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Mr. Howard : The Criminal Justice Act 1991 placed on the courts a requirement to obtain and consider a pre-sentence report in all cases involving an offence triable either way before passing a custodial or major community sentence. This requirement has yielded a number of benefits in terms of consistency and availability of relevant information, but I have concluded that it is too inflexible and imposes unnecessary fetters on the courts and costs for the criminal justice system as a whole in its present form. My conclusion takes account both of the views of judges and magistrates and of the results of a review of the way in which the present arrangements work in practice undertaken by Her Majesty's inspectorate of probation. Although all probation services were asked last year to guarantee a same-day service for reports where a custodial remand would otherwise be needed, despite good work in some areas it is clear that such remands are taking place in circumstances where the courts are satisfied that the delay adds little of value to the sentencing process or outcome.
Column 13I have therefore decided to bring foreward an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill which will give the courts a discretion to dispense with the requirement to obtain a report where they are satisfied that they can properly sentence without one. This is the same discretion as now applies in the case of offences triable only on indictment, which has not proved problematic. I am sure that the courts will wish to exercise an enlarged discretion with care, bearing in mind the potential value of good pre-sentence reports in bringing out relevant information about the offender and offence, including aggravating as well as mitigating circumstances. The Government recognise that special considerations apply in the case of juvenile offenders, to whose welfare requirements the courts must have proper regard. We therefore propose that in their case the discretion to dispense with a report will be subject to the court concerned concluding, having had regard to a previous report on the offender concerned, that a further report is unnecessary. I believe that the change in the law which I propose will retain the benefits of the 1991 Act changes while avoiding unnecessary delays and costs, but I shall naturally want to keep the operation of new arrangements under review.
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 Mr. A. J. Butler to Mr. Doug Hoyle dated 21 February 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in Derek Lewis' absence from the office, to reply to your recent Question asking how many prison staff were on long term sick leave due to assault for each year since 1988.
As at 10 February 1994, 36 members of staff had been on sick leave for periods of at least two months as a result of assault by prisoners. I regret that information relating to earlier years is not available.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the (a) accountancy firms and (b) merchant banks to which the Office of Public Service and Science awarded private consultancy work in 1992 and 1993, together with a list of consultancies concerned and the amount paid.
Mr. Waldegrave : The full details and the total cost of consultancy contracts awarded by the Office of Public Service and Science and its agencies to accountancy firms in 1992-93 are available only at disproportionate cost. The identified cost for 1992-93 is £475,000, which does not include full details of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, which does not hold the information centrally in the form requested for that year.
The costs of individual contracts have been aggregated to maintain commercial confidentiality. On this basis the
Column 14figure for consultancy contracts awarded by the Office of Public Service and Science to accountancy firms in 1993-94 to date is £660, 000 and includes full CCTA information. No merchant banks were employed by the Office of Public Service and Science.
The Central Office of Information awarded no consultancy contracts to accountancy firms in 1992-93 and none have been awarded in 1993-94 to date. No merchant banks were employed.
HMSO awarded no consultancy contracts to accountancy firms in 1992-93 and the aggregated cost in 1993-94 to date is £205,625. No merchant banks were employed.
The firms and assignments for the Office of Public Service and Science for 1992-93 and the Office of Public Service and Science and HMSO for 1993-94 to date are as follows :
1992-93 Accountancy firm |Assignment title ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Baker Tilly |Advice on setting up commercial |accounting systems. Coopers and Lybrand |Supercomputing management study, |charging regimes. Coopers and Lybrand |Consultancy extension for strategic assign- |ments consultancy service. Ernst and Young |Relationship between agencies and |businesses. KPMG |VAT services. KPMG |Speaker for managing change workshop. KPMG |Study of fees and charges used by research |councils for contracts. KPMG |Trading fund asset management. KPMG |Developing personal review systems. Price Waterhouse |Core performance profiles for grades 5-7 |repeat consortium project. Price Waterhouse |Objective setting in personal review. Price Waterhouse |Charterline (project planning, management |and evaluation. Touche Ross |Review of financial information systems.
