Mr. Charles Wardle : The use of mouth restraints was suspended in August 1993. Following a joint review of removal procedures by the Home Office and the police ; it was decided in January this year that their use should not be resumed.
Mr. Waterson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answers of 1 December 1993, Official Report, column 625, 17 February 1994, Official Report, column 903, and 20 April 1994, Official Report, column 512, what conclusions his Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs reached regarding the misuse of Temazepam ; what aspects of those conclusions have caused the delay in his reaching a decision ; and if he will make a statement.
I am considering the council's recommendations in consultation with ministerial colleagues. I am afraid that this has taken longer than I would have wished. I hope to be able to announce a decision before too long.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) roadside checks of vehicles in respect of motor vehicle exhaust fumes and (b) prosecutions following such checks took place in 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : Figures obtained from the vehicle inspectorate--an executive agency of the Department of Transport--show that 48,857 roadside exhaust smoke/emission checks were carried out in Great Britain in the period 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994. A total of 587 prohibitions were issued as a result of these checks.
Information on prosecutions following such tests is not available centrally.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to amend British marriage law to recognise trans-sexuals in their reassigned roles ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what grant was made in respect of probation hostels in the west midlands in 1993-94 ; what grant is being made in 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : Total revenue grant for west midlands' approved hostels for 1993-94 was £1,908,804 ; for 1994-95 the preliminary figure is £1,513,000. I cannot add anything further as this matter is currently sub judice.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the part played by probation hostels in contributing to community safety and tackling the attitudes of criminals and underlying causes of criminal behaviour.
Mr. Maclean : Chapter 7 of "National Standards for the Supervision of Offenders in the Community" deals with the purpose and role of approved hostels. A copy of "National Standards" has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from judges and magistrates in the west midlands about the funding of probation hostels in the west midlands.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were placed in cells built for fewer prisoners than were being housed there in the last year for which figures are available.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 17th May 1994.
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about cell sharing.
The following table shows the numbers of prisoners who shared cells certified as normal accommodation for one person for the period April 1993 to March 1994.
Date |Two to |Three |a cell |to a |cell --------------------------------------------- 30 April 1993 |7,236 |114 28 May 1993 |7,412 |126 25 June 1993 |7,490 |132 30 July 1993 |7,520 |123 27 August 1993 |7,484 |114 24 September 1993 |7,964 |93 29 October 1993 |7,950 |42 26 November 1993 |7,972 |84 31 December 1993 |7,262 |57 28 January 1994 |8,256 |39 25 February 1994 |8,212 |54 31 March 1994 |<1>8,488|- <1> Figure as at 25 March 1994.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average distance from home a prisoner was placed in the last year for which figures are available ; what was the average in 1985 ; and what was the average in 1979.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 17 May 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the average distance from home a prisoner was placed in the last year for which figures are available.
No information is held centrally on the distance prisoners are placed from home. However, the National Prison Survey, conducted in January and February 1991, asked prisoners who had received a visit in the three months prior to interview how far their most important visitor had to travel to visit them. The average distance, for all most important visitors, was 62 miles. No information is available for the years 1985 or 1979.
The National Prison Survey had a total sample of almost 4,000 offenders. The findings of the survey, including the information given above, have been published as "The National Prison Survey 1991 : main findings", Home Office Research Study No. 128.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 10 May, Official Report, column 71 , what plans he has to ensure that a record is kept of the private security firms employed by his Department.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 10 May, Official Report, column 72, what Coopers and Lybrand was asked to do during the recruitment of the prison ombudsman.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Coopers and Lybrand Executive Resourcing was asked to undertake a search to identify candidates in addition to those identified through advertisement, to attend sifts, interview search candidates and provide reports on all short-listed candidates.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cars have been stolen in each region in England since the passage of the Aggravated Vehicle Taking Act 1992 ; and if he will make a statement.
Offences of theft of motor vehicles, April 1992 to December 1993, by region Region |<1>Number of |thefts of |vehicles --------------------------------------- North West |170,425 North East |217,875 Midlands |112,905 Eastern |107,749 South East |294,835 South West |78,677 <1> Offences of aggravated vehicle taking and theft of a vehicle recorded by the police.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been made under the charge of aggravated vehicle taking in each region of England ; how many have been successful ; what has been the average sentence in successful prosecutions in each region ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : Information for 1992 is given in the tables. 1993 data will not be available until the autumn. We are monitoring carefully both prosecutions and penalties under this new provision. It is still too early to draw many conclusions but early indications are that this measure is providing a useful weapon in our armoury against car crime.
