|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Richard Shepherd : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why two letters, dated 30 August and 23 October, from the American Privacy Foundation in Washington DC to the Campaign for Freedom of Information in London, on the subject of the Official Secrets Act and the interception of communications, have been opened for inspection by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 1 December 1989] : Her Majesty's Customs and Excise have powers to require the opening by the Post Office of any postal packet or letter arriving in the United Kingdom. These powers are used only in the pursuit of contraband and especially drugs
Column 126which are frequently discovered in the mail. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and LSD are often concealed in flat, apparently innocent, letters and packages.
Detection in these circumstances is extremely difficult and is made no easier by the possibility that packets containing certain drugs may contaminate other mail. Innocent letters and packages may be opened for internal examination, but will be resealed immediately if it is apparent that no contraband is present.
The size of the drug threat in the mail may be judged from the fact that 2,000 seizures of drugs have been made in a single year at one postal depot alone. Attempts to evade customs controls have led drug smugglers to use ingenious and sophisticated methods. They have been known to address a letter or package to a famous or highly respected person or organisation in the hope that it will not be examined, arrangements having been made for it to be extracted from the mail before delivery.
No letters are opened for examination at Customs' request for any other reasons than to discover goods prohibited by law.
Mr. Gould : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what gain in revenue arises by virtue of the termination under the poll tax rules of the right of self-employed people to claim their rates liability income tax ; and what is the estimated average loss to the self-employed.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 1 December 1989] : The introduction of the community charge will not affect the income tax treatment of business rates payable on non-domestic property. These rates will continue to be deductible in computing profits for tax purposes. No deduction will, however, be available in respect of the personal community charge payable by persons who use their homes partly for business purposes, because the charge is not a business expense but is personal to the individual concerned. Information is not available centrally upon which to base an estimate of the additional income tax which may be payable in consequence.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland are currently in receipt of family credit ; and, of these, how many were advised in writing to return their books to central benefits branch because of the new regulations issued in October.
No family credit recipients were asked to return their order books because of the Family Credit, Housing Benefit and Income Support (General) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1989 which came into force on 1 October 1989 or because of the guidance from the chief adjudication officer issued recently on the interpretation of provisions in the main regulations on the treatment of expenses incurred in self-employed cases.
Column 127respect of family credit applications which came into effect from 1 October, with reference to self-employed persons ; and if he will make a copy available in the Library.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Family Credit, Housing Benefit and Income Support (General) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1989 which came into force on 1 October 1989 have been published and a copy is available in the Library. The regulations, which provide for payments of allowances to adopters under approved schemes to be disregarded in the calculation of income, cover but do not specifically refer to self-employed persons. Recent guidance for adjudication officers on the interpretation of provisions in the main regulations which deal specifically with self- employed cases has also been published and a copy is available in the Library.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what were the new regulations formulated in respect of family credit ; and, of those whose books were requested for adjustment, how many received (a) an increase and (b) a decrease in allowance.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Family Credit, Housing Benefit and Income Support (General) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1989, which came into operation on 1 October 1989, provide for payments of
Column 128allowances to adopters under approved schemes to be disregarded in the calculation of income for the purposes of family credit. In addition, the chief adjudication officer recently issued guidance on the interpretation of the Family Credit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987, as amended, which provide for the calculation of the net profit of self-employed earners. Only expenses which are wholly and exclusively incurred for the purposes of the self-employment may be allowed in calculating the net profit. No order books have been requested for adjustment as a result of either the new regulations or the guidance.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons have been held under the Emergency Provisions Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, respectively, in Northern Ireland (a) between 1970 and 1975 and (b) between 1984 and 1989 for periods of less than 48 hours, for periods of between 48 hours and five days and for periods in excess of five days ; and of those persons held, how many were subsequently charged with scheduled offences permitting trial before a non-jury court.
Persons detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974, 1976, 1984 and 1989 |1974<1>|1975 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |1989<2> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Number of persons detained |0 |8 |908 |938 |1,309 |1,459 |1,717 |843 Held for under 48 hours |0 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |868 |1,077 |1,248 |624 Held for over 48 hours and under 5 days |0 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |350 |295 |394 |197 Held over 5 days |0 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |91 |87 |75 |22 Charged under 48 hours<3> |0 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |215 |205 |192 |61 Charged over 48 hours and under 5 days<3> |0 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |108 |97 |138 |73 Charged over 5 days<3> |0 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |35 |41 |43 |13 Notes: n.a.-Not available. <1>The Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974 came into force on 29 November 1974. <2>Information up to 30 June 1989. <3>Persons charged-not necessarily with scheduled offences.