1993-1994 to date Accountancy firm |Assignment title --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andersen Consulting |Charter Mark Assessment Baker Tilly |Advice on commercial accounting systems Coopers and Lybrand |Supercomputing Management Study-- |Structural Options Elaine Brandt |Product Costing and Profitability Reporting Elaine Brandt |Trading Fund Status Ernst and Young |Internal Audit Market Test Ernst and Young |Development Study to plan the production |of Version II of Information Technology |Infrastructure Library Ernst and Young |Consultancy support for production of |guidelines on business process redesign in |the public sector Ernst and Young |Study on the future of Government |Telecommunications Network/Metropolitan |Service Ernst and Young |Case studies on Programme Management KPMG |Welfare Market Test KPMG |Training Market Test KPMG |GIS Market Test KPMG |Charging Model Study KPMG |Navy Support Command Study (undertaken |by CCTA on behalf of the Ministry of |Defence) KPMG |Financial Strategy for CCTA KPMG |Financial Systems Replacement KPMG |Review of Debtors Price Waterhouse |Senior Open Structure Core Criteria Project Price Waterhouse |Charterline (System Development) Price Waterhouse |Charterline (Selection of pilot region media |and communications, regional seminars, |data collection, acceptance testing, financial |modelling) Touche Ross |CCTA Risk Analysis Management |Methodology Training and Support |(Computer System Security) Touche Ross |Government Telecommunications Network |(Long Distance) Outsourcing Project Touche Ross |Case Studies on Programme Management Touche Ross |CCTA Risk Analysis Management |Methodology Training and Support |(Software Support Project)
Sir Mark Richmond, FRS (Chairman)
Dr. A. E. Hughes (Acting Chief Executive)
Professor P. G. Burke, CBE FRS
Dr. G. W. Robinson
Mr. D. A. Davis
Professor A. Donnachie
Dr. G. H. Fairtlough, CBE
Dr. K. W. Gray, CBE
Professor R. E. Hester
Sir Gordon Higginson, FEng
Professor S. D. Iversen
Dr. A. Ledwith
Professor J. S. Mason
Professor Sir D. E. N. Davies, CBE FEng FRS
Professor J. T. Stuart, FRS
Professor J. O. Thomas, CBE FRS
Professor D. J. Wallace, FRS
Professor A. W. Wolfendale, FRS
Professor R. E. Smallman, CBE FEng FRS
Mr. J. Speirs
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to extend the scope of the citizens charter to cover the quality and safety of public sector and private sector rented accommodation.
Mr. Waldegrave : From 1 April 1994, local authority tenants in England will enjoy new citizens charter rights to have repairs carried out and a right to be compensated for certain improvements they have made when their tenancy expires. Also from 1 April, tenants will have the statutory right to manage their homes, which with the extension of the council tenants charter to housing management, will raise the standards of council housing management. Comparable arrangements will come into effect in Scotland--subject to the separate consultation exercise being carried out by the Scottish Office--Wales and Northern Ireland.
These will be set out in an updated council tenants charter. Similar rights to repair and compensation will be introduced for housing association tenants through a revised tenants' guarantee. Where building work is involved in both private and public sectors, reasonable provision for health and safety is ensured through the building regulations.
The citizens charter does not extend to private landlords, but codes of practice on the management of
Column 16residential property in the private sector are being prepared by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Residential Housing Managers.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he will provide a substantive answer to the question tabled by the hon. Member for Cardiff, West for answer on 16 December concerning the administrative expenditure of his Department.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the total expenditure by his Department on administration in 1992-93 ; what is the estimated outturn for expenditure by his Department on administration for 1993-94 in (i) cash terms and (ii) real terms in 1992-93 prices ; and what is his estimate for expenditure on administration by his Department for 1994-95 in (a) cash terms and (b) 1992-93 prices.
Mr. Waldegrave : The final outturn for the recurrent costs of running the Office of Public Service and Science in 1992-93 is £26.490 million. The estimated outturn for 1993-94 is (i) £59.044 million in cash terms and (ii) £57.185 million in real terms. My Department's planned running cost expenditure for 1994-95 will be published in March 1994 in the Cabinet Office Departmental report. I expect this expenditure will be about £65 million in cash terms--£60 million in real terms.
