Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total cost of the work of his Department's animal procedures inspectorate in 1990 ; and if he will break this total cost down into salaries for inspectors, salaries for support staff, administrative costs and other specified costs, respectively.
Mrs. Rumbold : The total cost of the Home Office animals (scientific procedures) inspectorate for 1990-91 was over £1.5 million. Salary costs for inspectors and support staff were some £842,000 and £295,000 respectively. Travelling and subsistence costs for inspectors amounted to some £100,000 and accommodation and other costs including computing were some £309,000.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the EC Ministerial Council meetings at which his Department has or will be represented during November and December.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : The Home Office was represented at the meeting of the Justice Council on 13 November in Brussels, and will be represented at the Trevi/immigration ministerial meeting at The Hague on 2 and 3 December.
Mr. Forman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (i) the number of visits made by officials in his Department during the past month to destinations outside the United Kingdom but within the European Community on official business related to the European Community, (ii) the number of visits made by officials in his Department to Brussels within the past month on official business related to the European Community and (iii) the number of nights spent by officials in his Department over the past month away from the United Kingdom on official European Community business.
(i) 51 visits were made by officials to destinations outside the United Kingdom but within the European Community ;
(ii) 29 visits were made by officials to Brussels ;
(iii) 76 nights were spent by officials away from the United Kingdom.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the level of grant paid for magistrates courts in the London borough of Barnet in each of the last four years ; and what level of grant he intends to pay in 1992-93.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : Magistrates courts expenditure is supported by grant at the rate of 80 per cent. The grant paid in 1988-89 to 1990-91, and expected to be paid in 1991-92, in respect of expenditure by the Barnet magistrates courts committee is as follows :
|£ --------------------------------------- <1>1988-89 |892,200 <1>1989-90 |978,190 <2>1990-91 |2,057,506 <2>1991-92 |<3>1,850,338 <1>Grant paid on revenue expenditure, revenue contributions to capital, and capital financing costs. <2>Grant paid on revenue and approved capital expenditure, and on loan charges relating to pre-1990-91 capital expenditure. <3>Estimated outturn.
We will shortly be notifying magistrates courts committees of the cash limit on grant payable in respect of their 1992-93 revenue expenditure. I shall then write to the hon. Member. The allocation of approved capital expenditure which will attract 80 per cent. grant will be notified subsequently.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to provide for a licensing scheme to enable persons aged 17 years or more to purchase and use crossbows under safe conditions to prevent so far as reasonably practicable injury to persons and animals ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Government have no plans to do so. There is no firm evidence to suggest that the level of crossbow misuse is widespread and increasing, or that existing legislation is not adequate to deal with the misuse which does take place. A system of licensing crossbows would be expensive to administer and would divert police resources away from other operational tasks. The Government are not persuaded, therefore, that licensing crossbows--which are used by many responsible people for legitimate sporting and recreational purposes--could be justified.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how often the suicide risk of young people held in young offenders institutions is reviewed ; and whether it is reassessed after major events such as the death of a relative.
Mrs. Rumbold : Every prisoner is assessed for suicide risk upon reception into a young offender institution. The doctor decides at that time the appropriate immediate action and whether the prisoner should be recalled for further assessment, or for regular review. If at any time during the period in custody, a prisoner shows signs of possible suicide risk, he or she will be referred by staff to a medical officer for reassessment.
Where events likely to cause distress to a prisoner come to the attention of staff, the prisoner's behaviour and general demeanour will be monitored particularly carefully and, where necessary, additional care and support will be provided. If there is any concern about a possible suicide attempt, the prisoner will be referred to a doctor for further assessment.
Column 565Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any classification is made by staff at young offender institutions between suicide threats they consider genuine and those they consider have another motive.
Mrs. Rumbold : There is no formal system of classifying threats of suicide by prisoners. It is difficult in practice to distinguish the level of intent in a prisoner's mind. All threats, therefore, must be and are taken seriously by prison staff. Not all prisoners who threaten suicide or who commit an act of self harm will necessarily be determined to kill themselves. But such behaviour, even where not suicidal, will normally be the expression of emotional problems which need to be addressed as soon as possible lest they develop into a more serious crisis.
Staff are encouraged to assess where problems may exist and to provide help and support to enable the prisoner to resolve them if at all possible.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total estimated cost of private visits undertaken by him, other Ministers, and officials and specialist advisers, in an official capacity during the current financial year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to support the provisions of the data protection directive affecting political canvassers' powers to ask members of the public about their voting intentions.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government are seeking to remove or mitigate the effects of the requirements in the draft directive which go beyond United Kingdom law and might hamper canvassing of voting intentions.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government are aware of concerns among various organisations about the likely effects of the draft directive on direct mailing. In discussion with other member states, it is seeking to ensure that the notification and consent provisions are modified in such a way as to avoid unreasonable restrictions.
Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to support the provisions of the data protection directive which would prevent airline tickets being issued across the boundaries of member states of the European Community.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government are seeking modification of provisions of the draft data protection directive which might inhibit the normal and legitimate ticketing of airline travel from a member state across the external frontier of the Community.
Column 566respect of negotiations on proposed EC directives with respect to (a) protection of the freedom of the individual and (b) protection of freedom of the press.
Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to support those elements of the data protection directive which involve controls over the use of personal data such as names and addresses.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government are seeking to remove or mitigate the effects of provisions in the draft data protection directive which go beyond the controls which United Kingdom law already imposes on the use of computerised personal data, including names and addresses.
Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to support controls on the use of credit cards outside the European Community under the data protection directive.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government are seeking modification of provisions in the draft data protection directive which might inhibit the normal and legitimate use of credit cards by European Community nationals in third countries.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government are seeking to remove or mitigate the effects of the requirements in the draft directive which go beyond United Kingdom law and might hamper the activities of public opinion pollsters.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : On 9 October I announced that there would be up to 1,000 additional police posts for 1992-93. I have today approved allocations for 937 police posts. In addition, 63 police posts will be freed for operational duties as a result of the contracting out of prisoner escorts next year. I have allocated 807 additional posts to provincial forces ; the allocation is shown in the following table. The increases are effective from 1 April 1992, subject to confirmation by police authorities that they are willing to fund their share of the cost of these posts, where this has not already been given.
I have also set aside 30 posts for allocation to regional crime squads. Of these, 22 have been allocated to the No. 9 regional crime squad which covers the Metropolitan police district. I shall await the advice of Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary before I decide on allocations to the provincial regional crime squads. I can also approve up to 100 posts where I am satisfied that the full cost would be reimbursed by a third party, as in the case of some airports.
Applications from police authorities for increases in establishments have exceeded the number of posts
Column 567available for allocation and I have therefore had to set priorities taking into account advice from Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary. Because I have had to target the increases on the forces which I judge to be in the greatest need, some forces have not had their applications for increases in establishment approved. Over 80 per cent. of the posts will be deployed on operational duties identified by chief constables, mainly at constable level. I have also allocated 30 extra posts to provincial police forces for 1991-92. These posts have been reallocated from provisions originally made for regional crime squads. Details of these allocations are also given in the table. These increases will have immediate effect.
In addition to police costs, provision has been made for more than 1,100 additional civilian staff posts to help forces release more police officers for operational duties through civilianisation. Provincial police authorities identified scope in their applications for 1992-93 for the release of some 400 additional police officers to operational duties through civilianisation. In addition the Metropolitan police plans to increase operational strength by 200 through civilianisation.
The full effect of the additional posts together with civilianisation could therefore be to increase operational strength by over 1,500 in 1992-93.
Force |Increase |approved 1992-93 applications approved Avon and Somerset |2 Bedfordshire |61 Cambridgeshire |10 Cheshire |20 Cumbria |4 Derbyshire |25 Devon and Cornwall |48 Dorset |15 Dyfed-Powys |25 Essex |58 Gloucestershire |1 Greater Manchester |20 Gwent |1 Hampshire |67 Hertfordshire |4 Humberside |9 Kent |42 Lancashire |4 Leicestershire |26 Norfolk |25 North Wales |17 North Yorkshire |4 Northamptonshire |23 Northumbria |27 South Yorkshire |15 Staffordshire |4 Suffolk |17 Surrey |3 Sussex |32 Thames Valley |87 Warwickshire |4 West Mercia |29 West Midlands |11 Wiltshire |67 |------- Total |807 Additional allocations for 1991-92 Cambridgeshire |6 Derbyshire |5 Greater Manchester |7 Kent |6 Northamptonshire |6 |------- Total |30 Applications not approved Durham Merseyside South Wales West Yorkshire
Mr. Mills : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the situation as regards the enforcement of heavy goods vehicle taxation under the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988 concerning those operators involved in drain cleansing, the standards required for drivers and the recent court judgment in Swansea ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chope : The licensing and regulation of large goods vehicles (LGVs) is governed by the Vehicle (Excise) Act 1971. Classification depends upon the construction of the vehicle and its use on the public road. The taxation requirements for LGVs are vigorously enforced.
The classification of vehicles in the drain/sewer cleansing industry is complex. The issue is complicated by the requirement for some vehicles to meet the Plating and Testing Regulations 1988. A recent court judgment has cast doubt on the Department's interpretation of the law in respect of the plating and testing regulations applicable to drain/sewer cleansing vehicles. The Department is considering whether to lodge an appeal.
