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Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider giving financial support for an all-Scotland specialist centre for children who stammer ; and what estimate he has made of the cost of providing this service.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will establish a judicial inquiry into the actions of agencies involved and the circumstances connected with the detention of the Rev. Morris McKenzie and the search of his and church premises in South Ronaldsay on 27 February 1991 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he plans to publish his departmental guidance on the implementation of the code of practice on access to Government information, as promised at paragraph 3(ii) of the code issued on 4 April ; and what has been the cause of the delay in publishing the departmental guidance.
Mr. Lang : My Department's internal guidance on the commitment in the code of practice to answer requests for information has been available since the beginning of April. I am arranging for a copy of that guidance to be sent to the hon. Member and for copies to be placed in the Library of the House. Internal guidance on the code's other commitments will be made available in due course.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) newly qualified surgeons and (b) surgeons from outwith Scotland took up posts in NHS hospitals ; and how many left the service, in the most recent full year for which figures are available.
Mr. Stewart : In the year ending 30 September 1993,31 newly qualified consultant surgeons were appointed to posts in NHS hospitals in Scotland and 21 consultant surgeons left the NHS in Scotland either on retiral or for other reasons. Fifteen of the newly qualified consultant surgeons were appointed from outwith the NHS in Scotland. A further two previously qualified consultant surgeons were recruited from outwith Scotland.
These data are derived from a linked comparison of 1992 and 1993 census files. Excluded, therefore, are any doctors who join and then leave between those census dates, although the number is likely to be negligible.
Mr. Stewart : From the information available on consultant posts in the surgical specialities, 92 per cent. of posts advertised since January 1993 have been filled. The senior registrar establishment has been increased in 1994 in ear, nose and throat surgery, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery and urology. NHS employers have been advised to fill and maintain the senior registrar establishment in all the surgical specialities to provide the numbers of trained surgeons expected to be needed in the future.
Mr. George Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what proposals his Department has for ensuring that adoption services are part of the full range of child care services provided by each of the new local authorities ;
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effect of local government reorganisation on adoption services ;
(3) what proposals his Department has for ensuring that adoption agencies will continue to provide the same range of placement options for children requiring specialist services pre and post-placement.
Mr. Lang : I refer the hon. Member to the answer provided about adoption services by my hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall) on 31 March, Official Report , columns 832-33 .
Reorganisation of local government will involve some restructuring of services for children, including adoption. But every care will be taken to ensure that services currently available will be maintained. The strategic child care plans which are to be developed from the proposals in "Scotland's Children" will be of direct relevance in this respect. My officials have already had preliminary discussions about reorganisation with the British Agencies
Column 462for Adoption and Fostering which are grant aided by the Government and which have an important national role to play in the development of adoption services.
Mr. George Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many adoptions were arranged in the last five years by : (a) voluntary organisations, (b) local authorities and (c) in total ;
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the ability of voluntary organisations to arrange adoptions at current levels.
|1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Voluntary agencies |58 |49 |65 |54 |36 Local Authorities |355 |326 |327 |250 |257 Non-agency |423 |482 |386 |357 |493 |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |836 |857 |778 |<1>737 |786 <1>Total includes a further 76 cases for which information on applicant or agency is not available.
Information on the number of adoptions granted is not available centrally. However, the number of applications granted was on average 97 per cent. of applications made.
Under the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978, voluntary adoption societies are subject to approval by the Secretary of State in order to ensure that they maintain high professional standards of service and that statutory requirements are observed. Approval is based on periodic inspections, on- going monitoring of the operation of societies and assessment of their effective contribution to the adoption service.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what evaluation of trauma centres is being conducted, and by whom ; and if that evaluation will include the future role of accident and emergency departments which will not cater for such tasks as are to be transferred to trauma centres.
Mr. Stewart : The report of a policy review by the Scottish Office Home and Health Department, entitled "Emergency Healthcare in Scotland : Future Structure of Accident and Emergency Services", was published on 11 April 1994. The NHS Management Executive is considering how the recommendations in the report for the future provision of trauma and other accident and emergency services in Scotland should be taken forward.
