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Mr. John Patten : The latest figures are for 1988 which show that for England and Wales there were 1,762 prosecutions under the Litter Act 1983. Of those 1,607 (91 per cent.) were found guilty. The average fine imposed under this Act was £40.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether magistrates receive training on the details of the Act relating to littering and guidance as to the appropriate level of fines to be levied.
Magistrates receive advice from their clerk on the details of the Act, the range of penalties available for particular offences, and any guidance relevant to the choice of penalty provided by the law or by decisions of the superior courts.
Mr. Waddington : Programme makers have freedom to choose their material within the statutory framework for broadcasting, part of which makes it clear that broadcasters have a responsibility to ensure that nothing is included in their programmes which offends against good taste and decency.
Mr. Waddington : Controls are in place through the Broadcasting Act 1981 in the case of independent television and radio, through the Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984 in the case of cable and satellite broadcasting, and in the case of services provided by the BBC through its royal charter, licence and agreement. In addition, the Government propose in the Broadcasting Bill to put the Broadcasting Standards Council on a statutory footing.
Mr. Waddington : We are proposing that religious groups, including Christian groups, should be allowed to run independent radio stations provided that they observe the content requirements envisaged in paragraph 7.7 of the Green Paper "Radio : Choices and Opportunities" (February 1987, Cm. 92).
Religious groups will continue to be disqualified from holding licences to run television services. But there is no reason why programmes dealing with religious matters should not continue to be broadcast and indeed proliferate on television, subject to their observing the content requirements set out in paragraph 6.10 of the White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition, Choice and Quality" (November 1988, Cm. 517).
The Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has reveived from organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland about the Government's proposed Broadcasting Bill.
Column 109Mr. Waddington : My right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) placed in the Library on 21 April a list of the main organisations which submitted comments on the White Paper (as indicated in a reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Mr. Wheeler) at column 342 ). A number of these submissions were from organisations in Northern Ireland. In addition, a number of comments have been received from viewers and listeners in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ease the travel restrictions on those resident in the United Kingdom with indefinite leave of stay here, who wish to travel within the EEC ; and what representations he has made to fellow EEC members on this matter.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Assuming that the reference is to non-EC nationals, the position is that no steps have been taken or representations made with a view to easing travel restrictions because none of the relevant EC law is designed to benefit resident non-EC nationals per se. However, if it is intended to refer to particular cases of difficulty in which it is thought the Government have a locus, I would of course be glad to look into detailed circumstances further should the right hon. Member wish to write.
On 17 November, the Director General of Telecommunications, Sir Bryan Carsberg, announced new controls on multiline and one-to-one services provided over British Telecom's network. From 8 December, when the controls come into effect, such services can be provided only in accordance with a code of practice acceptable to the Director General or if granted a specific exemption. No such codes have yet been recognised for these purposes.
In the light of this announcement, I have no intention of meeting the Director General or of considering the introduction of legislation on this subject.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the number of (a) farms, (b) sheep and (c) acres in Scotland currently under restriction owing to the radioactive contamination following the Chernobyl accident.
|£ ------------------------------ 1986 |1,132,901 1987 |403,610 1988 |143,718 <1>1989 |103,108 <1> To the end of October.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Representations have been received from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and several individuals. The main points raised related to the overall quantum and cash limit on local authorities, the abolition of financial loss allowance for councillors, the possible banding of the levels of allowance for Scottish local authorities by population and provision of special responsibility allowances for minority groups.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what special provisions he is considering to take account of the special needs of councillors in rural areas in the scheme of members' allowances in local government.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to announce the detailed conclusions on the scheme of members' allowances to be applied to local authority members in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The details of the new scheme will be the subject of further consultation with the local authority associations and decisions will be announced as soon as possible. The intention is that the new scheme will come into effect on 1 April 1990.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to make regulations under the Access to Personal Files Act 1987 on access to (a) housing records and (b) school records and further education records.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : We are currently examining the points made in consultation and expect to make regulations as soon as possible with a view to their coming into force in spring 1990. Regulations covering school and further education records will be made under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.
