Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has in relation to the Law Commission's Report, "The Hearsay Rule in Civil Proceedings"--Cm 2321, Law Com. No. 216--which was published in September 1993.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the cost of accommodation for judges in 1992-93 and 1982-83 ; what were the major categories of cost ; and what was spent in each category.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Figures for the cost of accommodation of judges when sitting in the courts are not separately maintained. The cost of accommodation in lodgings for judges on circuit was £5.02 million in 1992-93. These costs are in two categories, of fixed costs--including rents, hiring charges, maintenance and permanent staff--and variable costs, including fuel and utilities, and casual and itinerant staff. Fixed costs in 1992-93 were £4.14 million and variable costs were £0.88 million. The Property Services Agency was primarily responsible for the lodgings in 1982-83 and the figures for that year cannot be ascertained without disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what work has been undertaken by the Law Commission, in consultation with the British Medical Association or other bodies, on the production of draft Bills dealing with the subject of the withdrawal of consent to medical treatment or related matters ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Law Commission is reviewing the law and procedures relating to decision making on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults, which involves consideration of issues relating to consent to medical treatment by or on behalf of such persons.
Ms Abbott : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, if he will list the (a) accountancy firms and (b) merchant banks to which his Department awarded private consultancy work in 1992 and 1993, together with a list of the consultancies concerned and the amount paid.
Mr. Lang : Proposals to revise the procedures under which prisoners in Scotland are able to make requests and complaints and to air grievances in relation to the Scottish Prison Service were contained in the report of a Scottish Prison Service working group entitled "Right and Just", which was published for comment in September 1992. The consultation exercise indicated a general consensus in favour of introducing an independent element to the system, and we have taken the view that this can best be achieved by the appointment of an external complaints adjudicator--an independent person on a fixed term contract, with advisory functions. This will fulfil the commitment in the justice charter for Scotland to introduce an independent element in the new procedures. Officials in the Scottish Office have been asked to start the process of advertising for such a person with a view to an appointment later this year.
In advance of that, however, proposals for revised internal grievance procedures have been fully worked up for implementation in establishments next month. The main features are that requests or complaints will be resolved as close as possible to the source of the matter at issue ; those who take decisions will be accountable for them ; prisoners will receive reasoned responses within a set time scale ; and accurate and sufficiently detailed records will be maintained. Gallery officers and hall managers will have a key role to play in the day-to-day handling of requests and complaints, but issues which they cannot resolve will be referred to an internal complaints committee. Prisoners will be given the opportunity to appeal against the committee's decisions to the governor-in-charge. If they remain dissatisfied, they will have the right of appeal to the external complaints adjudicator. Under transitional arrangements there will be a right of appeal to Scottish Prison Service headquarters.
The external complaints adjudicator will take a case on board only when all previous stages in the procedure have been exhausted. He or she will review both the merits of decisions and the way in which requests and complaints have been handled in the internal system. Where the complaints adjudicator disagrees with a decision, he or she will have the power to recommend the questioning of any finding of guilt or remission of any punishment. The complaints adjudicator will make a report to the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service on each case with a reasoned recommendation.
I believe that this new appointment, taken with the overhauled internal procedures, will represent a significant advance in the way in which prisoners' requests and complaints are handled.
Mr. Lang : Responsibility for the content of judicial training rests with the judiciary and responsibility for its funding rests with me. I very much welcome the growth in recent years in the amount of training undertaken by the judiciary. To assist in its further development I have decided, following consultation with the Lord President of the Court of Session, to set up a group to co-ordinate the provision of training for the judiciary in the sheriff courts. The right hon. Lord Cameron of Lochbroom has kindly agreed to chair the group, the membership of which will be as follows :
Sheriff Iain Macmillan CBE, President, Temporary Sheriffs Association
Mr. Gordon Murray CB, Director, Scottish Courts Administration Sheriff Principal Gordon Nicholson QC, Convener, Sheriffs Principal
Sheriff Gordon Shiach, Acting President, Sheriffs Association
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set up an inquiry to ascertain the causes of deaths arising from incidents on Scottish mountains and to initiate action to avoid a repetition of such fatalities.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 14 January 1994] : I am sure that the hon. Member is aware of the great concern I have repeatedly expressed about the loss of life in the Scottish mountains. He will no doubt have seen my Christmas message on mountain safety which was extensively relayed in the Scottish press. The Scottish mountain rescue committee publishes annual statistics which give a breakdown of accidents by type of incident and injury and provide details of resources expended in rescue. Relevant bodies incuding the Scottish mountain safety group and the Scottish Sports Council are actively considering the question of further research into safety in the Scottish mountains and I expect to receive their recommendations in due course. Until that time I have no plans to set up an inquiry.