Mr. George Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 16 March, Official Report , column 738 , how many people have died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease between April 1993 and May 1994 ; and if he will list in each case the names of the deceased and the location of death and the duration of the illness ; and whether the procurator fiscal has made a decision as to whether there should be a fatal accident inquiry.
|Number ------------------------- Definite |28 Probable |9 |------- Total |37
The names of the deceased cannot be disclosed on grounds of patient confidentiality. Information about the location of deaths from CJD, both definite and probable, for the period April 1993 to April 1994 will be published in the third annual report of the CJD surveillance unit in early July. The information requested on the duration of the illness in each case and on any associated fatal accident inquiries is not held centrally.
Sir Hector Monro : A breakdown of 1993 claims in Scotland under the arable area payments scheme could only be provided on a regional basis at disproportionate costs. The information is, however, available on an less- favoured area/non-LFA basis and is as follows :
|LFA |non-LFA|Total |(ha) |(ha) |(ha) -------------------------------------------------- Cereals |40,334 |277,997|318,331 Oilseeds |5,013 |56,738 |61,751 Protein crops |48 |4,101 |4,149 Set-aside |8,742 |61,619 |70,361 Simplified Scheme |35,062 |20,985 |56,047
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what number and proportion of members of hospital trusts are (a) doctors, (b) nurses, (c) members of other health professions and (d) ancillary hospital workers.
Mr. Stewart : General and dental practitioners and employees of health service bodies are ineligible for appointment as chairman or non- executive director of an NHS trust. On the basis of information held centrally, 28--12 per cent.--of non-executive appointees have medical qualifications, seven--2 per cent.--have nursing qualifications and nine--4 per cent.--are members of other health professions. Of the five executive directors on each trust, at least one must be a medical or dental practitioner and one must be a registered nurse or registered midwife.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prisoners were serving sentences for fine defaults at the latest available date given (a) as an absolute number and (b) as a percentage of the prison population and broken down by gender.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Responsibility for the subject of this question has been delegated to the Scottish Prison Service under its chief executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Dr. Norman A. Godman, dated 14 June 1994 :
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your Question about the number of prisoners serving sentences for fine default at the latest available date, given as an absolute number and as a percentage of the prison population, broken down by gender. The table below gives the information for April 1994. The first column reflects only those individuals received solely to serve a sentence for fine default or those who are serving such a sentence consecutive to an existing sentence : it does not include those who may be serving a fine default sentence which is fully concurrent with an existing sentence.
Average daily population in Scottish penal establishments for April 1994 Average daily Average daily Average daily fine "non-fine total default default" population population population |Percentage |Percentage |Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Male |75 |1 |5,243 |95 |5,318 |97 Female |6 |- |168 |3 |174 |3 ------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- Total |81 |1 |5,411 |99 |5,492 |100 The percentages in some instances do not add to totals due to rounding.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many complaints have been reported upon by the housing association tenants ombudsman ; how many of these have been acted upon by housing associations since December 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The housing association ombudsman service which came into operation on 1 April 1994 has received 25 complaints. All cases are still under investigation, but I am advised that the ombudsman expects action on one complaint to be resolved shortly.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish for each region and for Scotland as a whole (a) the total area, (b) the area occupied by national parks and (c) the percentage of area occupied by national parks.
Column 464Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 requires the foreman of the jury to declare only whether the verdict was not unanimous.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what studies and reviews he has undertaken on self-corroborated evidence in rape and murder trials; what criteria are applied when deciding whether self- corroborated evidence is sufficient for prosecution; what plans he has to revise the principle of self-corroboration in Scots law; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No piece of evidence in Scots law can corroborate itself. The essence of corroboration lies in the conjunction of separate testimonies, each from an independent sources pointing to the accused as the perpetrator of the crime. Even where there is an unequivocal admission of guilt, the law requires independent evidence from a source other than the accused pointing to the truth of his confession.
The law is well settled and applies not only in cases of rape and murder. There has, therefore, been no such studies or reviews and there are no plans to revise the principle of corroboration.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in what circumstances the Solicitor-General normally becomes involved in meetings with the prosecution prior to, and during, a trial for murder and/or rape; in what proportion of such trials the Solicitor-General becomes involved in this way; what matters are likely to be discussed at such meetings; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General for Scotland--as is my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate--is available for consultation and advice in any serious case if the need arises.
