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Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that Gloucestershire police have all the necessary resources to pursue inquiries relating to the identification of the nine bodies so far recovered in Gloucester, and the unearthing of any further bodies and the bringing to justice of the persons responsible.
Column 352Authority to apply for a special payment of grant over and above this, if it considered that the financial burden would threaten the efficiency of the force.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information on the number of copies of form RPF37 issued to electors is not collected centrally. HMSO currently holds 135,000 copies of form RPF37 in stock. Additionally, copies of the form are held by local electoral registration officers and by British consulates abroad.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I have no plans to alter the rules governing how applications for casino licences are made. We have under review the Gaming Clubs (Permitted Areas) Regulations 1971 which prescribe the areas of England and Wales in which casinos are permitted.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of category A prisoners, (a) men and (b) women being held in prisons in England and Wales as of 1 March ; and if he will list the category of offence of which such inmates were convicted.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 24 March 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of category A prisoners, men and women, being held in prisons in England and Wales. You also requested information about the category of offence of which such inmates were convicted. The following table gives the figures for sentenced and unsentenced category A prisoners as at 1 March 1994 :
|Sentenced |Unsentenced|Total ------------------------------------------------------------ Male |501 |137 |638 Female |2 |1 |3 |-- |-- |-- Total |503 |138 |641
The offences of which these prisoners were convicted or stand charged include murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences, robbery, firearms offences, offences involving explosions or explosives and serious drugs-related offences.
Column 353agencies, have used the Malaysian airline MAS for each year since 1985 including this year to date on official business ; and what was the cost of each flight to his Department.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received about the recruitment of young people and their involvement in the activities of the Dianetics and Scientology Mission of Bournemouth ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inmates have escaped from prison in England and Wales during each of the last five years ; and how many of such escapees are still at large.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 24 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 for details of the number of inmates who have escaped from prison in England and Wales during each of the last 5 years and the number of such escapees still at large.
The following table lists the number of prisoners who have escaped and the number still unlawfully at large :
8 Year |Number of |Number of |escapes |inmates |unlawfully at |large -------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |161 |7 1990 |195 |2 1991 |303 |10 1992 |254 |30 1993 |204 |21
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Companies registered in the Isle of Man are governed by Manx legislation. I understand that under Isle of Man company law the requirement that a copy of the balance sheet of public companies should be filed in the Isle of Man companies registry with each annual return does not extend to private companies.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners from (a) South Yorkshire, (b) North Yorkshire, (c) West Yorkshire and (d) Humberside are currently serving custodial sentences in prisons in Wales ; and if he will give for each prisoner, the length of their sentence, when they were committed and the nature of their offence.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 24 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking how many prisoners from (a) South Yorkshire, (b) North Yorkshire, (c) West Yorkshire and (d) Humberside are currently serving custodial sentences in prisons in Wales ; and if he will give for each prisoner, the length of their sentence, when they were committed and the nature of their offence.
The information available on where prisoners originate is for the county of the sentencing court. The latest provisional statistics are for 31 December 1993. On that date 3 inmates who had been sentenced by courts in South Yorkshire were held in Prison Service establishments in Wales. Of these, one was serving a life sentence for murder (sentenced in July 1983), one was serving a sentence of 5 years 6 months for indecent assault (sentenced in July 1993) and one was serving a sentence of 2 years 5 months for an offence which is not separately coded (sentenced in November 1992).
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for the last 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to one of his Department's agencies for answer ; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to his Department this represents.
Mr. Howard : Records show that between 1 April 1993 and 21 March 1994, 492 parliamentary questions tabled to my Department were referred to the chief executive of an agency. This figure represents approximately 12 per cent. of the total number of parliamentary questions to the Home Office.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last five years he has knowingly provided incomplete information in answers to parliamentary questions other than on grounds of disproportionate cost ; and on what subjects.
Mr. Howard : I answer parliamentary questions on the basis set out in paragraph 27 of "Questions of Procedure for Ministers". In replying to oral questions I seek to comply with Madam Speaker's guidance on the need for brief answers.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what account he has taken of the research evidence provided by Professor Lee Bridges and the University of Warwick on the projected cost to the legal aid budget of provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill ;
Column 355(2) if he will list all aspects of increased costs and reduced costs to public funds that his Department estimates will arise from his proposed changes to the right to silence ;
(3) if he will publish a full breakdown of the cost implications in respect of legal aid that his Department estimates will arise from his proposed changes to the right to silence (a) at the police station and otherwise prior to court appearance and (b) in court.
