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Table B |£ ------------------------------------- Cambridgeshire |1,420.00 Cleveland |410,00 Derbyshire |3,180.00 Dorset |400,00 Essex |330.00 Kent |7,840.00 Norfolk |2,330.00 Northamptonshire |2,050.00 Nottinghamshire |560.00 Surrey |2,040.00 Warwickshire |280.00 North Yorkshire |350.00 South Yorkshire |690.00 |---- Total |21,880.00 |----
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Royal Ulster Constabulary Police Federation about proposals to alter the arrangements for criminal injury compensation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : We have not received any representations from the Police Federation for Northern Ireland. The new arrangements for awarding criminal injuries compensation in Great Britain came into effect on 1 April 1994. Separate arrangements continue to apply in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish the results of the recent study on the link between unemployment and crime, conducted by the crime policy division of his Department ;
(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the document on the link between unemployment and crime, prepared by the crime policy division of his Department.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many bans on public meetings and demonstrations were issued in (a) 1979, (b) 1985 and (c) the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Charles Wardle : There is no power to ban public meetings. The power under the Public Order Acts of 1936 and 1986 to prohibit public processions was not used in 1979, and was used five times in 1985 and twice in 1993.
Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the revenue and capital expenditure of the Durham fire brigade on mobile communications equipment and command and control systems in each financial year since 1991-92 ; and what plans exist for 1994-95.
Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the revenue and capital expenditure of the Durham police constabulary on mobile communications equipment and command and control systems in each financial year since 1991-92 ; and what plans exist for 1994-95.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Revenue and capital expenditure by Durham Constabulary on mobile communications equipment and command and control systems since 1991-92, and current plans for 1994-95, are shown in the table.
communications equipment and command and control systems |1991-92|1992-93|1993-94|1994-95 |(plans) ---------------------------------------------------- Revenue (£) |235,470|278,240|277,420|258,600 Capital (£) |5,000 |36,100 |105,000|181,000
Mr. Charles Wardle : Many products used to treat human cancer and other life-threatening conditions are capable of causing cancer in animals ; they are used because the benefits they offer to sufferers are judged to outweigh any risks there may be. The detailed information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the estimated cost of replacing the radio communications equipment for the whole of the Metropolitan police district ;
(2) if he will estimate the length of time that will be required by the Metropolitan police to plan, install and implement a trunked radio system.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I understand that the Metropolitan police are evaluating tenders for the replacement of personal radio systems for divisional, specialist and public order use. The timescale for implementation will be a matter of negotiation prior to contract but the indications are that the work will take between four and five years to complete.
So long as the Metropolitan police are in negotiation with potential suppliers, details of cost estimates are commercially sensitive.
Mr. Charles Wardle : We plan that the public safety radio communications project, if approved, would be implemented from 1998. To that end, the Home Office is currently undertaking a detailed assessment of the feasibility and costs of various options. Implementation will depend on a number of factors including the availability of frequencies and technology.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Government have made it clear that it will not agree to this directive while it contains provisions which would prevent payment in advance for goods and services. We are also pressing for the complete exclusion of services with reservation from the scope of the directive. The Greek presidency has responded to these concerns by tabling compromise proposals which go some way to addressing them, and these are under discussion in Brussels. It is too early to say whether these proposals might form a basis for agreement.
Mr. Burns : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to publish a report on the expected benefits of the general agreement on tariffs and trade for British industry and commerce within each sector of the economy in the format of that produced in New Zealand ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Needham : The Government intend to publish a White Paper setting out the results of the GATT round. My Department is analysing the results of the round in order to identify more fully the potential opportunities for different industrial and commercial sectors.
Mr. Sainsbury : The recently published DTI annual report gives information on the many schemes operated by the department to help improve the competitiveness of United Kingdom industry. A copy of this report has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what requests were received by the British Government from Iraqi companies or Government agencies for biological agents between 1979 and 1991 ; and if he will list the companies or Government agencies.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what quantities of (a) Ustilago nuda Rostrup, (b) Histoplasma capsulatum var. farciminosum, (c) Bacillus Anthracis, (d) Bacillus Subtilis Cohn, (e) Clostridium tetani, (f) Clostridium botulinum Type E, (g) Clostridium perfringens, (h) bacillus megaterium, (i) Clostridium botulinum Type A, (j) Brucella abortus Biotype 3, (k) Brucella abortus Biotype 9, (1) Brucella melitensis Biotype 1, (m) Brucella-melitensis Biotype 3, (n) Clostridium botulinum Type F, (o) Saccharomyces cerevesia, (p) Escherichia coli, (q) Bacillus cereus, (r) Staphylococcus epidermis, (s) Bacillus pumilus, (t) Cauliflower Mosaic Caulimovirus, (u) Plasmid in Agrobacterium Tumefaciens, (v) Bacillus ceres, (w) Francisella tularensis var. tularensis Olsufiev, (x) Salmonella choleraesuis subsp. choleraesuis Serptype typhi, (y) Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae, (z) Hulambda 4x-8, clone (HPRT) chromosome, (aa) Hulambda 14-8, clone (HPRT) chromosome, (bb) Hulumbda 15, clone (HPRT) chromosome, (cc) PHPT31, clone (HPRT) chromosome and (dd) plambda 500, clone pseudogene (HPRT) chromosome were exported from Britain to Iraq between 1979 and 1991.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 24 March, Official Report, columns 428-9, if he will list the firms of consultants employed by his Department and the number of contracts they have undertaken in each of the last five years.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information technology consultants his Department has employed ; for what purpose ; and at what total cost for each of the last five years.