Meetings are usually informal and it is not possible to say with any accuracy in what proportion of trials they occur, or to list the matters likely to be discussed.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if it is his policy that creche facilities at NHS hospitals, whether a trust status or not, should give priority to the children of hospital employees in preference to selling places to those who do not work in the hospital.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the names of the police officers involved in the original prosecution of Raymond Gilmour who were not interviewed in the investigation following his application for prerogative of mercy ; if he will give reasons in each case ; if he will detail the dates and place of any interview in which these officers participated prior to the submission of the application ; if he will give the name and official designation of those conducting these interviews ; and if the (a) recording and (b) transcripts of these interviews are available for public inspection.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend's letter of 18 April 1994 explained to the hon. Member that six of the seven police officers involved in the original investigation were interviewed last year and that the other officer had died in the intervening period. None of those officers was interviewed on behalf of my right hon. Friend prior to the submission of the application. The interviews were conducted by the regional procurator fiscal at Paisley and senior officers of Strathclyde police. Statements made in the course of investigations carried out on behalf of the Secretary of State are confidential.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his normal practice when considering applications for the prerogative of mercy in respect of evidence which could have been presented during original or appeal trials ; how he applied this practice during his consideration of the application for the prerogative of mercy by Raymond Gilmour ; what such evidence in this case he dismissed ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend may refer a case to the Court of Appeal in terms of section 263(1) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 where he considers that a miscarriage of justice may have taken place in the case of a convicted person. Exceptionally and alternatively, he may recommend an exercise of the royal prerogative of mercy. My right hon. Friend exercises his powers of reference only where new evidence or fresh considerations of substance can be identified in relation to a person's conviction. The High Court has held that before it will consider new evidence on appeal it must be shown that the additional evidence was not available or could not reasonably have
Column 466been made available at the trial. Accordingly, my right hon. Friend would not normally refer a case to the Court of Appeal in terms of section 263(1) of the 1975 Act on the basis of evidence which could reasonably have been led at trial.
All aspects of the petitions submitted on behalf ofMr. Gilmour last year were carefully considered, as my right hon. Friend's letter to the hon. Member of 18 April this year explained.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, during his consideration of the application for the prerogative of mercy by Raymond Gilmour, he ascertained what scientific means investigating officers used to estimate the distance between the murdered body of Pamela Hastie and the tree referred to in Gilmour's alleged confession ; and how he accounts for the discrepancies between the various statements of the distance.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will detail the investigative procedures which were followed during the consideration of the application for the prerogative of mercy by Raymond Gilmour ; if he will list the departments, agencies and other bodies involved in the investigation ; if he will list the name of each person interviewed during the investigation ; if he will give the dates and purposes of each interview ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : At the request of the Scottish Office, matters raised in the representations submitted by solicitors acting on behalf of Mr. Gilmour were thoroughly investigated by the regional procurator fiscal at Paisley with the assistance of senior police officers. The results of these investigations were duly referred to the Crown Office, which provided reports for my right hon. Friend ; details of such inquiries are confidential.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date the application for the prerogative of mercy was submitted on behalf of Raymond Gilmour ; when it was referred to the Crown Office for investigation and assessment ; when the investigative process was completed ; and what date the case was referred back to the Scottish Office for decision ; and what date a decision was taken.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : As explained in my reply to the hon. Member on 7 December 1993, a petition was submitted on behalf of Mr. Raymond Gilmour on 8 January 1993 ; this petition was referred to the Crown Office on 22 January 1993. Further representations on Mr. Gilmour's behalf were submitted on 12 March and 27 May last year. Reports were received from the Crown Office on 26 August and 2 September 1993. Further investigations were requested on behalf of the Secretary of State on 13 October 1993, the results of which were received from the Crown Office on 8 December 1993. A decision was taken on this case on 15 April 1994 and my right hon. Friend wrote to the hon. Member on 18 April 1994 to inform him of that decision.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the majority verdict given by the jury in the original trial of Raymond Gilmour ; and what was the reasons for the absence of one of the jurors.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : This information is not normally known. I understand in this case however that the guilty verdict was 8 : 6, one juror having become unfit to continue to serve through illness.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration he gave during his assessment of the application for the prerogative of mercy to the apparent inconsistencies in the explanation given by Raymond Gilmour as to his whereabouts on the day that Pamela Hastie was raped and murdered ; if he will detail precisely what these apparent inconsistencies are ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what detailed reasons were given to him by the Minister of State for his decision to withdraw from further consideration of the application for the prerogative of mercy submitted by Raymond Gilmour ; on what date he was notified of this decision ; if he will detail the sources from which the Minister of State sought and obtained advice ; what recollections of involvement in the original prosecution led the Minister of State to decide to withdraw from consideration of the application ; on what date he first reported these recollections to him ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Following receipt of a report on Mr. Gilmour's case in February this year, my noble and learned Friend advised the Secretary of State in March that he intended to withdraw from consideration of the papers. My noble and learned Friend advised the hon. Member on 30 March this year of his reasons for his withdrawal and the limited nature of his earlier involvement in his previous capacity as a law officer. Decisions on such cases are taken personally by the Secretary of State.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in what circumstances it is his Department's practice, when issuing a public consultation document, to inform those consulted that their responses will be made public unless they explicitly ask for them to be kept confidential ; and if he will arrange for his Department to do so in all cases in future.
