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Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of the general public in the past 10 years have been killed ; and how many have been injured by vehicles of the emergency services whilst responding to hoax alarm telephone calls.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : One hundred and three police officers in England and Wales were killed in the course of duty during the last 10 years as a result of criminal action or accidents. Details of the circumstances surrounding these deaths are not held centrally. It is not therefore possible to determine whether an officer was killed whilst responding to a hoax alarm telephone call. Details of officers injured on duty are also not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the total number of firearms certificates on issue in England and Wales as at 31 December 1988 ; and when he will be able to supply detailed statistics in the form previously made available by his Department.
Column 384155,468. This information is included in table 2 of the Home Office statistical bulletin, issue 18/89, "Statistics on the operation of the Firearms Act 1968 England and Wales 1988". The bulletin also contains further information about the number of firearms certificates. A copy of this bulletin is in the Library, as are those relating to previous years.
Mr. Waddington : The boundary commissions are independent bodies operating under statute. I answer questions relating to those matters which are my responsibility (for example, making appointments to and meeting the costs of the English and Welsh commissions, and the consideration of their reports) and I will, as appropriate, answer questions relating commonly to all four parliamentary boundary commissions. Customarily I also answer questions seeking information about the commissions' work ; this information is in the public domain and is available directly from the commissions. So far as the local government boundary commissions for England and Wales are concerned, I receive reports on electoral arrangements and will answer questions on my consideration of those.
Mr. John Patten : The information readily available to the Home Office is for recorded crime in the Greater Manchester police force area and is published annually in table 2.5 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales". More detailed information, for areas within Greater Manchester such as Rochdale, is published annually in the report of the chief constable for Greater Manchester. Copies of these publications are in the Library.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to whether the Metropolitan police have requested assistance from Scottish police in respect of vice rings.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask the chief inspector of prisons to carry out a full inquiry into the recent spate of suicides and deaths in suspicious circumstances in Brixton prison.
Column 385All deaths in prison custody are the subject of a coroner's inquest and any death in suspicious circumstances would be a matter for the police to investigate.
Mr. Mellor : Information about the numbers of drug addicts notified to the Home Office in 1988 was published in Home Office statistical bulletin, issue 13/89, "Statistics of Drug Addicts notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1988", a copy of which is in the Library. Notification applies only to certain controlled drugs, mainly opiates, but including cocaine, and many misusers will not have sought treatment and so will not have been notified. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has estimated that there may be between 75,000 and 150,000 misusers of notifiable drugs in the United Kingdom, and as many again misusing a variety of non-notifiable drugs such as amphetamine (but excluding cannabis) on an experimental or occasional basis.
Mr. Mellor : Information about seizures by the police and Customs of cocaine and heroin from 1978 to 1988 was published in table 2.4 of Home Office statistical bulletin issue 30/89, "Statistics of the Misuse of Drugs : Seizures and Offenders Dealt with, United Kingdom, 1988", a copy of which is in the Library. Comparable information is not yet available for 1989.
Crack is a form of cocaine which was not analysed and reported separately before 1987 and has not, so far, been recorded separately in published statistics. Seizures of crack by the police and Customs and reported to the National Drugs Intelligence Unit since 1987 are as follows :
Year |Seizures|Grams ------------------------------------ 1987 |12 |6.7 1988 |27 |113.7 1989 |<1>139 |243 <1> Provisional figures.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : For details of the most recent of the regular reports to the House on the meetings of immigration Ministers, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) on 20 December 1989 at column 276. As to racism, the Government participated in the joint declaration against racism and zenophobia by the EC institutions in June 1986. A draft resolution, submitted to Parliament as COM(88) 318 Final under a Home Office memorandum in October 1988, is still under consideration.
Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on (i) the incidence of crime committed by children between (a) the age groups of five to 11 years and (b) 12 to 16 years, (ii) the time at which these crimes are committed ; immediately after school hours, during school hours and during weekends and holidays and (iii) an analysis of the crimes committed together with regional variations.
Mr. John Patten : The earliest age at which a juvenile can be brought to court in criminal proceedings is 10 years. Information on the number of persons in the age groups 10-13 and 14-16 proceeded against at magistrates courts and the Crown court can be found in the "Criminal Statistics England and Wales 1988", supplementary volumes 1 and 2, tables SI.1(B), S2.1(B) and S1.1(C), S2.1(C), analysed by offence, sex and court disposal. Supplementary volumes 3 and 5 give a further breakdown by police force area, commission of the peace area and petty sessional division. Copies of these volumes may be found in the Library.
