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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 21 June 1994

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Carpets

Mr. Steen : To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what was the cost to the Palace of Westminster of the new carpet which was put down during the spring recess in the Cloisters offices and other places ; why it was necessary to replace the existing carpet ; how long it had been there ; what was the cost of replacement ; what happened to the old carpet ; and if he will make a statement on carpet replacement in the Palace of Westminster and on the estate.

Mr. Ray Powell : The programme of planned maintenance and replacement of carpets in the Palace of Westminster is the responsibility of the Director of Works and is determined by their condition and the need to maintain adequate standards of safety. The replacement of the carpet in the Cloisters was two years overdue. Expenditure for the carpet replacement programme is included in the annual and 10-year rolling programmes of works which are considered by the Accommodation and Works Committee and the Finance and Services Committee before being submitted for approval by the Commission.

EDUCATION

Museums Schools Services

Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether OFSTED, the Office of Standards in Education, will continue to publish thrice-yearly reports on museums schools services as formerly issued by Her Majesty's inspectorate of schools.

Mr. Robin Squire : This is a matter for Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools, who heads the new independent Office of Standards in Education. I have asked Professor Sutherland to write to the hon. Member.

Fees and Awards

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether spouses of European Economic Area nationals living and working in the United Kingdom who are not themselves nationals of a member state are entitled to home fee status under the provisions of the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1983.

Mr. Boswell : No. The regulations do, however, extend home fees status to EC nationals and EEA migrant workers, and the children of both, living in the EEA for three years immediately prior to the start of a course. Dependants of EEA nationals living and working in the United Kingdom, who are not themselves EEA nationals,


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can qualify for home fee status by a period of three years residence in the United Kingdom immediately prior to the start of a course.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the children of Turkish workers legally employed in the United Kingdom are admitted to courses of general education, apprenticeship and vocational training under the same educational entry qualifications as children of nationals of the European Union member states ; and that they benefit from the advantages provided for under national legislation in this area as required by Association Council decision 1180, article 10 of the Turkey/EC association agreement and additional protocol ; and that such children are not required to pay overseas student fees.

Mr. Boswell : None. However, the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1983 provide home fee status to anyone, regardless of nationality, attending further and higher education institutions if they have been resident within the United Kingdom for three years immediately prior to the start of the course, other than for the purpose of receiving full-time education. The children of Turkish workers legally employed in the United Kingdom for such a period therefore automatically receive entitlement to home fee status.

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education which local education authorities have been written to on an individual basis by his Department about the nature and content of information being provided by the local education authority to parents on the question of grant- maintained status.

Mr. Robin Squire : The Department has written within the last 20 months to the following local education authorities about the nature and content of information that they have circulated to parents and governors on the question of grant-maintained status :

Avon

Barnet

Berkshire

Birmingham

Bolton

Bradford

Cleveland

Cornwall

Cumbria

Derbyshire

Durham

East Sussex

Essex

Hammersmith and Fulham

Havering

Humberside

Kent

Knowsley

Lambeth

Lancashire

Leicestershire

Lewisham

Liverpool

Merton

Newcastle

Northamptonshire

Northumberland

North Tyneside

North Yorkshire

Nottinghamshire

Salford

Sheffield

Somerset

Staffordshire

Surrey

Wiltshire

Wirral

Several have been written to on more than one occasion.

Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many ballots for grant-maintained status, and in respect of which schools, have been declared void as a consequence of misleading information being circulated to parents.

Mr. Robin Squire : One ballot for grant-maintained status has been declared void on the grounds that voting in


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the ballot is likely to have been influenced to a significant extent by misleading information. The school in question is Christ Church middle school in Staffordshire.

Ballots may be voided on these grounds under section 31 of the Education Act 1993, which came into effect for ballots initiated on or after 1 January 1994.

Mrs. Lait : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the outcome of the complaints about his Department's advertising campaign on grant-maintained schools.