Column 111each port ; when it first became clear that the local quotas had been exceeded and why action was not taken immediately to prevent excess fishing continuing by those who had exceeded their quotas ; and what steps he intends taking to prevent this situation recurring.
Mr. Lang : Final information is not yet available on the exact level of the United Kingdom's landings of North sea haddock. The table shows the estimated level of overfishing by those groups excluded from the fishery
Column 112before the complete closure. In all cases the exclusions took effect before recorded landings had reached the level of the allocation made to each of the groups concerned. As part of the normal arrangements for distributing internally the United Kingdom's quotas those groups disadvantaged by this year's closure will be compensated next year with correspondingly increased quotas. It is estimated that 85 per cent. of the allocation untaken as a result of the total closure of the fishery is attributable to vessels based in Scotland.
Organisation |Allocation |Catch known at|Catch as a |Date of |(tonnes) |11 November |percentage of |withdrawal of |(tonnes) |allocation |licences --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scottish Fishermen's Organisation |18,252 |18,791 |103 |7 October North East of Scotland Fishermen's Organisation |13,090 |13,790 |105 |7 October Shetland Fish Producers Organisation |2,602 |2,680 |101 |4 November Fish Producers Organisation |879 |954 |109 |13 September
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to announce the composition of the new board of Caledonian MacBrayne Limited ; what representations he has received regarding the delay in making the announcement ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I refer to the answer which my right hon. and learned Friend gave to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) on 27 October 1989 ( Hansard Vol. 158 Col. 456 ). No representations have been received suggesting that there has been unreasonable delay in making an announcement. It is important that the widest possible range of experience, expertise and local knowledge is reflected in the board's membership.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will indicate the extent of rate relief that each Scottish university can expect to receive in 1990-91 ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : From 1 April 1990 universities in Scotland, like those in England and Wales, will benefit from the same 80 per cent. relief from rates which is to be extended to other charitable organisations. The relevant rating authority in each case will have discretion to increase this relief to up to 100 per cent. The benefit in cash terms to each university will not be known until the valuation roll containing the rateable values to apply from 1 April 1990 is published on 15 February.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will consider introducing a procedure of inquiry in principle, where appropriate, in relation to streamlining Forestry Commission activities ;
(2) if he will consider the introduction of a maintenance grant linked to five-year plans of operation for forestry management purposes ;
(3) if he will make arrangements so that grants in relation to the woodlands grant scheme are henceforth based on the total area of the approved unit of forest land applied for ;
Column 112(4) if he will take immediate steps to introduce a grant towards forest road construction to enable better access to inaccessible areas ;
(5) if he will take steps to increase the better land supplement to £400 per hectare.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : All these aspects of the Government's support arrangements for forestry were covered in the Forestry Industry Committee of Great Britain's paper "Options for British Forestry", a copy of which was sent recently to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Government will consider the recommendations contained in that paper and will respond to the committee in due course.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : At present there are no immediate proposals for a Nairn bypass. Nairn is predominantly an end destination and the volume of through traffic on the A96 is insufficient to justify provision of a bypass.
There are, however, plans for a major scheme to build a new Nairn railway bridge which will include improvements to the layout of the junction of the A96 and A939, provide a new alignment under the railway and considerably ease traffic flow at the east end of the town.