Comprehensive figures on the operation of the emergency provisions Acts are not available before 1975. Between 1984 and 31 March 1989, 3,589 individuals were arrested by the police using powers under section 11 of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 and detained for a maximum of 72 hours ; 18 individuals were arrested by the police under section 13 of the Act ; and 638 people were arrested by members of Her Majesty's forces under section 14 of the Act and held for a maximum of four hours (a number of whom were subsequently re-arrested under the PTA). In total, 655 individuals were charged with scheduled offences during the period as a result of these arrests. The powers under section 11 of the EPA were repealed in 1987.
Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he intends to lay before Parliament the draft codes of practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.
Mr. Cope : Draft codes of practice under article 65 of the PACE (NI) Order 1989 dealing with the exercise of police powers, and the detention, treatment, questioning and identification of persons in custody, were laid before both Houses of Parliament today.
Column 128An order bringing the codes into operation on 1 January 1990 will be laid shortly.
It had been the Government's intention to lay at the same time a draft of the code of practice on the tape-recording of police interviews with suspects ; but this code will not now be laid in draft until the steering committee set up to implement and monitor the procedures has had an opportunity to evaluate the tape-recording pilot schemes which will get under way in the new year and to assess and consider the arrangements which would be appropriate for Northern Ireland.
When this has been completed the draft code of practice on tape-recording will be laid before Parliament and thereafter an appropriate order will be made placing (subject to parliamentary approval) the Royal Ulster Constabulary under a duty to tape-record interviews with suspects in accordance with the code.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will list the number of cases (a) of applications made and (b) in which compensation was paid to persons who tripped on a footpath in each of the last three years in each council district, or if more convenient each housing executive district ;
Column 129(2) what sums have been paid out in compensation by public bodies in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years to persons who alleged they had tripped and hurt themselves on footpaths.
Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answers 28 November 1989] : Information is not available in the precise form requested. The following table sets out the number of claims made for personal injury and compensation paid out in each of the three years requested.
1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 Organisation |(i) |(ii) |(iii) |(i) |(ii) |(iii) |(i) |(ii) |(iii) |£000's |£000's |£000's --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) Roads Service Divisions Ballymena |306 |20 |118 |314 |26 |65 |264 |47 |209 Belfast |2,628 |938 |1,885 |2,570 |883 |1,612 |1,959 |1,015 |1,956 Coleraine |870 |216 |243 |742 |188 |282 |461 |128 |221 Craigavon |586 |186 |283 |626 |214 |373 |513 |186 |388 Downpatrick |654 |176 |325 |748 |176 |313 |649 |177 |449 Omagh |239 |127 |231 |271 |65 |193 |234 |130 |365 |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ Sub total |5,283 |1,663 |3,085 |5,271 |1,552 |2,843 |4,080 |1,683 |3,588 Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) Water Service Divisions Eastern |297 |114 |210 |238 |132 |205 |322 |122 |363 Northern |42 |21 |42 |44 |16 |27 |27 |17 |18 Southern |58 |29 |49 |77 |30 |64 |45 |25 |35 Western |94 |42 |55 |83 |31 |56 |64 |12 |15 |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ Sub total |491 |206 |356 |442 |209 |352 |458 |176 |431 Northern Ireland Housing Executive Regions Belfast |1,165 } |1,078 } |984 } South East |275 } |301 } |274 } South |263 } |1,055 |1,351 |245 } |732 |1,290 |157 } |393 |638 North East |229 } |232 } |180 } North West |542 } |460 } |299 } West |96 } |89 } |87 } |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ Sub total |2,570 |1,055 |1,351 |2,405 |732 |1,290 |1,981 |393 |638 Northern Ireland Electricity |198 |68 |72 |189 |48 |94 |173 |19 |25 |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ |------ Total |8,542 |2,992 |4,864 |8,307 |2,541 |4,579 |6,692 |2,271 |4,682 (i)Number of personal injury claims received. (ii)Number of claims in which compensation was paid. (iii)Amount of compensation paid.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will state the number of (a) Royal Ulster Constabulary patrols, (b) Regular Army patrols, (c) Ulster Defence Regiment patrols as a percentage of the total number of patrols carried out by the security forces, for each month since November 1985 and (d) Ulster Defence Regiment patrols which were accompanied by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, as a percentage of the total number of patrols conducted by the regiment, for each month since November 1985 and the dates by which he intends to ensure that (i) 70 per cent., (ii) 80 per cent., (iii) 90 per cent., (iv) 100 per cent. of Ulster Defence Regiment patrols will be accompanied by the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
Column 130requested and cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost. The Government are committed to increasing the present level of RUC accompaniment of military patrols, especially those which are likely to come into direct contact with members of the community. But the question whether or not a particular patrol should be accompanied by the RUC is an operational matter, and it would not therefore be appropriate for the Secretary of State to lay down firm timetables of the kind envisaged in the hon. Member's question.
