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Column 479

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 15 June 1993

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Illegal Immigrants

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether monitoring of gangmasters by his Department includes control of employment of illegal immigrants ; and how many cases have been discovered in the last year.

Mr. Jack : The role of MAFF in monitoring aspects of gangmasters' activities is restricted to ensuring compliance with the terms of the Agricultural Wages Order made under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948.

Land Use (Surveillance)

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if reports on aerial surveillance undertaken with satellite equipment in the years 1991-92 to establish the usage or non-usage of land are to be made publicly available.

Mr. Jack : The year 1991-92 was a trial year organised by the Commission. The ownership of the work resides with the Commission, and we understand that it does not intend to publish the results.

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what organisations of persons are responsible for the surveillance of agricultural land for the purpose of determining usage in the United Kingdom and in the member states.

Mr. Jack : Each member state is responsible for undertaking the control measures within its territory for the checking of aid applications.

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether the arrangements for the surveillance of agricultural land for the purpose of determining usage are equally applied throughout the European Community.

Mr. Jack : The EC regulations governing the integrated administration and control system (IACS) require all member states, without differentiation, to carry out administrative checks on aid applications, supplemented by on-farm checks on a sample of holdings.

Integrated Administration and Control System

Sir Richard Body : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which member states of the EEC completed the process of obtaining IACS information by 16 May.

Mr. Jack : The EC regulation governing the integrated administration and control system (IACS) provided for all member states to set a deadline of no later than 15 May for


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receipt of the completed IACS applications this year. Where applications are received after the deadline, the farmers will have their aid payments reduced under a formula set out in the relevant EC regulation. These same rules apply, of course, in all 12 member states. We do not have information on the number of applications received after 15 May in each member state.

Set-aside Payments

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent it is possible to link the amounts and scale of set- aside payments to environmental and social improvements involving (a) management of hedgerows, (b) protection of unsprayed headland, (c) reductions in the use of nitrogen, (d) the planting of trees, (e) the creation of wildlife habitats, (f) attractive landscapes and (g) the provision of new footpaths and bridlepaths ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack : The EC rules of the arable area payments scheme require member states to apply appropriate environmmental measures to set-aside land. The United Kingdom rules for set-aside include the maintenance of hedgerows and other environmental features and restrictions on the use of sprays and fertilisers. We expect to introduce non-rotational set-aside later this year which will allow greater opportunity for the creation of wildlife habitats and we are pressing strongly for the Community rules to encourage tree planting on set-aside land. There is at present no scope under EC rules to vary the set-aside payment. However, under the agri- environment programme we are considering a voluntary scheme to make additional payments to farmers who provide public access on suitable set- aside land.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease

Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps the Government are taking to ensure that there are suitable vaccines to treat viral haemorrhagic disease.

Mr. Soames : A product licence application for a rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease vaccine was submitted and subsequently withdrawn during 1992. Although officials in the veterinary medicines directorate are actively pursuing discussions with that applicant and with other pharmaceutical companies, no further application has been received. The decision on whether to submit an application is a commercial one for the companies concerned, bearing in mind the likely size of the market.

Equine Viral Arteritis

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action she is taking to arrest and cure the outbreak of equine viral arteritis in the United Kingdom ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Soames : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Spring) on 10 June at columns 307-8.

Chernobyl

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what experiments are being conducted by her Department into the use of ammonium ferric


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hexacyanoferrate in order to fix caesium-137 from the Chernobyl radioactive fall-out in the soil and to prevent its take -up by growing plants.

Mr. Soames : Studies to evaluate the potential of a number of chemical treatments, including ammonium ferric hexacyanoferrate, for reducing radiocaesium in the vegetation of upland pastures are being carried out on two sites, one in Cumbria and one in Wales, as part of the Department's programme of post-Chernobyl research and development.

Agriculture Council

Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Agriculture Council held in Luxembourg on 14 June.

Mrs. Shephard : I represented the United Kingdom at the meeting of the Agriculture Council on 14 June.

The Council formally adopted the legal texts implementing the package of farm prices and related measures which it had agreed at its May meeting.

The Council also discussed a number of other proposed measures, without reaching agreement. These included a proposal on the definition and designation of butter and other fats, which I criticised as being unnecessarily elaborate and prescriptive ; and a proposed directive on minced meat and other meat preparations, on which my main aim is to avoid excessively strict criteria that would put at risk traditional British products. The Council will have to return to these proposals at a later meeting.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Divorce Law

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what action he proposes to take on Law Commission report 192, "Grounds for Divorce."

Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor is considering the Law Commission's recommendations for reform of divorce law. His review of these matters is not yet complete and he has no immediate plans for legislation.


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He continues to welcome views on the Law Commission's recommendations, and will consult further before any measures on this subject are introduced.

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to review the administration of divorce law.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor is considering divorce law reform as part of the rolling programme of review of family law and business. His review of these matters, including the administration of divorce law, is not yet complete.

Legal Aid

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will immediately take steps to secure a significantly reduced rate of interest payable by those owing statutory charges under the legal aid scheme.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor will shortly be laying before Parliament a statutory instrument designed to reduce the rate of simple interest levied on postponed payment of the statutory charge from 10.5 per cent. to 8 per cent.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Departmental Buildings

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the buildings currently owned or rented by his Department, together with (a) the estimated value, (b) the annual rent and (c) the annual maintenance cost of each building in the current financial year.

Mr. Nelson : The Treasury does not own any property. All Treasury accommodation is on the common user estate, which is owned by the Crown and administered by Property Holdings. The present value of the common user estate is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The accommodation charges and contributions towards maintenance which the Treasury pays to Property Holdings and the Treasury's own maintenance costs in respect of buildings occupied by the Treasury are given in the table :


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Estimated expenditure for 1993-94                                                                                                      

                                                   |Accommodation charge|Contribution towards|Maintenance by                           

                                                                        |maintenance         |Treasury                                 

                                                   |£                   |£                   |£                                        

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

Government offices Great George street, London SW1 |6,270,431           |1,471,213           |343,369                                  

                                                                                                                                       

11 Downing street, London SW1                      |139,359             |43,885              |5,500                                    

                                                                                                                                       

Alencon Link, Basingstoke                          |202,977             |48,698              |1,200                                    

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what talks he has had with his European Community and G7 counterparts about the future of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Kenneth Clarke : In the short period since becoming Chancellor and, subsequently, United Kingdom Governor of the EBRD, I have had no talks with European Community or G7 partners about the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. However, my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has had contacts with her counterparts in other countries. My senior officials have had a number of contacts as well.


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Pensions

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the amount of the public sector pensions payable in each of as many future years as are available, assuming annual inflation at the current rate of 2 per cent. ;

(2) if he will list for as many of the forthcoming years as are available the percentage of forecast gross domestic product that will be allocated to public sector pensions.

Mr. Portillo : The most recent estimates of public sector pension scheme liabilities and the costs of public service pension scheme benefits were contained in the answers given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security on 7 June at column 140 and by me on 8 June at column 200.

Projections of those estimates for future years are not available and would require a substantial amount of actuarial calculation. However, many of the public service pension schemes are approaching maturity in pension terms. Accordingly, it is not expected that there will be an increasing demand on the economy in real terms. In the longer term, with the reduction in the number of employees in the public sector, it is to be expected that public sector pension costs will reduce in real terms.

Student Accommodation

Mr. Simpson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if student accommodation which is (a) institutionally-owned or (b) institutionally- managed will be classified as domestic for VAT purposes ;

(2) whether institutionally-owned and institutionally-managed student accommodation will be exempt from paying VAT on fuel bills.

Sir John Cope : Student accommodation which is institutionally owned or institutionally managed is classified as domestic for VAT purposes. Such accommodation will not be exempt from VAT on fuel bills.

Summary of Companies"

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many copies of his Department's publication "Summaries of Companies" included in the HM Treasury index of management consultants dated May 1993, have been published ; at what cost ; to whom it has been distributed ; and what criteria were used in deciding (a) to whom it has been sent and (b) which data were included in the report.

Sir John Cope : About 100 copies of this reference book are produced for internal use at a cost of £7.17 each. The book, which is not published, is produced as an aid to those senior staff in Departments and agencies who are considering the hire and use of consultants.

It contains summary information on the firms on the Treasury's index of management consultants.

Negative Income Tax

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now review the case for the introduction of a negative income tax.


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Mr. Dorrell : We have no plans to introduce a negative income tax. The reforms of the social security system in the 1980s improved the interaction between tax and benefit systems. We keep both systems under review.

