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Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what work the consultant, UK Gold Television, is doing on behalf of the Prison Service agency ; how many companies were involved in tendering for the work ; and how much UK Gold is being paid.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Numbers of firefighters killed or seriously injured in Wales in the line of duty in each year since 1980 are shown in the following table. Serious injuries are defined as those which result in absence of duty for at least one month.
|Serious |Fatalities |injuries -------------------------------------------- 1980 |37 |- 1981 |50 |- 1982 |42 |- 1983 |26 |- 1984 |21 |- 1985 |76 |- 1986 |51 |- 1987 |34 |1 1988 |50 |- 1989 |36 |- 1990 |59 |1 1991 |42 |1 1992 |50 |-
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he proposes to ensure that the fire services in the counties of Wales will retain their professionalism in the proposed reorganised local government units ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : On the date of reorganisation of local government in Wales, my right hon. and learned Friend proposes to establish three combined fire authorities with responsibility for providing fire services in Wales. We believe that this will improve the strategic capability of fire services in Wales, and ensure that they continue to operate effectively and efficiently. Her Majesty's inspectorate of fire services will continue to report to me on the manner in which fire authorities in Wales are performing their statutory duties under the Fire Services Act 1947. I am confident that the new brigades, and the officers serving in them, will maintain and continue to develop the high level of professionalism with which fire services in Wales are provided.
Mr. Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many firms were invited to tender in the proposed sale of DTELS ; how many bids were received ; how many bids were still active when the Government made their decision about the preferred bidder ; between which firms the final sales decision was made ; what was the sale price ; and what degree of debt write-off, deferred payment or preferential agreement was involved in the sale of DTELS ; (2) what are the public interest considerations which relate to the sale of DTELS to NTL ;
(3) what contractual obligations were written into the sale of DTELS in respect of price stability in the telecommunications contracts for Britain's emergency services.
Mr. Howard : The privatisation of DTELS was advertised twice in the Financial Times and copies of the information memorandum inviting indicative bids were issued to some 40 organisations. Seven bids were received by 22 October which were short-listed to three for submission of final bids by 17 December. Two final bids were taken forward from National Transcommunications Ltd. and from Pell Frischmann Consulting Engineers Ltd. The latter also offered the option of a joint bid with Serco Ltd.
The sale of DTELS was completed on 1 March. Full consideration of £6.6 million has been received in lump sum payment. In accordance with normal commercial practice, certain limited sums may become payable by the Department to the purchaser as a result of claims under the terms of the sale contract.
Column 826The objectives of the sale were to :
maximise sale proceeds consistent with preserving the best prospects for effective competition in the market for
telecommunications support services for the emergency services ; obtain reassurances that the purchaser should have the capacity to meet transferred liabilities and obligations.
I am satisfied that sale to NTL meets those objectives. The stability of contract prices for telecommunications support to the emergency services is determined by the market and by the nature of the agreements with the emergency services entered into. There is competition for these contracts.
Mr. Howard : DTELS has been sold to National Transcommunications Ltd.--NTL. The sale was successfully completed on 1 March for a consideration of £6.6 million, subject to post-completion audit. The objectives of the sale, which were announced on 14 July 1993 at column 495 were :
to maximise sale proceeds consistent with preserving the best prospects for effective competition in the market for
telecommunication support services for the emergency services ; to obtain reassurance that the purchaser should have the capacity to meet transferred liabilities and obligations.
I am satisfied that these objectives have been met.
I am confident that DTELS in NTL ownership and with increased commercial opportunities can continue to compete vigorously for telecommunications business in support of the emergency services. This healthy competition will help ensure that the emergency services will get best value for their expenditure.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in each of the last five years how many (i) firemen and (ii) police officers in each region have been injured in the line of duty.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Fire brigade casualties for England and Wales for the years 1988-92 are shown in the following table. The cost of extracting the data for each brigade area would be disproportionate.
Brigade casualties, England and Wales 1988-92 Fatal<1> Non-fatal casualties Fire-related Non fire-related Year |Fire related |Non fire-related |Total |Of which: |serious injuries<2> |serious injuries<2> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1988 |0 |0 |1,158 |298 |430 1989 |1 |1 |1,462 |325 |394 1990 |2 |4 |1,287 |317 |413 1991 |2 |2 |1,020 |302 |620 1992 |2 |1 |1,079 |264 |597 <1> Includes road traffic accidents. <2> Resulting in absence of duty for at least one month.
