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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 1 November 1990

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Prosecution Costs

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Attorney-General by how much the total costs of prosecutions in the United Kingdom have risen in the last five years.

The Attorney-General : The total costs of prosecutions in England and Wales prior to the creation of the Crown prosecution service are not readily available. The Crown prosecution service became fully operational on 1 October 1986. The total running costs of the service between the financial years 1987-88, the first full year of its operation, and 1989-90 increased by £50.3 million. The voted expenditure for the current financial year is £25 million more than the total expenditure for the financial year 1989-90. The total expenditure figures for the Crown prosecution service, excluding receipts from costs awarded to the service, are :


            |£                      

------------------------------------

1986-87     |74,153,000             

1987-88     |133,840,000            

1988-89     |156,882,000            

1989-90     |184,141,000            

The voted expenditure for the current financial year is £209,157, 000.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list by location the establishments that produce radioactive (a) high-level waste, (b) intermediate-level waste and (c) low-level waste.

Mr. Needham : No high-level or intermediate-level radioactive waste is produced in Northern Ireland. Low-level radioactive waste is generated at the following establishments and locations.

Eastern Health and Social Services Board

Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast

Musgrave Park Hospital, Stockman's Lane, Belfast

Blood Transfusion Service, 89 Durham Street, Belfast

NI Radiotherapy Centre, Belvoir Park Hospital, Hospital Road, Belfast

Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast

Northern Health and Social Services Board

Waveney Hospital, Cushendall Road, Ballymena

NI Radiological Protection Service, Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast

Southern Health and Social Services Board

Craigavon Hospital, Portadown


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Western Health and Social Services Board

Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry

Stradreagh Hospital, Clooney Road, Londonderry

Erne Hospital, Cornagrade Road, Enniskillen

Ulster Independent Clinic

Stranmillis Road, Belfast

Atlas Communications Ltd

67 West Street, Newtownards

Norbrook Laboratories Ltd

Station Works, Camlough Road, Newry

Richardsons Fertilisers

Herdman Channel Road, Belfast

Queen's University Belfast

Main Site, University Road, Belfast

Medical Biology Centre, Lisburn Road, Belfast

University of Ulster

Coleraine, Co Londonderry

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

Limnology Lab, Tread point, Drumenagh, Magherafelt

Dyslexia

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many teachers in Northern Ireland have had specialist training to enable them to assist in developing the full potential of children suffering from dyslexia.

Mr. Needham : Dyslexia can describe a variety of specific learning difficulties experienced by children. All courses of initial teacher training include an element designed to enable students to develop the capacity to identify and deal with pupils with learning difficulties.

Northern Ireland Centre, Brussels

Mr. Kilfedder : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether Northern Ireland district councils, health and social services boards and education and library boards are empowered to make financial contributions towards the cost of a Northern Ireland centre in Brussels.

Mr. Cope : District councils have discretionary powers under the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 to incur expenditure or to contribute towards the expenses of any voluntary body or association which carries on activities which are in the interests of the council, the council area or the inhabitants of the area. Neither health and social services boards nor education and library boards are empowered to make financial contributions towards the cost of a Northern Ireland centre in Brussels.

Water and Sewerage Services

Mr. Bell : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has for the future delivery of water and sewerage services.

Mr. Brooke : I propose to transfer the water and sewerage functions of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland to a Government- owned company, in line with the Government's policy of applying private sector disciplines wherever possible. The target date for the transfer is 1 October 1992.

The Government are committed to improving the quality of drinking water in line with EC standards and to


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protecting the environment. They believe the transfer of the water service to a commercially orientated water company will enable these aims to be met in the most cost-effective way. This will safeguard the interests of ratepayers and metered water consumers. The separation of water and sewerage services from DOE will also facilitate the establishment of effective regulatory regimes, with benefits for the whole community.

A major programme of work lies ahead to achieve an orderly transition from the present arrangements to the new ones. The effective and efficient delivery of water and sewerage services depends on the skills and commitment of the staff of the water service and the Government intend to discuss with the trade unions the basis on which staff will transfer from the Northern Ireland civil service to the new company.

