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Mr. Dalyell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a study of the German waste disposal system whereby there is an advantageous financial incentive to return used bottles to manufacturers.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 14 April 1993] : Deposit systems were among the mechanisms examined by Environmental Resources Ltd. as part of its study of "Economic Instruments and Recovery of Resources from Waste", commissioned by my Department and the Department of the Environment. This study was published by HMSO in December last year, and copies were placed in the Library of the House. It built on earlier work carried out by ERL on deposit/refund systems for beverage containers, which included an examination of deposit schemes being operated in Germany. Consultation on both these studies has taken place and the comments received will be taken into account by the Government in the development of recycling policy.
Column 717retailing to decide whether to use returnable outer crates, such as the MTS Tengelmann container system. I expect environmental impact and commercial advantage to be among the considerations that they take into account when reaching a decision.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 14 April 1993] : My Department is currently supporting a number of projects in the plastics recycling area, although none relating specifically to the polymerising of plastics. I am aware, though, of work in this area being undertaken within industry, both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, which my Department is following closely.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 14 April 1993] : The Trade and Industry Select Committee made a number of recommendations in its 1992-93 report "British Energy Policy and the Market for Coal" which could, if accepted, have required amendments to the Electricity Act 1989. The Select Committee's recommendations, and the Government's responses, are set out in chapter 16 of the recent White Paper, "The Prospects for Coal".
Mr. Spearing : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received concerning amendment of the Electricity Act 1989 to make the duty to protect the interests of the consumer one of the Secretary of State's primary statutory responsibilities ; and what response he has given.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 14 April 1993] : The Trade and Industry Select Committee recommended that the duties of the Director General of Electricity Supply should be amended to make the protection of consumers one of his primary duties. The Director General has said that he does not believe such an amendment would be necessary to enable him to protect the interests of customers. Chapter 16 of the Government's recent White Paper, "The Prospects for Coal", makes it clear that the Director General already has a duty to protect consumers in terms of prices and other terms of supply and that the main protection for consumers is the development of effective competition. The promotion of competition is one of the Director General's primary duties.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what consideration he has given to amending the Electricity Act 1989 to ensure the full costs of radioactive waste management and nuclear decommissioning associated with nuclear generated electricity are charged to electricity consumers on their electricity bills. Mr. Eggar The Electricity Act 1989 already allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to impose a levy on all licensed suppliers of electricity in order to compensate the regional electricity companies for the additional costs incurred in contracting with Nuclear Electric, and the
Column 718non-fossil generators, rather than fossil- fuelled sources. The premium paid to Nuclear Electric, together with income from electricity sales at the market price, enable the company to meet the full costs of generating electricity from its stations, including the full costs of radioactive waste management and decommissioning.
Mr. Churchill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) of 15 February, Official Report, column 71, when he expects to reach a decision about the future of Upholder class submarines.
Mr. Aitken : We are still considering some aspects of our future force structure to ensure that it aligns with our commitments and available resources. Decisions will be taken when our deliberations are complete.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when four of the 846 Naval Air Squadron Sea Kings were withdrawn from HMS Ark Royal ; by what means they were returned to the United Kingdom ; for what reasons they have been withdrawn ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Four Sea King helicopters from 846 Naval Air Squadron deployed to the Adriatic as part of the HMS Ark Royal group in January returned to the United Kingdom on board RFA Fort Austin in mid- March. The return to the United Kingdom of the light gun battery personnel enabled the helicopters to be released for other duties.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when RFA Fort Victoria was taken to FMRO Portsmouth ; what unprogrammed work is required, and at what cost ; what penalties will be applied to the contractor ; when the ship is currently programmed to be accepted by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Aitken : RFA Fort Victoria was accepted from her builders, Harland and Wolff, on 24 March, and arrived at Portsmouth on 7 April where she will be based for a six-month programme of trials before entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. A number of defects remain and others may emerge during the trials. These will be rectified using the resources of FMRO Portsmouth as part of a co-ordinated programme. The cost of this work will be met by Harland and Wolff.
