Mr. A. Cecil Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total cost of the Stevens inquiry ; how many persons have been taken in for questioning as a result of this inquiry and subsequently released without charge ; and how many persons are now in custody as a result of this inquiry.
Mr. Brooke : Ninety-four persons, have been arrested as a result of the inquiry led by DCC Stevens. Fifty-nine have been charged, and 24 persons are now in custody. The final cost of the inquiry is not yet available. Up to 24 April, however, £307,000 had been spent. It is estimated that final costs for the period ending 31 March 1990 will be around £500,000.
Rev. William McCrea : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list all firms in Mid-Ulster which are registered with the Northern Ireland Fair Employment Commission in Strabane district council, Omagh district council and Cookstown district council areas.
Rev. William McCrea : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the numbers of employees in each public organisation by the Fair Employment Commission's definition of Protestant and Roman Catholics in Omagh council area for those companies or organisations on the fair employment register.
Mr. Needham : The Fair Employment Commission holds monitoring information on the numbers of people employed by public authorities which are specified under the Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) Order (NI) 1989. This is not however disaggregated by district council area.
Rev. William McCrea : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what conditions are being imposed upon the mineral operation being carried on at Cavanacaw, Omagh so as to ensure the future welfare and safety of the environment ; and whether final approval has been granted for the mineral extraction in this area.
Column 406a mining lease in the Cavanacaw area near Omagh, but planning permission has been granted for a temporary exploration trench for mineral exploration subject to conditions imposed in the interest of amenity and road safety. In addition, a consent has been granted for the making of a discharge into a waterway under the terms of the Water Act (NI) 1972 subject to conditions to ensure that the waterway will not be polluted. I have sent copies of the planning decision notice and the Water Act consent to the hon. Gentleman and the Library.
Mr. Brooke : Subject to parliamentary approval of the main estimates for Northern Ireland departmental services through the Draft Appropriation (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 which was laid before Parliament today, the following changes will be made to the cash limit for Northern Ireland departmental services (NIDI) for 1990-91 (only the first of these affects the level of public expenditure resources available to Northern Ireland). The changes are :
(a) an addition of £6.7 million in respect of the 1990 Health Service review body awards. This provides additional public expenditure provision for the health and personal social services boards in Northern Ireland : the addition will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of United Kingdom public expenditure ;
(b) a reduction of £15 million, reflecting an increase in the estimates of the employers' and employees' contribution to the Health Service. As a transfer within central Government this does not affect public expenditure ;
(c) a reduction of £10 million, reflecting higher forecast repayments of borrowings by Northern Ireland Electricity ; (d) a reduction of £4.6 million, reflecting reduced expenditure on the rundown of the gas industry in Northern Ireland.
The last two items reflect reallocation of resources within existing plans from cash-limited services to non-cash-limited services.
The net effect of these changes is a reduction of £22.9 million in the cash limit NIDI, from £2,972.194 million to £2,949.294 million.
Mr. Brooke [holding answer 30 April 1990] : Mr. Nelson is currently in custody charged with possession of information likely to be of use to terrorists. His case is therefore sub judice and I can make no comment about it.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what financial or other arrangements he proposes to make to alleviate the financial problems now affecting the beef industry in Northern Ireland.
Column 407Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 14 May 1990] : The Northern Ireland beef sector will benefit considerably from the changes agreed at the recent EC price-fixing negotiations. It is estimated that returns to beef producers will increase by about £8 million in a full year as a result of the changes in beef support and agrimonetary arrangements which were secured. The Northern Ireland beef sector should benefit, in particular, from the reduction in monetary compensation amounts on trade in cattle and beef across the land border with the Republic of Ireland and with other regions of the EC.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the reply on 14 May from the Minister for Overseas Development to the hon. Member for Hendon, South, if he will list in the Official Report details of studies of the development role of a social market economy sponsored by his Department.
|c|ODA sponsored research on|c| |c|the role of markets and economic liberalisation|c| |Duration |(to ODA) |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. Pricing and trade structure in the Chinese economy<1> Drs. Ahmed/Hussain/Stern, LSE |1987-90 |172,568 2. Policy change in the Chinese grain sector Dr. Buckwell, Wye |1987-88 |14,800 3. Conditional aid programmes: Lessons from the World Bank's experience of structural adjustment loans Professor Mosley, Manchester Professor Toye, IDS |1987-90 |109,187 4. World Bank report on long term perspectives for sub-Saharan Africa Mr. S. Please, World Bank |1988-90 |50,000 |----- |----- Total |346,555 <1> Not yet completed.
