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Mr. Ancram : Under the single market trade in live animals between member states is subject to common rules. Within these rules the Department of Agriculture is carrying out all the checks permitted on imported animals at the point of destination in Northern Ireland to ensure that the required trading conditions have been met. Submissions have been made to the European Commission seeking additional trade guarantees against the introduction of a number of diseases from which Northern Ireland can claim freedom and for which there are no common trading rules.
Northern Ireland importers and the farming community have been made aware through media publicity and a leaflet and poster campaign of the potential disease risks associated with imported livestock.
Rev. Ian Paisley : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the effect of the cuts in hill livestock compensatory allowances and rises in petrol, diesel and car tax on the drift of population from rural areas ; and what proposals he has to support the rural areas.
Mr. Ancram : With increases in incomes in the less-favoured areas in recent years, assisted significantly by improvements in livestock premiums, much reduced interest rates and controlled inflation, there is no reason to believe that these measures will have any effect on the rate of population change in rural areas. Proposals for the specific support of rural areas are contained in the Northern Ireland structural funds plan (1994-99), which, following wide-ranging local consultation, is currently under consideration by the European Commission.
Mr. Ancram : The Department has an ongoing programme of advice to both the seed and ware sectors of the industry. Officers are made available on secondment to trading organisations to liaise with farmers to improve the marketability of their ware potatoes. Officers work with farmers and wholesalers to improve the health, quality and general marketability of seed potatoes. The Department's ad hoc advisory staff, research and development facilities and market development staff are available and regularly used by growers. Financial support may be available under the group marketing grant scheme, which is designed to encourage the development of commercially managed marketing groups for agricultural and horticultural produce.
Rev. Ian Paisley : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to what extent bovine spongiform encephalopathy is now on the decrease ; and when the ban on exports of bovines and beef can be lifted.
Mr. Ancram : Up to 24 February there have been 1,200 confirmed cases of BSE in Northern Ireland compared with approximately 120,000 in Great Britain. While the number of confirmed cases is continuing to rise, there has been a downturn in the rate of increase and in the proportion of younger animals in which BSE is confirmed.
Under European Community legislation it is prohibited to export from the UK live cattle over six months of age and bone-in beef from herds which had had a case of BSE. The EC scientific veterinary committee in conducting a scientific evaluation of BSE in September 1993 endorsed the Community control measures on BSE. There has been no change in this position. The lifting of the ban would be a matter for consideration initially by the European Commission which is keeping the position under review and has been made aware of the improving disease situation in the United Kingdom.
Rev. Ian Paisley : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland has sought financial assistance from the EC veterinary fund to help with its animal health programme.
Mr. Ancram : The Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland submitted an application in 1991 for assistance from the EC veterinary fund in respect of expenditure on animal disease eradication. The application has been unsuccessful to date but the Department's bid remains active in 1994.
Rev. Ian Paisley : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent forecast he has made of the fox population in Northern Ireland ; and what consideration he has given to introducing a bounty cull on foxes.
Column 729which ended in 1977 was shown to be having only a marginal effect on the number of foxes and there are no plans to reintroduce such a scheme.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for each of the last four years, and for the current year to date (a) the location and (b) the Richter scale measurement of earth tremors that have occurred ; and what structural damage was reported.
Mr. Tim Smith : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has placed the information requested in the Library of the House. The British Geological Survey has located 1,478 earthquakes in the United Kingdom and the offshore area in the period January 1990 to mid- February 1994. One of these tremors occurred in Northern Ireland on 19 October 1990 at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, with a magnitude equivalent to 2.5 on the Richter scale. The tremor was caused by the sudden collapse of an abandoned salt mine. Other damage was minimal.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress he has made with his proposals to introduce an element of competition into the generation and supply of electricity in Northern Ireland ; and what plans he has to refer the matter to the Monopolies Commission.
Mr. Tim Smith : As a result of the restructuring of the electricity industry and the sale of the four power stations in March 1992 to three independent companies, competition has been successfully introduced into the generation of electricity in Northern Ireland. The Director General of Electricity Supply for Northern Ireland is charged with the task of introducing arrangements to facilitate the development of competition in supply. The director general reported on his plans for this on 16 December 1993. Any question of a Monopolies Commission reference is a matter for the director general in the first instance. I am not aware that he considers there is any need for this at present.
Mr. Maclean : We are currently taking action across a wide front. For example, we are promoting safer cities projects focusing on young people and crime ; we are issuing fresh guidance on the cautioning of offenders ; we are beginning a review of national standards for community penalties ; and we have introduced legislation which will enable the courts to deal more effectively with persistent 12 to 14-year-old offenders, to sentence 15 to 17-year-olds to longer periods of detention in a young offender institution, and to order the detention under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 of younger children who have committed grave crimes. We are also supporting over £1 million worth of experimental work in the field of crime reduction, the aim being to reduce the propensity of young people to engage in criminal activity.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he received from organisations and individuals prior to the drafting of clauses 52 and 53 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.