Mr. Freeman : Local authorities have powers to assist with the development of community transport projects. In addition, the Department of Transport grant-aids such projects in rural areas through the rural transport development fund administered by the Rural Development Commission.
Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, further to his answer of 18 November, Official Report, column 10 , what is his definition of "temporarily imported" for vehicles registered in other EC states, in so
Column 569far as such vehicles qualify for exemption from United Kingdom vehicle excise duty ; and what steps are being taken to check that avoidance of due taxation is not taking place by coaches registered in the Republic of Ireland but operating full time in Britain.
Mr. Chope : A coach is held to be temporarily imported for these purposes if it is exported from the United Kingdom on completion of its journey, or otherwise, normally within three months of its entering the United Kingdom. Vehicle excise duty on a typical 50-seater coach is £207 in Ireland and £300 in the United Kingdom. I shall be pleased to consider any evidence which my hon. Friend has that existing regulations are being abused.
Mr. Chope : Because the red route pilot scheme is being used as a demonstration project the Department has agreed to meet the full cost of associated measures on local roads. We expect to pay about £0.6 million for traffic calming and £1.2 million for entry treatment.
Mr. Chope : I have received several representations about the red route pilot scheme. Some have been supportive, others less so. Many have concentrated on specific aspects of the scheme and have resulted in modifications being made.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations he has received from the West Yorkshire passenger transport authority regarding the need to make a decision on the contract for rolling stock for the Leeds-Bradford electrification ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the financing of the rolling stock for use on the electrified railway between Bradford and Leeds and the Aire Valley railway.
Column 570SouthEast rolling stock, track availability and services on the London-Brighton, London-Lewes and London-Newhaven- Seaford lines.
Mr. Chope : A number of automatic cameras are already in use in various parts of the country to detect violations of red traffic lights at junctions. Section 23 of the Road Traffic Act 1991 will allow information recorded by such devices, if type approved, to be used as evidence in court proceedings. It also makes similar provision for speed-detector cameras.
Mr. Chope : The Department has been consulting the local authority associations on the issue of guidance on the deployment of automatic cameras at traffic light-controlled junctions, and also for the detection of speeding offences.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has undertaken of passenger numbers on bus services following deregulation in (a) Greater London and (b) Metropolitan districts outside London.
Outside London, over the five-year period bus patronage declined at an average rate of 4 per cent. per year (19 per cent. in total) broadly in line with long-term trends since the 1960s. In the Metropolitan areas the overall decline was some 26 per cent., the bulk of which occurred in 1986- 87 reflecting the changes in the subsidy regime from the previous low fare/high subsidy policies and the substantial reorganisation of services which occurred around the time of deregulation.
Mr. Freeman : In 1990-91 capital investment by British Rail (£834 million) and by London Underground (£442 million) totalled £1,276 million. This represented some 0.23 per cent. of gross national product.
Mr. Freeman : In my reply to the hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Wolfson) on 27 February 1991, Official Report, column 507, I said that before deciding on the committee's recommendations we would like to have the views of railway operators and other interested parties. We have now considered the views received and have come to the following decisions on the committee's main recommendations. Our aim has been as far as possible to achieve equity in the noise insulation standards applying to new roads and new railways. But as was evident from the committee's report, this is a field in which there is room for different opinions.
We accept the committee's view (recommendation 1 in the report) that those responsible for new railway lines should take all reasonably practicable steps to reduce noise in the corridor along the line, provided that they are cost effective.
We accept that there should be a night-time noise insulation standard for noise from new railways as well as a day-time standard (recommendations 2, 3 and 4). We have decided that, in line with the existing noise insultation standard for new roads, day time should be defined as 0600 to midnight, and that the levels should be 68 dBAfor day and 63 dBAfor night. 68 dBAis a straight conversion from the 24-hour level recommended by the committee. In the case of the night-time standard, both British Rail and the transport and road research laboratory have carried out analyses of more sets of road noise data than were available to the committee. Our decision that the night-time standard noise for railways should be 63 dBAreflects the outcome of those later analyses.
We accept in principle that the detailed operation of the noise insulation standards for new railways should follow as closely as possible the system already provided in the Noise Insulation Regulations 1973 (as amended) in the case of new roads
(recommendations 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11).
The committee identified a number of other items that would need to be specified in any regulations (recommendations 9, 10, 12 and 13). We shall consider these recommendations when drawing up regulations to give effect to the noise insulation standards. In drafting the regulations and an associated technical memorandum, the Department will seek the technical assistance of Dr. Mitchell and some of the members of his committee and of representatives of the railway operators. We shall also ask this group to consider further whether it would be appropriate and practicable to include a maximum pass-by noise standard in the regulations (recommendation 15), though it would go beyond strict equity with the current statutory position relating to noise from new roads.