Information on the number of injuries to police officers is not held centrally. The number of police officers
Column 826assaulted on duty in England and Wales since 1989 is shown in the following table. Figures for 1993 are not yet available.
Total Police Officers assaulted Forces |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon and Somerset |543 |437 |522 |485 Bedfordshire |155 |241 |195 |152 Cambridge |175 |176 |115 |116 Cheshire |341 |651 |644 |715 City of London |34 |27 |26 |12 Cleveland |274 |304 |241 |183 Cumbria |136 |130 |154 |130 Derbyshire |330 |359 |370 |317 Devon and Cornwall |304 |416 |490 |311 Dorset |133 |158 |141 |138 Durham |274 |256 |233 |227 Dyfed-Powys |84 |112 |95 |76 Essex |141 |193 |190 |209 Gloucestershire |210 |189 |120 |145 Greater Manchester |1,067 |1,216 |1,126 |1,009 Gwent |65 |413 |347 |289 Hampshire |406 |343 |374 |388 Hertfordshire |246 |181 |180 |133 Humberside |560 |318 |282 |217 Kent |320 |192 |225 |207 Lancashire |285 |397 |439 |436 Leicestershire |259 |189 |179 |150 Lincolnshire |176 |145 |126 |106 Merseyside |668 |247 |231 |1,039 Norfolk |240 |235 |206 |223 North Wales |240 |193 |92 |132 North Yorkshire |126 |146 |149 |140 Northamptonshire |163 |208 |169 |136 Northumbria |461 |677 |872 |432 Nottinghamshire |207 |354 |431 |366 South Wales |759 |793 |688 |583 South Yorkshire |334 |308 |180 |197 Staffordshire |474 |515 |420 |401 Suffolk |151 |167 |186 |132 Surrey |145 |198 |238 |239 Sussex |330 |356 |348 |310 Thames Valley |434 |427 |380 |374 Warwickshire |75 |88 |82 |129 West Mercia |303 |286 |277 |241 West Midlands |1,224 |1,034 |1,347 |1,645 West Yorkshire |713 |650 |682 |739 Wiltshire |166 |261 |195 |194 |---- |---- |---- |---- Provincial Total |13,731 |14,186 |13,987 |13,803 Metropolitan Police |<3>- |<1>2,647 |3,960 |3,413 |---- |---- |---- |---- England and Wales Total |<4>13,731|16,833 |17,947 |<2>17,216 <1>Excludes other assaults. <2>Revised figure from that previously published. <3>Figures not available. <4>Figure excludes Metropolitan Police.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he removed Mr. Lorrain Osman from Brixton prison on 12 December 1992 and placed him on a flight to Hong Kong without any notice to, and entirely without the knowledge of, his legal advisers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : After protracted legal proceedings in this country lasting for seven years, Mr. Osman was extradited to Hong Kong on 15 December 1992--not 12 December--to face serious charges, to certain of which he subsequently pleaded guilty. He was returned to Hong Kong on the day on which the House of Lords finally dismissed his ninth application for habeas corpus, at which time there were no further proceedings outstanding. Throughout the proceedings, Mr. Osman's legal representatives were kept well aware of the Secretary of State's intention to surrender him as soon as there was no longer
Column 828any legal impediment to his removal. They were notified by the House of Lords as soon as his final petition was refused ; and they would have been aware that, with no further legal bar to surrender, steps would immediately be taken to return him to Hong Kong.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in considering whether to order the extradition of Mr. Lorrain Osman to Hong Kong on 15 June 1992, refused the request of Mr. Osman's legal advisers that he should personally inspect documents which had been the subject of claims by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for non-disclosure on public interest immunity grounds ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : Disclosure of the documents which were subject to public interest immunity certificates was sought by Mr. Osman in various habeas corpus applications. The High Court did not accept that they were relevant to the
Column 829arguments which he was seeking to advance. The Secretary of State therefore saw no reason to inspect the documents himself before issuing his surrender warrant. His decision to order surrender was upheld by the High Court in subsequent judicial review proceedings initiated by Mr. Osman.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the Secretary of State for the Home Department cancelled the appointment which he had made with a cross-party delegation of hon. Members who wished to make representations to him on 15 June 1992 against extraditing Mr. Lorrain Osman ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : On 10 June 1992, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ruchcliffe (Mr. Clarke) agreed to see a number of hon. Members on 16 June 1992 about Mr. Osman's case, which was then pending before the House of Lords. The hon. Members gave no indication that they were then acting on behalf of Mr. Osman ; and his solicitors had stated that, apart from a covering letter from Mr. Osman, the representations submitted by them on 12 June 1992 were complete. In those circumstances, the Secretary of State saw no reason to delay making an order for return and he signed a surrender warrant on 15 June 1992. Mr. Osman's solicitors had indicated that if a surrender warrant was signed they would seek a judicial review of the decision. The meeting with the hon. Members was cancelled because the Secretary of State considered that in the circumstances then obtaining, it would serve no useful purpose.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Four new safer cities projects were set up in 1991, and a further 10--which were announced in December 1993--are currently being established. Announcements on further projects are planned for 1994-95.