Mr. Clifford Forsythe : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will show for the latest available date, the number of vehicles passing along (a) the Ballyrobin road, (b) the Killead road and (c) the Oldstone road per 24 hour period ; and if he will indicate the maximum and minimum hourly traffic flows.
Road/Location of survey |Date of |Peak |Peak hourly |Minimum daily |survey |daily flow |vehicles per |flow vehicles per |vehicle per day |hour |hour ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Ballyrobin road/Templepatrick side of traffic lights |August 1989 |8,636 |913 |10 Ballyrobin road/Airport side of traffic lights |August 1989 |13,903 |1,125 |16 B Killead road/Killead Village |August 1986 |13,099 |1,279 |7 C Oldstone road/North of traffic lights |June 1987 |8,225 |715 |5
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Attorney-General what criteria the Crown prosecution service applies when undertaking the independent legal review of charges brought by police for alleged excess alcohol offences arising from breath tests administered to motorists stopped at random.
The Attorney-General : The CPS applies the criteria set out in the code for crown prosecutors. Accordingly, crown prosecutors must be satisfied that there is admissible evidence sufficient to allow a realistic prospect of a conviction before authorising continuance of the criminal proceedings. For this purpose the matters which it will take into account include the following :
(i) It is lawful for a police officer in uniform acting in the execution of his duty to require the driver of any vehicle on a road to stop.
(ii) A police officer who stops a vehicle on a road with the purpose of investigating whether its driver has alcohol in his body is acting in the execution of his duty.
(iii) It is accordingly lawful for a police officer in uniform to stop vehicles at random with that purpose, provided there is no malpractice such as oppression or capricious conduct on the part of the officer.
(iv) It is lawful for a police officer in uniform to require a driver who has been stopped in such circumstances to provde a specimen of breath for a breath test, provided that the officer has reasonable cause to suspect that the driver has alcohol in his body.
(2) whether special educational needs will be tested at seven, 11 and 16 years regardless of the level or attainment target they are working on at the time.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The national curriculum and its assessment arrangements will apply equally to all but the very small minority of pupils in respect of whom a statement provides otherwise or a statutory exception has been made.
The attainment targets, programmes of study and assessment arrangements are being designed to bring out positive achievement at all levels.
Column 132expected to publish results and (b) schools will be expected to publish results of pupils with special educational needs.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Regulations under section 22 of the Education Reform Act concerning the publication of information about aggregate pupils' achievements under the national curriculum will be made in due course. My right hon. Friend will consider nearer the time whether special provision is appropriate for pupils with special educational needs.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will allow more time to be given for preparation of individual programmes for pupils with special educational needs within the national curriculum framework ;
(2) if he will consider giving extra time for the disapplication procedures for special educational needs children ;
(3) what consideration he has given to the problems of those SEN pupils who require developmental curriculums as opposed to academic ones.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The national curriculum requirements will not apply to pupils with statements of special educational needs until August 1990, one year later than for other pupils. This will allow time for statements to modify or disapply national curriculum requirements and for individual programmes to be prepared. We have no plans to extend the year's delay beyond August 1990.
