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32. Mr. Miller : To ask the Attorney-General if he will discuss with the Director of Public Prosecutions the procedure for the Crown Prosecution Service drawing to the attention of the courts the fact that a crime appears to be racially motivated ; and if he will make a statement.
The Solicitor-General : The review of the handling of serious fraud by the Serious Fraud Office and the fraud divisions of the Crown Prosecution Service, which the Attorney-General announced last October in the light of the recommendations of the royal commission, is expected to report by the end of February.
The Solicitor-General : The general principles used when assessing the public interest are set out in the "Code for Crown Prosecutors" which is published and laid before Parliament each year in the annual report of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Attorney-General in how many instances in each of the last five years he has (a) granted his fiat and (b) refused his fiat for a case to proceed ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : The information sought by my hon. Friend is recorded only on the files relating to individual defendants in relation to a wide variety of different offences and is not collected or collated centrally. The information requested could therefore be collected only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Baldry : This information is not available in the precise form requested. However, since 1980-81, Corby district council has incurred the following expenditure on land reclamation which has been eligible for derelict land grant. Grant is payable on this expenditure at a rate of 100 per cent.
Corby District Council Derelict Land Grant Expenditure Year |Expenditure |£ ------------------------------------ 1980-81 |505,000 1981-82 |809,000 1982-83 |3,112,640 1983-84 |3,289,793 1984-85 |3,512,493 1985-86 |3,652,513 1986-87 |4,000,000 1987-88 |3,941,974 1988-89 |3,035,917 1989-90 |2,410,386 1990-91 |1,374,391 1991-92 |1,914,953 1992-93 |3,635,003 <1>1993-94 |1,305,000 |------- Total |36,499,063 <1>forecast
A further £27,000 of derelict land grant has been paid towards reclamation schemes carried out by non-local authority applicants in the Corby district.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been made available to the district and borough of Corby under the estate action scheme in each year since 1985.
Sir George Young : The following amounts of estate action resources have been made available to Corby since 1985 :
' |£ million --------------------------------------- 1985-86 to 1990-91 |Nil 1991-92 |1.4 1992-93 |1.85 1993-94 |2.9 1994-95<1> |3.0 1995-96<1> |3.0 1996-97<1> |0.6 <1> Provisional.
Mr. Baldry : Local authorities which have repaid all their long-term debts have recently been given general freedom to spend amounts already set aside for debt redemption. They are also generally relieved of the obligation to make further provision for debt redemption, either from capital receipts or revenue.
Authority |Usable receipts |at 1 April 1993 |£'000 ---------------------------------------------------------------- Northamptonshire County Council |220 Corby |749 Daventry |2,884 East Northamptonshire |2,628 Kettering |1,481 Northampton |3,634 South Northamptonshire |Nil Wellingborough |11,840 Source: Local authority returns.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the representations he has received from the British Medical Association about the accuracy of his Department's estimates of the extent of homelessness in London in the light of their research findings using capture-recapture analysis techniques.
Sir George Young : This Department has received no such representations from the British Medical Association. The methodology used by the voluntary sector to count the number of people sleeping rough in central London, which has informed the rough sleepers initiative, was developed independently to provide a series of accurate, directly comparable counts. This methodology is now being adapted to undertake local counts in some other towns and cities.
Sir George Young : We are very keen to expand the private rented sector. The package of deregulation measures in the Housing Act 1988, which introduced assured and assured shorthold tenancies at market rents for most new lettings, was designed to encourage landlords to bring their property on to the market. In addition, we have already launched a number of specific initiatives to encourage private landlords to let their property. We are keen to explore all avenues to encourage further growth in the sector.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many people were employed in his Department's press/communications office including clerical and administrative staff in each year since 1979.
Figures for prior years on the composition of the information directorate are published each year within the management information system for Ministers dating back to 1979 which is available in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish for each service that has been market-tested in his Department in 1993 (a) the cost of the testing process, including consultancy costs, (b) the result of the test, (c) the name of the successful contractor, (d) the value and duration of the contract, (e) the number of staff involved, (f) estimated annual cost reductions and (g) whether the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 were deemed to apply.
