Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will study the system of voluntary removal of a suspected child abuser from the home before trial, as in the United States of America.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We need to consider the issues which are raised by voluntary removal in relation to the Law Commission's recently issued consultative document "Domestic Violence and Occupation of the Family Home", including the American experience.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek a report from the chief constable of South Yorkshire on what proportion of crimes in South Yorkshire are screened out after the initial investigation ; on what basis this occurs ; and by which police division.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the chief constable of South Yorkshire who has recently carried out a survey throughout the force, that after the initial investigation has been completed about 20 per cent. of all recorded crimes are "screened out". Certain types of crime, including all serious crimes, are exempt from the screening process. Of the remainder, crimes are only screened out if there is insufficient information on which further investigation could usefully be conducted. Information about the proportion of crimes screened out in each division is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many deaths have taken place at Football Association grounds during each of the past 10 years, and as to how many of these deaths were caused by (a) physical problems, including fires, overcrowding, etc., (b) natural causes and (c) criminal acts.
Mr. John Patten : The information known to the Home Office about fatalities at Football Association grounds relates primarily to incidents at English Football League grounds. Details of the known incidents at such grounds over the last 10 years leading to fatalities among the general public are as follows :
Date |Location |Number of Fatalities ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 12 January 1980 |Middlesbrough |2 11 May 1985 |Bradford |56 11 May 1985 |Birmingham |1 15 April 1989 |Sheffield |95 |-- Total |154
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if citizens of Pakistan are now regarded as Commonwealth citizens for the purposes of the immigration rules.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the extent of involvement by his Department in NATO exercise Wintex/Cimex 1987 and exercise Wintex/Cimex 1989 ; what is the number of staff engaged in the exercise planning process and in the exercises themselves ; and what are the ranks and responsibilities of the staff involved.
Mr. John Patten : The Home Office plays its part in testing those procedures in which we have an interest. Staff participate as required ; it would not be appropriate to supply the detail requested.
Mr. Baldry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long on average it is taking to process applications for British naturalisation ; and when he would expect an application lodged in March 1988 to be resolved.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The average time taken to complete applications for naturalisation during September 1989 was 24 months. It is not possible to give a reliable estimate of the average time likely to be taken to complete applications received at any particular date.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how observations from interested persons or organisations should be submitted for consideration by Lord Colville in his next annual report on the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 1989.
Mr. David Waddington : Observations, at this stage in writing, may be sent direct to Lord Colville or received on his behalf by the Home Office (Room 647) not later than 20 December 1989.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to extend the provisions of the Official Secrets Act to the Channel Isles, the Isle of Man and the Falkland Islands.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 3 November 1989] : My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary have no plans to do so. A person who commits an indictable offence under the Official Secrets Acts 1911
Column 501to 1989 in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Falkland Islands may however be tried for the offence in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the extent of involvement by his Department in NATO exercise Wintex/Cimex 1987 and exercise Wintex/Cimex 1989 ; what is the number of staff engaged in the exercise planning process and in the exercises themselves ; and what are the ranks and responsibilities of the staff involved.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Department plays its part in testing those provisions in which we have an interest. Staff participate as required ; it would not be appropriate for me to supply the details requested.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) children and (b) adults have been killed or injured in road accidents since the new licensing laws were introduced and for the previous comparable period.
Mr. Atkins : The requested information is given in the following table. Results for 1989 are provisional. The change in the licensing laws took place on 22 August 1988, so that results for the third quarter of 1988 include approximately equal periods under the old and new regulations.
For the three quarters following the change in licensing laws, the number of children killed was 11 per cent. lower than in the previous comparable period, the number seriously injured about the same, but overall casualties rose by 3 per cent.
For adults the corresponding changes are a 3 per cent. rise in fatalities, a 5 per cent. fall in serious injuries and a 2 per cent. rise in all casualties.