Mr. Eggar : The Department has employed a wide range of information technology consultants and contractors from many sources over the last five years, for the purposes of assisting the development of IT strategies, and all aspects of their implementation, including support for project management, project support, systems analysis, computer programming, system testing, and IT security. Expenditure on such resources for the last five years, for which information is held centrally, and excludes agencies, is as follows :
Year |£K -------------------- 1989-90 |2,015 1990-91 |3,492 1991-92 |5,072 1992-93 |6,909 1993-94 |5,247
Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the present arrangement in the British Coal staff superannuation scheme of allowing staff to retire at 50 years of age will continue for present employees ; whether the Government will continue to meet the cost from 50 years to 60 years ; and on which vote the cost will be borne.
Mr. Eggar : The arrangements under which members of the British Coal staff superannuation scheme can qualify for pensions at 50 is a matter for the corporation and the scheme trustees. The related obligation on British Coal to make "additional contributions" in respect of early and enhanced pensions will continue to be honoured and to attract Government financial support. The cost to Government is borne on vote 5 within the Department's expenditure.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what computer systems his Department have brought in, for what function and at what cost for each of the last five years ; and in each case whether the computer system is still in use.
Mr. Eggar : The Department has made increasing use of computer systems, enhanced existing systems, and introduced many new systems over the last five years to assist most aspects of my Department's work. This includes : financial and management information systems ; database systems recording incidents of insolvency, patents, designs, trademarks, DTI sponsorship of United Kingdom companies, export licences, home accidents ; econometric and statistical systems recording information on production sector companies, overseas trade, the insurance industry, energy sources and resources ; modelling systems for pay forecasting and energy demands ; and office automation and communications systems.
Micro-computer systems have a life expectancy of three years or more, and larger systems five years or more. Very few of the computer systems introduced over the last five years are no longer in use. Central capital expenditure on new and enhanced computer systems for the last five years is as follows :
Year |£k ---------------------- 1989-90 |7,744 1990-91 |8,496 1991-92 |6,693 1992-93 |9,308 1993-94 |11,858
These figures exclude expenditure on behalf of agencies, except the Insolvency Service in 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 12 April, Official Report, column 100, what information he has concerning the date on which the European Commission intends to publish the report on information and protection of transactions concerning immovable property purchased by consumers ; and what information he has as to why the Commission has not as yet published that report.
Mr. Heseltine : The Commission has no plans to publish the report now or in the future. It commissions many reports, not all of which are published. The Commission has not made public its reasons for not publishing this report.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 12 April, Official Report, column 100, what response was given by the Office of Fair Trading to the approach made in connection with the report to the European Commission on information and protection of transactions concerning immovable property purchased by consumers.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the President of the Board of Trade which Ministers in his Department were approached to sign public interest immunity certificates in connection with the Matrix Churchill trial and declined to do so.
Mr. Heseltine : On 29 September 1992, shortly before the Matrix Churchill trial, further DTI documents were discovered which fell within a class for which PII is usually claimed. In the absence of both myself and my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, the then Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs and Small Firms, Baroness Denton, was approached to sign a third DTI PII certificate in this case, following the two that I had signed earlier. She felt that the issue should await the Minister for Trade's return to the office the next day. On 30 September the Minister for Trade was approached to sign the certificate but was unable, in the time available to him, to give the matter the due attention that it demanded. The documents were subsequently mentioned to the court by prosecuting counsel and released to the defence in the light of the decision of the court to order the disclosure of other DTI documents.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he has had with representatives of the telecommunications industry to establish a subsidised phone rate for calls made to general practitioners' mobile phones when on call ; and if he will make a statement on plans for such a rate.