The increase in cash expenditure between 1992-93 and 1993-94, estimated, is attributable mainly to the transfer to OPSS of provision for the Government centre for information systems from the Treasury, citizens charter and the Science and Technology Secretariat from the Cabinet Office and science branch from the then Department of Education and Science.
The increase in expenditure between 1993-94, estimated, and plans for 1994- 95 is attributable mainly to the cost of relocating the Government Centre for Information Systems to Norwich, and increased spending on the European fast stream programme. Provision for future years may change if a rationalisation of functions, currently under consideration, between the Cabinet Office : other services vote, class XIX, vote 1 and the Office of Public Service and Science vote, class XVIII, vote 1 is implemented.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much (a) capital and (b) revenue money has been spent by city technology colleges each year since the first CTC opened ; and how many pupils attended a CTC in each of those years.
DFE expenditure £ million Financial year |Capital cash |Revenue cash |Total cash --------------------------------------------------------------------------- <1>1988-89 |9.0 |0.4 |9.4 1989-90 |23.9 |2.5 |26.4 1990-91 |43.4 |9.0 |52.4 1991-92 |30.0 |23.3 |53.3 1992-93 |13.3 |35.4 |48.7 <1> Figures from 12 September 1988, ie the date of the opening of the first CTC.
Start-up costs and allowances for the diseconomies associated with the build-up of pupil numbers are included in the revenue figures.
Numbers of pupils on roll at city technology colleges Academic year |Numbers ------------------------------------------ 1988-89 |180 1989-90 |766 1990-91 |3,429 1991-92 |7,789 1992-93 |9,973
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many appeals are currently with his Department in respect of children who have been statemented by Lewisham local education authority ; how many statements have been issued ; and how many children have been made the subject of formal assessment by Lewisham local education authority for each year since 1986 ;
(2) how many children have been (i) statemented and (ii) formally assessed by Lewisham local education authority in each year since 1986, whose special need is as a result of diagnosis of dyslexia ; (3) how many appeals from Lewisham local education authority relating to dyslexia are being dealt with by his Department.
Mr. Forth : The Department is currently dealing with two appeals in respect of children with special educational needs from Lewisham local education authority. One of these concerns a child with specific learning difficulties, and both are in respect of children who have been made the subject of a statement.
Information on the number of formal assessments and statements made by Lewisham LEA, for the calendar years 1991, the first full year of the authority's existence, and 1992 is shown in the table below. Information for the 1993 calendar year is still being collated, and is not yet available.
Statements of special educational needs Lewisham LEA Calendar year |1991|1992 ------------------------------------------------- Children for whom a statement was made for the first time |55 |322 Children assessed for whom no statement was issued |0 |6 |----|---- Total |55 |328
Information on pupils who have been made the subject of a formal assessment or a statement is not categorised by disability.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many formal assessments are currently being undertaken by Lewisham local education authority ; what lengths of time each stage of the assessment has taken so far ; and whether the time taken exceeded the current legislative maximum time for each stage.
Mr. Forth : The Lewisham local education authority, LEA, has told my officials that it is currently undertaking 163 formal assessments. Information about the length of time taken for each stage of assessment is not available centrally. There is at present no statutory maximum time for making a formal assessment, or for the various stages of an assessment. However, subject to Parliament's approval, regulations made under the Education Act 1993 will set statutory time limits for the making of assessments and statements, with effect from the autumn of this year.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many appeals have been submitted to his Department from within Lewisham local education authority since 1986 ; what length of time each has been with his Department ; and in which cases that time has exceeded the current legislative maximum time for such appeals.
Mr. Forth : Since 1 April 1990, the Department has received a total of four appeals under the 1981 Act from within Lewisham local education authority, LEA. The table below provides information on the length of time each of these appeals has been with the Department. Information is not available on appeals received from within Lewisham LEA prior to 1 April 1990.
Appeal |Date Received|Date Resolved -------------------------------------------------------- A |<1>- |<1>- B |23/3/92 |2/12/92 C |15/9/93 |<2>- D |19/7/93 |<2>- <1> Information not available. <2> Appeal not yet resolved.