Quarterly results for road casualties are often erratic. There is nothing in the results to suggest that the change in licensing laws has had any marked effect on road accidents.
a. Child casualties<1>: GB: 3rd Quarter, 1987 to 2nd Quarter, 1989 Killed Seriously injured All severities Period |Number |Percentage change on same|Number |Percentage change on same|Number |Percentage change on same |quarter in previous year |quarter in previous year |quarter in previous year ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1987 Quarter 3 |130 |- |2,501 |- |12,318 |- Quarter 4 |91 |- |1,857 |- |9,279 |- 1988 Quarter 1 |81 |- |1,755 |- |8,637 |- Quarter 2 |125 |- |2,144 |- |11,057 |- Quarter 3 |100 |-23 |2,251 |-10 |11,698 |-5 Quarter 4 |103 |13 |1,773 |-5 |9,658 |4 1989 Quarter 1<2> |66 |-19 |1,831 |4 |8,916 |3 Quarter 2<2> |96 |-23 |2,146 |- |11,299 |2 <1> Casualties aged 14 or under. <2> Provisional
b. Adult casualties<1>: GB: 3rd Quarter, 1987 to 2nd Quarter, 1989 Killed Seriously injured All severities Period |Number |Percentage change on same|Number |Percentage change on same|Number |Percentage change on same |quarter in previous year |quarter in previous year |quarter in previous year ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1987 Quarter 3 |1,279 |- |15,197 |- |72,456 |- Quarter 4 |1,332 |- |15,506 |- |75,743- 1988 Quarter 1 |1,023 |- |13,254 |- |66,111 |- Quarter 2 |1,052 |- |12,992 |- |64,627 |- Quarter 3 |1,196 |-6 |14,358 |-6 |73,290 |1 Quarter 4 |1,372 |3 |15,034 |-3 |77,227 |2 1989 Quarter 1<2> |1,112 |9 |12,153 |-8 |65,026 |-2 Quarter 2<2> |1,037 |-1 |12,474 |-3 |68,544 |6 <1> Casualties aged 15 or over, or with unknown age. <2> Provisional
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will be in a position to announce possible routes for the previously announced plans to dual the A27 between Lewes and Polegate ; if he anticipates a major alteration to the existing road at any point ; if he intends to proceed with the roundabout at the junction of the A26 Newhaven road ; what measures he is considering in relation to the level crossing at Beddingham ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : It is too soon to be able to give detailed information about the timing and nature of the proposals for the improvement of the A27 between Lewes and Polegate. Consultants will be appointed shortly to undertake preliminary studies and to identify possible solutions on which to consult the public, possibly in 1991-92. Their brief will be to consider all feasible alternatives, including a combination of on-line and off-line options, and to address the problems of the Beddingham level crossing.
Column 503It is our intention to proceed in advance with the provision of a roundabout at the A26 junction. It is programmed for construction next year.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the major motorway and trunk road schemes which his Department has (a) let since the start of the current financial year and (b) plans to let during the rest of the financial year.
Mr. Atkins : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Hexham (Mr. Amos) on 3 November at column 343.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the road mileage in each of the London boroughs that provide cycle lanes.
Mr. Atkins : Such information as is readily available about specific facilities for cyclists is given in DTP transport statistics report "Road Lengths in Great Britain in 1987-88", a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what proportion of accidents he anticipates a plutonium air transport cask, tested to the criteria recommended by the International Atomic Energy, Agency's standing advisory group on the safe transport of radioactive materials, would retain its integrity.
Mr. McLoughlin : This is the subject of an ongoing study for further consideration at an IAEA advisory group meeting in 1990.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the basis for the recommendations of the standing advisory group on the safe transport of radioactive material of the International Atomic Energy Agency that transport regulations be amended to require testing such a flask at an impact speed of 85 m per second.
Mr. McLoughlin : Two papers were presented at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical committee meeting in December 1988. This subject will be further considered at an IAEA advisory group meeting in 1990.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what technical progress has been made in the field of probability and consequence calculations for possible plutonium air transport cask accidents since the publication of the ACTRAM report.
Mr. McLoughlin : Studies are continuing but in this complicated field I do not expect to be able to report progress in the relatively short term.
Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Government have any plans to provide for the operation of high speed rail freight services from the northern regions by-passing London into mainland Europe.
