Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the increases in the powers of the European Parliament embodied in the treaty of European unity signed at Maastricht and specify the consequential restrictions on the powers of (a) the Commission, (b) the Council of Ministers and (c) national parliaments.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The treaty on European union increases the role of the European Parliament in a range of ways, both legislative and non- legislative. In some cases these are new. In others, they are extensions of existing procedures to new articles.
All of these provisions are clearly set out in the treaty on European union. Together they represent no basic change in the existing institutional structure. The Parliament will have greater powers to scrutinise the Commission, but the Council of Ministers will remain the ultimate decision-making body in the Community and its members will remain accountable to their national parliaments.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which European Community Governments make state contributions to the European Movement in their countries ; and if he will list these and the amounts.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Government phased out direct funding to the British council of the European Movement in 1985. Where possible, we continue to support its work through other means. We have no information about Government funding to the European Movement in other Community member states.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many students studying English at Polish universities were refused visas to visit the United Kingdom in the past 12 months ; and what reason there was for each refusal.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : A total of 44,684 visas were issued at Warsaw in 1991 ; 2,642 applications were refused. Of those applications refused, 1,269 were from persons under 25 requesting a visa for a single entry into the United Kingdom. Statistics are not readily available to provide the further information requested.
Column 54average waiting time for Polish citizens waiting at the British consulate for interview on their application for a visa for admission to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Provided that all supporting documentary evidence is available, a personal applicant for an entry clearance at Warsaw would currently be interviewed, if necessary, on the same day as the embassy receives the application.
Mr. Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what competences, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, Mr. Delors, on behalf of the European Commission, has announced that he is ready to renounce.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the annual leave entitlement of each of the governors of the remaining colonies ; how many home leave journeys are allowed each year ; and what is the annual cost.
Mr. Goodlad : Those governors on diplomatic service terms are entitled to 42 days annual leave plus 14 days local leave, which must be taken at post. The governors of Montserrat, St. Helena and Turks and Caicos are entitled to 35 days plus seven days local leave. Entitlements to leave passages to the United Kingdom, and current costs, including costs for spouses, are as follows :
|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------- Anguilla: Mid-tour leave after 18 months |3,190 One recreational journey in three complete years of service |1,528 BVI: Mid-tour leave after 18 months |1,601 One recreational journey in three years |690 Falkland Islands: Mid-tour leave after one year |RAF One recreational journey in three years |flights Montserrat: Mid-tour leave after one year |1,610 One recreational journey in three years |784 St. Helena: Mid-tour leave after one year |5,108 One recreational journey in three years |3,150 Turks and Caicos: Mid-tour leave after one year |5,128 One recreational journey in three years |1,068
Average costs over one year are £11,901.
Leave entitlements and passages for governors of Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Hong Kong are met by their respective Governments. Leave entitlement and the cost of passages for the governor of Gibraltar are the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Goodlad : Of the 15 dependent territories there are resident governors in only ten. The upkeep of their residences is the responsibility of each territory's Government, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does on occasions assist with these expenditures. As a result, the overseas estate department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has, during the 1991-92 financial year, financed running costs in three of these : Anguilla --£30,000 ; Grand Turk--£6, 000 ; and Montserrat--£40,000.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the current salary and (b) the proposed salary for the next financial year for the governors of the remaining British colonies.
Mr. Goodlad : The governors of Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are diplomatic service grade 4 officers--salary scale £37,928 to £42,870. The governor of the Falkland Islands is a senior grade diplomatic service officer--salary point 5, £51,300. The governors of Montserrat, St. Helena and Turks and Caicos are paid a partial salary by their respective Governments and their salary is "topped up", to the mean of the DS4 scale--£40,399--by Her Majesty's Government. Current topping up costs are £13,368, £14,040, and £22,860 respectively. The governors of Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Hong Kong are paid entirely by their respective Governments and there are no salary costs falling to Her Majesty's Government. The
governors/commissioners of the British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Pitcairn Henderson Ducie and Oeno Islands, and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands are non-resident and there are no direct salary costs. The governor of Gibraltar is paid by the Ministry of Defence.