Data on the times and dates when offences occur are not collected centrally.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list for each year since 1979, the countries from Latin America and from non-democratic states, that have sent delegations of police officers or military to study the police technology, crowd control techniques and computers used by United Kingdom police forces.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The table gives details of all centrally recorded visits by police officers and associated civilian personnel from overseas to study police technology, computers or crowd control techniques since 1980 :
Year |Technology |Computers |Crowd Control --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1980 |Japan |Australia |Saudi Arabia 1981 |United Arab Emirates|Kuwait |Singapore |Australia |United Arab Emirates 1982 |Sri Lanka |Sweden |Hong Kong |Egypt |India |Qatar |Sri Lanka 1983 |Oman |New Zealand |Pakistan |Sri Lanka |Israel |Japan 1984 |Gabon |Australia |Australia |Kuwait |Zimbabwe |Singapore |Canada |Pakistan |Oman 1985 |Greece |Kenya |Turkey |Australia |Australia |Japan 1986 |Indonesia |Australia |Canada |Tanzania |Australia |Guyana 1987 |North Cyprus |Uruguay |Zambia |Mexico 1988 |France |Portugal |France |Malawi |Kenya |Botswana |India |West Germany |Australia |Belgium |Hungary |Netherlands |Netherlands 1989 |Brazil |Israel |Nigeria |Spain |India |Brazil |Portugal |Australia |Pakistan |United Arab Emirates|Saudi Arabia |Tunisia |Sri Lanka |Australia |Belgium
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total amount of civil defence grant aid for (a) staff costs, (b) building works and (c) other costs in the financial years from 1983-84 to 1988-89 ; what is the projected sum for 1989-90 received by each local authority in south Yorkshire ; and if he will express the costs in real terms.
Mr. John Patten : Payments of civil defence grant in the financial years from 1983-84 to 1988-89 are not recorded in the form requested, and the information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Total grant payments made in cash terms to local authorities in each of the years in question were as follows :
Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1983-84 |9.406 1984-85 |9.170 1985-86 |11.861 1986-87 |13.431 1987-88 |19.740 1988-89 |21.780
The projected total grant payment to South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority in 1989-90, which is based upon information about forecast expenditure provided by that authority in October 1989 and is subject to final scrutiny, is £396,000. Information on grant payments to district councils in south Yorkshire will not be available until later this year.
Mr. Waddington : The central staff costs incurred by my Department on the introduction and passage of the Football Spectators Act 1989 were approximately £80,000. This excludes other costs, which cannot readily be separately identified.
Year |£ ------------------------------------------ 1978-79 |9,905,741 1979-80 |12,639,235 1980-81 |14,822,138 1981-82 |17,976,392 1982-83 |20,569,628 1983-84 |23,731,818 1984-85 |<2>45,426,033 1985-86 |23,713,300 <1>1986-87 |27,248,372 1987-88 |28,329,014 1988-89 |30,624,673 <1> The rate of police grant was increased from 50 per cent. to 51 per cent. from 1986-87. <2> In addition to the above payments, Nottinghamshire police authority has received £23,840,404 in special grant arising from additional expenditure incurred in policing the coal strike; the bulk of this was paid in 1984-85.
Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list the alcohol percentages used for legal definitions of low-alcohol drinks in all those European Economic Community and European Free Trade Association countries which have such definitions.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the prison population in England and Wales for the latest available date ; and how many of those prisoners had been sentenced by (a) a Crown court and (b) a magistrates court ; and if he will make a statement.
Details of sentencing courts are published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales" (table 1.15 of the latest volume, for 1988 (Cm. 825)), copies of which are in the Library. The latest available information is for June 1989 and is given in the table :
Population under sentence in prison service establishments on 30 June 1989: by court sentencing Court sentencing |<1>Number ------------------------------------------------------------- Crown Court |33,100 Magistrates court |3,400 Other courts |100 Not recorded |1,500 |------- Total sentenced population |38,000 <1> Provisional figures.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about the changes in the Local Government Act abolishing payments for loss of earnings and affecting councillors' allowances, and in particular on their impact on the full participation of elected council members in council business and the implications for local democracy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from local authority associations, from local authorities, and from individual councillors about the proposed changes to the system of councillors' allowances. My hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities met the chairmen and leading members of the local authority associations on 25 January to discuss these proposals. Since the meeting he has written to the chairmen of the local authority assocations and offered to consider any modifications to
Column 390the proposals--within the basic framework that has already been established--which they are able to agree by 16 February. We are anxious to secure the fairest possible distribution of the total available resources and thereby to ensure that people from all walks of life will continue to be able to serve as councillors without suffering undue hardship.
