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Column 111environmental assessments and applications for consent which will be required if the interconnection capacity is to be increased. The decision to increase capacity of the interconnector will depend on successful conclusion of contracts for increased energy exchanges over the existing link.
Calendar year |Million |tonnes ------------------------------------------ 1980 |7.3 1985 |12.7 1988 |12.0 <1>1989 |11.2 <1> January to November. Source: Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
The report was published last year in the Energy Paper series and copies placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Baldry : The encouragement of competition in generation has always been one of the fundamental aims of our privatisation proposals. My Department is aware of around 20 major private generation projects in prospect, totalling some 7GW of capacity. The first of the new independent generating companies to take advantage of the opportunities offered as a result of our proposals is Lakeland Power, which last October signed a contract with the North Western electricity board.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The Government have supported British Coal's research on new technologies such as pressurised fluid bed combustion and integrated coal gasification combined cycle plant. Further support has been given for British Coal's topping cycle concept. My Department also encourages the more energy efficient use of coal through its promotion of combined heat and power technology and through its participation in the domestic solid fuel appliance approval scheme.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The Social Security Bill, which received its second reading on 22 January, provides powers for my right hon. Friend to make grants towards the cost of measures to improve energy efficiency in low- income households. My Department will be issuing a consultation document on the proposed grant scheme shortly.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will seek to obtain from the Government of France full details of recent safety assessments of nuclear reactors within 100 miles of the British coast ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The Government continue to support a major research and development programme aimed at developing commercially viable and environmentally acceptable renewable energy technologies to contribute to future energy supply.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department will be represented at the conference on the nuclear fuel cycle 1990 to be held in Nashville, United States of America between 25 and 28 March.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Official Report, 18 December, column 46, he will make it his policy to request (a) United Kingdom NIREX Ltd. and (b) the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to conduct feasibility studies to assess the suitability of the Falkland Islands geology for nuclear waste disposal.
Mr. Peter Morrison : There are 12 current petroleum licences (nine exploration and three production) in south Yorkshire. All proposals to drill are subject to specific approval. No such proposals have been received from current licensees although it is possible that they will wish to drill before licences expire.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what use was made by his departmental library of the thesis, "Nuclear Powers--An Assessment of Nuclear Decision Making, 1932-1979, with Special Reference to the Anglo-American Atomic Relationship", to which he made reference in his reply of 13 February 1989, Official Report, column 41.
Mr. Wakeham : The librarian of my Department borrowed a copy of the thesis to assess whether a copy should be purchased should sufficient demand arise. No request has been received for this thesis to date.
(2) what consideration his Department has given to the comparative environmental costs of (a) the regenerative method and (b) the limestone- gypsum method of flue gas desulphurisation.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list by location, where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.
Mr. Wakeham : The United Kingdom representative at the Energy Council will be decided on nearer the time. The agenda for the Council will not be published until shortly before the Council ; but we expect discussion to cover the Commission's four internal energy market proposals and other issues, including possibly energy and the environment.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department will be represented at the seminar on nuclear power, Planning for Emergencies, to be held in Manchester on 6 March.
Mr. Denis Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inquests have been held during the course of the ambulance dispute into deaths which may have been accelerated by reason of delay in the response of the ambulance service or by the attendance of ambulances not carrying adequate resuscitation or other necessary equipment.
Mr. Denis Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department will take steps to remind doctors and members of the public of their lawful duty to report cases to the appropriate coroner for his investigation when they have reason to believe that the
Column 115death of any person has been aggravated or accelerated by reason of delayed response from the ambulance service or the attendance of an ambulance not carrying adequate equipment for the resuscitation or emergency treatment of patients.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : There is an obligation at common law to report to the coroner any violent or unnatural death or sudden death, the cause of which is unknown. There is at present no difference between the legal duty of doctors and that of other members of the public. Since we have no evidence that the obligation is being neglected, we see no need for special steps to be taken to remind members of the public about it.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of Kurdish asylum seekers from Turkey who have (a) arrived in the United Kingdom since January 1989, been (b) granted political asylum, (c) returned to Turkey, (d) given exceptional leave to remain and (e) held in detention ; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards Kurdish asylum seekers.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Immigration statistics do not record ethnic origins of asylum seekers. Since January 1989, some 3,900 Turkish nationals have applied for asylum on arrival : 164 have been granted asylum ; 44 have been removed to Turkey ; 249 have left the United Kingdom of their own accord before their examination was completed ; 611 have been given exceptional leave to enter. On 29 January, there were three Turkish asylum seekers in detention.
