Home Page

Column 85

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 13 November 1990


Prisoners (Letters)

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of letters that an inmate in prisons in England and Wales is allowed to send out per week if the inmate pays for the postage of his or her letter.

Mrs. Rumbold : The minimum entitlement of letters that a convicted inmate may send out at his or her own expense is one per week--two in the case of young offenders. However, inmates at establishments where only a random sample of correspondence is read are usually able to send out more letters than the minimum entitlement. Inmates at establishments where there is no routine reading of correspondence may send as many letters as they like. Unconvicted inmates may pay for and send as many letters as they wish.

Disabled People (Access)

Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that cinema regulations are drafted to ensure that people with guide dogs, and wheelchair users, can be admitted to any performances.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations 1955 do not prohibit access by people with guide dogs or wheelchairs. They provide that invalids may be permitted, notwithstanding other requirements of the regulations, with the consent of and subject to any conditions imposed by the licensing authority. Practical guidance on the accommodation of wheelchair users is contained in the Home Department's booklet "Recommendations on Safety in Cinemas" which was published in 1955. It is for cinema proprietors to make appropriate arrangements for wheelchair users in consultation with the licensing authority. In new buildings such access must be provided, but whether wheelchair users can in practice be given access and accommodated in existing buildings may well depend on the design and structure of the building.

Prisons (Visitors Centres)

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the amount of money allocated and paid by his Department to visitors centres in prisons in England and Wales in each of the last three years ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold : The amounts allocated and paid towards running costs by the Department to visitors' centres at prisons in England and Wales are shown in the table :

Column 86

Financial |£                  



1987-88   |12,000             

1988-89   |12,000             

1989-90   |49,000             

In the current financial year, 1990-91, grants totalling £103,000 will be paid.

Boundary Commission

Mr. Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the programme for the Boundaries Commission's examination of parliamentary constituencies, with particular reference to Kent.

Mrs. Rumbold : The Boundary Commission for England intends to start its general review of constituencies early in 1991. It will become clearer as the review proceeds when it will look at any particular area. The commission is required to report between 1993 and 1998.

Rwakitangam Turyamureeba

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Rwakitangam Turyamureeba, a citizen of Uganda, has been held in detention since 17 May ; and when a decision will be reached on his application for political asylum.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Mr. Turyamureeba has been detained because the immigration officer, having considered all the circumstances, could not be satisfied that he would comply with the terms of any temporary admission granted. It is expected that a final decision will be reached shortly.

Malicious Communications

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list all cases of prosecutions brought since 1988 under the Malicious Communications Act ; what was the nature of the offence in each case ; and what was the outcome of those prosecutions.

Mr. John Patten : In England and Wales in 1988 there were three prosecutions under the Malicious Communications Act 1988. Of these, two were convicted ; one fined and the other sentenced to immediate custody. Information is not collected centrally on the nature of the offence. Data for 1989 are not yet available.

Football Matches

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department plans to issue a circular to police authorities advising them on whether to make a full economic charge for officers engaged at football matches ; what factors are taken into account in assessing the full economic cost ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have consulted the football authorities, the local authority associations and police representative bodies on the terms of a Home Office circular advising police authorities to recover as far as practicable the full cost of providing police officers inside football grounds. We are now considering the comments made on the draft and hope to issue the circular as soon as practicable.

Column 87

Race Relations

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total Government expenditure on funding under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 for 1989-90 and 1990-91, itemised by borough and identifying for each borough the amount of education expenditure for those financial years.

Mrs. Rumbold : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) on 23 October at columns 126-28 for the amount of grant paid to each borough in 1989-90, under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966.

The figures for grant to be paid in 1990-91 are not yet available. Precise figures for the proportion of grant paid for education expenditure to each authority are not available, but it is estimated that education provision accounts for approximately 80 per cent. of total grant.

Plant Theft

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress that has been made by the working party on plant theft.

Mr. John Patten [holding answer 12 November 1990] : The working party agreed proposals announced in September 1989 for a voluntary scheme to combat theft by manufacturers marking new plant with a 17-digit identifying number and issuing plant identity documents. The working party is giving further consideration to means of promoting implementation of the scheme nationally and internationally.


Mr. Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a table showing in descending order of size the electorate of each parliamentary constituency, based on the 1990 register.

Mr. Dorrell : I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is published in "Electoral Statistics 1990"-- Series EL no 17--a copy of which is

Column 88

available in the Library. Table 1.3 lists, in order, the 20 parliamentary constituencies with the largest and smallest electorates in 1990 and table 1.4 shows the 1990 rank order of each constituency in the United Kingdom.


Housing Law

Mr. Evennett : To ask the Attorney-General whether the Lord Chancellor has any plans to introduce legislation to provide procedures for the resolution of housing law cases by means of arbitration or other alternative forms of dispute resolution ; and if he will make a statement.