Mr. Jack : New major developments are the setting up of a National Board for Crime Prevention and the reconvening of the ministerial group on crime prevention. We shall also be working on the expansion of our successful safer cities programme and we have commissioned a new good practice guide to help communities tackle their local crime problems in the most effective way.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have already received representations about this subject from a large number of hon. Members. As I announced on 23 March, I propose to establish new police authority arrangements for the Metropolitan police. I will be developing my proposals in more detail over the next few months and set out more details when I publish my White Paper.
17. Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning problems arising from the distribution of magazines containing advertisements for illegal and offensive weapons.
Mr. Charles Wardle : My right hon. and learned Friend has received a number of letters from hon. and right hon. Members, and from members of the public, about a mail order catalogue distributed here from the United States. He has also answered four parliamentary questions on this subject, and he has noted the concern expressed in an early-day motion.
Mr. Jack : I have received a number of representations from hon. Members and others concerned about offences committed by juveniles. The statement made by my right hon. and learned Friend on 2 March gave a clear indication of the nature of the Government's response by committing it to the development of a new policy particularly aimed at dealing with the persistent juvenile offender.
Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young offenders have been held in cells without window glass at Glen Parva young offenders centre in the last six months ; and for what periods of time they were being held in those cells.
Letter from Mr. D. Lewis to Mr. Mike O'Brien, dated 14 April 1993 :
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the numbers of young offenders held in cells without window glass at Glen Parva Young Offenders Institution.
There are no statistics available to show how many young offenders are located in cells without window glass or for how long they are held in those cells. Most cell windows are broken by prisoners and on many occasions by those due to attend court and who hope they will not be returning. If the prisoner responsible for the damage to the cell is returned to Glen Parva he will be normally located in the same cell until repairs can be done. However, it is local policy to avoid placing young offenders newly allocated to Glen Parva in cells with broken window panes. There is a continuous replacement programme for broken windows and the cost in the last financial year was over £14,000.
Mr. Jack : As I stated in my reply to a question from the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) on 17 March 1993, Official Report, column 248 , before my right hon. and learned Friend made his statement on 2 March Ministers and officials considered representations and views about the problem of persistent juvenile offenders from a wide range of individuals and organisations. Since 2 March, meetings have been held at official and ministerial levels with representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors. A series of further meetings is planned. In addition, my right hon. and learned Friend has specifically invited the comments of more than 40 organisations in the field of working with juvenile offenders including the views of both sentences and also potential providers of secure accommodation.
Mr. Jack : The provision of secure accommodation for juveniles is the responsibility of local authorities who are overseen in this regard by the Department of Health. We are currently working on plans for the provision of the secure accommodation that will be necessary for persistent juvenile offenders subject to the secure training orders referred to by my right hon. and learned Friend in his statement on 2 March.
Mr. Jack : The Criminal Justice Act 1991, which came into force on 1 October last year, strengthened the powers of the courts to make parents more accountable. Courts can now bind over the parents of juvenile offenders to look after their children properly where they are satisfied that this would help prevent further offending ; and, order parents to attend court with their children and to pay their children's fines. We are monitoring the effects of these provisions.
19. Mr. Ian Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are employed directly and indirectly by the Prison Department on Portland ; and how many inmates and staff are planned for the future.
The combined total employed at both establishments is 567 , of which 27 are indirectly employed by the Prison Department, the balance of 540 being directly employed. A further 61 people are engaged on a sessional basis providing essential educational, religious, medical, dental and ophthalmic services.
The combined inmate population is approximately 1,000.
are no current plans to change estab. Enright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what canons of selection he will establish for appointments to police committees ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : My right hon. and learned Friend has not yet decided how the members of the new police authorities will be chosen. He will want to make sure that the membership of the police authority as a whole broadly reflects the experience and expertise which it needs.
21. Sir Fergus Montgomery : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has in hand to review the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 722of the Government's response to terrorist crime. The powers which it provides are kept under regular review and the operation of the Act is reviewed each year by a person appointed for that purpose.
24. Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of what is essentially a preventative measure but the Prevention of Terrorism Act plays an important part in the prevention and investigation of terrorist crime and in restricting the movement of terrorists and their equipment. In 1992, 497 persons were charged in the United Kingdom following detention under the Act.
