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Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he proposes to meet the statutory wages councils to discuss the rates of pay set for categories of workers ; and if he will make a statement.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of children born in Wales, in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available, who have been diagnosed as having cerebral palsy.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has received any representations from teachers in West Glamorgan about the county council's policy of reducing the salary of supply teachers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : Representations have been received from the West Glamorgan supply teachers' association. The pay of supply teachers is a matter for local education authorities to decide in the light of local circumstances and within the guidelines we have issued. LEAs have discretion to pay supply teachers at any point on the main scale provided that it is no lower than the minimum entitlement appropriate to the teachers' qualifications.
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will publish in the Official Report the attendance figures for 1989 reported by the Ulster museum, including its outstations, with the percentage increase or decrease on the attendance figures for 1988.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to amend the electoral registration form A so that persons registering can indicate if they are willing for the information to be available for sale by the registering authority.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The sale in England and Wales of any replica gun which can be readily converted to fire live ammunition is, under the Firearms Act 1982, subject to the same stringent controls as those imposed on actual firearms by the Firearms Acts 1968 and 1988. In addition, it is already an offence to use an imitation firearm to commit a crime or resist arrest the maximum penalty for which is life imprisonment.
Advertising on independent television and radio is, under the Broadcasting Act 1981, the responsibility of the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The authority has a duty to draw up and maintain a code of advertising standards and practice, and from time to time to consult me about the kind of advertisements which must not be
Column 512broadcast. My right hon. and learned Friend has no power to take such a decision unilaterally. However the policy of independent television and radio companies is not to accept advertising for firearms whether replica or otherwise. Advertising in other media is a matter for the Advertising Standards Authority.
The importation of imitation firearms is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
We have no plans to introduce further controls on the sale of replica firearms in England and Wales.
Responsibility for firearms legislation elsewhere in the United Kingdom rests with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to his answer of 14 December, Official Report, column 789, to the hon. Member for Leeds, Central, when he now expects to write with further details about the Middlesbrough-Leeds United game on Sunday 9 December, and whether the reply will refer to any safety agreement between Middlesbrough football club and Cleveland police.
Mr. Mellor : Life sentence prisoners are not eligible for parole, but may be released on life licence at the discretion of the Home Secretary if this is recommended by the Parole Board. In accordance with our policy that no life sentence prisoner should be detained for more than 17 years without an independent review, consideration of these cases will begin in November 1991. However, such a review does not necessarily mean that the board will recommend release or that my right hon. and learned Friend would accept such a recommendation if it were made.
Mr. Franks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will institute an independent judicial inquiry, with full powers to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence, into the circumstances surrounding those matters concerning Mr. John Stalker, the former deputy chief constable of the Greater Manchester police, and Mr. Kevin Taylor, and into the wider implications of those matters.
Mr. Waddington : I see no grounds for instituting a judicial inquiry into matters relating to Mr. John Stalker or Mr. Kevin Taylor as a result of the failure of the recent prosecution of Mr. Taylor. It will be for the chief constable of Greater Manchester to consider whether the proceedings indicate any misconduct on the part of officers of his force and if so to institute appropriate disciplinary or criminal investigation.
Mr. John Patten : We have no plans, at present, to change the guidelines on the use of equipment in police surveillance operations. Our information is that the guidelines work well and that the police service accept that they provide a clear statement of operational policy, with strict safeguards for the public. In the absence of evidence of abuse of the use of video surveillance, we have no plans to introduce regulations governing its general use.
Mr. Mellor : In 1989 we received 212 letters and four petitions calling for reduced price or free television licences for pensioners. One hundred and one of the letters were from hon. Members and three of the petitions were submitted through them.
Mr. Holt : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average length of time between a crime and compensation being paid to the victim ; and how many cases remain to be resolved as at 31 December 1989.
Mr. John Patten : On 31 December 1989, a total of 96,177 cases were awaiting resolution by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The board does not keep information on the interval between the dates of an incident and the application for compensation. Information about the proportion of cases resolved within certain times of application is given in the board's latest annual report (Cm. 900).
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested is available only for the Indian sub-continent, where 5,800 spouses and 4,300 children were awaiting a decision on their application for entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom at 30 November 1989.
Mr. Mellor : Seizures at ports and airports from persons, luggage, private vehicles and freight, and from ships and aircraft, represented about 7 per cent. of a total of 38,235 seizures of controlled drugs in the United Kingdom in 1988. Such seizures are, however, often of large amounts : in 1988, port seizures accounted by weight for 76 per cent. of the cocaine, 55 per cent. of the heroin, 12 per cent. of the amphetamines and 87 per cent. of the cannabis seized in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the ports of arrival in Britain and state (a) the street value, (b) amount and (c) type of each drug seized in every month for 1989.
I regret that this information is not readily available in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. John Patten : In the past 12 months the Magistrates Association and individual magistrates have made representations about various matters relating to juvenile crime and juvenile offenders. These include parental responsibility, cautioning, remands, suspended custodial sentences, custodial sentences for girls and the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The allocation of resources to particular forms of crime is an operational matter for chief officers. However, over the last 10 years we have approved 6,800 additional police officer posts for provincial police forces.
Mr. Andrew MacKay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a further statement on the Government's plans for legislation on Sunday trading in the light of recent representations from the public and retail trade.