The Solicitor-General : As part of his five year programme for the implementation of the civil justice review, my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor intends to introduce a new housing action based on the informal arbitration procedure used in small claims cases in the county courts. The precise scope and form of the new procedure, which will not be introduced before 1992, will depend on the results of prior consultation.

Anti-Semitic Literature

Mr. Janner : To ask the Attorney-General whether he will list all cases of prosecutions brought by the Crown prosecution service since 1986, under the Public Order Acts, in respect of the distribution of anti-Semitic literature ; what month and year and in which courts the cases were heard ; and what was the outcome of those prosecutions.

The Attorney-General : Fifteen prosecutions for incitement to racial hatred have been brought under section 5A of the Public Order Act 1936, or under part III of the Public Order Act 1986, in 1986 and subsequent years. Of these, 11 prosecutions included allegations that anti-Jewish material had been published or distributed. Proceedings have been begun, but not concluded, in a further case ; this too involves an allegation that anti- Jewish material has been distributed. The details of prosecutions that have been concluded are as follows :

Column 87


J. Kinnon                        |March 1986                |Dudley Crown Court        |Convicted                                            


R. Trehane<1>                                                                          |Convicted                                            

D. Cullingford<1>                                                                      |Convicted                                            

R. Bearsford-Walker<1>           |March 1986                |Bodmin Crown Court        |Convicted                                            

L. Bearsford-Walker<1>                                                                 |Convicted                                            

K. Rowe<1>                                                                             |Convicted                                            

S. Knight<1>                                                                           |Convicted                                            


A. Shotton<1>                    |April 1986                |Maidstone Crown Court     |Acquitted                                            

A. Waite<1>                                                                            |Acquitted                                            


D. Owens<1>                      |May 1986                  |Leeds Crown Court         |Convicted                                            


J. Tyndall<1>                    |July 1986                 |Southwark Crown Court     |Convicted                                            

J. Morse<1>                                                                            |Convicted                                            


M. Atkinson                      |May 1988                  |Chertsey Magistrates Court|Convicted                                            


J. Kinnon                        |August 1988               |Dudley Crown Court        |Convicted                                            


J. Kinnon                        |February 1990             |Dudley Crown Court        |Bound over                                           

<1> Denotes a prosecution involving an allegation that anti-Jewish material was published or distributed.                                    

Column 89



Miss Widdecombe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to issue the code of practice on litter and refuse foreshadowed in part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has today laid before Parliament the statutory code of practice on litter and refuse envisaged in section 89(7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. A copy is being sent to all local authorities and other interested bodies.

Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act underpins the Government's drive to tackle the serious problem of litter, which scars our towns and our countryside. The Act places a duty on local authorities and certain other bodies throughout Great Britain to keep land clear of litter and refuse. We intend that the duty will apply to local authorities and the Crown from 1 April 1991 ; there will be certain transitional provisions in relation to authorities who have already let street cleaning contracts under the Local Government Act 1988. We will shortly be making an announcement about the other bodies to whom we propose that the duty should apply.

The Act also increases the maximum fine for littering from £400 to £1,000 and gives powers to local authorities to introduce fixed penalty schemes, to designate litter control areas and to issue street litter control notices.

The code of practice is another important part of our war against litter. It is designed to give practical guidance to local authorities and other bodies who will be covered by the litter duty. It was drawn up with the help of an advisory group containing experts from local authorities and other organisations.

The code breaks new ground in its approach to litter clearance. For the first time, it sets out standards of cleanliness which should be achievable in different types of location under different circumstances. This should help to establish common standards of cleanliness throughout Britain ; and will make it possible for an organisation under the litter duty to assess its performance. The code also concentrates on how clean land is rather than how often it is cleaned. This should change the approach taken by many authorities up till now. The emphasis will no longer be on sweeping frequencies but on targeting litter blackspots while reducing sweeping frequencies in areas which all but escape litter. The motto is "If it isn't dirty, don't clean it".

I know that the Government's determination to deal with litter is shared by members of the public and by local authorities up and down the country. The code which we have published today should help to translate that determination into results.


Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those local authorities which will benefit from the increase in support granted to assist tourist areas.

Mr. Key : The proposed increase in the weight given to the tourist element in the 1991-92 standard spending assessment formula benefits the following local authorities.

Column 90






















City of London





Derbyshire Dales




East Devon

East Hampshire

East Lindsey

East Sussex

East Yorkshire





Great Yarmouth








High Peak





Isle of Wight

Isles of Scilly


Kensington and Chelsea


King's Lynn and West Norfolk











Malvern Hills




Mole Valley

New Forest


North Bedfordshire

North Cornwall

North Devon

North Dorset

North Hertfordshire

Next Section

  Home Page