133. Mr. Churchill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what would be the net annual cost to the Exchequer if the war widows' pension for pre-1973 war widows were to be placed on the same level as applies to post-1973 war widows.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The standard rate of war widows pension paid by the Department of Social Security is the same regardless of when the husband served or died. Differences arise in the total benefits received by war widows for a number of reasons, such as their eligibility for awards under the provisions of the occupational scheme for the armed forces, the date of the award under the
Column 113scheme, and eligibility for other pensions or income-related benefits. It has been estimated that the cost of awarding an attributable family pension under the armed forces occupational pension scheme, at current rates, to all service widows who are ineligible for such an award but who receive a war widows pension under the DSS scheme, would be around £200 million a year. That is an approximate cost. Production of a refined net cost would require a detailed assessment of the personal circumstances of every war widow who would be affected.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's assessment as to the number of SS21 missile launchers that were deployed by the USSR when Mr. Gorbachev came to office.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's assessment as to the proportion of time during which at least one Trident submarine could not be guaranteed to be on station if only three Trident submarines were procured.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I am unable for reasons of security to give details of my Department's assessment. However, I can say that a three- submarine force could not guarantee the presence of at least one submarine on station at all times. Continuity of operations is essential to the maintenance of a credible strategic deterrent, and has been our policy throughout the life of the Polaris force. It follows, therefore, that the planned Trident force must comprise four submarines if an effective deterrent is to be maintained.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all the destroyers and frigates in table 1 are declared to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, pursuant to the information provided by his Department to the Defence Select Committee, 6th report, Session 1988-89, HC 419, page vii, table 1.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether figures for the United Kingdom's defence equipment holdings have been made publicly available prior to publication in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation publication, "Conventional Forces in Europe : The Facts", dated November 1988.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make it his Department's practice to publish the United Kingdom's equipment holdings, as set out in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation publication, "Conventional Forces in Europe : The Facts", in subsequent editions of the Statement on the Defence Estimates.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has made any assessment as to the likely effects on the British Army of the Rhine of the use of nuclear artillery shells by United Kingdom forces against WTO forces.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the figures for combat aircraft in the statement on the defence estimates 1989 include air defence fighters, reconnaissance aircraft, training aircraft and electronic counter-measure aircraft.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : As explained in footnotes, the figures for combat aircraft in figures 8 and 9 of chapter 6 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989 include fighters, fighter-bombers, light and medium bombers, reconnaissance and electronic warfare aircraft, but exclude combat capable trainers. Figure 11 covers the same types of aircraft, except that the Warsaw pact calculation of the ratio of aircraft (shown in the right- hand column) also includes naval aircraft.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Tornado aircraft is a longer-range intermediate nuclear force or shorter-range intermediate nuclear force capable aircraft ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 115Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Minister of Defence does not provide aid as such. However, in recent years the British Government, through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, have given limited assistance to the Malawian army in the form of military training and gifts of non-lethal defence equipment. It is not our practice to disclose the cost of such assistance to individual countries.
Mr. Peter Walker : It is for local authorities to determine how best to use the resources available to them, taking account of local needs and seeking to maximise value for money. Generally, local authorities should seek to achieve this by, for example, entering into partnership arrangements with the voluntary and private sectors to meet all aspects of their housing need.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of (a) farms, (b) sheep and (c) acres in Wales currently under restriction owing to the radioactive contamination following the Chernobyl accident.
|£ ------------------------------ 1986 |1,830,887 1987 |1,416,812 1988 |573,825 <1>1989 |349,960 <1> To the end of October.
Column 116including the hill livestock compensatory allowances, the sheep annual premium and the sheep variable premium. In addition, the farm and conservation grant scheme provides assistance to improve the efficiency and structure of the industry.
(2) if he will introduce measures under section 111 of the Water Act empowering the National Rivers Authority to issue consents in respect of potentially hazardous material stored alongside or in proximity to water courses in the valleys of the south Wales coalfield.
Mr. Ian Grist : No. It is for the National Rivers Authority or a water undertaker to apply to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State if they consider it necessary to restrict particular activities likely to result in the pollution of water.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many male (a) employees and (b) self-employed and female (i) full and (ii) part- time were in employment in Wales on the latest date for which figures are available.
'000s Males Females Employees in Employees in Employment<1> Employment<1> |Self Employed<2>|Full-time |Part-time ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 517 |111 |251 |197 Source: Employment Department. <1>Quarterly estimate series. <2>Based on Annual Labour Force Survey and decennial Census of Population.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will require the National Rivers Authority to review the effectiveness of its communications and emergency planning systems with the emergency services ;
Column 117(2) if he will seek an urgent meeting with the chairman of the National Rivers Authority to discuss its response to the recent pollution incident in the Rhymney river ;
(3) if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rivers Authority implements a programme of re-stocking of the Rhymney river to replace fish stocks lost during the recent pollution incident ; (4) what information he has about the extent of pollution of the Rhymney river following an incident on 17 November ; what were the numbers and species of fish killed ; and if he will make a statement ;
(5) what information he has about the loss of or damage to the fauna and flora of the Rhymney river, other than fish life, following the recent pollution incident.