Salary costs for the next financial year are dependent on salary increase settlements for the civil service, which will be negotiated in due course.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what official travelling arrangements by means of ship, plane or car are provided for each of the governors of the remaining colonies ; and what is the annual cost for each governorship.
Place |Transport |Cost -------------------------------------------------------------- Falkland Islands: |Land-Rover |£16,000 Turks and Caicos Islands: |Taxi |£15,700 Montserrat: |Range Rover|£21,500 Anguilla: |Range Rover|£24,400
Other costs are met by the Governments of the respective dependent territories.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to support the call by European Community Commissioner Ripa di Meana that European
Column 56Community financial and technical assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States should be dependent on the shut- down of certain nuclear reactors.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Her Majesty's Government strongly support international efforts to improve the safety of nuclear power installation in eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. We recognise, however, that the unconditional closure of nuclear power stations is not a feasible option until practical alternative supplies of energy exist.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce the names of Her Majesty's Government's delegates to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : The Prime Minister has already announced his intention to attend part of the Earth summit. I also propose to attend part of the summit, as do my hon. Friends the Under-Secretary of State responsible for overseas development and the Minister for the Environment and Countryside. Officials from the Departments most closely involved will also be included in the delegation. Her Majesty's Government have offered around 12 places as observers on the delegation to environment and development groups, local government, business and trade unions, the scientific community and youth.
Mr. Baldry : In 1991-92, the Housing Corporation's approved development programme produced an estimated 27,100 housing association homes available for occupation--2,000 more than its original target. Final figures are expected towards the end of May. The corporation's target for 1992-93 is 43,400 homes.
Mr. Baldry : Rents to mortgages--RTM--will provide a valuable new low-risk route into owner-occupation, by allowing tenants to use the money they would otherwise have paid as rent to service a mortgage which gives them a stake in their own homes. At present the English pilot scheme for RTM is available only to new town tenants in Basildon, but we will legislate to extend it to local authority tenants.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the reports published by the Local Government Boundary Commission regarding the boundaries of London boroughs including the dates of
Column 58publication of first and further draft proposals, the dates by which comments were to be received and the dates of publication of final reports.
Timetables of published local government boundary commission reports on the London boroughs Published reports |Report |Date of first draft|Date by which |Date of further |Date by which |Date of publication |number |proposals |comments were to |draft proposals |comments were to |of final report |be received |be received ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Barnet-boundaries with |594 |11 July 1988 |12 September 1988 |- |- |25 January 1991 Harrow and Hertsmere Bexley-boundaries with |598 |11 July 1988 |12 September 1988 |- |- |28 February 1991 Barking and Dagenham, Thurrock and Dartford Bromley-boundaries with |620 |29 May 1989 |24 July 1989 |20 March 1991 |15 May 1991 |26 February 1992 Bexley, Tandridge, Sevenoaks and part of Bexley's boundary with Dartford City of London-boundaries |636 |5 March 1990 |1 May 1990 |17 May 1991 |12 July 1991 |23 April 1992 with City of Westminster, Camden, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark and Tower Hamlets Croydon-boundaries with |615 |23 January 1989 |20 March 1989 |20 March 1991 |15 May 1991 |22 November 1991 Bromley, Reigate and Banstead and Tandridge Croydon-boundary with |623 |21 June 1991 |16 August 1991 |- |- |12 February 1992 Lambeth Crystal Palace Area- |632 |19 August 1991 |14 October 1991 |- |- |22 April 1992 boundaries of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark Greenwich-boundaries with |622 |1 October 1990 |10 December 1990 |2 August 1991 |27 September 1991 |31 January 1992 Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Newham and Tower Hamlets Harrow-boundaries with |610 |23 October 1989 |18 December 1989 |- |- |4 October 1991 Ealing, Hillingdon, Hertsmere and Three Rivers Islington-boundaries with |638 |11 June 1990 |6 August 1990 |15 May 1991 |12 June 1991 |22 April 1992 Camden, Hackney and Haringey Lambeth-boundary with |624 |30 April 1991 |25 June 1991 |- |- |19 February 1992 Southwark Southwark-boundaries with |637 |20 March 1991 |15 May 1991 |4 December 1991 |12 February 1992 |29 April 1992 Lewisham and Tower Hamlets Tower Hamlets-boundary |634 |12 April 1991 |7 June 1991 |- |- |13 April 1992 with Hackney Waltham Forest- |618 |19 September 1988 |14 November 1988 |26 April 1991 |21 June 1991 |28 Februarry 1992 boundaries with Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Epping Forest and part of Enfield's boundary with Epping Forest