Mr. Gummer : The Department is currently analysing the outcome of the 1992-93 "Competing for Quality" programme with the Efficiency Unit in the Cabinet Office. Some points of detail have yet to be finalised, but, once this has been completed, much of the information requested in
Column 363the question will be published in aggregate form in the "Citizen's Charter Second Report". On an individual contract basis, much of the information is commercially confidential.
Sir George Young : I intend to publish before the end of this month a consultation paper about reforming the homelessness legislation and improving access to local authority and housing association tenancies. I look forward to a constructive debate about the Government's proposals for reform.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department will ensure that superstores (a) have more than one entrance and exit and (b) are sited at sufficient distance from petrol stations such that it would be impossible for a fire in a superstore to spread to a petrol station.
Mr. Baldry : Whether a single entrance and exit is adequate for escape in fire is dependent on the size of the building and the distances that persons would need to travel. A superstore would almost certainly be large enough for more than one escape route to have to be provided to satisfy the Building Regulations.
If the petrol station was outside the boundary of the superstore site compliance with the Building Regulations would ensure that the superstore was located at a safe distance from the boundary if a fire were to take place therein. If the petrol station was within the confines of the superstore site boundary guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive would need to be followed with regard to its location. If this guidance were not followed, a petroleum licence would not be issued. The relative locations of different land uses may also be material considerations to be taken into account in deciding whether to grant planning permission, whether in response to an application or by the Secretary of State on appeal.
Column 364it spent £6,929,637.89 on advertising. However, before the financial year 1991-92, figures are not available for advertising alone. In addition, information relating to the financial years before 1979-80 and 1984-85 cannot be obtained without
disproportionate cost. The total publicity expenditure for each financial year from 1985-86 to 1992-93 was :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1985-86 |3.5 1986-87 |4.2 1987-88 |4.8 1988-89 |6.9 1989-90 |<1>31.5 1990-91 |7.5 1991-92 |2.7 1992-93 |<2>13.4 <1> The figure for 1989-90 includes publicity costs associated with water privatisation and community charge. <2> The figure for 1992-93 includes publicity costs associated with the CO2 reduction campaign "Helping the Earth" and the introduction of the council tax.
For the financial years 1985-86 to 1990-91 inclusive, the figures also include associated staff costs for my Department, including agencies. Before 1991-92, expenditure was not broken down between different publicity media.
The cost of publicity advertising per month for the past 12 months has been :
|£ ----------------------------------------- December 1992 |nil January 1993 |3,311.74 February 1993 |3,120,031.18 March 1993 |3,236,235.92 April 1993 |475,506.00 May 1993 |1,394.00 June 1993 |1,128.00 July 1993 |780,047.00 August 1993 |nil September 1993 |257.33 October 1993 |3,493,327.30 November 1993 |347,246.71
These costs include creative and production charges, value added tax, and other levies as paid.
The costs given for the months above relate to the month in which the invoice was processed for payment ; in some cases the advertising may have appeared some time previously.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the local education authorities in England who in (a) 1992-93 and (b) 1993-94 have spent or are expected to spend less than their allocated standard spending assessment for education in each of those years, together with the respective figures for each year, the totals of all such spending assessments for that authority, the standard spending assessment figure in respect of interest on capital expenditure approved by Her Majesty's Government, the amount paid or expected to be paid and the contribution to any consequential deficit that must be made, pro rata, by transfer from the respective standard assessments for educational expenditure made by Her Majesty's Government for the relevant years.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 14 January 1994] : The information requested has been placed in the Library. It is for each local authority to determine its spending priorities between services in the light of local circumstances.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 11 January, Official Report , columns 7 8 , if he will disaggregate the table on households with negative equity into the normal planning regions.