Parliamentary approval to funding for the establishment of the company will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the DOE, vote 3--water and sewerage. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £50,000 will be met by repayable advances from the contingencies fund.

Newtownbreda

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland within the parameters of which area plan planning applications for private residential developments in the vicinity of the village of Newtownbreda are considered.

Mr. Needham : The Belfast urban area plan 2001.

School Employees

Mr. Kilfedder : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the remit of the Fair Employment Commission extends to employees of integrated schools and of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools.

Mr. Needham : A teacher in a primary or a secondary school is exempt from the operations of the Fair Employment (NI) Acts 1976 and 1989. They apply however to the employees of educational bodies such as integrated schools and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools unless they are exempt under section


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37 of the 1976 Act, because the essential nature of their jobs requies a particular religious belief or political opinion.

Castlereagh Area Plan

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has for the preparation of an area plan for the borough of Castlereagh ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Needham : The main urban parts of Castlereagh borough council area are covered by the Belfast urban area plan 2001--BUAP--and the recently adopted Carryduff local plan covers a further portion of the council area. Throughout the remaining rural parts of the area the BUAP green belt policy applies.

Work on the preparation of an area plan for the whole of the Castlereagh district is expected to commence in 1993 following a reassessment of the development lands proposed in the BUAP and the expiry of the Carryduff local plan.

Local Government Finance

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) domestic and (b) other ratepayers in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years and the current year in each council area in Northern Ireland received a rate rebate of (1) 20 per cent. to 29 per cent., (2) 30 per cent. to 39 per cent., (3) 40 per cent. to 49 per cent., (4) 50 per cent. to 59 per cent., (5) 60 per cent. to 69 per cent., (6) 70 per cent. to 79 per cent., (7) 80 per cent. to 89 per cent. and (8) 90 per cent. or over of their rates ; and what percentage of the total ratepayers each such cohort of ratepayers represented.

Mr. Needham [holding answer 22 October 1990] : Housing benefit is granted only to domestic ratepayers and the schedule shows the total number of ratepayers by district council area who were in receipt of benefit for the last five years and the current year--column A--and the percentage of domestic ratepayers that this represents--column B. Figures relating to the percentage bands requested are not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


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Numbers of ratepayers receiving rate rebate/housing benefit 1985-86 to 1990-91                                                                                                                                                                

                  1985-86                           1986-87                           1987-88                           1988-89                           1989-90                           1990-91                                           

District council |A               |B               |A               |B               |A               |B               |A               |B               |A               |B               |A               |B                                

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Antrim           |4,381           |30.8            |4,473           |31.0            |4,348           |29.6            |3,023           |20.2            |2,943           |19.7            |3,002           |20.0                             

Ards             |6,382           |26.9            |6,546           |27.2            |6,255           |25.8            |4,304           |17.5            |4,353           |17.4            |4,336           |17.2                             

Armagh           |5,132           |31.1            |5,174           |30.9            |5,239           |30.9            |3,453           |20.1            |3,470           |20.2            |3,577           |20.7                             

Ballymena        |5,737           |29.9            |5,696           |29.1            |5,645           |28.5            |3,837           |19.3            |3,889           |19.1            |3,848           |18.8                             

Ballymoney       |2,848           |37.2            |2,922           |37.5            |2,907           |36.8            |1,943           |24.3            |1,961           |24.2            |1,963           |24.2                             

Banbridge        |3,250           |29.7            |3,334           |29.9            |3,261           |28.9            |2,196           |19.0            |2,189           |18.7            |2,233           |19.0                             

Belfast          |50,426          |43.7            |49,349          |42.4            |49,338          |42.3            |38,830          |33.0            |38,684          |32.7            |38,750          |32.7                             

Carrickfergus    |2,862           |24.8            |3,584           |30.2            |3,487           |28.8            |2,404           |19.2            |2,487           |19.5            |2,465           |19.2                             

Castlereagh      |5,743           |25.3            |5,659           |24.5            |5,666           |24.2            |3,846           |16.2            |3,845           |15.8            |3,877           |15.8                             

Coleraine        |6,428           |35.2            |6,382           |34.3            |6,461           |33.9            |4,335           |22.3            |4,403           |22.3            |3,930           |19.8                             