Sixteen of the original 20 projects will, as planned, cease to receive Government funding in March 1994 in order to release funds for a second phase of the programme in up to 40 new areas which have not yet benefited from safer cities funding.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people in (a) Coventry and (b) the west midlands were convicted of drug offences in each year since 1991 ; (2) how many of those convicted of drug offences in the west midlands and Coventry in the last year for which figures are available were under 21 years of age ;
(3) what the figures are for drug-related offences committed by young people in Coventry for each year since 1991.
Mr. Maclean : Information available centrally on persons convicted of drug offences by age group in the West Midlands police force area and the Coventry petty sessional division for 1991 and 1992 is given in the table.
It is possible to distinguish centrally only offenders who have committed drug offences as opposed to drug-related offences. 1993 data will not be available until the autumn.
Number of persons convicted of drug offences in the West Midlands police force area and Coventry petty sessional division by age group 1991 and 1992 Age group aWest Midlands PFA Coventry PSD<1> |Number |Per cent.|Number |Per cent. ------------------------------------------------------------ Under 21 1991 |235 |25 |66 |35 1992 |145 |20 |29 |23 All ages 1991 |950 |100 |191 |100 1992 |732 |100 |126 |100 <1> Including offenders convicted at the Crown Court who were committed by Coventry PSD.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his letter dated 25 January, concerning the application of Mr. Marendra Kumar Patel (Ref. P380877/2 (S). PO 31329/93) to Her Majesty's post in Bombay to join his wife in the United Kingdom, when Mr. Patel's wife in the United Kingdom is to be interviewed ; and if he will arrange for her to be interviewed close to her home in Bradford.
Mr. Dixon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) on how many occasions since 1985 he has imposed a minimum sentence for persons sentenced to life imprisonment of the same length as the recommendation of the trial judge or the Lord Chief Justice ;
(2) on how many occasions since 1985 he has increased the minimum period of sentence for a person sentenced to life imprisonment beyond the recommended minimum length of sentence by the trial judge or the Lord Chief Justice ; and on how many such occasions the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice have subsequently concurred in the increase ;
Column 831(3) on how many occasions since 1985 he has imposed a minimum life sentence on a person sentenced to life imprisonment of less than the period recommended by the trial judge or the Lord Chief Justice.
The readily available information is for the period August 1990 to July 1993 inclusive. During this period a total of 806 mandatory life sentence cases were considered. Of these, Ministers set a period the same length as that recommended by the trial judge in 409 cases--in 325 of these the Lord Chief Justice agreed with the period recommended by the trial judge. In a further 244 cases Ministers set a period in accordance with the recommendation of the Lord Chief Justice.
A period higher than either of the periods recommended by the judiciary was set in 112 cases. The question of subsequent concurrence by the judiciary did not arise, since the final decision is for the Secretary of State.
A period lower than either of the periods recommended by the judiciary was set in three cases.
In the remaining 38 cases, Ministers set a period between the recommendations of the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice.