The Attorney-General : The information sought by the hon. Member is recorded only on individual case files and is not collected or collated centrally. The information requested could therefore be collected only at disproportionate cost. Many of the files on case completed since 1986 have been destroyed in accordance with the Public Records Acts.
Column 126A survey has been carried out of all prosecutions dropped during November 1993 and the results will be published very shortly.
Sir George Young : Information on households accepted by local authorities in the Greater Manchester area as homeless and in priority need, and covering the whole of the period, is readily available only for financial years. The information is as follows :
|Number ---------------------- 1987-88 |8,960 1988-89 |11,030 1989-90 |10,630 1990-91 |13,030 1991-92 |13,280 1992-93 |11,840 Source: Housing Investment Programme ( HIP1) returns.
Sir George Young : The available data relate to local authority areas. The numbers of households accepted as homeless by Sunderland metropolitan district council are given in the supplementary table to the quarterly information bulletin "Households found accommodation under the homelessness provisions of the Housing Act 1985 : England" ; copies of both are in the Library. The latest available statistics are for the third quarter of 1993.
Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to the reply by the then Minister for the Environment and Countryside to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 29 November, Official Report , column 381 .
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to regulate to ensure that petrol pump nozzles are fitted with vapour controls to limit the dangers of carcinogenic fumes.
Mr. Atkins : None at present. However, a proposal from the European Commission to introduce a system of petrol vapour recovery during vehicle refuelling is expected in the near future. The proposal is likely to aim at controlling emissions of volatile organic compounds as precursors of ground level ozone.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish the findings of his Department's research on rent arrears as an update to "Preventing Rent Arrears", published in December 1983.
Sir George Young : This information is not available at present. However, the survey of English housing will provide further information. The results of the first year of the survey are expected to be published in the autumn.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the new waste management licensing provisions of part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 will be implemented before 1 May 1994 ; and when the necessary regulations will be laid.
Mr. Atkins : As the then Minister for the Environment and Countryside announced on 24 November 1993 at column 384 it is the Government's intention to bring the waste management licensing provisions of part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 into force on 1 May 1994. The necessary regulations will be laid before Parliament before that date.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy that no buildings or parts thereof will be secured for or on behalf of his Department unless there is adequate access for disabled people.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations his Department has received on draft guidelines prepared by the sea mammal research unit on precautions to minimise acoustic disturbance to small cetaceans.
Mr. Baldry : The principal public sector costs of enterprise zones are rate relief and capital allowances. Neither can be accurately calculated in advance as they depend on the rate of development of the zones.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will detail the ownership of the sites of the 16 enterprise zones which he announced on 18 January ; what measures he will use to evaluate the effectiveness of those enterprise zones ; and how he will monitor their performance.
Mr. Baldry : Designation of the 16 sites proposed for enterprise zone status is subject to the agreement of the European Commission and to statutory consultation procedures. Precise site boundaries have yet to be determined. It would therefore be premature and potentially misleading to give details of land ownership at this stage. This information will be available as part of the statutory consultation process.
A programme of monitoring and evaluation for any new zones will be established on designation.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many recipients of portable discounts paid for leaving their rented council property have subsequently received a further discount on purchasing a second council-owned property.
Mr. Betts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many portable discounts were paid to tenants of (a) Westminster council and (b) Wandsworth council in each year of the operation of the scheme to date which did not result in the vacant property being relet to a homeless family or an applicant on the council's housing list.
Sir George Young : The table shows the number of cash incentive grants paid directly by Westminster council and Wandsworth council which did not result in the property vacated being relet to a homeless household or an applicant on the housing waiting-transfer list.
My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State approved these schemes on the basis that vacated properties could be sold to tenant purchasers, whose vacated properties would in turn be relet to a homeless household or waiting list applicant.
|Westminster|Wandsworth ------------------------------------------------ 1989-90 |0 |0 1990-91 |13 |0 1991-92 |0 |31 1992-93 |34 |29
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what responses he has received to the consultation paper on local government reorganisation, "Proposed Arrangements for 1994-95 Reorganisation Costs", issued to all local authorities on 2 December 1993 ; and what arrangements he has decided to adopt in relation to reorganisation costs to be incurred by authorities in 1994-95.
Mr. Curry : There have been some 40 responses to the consultation paper. We have carefully considered the responses, and have decided to confirm the proposals for 1994-95 with modifications. We shall issue to authorities supplementary credit approvals to enable them to borrow to meet specified reorganisation costs incurred in 1994-95, up to a limit. We shall determine the limit on the basis, inter alia, of information provided by the authorities concerned and the Government's public expenditure plans.