Mr. Patten : The Advertising Standards Authority last week published its conclusions that these advertisements were not misleading and that they in no way breached the authority's code of practice.

I understand that the Comptroller and Auditor General has also examined the advertising as part of his normal audit and found that the Department had followed all the established conventions about Government publicity, that Ministers had agreed the detailed content of the advertisements and that they had been properly briefed on the conventions.

The Department's campaign has therefore now been given a clean bill of health on all counts.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Drug Addiction

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children were identified as drug addicts in each year since 1979, by drug of addiction.

Mr. Maclean : Information for 1988 to 1992 on children notified as drug addicts is in the table. Information for 1987 is not readily available and information for earlier years is not available on a comparable basis.


All drug addicts aged under 21 notified to the Home Office during the                        

year by type of drug to which addiction was reported<1><2> and year                          

United Kingdom  Number of persons                                                            

                1988                                                                         

                Age group                                                                    

Type of drug   |Under       |16          |17          |18-20       |Total                    

               |16                                                 |under                    

                                                                   |21                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heroin         |10          |52          |152         |1,214       |1,428                    

Methadone      |0           |3           |8           |113         |124                      

Dipipanone     |0           |1           |2           |29          |32                       

Cocaine        |0           |4           |19          |103         |126                      

Morphine       |0           |2           |3           |44          |49                       

Pethidine      |0           |0           |0           |4           |4                        

Dextromoramide |0           |0           |2           |13          |15                       

Levorphanol    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydrocodone    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Oxycodone      |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Phenazocine    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Piritramide    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydromorphone  |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Opium          |0           |0           |0           |2           |2                        

                -------                                                                      

All addicts    |10          |56          |169         |1,312       |1,547                    

  of which     |0           |3           |23          |458         |484                      

  renotified                                                                                 

<1> As an addict can be reported as addicted to more than one notifiable drug the figures    

for individual drugs cannot be added together to produce totals.                             

<2> At time of last notification in the year.                                                


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All drug addicts aged under 21 notified to the Home Office during the                        

year by type of drug to which addiction was reported<1><2> and year                          

United Kingdom  Number of persons                                                            

                1989                                                                         

                Age group                                                                    

Type of drug   |Under       |16          |17          |18-20       |Total                    

               |16                                                 |under                    

                                                                   |21                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heroin         |9           |32          |119         |1,153       |1,313                    

Methadone      |1           |4           |8           |89          |102                      

Dipipanone     |0           |0           |2           |25          |27                       

Cocaine        |3           |4           |18          |96          |121                      

Morphine       |1           |0           |2           |45          |48                       

Pethidine      |0           |0           |0           |1           |1                        

Dextromoramide |0           |0           |0           |13          |13                       

Levorphanol    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydrocodone    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Oxycodone      |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Phenazocine    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Piritramide    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydromorphone  |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Opium          |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

                -------                                                                      

All addicts    |13          |36          |135         |1,259       |1,443                    

  of which;    |0           |6           |24          |431         |461                      

  renotified                                                                                 

<1> As an addict can be reported as addicted to more than one notifiable drug the figures    

for individual drugs cannot be added together to produce totals.                             

<2> At time of last notification in the year.                                                


All drug addicts aged under 21 notified to the Home Office during the                        

year by type of drug to which addiction was reported<1><2> and year                          

United Kingdom  Number of persons                                                            

                1990                                                                         

                Age group                                                                    

Type of drug   |Under       |16          |17          |18-20       |Total                    

               |16                                                 |under                    

                                                                   |21                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heroin         |8           |33          |133         |1,280       |1,454                    

Methadone      |2           |7           |19          |250         |278                      

Dipipanone     |1           |0           |1           |26          |28                       

Cocaine        |2           |3           |26          |148         |179                      

Morphine       |0           |3           |1           |31          |35                       

Pethidine      |0           |0           |0           |1           |1                        

Dextromoramide |0           |0           |1           |11          |12                       

Levorphanol    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydrocodone    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Oxycodone      |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Phenazocine    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Piritramide    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydromorphone  |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Opium          |0           |0           |2           |14          |16                       

                -------                                                                      

All addicts    |11          |39          |163         |1,482       |1,695                    

  of which;    |1           |8           |19          |489         |517                      

  renotified                                                                                 

<1> As an addict can be reported as addicted to more than one notifiable drug the figures    

for individual drugs cannot be added together to produce totals.                             