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to make orders implementing the various final reports of the Local Government Boundary Commission into the boundaries of London boroughs ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 59Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if there are any proposed boundary changes in London for which the Local Government Boundary Commission has yet to issue first draft proposals.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the legislative measures that govern the work of the Local Government Boundary Commission and the criteria it uses to review local government boundaries.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Local Government Boundary Commission is required under section 48(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 to carry out local government reviews as directed by the Secretary of State.
The commission must have regard to the need for effective and convenient local government.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the Local Government Commission for England is to carry out an examination of the structure of local government in London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : There are no plans to change the general structure of local government in London. The Local Government Act 1992 provides for changes to local government structure to be made only where unitary authorities do not already exist--that is, in the shire counties of England. The new Local Government Commission will, however, have the power to recommend changes to local government boundaries and electoral arrangements in any area, including London.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what ways he intends to support the criminal justice services ; and if he will list the services he intends to support and the resources which will be available to them.
My right hon. and learned Friend will continue the Government's support for the criminal justice services for which he has responsibility by ensuring that they can operate within an appropriate legislative framework, supported where necessary by administrative guidance, and by making appropriate financial provision. The criminal justice services for which he has statutory responsibility are prisons, for which the Home Office is directly responsible, and the police and probation services. In addition, the Home Office provides funding for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. In the current financial year, the Home Office will provide the following financial resources in the discharge of these responsibilities.
|£ million --------------------------------------------------------- Prisons |1,363 Police |3,016 Probation |355 Criminal Injuries Compensation Board |137
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking relating to the allocation of the various responsibilities of the police and others, in relation to anti-terrorist activities on the British mainland.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand that the Boundary Commission for England has not yet decided when it will publish its provisional recommendations for the county of Essex, although it is likely that this will be towards the end of the review.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the parliamentary boundary commission to begin consultation on the review of parliamentary boundaries in London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand that the Boundary Commission for England has not yet decided when it will publish its provisional recommendations for London boroughs, although it is likely that this will be towards the end of the review.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the legislative measures which govern the work of the parliamentary boundary commission and the criteria it uses to review parliamentary boundaries.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The legislation that governs the work of the parliamentary boundary commissions is the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986. The criteria used to review parliamentary boundaries are set out in schedule 2 to that Act which gives the rules for the redistribution of seats.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales will be working on the basis of the existing local government boundaries or the eventual government proposals for new boundaries.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The local government boundaries which will be used by the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales in its next general review of constituencies will depend upon the timing of that review. This has yet to be decided.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish legislation arising out of the consultation paper dealing with the law on squatting ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : The Government are committed to improving remedies against squatting. A consultation paper setting out various options was published last October, requesting comments by 31 March. A wide variety of individuals and organisations responded.
