               |304                     |370                                              

Exeter                   |310                     |333                                              

Featherstone             |509                     |574                                              

Feltham                  |846                     |713                                              

Finnamore Wood           |116                     |114                                              

Ford                     |536                     |505                                              

Frankland                |447                     |385                                              

Full Sutton              |432                     |407                                              

Garth                    |512                     |494                                              

Gartree                  |320                     |313                                              

Glen Parva               |600                     |584                                              

Gloucester               |200                     |277                                              

Grendon                  |261                     |239                                              

Guys Marsh               |180                     |104                                              

Haslar                   |95                      |69                                               

Hatfield                 |180                     |160                                              

Haverigg                 |337                     |385                                              

Hewell Grange            |136                     |109                                              

High Point               |825                     |798                                              

Hindley                  |312                     |401                                              

Hollesley Bay            |451                     |355                                              

Holloway                 |517                     |482                                              

Hull                     |402                     |673                                              

Huntercombe              |180                     |192                                              

Kingston                 |150                     |139                                              

Kirkham                  |632                     |589                                              

Lancaster                |186                     |253                                              

Latchmere House          |127                     |144                                              

Leeds                    |633                     |1,189                                            

Leicester                |205                     |343                                              

Lewes                    |371                     |554                                              

Leyhill                  |384                     |384                                              

Lincoln                  |391                     |568                                              

Lindholme                |1,001                   |850                                              

Littlehey                |484                     |482                                              

Liverpool                |967                     |1,309                                            

Long Lartin              |432                     |422                                              

Lowdham Grange           |304                     |121                                              

Low Newton               |185                     |278                                              

Maidstone                |550                     |551                                              

Manchester               |997                     |1,536                                            

Morton Hall              |192                     |151                                              

Mount                    |484                     |346                                              

New Hall                 |120                     |96                                               

Northallerton            |127                     |184                                              

Northeye                 |249                     |232                                              

North Sea Camp           |202                     |130                                              

Norwich                  |487                     |637                                              

Nottingham               |245                     |320                                              

Onley                    |352                     |336                                              

Oxford                   |124                     |201                                              

Parkhurst                |261                     |235                                              

Pentonville              |641                     |996                                              

Portland                 |527                     |476                                              

Preston                  |428                     |485                                              

Pucklechurch             |159                     |161                                              

Ranby                    |404                     |405                                              

Reading                  |178                     |286                                              

Risley                   |318                     |378                                              

Rochester                |375                     |332                                              

Rudgate                  |378                     |336                                              

Send                     |101                     |99                                               

Shepton Mallet           |173                     |240                                              

Shrewsbury               |174                     |249                                              

Spring Hill              |210                     |211                                              

Stafford                 |588                     |811                                              

Standford Hill           |444                     |428                                              

Stocken                  |302                     |304                                              

Stoke Heath              |360                     |403                                              

Styal                    |258                     |249                                              

Sudbury                  |601                     |550                                              

Swaleside                |504                     |497                                              

Swansea                  |229                     |278                                              

Swinfern Hall            |124                     |131                                              

Thorn Cross              |300                     |198                                              

Thorp Arch               |156                     |146                                              

USK                      |238                     |147                                              

Verne                    |595                     |599                                              

Wakefield                |756                     |716                                              

Wandsworth               |1,275                   |1,556                                            

Wayland                  |484                     |484                                              

Wellingborough           |344                     |290                                              

Werrington               |110                     |75                                               

Wetherby                 |196                     |145                                              

Whatton                  |167                     |146                                              

Winchester               |471                     |652                                              

Wormwood Scrubs          |1,024                   |1,048                                            

Wymott                   |816                     |720                                              

                         |---                     |---                                              

Total                    |44,991                  |48,632                                           

Prisoners (Transfers)

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will actively facilitate the transfer of those prisoners in British gaols who have requested to serve their sentences in Northern Ireland.


Next Section

  Home Page