There is no statutory maximum time for resolving appeals under the 1981 Act. However, the Department is currently consulting upon draft regulations and rules of procedure which will, subject to Parliament's approval, govern the operation of the new special educational needs tribunal, to be established under the 1993 Education Act. The tribunal will set time targets for the various stages of an appeal. These will be set out in the tribunal's guide for parents. Performance will be assessed in the tribunal's annual report.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will give a breakdown of the cost of producing and distributing the revised parents charter to every household in the country specifying the cost of (a) design and printing, (b) translation and printing in ethnic minority languages, (c) recording of audio cassette versions and (d) distributing a copy to every home.
Mr. Robin Squire : The costs of the revised parents charter can be only estimated as its production has not been completed. The cost of the design and printing is estimated at £1,600,000. The cost of translating and printing the charter in ethnic minority languages is expected to be some
Column 19£80,000. No decision has been taken on whether to produce the charter in an audio cassette version. The cost of distributing 20 million copies of the booklet is estimated at some £500,000.
Mr. Robin Squire : None. This is a matter for the LEA in the case of county, voluntary controlled and maintained special schools, and for the governing body in voluntary aided, special agreement and grant-maintained schools.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list each bid for capital grants made by both operational and approved grant-maintained schools in Essex by financial year ; and if he will give for each school the purpose of their bids and the value of the allocation made in relation to each bid.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Department has not received an application for technology college status from St. Thomas's high school. No undertakings have been given by the Department to the school in relation to funding under the technology college initiative.
Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend has received three representations about the funding of inner-city schools in Liverpool. Two representations have been received from the same source, but through different channels, about proposed changes to the LEA's local management of schools funding formula, on which it has recently consulted. The third representation related to the possibility of additional funding for technical resources for an inner-city secondary school. I discussed this particular school with his grace, the Archbishop of Liverpool, when I visited Merseyside on 15 February 1994.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what changes he has made to the open general supply licence to Serbia and Montenegro which came into force on 26 November 1992 ; and if he will place a copy of the licence in the Library.
Mr. Needham : Since my reply to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith), 7 June 1993, Official Report, column 159, two companies have been added to the list of 36 persons "connected with Serbia and Montenegro" attached to the open general supply licence--authorised recipients, Serbia and Montenegro. The revised licence came into force on 9 July 1993. I will arrange for a further copy of the licence to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if British Nuclear Fuels sought permission from his Department, or had discussions with his Department, prior to establishing (a) BNFL Insurance Ltd. and (b) BNFL Indemnity Ltd. in Guernsey in 1992.
In December 1992, in accordance with section 19(1) of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, my Department, with the consent of the Treasury, approved BNFL's arrangements to insure its £20 million statutory liability under that Act with BNFL Indemnity Ltd. in Guernsey.
Mr. Needham : During 1993 I made 14 visits abroad. The visits and their purposes are set out below together with an estimate of the costs which covers travel and subsistence for me and those who accompanied me :
£11,034.78 Trade promotion, Japan.
£5,036.00 Trade promotion, Dubai and Doha.
£12,114.00 Trade promotion, Korea and Hong Kong.
£943.60 Internal Market Council, Denmark.
£13,900.38 Trade promotion, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. £1,797.70 Trade promotion, Turkey.
£784.40 Trade promotion, Czech and Slovak Republics.
£12,777.00 Trade promotion, Japan and Malaysia.
£6,340.50 Trade promotion, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. £11,171.60 Trade promotion, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. £801.66 Internal Market Council, Luxembourg.
£903.56 Trade promotion, Republic of Ireland.
£8,007.15 Trade promotion, India.
£13,545.00 Trade promotion, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Mr. Batiste : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the effects that the agreement with the Office of Electricity Regulation by PowerGen and National Power to use their reasonable endeavours to sell or dispose of 3,000 to 4,000 MW of coal-fired plant will have on the market for coal in the United Kingdom and the economic justification of increased use of gas as a fuel for power stations.
Mr. Eggar : The undertakings which the Director General of Electricity Supply has received from National Power and from PowerGen relate in total to the possible disposal of about 6,000 MW of coal or oil- fired generating plant.
Column 21It will be for purchasers of coal-fired plant to determine how that plant should operate and the amount of coal to be used. The choice of fuel for power stations is a commercial decision for the generating companies concerned.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what effects the proposed reductions in the electricity supply voltage will have on the power factor correction requirements of heavy inductive loads.