The Government are committed to their obligations under the 1951 United Nations convention on refugees. All asylum applications are considered on their individual merits and where the applicant is found to have a well- founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, he or she will be granted refugee status.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the number of people (a) stopped and questioned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for each month since January 1989, (b) the number held under an order issued by him, (c) the number who subsequently received exclusion orders and (d) the number charged with other offences.
Mr. Waddington : Information on the operation of the prevention of terrorism legislation is compiled quarterly and published in Home Office statistical bulletins. Issue 36/89 contains information up to the third quarter of 1989. The next bulletin, covering the whole of 1989, will be published shortly. Home Office statistical bulletins are held in the Library.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since their release from prison in October 1989, Paul Hill and Gerard Conlon have been questioned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act ; and for what length of time they were held.
Column 116(Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 which last one hour or less. Neither Mr. Hill nor Mr. Conlon has been examined for more than one hour or detained under the 1989 Act.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of prosecutions which have taken place under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 for each of the past five years ; and how many resulted in convictions.
Defendants proceeded against and found guilty of offences under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 England and Wales Year |Total |Total found |proceeded |guilty |against ------------------------------------------------ 1984 |583 |429 1985 |275 |226 1986 |129 |126 1987 |121 |93 1988 |158 |130
Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has yet reached any conclusions on the recommendations in the magistrates courts scrutiny relating to services provided by the police for these courts ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waddington : The scrutiny report recommended that the police should not be regarded as responsible for maintaining order or general security duties in magistrates courts on a routine basis. In the light of the consultations which have taken place with interested bodies on this matter, I accept this conclusion. I am issuing guidelines intended to assist local discussion between the police and the magistrates courts about the appropriate level of police presence in individual cases.
The guidelines (a copy of which is being placed in the Library) make it clear that, while the police have a responsibility, as part of their general duties, to protect magistrates and courts staff where the police consider that there are reasonable grounds for believing that they may be at risk, the courts should reduce these risks so far as possible and should consider the provision of appropriate physical security measures to that end. I am considering the case for clarifying the legal powers available to magistrates courts and their staff to ensure the uninterrupted administration of justice.
The scrutiny report also recommended that steps should be taken to improve the management of services now routinely provided by the police for the courts, including the service of summonses, the execution of
Column 117warrants and the custody of prisoners at court. As to the first two services, I am asking magistrates courts committees, in consultation with their paying authorities and the relevant police authorities, to undertake an assessment of the practical consequences of transferring responsibility for routine work from the police to the courts service. We have already made provision in public expenditure for the appointment of a substantial additional number of court fine enforcement staff and have asked magistrates courts to consider the greater use of bailiffs to enforce fines.
In the light of legal advice about charges to magistrates courts committees for the execution of warrants by the police, I propose, with effect from 1 April, to disregard any such charges for the purpose of paying specific grant to local authorities. I shall be consulting the relevant local authority associations about the effect of this decision. I also propose to disregard any such charges for the service of summonses by the Metropolitan police with effect from the same date and with effect from 1 April 1991 in the case of other police forces in England and Wales, subject to consultation with the local authority associations.
I am still considering the question of responsibility for the gaolering services.