Under section 18 of the Education Reform Act, a statement may modify or disapply any or all of the requirements of the national curriculum. My right hon. Friend expects statements containing modifications or disapplications to set out the alternative provision to be made. However, where exceptions have been made, maintained schools are still under a duty to ensure that the curricula they offer pupils are balanced and broadly based, in accordance with the requirements of section 1 of the ERA.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will consider a dispensation from the national curriculum for special educational needs children with severe learning difficulties and speech problems from taking a foreign language.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Section 18 of the Education Reform Act already makes provision for the national curriculum requirements to be lifted or modified for pupils with statements of special educational needs. This could include exemption from the modern foreign language requirements ; but my right hon. Friend expects the benefits of learning a modern foreign language to be made available to as many children as possible.
Column 133Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what extra resources he is prepared to give to schools to help in teaching the national curriculum to pupils with special educational needs ;
(2) what plans he has to allocate extra resources to mainstream schools to enable special needs children to have maximum access to the national curriculum ;
(3) what plans he has to allocate extra resources to special schools in order to equip them to offer a broad, balanced curriculum to all children.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The cost of implementing the national curriculum will be met largely from the redirection of existing resources. However, we are giving local education authorities specific grant support for the introduction of the national curriculum. This financial year there will be support for over £100 million expenditure. It is for authorities to decide how much to spend to enable pupils with special educational needs, whether in mainstream or special schools, to have maximum access to the national curriculum and a broad, balanced curriculum.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he intends to take to ensure that when local education authority centrally retained funds are reduced from 10 to 7 per cent. the services provided by the local education authority to special needs children will not be adversely affected.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Under LMS, LEAs will retain the statutory duty to ensure that the requirements of statements of special educational need are fulfilled for those children who have such statements. A number of LEAs believe that the needs of statemented pupils can best be met by delegating resources to schools and have made appropriate proposals in their submitted LMS schemes. Others have indicated that they wish to retain central control of such resources. As LEAs move towards the target of reducing the proportion of funds retained centrally, it will remain for individual LEAs to judge whether the needs of pupils can best be met by delegating or retaining central control over resources and services for those with special needs.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if national priority training money will be made available to provide national curriculum training for all teachers to enable the most effective response to be made to the needs of children with significant learning difficulties.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Substantial support for training teachers to implement the national curriculum is available through the LEA training grants scheme. This support includes training in respect of national curriculum requirements as they relate to pupils with special educational needs.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent he proposes to make additional resources available to meet the extra demands made on educational psychologists in advising on modifications of the national curriculum for some children.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Modification to and disapplications of the national curriculum for children with statements of special educational needs are expected to occur only in exceptional cases. Advice in this area should not place any significant extra demands upon the schools psychological service.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he intends to take to ensure that the demands of statutory work on educational psychologists do not reduce the amount of time available to deal with the psychological interests of children who have the specific learning difficulties in dyslexia.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Local education authorities are responsible for the employment of educational psychologists in the maintained sector of education, and it is for them to ensure that adequate numbers are employed to meet local needs.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science under local management of schools what action he will be taking to ensure that psychological services continue to be available to all children and their families.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Under LMS, LEAs may choose whether to continue to manage centrally the provision of educational psychology services or to delegate the responsibility and resources for such provision to schools. LEAs will continue to have the statutory duty to secure the advice of educational psychologists when assessing children for the purposes of statements of special educational needs.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the setting up of a committee of inquiry into teachers' pay and conditions ; and what has been his response.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Professional Association of Teachers has recently suggested to my right hon. Friend that a committee of inquiry into teachers' pay and conditions should be established. My right hon. Friend, in reply, has made it clear that in his view this would not be appropriate.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many salary allowances to teachers have been awarded to teachers for good classroom practice without the acceptance of additional responsibilities since 1986.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government have stressed from their introduction in 1987 the importance they attach to incentive allowances being used to reward teachers who demonstrate outstanding ability in the classroom. There is some evidence in the 1988 secondary school staffing survey that, in the first year of operation, a significant number of allowances were awarded to teachers for reasons other than the taking on of extra responsibilities.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his Department's policy towards the recruitment of PhD students into research ; and how the proposed changes in the funding of research departments will support this policy.
Mr. Jackson : The main objective of the Department's expenditure on the support of postgraduate research students is to secure an adequate supply of very highly qualified manpower for research in industry and academic institutions. This expenditure is administered by the research councils and the British Academy, which are best placed, in consultation with academic institutions and employers, to assess national needs for PhDs and to maintain the quality of postgraduate education and training.