Income Tax

Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the change in revenue in a full year of replacing the present rates and thresholds of income tax with a structure in which (a) the first £2,500 incurred tax at 20 per cent., (b) £2,500 to £30,000 at 25 per cent., (c) £30,000 to £60,000 at 40 per cent., (d) £60,000 to £100,000 at 50 per cent. and (e) over £100,000 at 60 per cent., while retaining the existing levels of personal allowances.

Mr. Dorrell : The estimated revenue yield in a full year at 1993-94 income levels from imposition of the specified regime is £570 million.

Book Purchase

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Inland Revenue will obtain a copy of the book, details of which have been submitted to him.

Mr. Dorrell : The Inland Revenue gathers information, including published material, which may be relevant to the correct assessment of tax liabilities. Because of its duty of confidentiality the Inland Revenue is not able to comment on its dealings with particular taxpayers.

Overseas Assets

Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the mechanisms by which the Inland Revenue checks on companies' compliance with requirements on valuation of overseas assets.

Mr. Dorrell : The Inland Revenue uses considerable resources on the technical review and investigation of company accounts. The largest companies and those whose affairs are particularly complex are dealt with in offices which specialise in such cases, which have enough staff to review their tax affairs in depth, and which are headed by some of the Department's most senior inspectors. Reviews cover all aspects of companies' accounts and expert advice is available to the inspectors from head office specialists in international issues. Investments overseas will be monitored as part of this process of review and the valuation of assets abroad will be considered in so far as it may have a bearing on United Kingdom tax liabilities.

Value Added Tax

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) local authorities, (b) voluntary organisations and (c) universities are paying value added tax on courses of further education for adults ; and if he will list the liable courses.

Sir John Cope : The information is not centrally available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The subject matter of courses is only one of a number of factors affecting VAT liability and each case is determined on its own facts.


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Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the terms of reference of the review that Customs and Excise are currently undertaking into value added tax in the education and training sector ; when the review is due to be completed ; and if he will list those bodies being consulted as part of the review process.

Sir John Cope : Customs and Excise is carrying out an internal review to examine whether, within the constraints of European Community VAT legislation, there is scope for simplification and rationalisation of the current VAT reliefs for education and training services. Customs expect to be reporting to Ministers in two to three months. If changes in law or administration are considered appropriate, those likely to be affected will be consulted before final proposals are brought forward.

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was obtained from VAT charges on courses of (a) education, (b) training, (c) sports activity and (d) leisure activity in each year since 1987 ; and how much it costs each year to administer the collection of these charges.

Sir John Cope : This information is not centrally available and it would not be possible to provide an estimate without disproportionate cost.

Business Enterprise Scheme

Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the cost of tax relief for BES in the years 1992-93 and 1993- 94 for schemes involving private housing where individuals obtain loans connected with the shareholdings they acquire through BES ;

(2) if he will estimate the total cost of tax relief for business expansion schemes in the years 1992-93 and 1993-94, with the cost in each year of relief involving private rented housing.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 14 June 1993] : The provisional estimate of the total cost of income tax relief for 1992-93 is £380 million. The cost for 1993-94 will depend on the levels of business expansion scheme investments and is very tentatively estimated at about £180 million. It is not possible at present to provide a reliable subdivision of these estimates by type of investment, though information published in the specialist press about loan-linked investments in 1992-93 imply that these may amount to some £250 million of revenue cost.

Industrial Building Allowance Trusts

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list, for each enterprise zone and former enterprise zone, the number of industrial building allowance trusts accepted for capital allowance purposes ; and what is the square footage of (a) industrial and (b) commercial floor space covered in each IBA trust.

Sir George Young : I have been asked to reply. Neither my own Department nor Inland Revenue maintains such records and the information could be secured only at disproportionate cost.


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HOME DEPARTMENT

National Association of Probation Officers

Mr. Callaghan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last met representatives of the National Association of Probation Officers ; what matters were discussed ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : Neither my right hon. and learned Friend nor I have yet met representatives of the National Association of Probation Officers. I hope to do so before too long.

Corrections Corporation of America

Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total cost incurred as a result of the decision to investigate the performance and record of the Corrections Corporation of America.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the director general of the prison service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John McAllion, dated 15 June 1993.