Mr. Maclean [holding answers 22 and 23 March 1994] : I am aware of the article by Mr. Lee Bridges, which speculates on possible costs arising from implementation of the provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill concerning the drawing of inferences from the silence of an accused person under police questioning or at court. The Government do not expect these provisions to have any significant financial effects.
Ms Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spends on child care provision for the under-fives and out-of-school provision for children aged over five either directly, excluding provision for departmental staff, or indirectly through resources made available to local authorities or other organisations ; what form of provision is thereby provided ; how many places are thereby provided ; and if he will make a statement on child care.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 14 March 1994] : The information requested is not available centrally. The only information on child care provision held within the Home Office relates to provision made for departmental staff.
Mr. Hanson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to end VAT avoidance by advance payment of fuel bills in the event of any further additions to the VAT rate in April 1995.
|Numbers ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Members of Self-Regulation Organisations FIMBRA |5,752 IMRO |1,144 LAUTRO |613 SFA |1,306 (less double counting)<1> |(194) Total regulated by SROs |8,621 Directly authorised by SIB |67 Certified by recognised professional bodies Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales |5,172 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland |476 Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland |197 Chartered Association of Certified Accountants |994 The Law Society |7,303 The Law Society of Scotland |908 The Law Society of Northern Ireland |452 Insurance Brokers Registration Council |1,404 Institute of Actuaries |35 Total authorised under s15 |16,941 Other authorised persons Authorised in other Member States<2> |3 Insurance companies<3> |217 Friendly Societies<4> |216 (less double counting)<5> |(446) Totals of authorised persons and registered exempt firms |25,619 <1> Some firms are members of more than one SRO. <2> Authorised by virtue of s31 of the FSA. <3> Insurance companies authorised by virtue of s22 of the FSA. <4> Friendly societies authorised by virtue of s23 of the FSA. <5> Europersons, insurance companies and friendly societies are members of SROs and some firms moving between categories (eg RPB and SRO) may be temporarily authorised twice.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what part the United Kingdom is taking, directly or indirectly, in discussions on reconstituting the ERM or operating an informal ERM ; what undertakings, assurances and understandings, express or implied, have been given by Her Majesty's Government to the European Commission or monetary authorities or other EEC Governments concerning the relationship between sterling and the ecu ; and to what extent the change in the value of sterling against the ecu in the 11 months to January 1994 is a reflection of such undertakings, assurances and understandings.
Mr. Nelson : The United Kingdom will continue to play a full and active part in discussions on monetary co-operation in stage 2 of economic and monetary union. But our policy on the exchange rate mechanism is well- known. We cannot consider rejoining the ERM until there is greater convergence between the monetary policies appropriate for all Community economies and we should need to be satisfied that the system would be operated for the benefit of all its members. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear that sterling will not rejoin the ERM in this Parliament.
The Government have given no undertakings, assurances or understandings express or implied concerning the relationship between sterling and the ecu to any person or institution. Sterling's exchange rate against the ecu reflects day-to-day market trading in all of the Community currencies.
Column 357through the Sports Council. Its annual grant to angling's governing bodies is intended to enable the promotion of angling and to increase participation levels.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to use part of the proposed millennium fund to fund projects put forward by angling organisations ; and what plans he has to inform such organisations of the availability of these funds.
Mr. Brooke : Decisions on funding projects to mark the year 2000 and the beginning of the third millennium will be the responsibility of the Millennium Commission. Angling organisations may also be eligible to apply for lottery funds from the four national sports councils. All distributors of national lottery funds are expected to publish guidelines for applicants during the summer.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the dates Ministers, or officials from his Department, including his Department's agencies, have used the Malaysian airline MAS for each year since 1992, including this year to date, on official business ; and what was the cost of each flight to his Department.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list for the past 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to one of his Department's agencies for answer ; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to his Department this represents.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list for the last 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to one of his Department's agencies for answer ; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to his Department this represents.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what consideration the panels to be set up under the technology foresight programme will be giving to the potential environmental impacts of the areas of technology to be investigated.