Mr. Maclean : During the past two years we have received numerous representations from right hon. and hon. Members ; from members of the public ; from field sports organisations including the British Field Sports Society, the Moorland Association, the British Association
Column 732for Shooting and Conservation, the Association of Masters of Foxhounds, the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles ; and from the British Horseracing Board.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations and individuals he consulted prior to the drafting of clauses 52 and 53 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.
Mr. Maclean : There was no formal consultation process, but Ministers met informally a number of right hon. and hon. Friends and representatives of field sports organisations, including the British Field Sports Society and the Moorland Association.
Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much the Commission for Racial Equality has expended on legal fees for cases of alleged racial discrimination over the last three years ;
(2) how many cases of alleged racial discrimination, financed by the Commission for Racial Equality, have been brought over the last three years ; and how many were (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful.
Employment Non-employment Results |1991 |1992 |1993 |1991 |1992 |1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Settled on terms |101 |74 |<1>74 |11 |13 |2 Success after hearing |19 |24 |<2>96 |6 |2 |4 Dismissed after hearing |27 |42 |26 |2 |5 |0 ------- |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |147 |139 |196 |19 |20 |6 <1> An additional 34 cases were favourably settled by Complaints Officers before any Legal Officers were involved. Figures were not collected on these settlements for previous years. <2> The 1993 figure includes 78 individual cases against one Yorshire textile company (Haggas) where claims of discrimination by night shift workers were upheld.
In 1991-92 the CRE spent £800,000 on legal and professional fees. The costs were £1,400,000 in 1992-93 and are expected to be in the region of £1,000,000 for the current financial year.
Column 732Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 2 March 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the number of disturbances which have taken place in prisons in England and Wales since January 1993.
An act of concerted indiscipline can be defined as the refusal by a group of inmates to conform to the normal rules and regulations of a prison.
An analysis of the incidents reported to the Prison Service Incident Management Support Unit in the period 1 January 1993 to 26 February 1994 reveals that there were 171 recorded incidents of concerted indiscipline.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 2 March 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the number of remand prisoners being held in police cells within the Greater London area on 26 February 1994.
No remand prisoners were held in police cells in the Greater London area on that date.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the current occupancy rate for bail hostels in the west midlands ; and what assessment he has made of the immediate consequence if two of the hostels in the west midlands were closed.
Mr. Maclean : The occupancy rate for approved hostels in the west midlands in January, the most recently available monthly figure, was 80 per cent. The probation committee has been asked to identify two hostels for closure, with a requirement to reduce expenditure by £400,000 a year. In doing so the committee will need to assess the options, taking account of local circumstances and the consequences of closure. I have not yet received such an assessment from the committee.
Mr. Page : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made as to the effect on expenditure on emergency police services of the introduction of the APCO 25 service ;
(2) what liason has taken place with other Departments to calculate what savings might be made using the APCO 25 system for all emergency services.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The Home Office is in regular touch with a number of other Government Departments on all aspects of radio communications for the emergency services, including the benefits which might be gained from adopting a single standard for all services. Preliminary discussions have been held on the potential benefits of both the APCO 25 and TETRA standards, but final decisions on which of these offers best value for money will have to wait until the two standards have been finalised and products based on them are available.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. John Spellar, dated 2 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the reasons for hiring a private vehicle to transport James Hurley and other prisoners on 16 February.
A Prison Service secure cellular van would normally have been used for this escort, but it had been taken off the road on 15 February for emergency repairs to the heating system. The Metropolitan Police were approached for a replacement vehicle but they were unable to supply one. No other source for a cellular vehicle was available. As on previous occasions when a cellular vehicle has not been available, a coach was hired from a private company with whom the Prison Service has a contract. The staffing level for a secure, cellular vehicle is normally one senior officer and two prison officers. The hired coach was staffed by an acting senior officer and four prison officers, the level of the escort having been increased because an open vehicle was being used.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many project licences were granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in 1990, 1991 and 1992 for the production or use of transgenic animals in scientific procedures ;
(2) how many designated establishments are currently licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to produce or use transgenic animals in scientific procedures ;
(3) if he will issue a statement on the terms used to define a transgenic animal when compiling the annual Home Office statistics of scientific procedures on living animals.
Forty-six establishments were licensed to breed or use transgenic animals in 1992. Figures for 1993 are not yet available.
The Home Office statistics treat as transgenic animals those carrying genetic material from other species.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy on views expressed in the European Commission document "European Social Policy : Options for the Union" on the requirement for a successful integration policy.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Secretary of State for Employment will be sending a paper to the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the European Commission before 31 March. This paper will set out the Government's views.
Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department over what distance he estimates police sirens can be heard ; and if he will introduce a lower volume option so that noise pollution particularly in built up areas and at night is reduced.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The distance over which a police siren can be heard is subject to a number of factors, including the time of day, air temperature and location. Most vehicles are fitted with a control for the siren to enable its volume to be reduced if circumstances permit.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what longitudinal studies have been conducted on the economic performance of immigrants and refugees and the factors which contribute to their successful integration into the British labour market.
Mr. Charles Wardle : No such longitudinal studies have been published, though some studies in progress will be able to address some of the questions raised by the hon. Member. Several Government Departments are collaborating in mounting the "Working Lives Survey", a major sample survey of people's experience of work. The Home Office contribution to this study is paying for an additional "booster" sample of 2,000 respondents from the main ethnic minority groups. Some of the ethnic minority respondents will be immigrants, although it will not be possible to distinguish between refugees and other immigrants. Results should be available during 1996.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, columns 801-3, if he will place in the Library the results of independent survey research, the other relevant measures which demonstrate response to advertising and the result of the independent audit on the buying efficiency of television advertising.
Nor could the results of the auditing of the buying efficiency of television advertising be revealed without seriously weakening the negotiating position of Central Office of Information agencies which act on behalf of Departments. I can, however, state the primary outcome of each campaign as measured by research, in relation to the objectives given in my answer on 16 February, columns 801-3. Electoral Registration
Awareness of the need to put one's name on a form or register rose from 64 per cent. to 72 per cent. (all groups of potential voters). Within that total, awareness of the need among 16-24 year olds rose from 33 per cent to 49 per cent. The total of ethnic minorities aware of the advertising was 44 per cent. and this will be the benchmark against which future figures will be measured. If those people saying they intended to register as a result of advertising did so, 93 per cent of all groups would be able to vote : 73 per cent. of 16-24 year olds ; and 81 per cent. of ethnic minorities.
In 1989 ownership of alarms was 31 per cent. of households. Research of the current phase of advertising cannot be completed until after the campaign has finished in March. However, the March 1993 phase had helped push the total to 63 per cent. and my Department is confident of reaching the 70 per cent. target this year.
Car Crime Prevention
Ninety per cent. of respondents recognised car crime prevention advertising after the September 1993 phase.
Column 736Sixty-three per cent. said it would make them do more about car security compared with 57 per cent. after the February 1993 phase. Special Constables Recruitment
As of 21 February 1994, there have been 8,410 enquiries, subsequently converting to 4,314 applications as a result of the 1993-94 campaign. Final conversion rates are not yet available.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what implications arose from Crown immunity in relation to fire protection at Wymott prison and the fire at that prison last year ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Peter Pike, dated 2 March 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question asking what implications arose from Crown immunity in relation to fire protection against Wymott prison last year ; and if he will make a statement. The main aspects of concern over the fires during the disturbances at Wymott prison last year were over the fires started deliberately in the covered walkways. The service-ducts in those walkways had all been insulated in accordance with the Building Regulations appropriate at the time. A review of all prisons of the same era is underway to establish the remedial work needed.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what incidents would be considered by his Department to be covered by the term "special service incidents" ; what information he has on the total cost to fire brigades for attendance at such calls for the last year for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Special service incidents are those attended by fire brigades for purposes other than fire-fighting purposes. It is not possible to distinguish between resources which are available for the purpose of fighting fires, and those which are available to respond to special service calls. As a consequence, it is not possible to provide information on the cost to fire authorities of attending special service calls.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department is conducting into the factors which influence individuals to make an application to become British citizens ; and how the findings of that research could be used to amend current application procedures to encourage more long-term foreign residents to make an application.
Mr. Charles Wardle : A proposal for such research is under consideration, primarily as a contribution towards improving the forecasting of demand. It is unlikely to be directly relevant to the question of encouraging applications for British citizenship.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, columns 801-3, what was the budgeted and actual cost of each public information campaign listed.
|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------- Electoral Registration (TV) |620,000 Smoke Alarm Installation (TV) |1,020,000 Crime Prevention (TV, radio, press, posters, promotions) |3,459,443 Special Constables Recruitment (press, posters) |800,000 Police Graduate Recruitment (press) |119,889 Passport Renewal (press) |70,000
The actual cost of those campaigns was as budgeted.
Further phases of car crime prevention and smoke alarms advertising are currently running at a budgeted cost of £1,820,842 and £1,000,000 respectively.
Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks are carried out to ensure that convicted child abusers are unable to work with, or set up, charities whose work brings them into contact with children.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Police checks may be carried out on those who have applied to work with certain national voluntary child care charities which are members of the Voluntary Organisations Consultancy Service, where the nature of the work involves substantial access to children. The current review by the Home Office of arrangements for access to criminal records for vetting purposes may result in checks being made more widely available to the voluntary child care sector.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Gerry Steinberg, dated 2 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking what was the average number of years to be served in prison for those convicted in each region of child battery in 1993. I regret to inform you that the information you have requested is not available. Child battery is counted as an assault offence in the offence classification and is not separately distinguishable.