The Attorney-General : New and adapted or reconditioned court buildings provide, to the maximum possible extent, all the facilities required for the disabled, including lifts and ramps as necessary. Other buildings have had improvements incorporated where this has been feasible. New court rooms are designed to high acoustic standards which benefit the hard of hearing. Internal signs are made as clear as possible. Court staff are always available to assist disabled court users.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Prime Minister when she expects to reply to the letter dated 17 April from the Reverend Andy Lindop of the Parish of St. John's, Mosley Common, Worsley, regarding the charge capping of Wigan metropolitan borough council.
The Prime Minister : There is no record of the letter to which the hon. Member refers having been received. May I suggest that a copy is sent to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, who will arrange for an early reply.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Prime Minister if she will take steps to ensure that Ministers do not avoid the answering of priority written questions within the established time scale by stating in answer to such a question that a Minister will write to the hon. Member who asked the question ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment has been made of the success or otherwise of the system of three-year contracts at the AFRC institutes, as to whether personnel starting on a three-year contract fulfil that contract.
Mr. Jackson : The Agricultural and Food Research Council has recently reviewed all short-term appointments at its institutes. The majority of these appointments are three-year contracts. The results of the review indicate that AFRC's policy of recruiting staff on short-term appointments is successful and that the majority of personnel appointed in this way completed their contract.
Column 409selective scientific effectiveness of (a) those on three-year contracts attached to AFRC institutes and (b) those on core programmes.
Mr. Jackson : Responsibility for such assessments falls essentially to the Agricultural and Food Research Council itself. I understand that the council maintains a rigorous assessment of programmes and their effectiveness at its institutes by means of four-yearly visiting groups and annual reviews. This includes core programmes and three-year contracts, whether funded by the council itself or by industry.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support Her Majesty's Government are giving to the Secretary-General of the United Nations following his recent visit to Morocco and Algeria in making progress towards holding the referendum in the western Sahara.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have consistently supported the United Nations Secretary-General in his efforts to find a solution to the dispute over the western Sahara. We have also joined our Community partners in welcoming the acceptance by both parties of the United Nations Secretary-General's referendum proposals.
Dr. Woodcock : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will estimate the depletion of the illex fishery around the Falkland Islands as a direct result of not applying a 200-mile fishery zone.
Mr. Sainsbury : Recent scientific advice indicates that if the Falkland Islands interim conservation and management zone (FICZ) were extended to 200 miles, escapement for illex squid could be expected to increase by less than 5 per cent. and that effective conservation of the stock requires multilateral efforts to control fishing well beyond 200 miles.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will publish information about their periodic reports to the human rights committee under the international covenant on civil and political rights.