We accept recommendation 14 (that any future change in the noise level for the insulation of houses near new roads should be matched by a corresponding change for houses near new railways). We hope to commission next year a review of the data from road noise surveys to see whether there is any evidence of a shift in social attitudes towards road traffic noise. If such evidence emerges, we will consider the need for a large-scale study to determine
Column 572whether there is a case for revising the noise insulation standard for new roads. We also accept in principle that when a new railway line is opened the opportunity should be taken to obtain evidence of the response to noise from new railway lines (recommendation 17). In the light of the evidence from the various studies, it may be appropriate in due course to review the relationship between the standard for new roads and those for new railways.
We are considering the implications of bringing some non-domestic buildings within the scope of the road noise insulation regulations ; any change will be reflected in the regulations for railways (recommendation 16).
We shall consult on a draft of the regulations before they are made.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will (a) give his Department's actual spend in 1990-91 and planned spend in 1991-92 and 1992-93 on science and technology, (b) break down this total spend by programme and (c) distinguish between capital and revenue expenditures.
Science and Technology £m |1990-91 |1991-92 |1992-93 |actual |provision |provisional |plans -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Innovation (Industrial R & D) |82.2 |103.2 |100.0 Innovation (Other) |2.9 |1.4 |3.7 Aeronautics |26.1 |25.5 |26.1 Launch Aid |89.9 |-7.7 |-26.1 Space |88.9 |96.1 |95.2 Statutory Regulatory and Policy Support |48.1 |51.1 |55.9 Other (including Business Development, Design and Education and Training |63.3 |52.2 |47.2 |--- |--- |--- Total |401.5 |322.0 |302.0 Total (excluding Launch Aid) |311.6 |329.7 |328.1
It is not possible to distinguish between capital and other expenditure within the totals.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 6 November, Official Report, column 126, if he will state in full the reasons he decided not to ask the European Commission for the suspension of free circulation of imported footwear from China.
Mr. Renton : Since my announcement on 19 November at column 123, I am pleased to inform the House of the acceptance of a Bugatti motor car and two vintage motor cycles in lieu of £153,000 tax. No decision has been taken on the allocation of these vehicles but the allocation of three offers previously accepted in lieu of tax has been decided. A watercolour by Rex Whistler entitled "Britannia visits the London Museum" will be allocated to the Museum of London, a portrait of Lady Ottoline Morrell by Augustus John will go to the National Portrait gallery and a collection of papers by George Bellas Greenough will go to University college London.
Mr. Carrington : To ask the Minister for the Arts what plans he has to ensure that there is no repetition of the problems for arts organisations caused by the London boroughs grants scheme this year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : The inability of the London boroughs grants scheme to set a budget until well after the start of the current financial year caused havoc for its arts clients. I have listened to the many representations made to me and I am determined that there should be no repetition in future years. I understand that the process of setting a budget for 1992-93 is well in hand. I shall watch developments carefully and I shall remain ready to reconsider if necessary whether the funding arrangements in London are appropriate.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Attorney-General how many cases were in court or under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office at (a) 1 April 1990, (b) 1 October 1990, (c) 1 April 1991 and (d) 1 October 1991 respectively ; and how many lawyers and investigative staff were employed by the office at each date, distinguishing between those employed permanently and those employed temporarily.
|Under |At |investigation|court --------------------------------------------------------- 1 April 1990 |32 |29 1 October 1990 |27 |40 1 April 1991 |19 |37 1 October 1991 |15 |42
Cases under investigation are those where a decision whether or not to institute criminal proceedings has not yet been taken. Cases in court are those in which proceedings have commenced whether or not the proceedings were at the final court of trial. The figure of 50 cases given on Monday, 14 October 1991, in answer to a question from the hon. Member at column 36 is consistent with, but calculated on a different basis from, the figures here reported. The figure of 57 cases for October 1991 counts separate transfers or committals resulting from a common investigation as separate cases, whereas the figure of 50 does not.
The number of permanent staff employed as lawyers and investigative accountants at these dates were as follows :
Lawyers Investigative accountants
1 April 1990 18 14
1 October 1990 19 16
1 April 1991 19 16
1 October 1991 19 19
The number of temporary staff in these categories was three lawyers and nine investigative accountants at 1 October 1991 and two lawyers and 10 accountants at 1 April 1991. The figures for 1990 are not available. These figures exclude the use of counsel and staff from private sector accountancy firms engaged to work on individual cases.