Mr. Portillo : This is a matter for British Rail, which will shortly be setting out its proposals in the plan that it is publishing in compliance with section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Sir B. Hayhoe) on 23 October at column 373, whether all London hon. Members will be given copies of all the four schemes ; whether community groups concerned with the proposals will be sent all four copies of the schemes at no cost to themselves ; and what will be the cost of the full report of each scheme.
Mr. Atkins : Hon. Members will receive copies of the consultants' reports which are relevant to their constituencies. Copies will also be provided for display in public libraries.
Community groups will be able to purchase copies of the reports. The cost is yet to be decided. Free summaries will be available from the consultants on demand.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Sir B. Hayhoe) on 23 October at column 373, how long the consultation period for the London assessment studies will be, once the consultants' schemes have been published ; in what form he intends to lay his proposals before Parliament ; who will be responsible for the consultation ; which groups he will consult ; and if he will give details of the consultative process.
Mr. Atkins : There will be an opportunity for anyone wishing to comment on the way forward to do so by late February 1990. Full details of the arrangements for making comments to the Department will be given when the consultants' reports are published in December.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Sir B. Hayhoe) on 23 October at column 373, what has been the cost to date of the consultants ; and on what basis the consultants will be retained after the publication of the results.
Mr. Atkins : The total cost of the four London assessment studies to date has been £8 million.
It is too early to say if and on what basis the consultants will be retained following publication of their final reports.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that no schemes based on London assessment studies will go ahead until a full public inquiry has been held in each area that is encompassed by the schemes.
Mr. Atkins : Any scheme, whether involving roads or public transport, which emerges as a result of decisions on the London assessment studies will be subject to the appropriate procedures.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to give a similar guarantee to the Lea valley and the other green areas involved in London assessment studies to that which he gave in respect of Parkland walk.
Mr. Atkins : Each case must be considered on its merits in the light of the consultants' assessment of their options.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply to the right hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Sir B. Hayhoe) on 23 October at column 373, how the environmental implications of the schemes have been assessed and costed ; what are the costs ; what formula has been used to assess the environmental implications of the schemes ; and whether he has taken any account of the recommendations of the Pearce report in assessing the value of green and open spaces.
Mr. Atkins : The study consultants are completing a full environmental assessment of all their options. The results of that work will appear in their reports.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, in the light of the absence of objections at the public inquiry into the Suffolk county council scheme to build a new crossing at Mutfordlock, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, he will make it his policy to reach a decision on the scheme before announcing the next round of transport supplementary grants.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The decision to confirm orders submitted by the Suffolk county council was issued on 31 October.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make a further announcement on implementation of those proposals in the White Paper "Roads to Prosperity," which apply to roads in Suffolk and Norfolk.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 6 November 1989] : My right hon. Friend expects to publish a roads report later this year, setting out in a little more detail the schemes in the expanded road programme. He has announced his decision that the A11 Thetford bypass in Norfolk, currently under construction, is to be built now entirely to dual carriageway standard. This is the first of many major improvements that will come out of the expanded road programme. We are pressing ahead with the appointment of design agents for our new schemes and studies. We recently announced details of the appointments made so far of consultants and agent authorities to prepare 53 new road schemes and seven new studies. Further announcements on the remaining schemes will be made over the next few months.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the effect on accident levels on roads where speed retarders, such as sleeping policemen, have been introduced.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The urban safety projects conducted jointly by the Department and local authorities indicate that low-cost "traffic calming" measures including road humps can reduce casualties by 10 to 15 per cent. in residential areas. Earlier trials road humps at selected sites (TRRL Digest LR878) achieved 50 per cent. casualty reductions. The new regulations we are making shortly will aid their use.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints have been received about traffic delays on the A1 ; and if he will travel to the north of England by that road to assess the validity of such complaints.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 6 November 1989] : I am familiar with the problems motorists encounter on the A1. We have no record of the overall number of complaints made about delays. Those received are usually as a result of necessary roadworks to maintain and improve this very busy trunk road.
The expanded trunk road programme announced earlier this year contains a number of schemes to improve the A1 from London to the Scottish border. It includes proposals to bring additional sections up to motorway standard.