Table A Number of defendants prosecuted, convicted and average custodial sentence length given at magistrates' courts for aggravated vehicle taking offences by region 1992 England Offence/region |Prosecutions |Convictions |Average |custodial |sentence |length |(months) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Indictable (triable either way) Causing death by aggravated vehicle taking North West |8 |5 |- North East |1 |1 |- Midlands |1 |- |- Eastern |6 |1 |- South East |11 |4 |6 South West |- |- |- |------- |------- |------- England |27 |11 |6 Aggravated vehicle taking- injury to person, damage to property or car North West |232 |123 |4 North East |448 |259 |4 Midlands |145 |57 |4 Eastern |251 |131 |4 South East |323 |149 |4 South West |56 |24 |4 |------- |------- |------- England |1,455 |743 |4 Summary Aggravated vehicle taking- criminal damage of £2,000 or under North West |2 |2 |- North East |7 |4 |- Midlands |48 |32 |3 Eastern |67 |42 |5 South East |15 |8 |- South West |49 |33 |5 |------- |------- |------- England |188 |121 |4
Table B Number of offenders convicted and average custodial sentence length given at the Crown Court for aggravated vehicle taking offences by region 1992 England Offence/Region |Convictions |Average custodial |sentence length |(months) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Indictable (triable either way) Causing death by aggravated vehicle taking North West |2 |17 North East |5 |18 Midlands |- |- Eastern |1 |5 South East |- |- South West |- |- |-- |-- England |8 |15 Aggravated vehicle taking- injury to person, damage to property or car North West |57 |11 North East |93 |11 Midlands |37 |12 Eastern |55 |10 South East |52 |10 South West |30 |10 |-- |-- England |324 |11 SUMMARY Aggravated vehicle taking- criminal damage of £2,000 or under North West |- |<1>6 North East |- |- Midlands |- |- Eastern |1 |- South East |1 |- South West |- |- |-- |-- England |2 |6 <1> Relates to one offender who was convicted at the magistrates' court but committed for sentence to the Crown Court.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who represented his Department at the seminar on "Britain and the Non- Proliferation Regime : 1995 and Beyond", held in Oxford on 19 April, organised by the Oxford research group ; and what benefits accrued to his Department from its representation.
Mr. Hanley : My Department was represented by the Director of Defence Policy. I understand that the seminar provided a useful forum for discussion on the approach to the 1995 conference of the parties to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Williams) of 21 April 1994, Official Report, column 623, the reason the information requested regarding low-flying sorties is not available.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the current and future resources for Army welfare services and dedicated social services support for Army and ex-Army personnel.
Mr. Hanley : My Department continues to provide the appropriate level of welfare support which takes into account the needs of service personnel and their families. It does this through the unit command structure, and through MOD-funded organisations such as the Soldiers' Sailors' Airmen's Families Association--SSAFA.
In the United Kingdom, social services for service personnel, their dependants and all former service personnel are primarily a matter for local authorities. Overseas, these services are replicated by my Department and are available to all service personnel, Ministry of Defence UK-based civilian staff and dependants.
|1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 ---------------------------------------------------------------- Royal Navy |57 |32 |42 |61 |92 Army |676 |837 |703 |706 |636 Royal Air Force |157 |148 |147 |138 |133 |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |890 |1,017 |892 |905 |861
Mr. McLoughlin : The numbers asked for are not available. The best guide to trends in the number of business starts at county level come from VAT data. Figures are available for the years 1980 to 1992 and are published in "VAT Registrations and Deregistrations, County and District Analysis", 1980 to 1991, and 1992 editions. Both these documents are available in the Library of the House or on-line via NOMIS. For further information, contact the NOMIS team at NOMIS, Unit 3P, Mountjoy research centre, University of Durham DH1 3SW.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the impact on small businesses of the EC Commission proposal Com (94) 5813 to amend directive 77/388/EEC.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : All EC proposals for measures that are likely to impose a burden on United Kingdom business are subject to a compliance cost assessment including a small business litmus test. In light of the concerns recently expressed by United Kingdom business, in particular small business, a compliance cost assessment will be undertaken in consultation with those likely to be affected by the provisions in the proposal relating to the exemption of retail export goods. The line that the United Kingdom is taking in Brussels already takes account of the concerns expressed by United Kingdom small businesses. The assessments of the burdens that the proposal would impose should provide hard evidence in support of our negotiating line.
Mr. Eggar : The plans for a new pricing structure for gas transportation, in the light of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's findings, were set out in a consultation document published by the Office of Gas Supply in December 1993. The matter is further considered in the joint consultative document, "Competition and Choice in the Gas Market", issued on 9 May 1994 by myself and the Director General of Gas Supply, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House, and I look forward to receiving the comments of all interested parties.
The Office of Gas Supply expects that the most likely outcome of charging realistic long distance pipeline costs will be for overall prices to move by plus or minus about 2.5 per cent.