Mr. Brandon-Bravo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will bring forward proposals for local authority councillors' allowances to take into account the size of the council ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether he will consider introducing greater allowances for elected councillors for those local authorities with populations in excess of 200,000 as against ex-rural district councils ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Knowles : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will make it his policy in considering changes to the scheme of local councillors' allowances to take account of the special situation of ex-county boroughs ;
(2) whether he will make it his policy to take account in any changes to the scheme for local councillors' allowances of the position of the ex- county boroughs with populations in excess of 200, 000 ;
(3) whether, in considering changes to the scheme of local councillors' allowances, he has considered the size of population of the local authority area ;
(4) whether, in considering the suggested changes to the scheme of local councillors' allowances, he proposes to distinguish between district authorities with under 100,000 population and those with populations over 200,000.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : In discussions with the local authority associations we have made it clear that if they wish to propose a distribution of the total amounts available to particular types of authority by population bands we shall be ready to consider it. No such proposals have so far been received. However, following a meeting with the chairmen and leading members of the local authority associations on 25 January my hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities has offered to consider any modifications to the proposals--within the basic framework that has already been established--which they are able to agree by 16 February. He has indicated that such modifications could be in respect of the distribution of the total resources, and it is open to the associations to propose population banding.
Mr. Brandon-Bravo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what allowances are available to elected members of (a) district councils in rural areas and (b) county boroughs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : All councillors, whatever the type of authority, are currently entitled to either attendance or financial loss allowance, and travel and subsistence allowances, in respect of approved duties at a rate set by the authority, subject to maxima prescribed by the Secretary of State. In addition, a council may pay special responsibility allowances within prescribed maxima, which vary according to the type of authority and the population of its area.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing for each metropolitan local authority the number of tenders received in 1989 for day-to-day building maintenance contracts from (a) local authority direct labour organisations and (b) private building contractors.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what grants from his Department are available to voluntary organisations to help with the work of restoring canals and waterways ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what grants his Department has made to local authorities for help in restoring canals and waterways ; what is the total amount of each grant ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 29 January 1990] : Derelict land grant may in certain cases be paid to both public and private sector bodies ; including voluntary organisations towards the cost of canal and waterway restoration. It is normally available only where the work forms part of a wider reclamation scheme and is limited to the reclamation element in the restoration scheme. The Department has made derelict land grant available to local authorities for water-related reclamation schemes, but it is not possible to distinguish the amounts of grant paid in respect of the canal or waterway involved.
Grants may also be made to voluntary organisations under the Department's special grants programme towards their management costs.
Under the urban programme grant is paid to local authorities in support of a wide range of projects. In 1988-89 grant-eligible expenditure of £796,029 was approved to help with restoring canals and waterways.
Grants from the European regional development fund (ERDF) are available through the Department for infrastructure schemes in assisted areas where the cost of the works is wholly or substantially financed by public authorities. Work undertaken by a voluntary organisation may be eligible depending on whether its obligations to carry out such works are incorporated in its articles of association or trust deeds.
Local authorities also have power in section 114 of the Transport Act 1968 to assist the maintenance or improvement of any inland waterway in or near their area.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department will be (a) represented or (b) presenting a paper at the radioactive waste conference to be held at the Gloucester hotel, London, on 5 and 6 February.
Mr. Trippier : The Department will be represented at the conference by three officials from Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. The head of HMIP's northern region will present a paper on the regulation of radioactive waste in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Moynihan : The central staff costs incurred by my Department on the introduction and passage of the Football Spectators Act 1989 were approximately £130,000. This excludes ministerial and other costs which we are unable to identify separately.
Mr. Trippier : The Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office published a consultation paper on statutory powers to evaluate and control the environmental hazard of existing chemicals in April 1989. The Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 20 December 1989 that further provisions on the control of chemicals forming a legal framework for the evaluation of potentially harmful effects on human health or the environment would be introduced in the Environmental Protection Bill.
Mr. Trippier : New chemical substances are subject to the provisions of the Notification of New Substances Regulations 1982 which implement European Communities directive No. 79/831/EEC. The regulations require that specified information on the properties and use of new substances is provided to the Department of the Environment and the Health and Safety Executive. The information is evaluated to assess any potential risk to man or the environment resulting from the use of the substance and where necessary appropriate action is taken.
Mr. Trippier : It is an offence to destroy a badger sett if badgers may be unavoidably killed or injured as a result. A recent survey has shown that the badger is not under threat of extinction, not likely to become so and there are therefore no conservation grounds for extending the already substantial degree of protection afforded to badgers to the badger sett.