I have visited the A1 within the last two weeks.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current debt of the Severn bridge.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The provisional accounts show a debt to the Consolidated Fund of £113.4 million at 31 March 1989.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of household income he treats as an affordable rent.
Mr. Chope : We expect landlords providing rented housing with the help of public subsidy to charge rents within the reach of those in low paid employment. It is for the landlords to decide the actual rents to be charged.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on how his new proposals for the poll tax safety net will affect Birmingham.
Mr. Chope : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment published provisional exemplifications on 6 November which show community charge payers in Birmingham contributing £60 to the safety net in 1990-91. The safety net will be abolished in later years and they will make no contribution after 1990-91.
Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the numbers of adult residents of (a) each London borough and (b) each district council likely to be entitled to the maximum rebate during the first year of operation of the community charge in England and Wales ; and if he will express these figures as a proportion of the estimated population of each local authority liable to community charge.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I have been asked to reply. The information requested is not available.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council houses were empty but available for letting in the northern region in April.
Mr. Chope : Information for April 1989 was reported by local authorities in their annual housing investment programme returns (HIP1).
The number of empty local authority dwellings available for letting at this date in the northern region (excluding Cumbria) was 2,814.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many test boreholes British Nuclear Fuels plc will investigate to prove the suitability and acceptability of the geology at Sellafield for a deep repository for low and intermediate level radioactive wastes.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The numer of test boreholes that will have to be drilled, either to prove the suitability of the geology at Sellafield for a deep radioactive waste repository or to reject the site as unacceptable, depends on the results of the current investigations. The full extent of the drilling that will be required will only become clear as the programme of work proceeds.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to why British Nuclear Fuels plc is applying for planning permission to sink a second test borehole at the Sellafield site ; what results were obtained from the first test borehole ; what was the cost of the investigations surrounding the first test borehole ; to whose budget this cost will be charged ; what is expected to be the cost of the second test borehole ; and if any further test boreholes are envisaged.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : British Nuclear Fuels plc has applied for planning permission to drill a second test borehole at their Sellafield site as part of a programme of work it is undertaking on behalf of UK Nirex Ltd., which is the organisation responsible for developing a deep repository in the United Kingdom for radioactive waste. The boreholes are required to confirm the geological suitability of the site. Although the first borehole is still incomplete, the results so far confirm the geological prognosis. The cost of drilling the boreholes is a matter for UK Nirex Ltd. The cost of all site investigations will be borne by the company. If the outcome of the first phase of investigations is favourable, further test boreholes would need to be drilled as part of the next phase of geological investigations.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the Government's estimate of the number of homeless people under the age of 18 years.
Mr. Chope : The numbers of people under the age of 18 years among the households accepted as homeless are not reported by local authorities and my Department has no estimates.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the fourth collapse of the 30 in water main running through Battersea and Wandsworth and the steps being taken to prevent recurrence.
Mr. Moynihan : This is a matter for Thames Water, but I understand that it is doing all that it can to minimise such incidents ; the most important measure to minimise the risk of failure of this pipeline will be the completion of the relevant section of the London ring main, expected to be in 1992.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by location and date the number of earthquakes that have been recorded in England and Wales during the last 10 years ; what damage was recorded ; and on what seismographic scale.
Mr. Moynihan : The seismic monitoring network which is operated by the British Geological Survey records several hundred earthquakes each year in Britain and offshore. However, only those above a magnitude of 2.5 on the Richter scale--about a dozen a year--are generally felt. Those recorded in the last decade in England and Wales are listed in the following table.
In general, even where moderate shaking was felt, little or no damage was caused--though about a dozen events in the last decade have caused minor damage such as cracks to plaster and two events (at Longtown in Cumbria on Boxing Day 1979 and on the Lleyn peninsula, in north Wales in July 1984) caused damage to chimneys and roof tiles. The national monitoring network is currently being extended to improve its geographical coverage, e.g. in south-east England and Northern Ireland. This results from an initiative by my Department, together with the British Geological Survey, to bring together those in Government and industry with interests in seismic matters. My Department is also funding an 18-month research project, which started in September this year, to provide a preliminary assessment of seismic hazards and risk in the United Kingdom.