Mr. Howard : The terms of reference for the review of the police service pension scheme require that review to include in its report an assessment of the read-across to the fire service. I propose, in addition, to set up a separate review of pension arrangements for firefighters. My officials are drawing up terms of reference for the review, and will circulate them to the fire service employers' and employees' organisations. I will consult the Central Fire Brigades advisory council on any proposals which emerge from the two reviews for change to the pension arrangements for firefighters.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 1 February, Official Report , column 641, what decision as to the period to be served for retribution and deterrence he reached in the case of Mohammed Riaz and Abdul Qayyum Raja ; what were the recommendations made to him in each case by the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice ; what rights both men have to make representations against his decision ; in coming to his decision, what account he took of any recommendation made by the trial judge about deportation at the end of sentence ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 9 February 1994] : The period for retribution and deterrence in these cases was originally set in 1988. At that time the trial judge recommended 10 years for Mr. Riaz and 15 years for Mr. Raja. The Lord Chief Justice of the day recommended a minimum period of 16 years for Mr. Riaz and 21 years for Mr. Raja. The Minister then set a period of 20 years for Mr. Riaz, and 25 years for Mr. Raja. In doing so he would have had regard to the statement by Sir Leon Brittan, as Home
Column 832Secretary in 1983, that terrorists and certain other specified categories of murderer could normally expect to serve at least 20 years.
Following the Doody judgment of June 1993, the above details were disclosed to Mr. Riaz and Mr. Raja individually. They subsequently made representations and their cases were considered afresh in December 1993. My right hon. and learned Friend concluded that there were no grounds in either case to justify disapplying the policy set out in the Brittan statement. He therefore confirmed the existing periods in both cases. The possibility of deportation was not a factor which was taken into account in reaching his decision. My right hon. and learned Friend is always prepared to consider any written representations from mandatory life sentence prisoners as to the period they should serve. However, as the cases of Mr. Riaz and Mr. Raja have already received very careful consideration, further representations are unlikely to succeed in the absence of new information.
Mr. Sproat : We are considering the Sport Council's role in relation to children's play as part of our current review of the council's structure and functions. We expect to announce fresh proposals for the reorganisation of the Sports Council around Easter.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what steps he is taking to reduce the effect on the south-west tourist industry of water charges, the rate of progress towards agreed waste water directives and the level of funding required to prevent bathing being banned from local beaches.
Mr. Sproat [holding answer 28 February 1994] : Water charges are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and, primarily, for the independent Director General of Water Services. My Department has, however, received representations from the tourism industry about the level of water charges in the south-west and in other parts of the country. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State last year wrote both to the Secretary of State for the Environment and to the Director General of Water Services about the industry's concerns with regard to water infrastructure and connection charges.
Column 833The Director General is currently reviewing the price limits for water and sewerage services and is due to announce new limits in July 1994. The Government attach great importance to improving beaches and bathing water quality. A substantial programme of improvement in the south-west is already under way to secure compliance with EU standards. Many of these schemes are due to be completed in the next two years. Beach quality is important to holiday-makers, and proper attention to it will therefore significantly benefit the British tourism industry.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 776, what was the budgeted and actual cost of each public information campaign listed.
8 |Budgeted |Estimated |£ million|outturn |£ million -------------------------------------------------------- Drink drive |2.6 |2.6 Kill your speed |2.8 |2.8 Rear seat belts |0.5 |0.6 Drive booklet |0.2 |0.2 Other road safety |0.7 |0.6 Coastal and Marine Safety |0.3 |0.3
The budgeted cost and estimated outturn of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's public information campaigns listed in my answer is :
|Budgeted |Estimated |£ million|outturn |£ million ----------------------------------------------- DVLA Road tax evasion |0.7 |0.7 Vehicle Reg Nos. |0.6 |0.6
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 14 February Official Report, column 644, if he will place in the Library the results of independent research on his Department's major advertising campaigns during the current financial year.
Mr. Norris : Copies of the independent research into the Department's major advertisting campaigns during the current financial year are being placed in the Library. These cover the spring and autumn phases of the "Kill your Speed" campagin and the summer drink drive campaign. The results of research into the Christmas drink drive campaign will be available later this month when they will also be placed in the Library.
Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make it his policy to ensure that fast trains using the channel tunnel rail link will stop at Ashford international passenger station ;
Column 834(2) if he will make it his policy to secure a regular service of fast trains on the channel tunnel rail link which stops at Ashford.
Mr. Freeman : It is a commercial matter for the railway operator what services to run from the station. European passenger services expect about one third of the international services, and about 2 million passengers per year by the turn of the century, to use Ashford international. Provision of a junction with the rail link west of Ashford, providing access to the station for fast domestic and international services, is already Government policy.