Mr. McLoughlin [holding answer 15 April 1994] : The use of mobile phones by general practitioners when on call can provide a valuable benefit to patients, by improving response times and quality of service. The price of phone services is a matter for the individual telecommunications companies who provide them. I have received no requests to discuss with these companies the subsidisation of their services.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list all payments by the Export Credits Guarantee Department in relation to the Pergau project, giving the dates on which they were made and the amounts of the payments in each case ; and if he will give similar information for the planned schedule of future disbursements.
Mr. Needham : Payments made by ECGD in relation to the Pergau project have been entirely related to the cost of providing interest rate support. Up to 20 December 1993 such costs amounted to £29.202 million of which the ODA ATP budget contributed £24.367 million. Contributions are received from ODA in June and December in each year and, for ease of comparison, ECGD's costs, whether paid or accrued, have been reported to 20 December in the relevant financial year.
Future interest support costs will be affected by the rate at which the balance of the loan is drawn down and, to a limited extent, by the future course of interest rates. The table shows the estimated cost by financial year, including the contribution made from ODA ATP funds.
£ millions Amounts paid or to be paid Financial year |By ECGD |of which |contributed |by ODA ---------------------------------------------------------------- Amounts Paid 1991-92 |2.235 |1.882 1992-93 |9.294 |7.835 1993-94 |17.673 |14.650 Estimated Payments 1994-95 |27.080 |25.310 1995-96 |31.284 |26.940 1996-97 |31.384 |26.950 1997-98 |30.406 |26.980 1998-99 |26.729 |22.926 1999-2000 |23.042 |19.749 2000-01 |19.411 |16.538 2001-02 |15.668 |13.396 2002-03 |9.833 |10.218 2003-04 |6.871 |7.039 2004-05 |3.726 |3.880 2005-06 |0.674 |0.740 Total |255.310 |225.033
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 29 March, Official Report, column 650, what was the level of United Kingdom overseas investment in (a) the far east, (b) Europe and (c) north America in 1979 and 1993.
The available information for the nearest adjacent years for which estimates of overseas district investment have been made is as follows :
Direct investment assets abroad<1> (at book values) |£ million |1978<2> |1992 ---------------------------------------------------------------- Far East (Asia, other than Middle East) |1,773 |11,530 Western Europe |6,145 |42,967 North America |6,496 |61,130 Source: Central Statistical Office, Business Monitor MO4 and First Release. <1> Investment in overseas branches, subsidiaries and associates of United Kingdom enterprises. <2> Excludes insurance companies.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the level of tidal movements in Torbay ; and if he will now categorise the bay as less sensitive under the urban waste water directive.
Mr. Atkins : The Secretary of State asked the National Rivers Authority to make recommendations as to those areas which might be identified as high natural dispersion areas--less sensitive areas under the urban waste water treatment directive--in England and Wales. The authority has made its recommendations on the basis of agreed criteria and, in so doing, it has been for it to make whatever assessments of tidal movements may be relevant.
The Secretary of State will announce the areas to be identified as high natural dispersion areas shortly.
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he was notified of the findings of the local government ombudsman in respect of Cambridgeshire county council concerning the case brought by Mr. E. B. C. Osmotherly ; and what action he will take to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.
Mr. Baldry : Our attention has been drawn to this case on several occasions by the complainant's former and present Members of Parliament. I understand that the county council has declined to act upon the recommendations of the local government ombudsman, who is now in correspondence with the council about the terms of a statement which he will require to be published locally. My right hon. Friend has no powers to ensure that recommendations made by a local government ombuds-man should be implemented.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the previous water authority or company experience of each of the 1994 appointees to the regional customer services committees of Ofwat.
Mr. Atkins : The Water Industry Act 1991 requires the Director General of Water Services, in appointing persons to be members of customer service committees, to have regard to the desirability of the persons appointed being persons who have experience of, and have shown capacity in, some matter relevant to--(i) the function of a water or sewerage undertaker ; or (ii) the carrying out of those functions in relation to any area by a company which the director has allocated, or is proposing to allocate, to that committee ; and the desirability of--(i) the committee including one or more persons with experience of work among, and the special needs of, disabled persons ; and (ii) persons appointed including disabled persons.
Copies of the Ofwat news releases announcing the new appointments made in 1994, including a short biography of the appointees, are in the Library.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the current membership of each of the regional customer services committees of Ofwat, indicating which of those members were newly appointed in 1994.