Mr. Michael Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has completed his consideration of the book entitled "Who Framed Colin Wallace" by Paul Foot ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waddington : I have carefully examined the arguments put forward by Mr. Foot in his book and am satisfied that there is no new evidence or other consideration of substance which casts doubt on the safety of Mr. Colin Wallace's conviction for manslaughter. Before coming to a final decision on this case, I examined carefully the matters referred to in a statement today by my hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Mr. Hamilton), and I am satisfied that they are unconnected with the case and in no way cast doubt upon the safety of the conviction. I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses a memorandum which sets out in greater detail the reasons why I have reached this conclusion.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by location where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.
Mr. Waddington : In addition to its support for Cabinet Office initiatives towards the provision of child care in the Civil Service and to the secondment of an officer to the Midland bank nursery project, the Home Office is planning to provide, for payment, creche facilities for its employees in Croydon and Bootle shortly, and is considering the possibility of making similar provision in London.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that this information is not collected centrally. I understand that coroners endeavour to hold inquests as soon as practicable following the death, but sometimes delays are experienced--for example, because of the need to wait for witnesses or other evidence.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many greyhound race courses are owned by companies involved in the business of off-course bookmaking ; and which of these greyhound race courses supply betting services to the off-course betting shops in the same ownership.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Companies have no obligation to inform the Home Office of their ownership of greyhound tracks. Certain information of the character of that requested is, however, recorded in "Grand Metropolitan plc and William Hill Organisation Ltd. A report on the merger situation" (Cm. 776), by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission which was published in August last year and a copy of which is in the Library.
That information relates to the supply of daytime greyhound racing meetings by greyhound track promoters under annual contract to Bookmaker Afternoon Greyhound Services Ltd. (BAGS). I understand that, following the subsequent acquisition of William Hill by Brent Walker plc of the 10 greyhound tracks which at present have contracts with BAGS, five are owned and operated by companies which own off-course bookmaking companies. Coverage of meetings at all 10 tracks is available, via Satellite Information Services, to licensed betting offices in general.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The latest available information shows that, between April 1979 and April 1989, the basic retirement pension rose by 123.6 per cent., whilst prices rose by 110.5 per cent. This represents an increase of 6.2 per cent. in the real value of the retirement pension over the period.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of evidence submitted to his Department on the cost of providing care in voluntary and private nursing homes and the level of income support payable to residents in residential and nursing homes.
Column 119subject to national limits and is reviewed every year. We take account of a variety of evidence, including detailed and differing representations from interested organisations and individuals. The evidence is considered along with our own information.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I regret that the figures are not available in the form requested. The information available for May 1989 shows that the estimated total number of people in nursing homes in receipt of income support was 56,000 at an annual cost of £446 million. This gives an estimated average annual expenditure figure on income support of £8,000 per claimant. The estimated total number of people in residential care homes in receipt of income support was 119,000 at an annual cost of £658 million. This gives an estimated average annual expenditure figure on income support of £5,500 per claimant. These figures do not include payment of other benefits such as retirement pension and attendance allowance which are paid depending on the individual's circumstances in addition to income support.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he intends to extend the categories of repetitive strain injuries which are recognised by his Department as prescribed workplace injuries.
Mr. Scott : Once both of the studies on repetitive strain injury commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive from the universities of Edinburgh and of Birmingham are available, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council will consider whether the research evidence might justify further detailed consideration of occupational repetitive strain injuries.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what advice he has received on the types of industrial tasks which are most likely to result in workers suffering from repetitive strain injury ; and in which industries there are likely to be significant numbers of sufferers.
Mr. Scott : A position paper adopted by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council in September 1986 identified repetitive strain injury as being complained of by word processor operators, assembly line workers and workers in the print, textile and furniture industries.
(2) what proportion of the known sufferers from repetitive strain injury are women.
Mr. Scott : Information on the number of prescribed diseases A4 and A8 diagnosed in connection with claims for industrial injuries benefits in 1985, 1986 and 1987 is provided on page 22 of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council periodic report--January 1990 (copies are available in the Library). For reasons of sample size, this information is unlikely to provide a reliable indication of trends.