Cookstown        |3,706           |39.7            |3,805           |40.1            |3,870           |39.8            |2,641           |26.7            |2,743           |27.5            |2,644           |26.3                             

Craigavon        |12,302          |46.6            |10,074          |37.7            |9,616           |35.6            |6,730           |24.7            |6,814           |24.9            |6,866           |24.9                             

Downpatrick      |5,196           |28.9            |5,565           |30.4            |5,598           |30.0            |3,746           |19.7            |3,865           |20.0            |3,873           |19.8                             

Dungannon        |5,367           |37.5            |5,634           |38.8            |5,677           |38.6            |3,850           |25.9            |3,963           |26.3            |3,900           |25.7                             

Fermanagh        |6,294           |35.4            |6,612           |36.3            |6,649           |35.8            |4,396           |23.5            |4,519           |23.7            |4,474           |23.3                             

Larne            |3,117           |27.1            |3,287           |28.3            |3,098           |26.4            |2,131           |18.1            |2,186           |18.4            |2,178           |18.3                             

Limavady         |3,134           |38.5            |3,208           |38.5            |3,227           |38.0            |2,116           |24.6            |2,230           |25.7            |2,255           |25.8                             

Lisburn          |10,143          |32.5            |10,278          |32.2            |10,082          |30.9            |7,828           |23.2            |7,792           |22.6            |7,835           |22.6                             

Derry            |12,968          |46.8            |13,035          |46.5            |13,055          |45.8            |10,399          |36.1            |10,672          |36.0            |10,695          |35.7                             

Magherafelt      |4,197           |40.1            |4,284           |40.0            |4,306           |39.8            |2,848           |25.8            |2,891           |25.6            |2,820           |24.8                             

Moyle            |1,940           |37.3            |1,966           |37.0            |1,993           |37.3            |1,392           |25.7            |1,415           |25.7            |1,401           |25.3                             

Newry            |10,591          |41.6            |11,254          |43.4            |11,131          |42.5            |7,787           |29.3            |8,066           |30.0            |8,174           |30.2                             

Newtownabbey     |8,035           |29.8            |8,631           |31.7            |8,193           |29.7            |5,013           |18.0            |5,715           |20.3            |5,703           |20.2                             

North Down       |6,416           |24.5            |6,239           |23.3            |6,166           |22.7            |4,318           |15.7            |4,357           |15.5            |4,352           |15.3                             

Omagh            |5,023           |37.7            |5,088           |37.5            |5,270           |38.0            |3,508           |25.0            |3,546           |25.0            |3,641           |25.5                             

Strabane         |5,007           |45.7            |5,205           |46.8            |5,075           |45.1            |3,644           |31.9            |3,689           |31.9            |3,715           |31.9                             

                 |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------                          

Total            |196,625         |36.2            |197,284         |35.8            |195,593         |35.0            |140,518         |24.8            |142,687         |24.9            |142,507         |24.7                             

Column A-Total number of ratepayers receiving housing benefit.                                                                                                                                                                                

Column B-Ratepayers receiving housing benefit as a percentage of total domestic ratepayers.                                                                                                                                                   

PRIME MINISTER

Engagements

Mr. Stern : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 1 November.

Mr. Rathbone : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 1 November.

The Prime Minister : This morning I attended the Prorogation of Parliament. Later today I shall preside at a meeting of the Cabinet and have meetings with ministerial colleagues and others.

Receptions, Downing Street

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what was the estimated total cost of the reception held at Downing street on 29 October ; how many of these "getting to know you" receptions have been held in the past year ; and how many are proposed for the next 12 months.

The Prime Minister : The estimated cost of the reception is £1,700. During the past year one similar reception was held and one other is planned within the next 12 months.

European Council (Rome)

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list in the Official Report the titles and origins of all papers placed before the European Council at its meeting in Rome on 27 October and place copies of each in the Library.

The Prime Minister : The conclusions of the European Council have been placed in the Library of the House in the usual way. Published documents submitted to the European Council fall within the terms of reference of the Select Committee on European Legislation and are deposited.