Mr. Freeman : The competition begins today. The first stage will be for consortia to seek to pre-qualify, and the Department is today making available to interested parties a document which provides information about the project and sets out the procedure for pre-qualification. I am placing a copy in the Library.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 22 February, Official Report, column 118, if he will give his reasons for deciding not to provide a means of access from the M45 to the A5 in Warwickshire.
Mr. Key : In calculating future road traffic patterns for road schemes, the starting point is a good understanding of the existing patterns of movement. This is usually obtained by roadside interviewing supported by manual and automatic traffic counts. Working from this basis, the future pattern of movements is derived by application of growth factors. To ensure consistency with other appraisals, these are constrained at the district level to centrally produced estimates which are, in turn, constrained to agree with the national road traffic forecasts. Within these constraints, analysts are encouraged to take account of local variations in growth, as a result of new development, and so on. The key variables involved in these calculations include projections of the numbers of households, numbers of workers, and numbers of jobs.
Calculation of future traffic flows on roads--with and without schemes--is critically dependent upon the characteristics of the road network. The process of determining the routes that travellers take through the network depends upon the nature of the network, with congested urban networks requiring more complex methods than relatively uncongested inter-urban networks. Typically, relevant network characteristics can include
Column 835carriageway type and width, hilliness and bends, junction types and geometric characteristics, and the operation of traffic signals. The methods available for calculating future road traffic patterns and projections are described in detail in the Department's "Traffic Appraisal Manual". A short summary document is also available. These are available through the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that motor vehicles written off for insurance purposes do not reappear in the used car market as vehicles of merchantable quality.
Mr. Key : Vehicles are generally written off by insurance companies for economic reasons rather than on the basis of whether they are capable of being safely repaired. Where such vehicles are repaired and subsequently relicensed DVLA automatically notifies the police so that they can make inquiries where appropriate. Many written off vehicles are properly restored to a roadworthy condition each year and so legislation in this area would be unwarranted. Information on whether a vehicle has been previously written off by an insurance company is available to prospective purchasers from specialist data collection companies in the private sector. My advice would aways be to have a car inspected by an independent expert before agreeing to make a purchase.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that no Department of Transport members of staff will be transferred to the new headquarters of the Highways Agency in St. Christopher house until all relevant EC
directives/regulations and United Kingdom safety law/rules have been fully complied with ; and if he will make it his policy that full and open consultation will take place between his Department's officials and the appropriate trade unions.
Mr. Norris : Establishing the Highways Agency's headquarters in St. Christopher house will enable the agency to develop its own corporate identity and sense of purpose as soon as possible. It is my firm policy, and one to which the chief executive is equally committed, that the offices there should comply with all relevant health and safety requirements. Staff have already been consulted about their individual needs in St. Christopher house, and my officials have had a number of open and productive discussions with trade union representatives. Further discussions are planned.
Mr. Key : I propose to go out to consultation shortly on draft safety regulations to be made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 to supplement that Act by making it an offence to sell or otherwise supply in the course of business any part-worn tyre that is defective. In the meantime, section 76(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which is enforceable by trading standards officers, already
Column 836makes it an offence for any person to sell or offer to sell a vehicle part--including a part-worn tyre--if that person has reasonable cause to believe that it will be fitted to a motor vehicle and the use of that vehicle would thereby contravene the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, including the various requirements for tyres.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will direct Railtrack to undertake a programme of modernisation of stations to allow easy access to trains for passengers with disabilities.
Mr. Freeman : We wish to see improved access to train services for disabled people. These facilites are generally best incorporated into broader projects for station refurbishment, within Railtrack's overall investment programme. In designing station refurbishment projects, Railtrack will be able to draw on the code of practice for disabled passengers which the regulator will publish in accordance with section 70 of the Railways Act. This will include advice and design standards for the facilities disabled people need.
Mr. Freeman : All operators of passenger rail services or stations will be required to produce and implement a disabled person's protection policy, to be approved by the regulator, as a condition of being granted a licence to operate. In producing their policies, operators will need to have regard to the regulator's code of practice for disabled passengers, which he will publish in accordance with section 70 of the Railways Act after consultation with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee.
Pedal cyclist casulaties Great Britain 1988-1992 Number of casualties |Killed |Seriously injured ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988 |227 |4,652 1989 |294 |4,836 1990 |256 |4,344 1991 |242 |3,946 1992 |204 |3,787