We have issued to authorities in the Isle of Wight and Cleveland notices requiring them to supply information about their reorganisation costs to be incurred in 1994-95. We intend, in the course of 1994-95, to issue further notices to any other authorities in respect on which reorganisation orders under section 17 of the Local Government Act 1992 are made that year. We do not expect reorganisation costs in 1994-95 to be significant for such authorities.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to ensure the monitoring of pollution levels in Britain's larger towns ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 24 January 1994] : In the second anniversary report of the 1990 environment White Paper, "This Common Inheritance", the Government made a commitment to extend their urban air quality monitoring network to cover all major cities by 1997. In addition, the Government are currently considering responses to their recent consultation paper "The Future of Air Quality Monitoring Networks in the United Kingdom", which included proposals for a framework which draws local and national air quality monitoring together into a coherent quality assured network.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what quantities of waste have been exported annually from the United Kingdom since 1988 to non-OECD countries for (a) disposal and (b) recovery or recycling ;
(2) if the Government intend to support a total ban on the export of all toxic waste to non-OECD countries at the forthcoming Basel convention meeting in March ;
(3) if he will place in the Library the information supplied by the United Kingdom to the European Commission as its contribution to the review of waste exports for recovery, as requested at the Environment Council meeting in March 1993 ;
(4) which local and national authorities (a) were responsible for determining whether the United Kingdom waste exported to the Brazilian company Produquimica in
Column 130August 1993 was a controlled waste and (b) are now responsible for the management of the waste subsequently returned to the United Kingdom recently ;
(5) what measures he has taken or intends to take to ensure that wastes exported to non-OECD countries for the purposes of recycling and recovery are handled in an environmentally sound manner.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 24 January 1994] : My Department has no record under the Transfrontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste Regulations 1988 of any exports since 1988 of hazardous waste to non-OECD countries for disposal. A total of 16,300 tonnes of hazardous red and amber list waste were exported to non-OECD countries for recovery or recycling in 1991. Information for 1992 is as follows. Information for earlier years has not been analysed and would be available only at disproportionate cost.
I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Evans) on 12 January at columns 200-201. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 18 January, at column 567 . I understand that no documentation was submitted to the competent authorities under the Transfrontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste Regulations 1988 prior to the export of this material by London Metals Ltd. to the Produquimica Co. in Brazil. Humberside county council is aware that the material is being transported to a storage facility in its area.
The following information was supplied to the European Commission :
United Kingdom exports of hazardous recoverable red and amber list waste to non-OECD countries 1992 Country |Tonnes ------------------------------------------------- Thailand |2,371 South Africa |1,393 South Korea |1,160 Dubai |925 India |748 Israel |269 Libya |187 Singapore |134 Burma |127 Taiwan |111 Qatar |103 Bolivia |102 Pakistan |99 Indonesia |73 Egypt |71 United Arab Emirates |62 Malta |60 Saudi Arabia |45 Abu Dhabi |40 Mexico |39 Brunei |22 Malaysia |21 Zambia |12 Ecuador |8 CIS (former Soviet Union) |7 Ghana |3 Sri Lanka |2 Venezuela |1 China |1 Total for all non-OECD countries | 8,196 Note: Figures rounded. Source of information: United Kingdom Customs and Excise Department-May 1993.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what working definition of "back to basics" is used by her Department ; and what her Department has done in the past three months to implement the policy.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 20 January 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 January 1994 Official Report , column 849 .
Mr. Soames : No such assessment has been made. However, the GATT Uruguay round agreement on agriculture does not change the basic GATT requirement that animal welfare measures should not place more stringent measures on third country imports than on domestic production.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which special advisers in her Department are seconded from other organisations ; and what are the organisations and the lengths and terms of the secondments.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the value of the intervention stocks for free distribution that were (a) allocated and (b) distributed, for each European Union member in 1993 in (i) pound sterling and (ii) ecus.
Member state |£ sterling<1><2>|ecus<2> |(millions) |(millions) -------------------------------------------------------------------- Belgium |1.931 |2.422 Denmark |1.595 |2.000 France |22.771 |28.560 Germany |nil |nil Greece |9.567 |12.000 Ireland |3.668 |4.600 Italy |19.534 |24.500 Luxembourg |0.062 |0.078 Netherlands |2.392 |3.000 Portugal |8.324 |10.440 Spain |28.224 |35.400 United Kingdom |19.932 |25.000 |---- |---- Total |118.000 |148.000 <1>ecu/£ conversion rate=0.797291 as at 1 October 1992. <2>These total figures include transport and administration costs.
Final figures for actual expenditure for 1993 are not yet available.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : This Council meeting, at which I represented the United Kingdom, formally adopted the legal texts implementing the package of decisions reached at its December meeting and as described in my reply of 17 December to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Waveney (Mr. Porter) Official Report , columns 1071-72 . As stated in that reply, I voted against the decision on oilseeds.