Mr. Illsley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the recent higher than average increases in crime statistics in (a) South Yorkshire and (b) Barnsley.
Mr. John Patten : Two hon. Members have recently tabled questions on aspects of crime in South Yorkshire. The Department has received many other representations about crime levels. Some of these relate to crime in particular areas, including South Yorkshire.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he collects on the number of (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions, for contravention of the Video Recordings Act.
Mr. Mellor : Information is collected from the police on all defendants proceeded against under the Video Recordings Act 1984 and the result of these prosecutions. In 1988, 27 defendants were prosecuted under the Act and 17 convicted. Information for 1989 will not be available until autumn 1990.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which prisons in England and Wales still have inmates working on the sewing of mail bags ; and how many inmates were doing this work on 5 January.
Mr. Mellor : Recruitment and training were among the wide range of subjects discussed when my right hon. and learned Friend met the chairman and general secretary of the Prison Officers Association on 18 December. These matters also regularly arise when my right hon. and learned Friend and I meet local branches of the POA in the normal course of visiting prisons. Recruitment and training issues are regularly discussed with the POA at official level within Whitley council procedures.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information is not available on the actual cost of policing individual boroughs. However, the estimated local manpower costs, increased by 30 per cent. to reflect non-manpower and central service costs, suggests a figure of £22.9 million is the cost of policing Newham in the current year. The data to produce a similiar estimate for 1984-85 are not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has undertaken regarding the consequential numbers of immigrants into the United Kingdom following the grant of the right of settlement in the United Kingdom to an immigrant from the New Commonwealth. Mr. Peter Lloyd : Under the Immigration Rules (HC 388) a person settling here may normally be accompanied or joined by his or her spouse and any children under 18 but other relatives are admitted only in strictly limited circumstances. The available information on immigration patterns from New Commonwealth and other countries is published in the Home Office volume "Control of Immigration : Statistics United Kingdom 1988" (Cm. 726). More detailed information is collected for the Indian sub-continent and published in "Home Office Statistical Bulletin" issue 44/89 "Immigration from the Indian sub-continent--1988". Copies of both publications are in the Library.
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Hong Kong citizens will be eligible for British citizenship under the British Nationality Act, section 4(5) in return for rendering Crown services.
Column 517Mr. Waddington [holding answer 19 January 1990] : There are currently some 180,000 Hong Kong British dependent territories citizens in Crown service under the Government of Hong Kong who are eligible to apply for discretionary registration as British citizens under section 4(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981. An unknown additional number are eligible on the basis of past service. In accordance with the policy announced when the British Nationality Act was before Parliament, the limited powers under this provision are used sparingly.
Apart from a number of former members of the armed services in respect of whom certain assurances were given, there have been 540 applications from Hong Kong under section 4(5) since it came into force, of which nine have been granted. In view of the special scheme recently announced, I have no plans to change the policy within which section 4(5) applications are considered.
Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 15 January, Official Report, column 614. When decisions are taken about the future of offices in Doncaster and Mexborough he will be informed.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many unemployed claimants since 9 October 1989, and for each region, and for Great Britain as a whole, have been (a) issued with warning letters for not actively seeking work, (b) had their claims referred to an AO for not actively seeking work, (c) had their claims allowed or disallowed and (d) have been referred to an AO for refusing suitable employment ; and how many of those in (d) have had their benefits disqualified.
National monthly return-Actively seeking referrals and disallowances Refusal of employment referrals and disqualifications Period ending 24 November 1989 Actively seeking employment Refusal of employment Regions |Claimants |Claims |Allowed |Disallowed |Claims |Not |Disqualified |issued |referred to |referred to |Disqualified |warning |adjudication |adjudication |letters |officer |officer ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern |293 |24 |1 |4 |17 |3 |9 Yorkshire and Humberside 337 47 1 5 49 5 0 East Midlands and Eastern 318 39 21 2 55 2 7 London and South East |1,704 |261 |31 |20 |340 |15 |23 South West |350 |58 |8 |12 |26 |1 |1 Wales |384 |61 |3 |8 |30 |4 |4 West Midlands |319 |33 |5 |0 |43 |10 |0 North West |562 |40 |11 |5 |28 |3 |7 Scotland |553 |30 |7 |3 |26 |5 |2 |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- |----- National |4,820 |593 |88 |59 |614 |48 |53
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will instruct his officers to give claimants a copy of the UB672 form in cases where there are doubts about an unemployed claimant's availability for work or whether he is actively seeking work at a Restart or any other counselling interview, if the claimant or their representatives requests it ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : If a UB672 has been completed because of doubts that the claimant is available for work or actively seeking it, current instructions provide that claimants or their representatives may receive a copy of the form on request at any time.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many of the participants in his training schemes and special employment measures referred to in his answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North of 14
Column 518November 1989, Official Report, column 148 (a) went on to get regular employment and (b) have started for a second or subsequent time.
Mr. Nicholls : Information on the number who went on to regular employment after attending a training opportunities scheme (TOPS) in 1979- 80 is set down in the Manpower Services Commission's annual report 1980-81 filed in the House of Commons Library.
Of the young people on YTS in 1988-89, 66.8 per cent. were in regular employment three months after completing their programme. In the period April 1988 to March 1989, 12 per cent. re-entered YTS.