Mr. David Davis : Each of the 15 sector panels established under the technology foresight programme will take account of environmental and other relevant factors in assessing market and technological opportunities over the
Column 358next 10 to 20 years. In addition, one of the sector panels has the specific task of undertaking foresight into agriculture, natural resources and all aspects of environmental protection.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to the answer of 2 March, Official Report, columns 767- 68, regarding advertising campaigns by the Cabinet Office, what is (a) the budgeted and actual cost of each campaign listed for 1993-94 and (b) the budgeted cost of each campaign listed for 1994-95.
Campaign |Budgeted Cost|Actual Cost ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- OPSS Publicity for 1993 Charter Mark Winners<1> |- |311,747 Promotion of the 1994 Charter Mark Scheme<1> |- |66,383 Charterline Advertising<1> |- |542,010 Civil Service College Promotion of courses and other activities |352,000 |342,000 HMSO Promotion of publications, videos and IT product range |1,105,000 |1,344,000 Promotion of HMSO's status as a British Standards Institution Agent |- |57,000 Strengthening of awareness of HMSO in central and local government, the health service and public utilities |125,000 |101,000 Notes: <1> There was no separate budget for advertising for the three OPSS campaigns. Advertising was included in the overall budget for each of the projects. <2> HMSO's financial year ends on 31 December and the figures quoted relate to the calendar year 1993.
Mr. Norris : I am today announcing the launch of the sale of London Buses' operating companies. I am sure that the innovation and market responsiveness of the private sector will result in great improvements to our bus services. The quality of service and the cost-effectiveness of London's bus service has improved considerably since the private sector began to compete for contracts in London. Privatisation of the London Buses' operating companies will capitalise on those achievements and bring further benefits to both taxpayers and passengers.
Column 359I recognise the popularity of the traditional red bus. I have therefore decided that the purchasers of the London Buses' companies will be required to retain the red livery on the routes which they operate in Central London.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many different and distinct bus liveries he expects will be adopted in London subsequent to privatisation of bus routes ; what requirement there is by him on London Transport that buses serving any one route will all be of the same livery ; and whether the rules on code of practice concerning advertising on buses will be the same as, or similar to, those of London Buses Ltd. and its predecessors.
Mr. Norris : It is not possible to say at this stage how many different bus liveries there will be in London in the future. However, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the question from my hon. Friends, the Members for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) and for Surbition (Mr. Tracey), in which I gave the assurance that steps are being taken to ensure that the red bus will remain a familiar sight on London's streets after the privatisation of the London Buses Ltd. subsidiary companies. It would be for London Transport to consider whether there is a need to ensure that buses serving the same route have the same livery. The code of practice covering advertisements on buses after privatisation will be consistent with that which currently applies.
Column 360property on privatised London bus routes ; and how they will differ for the public from those now obtaining under London Transport.
Mr. Norris : The current arrangements for dealing with lost property on London's buses are set out in the route contracts under which bus operators, both public and private, run services on behalf of London Transport. There are no plans to alter those arrangements as a result of the privatisation of the London Buses Ltd. subsidiary companies.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the provisions he has made in the forthcoming financial year for severance payments ; and if he will list the sums and the vote and subhead from which it will come.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by locations, agency or division the numbers of grades and costs of his staff who have been given severance pay-offs this financial year ; and from which vote and subhead the money to finance such payments was made.
|Number |Grade |Total |Location |of staff |cost (£) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Department of Transport (Central) (DOT(C))<1> |24 |G3 and below |211,523 |Mainly London Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)<1> |78 |G6 and below |560,024 |Crowthorne Driver Vehicle Operators Information Technology |25 |SEO and below |1,170,914 |South Wales (DVOIT)<2> Driving Standards Agency (DSA)<3> |49 |Senior Driving |344,291 |All regions |Examiner and below Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)<4> |16 |Grade 5 and below |431,641 |South Wales Vehicle Inspectorate Executive Agency (VI)<5> |9 |SPTO and below |218,627 |All regions <1> The money to finance the DOT(C) and TRL payments will come from class IV vote 2 running costs subhead A1. <2> The money to finance these payments will come from class VI vote 2 running costs subhead KI. <3> The money to finance these payments will come from class VI vote 3 running costs subhead H2. <4> The money to finance these payments will come from class VI vote 4 running costs subhead A1. <5> VI is off vote. Money to finance these payments is subject to the provisions of the Trading Fund Act.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the present enforcement regime to deal with heavy goods vehicle operators who do not hold a current heavy goods vehicle operator's licence.