The Council also adopted unanimously a regulation permitting member states to impose a levy on milk production in order to fund promotional measures ; considered the situation of beekeepers in the Community, on which the Commission will present a more detailed study in due course ; and discussed, without reaching any specific conclusions, a report from the Commission on the sheepmeat market. I took the opportunity to press the Commission to reach a speedy decision on the legality or otherwise of French national assistance to pig producers, an issue which I had first raised in the Council last October.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many agreements have been made, how much has been spent and how many kilometres of hedgerow were restored under the hedgerow incentive scheme by her Ministry in (a) 1992-93 and (b) 1993-94 in each region in England ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 11 January 1994] : The table sets out by MAFF region the number of claims and the amount of money paid at November 1993 to farmers under the farm and conservation grant scheme--F and CGS--in support of the Countryside Commission's hedgerow incentive scheme--HIS. No such payments were made in the financial year 1992-93. Because these payments accompanied payments by the Countryside Commission it is not possible to identify separately the proportion of the hedgerow restored under the HIS which attracted grant under the F and CGS.
Government support for hedgerow restoration through the HIS is minor compared to the considerable support which is available also under the F and CGS. Under
Column 133this scheme, since 1989, we have paid 3,500 farmers £5.24 million towards the restoration of 3,300 km of hedgerow.
1993-94 MAFF Regional |Number of |Grant Paid Service Centre |Claims |£ ------------------------------------------------------------ Anglia |1 |455 East Midlands |8 |3,290 North East |10 |10,375 Northern |16 |17,654 North Mercia |9 |12,659 South Mercia |11 |10,644 South East |8 |6,073 South West |8 |8,839 Wessex |7 |5,433 England |78 |74,972
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will publish the farm income figures for (a) English, (b) Welsh, (c) Scottish and (d) Northern Irish hill livestock farm enterprises in each of the past 10 years for which figures are available, at constant prices, shown as a percentage of full-time manual earnings for the United Kingdom for the same period.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 18 January 1993] : None of the measures of farm income are comparable with those of manual worker's earnings. The tables show estimates of the level of cash income for each accounting year since 1986-87 and the average earnings of full-time adult workers as at April each year in terms of current prices and 1992-93 prices. Income data are not available for the new classification of farm types before 1986-87.
Cash income and average manual workers earnings |Full-time adult Cash income on manual workers cattle and sheep farms (LFA)<1> |earnings in |England |Wales |Scotland |Northern Ireland|Great Britain <3>Year |£'000s per farm |£'000s per farm |£'000s per farm |£'000s per farm |£'000s ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Current prices 1986-87 |7.1 |8.7 |10.5 |10.6 |8.5 1987-88 |10.8 |7.7 |14.3 |11.7 |9.0 1988-89 |11.0 |10.4 |14.5 |8.9 |9.7 1989-90 |14.1 |13.5 |14.9 |12.0 |10.6 1990-91 |13.2 |14.3 |15.5 |11.5 |11.6 <4>1991-92 |14.3 |17.8 |17.9 |9.9 |12.3 <4>1992-93 |18.4 |22.0 |19.8 |13.6 |13.0 <4><5>1993-94 |22.0 |28.9 |21.9 |15.2 |13.3 1992-93 prices 1986-87 |10.0 |12.3 |14.8 |15.0 |12.0 1987-88 |14.6 |10.4 |19.4 |15.9 |12.2 1988-89 |14.1 |13.4 |18.6 |11.4 |12.5 1989-90 |16.8 |16.1 |17.7 |14.3 |12.6 1990-91 |14.3 |15.5 |16.8 |12.5 |12.6 <4>1991-92 |14.8 |18.4 |18.5 |10.2 |12.7 <4>1992-93 |18.4 |22.0 |19.8 |13.6 |13.0 <4><5>1993-94 |21.7 |28.4 |21.6 |15.0 |13.0 <1>Sample averages for farms larger than 8 ESU. The system of farm classification is set out in appendix 3 of Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom 1991-92. <2>As at April each year. <3>March-February accounting year. <4>Provisional and forecast figures based on the sample of farms in the survey for 1992-93. <5>Forecast. <6>Deflated by the retail prices index-all items (March 1992-February 1993 prices).
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance Her Majesty's Government have given to Iran to help refugees from Iraq ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Since 1991 we have contributed £2,216,000 to helping Iraqi refugees in Iran. These sums include £200,000 to CARE ; £320,000 to the Iraqi humanitarian relief committee ; £52,000 to the South Manchester accident and rescue team ; £20,000 to the Association of Pioneer Relief Officers ; £1 million to the International Commission of the Red Cross and £624,000