22. Sir George Gardiner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give further details of his plans for the reform of the law on Sunday trading ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I have nothing to add to the reply my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary gave on 22 March to my right hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler) ; we shall publish a draft Bill before the summer recess.
23. Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has held since his oral statement of 23 March, Official Report, column 765, on reorganising police forces in Wales using conterminous boundaries with the other emergency services.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff and dogs are currently employed and used in the prison service dog section ; and what plans the Home Office has for the dogs in the event of a decision to contract out the section.
Column 723Letter from Mr. D. Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 15 April 1993 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to write to you in reply to your Parliamentary Question about the staff and dogs used in the Prison Dog Service and our plans for the dogs in the event of a decision to contract out the dog service.
A total of 434 staff are employed as dog handlers and 441 dogs are used for this work.
If the work of the dog service were to be contracted out all dog handlers would be asked whether they wished to keep their dogs. Any dog not taken on by their handlers would be offered to the Armed Forces, Customs and Excise or the Police in an effort to find them suitable work placements. If sufficient work placements could not be found then consideration would have to be given to having the dogs destroyed. While every effort would be made to avoid this position these are working dogs trained to bite and the options for suitable placements are limited.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the prison department made available for sale the former HM prison Medomsley ; how the sale particulars are described ; what is the asking price ; how much money has been spent on this establishment in each of the past five years ; what have been its previous usages ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Mr. D. Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 15 April 1993 :
Former HM Prison Medomsley I have been asked by the Home Secretary to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question about the former HM Prison Medomsley.
The property was placed on the market for sale as being surplus to requirements in December 1990 with Agents, Messrs Chesterton of Newcastle, and is described in the sale particulars as a 35 acre site with the opportunity for refurbishment or development. The property is offered for sale by private treaty and offers are invited. No purchase price has been quoted but the Agents are advising that offers should be in excess of £500,000.
The establishment formerly operated as a Detention Centre for Young Offenders until early 1987. It was then used temporarily as a Category C Prison for male adults until closing in November 1987. There has since been some occasional use for Control and Restraint training.
The expenditure in each of the past five years, mainly on skeleton staff and essential maintenance, was as follows :
|£K ---------------- 1988-89 |53 1989-90 |47 1990-91 |22 1991-92 |20 1992-93 |nil
I hope this is helpful.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is to be the precise nature of the market testing exercise he proposed should be undertaken in repect of the work of the fire brigades' workshops currently run by the London fire and civil defence authority ; and when he expects it to begin.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Officials of my Department are currently discussing with representatives of local authorities and chief fire officers the precise nature of the market testing exercise and how it will be carried forward.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Young Offender Institution Rules 1988 currently provide that arrangements shall be made for inmates under the age of 17 to participate in education and training courses for at least 15 hours a week. The Prison Service will be considering, as part of its work on the development of a code of standards, what education facilities and entitlements should generally be available to prisoners.
Not all prisoners under the age of 25 years require education programmes, but they may benefit from opportunities to address their offending behaviour and other needs. The extension of sentence planning is directed to ensuring that prisoners' individual needs are increasingly identified and, where possible, met.
Letter from Mr. D. Lewis to Mr. Harry Greenway, dated 15 April 1993 :
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about prisoners taking public examinations.
The available information held centrally is as follows :
Academic Year |Inmates Entered|Pass Rate |Per cent. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Education and vocational training<1> 1990-91 |9,826 |87 1991-92 |8,977 |82 Other Examinations<2> 1990 |3,436 |66 1991 |4,251 |90 1992 |4,159 |93 <1> Organised and supervised by education departments. <2> Construction industry training, Catering, other industrial and farms and gardens qualifications.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans his Department has to improve the waiting facilities for visitors to inmates being held in Wandsworth prison ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Mr. D. Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 15 April 1993 :
Column 725I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about visitors' waiting facilities at Wandsworth Prison. Work is soon to begin converting a property which is close to the prison. We expect this work to be completed within two months.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police horses are currently in service in the metropolitan area ; how many were in service (a) in 1983 and (b) in 1973 ; what is the future of Imber Court training centre under his projected proposals for police reorganisation ; and if he will make a statement.
It is not possible to say at this stage what impact the proposed reorganisation will have on Imber Court.