<2> At time of last notification in the year.                                                


All drug addicts aged under 21 notified to the Home Office during the                        

year by type of drug to which addiction was reported<1><2> and year- continued               

United Kingdom  Number of persons                                                            

                1991                                                                         

                Age group                                                                    

Type of drug   |Under       |16          |17          |18-20       |Total                    

               |16                                                 |under                    

                                                                   |21                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heroin         |13          |43          |129         |1,235       |1,420                    

Methadone      |5           |7           |30          |406         |448                      

Dipipanone     |0           |0           |2           |30          |32                       

Cocaine        |2           |7           |13          |155         |177                      

Morphine       |0           |1           |4           |27          |32                       

Pethidine      |0           |0           |0           |4           |4                        

Dextromoramide |0           |0           |2           |7           |9                        

Levorphanol    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydrocodone    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Oxycodone      |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Phenazocine    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Piritramide    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydromorphone  |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Opium          |0           |0           |0           |1           |1                        

                -------                                                                      

All addicts    |16          |50          |155         |1,534       |1,755                    

  of which;    |3           |2           |26          |499         |530                      

  renotified                                                                                 

<1> As an addict can be reported as addicted to more than one notifiable drug the figures    

for individual drugs cannot be added together to produce totals.                             

<2> At time of last notification in the year.                                                


All drug addicts aged under 21 notified to the Home Office during the                        

year by type of drug to which addiction was reported<1><2> and year-                         

continued                                                                                    

United Kingdom  Number of persons                                                            

                1992                                                                         

                Age group                                                                    

Type of drug   |Under       |16          |17          |18-20       |Total                    

               |16                                                 |under                    

                                                                   |21                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heroin         |12          |66          |174         |1,544       |1,796                    

Methadone      |2           |20          |53          |501         |576                      

Dipipanone     |1           |1           |5           |20          |27                       

Cocaine        |1           |4           |34          |187         |226                      

Morphine       |0           |1           |3           |14          |18                       

Pethidine      |0           |0           |0           |1           |1                        

Dextromoramide |0           |0           |0           |1           |1                        

Levorphanol    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydrocodone    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Oxycodone      |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Phenazocine    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Piritramide    |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Hydromorphone  |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Opium          |0           |0           |0           |1           |1                        

                -------                                                                      

All addicts    |14          |82          |229         |1,900       |2,225                    

  of which;    |0           |5           |28          |494         |527                      

  renotified                                                                                 

<1> As an addict can be reported as addicted to more than one notifiable drug the figures    

for individual drugs cannot be added together to produce totals.                             

<2> At time of last notification in the year.                                                


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Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individual general practitioners provided notification of drug addiction in each year since 1979.

Mr. Maclean : I refer the hon. Lady to the reply that my hon. Friend the Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack), then the Minister of State, Home Office gave her on 12 February 1993, Official Report, column 827. The figure given in that reply, which related to 1991, was obtained during a special study undertaken for another purpose, and information relating to the number of individual general practitioners who have provided notifications for each year since 1979 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the total number of individuals notified as drug addicts in each year since 1979, by drug of addiction.

Mr. Maclean : The available information is published in tables 1 and 2 of the following Home Office statistical bulletins--issue 7/90, "Statistics of the Misuse of Drugs : Addicts Notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1989", and issue 15/93, "Statistics of Drug Addicts Notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1992". Copies of these publications are in the Library. These provide information on new addicts annually since 1979. Information on renotified addicts is only available from 1987.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the number of doctors in each year since 1979 who may prescribe diamorphine for drug addiction purposes.