INVESTIGATION INTO THE CCA

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the cost incurred as a result of the decision to investigate the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

The Prisons Service Board asked Mr. Bentley, one of our non executive directors, to visit America to investigate the CCA's suitability to be involved in managing prisons in this country. He was accompanied by a member of staff from Prison Service headquarters. Twenty three people were interviewed during the investigation in several locations in the United States. The substantive costs therefore comprise the travelling, accommodation and other expenses incurred during the visit. These total £9,574.

Wheel Clamping

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce proposals to regulate private wheel clamping.

Mr. Maclean : A public consultation exercise on this issue has recently been completed and we are now analysing the very many responses. We will announce our conclusions as soon as possible.

Police (Assaults)

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the reported number of assaults on police officers serving in each of the Metropolitan police divisions during the course of their police duties during 1992.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The information requested is contained in the table :


Division                 |Ident.            |Number of assaults                   

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

Barkingside(JB)          |44                                                      

Barnet and Hertsmere(SA) |31                                                      

Battersea(WA)            |32                                                      

Belgravia(AB)            |31                                                      

Bethnal Green(HB)        |49                                                      

Bexleyheath(RY)          |30                                                      

Brixton(LD)              |68                                                      

Bromley(PR)              |36                                                      

Carter Street(MS)        |27                                                      

Catford(PD)              |68                                                      

Charing Cross(CX)        |62                                                      

Chelsea(BC)              |20                                                      

Chingford(JC)            |46                                                      

Chiswick(TC)             |32                                                      

Clapham(LM)              |37                                                      

Croydon(ZD)              |40                                                      

Dagenham(KG)             |55                                                      

Ealing(XD)               |83                                                      

Edmonton(YE)             |44                                                      

Epsom and Sutton(ZP)     |62                                                      

Forest Gate(KW)          |76                                                      

Fulham(FF)               |33                                                      

Golders Green(SG)        |13                                                      

Greenwich(RG)            |47                                                      

Hackney(GH)              |111                                                     

Hammersmith(FH)          |69                                                      

Hampstead(EH)            |27                                                      

Harrow(QA)               |65                                                      

Harrow Road(DR)          |54                                                      

Havering(KD)             |62                                                      

Heathrow Airport(ID)     |8                                                       

Hillingdon(XU)           |54                                                      

Holborn(EO)              |41                                                      

Holloway(NH)             |52                                                      

Hornsey(YR)              |69                                                      

Hounslow(TD)             |45                                                      

Ilford(JI)               |35                                                      

Islington(ND)            |74                                                      

Kennington(LK)           |31                                                      

Kensington               |(BD)              |28                                   

Kentish Town             |(EK)              |34                                   

Kilburn                  |(QK)              |93                                   

Kingston                 |(VK)              |37                                   

Leman Street             |(HD)              |40                                   

Lewisham                 |(PL)              |34                                   

Leyton                   |(JL)              |82                                   

Limehouse                |(HH)              |83                                   

Marylebone               |(DM)              |27                                   

Merton                   |(VW)              |41                                   

Notting Hill             |(BH)              |54                                   

Orpington                |(PN)              |27                                   

Paddington Green         |(DD)              |21                                   

Peckham                  |(MM)              |51                                   

Plaistow                 |(KO)              |62                                   

Plumstead                |(RA)              |61                                   

Ponders End              |(YF)              |79                                   

Richmond                 |(TW)              |37                                   

South Norwood            |(ZN)              |86                                   

Southall                 |(XS)              |45                                   

Southwark                |(MD)              |57                                   

Spelthorne               |(TG)              |28                                   

Stoke Newington          |(GN)              |119                                  

Streatham                |(LS)              |46                                   

Tooting                  |(WD)              |21                                   

Tottenham                |(YT)              |75                                   

Wandsworth               |(WW)              |38                                   

Wembley                  |(QD)              |48                                   

West End Central         |(CD)              |94                                   

West Hendon              |(SV)              |41                                   

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of (a) men and (b) women convicted of assaults on police officers in each of the Metropolitan police divisions during 1992 ; and what penalties were imposed of (a) imprisonment, (b) fines and (c) probation.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Information for 1991, the last available year, is contained in the following table :


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             |Men  |Women      

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

Convicted    |1,404|227        

Fined        |775  |102        

Probation    |53   |13         

Imprisonment |117  |2          

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of days lost by (a) men and (b) women police officers serving in each of the Metropolitan police divisions as a result of physical assault on them during the course of their police duties during the year 1992.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The numbers of days lost per division of the Metropolitan police due to assaults are as follows :