Mr. Key : I am satisfied that enforcement against illegal HGV operators has a sufficiently high priority within the Department's enforcement programme. Also that enforcement resources are being directed against making it increasingly difficult for people who do not hold a goods vehicle operator's licence and show a disregard for the requirements of operator licensing to continue to operate outside the licensing system.
The Department is committed to dealing with the problem of illegally operated heavy goods vehicles and its enforcement resources are being co- ordinated and directed
Column 360against the problem. The problem is also one of concern to other regulatory and enforcement authorities. Enforcement resources are therefore being co-ordinated and directed against it with some success through the work of the Department's illegal operations working group. The working group was formed in response to concerns expressed by the traffic commissioners about unlicensed operators and in particular a concern about drivers and operators who continue to operate having had their licences revoked.
Column 361Ministers offices in 1993-94 is £16,000 which covers the cost of all ministerial and departmental entertainment for official purposes.
Mr. Norris : The code of practice will reinforce and build on my Department's existing arrangements for the provision of information. Both the Department and its agencies already do much to keep the public informed, by way of publishing "popular" policy documents and background papers. They also aim to answer written inquiries from the public within 15 working days, a target which is within the 20 working day period set by the code.
Operational details concerning implementation of the code will be announced nearer to the time of the launch.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the staff attendance records, including sickness absence, of his Department's staff, stored on computer, are covered by the Data Protection Act 1984 ; and if access to the information so stored is allowed to the individuals concerned.
Mr. Norris : Computerised attendance records relating to staff sick absences within the Department of Transport are registered under the Data Protection Act. The information is made available, on written request, to the individuals concerned.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of traffic emission in central London he estimates comes from (a) buses, (b) licensed taxi cabs and (c) local authority service vehicles.
Mr. Norris : Figures on the performance of local authority service vehicles are not collected separately. For buses and taxis, we estimate the relative contributions to all central London traffic emissions to be as follows :
|Buses |Taxis |per cent.|per cent. ------------------------------------------- CO2 |14 |11 CO |2 |1 Hydrocarbons |7 |5 NOx |19 |3 Particulates |33 |11 Note: Figures are approximate only, but have not been rounded so that comparisons may be made.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has commissioned on the use of London buses, licensed taxis and local authority service vehicles, examining such factors as average trip length, average daily mileage, time spent in taxi ranks, bus stops or equivalent and average fuel consumption.
Mr. Norris : The Department has conducted a number of surveys which provide information on the use of London buses and licensed taxis. These include the 1991 London area transport survey, the annual inquiry of public service vehicle operators, the London journey time survey and the national travel survey. Detailed data on taxi usage were also collected in a 1989 research project.
In addition, London Transport and London Buses Ltd. conducts surveys which provide estimates of bus use, average waiting times and fuel consumption. There is no information available on local authority service vehicles and no recent data on taxi fuel consumption.
Mr. Norris : Sales of local authority airports are not subject to my right hon. Friend's consent, and no guidelines or instructions have been issued on the subject. Local authorities will be aware of the strong presumption in favour of disposing of public sector assets by open competition.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he now intends that the franchising director will publish his programme for franchising of rail passenger services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has instructed the franchising director to formulate and submit to him by 5 April a programme for franchising BR's passenger services consistent with meeting the Government's targets of commencing the competitive process for the first six franchises by the end of 1994, awarding the first six franchises by the end of 1995, and securing that 51 per cent. or more of the railway passenger services currently operated by BR are provided under franchise agreements by 1 April 1996. Subject to my right hon. Friend being satisfied with the franchising director's programme I expect it to be published shortly thereafter.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to make an announcement about the proposed closure of the Central line between Epping and Ongar ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Gerard Vaughan : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what indications there are from previous privatisations of transport industries that passengers will benefit from the privatisation of British Rail.