Mr. Maclean : Ninety doctors are currently licensed by the Home Office to prescribe diamorphine for the treatment of drug addiction. Details of the numbers licensed in previous years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Rough Sleepers and Beggars

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many rough sleepers have been (a) arrested, (b) cautioned and (c) prosecuted for begging in the Metropolitan police area for each of the last five years, and in 1994 to date.

Mr. Maclean : Information is not collected centrally on the residential status of persons arrested, cautioned and brought before the magistrates courts in England and Wales.

The table shows the number of persons cautioned and prosecuted for offences of begging and sleeping out by area from 1988 to 1992. Data for 1993 onwards are not yet available. Arrests data are not collected centrally for these specific offences.


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Number of persons cautioned and prosecuted for offences of                           

begging and sleeping out under the Vagrancy Act 1824 by area                         

1988 to 1992                                                                         

                     Begging                   Sleeping out                          

Area/Year           |Cautions    |Prosecutions|Cautions    |Prosecutions             

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metropolitan Police                                                                  

  District                                                                           

1988                |156         |500         |10          |12                       

1989                |207         |1,251       |-           |12                       

1990                |297         |1,447       |1           |12                       

1991                |457         |1,486       |-           |5                        

1992                |848         |1,029       |1           |5                        

                                                                                     

City of London                                                                       

1988                |-           |-           |-           |-                        

1989                |5           |5           |-           |-                        

1990                |6           |3           |-           |1                        

1991                |9           |11          |-           |-                        

1992                |5           |5           |-           |-                        

                                                                                     

England and Wales                                                                    

1988                |164         |573         |13          |17                       

1989                |220         |1,402       |-           |24                       

1990                |325         |1,640       |4           |29                       

1991                |540         |1,839       |8           |20                       

1992                |1,016       |1,425       |2           |14                       

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are given to the Metropolitan police for dealing with beggars ; what changes he has made to them recently ; and what proposals he has for changing them.

Mr. Maclean : None. This is an operational matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions are given to security staff in his departmental offices in London for dealing with (a) those sleeping rough in departmental doorways and (b) beggars in the vicinity ; and how many problems have been experienced with each category in the last three months.

Mr. Maclean : As a measure of protective security, staff are instructed to keep the perimeters of buildings clear. No specific instructions are given to the security staff about those sleeping rough or begging. No problems have been experienced in either category within the past three months.

Firearms

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes involving guns there have been in each year since and including 1979.

Mr. Maclean : Figures of notifiable offences recorded by the police in which firearms were reported to have been used are published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", copies of which can be found in the Library--lastest edition, 1992, Cm 2410, table 3.1. Figures for 1993 are not yet available.

Police Staffing

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding his plans to make chief constables responsible for their own establishments ; if he will continue to give substantive answers to questions from hon. Members regarding police staffing ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard : The representations which we have received about the proposed changes to the police funding system have favoured dispensing with central controls on police force establishments. One of the changes, which is proposed by the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill, is that the Home Secretary will no


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longer be responsible for approving police force establishment. The present system of detailed monthly returns will, therefore, no longer be needed for that purpose. Consequently, I propose to discontinue that requirement on police forces as from April 1995.

Certain items of information will be needed for financial planning purposes, and we are at present considering the minimum level of data which will be sought from forces. This is unlikely to be asked for more frequently than twice a year.

Under the proposed new arrangements, the number and mix of staff in police forces will be the responsibility of local police authorities. Home Office Ministers will continue to give substantive replies to questions from hon. Members about staffing numbers based on the latest available data.

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) serving police officers, (b) civilian staff assisting the police and (c) crimes there were in the latest available three years for each police authority in Wales, for Wales as a whole and for England ; and what was the ratio of crimes to police officers in each case.