Nuclear Test Ban

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received any communications this year from Parliamentarians Global Action, based in New York, on a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

The Prime Minister : I was invited to meet a delegation from Parliamentarians Global Action in November. I am unable to do so, and the delegation will instead be received by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave).

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to address the amendment conference of the 1963


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partial nuclear test ban treaty in New York in January 1991 ; and what information she has on plans by any other Head of Government or state to address the conference.

The Prime Minister : I have no plans to address the partial test ban treaty amendment conference. I am not aware that any other Head of Government or state plans to do so.

Privatisation

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements are in hand for interdepartmental consultations on the appointment of accountancy firms to advise on privatisation.

The Prime Minister : It is for the sponsoring Departments of each privatisation to appoint advisers, which is done on a competitive basis. Her Majesty's Treasury is the co-ordinating Department for privatisations and, as such, provides advice to sponsoring Departments as required.

European Commission

Q24. Mr. Cryer : To ask the Prime Minister when she next expects to pay an official visit to the EEC Commission.

The Prime Minister : I have no plans to visit the European Commission at present. I meet European Commissioners during the regular meetings of the European Council and, at times, in London.

German Fishing

Q224. Dr. Godman : To ask the Prime Minister if, when last she met Chancellor Kohl, and other EC Heads of Government, they discussed the increase in the size of the German fishing fleet, resulting from German unification and the need to persuade German fishermen to move into other areas of the German economy and labour market.

The Prime Minister : The special European Council in Rome on 27 and 28 October did not discuss the specific question of German fishing fleets. But the German authorities have given repeated assurances to the Council of Ministers that they will not seek any adjustments which would affect existing access to Community waters under the common fisheries policy.


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HOUSE OF COMMONS

Written Questions

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Lord President of the Council what has been the total number of written questions tabled in the 1989-90 Session ; what estimate he has for the cost of replying to them ; and what were the comparable figures in the previous Session.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : The total number of written questions tabled in Sessions 1988-89 and 1989-90 are 39,540 and 41,371 respectively. Estimates of the average costs of preparing answers and of printing questions and answers are not prepared on a regular basis ; the latest figures available are £53 and £38 respectively. These would indicate that the total cost of replying to written questions in the current Session is in the order of £3.7 million.

Telephone Facilities

Mr. Dykes : To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his oral answer of 25 June, Official Report, column 18, if he will make a further statement on consideration by the Services Committee of the provision


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of free official telephone communication facilities for hon. Members to the institutions of the European Community in Brussels and elsewhere ; and when he expects the Services Committee study to be concluded with appropriate recommendations.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : The Services Committee is close to reaching conclusions on the provision of free telephone and postal communications with the main European Community institutions. Early in the new Session decisions are expected on these and other aspects of links with the European Community.

I shall arrange for the House to be informed of the Committee's conclusions.

Ministerial Statements

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many ministerial statements were made in the House during the current and each of the previous five Sessions ; and if he will analyse them by Department.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : The information requested is as shown in the table.


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                                            |1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90        

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prime Minister                              |9      |6      |3      |7      |5      |7              

Foreign and Commonwealth Office             |7      |17     |2      |2      |3      |6              

Her Majesty's Treasury                      |6      |6      |1      |6      |1      |1              

Home Office                                 |10     |8      |4      |8      |7      |8              

Ministry of Defence                         |6      |4      |7      |3      |2      |5              

Department of Health and Social Security    |13     |12     |7      |8      |-      |-              

Department of Health                        |-      |-      |-      |0      |5      |2              

Department of Social Security               |-      |-      |-      |1      |3      |4              

Department of Education and Science         |5      |4      |3      |3      |1      |3              

Scottish office                             |7      |8      |4      |9      |7      |3              

Department of Transport                     |6      |6      |2      |5      |11     |3              

Department of Energy                        |5      |0      |1      |4      |2      |3              

Department of the Environment               |5      |7      |3      |2      |3      |2              

Northern Ireland Office                     |1      |2      |1      |6      |4      |2              

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food |4      |4      |2      |2      |6      |5              

Department of Employment                    |5      |7      |3      |2      |3      |2              

Welsh Office                                |4      |4      |1      |5      |2      |2              

Department of Trade and Industry            |8      |11     |5      |17     |7      |5              