Mr. Lang : All consultative documents issued by my Department inform those consulted that their responses will be made available to the public unless they indicate that they wish their reply to be treated as confidential.
Mr. Watson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland at what point Scottish Enterprise was informed of the financial difficulties which eventually led to the Turing Institute being forced into liquidation ; what part was played by Scottish Enterprise in the decision that the
Column 468institute could not continue trading ; and whether financial assistance from Scottish Enterprise was sought by the institute in an attempt to stave off liquidation.
Mr. Stewart : I understand that Scottish Enterprise had been aware of the difficulties being experienced by the institute for around six months prior to it going into liquidation ; that it was the directors of the institute themselves who decided to call in the liquidator and that Scottish Enterprise played no part in that decision ; and that the company had made no official approach to Scottish Enterprise for further financial assistance since it had been made clear to the company that everything possible had been done to help it in its present form.
Scottish Enterprise's involvement with the institute was, however, essentially an operational matter on which Scottish Enterprise itself is best placed to advise. I know that it would be happy to discuss the matter in detail with the hon. Member if he would find that helpful.
Mr. Watson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the value of the minority shareholding which Scottish Enterprise took when the Turing Institute became a limited company in 1992 ; and what active role in the running of the institute was taken by Scottish Enterprise or its representative.
Mr. Stewart : This is an operational matter for Scottish Enterprise which the hon. Member may be best advised to take up with it direct. However, I understand that Scottish Enterprise's shareholding in the company comprised £100,000 in ordinary shares and £150,000 in preference shares. Scottish Enterprise had a representative on the board of the Turing Institute who, I understand, acted as non-executive chairman.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the cases of alleged miscarriage of justice, both past and present, in which the prosecuting officer was the officer whose name has been supplied to him.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what powers are available to local enterprise companies to treat land polluted by industry ; and what is the total area of land polluted by industry which has been treated by each local enterprise company.
Mr. Stewart : Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have been given wide-ranging functions and general and specific powers under the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990. Those include discretionary powers under section 4(1)(h) and 5(1)(e) respectively to bring derelict land into use or improve its appearance or to assist its being so brought or improved. Those powers and functions are, within certain limits, delegated to the local enterprise companies through their operating contracts with the core bodies.
Information on the total area of land polluted by industry which has been treated by each local enterprise
Column 469company is not held centrally. I have therefore asked the chairmen of Scottish Enterprise and of Highlands and Islands Enterprise to write to the hon. Member to provide the information requested.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many (a) out-of-town shopping centres and (b) out-of-town warehouse parks are currently under construction in Scotland ; (2) how many warehouse clubs are currently under construction in Scotland ; and how many have planning permission but are yet to start construction ;
(3) how many (a) out-of-town shopping centres and (b) out-of-town warehouse parks have planning permission but are yet to start construction in Scotland.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the proposed method of charging and mechanics of payment for water and sewerage services if his local government reorganisation proposals are enacted.
Sir Hector Monro : It will be for the new water and sewerage authorities to determine water and sewerage charges and the mechanics of payment. These will be set within the framework laid down in the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill and will be subject to the scrutiny and approval of the new Customers Council.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the 25 per cent. discount for single adult households will continue for water and sewerage services after local government reorganisation.