The plans for a new pricing structure for gas transportation, in the light of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's findings, were set out in a consultation document published by Ofgas in December 1993. The matter is further considered in the joint consultative document "Competition and Choice in the Gas Market" issued on 9 May 1994 by myself and the Director General of Gas Supply, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. I look forward to receiving the comments of all interested parties.
The Office of Gas Supply expects that the most likely outcome of charging realistic long distance pipeline costs will be for overall prices to move by plus or minus about 2.5 per cent.
Mr. McLoughlin : Under Section 28 of the Water Industry Act 1991, the Director General of Water Services is required to consult the Secretary of State about the appointment of chairmen of the customer service committees. In this connection, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, has received a number of representations concerning the expiry of the appointment of the chairman of the Yorkshire committee in February 1994.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many post offices and sub-post offices there currently are in south Yorkshire ; and what were the figures for (a) 10 years and (b) 20 years ago.
Mr. McLoughlin : I understand from the Post Office that currently there are four crown post offices and 387 sub-post offices, including franchise and agency offices, in south Yorkshire. Corresponding figures for 10 years and 20 years ago are not available because of changes in Post Office Counters Ltd's regional organisation and in the local government structure in south Yorkshire since 1974.
Mr. Needham : The group adopted changes to the "Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers"--DOC INFCIRC 254 Part 1 Rev. 1 Mod 1--at the Madrid meeting. The effect of these changes is to strengthen the retransfer provisions in the guidelines and incorporate a new provision in the guidelines underlying the importance of members satisfying themselves that their exports would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Both changes are consistent with existing British policy.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) of 18 April, Official Report, column 357, if he will make it his policy to compile records of exports of biological agents in future.
Dr. Twinn : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish details of the annual on-going compliance costs for new regulations affecting business for which his Department has completed compliance cost assessments.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The Department of Trade and Industry completed 13 compliance cost assessments last year on draft legislation brought before Parliament. These were routinely published and copies are available in the Library of the House.
Return--reconstruction phase, the United Kingdom won contracts and orders worth more than £500 million. The official United Kingdom exports to Kuwait for 1991, 1992 and 1993 were £178 million, £262 million and £312 million respectively. This does not accurately reflect the true level of exports to the market as many of the orders placed during reconstruction were routed through Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Mr. Geoffrey Robinson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade on what date the interdepartmental fire safety scrutiny is expected to report its findings to Ministers ; and on what date that report will be (a) made available to the House and to the public and (b) published.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The report of the interdepartmental fire safety scrutiny is due to be completed on 25 May and will then be submitted by the scrutiny team to my right hon. Friends the President of the Board of Trade, the Home Secretary and the Secretaries of State for Employment and for the Environment.
No decisions will be taken about publication until ministerial colleagues have had an opportunity to consider the report.
Mr. Eggar : The percentage of workers in the offshore oil and gas industry in 1993 who are not British is estimated to be some 8 per cent. Details are published by my Department in the "Energy Report" volume 2, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make it his policy to withdraw from the 16th licensing round any blocks recommended for withdrawal by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
Mr. Eggar : I will consult the Joint Nature Conservation Committee both before and after nominations are received for the 16th round and will take into account its comments when deciding on the blocks to be offered in the round.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade which specific conditions attached to licenses for offshore oil exploration may be made available to the public under the Environmental Information Regulations 1992 in line with paragraph 6 of the Edinburgh Gazette announcement of 26 April.
Mr. Eggar : As was the case in the 14th round, I shall judge each application for such information on its merits having due regard to the provisions of the environmental information regulations. It is my intention to make available those conditions attached to licences for the purposes of protecting the environment.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) which non-governmental organisations he intends to consult prior to deciding which blocks to license in the 15th and 16th offshore licensing round ;
(2) what specific plans he has to consult non-governmental organisations before deciding which blocks to license in the 15th and 16th rounds of offshore licensing.
We have already informed over 100 organisations, including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, environmental groups, relevant local authorities and various fishing organisations, of our plans for the 16th round. Once the nominations for the 16th round are received at the end of July, these bodies will be offered the opportunity to comment on which blocks can be offered for licence.
Mr. Byers : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when the construction task force was established ; when it is expected to report ; what are its terms of reference ; what areas it is investigating ; what is its membership ; who employs each member ; and in what capacity.
Mr. Sainsbury : I am pleased to announce that in addition to the grants for the six regional development organisations announced on 17 March, I have today offered £500,000 of grant-in-aid to the new London First centre for its overseas inward investment activities, covering the whole of London. The grant-in-aid is linked to the performance of specific inward investment promotion activities on behalf of the Invest in Britain Bureau.
The London First centre is an initiative by London First to establish for the first time an inward investment agency for London. The centre is being set up initially with support from local authorities, the private sector and my Department. Its aims are to promote London as a location for national and international business and industrial activity, for wealth and job creation in London.