Earthquakes with a Richter magnitude greater than 2.5 recorded in England and Wales by the British Geological Survey, 1979-89 Year and Location |Magnitude |Date ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 Mansfield, Notts. |3.1 |7 October Mansfield, Notts |3.0 |9 October Longtown, Cumbria |4.8 |26 December 1980 Longtown, Cumbria |4.1 |1 January Cwmbran, Gwent |3.0 |12 January Longtown, Cumbria |2.7 |25 January Longtown, Cumbria |2.6 |28 January Longtown, Cumbria |3.2 |7 May Talke area, Staffs |2.7 |7 July Talke area, Staffs |3.1 |8 July Stoke area, Staffs |2.5 |17 July Stoke area, Staffs |2.7 |19 July Longtown, Cumbria |2.5 |30 July Stoke coalfield, Staffs |3.0 |7 August Stoke coalfield, Staffs |2.6 |14 August Talke area, Staffs |3.2 |9 November Talke area, Staffs |2.5 |9 November Longtown, Cumbria |3.5 |13 December 1981 Constantine, Cornwall |3.5 |25 February Talke area, Staffs |2.5 |6 April Stoke coalfield, Staffs |3.1 |24 May Nottingham |2.7 |2 June Liskeard, Cornwall |2.5 |12 June Talke area, Staffs |2.8 |5 August Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham |2.5 |18 October Flamborough Head, Humberside |3.7 |27 October Cwmbran, Gwent |2.7 |9 November 1982 Pont-Faen, Powys |2.6 |4 April Stoke on Trent, Staffs |2.7 |9 April near Basingstoke, Hants |3.0 |19 July near Ffestiniog, Gwynedd |2.6 |9 August 1983 Wigan, Greater Manchester |2.6 |28 November 1984 East Retford, Nottinghamshire |3.2 |22 March near Weymouth, Dorset |3.1 | 3 April Felindre, Powys |3.3 |15 April Nottingham |3.1 |30 May Selby, North Yorkshire |3.0 | 4 June Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |5.4 |19 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.9 |19 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.5 |19 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.5 |20 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.8 |23 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |4.0 |29 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.5 |29 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.8 |30 July Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.7 | 4 August Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |3.6 | 6 August Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |4.3 |18 August Accrington, Lancashire |3.2 |13 October 1985 offshore Ramsgate, Kent |3.0 |15 April near Scunthorpe, Humberside |2.6 | 1 June Black Mountains, Powys |2.5 |21 August Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire |2.6 |16 November Buckingham |2.5 |18 November Fleet, Hampshire |2.7 | 2 December 1986 Lleyn peninsula, Gwynedd |2.7 |15 April Constantine, Cornwall |2.9 | 2 September Oxford |2.9 |26 December 1987 Market Drayton, Salop |2.6 |23 February Bridgnorth, Salop |2.5 |12 March Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire |2.7 | 1 May Manchester |2.6 | 5 December 1988 Ambleside, Cumbria |3.2 |12 September Ambleside, Cumbria |3.0 |12 September Bridgwater, Somerset |2.8 |23 October 1989 No earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 2.5 have yet been recorded.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 10 Nirex reserve sites for the disposal of radioactive waste.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : No. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not received a list of the reserve sites identified by Nirex.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the total gain per year to each of the water plcs as a result of writing off all their debt to the Exchequer ;
(2) what is the loss to the Exchequer as a result of the non-payment of interest on loans to the water authorities which have been written off.
Mr. Howard : The write-off of debt owed to the Exchequer by the 10 water plcs is just one element of the capital restructuring of the industry, which is designed to enable the companies to carry out their functions within the new regulatory framework set up by the Water Act. The write-off will result in a corresponding reduction in the assets of the national loans fund, but the Government will have new assets mostly in the form of shares in the holding companies, proceeds from the sale of which will be paid to the Exchequer to the benefit of taxpayers. The size of these proceeds will depend on market conditions at the time of the sale of shares. It is not possible to make meaningful comparisons with what would have occurred had the previous capital structures and regulatory framework remained in place.