Column 393conducted by the Nature Conservancy Council. This review commenced in 1987 and the Nature Conservancy Council has always envisaged that it would take 10 years to complete. I am satisfied with the Nature Conservancy Council's arrangements for its completion, although it is for the council to decide where its priorities lie.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The latest available figures are for 1988-89, when a total of 13,967 domestic and non-domestic customers in England were disconnected for non-payment of charges. The figures do not therefore reflect the new procedures which each water company is required to follow, under their conditions of appointment, before disconnecting domestic customers.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will withdraw the £240,000 payment by the Government to the compulsory meter trial in the Normanton constituency in view of the statement made by Sir Gordon Jones, chairman of Yorkshire Water, that domestic metering of water may not now take place ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what assessment he has made of the value for money of the Government's 50 per cent. contributions to South Normanton in the light of the announcement that meters may not be used in Yorkshire for assessing water charges for domestic customers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 1 February 1990] : I understand that, although Sir Gordon Jones has expressed a personal preference for charging domestic customers on the basis of a flat rate charge in the future, the board of Yorkshire Water has made no decision as to a future method of charging to replace charging by rateable values. Whatever method of charging is adopted by Yorkshire Water, it will not affect the Government's decision to contribute towards the cost of the South Normanton trial, which, together with the other metering trials, will provide information to the Director General of Water Services and the water industry generally on a wide range of metering issues. The Government consider that the lessons learnt from all of the trials will help ensure that those companies who decide to adopt metering in place of charging by rateable values will do so cost effectively and with the least inconvenience to customers.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what facilities he intends to provide for the European Community Commission's European mouse care expert in order to facilitate his work in this country.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to his related questions today.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has had regarding student loans and the effect they might have on those students studying four and five year courses such as medicine.
Mr. Jackson : We have received some 5,100 letters about top-up loans, including many referring to long courses and many supporting the principle that students should contribute towards their own living costs.
Mr. Viggers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of students pursuing (a) a degree, (b) an A-level and (c) a GCSE, or nearest appropriate equivalent, in (i) French, (ii) German, (iii) Spanish, (iv) Portuguese, (v) Italian, (vi) Japanese, (vii) Chinese and (viii) Russian for 1970, 1975, 1980 and 1985 and any estimate he has for 1990.
(1) Universities in Great Britain Numbers of full-time first degree students on courses Academic year beginning |1972<1>|1975 |1980 |1985 |1988 ----------------------------------------------------------- French |3,583 |3,668 |4,296 |3,501 |3,256 German |1,810 |1,729 |1,853 |1,552 |1,521 Italian |259 |241 |274 |245 |273 Spanish |637 |516 |539 |461 |510 Portuguese |2 |7 |9 |10 |1 Russian |633 |519 |403 |497 |527 Chinese |119 |124 |133 |259 |304 Japanese |36 |35 |38 |67 |82 <1>Earliest year available.
(2) Public sector Numbers of full-time and part-time first degree students on courses<1> As at November |1970|1975|1980|1985|1988 ----------------------------------------- French |116 |193 |291 |559 |725 German |29 |75 |117 |204 |164 Italian |nil |nil |nil |nil |1 Spanish |38 |56 |154 |221 |270 Portuguese |nil |nil |nil |nil |nil Russian |46 |69 |61 |69 |98 Chinese |nil |nil |nil |nil |50 Japanese |nil |nil |nil |nil |nil <1>England and Wales in 1970 and 1975. England only for 1980, 1985 and 1988.
(3) School leavers in England Examination attempts at A-level Thousands Academic years |1976-77<1>|1979-80 |1984-85 |1987-88 ------------------------------------------------------------------ French |19.4 |20.4 |18.8 |15.4 German |6.7 |7.4 |6.8 |5.8 Italian |0.5 |0.4 |0.3 |0.4 Spanish |1.9 |2.1 |2.1 |1.7 Portuguese -------Not known------- Russian |0.4 |0.3 |0.3 |0.3 Chinese -------Not known------- Japanese -------Not known------- <1>Earliest year available.
(4) School leavers in England Examination attempts at GCSE<1>, O-level and CSE Thousands Academic years |1976-77<2>|1979-80 |1984-85 |1987-88 ------------------------------------------------------------------ French |217.6 |239.9 |254.1 |229.6 German |54.8 |66.1 |70.5 |64.4 Italian |2.0 |2.6 |2.1 |1.8 Spanish |12.2 |14.1 |14.2 |13.9 Portuguese -------Not known------- Russian |2.1 |1.6 |1.4 |1.2 Chinese -------Not known------- Japanese -------Not known------- <1>Including GCSE from 1987-88. <2>Earliest year available.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if head teachers are not now required to submit precise information in regard to educational provision under the 1989 Information Regulations ; and why detailed questions are presented ; (2) if he will advise head teachers that there is no need for them to provide particularly precise information when responding to the 1989 Information Regulations ;
(3) what is his estimate of the time which head teachers will need to devote to provide a response to the 1989 Information Regulations concerning the submission of statistical information regarding educational provision in their schools ;
(4) what is his policy on whether head teachers should respond with a broad brush when submitting information concerning educational provision under the 1989 Information Regulations.