Sir George Young [holding answer 14 January 1994] : No. The sample sizes from which changes in house prices and distributions of mortgage advance to price ratios are estimated are not large enough to produce sufficiently reliable figures for all regions.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 14 January 1994] : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing, Inner Cities and Construction intends to announce very shortly proposals for four sites in the east midlands to be designated, subject to the agreement of the European Commission, as enterprise zones.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much was paid to whom in each district council area in North Yorkshire for carrying out council tax valuations ; and what was the cost of managing and administering the valuation process.
It is not possible to disclose payments to individual contractors, on the grounds of commercial confidence. The cost of managing and administering the valuation process in North Yorkshire was £98,517.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many appeals against council tax valuations in each district council area in North Yorkshire have been settled in the last six months ; and what was the average cost of settling each appeal.
Receipts and settlements of appeals against council tax for each billing authority in North Yorkshire are as follows :
Billing authority |Appeals |settled ------------------------------------------------------ Craven |374 Hambleton |496 Harrogate |872 Richmondshire |210 Ryedale |509 Scarborough |488 Selby |498 York |484
Column 366The estimated average cost of processing a council tax appeal in the current financial year in England is £115. This estimate includes Valuation Office agency and valuation tribunal costs.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister whether the policy on Iraq and Iran set out by the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary on 29 October 1985, Official Report, column 450, remains that of Her Majesty's Government.
The Prime Minister : No. An embargo on trade with Iraq was imposed by the Iraq and Kuwait (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1990 (SI 90/1651). This put into effect the sanctions on Iraq imposed by United Nations resolution 661. Current policy on exports to Iran was set out by my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary on 1 March 1993, Official Report, column 8.
Mr. Bennett : To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions in total (a) he, (b) Lady Thatcher or (c) Lord Callaghan was absent from the House at Prime Minister's Question Time while serving as Prime Minister ; and what that figure represents in each case and as a percentage of the total number of Prime Minister's Question Times for which he or she was responsible.
Foreign Affairs, 1 February : Danish Presidency work programme, and opening EFTAn accession negotiations ;
Agriculture, 9 February : agriculture price fixing proposals ; ECOFIN, 15 February : Danish Presidency work programme ; Foreign Affairs, 5 April : opening of accession negotiations with Norway ;
Internal Market, 5 April : Sutherland report ;
Social affairs, 6 April : employment ;
Industry, 3 May : industrial competitiveness and environmental protection ;
Development, 25 May : development co-operation policy to 2000 (Horizon 2000) ;
Foreign Affairs, 19 July : Belgian Presidency work programme ; ECOFIN, 13 November : Belgian Presidency work programme ; Internal Market, 11 November : strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, and skilled workers and development of employment in the Community ;
Environment 3 December : Green Paper on civil liability.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Prime Minister (1) on what date or dates he has received a letter or letters from Mr. Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, seeking clarification of the joint declaration ; if he will place a copy of the letter or letters in the Library ; when he intends to reply to Mr. Adams ; and if he will place a copy of his letter or letters to Mr. Adams in the Library ;
(2) if he will give the precise terms of clarification of the joint declaration sought by Mr. Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, in communications with him since the joint declaration was published ; what were the precise terms of his responses to such communications ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give details of the public appointments that he is able to make, excluding Cabinet and ministerial appointments and those covered by "Questions of Procedure for Ministers" ; and which appointments he has made since 1991.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 16 December 1993] : As Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury I am able to appoint to the following public bodies. There is no single central record for all these appointments, but, to the best of my knowledge, the appointments listed in the table have been made over the last three years.
Museums and Galleries Commission
15 Commissioners of which 6 have been appointed from 1991 British Museum
15 Trustees of which 5 have been appointed from 1991
Natural History Museum
8 Trustees of which 3 have been appointed from 1991
13 Trustees of which 6 have been appointed from 1991
11 Trustees of which 5 have been appointed from 1991
National Maritime Museum
Normally 12 Trustees of which 5 have been appointed from 1991