Attorney General                            |2      |0      |0      |3      |1      |0              

Minister of the Arts                        |0      |1      |0      |0      |1      |1              

                                                                                                    

TOTAL                                       |105    |109    |52     |98     |76     |66             

Broadcasting

Mr. John Garrett : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many offices in the Palace of Westminster and its outbuildings currently receive a clean feed of proceedings in the House ; and who occupies them.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : As indicated in my reply to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 27 June at columns 232-33, the following offices or rooms within the House and its outbuildings are currently in receipt of a clean television and sound feed from the Chamber : Mr. Speaker's residence ; the office of Mr. Speaker's Secretary ; the office of the Chairman of Ways and Means ; the office of the Supervisor of Broadcasting ; and the Press Gallery (within which some broadcasting organisations have made their own separate arrangements). There are, of course, also monitors in each of the Division Lobbies, though these do not carry sound.

In addition, the Votes and Proceedings Office, occupied by staff of the Department of the Clerk of the House, is


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equipped with a sound-only feed. I regret that this was inadvertently included in my answer of 27 June amongst those offices which receive a television feed.

Private Bills

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list the private Bills and the petitions against private Bills that have been placed before the House since the 1987 general election promoted by the parliamentary agents Sharpe Pritchard, showing the dates on which they were first tabled and their progress within the House.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : The information requested is as follows : Petitions for Private Bills deposited on or before 27th November 1987 (Agent : Sharpe, Pritchard & Co.)

1. Birmingham City Council

2. Brighton and Preston Cemetery


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3. Cardiff Bay Barrage

4. Hampstead Radio Station

5. London Local Authorities

6. Northampton

Petitions for Private Bills deposited on or before 25th November 1988 (Agent : Sharpe, Pritchard & Co.)

1. Penzance Albert Pier Extension

2. British Film Institute South Bank

3. Bromley London Borough Council (Crystal Palace)

4. Buckinghamshire County Council

5. London Local Authorities (No. 2)

6. Queen Mary and Westfield College

7. Wesleyan Assurance Society

8. Nottingham Park Estate

9. Cardiff Bay Barrage

10. Hayle Harbour

11. Redbridge London Borough Council

12. Birmingham City Council (Miscellaneous Provisions)

13. Birmingham City Council (No. 2)

14. Hythe, Kent, Marina (joint promotion with Sherwood & Co.) 15. Hythe Marina Village (Southampton) Wavescreen

16. Isle of Wight

17. Kingston upon Hull City Council

Petitions for Private Bills deposited on or before 27th November 1989 (Agent : Sharpe, Pritchard & Co.)

1. Cattewater Reclamation

2. Humberside County Council

3. Hythe, Kent, Marina (joint promotion with Sherwood & Co.) 4. London Local Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions)

5. Penzance South Pier Extension

6. Ventnor Harbour

Petitions Against Bills deposited on or before 30th January 1988 (Agent : Sharpe, Pritchard & Co.)

1. Calor Gas Limited

2. Conoco Limited

3. Doncaster Borough Council

4. Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Limited and Associated Petroleum Terminals (Immingham) Limited

5. City of Wakefield District Council

6. Kenneth Tynsley Hadfield

7. Falmouth Container Terminal Action Group, and others 8. North East Derbyshire District Council

9. City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

10. Doncaster Borough Council

11. St. George's Hill Golf Club Limited

Petitions Against Bills deposited on or before 30th January 1989 (Agent : Sharpe, Pritchard & Co.)

1. Brook Street Bureau plc

2. Noel Employment Ltd.

3. Blue Circle Industries plc

4. Northumberland County Council

5. Runnymede Borough Council

Petitions Against Bills deposited on or before 30th January 1990 (Agent : Sharpe, Pritchard & Co.)

1. Exeter City Council

2. Wetherby Limited

3. Associated Newspapers plc

4. Delta, plc, Delta Repetition Components Limited, K. W. B. Controls Limited and Delta Electrical Systems Limited

5. C. I. Property Investments Limited

6. The Trustees of the Army & Navy Club

7. Goddard & Smith

8. County Hall Development Group plc

9. Caphold Limited, O. G. M., Belt Mountains B. V., O. G.


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