The new funding arrangements to be introduced through the Universities Funding Council will help to improve management of resources for both teaching and research in universities. This will benefit all students, including PhD students.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy to remove the requirement under the Education Reform Act for every primary school to compile comprehensive statistics and replace it with a sampling method.
Mrs. Rumbold : The recent HMI report "The Implementation of the National Curriculum in Primary Schools" pointed to the need for primary schools to pay more attention to the overall planning of time. The annual curriculum return (schedule 1 to the Education (School Curriculum and Related Information) Regulations 1989) will serve as a useful framework for schools in planning their curriculum provision and will also provide information about schools' use of time for local and national monitoring.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many visits his officials have made to Bradford during the past year, to date, to discuss magnet schools ; and if he will list the names and designation of officials and the dates on which visits were made and the names of Bradford council elected members and officials they met.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the names of Ministers, Bradford council members, Bradford council officers and officials of his Department who met on 28 September to discuss Bradford's proposal for development support funding for magnet schools ; where the meeting took place ; what documents were passed to Ministers by Bradford council members ; and if he will place copies of all such documents in the Library.
Column 136the Department, three of whom were also present. A copy of the document "Magnet Schools : Promoting Quality and Diversity in Bradford" was passed to me, and has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what response he has made to the proposal for development support funding for magnet schools in Bradford outlined in documents passed to his Minister of State by members of Bradford council on 28 September ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : At my meeting on 28 September, I noted with interest the plans being developed by Bradford council for a magnet schools initiative. The council subsequently submitted bids for specific grant and capital funding to support the initiative. The Government's response to these bids is set out in the reply that I have given today to a separate question from the hon. Member on the same subject.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what supplementary bid for local authority training grants scheme support in connection with magnet schools he has received for Bradford council ; what is the total amount of this bid ; when he expects to reach his decision on this bid ; what other bids under other programes, linked to magnet schools, he has received from Bradford council ; what is the total amount of all such bids ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : A supplementary bid amounting to £204,000 in 1990-91 has been received from Bradford for funds to enable the local education authority to carry out further training of its staff in preparation for the introduction of a magnet schools programme. The maxima of expenditure by local education authorities that will be supported by grant under the LEA training grants scheme in 1990-91 will be announced shortly. Bradford has already been informed that there was no prospect of the supplementary funds it was seeking being made available as this could only be done at the expense of another authority.
Bids under the education support grant programme for 1990-91 totalling about £1.25 million have also been received from Bradford in respect of the magnet schools programme. These are currently being considered ; my right hon. Friend expects to announce ESG allocations for 1990-91 around the end of this year. In addition, Bradford's capital expenditure plans for 1990-91 include £1.5 million for school improvements related to a magnet schools programme. The annual capital guidelines for 1990-91 will be announced shortly.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many jobs are likely to be lost as a result of the rationalisation of earth sciences departments ; where these are expected to occur ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson : Nationally, the rationalisation exercise will result in the creation of some 45 new posts. Implementation is a matter for the Universities Funding Council, in collaboration with the institutions concerned.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the brief provided to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys for the study of child care needs ; and how long he anticipates the research to take before it is completed.
Mr. Freeman : The survey being carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys is designed to obtain a detailed picture of the arrangements parents make for the care of children under eight. The pattern of attendance at day nurseries, nursery schools and classes, primary schools and playgroups will be covered as will the use of child minders, relatives and friends to look after the children, inside and outside the home. Parents will be asked to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the arrangements and to say whether the arrangements represent their first choice. The survey will also collect information about the stability of arrangements. Questions will also be asked about attendance at clubs, etc. after school and arrangements made during school holidays.
The pilot survey work was carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in October ; the main fieldwork stage is planned for October- December 1990, in order to obtain accurate and recent data about the summer holidays. The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys expects to have completed the main part of the analysis about a year after the main fieldwork stage.
I would be happy to give the hon. Member further details, if she considers that would be helpful.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks or monitoring his Department carries out on radiation levels in food imported from eastern European countries, either direct or via other European Community countries, following the accident at Chernobyl ; and if he will make a statement.