Mr. Sainsbury : Copies of our reports under the international covenant on civil and political rights are freely available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Copies have also been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many reports of breaches of human rights in Palestine Her Majesty's Government have received in the past 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : We receive frequent reports of human rights abuses in the occupied territories. We regularly take up individual cases with the Israeli authorities on both a national and Community basis. The Israelis are well aware of our view that they should administer the occupied territories in accordance with their obligations under international law.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of West Midlands on which years the following officers served in the West Midlands serious crimes squad : DS James Milligan 6269, DI Terence Mills 4512, DS Paul Owen 5056, DC John Perkins 4145, DC Alan Pickering 3273, DC James Price 9307, DC Michael Quin 2274, DS John Rawlings 1353, DC John Rawlings 3540, DS Peter Reynolds 3772, DS Timothy Russell 7099, DC Laurence Shaw 5498, DS Michael Swinneton 8296 and DI Henry Thomas ;
(2) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of West Midlands on which years the following officers served in the West Midlands serious crimes squad : DS David Ford 9210, DCI Robert Goodchild 9416, DS William Guilt 4587, DC Alfred Hayward 6764, DI Peter Higgins 3435, Det. Supt. Mick Holder, DC Michael Houkins 2344, DS Colin James 6924, DS Roy Jennings 5062, DC Conrad Joseph, DS Richard Leary 2487, DS Danny Lloyd 7448, DS Leslie Leek 1691, DC Robert Maison 9110, DC Hugh McLelland 6540, DCI Paul Matthews, DS James McManus 2303 and DC Charles 4175 ;
(3) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of West Midlands on which years the following officers served in the West Midlands serious crimes squad : DS Martin Thomas 9362, DC David Woodley 2853, DC Clifford Wesley 3455, DCI Banks 1317, Det. Supt. Bob Morris, DCI Roy Taylor A'61, Det. Supt. Stan Beechey, DC Paul Bucknall 5269, DS Brian Morton, DC Brookes 7099, DI Geoffrey Edwards 6861, DS Michael Doyle 7302, DC Alan Campbell 6444 and DS Bryant 45 ;
(4) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of West Midlands on which years the following officers served in the West Midlands serious crimes squad : DC Colin Abbotts 9078, DC Ronald Adams 6220, DS Anthony Ball 6843, DS Peter Bowen 2224, DS Norman Burns 6513, DC David Bowen Evans 5202, DCI John Brown 5436, DI Kenneth Cook 1337, DS Albert Cawley 9085, DS Michael Cooper 9448, Det. Supt. Roger Corbett 9412, DI Eddie Curry 6579, Det. Supt. Brian Davies, DS Joseph Dayle 3457, DS John Davies 7090 and DC Ronald Evans 9292.
Mr. Mellor : No records are kept centrally of the numbers of prisoners with disabilities, but such information as is available suggests that the numbers are relatively small. Prison establishments seek to meet the needs of those inmates on an individual basis--for example by providing books for the visually handicapped or by modifying cellular accommodation for those with mobility problems. Six establishments have toilets in the hospital area which are suitable for people with disabilities, and the standard brief for the design of future prisons provides for these and other facilities for the disabled.
Mr. John Patten : Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the courts within their overall powers as laid down by legislation and in accordance with guidance given by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has made it clear that, for all offenders, custody should be given only when necessary and that it should be no longer than necessary. The national standards for community service orders, which came into effect on 1 April 1989, asked probation areas to ensure that community service placements are available for disabled offenders.
The reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler) on 8 December at columns 409-17, set out the terms of the revised criminal injuries compensation scheme and described other steps taken to improve the board's performance. The revised scheme, which came into effect on 1 February, allows the board to resolve certain cases more quickly by delegating decisions to staff and expediting appeal procedures. The first phase of the major computer project at the board began in March. We shall monitor the effectiveness of these measures in reducing arrears of work at the board.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases awaited determination by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board as at 31 March ; and what is the average time between submission of a claim and its determination.
Column 412awards had been made and the final determination deferred. There were also 9,096 cases awaiting appeal hearings and 10,748 where an award had been offered but not yet accepted by the applicant, making a total of 87,786 applications outstanding. Of these, about 50,000 represent the board's working balance, that is, cases which would be under consideration even if there were no arrears.
Information about the average time taken to resolve applications is not available in the form requested, but the percentage of cases submitted to a single member of the board within certain periods from registration is shown in paragraph 6.1 of the board's 25th annual report (Cm. 900), a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Terry Fields : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people the police have arrested for incidents arising out of the anti-poll tax demonstration in London on 31 March (a) on the day of the demonstration itself and (b) as a result of operation Carnaby ; and how many of those arrested have been charged.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I am informed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that 427 people were arrested on 31 March in connection with the disorder which occurred during and following the demonstration in London against the community charge. Of these, 409 have been charged with criminal offences.
Fifty-two people have subsequently been arrested as a result of the continuing police investigation into the disorder. Of these, 39 have been charged with criminal offences.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he proposes to co-ordinate inter-departmental action in regard to recently reported cases of people posing as health visitors or social workers when visiting families with young children ; of how many such cases he is aware ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the chief constable of South Yorkshire that the recent inter-force conference about the subject of bogus social workers and health visitors revealed 60 unexplained visits throughout England and Wales. In 24 of these access was gained to the house and in 14 young children were touched.