These comments will be valuable in guiding work by ourselves and other Government Departments in determining how best to improve law in this area.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what forms he holds information on the numbers of postal, proxy and expatriate votes issued and used during the 1987 and 1992 general elections.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The number of electors on the postal voters list and the number of postal ballot paper covering envelopes returned at the 1987 general election were published in "Election Expenses, a Return of the Expenses of each Candidate"--HC426--by HMSO. The statistics for the 1992 general election are currently being compiled from returns made by acting returning officers and will be published in due course. Information about the number of proxy voters voting in person--whether on behalf of United Kingdom residents or overseas electors--is not collected centrally. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on Monday 11 May 1992, at column 20 , for information about overseas electors.
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to institute an inquiry into the activities of ticket touts at this year's Football Association cup final.
Mr. Charles Wardle : No. The distribution and sale of tickets for this event is a matter for the Football Association. The investigation of any criminal offences which may have been committed is an operational matter for the police. There is no role here for the Home Office.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education when his Department last conducted a survey of the ethnic origin of its employees ; when it next plans to do so ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Forman : A survey of the ethnic origins of staff was undertaken in 1990 since when our data base has been continuously updated as new staff join the Department. In addition in 1990 this Department launched its own programme of action to achieve equality of opportunity for people of ethnic minority origin. We have already achieved the objective to establish ethnic origin data on 98 per cent. of our staff.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what percentage of officers in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, respectively, and overall in his Department are members of ethnic minorities.
Mr. Forman : We do not hold information on the ethnic origin of all our staff but of those who have responded to the ethnic monitoring survey-- 98 per cent.--those from ethnic minorities at 1 May 1992 are :
|Number |Percentage -------------------------------------------- Grade 1-4 |0 |0 Grade 5-6 |6 |1 Grade 7 |7 |4 Overall |199 |8
The survey was conducted on the understanding that anonymity would be preserved. Any further breakdown of the figures could identify individuals and cannot therefore be provided. The figures provided for each grade are on a head count basis and include grade equivalents.
Mr. Forman : Recruitment of grades above administrative officer is undertaken by the Recruitment and Assessment Services agency on behalf of the Civil Service Commissioners. Various steps have been taken by the agency to aid recruitment of members of ethnic minorities including the increase of contacts with minority communities and extending links with universities, polytechnics and tertiary colleges to attract a wider range of applicants generally and specifically from ethnic minorities.
(2) what representations he has received about the incidence of bullying in secondary schools ;
(3) how many cases of bullying have been drawn to the attention of his Department over the past five years.
Mr. Forth : The report of the committee of inquiry into discipline in schools, chaired by Lord Elton and published in 1989, contained advice on bullying. Copies of the report were sent to all schools and local education authorities in England and Wales. The Department is currently funding research to identify successful intervention strategies in order to provide practical advice to all schools when the project is completed in August 1993. There are no central records on bullying.
Mr. Forman : During the course of the consultations initiated by the Government on student unions, my right hon. Friend has received a variety of representations on the membership of campus unions and the National Union
Column 63of Students. Students' membership of the NUS is indirect : it is a confederation of those campus unions which choose to affiliate.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the access funds ; (2) what plans exist to increase the size of the access funds ; (3) what representations he has received about the adequacy of the access funds.
Mr. Forman : The present access funds are adequate for their purpose if properly targeted. The Government will consider future provision in this year's public expenditure survey. This will take into account representations received from various organisations and institutions.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the current size of the access funds ; what is the total number of students eligible for those funds ; and what were the size of the funds and the number of students when the access funds were first introduced.
Mr. Forman : This year £25.8 million is available for England, Wales and Scotland and an estimated 863,000 higher and further education students are eligible for the access funds. For 1990-91 the figures were £25 million and 768,000 students. It is for institutions to decide which students should receive payments from their funds.
Mr. Forth : There is no official record of inquiries about obtaining grant-maintained status ; however, there are 43 outstanding proposals published by governors of schools seeking to obtain grant-maintained status.
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made clear his commitment to extending the benefits of city technology colleges to schools wishing to become grant-maintained technology colleges. The Government will be setting out their proposals for this and other measures to extend parental choice and the diversity of schools in a White Paper to be published by the end of the summer.