Division             |Men     |Women            

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

Belgravia            |98      |-                

Chelsea              |118     |28               

Kensington           |91      |-                

Notting Hill         |74      |2                

West End Central     |83      |53               

Charing Cross        |65      |33               

Paddington Green     |166     |-                

Marylebone           |24      |6                

Harrow               |42      |37               

Hampstead            |76      |-                

Kentish Town         |10      |-                

Fulham               |87      |-                

Hammersmith          |24      |11               

Hackney              |18      |42               

Stoke Newington      |107     |-                

Bethnal Green        |35      |6                

Leman Street         |19      |6                

Limehouse            |111     |8                

Heathrow Airport     |1       |1                

Chingford            |19      |-                

Chigwell             |177     |-                

Ilford               |165     |10               

Leyton               |28      |64               

Barking              |4       |45               

Dagenham             |162     |-                

North Woolwich       |140     |41               

Brixton              |39      |-                

Kennington           |17      |77               

Clapham              |-       |24               

Streatham            |16      |5                

Southwark            |59      |2                

Peckham              |210     |-                

Carter Street        |118     |-                

Holloway             |-       |4                

Islington            |154     |22               

Catford              |26      |-                

Penge                |10      |-                

Brockley             |-       |24               

Lewisham             |39      |73               

Orpington            |96      |-                

Deptford             |66      |-                

Bromley              |41      |39               

Sydenham             |-       |-                

Harrow               |153     |-                

Wembley              |15      |-                

Harlesden            |416     |-                

Kilburn              |521     |117              

Plumstead            |97      |6                

Greenwich            |7       |-                

Bexleyheath          |251     |-                

Barnet and Hertsmere |79      |-                

West Hendon          |8       |2                

Chiswick             |52      |-                

Hounslow             |16      |16               

Spelthorne           |29      |7                

Twickenham           |10      |7                

Kingston             |135     |-                

Battersea            |36      |20               

Tooting              |60      |39               

Wandsworth           |44      |-                

Ealing               |286     |132              

Hillingdon           |41      |31               

Southall             |41      |11               

Edmonton             |18      |-                

Ponders End          |21      |18               

Hornsey              |75      |-                

Tottenham            |127     |77               

Croydon              |20      |20               

Wimbledon            |409     |2                

South Norwood        |80      |23               

Epsom and Sutton     |248     |15               

Carl Bridgewater Case

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from Mr. Tim O'Malley concerning the Carl Bridgewater case ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : A letter from Mr. O'Malley dated 21 September 1992 which expressed doubts about the safety of the convictions in this case was considered as part of the review, the conclusions of which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) announced on 3 February 1993. I received a further letter from Mr. O'Malley on 6 June, which I will consider together with other additional representations that I have recently received about this case.

Probation and Bail Hostels

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of vacancies at probation or bail hostels covering the Greater London area on 31 May.

Mr. Maclean : As at 31 May 1993 there were a total of 117 vacancies at approved probation/bail and bail hostels in the Greater London area.

Prisons

Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether in-house bids will be permitted for the running of new prisons.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The current policy is not to invite in-house bids for ttherefore, no reason to change the current policy. This is to enable the prison service to focus its resources on developing the best possible bids for existing establishments. No decision has been made about the policy on in-house bids for any new prisons which might be built in the future.

Prison Service

Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the performance targets for the prison service for the year 1993-94.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the then Home Secretary, my right hon. and


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learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke), to my right hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler) on 1 April 1993 at column 387.

Manchester Prison

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether all staff will have the right to transfer to the new employer if the contract for Manchester prison is awarded to an outside tenderer ; and what will be the position of any employees who decline to be transferred.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the director general of the prison service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 14 June 1993. Market testing of HMP Manchester--

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the position of staff working at Manchester Prison. We have given an undertaking that, in the event of a private operator winning the contract, mobile staff at Manchester will have the option of re-deployment elsewhere in the Prison Service. In the case of non-mobile staff we have undertaken to explore the possibilities of re-deployment in the Prison Service or elsewhere in Government service but cannot guarantee that this will prove possible. Mobile staff who have not opted for re-deployment will transfer automatically to the new employer, as will non-mobile staff who have requested re-deployment but for whom such opportunities cannot be found.


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