Mr. Atkins : The chairmen and members of Ofwat's 10 customer service committees--CSCs--are listed in the director general's annual reports, copies of which are in the Library ; the next report is expected to be published in June. I have today placed in the Library, a list of CSC members, excluding the chairmen, as at 31 March 1994. In 1994, so far, there has been one new appointment, that of Mr. Subhash Thakrar to Ofwat's Thames CSC. In addition, two new chairmen have been appointed in 1994, Mr. Eric Wilson to the Yorkshire CSC, and Dr. Roger Corbett to the Eastern CSC. Copies of the relevant Ofwat news releases relating to these appointments are also in the Library.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what interim relief of council tax is available to households transferring to higher rated districts due to the implementation of local boundary commission recommendations.
Mr. Baldry : We shall be considering, together with the local authority associations, whether we should provide transitional help to protect countil tax payers where a new authority inherits commitments that otherwise could not be met without increasing council taxes.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to delay the implementation of waste management licensing of the metal recycling industry pending the agreement of a common European definition of waste ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 12 April 1994] : A common European definition of waste has been agreed and is contained in article 1 of directive 91/156/EEC which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 18 March 1991. I announced on 13 April, Official Report, column 176, that the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 had been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 1 May 1994. Implementation of the waste management licensing provisions of part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 will also commence on 1 May 1994. However, the application of these provisions to activities involving scrap metal will not commence until 1 October 1994. This will allow the scrap metal industry further time to consider the implications of the new system and to make any representations. The scrap metal industry will remain subject to the licensing provisions of part I of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 until 1 October 1994. The 1994 regulations transpose into national legislation the definition of waste in article 1 of directive 91/156/EEC. The new definition will come into force on 1 May 1994 for the purposes of both part II of the 1990 Act and the extant provisions of part I of the 1974 Act.
Mr. Ashton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it will be possible for appeals to be made against planning decisions for the five new secure training centres being created by the Home Office if they are placed on the existing site of a disused Home Office detention centre.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 15 April 1994] : Development by the Crown does not at present require planning permission. But Government Departments follow the procedures contained in part IV of Department of the Environment circular 18/84 which provides for them to consult local planning authorities before proceeding with development, including material changes of use, which would otherwise require planning permission. Where the local planning authority objects to the development proposal or where there is any unresolved disagreement, the developing Department, if it wishes to proceed with the development, will notify the Secretary of State for the Environment, who will determine whether the development should go ahead. In all such cases the local planning authority, the developing Department, and other interested parties are given an opportunity to express their views. As with decisions on all planning applications, there is no third party right of appeal.
There may be cases where consultation would not be required, for example, because the development proposed does not entail a material change of use. In such cases, Departments have agreed to notify the local planning authority of development proposals which are likely to be of special concern to the authority or to the public. This gives the local planning authority an opportunity to decide whether to advertise it so as to give the public a chance to comment and to discuss with the developing Department ways in which the proposal might be amended to overcome any objections.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when fines will be imposed on the United Kingdom under article 104c of the Maastricht treaty for being excessively in debt ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson : The possible imposition of fines on member states for failing consistently to comply with Council recommendations to tackle excessive deficits does not apply until the beginning of stage 3 of economic and monetary union. The protocol to the treaty relating to the United Kingdom makes it clear that this possibility can apply to the United Kingdom only if and when it enters stage 3. Under the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993, the United Kingdom cannot move to stage 3 without approval by an Act of Parliament.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the extent to which the new reporting and collection system of the trade returns underestimates the balance of payments deficit ; what are the reasons for this ; and if he will issue a statement on the necessary provisions to the figures published since the new systems began.
Mr. Nelson : I have little to add to the replies I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Hazel Grove (Sir T. Arnold) on 21 March at column 21, and for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) on 8 February at column 121 .
The investigations into the Intrastat system are proceeding well. Customs and Excise and the Central Statistical Office aim to publish a full report in the summer at around the same time as data from the 1994 edition of the Pink Book on the United Kingdom balance of payments is released. As announced in its first release on the estimates of the balance of United Kingdom visible trade for January 1994, published on 14 April 1994, the Central Statistical Office aims to include any preliminary adjustments shown to be necessary with the estimates for trade in February 1994 that are scheduled for publication on 12 May 1994.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much is spent by the Medical Research Council on research into the treatment of psoriasis ; what was the cost five years ago ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 367field of psoriasis was £409,000 and in the financial year 1988-89 total expenditure in this field amounted to £538,000.
The council also supports a substantial portfolio of research on skin, data from which may be of direct relevance to our understanding of diseases such as psoriasis. In the financial year 1992-93 the council's expenditure on skin research was £4,874,000.
The council is always willing to consider new applications for research in the area of psoriasis and other skin disorders ; such proposals would be peer-reviewed in competition with all other applications for MRC support.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will ensure that copies of Government press releases are always made available to hon. Members at the same time as they are placed in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.