Mr. Maclean : The information requested is in the table :


Notifiable offences recorded by the police and                                                              

police and civilian strength                                                                                

Police force area |Serving          |Civilian         |Recorded         |Offences                           

                  |police           |staff            |offences         |per                                

                  |officers                                             |police                             

                                                                        |officer                            

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1991                                                                                                        

Dyfed-Powys       |944              |270.0            |25,970           |28                                 

Gwent             |995              |332.0            |38,673           |39                                 

North Wales       |1,343            |476.0            |44,418           |33                                 

South Wales       |3,142            |1,162.0          |161,977          |52                                 

Wales             |6,424            |2,240.0          |271,038          |42                                 

England           |118,642          |49,714.0         |5,005,135        |42                                 

                                                                                                            

1992                                                                                                        

Dyfed-Powys       |960              |292.0            |28,539           |30                                 

Gwent             |1,000            |347.0            |40,961           |41                                 

North Wales       |1,356            |505.0            |49,204           |36                                 

South Wales       |3,164            |1,194.0          |168,554          |53                                 

Wales             |6,480            |2,338.0          |287,258          |44                                 

England           |119,399          |51,898.0         |5,304,459        |44                                 

                                                                                                            

1993                                                                                                        

Dyfed-Powys       |966              |303.0            |24,743           |26                                 

Gwent             |989              |348.5            |400,008          |40                                 

North Wales       |1,341            |511.5            |48,102           |36                                 

South Wales       |3,142            |1,286.5          |166,165          |53                                 

Wales             |6,438            |2,449.5          |279,018          |43                                 

England           |119,100          |52,722.5         |5,251,340        |44                                 

Criminal Justice

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he will publish the 1993 report on race and the criminal justice system under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 ; (2) when he will publish the 1993 report on costs of the criminal justice system under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 ;

(3) when he will publish the 1993 report on gender and the criminal justice system under the Criminal Justice Act 1991.

Mr. Maclean : My right hon. and learned Friend's responsibility under section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 is in each year to publish information as he considers expedient to assist persons engaged in the administration of criminal justice to avoid discrimination--whether on the basis of race, gender or any other improper grounds--and to enable them to be aware of the financial implications of their decisions. Information about race and gender issues was published in 1992, and information on costs in 1993. This year we have published a paper on gender ; and a larger publication dealing with race will be published in July.

Asylum Seekers

Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department is doing to ensure that its treatment of asylum seekers does not breach article 5 of the European convention on human rights and article 9 of the international covenant on civil and political rights.

Mr. Charles Wardle : I am satisfied that the proper detention of people in accordance with the Immigration Act 1971 does not breach the United Kingdom's obligations under those articles.

Special Police Protection

Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for reviewing the funding arrangements for police protection of special households ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The introduction of cash limits on police funding from April 1995 will necessitate the use of a new formula for allocating funding to police forces. This formula is currently under construction. Special account will need to be taken, within the formula, of security issues, including the need to protect special households. The enactment of clause 15 of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill will ensure that no payments will be made under the new arrangements until Parliament has approved a report setting out the considerations behind the grant allocation.

Betting and Gaming

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to relax the present advertising restrictions for bingo halls to allow advertising (a) in newspapers, (b) on the radio, (c) on television, (d) on bill boards and (e) through local signage, other than that presently permitted to a certain distance from the halls themselves ;


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(2) what plans he has to abolish the requirement for 24-hour advance membership of bingo halls.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand that these matters are the subject of discussions between the Bingo Association of Great Britain and the Gaming Board for Great Britain. I will await the outcome of those discussions before considering proposals for relaxation of the restrictions.

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will bring forward proposals to allow payment of prizes up to the current £6 limit from amusement-with-prizes machines to be made in cash, rather than replayable tokens, in England and Wales.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : This matter is under review.

Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to relax the restrictions on siting amusement- with-prizes machines in betting shops, pubs, casinos and private clubs ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : We are reviewing current policy on siting of amusement-with-prizes machines in betting shops. The outcome of the review will be made known once a decision is reached. Changes to primary legislation would be required.

These machines are already sited widely in public houses and other premises. Casinos and members' clubs are eligible for two jackpot gaming machines.


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