Police forces across England and Wales are taking co-ordinated action to bring the offenders to justice, consulting local authority social services departments where necessary. They have warned parents throughout the country to take great care about allowing callers access to their children and to contact the police at once if their suspicions are roused. They have advised all those seeking legitimate access to identify themselves. Their advice has been wholly endorsed by a statement issued on 15 May by the Association of Directors of Social Services and the NSPCC.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much of the total costs of police involvement in the siege of Strangeways prison he expects to fall on Greater Manchester police authority and how
Column 413much will be met by his Department ; what study he has made of the effect of the costs to be borne by the Greater Manchester police authority on the performance of the police service in the conurbation ; if he is prepared now to meet the costs of police involvement in the siege as a whole ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Litherland) on 8 May at column 28. We have not yet received from the police authority a full assessment of the additional costs which it incurred as a result of the disturbances.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make an estimate of the cost to public funds of the provided accommodation allowance payable to police officers in provided accommodation for the year commencing 1 April.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : About 18,000 officers live in provided accommodation. Provided accommodation allowance has been set at £300.00 per officer per year and is payable for three years. Estimates accordingly provide for direct public expenditure of £5.4 million per year on this allowance for each year that it is payable.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has in respect of prosecutions, convictions, and penalties levied in connection with deaths of protected species and listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 11 May 1990] : It is not possible from the information held centrally to distinguish between offences where species protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 have been intentionally killed and those where they have been intentionally injured or taken. In 1988 there were a total of 133 prosecutions and 114 convictions under the Act.
In 1988 there were no prosecutions for offences under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 which involved the death of a protected species.
Sir John Wheeler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has about the extent of the problem caused to listeners of authorised commercial radio broadcasts by their inability to tune to authorised stations because of interference by illegal
Column 414broadcasts ; how many complaints he has received from the public ; and what discussions he has held with listeners' representative bodies and commercial radio operators.
The radio investigation service (RIS) of my Department's radiocommunications agency receives frequent complaints of radio interference caused by unlicensed broadcasting stations. Officials of the agency regularly correspond with, and on occasions meet, listeners' representative bodies and broadcasting organisations.
124. Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress made to date by the expert working group set up to assess the work of Mr. Barry Richardson's research into cot deaths.
125. Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress made to date by the expert working group set up to assess the work of Mr. Barry Richardson's research into cot deaths.
126. Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress made to date by the expert working group set up to assess the work of Mr. Barry Richardson's research into cot deaths.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The expert working group set up by the chief medical officer on 9 March was asked to consider and report on the work done by Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Richardson, together with the findings of the laboratory of the Government chemist and any other data ; and make any necessary recommendations. He has asked the group to report as soon as possible and will make public its findings. The experts are working towards a report with commendable speed. The group first met on 3 April and studied Mr. Richardson's then latest paper and other evidence ; it met again on 3 May to hear from individuals and associations, with important information, one of whom was Mr. Barry Richardson. It will next meet on 20 June.
97. Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the disparity of fees charged by regional advisers for authorising postgraduate education allowance training ; and if he has any proposals to standardise such fees.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department has had discussions with the committee of regional advisers in general practice in England (CRAGPIE) on a suitable level of fees to be charged for the accreditation of courses for the postgraduate education allowance and we have asked CRAGPIE to agree as a matter of urgency a national scale of fees.
Column 415Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not collected centrally. Information is available centrally only on miscarriages which occur in NHS hospitals or result in a stay in an NHS hospital. Information for the years 1979 to 1985 is given in the table.
|c|Number of deaths from thalassaemia<1> of persons|c| |c|in England and Wales, 1980-89<2>|c| Year |Number of |deaths ------------------------------ 1980 |7 1981 |11 1982 |5 1983 |3 1984 |11 1985 |12 1986 |6 1987 |10 1988 |6 1989 |<2>8 <1>Assigned to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) ninth revision code 282.4. <2>Provisional.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether deaf children are required to take out insurance on commercial hearing aids supplied free of charge on the National Health Service ; and if he will make a statement.